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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  • Skandinaven -- January 03, 1872
    [Scandinavians in Chicago]

    The last census showed 14000 Scandinavians to be in Chicago, of whom 6,373 were Norwegians, 6,154 Swedes and 1,243 Danes. If we figure children and grandchildren it would make a total of 30,000. No wonder that there are so many Scandinavian lodges.

    The Norwegian Turner Lodge established August 14, 1867, 115 members; Nora-Lodge, I.R.H.K., founded May 17, 1863; Norwegian Dramatic Club, founded March 12, 1868, 10-15 members; Norwegian Men's Singing Society, founded October 30, 1870, sixteen active and twenty passive members. The Norwegian Band, founded July 1, 1870, ten uniform members and the Norwegian National Guard, founded September 30, 1870. Exercises and Uniforms as U.S.A. Army-Norwegian Progressive Club, the purpose is churchly and social functions.

    The last census showed 14000 Scandinavians to be in Chicago, of whom 6,373 were Norwegians, 6,154 Swedes and 1,243 Danes. If we figure children and grandchildren it would make a ...

    Norwegian
    III B 2, III A
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 06, 1872
    [Political Matters]

    The Chicago Tribune quotes, without giving its source, a press notice according to which Mr. E. Jussen owed his office as Federal Tax Collector to his brother-in-law Carl Schurz. To this the Tribune adds: "Our knowledge of the circumstances in which the appointment of Mr. Jussen took place enables us to declare the above imputation as explicitly false. Not only had Sen. Schurz no part in securing the office for Jussen, but Mr. Jussen himself had no part in it, as he was not a candidate, before the position was tendered to him. A similar exculpation of Mr. Schurz from various accusations we find in the Baltimore Weekly.....

    Both these go a little too far. Last August a copy of a letter by Mr. Schurz to the President was put at our disposition, in which he recommends the appointment of Jussen most urgently, not, of course, on the grounds of his kinskip, but for what he knew about Jussen's political attitude and his ability. We put this document quietly into our editorial drawer where with many other papers it was burned. A new copy probably could be secured - but what for?

    2

    It is correct in any case that Mr. Schurz did not take the initiative in regard to the appointment of his brother-in-law. A letter by Mr. Jussen (that was not burned) exists in which he very unequivocally admits that this initiative originated with the writer of these lines, the editor of the Ill. Staats Zeitung.

    Mr. Jussen was on his way to Washington where he wanted to be a candidate for a consulate in Germany (Aachen, Aix-les-Bains), when he fell sick in New York. There he received a telegraphic inquiry, emanating from the editorial rooms of the Ill. Staats Zeitung, asking if he would permit his friends to nominate him for tax collector. The answer was,"Yes!" If the Tribune in respect to all this says that the office was tendered to Mr. Jussen it is correct. But if it wished to produce the impression that Mr. Jussen was not a candidate till the President "tendered" him the office (and only he can do that; party friends cannot tender the office itself, but only the candidature) it is wrong. Between that exchange of telegrams and the nomination of Jussen passed several weeks during which he was a candidate for the office.

    3

    General Salomon then went to Washington in order to win the President for the nomination of Jussen. At that time Schurz wrote the above mentioned letter. That by doing so Schurz intruded into Chicago politics or that he committed a political faux pas we would not assert. As the situation then was the misinterpretation that Schurz was using his political influence for Jussen because he was his brother-in-law, was extremely improbable. Jussen's name had been proposed by Chicago friends of Mr. Schurz, why should'nt be added his recommendation? We hardly doubt that if not Jussen, but the present incumbent of the Tax Collectors office had been proposed, Schurz, if asked to do so, would have written for him an equally warm letter of recommendation.

    No reproach can be castron Mr. Schurz for his quite secondary part in the nomination of his brother-in-law.

    Perhaps the one comment could be made, that Schurz, according to the standard that he has defined himself, has become guilty of the same"lack of a finer point d'honneur" with which he reproaches the President. However, that would only be the case according to his standard, not ours.

    The Chicago Tribune quotes, without giving its source, a press notice according to which Mr. E. Jussen owed his office as Federal Tax Collector to his brother-in-law Carl Schurz. To ...

