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 -- April 01, 1862
    Monthly Report of the Agent of the German Society of Chicago Report for February and March, 1862 by F. Schlund, Agent

    February March
    Employment secured for 92 68
    Passes secured for 1
    Shelter secured for 1
    Located friends or relatives for 6 4
    Located baggage for 9 7
    Claim entered for loss of baggage 1
    Mis-sent articles located for 3
    Claims for damage entered for dispossessed Unionists. 4
    Financial advice given 30 5
    2
    February March
    Medical aid and medicines secured for 5 4
    Provided fuel and food for 13 21
    Found living quarters for 3 2
    Wrote letters for 68 50
    Loaned money to 3 3
    Total 199(sic) 169 (sic)

    There is a great lack of farm laborers and I was not able to supply even one half of the requests although the employers offered thirteen or fourteen dollars per month, or one hundred and fifty dollars per year, and in spite of the fact that young men are unable to secure employment in the city. And the supply of domestic help is not nearly adequate to meet the demand.

    Again experience proves that the German public cannot be too careful in granting the power of attorney, in giving authority to collect inheritance, in purchasing transatlantic or transcontinental passage, etc. I have often been convinced that our countrymen have reliable or friends in 3the old country who are able and willing to do anything they can for immigrants; yet the latter prefer to trust Americans, whom they know only by name and who must engage a third party in Germany, to transact business, appear in court, collect money, etc.; and frequently both the American businessman and his representative in Germany are dishonest and defraud their clients of large sums of money. Therefore, I advise my countrymen to have whatever business they may have in Germany done by relatives or friends, and, in the absence of such, by the mayor or village president, and to have the respective American consul supervise the transaction. In this way much money can be saved, and there is practically no opportunity to cheat. And if anybody is unable to carry on the necessary correspondence he may apply to the agent of the Germany Society of Chicago and he may be certain to receive competent advice and aid.

    Many Germans in America think that bills of exchange receive the same preference over other claims in America that is accorded them in Germany, but that is not the case. If payment is refused in Europe on bills of exchange 4which were purchased in America, they have no more value than, and are granted no preference over, any other kind of demand. Thus, people of dubious character, and people who are not financially responsible, can carry on this type of business in this country. Banks in Germany, however, can not be licensed to operate unless they have furnished a sufficient guarantee in money and unless the sum guaranteed has been registered. Thus the purchaser of a German bill of exchange is protected not only by adequate security, but also by an exchange court which has the authority to give a bill of exchange preference over any other claim, and woe unto the dishonest banker!

    We have no such protection here; the avowed honesty of the banker is our only guarantee, and if he unexpectedly closes his doors, all the bills of exchange etc. which he has issued, and all the deposits which he has accepted may be considered lost. Therefore Germans should only do business with those bankers whose moral integrity cannot be questioned, and who may be relied upon to assume no greater financial responsibility than they are able to meet.

    5

    Any American bank which has no other means save the money of depositors must be regarded as very unsound, and has nothing to lose in case it is forced to go out of business.

    I cannot understand why the legislatures of the various states of this country do not enact laws which offer the working classes and businessmen more protection against dishonest moneylenders. If a Cook County delegate to the legislature in Springfield should sponsor a bill guaranteeing more security to bank clients as protection against the nefarious wiles and schemes of shylocks, he would at least have the satisfaction of knowing that he had made an attempt to promote the welfare of his constituents; and even if he did not succeed in having the bill passed, he would probably give a future legislature and incentive to provide some really worthwhile legislation for the people of Illinois.

    Germans should also be very careful about the source from which they purchase passage from Europe to America. There are many dishonest ticket agents here.

    6

    They accept money for tickets from local Germans and promise to send the tickets to the purchaser's relatives in Germany who wish to come to the United States, but very often the agents disappear and the tickets are never received. Thus a man in Hamburg, Germany waited for his ticket for five months, and then--he died from disappointment and worry.

