Information collected by the Russian Consul in Salonica about the state of public education in Macedonia is forwards diplomatic channels to the Director of the Asian Department in Petersburg at the request of the Slav Committee in Odessa
June 8th 1873
Our Consul in Salonica presented to me a list of the towns and Bulgarian villages in Macedonia, which need schools for the people, as well as notes about the needs of the existing schools. This data was collected by our Consul at the request of the secretary of the Slav Committee in Odessa, in view of his inten­tion of collecting donations for the Bulgarian schools during the current year. I consider it my duty to forward this list for the information of Your Excellency.
Notes about the towns and Bulgarian villages in Macedonia,
which need people's schools and the needs of the existing

Salonica. There is one school, where the basic subjects are taught; there is one teacher; pupils: 30 boys, 15 girls. The Bulgarian commune is taking care both of the improvement of the teacher himself, and of the building of a church dedicated to the Slav enlighteners Cyril and Methodius in Salonica, the birthplace of these saints. At least 3,000 rubles per year are necessary for the school alone. There are 40 settlements in the region of the town of Salonica, 8 of which are inhabited by Greeks and all the rest - by Bulgarians. From the latter settlements, only in Tserovo, which is at a distance of 8 hours from Salonica, is there a people's school which is administered from Salonica; in it there is one teacher and 60 pupils. Church services in the Slav language started in Tserovo a year ago; six months ago the following villages started to express a wish to have their own school and church service in the Bulgarian language:

Kirechkyoi - 600 houses, at a distance of one hour from Salonica

Negovan - 350 houses, at 9 hours from Salonica

Vissoka - 250 houses, at a distance of 8 hours from Salonica

Aivatovo - 230 houses, at a distance of 3 hours from Salonica

Gyuvezna - 200 houses, at a distance of 4.5 hours from Salonica

Souho - 500 houses at a distance of 7 hours from Salonica. One school master and one school mistress should be appointed in Kirechkyoi and Souho, because of their numerous population; an annual up­keep of between 30 and 40 Turkish Uras should be provided; the villages should also be supplied with a set of church books each.

Seres - 6,000 houses; there are 150 Bulgarian villages in the region of the town, one school in the town and one in the village of Gorno Brodi.

Nevrokop - 1,500 houses; 100 Bulgarian villages are included in the region; in the town itself there are two schools - a boys' and a girls' school.

Melnik - 1,500 houses; the region covers 150 Bulgarian villages; there is one school.

These three towns need church books and cash aid tp open boys' and girls' schools in the neighbouring villages with more numerous population.

Bulgarian settlements situated along the Salonica-Veles
(Kyupryuli) railway line

Topchin - 50 houses, at a distance of 4 hour   from Salonica

Vardarovtsi - 100 houses, at a distance of 6 hours from Salonica

Karassoule - 100 houses, at a distance of 9 hours from Salonica

Gevgeli 200 houses, at 12 hours from Salonica

Sehovo - 60 houses, at 13 hours from Salonica

Bayaltsi 60 houses, at 14 hours from Salonica

Gorichitsa - 50 houses, 16 hours from Salonica

Bogdanitsa 200 houses, 16 hours from Salonica

Stoyakovo 65 houses, 17 hours from Salonica

Valandovo - 100 houses, 15 hours from Salonica

All these settlements need teachers and church books, while Gevgeli and Bogdanitsa also need a school mistress.

Tikvesh - in this region there are 50 villages, of which at least six should have a teacher each, judging by their population.

Goumendje - 500 houses, has two churches. In one of them the church service is in Slav. There is one school under the administration of the Salonica school, with a teacher and 80 pupils. The settlement needs a school mistress. There are 20 settlements around Goumendje, in at least five of which a teacher should be appointed, judging by their population, and a set of church books should be provided.

Polyana - a town of 1,200 houses, at 8 hours from Salonica. There are 20 villages in its region.

Strumitsa - 1,300 houses. In the region of that town there are 20 Bulgarian settlements. The only Bulgarian church in Strumitsa burnt down three years ago.

The Maleshevo district near Strumitsa covers 15 Bulgarian settlements. All need teachers, school mistresses and church books.

Radovish - 1,000 houses, at 35 hours from Salonica. More than 35 villages are situated in its vicinity. In Radovish there is one school with a school master and 80 pupils; a school mistress is needed as well as church books for the villages.

Settlements situated on the Salonica-Bitola (Manastir) road

Gorno and Dolno Koufalovo - 400 houses, 6 hours from Salonica

Litovoi - 60 houses, 8 hours from Salonica

Enidje Vardar - 600 houses, 9 hours from Salonica

Voden - 500 houses, 16 hours from Salonica; in the region there are 6 villages.

All these towns and villages need school masters and school mistresses.

Kostour (Castoria) - 2,000 houses; there are 150 Bulgarian villages in the region, of which only 3 have schools; Kostour itself has neither teachers nor church books.

Available teachers in the Bulgarian schools, in Macedonia
and where they have received their education:
In Ohrid - G. Purlichev, educated in Athens, but a zealous Bulgarian.
In Prilep - N. Ganchov, a student of Naiden Gerov
In Veles - F. Popovich, educated in Russia
In Stip - G. Kovachev, also educated in Russia
In Salonica - M. Boubotinov, a student of Filaretov
In Koukoush - V. Machoukovski, studied in Russia.
In their work all these teachers are guided by the textbooks published by Danov in Plovdiv (Philippopolis); translations from the Russian are also used.
There is a shortage of books with religious, historical and philological contents in Ohrid, Prilep, Veles, Stip, Salonica and Koukoush-Seres.
The schools in Salonica, Tsarevo, Kostour and Seres receive support from the Macedonian Society in Constantinople. In general, the Bulgarian schools are far from thriving. The Bulgarian people are sinking in poverty and ig­norance. Those Bulgarians, who have received any education, in spite of their zeal to be of help to their compatriots, are deprived of funds. The Greeks take advantage of this weakness on the part of the Bulgarians to set up societies for the dissemination of the Greek alphabet and letters in Macedonia; they train young Greeks to occupy the posts of teachers; open new schools, give aid in the form of money and books to the existing Greek schools. The Society in Seres, for instance, is responsible for sending books and money to Kavala, Enidje, Melnik, Nevrokop and the vicinity. The Society in Salonica takes care of Voden, Goumendje, Enidje Vardar, Negosh, Strumitsa (where a school master and a school mistress have been sent from Athens to teach free of charge), Polyana (Doyran), Veles (Kyupryuli), Prilep, Kostour (Castoria), Kroushevo and Ohrid.
The Seres Society is under the secret chairmanship of the Metropolitan there, whereas that in Salonica under the secret chairmanship of the Greek Consul; the two of them have contacts with the Society in Athens, from where they receive money and books; what is more, they have patrons in Constan­tinople, Vienna and Odessa from among the Greeks living there.

Государственньiй исторический архив Ленинградской области (State Historical Archive of the Leningrad District), ф. 500, on. 1, ед. хр. 8, л. 41—45; the original is in Russian
A dispatch to the newspaper Radenik1 about the Bulgarian-Greek conflict in Ohrid and Seres
July 5th, 1873
A report has come from Ohrid that a fierce struggle has flared up between Bulgarians and Greeks. Everything that has happened so far shows that the Bulgarians will be victorious. A veritable revolt has broken out in Seres. In no way do the people wish to accept the Greek bishops and they curse them. It has been reported that the inhabitants of several villages in the region of Dospat drove out the bishop's deacons who had been sent from Seres to collect the bishop's tax from the people. On hearing this, the bishop of Seres went himself, accompanied by several zaptiehs, ‘to enlighten’ the unenlightened people. But the disobedient Slavs rose and threw stones at the bishop.

В. „Раденик", Белград (Newspaper Radenik), Belgrade, No. 80, August 5, 1873; the original is in Serbo-Croat

1 A newspaper published by Svetozar Markovic, Serbian revolutionary democrat and utopian socialist
A report to the newspaper Pravo from Seres describes how Phanariots attacked a Bulgarian teacher and his wife
July 17th, 1873

The examinations at the Bulgarian school on June 29th this year took place under shocking circumstances. While the pupils were being examined, a group of Greeks   rushed into the school and cried:  'Damnation to all Bulgarians!'   After   saying   this,   they   ran   away.   The Bulgarians were magnanimous enough to take no notice of this impudence, and the examinations were continuing when a group of Greek pupils appeared, and, noisily climbing the stairs of the Bulgarian school, began stamping with their feet and hooting at those present. Most of the latter wanted to punish this impertinence; but, persuaded by the Bulgarian teacher, they gave up the idea and contented themselves merely with putting a watchman at the school gate. Owing to this measure, the examinations were able to proceed normally, without any further interruptions of this kind.

Since that day, the Bulgarian teacher has hardly been able to go out into the street alone, without being exposed to the imprecations of the Greeks or to the danger of being hit by stones thrown at him. Three days ago, on his return from a walk, together with his family, he approached a group of about ten young Greeks, who swore both at him and at his wife. Then the Greeks called them 'unsalted Bulgarians' and threw sand at them, saying that they wanted 'to salt' them. The next day, on her return from church, passing through a locality called St George the teacher's wife was hit senseless by a stone thrown at her.

On the third day of this month, the said teacher was going for a walk ac­companied by his servant, when about 30 Greeks, who had been following them, began to swear and throw stones at them.

Mr. Salgandjiev (this is the name of the teacher) complained to the local myutesarif about all these insults and demanded that the governor of Kondou-Kosti, a member of the district civil court, be brought before the authorities, because the teacher accused him of being the instigator of all these outrages. The myutesarif sent a zaptieh to bring him there. The zaptieh returned and reported that the person would come in an hour. But he did not keep his promise. A representative of the civil authorities went to his house and took him under guard. But, on the way, the man managed to escape and hid in the Greek consulate.

On hearing of his escape, the myutesarif was very angry, so they say. Soon afterwards he was informed that the man was a Greek subject and as such he refused to submit to the Turkish authorities. Then the myutesarif gave an order that Athanasaki (the Greek member of the court) be told to bring his governor there himself. Athanasaki came to the town hall, but, without seeing the myutesarif, he talked with the binbashi for a while, and then went home. The teacher waited one whole day for the result of his complaint. When he went to the myutesarif again, the latter told him in Turkish: 'Come now, school master, you are a good man, go mind your business, I'll bring him here!'

This manner of giving justice surprised the plaintiff, but he had to submit.

If the interference of the Greek consuls in affairs in which they have no lawful right to meddle, is not to the liking of the Turkish authorities, that is then-affair, but it is not fair that the Bulgarians should suffer for it.

The patience of the Bulgarians is really a miracle, but the miracles are decreasing day by day, and the Greeks must not abuse the favour which they have lately been enjoying on the part of the Turkish Government.

В. „Право", Цариград (Newspaper Pravo), Constantinople, No. 20, July 30th, 1873; (Supplement) the original is in Bulgarian
A report from V. Maximov, Russian Consul in Bitola, to N. P. Ignatiev, Russian Ambassador in Constantinople,
concerning the church question in the Pelagonian Diocese

October 14th, 1873

In the opinion of the local Austro-Hungarian Consul Mr. Okuli, Bitola and its vicinity is 'Bulgaria' and he considers that after the Bulgarian Bishop arrives here, the Greek prelate will have to leave the country because of lack of parishioners and of revenue for the maintenance of his bishopric.

I do not share the extreme view of my colleague, but nevertheless it is my duty to state that since the existence of two church administrations in the Eastern Orthodox Church in Turkey has become a necessity, the Bulgarian hierarchy has the indisputable right to stay in Manastir (Bitola) at feast side by side with the Greek bishop. Of the three thousand Christian households here, 2,200 are Bulgarian, while the other 800 are Hellenized Wallachians, Albanians and Greeks.

Thus, although in terms of number the country should undoubtedly belong to the Bulgarians, in moral terms matters are different.

Oppressed by the Turks, the Bulgarians, poor and, with a few exceptions, extremely backward, have hitherto conceded the moral primacy, leadership and all the initiative in their public activities to the few but wealthy, mainly petty merchants, in the small Turkish towns - Wallachians (Kutsovlahs) who have turned Greek and have entirely forgotten their original nationality. These Wallachians have had and still have, in part, such a strong influence over the Bulgarian majority that the latter are still under their sway to this day. It is for this reason that half of the Bitola Bulgarians still hesitate to join their native Church. This is the reason for the hesitation of the Bulgarian patriots to act in connection with their right to vote granted them by Article 10 of the Firman.

Notwithstanding these unfavourable conditions, they are getting things done. They make their compatriots, officially affiliated to the Greek party but actually its active adversaries, contribute funds to the initiatives of the people. The Robev brothers, one of the wealthiest families in Bitola, are an example of this. Thanks to the zeal of these people and the ardent patriotism and devoted effort of Mishaykov (Pateli), the local town physician, in particular, who is a brother of the Plovdiv bishop Panaret, a small church in honour of the Birth of Mother of God was built in the centre of the town during the last month and a half. They call this church here a chapel (a temporary church).

Frequented zealously by the adherents of the Bulgarian clergy it exercises a strong influence on the way of thinking of the entire population and of the town folk, in particular. Proof of this is given in the passing over to the Bulgarian side of a 90-year-old priest, actually Albanian by nationality, known under the name of priest Atanas here, who has been under the aegis of Greek clergy since his early childhood. This transfer to the other camp took place while I was already in Bitola and it caused a great sensation.

And still the Bulgarians do not dare bring the question of voting before the Turks. His Worship Evstati, who is living in Constantinople for the time being, is encouraging them in this direction.

Because of the reasons mentioned above, and because they have no con­fidence in their own forces, especially in the villages homogeneous in terms of nationality in the Bitola district, where only 45 villages out of 118 adhere to the Exarchate, and because they fear the Greek influence, which has its defenders here, as I have already had the honour to state in the persons of the Wallachians, they are awaiting the result of the plebiscite in Ohrid and Skopje. In the former area, judging from private reports, the plebiscite is proceeding in a way entirely favourable to the Bulgarians; there is hope that more than three-fourths of the Ohrid diocese will wish to be affiliated to the Bulgarian Church.

The success of this enterprise and the arrival of the Ohrid and Skopje bishops in their dioceses 'will inspire', in the words of the Bulgarian patriots of Bitola, 'their compatriots here, will encourage them to preserve their right to hear the word of God in their own language, and will give them the strength resolutely to defend what remains of the national individuality, that has been slipping away from them.'

It is for this reason that they, wishing to secure if possible the favourable outcome of the plebiscite in the Bitola diocese (in Bitola and its sandjak), intend to ask the Most Reverend Evstati to petition the Sublime Porte to be sent here temporarily, while the plebiscite is being held. If this request is not accepted, bishop Evstati should ask the Turkish government to exclude the Greek bishop from participation in the plebiscite.

These are the proposals of the local Bulgarians, in the implementation of which they see a guarantee for their success.

They are based on the procedures for the plebiscite hitherto followed by the Turkish authorities: the medjlis, of which the bishop is member, summons the priest, the elder of the quarter (if the plebiscite takes place in a town), or of the village (if they wish to know the opinion of its inhabitants) and two of the most respected townsmen.

The elder and the priest act jointly as they have interests in common. Since they do not find the rightful members of the new clergy in the medjlis, and apprehensive lest they lose their revenue, they do not dare to take a stand against the Greek bishop in his presence. In such cases, under the most favourable circumstances, the votes of the persons questioned are split into two equal parts. And later the medjlis passes a decision which is doubtless, taken under the pressure from the Greek bishop.

On the basis of what has been so far stated, I take the liberty to express the hope that Your Excellency will share in my opinion that justice urgently demands that the Bulgarians be given guarantees for an unbiased solution of this problem. I do not defend the impeccability of the above-mentioned proposals, and I am fully convinced that you, with your enlightened perspicaci­ty and your experience in Turkish affairs, which is well known throughout Russia, can easily find more efficient means to preserve the frankness and sincerity of such an important declaration as that shortly to be made by the inhabitants of the Bitola diocese.

Being aware of the importance of the moment for this area, with the sur­veillance of which I have been entrusted by the Imperial Ministry, and being aware of the great influence such an outcome of the plebiscite could have on the future developments and trends among the population of this country, and confident that Your Excellency will not leave me without instructions in the event of the Bulgarians turning to me for advice on this question, I deemed it my duty to present the above report to your high discretion.

