The Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Progress Administration of Illinois. The purpose of the project was to translate and classify selected news articles that appeared in the foreign language press from 1855 to 1938. The project consists of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities of Chicago.

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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 25, 1861
    Mass Meeting in Worker's Hall

    The following resolutions were adopted in a mass meeting which was held in Worker's Hall last evening:

    1)Resolved, that a safety committee consisting of five members be appointed to aid and advise all German depositors who wish to recover their bank deposits, either by employing friendly tactics, or, if necessary, through lawsuits, and to supply the means necessary to accomplish the purpose. This committee shall have authority to call a mass meeting if it deems it feasible.

    2) Resolved, that we condemn the banking systems which are employed in the United States, and especially the one in vogue in Illinois, as unstable and tending to enrich a few persons, while doing harm to the public in general, particularly to laborers.

    3) Resolved, that gold and silver are the only reliable and valid mediums 2of exchange, and that there is enough gold and silver in this country to meet the demands of all business.

    4) Resolved, that bankers are obliged by all principles of law and morals to pay depositors the full amounts deposited, and that a refusal to do so is a grave breach of confidence.

    5) Resolved, that we are greatly at the conduct of the German bank of Hoffmann and Gelpcke, which refuses to pay German citizens the full amount of their savings-accounts.

    6) Resolved, that we ask this bank to meet it's obligations in full, and to withhold no discounts from depositors.

    7) Resolved, that it is not our intention, illegally or unnecessarily, to incite the public against the bankers, and we regret to hear that German citizens are applying to the Commissioner of Police for protection for private 3persons who should have no reason to be afraid of appearing in public and trying to justify their actions.

    8) Resolved, that it is unnecessary and suporfluous that the Commissioner of Police engage special policemen to quell a disturbance that does not exist.

    9) Resolved, that we, the German inhabitants of Chicago, assembled in mass meeting, will recognize only metal as a meding of exchange in doing business with anyone in the future.

    10) Resolved, that from this day on, we will place all existing representative currency, be it issued in this or in other states, on the same level with all other goods which we consider valueless.

    11) Resolved, that the German residents of Illinois are hereby requested most earnestly to indorse and adopt these resolutions.

    4

    The following men were appointed to the committee by the assembly: A. C. Hessing, John G. Gindele, J. C. Kersten, L. Brentano, and Fred Letz.

    The following resolutions were adopted in a mass meeting which was held in Worker's Hall last evening: 1)Resolved, that a safety committee consisting of five members be appointed to aid ...

    German
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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 31, 1861
    The Duty of the State Auditor (Editorial)

    As matters are now, only Chicago banks may use "wildcat money" which they buy from the people at miserably low prices to purchase notes of the State. If the State Auditor does his duty, and we hope that he will, this money-making scheme will cease to exist. The State Auditor should demand that the money barons of Chicago, who live in plenty and wallow in luxury, furnish security for the money deposited in their banks. If the bankers do this and make their currency notes as good as gold, well and good. If they do not, then the people should have the right to take these notes to Springfield and exchange them for State bonds. These securities sell at a much higher price than the poor people receive for "wildcat money."

    We have heard that the wildcat bankers of Chicago, whose notes are selling for 80 or 90 cents, have enlisted the aid of courthouse officers and other influential people in a frantic effort to have their financial institutions exempted 2from furnishing security. That would be an infamous swindle, since just these notes are used to defraud the laboring class of its money.

    These hypocritical bankers who but a few months ago were so patriotic as to demand that the people sign a document obligating themselves (the people) to use "wildcat money" as a medium of exchange during wartime, pretend to fear that the reputation of our State will suffer, if the New York money market is flooded with Illinois State debentures. Listen to the devil preach about the disastrous consequences of sin! People, who rob widows and orphans of their mite, are anxious about the credit of our State!

    These wildcat bankers had altogether too much influence at Springfield. They had complete control of the last legislature and did enough damage.

