How much did a man cost

How much did a man cost?

More than 150 years ago, in 1860, in the Russian Empire, the preparation of the peasant reform, which primarily provided for the liberation of the serfs, was in full swing. That is why the redemption of the peasants, which had flourished just a year earlier, practically ceased to be free - and thus, in Russia, human trafficking was actually completed. The rules of sale and sale of serfs and their price changed many times. In 1782, for example, a one-year-old girl was estimated at 50 kopecks, which was more expensive than a pig, but cheaper than an old horse. Chefs, hairdressers and other masters of their work, as well as those who were sold as recruits, cost the most. So the trade in future soldiers has become a separate and most profitable segment of the human market.

Although human trafficking in Russia was common and commonplace by the beginning of the 19th century, it evoked a sense of awkwardness among enlightened people. Abandon the serfs, who were the main driving force of any noble economy, it was absolutely impossible. After all, not only the state, but also the weight of a person in society was assessed not so much by rank and income from service, but by tithing of the earth and audit souls he owned.On the other hand, the possession of Christians as cattle in the eyes of Europeans was archaic savagery. And in order to justify the domestic order, Russian scholars invented ways to justify the orders of the serfs.

For example, M. Gribovsky, a doctor of both rights, as he signed his writings, in a treatise on the favorite of Emperor Alexander I, Count A. Arakcheev, proposed a concept that allows the Russian noble class to avoid accusations of savagery and slave trade. He wrote that in the Russian Empire not souls and people are sold. The subject of bargaining is the duty of a serf man to serve his master, and his immortal Christian soul has absolutely no relation to this.


Any family idyll lasted until the landlord decided to sell this family at retail.
In addition, the same Gribovsky offered another explanation to justify serfdom. He likened the peasants to small children, whom a wise parent, before attaining the peak of his strength and intelligence, does not give free rein to commit acts according to his own understanding. So there was absolutely no sense in freeing the peasants from their natural serfdom. And in this primordial and old age of the right to own people was the main idea of ​​the doctor of both rights.After all, what went on from his ancestral times was tested and firmly, and any attempt at change could lead to the most dire consequences. Gribovsky studied the chronicles and handwritten sources of Russian law and found that from ancient times in Russia, slaves were traded, which included mainly prisoners and insolvent debtors. The latter, incidentally, included thieves who could not recover the cost of the stolen goods, as well as freelance workers who fled from the landlord and could not compensate for the damage caused by the escape. pay for unpaid debt. It was possible to argue slavery for a certain period, and it was possible to work for his master until he decided that the debt was fully paid. However, often insolvent debtors tried to bargain and give to eternal slavery someone from the family, most often children.

The number of slaves in the economy of the zealous Rusich multiplied both due to their natural reproduction, and through the correct application of current legislation.So, any person who married a slave without permission and ransom it from the owner, he turned into a slave.


In the question of the price of human life and work, bargaining was always appropriate.

However, the rules applicable to slaves, which became known as serfs, had nothing to do with the peasantry, whose enslavement occurred much later. For many centuries, farmers could freely, and then with restrictions, change their place of residence, and thus the landowner, on whose arable land they worked. The attachment of peasants to the land took place only in the reign of the last Rurikovich, the son of Ivan the Terrible, Fyodor Ivanovich.

“The attachment of peasants to the land,” wrote Professor of the University of Moscow I. Belyaev, “followed about 1591: it was taken as a means against the excessive burdening of peasants by official taxes, but, in turn, gave rise to a new disease in Russian society — the serfdom between peasants. The peasants attached to the land remained independent members of Russian society, full civilians, and the whole difference between their then-from-former position was:that they had lost the right to go from one land to another, and, as they themselves expressed themselves then, became permanent tenants and burdens of land once they occupied. But this initial, seemingly insignificant change in the life of the peasants opened the way to new changes, which did not slow down to develop in the course of the 17th century to the apparent constraint of the former peasant rights and the spread of landowning rights. During this time, landowners gradually acquired the right to transfer peasants from one land to another, their own land, then they received the right to relocate their land to other landowners under contracts with them, then - the right to convert peasants to yard and, finally, the most important right to sell peasants without land. Nevertheless, the law still sharply distinguished the peasants from the serfs, and the peasants, living on the land of the owner, enjoyed by law personal and property rights. ”
Infinitely dependent

The complete enslavement of the peasants occurred only at the end of the reign of Peter I, at the time of the first census, the first revision of 1718-1727.