Архив внешней политики России, Главньiй ар­хив (Archive of Russia's, Foreign Policy. Main Archive), V-A2- 1873, д. 139, pp. 9-14; the original is in Russian
Plebiscite in the Skopje and Ohrid dioceses on the appointment of Bulgarian bishops
It was established, in accordance with the plebiscite held in the Skopje and Ohrid dioceses for appointing Bulgarian bishops by virtue of Article 10 of the Firman for the setting up of a Bulgarian Exarchate, that only 567 households out of 8 698 Christian households in the Skopje diocese wish to remain under the Greek Patriarchate, while the other 8,131 households have expressed their wish to pass under the ecclesiastic jurisdiction of the Bulgarian Exarchate.
And, according to reports supplied by the Salonica vilayet, dated 21 Muharrem 1291 (February 27th, 1874), the plebiscite showed that only 139 people in the town of Ohrid and its environs asked to stay under the Patriarchate, while 9,387 people expressed their desire to pass under the jurisdiction of the Bulgarian Exarchate.

Документи за българската история, т. IV, Документи из турските държавни архиви (1863-1909) (Documents of Bulgarian History, vol. IV, Documents from the Turkish state archives), part II, Sofia, 1942, pp. 22-23; the original is in Тurkish
An article by Lyuben Karavelov on the national and church struggle of the Bulgarian people
against the Phanariots and on the situation in Macedonia

February 22nd, 1874
The justified unrest and the severe persecution and hatred against the Greek clergy which arose in the Danubian parts of Bulgaria some years ago, are being repeated also in the Western Bulgarian areas, which are called Macedonia, in accordance with the wish of Greek learned men. Numerous facts show that the struggle in these parts is more cruel, and more energetic and more fierce. Naturally fierce oppression and violent tempests call for fierce and violent resistance. And, in point of fact, we know of no other Bulgarian or other Eastern Orthodox land that has suffered as much from the blessed Phanariots and the Hellenistic Klephti (propagandists) as Western Bulgaria. This unfor­tunate land has been placed between several fires. Greek propagandists have for a long time now been poisoning the people there and have been killing them morally; the Albanians have been robbing the property of the peasants, setting fire to their houses and destroying them materially; the Wallachian inn-keepers and wealthy people, who have almost always been Greek tools, have reduced this misfortunate part of the country to a terrible state, and the agents of Milos Milojevic, who should have been apostles of South Slav unity and guardian angels of the defenceless and the half-dead, i.e. who should have defended the Bulgarian nationality and the Bulgarian name from foreign encroachment, are preaching retrograde ideas, sowing dissent, bringing forth controversies and compelling their brothers and allies to lose their last characteristic and to play into the hands of the adversaries of the Southern Slavs. The Messages of the archimandrite Pelagic and Kossovo Messages of Milos Milojevic provoke dis­gust not only in simple and innocent people, (who say that the Serb is a Bulgarian and the Bulgarian - a Serb, and having no idea whatsoever about the fantasies of Mr. Milojevic), but also in those prejudiced personalities who know both archimandrite Pelagic and Milos Milojevic, and also Mr. Vizankov, i.e. the living source of Milojevic's great wisdom. And the works of these two idiots are spreading over all the Bulgarian lands because they are distributed free of charge. But let us leave that aside. On Western Bulgarian areas the hatred of the Bulgarian people for the Greek madmen has reached a point at which whole villages in the Salonica region have decided to accept a Uniate in order to deliver themselves from centuries-old suffering. Naturally, if an innocent, religious and patient people, like the Bulgarians, have decided to abandon their ancient customs and their religious rites and to recognize the Pope as head of their clergy, then their sufferings must indeed have been very great! The Bulgarian section of Levant Times states that even the Turkish officials in those areas are working against the unification of the Bulgarians and 'are forcing the population to act against the interests of the Turkish government as well.' 'When the local authorities,' this newspaper says, 'ordered father Nil to return to Constantinople, the inhabitants were offended and they advised the Bulgarian bishop to adopt the Uniate and to save them from the Greek bishop.' All this seems very strange to us. If the Bulgarians in the Salonica diocese accepted the Uniate only to save themselves from the Greeks, why then was the schism proclaimed? Or could it be that the Greek bishops, heading mixed dioceses, have turned schismatic? In our opinion, the schism long ago took the Phanariot yoke from the Bulgarians' necks, and it has raised a strong barrier between the Bulgarian people and the Phanariot clergy. Naturally, when Patriarch Antim proclaimed this unheard-of stupidity, he hi no way thought of differentiating between the Macedonian, Thracian and Danubian Bulgarians. In one word, he declared all his disobedient subjects who did not recognize his authority and who recognized the Exarchate to be schismatic. What more do we need? If the Greeks consider the Bulgarian clergy and the Bulgarian church schismatic, then they regard as schismatic also the Bulgarian people, who make up that church and who recognize their own clergy, and therefore the Greek bishops, priests and archimandrites no longer have any right to look after the flock which they have excommunicated from their so-called Orthodox church and which they have called heretical. Thus, if Nil belongs to the heretical clergy, and if the people accept him as their own bishop, then the Greeks have no other choice but to He on the bed which they themselves have made. And our readers can see from all this that the Bulgarians do not need to hide behind the Pope's tiara and to use against their adversaries measures harmful to the Bulgarian nation. Every Bulgarian is a schismatic, therefore he has already split .away from the Phanariot church and has a right to his own clergy. Yet a number of facts shows that both the Greeks and the Turkish government are putting all their efforts in stifling the schism and diminishing its significance. It is well known that there is no word about schisms in any of the Constantinople newspapers and that, of late, the Turkish government has not been attaching any importance to it. And what are the reasons for all this? Here are the reasons for it. When the Patriarch proclaimed the schism, His Holiness believed that the Bulgarian people were so religious that they would be intimidated by his canonic arrows and would again bow their heads to their centuries-old enemies. The Turks thought likewise. Yet matters took an entirely different turn. The schism was welcomed with great joy and the Bulgarian people reorganized the Exarchate. Once the Phanariot clergy and the Greek 'bold fellows' had seen how their age-old torments and suffering had fallen at a pun of air, they were quick to change their policy. Patriarch Antim was deposed by those same persons that had forced him to proclaim the schism. Naturally, the new Greek ruse did not produce the result desired by the Greek diplomats. In addition, almost all Eastern Orthodox hierarchies, and particularly that of Russia, in which the 'Orthodox Phanariots' had large material interests, op­posed the schism. The Turkish government, considering the Bulgarian church question as a controversy between priests, was also compelled to have second thoughts after the proclamation of the schism and the consequences thereof. That schism differentiated the Greeks from the Bulgarian people, and before the eyes of the government there rose six million living beings who were in­spired by the same spirit and who had the same purpose, desire and aspirations. All this made the Greeks and Turks unite, embrace and work together. The Turkish government refused to recognize the schism and decided to change its Firman, which, like the schism, acknowledged the existence of a Bulgarian nationality; but when it met with such strong resistance on the part of the Bulgarian people, it ordered plebiscite to be held and, at the same time, ordered the heads of the districts to act against Bulgarian interests. Simultaneously, the government, tried, under various pretexts (revolutionary committees, Russian propaganda, etc.) to send into exile several hundred Bulgarian teachers and in­structors, who in their opinion and in that of the Greeks, were inciting the Bulgarian people and stirring up discontent throughout the Empire. We all remember the case of Hadji Stavri. All these ^tragic comedies convinced the Bulgarian people that the Turkish government and the Greek clergy were of one mind and that the Bulgarian church question would be solved only when the Bulgarians freed themselves of both Turks and Greeks. These are the causes that made the Bulgarians in Salonica diocese accept the Uniate. Whose fault is it? It is the fault of the government, who do not know what they are thinking or what they are doing. This is our opinion on this matter. The Bulgarian people should insist on the schism and should not take a step outside it. The Greek clergy have no authority over the schismatics. As far as the government is concerned, it will give way only in the face of our persistence and our sensible unification. 'Unite, do not split, be persistent, put all your ef­forts into the cause and you are bound to achieve complete success/ that is what all judicious people say.
В. „Независимост", Букурещ (Newspaper Nezavisimost),1 Bucharest, No. 19, February 23rd, 1874; the original is in Bulgarian

The organ of the Bulgarian Revolutionary Central Committee, successor to the newspaper Svoboda
An article by Lyuben Karavelov on the chauvinistic propaganda of Milos Milojevic in Macedonia
and the attitude
of the progressive Serbian public towards it

March 8th, 1874
‘When a dog cannot bark, it brings the wolf to the fold,’' runs the proverb. And thus if one follows up with particular attention the activities of the South-Slav apostles, one is bound to know that this proverb has a philosophical meaning. Let us explain ourselves. Our readers are already aware of the fact that the Constantinople societies Bratstvo (Brotherhood) and Makedonskata Drouzhina (The Macedonian Company)' published an open letter in the newspaper Pravo (Justice) addressed to Mr. Marinovic, in which they con­demned the activities of the former Serbian ministry and complained of Serbian propaganda and propagandists, who sow discord between the Bulgarian and the Serbian peoples and breed not brothers and friends, but enemies and adver­saries. Almost all independent Serbian newspapers answered this letter and assured us that the honest and genuine Serbian patriots were not taking part in this farce, and that none of the Serbian ministries had given assistance to the group of Milos Milojevic. Recently, we received a private letter from Belgrade, which read in part as follows: 'I can never praise a person who undertakes to attack or to criticize people unfamiliar to him and of whom he has never demanded any explanation. I refer to the open letter to Mr. Marinovic. It is true that for a long time now Mr. Milojevic has been founding Serbian societies, which, in his own words, have the task of disseminating Serbianism not only in Macedonia and Thrace, but also along the shores of the Mediterranean, i.e. in Spain and Africa (Mr. Milojevic believes that the Spaniards and the Algerians are Serbs); it is true that several of Milojevic's followers are preaching retrograde ideas in Macedonia, and in Bosnia and Herzegovina; it is true that the books of Mr. Milojevic and of archimandrite Pelagic are being distributed free of charge to the Bulgarians; and lastly, it is true that there are professors in the Belgrade theological school who say that "the Bulgarian language is coarse and unrefined" and that "the Bulgarian people are simple and naive"; but the question is: what does all this lead to? - The preaching of Milos Milojevic and the folly of archimandrite Pelagic should make one laugh, rather than be angry; the teachers, who (in the words of Mr. M., who published a rather patriotic and very witty protest in the newspaper Javnost) go all over Macedonia sowing dis­cord between the Bulgarian and Serbian peoples, should be driven away from the Bulgarian land, without waiting for protests or open letters; and finally the opinion of the Belgrade professors should not offend anybody because these are nothing more than opinions and anybody has the right to say both wise and stupid things. I am certain that there are people among the Bulgarians, too, who are of the opinion that the Serbian language is coarse and unrefined, and say so. But I can assure almost anybody that any language - provided that that language is spoken by a wise and honest people - is worthy of respect and that it is as good a language as all other languages are. Languages are enriched and embellished by the people. As far as the "simplicity" and the "naivety" of the Bulgarian people are concerned, I do not know what to say, since the Serbian people, too, have not gone very far ahead of the Bulgarians in this respect. And now tell me, was it worthwhile making a mountain out of a mole-hill and raising a row over nothing? In my opinion, the honoured Constantinople societies made a serious mistake. It is the duty of all people of common sense to eliminate everything adverse to the people, otherwise it may lead to even worse con­sequences'. We find the same opinion expressed in the Serbian newspaper Javnost, 'We would like to assure our brothers, the Bulgarians, that Serbian public opinion fully opposes the foolish and quixotic ideas of Milos Milojevic and his group,' the newspaper writes. 'We cannot even say how repugnant, insignificant and mad we consider this behaviour. For a long time now our literary circles have regarded Mr. M. Milojevic as a charlatan, or as a man much closer to 'blind Jeremiah' and to his kin, than to people, who deal in scholarly truth. Our conclusion is supported also by the moderate criticism of Mr. Novakovic and Mr. Kojundzic, recently submitted to the Serbian Learned Society. We have known for a long time that Mr. Milojevic has been waging a war against the Bulgarian nationality in Macedonia, but we never thought that any Serbian government could participate in such doings.' Another letter (written by a Bulgarian) reads thus: "Many dupes, fools and scoundrels have undertaken the job of sowing discord among the South Slavs and of pleasing our common enemies; yet their effort will be futile, because honest, intelligent and reasonable people are laughing both at the historical charlatanism of archimandrite Pelagic and at the "lamentation of Jeremiah" of the late, now blessed Pravo.' Milos Milojevic's mud cannot mar the honest name of the Serbian people, just as the acts of our officials in Constantinople cannot dishonour the honest Bulgarian people, who despise their advice and have nothing in common with them. But is it proper, in these crucial times, to go in for futile disputes and quarrel over a donkey's shadow when sharp axes are hanging over our heads and Macedonia is full of alien beasts who are tearing the body of South Slavs apart and are get­ting ready to feast over our dead bodies? Is it now the proper moment to look for Serbians in India when our own houses (in Bosnia, in Herzegovina, in Turkey and in Austria) are being violated by Catholics and Mohammedans and Mongols and Phanariots, and by...? And finally, is it now the proper moment to mourn over the dead and dig out the bones of Simeon and Dusan, when the Turkish yoke is weighing heavily on the necks of both Bulgarians and Serbs? Let us also express our own opinion. Two years ago we said that a very strange custom had grown up among the Bulgarians, namely to complain and to pray to some super-natural forces to aid them against the numerous enemies which surround them on all sides; and now we say that these complaints are becoming both ridiculous and purposeless, and harmful. And, in truth, we have been com­plaining of everybody and everything, crying loudly and noisily. 'Russia is in­terested in its own affairs and does not think about us and about our happiness; general Ignatiev is trying hard to safeguard the importance of the oecumenical church and to split the poor Bulgarian people for the well-being of the church; Serbia is sending its propagandists to the Bulgarian land and is endeavouring to turn the poor and unfortunate Bulgarian people into Serbs; Romania has swallowed and is swallowing about a million poor and unfortunate Bulgarians; the cursed Greeks are drinking the blood of the poor Bulgarians and are devouring the bodies of the poor Bulgarians; the accursed Turks are op­pressing the poor ray ah and bringing dishonour to our women and children; the ungodly papal agents are striving to turn the poor Bulgarian people into Catholics and make them good for nothing; the Armenians have taken all the trade into their hands and are not giving the poor Bulgarians a chance to live; the Jews, who betrayed Christ, are. selling their dishes cheaper than our own Gabrovo wooden bowls, thus impoverishing the poor Bulgarian people.' And what are our innocent and good Bulgarians doing? They are suffering, working, earning their bread, sweating and complaining! Such is our logic! As if the Bulgarian people had no brains, no head, no arms or legs; as if the Bulgarian people were dumb animals without a reason or common sense of their own, ready to follow anybody who entices them; and finally, as if we had been born only to trouble the world with our complaints. Naturally, with these complaints we only humiliate ourselves and demonstrate to our enemies that 'our Lordships' are worthless. A nation which is not able to alleviate its own plight, and to eliminate what is harmful to it, is good for nothing. And, listen to this, too. If the Bulgarians had had more national consciousness, if they had had more willpower and had been more mature, then neither Russia nor general Ignatiev, nor the Turkish government could have stifled their aims and aspirations, and the Exarchate would long ago have been acknowledged even by the Phanariots; if the Bulgarians had been more active, more patriotic and firmer in character, Milojevic's teachers would long ago have made themselves scarce, and archimandrite Pelagic's epistles, right from the very beginning, would have been distributed free of charge to the grocers, and, finally, if Bulgarians had been more judicious, more far-sighted and more resolute, they would not have been the slaves of a nomadic people and would not have complained thus naively about everybody, of everybody, to everybody. But Mr. M., whom we mentioned above, speaks thus in the newspaper Javnost: They (Milojevic's teachers) are preaching hatred of everything which is Bulgarian and which is sacred to the Bulgarian people (and the Bulgarian people does not beat them up! Ed.) and they are not spreading enlightenment but depravity. Naturally, in this they will not succeed as they have not succeeded up till now, except in the case of some mercenaries, who would sell not only their names, but also their own wives and mothers for money.' Mr. M. considers that this comedy may have adverse consequences which could easily bring disaster to the two nations. We are not of the same opinion. Stupidity scarcely ever leaves traces behind it. As for these mercenaries who sacrifice their wives and their mothers for money, even Milos Milojevic, it seems to us, is not responsible. But be that as it may, our sacred duty is to uproot the evil, i.e. to weaken Milojevic's influence and to sweep aside those mercenaries who are bowing their heads to Milojevic and who are selling their own children and mothers. And is this possible? - If our learned men and pupils do not strive to educate the people, and if, in the future also, they remain indifferent to their well-being and if, in the future, they continue to visit Russia, Serbia and Romania to educate and to preach to other nationalities, then the Bulgarian communities, even in the Dobroudja, will be compelled to welcome Milojevic's pupils with open arms. Who is to blame? If there are no dogs in a village, then people go there without cudgels. This is our final word on Milojevic's propaganda in Macedonia.

