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.

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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- April 23, 1864
    Seamstresses Strive for Increase in Wages (Editorial)

    If any class of workers deserves sympathy and support in its endeavors to obtain an increase in wages, it is the seamstresses. In an earlier article, we described the sad plight of the women and girls who work in the garment factories in New York. We emphasized the fact that it would be much to the advantage of these feminine wage earners if they would acquire positions as maids and housekeepers, who are always greatly in demand. The house, and not the factory is the proper sphere of a woman's activity. We also called attention to the fact that many native-born seamstresses cannot obtain housework because they know nothing about running a home.

    It must also be taken into account that the great demand by the Army for uniforms, tents, etc., has made female labor in garment and tent factories indispensable, and that soldiers' wives who have no children are forced to 2do sewing in order to support themselves. And it is the duty of society to see to it that these women, who are doing work necessary for the welfare of the country, receive wages that will enable them to live at least like human beings.

    Many of them cannot make a living, not even the girls and women who work in factories operated by contractors who are partly under government supervision. When, for instance, some philanthropists of Philadelphia investigated the conditions prevailing among the female employes in the arsenal of that city, they reported the following:

    Women and girls who hold cards permitting them to work in the arsenal get $2.16 for making eight pairs of infantry pants, or twenty-seven cents a pair, and they get four dollars for making eight pairs of cavalry pants. However, one woman or girl cannot make eight pairs of either kind of pants in a week. The pay for other work is much less. A woman reported that her pay for making 3a pair of military pants was decreased from ten to four cents; for making a cavalry coat, from $1.25 to ninety cents; and for making a tent, from twenty-five to sixteen cents. She said it was a good day's work to make three tents, and that it was required of her to sew forty-six buttons on each tent, and to make forty-six buttonholes and twenty loopholes, all for sixteen cents.

    Another woman told the investigators that she was employed at making shirts, that she received 12½ cents a shirt, and had to work diligently from early morning to ten o'clock at night in order to earn four dollars a week. Another said that she received seventy-five cents for making a dozen hats, and that her average weekly wage for working from seven o'clock in the morning until eleven o'clock at night was five dollars. Another woman stated that she was more than fifty years old, that her son was in the army, and that she was obliged to work for the support of herself and one child, that she worked at 4the arsenal and received $2.16 for making eight pairs of pants and $2.40 for making sixteen shirts.

    Nearly all the women and girls complained that they were treated roughly and contemptuously by all except a few of the officers of the arsenal. And corruption is found even in such institutions. At least, one of the employes claimed that there is better-paid work available, but that the clerks take this work home and have it done by their mothers, or sisters, or wives, or fiancees, who earn as much as fourteen dollars a week. One of the clerks provides his mother and two sisters with this better-paid work, and a third sister is employed at the arsenal at six dollars a week. And the most revolting thing about this sad affair is that these poor wretches are forced to work under such revolting conditions in a government-controlled institution, and must suffer under the greed and selfishness of officers who should set a good example for others in respect to the wages they pay and their conduct toward their employes.

    5

    The Philadelphia investigators intended to bring the matter to the attention of Congress and to demand that the guilty be punished and that a more humane policy be followed hereafter.

    If any class of workers deserves sympathy and support in its endeavors to obtain an increase in wages, it is the seamstresses. In an earlier article, we described the sad ...

    German
    I H, I K, I G
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 23, 1871
    [The Enfranchisement of Women]

    Report of a session of the County Association for the enfranchisement of women.

    The Staats Zeitung always strikes a humorous note in reporting the activities of the would-be women voters.

    Report of a session of the County Association for the enfranchisement of women. The Staats Zeitung always strikes a humorous note in reporting the activities of the would-be women voters.

    German
    I K
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- October 03, 1871
    [The German-American School System]

    If one wants to have good pupils, one first must have good teachers. This fact the gentlemen of the School Board don't seem to have yet understood. They do not say, that in order to have good pupils one must have good women-teachers, but they show through their actions that they are deeply convinced of the truth of this statement. We surely do not belong to those who would deny to women the ability of teaching. We are even convinced that for schools for the smallest children (Kleinkinderschulen) a good woman teacher is to be preferred to a good male teacher. But if one asserts, as the Superintendent has done, that the women have shown themselves better teachers of the German language than the men, one must have selected intentionally, or from ignorance, the worst men teachers.

