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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 06, 1862The Inaugural Address of Mayor Francis C. Sherman (Editorial)
On page four of this issue, in the description of the inaugural ceremonies of the new city administration, our readers will find the complete inaugural address of Mayor Francis C. Sherman.
Although we are political opponents of the new chief executive, we must admit that we are entirely satisfied with his speech and with the principles and opinions which are expressed in it. With respect to the terrible Civil War which is raging in the country, the Mayor takes the same position that is assumed by Republicans and all law-abiding and freedom-loving citizens, irrespective of political differences and partisanship. While Mr. Sherman opposed the election of President Lincoln, he declared that it is fortunate for the country and for the cause of freedom and justice that Lincoln's 2administration has proved to be patriotic, conservative, and efficient. We hope that we shall be able to say the same of the city administration of Mayor Sherman.
Concerning Sunday amusements, the new Mayor voiced opinions which the Germans in this city will hail with especially great satisfaction. Mr. Sherman takes the position which the Illinois Staats-Zeitung has advocated for years: that police authorities should not interfere with such amusements as long as they remain within the bounds of decency and do not disturb the public peace or the religious services of the Christian citizens of the city.
In regard to fees for licenses, the Mayor would make a distinction between retailers of distilled liquors and those who sell beer and light wines; he recommends that the license fees for the latter group be decreased. From this we infer that the Mayor now has the right idea about temperance; for 3an increase in the consumption of lager beer and light wines, in which term Americans include grape wines, means that less whiskey will be consumed, and thus the cause of moderation will be promoted.
Although the voters of Chicago voiced their wish in no uncertain terms, the police commissioners do not yet see fit to submit to the will of the majority of the people by resigning. Indeed, they have asked one lawyer after another for legal opinions on the matter; they have printed and circulated these opinions, and we heard long ago that they intend to resist the will of the people and retain their well-paid offices. And that is just like them. The Mayor promises that he will reorganize the police, and we hope that he will soon show these stubborn commissioners the Court House door. All good citizens are disgusted by this violation of republican principles, and will side with the Mayor in this matter.
As long as the new administration remains free of partisanship, as long as it works for the welfare of the public, it will have the support of the people and the press.
On page four of this issue, in the description of the inaugural ceremonies of the new city administration, our readers will find the complete inaugural address of Mayor Francis C. ...
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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- March 30, 1866Of Chicago ArbeitervereinChicago, Illinois, March 21, 1866.
To the Honorable Board of police Commissioners of the city of Chicago: The Chicago Arbeiterverein has elected the undersigned to act as a committee for the purpose of bringing about an understanding with your honorable Board, in regard to certain issues, and we beg permission to present the following matters:
Through the newspapers and other sources of information we have learned that the members of two other societies, or associations, have been informed that they must discontinue their recreational activities on Sunday evenings. Of course, the Arbeiterverein has nothing to do with the recreation of other organizations, nor do we wish to express our opinions concerning the motives for the Board's action against these societies. However, during the past few weeks, one of these periodic religious movements, generally called "revivals," 2has been in process, and the Chicago Arbeiterverein, always intent upon avoiding any offense against citizen who differ with our religious opinions, takes the view that during the past eight years (the past four under police protection) these "revivals," usually held on Sunday evenings, have taken the form of a kind of social entertainment (sic). Therefore, we ask: Does the above mentioned notice also apply to our organization?
We are aware that you have the right to answer: Wait until you receive notice; but, as loyal citizens, we would not like to offend against any law, nor would we like to suffer the consequences of not knowing the law, nor do we want our members to be taken by surprise by a policeman and disturbed in their innocent and harmless amusements which are in complete accord with the religious liberty guar-anteed by the Constitution, nor do we need an excuse to be provided to make us responsible for an offense against any state law that is in agreement with the spirit of the Constitution,
Should our social entertainments be prohibited by order of your Board, we would respectfully point cut that in 1861 the Board of Police Commissioners entered 3into the following pact with the president of our society:
1. The President will be responsible for the maintenance of order, and the police shall not interfere with our social entertainment;
2. No brass musical instruments shall be used at such entertainments, out of respect for the religious convictions of our fellow citizens, and one or more violins, but only one flute, bass violin, or piano shall be used.