В. „Независимост", Букурещ (Newspaper Nezavisimost), Bucharest, No. 21, March 9th, 1874; the original is in Bulgarian
A report from Skopje to the newspaper The Levant Times on the solemn welcome given to the Bulgarian bishop
April 10th, 1874
The news about the departure of His Grace from Salonica for our town, which we learned on April, 2nd gave great joy to the entire Bulgarian popula­tion in our diocese. The Bulgarians have no words to express their feelings of gratitude to the Sultan and his glorious Vizir Hyusein Avni Pasha for their mer­cy on granting a Berat to our bishop to come to us. All Christians were getting ready to give a worthy welcome to our spiritual shepherd. Our town commune got together in the evening to discuss how His Grace Dorotheus should be welcomed. A delegation was sent on their behalf to go to Salonica to welcome His Grace. On Good Friday at 2 o'clock a telegram informed us that the bishop would arrive at Zelenikovo railway station, which is 4 hours away from Skopje. Immediately, some 250 people on horseback and in carriages went to meet him. The commune sent a special coach to take the Bishop to the neighbouring village of Drachevo, where he was going to put up for the night. That is the biggest village in the area. And at about 12.30 o'clock His Grace Dorotheus arrived at the station mentioned above and was ceremoniously escorted to the house specially prepared for him in that village. On the morning of Holy Saturday His Grace took the service surrounded by a vast multitude of believers. In the afternoon the holy father started for Skopje, followed by the multitude. He climbed onto the carriage of Hadji Mustapha Bey, which His Excellency had explicitly sent for the bishop. Both the Memusin and Imer Bey had also sent their coaches for this purpose. First came the horsemen, 2,500 strong; then followed two zaptiehs, and, after them, His Grace, accompanied by a good Greek, named Spiro, a telegraphist, and, behind them came some 120 carriages, and more. When we approached the town, we saw that the peo­ple had assembled there to wait for the arrival of the holy father: the priests had lined up, also the teachers and the pupils. On reaching this spot, His Grace the bishop of Skopje, descended from the carriage, donned his vestments and gave a blessing to the people. In the meantime the pupils sang a song appropriate to the occasion. Later, the faithful kissed the hand of the father, and His Grace delivered a short speech in which he thanked the people for taking the trouble to come out to meet him. From there they started on foot towards the town. Up to 12,000 people accompanied the bishop. His Grace Dorotheus went straight to the church of the Holy Virgin, where, after the service, he made another short speech in which he recommended the people to be obedient to the Sultan and the royal laws. And Mr. V. Todorov delivered another short speech in which he asked the bishop to work always for the good of the people and, most of all, for the schools. After the ceremony had ended, the people again kissed the bishop's hand, and the bishop was taken to the school where rooms were prepared for him, since as you know, the metropolitan church is still in the hands of the Greek bishop. Thus His Grace the bishop  of Skopje was welcomed in the seat of our diocese.

(Newspaper The Levant Times (Iztochno Vreme), Constantinople, No. 18, May 11th, 1874; the original is in Bulgarian
A report from Prilep on the ceremonial welcome accorded to Nathanail,1 the Bulgarian bishop of Ohrid, in Bitola
April 13th, 1874

One cannot imagine the great joy that the Bulgarian population felt at the news of the departure of bishop Nathanail of Ohrid for Bitola. A few days before the arrival of these tidings, so important for the Bulgarians in Macedonia, news came that the bishops of Skopje and Ohrid had been ac­corded the Sultan's Berat (edict) and had departed from Constantinople, but most people doubted it, and kept saying 'Don't believe it before you see it with your own eyes'. The bishops' delay puzzled the credulous, while the Hellenized Kutsovlahs opened their mouths for the last time to coax those Bulgarians who had turned Greek into believing that such a thing was utterly impossible, that it was a lie, that only the bishops' official servants were coming. Poor things! How they were deceived and disgraced! Their jokes fell on their own heads; because it was not long before the happiest news reached the Bitola commune that Father Nathanail was coming to Pelagonia. This news struck the Greeks like a thunderbolt!

As soon as our commune had been informed about it, the people im­mediately assembled and chose five priests to meet the bishop on their behalf. The board of trustees, for their part, could not remain indifferent to the univer­sal joy of the people, and decided to go with several of its members to greet the bishop of Ohrid. And so, the two delegations set out on the sixth of the month for Bitola. That day the weather was fine and warm; their hearts pounded with joy to get to Bitola the sooner. About twelve o'clock at   night   we   arrived there tired and put up at the Prilep inn. On the next day, archimandrite Cyril took the service in the new Bulgarian church, together with two of the Bitola priests. After the service, we went to visit some of the leading citizens of the town and the visit lasted till noon. The appointed hour, when the holy man was going to arrive, was drawing near. All Macedonian Bulgarians were looking forward to his arrival. At seven o'clock the church bells rang loudly, sum­moning every Bulgarian to come out and joyously meet the shepherd of the people. Multitudes of people were streaming into town from all directions. We, as Bulgarians, went out to accompany our brothers. When we entered the church   yard   we   found   there   schoolboys   and   schoolgirls   with   their schoolmasters and the schoolmistress, all carrying bunches of flowers in their hands, eagerly waiting to start. It was not long before we all set off, joyous and merry. At the head of the procession walked the pupils from the main school, after them the girls, followed by the younger pupils, then the holy klir /laymen elected to perform church functions/, who had come from the neighbouring towns and villages and whose number exceeded 50, and finally, the great mul­titude of people. Our peasant brothers wore their gorgeous costumes and this filled the hearts of the townspeople with joy. On the road people kept saying: 'Oh, we have not seen a people's bishop since time immemorial, nor have we heard his teaching!' This is true. May the government hasten to gratify this need by allowing Evstatii, Holy Bishop of Pelagonia, to take up his post in our diocese. But let us return to our subject. Having walked for a while, after we left the church, we came into a large street; and the whole town was excited to the utmost: young and old were milling about, delegations and representatives from the neighbouring towns and villages had flocked to meet the bishop. Never had Pelagonia had the good fortune to witness such a celebration, never, I say, had the Bulgarian heart of the Macedonian beaten so exultantly! Having walked a considerable distance, we came to Abdi-Pasha's coffee-shop, where we sat in the deep shade on the green lawn, with eyes turned to the spot where the Holy Bishop of Ohrid was to appear. The sight was one of the most charming: here was a group sitting on the grass, chanting slogans, wishing long life to the Sultan and to his Holiness Antim I 2; there were multitudes of people with pipers and bagpipers at their head going to meet the Bulgarian bishop. Thick clouds of dust, raised by the horses and carriages, enveloped the road and engulfed the brightness of the sunshine; two detachments of the Sultan's troops maintained order among the multitude, another cleared a way through the crowd for Father Nathanail to pass. The people thronged in clusters around the place where he was to dismount. Their number amounted to 15,000 or 20,000. There were Jews and Mohammedans in the crowd, as well as curious Hellenized Bulgarians, who, duped by the Greeks, had to their shame given up their mother tongue. At about eight-thirty, the fast galloping of horses’ hooves, and the loud rumbling of carriage wheels was heard, heralding the approach of the Bishop. And indeed, it was not long before, to the great joy of all present, Father Nathanail appeared, accompanied by three hundred horsemen and a number of carriages. Frequently the road was blocked by the people and he was forced to pull up. The joyous voices of the schoolchildren pierced the air. When Nathanail reached the priests, he rested for a while there, and then set forth for the house of the former bishop Genadius of Veles, where he was going to spend the night. When we came to the house, we had a few minutes’ rest, two speeches were delivered, one by Mr. Chonov, the other by Mr. Ganchev, which greatly pleased the audience. After we had kissed his holy hand, we went our separate ways. The next day bishop Nathanail of Ohrid paid a visit to the government and the high officials. That was how the ceremonial welcome of His Grace ended. - Let the poor Kutsovlahs keep on trying to convince the government that there are no Bulgarians in Macedonia.

Newspaper  The Levant Times  (Iztochno Vreme), Constantinople, No. 16, April 26th, 1874; the original is in Bulgarian

1 Nathanail of Ohrid (1820 - 1906), born in the village of Kouchevitsa, Skopje district. Participant in the national church movement, active organizer of the Kresna-Razlog uprising in 1878
2 Antim I (1816-1888), born in Lozengrad, the first Bulgarian Exarch, eminent ecclesiast and public figure
A dispatch from Bitola on the ceremonial welcome accorded to Nathanail, Bulgarian bishop of Ohrid
April 13th, 1874

On Saturday the 6th of April we set off with six carts and fifty horsemen from Ohrid, Strouga, Resen and Kroushevo, together with about fifteen or twenty priests from the same towns, to meet the Holy Bishop Nathanaii, and we reached the village of Voshtarani, district of Ohrid, which is six hours' dis­tance from our town, where we found His Grace. There we also found fifty horsemen with a priest from Lerin and great numbers of peasants and priests from the villages near by. That evening the village represented a living pan­orama feast: there were guests, townspeople and countrymen - in every house; all night long one could hear festivities, with singing; all villagers were busy giving a hearty welcome to their guests; the whole village was illuminated with the glow of burning pine branches. Next day was Sunday, and Father Nathanail conducted a service in the village church, which, though fairly large, could not hold the whole multitude. After the church service, we left Voshtarani at about eleven o'clock for the village of Negochani (district of Pelagonia) via the Ohrid villages of Neohazi, Ponazhani and Vurbyani., We arrived there at nine o'clock in the evening. The procession to this place was like this: forty or fifty horsemen rode ahead, followed by about forty of fifty priests from towns and villages, then the carriage of the bishop, followed by our six or seven carriages, then another group of 100-150 horsemen. In Negochani we found a hearty lunch awaiting us all. The peasants of this village, who till then had acknowledged the Greek Patriarch, now pleaded urgently to be honoured to meet their national bishop. The distance between this village and Voshtarani is only two and a half hours' walk but we travelled for five hours as we stopped for half an hour, or an hour at the villages of Neohazi, Ponazhani and Vurbyani, so that the people could kiss the holy hand of the bishop. The villagers, their heads uncovered, ran together with their wives and children to do so. In Negochani,, where we had lunch, sixty more horsemen arrived from Ohrid, Resen and Kroushevo. We left Negochani with the afore-said multitude at six o'clock and arrived at the village of Kravari, Pelagonia district. There Father Nathanail got into a splendid phaeton, but no longer alone, as people on foot and on horseback had lined the road on both sides up to the town. Outside the town, at half an hours' distance there is a royal kulukhana1 and near it, is Abdi-Pasha's coffee-house, while in between them there is a fairly large area to walk about in: this space was tightly packed with people. Near this place, the schoolchildren were lined up reverentially, with their schoolmasters and the schoolmistress, ready to sing the songs. The bishop ascended a raised platform from which he blessed the people who rushed to kiss his holy hand. The mul­titude (which we do not doubt numbered 12,000-15,000) was so great and tightly packed that the teachers could not make their speeches, neither could the pupils sing their songs. A large number of soldiers was called out to keep the peace, which, glory be to God, was not broken. The road from this place to our town is very wide; half-way to the town there are two royal kashli2 and lots of space in front of them: this place was filled with so many people that the phaetons and carriages seemed not to travel, but to sail on a human sea. The horses and carriages could not be seen, only the people, who had climbed on them were visible. The journey from Abdi Pasha's coffee-shop to the house of Mr. Genadius, which they had prepared to receive Father Nathanaii, lasted an hour. Father Nathanaii entered this house accompanied by as many people as the house could hold. Here the teachers, one from Prilep and the other from Bitola, delivered speeches. The multitude thronged the space outside the bishop's house until midnight. Such was the welcome. In the morning His Grace visited the myutesarif, mushturin and other royal officials and, on the last day, he was visited by all whom he had visited on the previous days. May God help us meet the bishop of Pelagonia in the same way!

Yesterday the Holy Bishop of Ohrid left for Tsapari, Gyavato, Resen and Ohrid. He set off accompanied by 100-150 horsemen at the head of whom rode another fifty horsemen from Ohrid, Strouga and Resen, followed by fifty priests, then two suvars,3 then came His Grace on a good gray horse which he had recently bought, after him there were four yasakchii4 and other armed Christians. Today we learnt from travellers, coming from Ohrid that many peo­ple from Ohrid had gone to Resen to meet the bishop there.

Newspaper The Levant Times (Iztochno Vreme), Constantinople, No. 18, May 11th, 1874; the original is in Bulgarian

i. e. a military station
2 i.e. barracks
3 i. e. gendarmes on horseback
4 i.e. bodyguards
Report from Voden on the ceremonial welcome accorded to Nathanail, Bulgarian bishop of Ohrid
April 26th, 1874

The more noticeable the joy that had seized the local Bulgarian popula­tion at the news of the arrival in Salonica of the two long-awaited people’s bishops, the more evident was their impatience to see with their own eyes one of them, who, they knew, was sure to pass through their town on his way to his diocese. On the third day there came a telegram from Salonica informing them of the arrival of His Grace the bishop of Ohrid. The next day was Thursday, and crowds of people both men and women streamed onto the highway outside the town to meet him, all staring into the distance along the road on which our good guest was going to appear, he whom the national honour and the great royal mercy had, so to speak, sent to comfort us in our perennial sufferings in the struggle to win rights for the people. About half past four o'clock a horseman, sent ahead by those who had ridden out about two hours from town to meet the bishop and help him mount the horse specially chosen for him, came back to gladden the hearts of the impatient by saying that the bishop was coming. A number of horsemen came into view and all caught sight of the white-bearded old man, who was riding in front. The horse itself seemed to step proudly, as if it had realized what guest it was carrying on its back to the house of its master. The pupils from the Bulgarian schools and a few girls from the former girls' school, lined both sides of the road, and began to sing songs of thanks to the Sultan, in turn, now one group, now the other, while waving aloft the leafy green branches that all pupils and girls held in their hands. As soon as the holy old man reached the place where the crowd was thickest, all craned their necks to see him the sooner, and the schoolchildren began to sing a verse, especially composed by the teacher to greet the dear guest. The young voices resounded so loudly, that they reached the sky and rejoiced even the most in­sensitive hearts. When the old man stood before the people and began to bless them on both sides, I did not see anyone who did not weep for joy or try to kiss his holy hand and receive his blessing. The rain, that had been pouring since the morning, stopped that very minute; the clouds disappeared and the sun beamed its greetings and shed light into many a misled heart. Wonderful are the works of God! From there, the procession set forth to the town, the schoolchildren and the girls ahead, followed by the priests and, finally, Father Nathanail, sur­rounded by horsemen and people. The singing never ceased. The streets and the windows of the houses, along the route which the old man was going to follow, were filled with motley crowds. When they reached the house where the guest was going to stay the night, the schoolchildren lined up outside, again divided in two rows, raised their green branches high above their heads and bade welcome to our beloved guest, who, as he walked between them, could not restrain the tears that welled up in his old eyes. When he dismounted from his horse, people again rushed to kiss his holy hand, some for the first time, others for the second and still others for the third time. Then the schoolchildren, who continued singing while the old man came into the big hall, sang one more song, and 'Christ Is Risen' and then the bishop made a short speech in which he tried to encourage the weak and inspire them with persistence, patience, and hope in God and the Sultan. The speech ended with all the people chanting 'Long live the Sultan, Antim I and the whole Bulgarian people,' which the teacher took up, concluding 'Long Live Father Nathanail!' The voices and the applause of the people shook the whole neighbourhood. All this lasted till ten o'clock after which the crowd dispersed with joy in their hearts. Late in the evening, His Grace paid a visit to the kaimakam, who received him very kindly.

The next day, which was the fifth day, the old man went to the national church, the Church of St Bezsrebrenitsi, where, when he entered, the people who had come from the neighbouring villages, looked at him with love and ad­miration. He entered the church in a simple manner and stood by the bishop's throne. After the teacher had delivered a speech based on the Gospel and, of course, suitable to the occasion, His Grace enlarged on the speech of the teacher, rejoiced with the people over their good fortune in having their rights defended by the sceptre of His Majesty the Sultan, and encouraged them in their hope of shortly seeing their God-protected diocese honoured by the acquisition of a people's pastor; he preached perseverance and patience, enjoined them to live in love and peace and to put their hope in Providence and the Sultan's mercy. At the end, he said warm prayers, wishing long life to His Majesty the Sultan, the great vizir and his ministers.

