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.

Read more about this historic project.

Filter by Date

  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 03, 1866
    Vox Populi [Warning to Workers]

    To the Editor of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung! An advertisement in your newspaper stated that the Chicago Employment Association, which has an office at 118 South Clark Street, wanted two hundred carpenters, and promised to secure employment for them at a wage of five dollars a day. I and two other carpenters went to the office of the Association, and after paying a fee of two dollars, we were sent to the C. R. Pool Company, in Memphis, Tennessee. Transportation cost us twelve dollars each. We traveled to Cairo via the Illinois Central Railroad (second class), thence to Memphis by steamer (second deck). Upon our arrival, we immediately went to the office of the C. R. Pool Company and were told that it neither needed nor had ordered any carpenters. Thus we were obliged to return to Chicago. We spent the money for our fares and paid the freight charges for transporting our tools, but did not attain our object. I therefore warn all workers against having 2any dealings with the Chicago Employment Association.

    Respectfully,

    Hermann Harms.

    To the Editor of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung! An advertisement in your newspaper stated that the Chicago Employment Association, which has an office at 118 South Clark Street, wanted two hundred ...

    German
    II A 2, I D 2 c
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- August 16, 1871
    [Immigrant Labor]

    The following strange letter was received at our offices: Replying to your article in the Staats Zeitung of today, regarding my reports to the Volkstaat, I should like to ask you next time not to mix in my person, as you will have seen very well that I acted only on the order of the Association. For the rest, the memory of the gentlemen of the Staats Zeitung seem to suffer from extraordinary shortness, for it is hardly five months since it brought daily reports from New York and other big cities that so many had died from hunger. Do the workers contract this fever perhaps from over-eating, or from what? Otherwise, yours truly, H. R. Zimpel.

    So. Mr. H. R. Zimpel is not a myth, but a real person, even though he is angry that we have drawn him out of the shadows, while he would rather have remained hidden behind the chimney screen of the "Social Democratic Association." In any case Mr. Zimpel is unique. Because - revolting as it is - a few persons in the City of New York died of hunger, he warns the workers not to come to America, because in America, every year thousands starve to death! He deserves a medal - and so does the Social Democratic Association, if it read and qpproved this report before hand. If the Association still exists it would oblige us by sending us information regarding its next meeting. "Mochte selbst solcheinen Herren Kennen, Wursde ihn Herrn Mikroksmus nennen." (I would like to press him to my boson, I would call him Mr. Mikrokosm.)

    The following strange letter was received at our offices: Replying to your article in the Staats Zeitung of today, regarding my reports to the Volkstaat, I should like to ask ...

    German
    III G, I E, I D 2 c, II B 2 d 1
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 11, 1873
    Other....Proposals by Altgeld.

    ....In regard to prison labor, he advocates that convicts should be attached to small industries, so that no competition with free labor may arise....

    (Translator's note)

    Recalling his pre-election promises: "Convict-contract labor is unconstitutional," it seems utterly incomprehensible to disregard one of his major promises upon which he rode into office.

    ....In regard to prison labor, he advocates that convicts should be attached to small industries, so that no competition with free labor may arise.... (Translator's note) Recalling his pre-election promises: ...

    German
    I H, IV, I F 3, I D 2 c
  • Hejmdal -- February 27, 1875
    [The Local Socialists and Communists]

    We are rather surprised to see how the Socialists and Communists talk and criticize the government of Chicago in general. They are always attacking the Relief and Aid Society with the same complaint, that the donations to the needy people are insufficient and are not of much benefit. They made up their minds, at a big mass meeting, that the officers of the Society should be discharged and that the Socialists and Communists should run the relief office. The present leaders of those on relief are dishonest; as we all can see, the whole affair is "red". Nothing came of it. Last Thursday a mass of people were outside the relief station, mostly Communists, but there was no battle.

    We are rather surprised to see how the Socialists and Communists talk and criticize the government of Chicago in general. They are always attacking the Relief and Aid Society with ...

    Danish
    I E, I H, I F 2, I D 2 c
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- March 08, 1879
    The Executive Board of the German Society

    The executive board of the German Society held its regular monthly session yesterday with Mr. Enderis presiding. [Translator's note: Elsewhere the name is spelled "Endres".] The following monthly report was submitted by the agent:

    "The German Society did its share last month in helping to relieve the general condition. The total amount of money spent, that is, the cash contributions to the poor, is slightly in excess of the January figures. In January $354.47 was donated to charity, and in February, $358.65 was contributed. The major portions were paid to indigent families which were without income because of ailing family heads, and to destitute widows with small children.

    "As was indicated in our last report, immigration actually increased in February; in fact, the upturn had begun to be noticeable in January. It is estimated that there were only from one hundred and fifty to two hundred arrivals in January, while in February the number increased to three or four hundred persons, laborers 2of all nationalities. Many of these immigrants sought farm work.