“The disease of serfdom,” Professor Belyaev wrote, “slowly developing with the peasants attaching to the land, finally, with the first revision, went quickly forward.The first revision of Peter the Great at one time equated the peasants, members of Russian society, with complete slaves who made up the private property of their masters. There is no doubt that Peter the Great did not intend to develop slavery in Russia with an important, decisive measure, but, on the contrary, he also wanted to raise the slaves from voiceless private property in financial terms to the value of members of Russian society: he ordered that serfs, and peasants, and overlaid them with the same head-and-file tax and re-enlistment, and, thus, constituted one indivisible class of tax-paying members of Russian society. But this important measure, which in its basis could subsequently cure Russian society from the illness of a developing serfdom, gave rise to quite the opposite result: the payment of the poll tax was transferred to landlords, since with complete slaves who had no property, there was nothing to take ” .

The process was continued by the daughter of Peter I - Empress Elizaveta Petrovna:

“As a result, in the second revision under Elizabeth Petrovna, it was a rule that all free people who did not have the opportunity to enroll in a workshop or guild,- to write for someone in the fortress only from the payment of the per capita tax, - continues Professor Belyaev. - Thus, the fortress developed in enormous proportions and was not limited to the addition to one landowner, but on the contrary, every nobleman, even if he did not have his own land, he could have serfs, if only he would accept the payment of the poll tax. However, even in the reign of Elizabeth Petrovna, the serf state was not yet fully developed, because the ownership of serfs and land was still conditional for the service of the owners of the state and the owner-noble who evaded service, lost the right to possession: his estate was taken to the treasury ”.

The peasant horse won against the plowman in strength, but strongly lost to him in price.
Elizaveta Petrovna made other innovations in the law on possession and trafficking in persons. So, for a long time Russian gunsmiths, listed for the Armory Office, were allowed to buy up to five serfs to each. This measure helped to solve the problem of personnel in the defense industry. Weapon factories in the modern sense of the word did not exist, and each master, for example, in Tula produced their own parts of pistols or shotguns in his home workshop.They were allowed to buy serfs because there was no other way to supply them with gratis apprentices. Masters also used the situation in their favor. Having prepared a replacement from the young man bought for themselves, they handed it over for further work instead of themselves to the weapons department, and themselves, having been exempted from government work, could enroll in merchants. In 1760, such liberties were prohibited. But the real human market in the Russian Empire was formed only after the death of Peter's daughter. Professor Belyaev stated:

"The full development of serfdom and the perfect conversion of peasants and serf people in general into limitless, voiceless private property followed under Peter III and Catherine II as a result of the manifesto of February 18, 1762 and the charters of the nobility of April 21, 1785 , according to which the nobles were exempted from the indispensable service to the state and, together with this, they received confirmation of the right to acquire immovable inhabited estates and serfs on the basis of full property. In addition, by some decrees of the Catherine time, the serfs were put in such complete and unlimited dependence on the landowners,that they even lost the right to complain of possession of oppression: the law seemed to have completely abandoned the serfs and provided them with the perfect and unlimited arbitrariness of the owners. ”


How much did people cost at that time?
“In the reign of Catherine,” wrote Academician V. Klyuchevsky, “trade of serf souls with land and without land developed even more than before; the prices for them were established — those specified, or state-owned, and free, or noblemen. At the beginning of the reign of Catherine, when buying whole villages, the peasant soul with the land was usually valued at 30 rubles, with the establishment of a loan bank in 1786 the price of the soul rose to 80 rubles, although the bank accepted noble estates as pledge for only 40 rubles. for the soul. At the end of the reign of Catherine, it was generally difficult to buy an estate for less than 100 rubles. for the soul. With retail sales, a healthy worker who bought into recruits valued 120 rubles. at the beginning of the reign and 400 rubles. at the end of it. "

These estimates were made by the Klyuchevskii century later - apparently, on the basis of newspaper ads and memoirs. However, accurate information about the price of the peasants in the Catherine epoch was preserved.In 1782, at the request of the captain of the second rank, Pyotr Andreyevich Bornovolokov, an inventory of the property of his insolvent debtor, Captain Ivan Ivanovich Zinoviev, was made. The officials scrupulously wrote down and estimated everything - from the dilapidated manor house to utensils, living creatures and peasants.