After the service, he visited several houses of the people and then set out on his way, accompanied by the schoolchildren and crowds of people .Outside the town, great multitudes were waiting to see him off. The old man, after thanking the townspeople for the honour they had conferred on him, gave them his last fatherly advice and encouragement to persevere and hope, and then he showed his benevolence by giving a gold Turkish lira to the teacher in token of his great efforts and activity. Then he blessed the people again, got into his carriage and was escorted by the people as far as Vladovo, a village a quarter of an hour away from the town, which consists of fifty houses and whose pop­ulation is purely Bulgarian. The villagers from Vladovo also welcomed their guest with great joy. Here, too, the old man delivered a short speech, which moved them so much that they could hardly keep still in their places. He drank a glass of clear cold water sitting on the rush mat spread on the green grass. After he had stayed here, too, for an hour, he set off again and was soon lost to their sight.

May our Merciful Lord and Father the Sultan soon implement Clause 1 of his firman and so rejoice his faithful and humble subjects by sending them a people's shepherd, whose voice they know, and thus they will make great progress in their development, on which the welfare of the people depends.

(Newspaper The Levant Times (Iztochno Vreme), Constantinople, No. 19, May 18th, 1874; the original is in Bulgarian.
A report from the Austro-Hungarian Consul von Knapich to Count Andrassy
on the Bulgarian population in Salonica,
Bitola and other sandjaks

May 12th, 1874

As a continuation of my previous report of the 21st of last month No. 4 I have the honour to give the following information about the ratio between the Greek and Bulgarian populations in this vilayet and the position of each on the church dispute in progress here.

In the sandjak of Salonica, exclusively Greek population can be found only in the districts of Kassandria and Aineros - the, former Chalcidice Penin­sula - and farther on along the opposite western shores of the bay. This popula­tion which, naturally, is controlled by the Patriarchate, is not included in the church dispute. In contrast, the population in the districts of Doiran, Avret-hissar, Strumitsa, Voden, Enidje Yardar is almost exclusively Bulgarian. The population is of a more mixed character in the two counties Karaferia and Nyausta, where the Greek language, as is generally the case with all main towns, is predominantly used.

In these districts hitherto only in Doiran and Strumitsa and the main settlements has the population openly sided with the Exarchate, not without, of course, overcoming numerous and various obstacles on the part of the Greek clergy. The majority of the people in the provincial towns, as well as in the villages, are favourably disposed towards the Exarchate. Thus, for example, out of forty villages belonging to the diocese of Salonica, not less than thirty are faithful to the Bulgarian cause. They cannot, however, express their preference because the Greek party of the bishop of Salonica is working against them and has so far prevented them from forming their own organization.

In the principal city of Salonica, the Greek party has the upper hand, but the few followers that the Exarchate has here at this moment will soon grow into a strong party, if the Bulgarians succeed in having a national bishop ap­pointed to the diocese of Salonica as well. Naturally, the numerous followers from the villages will go over to their side.

In the sandjak of Bitola - the centre of the Slav population in Macedonia - the districts of Lerin, Kichevo, Veles, Ohrid, Prilep, Prespa, Resen, Tikvesh, Roudnik, Ostrovo and Karadjovo are populated exclusively by Bulgarians, while only in the two counties of Kozhani and Selfidje is there an insignificant minority of Greeks, the majority being Mohammedans, who constitute almost three-thirds of the total population here.

In some of the above-mentioned districts, such as Lerin, Ohrid and Bitola, there are (along with the Turkish population, which is to be found everywhere) Wallachians whose sympathies are divided between the Exarchate and the Patriarchate; the majority, however, support the Patriarchate, while the Bulgarian population in all these districts sympathizes with the new national church, stands for it almost without exception. The Bulgarians in the main towns would fall away from the Patriarchate entirely, if it were not for the pressure exercised on them by the Greek clergy.

The impressive welcome organized for the recently appointed Bulgarian bishop of Ohrid is a proof of the strength of this party in the district of Bitola and of how seriously it is thinking of expanding still further its independent position and of compelling the Turkish government to permit (little by little) the appointment of Bulgarian bishops in other dioceses too.

The district of Seres, Demir Hissar, Melnik, Nevrokop, Razlog and Zuhna belong to the sandjak of Seres, and the Greek population is in the majority only in the mam towns: Seres, Demir Hissar and Melnik, and to some extent in the main town of Nevrokop and the area of Zuhna, while in all the other districts it dwindles to almost an insignificant minority among the dominating Bulgarian population. With the exception of the main towns and of the region around Zuhna, as well as parts of the district of Seres, where the number of the villages populated with Greeks is almost equal to that populated by Bulgarians, all other districts support the Exarchate and expect to be allowed to have a cor­responding church organization dioceses with Bulgarian clergy and Bulgarian schools. The unyielding devotion of the Bulgarians in the sandjak of Seres to the cause of the Exarchate is particularly striking. All attempts by the local authorities to win them back to the cause of the Patriarchate not only have not had the least success, but have had the opposite effect, because even those who did not have a definite stand, have now sided with their compatriots and all are unanimous in their determination to suffer the severest persecution, rather than submit to the rule of the Greek church hierarchy.

In the Drama sandjak, where the Christian population is poorly represented in comparison with the Mohammedans, relations among the different nationalities are more complex than in the above-mentioned districts.

In the Drama, Pravishta, Kavala, Sarushban and Enidje districts the Greek population predominates, with the exception only of the Ahuchelebi county, where nine villages are exclusively Bulgarian and support the Exarchate. The same goes, in part, for the villages of Plevnya, Prosechen, Volako and Kobalishte; the majority of houses, 370 as against 330, belong to the Bulgarian party, while the area governed by the kaimakam of Enidje is basically Greek; the village of Gabrovo is half Bulgarian and half Greek, while Enikyoi, though Bulgarian, acknowledges the Greek bishop of Xanthi.

In order to establish more accurately the ratio between those Bulgarians who support the Patriarchate and those who support the Exarchate, one should make use of the commission about which I wrote in my previous report. Such a commission could not, however, be set up because, as it is rumoured here, the Patriarchate has insisted on carrying out a second plebiscite to ask the Bulgarians whether they prefer to remain in the Greek religion or to become Schismatics, whereas, according to the Exarchate, the question should be put in this way: Do they support the Greek Patriarchate, or the Bulgarian Exarchate. Since the Porte has not resolutely interfered in this disagreement between the two supreme church powers, the commission has, of course, taken a decision in favour of the Greek Patriarchate, which will undoubtedly lose, if a second plebiscite is carried out conscientiously among the Bulgarians.

Since then, things have taken their natural course. The cause of the Bulgarians seems to have been abandoned by their own leaders, who supported them openly before, while the Greek clergy, headed by the newly arrived in­fluential bishop Ioakim and the bishop of Strumitsa are doubling their efforts to make the Bulgarian dissenters come back to them. For this purpose bishop Ioakim has undertaken a tour in his diocese, before which he publicly excom­municated the dissenting Bulgarians, while the bishop of Strumitsa is using all possible means to the same end, and is supported by Omer Pasha, who left for Strumitsa with this aim in view.

As a result of this state of affairs I have lately been asked by various quarters whether the Imperial and Royal Consulate could not advise the Bulgarians as to how they should act under the present critical circumstances, and whether they could count on the support of the Imperial and Royal Government should they continue to side with the Bulgarian Exarchate.

I have reported the same to the Imperial and Royal Ambassador in Constantinople, and I ask the Imperial and Royal Embassy to give me the necessary instructions as regards my attitude to the aforesaid plebiscite.

Христо Христов, Николай Генчев, Българско въз­раждане (Hristo Hristov, Nikolai Genchev, Bulgarian National Revival;), Sofia, 1969, pp. 224-227; the original is in German.
A letter from the Bulgarian commune in Yakorouda to Dossitei, Metropolitan of Samokov, expressing gratitude for his care
August 18th, 1874

We can find no words with which to express to you our deep gratitude and appreciation for your favourable and most sincere attitude, towards us. We cannot express and describe the sincere love and deep respect we cherish for you, for your glorious labour and the efforts you are making for our moral and intellectual enlightenment and spiritual education. Yes, our beloved arch-shepherd, you are the one who opens to us the doors of genuine happiness and prosperity; you are the one who leads us to an improvement of the people's life. This great activity of yours, in which you engage for our sake, for our well-being, makes us rejoice and thank God for having provided us with such a good bishop of the people. We wish you long life, kind archbishop, long life!

Thus, bowing to your high reverence, and kissing your sacred hand, we remain your obedient servants.

The Bulgarian commune in Yakorouda.


НБКМ, БИА, IIA, 6919; the original is in Bulgarian
In a dispatch from Maleshevo to the newspaper The Levant Times
 the Phanariot bishop is reported to have caused the arrest of several Bulgarians

September 5th, 1874

The sojourn of the Greek bishop Ierotheus in the diocese has led to many scandals. The people are suffering very much and the Imperial Government will show great mercy, if it condescends to take into account the lawful complaints of the population and free them from the bishop who has been imposed on them.

You know that the Bulgarians in Macedonia, who were in a state of lethargy for a long time, have begun to shake off the torpour and, having realized, to a greater or lesser extent, the beneficial results of the church reviv undertaken by their brothers in Upper Bulgaria, are trying to join them i revival. No doubt, this is a noble and lawful aim. But it greatly dispie Greek clergy, and lerotheus, in particular, who finds comfort in slandering in­nocent people and throwing them into prison. This person extorts the 1 tax from the population at a time when it cannot even pay its taxes government.

Ierotheus, who was driven away from Berovo, tried to compromise in the eyes of Müdür Omer Aga half a score of notables in the district. These men spent more than sixty days in prison. They were finally released, b them were taken to Salonica, where they are still languishing in chains. Their names are Kostadin Georgiev and Ivan Stoilov. We hope that the Imperial Government, when it becomes convinced of their innocence, will order them to be set free.

Telegrams were sent to the Great Vizir in connection with this, and two representatives were also sent to Constantinople, to beg the Imperial Government to forbid the bishop to interfere further in the affairs of the commune. It is obvious that the Government has been informed and has ordered the kaimakam of Strumitsa to make inquiries on the spot. But the latter does everything possible to suppress the voice of the people. But the population in­sists that the bishop be dismissed and that the two above-mentioned persons be released.

Newspaper The Levant Times (Iztochno Vreme), Constantinople, No. 31, September 14th, 1874; the original is in Bulgarian
Letter from the Bulgarian commune in Petrich to Stefan Verkovic, Seres,
with a request to send them Bulgarian newspapers

November 10th, 1874

The members of the Bulgarian commune in Petrich, signed below, wishing to stir in the hearts of the young Bulgarians and in general of the people living in our town a heart-felt desire for science and education in our national Bulgarian language, thought it a good idea to arrange for the regular arrival of one of our national Bulgarian newspapers for our Bulgarian school in the Mar­tin neighbourhood. But since for the time being our commune has scanty funds, we need aid in the form of material donations from some patriotic people and, therefore, we decided to address the present letter to your lordship to request you, if it be possible, to arrange for one Bulgarian newspaper to come regularly to our school, of which your lordship knows, and, if possible, the newspaper should be Vek (Century). If it should prove impossible to arrange for a present to be made of one newspaper subscription to the above-mentioned school, we humbly request you to send us your answer as soon as possible, so that we may somehow try to arrange for our poor commune to meet the expenses of a newspaper subscription for our school.

Let you be informed of the fact that his reverence, the patriotic Father Agapi, having taught for 14 months in the above-mentioned school, working with praise-worthy diligence for the education of the pupils entrusted to him, as well as for the enlightenment of our people, handed in his resignation on November 1st, and left for Salonica on the 6th of the same month, and we ap­pointed in his place, as teacher in the above-mentioned school, the patriotic Mr. Eftim P. Trayanov from Peichevo (Malashevo district).

Looking hopefully forward to your speedy answer, we offer you with deep respect our sincere greetings and remain.

БАН, НА, ф. 14, on. 1, a.e. 157, л. 1; 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 on the Bulgarian National Revival in 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. 555-557; the original is in Bulgarian
An obituary for Nako Stanishev from Koukoush,
one of the prominent figures of the Bulgarian National Revival Movement in Macedonia

March 1875
Stricken with bitter sorrow, we announce that merciless death has snatched away from us one of our first citizens. This brother of ours is Nako Stanishev. His Honour was known to almost all our national revival workers in Constantinople, with whom he worked actively and wholeheartedly on the church plebiscite, distinguishing himself with his maturity and experience. He was one of the most active champions of the Bulgarian cause in Macedonia. Because of his activities in the Revival Movement, he was often sentenced to exile, but his maturity and knowledge helped him to prove his innocence and thus avoid punishment. Moreover, His Honour's excellent character and praise­worthy deeds deserve the attention of everyone, because he spent the better half of his possessions on our religious struggle against the Greeks. Eternal memory! God rest his soul!

Сп. „Ден", Цариград (Magazine Den), Constantino­ple, No. 10, April 16th, 1875; the original is in Bulgarian
The citizens of Bitola ask help from the Russian Consul for the Bulgarian churches and schools
March 28th, 1875
Everybody knows what sacrifices the Bulgarian commune in Bitola has made ever since 1868 to set up and preserve the national churches and schools in this town inhabited mainly by Bulgarians. But, as the people who constitute the commune and support these establishments pleasing to God belong to the poorer class, they were not able to meet all the needs of the schools. That was why the commune was compelled to dismiss the headmaster and to close the central school, where about sixty pupils studied. One part of them were forced to go to Greek schools which, being at an incomparably higher level of perfec­tion and which, financed by the Wallachian population and the wealthier Bulgarians, but mainly by the generous subsidies of the syllogosists1 in Athens and Constantinople, attracted the Bulgarian youth ...
(The petition is signed by 5 church wardens)

Архив внешней политики Росени, Главньiй архив (Archive of Russia's Foreign Policy Main Archive), V-A2, 1875,д. 144pp. 7-8; the original is in Russian

1 Nationalistic organizations for Megali-Greek propaganda in Macedonia
The Russian Consul in Bitola, V. Maximov,  forwards the petition of the Bulgarian church wardens in Bitola
April 26th, 1875

I have the honour of offering to the benevolent attention of Your Excellen­cy the request of the church wardens of the Bulgarian commune in Bitola.

In this petition the church wardens of the above-mentioned commune im­plore the Consulate to intercede with the Imperial Ministry to grant subsidies to help the Bulgarian schools in Bitola in the way that the school in Ohrid has been honoured.

As the town of Bitola and the surrounding area are inhabited exclusively by Bulgarians, their language predominates among the whole population, in­cluding the Mohammedans - Turks and Albanians. The Wallachian children of the most ardent Graecomanes learn to speak first in Bulgarian, as their wet-nurses are usually Bulgarians ...


Архив внешней политики России, Главньiй архив (Archive of Russia's Foreign Policy. Main Archive), V-A2 1875,д. 144 л-л . 3-6; the original is in Russian.
A report from Skopje to the newspaper Vek on the setting up of a Bulgarian school society in the town
June 1875

It was this time last year when several young people aware of the low standard of the national schools, the inertia of the female sex, the decay of our peasants in gross ignorance and lack of culture, the poverty of the needy schoolboys and schoolgirls, and of similar obstacles to the prosperity and civilization of our dear country decided that in the future their only concern and desire should be the elimination of the above-mentioned shortcomings, and, on the 1st of September, they set up a society, called the Bulgarian School Society Razvitie (Development). The programme of the projected society is as follows:

1. To improve the order and progress of our local national schools (be they boys' or girls') by the timely provision of good and worthy teachers.

2. To ensure that a girls' school is opened.

3. To provide in good time everything that is necessary for the progress of the schools.

4. To attend to opening of a Sunday school for our illiterate and half-illiterate compatriots.

5. To supply all scientific books and newspapers that will help the further intellectual development both of its members and of those attending Sunday schools.

6. To help poor schoolboys and schoolgirls with textbooks and other teaching materials, and to help some (the poorest of them) with food and clothing.

7. To strive, in some places with its own resources, in others with village or village society resources, to open schools in the larger villages in the district and at the same time, to superintend the schools which have so far been opened by the villagers themselves in three or four villages, as well as those it is going to open in the future.

8. To see to it that one or two pupils are sent later to some higher schools in Bulgaria or Europe.

The sources from which money can be collected in order to fulfil the above-mentioned tasks are the following:

a. Voluntary donations by members who founded the society.

b. Monthly contributions from the foundation members and weekly ones from the associate members.

c. From farewell celebrations in honour of local or other merchants who go to Salonica or other places on business.

d. From betrothals, weddings, baptisms and other religious services.

e. From philantropic donations by rich Bulgarians, as well as by every Bulgarian craftsman, and finally from public money collected from churches and inns, fields, etc., belonging to the commune.

