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 -- January 20, 1879
    The Poles in Chicago

    Among the many nationalities in Chicago, the Poles play a leading part. During the last years, especially after the Chicago Fire, they increased noticeably, so that they now number about twenty-five thousand. The first Polish pioneers arrived in Chicago as early as 1852; they lived in various sections of the city, virtually strangers, since there was no specific Polish settlement in the city at that time. As most of them were of the Roman Catholic faith, they became affiliated with the German Catholic churches, although a desire prevailed to build a Polish church. In 1869 a club was finally organized to raise funds. Within a short span of time several thousand dollars had been gathered and the erection of a church commenced in earnest. The site was at Noble and Bradley Streets. When the fact became known, hundreds of Polish families from all parts of America and particularly from the Kaschubei in Germany flocked to Chicago. The Kaschubes are of Polish origin. Their language shows much borrowing from the German. These people live in the vicinity of Danzig, Berend, and Neustadt in Upper 2Silesia, Prussia, and represent a low cultural level, due to the Prussian school edict whereby all Polish children must study the various school subjects in German, a language which is strange to them. The Kaschubes are fervent Catholics, frugal and economical. Many of them have ten thousand to thirty thousand dollars.

    The first wooden church, later converted into an elementary school, was dedicated in 1869; Reverend Jaskowski was the first Polish priest.

    It is generally conceded that most of the foreign people founding a new home on these shores lose all sense of discretion in so far as the word liberty is concerned, due to a rapid change from monarchical to democratic surroundings involving the abolition of class consciousness. Therefore, the new arrivals practiced no self-restraint; self-interest ran rampant, and this fault also manifested itself occasionally among the Poles. A Polish priest sits on a volcano, as it were; every member of the parish intends to rule, and gives 3advice to the priest on how to conduct himself within and beyond the confines of the church. Anonymous letters are a daily occurrence; the Lord have mercy on [a minister] who transgresses and lacks energy--that man is lost. Many of the sixty-five Polish communities of this land could give their own interesting versions of certain peculiar incidents, but in so far as these internal affairs are concerned, I shall enshroud them in secrecy.

    The people had conscientious scruples, because they could not order masses to be read for their deceased relatives. Money for masses poured into the church coffers in copious quantities and the impecunious priest became affluent. [Translator's note: This is a literal translation. Possibly the apparent meaninglessness is due to the omission of something from the Staats-Zeitung.] But this egotistical ambition [of the minister] to amass wealth had its repercussions and created enemies. Besides, he had the misfortune of being encumbered with a charming and beautiful "cousin," who today would be called ciotka (aunt).

    4

    Dissatisfaction [in the parish] became rampant; finally a horde armed with cudgels visited the unsuspecting priest and returned with broken weapons. The maltreated disseminator of the gospel fled at that very hour, and a Polish settlement in Minnesota provided a sanctuary.

    His successor was the Reverend Bakanowski, an erudite gentlemen well versed in Polish, German, French, Italian, Latin and English. Besides being endowed with a sympathetic sonorous voice, he was endowed with exceptional talents in rhetoric, and his general conduct inspired friendship. To all these mental attributes must be added, unfortunately, bodily perfection. Like Alcibiades, he was the most beautiful specimen of his race. Attendance at his sermons was large; all nationalities congregated at his distant church on Sundays, to listen and admire the "Beautiful Polish priest". Naturally, the fair sex was most numerous. Invitations galore were sent to him, requesting his presence here and there for the purpose of holding religious meetings and consoling beauteous ladies in their parlors. Would it be reasonable to 5condemn the pious man for yielding to his desire to save souls and accepting such offers? Of course not. Among the mass of Polish penitents was a charming, intelligent, lovely lady, wife of a local physician. Above all, it became increasingly important to save her soul. And while religious solace was given here, the sick, and children in need of baptism, waited vainly at home. The doctor's residence was in another part of the city. The oft occurring absence of the priest aroused antagonism. The burden of his duties in the parish induced the priest to obtain an assistant. This brings to the scene the Reverend Wolowski, a suspicious, conniving man, who had lost one arm during the Polish Insurrection against Russia in 1863, according to his version. Scandalmongers assert, however, that Wolowski, caretaker of the war chest of his regimental division, made a trip to somewhat remote regions, supposedly to protect the precious property from Russian marauders; but the Polish patriots protested against the pretext, and as punishment cut off the pernicious arm. With the officiating of this gentleman the halcyon days of Aranjuez came to a sinister end. Envious of his colleague's success, the 6assistant sent a voluminous denunciation directly to Rome.

    Reverend Bakanowski was called to the Holy City to defend himself and did not return. Like Niobe, the not fully converted beauties pined away from secret sorrow, remembering only the past exhilarating moments while hiding from human scrutiny the grief that engulfed them. But vengeance was in the offing for the insolent schemer who so rudely curtailed clandestine bliss. His attempt to found a Polish school--a measure calculated to bolster his waning popularity--proved unavailing. He was doomed, in so far as Chicago was concerned.

