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Articles --> Mazowsze

Wojciech Marchlewski

Different neighbours. Everyday life of Hollander colonists in Powisle in the 19th century.

Hollander colonisation - definition
In the first phase of rural colonisation, settlers chose terrains with fertile soils, where geographical conditions allowed easy cultivation of land. With the lapse of time, easy to settle terrains shrunk, leaving only the Vistula flood zone, where geographical conditions required special farming techniques. Attempts to settle there people who had earlier inhabited other terrains usually failed. It was caused by their lack of skills necessary to survive in a different natural environment. The wastelands near Vistula were brought into cultivation only by colonists from similar terrains.

The origins of the Hollander colonisations are related to settlers from Holland. The history of the Hollander settlement in Poland is a history of emigration of the Mennonites from Friesland and Northern Netherlands. As a result of religious persecutions, the majority of Mennonites left Friesland and came do Gdansk. Around 1530, the first Hollander settlements were established in Zulawy. Hollander colonists spread rather quickly, occupying new swampy terrains along Vistula - in 1577, in the vicinity of Malbork, there were already twelve villages inhabited by those people. The largest number of settlers came from Friesland. The Hollanders, settling the Vistula's flood belt and delta, brought along their specific type of farming.

In a later period, this colonisation ceased to be associated with a concrete national or ethnic group and started to be identified with a given type of farming, characteristic for a specific environment. While writing about the Hollanders we should take into consideration that they lived among Poles. Their specific skills of farming on flood terrains gave them rights that other inhabitants of the Republic of Poland did not have. They were free tenants, had the freedom of movement, freedom of faith; they were exempted from the military service. During the Napoleonic wars, new authorities also tried to favour settlement of colonists on the flooded terrains. At this time, the religious and ethnic composition of the Hollanders changed. There were the more and more inhabitants of Palatinate and other states of the Reich among them. After the end of the Napoleonic wars, the Russian Empire confirmed the majority of rights the Hollanders had been granted.

The economic activity commenced by the Mennonites in the 16th century in Poland led to creation of a specific farming model, known as the Hollander settlement. This model should be considered as a social and economic system, composed of interrelated elements such as: legal status, social and territorial organisation, settlements network, construction, draining techniques, trade.

Natural environment
The Hollander colonisation is closely related to the Vistula valley and its flood zone. In geological terms, lands around Vistula are an ice-marginal valley, channelled by the continental glacier during the South-Polish glaciation. River flood terraces are one of the most characteristic elements of this geological formation. In the area of the middle Vistula we often find three flood terraces (highest, middle and lowest)1, created in the Holocene period. The lowest flood terrace is still being shaped. Higher terraces (alluvial terraces) were accumulated during previous glaciations. The lowest flood terrace is located at the level of the villages Kepa Karolinska, Troszyn, Juliszew, Wiaczemin, 60 m above the sea level, i.e. 2 m above the normal state of Vistula. Above it, there is a flood terrace situated 58-62 m above the sea level, i.e. 2 - 2,5 meters above the water table; the highest flood terrace appears on the opposite bank of Vistula, near the village of Wykowo. Above the highest terrace, on the bank where villages settled by the Hollanders: Wiaczemin, Juliszew and Troszyn are located, as well as on the other bank, near the village of Wygowo, we will find Kampinos terrace, raising 64 to 72 meters above the sea level, i.e. 4 to 10 meters above the Vistula level. Wymysle Nowe is also situated on a flood terrace. The edge of the terrace is 4 to 10 m high.

Vistula's waters flow is characterised by seasonal raised water stages combined with floods in the period from March to April. High spring waters usually flooded the lowest and middle terraces and sometimes reached as high as the highest terrace. Such flooding was considered a cataclysm; however, it happened rarely, each several dozen years, the most often at the end of June or in July. In case of such flood, the Hollanders were exempted from paying the rent to the landowner2.

Higher flood terraces were overgrown by forests typical for dry grounds, with durmasts, elm trees, maples and lime. The lowest flood terraces, situated 2 - 5 m above the Vistula water table (in its medium state), were covered with marshy forests, dominated by poplar. They were flooded several times a year and were used as meadows. The area of the medium and lower terrace was characterised by a very high level of ground waters, 2 m on average. In some places ground waters were only 20-30 cm below the surface. Before the arrival of the Hollanders, farming was concentrated on terrains located on uplands and terraces above the flood zone. The Hollanders were settled on the lowest and middle terraces, plagued by spring and summer water rises.

Social organisation
The size of acreages destined for farming - from 10 to 25 ha - and the number of raised animals compared with an average Hollander family allow to state that Hollander farms were completely self-sufficient. The research indicate that a family counted from 6-8 to 21 persons. Besides the family members, the farm usually employed 2 to 5 wage workers (maids and farmhands) and tenants.

