V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1929 in the journal Proletarskaya Revolyutsiya No. 2-3. Sent from Krasnoyarsk to Moscow. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 37, pages 101-104.
Translated: The Late George H. Hanna
Transcription\Markup: D. Moros
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive.   You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work, as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

April 17, 1897

Yesterday, Mother dearest, I received three of your letters. Today I collected some detailed information about the villages we are being sent to (officially I have not yet been informed of this[8]). I am going to the village of Shushinskoye (I think I spelt it wrongly in previous letters— Shushinskoye). It is a big village with more than fifteen hundred inhabitants, where there are the volost council, the office of the Zemstvo assessor (he is the same as a superintendent of police in Russia, but has greater powers), a school, etc. The village stands on the right bank of the Yenisei, fifty-six versts to the south of Minusinsk. Since the volost authorities are quartered there the post will be fairly regular—I have heard there is a post twice a week. You go by steamer to Minusinsk (the steamers do not go further up the Yenisei) and by horse transport the rest of the way. Today the ice broke on the Yenisei, so in seven to ten days the steamers will probably begin and I expect to leave at the end of April or the beginning of May. You can and should write to my present address,[1] because I shall leave a request to forward my letters when I go. I cannot, however, tell you exactly when I shall be going. Gleb and Basil are going to the village of Tesinskoye, also the seat of a volost council, etc., thirty-seven versts to the north of Minusinsk on the River Tuba (a right tributary of the Yenisei). A telegram about them was sent to the Police   Department today asking for permission for them to travel at their own expense. I hope the permission will be granted at the mother’s request, she is ill all the time here, and then we shall go to Minusinsk together. I shall, therefore, spend the summer in “Siberian Italy”, as the people here call the south of Minusinsk District. I cannot yet say whether this name is deserved or not, but people say that the Krasnoyarsk region is not so good. The environs along the River Yenisei of even this town, incidentally, remind me of Zhiguli or of Swiss scenery; I have recently taken a number of walks (the days were quite warm here and the roads are already dry) and have enjoyed them very much. I should have enjoyed them more if it were not for thoughts of our Turukhansk people and our Minusinsk prisoners.[9]

I live very well here; I have comfortable lodgings, and am especially pleased with the full board. For my work I have obtained some books on statistics (I think I have already written about that[2] ) but I do not do much work; mostly I just roam about the place.

Thank Manyasha for her letter; I have given her so much work now that I am afraid she will get fed up with figures.[10] My books should be sent to Krasnoyarsk to be delivered to the bearer of the receipt (either by goods train or through a carrier’s office, whichever is better) and I will then ask acquaintances to send them on to Minusinsk, and there again I shall have to look for acquaintances—there is no other way.

Why is Mitya thinking of going where there is plague?[11] If he is so anxious to travel and practice medicine I am ready to suggest a place at some resettlement centre. In Eastern Siberia, for instance. I have heard, incidentally , that a resettlement centre is to be opened in “my” village of Shushenskoye, Minusinsk District, Yenisei Gubernia.... So he is welcome. We can go shooting together—if only Siberia can manage to make a sportsman out of me, and if he does not find work (and shooting) for himself in places not so far distant.... Ho, ho! If in three weeks and a bit I have become such a Siberian that I am inviting people from “Russia”, what shall I be like in three years? All   jokes aside, however, I really am surprised at his “plague” plans; I hope there will not be any plague, and that he will not have to go there.

V. U.


About books—how to send them, see above. What to send? If I get a fee of some 150 rubles[12] (perhaps in three doses, a teaspoonful every hour—every month, that is), then you can spend some on books. Then buy me the last three issues of Promysly Vladimirskoi gubernii (3 rubles 75 kopeks), Vliyaniye urozhayev, etc., by Chuprov and Posnikov (5 rubles), Ukazatel fabrik i zavodov za 1890 god , St. Petersburg, 1894 (5 rubles?). I will give you further titles later—depending on the size of the fee, which need not be sent all at once (to the Schwester, of course). Write and tell the writer[3] that I should be very glad if he would let me have part of my fee, and if he would agree to send me books instead of money—Russian and foreign, some for review and others for myself. He knows the subjects I am interested in and he could send the books to you. I should be glad to take all sorts of things for translation and could distribute them among the people in Minusinsk and Turukhansk[4] (not very urgent), taking the organisation of the work upon myself and guaranteeing its timely and correct fulfilment. That, however, is something special, but I should very much like to arrange for the fees to be paid in books—only if that will not be too much trouble for the writer[5] (add this, word for word).