    The following priest, Reverend Zwiardowski, shortly after taking the reins of the parish, dismissed the sinister chap. The school was not to be abandoned, however.

    As dissension arose at the time among the then functioning teachers and the 7priest, and as there existed an absolute dearth of other suitable pedagogues, Reverend Zwiardowski decided to let nuns manage the school. The sisters were mostly Germans and expressed German nationalism in no uncertain terms; it brought a remonstrance. The dissenters found a leader in Mr. Dynsewics, editor of the liberal Polish paper, Gazetta Polska, a publication in existence for the last ten years. Their slogan or, may we say, "the war whoop," was the terse sentence: "In Germany Bismarck Germanizes us, and here a Polish priest!"

    The people were so incensed, that the priest, whose health was none too good, considered it advisable to leave his field of activity. The vacancy thus created provided a berth soon after, in 1874, for the Reverend Vincent Barzynski, who still functions in his ecclesiastical capacity. Few leaders faced greater difficulties. There were more than fifteen thousand people of Polish extraction in Chicago at that time, representing every part of the former great nation (in the period of a bygone century--1667 to 1772--this 8former kingdom represented an area of 21,334 geographical square miles), and everyone was imbued with the ruling complex, insistent on telling the minister what to do.

    Father Vincent was thirty years old at that time; he came from a highly respected family living in the Russian part of Poland. He attended the best schools in his native land and continued his studies in Rome. He is very eloquent--capable of exacting admiration from his adversaries through his powers of persuasion. He is intelligent, pious, but not a hypocrite, and has an excellent reputation. He is fully aware of the traits of his countrymen and his plans take cognizance of them. In many respects his conduct reminds one of Octavius Augustus: If various efforts meet with indifferent success, then he threatens to leave the parish, whereupon every request is promptly granted, and upon urgent entreaties from the congregation he condescends to stay for a while. Various business matters incident to such a large congregation he has placed in the hands of several committees; but, 9basically, he is the sole leader. "Roma Locuta Est, Causa Finita Est," he tells an occasional opponent who cannot be reconciled to the priestly views. He is on a par with Gregory VII, a man of tremendous will power who would rather perish than relinquish a plan designed to elevate the community spiritually and materially. But, Facta Loquuntur.

    Under his capable leadership the Polish school attained increased attendance; six hundred children are at present enrolled and given instruction in their native language by Polish nuns. Music, which in former years induced Polish youths to leave the path of rectitude and seek dance halls, taverns, and other libertine diversions, is now mute.

    Since the small church proved inadequate for the large congregation, an additional house of worship was built: The Church of the Holy Trinity, near Milwaukee Avenue. The Poles, living in the immediate vicinity, virtually surrounded the structure with stores, mostly saloons, and this contingent 10later asked the bishop that their connection with the old church be severed and a priest of their own choice be installed. The antipathy of certain Poles toward Father Vincent is attributable to the fact that he hails from Russian Poland and belongs to the Order of the Resurrectionists. Almost the entire Polish Liberal Party, here and abroad, maintain that the priests of this Fraternity show insufficient patriotism, and that their interests are only centered on Catholicism. While this assumption may be partly justified, it is entirely inappropriate in so far as Father Barzynski is concerned. His sermons express fervent patriotism, and the well-edited, ultramontane Polish paper, Gazetta Polska Katolicka, which is published under his direction, always defends Polish interests. Moreover, the numerous changes he inaugurated and, above all, the founding of a Polish high school, give conclusive evidence of the priest's patriotic sentiments.

    Bishop Farley did not accede to the wishes of the Poles desiring an independent church, as Father Vincent and his assistants proved sufficient.

    11

    Increasing dissatisfaction became apparent, resulting in an eventual rift and at long last two parties, steeped in bitter animosity. Church meetings developed into a replica of the Polish Congress, and a threat was made to apostatize. Time and time again Father Vincent advocated reconciliation but to no avail; he was even insulted and, on one occasion, arrested at the behest of some depraved creature.

    When all efforts in behalf of peace proved fruitless, the Reverend Father carried the "sanctissimum" to the mother church and left his church to the dissatisfied element. Thus the house of worship remained forsaken for almost a year, when a Polish priest, Mielcuszny, appeared. Many Polish people knew him when he lived in the Grand Duchy of Posen, (Germany). He had been active in New York, but was compelled to resign. Cardinal Closkey objected to the priest's wordly activities, because the latter fitted out a saloon, combined with a dance hall, in the basement of the church; this proved a lively place after church services. Mielcuszny, an accomplished dancer, 12usually opened the festivities.