Each of the described villages was inhabited not only by farmers, but also by craftsmen. In the years 1808-1829 in Troszynek, among c.a. 90 inhabitants there were eight craftsmen: an inn-keeper, a shoemaker, a wheelwright, two millers and three linen-drapers. In 1918, the village of Sady, located in the flood zone, was inhabited by linen-drapers, millers (boat mills), shoemakers, blacksmiths, fishermen, tailors and carpenters. Analysis of tools possessed by the Hollanders indicates that crafts were an additional occupation. Among the artisans there were people having Polish names. Hollander villages were also inhabited by the Jews, who specialized in trade and "kept" inns, thus fulfilling the propination obligation towards the community of the colonists - leaseholders. At the same time, in the village of Oledry Czerminskie (later renamed to Wymysle Nowe), there were two shoemakers, one miller, one horologer, one sawyer (owner of a sawmill), two blacksmiths, a potter, a carpenter, a cooper, four weavers, three linen-drapers. In the group of non-farmers the most numerous were linen-drapers and weavers. They probably delivered their products not only to the inhabitants of their home villages, but also to people settled outside the flood terrains.

If we look at the layout of villages situated near Vistula, we will se that they originate from the Hollander colonisation - they usually have the form of a dispersed network of homesteads located on small hillocks. In case of the Hollander colonisation it is a feature distinguishing this type of settlement from others. There is a close relationship between the shape and localisation of rural settlements, their economy and natural conditions. Fields were perpendicular to the river's midstream. There was a road, running across the fields, and houses were erected on artificial hillocks, perpendicular to it.

The size of a colonist farm in the middle of the 19th century in the village of Sady amounted on average to 23 morgas3 - c.a. 10 ha. 31 colonists leased land from Edmund Zabłocki. The largest farm had the surface of 60 morgas, the majority of farms had the size of 20-25 morgas, and there were three smallest ones, 6 to 15 morgas4. In Arciechów, colonist farms had an average size of 15 morgas. The land was divided into arable land, meadows and gardens, and orchards. Fields were bordered by plaited fences.

Farm works - grubbing
The colonists settled at the end of the 18th century occupied terrains located in the Vistula flood zone, covered by oak and pine forests. The parcels they obtained had to be grubbed. The contract granted them seven years to carry out this work. For this entire period, settlers were exempted from all taxes and labour for the benefit of the owner of the land they leased. It is probable that, having carried out grubbing of the parcels indicated in the contract, the colonists continued the works on other terrains, thus enlarging the area of the exploited land. Inventories5 indicate that almost every farm had numerous tools serving to dig up trees. Each household had axes, hatchets and saws. Snags were hauled away with chains, hooks and specially adapted grub hoes6. Roots and stumps of trees were probably distilled to obtain tar, used to lubricate axle trees. Branches and wood not suitable for processing were burned on stakes, thus producing potash7, used for bleaching linen. Wood suitable as construction material or for cooper works was transported to the farm. Logs were lifted with levers8 and loaded on wagons or sleighs. Another means of wood transport were semi-wagons: a pair of wheels with a thill, a doubletree9 and whippletrees.

Farm works - drainage
After grubbing, colonists carried out drainage works - ditches and canals draining off the excess of water from the cleared lands. Each spring, the farming terrains were flooded by the river. Quick drainage of the flooded fields required construction of a dense network of ditches and canals. In the vicinity of Wiaczemin and Kepa Karolinska we can still find traces of this draining system. In farms, we find tools they used: shovels and spades10. Each farmer had also a boat, used for transport during flood periods.

The specificity of farming lands caused the economy to be dependent on the natural environment conditions. The Hollanders grew only such plants the vegetation period of which fell between the spring and autumn flood or that were not affected by water raises, for example fruit trees and grass. To protect fields against sand transported by flood waters, their borders were secured by wicker fences, fortified by willows planted between them. They stopped the sand and let the humus through.

In the first half of the 19th century, Polish Kingdom authorities decided to construct an embankment separating fields from the river11. It was built on the highest of the low flood terraces. The Hollanders perceived it as a threat to their economy. In 1848, the Hollanders from Wymysle Nowe criticised the embankments: "We did not construct the embankment in Swiniary because the flooding does not harm our crops; it fertilizes our fields by accumulation of silt. Otherwise such meadow will not be flooded and will give no pasture; therefore the embankments are to our detriment, not advantage"12. Explanation to what extent did the embankment along the river influence the Hollander economy and colonisation requires additional research. After the embankments were constructed, part of farms located on Vistula holms and on the land between the river and the embankment grew mainly crops that would not survive winter, but also those that survived autumn and spring floods. On the lands located higher and separated from the river, the cultivation of orchards and even winter cereals was possible.

The Hollander economy was dominated by cow breeding, completed by cultivation of cereals, potatoes, flax and by fruit growing. They grew: millet13, oat14, wheat15, barley16, potatoes and other vegetables, including: pea17, cabbage18 and onion19. There are no data on other plants growing in the Hollander gardens. Potatoes were a garden crop, as confirmed by an inscription dating from 1836: "promises to prepare soil for potatoes, which has to be well farmed and planted with potatoes". The Hollander farms cultivated also flax20. It was favoured by the vicinity of river, providing sufficient amount of water for its treatment. In all the farms part of the farming land was destined for fruit growing. Orchards were dominated by plum and apple trees. The preserved documents lack detailed data on this subject.

