Jannseni Eesti Põllumees (1868-1880)


  • Malle Salupere




Jannsen’s “Eesti Põllumees” (1868-1880)

Johan Voldemar Jannsen holds a special role in the cultural history of Estonia — until 1875 the vast majority of Estonian periodicals were founded by Jannsen. Perno Postimees (1857–1863) and Eesti Postimees (1864–1880) that he edited were responsible for all the explanation
and organisation work during the national awakening. Jakobson’s newspaper “Sakala” did not come into circulation until only 1878, while it took over all Jannsen’s subjects but wrote of them in a sharper manner. Greatly to him do we owe the myth of his competitor Jannsen’s turncoat nature. Jannsen did receive support from the Estonian and Livonian knightage and Society in 1870–1879 but this was first and foremost connected to the gentry’s attempts to present
themselves as a supporter of the native’s cultural endeavours in the eyes of the locals and administration.
In addition to the song festival and the organisation of song and music societies Jannsen attempted to found agricultural societies for the development of farmers’ skills and knowledge, while he also established a respective journal—Eesti Põllomees—that was published as a monthly supplement to the Baltische Wochenschrift, a journal
issued by the Society.
Hermann v. Samson, a versatile and difficult man, who organised support for Jannsen’s publications in Livonia and Estonia, was the official editor and most likely also the censor of the journal for the first half-year (1869). The newspaper was published on the first day of every month, the content was quite versatile and the illustrations in the style of wood engraving (author: Eduard Magnus Jakobson).
The Society supported the publication with both subscriptions and financial contributions. The newspaper introduced practical methods of agriculture and animal husbandry, using manure and artificial manure, tending pastures, construction of farmhouses, nature protection issues, often in the form of a dialogue with the exemplary farmer Tiit from the farm of Niidu. After some time the content and regularity of publication of the newspaper began to decline. Jannsen
bowed out from editing the paper in 1877, Põllumees transferred to the ownership of agricultural societies and was published regularly at first, providing accounts of the activities of the societies. However, already the next year ended with only a double issue (5/6) having been published and in 1879, no new issues came. In 1880 Jannsen commented that Põllumees had so to say returned to its father and the journal was published twice a month as a supplement of the Eesti
Postimees. At the end of the year Jannsen had a stroke and both Eesti Postimees as well as Põllumees went into decline. The last issue of the Põllumees was published in early 1889.


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