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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  • Chicago Tribune -- October 21, 1876
    The Baptists

    The Reverend J. W. Icenberg, from the Committee on Home Missions, read the following report:

    We recognize with gratitude what God has done through our Home Mission Society during the past years of its history, and we recognize the obligations and responsibilities resting upon us as we enter the new century of our country's history, to press forward to the realization of our motto, "North America for Christ".

    THE CHINESE

    The Reverend R. R. Coon, offered the following resolutions:

    Whereas, In the immigration of the Chinese to this country the way has been opened for a free social and intellectual intercourse between them and the people of the United States, calculated to develop free and fraternal relations between the two nations; and, 2Whereas, There has been fostered and organized a strong opposition to this movement, especially along the Pacific Coast, contrary, as we believe, to the plighted faith of this Republic; therefore,

    Resolved, That we hail the present opening as particularly affording a grand and auspicious opportunity to the Christian people of this country for the evangelization of the Mongolian race in our own country.

    Resolved, That it is peculiarly fitting for us as a denomination- identified as we are, in spirit and history, with the free institutions of this nation-to give full and distinct utterance to the sentiment of a common brotherhood in regard to the Chinese, by welcoming them to our land, our charities, and our sanctuaries.

    Resolved, That we recognize in this movement a solemn call, addressed to us in the Providence of God to consider well our Christian obligations to the Chinese, and if possible, in cooperation with our brethren, early to inaugurate some plan to bring them under the influence of the Gospel.

    The Reverend J. W. Icenberg, from the Committee on Home Missions, read the following report: We recognize with gratitude what God has done through our Home Mission Society during the ...

    Chinese
    I C
  • Chicago Tribune -- June 17, 1878
    The Chinese A Sunday-School for Their Benefit

    Whether it be that the Christian people of Chicago have become so accustomed to the sight of the Heathen Chinee that the almond-eyed Celestial has escaped being an object of interest to them, or because those same people have never regarded the Chinese as an object fit for anything beyond washing clothes, is the reason for no effort having been made by Chicago philanthropists to spread the Gospel among the shaven-headed, is something beyond the knowledge of the writer of this item. Perhaps some effort has been made in a small way. Certainly none has been made in a way to attract so much public attention as will be attracted by the plan of work lately begun by Mr. David Jones, a missionary who has for the past two years labored among the Chinese at Evanston.

    Not that Mr. Jones has commenced in a manner that would bring himself and his work conspicuously into notice. He began very humbly by getting the use of a third story room in the Farwell Hall building and calling to his aid a number of ladies and gentlemen he started what is known as the "Chinese Mission."

    Whether it be that the Christian people of Chicago have become so accustomed to the sight of the Heathen Chinee that the almond-eyed Celestial has escaped being an object of ...

    Chinese
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  • Chicago Tribune -- August 05, 1878
    Chinese Sunday-School

    Ah Ching Yuen, the aristocrat, wore a black satin jacket, a straw hat jauntily tipped on one side of his head, and new felt shoes, which made no sound as he proudly trod across the floor. Lo Bo, being only a hired man on moderate wages, could not be expected to "rag out" very well, but he was neat if not gaudy. Ah Sam Chong, Fong Sang, Low Lee, R. Gin, and the rest of the fourteen Celestials who were present at the banquet (there are twenty-one who actually belong to the Sunday-school) were arrayed in much the same scale of splendor as Lo Bo.

    It is now two months since the Chinese Sunday-school was started in an upper room of Farwell Hall, and already it has attained a place among the prominent religious institutions of the city. An eccentric man with a queer history, David D. Jones, was the founder of it.

    It was a great day for the Chinese - yesterday. The pupils of the Sunday-school had extended a formal invitation to their teachers to participate in a banquet at the close of the regular exercises.

    The regular Sunday-school exercises were gone through as usual. A peculiarity of 2this Sunday-school is that there is a teacher for every pupil. Most of the teachers are ladies. The teaching is necessarily simple in its scope, as few of the almondeyed scholars can speak English.

    These Chinese are said to be extremely grateful for the attention shown them by the "Melican" ladies, and have manifested their gratitude by making them several choice presents. One of the ladies was recently presented with an elegant and costly silk and ivory fan imported from China, and another has been notified that there is a pair of shoes coming for her all the way from that far-off shore. Evidently the "Heathen Chinee" of this city is either exceptionally good or else he has been misrepresented on the Pacific slope.

    Ah Ching Yuen, the aristocrat, wore a black satin jacket, a straw hat jauntily tipped on one side of his head, and new felt shoes, which made no sound as ...