The last two sources haven't been used yet, but there is hope they will be in one or two months. And so, not only is the number of the members of the society growing bigger every day, but the society is increasing its activities as well; i.e. on the one hand, you see people enrolling as foundation members, giving their voluntary help, and others, joining the society as associate members on the other hand, according to the statutes of the society and the in­structions of the society board, some members go every morning to see off merchants from other parts; others go to collect the monthly and weekly con­tributions from the associate members, while still others distribute con­gratulatory cards to these Bulgarians who have a wedding party or baptism, as well as to every Bulgarian craftsman who celebrates the day of his patron saint.

Finally, let us inform you about the results of the activities of the society. In the course of nine months, the society has in fact managed to open only one girls’ school in the town and another one in the village of Divle, which is four hours' walk to the east of our town; it has provided the poor schoolchildren with books, textbooks and Bulgarian newspapers. The other purposes will be pursued later, since, for the time being, its purse cannot afford them.

В. „Век", Цариград (Newspaper Vek), Constantinople, No. 27, July 5th, 1875; the  original is  in Bulgarian
Hristo Botev's article to the editor of the newspaper Istok, (East) (Belgrade),
about the Serbian chauvinistic propaganda in Macedonia

June 20th, 1875
After our answer to your article entitled Bulgarian Espionage and Inquisition, we thought that you would be silenced or would at least change the tone of your trash. You have tried to do this with the few lines published in the 53rd number of your paper directly aimed at us. However, we do not think that in our answer we ‘have been striking the air’, but that we have been 'striking' you and your government, that is why it will be tactical to answer your lines again. We do not avoid polemics and explications; we are democrats, that is why we can step into the quagmire and see what you are doing there, trampled by the public opinion of the Serbian intelligentsia. Listen. You say that in the article 'Bulgarian Espionage and Inquisition' you have been adducing facts, while we have been swearing and, at the same time, attacking Serbia, Russia and everything the people themselves desire. (Which people? Our people?) We do not have enough room here to quote all the philological and ethnographical vomit in which your article abounds, and all the abominations and slanders you heap not only on the Exarchate, but on the whole Bulgarian people, and to show you who has been swearing - you or we. Just for a second, we shall accept one of your accusations, just to prove to you that, for the above-mentioned article, you deserve not only to be cursed, but even to be sent to a madhouse. You adduce facts with which you accuse the Bulgarians and their Exarchate of using espionage and inquisition to Bulgarize the poor, unfortunate Serbians in Turkey, and you say we do not answer your facts but swear in­stead. Well, how are we to answer facts which you yourselves base on the philological madness of Milos Milojevic, i.e. that Serbians have lived in the Balkan Peninsula since time immemorial, that only a handful of 200,000 Bulgarian-Tartars came here and, in a short time, Bulgarized all these Ser­bians? How are we to answer these facts when their philological madness is clad in political tendencies, i.e. when you and your government are striving to ensure that there will really be only 200,000 Bulgarians, or, to use your words, Tartars, while the rest are Serbianized, i.e. Slavicized? Wise people respond to philological madness with laughter and scorn, while to your political charlatanism we respond with curses and indignation: the Bulgarian people have no other weapon. But even in this respect, we have proved to be much more tactful than you. We did not swear at the Serbian people (as you did at Bulgarian people), or the Serbian intellectuals or at the decent Serbian patriots, but attacked only this patriotic slum in whose noddles the horses of Dusan keep kicking around and whose aim is to act with a high hand wherever the Serbian (Dragasevic's) 'God bless you' is heard. We are not to blame that your govern­ment and a great part of your 'saintly' men belong to this patriotic scum. And we did that only to show you that our emigrants know the reasons why you raised such an uproar against our Exarchate and flung so many slanders against our people. It was pretty pleasant for you, on the one hand, to sing your methodist song about brotherhood and unity and to cheat us with the good in­tentions of ‘the South-Slavonic Piedmont’ and, on the other, to sow proselytism in the western parts of our country and to weave your ethnographical and political web. But the Exarchate, at which from the very beginning, you looked askance and the emigrants whom you have been exploiting ever since 1862 up till now, have through their long and bitter experience come to realize who you are and what you are, while the Bulgarian people, whom you have been deceiving since the beginning of your liberation, have turned their eyes, as well as their hopes, away from you. It is natural, of course, after all this that, for you, the Exarchate should have become a den of spies and inquisitors, the emigrants - a band of millet-ale venders and vagabonds, and the Bulgarian people (who according to you are not more than 200,000) - Tartars, who, in order to be liberated from the Turks, should first be Serbianized. Prove to us that neither you nor your government think so. Why then do you say that we swear and do not answer your facts? In order to answer and refute your facts, you should first of all explain to us how far your ethnographic boundaries stretch to the south and which places come within the boundaries of your Old Serbia; because, judging by your geographical and ethnographical ideas, we see that the facts you adduce speak in our favour rattier, i.e. that it is not the Exarchate that is forcing the Serbians to accept Bulgarism, but that you and your government are doing this to the Bulgarian element in Macedonia. Thus, for example, we cannot understand this complaint of yours: "In May this year bishop Damaskin with the consent of the müdür closed the school (Serbian, of course) in Veles and drove away the pupils.’ Is Veles a Serbian town? Is Veles within the boundaries of your Old Serbia? We are stupid enough (and so are Hilferding1, Kanitz2, and Grigorovich, and Liprandi3 and many other ethnographers) to think that Veles is a Bulgarian town and is situated in Macedonia: consequently it is not you who should complain that bishop Damaskin has closed your school but we, because your propaganda has poked its nose into other people's affairs. Is it not you, who keep saying that 'it is in the interests of both Serbians and Bulgarians not to exercise pressure, but to leave everyone to think, work and study, as he finds it best?’ What free thinking people! What then is your propaganda doing in Veles? And why do your teachers incite the people not to acknowledge the Exarchate? Or is this also a curse? And have you forgotten the scandal in Tetovo? But while you try to answer these questions, we shall sum up our other curses in a few questions. Tell us, if you please, is there not in Belgrade a society of patriots (which socie­ty we called 'scum') under the chairmanship of the 'philological ass' Milos Milojevic, and does that society not send money, books and teachers to purely Bulgarian villages and towns in Macedonia and to some parts in North-western Bulgaria? If it does, what stands behind these enormous sacrifices, is it to enlighten their brothers, or to sow proselytism among them? Tell us, is this society not founded by the Tempter, and is it not, both morally and materially, supported by your 'Piedmont' government? If it is so, is not its purpose to prove in action that only Serbians live on the Balkan Peninsula? Answer all these vital questions, and then we shall prove to you in the next number of Zname4 why we attack 'Serbia, Russia and everything that the people themselves desire', and we shall prove to you that the people do not want what you and your government are doing to them, and no longer listen to those who but yesterday cheated them.

Христо Ботев, Съчинения, Автентично издание (Hristo Botev, Works, Authentic Edition), vol. II, Sofia, 1960; p. 219-222; the original is in Bulgarian

  A. F. Hilferding (1831-1872), a Russian historian and Slavophil. Author of Letters on the History of the Serbians and the Bulgarians', etc.
2  Felix Kanitz (1829-1904), a Hungarian ethnographer, archeologist and geographer
3  Ivan Petrovich Liprandi (about 1790-1880), a Russian general and scholar
4 A newspaper edited by Hristo Botev
Excerpts from the book by Felix Kanitz Danube Bulgaria and the Balkan Peninsula
about the Bulgarians on the Balkan Peninsula, their frontiers and information about their numbers


Comparing the line indicated here, inside which the settlements of the old Slav tribes spread to the east and south of the Illyric Peninsula, with the territory, occupied by present-day Bulgarian Slavs, we are surprised to find out that the latter have lost very little territory, in spite of all adverse conditions, in spite of the turbulent Turkish flood, which has spread its troubled waves over them. In fact, the frontier regions of the Bulgarian territories have been dread­fully gnawed by Serbs, Greeks, Albanians and Turks; but it can be said that the Bulgarian people have preserved in the greatest integrity and completeness all territories inhabited by them in the interior of the country which they possessed up to the conquest of the Balkan Peninsula by the Turks.

In compact masses, only sporadically merging with other nationalities, the Bulgarian people inhabit the whole territory from the Serbian frontier to the Yantra, to the Bulgarian Morava and the middle reaches of the Maritsa, and further to the ends of the Western Balkan Range. Apart from this region, the Bulgarians also live west of the Maritsa up to Lake Ohrid, where they exceed in numbers their neighbours - Turks, Greeks and Albanians. Moreover, in recent times, side by side with the intensification of national feeling and the renuncia­tion of everything Greek, they have started to move from that region to a more reliable and lasting domicile. Old Byzantine traditions inform us that the Greeks - that mercantile, enterprising people - ousted the Bulgarians, insofar as that was possible, from the sea coast, and today the latter have an outlet to the sea only at the major commercial and political ports of Varna and Salonica. Still more territories, however, have been taken from them to the west, during the present century, by militant Albanians, who, descending from their steep mountains, invariably installed themselves firmly in the fertile valleys of the Toplitsa, of the upper Vardar and the Bulgarian Morava. Although the greater part of the place names there are Bulgarian, their Slav population always retreated before the physically stronger Albanian element. The Old Turkish government, far from defending them, observed with pleasure the pressure which their allies of the same faith exerted on the Christian people, who always showed their desire to be liberated from its bondage.

In the course of 15 years the Porte tried to disperse the solid mass of the Bulgarian population, by settling in their midst Tartars from the Crimea and militant Circassians, who had been ousted by the Russians from their moun­tains, while, on the north, it tried to drive wedges of other settlers into the Bulgarian element, and, as it seems, even contributed to the settlement of the Danubian bank by Romanian colonists. Thus the Bulgarian people, pressed on all sides by hostile elements, sought openings and ultimately found not only one but several, in different directions. Because they were oppressed by the Greek clergy, the greater part of the Bulgarians of Roman Catholic religion moved to Hungary and Romania, and later, early in the present century, these migrations were resumed on a large scale. Later, when Serbia won her independence, its Danubian parts became refuge to all rayah, who were dissatisfied with the ad­ministration of pashas and Phanariots. Even in recent times, hundreds of families have resettled there. However, in Serbia, the Bulgarians soon lost their national identity amidst the population related to them in origin and language. Only several settlements like Bugar-Korito and Vratarnitsa in Knyazhevac region, Veliki Izvor in the region of Zaichar, Sharbanovets and Miloushinets in the district of Alexinat, have preserved their mother tongue. Therefore, the young Bulgarians spare no efforts to prevent their compatriots from emigrating to Serbia. In 1874 they openly protested against the endeavours of the Serbs to keep up by various means agitation along their southern frontier from Cherni Drin to Timok, in order to increase their numbers at the expense of the Bulgarians.

The settlement of the Bulgarians on the Wallachian bank has also been considerable at all times. The Wallachian boyars and the Government readily accepted the industrious Bulgarians, skilled in the cultivation of the land. But there the same lot befell them as in Serbia. They disappeared amidst the mass of the Romanian people, who have always been distinguished for their ability to absorb Slav tribes, as I have already proved by detailed conclusions in 1863 1 and later, in 1868, in my work Serbia. The last great migration, consisting of 10,000, set out for the Crimea in 1861.

All these incessant struggles in the course of whole centuries, together with the ensuing territorial changes, have made the ethnographic map of Euro­pean Turkey, drawn by the Consul began, and the map of the Southern Slavs, drawn by Prof. Bradaska, most erroneous reflections of reality. They both appeared in Petermann's Geographical Announcements; their drawing con­sumed much labour and their virtues should not be rejected; more precise details were, however, lacking in them. How difficult it is to define these details I learnt from personal experience. My new ethnographic map of Danube Bulgaria and the Balkan Range will elucidate for the first time the proportion of the nationalities in every settlement in the major regions of Turkey, because I drew it on the basis of information collected on the spot and I hope that it will prove as useful for scholarship as for political practice.

The same vagueness dominates the statistics of the Turkish state as its ethnographic relationships. These figures cannot be discovered either in the numerous offices of the Sublime Porte, or in any provincial office. Even at pre­sent, the establishment of the total number of the population, as well as the quantitative ratio of the individual nationalities is based only on suppositions and estimates. According to the specificity of the Turkish system of taxation, women and children are not counted, and this practice is followed by all official statistics.

Under such adverse conditions, it is hard to determine even approximately the numerical ratios of the individual nationalities in Turkey. Depending on the interests of one of them, the number of the different nationalities is inflated or slashed in most significant proportions. In this respect, clerks and religious per­sons are no exception: while usually trying to find out the truth, they also give false information in the interests of the party to which they belong. If the figures by which the patriotic Turks, Serbs, Bulgarians, Greek, Tsintsars, Albanians and Armenians separately define their number are totalled, Turkey would be a country with the densest population in Europe; and yet it is true and well-known that this is far from the case. In the semi-dependent principalities (Wallachia and Moldavia), where the statistics of the number of the population are kept very precisely, there is an average of 1,800 people per sq. mile, while in Serbia the figure is no more than 1,400-1,500; we would not dare claim that European Turkey has a denser population than those principalities...

The total number of Bulgarians inhabiting the European part of Turkey is approximately 5 million, and, although they themselves make it up to 6 or 7 million, I nevertheless claim, on the basis of numerous statistics collected by myself, that their estimate of their total number is too high. In the Western Balkan Range, which from olden times has been settled by Bulgarians only, where a non-Slav settlement is very rarely found, and where, naturally, the Bulgarian population is purest, it has completely preserved its natural, un­adulterated type…

Ф. Каниц, Дунайская Болгарiя и Балканскiй полу­остров. Историческiя, географическiя и зтнографическiя путевьiе наблюденiя, 1860—1875 Спб., тип. Путей сообщ. (А. Бенке), (F. Kanitz, Danube Bulgaria and the Balkan Peninsula. Historical, Geographical and Ethnographical Travel Notes), pp. 51-54; the original is in Russian

Die Linzaren. Mitth. der Wiener Geogr. Gesellschaft. 1863
An appeal to the Bulgarian people to rise in arms, drafted by the commission1 elected at Oborishte
April I5th-l7th, 1876

Brother Bulgarians!

The end of the bestial tyranny, which we have been enduring for five cen­turies now, oppressed by the Ottoman rule has come. Every one of ms has been awaiting it with impatience. The day of the people's uprising of all Bulgarians from Bulgaria, Thrace and Macedonia will be... Every honest Bulgarian, in whose veins pure Bulgarian blood flows, as it flowed in the veins of our tsars of yore - Kroum, Simeon, Boris and Assen, should rise in arms, so that we can stir the enemy with our very first blow.

Our courageous Bulgarians should not fear death in the least. They should not fear the self-decaying Turkish rule, which has long been on the point of collapse. Forward, brothers! Take up arms, and let us all together fight bravely against it, and thus defend our freedom and our homeland.

Oh, Bulgarian people, prove that you are alive, show that you know how to value your freedom! By rising in arms today, win your freedom in battle and with your own blood! Let the yoke that chafes our necks like a saw be broken!

You, who look for honour and the right to freedom, defend the rights and freedom of those who seek protection from you! Be brave and courageous. Fight fearlessly against the enemy, but do not refuse magnanimity to those who have fallen captive.

As from today, on behalf of our people, we have declared before the whole civilized world: full freedom or death.

Forward, brothers, God is with us!2

НБКМ, БИА, IIA 9143; Априлско въстание 1876. (April 1876 Uprising) Vol. 3, Sofia, 1956, pp. 15-16; the original copy is in Turkish

G. Benkovski, P.  Volov, G. Ikonomov, I. Machev, I. Sokolov, G. Neichev, N. Stoyanov, N. Karadjov, Dr V. Sokoiski, V. Petleshkov, H, Turnev, priest Grouyu and N. Gougov
2  Then follows the text: 'Signed. Issued on behalf of the Bulgarian apostles in Thrace.’


A report in the newspaper Istok about the revolutionary unrest in Macedonia
June 9th, 1876
The Bulgarian Uprising is spreading as never before. It is reported from Salonica that the old voivoda Iliya1 the hero of heroes has risen with a strong detachment of well armed lads - in the mountains along the Strouma. A great number of Bulgarians in Macedonia have joined him, while young people of an age to carry arms are flocking to him from other parts of the country. There are already 2,000 insurgents around Shoumen. Circassians set two Bulgarian villages on fire, but the young champion Stoyan pursued and slew them.