I think I shall have to subscribe to journals and newspapers—there probably will not be anything in Shushenskoye. Depending on available finances, you may subscribe to   Russkiye Vedomosti, Russkoye Bogatstvo, Vestnik Finansov[13] (without any supplements), Archiv für soziale Gesetzgebung und Statistik.[14] That makes quite a lot, so they may be ordered only if there are big receipts. If money is short, Russkiye Vedomosti will, perhaps, be enough. You will see for yourself, especially when I write from Shushenskoye and inform you of my budget. (I believe you are angry with the écrivain; when you write to him in my name, do not show it. I bear no “rancune[6] because of the loss of my last “literature”.[7] It was not his fault at all.)

Send my best regards to the Bulochkins.[15] Why do you not write about them in greater detail? What sort of finale was there? Could there have been none at all? That would be excellent. If opportunity offers, give my regards to other acquaintances, the bookseller and others.

V. U.

I hope you will inform me beforehand when you intend to go to the West, so that I shall have time to write to you and give you many, many things to do for me.


[1] I now receive all your letters regularly. The first must have been lost at the station where there is not much order.—Lenin

[2] See Letters Nos. 19 and 20.—Ed.

[3] Here and further the “writer” (écrivain) referred to is P. B. Struve.—Ed.

[4] etc. Fedoseyev has been sent, I have been told, to the town of Kirensk in Irkutsk Gubernia.—Lenin

[5] I rely entirely on his choice, and this method of payment interests me because it is the only way for me to receive immediately important new publications; the timeliness of articles and reviews is very important in magazine work. If I must first find out here and then order by post, the delay will be five weeks, minimum (!!!).—Lenin

[6] Grudge, malice (Fr.).—Ed.

[7] It is not known what this refers to.—Ed.

[8] Lenin did not receive the official order to leave for the village of Shushenskoye in Minusinsk District until April 24, 1897; it was then that he received the certificate permitting him to travel to that place.

[9] Minusinsk prisoners—V.V. Starkov and G. M. Krzhizhanovsky who were exiled to Minusinsk District.

Turukhansk people—Y. O. Zederbaum and A. A. Vaneyev who were exiled to Turukhansk

[10] Lenin apparently gave a detailed list of extracts from various publications in a previous letter which has been lost; he needed them for work on his The Development of Capitalism in Russia.

[11] At that time Dmitry Ulyanov was an undergraduate of the Faculty of Medicine, Moscow University.

[12] The fee referred to was probably in payment of his article “A Characterisation of Economic Romanticism (Sismondi and Our Native Sismondists)”, the first part of which was published in the April 1897 issue (No. 7) of Novoye Slovo.

[13] Russkoye Bogatstv (Russian Wealth)—a monthly journal published in St. Petersburg from 1876 to 1918. From the early nineties it held Narodnik liberal views and in 1906 became an organ of the Popular Socialist Party.

Vestnik Finansov, Promyshlennosti i Torgovli (The Financial, Industrial and Commercial Herald)—a weekly published by the Ministry of Finance; it appeared in St. Petersburg from November 1883 to 1917.

[14] Archiv für soziale Gesetzgebung und Statistik (Social Legislation and Statistical Archives)—a monthly published from 1888 to 1933 in Berlin, Thüringen and Leipzig.

[15] The Bulochkins—this refers to Zinaida Pavlovna Nevzorova (whose nickname was “Bulochka”, Russian for “bread roll”) and her sisters Sofia and Avgusta; Zinaida and Sofia were arrested in 1896 in connection with the League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class. Apparently Lenin used the surname “Bulochkin” in the plural to include Nadezhda Krupskaya, who was arrested on August 12, 1896. “What sort of finale was there?” means “What sentence was passed on them?”

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