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"His Tsarist Majesty's subjects, Bohdan Khmelnytsky, the Hetman of the Cossack Army, and the whole Cossack Army, and the whole Christian Russian world, most respectfully beg the Great Sovereign, Tsar and Grand Duke Alexei Mikhailovich, the Autocrat of the whole of Great and Little Russia and the Sovereign and Ruler of many states that His Tsarist Majesty may grant them what their envoys will petition, and they will serve His Tsarist Majesty, according to his sovereign orders, forever. His Tsarist Majesty's resolutions concerning each are written after each one.
That in towns the officials be chosen among the natives who are worthy of it and they shall rule the subjects of His Tsarist Majesty and collect revenue for the Tsar's treasury honestly. (This is) for the reason that if a governor of His Tsarist Majesty should come and begin to violate their rights, it would be a great annoyance to them; and if the natives themselves should be officeholders, they would rule in accordance with their rights.
And concerning this article His Tsarist Majesty ordered that it should be according to their petition: there shall be p84 officials in towns, mayors, burgomasters, councillors, assessors, and they shall collect for His Tsarist Majesty sundry taxes in money and grain and pass them over to his sovereign treasury through the persons sent by His Tsarist Majesty; and the persons sent by His Tsarist Majesty for receiving the money shall supervise the collectors so that they act .
The Secretary of the Army is to receive through the kindness of His Tsarist Majesty 1,000 Polish Zloty (gold coins) for his clerks, and 300 Polish Zloty for the justices of the Army, and 100 Polish Zloty for the secretary of the court, 50 Zloty for the secretary and for the standard bearer of (each) regiment, 30 Zloty for the standard bearer of each hundred, 50 Zloty for the master of the Hetman's insignia.
His Tsarist Majesty has graciously ordered according to their petition; and the money should be appropriated from the local revenue.
That a mill be assigned for the sustenance of the Secretary, the two justices of the Army, for each colonel, for the essauls of the Army and those of each regiment, because they have great expenditure.
His Tsarist Majesty has graciously ordered according to their petition.
That concerning the artillery of the Army His Tsarist Majesty would graciously provide for the winter quarters and food of the cannoneers and all the artillery workers; also 400 Zloty for the quartermaster of the artillery and 50 Zloty for the standard bearer of the artillery.
His Tsarist Majesty has graciously ordered that this amount should be appropriated from local revenue.
That the Hetman and the Cossack Army should be free to receive envoys who for many years have come to them from foreign countries in case they have good intentions; and that p85 only in case there should be something adverse to His Tsarist Majesty should they notify His Tsarist Majesty.
Concerning this article His Tsarist Majesty has ordered that the envoys who come on right business should be received and dismissed and it should be written truly and immediately to His Tsarist Majesty on what business they came and with what they were dismissed; if the envoys should be sent by some (foreign ruler) on business detrimental to His Tsarist Majesty, those ambassadors and envoys should be detained by the Army and it should be written about them immediately to His Tsarist Majesty for his decree; and they should not be dismissed without His Tsarist Majesty's decree; and there should be no (diplomatic) relations with the Turkish Sultan and the Polish King without a decree of His Tsarist Majesty.
Concerning the Metropolitan of Kiev the envoys were given an oral instruction; and the envoys begged in their speeches that His Tsarist Majesty graciously grant a patent for his possessions.
His Tsarist Majesty graciously granted his patent to the Metropolitan and all clergy for the estates which they now possess.
That His Tsarist Majesty deign to his army to Smolensk at once without any delay in order that the enemy should not prepare themselves and be joined by others because now the troops are ill‑prepared. They should not believe any (enemy) blandishment of (the Poles) make recourse to such.
His Tsarist Majesty has graciously decided to set off personally against his enemy, the Polish King, and to send his boyars and voyevodas with many troops as soon as the roads will be dry and there will be forage for horses.
That soldiers be hired, about 3,000 or even more, at His Tsarist Majesty's will, to protect the Polish frontier.
p86 His Tsarist Majesty's soldiers are always on the frontier for the protection of the Ukraine and will be stationed (there) permanently.
The custom used to exist for the Cossack Army always to receive a salary; and now thy humbly beg His Tsarist Majesty that he should appropriate to the colonels 100 thalers each, to the regimental essauls, 200 Zloty, to the army essauls, 400 Zloty, to the captains, 100 Zloty, to Cossacks 30 Zloty.
