Author: ARDELEANU KONSTANTIN
Bulgarian immigrants came to Moldavia and Wallachia in the context of the Russian–Ottoman struggles from early 19th century. A group headed to Southern Bessarabia during the war of 1806–1812 and several Bulgarians were settled at Galaţi in 1810. Another wave of migrants came to Brăila and Galaţi during the early 1830s, being welcomed by the Russian military authorities, which also supported their settlement by granting them tax discounts for ten years and allowing them to buy homes in the Danubian Principalities.
In 1833 there were recorded at Galaţi 145 Bulgarians, most of them living in the so called Serbian neighbourhood. During these decades among the Bulgarian inhabitants in Wallachia and Moldavia there were several important merchants, such as Gheorghe Hagi Ioan, Guşu Şiştovul, Nicola Puliev, brothers Hristo and Evloghie Gheorghiev, and Atanasie Gheorghiev, involved in commercial exchanges with the Bulgarian towns (Ruse, Shvistov) and via the Bulgarian route with Constantinople.
During the early 1840s, the Bulgarians from Galaţi were involved in the organisation of the revolt of their brethren from Brăila. The leaders of the local insurgents were brothers Gheorghe and Prose Cazacu. Bulgarian patriotic books were disseminated at Galaţi, a calendar printed at Bucharest in 1840 had 126 subscribers, and a Bulgarian arithmetic book was ordered by 52 people.
A Bulgarian school was founded in 1858 and between 1870 and 1875 children were educated by school master Veliciko Popov. The political activity of the community continued in the 1860s, and its leaders were involved in preparing the national insurrection during the period 1866–1870.
As it was the case with all religious-ethnic communities, the consolidation of the Bulgarian community in Galaţi is related to the foundation of a church. In 1860 the community’s representatives required the permission to build a church, and the headstone was placed in 1861. The “St. Pantelimon” church, built according to the plans of Engineer Mancioti, was funded and administered by the epitropes of a Bulgarian community. The first epitropes were Antachi Iurdachiuv, Pantelimon Avramov and Mihail Avramovici, all coming from Svishtov. The first priest was archimandrite Maxim Raicovici, and the church was consecrated in 1887.
Regarding the number of Bulgarians in Galaţi, in 1866 there was a Bulgarian street with 110 houses and 130 families, and the census of 1881 mention a total of 569 Bulgarians and Serbians. A decade later, in 1890, there were recorded 848 Bulgarians.
We have no information regarding the organisation of the Bulgarian community as a juridical person, according to Romanian law, before the interwar period. The Bulgarian Community of Galaţi was recognised in 1924, when the statute stipulated that the purpose of the association was to organise the community “with the aim to preserve and to develop the religious beliefs among its members, to educate and to cultivate the young representatives of the Bulgarian population in the city of Galaţi and the county of Covurlui, to provide for the good and regular functioning of the school and church, to employ the entire didactical, religious or miscellaneous staff for the good activity of the community”. The community was led by the General Assembly, which gathered in full session once a year, and the current administration was entrusted to a committee of epitropes, made up of seven to eleven members, elected for a term of four years.
 Paul Păltănea, Istoria oraşului Galaţi de la origini până la 1918, second edition, edited by Eugen Drăgoi (Galaţi: Editura Partener, 2008), vol. I, 368–369.
 Constantin N. Velichi, “Aşezămintele coloniştilor bulgari din 1830”, Romanoslavica, 3 (1958), 117–135; Idem, România şi renaşterea bulgară (Bucharest: Editura Ştiinţifică şi Enciclopedică, 1980), 51–53.
 Păltănea, Istoria, I, 341.
 D. Kosev, V. Paskaleva, Vl. Diculescu, “Despre situaţia şi activitatea economică a imigraţiei bulgare în Muntenia şi Oltenia în secolul al XIX-lea (până la războiul ruso-turc din 1877–1878)”, Relaţii româno-bulgare dea lungul veacurilor. Studii (Secolele XII–XIX), vol. I (Bucharest: Editura Academiei Republicii Socialiste România, 1971), 309, 332, 337; Păltănea, Istoria, I,268, 312, II, 32.
