Thursday, February 18, 2010

The journey

OK, first, let's get a few things straight. I'm not going to romanticize the story about the Cotopaxi Colony. While there was romance involved, I'm going to do my best to just stick to the facts. With one single comment..... I marvel at the mere fact that they did survive. But that's for a later day!!!

There were 13 families totalling 50 people who first arrived at the Colony in 1882. I'm probably only going to share what little I know about 3 brothers, Isaac Leib Milstein Shames, Benjamin Zalman Milstein and Saul Baruch Muhlstein.

So first, how did Isaac get a different surname? Ah! Another day! Don't you love how I'm dropping hints that will keep you coming back? LOL!

As for the other 10 families....their stories will be told, should Jehovah allow me the honor of living to do so.

Back to S.B. Muhlstein. It has been said that he was the "patriarch" of the Cotopaxi Colony. But he was never there! So, how on earth could he have been given that title? Someone who is not present being called the patriarch? So, I looked up the word. Originally, it meant someone who exercised authority over an extended family.

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are the 3 patriarchs of the people of Israel.

So when I look at it that way, I can fully understand. S.B. probably had the funds and the ability to send his family to America while he was liquidating his assets in Bresk, Russia. Good man. Getting his family out of the area that was later completely destroyed in the Holocaust. Of course, he could not have known what the future might be, but he was responsible for their move to America.

The other thing to consider is that while we suspect many of the families who came to Cotopaxi were related by blood or marriage, we have not yet proven that. So Muhlstein would not have been the patriarch to those not related to him. Yet I suspect that all of the colonists might well have honored his ideas and ideals.

It seems to me that we can quite seriously call him the patriarch of the Milstein (Muhlstein)/Shames family. And I will honor the traditon of calling him the patriarch of the long as we understand that he did not physically reside there.

So, Saul Baruch Milstein was never in Cotopaxi. He and his family left Glasgow, Scotland and arrived on December 15, 1884, on the ship named the "State of Indiana", at New York City. They came via steerage! From Bresk, Russia.

Baruch Muhlstein, age 45, male, pedlar,
Muske Muhlstein, age 45, female, wife
Moses, son, age 11
Mathis, son, age 8
Chaim, son, age 6
Rachel, dtr, age 5
Menache, son, age 2 1/2
Ethel, dtr, age 9 mos

Those were the only 2 pages of passengers on this ship. All were in steerage, or 3rd class. You can easily use photoshop to blow up parts of a document in order to get a more clear view. Hint - use the "stamp" filter to get and even clearer view of old print.

You can also use photoshop to enhance the image of an old ship - most were black and white sketches:

Of course, when you get it all put together, you make your scrapbook page. Because this album has to be printable, I'm keeping it rather simple and flat:

Although S.B. Muhlstein did not come to America until after the Cotopaxi Colony ended, he did send his nephew, Jacob Milstein over before the Colony started to scout out prospects in America. Saul's oldest daughter, Nettie, also came to America earlier than her father. We'll talk about these two 1st cousins next.

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