andranikpasha (andranikpasha) wrote,

The trade of Baku, especially the shipping trade, is wholly in Tartar hands, and M. Taghieff, who laid the foundations of his fortune by selling a plot of petroliferous land, owns a whole fleet of steamers; the money-lenders are also all Tartars. But in spite of their wealth and the business ability of a few of them, the great majority are mere primitive savages. To the Armenians above all is the development of Baku due, for they were the first to work the oil-fields on a large scale and on modern lines; they perform a large part of the skilled labour, and among them most of the managers, engineers, as well as many capitalists, are to be found. The British supplied a considerable share of the capital invested, and there are several Englishmen and other foreigners in prominent positions. The roughest unskilled work (chornaya rabota) is performed by the Tartars, Lezghins, and Persians; the skilled work by the Armenians and Russians; the management by Armenians, Russians, and foreigners.

Luigi Villari, Fire and Sword in the Caucasus, London and New York: T. Fisher Unwin and James Pott and Company, 1906, p. 187.
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