    The Homestead Bill which undoubtedly will be adopted by Congress, will cause large numbers of Europeans to come to America; for the Union Army, which will return victoriously from the battlefield, is composed of the pioneer spirit necessary for the expansion of the Western Territories. It is hoped, however, that the Germans will avoid the mistake made by their countrymen who made their homes in Missouri, West Texas, and other Rebel States. The future immigrants should settle in colonies or groups, and not singly, so that they may more effectively promote freedom and progress in the state, as well as in their immediate surroundings. German farmers who live apart from their fellow countrymen are exposed to disadvantages and persecutions, and their best 7opinions and complaints will receive no notice; whereas they will receive attention and exert much good influence in the state as well as in their community, if they live near one another.

    Illinois Staats-Zeitung, Apr. 2, 1862.

    Co-operation is productive of much good. That is the experience not only of the German Societies in America, but also of the bureaus of emigration in the old world, and especially of the emigration authorities of the free imperial cities of Germany. And we hope that co-operation between these organizations will protect immigrants against swindlers.

    We warn all immigrants against buying farms or smaller parcels of land unless the seller tenders a valid abstract, and we emphasize the necessity of having the abstract examined by competent persons; for an abstract is the only official document which protects the purchaser. Furthermore, let no purchaser be persuaded to pay for the examination of the abstract, since the 8seller is legally obligated to defray the cost of such service. It is not sufficient to have a warranty and deed; one must have a legal title. It is also necessary that all debts on the property in question be liquidated, and that such liquidation be attested to by the issuing of a quitclaim deed, before payment for the property is made and ere the pertinent documents have been recorded. Recording should take place immediately after this procedure. One should not be too hasty about buying land, and should give due consideration to the effect of climatic conditions upon health before consummating the transaction. Good soil and good water are prime requisites. It often costs more that the land itself is actually worth to bring wooded or shrubbed land under cultivation, and it is easier to break rolling prairie soil.

    The farmer should make but very moderate use of credit; it is better to have twenty acres of unincumbered land than three hundred acres that are mortgaged for three hundred dollars, for to have debts is like having a rope around one's neck. Failure of harvest, sickness in the family, loss of horses or 9cattle are all sufficient to put the property in the hands of the sheriff, for there are still scoundrels who know how to make the position of unfortunates untenable by raising the interest to twenty five dollars per one hundred dollars and by other diabolical means. On the other hand, the farmer who is not harrassed and hampered by debt can make a good living, can look forward to a rich harvest, can improve upon his property, and even lay aside a sum for a rainy day, or for the days when he can work no more.

    There is one rule which may be considered a norm for every farmer--poor soil is not ungrateful, but they who occupy it will never grow wealthy; but good, rich soil makes work easy and yields riches in good harvests. Whenever possible a prospective purchaser should select a farm which is correctly proportioned with reference to meadows, woods, and land under cultivation; for one element is as necessary as the other, and if one is entirely lacking, the farm cannot be operated at a profit. An eighty acre farm should contain forty acres of land under cultivation, fifteen acres of meadow, and twenty-five 10acres of wooded pasture. It could be operated without many hands, excepting during harvest time.

    If one finds and buys a farm which has no wooded plot, it will be necessary to purchase a grove of two to five acres, in the vicinity, in order to have trees for fuel and lumber, otherwise it will be necessary to continually pay cash for this material, or to make debts; and let everybody beware of either, if he wants to be successful.

    A wise buyer will also give much attention to suitable places for erecting a house and other necessary buildings. Dry places on high parts of the farm should be chosen for the house and barns, so that the water can drain off and man and beast are amply protected against dampness. If the drainage is good it is possible to put a good cellar under the buildings, and a dry cellar is of very great value to a farmer.

    As a protection against rain and cold it would be advisable to put few 11windows or doors in the north and west walls of buildings, and as many windows as possible in the east and south walls; and if there are woods or hills to the north and west of the buildings to protect them and the inmates against the strong sharp winds that come from the North and the West, so much the better. Wholesome drinking water is, of course, an absolute necessity. It will be an advantage to build the barns on a basement, since the cattle will be warmer, and, as a result, the cows will give more milk; and all the animals will require less food. We do not mean, however, that they should not leave the barn, for they need fresh air and exercise just as well as human beings.