    Now the State Auditor should do his duty toward all of them without fear or favor.

    3

    He should demand that one and all purchase and sell their currency notes at a price which is at par with gold and silver, and if they do not do so, the people should be permitted to do what the bankers do--buy bonds in New York.

    We hope that the Auditor will treat these banks just as he does the others. It is his duty to put extreme pressure upon every bank that does not comply with the law.

    As matters are now, only Chicago banks may use "wildcat money" which they buy from the people at miserably low prices to purchase notes of the State. If the State ...

    German
    I D 1 a
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- April 29, 1862
    Spring Business (Editorial)

    Business prospects for Chicago are better than ever before, and this year nearly-all branches of commerce are enjoying prosperity. The future outlook is very bright indeed. This is proved by the significant fact that our merchants not only have debts but are even blessed With substantial bank balances, despite the fact that retail businessmen recently filled all their available storage space through large purchases of goods from wholesalers and jobbers; in fact, their stores are packed from basement to attic With merchandise. This favorable condition of our trade is all the more remarkable in view of the fact that our merchants have not experienced long years of prosperity, but have just passed through a period of unfavorable crises and violent shocks, which undoubtedly would have destroyed a less stable and a less healthy enterprise. In no other city of our country was business obliged to weather so many and such severe economic storms as did Chicago business during the comparatively short 2period from 1857 to 1862....

    Hardly twelve months ago, the people of Illinois lost the enormous sum of more than six million dollars through the depreciation of their currency--a loss which affected chiefly small businessmen, laborers, tradesmen, and farmers; and yet today Chicago and the State of Illinois in general enjoy a better and more independent financial status than ever before. The present stable condition of our money is an essential factor. Why amount of currency may be had, and there are prospects that interest rates will be lowered to about six per cent. However, our financial rise has its shady side, too. It appears that financial interests of other states--for example, those of New York and New England--have become aware that our municipal and state bonds have risen in value and that the monthly and weekly balances of our businessmen have increased. There financiers have therefore cast their eager eyes on the Northwest, especially on Chicago and Illinois, and intend to take advantage of our prosperity.

    Of course, we have no objection to make if reliable banks with ample capital, 3like the Bank of the State of Indiana, the State Bank of Iowa, and the larger banks of Cincinnati and Philadelphia, establish branches in our city, as long as these institutions are compelled to meet our requirement-sine-qua-non--to pay cash for their notes. But it seems that we shall be pestered by a great number of dubious eastern bank notes. At present, great efforts are being made in this direction, and it will depend on the wise determination of our businessmen whether or not we are again to exchange our gold for the rags and tatters which eastern money hawks will offer us.

    If Chicago, the granary of America and Europe, wants to be the financial and commercial lord of its own castle, if it desires to remain independent of the selfish, unscrupulous Yankee speculators, it will have to throw out their paper money, the bank notes of all of New Hampshire, New York, and Maine and establish its exchange exclusively on the basis of the new national currency, the treasury notes of the United States of America.

    The unusual activity which we noted in the real-estate market is also an 4unmistakable indication of solid prosperity and normal business conditions. The demand for real estate has been unusually large since April 1. And, mind you, we are speaking not of speculation in real estate, but of acquisition of real estate for residential or commercial purposes. Nearly all sales are for cash, and in most cases, the property sold consists of small parcels, which indicates that they have been bought for the purpose of building. There can be only one inference, namely, that the middle class, the small businessman and the laborer, too, are prosperous.

    In the outlying parts of the city, one or two miles along the streetcar lines, especially on the North Side where the Germans are strongly represented, one can see hundreds of small homes in process of construction; and upon inquiry, one learns that the lot has not been leased but has been purchased.

    All in all, we have reason to expect great commercial expansion and development during the current year. But there is one worry which tends to cast a shadow on the bright outlook, and that has to do with the coming harvest. We 5need a good deal of dry, warm weather if we are to have a good harvest of wheat; [Translator's note: The remainder of this article has been clipped out.]