 Gh. Platon, “Documente privind ecoul in Moldova al mişcărilor revoluţionare de la Brăila din anii 1841–1843”, Romanoslavica, Istorie, 11 (1965), 316–317; Constantin N. Velichi, Mişcările revoluţionare de la Brăila din anii 1841–1843 (Bucharest, Societatea de Ştiinţe Istorice şi Filologice din R.P.R., 1958), 43 and idem, “Ştiri şi documente inedite asupra mişcării revoluţionare de la Brăila din 1841”, Romanoslavica, 5 (1962), 99.
 D. N. Mincev, “Cărţile bulgăreşti tipărite în România”, Gazeta cărţilor, IV:19–20, 15, 30 May 1935; Păltănea, Istoria, I, 411.
 Ibid., II, 310.
 Ibid., 148–150. Details in Traian lonescu-Nişcov, “Unele aspecte din mişcarea de eliberare naţională a bulgarilor în nordul Dunării între 1850–1870”, Relaţii româno-bulgare, I, 373.
 Moise N. Pacu, Cartea judeţului Covurluiu. Note geografice, istorice şi în deosebi statistice, (Bucharest: Stabilimentul Grafic I. V. Socecu, 1891), 132–133; Teodor Iordache, Albumul Galaţilor (Galaţi: Tipografia Bucovina, 1935–1936), 35–36; Mariana Delia Pohrib, “Actul constitutiv şi statutele comunităţii bulgare din Galaţi (1930)”, Danubius, 29 (2011), 224.
 Pacu, Cartea, 109; Pohrib, “Actul”, 221.
 Pohrib, “Actul”, 223–229.
Ionescu–Nişcov, Traian, “Unele aspecte din mişcarea de eliberare naţională a bulgarilor în nordul Dunării între 1850–1870” [Some Aspects of the Bulgarian National Liberation Movement at the North of the Danube between 1850 and 1870], in vol. Relaţii româno-bulgare de-a lungul veacurilor. Studii (Secolele XII–XIX) [Romanian–Bulgarian Relations Along the Centuries. Studies (12th – 19th Centuries], vol. I (Bucharest: Editura Academiei Republicii Socialiste România, 1971).
Kosev, D., Paskaleva, V., Diculescu, Vl., “Despre situaţia şi activitatea economică a imigraţiei bulgare în Muntenia şi Oltenia în secolul al XIX-lea (până la războiul ruso-turc din 1877–1878)” [On the Economic Situation and Activity of the Bulgarian Immigration to Muntenia and Oltenia in the 19th Century until the Russian–Turkish War of 1877–1878], in vol. Relaţii româno-bulgare de-a lungul veacurilor. Studii (Secolele XII–XIX) [Romanian–Bulgarian Relations Along the Centuries. Studies (12th – 19th Centuries], vol. I (Bucharest: Editura Academiei Republicii Socialiste România, 1971).
Mincev, D. N., “Cărţile bulgăreşti tipărite în România” [The Bulgarian Books Printed in Romania], Gazeta cărţilor, IV:19–20, 15, 30 May 1935.
Pacu, Moise N., Cartea Judeţului Covurlui. Note geografice, istorice şi în deosebi statistice [The Book of Covurlui County. Geographical, Historical and Mainly Statistical Notes] (Bucharest: Stabilimentul Grafic I. V. Socecu, 1891).
Păltănea, Paul, Istoria oraşului Galaţi de la origini până la 1918 [The History of Galaţi from Its Beginnings to 1918], second edition, edited by Eugen Drăgoi (Galaţi: Editura Partener, 2008).
Pohrib, Mariana Delia, “Actul constitutiv şi statutele comunităţii bulgare din Galaţi (1930)” [The Constitutive Act and the Statutes of the Bulgarian Community from Galaţi (1930)], Danubius, 29 (2011), 219–236.
Velichi, Constantin N., “Aşezămintele coloniştilor bulgari din 1830” [The Settlements of the Bulgarian Colonists of 1830], Romanoslavica, 3 (1958), 117–135.
Velichi, Constantin N., Mişcările revoluţionare de la Brăila din anii 1841–1843 [The Revolutionary Movements from Brăila during the Years 1841–1843] (Bucharest, Societatea de Ştiinţe Istorice şi Filologice din R.P.R., 1958).
Velichi, Constantin N., România şi renaşterea bulgară [Romania and the Bulgarian Rebirth] (Bucharest: Editura Ştiinţifică şi Enciclopedică, 1980).