    This priest proved most welcome to the recreants and, contrary to the bishop's wishes, was installed. Intense enmity now involved the two factions, but this is not the place to adjudge theological principles. Suffice it to say, therefore, that according to church canons the installation of priests is one of the ecclesiastical duties delegated to bishops, and this community, in the strict sense of the creed, is not Catholical. After the disgruntled element had affiliated itself with the long-closed church, now given a new lease on life under the leadership of the Polish priest from New York, the parochial domain of Reverend Barzynski again enjoyed the blessings of peace. As the available space provided by the church proved inadequate, a new church was built. Thus far eighty thousand dollars have been spent on construction, and an additional thirty thousand dollars will be required to complete the edifice.

    The not overly large mortgage is being paid by voluntary contributions and 13pew rentals, which amounts to approximately eight thousand dollars per year.

    The paintings for the church have been entrusted to a talented Polish artist, Zabinski, who came directly from Rome (Italy). His studio is at the parish house. A visit will prove very interesting. Several splendid sketches and the full-size, partly completed painting, "The Death of Stanislaus Kostka," give eloquent proof that a genius conceived them.

    For some time Father Vincent considered founding a Polish high school, and to realize that goal he spent large sums of money; however, serious difficulties were encountered. Indifferent success did not deter him, however. Repeatedly he admonished his congregation, and spoke in stentorian tones about public indifference. Finally, the community decided to build a higher institution of learning, and to defray the cost. The school was opened this year, January 2, [1879], and two eminent instructors were secured.

    14

    Professor Stein, thirty years old, passed his examinations with flying colors at the gymnasium in Thorn, on the River Weichsel, and the seminary in Posen. To complete his studies he traveled throughout the greater part of Europe. [In the interim] he taught in Posen and Bromberg at public schools, and academies for young ladies. In America he taught successfully in New York and Detroit. Here, he will give instructions in the German and Polish languages, as well as mathematics.

    Professor Wenslow studied at the Jesuit College here; later he studied philosophy.

    The institution [the Polish high school] accepts students regardless of religion or nationality. At present forty-three students are enrolled; the evening school register shows seventy-two have matriculated. The future of the school is assured, as attendance increases daily.

    The community now entertains the highest regard for its spiritual leader; it 15feels convinced that no personal ambition or selfish interest motivated his action; he was concerned only in the true welfare of his countrymen. Since the storm subsided and outstanding success crowned the priest's efforts, it is expected that the majority of the estranged members will return to the mother church soon.

    This brief sketch does not pretend to give all the details which, after all, would be superfluous. I have merely stated facts, because Chicago has many Polish families, and a large number subscribe to this paper. Perhaps I may have an opportunity at some future time to give an account of the Polish community of the South Side, its church, the Polish press, clubs, and, possibly, some interesting details of prominent Polish people who live in our city.

    Among the many nationalities in Chicago, the Poles play a leading part. During the last years, especially after the Chicago Fire, they increased noticeably, so that they now number about ...

    Polish
    III C, II B 2 d 1, I A 2 a, I A 2 b, III A, I C, IV
  • Zgoda -- October 31, 1888
    "Why"

    Whoever passes by the streets, in the neighborhood of Milwaukee and Noble Street, must have noticed the Polish business establishments going out of business while others not only stay in business but manage to make nice profits. The Poles, are forced to close their establishments, because they cannot meet their expenses. When you pass some of the stores you will be dragged in by the arms and find yourself in the hands of a Jew and bidding for some article that you may need. But never fear he will meet your price. Many of our Poles, especially the women folks, claim they have saved money by their ability of knowing how to "Jew down".

    Naturally our Polish business men do not use this method, although their prices are not any higher than the Jews, and don't seem to progress in their trade.

    2

    We should be ashamed of ourselves, that we take our hard earned money to the others, instead of to our Polish business man.

    The Jew or German would never aid a Pole, if he were in need, and not one cent would he give for Polish affairs, although from the Poles he manages to secure his wealth. So then for this reason we wish you would patronize your fellow-countryman and not others.

    Whoever passes by the streets, in the neighborhood of Milwaukee and Noble Street, must have noticed the Polish business establishments going out of business while others not only stay in ...

    Polish
    II A 2, I C
  • Zgoda -- February 13, 1889
    Polish Emigration in America

    Two great dangers today threaten our Polish emigration here in America. Americanism and, internally, our two parties standing divided as foes.

    Americanism with all of its material strength and its enormous power of superiority, stands as an enemy, an eternal foe opposing everything that is exclusively ours which constitutes our national distruction and which joins us still with our fatherland.

    Americanism wants to take away our Polish tongue, our modes, customs, morals, religion and our God.

    Two great dangers today threaten our Polish emigration here in America. Americanism and, internally, our two parties standing divided as foes. Americanism with all of its material strength and its ...

    Polish
    III A, I C
  • Zgoda -- April 02, 1890
    "City News"

    Our paper will be published the day of election, but we cannot help or harm any of the candidates running for office. In the next issue will be published the results of this election.