    However, let no one go into debt! If there is not sufficient money at hand to acquire a farm which has buildings with basements, or to erect such structures on new land, the farmer should either wait until he can pay cash, or erect one building and wait until he has the means to erect another. In forested areas blockhouses are preferable to boarded structures, though not as suitable; however, if there is a lumber mill near by so that freight 12charges may be eliminated, or if the farmer may obtain the necessary logs from his woodland, he may use boards in constructing his buildings, since they are just as good as logs and are more economical.

    Good fences, too, are necessary, as are also enclosures for animals. As to a choice between rails and boards for fencing purposes, all depends upon the amount of lumber which can be taken from the farm, the proximity of the cord wood market, and the price of the cord wood. If the market is not more than ten miles away and the farmer can get from eighteen to twenty shillings per cord for cord wood, and fence boards cost no more than ten dollars, it would be profitable to sell the cord wood and use the proceeds to buy boards.

    Immigrants who were farmers by occupation in Germany ought not spend much time choosing a calling in America, but should immediately acquaint themselves with local farming conditions and purchase a farm when they have the necessary money.

    13

    The price of land depends upon the market value of products; according to the present land value a bushel of wheat should not cost less than seventy-five cents, corn not less than twenty cents, oats not less than twenty-five cents, pork not less than four and one-half cents, and beef not less than four cents.

    During the first two years a new settler will have but few products, and little of them to take to market; but he will have to go to market to buy seed and food; hence, if he has the means to buy a partly improved farm, he should not fail to do so, for he will be able to progress much more rapidly.

    I have described precautionary measures in detail because I am convinced that many of the newcomers do not apply such measures, and do not ask for advice until it is too late.

    F. Schlund, Agent.

    <table> <tr> <td/> <td>February</td> <td>March</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Employment secured for</td> <td>92</td> <td>68</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Passes secured for</td> <td/> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Shelter secured for</td> <td/> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Located friends ...

    German
    I J, I L, III G, II D 3, II D 7, II D 8, III B 2, II D 10
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- March 29, 1875
    State Taxes (Editorial)

    Again the Illinois General Assembly has proved that, when money matters are concerned, the difference between country and city, farmer and urbanite, is more pronounced than the difference between political parties. About eight years ago, Illinois had a so-called Board of Equalization which was established for the sole purpose of plundering the larger cities, above all Chicago, for the benefit of our noble farmers. The Board has done its work with criminal impudence. It not only doubled the tax levied upon Chicago, after the taxes had been increased by twenty-four per cent, and then even by ninety-eight per cent, but, at the same time, it deducted more than a million acres from the taxable property of farmers, thus committing a twofold swindle. In this year's session of the Illinois General Assembly the first attack was made against this band of robbers (the Board), but without the desired result. As soon as the matter was introduced all party differences 2ceased; Republican, Democratic, and Independent farmers, or rather representatives from rural communities, cast aside all party differences and united to protect the "sacred rights" of the farmers to rob and pillage the "contemptible" cities. And so the proposal to abolish the Board of Equalization was rejected by a great majority, giving the "loyal," "honest," and "good" tiller of the soil, who so often is represented as a living proof that the American people are thoroughly moral, further opportunity to let evil urbanites pay their (the farmers') taxes.

    However, at least one improvement has been made in tax legislation, or, more correctly stated, at least one absurdity that is beyond the human mind's powers of comprehension has been removed. In their greedy desire to place their burden of taxation upon the "infamous capitalists," the rural members of a former legislature had introduced a twofold tax levy upon corporations. First, the physical property of joint stock corporations, which was used to acquire their capital, was taxed, and then also the stock certificates as so much separate capital. For instance, twenty people furnish $500 [sic] 3each, or a total of $100,000, for the purpose of, say, establishing a lumber mill, or a furniture factory, or a newspaper. The $100,000 was used to purchase buildings, machines, raw materials, etc., and each of the twenty people, who contributed the necessary money, received evidence of part ownership in the enterprise, in the form of stock certificates. Let us assume that $85,000 was used to establish the business, and $15,000 to meet operating expenses, that is, to pay salaries, etc., until the first profits were realized; then $85,000 would remain in the form of physical property. Our rural tax "artists" figured thus: Here we have, first, $85,000 in tangible property, and there we have $100,000 in capital stock--we shall tax that also; so we have $185,000 of taxable property.