3. The police will not consider these entertainments to be "illegal," as long as the concerts and dances do not disturb the neighborhood.
The Arbeiterverein has strictly observed these conditions despite contradictions by a newspaper, the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, two part owners of which were expelled from the organization on account of their loud, mischievous conduct; they even went so far as to break up one of our public meetings and to slander everybody who did not agree with their arrogant opinions.
We trust that your honorable Board will pay no attention to the malicious 4utterances which these "snakes" publish against our society. Had they conducted themselves in an orderly manner, they would still be members of our society.
We do not advertise our entertainments, nor do we invite strangers to participate in them. We have a Committee on Order and a Committee of Ushers who admit only members or strangers who are accompanied or invited by members, and the members must give their word of honor that they can vouch for and will be responsible for the behavior of these strangers.
The money which is realized through our entertainments is the property of the organization and is used for defraying the expenses incurred by maintaining our library and reading room, and for the support of sick members or their dependent widows and orphans.
[Translator's note: The next (final) paragraph of this article has evidently 5been "removed" by rats or mice, so it is not possible to offer a translation.]
We hope most sincerely that you will permit the Arbeiterverein to continue its Sunday evening entertainments under the conditions which were previously agreed upon.
Chicago, Illinois, March 21, 1866. To the Honorable Board of police Commissioners of the city of Chicago: The Chicago Arbeiterverein has elected the undersigned to act as a committee for ...
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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 08, 1866Liquor Licenses (Editorial)
Apparently, the municipal authorities in New York are very strict in issuing licenses to saloons. The License Committee seems to be resolved to grant no license to music halls, "polka cellars," or to places where criminals and vagabonds meet. The New York Democrat reports the following cases, from which the method of procedure of the authorities may be deduced:
A hotelkeeper in James Street was informed that no rooming house (rendezvous of prostitutes, etc.) would receive a license to dispense liquor. All applications from people who wanted to operate in buildings located on Mission Place were rejected because the Commission had received protests from respectable citizens against permitting the "whiskey joints" to continue 2their business on that street. Proprietors of music halls on Chatham and Williams Streets were told that it was contrary to the public welfare to to grant them saloon concessions. A saloonkeeper on water Street could not renew his license because seven of his "customers" had been sent to the penitentiary. All applications from Poll Street were rejected because Captain Jourvon reported that every saloon on that street was a meeting place of hoodlums. several hotelkeepers received a license on the promise that they would not permit women or girls to congregate or partake of liquors in the barroom.
It would not be a bad idea if the municipal authorities of Chicago would exercise the same care when issuing licenses to sell liquor. In this city every disorderly house can obtain a license, and when a man who is not familiar with conditions here, or with the character of the various houses, enters one of these "licensed dispensaries" to buy a glass of beer, it may easily happen that he will have to spend the night on sawdust and that 3he must pay a contribution to the treasury of the police court the next day.
It may be well to add that in New York no proprietors of grocery stores can obtain a license to sell liquor.
Apparently, the municipal authorities in New York are very strict in issuing licenses to saloons. The License Committee seems to be resolved to grant no license to music halls, "polka ...
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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- March 26, 1867The Temperance Movement and German Immigration (Editorial)
Emigration from Germany will reach new heights this year. The New York Herald estimates, on basis of reports received from its correspondents at Berlin and Munich, that at least 150,000 persons will leave Germany and come to America during the period from March to December, 1867. When we consider that conditions in Germany are unstable, that another war will be waged as soon as the necessary preparations have been completed, and that compulsory military service will cause every able bodied man who is not kept at home by uncontrollable circumstances to seek a new and quiet home in the Western Hemisphere, where the principles of liberty, justice and equality have been firmly and permanently established, the estimate of the New York Herald does not seem too high in the least. And this greater immigration quota not only increases our national wealth by adding substantially to our man power, but also greatly augments our supply of gold and silver, since the people who are persuaded to leave their mother country because of reasons previously 2mentioned usually belong to the class of property owners.