    German
    III D, IV
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 10, 1872
    [Political Matters]

    Carl Schurz has taken occasion in the first session of the Senate after the Christmas holidays to defend himself against a long series of mostly very absurd accusations that were published in an article in the New York Times.

    Some of these accusations, (as that he had extorted his general's patient on his return from Spain by threatening to turn 200,000 German votes from the Republican Party) are just sheer stupidity. It is likewise insipid to accuse Schurz of having shown revolutionary tendencies at the national convention in 1868. The contrary is true. Schurz was then timid rather than revolutionary, at least in regard to the repudiation policy of Butler. Personally, as well as in his paper, he touched Butler's doctrines only with velvet gloves and not for one moment did he take so outspoken a position as the Illinois Staats Zeitung. The chance he had to present to the convention a resolution in favor of civil service reform, (which had been moved by the German member of the platform committee( he did not use. The idea of this reform had then, it seems, not yet matured in him. He urged it neither from the rostrum nor in the press, and may have thought it too radical. In any case, not revolutionary was the appearance of Mr. Schurz at the National Convention, not even radical.

    2

    While Mr. Schurz had little to worry about in regard to this accusation it needed some longer explanation to dispose of the accusation that he had demanded (and received) $250 a week in 1860 as a stump speaker, and $50 to $100 honorarium an evening, besides. In itself this is hardly an accusation. Every worker deserves his pay, and to make stump speeches is work-often harder work than to cut wood.

    However, one point must not be overlooked. The American has his own views about what is, and what is not done. He thinks it all right that a stump speaker should be paid, but he does not think it all right that the orator should make himself paid twice. He regards nomination to an embassy, or election as a senator as a sufficient wage. He distinguishes between the paid orator and the statesman. He quite understands a statesman who makes money from his private business (as a lawyer for example, or a journalist). What he thinks queer is that somebody should make speeches as an aspiring statesman and should accept payment for the same speeches as a professional orator. For Schurz as a statesman he thinks 3the payment with an embassy, the general's buttons, and a seat in the Senate, not too high, but for Schurz, the paid public speaker, he does. It seems to be a fact that Mr. Schurz has no colleague in the Senate, with the exception of Mr. Nye, of Nevada, who claims reward both in cash and in expectation of high political preferment.

    As to his part in the nomination of Jussen for the office of Federal Tax Collector Mr. Schurz' explanation coincides exactly with ours given a few days ago. The single difference lies in that Schurz calls his written recommendation of Jussen a mere endorsement, while we called it a letter. That, however, is a "distinction without a difference". The important point is that the initiative in the nomination of Jussen did not come from Schurz, but from the Illinois Staats Zeitung, after the office (what we should have said already the last time, but will do so now) had been offered from Washington to the editor of this paper, Mr. A. C. Hesing and by him had been refused. Jussen himself never has had the impression that he owed his brother-in-law any thanks for his appointment.

    4

    With this we hope to have contributed our part to the defense of Mr. Schurz against spiteful and unfounded accusations.

    Carl Schurz has taken occasion in the first session of the Senate after the Christmas holidays to defend himself against a long series of mostly very absurd accusations that were ...

    German
    I F 3, IV, I F 4, I H
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 12, 1872
    [The Ohio Temperance Law]

    After a heated oratorical fight lasting three days, the lower house of the Illinois Legislature adopted on January 11, with 109 to 43 votes, the bill which the Senate already had approved by a vote of 34 to 5 and which is notorious under the name of the "Ohio Temperance Law." It is not a temperance law as that word is usually understood - that is to say, it is not a "prohibitory law." It does not forbid the sale of alcoholic beverages. On the contrary, it recognizes it as a legitimate profession. Neither does it forbid the drunkard to get drunk, nor does it make drunkenness punishable by fine. An amendment in this sense was expressly voted down. But the law makes not only the saloon-keeper who sells the beverages, but also the proprietor of the house in which they are sold, answerable for all damage that the intoxicated person creates. And such damage may be all the real or imagined loss, worry or anguish which the family of the drunk may or may not experience. Punishment of a barbarous severity are provided for the sale of liquor to "individuals who are frequently drunk" or to minors.

