Russian Jews in Seattle number 1,000 on February 12, 1905.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 10/09/2001
  • Essay 3601
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On February 12, 1905, Russian Jews in Seattle number approximately 1,000. Some of the immigrants operate second-hand shops on Railroad Avenue between Main and Washington streets which are "picturesque in the extreme" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). Shops occupy six or eight frame buildings where the merchants live with their families.

Persecutions and Accomplishments 

The immigrants fled persecution of Jews in Czarist Russia. "The Russians are jealous of us," one shopkeeper told a reporter for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "They are so jealous that they will not let us stay over there. Why? Because we can trade better than they can; because we educate our children to become good business people; because we made money where they can't." The reporter described the shopkeeper as "a short swarthy man with black beard and unusually intelligent speech and is apparently educated in his own tongue."

When asked about the war then raging between Russia and Japan, the shopkeeper grew excited and stated, "We want those Japanese to win and they will win. We want them to beat Russia -- the monster that crushes everything. It is the government that is the tyrant. They are having trouble with the striking workmen in St. Petersburg now."


"Russian Jew Colony on Railroad Avenue," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 12, 1905, Magazine Section, p. 14.

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