For farm works, such as crop harvesting, the Hollanders used German iron scythes21, wooden and iron pitchforks, ironed dung fork. In garden works, hoes and grub hoes were used for potato digging and butting ploughs22 for potato hoeing. Fields were fertilised with cow dung. In farms located outside the embankment, not exposed to direct activity of the river, it was removed in winter and in lower terrains - in spring. As mentioned above, fields were fertilised naturally by silts, settling after the passage of flood waters, stopped by wicker fences23.

Animal breeding - beasts of draught
The Hollander farms specialised mainly in breeding and for draught they used horses. A farmer usually kept from 2 to 6 animals. Today it is difficult to determine their race. For heavy soils farming and transport the Hollanders probably used heavy Sztum horses24. It is interesting that the Hollanders did not breed oxen as beasts of draught, what was popular at that time in peasant farms and in manors.

Transport with beasts of draught
The use of wagons was widespread among the Hollanders. Their horse carriages were modern as for the 19th century. They were solid, had metal fixtures, iron axel trees and metal wheel rims. Axle trees were lubricated with pitch obtained in the process of dry distillation of pine stumps. This tar was stocked in tar-boxes25. Horses worked in pairs, what is indicated by the existence of doubletrees in the wagon equipment. Besides doubletrees, there were whippletrees, to which horses were strapped by a harness. The harness was composed of: "leather breast-harness four pieces, four traces, four bridles, two old hemp reins"26. The carts had also basket-works27 (wicker baskets composed of two parts), side planks or "ladders" allowing their quick unloading.

Cow breeding - dairying
The basic source of the Hollanders' income was cow breeding. Contracts and inventories indicate that the majority of farms had from 5 to 14 milch cows and, together with heifers and calves, the inventory counted up to 30 heads.

The Hollanders bred red cows28, and grey, the so-called bald or bialograniaste cows29. Cattle grazed on pastures located between Vistula and its holms, overgrown with grass, emerging from the river in the periods when the water was low. Sometimes cows were transported to those small islands, but more often the grass was cut and dried for hay, stocked as the winter forage for the cattle.

Such quantity of the breeding stock was related to the fact that the Hollander farms specialised in production of cheese and diary products for sale. Inventories contain tools and machines for production of the Dutch cheese: bowls, different kinds of sieves, presses and forms for shaping the final product.

In 1836, one Dutch cheese weighing 3,3 kg cost c.a. 1 zloty and 15 groszes30. Besides cheese, the Hollanders produced also butter. Till the beginning of the 20th century, centrifuges were unknown, therefore cream was collected with spoons and butter was churned. A typical churn was composed of two main elements, in shape of truncate cones. Inside of the device there was a round plank with holes, set on a long club, running through the head (a round piece of wood with a hole). Richer farms had wooden churns with cranks. The machine was composed of a wooden box containing wheel with spatulas, driven by a crank.

Animal breeding - other animals
Cow breeding was completed by swine, chicken and goose husbandry. Pigs were bred for the farm's own needs. Usually it was one sow, one hog and several barrows - between 5 and 12. Some farms raised pedigree "comely" swine and wild swine, the so-called "field plain" ones31. The "comely" swine were bred in pigsties and the plain - grazed in the forest. They fed on acorns and sprouts. In 1818, a pig cost c.a. 12 zlotys and a piglet - 6 zlotys. Also chickens were raised for the farm's own needs. A farm had between 5 and 11 chickens and 3 to 6 geese. In 1818, a chicken cost 1 zloty and a goose 2 zlotys32. It is interesting that the Hollander farms kept neither sheep nor goats.

House - livestock part
The part of the house destined for animals was composed of two rooms, between which the entrance to the cowshed was located. One served to store forage and tools, and the other - as the accommodation for servants. Those rooms were not heated. The cowshed had the floor paved with field stones. Through the middle ran a ditch collecting manure and carrying it away, outside the building. The entrances to the building were situated in the longer wall and inside the cowshed. The system of doors and passages inside allowed carrying out all the works without the necessity of going outside. During the most serious floods, when water entered the house, the colonists assembled stairs of wooden logs and led animals to the attic. Some buildings preserved holes in external walls, serving to put the stairs logs in. Internal walls of Hollander houses that have survived till contemporary times are usually not plastered. The walls of habitable rooms were painted with oil or sized paint and the farm rooms with lime.

The livestock part of the building had chambers and rooms for servants. They were not equipped with any heating system. The entrance to them was located in the hallway. The chamber had a small window cut in the wall, sometimes barred. The room for servants had single-leaved window letting the daylight through. The chamber and the pantry had floors made of boards, as in habitable part. In the pantry, there were hollowed out logs for sauerkraut, firkins33 with butter, pottery with pickled meat, smoked meat collops, Dutch cheese34. Here the cheese was produced. There was also a cabinet with firkins full of milk35.

The hallway separated habitable chambers from the livestock part and constituted a sort of protection zone. The floor, as opposed to other rooms, was made of brick or pavestones. It was spacious, 2 to 4 meters wide. Doors leading to the hallway were divided horizontally and with the upper part open the daylight entered the hallway. It also allowed to let out the steam while cooking or bleaching linen. The hallway housed also the main part of the kitchen connected to the chimney. In some houses this room resembled black kitchen, which was made using part of the chimney. The majority of works related with cheese, linen or preserves making were carried out in the kitchen. The inhabitants of the house bathed here in wooden wash-tubs36.

