AN ESTONIAN SCHOOL TEACHER IN THBILISI. JOOSEP ROBERT REZOLD: HIS “LETTERS FROM THE CAUCASUS” AND CONTRIBUTION TO ESTONIAN COLONISATION IN THE CAUCASUS
In the 1880s, Estonian peasants established their villages named Linda (later divided into Upper and Lower Linda) and Estonia in the Sukhum district. The first inhabitants of the villages were Estonian settlers from the Samara governorate, and other settlers soon arrived from Estonia as well. In 1886, 637 Estonians lived in the Sukhum district. The migration of Estonians to the Sukhum district was triggered by articles written by Joosep Rezold, a secondary school teacher in Thbilisi (Tiflis), that appeared in Estonian newspapers. This article examines Rezold's activities in Georgia and analyses his writings, which generated a great response in Estonia and created conflicts for the writer with several newspaper editors. It demonstrates how Rezold, against his will, became an migration apologist in Estonia and was criticised primarily in the background of the patriotic home-country discourse of the evolving Estonian national ideology.