The following note follows after this article:
In previous years Hetman Khmelnytsky and the whole Cossack Army had sent (envoys) to His Tsarist Majesty and begged many times that His Tsarist Majesty show them favor for the sake of the Orthodox Christian faith and the holy churches of God and intercede for them and them under his exalted arm and help them against their enemies. And in that time our great Sovereign, His Tsarist Majesty, was unable to accept you under his protection since there was a permanent peace between His Tsarist Majesty and the Polish Kings and the Grand Dukes of Lithuania. And whereas on the part of the Kings many insults and offences were committed with regard to the father of His Tsarist Majesty, the Great Sovereign Tsar and Duke Mikhail Fedorovich, autocrat of all Russia, His Tsarist Majesty expected an apology for all (these insults) in accordance with the King's letters and the Diet's resolutions and constitution and the treaties; and (the Tsar) desired to reconcile Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky and the whole Cossack Army with the Polish King through his ambassadors in the following way: in case King Jan Kazimierz should make peace with them, according to the Zboriv treaty, and would not persecute the Orthodox Christian faith and would remove all the Uniates, in that case His Tsarist Majesty was ready to grant amnesty to those who, by insulting his sovereign honor, deserved capital punishment. And in this matter (the Tsar) sent to King Jan Kazimierz his great and p87 plenipotentiary ambassadors, the boyar and Governor of Great Perm, Prince Boris Alexandrovich Repnin-Obolensky with associates. And those great plenipotentiary ambassadors of His Tsarist Majesty spoke to the King and his Lords in Council about that peace and actions offering various ways (of settlement). And King Jan Kazimierz and his Lords in Council did not accept any proposal and thus brought this great thing to naught, and dismissed those great and plenipotentiary ambassadors of His Tsarist Majesty without any result. And our Great Sovereign, His Tsarist Majesty, in view of such numerous instances of incorrectness and rudeness and falsehood on the part of the King, and because of his desire to protect the Orthodox faith and all the Orthodox Christians from the persecutors aiming at the destruction of God's churches and the annihilation of the Christian faith, the Latins (Roman Catholics), has accepted you under his exalted arm.
And now Our Great Sovereign, His Tsarist Majesty, having collected numerous Russian, Tartar and German troops for your protection, is setting forth in person against the enemies of Christianity, and is sending his boyars and voyevodas with many troops as well and for the organization of these armies, according to his sovereign decree, large sums have been distributed; therefore they, the envoys, seeing the graciousness of His Tsarist Majesty for the sake of their protection, should not now mention the matter of payments of the Cossack Army. And when the Sovereign's privy boyar and Governor of Tver, Vasili Vasilyevich Buturlin, visited Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky with colleagues, the Hetman talked with him concerning the quota of the Cossack Army (and suggested) that it be set at 60,000; (he also said) that even if this number should be increased, the Sovereign would not incur losses since they would not ask for pay from the Sovereign; and they, Samoylo and Pavel, and other persons who at that time were with the Hetman, know about this; of what concerns the revenue from the cities and towns of Little Russia, His Tsarist Majesty does not know anything, and our Great Sovereign, His Tsarist Majesty, is sending his nobles to tabulate the revenue; after they have tabulated and computed various revenues, a decree will be promulgated as considered by His Tsarist Majesty concerning the salary to the Cossack Army. And now His Tsarist Majesty, showing his favor to the Hetman and the whole p88 Cossack Army, intends to send a salary to the Hetman and the whole Cossack Army in gold coins, according to the old custom of his ancestors, the Great Sovereigns, Tsars, and Grand Dukes of Russia.
In case the Crimean Horde should invade (the Ukraine), it would be necessary to attack them from Astrakhan and Kazan; likewise the Don Cossacks should be ready; however, the peace with them should not yet be discontinued and they should not be provoked.
The decrees and order of His Tsarist Majesty have been sent to the Don Cossacks; if there should be no provocation on the part of the Crimean people, it is not allowed to attack them and provoke them; in case, however, the Crimean people should be stirred up, His Tsarist Majesty would then issue orders for a campaign against them.
That His Tsarist Majesty would now graciously supply food and powder for the guns at Kodak, a town on the Crimean frontier, where the Hetman permanently keeps a garrison of 400 men, providing them with everything; that, likewise, His Tsarist Majesty would grievously provide for those who guard the Cossacks' Headquarters (Kish) beyond the cataracts, since it cannot be left without a garrison.
With regard to this article His Tsarist Majesty's decree will be issued in the future after it is established what quantities of what supplies used to be sent to these localities, and how much revenue will be collected for His Tsarist Majesty.
And concerning (the matter) which has been mentioned in your petition: as soon as our Great Sovereign, His Tsarist Majesty, will grant to Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky and the whole Cossack Army his Sovereign charters of your liberties, you must muster your men (and determine) who will be (registered) as a Cossack and who will be (counted) as a peasant. And with regard to the 60,000 quota for the Cossack Army, the Great Sovereign, His Tsarist Majesty, has accepted and decreed it. As soon as you envoys come back to Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky, you are to inform him that he is to p89 muster the Cossacks immediately and make the lists of their registration and send the lists certified by his signature to His Tsarist Majesty."
(Complete Collection of the Laws of the Russian Empire,
vol. I, pp322‑325).
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Page updated: 26 Sep 22