В. „Исток", Белград  (Newspaper Istok), Belgrade, No. 62, June 9th, 1876; the original is in Serbo-Croat

1 A reference to Ilyo Markov from the village of Berovo, Bulgarian rebel and chief of guerrillas, well known under the name of Grandfather Ilyo.
On the request of the Sultan's Chancellery, the Governor of Bitola
gives information about the revolutionary activities of several Bulgarians
September 24th, 1876

Attached to the present letter is a declaration handed to us by the Mohammedan population in Bitola protesting about the behaviour, crimes and rebellious acts of some Bulgarians from the same town, whose names are men­tioned in the enclosed list. Since the real situation is not clear to us, you should give orders for making the necessary investigations and, after ascertaining the results, send them duly to us with your opinion of the case.

6 sheval 1292 (Nov. 5th, 1875)

We have received report number 141 of the 5 ramazan 1293 (24th of September 1876) from the Governor of Bitola, his Excellency Dervish Pasha, confirming the receipt of the letter and reporting the following:

The town doctor Constantine (Mishaykov), who had been exiled to Salonica some time ago, together with some other persons, has for years been trying to fan hatred among the Christian population by propagating Bulgarian ideas, which have already spread through several districts and which incite the Bulgarians to acknowledge the authority of the Exarchate. One of them is Iliya, born in Veles, who, after having been driven away from there, settled in Bitola before the creation of the vilayet and was appointed treasurer in the town of Lerin. He was dismissed, because he started spreading revolutionary ideas there, too. After the vilayet was formed, the Bulgarians bought a plot of land on which to build a new Bulgarian church, just opposite the Mohammedan quarter. The matter has not yet been decided by the Great Vizirate, with which we were in correspondence.

At the elections that took place recently, Bulgarians were elected to the Council which aroused the indignation of the Mohammedan population and caused complaints among them. This situation made the authorities keep these people under observation to see how far then1 hopes and revolutionary ideas would lead them. After the above-mentioned town doctor Constantine - the most inveterate rebel and brother of the bishop of Plovdiv - was exiled to Salonica and, from there, sent to Constantinople, on account of the riots in Plovdiv, it will not be advisable to exile other Bulgarians, guilty of seditious acts, as they have promised to live honestly and respectably. Although no revolutionary activity on their part has been observed, the authorities are watching them as well as others like them and as soon as there occur any open rebellious acts, of the kind which might cause repugnance, all necessary measures will be taken and you will be duly informed. The present memoran­dum is sent for this purpose.

Документи за българската история, т. IV. Документи из турските държавни архиви (1863—1909) (Documents on the Bulgarian. History, Documents from the Turkish State Archives) vol. 4, Sofia, 1942, pp. 31-32; the original is in Turkish
The political Programme,1 adopted at the First Bulgarian National Assembly in Bucharest
November 19th, 1876

In order to establish peace in the East, to eradicate the constant brutalities of the Turks, who have no respect for any human right, and to realize the just wishes of the Bulgarian people, Europe is in duty bound to promote the im­plementation of the following programme:

1. To restore the Bulgarian state, comprising Bulgaria, Thrace and Macedonia, where the main and predominant element is everywhere the Bulgarian element.

2. The Bulgarian state shall be governed independently and autonomously by a Constitution, drafted by a legislative body, elected by the people.

3. Special laws shall be written for all branches of administration in the spirit of the Statute and in conformity with the needs of the people.

4. All foreign nationalities, mingled with the Bulgarian people, shall enjoy, together with the latter, the same political and civil rights.

5.  Complete freedom of conscience shall reign in the Bulgarian state.

6. Military service and general education shall be obligatory to every citizen of the Bulgarian state.

In order to implement this programme and to avert a second blood bath, there must be internal military occupation of Turkey under which the first Bulgarian provisional government will be formed.2

НБКМ, БИА, ф. 56, ПД  1021; the original is in Bulgarian

1 Several different editions of this programme are known. The present version was most probably the final one and was translated into French and German and handed to the representatives of the Great Powers
2 The programme is signed by Vladimir Yonin, S. Atanassov, Peter Enchev, Todor Iliev, Ivan Vazov, Stefan Stambolov, Dimiter P. Ivanov, Olimpi Panov, Ivan Kavaldjiev, Kiriak Tsankov, Anton Teoharov and others

An excerpt from the draft of a Basic Statute drawn up by the Constantinople Conference of Ambassadors for the creation of two autonomous Bulgarian regions
December 1876 - January 1877

Two Vilayets (regions) will be constituted from the territories, mentioned below, and in accordance with the attached map, and will be ruled according to the forms of government given in detail below:

The Eastern Vilayet, with 'Turnovo as its centre, will consist of the sandjaks of Rouse, Turnovo, Toulcha, Vratsa, Sliven, Plovdiv (except for Sultan-Eri and Aha Chelebi) and of the districts of Kirklise, Moustafapasha and Kazil-Agach.

The Western Vilayet, with Sofia as the principle city, will consist of the sandjaks of Sofia, Vidin, Nis, Skopje, Bitola (except for the two southern dis­tricts), one part of the sandjak of Seres (the three northern districts) and of the districts of Strumitsa, Tikvesh, Veles and Kostour.

Международни актове и договори (1648—1918), Наука и изкуство (International Acts and Treaties, 1648-1918), Publishing house Naouka i Izkustvo, Sofia, 1958, p. 142; the original is in French
A letter from Nikolai pop Fflipov, Bansko, to archimandrite Ilarion of Lovech, Kyustendil,
in which the former asks that Kostadin Ivanov be ordained priest

May 10th, 1877

The bearer of the present letter, Kostadin Ivanov, from the village of Ossikovo, Nevrokop region, has been chosen and approved by his fellow villagers to be ordained priest, because so far they have made do with foreign priests and it cost too much, as the village consists of 50 houses of Christians mixed with Turks. He carries letters of recommendation from his village, from the commune of Nevrokop and a certificate from the priest Filaret Rilets.

When I told him that I was acquainted with Your Reverence, he asked me, for greater certainty, to write a letter to you as well, to make sure that you accept as sincere the people recommending him. And, as though he does not possess the necessary knowledge, I ask you, on my own behalf as well, to or­dain him, because need requires this; and he promised to come to me after his ordination and learn at least the things which are absolutely essential for his ordaining, and to hold liturgies for 40 days in our church.

Relying on your reasonable benevolence, I hope that you will heed my request, wherefore I kiss your beneficial hand and ask your prayer and blessing, remaining for ever the spiritual servant of Your Reverence, in the name of Christ.

НБКМ, БИА, IIA, 5923; the original is in Bulgarian
A letter from Stefan K. Salgundjiev, Seres, to Stefan Verkovic, Moscow, whereby the former informs the latter about the situation in Macedonia and the wish of the Bulgarians living there to welcome the Russian liberators as soon as possible
May 21st, 1877

More than three months have elapsed since you went away from us, and I have had the honour of receiving only one letter from you while you were still in Agram. I have always wanted to write to you, but since you did not say where my letters could reach you, I could not do this, and today I do it, having learnt that you have arrived in the glorious capital of our benefactor and saviour.

My dear! My present letter, and probably all my letters while you are ab­sent, turn mostly around daily questions, which are topical here. You know well the sentiments of the local Christian population, who are impatiently waiting for assistance for salvation to come from somewhere. Those who still cherish feelings of their true national identity, and who, happily, are the majority, from the day when the cannon of the Emperor of Holy Mother Russia, who is so dear to every Bulgarian heart, began to thunder have been beside themselves with joy, impatiently waiting to see and welcome their brothers in race, their benefactors and saviours, although the authorities intend to strip them of everything. Better naked, they say, but free; if we have only one soul left, we shall have plenty, so long as we are wrested from the iron clutches of a tyran­nical government. The news of the surrender of Ardahan in Asia created indescribable joy among them, while reducing the Turks to despair. The progress and achievements of our brothers by race and faith, indeed, dishearten the Turks, on the one hand, and, on the other, arouse malice and hatred in the champions of Hellenic-German propaganda in our town. The chiefs of these, who constantly repeat the words, 'Better Turks and Gypsies than Russians or any other Slav tribe', severely persecute our people. The teacher and apostate Maroul has again started his sermons in the churches against Pan-Slavic sen­timents, while Handrou, Yanoul the physician, who was appointed Italian vice-consul here with the assistance of Teodoridi, Greek vice-consul in our town, and others, are forcing the bishop to give orders for vigils to be held in every church every third day in favour of the Turkish government. It is only in our small chapel, which is about to be closed for lack of funds, that prayers are sung every Sunday and holiday according to the rules printed in the church-Russian books which we use, and those standing outside 4drown the chants of the priest with shouts 'Have mercy on us' and 'Amen'. For the time being this propaganda is serving the Turkish government as a secret police; it persecutes the Bulgarian movement terribly, both here and in the villages. Now Maroul has again gathered 2-3 boys and girls from every Bulgarian village to educate them using his own (the committee's) subsidies, and what is more, he has also made encroachments on our school, from which he managed to wrest, using big promises and presents, four of the older and more alert pupils. To have is strength and we have not. Our committees have nothing left for schools, either. Last summer's adventure and the present government taxes to support a war not for life but for the death of the government, have left us without charitable and educational establishments, apart from the exarchy, which also suffers from lack of means, and, therefore, it is evident that our future work for progress in Seres has been frustrated, and I shall be forced to abandon it, in spite of all my will and heartfelt desire to guard its interests, but... Let then Maroul and his ilk rejoice!

The Turkish government have called the reservists to the centres of the sandjaks, and, for two months now, they have been staying in the inns, without uniforms or arms. A government order said that the population must clothe and arm them at its expense. This order had not yet been carried out, when a second one arrived, stating that the population of the Salonica vilayet must buy 2,000 horses, hire mercenary horsemen, and clothe and arm them at its own expense as well as the first. All taxes of whatever kind are demanded for two years in advance. Cash aids were given twice; and, in all these cases, the pop­ulation here gives and is dormant. The malpractices are the most numerous: the fiercest haidouks and robbers are the state authorities, God help us.

In addition, I would like to inform you that a daughter was born to me on St George's Day and that, at present, both she and her mother are in the best о health. At the holy baptism, which, in spite of my desire to take place from your home, did not take place there because of some mistaken interpretations in the invitation, as he, whom we had sent to make the invitation, had mis­understood us, we named her Olga.

As you see from my description, it is improbable that I will stay longer in Seres, because the Exarchy is not in a position to support us. If there are signs favourable to our school, as we have been encouraged to believe by your latest letter to your family, which was given to me to read, first inform me so that I may know what to undertake.

At last, offering the cordial greetings from myself and from my family, I remain.

If you can, try to get me Russian or Austrian citizenship through your friends. I could send you later my picture, my place of birth, name and sur­name. I need this badly, the cause requires it.

БАН, НА, ф. 14, on. 1, a.e. 254, л. 27-28; 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 on 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. 576-577; the original is in Bulgarian
An excerpt from Prof. Dr. Konstantin Irecek's book History of the Bulgarians,
in which the ethnographic boundaries of the Bulgarian people in the Balkan Peninsula are indicated,
together with the regions they inhabit in it and outside it and their numbers


The Bulgarians inhabit the ancient regions of Moesia, Thrace and Macedonia, or, according to the latest Turkish terminology, the Danubian, Adrianople, Salonica and Bitola vilayets, as well as part of Bessarabia. They occupy a total territory of approximately 4,000 sq. miles.

The boundary line of the area inhabited by people speaking the Bulgarian language coincides to the north with the lower reaches of the Danube, from its estuaries to Vidin; then it continues on land to the Timok, follows the Serbian frontier, which it crosses here and there, and then turns south as far as Prokuplje on the Topolnitsa. Following the heights on the left of the valley of Morava, it circumvents the town of Vranja, reaches Montenegro, extends along the Šar Mountain, includes Upper Debur and ends on the eastern shore of Lake Ohrid at the village of Lin. The region south of the Ohrid Lake - the valley of Korcha and of the river Devol - has a mixed population (Albanians, Bulgarians and Wallachians). Further on the frontier goes from the Devol through Lake Kostour, the towns of Vlashka Klissoura, Negoush, Salonica and Seres, includes the neighbourhood of Drama, reaches the southern slopes of the Rhodopes,1 and from there goes on to Dimotika, Uzun-Kyupria, Bounar-Hissar (at Kirklise, called Lozen in Bulgarian) and Malki Samokov to the Black Sea. In addition, in our century (19th century), the Bulgarian settlements have been drawing increasingly close to the capital (Constantinople). There are isolated Bulgarian villages already at Rodosto, Sarai, Chorlu and particularly at Derkos. Many Bulgarians live in Constantinople itself.

In Russia, the Bulgarians live in the Herson, Bessarabia and Tavria provinces. It may be assumed that many Bulgarians have lived in Odessa because, there, there is a street called 'Bulgarian.' Moreover, Bulgarians have settled in the region of Odessa and the former colonies: Koshkovo, Katarzhina, Koubanka, Golyam and Maluk Bouyaluk; in Parkani, Bender region, in Ternovka close to Nikolaev and in the Crimea - the Old Crimea, Kishlava and Balta-Chokrak.

The Bessarabian colonies settled by Bulgarians bear the following names: Dezgindje, Komrat, Chok-Megdan, Kirsovo, Beshalma, Tomai, Terapontevka, Avdarma, Bashkalia, Djoltai, Beshgyoz, Gaidar, Baurchi, Kyuretne, Chadur-Lounga, Valeperzhe, Tvurditsa, Kiriet-Loung, Nvotroyan, Ivanovka, Devlet-Agach, Kouparan, Choumelkyoi, Dyulemen, Isserlia, Dimitrovka, Sataluk-Hadji, Chiishia, Taraklia, Kairaklia, Tatar-Kopchak, Kazayaklia, Bolgaria, Koubei, Kalchova, Golitsa, Padaklia, Hassan-Batur, Zadounevo, Kod-Kitai, Seliolou, Glavan, Bourgoudji, Delzheler, Kamchik, Kyulevche. These Bessara­bian Bulgarian colonies were particularly carefully governed by counsellor I.S. Ivanov, Bulgarian by birth, now (1878), governor of Sliven.

The colonies in the Tavria province are: Preslav, Banovo, Troyan, Nikolaevka II, Andreevo, Palaouzovo, Sofievka, Elissavetovka, Radolovka, Gyunevka, Nelgovka, Zelena, Romanovka, Vyacheslavovka, Mariino, Manouilovo, Diyanovo, Inzovka, Rainovka, Strogonovka, Tsarevodarovka, Bogdanovka, Stepanovka, Annovka, Nikolaevka I, Teodorovka, Elenovka, Varvarovka, Nadezhdina, Denevka, Hamovka, Tsaritsina, Georgievka, Dounaevka, Hirsovka, Vulkaneshti, Dimitrovka, Alexandrovka, Bolgrad, Turnovka.

All Bulgarian colonies which were under the administration of the former Committee of Trustees for Foreign Immigrants in the southern parts of Russia, passed after the abolition of that institution and after the change in their land status, under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the former 'colonists' are now called settler-owners.

In Romania - in Romanian Bessarabia, and, after that, in the towns Galati, Braila, Ploiesti, Bucharest, Oltenifa, Giurgiu, Alexandria and Craiova the Bulgarians are easily assimilated by the Romanians, although, here and there, there are Bulgarian churches and schools. In Serbia initially the whole region of the Timok was Bulgarian; however, now the Bulgarian element has been preserved intact in a few villages only.2 In Hungary, there are Bulgarian colonies in Banat (p. 615), and some remnants in the region of the Seven Cities (Transylvania) (p. 612). And in Asia Minor there is one Bulgarian village - Kuz Dervent (from the 17th century) between Nicomedia (Izmit) and Nicea.

The Bulgarians, especially the Macedonian Bulgarians, continue to this day to be divided into many groupings, which differ in their dialect and costumes, and which are sometimes of very old origin. The Miyatsi live in the valley of Radika (28 villages, 3,000 houses, 1/3 Moslems) and in Kroushovo; the Polentsi - in Upper Debur; the Bursyashti (p. 147) in Prespa and around Bitola, Prilep and Veles; Babouni - at Babouna; Kopanovtsi - around Skopje and Koumanovo; Piyantsi (p. 138) - at the sources of Bregalnitsa, The Polivakovtsi branch out into Gorno-Polyantsi in Maglena and at Ostrov, Voden and Negoush, and Dolno-Polyantsi - around Enidje Vardar. The villages of the Sirakovtsi are scattered from Belassitsa to Melnik: on the Lake Boutovo live the Arizvanovtsi. The Shops (p. 137) live in the foothills of Mount Vitosha and Rila and over the whole mountainous area between Kratovo, Sofia and Pirot. In the Rhodopes there are the Murvatsi between Seres, Valovishte and Nevrokop; the Aryani (Moslems) - between Nevrokop and Tatar-Pazardjik, and the Rouptsi all over the Eastern Rhodopes. Shafarik, Grigorovic and Verkovic (Chapter I, footnote 45) have written about these groupings.