House - habitable part - central point: chimney
The fire system constituted an important element of construction. Its location and size decided of the layout and function of the rooms. The chimney played many functions, as it was composed of two kitchens, a heater, a bread stove, and a smokehouse. The smoke was carried away by the chimney flues. The entire heating and fire system was made of clay and "raw" bricks (clay mixed with chaff, dried in the sun). Such heating system was used practically in the entire Powisle belt.

Hollander houses had two kitchen rooms: black and white kitchen. Black kitchen was a part of the chimney. It was a room with dimensions of 2,5 m and 3 m. There was a clay pugging 80 cm high with a hood above it. This room contained the opening of the bread stove and sometimes doors leading to the smokehouse. The black kitchen had a semi-circular vault. Walls of the smokehouse were covered with clay plaster and painted with lime. The colonists cooked on the pugging, setting fire directly under the pots. The fire was lit with a flint.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the Hollanders cooked mainly in copper pots37 and they rarely used clay pots. Afterwards, at the beginning of the 19th century, cast-iron and stoneware pots appeared38. When preparing meals, pots were placed on a tripod called trybinka39 or drybinka, with an iron ring in the upper part. After the meal was cooked, pots were removed from the trybinka with a device resembling a pitchfork40, a long shaft with semi-circular holder. It was inserted below the upper rim of the pot. The colonists used also cauldrons, stew-pans and other smaller pots. Kitchens were well-equipped, with knives and choppers for meat and vegetables.

Everyday meals of the Hollanders were composed of diary products: cheese, milk and butter manufactured in the farm, pickled and smoked swine and goose meat, vegetables, potatoes, peas and onion. They also ate cereals, such as millet and barley porridge, cabbage and sauerkraut. It was shred with a "plane"41 and stocked throughout the winter in wooden hollowed out logs or barrels. The Hollanders did not restrain from drinking vodka and beer. Beer was made of barley and stocked in barrels42. They also used spice, what is indicated by the existence of a grater for pepper43.

Kitchens were much better equipped than the peasant ones and resembled manor house kitchens. Geese, chicken and swine were cooked in baking tins44 in the bread stove. In the middle of the 19th century, a Hollander kitchen had tin ovens and ovens for roasting45. The remainders of wood that stayed on the pugging were pushed to the stove with a kosior46. Afterwards, those coals constituted additional fuel for kindling fire in the bread stove. In the black kitchen the colonists stored also tools necessary for baking bread - kneading-troughs with sourdough, wooden trough, pans for kneading cake, shovels to put loafs into the stove.

White kitchen served for preparation and eating of meals. This room was equipped with benches, table, chairs with straw seats, stools, foldable beds, cabinets with utensils47, cupboards, counter48. At the beginning of the 19th century, the cabinet with kitchen utensils, otherwise called cupboard, besides the clay tableware49 contained a special shelf with dents for placing wooden and metal spoons50. In this period, the tableware was simpler, less sumptuous. In the second half of the 19th century it changed; clay vanished, replaced by porcelain and porcelanite.

In the white kitchen there was probably a clock51. We know that in 1818 in Troszyn lived a horloger, specialising in repairing clocks52. It is difficult to say if he also produced them. In Zulawy a horloger named Kroemer had his workshop53. In 1803, Jan Kroemer, together with other Mennonites, moved to Ukraine.

Guest-room and its furnishings
In a Hollander house, the presentable guest-room was located behind the wall separating it from the kitchen. The walls were decorated with scenic pictures of flower motives. In the majority of buildings, internal walls were not plastered. In the middle of the 19th century, they were painted grey, green or brown with oil paint. This room contained the best furniture - wardrobes, dressers, table, chairs with straw seats and decorative chests for clothes.

It is difficult to determine the origins of the Hollander furniture. They were partly produced in local carpenters workshops, belonging to the colonists themselves54, partly bought from local carpenters55, in handicraft centres such as Sanniki, famous for the production of dowry chests, and partly brought by new colonists from the territory of Eastern Prussia.

The collection of the museum in Plock contains a fragment of the guest-room furniture, composed of a table, a chest for clothes and a small case for precious items. They resemble the furniture exhibited in the National Museum in Gdansk56. The chest is made of pinewood, has the shape of a cuboid with a flat cover. It is painted red-brown and refers to inlay decorations. On the front there are realistic, symmetrically painted bouquets of flowers. The composition of flowers is framed. Table is also made of pinewood. The table-top has profiled edges and lies on rounded legs. It is painted dark red, has veined design and refers to inlay decorations.

In the guest-room, there was a glazed cupboard. It differed from the one in the kitchen - its upper part was glazed and lower part had doors. The cupboard contained porcelain coffee set of cups and saucers57 as well as tea set and a sugar bowl. The sugar was put in the cups with silver spoons. The cupboard exhibited also decorative tableware - tureens, plates58, platters. This was completed by cutlery59. The cupboard served also to store a carafe with vodka, green and transparent vodka glasses60 and glasses for wine. In the middle of the 19th century, the Hollander household effects become sophisticated and varied. In the guest-room a "bed in form of a sofa" appears, as well as a dresser and a wardrobe. The walls were decorated with paintings in ordinary or profiled frames. In the house of Piotr Wedel, a Mennonite, there were c.a. 16 paintings61.