Therefore, the American people should give these immigrants every possible consideration. The Germans who come to the United States seek more than material gain; they are bent on attaining freedom of action, freedom of thought, and freedom of conscience. While they are seeking economic independence, they wish to have freedom of movement, and especially they want to be unhampered in their enjoyment of harmless pleasures. The German nation is a thinking nation, an enlightened nation, and it cannot be convinced that nature and the gifts of nature have not been created for the satisfaction and pleasure of human beings. Although they were oppressed in the old country, they were never prevented from pursuing innocent pleasures, either at home or in company, and nobody ever dictated to them regarding what they should or should not eat or drink.
Germans are sober people. Their national drinks are of a light and harmless nature. Drunkards are an exception to the rule. Thus a German immigrant 3would be surprised to find that efforts are being made in this country, where he sought freedom, to prohibit the use of beer, wine, and even distilled liquor.
And yet, just at this time, when many immigrants are expected, bigotry, hypocrisy, and rumors of temperance are rife. Nobody will object to the organization of temperance societies, and nobody will attempt to prevent the members of those societies from promising to abstain from beer, wine, hard cider, and whisky. Anyone is privileged to establish or join such a society, just as everyone has the right to drink water. Indeed, we advise everybody who cannot use the gifts of nature in a moderate and humane way, and who, like a wild animals, must continue to drink after taking the first few sips, to Join one of the many temperance societies immediately, to vow complete abstinence from alcoholic liquors, and thus to save whatever human dignity he may still possess. Nor do we object when these advocates of moderateness proselytize through lectures, pamphlets, and books, in their endeavor to reform drunkards. As long as they do one more than try to convince people, 4they are within their constitutional rights; but as soon as they attempt to control the legislative body of the state, and to create moderation through punitive laws, they exceed their rights.
This opinion seems to be gaining adherents. 'Tis true, the legislatures of some states, for instance, New York, Pennsylvania, a few of the New England States, either one or the other Western States (Iowa or Kansas) are still laboring under the delusion of ignorance and are trying to reform drunkards by legislation; however, the Anglo-American press is beginning to take a decisive stand against the fanaticism and bigotry of temperance agitators. The New York Herald says in an article on German immigration:
"We do not intend to permit anyone to interfere with the harmless amusements and entertainments to which the Germans are accustomed, and which were not prohibited even by the oppressors in their native country. We are very determined in this matter, since there is a marked tendency in the legislatures of some states towards pharisaism which would work a severe hardship on 5our German fellow citizens. When we consider their sobriety and their diligence, their preference for outdoor amusements, and the beneficial effect of their example upon other nationalities, we must protest against any restriction which would cause them to dislike our institutions and urge them to remain away from our shores."
This last argument, pointing as it does to the danger of material loss emanating from fanaticism, is very well taken. When the bigots and adherents of temperance in Iowa, Kansas, and other states which depend upon immigration for their development, find that Germans avoid them and settle elsewhere, they will soon have a change of heart. Here in Illinois temperance is an antiquated idea, and in Chicago, especially, there is as much freedom in regard to the consumption of liquor as there is anywhere in Germany. The German element has gained so much political influence in the Prairie State, and the Anglo-American press of that city is so strongly opposed to temperance fanatics, that nobody would think of trying to increase the virtue of moderateness through prohibition or punitive laws. In an article published 6in last Sunday's issue of the Chicago Tribune, and reprinted on Monday, that newspaper proves how foolish and unenforceable all temperance laws are. Of course, the Tribune, too, is ready to do everything it can to promote sobriety and prevent crimes that are caused by intemperance.
"But" says the Tribune, "when the law essays to regulate the private life of people, and trys to dictate what they shall, or shall not, eat or drink, to what church a citizen must go, and how often he must attend services, etc., then the law becomes tyrannical, violates the feelings of everybody, and engenders an opposition which is directed not only against liquor dealers."