    We would like to impress on your mind one curious fact about the character of a candidate. A Pole, Mr. J.J. Dahlman, received the Democratic nomination for Alderman. He is running for office, as is Mr. August Kowalski, one of his fellow countrymen. We should remember that the answer is that the Polish citizens should not vote in any way that may harm them, but vote for the Polish candidates, regardless of the party or the opponents. We should bear in mind that we should elect more Polish candidates, and not worry about the other nationalities.

    We impress upon you the fact that Mr. Dahlman, who is asking the support of all Poles, lives and thrives among them; has had his circulars printed by Simon Levy - a Jewish printing concern, while in his neighborhood are many Polish printers, dealing in Polish and English printing of any amount or size. Can we call this 2"solidarity"? This is the class of people that are seeking our support, so that they may become political figures.

    Maybe Kowalski or Dahlman will win in their respective localities, but we are seeking more than ever the election of Mr. Kowalski, a true Pole.

    Mr. Dahlman, who gave his work to the Jews, shouldn't expect much support from the Poles.

    Our paper will be published the day of election, but we cannot help or harm any of the candidates running for office. In the next issue will be published the ...

    Polish
    I F 1, III A, I C, IV
  • Zgoda -- November 12, 1890
    City News

    Elections in our city and county, as well as in the whole country were very interesting, especially the fate of the Democrats. The outcome of this election in the case of Mr. W. Bardowski is not yet known, because of false police reports. We can judge that the Irishmen and the Germans used the old method of voting; the Democrats of these nationalities voted Republican, so Mr. Bardowski, a Pole, would not be victorious for the county commissioner's office.

    The Democratic central committee was furious about the attitude shown by these two nationalities toward a Polish candidate; the Poles voted for Democratic candidates regardless of nationalities; how would it look if all Democrats would not vote for a Pole, who belongs to their party?

    It is statistically proven that Mr. Bardowski was victorious by a large majority, and is rightfully our new county commissioner, the same is true of Mr. Kwasigroch, who was elected to the State of Illinois legislature, from the 13th Senatorial district.

    There is some doubt among the different nationalities about his victory, but the final report proves his victory.

    Elections in our city and county, as well as in the whole country were very interesting, especially the fate of the Democrats. The outcome of this election in the case ...

    Polish
    I F 1, I C, IV
  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- December 26, 1890
    The Chicago World's Fair (Editorial)

    At last the President has issued a proclamation regarding the opening of the World's Fair. It appeared on the 24th day of December, the day before Christmas.

    Better late than never. Undoubtedly, the Fair may yet be a great success. All that is necessary for its success is some good luck. There is no doubt that, as an American exposition, it will be great, positively unsurpassed by any European exhibition. At this fair the United States will have a splendid opportunity to show the world its great development during the last 115 years, and how far it has advanced in the field of inventions, especially in applied sciences. However, there is a doubt whether this exposition will surpass, or even be equal to, European expositions, especially the Parisian, in respect to art. There is no doubt that we have plenty of money, but whether we have enough ability and artistic taste for creating an exposition both great and beautiful, is a question.

    The criticism will be very severe, and we may take it for granted that European 2critics will not overlook even the smallest irregularity or mistake. But let us not judge too harshly. We have a number of able people who know how to put up a fair. They have some experience because they have visited other world fairs, and for American dollars it will be possible to secure a few European experts who have a good taste. Americans are very practical. They will know how to overcome this obstacle.

    Two questions arise, will this exposition deserve to be called a world's Fair, and will other countries participate in it? We wrote about this before and expressed our doubts. However, we are not infallible and hope that this time we will be false prophets.

    There is some consolation in the fact that, at the last election, the American nation opposed McKinley's Bill. Consequently, Europe may be appeased with the hope that the bill had only an ephemeral significance and will be forgotten in a short time.

    The majority of the stockholders of the Chicago Fair are also appeased because they feared that the exposition would not be open on Sundays, and 3that the sale of liquor would not be allowed at the Fair. These two obstacles have been removed by the directors of the Fair, thereby making the financial success of it possible, for experience teaches that fairs bring more profit on a Sunday than during the whole week. The proclamation of the President created a more cheerful attitude toward the matter.

    The proclamation is typically American, - business-like. Because we are very prosperous, we can afford to have a fair. Perhaps such proclamation will invite elegant European formalists to make satirical remarks, but on the other hand, it will encourage business men, for whom we care very much, and which is most important.

    At last the President has issued a proclamation regarding the opening of the World's Fair. It appeared on the 24th day of December, the day before Christmas. Better late than ...

    Polish
    I C, I D 1 a, I B 1, I H
  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- January 19, 1891
    The School Question (Editorial)

    We have received information that the Bohemians, together with some Poles, residing in Chicago, are trying to pass a school regulation which would entitle a foreign language of any large group of people the same privilege or representation in the public schools as that of the German language. We have asked many of our countrymen their attitude towards this problem, and whether or not they will participate in the agitation. From the answers received, we have come to a conclusion that there are two factions: one of them is for the agitation, and the other is bitterly opposing it. The first faction is quite small, but the second is very large.

