By Royden Loewen
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Extra resources for Hidden Worlds: Revisiting the Mennonite Migrants of the 1870s
For Stoesz, it was no coincidence that these reforms were announced at about the time of a spectacular heavenly sign, a frightening natural wonder. In fact, Stoesz's diary commenced on 23 January 1872 with a description of a sign in the northern sky, one "of which the prophet Joel had prophesied ... [with regard to] the coming day of judgment. " It was a startling event. Coincidentally, on the very night that Stoesz made his observation in Bergthal Colony, schoolteacher Abraham R. Friesen of Molotschna Colony, more than sixty miles to the northwest, noted something WONDERS AND DRUDGERY "like northern lights; at one place in the north it 'was a deep red ...
George Homans argues that another consequence of this system is that partibility lowered the standard required for a villager to possess status. This, again, was an ideal realized within the Mennonite village, where all landowners, without regard to wealth, were full voting members of the village association and where all baptized male members were voting members of the church congregation. 37 38 CHAPTER Two Other consequences of bilateral partible inheritance have been suggested more recently.
The cover of an inheritance bylaw booklet produced by the Manitoba immigrants from the Molotschna Colony in Imperial Russia. 2. ': Inheritance and Community Formation1 IN A TYPICAL NEWSPAPER REPORT THAT ANTICIPATED THE COMING of the Mennonites from New Russia, the Manitoba Free Press in May 1874 noted that its readers could expect a community of "sober, industrious, peace-loving and devout" people. Mennonites were "late Anabaptists" who had taken their name from the Dutch churchman, Menno Simons, and now, three centuries later, they continued to "repudiate oaths, disapprove of war, reject divorce ...