The luxury products were brought to the lands inhabited by the Hollanders by transport companies floating the merchandise down the Vistula. At the beginning of the 19th century, passenger boats shuttled between Warsaw and Gdansk and barge transport developed.

Beds in bedrooms were probably similar to those used by inhabitants of the nearby villages or were brought from Torun or Gdansk by river. Close commercial contacts with Warsaw also favoured purchases of decorative furniture in the capital. It is probable that the furniture from the Hollander houses was similar to the one exhibited in the Gdansk Museum and the Mazovian Museum in Plock. We can therefore imagine that richer farmers bought inlaid furniture. Double beds with high headboards and footboards were preserved. The boards were set in rounded pillars topped with rounded decorations and had profiled semi-circular planks. They were veneered with inlaid ash wood. In less wealthy houses beds were similar but were painted on a chalk base. In the seventies of the 19th century, beds in Hollander houses had headboards decorated with scenic pictures or landscapes. Their form referred to the provincial German painting from Eastern Prussia dating from the end of the 19th century.

The colonists slept in nightdresses and nightcaps, under duvets and counterpanes62, on straw pallets covered with feather pads and colourful sheets63. Pillows, duvets and counterpanes were protected with colourful linen cases. At the end of the 19th century, more wealthy farmers probably used cotton cases. Bed clothes, like shirts, were mangled. The estimated value of this equipment in inventories set at 12 and 2464 zlotys indicate that it was a more advanced device than the peasant one, composed of a roller and a mangle65. In bedroom there were also wardrobes, chests and coffers, used to store bed clothes and garments.

House tasks - fruit drying and preserves making
Fruits from orchards were dried or used to make preserves. Fruits were dried outside or in bread stoves in special pots. Dried fruits were stored in barrels and sold on local market or in Warsaw. On the basis of the preserved inventories it is difficult to state which fruits were dried - probably apples, pears, and plums.

House tasks - flax treatment
One of the most popular non-agricultural tasks of the Hollanders was production of linen. Almost all the houses possessed looms66. The material was manufactured with traditional methods, similar to those used by the Polish peasants living in nearby villages. Let's follow the process of linen production on the basis of the preserved inventories. After the harvest, flax was soaked, weighed down with stones, and then swingled in brakes. During swingling of flax straw, fibres were separated from harls and then hackled in flax-combs. The yarn was weaved on spinning-wheels thus obtaining threads. To straighten it, threads were reeled on spools67. The linen thread was put on a warp in the loom68 and then the linen was weaved. Depending on the thickness of the warp and weft, the linen was thicker or more delicate. The next step was bleaching of the linen in vats, tubs and pans. The colonists used potash, obtained from the combusted wood. During bleaching, linen changed colour, becoming whiter and more delicate. Then the textile was hanged on cords. The number of spinning wheels in some of the farms indicate that they specialised in linen production.

House tasks - wood treatment
Each Hollander farm was equipped in tools that could constitute part of a wheelwright, cooper or carpenter workshop. Some Hollanders specialised in the professions of wheelwright69 or cooper. They were adept in wood treatment and they manufactured parts of the house equipment - simple furniture, such as chests, stools, barrels etc. - for their own needs. They used drills, axes, planes, profiled planes, grooving planes, saws. The wood was processed on specially adapted tables70. In Hollander farms there was a demand for knowledge of coopering71. In each one there were from 10 to 50 barrels, used for storing cereals, cabbage, salt and other produce72. Carpenter's skills were also needed to create simple kitchenware and wooden items, such as pans, buckets etc. The equipment in some of the farms indicate that the Hollanders were also skilled in house construction.

In the first half of the 19th century, the Hollanders followed European bourgeois rather than peasant fashion. Women wore linen shirt decorated with lace hems on sleeves, put on linen or cotton undershirt. Some women, including Mennonites, despite the declared poverty had twenty shirts and twenty undershirts73. For holidays they wore laced-up corsets74, muslin gowns, crinolines, silk and cotton kerchiefs, tied under the chin, hoop skirts75. They wore also decorative, wide, linen, tulle, chintz or silk aprons. On ordinary days, they wore simple linen dresses, composed of single-coloured, dark bodice sewn to the skirt76. On skirts they wore linen aprons tied at the waist. In the winter period they wore also dresses made of wool or partly of wool; when going outside, they put a special sheepskin77.