    It is easy to find to which faction any group of people belong. Most of the members of the Polish National Alliance have joined that group of Bohemians or faction which originated the agitation. The members of the Polish Roman Catholic Union, however, with the exception of a few, belong 2to the opposing side. There are also Poles who do not belong to either of the two mentioned Polish organizations, and their opinions are also divided. Their number is so small that it should not be taken seriously.

    For the first time since Dziennik Chicagoski has come into its existence, we are going to give our view on the question, which has divided the opinions of the members of two great Polish-American organizations. We are doing this for the first time, therefore, we think it is advisable to state for the sake of clearness that we will treat this particular question objectively. If we mention the names of both organizations, it is not because we desire to engage ourselves in an unpleasant controversy between the Polish National Alliance and the Roman Catholic Union, but because we desire to make the argumentation clear.

    We have stated that the majority of the members of the Polish National Alliance are for the agitation, and that the members of the Polish Roman 3Catholic Union, with the exception of the few, are against the agitation. This is a fact, and we can prove it. However, some of these opinions are personal convictions, for which neither the Polish National Alliance nor the Polish Roman Catholic Union is responsible. The number of these individuals is very small.

    There is a certain number of members in either organization, who have also formed their own opinions, but based on idealistic principles. With these principles, the organization plays a very important part. These members may be classified into several groups, and they support one of the factions for the following reasons: If they belong to the Polish National Alliance, some members, who, for convenience, we will call group No. 1, may see a patriotic act in agitating for a school regulation which would entitle the Polish language the same privilege as that of the German language in the Chicago public schools; but they are prejudiced against the so-called "clerical rule," and (2) for the same reason do not favor parochial schools. They have nothing against the attendance of Polish 4children in the public schools. (3) these members wish to express their indignation on account of the privilege granted to the German language in Chicago schools, and although they know that the Polish language will not be introduced in Chicago public schools, they favor that measure for the purpose of removing the injustice done them. (4) The members of this group are of the opinion that the Polish National Alliance should take an initiative in such "patriotic" undertakings, and as members of the organization, should support the agitation.

    On the other hand, the members of the Polish Roman Catholic Union are of the opinion: (1) that there is a risk for the parochial schools in case the Polish language would be introduced in Chicago public schools, especially in Polish settlements; (2) there are members who think that public schools are too dangerous for the young people, because these institutions are bringing up children without religious principles, morals, patriotic feeling, or healthy view on social life; (3) many of our countrymen think that we would disgrace ourselves in the eyes of Americans, 5Irishmen, and even the Germans, for trying to introduce the Polish language in public schools when formerly we used to defend parochial schools so often and so openly; (4) the fourth group is of the opinion that a protest against the privilege of the German language would accomplish more than an agitation for introducing the Polish language in the public schools. The number of the members, either in the Roman Catholic Union or the Polish National Alliance, who have such convictions is very small, although, they deserve attention and respect.

    Finally, the majority of the members give support either to this or that group because they think it is their duty to approve or oppose their party, quite often referred to as "church-goers" or "patriots." The number of the supporters mentioned last is the largest, and with them the circumstance of belonging either to the Polish Roman Catholic Union or to the Polish National Alliance, plays the most important part. They have no personal convictions.

    As editors of Dziennik Chicagoski, we cannot ignore this important question.

    6

    We must express our opinion on this matter, and as this opinion must agree with one of the two large groups, we are prepared for the accusation that we are opposing one of them. However, we feel that such accusation will be unjust. For this reason, we repeat emphatically that we desire to treat this matter objectively, and if there will ensue any controversy on account of it, let it be limited. We beg you for the sake of the subject only, that is, the school question, let the argumentation be conducted properly, peacefully, and with dignity.

    In our opinion, the Poles should not participate in the agitation of the Bohemians.

    We have received information that the Bohemians, together with some Poles, residing in Chicago, are trying to pass a school regulation which would entitle a foreign language of any large ...

    Polish
    I A 1 b, I A 2 b, III C, I C
  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- January 20, 1891
    The School Question Our Reason for Opposing Bohemian School Agitation (Editorial)

    In this article we will point out why we are against the present school agitation in Chicago, originated by Bohemians, by trying to prove that:

    (1) The public schools in this country are below the standard of the parochial schools in respect to practical education, and moral training of the children attending them, due to the educational system adopted by the school boards;

    (2) It is a duty of the parents, who care for the welfare of their children, to send them to those schools which are most capable of training them for good American citizenship, with moral principles that are steady and unfaultering, and besides, those schools should teach them how to be practical that they may be able not only to find a proper 2station in life, but also become patriots of their own nationality;

    (3) If the public schools do not deserve our support, then we should not endeavor to introduce the Polish language into them.

    (4) The action taken by the Bohemians is not a good example worthy of imitation, but rather it is a frightening warning;

    (5) If we are against the privileges granted to the German language in public schools, and desire to remove them, we can accomplish it much more directly by a protest than indirectly trying to introduce other languages into the public schools.