    This system of taxation showed itself in all its glory when taxes were levied upon privately owned and corporate businesses of the same nature. In the one case only tangilbe property was taxed; in the other the tangible property and the capital stock, or stock certificates which were merely a receipt for money that was invested in the tangible property. In this way the Chicago Times and 4the Chicago Journal, which are owned each by one person, were taxed only for tangible property; but the Tribune, Interocean, Post, and the three German dailies, all of which are owned by corporations, had to pay the twofold tax.

    It is needless to say that this differentiation was felt as a penalty by all of those who had pooled their resources to establish stock companies. The system operated exclusively to the advantage of large corporations and to the detriment of those who invested their earnings in the stock of small companies. It was "killing the goose that laid the golden egg".

    One of the few creditable services rendered by the present legislature was the removal of this nonsensical system of taxation. Another was the abolishing of the different interest rates which creditors may charge for loans. To maintain these various rates would mean to drive all capital furnished by people living in other states, to other parts of the country. It is gratifying to know that our infuriated rural legislators did not permit their 5animosity towards "nefarious capital," to cause them to commit such a suicidal folly. However, our hopes of being blessed with a thorough improvement of our tax system through the application of common sense methods, must be deferred two years hence, when our vulturous Board of Equalization may also be abolished.

    Again the Illinois General Assembly has proved that, when money matters are concerned, the difference between country and city, farmer and urbanite, is more pronounced than the difference between political ...

    German
    I L, I F 3, I D 1 b, I D 1 a
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- September 07, 1875
    The Robbing Farmers (Editorial)

    It appears that the insolent exploitation of Chicago and Cook County through the gentlemanly so-called farm "Board of Equalization" is to be repeated again this year. In the past year these "robbing farmers" increased the valuation of Cook County property by ninety-eight per cent, virtually doubling the tax in this locality to lighten the burden of other districts. This year, so it is asserted, the Board will not be quite so severe, but it will be bad enough. Real-estate values in Cook County will be increased seventy per cent. City and village building sites are to be assessed sixty-five per cent higher; likewise all personal property. In this manner the total taxable property in Cook County will be given an increased valuation of $120,000,000.

    While the County represents only one seventh of the State's total population, it will have to pay three tenths, nearly one third, of the State's taxes.

    2

    Is there any redress against such an atrocity? Unfortunately not! The "robbing farmers" represent the majority in Illinois, and plurality is legal, which means: the power to control. Might precedes right in a republic as well as in a monarchy. Yea, perhaps we ought to be grateful that the farmers outside of Cook County do not shift the entire tax load upon those unfortunate counties which happen to have populous cities. The farmers can do that--their votes permit it. Knighthood in Prussia, only a few decades ago, enjoyed immunity from taxation at the citizens' expense. Why, then, should the farmers in our "Free Country" be prevented from achieving what the aristocracy did in a benighted autocracy: the privilege to let the common citizenry pay it all? The latter have at least one satisfaction which was denied to the people abroad: the right to assail their exploiters with the truth. We may growl and complain, but pay we must: that is one of the things included in our freedom and civic rights.

    It appears that the insolent exploitation of Chicago and Cook County through the gentlemanly so-called farm "Board of Equalization" is to be repeated again this year. In the past year ...

    German
    I H, I L, I F 6
  • Svornost -- June 07, 1878
    [Homesteads in Kansas]

    Mr. Jan Smrcka, delegate of the Bohemian settlement in Chicago, has returned from his travels throughout the State of Kansas.

    He will report on his travels and give information relative to homesteading in Kansas to all who are interested at 2 o'clock this coming Sunday.

    Those wishing to avail themselves of this information are requested to be present at Mr. Smrcka's Inn, at 195 Forquer Street.

    Mr. Jan Smrcka, delegate of the Bohemian settlement in Chicago, has returned from his travels throughout the State of Kansas. He will report on his travels and give information relative ...