The women wore cotton stockings. They covered their arms with colourful chintz wraps, and around their necks they tied chintz or silk neckerchiefs. A silk cap in conical form, tied under the chin with scarves, was a festive headgear. The women wore also shoes but it is difficult to recreate their shape. All clothes were stored in chests and wardrobes. Men wore linen shirts with flat collars, under which colourful silk or cotton neck-cloths were wrapped. On the shirts they wore black or indigo waistcoats78 made of linen, wool or chintz79, with silver buttons or, as in the case of the Mennonites, with bone or wooden buttons. They wore also dark-coloured trousers with legs inserted in knee-boots. For work, they wore blue house-made linen trousers and on special occasions - blue woollen, leather or linen ones. Trousers were tied with a leather belt or braces80. The outer garments were composed of a doublet, a spencer81 of a blue woollen cloth or a frock-coat82; in the autumn it was a coat83 with a flat collar, and a sheepskin in the winter. In the summer, the colonists wore felt hats, peaked caps and in the winter - fur caps. Unfortunately, inventories lack inscriptions allowing recreation of this headgear appearance. Masculine attire remained unchanged for a long time, what is indicated by the photographs of the Mennonites dating from the end of the 19th century84.

Personal hygiene
In the middle of the 19th century, the Hollanders used towels and handkerchiefs. Spittoons were very popular85. Inventories list also razors and sharpening stones86. The Hollander houses were also equipped in wash-tubs and tubs for soaking feet87. They also possessed scissors and mirrors88.

Religious life
In the 19th century the Hollanders did not form a homogenous group in terms of religion. Evangelists dominated and among them lived the Mennonites, the Baptists and the Polish Catholics. The Hollanders of Evangelical confession went to the Evangelical-Augsburg churches in Gabin, Wiaczemin or Slubice. They paid tribute to those parishes, what was set forth in their lease contract. In the 19th century, the Mennonites in Powisle constituted less than 5% of the population. In Hollander houses there was a significant amount of religious books89. In one house there were two bibles, one unidentified book and 8 books with prayers90. It proves that the Hollanders were very religious and that they were able to read.

Having settled in a given place, the Hollanders immediately founded their own school. The existence of schools is confirmed by the fact that the villages on the Vistula were inhabited by teachers91. In that period, village schools taught to read and write, what was the basis for teaching of the main subject - religion; singing was necessary in the religious life and counting was required in everyday life. Schools were at the same time houses of prayers and at the beginning they were often located in one of the habitable buildings. It probably explains why the Mennonite congregation in Kazun Nowy constructed its own house of prayers only in 182392.

The school in Wymysle Nowe was established probably immediately after the settlement was founded and at the beginning it was a religious establishment. Afterwards, it was overtaken by education authorities and in 1842 obtained the status of elementary school93. Due to that, the curriculum was more developed than in a religious school and religion was one of the subjects. Education authorities tried to appoint Evangelists as teachers in villages inhabited by the Protestants, but in the majority of cases, including this in Wymysle, teachers were Lutherans. At the same time, they had the function of chanter, i.e. presided at masses and funerals94.

Due to the necessity for Hollander villages to be self-sufficient, fathers sent their sons to learn different professions. Craftsmen living in Hollander villages taught them the professions of wheelwright, shoemaker95 and blacksmith.

Money borrowing
The Hollanders lend money between themselves. For example, Korneliusz Funk had a debt of 1225 zlotys, where the value of the land amounted to 2300zl. He had 2000zl in cash, and he kept it in his house96. It indicates that there was a system of financial support among the Hollanders. On the basis of the documents it is difficult to state whether they lend money on interest or not. Some of them, as Jan Ratz, borrowed money from the Jews, for example Dawid Lusek from Wyszogrod97. The Hollanders, similarly to inhabitants of other European countries in the first half of the 19th century, deposited their savings in the Netherlands ducats98.

In the middle of the 19th century, the Hollander colonists created a closed economic, social and religious system. They were economically independent as they disposed of financial surplus allowing support for other, poorer farmers. They were free before the law and were able to move freely. Due to the obtained privileges they enjoyed religious freedom. Settled on flooded terrains, the Hollanders brought to the territory of Powisle their special products, for example the Dutch cheese. At the beginning of the 19th century, they also specialised in weaving and manufacturing linen.