    Business prospects for Chicago are better than ever before, and this year nearly-all branches of commerce are enjoying prosperity. The future outlook is very bright indeed. This is proved by ...

    German
    I D 1 a, I D 1 b
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 05, 1863
    The German Society

    The general meeting of the German Society of Chicago was held in the German House, May 3, 1863, with President Heinrich Greenbaum presiding.

    The report of Agent Schlund was read and adopted, and the matter relating to the Reform School was referred to a committee which will endeavor to persuade the executive board of the Reform School to act in line with Mr. Schlund's suggestion.

    The financial report was adopted as read. Election of officers took place with the following result: president, Heinrich Gindele; treasurer, Karl Vergho; secretary, Conrad C. Diehl. Butz and Schneider were appointed to inform the above of their election. The following rules were adopted:

    1) The newly elected officers may not refuse to serve.

    2

    2) Minimum membership fee shall be two dollars. [Translator's note: The secretary does not state whether this sum is the annual or monthly fee.]

    3) Anyone who pays fifty cents or more shall be permitted to speak and vote in the general meetings for the period of one year.

    4) The salary of the agent shall be three hundred dollars per year.

    Heinrich Greenbaum, President.

    Report of the Agent of the German Society of Chicago for April and May, 1862

    April May
    Secured employment for 93 85
    Secured railroad passes for poor 3 1
    Secured railroad passes for wounded soldiers 3 1
    Found baggage for 11 2
    3
    April May
    Located relatives for 5 3
    Families allotted food 7 5
    Assisted in financial matters 8 6
    Found lodgings for families 6 2
    Secured medical aid and medicines for 7 5
    Soldiers' families supported 6 6
    Assisted immigrants to proceed on their journey 4 1
    Corresponded for 120 98
    Referred to county for aid 5 2
    Total 281 219
    Total for April and May 500

    My activity as agent of the German Society of Chicago was interrupted by the President's call for the organization of volunteer state militia. In my spare time I have devoted myself to helping needy immigrants and 4countrymen without remuneration from the Society, until the Conscription Act was passed; but now my term of service has expired.

    The German public of Chicago, a city where fifty thousand Teutons live, should pay more attention to immigration which is the cause of the great and rapid development of the city.

    While Americans annually spend large sums of money for benevolent purposes, as for instance, for orphan homes, homes for the friendless, and homes for the aged, the German Society of Chicago, which has become a refuge for helpless immigrants and needy German citizens, ought not fall asleep; for the German Society of Chicago is the only German organization which aids needy Germans without respect to origin or creed

    If our German citizens would cease helping every beggar and bum who comes to their door or approaches them in the streets, especially in the winter, and would donate corn, flour, meat, potatoes, etc., no Chicago family 5that is worthy of support would have to go hungry.

    The German Society has done much to increase the school attendance of poor children by exercising a "moral" compulsion--by giving shoes and clothing to those poor pupils who attend school regularly.

    We take great pleasure in commending the work done in the Juvenile Home, where German children were always heartily welcomed and well cared for.

    The Home of the Friendless is maintained for the benefit of children of dissolute or criminally inclined parents, or children who are in danger of entering upon a life of crime, and it has proved to be very effective. However the Home of the Friendless is not a suitable place for the children of poor but law-abiding parents; these children should be placed in more pleasant and less dangerous surroundings, so that they are not estranged from their parents and do not fall prey to greedy employers.

    6

    The Home for Workers is in its infancy. It is the most pleasant and most necessary of all branches of charity; for who is more deserving among the needy than the man or woman who is diligent and faithful and would like to work but is prevented from doing so by age and physical disability, and would rather starve than become an inmate of a poorhouse?