    Bohemian
    I L, IV
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- December 05, 1879
    A New Kind of Slavery (Editorial)

    A quarter of a century ago our progressively inclined Americans considered slavery, the plight of the dark race, as the greatest of all evils, and thought, if that pernicious condition were abolished, that our nation, based on personal liberty, would reach virtually limitless prosperity and attain great cultural accomplishments. The thought had much in common with the wanderer in the mountains who, when perceiving a summit reaching beyond the clouds, believed that, if he could climb to the top, he might discover a plain somewhere. what an illusion! After reaching the crest, he saw more and higher peaks.

    The negroes are liberated. whether, and to what extent, the negroes' social position was affected thereby, and how the Southern states benefited, need not be discussed here. This is another chapter. Suffice it to say that, 2long before the South has found a satisfactory substitute for slave labor, one finds that the Northern states, with unrestricted personal liberty, face calamities of vastly greater effect than slavery ever was.

    This new danger to our Republic is the dictatorship of the railroads. "This catastrophe" to use the words of our highly imaginative and eloquent mayor, "is presented by that immense vampire whose wings reach from Penobscot to the Rio Grande, while the beast greedily feeds on the life-giving blood and marrow of the country's commerce and agriculture." The farmer may plow and harvest his crops, he may toil from dawn 'til dark in the hope of eking out a living for his dependents but, because of the relentlessness of our railroad despots, empire builders if you like it better, the farmer's meager profit is absorbed by the preferred class, the knaves who form the trust.

    The famine in Europe would be a source of profit to our farmers, but our railroad rulers decree otherwise. Following the ancient methods of the Inquisition, the thumbscrews are tightened a little more, and the victim 3gives up. Whatever profit might accrue to our agricultural population will thus be absorbed by the railroad oligarchy. About five or six months ago, grain could be shipped to New York for fifteen cents per hundred pounds; today freight charges are forty cents. That means that 1 2/3 bushels of wheat, worth $1.50 here, could be delivered to New York at an outlay of fifteen cents for freight, making the New York price $1.65. At present wheat is worth $2, adding freight charges raises the New York price to $2.40, and if no one wants to pay that much, then the farmer must be satisfied with less.

    There are no laws to check extortion by railroads. Competition among the various transportation companies may ameliorate conditions occasionally, but in the main is worth no more than the inducements given to the people by princes and robber barons during the medieval age, when the noble gentry were on the warpath. Sooner or later the opposing factions made peace, and the country's subjects had to pay the bill, plus interest.

    And the bill today, when applied to our railroads, represents interest on a 4wholly imaginary capital. All of our railroads could be built today at an average cost of $25,000 per mile, but the railroad companies are capitalized at $4,772,000,000 (including debts and interest thereon), or $60,000 per mile. However, this is only the average; in some instances conditions are worse. The Vanderbilt lines, New York Central, Lake Shore and branch roads represent $218,000,000 in stocks and bonds, or $241,000 for every mile between Chicago and New York. Interest on this huge sum (which is at least six times larger than the actual value of the road) amounts to eight per cent, and the public must pay. Similar conditions prevail elsewhere--on Jay Gould's line, Tom Scott's railroad, and the Pacific Railroad. The last named was capitalized at $128,000 per mile, while the actual cost was less than one fourth of that amount. The other represents a "fancy value" which is kept up by gouging the people.

    Our nation is confronted by a fearful calamity, and the utmost efforts of our people are needed to combat the condition. The Constitution empowers the nation to regulate interstate commerce, and on the strength of that 5provision the strangle hold of the railroads can be broken.

    But no one should believe this to be as simple as the Chicago Tribune assumes, or that Congress will do something about the problem this winter. That is easier said than done! Many a summer and winter will pass ere the national administration asserts its restraining influence over all of our railroads. The fight will be just as prolonged, and affect our economic welfare just as vitally, as the Civil War which abolished slavery.

    The most important action would be for both of our political parties to make an issue of the question. If the Republicans intend to maintain their reputation for progressiveness, they must gird themselves for war at the next national election and proclaim a crusade against the railroad empire. That would be a convincing step, bound to appeal to all independent factions, the Grangers, National Labor Party, Socialists, and what not. The nation would then have only two units; one would demand that the nation assert its power 6for the protection of the people, and if we should also find the Socialists entrenched on this side, then we would have no objection.