"In the Chukhlomsky district in the Volost the Great Desert in half the estate Maltsova ...

In this yard livestock: gelding red, for years an adult, estimated at 2 rubles, peeled gelding for 12 years, according to estimates. 1 rub. 80 cop., Gelding royal 9 years old - 2 rub. 25 cop., Gelding red 5 years - 3 rubles. 50 kopecks, black mare, adult for years - 75 kopecks; A mare is a roan, with an adult age of 95 kopecks. Horned: 6 cows, each cow for 2 rubles 10 kopecks, estimated at 12 rubles. 60 k., 7 brakes, each 25 kopecks, at an estimate of 1 rub. 75 kopecks; 10 sheep, each for 40 k., Estimated at 4 rubles; 9 pigs, each for 20 kopecks., For 1 rub. 80 c. Birds: geese 3, estimated 75 kopecks; Indian chickens 2, rooster 1, priced at 75 kopecks., ducks 2, drake 1, each for 7 kopecks; Russian chickens 15, two roosters, each 2 kopecks. and a half, on 45.5 kopecks.

In that yard a grain barn, covered with birch bark, with an estimate of 1 rub. 50 kopecks; there are different kinds of bread in it: rye 5 quarters, at an estimate of 4 rubles. 80 cop., Wheat 1 quarter - 2 rubles., Oats 6 quarters - 4 rubles. 80 cop.
Detailed assessment of all the serfs Captain Zinoviev:

“In the courtyard of the courtyard people: Leonty Nikitin is 40 years old, estimated at 30 p. His wife, Marina Stepanova, is 25 years old, with an estimated 10 rubles. Efim Osipov is 23 years old, estimated at 40 p. He has a wife, Marina Dementieva, 30 years old, with an estimate of 8 rubles. They have children - the son of Guryan, 4 years old, 5 rubles, the daughter of the girl Vasilisa, 9 years old, estimated 3 rubles, Matrona, one year old, estimated 50 k. Fedor, 20 years old, estimated 45 rubles. Kuzma, single, 17 years old, estimated 36 rubles. Dementyev children. Fedor’s wife Ksenya Fomin is 20 years old, with an estimate of 11 rubles, their daughter is a girl Katerina, two years old, with an estimate of 1 rub. 10 k. Yes, Ivan Fomin, who was transported from the Vologda district from the Yerofeykov estate, was single, 20 years old, and was estimated at 48 rubles. The girl Praskovya Afanasyev 17 years old, estimated 9 rubles.

In this estate Maltsov peasants: in the courtyard Iuda Matveyev 34 years old, estimated at 24 rubles. 50 kopecks He has a wife, Avdotya Ivanova, 40 years old, with an estimate of 4 rubles. 25 kopecks They have a son Lawrence, 4 years old, 1 rub. 60 kopecks Daughters: Daria girl, 13 years old, estimated 4 rubles, Tatiana 9 years, 3 rubles. 70 kopecks Yes, Vasily Stepanov, transported from Belozersky district from a monastic village in the courtyard, is 25 years old, crooked, estimated at 18 rubles. 40 kopecks His wife, Natalya Matveeva, is 40 years old, at an estimated 3 rubles. 50 kopecks They have children, sons: Gregory, 9 years old, estimated 11 rubles.80 cop., Fedor 7 years, estimated 7 rubles. 90 kopecks Yes, the son Gregory, 13, who remained after the dead peasant Nikita Nikiforov, is estimated at 12 rubles. 25 kopecks. "

Such low prices were probably due to the fact that the parish was provincial and the village rundown. But it is obvious that such an order of prices existed in the entire Russian outback. In the capitals and large cities, where large capitals turned around, prices for serf souls were much higher. Moreover, the price of serfs depended on the market situation and consumer qualities of the goods.