    In the Reform School there are proportionately few German boys; and the majority of them have been placed there because of youthful carelessness or indifference on the part of their parents, who either send their boys out to gather old iron and other junk, or permit them to loiter idly about the streets and alleys. In time the lads meet bad companions and finally are confined to reform schools, where they come into contact with confirmed and hardened offenders, and as a result the boys are totally demoralized.

    I hope that the German Society of Chicago endeavors to have juvenile delinquents classified, so that light offenders, first offenders, or those who do not participate in evil deeds, but just accompany the offenders, are not 7placed on the same level with, treated as, and confined with, real criminals, thieves, robbers, murderers, etc., but are kept separate from the latter.

    The inmates of the Reform School should be classified in the following manner: 1) Non-participating observer; 2) Seduced; 3) Corrigible; 4) Incorrigible.

    As in Germany, the societies "for the protection of German emigrants" are expanding their activity, so we also should take greater precautions to protect immigrants in our country.

    In conclusion I wish to emphasize that if the German Society of Chicago is not more alert, the thieves and confidence men in New York and other ports will have a gay time; for the German Society of Chicago and the St. Louis Immigrant Society have done more to prevent swindling than any other organization in the United States. The German Society of Chicago may justly be proud of the fact that it has exposed several attempts to defraud innocent people of large sums of money and valuable property, and has also succeeded 8in locating much valuable baggage.

    If the German immigrants who come to Chicago are left without a source of information or material aid, the city will not only lose its wide-spread reputation for the assistance rendered immigrants, but also will soon be deprived of the valuable services of these people.

    The Chicago Turnverein and the Chicago Arbeiterverein have done much for charitable purposes; however, the great majority of the members of these organizations are of the laboring class; many of them are members of the German Society of Chicago, and their zeal is commendable. Yet it is desirable that those who have wealth--home owners, businessmen, and professional men--take a greater and more active interest in benevolence. And they really are obligated, for they avail themselves of the services of the Society when they need help in their offices, stores, or homes.

    I wish to thank our president, Mr. Heinrich Greenbaum for the valuable 9aid he has given me in my work. He was always willing to assist me whenever difficulties presented themselves, though at times it was necessary that he neglect his business in order to comply with my request.

    I have always tried to be just toward everybody; if I appeared to be unsympathetic in some instances it was only because I wished to discourage people who are not worthy of assistance. There are a great number of beggars who journey from city to city; they are very successful in arousing the sympathy of the public, much more so than worthy applicants for aid. They manage to lead the existence which appeals to them by carefully avoiding any flagrant offense against the laws pertaining to vagrancy. When I refuse to feed or house these lazy persons, they slander the German Society of Chicago. And the public, not knowing that these professional beggars have been driven from some neighboring city by the civil authorities, believes their stories about about inhuman treatment.

    .......[The next paragraph of this article contains a repetition of previously 10expressed thoughts.]

    Respectfully,

    F. Schlund, Agent.

    ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT

    Receipts for 1862 and 1863 $652.07
    Disbursements for 1862 and 1863 246.50
    Balance $405.57

    Heinrich Greenbaum, President.

    May 2, 1863.

    The general meeting of the German Society of Chicago was held in the German House, May 3, 1863, with President Heinrich Greenbaum presiding. The report of Agent Schlund was read ...

    German
    III B 2, III G, III D, II E 3, II E 2, II D 3, II D 5, II D 4, II D 7, II D 8, I B 3 b, I D 1 a, II D 10

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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- October 10, 1863
    Eastern Bank Notes Flood the West (Editorial)

    It cannot have escaped the notice of the public that for some time the circulation of United States paper money has decreased to an alarming extent, and that a great number of notes issued by private banks, mostly in the East, are in use here. Business men especially find that they have been obliged of late to refer to the "bank note reporter" more frequently, in order to convince themselves of the genuineness of notes issued by banks that are unknown to them, or of the solvency of certain financial institutions. As a rule, these bank notes are issued by some bank that is located in the interior of some Eastern State. No local banker will accept them at their face value in exchange for greenbacks, and even wholesalers often refuse to accept them at par value; thus retailers and consumers are often obliged to dispose of these notes at a loss, and though the loss in itself is small, it is severely felt by the poor, and is actually equivalent to being robbed.