Settlements of 12 other nationalities are scattered all over Bulgaria.

Greeks live in Melnik, Plovdiv, Stanimaka, in the three neighbouring villages of Ambelo, Voden, Kouklen, in Adrianople and in some places close to it. On the Black Sea one can find them in Sozopol, Bourgas, Anhialo, Messemvria and Varna, although there are also Bulgarian communes there; and further up in approximately 20 coastal villages (3,421 people in the Varna sandjak). The Greek village of Alibeikyoi near Tulcha is isolated (in the Toulcha sandjak there are 217 men in all). The Gagaouzi are probably of Greek origin, who like the Karamanli from Asia Minor and the Bazaryani from the Sea of Azov, speak in Turkish as in their mother tongue, but write in Greek letters. They live at Cape Emine, in Varna, in all ports of the Dobroudja and are scattered in Bessarabia.

The southern Romanians (Wallachians, Tsintsars, etc. pp. 140, 288) amounting to 200,000 live chiefly in the Pindos as far as the Devol. Among the Bulgarians, they have settlements around Pelister (Turnovo - 400 families), Magarevo, Nedjo-pole, Gopishte, Molovishte, Dragovo, Pissoderi, Neveska, Belikamen, in the towns of Vlashka Klissoura (1,000 houses) and Kroushevo (p. 590), in Maglena, in which there are five Romanian villages which embraced Islam in the 18th century, around Prilep (one village), at Purnar (Pangai). There are smaller Wallachian communities in Kostour, Salonica, Seres, Ohrid (110 houses), Resen  (100 houses), in Bitola, Prilep (150 people), Veles (80 families), Kichevo, etc. The Wallachian shepherds, the so-called Karakachans, spend the winter on the Aegean, and, in summer, roam the high mountains, reaching sometimes as far as the Troyan area of the Balkan Range. So far, the Wallachians have maintained close relations with the Greeks, and many of them have become Hellenized; a Romanian national anti-Greek movement is, however,   now   spreading   among  them,  namely,   in   Vlashka  Klissoura, Kroushevo and in the Pindos Mountains. In 1874 in the Pindos there were already seven Romanian schools (in Vlashka Klissoura, Nedjo-pole, Gopishte, Kroushevo, Ohrid, in Star-Abel in the Pindos, and at Nov-Abel between Ber and Vozhana).3 The northern Romanians live in big colonies on the right bank of the Danube at Vidin (14,690 men in 26 villages partially members of the Uniate) and in the Dobroudja (15,512 men), and in the smaller colonies near Oryahovo and Nikopol. Altogether there are 30,702 men in the Danubian vilayet. The dense settlements of Romanians around Vratsa indicated on many maps are, according to Slaveikov and Kanitz, an ungrounded fiction. On the other hand, there are 127,326 Romanians in Serbia (Rad., XI, 249). They are divided into the indigenous tsarani (tsara-terra) and the ungureni, settlers during the Austrian domination (1718-1739) and later from Banat, Tran­sylvania and Wallachia in the mountainous region between Morava and Timok.

The Albanians (also called Arbanassi in Bulgarian and Arnaouti in Turkish) border on the Bulgarians between Prokuplje and Devol. There are also individual villages on the right bank of the Morava (Mazouritsa), in the Karadag, in the Sar Mountains, on the Tetovo plain, around Kroushevo, in Deburtsa (p. 61), etc.; in Arnaout-kyoi near Razgrad (p. 588). Malko and Golyamo Arbanassi in the Rhodopes are now Bulgarian. The number of Albanians in Turkey is 1,300,000.

The Turks (Ottomans) can be met in every fortress and in the big cities. Their main settlements are in Southern Dobroudja from Razgrad and Shoumen to the sea. Their quantity, incidentally, has been greatly exaggerated on ethnographic maps drawn so far, because a considerable number of Bulgarians also live around Shoumen and Provadia, in Eski-Djoumaya and on the coast near Varna, Balchik, Mangalia and Constanta. There are many Turkish villages in Touzlouka and Gerlovo (p. 620), in Eastern Thrace, around Tatar-Pazardjik and along the middle reaches of the Strouma. Yurouks live in Maglena, near Salonica, and on the coastal plains south of the Rhodopes, and konyars around the Ostrov Lake. The number of Turks is usually very much exaggerated by adding to them Moslems in general, i.e. Bulgarians converted to the Moslem faith, Boshnyaks (Serbs), Albanians, Tartars and Circassians; the Turks proper (including those living in Constantinople) are no more than one million. Tartars (more than 50,000) settled in the Northern Dobroudja in the 13th century and, during the past few decades, in 20 villages around Nikopol and in 18 around Vidin, where today too, they often wear Bulgarian costumes and speak Bulgarian. They are mostly farmers and market-gardeners. Cir­cassians (up to 150,000) live by the Danube, in the Balkan Range, near the Ser­bian frontier and in Eastern Thrace; apart from the Nis, Turnovo and Sofia sandjaks, in the Danubian vilayet there are 30,573 men.

Gypsies (p. 492), partly nomadic, partly settled, are to be found everywhere. In the Danubian vilayet there are 7,559 Christians, and 24,835 Mohammedans (men); in the Adrianople vilayet there are 4,626 Christians and 22,709 Mohammedans (men), of whom 10,564 live in the Plovdiv sandjak alone; there are up to 140,000 in the whole of European Turkey.

Armenian and Jewish communities are frequently found in the towns. The Armenians, most of whom speak Turkish and write in the Armenian alphabet, live in Toulcha, Rouse, Varna, Bourgas, Sliven, Plovdiv, Tatar-Pazardjik, etc. (In the Danubian vilayet there are 4,684 men and in Plovdiv - 571). Jews (mostly Spanish), have their own settlements in Toulcha, Rouse, Lorn, Vidin, Vratsa, Pirot, Nis, Sofia, Samokov, Kyustendil, Tatar-Pazardjik, Plovdiv, Yambol, etc., and in Macedonia - only in Salonica and Bitola. Their number is 5,735 men in the Danubian vilayet (2,374 in the Sofia sandjak alone), 8,216 in the Adrianople vilayet (in Plovdiv sandjak alone 1,415 men): their total number in European Turkey is 95,000.

There are also several insignificant Serbian settlements (Bratjevac - along the lower reaches of Timok and in several places around Nis), Russian settlements (of the old faith) at the mouth of the Danube (1,330 houses, Cf. Slav Collection, published in St.-Petersburg in 1875, 610) and German settlements near Toulcha (600 people in four villages; Peters Oest. Revues, 1866, XII, 234). There are no Serbian colonies around Ohrid and Bitola, although such have been indicated on many maps.

The number of Bulgarians is differently calculated between 2 and 7 million: Venelin (1838) estimates them at 2,545,000, Boue - at 4,500,000, Šafarik (1842) at 3,587,000, and the Turks (1844) at 4,000,000, Yacsič (1874) at barely 2,000,000, Bogorov (1851) at 5,500,000, Grouev, Bradaska and Kanitz accept that they are more than 5,000,000, Budilovich estimates them at 5,123,952, while according to some Bulgarian information they are 6,620,000 and even 7,000,000. In Turkey the clerks count only adult men, and the bishops, only weddings (men and women) and not family communities (p. 121). In the 17 dioceses, subordinated to the Bulgarian Exarch, in 1875 the number of such weddings was up to 410,000 (Boudilovich, Statistical Tables of the Distribution of Slavs, St.-Petersburg 1875, 16). In any case, neither Govern­ment nor Church statistics are reliable for many reasons, while the statistics of Eastern Thrace and Macedonia leave us totally helpless.

The official statistics about the Danubian vilayet (1874) have been given in Yanko Kovachev's Letostroui (Calendar)for 1376, p. 198. According to him, in the Toulcha sandjak there are 12,720, in the Rouse sandjak 114,792, in Var­na sandjak - 21,359, in Turnovo sandjak - 148,713, in Vidin sandjak -121,279, in Sofia - 179,920, in Nis (according to Geogr. Yahrbuch, Behm, III, Gotha, 1870, p. 45) 100,625, or a total of 699,408 Bulgarians (men, without women and children of both sexes).

In the dioceses (according to the Bulgarian newspapers) the Bulgarians are distributed in the following manner: Rouschouk-Silistra 21,038 weddings (districts in 1874: Rouse-6,790, Razgrad - 5,315, Toutrakan - 571, Silistra - 4,682, Toulcha - 3,680), in Shoumen - 12,000, Turnovo - 65,000, Lovech - 22,163, Vratsa - 28,000, Vidin (1874) 24,357, Sofia - 26,885, Samokov - 17,450, Kyustendil - 22,500, Pirot - 19,000, Nis - 27,500, or a total of 285,893 weddings in the Danubian vilayet. It should also be noted that the church and political frontiers do not coincide. Thus, for instance, Stara and Nova Zagora in Thrace are both included in the Turnovo diocese.

According to official Turkish statistics there are 468,527 men, Orthodox Christians in the Adrianople vilayet (Svetozor, 1876, 343), from whom, however, the Greeks should be subtracted both in the country's interior and in the coastal regions. The Plovdiv sandjak was described in Letostroui (Calen­dar) for 1870 and 1872 by Grouev. According to him in the Kazanluk county, there were 11,278 men (5,299 marriages), in Zhelyaznik or Stara Zagora -16,111 (9,200), in Haskovo 18,361 (6,644), in Chirpan - 14,232 (5,397), in Plovdiv - 63,763, together with the Greeks, (22,813 Bulgarian marriages), in Tatar-Pazardjik 41,531 (11,960), in Sultan-eri - 102, in Ahu-Chelebi 4,517 (1,650) or a total of 62,936 marriages and 170,345 men, out of which, however, several thousand Greeks should be subtracted from Plovdiv (in the town itself there were 1,480 Bulgarian marriages) and in Stanimaka. In the Sliven diocese there were 12,000 marriages, in that of Adrianople - 280 Bulgarian villages, in the Galipoli sandjak (Behm und Wagner, Bevolkerung der Erde, Gotha, 1874, 32) 10,000 Bulgarian men, and in Constantinople more than 40,000 Bulgarians.

I have the following data about Macedonia: Prilep county - 18,981 Bulgarian men (Shapkarev, Chitalishte 1873), Nevrokop - 5,168 Christian houses (Dozon), the Veles diocese - 6,415 marriages, the Ohrid district -11,500 men without the old men and children (Hahn, Wardarreise, 135).

Outside the Ottoman Empire:  in Russia -- 97,032 (Budilovich), in Hungary - 26,000 (Picker), in Romanian Bessarabia - up to 50,000 and in the rest of Romania up to 100,000. We have no idea how many Bulgarians there are in Serbia.

If we distribute them according to creed, the Mohammedan-Bulgarians (pomaks) live in the surroundings of Lovech and Pleven (about 100,000 men) all over the Rhodopes (Sultan-eri -10,303 men, Ahu-Chelebi-5,811 men, Nevrokop - 6,614 houses), at Salonica, along the Vardar, in Maglena, Prespa and Gorni Debur, 500,000 people in all. Of these very few understand only Turkish. The Bulgarians from Banat (34,000) and about 8,000 'Pavlikyans' near Plovdiv (4 villages) and in 6 surrounding smaller villages are of the Catholic religion. According to Turkish statistics, in the Adrianople vilayet, there is a total of 6,072 male Catholics. Adherents of the Uniate live in Adrianople and its vicinities, and since 1874 near Salonica (Koukoush, Vardar, Enidje) and at Svishtov (p. 665).

I estimate all Bulgarians from all creeds and in all regions to be about 5,500,000. The available statistical materials do not allow more precise calculation.

K. J. Иречек. Исторiя Болгаръ. Сочиненiе профессора Пражского университета д-ра Конст. Joc. Иречека. Перевод Заслуженного профессора Новороссiйского университета Ф. К. Бруна и магистранта тогоже университета В. Н. Палаузова... Одесса, тип. Л. Нитче, 1878,Х, с. 743-750. К. J. Irecek, History of the Bulgarians, Translated into Russian by F. K. Brim and V. N. Palaouzov, Odessa, 1878, pp. 743-750; The original is in Russian

At Dede-Agach starting point of the railway line connecting Adrianople and the Aegean there are several Bulgarian villages (e.g. the village of Dervent).
2 According to Miličevič (Serbia, 923), the Bulgarian language can also be heard in Zaichar itself, in Grljano and in Veliki Izvor (from there purely Bulgarian folk songs have been cited, ibid., 931-938). The Serbian dialect in the counties of Alexinača, Knjaževačka, Crnorečka and Krajinska is still con­siderably mixed with Bulgarian words; cf. folk songs from there, quoted in Miličevič, Serbia, 856-923 and ff.
3 Picot, Les Roumains de la Macédoine, Paris, 1875
A letter from the archimandrite  Metodi Koussev1 (Adrianople) to N.P. Ignatiev
on the necessity for the unification of the Bulgarian peopie
February 12th, 1878

If it is true that, in spite of all your efforts, it is impossible, due to obvious­ly higher considerations, to liberate the other half of our nation, which has the misfortune to live in Thrace and Macedonia, which are inhabited by the purest Bulgarian population, particularly in the former, and represent the majority among the other nationalities, we hope that these unfortunate people, who have suffered most under the Turkish yoke and under the oppression of the Greek clergy and have gone through the horrors and destruction of the present war, will not be left out of consideration when the signing of the peace treaty takes place. We do not doubt that you will do something for them, so that, if their situation cannot be alleviated now, at least when peace is proclaimed, they should not find themselves in a plight even more pitiable than their former one, as a result of not only political but, what is worse, religious separation from their brothers.

Your Excellency,

Please, excuse me if, thus expressing my beliefs, I allow myself, as one authorized (a letter to this effect was delivered to you) by the Macedonian Bulgarians who live now in Adrianople, to appeal to you, on the one hand, and to our Church authorities and the Turkish government, on the other, for the uni­fication of our people under one independent Church, to draw Your Excellen­cy's attention to the fact, guided by life-long experience, that the Bulgarians in Macedonia, who, in spite of the fact that they have lived as though in hell under the unspeakable atrocities of the Turks, of which all ministers have repeatedly been informed ever since the summer of 1869, will again have to suffer even more bitterly under the heavy yoke of the Turks who, as Your Excellency knows perfectly well and had the goodness to inform the members of the Constantinople Conference, will never cease to be the cruel torturers of the Bulgarians, who, in their opinion, are brothers of the Moscovites and infidels like them (that is why they call us Moscovite giaours) while they have power in their hands. Neither control nor threats can restrain them, unless power is taken away from them, and yet, I say, the Macedonian Bulgarians will still cherish hopes of preserving both their faith and nationality in the future if and on condition that, when politically separated from their brothers, everything should be done so that the heavy yoke of the Greek Church authorities be not imposed upon them, a yoke that is inimical to our language and nationality and which they managed to throw off after a struggle lasting many years, and full of horrors and sacrifices. The other condition, which is no less important, is to prevent the Turkish immigrants from the liberated parts of Bulgaria from moving to Macedonia. Otherwise, if the Bulgarians from the unliberated parts are not guaranteed in these two respects, you should know, Your Excellency, that the liberation of the one half of our people will be the cause of the destruc­tion of the other half, the common people of which will be lost to Slavdom, and those with livelier minds - to Orthodoxy.

Your Excellency, one of my last duties to my country as a Bulgarian Macedonian, who has devoted his life to the unification of our people, and to the Orthodox Faith, as a priest, is, I consider, to write this letter at this eleventh hour, imploring Your Highness to pay attention to these two matters (the sub­jection of the Bulgarian Macedonians to the authority of the Greek Patriarchate and the immigration of the Turks to those parts) which, in spite of all measures and hopes, will bring about the final annihilation of the Orthodox Bulgarians in the unliberated parts.

With deep respect to Your Excellency, your obedient,

Archimandrite Metodi Koussev.