    In today's session of the School Board, the Committee for the German Language is scheduled to give its report on the examinations of women-teachers. The German-American School Society of Chicago is going to present a petition in which it will be explained at length why men also should be admitted to the examinations, respectively why they should have a chance to be appointed as teachers of German.

    2

    We hope that this time the Committee for German instruction - the Messrs. Wunsche, Richberg, and Schintz will fight on the side of reason. Mr. Schintz who could adduce like no one else, the most convincing proofs for the appointment of German men-teachers, unfortunately is (as he is said to have expressed himself) to intensely occupied with his own practical future that it is quite impossible for him to think of his pedagogical present.

    The question of money, with which one counters our argument, should not be considered, quite aside from the fact that the men-teachers offer to teach for the same salary as the women. The German language, at present, is being taught in the public schools almost in the same way as one teaches a dead language, the poor students are being badgered with vocabulary and spelling, but of the spirit and the individuality of the language, they hear nothing. And it is a question if this system could not be changed by the appointment of some able German men-teachers. We are inclined to answer in the affirmative.

    If one wants to have good pupils, one first must have good teachers. This fact the gentlemen of the School Board don't seem to have yet understood. They do not ...

    German
    I A 1 b, I K, III B 2
  • Skandinaven -- September 18, 1872
    [Girls Resent Charges]

    Three industrious shop girls asked Skandinaven to please help them defend the Norwegian girls' reputation in Chicago.

    We may perhaps be mistaken, for that K. L. may be referring to other nationalities in the Amerika of recent date. However, we feel that the Amerika's name should be "Blamerika."

    K. L. states in a translated article in the Amerika that all young girls are crazy about fashionable dresses. The rich girl buys them at $50, but the poor girl cannot afford them, However, she wants to be fashionable, and how can it be done! The answer is that she sells her virtue. He states further that that is why the houses of shame exist.

    Kund Larigelando insinuations we Norwegian girls will not tolerate. We have come to the United States of America, where we get our good, honest pay either as servants or shop girls until we get better positions. But 2it is always enough to keep us dressed respectable, and we do not wish to have our reputation spoiled by a person like L. K. We love our adopted country too much. We have always been respected by the Americans and we intend to remain so. Hence this few lines and thanks to Skandinaven for taking this article.

    Three industrious shop girls asked Skandinaven to please help them defend the Norwegian girls' reputation in Chicago. We may perhaps be mistaken, for that K. L. may be referring to ...

    Norwegian
    I H, I K
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 08, 1873
    German Lady Teachers.

    The Board of Education is asking once more for German women teachers. Since the fire many vacancies have occurred. But the Board of Education was unable to fill all the vacancies.....Up to yesterday, there were five vacancies during the last four months. Inquiries were made at St. Louis and Milwaukee, but in neither these cities could women teachers be had.

    To appoint men teachers, instead, is not possible either. The positions do not pay a high enough salary to attract good teachers, and poor ones are not wanted. Besides that, American ideals disapprove the idea of a teacher going straight from the drawing-room to the school and vice-versa.

    2

    We thus wish to attract the attention of parents to the fact that German women teachers are in demand, and that teaching offers their daughters a well paid career. Should the Germans be unwilling, or unable, to furnish the teachers, Americans will become suspicious and wonder why Germans are asking for German instruction.

    The Board of Education is asking once more for German women teachers. Since the fire many vacancies have occurred. But the Board of Education was unable to fill all the ...

    German
    II A 1, I K, I A 1 b
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- February 07, 1873
    [German Women Teachers]

    At the examination for German women teachers for the public schools which took place yesterday, were only nine women. Three of them did not understand one word of English, and two others were deficient in other regards. Only two seemed to be qualified. This is a sad situation and the German committee of the School Board is facing once more a lack of women teachers of the German language.

    At the examination for German women teachers for the public schools which took place yesterday, were only nine women. Three of them did not understand one word of English, and ...