    "During the last month, twenty-five employers, mostly farmers and gardeners in suburban areas, called at our office, and with few exceptions, secured farm help.

    "Such unemployed persons who are actually willing to do laboring work to make an honest living, and who hope to reach higher levels by this means, find opportunities increasing daily. Unfortunately, however, as we have previously reported, we are occasionally faced with a discouraging experience. Some people come to our office every day, some even two and three times a day, imploring us to find any kind of work for them so they need not starve. Finally, when, after considerable effort we have succeeded in finding the applicants jobs in keeping with their ability, and as good as the present financial stringency permits, then, instead of being highly grateful for the temporary respite, many of these people have shown dissatisfaction. They have made the most outrageous demands and have refused to work rather than accept a low wage. Then they annoy 3us anew with supplications and complaints.

    "In this connection we may also add that there is a great demand for maid servants, but we rarely find girls who will accept such work, and therefore we cannot satisfy the many requests from prospective employers.

    "One case, involving lost baggage, was brought to our attention, and we took action to locate it.

    "Last year 723 persons called at our office--533 men and 190 women. Of these 723 applicants, 209 asked for help, 257 wanted employment and 165 requested advice and assistance.

    "Cash was paid in 50 instances; 46 people were given room and board for a short period; and employment was obtained for 83 persons. We received 62 letters and mailed 452.

    "Respectfully,

    "Chas. Endres, Agent."

    4

    In the report of the Arrangements Committee, Claussenius, the Consul, declared that prospects for the Society's benefit performance,on March 16, are very favorable, and that success appears assured, provided that everyone co-operates wholeheartedly.

    The executive board of the German Society held its regular monthly session yesterday with Mr. Enderis presiding. [Translator's note: Elsewhere the name is spelled "Endres".] The following monthly report was ...

    German
    II D 10, II D 8, I D 2 c
  • Chicagoer Arbeiter Zeitung -- April 29, 1881
    Immigration and the Unions

    The workingmen undoubtedly feel already the results of the immense immigration. We, of this newspaper are not against immigration, therefore would not engage in combating such, but the question, what will happen, as the result of an over supply of labor, which of course, is a great factor, in decreasing wages, is before us. At the present, most of the immigrants come from Germany, and a large number of those are industrial workers, who have to look for employment, in larger cities only. Several thousand of those workers have come to Chicago, during the last three weeks, some with, and some without their families. It is natural, that all of these people, try first of all, to secure work. The fact is that Chicago has an oversupply of workingmen, which means, that not all of our resident workingmen can find work; what shall be the fate of the newly arrived immigrants, unless they set the price for their services much lower, than what the present wage is? As they are not acquainted with our working methods, there is no question but, that lower wages will be the final result.

    2

    This is also an explanation, for the enthusiasm, with which the capitalistic press greets the immigrants.

    Labor has to be interested in one and the only thing, not to permit that, their standard of life shall be lowered, and still more, to work and insist for a higher standard of life...To suppose, that immigration is responsible for the decrease in wages, is not accurate. This is the case only, when the workingmen, especially the immigrants, do not join any organizations.

    If labor is well organized, which means also, a higher standard of living, then immigration could not hurt them, for, the more people, the higher the need, and the higher the need, the more work is required. This, in connection with being a member of Union Organizations, immigration can not have any bad effects on our labor. But it is of utmost importance, that the immigrants do not lose time, and join the Union Organizations, which is of great advantage to every one. But, the organizations have to live up, to what they are supposed to be.

    Of course, a great regulator in questions of this kind, is the shortening of working hours, which could be obtained only, through labor organizations, and to create such, is the work of existing Unions. Such a procedure would protect our resident workingmen as well as the immigrants.

    The workingmen undoubtedly feel already the results of the immense immigration. We, of this newspaper are not against immigration, therefore would not engage in combating such, but the question, what ...

    German
    III G, I D 2 c, I D 2 a 2, I D 2 a 3
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- July 01, 1881
    The Bakers

    The following circular was sent to the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, with a request that it be published:

    The undersigned hereby announces, on behalf of the Bakers' Union of Chicago, that an employment office has been opened today, at 119 Fifth Avenue, second floor, Room No. 2.

    The object is to combat the bad influence of loafing in saloons. It cannot be denied that taverns have a deleterious effect upon unemployed bakery workers; card games are constantly indulged in and the saloonkeeper, in accordance with his interests, gladly chalks up the bill--facts which are not designed to further the moral or financial welfare of the men who frequent such places.

    2

    On the other hand, it is not convenient for employers to go to several saloons and treat the boys, while in quest of suitable help.

    In consideration of the aforesaid, the employment division has been founded.

    The official employment bureau (119 Fifth Avenue) only charges twenty-five cents as a registration fee if a job is secured. Employers need only send a letter, stating whether a foreman or helper is wanted, and the day when the worker shall report. The fee for this service is twenty-five cents, in postage stamps, to be enclosed in the letter of inquiry.