Освобождение Болгарии от Турецкого ига (The Liberation of Bulgaria from Turkish Yoke), v. II, Moscow, 1964, pp. 515-516; the original is in Bulgarian

Metodi Koussev (1837-1922), born in Prilep, patriot and fighter for Bulgarian spiritual and political independence
A petition from the population in the region of Razlog to Nikolai Nikolayevich
in which they beseech him to liberate them from the power of the Sultan
March 2nd, 1878

Most glorious Russia, our kind sister, seeing the sufferings of our people who are subjected to the brutal arbitrariness of despotic Turkish rule, ardently desired the liberation of this people. But the opportune moment had not yet come. But finally, when the malice and hatred of the enemy became in­sufferable, when the blood of the people was shed most mercilessly, when tragic, heart-rending events shook the lands of the Bulgarians, then, compassionate Russia was fired with boundless, burning pity for her brothers of one race, and hastened quickly, quickly to their aid. She wiped away the tears of thousands and thousands of those who wept. From the Danube to Pirin Moun­tain and the coasts of Asia Minor thousands and thousands of our brothers praise the name of Great Russia. The whole of Bulgaria and Thrace saw a free life and bright days. When we heard about the happiness of our brothers in Thrace and Moesia we sobbed in hope and expectation of seeing this happy blessed hour, the hour of our liberation from the Turkish tyranny. But our expectations and hopes did not come true. Our lives are still fading and withering away, sighs and groans are still breaking our hearts, our voices are still choked with weeping, the age-long chains are still clanking on our bodies. For us there is still no day, we are still wrapped in the swaddling clothes of slavery, we are still rotting in dungeons. The cruel Turks are blasting our lives and possessions. Yet, relying on the mercy and generosity of our most kind sister, most glorious Russia, who has undertaken the liberation of the Bulgarian people who are perishing, we still cherish hopes that she will not neglect our poor, suffering land but will condescend to look at it with merciful eyes. We fervently desire to see the hand that has wipect away and is still wiping away so many tears, to see this benevolent hand which brings back life to the dying. We will kiss this holy hand after it has wiped our sad and sorrowful tears in reverence and then will shed tears on it again, but tears not of sorrow but of joy. So we beseech you, Your Highness, to accept our humble plea to send some Russian soldiers to our places to liberate us and bring us back to life.

Praying for the glory, grandeur and long life of his Imperial Majesty, the great ruler, Alexander, and for the glory and honour of his high officials and brave soldiers, we remain fully confident that your noble and sympathetic heart will respond to our humble petition.

Villages in the district of Raziog:

Purely Bulgarian: Bansko, Godlevo, Gorna Draglishta, Dolna Draglishta, Dobretsko.

Mixed with Turks: Mehomiya, Banya, Yakorouda, Belitsa, Bachevo.

Освобождение Болгарии от Турецкого ига (The Liberation of Bulgaria from Turkish Yoke), v. Ill, Moscow, 1967, p. 33-34; the original is in Bulgarian


In a letter to Vladimir Ivanovich Lamanski 1, Stefan Verkovic defines the boundary line between Bulgaria and Serbia,
and exposes Serbian pretensions to purely Bulgarian lands

March 17th, 1878

... I don't know when I shall be there, but since the destiny of the Balkan Peninsula is now being decided, I find it appropriate to send a copy of the letter I wrote on the 6th of December last year simply to draw your attention to the true frontier between Bulgaria and Serbia both from the ethnographical and geographical point of view, and I must say in advance that here Russia's at­titude to the Slavs is like that of a mother to her children.

Just as good parents do not show preference for one of their children, so also I think, our dear mother Russia acted when defining the Serbo-Bulgarian frontier. As is evident from the newspapers, the Serbs have thoroughly un­scrupulous pretensions in defining their frontiers, basing their rights on some fantastic and incredible historical traditions, because they should discuss matters not on the basis of the past, but on the basis of the present, i.e. they should place the natural boundaries of each people as far as the territories in which their language is spoken. According to this natural, inalienable right, not only are the sandjaks of Skopje, Nis and Vidin not Serbian, because the peo­ple there speak the same language as that spoken in Salonica and Adrianople, but, even in the Serbian kingdom itself, there are about 200,000 people who speak the language of the above-mentioned three sandjaks, i.e. pure Bulgarian; consequently they belong to the Bulgarian branch and not to the Serbian. These 200,000 Bulgarians live in the region of Kroushevats, Negotin and Alexinats up to Kyupriya on the Morava. In my opinion, if we apply the Serbian theory of nationalities, all territories as far as Parakin, and the town of Kyupriya on the Morava in Serbia should belong to Bulgaria, whereas on the contrary, the Ser­bians have appropriated almost 3/4 of Bulgaria, calling it 'Old Serbia.' The unheard-of outrages of the Serbs go so far that they are not ashamed to lie to the whole world by saying ‘A Serbian from Niš, a Serb from Pirot, a Serb from Leskovats, from Vranja, Koumanovo, Voden, Skopje, Veles, Debur, Kyustendil, Samokov, Vidin and so on. If the above-mentioned towns belong to the Serbs by virtue of language, then one can say that there are no Bulgarians in the world, and thus the Serbs should be given the whole of the Balkan Penin­sula. Let them then freely Serbianize anyone they like. As you will see from the copy of my letter to Uzefovich, dear sir, the real frontier between Bulgaria and Serbia is the Šar Mountain. But even according to the frontier defined by me, the Serbs gain more in comparison with the Bulgarians, because the whole Gilyany county, which borders on Prishtina county, is populated by Bulgarians, with the exception of twelve villages of Albanians, speaking Bulgarian, and also because, in all villages situated in the district of the Šar Mountain, not only is the language Bulgarian, but the accent and the national type are Bulgarian. It would be proper and in the interests of all Slavs, if they were forbidden to touch other people's property even with the tips of their fingers. To my great surprise, it seems to me that what I foresaw in my last letter about Serbia will soon be proved correct... One can make inferences on the basis of the Belgrade articles, published in Naroden Zagrebski vestnik. They express no less selfish and egotistical desires than do the sons of proud Albion. They slander Russia by saying that she does not desire the good of the Serbs, because they have heard that she wants some purely Serbian places such as Niš, Vidin, Skopje and Kyustendil to be acceded to Bulgaria. Ristic,2 who is by nature malicious and quarrelsome, on hearing what great injustice was going to be done to the Serbs, began to compose a memorandum to Tsar Alexander II to dissuade him from doing this. Moreover, at the next Congress3 he intends to present a memorandum in which he will try to prove with incontestible facts that the areas where Serbian troops are now stationed are Ser­bian not only by historical but also by ethnographical right. Anyone even slightly familiar with the Balkan Peninsula cannot regard such treacherously seductive complaints and false pretensions with anything other than complete revulsion. St Paul has said that faith without works is dead. The same can be applied to political beliefs. Just as a man is in duty bound to act according to the teachings of St Paul in spiritual matters, so also should he act in wordly matters towards the people to which he belongs.

What kind of person I am in this respect can be judged by the reports I sent to the Department of Asia, to Mr. Aksakov,4 to you and to the Minister of Education and Ecclesiastical Matters. My political belief rests on the following theory - 'one is friendly to one's feelow-men by necessity' and 'every living creature grieves over its own wrongs.' This is brilliantly confirmed by the fact that Russia has no friends among alien people, therefore she can have strong alliances only with her fellow Slavs; they are, however, still slaves, and not free, and that is why she cannot gain from such alliances before they are liberated and established. The first steps are now being made in Turkey. Fate ordained that Russia should be the head and mother of the Slav peoples, and when she defines the frontiers, she must act as a good mother acts with her children, i.e. not to give in to the insinuations of the selfish Serbs, but to define the frontiers justly - where Serbian is spoken, let it be Serbian, where Bulgarian - Bulgarian.

In this way, all the intrigues that may be used by Russia's enemies in the future as regards her rights in the Balkan Peninsula will be defeated and will have no effect, because that which is founded on truth is as solid and firm as a wall. Not only as member of the great Slav family but also as a man who from his early youth has cherished the best of feelings towards our holy Russia and the happily ruling, most august House of the Romanovs, which has dis­tinguished itself among all other ruling houses with its love for mankind and its magnanimity, I would like to express through you, dear Sir, my most humble opinion as to how to establish relations on the Balkan Peninsula in such a way as to prevent the Serbs, backed by their present protectors, from misinforming the Imperial Government about the real state of affairs in Turkey, because apart from my other studies, I have studied and know the statistics and ethnography of the European part of Turkey, particularly of Macedonia, and I think I know them well.

Сп. „Свободно мнение", София; Magazine Svobodno Mnenie (Free opinion), Sofia, No. 51, Dec. 20th, 1914, p. 707 and ff; the original is in Serbo-Croat

Vladimir Ivanovach Lamanski (1833-1914), a Russian slavist
2 Jovan Ristic (1831-1899), a Serbian politician and historian, consistently implementing the nationalistic programme of Carasanin
3 A reference to the coming Berlin Congress
4 Ivan S. Aksakov (1823-1886), Russian publicist and Slavophil
The Greek Consul in Bitola Peter Logothete, in his report to the Greek Consul in Salonica, Theodore Deliyani,
writes  about the desire of the Macedonian Bulgarians to be annexed to Bulgaria

March 31st, 1878
The Bulgarian Slavs in Ohrid, Prilep, Veles and Skopje, who have always been fanatical adherents of Russia, are firmly convinced that Russia will over­come her enemies and that these cities with their districts as well as other dis­tricts situated further south will be included within the boundaries of the Bulgarian state. News from a Russian source often reach the Bulgarian Slavs here, making them believe that all barriers on the way to their liberation will be removed, and that it is necessary for them vigorously to oppose the political counter-actions of the Greek element in Macedonia.

A petition from representatives of the Bulgarian church sent from Constantinople to Nikolai  Nikolayevich
asking for the Russian liberators to enter Macedonia immediately

April 7th, 1878

The victorious Russian arms, which liberated our long oppressed, unfor­tunate Bulgarian people from the Turkish yoke, oblige them to be for ever grateful to Russia and her anointed one, the great Liberator of the Bulgarians, and to pray sincerely for the long life and prosperity of His Imperial Majesty and his most august House.

The Macedonian Bulgarians, being deprived of the direct protection of their liberators, find it impossible, to their utmost regret, to express formally as their brothers do, by collecting signatures, their feeling of gratitude to their liberators, whom they are eagerly and devotedly expecting in their country, the cradle of the Slav language and the centre of the dissemination of the Christian religion a cradle that, however, even now cannot stop rocking under the un­bearable oppression of its tyrants and the hostile declarations of her neighbours of one religion.

Moreover, we venture to report to Your Imperial Highness that some ill-wishers of the Bulgarian people, mainly Greek prelates, are now trying to collect signatures by force and to prove that the inhabitants of Macedonia, who, according to the San Stefano Peace Treaty, are included in the Bulgarian Principality consist predominantly of Greeks who do not, it seems, wish to be part of a principality. But the groundlessness of this assertion was proved both by numerous historical facts, as well as by the statistics compiled at the time of the Constantinople Conference. Moreover, as is well-known, we, the Macedo­nian population, maintain with certainty that the Greek population in this part of Macedonia, as far as ethnography is concerced, comprises a very small minority, without, of course, including the Mohammedan population. That is why we protest against every groundless assertion of this kind, since the validi­ty of our protest can be firmly proved to Europe merely by a European com­mittee conducting a thorough investigation on the spot.

Your Imperial Highness! Fully convinced of your humane intentions, we venture to express our wish and the most humble request of the Macedonian Bulgarian people for the speedy occupation of Macedonia by the victorious Russian troops, so that an end may be put to the age-long sufferings of this province.

Representative of the Ohrid diocese Nahum Sprostranov
Representative of the Kostour diocese Dimiter Popov
Representative of the Moglena diocese Dimitri Popov
Representative of the Drama-Seres diocese Archimandrite Theodosi
Representative of  the Debur diocese Archimandrite Kosma Prechistyanski

Освобождение Болгарии от Турецкого ига (The Liberation of Bulgaria from Turkish Yoke), vol. 3, Moscow, 1967, pp. 79-80; the original is in Bulgaria

An appeal from the Macedonian Bulgarians to the Great Powers
begging them not to sever them from Bulgaria, their common motherland

May 20th, 1878

The whole world already knows of the age-long sufferings and torments to which the defenceless Christians have been subjected under fanatical Turkish rule. It is also well-known that the hellish tortures which the peace-loving Bulgarian people have, of late, endured through the unparalleled barbarism of the Turks all over their paternal hearth in Moesia, Thrace and Macedonia, aroused general indignation throughout the civilized world, and finally provoked the Russo-Turkish War, which recently ended with the conclusion in San Stefano of a Peace Treaty between the two warring sides. The whole Bulgarian people rejoices to see that their wishes have been fulfilled and their needs satisfied, and we, all the Bulgarians in Macedonia, by virtue of the San Stefano Treaty, were impatiently awaiting our liberation from the Turkish bar­barism which still rages over us. But instead of this, we see with great regret that the local authorities, on the one hand, and the Greek clergy, on the other, have extorted signatures by various means from some of our innocent brothers, in order to misuse them, by alleging before the Great Powers that we are Greeks and want only an improved status quo and not unification with the newly formed Bulgarian Principality. This unpunished mockery of our signatures, indeed, of our name and feeling, has deeply grieved us all, especially since a false declaration of this kind from the Macedonian Bulgarians may have been presented to Your Excellency. That is why, we, the obedient representatives of different communes in Macedonia venture to present most humbly our petition, protesting against every abuse of our signatures and at the same time imploring Your Excellency, in the name of justice and humanity, to condescend to intercede with the honourable Government of His Majesty ..., to set up, if it is necessary, a committee to carry out impartial and reliable in­vestigations, and assure itself that our wishes and needs are common with and inseparable from those of our Bulgarian brothers in Moesia and Thrace, thus stifling once and for all the shameless shouts of the insignificant Greek eleme here, who never cease bothering philanthropic Europe, with its not feelings and intentions towards the suffering.

Firmly convinced that you will mercifully consider this humble petition ours, we have the honour to call ourselves Your Excellency's most obedie servants.

Macedonian Bulgarians, representatives of different communes in Macedonia.

Salonica, May 20, 1878                                           Representatives from Veles:
Seal of the Church board of Trustees                      Sazdo Petroushev Shoulev
in Veles, 1868                                                         A. Georgov
Seal of the Strumitsa                                               Representatives from Strumitsa:
Church Commune, 1870                                         Stavrush Timov
                                                                                 Konstandin Rousovich
Seal of the Skopje Bulgarian                                   Representatives from Skopje:
Society, 1870                                                           Todor Stevkovich
                                                                                 Yovan Karageorov
Seal of the Bulgarian
Commune in Bitola, 1872
Seal of the  Bulgarian  Commune in                       Representatives from Prilep:
Prilep,                                                                      Hristo Hadji Iliov
Seal of the Bulgarian                                               Representatives from Tikvesh:
Commune in Negotin, 1871                                    Hadji Arso
                                                                                 Hristo Nikolov
                                                                                 Hristo Foukara
Seal of the Bulgarian                                               Representatives from Gevgeli:
Commune in Gevgeli, 1871                                    Georgi Bayaltsali
                                                                                 Icho Doganov
Seal of the Bulgarian                                               Representatives from Koukoush:
Commune in Koukoush                                          Andon Hadji Stoikov
                                                                                 Mihail Hadji Dinov
Seal of the Bulgarian                                               Representatives from Salonica:
Commune in Salonica                                              Paounchev Nikola
                                                                                 Nasko Stoyanov
Seal of the Commune                                              Representatives from Vatasha:
in Vatasha                                                                Mishe Rizov
                                                                                 Rizo Dobrev
                                                                                 (The names are not very legible)
Seal of the Bulgarian                                               Representatives from Tetovo:
Commune in Tetovo, 1869                                      Ikonom papa Serafim
                                                                                 Zafir Nikolov
Seal of the Bulgarian                                               Representatives from Koumanovo:
Commune in Koumanovo, 1870                              priest Bozhin
                                                                                 Dime Ivanov
Representatives from Radovish:
Hristofor Konstantinov
Hristo Ikonomov
Representatives from Voden:
Trpche Stoyanov
Yovan Bezo
Seal of the teachers'                                                 School Trustees:
Society in Seres, Melnik,                                         Stefan Shamandjiev
Drama and Nevrokop                                              Georgi Lyubahovski
Seal of the Petrich District                                      Representatives from Petrich:
Council                                                                    Stoyan Georgiev
                                                                                Georgi Ouroumov
Seal of the Bulgarian Commune                             Representatives from Nevrokop
in Nevrokop
Seal of the District Council                                     Representatives from Demir Hissar
of Demir Hissar:                                                      Priest Dimitraki Kurchevski
                                                                                 Ivan Gologanov
Seal of the Bulgarian Commune                             Representatives from Stip:
in Stip, Kyustendil diocese                                     Mano Panayotov
                                                                                Lazo Hadji Dimitrov
Seal of the Bulgarian Church                                 Representatives from Seres:
Commune in Seres                                                  Iliya Yovanov Kasarov
                                                                                Ivan   Bratanov
Seal of the Bulgarian Church                                 Representatives from Drama:
Commune in Drama                                               Pechou Hadji Oglou
                                                                               Alexi Chanov
Йордан Иванов, Български старини из Македония (Yordan Ivanov, Bulgarian Antiquities Macedonia), Sofia, 1931, pp. 655-659; the original in Bulgarian



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