1 Aurelia Makowska, Sylwester Skompski. Obja¶nienie do szczegółowej mapy geologicznej Polski. Arkusz Słubice. Warszawa 1967. s 9
2 AGAD. Ziemskie Gostynińsko _ G±bińskie 1788 - 1792.k.479, porównaj AGAD. Ziemskie Gostynińsko- G±bińskie 1788 - 1792 k, 443
3 Włóka "nowopolska " od roku 1819 równała się 30 morgom czyli 16,7961 ha
4 AGAD CWW.syg 1294
5 The study is based on post-mortem inventories of the inhabitants of Hollander villages between 1818 and 1864, made by notaries from Gostynin or Gabin on demand of the family of the deceased.
6 APP.NGG. of 1856 ref.92
7 Potash - a polluted form of potassium carbonate K2CO3; part of ash, soluble in water, originating from charcoal combustion, containing also varied amounts of other potassium compounds.
8 Archiwum Państwowe w Płocku. Notariusze gostynińsko - g±bińscy - syg aktu 118/1835 - strony nienumerowane
9 Archiwum Państwowe w Płocku. Notariusze gostynińsko - g±bińscy - syg aktu 118/1835 - strony nienumerowane - Doubletree is a front part of the wagon or semi-wagon, to which a thill and whippletrees are attached, the latter serving to fasten the harness. - Słownik języka Polskiego Karłowicz tom VI s.669.
10 Spades were different, made of iron or of wood with iron elements, in: Jan Karłowicz Warszawa 1906, t.VI s.804, Different spades for digging, iron, Hollander ones and wooden ironed ones, w: S.B.Linde. Słownik języka polskiego Warszawa 1812, Tom IV, s.167
11 AGAD. KRSW 6849.s.210
12 AGAD. KRSW 6849.s.210
13 APP NGG z roku 1856; syg. 92
14 APP NGG z roku 1936; syg. 73,
15 APP NGG z roku 1936; syg. 73
16 APP NGG z roku 1936; syg. 73,
17 APP NGG z roku 1856; syg. 92
18 APP NGG z roku 1856; syg. 92,
19 APP NGG z roku 1856; syg. 92
20 APP. APP NGG z roku 1853; syg.. 117
21 APP. APP NGG z roku 1853; syg.. 117. Besides three German scythes, tools for hammering are listed also in: APP. APP NGG z roku 1836; syg..73 kosy trawne.
22 Butting plough - wooden plough with iron elements.
23 Kazimierz Moszyński. Kultura Ludowa Słowian. Warszawa Tom I. s. 576
24 APP NGG z roku 1935; syg. 118, strony nienumerowane A race of cold-blooded horses popular in Warmia and on the right bank of Powisle Gdanskie. Horses of this race were sought-after by farmers cultivating difficult soils. By contacts of the Hollanders with families from the Sartawicko-Nowska Lowland and Malborska Land, this race reached also the territory of Powisle.
25 APP. NGG z 1856 syg. 92; APP. NGG 1836 syg.73
26 APP. NGG z roku 1836 syg. 73
27 APP. NGG z roku 1836 syg. 73 strony nienumerowane. Basket-work - a basket for the peasant cart, made of wicker. w: B.S Linde Słownik języka polskiego. Warszawa 1813 Tom IV.s.239
28 APP. NGG rok 1820 syg 1886 oraz z NGG rok 1858 syg. 92 Polish red cattle originated from small, wild shorthorn cattle, living in the eastern part of the Middle Europe and Scandinavia. Diffusion of the red cattle, of different shades of this colour, to the territory of Poland may be attributed to migrations that took place at the beginning of the 16th century. In the years 1906-1913, an average productivity of Polish red cows was between 1888-3349 kg of milk.
29 APP NGG z roku 1820 syg 1886; APP NGG z roku 1836 syg 73 This cattle was called zuławskie, bialogrzbiety sometimes nadwi¶lańskie, powislanskie, nadswirzanskie, nadburzanskie. It had characteristic colour, i.e. usually it was dappled, the most often white and black, red-pied, less often ashen-pied. W Encyklopedii Rolniczej wydanej w 1872 r. w Warszawie Tadeusza Chłapowski w artykule pt. "Bydło" pisze: "na Powi¶lu między granic± prusk± a Warszaw± spotyka się rasę bydła do żuławskiej trochę podobn±, mleczn± i pięknej postawy.
30 APP NGG z roku 1836 syg. 73
31 APP. NGG z roku 1835 syg. 118
32 APP. NGG. z roku 1818 syg 954
33 Linde s.762 firkin: a wooden utensil, differing from the barrel by having only one bottom fastened.
34 APP Notariusze Gostyńsko G±bińscy 1858/ 92 Kancelaria Notariusz a Piotra Lewandowskiego Spis inwentarza nieruchomego i ruchomego po Piotrze Wedel mieszkańcu wsi Wymy¶le Niemieckie
35 APP NGG z roku 1855 syg.121 "szafka do stawiania naczyń mlecznych";
36 APP NGG z roku 1818 syg.954
37 APP NGG z roku 1858 syg. 72 APP NGG z roku 1820 syg 1886
38 APP NGG z roku 1820 syg 1886
39 APP NGG z roku 1820 syg.1886
40 Kazimierz Moszyński Kultura Ludowa Słowian tom 1Warszawa 1967 s. 262
41 APP.NGG z roku 1836 syg.73
42 APP.NGG.z roku 1858 syg 92
43 APP. NGG z roku 1955 syg. 121 "solnicza, kieliszków trzy i traka do pieprzu"
44 APP.NGG.z roku 1820 syg 1886
45 APP.NGG z roku 1856 s.92
46 Przyrz±d do wygarniania węgli z pieca chlebowego.
47 APP.NGG.z roku 1818 syg 954
49 APP.NGG.z roku 1818 syg 954 APP. NGG. z roku 1820 syg.1886
50 APP.NGG z roku 1835 syg 118
51 APP.NGG z roku 1820 syg 1886
52 APP. Księgi stanu cywilnego.Parafia Czermno.1817 k.14