    2

    This robbery should be stopped immediately, and that could be done very easily. The statute books of Illinois contain a law which makes it illegal to issue or accept any bank note of $5 or more that is issued by a bank outside of Illinois, and provides a fine of $50 for each offense. And even notes of a higher denomination issued by banks outside of Illinois cannot be placed in circulation unless the bank that issues them exchanges them for specie-gold or silver. Since there is no such bank in the United States, the statute mentioned covers the issuance and acceptance of notes issued by any bank in the country.

    The reason why this law has not been enforced is that we had no national medium of exchange, excepting gold and silver, and we were thus obliged to accept the notes issued in States where we do business. However, this reason is no longer valid now that we have a general medium of exchange, namely, green backs; and there are enough of them in circulation to meet and demands of business. Then too, several national banks, the notes of which are secured by United States notes or bonds, have been established 3So there is now no excuse whatever to circulate these "paper rags" with which the West is flooded.

    All things considered, it is now within the power of our citizens to put a stop to this humbug. All they need to do, is to bring suit against bankers and brokers who put such notes into circulation. After a few of these money gougers have been duly punished by the law, the others will cease their nefarious activity. And anyone who refuses or fails to use legal means to protect his pocket book should not complain.

    It cannot have escaped the notice of the public that for some time the circulation of United States paper money has decreased to an alarming extent, and that a great ...

    German
    I D 1 a
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- December 24, 1867
    Undesirable Insurance

    Yesterday we were visited by Mr. A. Gentzel, who formerly operated a cigar business at 57 West Lake Street; Mr. Gentzel's property at that address was insured for $1000 by the Western Phoenix Insurance Company. The building in which Mr. Gentzel carried on his business was burned to the ground by a fire which occurred six months ago. Since Mr. Gentzel had paid his insurance premiums regularly, he expected that the insurance company would discharge its obligations promptly. When he presented his demand for payment at the office of the company, he was told that he would receive $900 on the 20th of December.

    Because he had previously made several vain attempts to collect the money and had been repeatedly told that the president of the company, who allegedly had sole authority to make disbursements, was absent, he thought it advisable to ask us and several of his friends to witness his next effort to obtain the money due him, and he asked us to note the way in which his demand would be rejected; he was certain that this next effort would be no more successful 2than the previous ones had been.

    Mr. Gentzel took his attorney with him for the purpose of enforcing his just claim; and so he, his attorney, several prominent German citizens, and we, entered the office of the Western Phoenix Insurance Company. The attorney explained to the office attendant, who introduced himself as the vice-president of the company, the purpose of our visit, and received the "regular" reply--that the president was out of town and that nobody else, not even he, had authority to pay claims.

    When several of Mr. Gentzel's German friends pointed out that this same excuse had been frequently advanced, and that the matter was taking a serious aspect, the vice-president withdrew into the inner sanctum of his office and said, "Gentlemen, this is my office, and if you have come here to intimidate me, I shall call a policeman and have him eject you".

    Of course, it was futile to make further remonstrations under such circumstances, 3so we left the office.

    We have information from reliable sources that this is not the first time that the vice-president of the Western Phoenix Insurance Company has advanced the absence of the president of the company as an excuse for avoiding the payment of legally justified claims, and an article published in the Banking And Insurance Chronicle of December 19 strengthens our conviction that the Western Phoenix Insurance Company is always ready to issue policies, but can be persuaded only by special "inducements" to pay losses.

    Our German citizens should consider this angle very carefully when choosing a company in which to insure their property.