    Chinese
    I A 2 a, I C
  • Chicago Tribune -- March 23, 1879
    Wong Chin Foo

    Wong Chin Foo, a Chinaman not unknown to fame as an itinerant lecturer on subjects connected with the land which gave him birth, is to debate the Chinese question with Mr. William E. Lewis, of this city, this evening in the West End Opera-House. W. C. F., according to the bills, is "a native aristocratic Chinaman," who attempted once upon a time to lead an insurrection against the Tartar usurpers of his country, but was forced to flee for his live, the Emperor setting the perhaps extravagant price of $1,500 on his pig-tail. Since he came to this country he has removed the hirsute braid, dresses like a white man, and gives the boys "taffy" as good as they send, and has found that the platform pays a little better than the next thing. The debate will probably be an interesting one.

    Wong Chin Foo, a Chinaman not unknown to fame as an itinerant lecturer on subjects connected with the land which gave him birth, is to debate the Chinese question with ...

    Chinese
    II B 2 g
  • Chicago Tribune -- February 05, 1880
    The Dragon and the Sun

    Regarding the eclipse the reporter found a vast variety of opinions among the Chinamen he interviewed. One man, a clever merchant, said that the cause of the dark space on the Sun was because the Moon was behind it. He tried hard to make the reporter comprehend this theory for some time, and than suddenly seized a piece of smoked glass from a friend's hand and said: "Alle same this, no smokee, see through; smokee, no see through. Sabe?" After considerable study of the object, and further smoked glass demonstration, the reporter was made to understand that in the Chinaman's opinion the Sun is a hole through which a glowing light shines down upon the world and that at that time the Moon had slid in behind the Sun in some irregular manner and this obscured a portion of the light by blocking up a portion of the hole.

    The Chinese listeners to this explanation all grunted their assent, and the reporter moved on to approach a group of lower and more ignorant Chinese.

    2

    Here, for a wonder, the Chinamen were found with their eyes wide open. This proved that the eclipse was a matter of stupendous wonder for them. One Chinaman then explained that the Sun and Moon were having a quarrel, and the evident conclusion was that the Sun had got the worst of it and came off with a black eye.

    The reporter carried a small piece of smoked glass with him. One amazed Chinaman looked hard and long at the reporter's use of the glass, and then asked to have it. He was given it, and after viewing the Sun with it a moment, delightedly passed ot to a friend who clapped it to his eye, with the smoked side toward him.

    Regarding the eclipse the reporter found a vast variety of opinions among the Chinamen he interviewed. One man, a clever merchant, said that the cause of the dark space on ...

    Chinese
    V B
  • Chicago Tribune -- February 11, 1880
    Ah Sin's New Year. He Still Keeps it Up

    To adopt that peculiar figure of speech, known as the Irish bull, it may be stated that the Chinese New-Year's Day lasts a whole week. The festive proceedings which Chicago's Mongolian inhabitants inaugurated Monday were sustained with but slight abatement yesterday. Visits were exchanged, and the mails from afar brought mementoes of distant friends in the shape of red visiting cards, of which large collections were to be seen in some of the laundries.

    There are certain religious observances connected with the Chinese New-Year week which some few of the Chinese residents are following strictly, though the bulk of them seem to disregard them entirely. One of these is the burning every morning of certain sheets of brownish paper, upon one side of which is a surface of gold, a similar embellishment of silver being on the other side. Then there are tapers, long slender reed like affairs, which smolder slowly, whose destruction by fire is supposed to have an especially satisfactory effect upon the deity which presides over Mongolian destinies.

    2

    Notwithstanding the demands made upon their time by the special requirements of the season, a large proportion of the almond-eyed laundrymen yesterday devoted themselves to putting a slimy gloss upon the bosoms and cuffs of American gentlemen's linen, excusing themselves for so doing by urging that their patrons were able to crowd their New-Year's visiting into one day, and hence had a right to expect them to do the same.

    During the remainder of this week the fun will be kept up in a quiet way, but next Sunday it is intended to have a mighty gathering of Celestials. There is to be a dinner with Chinese delicacies intermingling on the same board with turkey, roast beef, wine, lager beer and other American institutions, and after the good things have been disposed of there are to be speech-making, music, card-playing (Bill Nye excluded), and other forms of jollity and enjoyment. The only trouble is that when a Chinaman is asked where the entertainment is to come off, his face brightens up with an Ah Sin smile, and he claims that he does not know anything further about it, with an expression of innocence that is most surprising.

    3

    At the same time he is acquainted with the full particulars but, being given to exclusiveness, he feigns ignorance so as to preclude the possible presence of a newspaper man. This banquet will wind up the New Year's enjoyments of Chicago's Chinese population.

    To adopt that peculiar figure of speech, known as the Irish bull, it may be stated that the Chinese New-Year's Day lasts a whole week. The festive proceedings which Chicago's ...

    Chinese
    I B 4, I C
  • Chicago Tribune -- February 12, 1880
    The Celestials

    The Chinese residents for the time being sated with the festivities of the New-Year which have been occupying their attention for the past few days, have settled down to business, but live joyously in the anticipation of the pleasures which are to be enjoyed next Sunday.