53 Paweł Pietkiewicz. Zegary Krogerów. Próba rozpoznania w: Mennonici na Żuławach. Ocalone dziedzictwo. Gdańsk 2008. s116 - 118
54 APP. Księgi Stanu Cywilnego Parafii Czermno z roku 1819
55 APP. Księgi Stanu Cywilnego Parafii Czermno z roku 1819
56 Mennonici na Żuławach. Gdańsk 2008
57 APP.NGG of 1856 ref. 92. The coffee was brewed in specially adapted stoves. The coffee grains were bought probably from local traders. In 1818, Swiniary was inhabited by Marcin Ratz described in documents as the Coffee Master: APP Księgi Stanu Cywilnego Parafii Czermno z roku 1819.
58 APP NGG - 1858 92 the tableware included 54 plates,
59 Łyżki znajdowało się ich 24 blaszanych
60 APP .NGG z roku 1820 , syg. 1886
61 APP.NGG z roku 1856 syg.92 The property left by Piotr Wedel was estimated at 6660 silver roubles and 85 copecks.
62 APP. NGG z roku 1820 syg. 1886
63 APP NGG z roku 1820 syg 1886
64 APP. NGG z roku 1818 syg. 954
65 Kazmierz Moszyński. Kultura Ludowa Słowian. Warszawa 1967s. 621
66 APP.NGG z roku 1820 syg.1886
67 APP NGG z roku 1836 syg.72
68 APP NGG z roku 1820 syg.1886
69 APP Księgi stanu cywilnego parafii Czermno i Słubice za lata 1808 - 1818. porównaj APP NGG z roku 1855 syg 121 " Krystian Jant took after his father a cow and a piglet (...) for learning the wheelwright profession paid by the father in the amount of 13 silver roubles and 50 copecks.
70 APP.NGG z roku 1835 syg, 118
71 APP Księga stanu cywilnego
72 APP Notariusze G±bińsko gostynińscy 1835 syg 75 strony nienumerowane- Inventory of the hotchpotch after Korneliusz Funk, living in Sady - 15 barrels for cereals and pickling cabbage
73 APP NGG z roku 1820 1886
74 Corset was abandoned in the period around the Revolution, i.e. at the turn of the 18th and 19th century. However, they returned around 1820. The 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century - the most complicated form. Corsets had mid-hip length; therefore they additionally flattened the stomach. They were stiffened and laced-up.
75 In the years 1810-1820 for the first time gussets were used in dresses and the skirts became much wider in the following decade. Still numerous underskirts were used to support the dress construction. First "crinolines" were in fact additionally stiffened underskirts, sometimes gathered into folds to achieve the desired width. Materials used to make dresses were heavy but not sufficiently stiff to support their own weight, which used to weight down underskirts and alter the appearance of a lady.
76 APP.NGG of 1821 ref.1989. One blue woollen skirt 1 zl 40 grosz (...), second ordinary blue woollen skirt 1 zl 30 groszes (...), one blue flannel skirt 1 zl 15 groszes (...), second black flannel skirt 1 zl 12 groszes (...), one white flannel dress 1 zl 10 groszes (...), one black woollen skirt with bodice 1 zl 6 groszes (...), two blue woollen skirts 2 zl 14 groszes (...), one blue linen skirt 1 zl 10 groszes (...), two blue doublets of good wool 2 zl 12 groszes (...) one blue flannel doublet 1 zl 3 groszes (...), one new woollen corset 1 zl 5 groszes. One blue muslin corset 1 zl 2 groszes (...)
77 APP.NGG. z roku 1820 syg.1820
78 APP. NGG z roku syg.. 117
79 Chintz - a thin, cotton material, glossy on one side, usually starched, used to make light garments and undergarments.
80 APP. NGG.z roku1853, syg 117
81 Spencer, Pencer - a jacket, doublet, frock-coat. Jan Karłowicz. Słownik języka polskiego. Warszawa 1908. s.304
82 APP NGG z roku 1836 syg. 73. Frock-coat - a longer, double-breasted jacket. Visiting garment popular in the 19th century.
83 APP. NGG z roku 1853, syg 117
84 X . W Władysław Łega. Ziemia Malborska Toruń 1933. s. 23 -24
85 APP.NGG z roku 1856 syg. 93
86 APP.NGG z roku 1856 syg. 93
87 APP.NGG.z roku 1820 syg 1886
88 APP.NGG z roku 1856 syg. 93, APP. NGG z roku 1858 syg.92
89 APP.NGG z roku 1821 syg 1986; APP.NGG z roku 1818 syg,
90 APP.NGG.z roku 1820 syg.1886
91 APP.Ksiegi Stanu Cywilnego Parafii Czermno, Słubice Iłow za lata 1808 - 1818
92 Paweł Fijałkowski s.26
93 Paweł Fijałkowski s.27
94 Paweł Fijałkowski s.28
95 APP.NGG of 1855 ref.121 (...) for teaching of the shoemaker's profession, the father paid for the son (Jan Ratzl) 5 silver roubels and 40 copecks (...) for teaching the wheelwright's profession the father paid 13 silver roubles 50 copecks.
96 APP.NGG of 1858 ref.92. The property of Piotr Wedel was estimated at 6660 silver roubles. The deceased deposited his savings in the Netherlands ducats. It was not much, one ducat had the value of 5,20 silver roubles.
97 APP.NGG.z roku 1821 syg. 1989
98 Dutch (Netherlands) ducats were so widespread in Europe that even the Polish uprising government in 1831 minted such ducats to pay for weapon deliveries from other countries. They differ from the "original" ducats by having a small eagle in the legend (and by dating from 1831)

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