    Public Schools and Parochial Schools

    It has been proved many times that the parochial schools give better education than our public schools. This has been proved not by idle 3argumentations, but by actual examples taken from observations. As an example, we will describe an incident which occurred at the end of last month. Mr. E. Dumphy, a Congressman of the 7th congressional district, has announced that he has a vacancy for a boy at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Twenty eight young men applied for this position. The applicants were obliged to undergo a physical examination first, and later, on December 29, they were examined by a commission which determined their mental fitness. This commission was made up ot two assistant superintendents of public schools and a monk, a brother, representing the Roman Catholic parochial schools. The young men were examined in the following subjects: arithmetic, penmanship, spelling, geography, grammar, United States history, and reading. We all know that 100 is the highest percentage obtainable. The boys struggled all day with the examinations. The following were the results: (1) Thomas F. Dwyer; 94 3/4, whose percentage was the highest; (2) John J. Disell; 91 2/7, (3) John Conway; 86 1/7, (4) Joseph Fitzgerald; 86 1/7, (5) A. Sauci; 85 5/7, (6) R. Stewart; 84 6/7, (7) Peter Simcox; 84 1/7, 4(8) Jasmer Kilgore; 84, (9) Pat. Shea; 83 2/7, (10) A. McFarland; 82.

    The first four, the seventh, and the eighth boys are graduates of St. Jacobs' parochial schools. The 5th, 6th, 9th, and the 10th, were graduates of the public schools. Then followed the 11th, 12th and the 13th, who are also graduates of St. Jacobs' parochial school. From the 14th to 28th are graduates of public schools.

    Naturally, Thomas F. Dwyer was the winner.

    If we were publishing a large volume on this question, we could present many examples of this kind, but our space is limited, and we can only add that during the last year six similar examinations were conducted, and in every case, the winner was a graduate of the parochial schools. This is not a coincidence, but an actual proof.

    5

    Let us suppose that we did not have such examples, that these competitive examinations are not held, and that we have no opportunity for comparing the difference. We still could arrive at the same conclusion by examining and comparing both school systems; such comparison would convince us that in reality a boy will learn more in the parochial than in the public school. Let us examine very carefully the parochial school system.

    The Educational System

    Of course, we cannot describe here the whole school system, because such description would fill volumes. Therefore, we will limit ourselves to the most important points. We are all aware of the fact that there are three kind of schools, namely; elementary, secondary, and higher institutions of learning. Every school belongs to one of the three classes. The public schools in the United States have not reached that state of perfection which is the basis of all education, with one program uniting 6them all very closely. It is not necessary to have a diploma from a grammar school in order to enter a secondary school or college. There is an entrance examination given, and whoever has taken this examination, knows well that the requirements are ridiculously low for entering a college. Higher schools or universities, also have entrance examinations which are proportionately very easy to pass. It is known throughout the world that an education obtained in our American universities has no great value, unless the student works out a balanced program, and follows his studies diligently, or finishes his education in Europe. Americans were angry at the Germans a year ago because physicians who finished their studies in the United States were not allowed to practice in Berlin. Their anger was not justified because it was the fault of our educational system here.

    It is entirely different with the parochial schools, because they are conducted on the order of European schools. This, alone, places them very high. It is true that a young man who finishes public schools knows 7something about arithmetic and other subjects, but his knowledge of other subjects, such as geography, history, etc., is limited to facts about the United States only. He has no conception, or a very poor one, about history and geography in general, that is, in other parts of the world. In other words, he has no general education. The school books, we admit are very beautiful, especially in elementary schools, but their contents are meaningless. The artistically ornamented, and beautifully illustrated books will not create a desire in a boy for deep thinking, or for studying different branches of science, as will the books used in parochial schools.

    The purpose of the parochial schools, besides furnishing the children with practical knowledge is also to develop in the youth the moral principles. Who, if not the teachers, ought point out to the young man what is right and what is wrong? Who, if not the teachers, ought inocculate the young minds with those principles which some day should mould or develop a child into a respectable man, a good citizen, or a 8patriot? Can the public school teachers do that? No. Not only they cannot, but they are not allowed to do it. They are not allowed to say to the child: do not do this, because you will be locked up in jail, do this, because you will profit by it. But what is the result of such education? It creates selfishness and develops ability to evade justice. It develops monopolistic principles in those who have means, and in those who have no means, it develops nihilistic ideas. Nihilistic, we repeat, because they are nihilistic in the true sense of this word. They recognize neither God nor human rights, neither country nor morality, nihil, nothing, other than themselves. Is it not so?