    The earlier part of the day is to be devoted to social calls, and in the evening a grand gathering is to take place at a point not yet determined upon. Every mail brings to the residences of the various Chinamen envelopes containing the visiting cards of their friends in New York. Philadelphia, and other Eastern points, and from places in California and elsewhere. These, together with those distributed by local callers, will be carefully hoarded until the New-Year week has passed away, when they will be posted conspicuously upon the walls to serve as an indication of the number of friends possessed by the occupant of the place.

    2

    In this matter the Chinese take great pride, and the American lady whose door is besieged with callers from early in the morning until late at night on January 1st.,is not more an object of envy or admiration in her own set than is the Mongolian whose mementoes of similar attention palpably out-number the collections made by his fellow-countrymen.

    The Chinese residents for the time being sated with the festivities of the New-Year which have been occupying their attention for the past few days, have settled down to business, ...

    Chinese
    III B 3 a, V B
  • Chicago Tribune -- February 17, 1881
    Chinese Club

    Wong Ching Foo called on the Mayor yesterday and tried to induce him to order the police to let No. 103 West Madison Street alone. There is a grocery at this place, the rear part being a gambling-saloon, where the Celestials play "pokee" and smoke opium. Foo told his Honor that the Chinamen met there, not to play cards to win money, but to hear the news and amuse themselves. It was sort of club, and while there was some gambling, the sums staked were very small, and the winnings were spent in the grocery for confectionary. Some of the habitues smoked opium, and it was a shame and dangerous to them to take their pipes away, as the police had done when they made the raid Tuesday night.

    The Mayor did not promise for anything. He, however, instructed Superintendent McGarigle to investigate the matter. So it is likely that the Chinaman's Club will not be interfered with herafater.

    Wong Ching Foo called on the Mayor yesterday and tried to induce him to order the police to let No. 103 West Madison Street alone. There is a grocery at ...

    Chinese
    I H, I C
  • Chicago Tribune -- February 18, 1881
    Naturalizing Chinamen

    Wong Ching Foo yesterday afternoon led a delegation of his fellow-countrymen over to the Criminal Court for the purpose of making citizens of them, but did not succeed to any great extent. They gave their names as Moy Yee, Moy Sam, and Moy Hong Kee, and their leader commenced operations by halting at the clerk's office and having the latter declare his intention to become a citizen. This was very simple, from the fact that when he came to this country he was over age, and was soon attended to, there being no law against any on making such a declaration. But with the others the situation was different. They had come here under 10 years of age, and bed to go to the court direct and without any preliminaries.

    It was something unusual to see such a procession file into the court-room, and all eyes were upon them as they presented themselves before Judge Moran and asked his attention.

    2

    The wheels of justice stopped for a moment, and Foo made known his mission in tolerable English and passed to the Judge the necessary petition, as he thought to make full-fledged citizens of his companions. Such an application was new to his Honor, and, the authorities differing upon the power of the Courts to confer the rights of citizenship upon Chinamen, he scanned the paper hastily and proceeded to make the necessary examination in such cases. Foo acted as the interpreter. They testified to having come here under age, etc., and upon being asked what they thought of our institutions one responded that he liked the country better than he did China, and the other that he "liked America's peculiarities very much", which sent a laugh around the room.

    Judge Moran finally told them that he would take their applications under advisement, and asked them to call again in about a week and he would pass upon the case.

    3

    The question of the power of Courts in such cases is a constitutional one, and there have been numerous decisions both pro and con. In the United States Court of San Francisco, some time ago, it was decided that a Chinaman could not become a citizen, and prior to this, a New York, Judge had passed upon the same question and come to the same conclusion. The question is not a new one in this city, for it has arisen before, and whether Chinamen can or cannot be made citizens, the fact is that more than one of our basement laundries almond-eyed individuals armed with just as much power as any other voting individual has who came here from abroad before reaching age.

    There are said to be at least two such "citizens", and Judge Gary is credited with having given them their papers several years ago.

    Wong Ching Foo yesterday afternoon led a delegation of his fellow-countrymen over to the Criminal Court for the purpose of making citizens of them, but did not succeed to any ...

    Chinese
    I H
  • Chicago Tribune -- January 17, 1890
    The Chinese New Year

    The Chicago Chinamen are making great preparations for the Chinese New Year, which comes next Monday. All of them are laying in supplies of good things, and paper signs hang in the windows to notify passing Chinamen of the delicacies for sale within. "We call our New Year's day the Sun Down", said cigarmaker San Moy, 319 Clark Street, who is one of the boss Chinamen of Chicago. "It is the sixteenth of the present dynasty-that's the way we count it, you know. We will celebrate it in the usual way, with feasts and religious exercises. We don't have so much fun here as they do in other towns where they are allowed to shoot off firecrackers in the streets. The authorities won't let us go that far. If we had a license we would go ahead and spend every cent we have made in a year".

    The Chicago Chinamen are making great preparations for the Chinese New Year, which comes next Monday. All of them are laying in supplies of good things, and paper signs hang ...

    Chinese
    III B 3 a