    A quarter of a century ago our progressively inclined Americans considered slavery, the plight of the dark race, as the greatest of all evils, and thought, if that pernicious condition ...

    German
    I D 1 a, I L, I H, I F 3
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 24, 1881
    [Plan to Aid Agriculture in Palestine]

    A well attended Jewish meeting took place yesterday to discuss a plan to assist Jews engaged in agriculture in Palestine. The speakers were Rev. Stampfer, a proud Magyar by birth, who lived in Jerusalem since his early childhood; Dr. Hirsch, and Dr. Felsenthal. The meeting was opened by Mr. Peabody. The lecturers, Dr. Felsenthal, Rev. Stampfer, and Dr. Grossman, spoke about conditions in Palestine, giving special emphasis to the pressure to which the Israelites are subjected there. This was followed by a proposal to found a society for the support of those engaged in agricultural work in Palestine.

    Mr. Peabody was elected President, Mr. Henry Greenebaum, Vice-President; and Dr. Felsenthal, Secretary of the new organization.

    A well attended Jewish meeting took place yesterday to discuss a plan to assist Jews engaged in agriculture in Palestine. The speakers were Rev. Stampfer, a proud Magyar by birth, ...

    Jewish
    III H, IV, I L, II B 2 g
  • Skandinaven -- March 01, 1881
    American Pork

    France now prohibits the importation of American pork. This will mean a great loss to the Norwegian farmers here in the Central States. The price has already fallen sixty cents per hundred pounds, and we believe that this action will cause a further price drop that will force many of our farmers to abandon the raising of hogs.

    France now prohibits the importation of American pork. This will mean a great loss to the Norwegian farmers here in the Central States. The price has already fallen sixty cents ...

    Norwegian
    I L
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- July 14, 1881
    Jews Hold Council

    The Union of Jewish Communities of America held its session again yesterday forenoon at ten o'clock in Standard Hall. After attending to preliminary business the local rabbis extended an invitation to the delegates to take a coach trip and see the city. A lengthy debate ensued about the executive board's recommendation to raise half a million dollars for a Jewish college. Various delegates were of the opinion that the institution should be located in New York, and others believed it made no difference whether such a college was in New York, New Orleans, Cincinnati, or any other city, as long as it served as a university for rabbis throughout the United States. Finally the resolution was adopted to procure the money, but the problems of how to raise it, and where the institution should be located, were referred to the executive board for decision.

    In the afternoon session the chairman of the special committee read a detailed account of the persecution of Jews in Russia, whereupon a committee 2was appointed to raise money and to offer asylum in America to the banished people of Russia as well as to those who had fled. In order to facilitate emigration from Russia Mr. Abraham sought support from the many secret Jewish organizations.

    A. W. Rich considered the immigration and settlement question an important issue, which from the historical standpoint may become as significant as the exodus from Egypt. He was of the opinion that the secret organizations should help procure for every Jewish immigrant a completely equipped farm of a hundred acres, including livestock, in Nebraska or Kansas, exempt from payments of any kind for seven years, since thereby it would be possible for the settler to become a self-supporting landowner within a short time.

    The Union of Jewish Communities of America held its session again yesterday forenoon at ten o'clock in Standard Hall. After attending to preliminary business the local rabbis extended an invitation ...

    Jewish
    III B 4, I L, III H, III G, III C, I A 2 a, II D 10
  • Svenska Tribunen -- July 05, 1882
    Red River Valley Land.

    The following advertisement appears in the Swedish Tribune, Chicago, for the 5th of July, 1882.

    Red River Valley - 100 miles wide and 300 miles long, with a layer of black soil as thick as a man is tall, watered by the powerful Red River and its numerous small tributaries, its shores covered with large timber forest - can give 160 acre homes to 120,000 families. Would you like to be one of them? Think it over. It is an important question for you and your family. Our phamplets gives complete information regarding the new Scandinavia in the Red River Valley and will be mailed free to any one in America or in Europe.

    A.E.Johnson,

    Commissioner of Emigration,

    St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba R.R.,

    St. Paul, Minn.