    Yesterday we were visited by Mr. A. Gentzel, who formerly operated a cigar business at 57 West Lake Street; Mr. Gentzel's property at that address was insured for $1000 by ...

    German
    I D 1 a, II A 2, II B 2 d 1
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 21, 1871
    [American Ways] (Editorial)

    America represented to prospective immigrants as the country of work has actually become a fool's paradise, where the native Americans at any rate live on their wits, and everything is being imported from Europe. The American only works till he has enough to start speculating. This desire to become rich without labor also appears in Germany, but there the firmer social structure keeps the greed of the individual in bounds.

    While America gets quite absurdly excited about monarchy, aristocracy and other forms of government that are here quite impossible, there is growing up a power which threatens to overshadow the U. S. which might destroy the moral and material existence of the State much more thoroughly than all the emperors, kings and junkers of Europe: namely, Speculation outgrowing productive labor and the big money corporations.

    America represented to prospective immigrants as the country of work has actually become a fool's paradise, where the native Americans at any rate live on their wits, and everything is ...

    German
    I C, I D 1 a
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 21, 1871
    [America and the Immigrants]

    Editorial: America represented to prospective immigrants as the country of work has actually become a fool's paradise, where the native Americans at any rate live on their wits, and everything is being imported from Europe. The American only works till he has enough to start speculating. This desire to become rich without labor also appears in Germany, but there the firmer social structure keeps the greed of the individual in bounds.

    While America get quite absurdly excited about monarchy, aristocracy and other forms of government that are here quite impossible, there is growing up a power which threatens to overshadow the U. S. which might destroy the moral and material existence of the State much more thoroughly than all the emperors, kings and junkers of Europe; namely, Speculation outgrowing productive labor and the big money corporations.

    Editorial: America represented to prospective immigrants as the country of work has actually become a fool's paradise, where the native Americans at any rate live on their wits, and everything ...

    German
    I D 1 a, III G
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 28, 1871
    [The Abolition of the Income Tax]

    Editorial about the abolition of the income tax. Editor applauds U. S. Senate for having voted 26.25 for the abolition. Reasons: Rich people able to evade it (Officials and employees have to pay it). Only 275,000 people paid the tax in 1870. Obviously, very many people with incomes over $1000 evaded it.

    Income tax has a depressing and demolishing influence, penalizes the spirit of enterprise and industrial success. Its abolition will be of advantage not only for those who had to pay it, but has the whole of the population.

    Editorial about the abolition of the income tax. Editor applauds U. S. Senate for having voted 26.25 for the abolition. Reasons: Rich people able to evade it (Officials and employees ...

    German
    I H, I D 1 b, I D 1 a
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- March 07, 1871
    [Political Matters]

    Editorial Blast of triumph greeting the election of Blaine, a high tariff man, to the speakership of the House. "It is a catastrophe for the new revenue Reform Party, and it must have been for the Chicago Tribune, "bitter as gale and wormwood."

    "But- in the sense in which now the Tribune wants revenue reform, to be understood, we can completely agree with her. Yes, we go even much farther. Of the life necessities the Tribune wants to exempt only coal and salt from import duties. We not only agree with that, but demand also, the reduction to abolition of the duties on coffee, tea, sugar, rice, spices, and other necessities, that are being produced in our country either not at all or not in sufficient quantity. This to us seems free trade in the right direction, and much more important than the reduction of duties on products of underpaid European factory labor, with which the higher paid American worker cannot compete. Every policy that raises the value of home labor is advancing culture; every policy that reduced it is hostile to civilization.

    Reduction of duties and taxes is a perfectly Justifiable demand, with which every Republican can fully sympathize. The colossal income surpluses of the Federal Government are an evil that must be fought resolutely."

    Editorial Blast of triumph greeting the election of Blaine, a high tariff man, to the speakership of the House. "It is a catastrophe for the new revenue Reform Party, and ...

    German
    I D 1 a, I J, I D 1 b