This is part 3 of the Schwarz report
6. The working capacities of the Colonists.
Your folks are first-class workers,” that is what I was pleased to hear about the laboring capacities of our people. There is no doubt that the refugees have shown that they are not that lazy mob for which they were taken.This allegation came from Saltiel
Under favorable circumstances they have done more than could have been expected. Only one who knows what it means to break up virgin ground with a common shovel, can appreciate the industrious efforts of the refugees. They have broken up the ground with a shovel, they have done the hardest part of the work required to make a wagon bridge:We believe this to be over Oak Creek Grade
they have filled the ditches with big rocks, which they were compelled to cut and hew from the mountains; they went up to their throats in the swift Arkansas River to make a foot bridge to enable them to reach their lands;Alleged to have been in June 1882 when the flood came. Not sure when the first bridge over the Arkansas was built - possible later in 1882, but some records indicate not until 1884. What this shows us is that at first, they had to hand carry any supplies from the train over the foot bridge on the Arkansas river.
they worked in dark, damp mines as good and perseveringly as trained miners;confirmation that they had worked in the mines by October 1882.
they worked on the railroad, giving entire satisfaction to their employers;confirmation that they had worked for the railroad by October 1882.
they carried lumber on their shoulders to speed the erection of their houses;remember, there was just one team of cows and a plow. No evidence of a wagon at this point.
they walked often twenty miles a day to chop wood in the forests for the purposes of putting fence posts around their farms.this is in contradiction to what Saltiel said in his rebuttal to the Tuska report.
Mr. P. M. Carrol, one of the officers of the Gunnison Division of the Denver and Rio Grande Railway - a man who, at my request, employs, and will constantly employ any quantity of our colonists for $2.00 a day, told me upon my question, as to his being satisfied with our people: “the only drawback with your people is, that they work too fast; you can see how anxious they are to show their working abilities.” They furthermore worked their farms as if they were trained farmers, which they were not.Some were trained farmers. But they all had to be trained in irrigation.
Amongst thirteen families, numbering twenty adults, there were only three farmers, the rest were composed of tradesmen; and still to-day, one can hardly distinguish who was a farmer and who was not. With one word, I can testify, and I fulfill a pleasant duty in doing so- that our Russian co-religionists, as a rule, can work, and will work if they are properly treated and understood.
7. Education and religious life of the Colonists
There is a public school in Cotopaxi which answers the requirements of a good practical education. The children of our colonists visit school, and Mr. James H. Freeman, the teacher, assured me that they will pick up the English language very soon.Children walking 8 miles to school every day? They did not speak English. Pretty certain that James Freeman did not speak Yiddish. How did they communicate?
I arranged with him the plan of organising a school for the grown colonists, to teach them English, arithmetic, geography, etc., and he promised that he will earnestly take into consideration.This had not taken place by October and there is no evidence that it ever happened.
Every Sabbath (that is, Friday evening and Sabbath mornings, as well as in the afternoons), divine services are held in the public school building, which are noted for the solemn and impressive way in which they are conducted.Other reports have stated that they had a Synagogue. This states that they met in the school.
The Rev. Dr. Baar, the worthy superintendent of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, presented us with a Sephar Thora, and two ladies, who do not want their names stated, adorned the scroll with two beautiful mantles; and I am happy to say, that although the colonists adhere to our sacred religion in a way which is called in America orthodox, yet they are by no means fanatics, but as enlightened as any of their European co-religionists.We will discuss their religion in a future post. Much discussion as to whether they were Hassidic or Haskalah.
They have formed amongst themselves a Congregation and Mutual Relief Society, called Ohev Sholem (Lovers of Peace) which is in a very thriving condition.Ohev Sholem is the name of the Synagogue on the marriage certificates.
The relations of our colonists to their Christian neighbors, I am happy to say, leave at present nothing to be wished for. It is, and was always my opinion, that the best argument to break the prejudice prevailing amongst Christians against Jews, is the “argumentum ad hominem.” Let the Christian see the Jew, let him come in contact with him, and in Cotopaxi they see each other, visit each other, deal with one and other.this is in direct conflict with reports that the gentiles in the area did not like the Jews being there.
The surrounding Christians frequently attend our divine services, and as an evidence of brotherly spirit existing in them, it may be noted that the board of the school directors of Cotopaxi has offered spontaneously and voluntarily the recently built school house for public worship on our Sabbaths and holidays.
8. Expenditure made for establishing and supporting the Colony - the property of the Colony.
As Mr. Morris Tuska, one of the Committee who has officially visited our Colony, has already reported – not counting the cost of transportation – the Colony cost so far, $8,750.Schwarz does not tell us if the $3360 is for 8 houses built (at a cost of $420 per house) or if it is for all 12 houses (4 not yet built) at a cost of $280 per house. If he had left the Colony, who had the monty for the other 4 houses?
For food for the period of five months, $1,544.87 were expended, that is, $25.80 for each person for five months, and $90 and some odd cents for each of the seventeen families.
The cost of the houses is $3,360; for rent of the reception house we have to pay $100.
The rest of the $5,044 was spent in barbed wire, twelve cows, a team and wagon, ploughs, agricultural implements, seeds, furniture, hauling, etc.
$1544.87 divided by 5 months equals $308.97 per month. We then divide that by the $25.80 per person and it gives us about 12 people. There is something wrong with his math. He states here there are 17 families. If you allowed $25.80 per family per month for 5 months, you would be at $2193.
$90 times 17 families totals $1530. Add that to the $1544.87 and the total is 3074.87.
