Uman is a city located in the Cherkasy Oblast (province) in central Ukraine, to the east of Vinnytsia. The city rests on the banks of the Umanka River serves as the self-governing administrative center of the Uman Raion (district). Uman was first mentioned in historical documents in 1616, when it was under Polish rule. Its role at this time was as a defensive fort to withstand Tatar raids, containing a prominent Cossack regiment that was stationed within the town. In 1648 it was liberated from the Poles by Ivan Hanzha, colonel to Cossack leader Bohdan Khmelnytsky, and Uman was converted to the administrative center of cossack regiment for the region. Poland retook Uman in 1667, after which the town was deserted by many of its residents who fled eastward to Left-bank Ukraine. From 1670–1674, Uman was a residence to the Hetman of right-bank Ukraine.
Under the ownership of the Potocki family of Polish nobles (1726–1832) Uman grew in economic and cultural importance. A Basilian monastery and school were established in this time.