The Samovar

Literate or illiterate or semiliterate and receiving money

Gary - 5/4/2008 at 14:00

This Money Transfer Form / Domestic Money Order for 1 ruble was sent in 1906. Please feel free to add information or provide corrections.

From: Drogichin II, Grodno gub. 12 August 1906, serial 2. Listed as being on the Polesskiya railways in 1915.
To: Antopol', Grodno gub., arriving 13 August 1906. Note the large and small postmarks for receipt and dispatch using different serial numbers.

Antopol' was approximately 16 miles from Drogichin.

Both are listed as small towns in 1915/1916. According to Robinson and Kiryushkin, Drogichin and Anatopol' changed status to a PO in 1891 and to a PTO in 1900. Both are in Belarus today.

When delivering the money, the addressee had to sign for it. One encounters many auxiliary marks used by the various office with the same basic information. If the person was not literate and could not write, we often note the phrase "negramotnii/aya" in manuscript, if the person could not sign for the item.

The cachet on this form presents a slightly different picture, i.e., a person could be literate (gramotnii), illiterate (ne-gramotnii), or only a semiliterate (malo-gramotnii). The cachet reads:

na _____ rub. _ kop.
vydan po/malo gramotnomu poluchatelyu ---
(manuscript) pod rospisku na povestke -----
Nachal'nik Pochtovo-

Since the part about literacy has been crossed out in total, I still do not see a signature from the addressee. What did the Russians use to evaluate the 3 levels of literacy back then?

Thanks for any help. Front of MTF below

drog-front.jpg - 93kB

back of form

Gary - 5/4/2008 at 14:01

drog-back.jpg - 71kB

Unhinged - 5/4/2008 at 16:16

I don't know anything about levels of literacy, but I do notice that the stamp in the lower right of the front has had part of it crossed out. Why would the "tel." part have been obliterated on this one stamp? It sure doesn't look like an accident.

Gary - 5/4/2008 at 17:15

The tel. otd. part of the postmark pocht. tel. otd. could have been over inked or there was a piece of debris that got in the way. See the cancellation on the indicium since it looks OK.

David Jay - 5/4/2008 at 23:41

Interesting -- what does the Roman numeral II at the top mean?
Does it match the serial two, or indicate a second office, or?

Gary - 5/5/2008 at 06:16

According to Robinson and Kiryushkin, Drogichin II was located in Grodno gub. in Kobrin uezd. Drogichin (no letter) was located in Grodno gub. in Belostok uezd, but did not become a PTO until 1916. In the postal guides/lists, Drogichin is listed from 1871, while with a "I" or a "II" only from 1911 (source Reverse Sort).

In the 1915 Postal Guide, Drogichin is located as a stop on the Polessliya railways line from Brest to Elets at a distance of 91 v. from Brest. Drogichin II is listed as a small town (mestechko) with a PTO located 7.25 v. from Drogichin.

The 1916 Postal List helps clear it up a bit.

Drogichin I: a provincial town that has lost its status as an administrative center. Located on the route Drogichin I to Semyatichi (P.T.K.).

Drogichin II: a small town close to a location with the same name station on the Brest-Bryansk line of the Polesskiya Railways.