Out of the Past
from: The Breeder's Service Bulletin Vol. 5 No. 2 Fall-Winter 1976
The Breeder's Service Bulletin is honored to have been entrusted by Mr. Richard Pritzlaff of Sapello, New Mexico, with the publication of a letter dated November 6 1925 written by his friend, Carl Raswan, to W.R.Brown. To our knowledge, this is the first publication for this letter.
At the time it was written, Carl Raswan was still new to this country -- a young German immigrant who had arrived not too long after military service on the German side during World War I. He had already established himself as a writer and authority on bedouin life in Arabia and on the Arabian horse. He was employed as manager at the W.K.Kellogg ranch at Pomona, California, where he was carrying out the initial establishment of the Kellogg Arabian Stud. He signs the letter as "Carl Schmidt," since his name appears not to have been changed to "Raswan" until naturalization some time later.
Throughout his adult life, Raswan was active in the development of the Arabian horse on a world-wide basis. He traveled extensively in Arabia as well as to practically every other place where Arabian horses are to be found. He played a prominent part in several of the historic international movements of Arabian horses between the two world wars, including the 1926 importation from Crabbet to W.K.Kellogg -- which introduced Skowronek to American bres'seding -- the importation of Jasir to Germany from Egypt, and the 1931 importations from Arabia for Prince Sanguszko of Poland and the Babolna Stud of Hungary. From the 1920's through the year of his death, 1966, Raswan acted as a consultant for many of the prominent breeders of Arabians in the United States. At present, he is probably best known for extensive literary production on the subject of Arabian horses, culminating with the Raswan Index which was published in the last years of his life.
For a time following his employment at the Kellogg ranch, Carl Raswan was employed by W.R.Brown. Among other duties, he appears to have assisted in preparation of The Horse of the Desert. He also served as guide on Brown's own expedition to the Arabian desert. Eventually, the two men fell out with one another, but, for some years, at least, they worked together in furthering the Arabian horse.
Nov. 6th 1925
My dear Mr. Brown:
Received your kind letter of Oct 31st today, and thank you for all information and "News". I am anxious to answer your various questions:
Mr. Kellogg is very interested to see your stock and if things happen to come to our favour, that we are able to leave here in December, I expect that Mr. Kellogg and I may see you around New Year. Thank you for the information about the direct route via Montreal.
Various Horse families (and strains) exist in the same bedouin tribes, but certain families of certain tribes are celebrated as breeders of particular absolute pure strains and families of horses) -- The "good, old, solid times" are passing too in Arabia and the pure -- absolutely pure-- strains are disappearing fast -- the farther north you go (away from the Nafud desert) the less you find which are considered absolutely pure.
An Arab Horse today considered "ASIL" when
(1) Pure in strain and Family
or: (2) Pure in strain alone and of different family
or: (3) Pure in two related strains (example: Kuhaylan and Saklawi mare).
A "Fanatical" Bedouin breeder will only consider No (1) "pure". ("Asil" mare and "hadud" stallion).
I am so glad to hear about your proposed book with a view of distributing it among Army officers and other interested people. I gladly see you use anything of my book and give me credit and I would feel it a honor to be of a help to our American friends, as the Arab Horse deserves all our love, patience, interest, faithfulness and other virtues (which we may have or not have, but are able to gain by constant companionship of those most able and lovable of all friends in animal life). I would like to correct the English translation of my book as there are very many faults which give (...?...) the contrary meaning what I really intend to say. My book is not "finished." I wrote it under the most difficult circumstances and never had the time to pull it together under topics and headings but I had the promise of several interested literary friends who would do it for me while I would be in Arabia and add whatever would be of value when I return, God willing, healthy and successfully! I was most fortunate to find Professor Noeldeck (Germany) to be interested in my book and he in turn interested Prof Zittelman to read my manuscript and to verify and correct my Arabic alphebetical list. These two Professors are the two greatest Arab Scholars in the world (Prof Z translating now 6 volumes of 800 pages each from Arabic into German. This work will be of immense value when I make my trip into Arabia and among the Bedounis again, as I will have a perfect list, alphebetical ordered in english, german and arabic and it will help me in my final research and selection of the purest blood of Arabia. I expect that this final thorough work will help me to lift the veil of mystery about the Miniki Hadraj and several other strains and the tracing of the history of "cold facts" about the original Kuhailan. I will not give up, but I will follow the narrow path and love will move the final obstacles and I hope to return with complete records and the complete number of perfect and absolute arabians. Do not wait with your book for my sake, but do as you see for the best for the sake of our beloved Arab Horses! They have some real friends in this world yet and Mr. Kellogg is one of the most unselfish and sacrificing and his love for them will shine like the sun of Salvation for horse breeding and I know that your heart and the heart of Mr. Harris are strengthened with the same love -- our love for our arabs.
Ever Sincerely yours
CARL A SCHMIDT
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