So, it is very expensive, in several thousand rubles, skillful cooks were appreciated. For an experienced coafera, a hairdresser, they requested at least a thousand. A special article was the serfs, prone to trade. The owners donned them a considerable dues, and some of these trading men brought no less income than a large estate. One of these fellows recalled that his serfdom was not only not a burden, but also helped in business. A distinguished gentleman with great connections served as a good cover from the raids of petty bureaucrats. But when the rent became prohibitively burdening him, taking off working capital and destroying trade, he decided to buy out and offered 5,000 rubles for his freedom. To which he received the answer: "And forget to think."

The history of domestic commerce knew cases when serf merchants bought themselves with their families for unbelievable sums - 25 thousand rubles. and higher. For this money, it was possible to buy a very significant in number of souls estate. Thus, the serf S. Purlevsky in his memoirs wrote that at the end of the reign of Catherine II, the owner of his native village Prince Repnin, who felt the need for money, suggested that the peasants be set free with land if they collected 25 rubles each. for each person living in the village. The peasants thought and refused. And then bitterly regretted it. A quarter of a century later, one of the following owners requested with the peasants at once in exchange for the abolition of taxes for ten years 200 thousand rubles. The peasants did not have such money for sure, and the gentleman received money in the Noble guardianship, laying down the village. As it turned out, the soul was estimated at 250 rubles, and after a full calculation it turned out that every peasant, in addition to taxes, must pay 350 rubles for the same ten years in addition to taxes. And three decades later, Purlewski had to pay 2.5 thousand rubles for a ransom for his son’s freedom.

Memoirists recalled that the ways of selling people were divided into home and fair.In the first case, the buyer himself came to the seller’s house or estate and decided on the spot all the questions of sale and purchase, which was then registered in the respective state offices with a fee of several rubles for each sold item. If the sale was carried out in bulk or there were no buyers for the ad, a special broker was invited who went to the market with goods or, if he wanted to get more profit, to the fair, often to Nizhny Novgorod.

Only with the accession of Alexander I to human trafficking began to impose some restrictions. So, in 1801, the emperor forbade the publication in the newspapers of the announcement of the sale of people. But advertisements and advertisers immediately found a way out: they began to write in advertisements about the rent of serfs. And in 1808, sales of people at fairs stopped.

Further restrictions fell on the era of Nicholas I. In 1833 it was forbidden to separate when selling a family. Then the purchase of peasants banned landless nobles. And in 1847, the peasants got the right to buy their will if their owner went bankrupt.
Purchased service

However, no matter how the situation changes, and whatever changes occur in prices and legislation on the sale of people,in one segment of the Russian human market there was a constant and high demand for live goods. Moreover, periods of surge in demand coincided with the next recruitment recruitment in the army. Russian military theorist and historian General A. Svechin described this process in the following way:

“In the years of the world, recruitment reached an average of 80 thousand people. Age of recruit was supposed to be between 21 and 30 years. Of the seven peasants who reached military age, on average, one got into military service; since the period of military service reached 25 years, one seventh of the male peasant population was irretrievably lost to peaceful work and civil life. In order to be less likely to disturb the population with deeply disturbing recruiting sets, Russia was divided into eastern and western halves, supplying, alternating, all the annual need for recruits. Recruitment took place in a frightening environment and was accompanied by abuse. Recruits accepted for the difficulty of escape, shaved their foreheads or heads, like convicts; for each recruit taken, another fake one was taken, i.e., a deputy in case of a recruit's escape or rejection by his military commanders; recruits and dummy were sent with the same convoy as prisoners. "

At the same time, all those who fell under the recruitment set, despite the level of wealth, tried to buy it off - to buy a recruitment ticket, which freed them from military service, or a person who was ready to go to work instead of those who had to draw lots. Both costly very expensive. And some commanders and grandees offered a variety of projects to change the situation.