    Let us look deeply at the life of the people around here. Let us take a glance at the youth educated in the public schools. Look at the back stage of our politics, at all machinations of the capitalists on one side, and of the demagogues, clothed in the cloak of philanthropy on the other. Can we find good principles there? Or can we find morality or patriotism? "Oh! You do not say that there are also good citizens, men 9of honor, and good patriots." We know that, but you must judge the whole community, not a few exceptions, who on account of very favorable conditions, entered the right path, as there are people without principles who have received good instruction on morality. If you will take under your observation not only a few individuals, but the whole community you will come to the conclusion that the public schools do contribute to the development of nihilistic ideas, and that the parochial schools encourage and spread the true moral principles, on which the real American patriotism is based.

    We know what some, who read this article, will think. They will utter sarcastically: "Clerical Rules" (Clericalism). Yes! The parochial schools in the United States are controlled by the priests. Religion and morality are taught there. And besides these, they also teach other useful subjects, but in a better manner than those used in public schools. Don't the priests deserve gratitude for that? Don't they deserve at least a recognition for their troubles? You say that they 10make money on schools. Let us be serious once, and look at the parish records. What are the profits? Out of the pocketbooks of the people a parish maintains a parochial school. If there were no priests, who would establish private schools with a European system of education? We have no people with higher education who could and would like to devote themselves to that task, and if there are any the number is small. The government will not spend money for building such schools. Every well thinking person will agree that such schools are beneficial and necessary, even if they are acquired by great sacrifices. It is the specific duty of missionaries to establish such schools, and no one desires to be a missionary, especially where the establishment of schools is concerned, except the priests.

    There may be other objections: Some one might say that only Irish and English parochial schools are good because they teach English, that the child will not learn the language of the country in Polish parochial schools, and for that reason the Polish children should be sent to the 11public schools. Morality and religion should be taught at home and in the church, only they may say. Such assertions are falsehoods produced either by ill-will, or by lack of understanding of the matter. Such an attitude is dishonest and harmful to children.

    In this article we will point out why we are against the present school agitation in Chicago, originated by Bohemians, by trying to prove that: (1) The public schools in ...

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  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- January 21, 1891
    The School Question Polish Parochial Schools (Editorial)

    The English language, along with Polish, French, Bohemian, and Italian, is taught in parochial schools equally, if not even more carefully than other languages.

    That the forgoing statement is true, can be proved by the fact that the graduates of the parochial schools are gladly accepted by the higher institutions of learning, public and private, if their parents desire to give them a better education. No boy, who has finished a Polish parochial school, has ever been rejected by any college on account of poor knowledge of English. Many boys who once attended St. Stanislaus' Polish parochial school in Chicago, are attending colleges and other institutions of higher learning, including the Jesuits college. All of them are making very good progress, and it appears that they have 2a good elementary education, equal to the training received in the public schools. Some of the boys are employed by the telegraph companies, banks, and other institutions, where a good knowledge of the English language is necessary. Still others are studying in Europe, where they would not be accepted, if their elementary education were poor.

    After examining the school books used by the Polish parochial schools, and studying the educational system, European like, practiced by them, any impartial person must admit that the standard of the parochial schools is much higher than that of the public schools, and that the instructions in the language of the country are excellent. There might be exceptions in some small parishes, but not in Chicago. If necessary, we can supply the names of the Polish boys who attend colleges and European institutions, and also names of those who hold good positions in Chicago and vicinity. We have a gew of these names on hand. They are graduates of St. Stanislaus' Parish elementary 3school. This is a sufficient proof that the standard of the Polish parochial schools is not lower in teaching children the English language than that of the public schools. In other respects, however, the standard is higher.

    Is it necessary to prove the foregoing statements? We do not think so. Even the opposers of parochial schools must admit that these schools teach true morality, that they are developing moral principles, the purpose of which is to bring up children as righteous men and women, good citizens, and good patriots of Poland, and of our adopted country, the United States. Who will not admit that their aim is to stir up, and propagate the patriotic spirit in and among children. Is this done by the public schools? This proves that the Poles care more for the welfare of their children. For this reason, they should avoid public institutions and send their children to Polish parochial schools.

    The Catechism

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    Children in Polish parochial schools are studying the catechism, but it is not the only subject taught there, as stated by the malicious enemies of parochial schools. Only one hour a day is devoted to this important subject by every class. Catechism teaches children that they should respect their parents more than anybody else in the world, and that they should support them in their old age. Catechism does not teach them how to be clever in evading justice and earthly punishment, but it teaches them how to live in order to receive and eternal reward. The catechism does not teach them how to be clever with their fellowmen, but how to be honest. The catechism also teaches them to respect the laws of the country, otherwise, how to be good American citizens. For this reason alone, children are taught catechism in parochial schools, and since the Bible is not used in the public schools, the parents should not send their children to the public schools, but to the parochial schools.

    No one should say that the mother will not teach her children the prayers, or that the teachings of the priests are not necessary, and that it is 5useless to learn the whole catechism from memory, because it will be forgotten later on. It is true that some of the teachings learned from the catechism are forgotten, but not the foundation upon which the whole life is built, just as a foundation of a building which cannot be seen, yet it upholds the whole structure. The same principle also applies to spiritual foundation. It will uphold the whole life, even if it is hidden, providing it is well-grounded.