    German
    II A 1, I K, I C, I A 1 b
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 20, 1875
    American Radicalism (Editorial)

    In Germany to be radical meant, and still means, to apply all one's strength and resources in opposing and trying to overthrow the existing form of government [(Monarchy)]. Most of the so-called "Forty-eighters" were radicals in this sense of the word. [Translator's note: The author refers to the leaders of the German Revolution of 1848. Among them were Hecker, Sigel, Schurz, Rosenthal, Resencranz, Annecke, Ostermann, Solomon, and others who served the North during the Civil War.] In America they did not find the object against which their radicalism was directed. However, slavery offered itself as a substitute, and they opposed it with remarkable success. Since slavery has been abolished, German radicalism has been idle, but has been seeking new fields of endeavor. Recently, it seems, German liberals wanted to import the fight which is being waged in Europe, between Germany and the Vatican, to America, in order to have opportunity for following their 2mad inclinations to destroy.

    However, there are also American radicals who are opposed to our form of government, and are bent on establishing a system that is the direct opposite of the one we are now maintaining, when the opportunity to do so presents itself. In Germany the radicals demanded that the monarchy be abolished; American radicals are demanding that universal suffrage be abolished. The two movements are similar, inasmuch as they seek to destroy historical institutions, and that certainly requires moral courage. To revile kings and emperors while one is in America, requires no more courage than it does to revile republics when one is in Germany; but when an American tells our tyrannical dictators, "the people," that they are incompetent, that they cannot rule themselves,--well, no honest person can call him a coward.

    In this sense the Chicago Times is a very radical publication. For some time it has made revolutionary attacks on the prevailing majority rule, which is based upon universal suffrage. The substitute for our present 3American form of government which it recommends is nothing less than German imperialism. The Chicago Times would like to have the rights of the people limited exclusively to the election of a representative body [Reichstag], and advocates that the election of all executive, administrative, and judicial officers be abolished. All these "servants of the people" ought to be appointed; but, for the present, the Chicago Times does not state who should appoint them. However it would not be inconsistent of the Times, if it demanded that the respective officers not even be elected indirectly-- in other words, if it demanded that some of the government offices not be filled by popular election.

    While declaring its reasons for its radical demands, the Times makes several malicious sidethrusts at the Germans, which is nothing unusual. We shall make a reply at some more suitable time. At present it is our object to present only the fundamental ideas of the Times as a noteworthy sign of our age, and anyone who has intercourse with educated Americans knows that they often express the very same ideas.

    4

    "To elect someone" says Parton, "does not mean merely to cast a ballot into a box, but to express an opinion". Ignorance, however, is unable to express an opinion. The Times has this to say on this point: "Self-government means self-support, self-control, and self-guidance. The individual who has not the self-supporting, self-guiding, and self-controlling faculty, is not fit for, nor capable of self-government. He is not a fit or safe person to be entrusted with the elective franchise in any political society."

    Ignorance is not mere illiteracy. Some of the most illiterate people are among those most capable of self-support, self-control, and self-guidance; are among those most capable of forming intelligent and reliable opinions upon all matters of public or private concern. Many who are popularly called "educated" are among the least capable in these respects.

    As a rule women are incapable of forming trustworthy decisions on political or public issues, although they are qualified by "education" to devour 5"society literature" by the shipload. There are exceptions, of course, but, in general, "educated" women possess less true voting faculty than the most illiterate men.

    In this respect they compare with those "educated" male bipeds whom Parton calls "the snobs of society, who turn up their noses at 'this voting, you know'; 'deuced nuisance, you know'; 'never voted in my life, you know'; 'and never shall, you know'". Like the lower class of Germans, called educated because they have acquired by machinery the arts of reading and writing, they are incapable of self-government; they need somebody to take care of and provide for them. This criticism is not meant to disparage the high social function of women; it is simply a statement of the fact, that, in general, women, irrespective of their literary attainments, lack the faculty of voting; and, lacking the faculty, they should not be permitted to do so in any representative state.

    6

    It is said that on the Sandwich Islands there is not a man, woman, or child who cannot read and write, most of them in two languages. According to our theorists who advocate compulsory schooling, the Kanakas should be a people eminently qualified to save our political institutions from ruin. They are, probably, no less qualified for that purpose than the "snobs of society" described by Mr. Parton, or the hordes of lower-class Germans and Scandinavians, who, though given an elementary education by state machinery, are less capable of self-guidance than the most "ignorant white trash" in the South, and not much more so than that class which, having just emerged from centuries of slavery, has been deemed by our "educated" politicians qualified to assume at once the highest political functions; or who, if not so qualified, can, it is thought, be made so by a few turns of a governmental schooling machine.