The Tribune concludes the article thus: "Such a law was proposed in our state legislature as long as twelve years ago, before the experiment was made in other places; and it failed then. Any attempt to revive it, after it has been condemned by the experience of twenty years, would be just as practical as it would to warm up the old theory of the Know-nothings, to introduce the old blue laws in the state of Connecticut, or to place the 7old law against witchcraft once more upon the statutes of Massachusetts."
The Chicago Times, once a Copperhead paper, but now an organ of progressive Democrats, expresses a similar opinion, and is surprised that any appreciable number of intelligent people who claim the ability to rule themselves--and that includes the ability to think for themselves--could possibly revive the "old humbug that was advocated and tried by the Massachusetts School".
Emigration from Germany will reach new heights this year. The New York Herald estimates, on basis of reports received from its correspondents at Berlin and Munich, that at least 150,000 ...
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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- August 03, 1867Anent the Sunday Question (Editorial)
In a recent editorial entitled "Reasonable Opinions" we said that our English- speaking citizens are becoming more enlightened and more liberal in their views on religious matters. The local Post (issue of August 1) is a pertinent example. Christian Times and Witness, a local religious periodical, published a fulminating article, sustaining the statement made by Dr. Schaff and his henchmen in the meeting held at Crosby Opera House, "that a widespread and well organized conspiracy exists for the purpose of desecrating the Sabbath, breaking down public morals, fostering crime and vice, and undermining the very principles which all Americans esteem very highly", denouncing the Germans as the chief tools of this conspiracy, and accusing the liberal press of setting the value of the German vote above that of religion and morality. In answer to this article the Post writes, August 1:2
"It is not difficult to enact a good law and to place it on the statute book, but it is impossible to enforce a law that is not in agreement with the opinions and desires of the majority of the people of a community.
"Who is to blame if honest German workers prefer spending a part of the Sabbath in a beer garden to visiting the stylish temple of the Reverend 'Creamcheese,' there to endure the suspicious glances of elegantly attired 'Christians,' or attending services in the house of worship presided over by Reverend 'Zealot' where thunderous anathemas are cast upon him from the Old and New Testaments?"
If modern Christianity has nothing to attract the great class of citizens, the workers, to its houses of worship on Sunday, why should Christians be surprised to find that workers look elsewhere for recuperations from the effects of daily toil?
To accuse all who do not go to church on Sunday, and who drink beer on the Lord's Day, of "intending to undermine the civil and religious institutions of our 3country," is foolish and unjust.
It has never occurred to these peace-loving and law-abiding citizens to encroach upon the religious freedom of others, nor do they have the least thought of conspiring against liberty, when they drink beer on Sunday; and though they were in the wrong, they certainly cannot be persuaded to do right by the ridicule and lies which are hurled at them by some so-called ministers.
We often thank God that time of religious persecutions has passed; but we forget, at the same time, that in some of our churches today there prevails an attitude of intolerance which would condemn to death at the stake a man who commits the awful crime of drinking a glass of beer on Sunday, and would execute all "evil-doers," were it not for the fact that such drastic measures are forbidden by law.
In a recent editorial entitled "Reasonable Opinions" we said that our English- speaking citizens are becoming more enlightened and more liberal in their views on religious matters. The local Post ...
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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- September 17, 1867Anent the Temperance Movement (Editorial)
Our friends in Aurora sent us the September 12 issue of their Beacon, in which there is a detailed report of a meeting which was held on September 1 by the advocates of temperance. We cannot say that the report offers anything new or original. It is the old story, although the "mourning brigade" was not represented. It is interesting to learn that the apostles of bigotry and hatred still persecute us Teutons as "diabolical opponents of the most salutary reform the world has ever heard of". Since these so-called reformers are still active, it is up to us Germans to unite with the enlightened English-speaking citizens in making war on a common enemy.
