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Law #643 from the Levanda Index

Czar: Nicholas I
Year: 1851

Editor's Note: This decree illustrates that the Jewish Pale of Settlement was not always a single entity of 25 gubernias, as we usually think of it, but (at least before the 1860s) more like two sub-Pales: the 10-gubernia Kingdom of Poland, and the 15-gubernia Pale of Settlement. This decree is directed at the Jews who lived in the Kingdom of Poland, i.e. the 10 western gubernias. 'Passports' refer to internal Russian passports, needed for travel within the Russian Empire. They do not refer to external passports needed to travel abroad. References to places where Jews had the right of permanent settlement refer to all 25 gubernias in either the Kingdom of Poland or the Pale of Settlement. The 'Russian Jews' were those who lived in the 15-gubernia Pale, while the 'interior gubernias' were those gubernias outside both the Kingdom of Poland and the Pale of Settlement. For a time, Jews were prohibited from living within 50 versts of the Western border of the Russian Empire in the Kingdom of Poland, because they were assumed to be smugglers, and also because the Czar feared they might assist foreign armies.

643. -- February 27. Imperial Ratification of Regulations on Providing Documents to Residents of the Kingdom of Poland, leaving for the Empire. promulgated May 11

Article 1. .......
Article 4. Special rules concerning the issuing of passports to Jews are set forth below.
Article 21. Passports of Kingdom of Poland Jews, leaving for the Empire, are issued on special bases in accord with:
a) When Jews leave for places where they are permitted permanent residency.
b) When they leave for permanent residency beyond the indicated Pale.
Article 22. Jews can be issued passports, on an equal footing with other residents of the Kingdom, by the Gubernia Administrations and by the Warsaw Chief of Police, with an indication in the passports that their holders are, in effect, Jews:
a) to gubernias: Kovno, Vilna, Grodno, Volhynia, Podolia, Minsk, Ekaterinoslav, Chernigov, Podolsk and Bessarabia Oblast, but excluding those places found within 50 versts of the Prussian and Austrian borders, where Jews can obtain passports only under conditions stipulated in Article 24 below.
b) to Kiev gubernia, except the city of Kiev.
c) to Kherson gubernia, except the city of Nikolaev.
d) to Taurida gubernia, except the city of Sevastopol.
Article 23. The Jews of the Kingdom of Poland, leaving for other gubernias in the Empire, in which permanent residence of their coreligionists is not permitted, can obtain from their Gubernia Administrations, also in Warsaw from the Chief of Police, special passports for each journey, exluding passage to St. Petersburg and Moscow gubernias; and to both capitals, St. Petersburg and Moscow, they must obtain passports from the Warsaw Military Governor-General in accord with the established limitation in drafts of Article 3 for other persons leaving from the Kingdom of Poland, for the aforesaid gubernias and capitals. Passports indicated in this Article will be issued for a term not longer than two months and strictly for the following reasons:
a) for the sake of receiving inheritances.
b) for the sake of pursuing legal claims solely in judicial and government offices.
c) for the sake of trade affairs, and commercial contracts, deliveries and tax collection concessions, which occur in places designated for permanent settlement of Jews, so that if the above take place in interior gubernias of the Empire, the administration and supervision of such contracts, are not referred to their coreligionists. Merchants, however, who are leaving for the interior of the Empire in order to purchase merchandise, and are unable, because of illness or for any other reason to go, can send their assistants, with an affadavit from themselves and with a special passport for the term indicated previously. Jewish merchants can take two assistants along by including them in their passports.
Note. Two-month passports for Jews of the Kingdom of Poland for their passage into those Russian gubernias where their coreligionists are not allowed permanent settlement, will be issued for trade affairs and for commercial contracts, deliveries, and tax collection concessions, but only to those merchants that are herein determined for Russian Jews. Jewish merchants of the Kingdom of Poland and their agents can receive passports to places designated above for the purpose of purchasing goods only once per year.
Article 24. For departure into the 50-verst zone from the borders of Prussia and Austria, of the Western gubernias, passports for Jews must be issued by the Gubernia Administrations, and in Warsaw, by the Chief of Police. At the time of issuance of these passports, it must be strictly observed that each Jew requesting a passport shall confirm in advance that he was not involved in contraband affairs, and also must prove by written documents the absolute necessity to travel to those places located in the 50-verst border area. In any case, the same Jew shall receive such a passport no more frequently than twice in the course of one year.
Article 25. Jewish merchants of the Kingdom of Poland can receive passports issued by the Gubernia Administrations and the Warsaw Chief of Police to attend trade fairs at: Nizhegorod, Irbit, Koren, Khar'kov, and Sumy, for purchasing goods, and for wholesale sales, with limitation on their presence there to the time of the fair itself.
Article 26. Jews who are draymen may obtain on a general basis, passports for departure to those gubernias where Jews are allow permanent settlement, as well as to adjacent ones. They are also permitted to depart for interior gubernias with the condition that they are permitted to do so as for Russian Jews, while carrying loads, and in order to deliver their loads and receive new ones, but remaining there for a time not longer than two weeks, and without their families. Under no circumstance are they to receive passports in order to transport loads or passengers into the Moscow and St. Petersburg gubernias, equally into both capitals of the Empire. Jews engaged in transporting by water and by land can also receive passports but only to those gubernias where settlement of their coreligionists is permitted or in adjacent ones. The term of these passports is restricted to the time of actual timber-floating and transportation.
Article 27. Passports for Jews to journey to Finland are prohibited under any pretext.
Article 28. Jewish artisans, 15 to 18 years of age, can receive passports for the interior gubernias of the Empire in order for them to improve themselves in their craft, for a period of not more than two years, with the obligation to renew their passport each year. Such passports are to be issued not otherwise than by certificates from three Christians who are property owners, that affirm that the applicant has some facility in the craft that he wishes to perfect; also that upon arrival at the place, in the course of one month, they arrange to be alongside one of the well-known masters; if this does not happen, they must be deported back to the Kingdom of Poland, and they can no longer obtain a passport to depart to the interior gubernias.
Article 29. Jews departing for those gubernias of the Empire where they are forbidden to live, must wear the clothes worn by Christian residents, and in general may not be distinguished by any external signs that are exclusively characteristic for Jews.
Article 30. Jewish merchants may receive passports from the Warsaw Military Governor-General for entry into the Moscow and St. Petersburg gubernias, equally into both capitals of the Empire, Moscow and St. Petersburg, in order to purchase goods, under the following conditions:
a) That such passports, in the course of one year, not be given for more than three months.
b) That each passport should explain for what reason the Jew is entering the places described above.
Article 31. Those Jews who are permitted entry into educational and civil service have the right to receive passports for all gubernias and both capitals of the Empire on a general basis.
Article 32. Jews in the Kingdom of Poland who do not have the right to enter the capitals and the interior gubernias of Russia, like Russian Jews, are to be immediately expelled by the police to their places of settlement.
(V.P.S.Z. Vol. XXVI, No. 24,975, article 4, 21-32.)

Comments and corrections welcomed. Send to Michael Steinore