    No prophetic instinct or power is necessary to predict that political institutions resting on such a foundation of ignorance, which prevails not only among the most illiterate, but also among the most "educated" schoolmasters 7and legislators, are predestined to "ruin". No state schooling machinery can possibly raise the stream higher than its source.

    This writer advocates the only rational remedy. It is to diminish the source by "disfranchising ignorance". Illiteracy should be included in this ignorance disfranchised; but to disfranchise illiteracy alone is not sufficient. The ignorance that consists in lack of the faculty of honest self-support, self-control, and self-guidance is that which constitutes the unsafe, the impossible foundation of free representative institutions. This is the ignorance that must be disfranchised in order to avert the "ruin".

    Some will say it is impractical and inexpedient. Practicability and expediency are not the issues. The question is the alternative: political downfall or disfranchisement of ignorance. No doubt, political destruction is both more practical and more expedient than the disfranchisement of ignorance. Our "educated" politicians prefer the former. But the disfranchisement of ignorance is not so impractical as many people think. There are many ways 8of establishing a suffrage qualification that would exclude not only the ignorance of illiteracy, but also the greater and more dangerous ignorance of incapacity.

    One of the best and surest ways of excluding the evil consequences of ignorant balloting is to abolish it. The basis of representative government is the constitution of a representative body by free, popular election. At that point, in any really good form of representative government, the popular election business stops. The selection of executive, administrative, or judicial functionaries by popular ballot is no part of a truly republican or representative form of government. It is a poisonous outgrowth, borrowed by "educated" demagogues and jobhunters from the semibarbarous system called "democracy," of which history furnishes not a single example that has not proven to be a failure. It is literally and truly a relic of barbarism and, supplemented by the universal enfranchisement of ignorance and incapacity, will surely lead any nation to either barbarism or despotism. There are no good reasons to think that America will prove to be an exception to a rule 9that heretofore has been without a single exception.

    This is the viewpoint of the Chicago Times on American radicalism. If a newspaper printed in Germany had published the article quoted from the Times, it would have evoked angry retorts from our people, about the "ignorance" of the "foreigners" and their "inability to understand American conditions". And yet, one cannot blame the people across the ocean for relying upon the judgment of a newspaper, which cannot be classed as a party organ, but speaks its mind, irrespective of parties or persons, though it may be guilty of unspeakable offenses against morality and decency. The views which it expressed concerning the effect of electing officers sound rather harsh; yet, in substance, they are not different from what hundreds of American newspapers have written for many years, although in somewhat more careful language, and with certain reservations. The same veiwpoint is expressed by the frequently heard complaint: "We have too many elections". However, it is questionable whether or not the general dissatisfaction with the present system of election will lead to a fundamental change.

    In Germany to be radical meant, and still means, to apply all one's strength and resources in opposing and trying to overthrow the existing form of government [(Monarchy)]. Most of ...

    German
    I E, I H, I J, I K, I A 1 a
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- March 27, 1875
    Against Woman's Suffrage (Editorial)

    For several years advocates of woman's suffrage have claimed that the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is to be interpreted to mean that a woman who is a citizen of the United States and of a state has the right to vote in the state in which she lives, even if the constitution and the laws of that state specifically grant the right to vote only to men. While it is true that ordinary common sense can find nothing in the Constitution to justify such a conclusion, this illogical conclusion has been a sacred doctrine to the advocates of woman's suffrage ever since Victoria Woodhull and several other loquacious ladies told the Judicial Committee of the House of Representatives that woman's suffrage is "an integral part of our Constitutional rights".

    2

    At that time, Ben Buttler, one of the members of the Judicial Committee, claimed that this interpretation was correct. Of course, he too is a suffragist, but he proved time and again that he was merely making fun of his feminine political associates, by carefully avoiding the defense of that "Constitutional doctrine" before a court. However, Susan Anthony believed in it so firmly that she exposed herself to fine and imprisonment by attempting to gain her "right" to vote by force.

