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Writing Home: Immigrants in Brazil and the United States 1890-1891

Reviewed by Thomas L. Hollowok, PGSA Spring 1987 Bulletin

By Marcia Kula and Dr. Josephine Wtulich, New York. Published by East European Monographs, Bolder, (distributed by Columbia University Press, New York), 1986. Price$ 50.00.

These 351 letters were originally translated from the original into Polish by Witold Kula, Nina-Assorodobraj Kula, and Marvin Kula and published in Poland in 1973. However, Dr. Josephine Wtulich has translated this volume from the original Polish, Yiddish, Russian, German, and Lithuanian into English.

These 351 letters were written between 1890 and 1891 to relatives in one province, Plock, and mainly within three districts: Rypin, Lipno, and Golub-Dobrzyn. Wtulich has provided an extensive annotation of these letters. Her Introduction speaks to the uniqueness of the letters providing an analysis and interpretation in terms of the historical background of the Congress Kingdom (Russian Poland) from which they had emigrated, as well as their settlements in the United States and Brazil. The analysis and interpretation are also made in terms of theory (social history, immigration, sociology, and ethnicity) and thus a synthesis of the leading explanations of the immigrants' experiences is suggested.

This new English translation has updated the locality index, provided a glossary of foreign terms, and general index. However, of special interest to genealogists is a genealogy index (pp. 665-673). This index is arranged alphabetically by surname then given of all correspondents and those mentioned in the letters. Finally, the Introduction is complete with maps, charts, and graphs.

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