    James B. Power,

    Land Commissioner

    The following advertisement appears in the Swedish Tribune, Chicago, for the 5th of July, 1882. Red River Valley - 100 miles wide and 300 miles long, with a layer of ...

    Swedish
    III G, I L
  • Svenska Tribunen -- July 19, 1882
    Swedish Farming Versus American (Editorial)

    The Swedish Tribune, Chicago, reprints a very interesting editorial, taken from Skaraborgs Lans Hush,Tidning,Sweden. The author of this article writes:

    An American who understands American farming has written an interesting article comparing American and Swedish farming methods.

    The Swede is not as practical as the American. The former works harder, but the latter produces more because he estimates with greater caution the careful use of his own time as well as that of his workers. He uses and tries to get the most modern farm implements and inventions at all times. New inventions are readily accepted by the American farmer regardless of the size or amount of his farming interests. On the other hand, while in Sweden, education is a means of determining agrarian class or rank, this is hardly true or characteristic of American farm society.

    2

    The educated Swedish farmer is far in advance of his American brother theoretically, but the latter is a better business man and knows how to conserve his time and use it more profitably. The American farmer is both wise and industrious. If the less fortunate cannot afford to own farm machines, he rents them. All his tools, even the simplest ones, are up to date. He does not eat too much. The Swedish farmers and their hired workers eat five meals a day in some parts of Sweden, and during harvest time six. The American eats only three times a day, and does not taste brandy when he is working. He is not lazy, even though left without an overseer; and he is always respected. Lazy workers in Sweden are often industrious workers when they come to America; and their social status is better, too. On the other hand, the educated Swedish farmer has a kind, democratic attitude toward the working class, or more definitely those whom he employs.

    Nationalistic rivalry is becoming more and more intense and apparent, but it cannot be led exclusively by the educated class; the masses must participate, and that nation, where the people are most prepared to participate 3for the common good, will advance more rapidly. The Swedes and other European countries are too clannish, and that prevents both material and intellectual prosperity. The American soon, however, evidences a decided desire for acquisition of education and refinements of living and manner. It is not the material standing of the American worker that prevents Socialism from getting a foothold in America, but it is his improved social condition, which acts as a preventive. If the difference in rank had been less in Europe; if the worker there had been socially thrown together with the educated classes, and thus had become more informed, the social movements now endangering many lands, would not be prevalent. It is a mistake to think that the American worker is more restricted than the European. The American master gives short and precise orders, and fires at once lazy and disobedient servants. Carelessness is unknown in America, and has added towards creating a better working class.

    The wife of the American farmer is busier and more industrious than one imagines.. She does not, however, work as hard as her European sisters of the same class. She does not care for the cattle, nor carry firewood, coal and water. She is a model of a real mistress. The practical arrangements in kitchen and pantry and the time-saving machines which lighten her work are unknown in the homes of the Swedish workers.

    4

    The American is not only practical in making arrangements in his house; and in the treatment of his servants, and in caring for his farm business; but also in the choice of plants he intends to cultivate. Swamps and water-covered areas, which in Sweden are looked upon as worthless for cultivation, are sowed, in Massachusetts and New Jersey, with cranberries, which gives ten times as large profit as some grown on the best of soil.

    It is regrettable that in Sweden the great abundance of berries and berry crops, such as cranberries, loganberries, blue-berries, raspberries, and many others - are not made to contribute to her marketable goods because it would undoubtedly amount to several millions annually.

    The cooperation between the American farmers and merchants - two classes, whose interests are usually very selfish in motivation in our country -has been good and has had the best of results. The American merchant notifies the farmer what products are most in demand on the market, and how they should be handled and packed for export. These merchants understand thoroughly that they can import merchandise only, if their customers, make way for the farmer's products on the world's market. There are many companies and societies in America where scientific men, merchants, and farmers, work and cooperate together in unity and with success.

    5

    "Our farm societies," says the author in conclusion of his editorial, "should, as a result, give us better farm products. America can teach us much concerning the way of 'self-help,' which makes the people strong and independent."

    The Swedish Tribune, Chicago, reprints a very interesting editorial, taken from Skaraborgs Lans Hush,Tidning,Sweden. The author of this article writes: An American who understands American farming has written an interesting ...

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