    Some adherents to the "Constitutional doctrine" have presented their claim to franchise rights at nearly every major election that was held during the past few years. One case has been appealed from the Supreme Court of Missouri to the Supreme Court of the United States. The United States Supreme Court has just rendered a decision on the issue. It has decided that the Constitution of the United States confers the right to vote upon no one, that voting is a matter left to the states, and that the Constitution of the United States contains no provisions which could possibly justify the conclusion 3that the state voting laws are null and void, because they restrict the right to vote to men.

    Thus the endeavors of the suffragettes have come to naught again. That is as it should be. We hope that they are satisfied and that they will further efforts to "elevate" woman to a sphere into which she was not placed by nature, and where she is not "at home".

    For several years advocates of woman's suffrage have claimed that the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is to be interpreted to mean that a woman who ...

    German
    I K
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- August 12, 1878
    Woman Labor

    Among the remedies for all ailments of human society, which in the socialist apothecary's shop, occupy as prominent a place as Spir. Frumenti, Spir. Vin. Gall, or Spir. Junip. in the average American Drug Store, is the abolition of woman labor in the factories. This demand comes, as a matter of fact, immediately after the eight hour working day.

    How much reason for this exists in America, we are not able to determine. But, if conditions as we have them before our eyes in the West, prevail over the whole country, then the employment of married women in factories is so extremely rare that it hardly plays an appreciable role. It always has been America's fame and pride that here the married women, even of the poorest laboring class, devotes herself exclusively to her household and is not forced, as in England, Germany and Austria, through work in field or factories, to prejudice her duties as wife and mother.

    But different from the case of the married women, is that of the girls, Of them 2thousands and thousands stampede the factories, naturally those where the work is easy. But if it is this girl labor, which the socialistic world physicians are trying to abolish, they will have to fight it out above all with the girls, themselves. Because they have no inclination to regard themselves as "miserable white slaves," or as female proletarians, needing deliverance.

    As housemaide they could have a much more healthful and much more profitable occupation, but they reject this with disdain. Hence, while since the great crash, all other wages went down in proportion to the slowing up of the economic process, the wages of housemaids not only remained at their former level, but in many cases still continued to rise.

    Among all people in this country who earn their livelihood through work, nobody is so "independent", so much the master, yes, quite often the tyrant of his employers, as is the housemaid.

    If the socialists with their passion against industrial women-labor could 3induce those hundred thousands of girls who prefer "factory slavery" to housework, to acknowledge the "true female profession," that means by assistance in the household, to perfect themselves in their art, they would be doing a great favor to hundreds of thousands of "employers" (housewives).

    But, if by any chance, they should declare domestic service as degrading, and then still would insist on abolishing woman factory labor, then the effect of all their endeavors (whatever their intention) would be nothing else but the promotion of prostitution.

    Among the remedies for all ailments of human society, which in the socialist apothecary's shop, occupy as prominent a place as Spir. Frumenti, Spir. Vin. Gall, or Spir. Junip. in ...

    German
    I K, I E, I H, III H, I D 2 a 3
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- February 26, 1879
    Tempestuous Temperance Move (Editorial)

    The "drys," both male and female, are preparing an attack on the legislative forces of the State of Illinois. The army, under the leadership of commandress Frances E. Willard, will appear before the lawmakers of Springfield next week, and will swamp the assembly with petitions for a statute to obtain local option; a further provision giving votes to women will constitute an additional blessing for the people. The dual proposal, as is well known, would give the fair sex the right to decide whether alcoholic drinks may be sold in a given community; thus the men would cease to be the sole arbiters of that question. Willard and her staff exult in stating that "their petition represents one half of the women living in Illinois".

    Such a mixture of local option and women suffrage would in fact be equivalent to tyrannical power to enforce prohibition in many parts of our State. Both 2houses of the legislature have already appointed committees to give Willard and her regiments an appropriate reception, and to introduce them to the representatives who fashion our laws. Willard will resort to a mighty harangue in favor of temperance and women's rights when she addresses the assembly, and other speakers will follow.

    The danger of this onslaught by the temperance forces must not be underestimated. The mischief wrought five and six years ago by these female temperance crusaders definitely established that the "henpecked" element among the Americans is a very large entity; a large contingent of liberalminded, cultured citizens dared not object, and many men even joined the militant ranks.

    The "drys," both male and female, are preparing an attack on the legislative forces of the State of Illinois. The army, under the leadership of commandress Frances E. Willard, will ...

    German
    I B 2, I K