Regardless, I took the total expenditure of $8750, deducted $3360 for housing and $1544.87 for food, the $100 for rent of the reception house and the $1530 ($90 x 17 families) and was left with $2215.13 for the remainder expenses listed above.
Would be interesting to see if he kept an accounting ledger and how much was actually spent on what.
Although the colonists earn money daily, and are self-supporting, yet there are some reasons which induce me to recommend to your kind consideration the pressing of another appropriation of $500, as last and final contribution. These reasons are the following:
1. The families of Shamess, Prisrand and Vorsitzer, did not get cows nor houses, and as they are undoubtedly among our best men, who never grumbled, and who silently bore their misfortune, never complaining at the circumstance, that all the rest were generously furnished with house and cow, while they were left without them, because they did not belong to the colony from its start. I do strongly recommend that three cows and calves be bought for them at once, as they derived no benefit from our Society, except that of having being supplied for two months. For this purpose I request $150.00True, Shames, Prezant and Washer came in the second wave in July. It is interesting that some of the land declarations were not made until November - why didn't these families get land?
2. For the reception house, and as final payment on the houses when they will be finished $210.00If you paid $100 rent for the reception house for 5 months, I wonder what this payment really was for?
3. Salary of Mr. Tobias, who ably assisted me in my labors, and board from 2nd of November to the 18th of November. $44.00This report was written October 23. Was Schwarz still in Cotopaxi at it's writing? Is "November" wrong?
4. For flour to be distributed amongst Colonists $96.00
These figures show that I actually request for the Colonists only $96, the balance of the money being spent towards indispensable requirements. I only ask of you a contribution of $96 to our Colonists. They have brought respect to the Jewish name in the Rocky Mountains; they have gratified and pleased our Society by their success, they have more than realized our most sanguine expectations; the Committee will not withhold from them this trifle, which, under the circumstances, will make it easier for them to get along in the difficult road of human life.
I lay much stress upon the fact, that our Colonists, previous to my parting from them, earnestly requested me to let them know the amount that they may be indebted to the Society, as they desire to repay every cent spent on them in yearly installments.
The property of the Cotopaxi Colony consists of a strong wagon and two mules; two ploughs and box of tools, and some agricultural implements. I call these the property of the Cotopaxi Colony, as they belong to the Community, each farmer having an equal share in the enjoyment of them.As of October, 1882, this is all the common property of the colony.
The property of each individual farmer is; a house,but 4 houses had still not been built and only 12 total, so this is not true as there were 17 families.
a cow and a calf, the necessary agricultural implements, their land, the crop and their two arms that are ready to work, ready to take up the struggle with the vicissitudes of life.But we know that 3 families did not even have this as it is included in the request for additional funds.
9. General remarks and conclusions.
Where these are facts, no theories are needed. The argument of facts conquers all other arguments. The facts are, that the Colony in Cotopaxi is a success,Yet Schwarz had not stayed long enough to ensure the first harvest.
the facts are that those who advocated the idea that a Hebrew cannot make a farmer, have been refuted. They brought forward opinions, weapons of eloquence and of phrases, which we encounter with the weapons of facts. Facts speak. Sixty Russian refugees left New York as paupers five months ago.We have no evidence they were paupers. In fact, we have reports that 2 of the families brought funds with them.
Today they are self-supporting citizens. They had been colonized, thus they became self-supporting; that is the logic of facts.Again, Schwartz is young (about 21 or 22) and trying hard to impress his boss at HEAS with this report.
Do not spend lavishly your money for the purpose of distributing it to a desperate mob – that will ever remain a mob – even if you give each individual double the amount he gets now.Whereas Saltiel had just said in his letter to the American Hebrew to just give them $100 each and not colonize them. Evidence of a feud between these 2 men?
The system of money distribution mitigates the pains of the wounds, but does not heal the wound. Colonize them, give them land, settle them, give them a home and the mob will become a class of peaceful citizens; who love the spot to which their faiths has tied them. There is a great and sublime principle in colonization. The principle of the qualification of Judaism. There never was a better opportunity to show the never dying perseverance of the Jewish race, never a better chance to prove to the world that agriculture is not adverse to the Jewish feelings and inclinations, whereby can be utilized the secret power of the soil. Distribute money, spend thousands of dollars for supplying daily wants, and you will breed and raise paupers and beggars; colonize and you will make self supporting men.Perhaps the sole issue here is location. Had the colony been settled in Florence along the Arkansas River, it may well have been a huge success. When we look at the location of other colonies such as Sterling CO - no water, or Painted Woods in North Dakota where the winters are quite harsh.
Our colony in Rocky Mountains will always stand forth as a noble monument of Jewish charity, as the striking proof of the working capacities, of the perseverance, of the earnestness of our Russian co-religionists, and as the victorious declaration of the truth- that the Hebrew can be a farmer and is a farmer.History has proven that this was incorrect.
Those sixty Russian refugees have again and again proved the truth of the beautiful words of Cicero about agriculture: “Nihil uberius! nihil dulcius, nihil homine libero dignius agricultura!” There is nothing nobler, nothing sweeter, nothing more becoming to a free man, than agriculture.
As a final note, Schwarz spelled his surname with or without the "t" in Schwartz. This report was certainly premature, however, Schwarz was recalled to NYC to investigate colonies in other locations.
I have never found that this report was published in any publication and there is no known rebuttal from Saltiel. But there was a chain reaction - either from this or from the Tuska Report and we will look at that in the days to come.
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