“In 1732,” wrote the historian S. Soloviev, “an opinion was submitted to the Cabinet, as can be seen from Minich, about the order of collecting the recruits. The author of the note says that at present the recruitment is being done this way: it is ordered, for example, to recruit 16,000 people; these 16,000 are divided into provinces and provinces according to the proportion of male souls, and for 320 souls there is one recruit; 320 peasants agree to buy someone for recruits so that none of them will supply their brother or son; going for this from each yard for three or four hryvnia, and for each recruit will have from 100 to 120 rubles, and with other help - from 170 to 180 rubles, and, having taken an average number - 150 rubles, from all the peasants obliged to put recruit will have from two to three million.Such great money (which is not given in the whole of Europe, where the peasants are richer than the Russians) hires a no-good, often drunkard, sick or maimed; if there is none, then the peasants are looking for some runaway peasant or barge hauler. Thus, money is taken from the best peasants and given to useless barge haulers; the army, navy, and artillery are supplied with the worst recruits; in other European countries, a fit and voluntary person is given a deposit of 3, 4 or 5 rubles each, and in Russia from 150 to 200 they give to villains who cannot be protected by the security of the empire and the people. ”

However, for decades the situation has remained unchanged.
“Despite the fact that the recruitment duty covered only the poorest tax-paying classes of the population,” wrote General Svechin, “because of its severity, up to 15% recruits were paid off by conscription by issuing deputies or buying recruitment receipts; the price of such a receipt was quite significant (in 1869 the recruitment receipt was estimated at 570 rubles). In most cases, a petty-bourgeois or serf society as a whole was paid off the delivery of the recruit.In the wealthy Moscow province, the number of deputies reached 40% of the set. ”

The case was so profitable that there were dexterous nobles who bought a seedy estate, where there were at least a few men suitable for recruiting, after which all of those who were fit to surrender to the army and the resulting recruitment tickets were sold with profit. After that, how could a village live, where there were no adult men left, it did not bother the resourceful guys, because the loss from the subsequent sale of the village was more than covered by the proceeds from recruitment tickets. Those who could not afford such tricks mastered a special profession - a recruiter.

“In the past,” recalled Moscow detective M. Maximov recalled, “the bargaining of recruits brought considerable enrichment to the distributors: it was free and the most profitable bargaining. Distributors kept the recruits fearlessly in a few people, showed them to everyone in need and took on themselves the delivery of the recruit and the delivery of the receipt. At present, their actions are strictly persecuted, and they now do everything secretly: they keep the hunters in the apartments of their acquaintances, and not at home, disguised as freeloaders. ”

Serfs who achieved success in trade, freedom could bargain only for very big money
There was a strict division of labor in the team of distributors:

“Otdatchiki,” wrote Maximov, “have agents at their place, which they call uncles. The responsibility of the uncles is, firstly, to monitor the integrity of the hunter; secondly, the uncle must always be with the hunter, walk with him to different institutions and protect him from such actions that may involve him in responsibility. Uncles are charged with finding hunters, which is why they wander around in different trading establishments, looking out for unwary revelers or driven by billiard and card games to the extreme. They immediately give in to a reveler drunk, ask him about his family, and then, if they find a suitable person for themselves, they will persuade and seduce with money, so that they will willingly enter the recruits for some family. With the other, they settle through mistresses, but in any case, drunkenness plays their main role. And therefore they always keep all the hunters in incessant intoxication, so that they do not change their mind.Just in case, they have old women, called the mothers of hunters, who sign the agreement. The main thing in the recruitment trade depends on the art of the uncles, who are rewarded with a large salary. The owners of the apartments, where the hunters live, receive from the otdatchikov for food for a ruble and two rubles a day, and for clothes and footwear for the hunter they are paid specially ”.

The business of the otdatchikov did not die even after the abolition of serfdom, which put an end to human trafficking. They continued to trade recruits until the introduction of universal military service in 1874.

P.S.It should be noted that serfdom was far from all over the territory of then-Russia.

Related news

  • About home and family: a selection of sites
  • The Case of Adolf Beck
  • Ways to use ginger
  • Myths and reality of sex education
  • Syria wants to join the Eurasian Economic Community

  • How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost

    How much did a man cost