The main speaker in the aforementioned meeting was the Honorable Charles Button.2
"Who are they," asks this clergyman, with the righteous indignation of an Old Testament prophet. "Who are they that organize 'beer conventions' in opposition to our efforts to reform our fellow men? Who are they that lend their hand to overthrow the institutions of this great Republic and refuse to support any candidate for public office who does not promise to do everything within his power to abolish all Sunday laws? They are our German fellow citizens. They are trying with might and main to undermine the Christian religion, and therewith the very foundation of free government. They threaten to bring about the defeat of the Republican party unless that political body advocates free whiskey and free beer.
"The Germans rendered valuable services; they fought very bravely in the late War, but they have no right to force upon the New World the unrepublican and immoral principles which they brought with them when they came here from the old country. Beer gardens and desecration of the Sabbath was against morality and cannot be tolerated. The Germans speak of their rights, but 3are they the only citizens of American who have rights? Have the adherents to religion and the advocates of law, order, and temperance no rights?"
We need not tell our readers, and especially our friends in Aurora, that this is all bosh. This good man, like all his "brethren in the Lord," is laboring under the foolish notion that this great continent was created solely for the benefit of a few thousand New England "saints," and that all other nationalities are nothing but helots who are subservient to the whims of fanatical puritans. And as to the desires and ambitions of Germans and their attitude toward liberty, justice, and equality--well he knows as little about them as a blind man knows about colors. Were this not so, he would not prate about "Teutonic endeavors to overthrow the institutions of this country, and to transplant to America unrepubliean and inmoral principles". Indeed, this country would be much better off if none of its inhabitants were more unrepublican and immoral than the Germans are. There is no other nation that is less disposed to encroach upon the rights of 4others, and it was not until the Germans came to the United States that they learned to appreciate and to cling to the rights that are guaranteed all Americans in our precious documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. However, the advocates of temperance are acting in the manner of all fanatics. While they still have stolen goods in their possession, they cry, "Stop thief!" And while they are endeavoring to convince others of the excellence of their narrow-minded bigotry, and would have the state force their unjust measures upon others, they complain of attempts to deprive them of their constitutional rights. There is no remedy against such blindness, and, as we all know, we cannot expect to get anything but beef from an ox.
Mr. Young who spoke after Mr. Mutton, I mean Button, is a very crafty person. He said, among other things, that "the best way to enforce prohibition laws is to grant women the right to vote," and that he was "not in favor of permitting flunkies who had all their possessions wrapped in a handkerchief when they 5came over here, to frustrate the will which women voice at the polls".
Is there anything else that bothers you, Mr. Young? Have you any other pains? It seems you would deprive German immigrants of the right to vote, and grant women that right, and, as the press informs us daily, women frequently employ very radical measures to gain their objects.
We hope that our friends in Aurora will give this impudent scoundrel, who is supposed to be of German descent, a good piece of their mind. They have a good opportunity to do so, for this fellow is a job hunter, a candidate for representative to Congress. [Translator's note: It is not clear whether the author refers to Mr. Button or Mr. Young in this paragraph.]
Our friends in Aurora sent us the September 12 issue of their Beacon, in which there is a detailed report of a meeting which was held on September 1 by ...
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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- October 11, 1867Aurora Turnverein Lays Cornerstone of New Turnhalle
The Aurora Turnvergin laid the cornerstone yesterday for its new Turnhalle which is being erected at Second Street and Milwaukee Avenue. At ten o'clock, members of the Verein, together with representatives from the West Side Arbeiterverein, gathered at the Court House, where the Chicago Turngemeinde, the Union Turnverein, and delegates from the Schuetzenverein and the Concordia Maennerchor had already assembled. At half past ten, this large throng marched to the scene of the festivities, led by the marshals of the day. The speakers, Mr. E. Juessen and General H. Davis, and several members of the City Council and the press followed in carriages.