    Patriotism

    Love for the mother country, a desire to belong to one's nationality, is developed only at the parochial school, and this desire is destroyed by the public schools, and by the association with other children on the streets. The parents, alone, cannot build a foundation. The Irish know that, and for this reason, they do not sent their children to the public schools, notwithstanding the fact that the language of the Irish is English. This is also known by the Germans, who have their language in the public 6schools, yet they have their own institution. Not only German Catholics, but also German protestants defend parochial schools, and as long as they remain good Catholics, or good protestants, they do not send their children to the public schools. Only those who are unpatriotic, and indifferent to religion, send their children to the public schools.

    Some Bohemians, who have lost their faith, their nationality, their refinement, and are afflicted with anarchism, or masonry, which was spread in this country by the Germans, do not wish to learn patriotism. Only such Bohemians are trying to establish the Bohemian language into the public schools; by this action they try to persuade other Bohemians to send their children to the public schools. Other Bohemians are misled by the first group. Should Poles imitate Bohemians?

    The English language, along with Polish, French, Bohemian, and Italian, is taught in parochial schools equally, if not even more carefully than other languages. That the forgoing statement is true, ...

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  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- January 28, 1891
    Our Amateurish Thearicals

    (From the editors: This communication is published as we received it. However, we like to express our frank opinion by stating that we do not agree with the writer in some particulars. Other readers are invited to write on this subject).

    We must admit that the Polish theatrical movement in our city is very strong, and it is not surprising, because there are hundreds of Poles in Chicago who could give a few scores of amateur plays every year, and each one would draw a large audience.

    Whether these theatricals are of benefit to the public, either by furnishing them recreation, or by uplifting them morally, is a question.

    Very seldom, is there a theatrical performance given without some kind of additional entertainment, such as dancing, drinking etc., and if it 2so happens that such a performance is held without any supplementing feature, the hall is empty. Do you wish to know why?

    For this natural reason we find that a theatrical play alone, performed in the manner as practiced up until now, does not give complete satisfaction. It is true that the most capable persons are selected for this task. It is true that these persons devote much of their time to these plays, frequent rehearsals with great patience, and quite often, after a day of hard work. Yet they do not act well enough to interest the public, because they either do not know their parts well, or cannot be heard. Finally, it appears that they do not understand their roles. At times, they cause laughter at the most tragic moments, and on the other hand, they fail to produce the proper effect at comical scenes. We do not intend to criticize our amateurs unduly, for they endeavor to play their roles as best they can. We should be grateful to them for their gratuitous sacrifice. It is not their fault that they do not play better.

    3

    It is our opinion that a city as large as Chicago ought to have a first-class Polish theater with a personnel capable of giving a performance that would not discredit us in the eyes of the Americans, a performance that would attract the public without any additional entertainments, such as balls or drinking. So far, we have not been able to accomplish this.

    The most important factor needed in our own theatrical work is a suitable hall. As we did not have such hall until now, it was impossible for us to conduct theatrical plays. Fortunately, such a hall is under construction now, and it will be ready for use in a short time. Then we should think of organizing a dramatic club.

    Above all, we need a dramatic club, which would sponsor theatrical plays regularly at specified times.

    It is impossible for such a club to have professional actors. Persons who 4are not young any more, and who work hard, cannot be made good actors. It will be a great accomplishment if they learn their roles well. Such a club can be formed under the direction of our old patriotic organization, Krolowa Korony Polskiej, (Queen of Polish Crown). We are certain that this matter will be taken up at its next meeting.

    Such a club would develop theatrical skill, and supply actors. However, it takes a long time to train a person to become a first class actor.

    In our opinion, it would be best to establish a dramatic school. Such a school ought to be established and maintained by the people of our parish. We are offering some good suggestions: The school should have a limited number of young students of both sexes, whose ages should not exceed fourteen years for the girls, and eighteen years for the boys. The students should possess such innate abilities and qualifications as: well formed bodies, a good knowledge of reading and writing Polish, and especially good vocal organs, adaptable for singing. The moral conduct of pupils should be under a strict control, and the smallest offense 5against morality should be punished by a dismissal from the school.

    The instructions would be given only once a week, on Sundays from 9 to 12 A. M., because we have experienced that evening study does not bring good results. During the first year, the students would be taught, above all, how to speak Polish correctly, how to read and recite poems, prosaic compositions and singing; besides this, the school would give a few easy plays.

    Such a school does not need any endowment, because the students would defray the expenses themselves by giving theatrical plays from time to time, and our citizens would surely support it by such large attendance that the hall could not accommodate them.

    After a few years of hard work, we would probably be able to see a successful, first class, Polish drama, perhaps "Halka," by Moniuszko, which would satisfy the public in every respect.

    (From the editors: This communication is published as we received it. However, we like to express our frank opinion by stating that we do not agree with the writer in ...

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