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Prussian "Soldier King" Frederick William I Instructs his Officials on Peasant Colonization in East Prussia (July 2, 1718)

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10. In respect of the outstanding sums still owed by agents and tenant farmers, which make up part of the debt of 145,000 thalers reported by you, you must first demand regular settlements, providing for this in the case of the tenant farmers in their leases; the whole of every liquid debt to be paid within six months, and accurate monthly statements are to be sent to Us of what has been paid and what is still outstanding.

11. And whereas, unless proper accounts are rendered, it is impossible to put the Cameral affairs straight and see how they stand, two Cameral accountants shall within the next six months go through all accounts not yet audited with the Master of the Chamber, but under the supervision of yourself, the President, and, in the presence of the Cameral Councillor from whose Department the account is taken, shall rectify them and see to it most strictly that in future the regulations governing the drawing up and despatch of accounts to the General Audit Chamber are punctually observed. The two accountants and the Master of the Chamber shall make this their principal business and not allow themselves to be diverted from it by any other task; for which purpose you, the President, are to choose the persons whom you judge fittest, and to speed up the work. We have most graciously resolved to appoint two new accountants and to give them the same salaries as the others, to which end either We shall send you two efficient men from Berlin, or if you know of any suitable persons, you may propose them.

12. In connection wherewith, the official accounts are not to be left, as hitherto, open, on account of the outstanding debts, but the said debts and sums are to be carried over from one account to the next; but must be claimed and called in as soon as possible.

13. We wish that the reliefs which have so often been permitted to tenants and promised in their leases shall so far as possible cease, and your duty is to see that in the future, when new leases are drawn up, the tenants are allowed no reliefs except in cases of general failures of the harvest and for the stock, of general cattle mortality, but in other cases of cattle mortality only against wastage, as is customary in the Kurmark and elsewhere. To facilitate this We graciously consent, in respect of wastage of sheep, that whereas a sheep was previously valued at 24 Polish groschen after deduction of expenses, in future it shall be valued at only 21 Polish groschen, the reliefs being abolished, and We trust you to make every effort to get this set on a correct footing.

14. As moreover the achievement of the necessary exactness in the agents’ offices is greatly facilitated if the Captains and administrators also pay attention to the economy, We have written to this effect to Our Prussian Government, as per the enclosed copy.

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