The program was opened by a prologue written by Mr. von Langen, and rendered by Miss Virginia von Horn. Turner von Langen then introduced 2the first speaker, Mr. E. Juessen. He addressed the assembly in German and said in part:
"I feel at home wherever turners erect a temple, for I know that they dedicate and devote their churches only to the cause of freedom and progress. Every new Turnhalle that we build, every new temple that we complete in which the portrait of vigorous old Jahn [founder of the turner movement] is the only revered image, is a barrier against narrow-minded ideas, and a fortress of progress. Turners are welcomed by all but bigots and fanatics. The German turners did their duty in the War of the Rebellion: They did not hesitate to rally around the flag of freedom. They bravely faced the enemy in hard battle and fought for the great ideal which they advocated so enthusiastically. They gladly risked their lives, and that is why every patriot respects the white jacket today. [Translator's note: The turners wore white jackets.]
"Why are Americans, why are the officials of this city participating in this 3celebration? Because every liberal-minded American is convinced that the spirit which your organizations have shown throughout the length and breadth of the land is in agreement with the fundamental principles of the Constitution of the United States; because they know that Jahn's students never ally themselves with slavery and darkness, but are devotees of freedom and light. Progressive men look forward to your energetic assistance in the future, for the battle is not yet ended. We are still fighting for liberty, equality, and justice. The scene of the contest has merely shifted from the battlefield to the political arena, and words have taken the place of cannon, sword, and musket as means of warfare. And in this new war our American friends are depending on us turners who were their best and ablest comrades-in-arms.
"You, my friends, have another task. I need only mention it to bring the gleam of battle to your eyes. It is the fight against the bigotry of 4some would-be Americans. An attempt is being made to legislate you into heaven, to prescribe to you not only what you are to drink in order to quench your thirst, but also the only way you are to be translated from this role of tears to heavenly bliss. As a rule, these morbid spells end in revivals and camp meetings, and have but one result--the price for church pews rises. But this time the agitation is more widespread, for even the superintendent of public instruction has proposed strict religious regulations for our public schools. We know from experience what a terrible condition results from combining church and state, and we shall never tolerate even the slightest attempt to abolish or restrict the complete separation of 'the things that are God's and the things that are Caesar's'.
"I would like to make a practical application of an oft-discussed principle to the temperance issue. Do not vote for any candidate, no matter what his political faith may be, unless he positively and unreservedly declares that he will oppose with every legal means at his disposal the enactment of all 5temperance and Sunday laws. It is desirable that we co-operate with the liberal American element in order to attain our objective. In this way, we can fight bigotry effectively and assert our German national view of life. We count on you turners to form the advance guard in this battle for unrestricted personal liberty, for you have made yourselves the champions of true progress...." [Translator's note: The concluding paragraph of this address is irrelevant. The same is true of the speech made by Mr. Davis, who was not a German.]
The Aurora Turnvergin laid the cornerstone yesterday for its new Turnhalle which is being erected at Second Street and Milwaukee Avenue. At ten o'clock, members of the Verein, together with ...
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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- October 23, 1867The Election (Editorial)
On page eight of this newspaper there is a list of members of the County and the ward Committees which are to manage the coming campaign. It is evident that only experienced Republicans have been chosen, and they may be relied upon to put forth their best efforts in attaining favorable results for the party. The County Campaign Committee will meet every morning to receive reports and announcements from the Ward Committees.
The outcome of the October elections in Ohio and Pennsylvania has given this year's County election an importance that it would not normally have. Chicago is the citadel of the Liberty party in the Northwest. Our opponents will do everything they possibly can to gain a victory here, so that they may noise it abroad to prove their statement that "the attitude of the 2people has undergone a change. Even a considerable decrease in the Republican majority, or the defeat of one of the Republican candidates would greatly encourage the Democrats and exercise a depressive influence upon the Liberty party in our own state and in the other states of the Northwest."
