- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
172

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE CAUGASUS TO THE VOLGA
172
area, Daghestan and Chechnia, was separated
from these north-western tribes by the Christian
Ossetes, Khevsurs, Pshavs, and other Georgian
mountain tribes, who had joined the Russians, or
anyhow were not on hostile terms with them. More
over, the Abkhasians, too, were in great part
Christians. As early as 1842 he had sent a naib,
Hadji Mehmet, to them, who had considerable
success, but died in 1844, possibly poisoned. In the
same year Shamyl sent a new naib, Hadji Soliman,
who was bolder and more insistent, winning many
over to Islam and ShamyFs doctrine, and preaching
the Holy War. Then in 1846 there came a young
man, Mohammed Emin, from Shamyl, who had
been his first writer and secretary; he was to win
great influence. Almost at once Hadji Soliman dis
appeared in a mysterious way—he was probably
murdered—and the young Mohammed Emin soon
succeeded by his shrewd and moderate ways in
strengthening and widening his power over large
parts of the land. In no little degree he did this by
supporting the people everywhere against the
nobles and princes; and he did away with the
very many heavy forced calls on the freemen, and
set free a great number of slave families and thralls.
Bit by bit he won over most ofthe land, and brought
many of its dwellers over to Islam. He divided the
country up into districts, and organized it in a
masterly way so as for the first time to act and
fight as a body. He was a worthy disciple of Shamyl,
and for the Russians a dangerous foe ; but it could
never come to any effective co-operation with

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