    I believe that this service fills a longfelt want and will be appreciated by employers as well as employees.

    Submitted at the request of the Baker's Union of Chicago.

    3

    Adam Kurth,

    119 Fifth Avenue, Second Floor, Room No. 3.

    The following circular was sent to the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, with a request that it be published: The undersigned hereby announces, on behalf of the Bakers' Union of Chicago, that an ...

    German
    II D 8, I B 1, I D 2 c, I D 2 a 2
  • Chicagoer Arbeiter Zeitung -- July 11, 1881
    Immigration-Protection.

    Due to the fact, of this year's heavy immigration and also to the fact, that a large number of these immigrants, chose the middle West, particularly Chicago, as its domicile, there was dealt a terrific blow to the workers of this city. The German Society of Chicago is doing its utmost, to meet with the difficulties, arising from such influx, and in connection with it, asked the German Societies of New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore for their consent, to obtain the necessary aid, for the protection of the immigrants. We are proud to state, that the reformed management of our Chicago Immigrant homes is a success, and we will continue in this direction. We also endeavor to protect the Immigrants, at different railroad depots, against cheating or overcharging. We found only one railroad, whose dealing with Immigrants is blameless, this is the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago railroad, which has complied with all our requests. As to the rest of the railroad managements, we receive many promises, but there it also ends.

    A reply to out questions in the near future, would be greatly appreciated:

    1. After the immigrants arrival at Castle Garden, what agencies are assisting them to the railroad depots?

    2. How do they obtain their railroad tickets, and who advises them, as to the trains to take?

    2

    You undoubtedly share our interest in this matter, and we consider it, our sacred duty to give the Immigrants, all the assistance we can.

    Those railroads, which we are not willing to co-operate, and comply with our requests, in the interest of the Immigrants, can not receive our consideration.

    The management of the "German Society" of Chicago.

    Due to the fact, of this year's heavy immigration and also to the fact, that a large number of these immigrants, chose the middle West, particularly Chicago, as its domicile, ...

    German
    II D 10, III G, II D 8, II D 7, I D 2 c
  • Skandinaven -- November 17, 1882
    Knights of Labor

    Again the "Knights of Labor" come into the limelight. Much speculation and discussion regarding this organization are going on among the people.

    Now definite information is at hand about this more or less mysterious group. The Knights of Labor was organized in Philadelphia in 1873. At that time it was a secret organization, and for several years remained unknown to the public. Only after four years of its existence did it come out in the open in the guise of a "Brotherhood."

    It seems that the cloth and linen weavers in Philadelphia were the first to conceive the plan of the organization. The stronger the organization became numerically, the stronger it became organizationally, and the more progressive it became.

    In the seventies labor struggled against low wages and long hours, and 2unemployment. So it was natural that the Knights of Labor should grow and become strong. The membership is now about eighty thousand although in 1878 it was twelve thousand. This shows a remarkable increase in four years.

    The "Knights" are nonpartisan; at one time they indorse the Democrats and at another the Republicans. However they only indorse the best candidates, and always the friends of Labor.

    Lately they have resolved to try to have their own people nominated and elected. If they are successful, we can see that it will strengthen the position of the workers and cause a decided change for the better, both in wages and hours. [The principle demand of their program will be of course more jobs.]

    Again the "Knights of Labor" come into the limelight. Much speculation and discussion regarding this organization are going on among the people. Now definite information is at hand about this ...

    Norwegian
    I D 2 a 3, I D 2 c
  • Skandinaven -- November 18, 1882
    Knights of Labor

    The Knights of Labor restrict their membership to workers and small bosses only. According to their constitution, anyone who manufactures or sells liquor, lawyers, doctors and bankers are ineligible. The small bosses are permitted to number only one quarter of the total membership.

    The Knights of Labor claim to support the move to set up government employment offices for workers and also co-operative institutions. They oppose prison work, and child labor. They demand equal pay for men and women, and a maximum of eight hours work per day. They also want the workers to receive weekly pay; they oppose bi-monthly and monthly pay days.

    They believe that all public lands should be sold only to the people and 2not to the railroads or large industrialists, and only enough land per family which can be properly cultivated--a maximum of one hundred and sixty acres.

    It is without doubt the strongest workers' movement in the history of the United States. If its growth continues, it will be a real force, not only politically but socially.

    As we go to press, they have decided to throw their forces with the National Greenback-workers Party, which will to a certain extent strengthen their ranks. We can see the strategy of this move since it gives a definite political face to the organization.

    The Knights of Labor restrict their membership to workers and small bosses only. According to their constitution, anyone who manufactures or sells liquor, lawyers, doctors and bankers are ineligible. The ...

    Norwegian
    I D 2 a 3, I D 2 c, I D 2 b