We may be confident that the German Republicans of Chicago do not want to see the Republican majority in Cook County diminished by a lukewarm attitude. For unlike their brothers in other states, they have no just reason to be dissatisfied with their English-speaking companions. Not one of the prominent local Republicans of American birth who stand high in the councils of the party is in favor of temperance or the Sunday laws advocated by a few party adherents who will have no influence whatever if the party itself does not split. There is no party strife in regard to the so-called blue laws in Chicago as there is in New York. Moreover, there is complete harmony on all principal issues. And as far as participation by Germans in the 3administration of public offices is concerned, it is probably greater today than at any previous time; it is greater in Chicago than in any other large city of the United States, as is apparent from the many German names that appear on the County, Ward, and Township tickets. It was pointed out recently that with the exception of one person, every German who was nominated at this year's convention was elected.
It will depend principally upon the efforts and the zeal of the Germans whether or not Chicago, in contrast to other cities, will prove to be an impregnable fortress against the onslaughts of the reactionaries in the November election.
On page eight of this newspaper there is a list of members of the County and the ward Committees which are to manage the coming campaign. It is evident that ...
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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- November 02, 1867The Sunday Question (Editorial)
Liberal statements concerning the Sunday question or similar issues have a twofold value when made by pastors, who, by the way, have great influence in this country. And it is exceedingly gratifying to find that such statements are increasing, both in number and in emphasis. Recently, Reverend Stebbins, one of the most prominent and influential pastors from the Pacific coast district, used as the text of a lecture: "The Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath." He said in part:
"The Jewish Sabbath, which according to Old Testament tradition fell on the seventh day of the week, was adopted by the Christian Church and transferred to the first day of the week. However, in taking this action the Christians were actuated neither by command nor recommendation from the Founder of the 2Christian Church. He did not set aside a special day, nor is there any authorization in the New Testament to observe a special day for worship. It was a matter of tradition,' of free choice. To enact a law to enforce the observance of Sunday as a religious holiday savors of a spirit of intolerance and a desire for persecution; and such a procedure is anything but Christlike. And laws which prohibit a citizen's doing as he pleases, though he in no way encroaches upon the rights of others, are null and void. There is still too much pharisaism among individuals as well as among religious denominations; for example; The City of Brotherly Love, the city of fashionable piety and gilt prayer books, enjoins the poor to pay five cents for a streetcar ride (on Sunday)--or, they may hire an equipage for ten dollars--while the rich ride in their won carriages drawn by fine horses. That is a shame! The idea that Sunday is an especially sacred day is erroneous. It is just as much a sin to steal or lie on Monday or Thursday as it is in Sunday, and it is no more a sin, and just as honorable and decent to enjoy fresh air and harmless amusements on Sunday as it is on, Tuesday or Wednesday. Morality cannot be forced by legislation; it can be engendered and fostered only by good example 3and encouragement."
Well spoken, Reverend Stebbins!
Liberal statements concerning the Sunday question or similar issues have a twofold value when made by pastors, who, by the way, have great influence in this country. And it is ...
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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- March 31, 1871The Temperance Problem
Once more we are receiving news from the seat of the legislation that there is danger that the House Bill No. 435, the creation of the temperance advocate will be accepted. Petitions for this bill come rushing in from all the country districts, and as no mass protests against it have been received so far the legislators must become convinced that really nobody in the State is opposed to the bill. If this erroneous opinion is not quickly destroyed a bill may really become State law which puts the innkeepers outside the protection of the law, tampers with the fundamental rights of the citizens, voids without any ado, rent contracts, and will sew an inexhaustible crop of lawsuits and litigation.
If the temperance advocates are successful with this bill they will have driven a wedge into the Legislature that will permit them further advances. A stricter Sunday legislation and execution of the existing Sunday laws will be the next step. Already a Chicago daily has energetically demanded of the Mayor that he carry out the Sunday laws and close the inns one and all on Sundays.... The politicians will follow the side that makes the most noise. Therefore it is necessary to prove through protests that a great part of the public is now as ever opposed to such intrigues".
Once more we are receiving news from the seat of the legislation that there is danger that the House Bill No. 435, the creation of the temperance advocate will be ...
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