    The bill was fought by the German representatives, Korner, Vocke, and Massenberg, most energetically, but without success. All the weapons of reason proved impotent against the narrow American-peasant mind. To demonstrate to the representatives of Chicago their helplessness against the compact"?>moron's phalanx is one of the favorite pastimes of the rival legislators. So in 2this case. Party differences lose in this, all meaning. In both Houses about an equal proportion of Republicans and Democrats voted for the law. So, however much one may be tempted to do so, one cannot make one of the parties responsible. Only insofar as the majority in both Houses consists of Republicans, the odium of this law will fall on the Republican Party, though the most determined opponents of the law were also Republicans.

    If Governor Palmer, who is reputed to incline toward the "liberal" coalition, should through his veto give the Germans assurance that they will find more consideration and understanding in the "Liberal" Party, then undoubtedly many German Republicans will join the new party.

    After a heated oratorical fight lasting three days, the lower house of the Illinois Legislature adopted on January 11, with 109 to 43 votes, the bill which the Senate already ...

    German
    I B 2, IV, I C
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 15, 1872
    The Fire Boundaries

    Saturday evening a meeting took place in Alderman Carney's corner store on Illinois and Market Streets...No paper except the Illinois Staats-Zeitung had announced the meeting. The Irish especially, complained bitterly that the Times sacrifices so completely the interests of its readers and party members and simply ignores a citizen's meeting on the North Side.

    Some hot heads even swore they would lynch the first policeman who should dare to arrest a father of a family who builds a wooden hut on his plot.

    "In our district no houses burn down," some said, "because each of us lives in his own house and looks out. In other sections fires used to break out when business was bad."

    At eight o'Clock Alderman Carney introduced Mr. Hesing, who said:

    2

    "This meeting has been called by Mr. Carney in a desire to receive instructions from his constituents as to how he shall vote next Monday night in the city council on the ordinance which would make the fire boundaries coincide with the city confines.

    I, myself have badly suffered through the Chicago fire....In the course of a month I will have ready three houses in Erie Street. Accidentally I still had the necessary means after the great disaster; they are wooden houses on high pales - 'tinder boxes' in the expression of the English papers. Before the fire I was a shareholder of three fire insurance companies that no longer exist - as is hardly surprising. Three weeks ago I insured my three houses and paid a premium of two percent. My newspaper office and printing shop are in brick buildings on West Randolph Street; they cost me four per cent fire insurance. This goes to show that the best insurance companies will hardly leave Chicago if wooden houses are built on the North Side.

    3

    This is no joke to forbid the sixty thousand inhabitants of the North Side to build such houses as those were in which they lived and were satisfied these last twenty-five years. West of North Wells Street real estate is so cheap that it hardly pays to construct valuable brick buildings, and the owners can hardly get more in mortgages than a simple wooden house costs. If they are forbidden to build wooden shacks they will be forced to throw their property away at fifty percent or seventy-five percent less than it was worth before the fire. They will have to move, and the streets, with their sewage system, gas and water pipes, for which they helped to pay, will profit only greedy speculators....

    Mayor Medill read his message to me, before it was communicated to the City Council. I said to him, - "Mr. Medill you are much too one-sided in this matter. You must permit the people to build their huts on their plots to their best ability, otherwise the tenement house system will rise, the curse of New York and of the European capitals".... 4I maintain that the wooden houses are not at all responsible for the fire, but the witless system in our fire department.

    ....All the talk about fire boundaries and tinder boxes is empty noise, in order to divert the attention of the people from the true cause of the burning of the North Side. If the Buildings Council had provided our water-works with a fireproof, the waterworks would not have burnt down and we would have had sufficient water to keep the fire from reaching the North side. Why did Fire Marshall Williams not come to the North Side to tear down a few blocks, as people did on the South side, with the result of completely preventing the spread of the fire even without water?..

    ...The stone and brick buildings of the South Side had collapsed before the intense heat had crossed the river and started to consume the houses of the North Side. The supposedly fire-proof stores of the South Side fed the fire as with tinder...

    The English newspapers assert freely that sufficient living quarters to house 5the people will be built. But we don't want to live on rent, but on our own plots, each according to his own means and taste. Capitalists have not made Chicago what it is. No, innumerable workers of every conceivable type have made certain men rich by their work. A certain restriction regarding the height of the wooden houses may be instituted, but never shall they rob us of our homesteads by the total prohibition of wooden houses...

    I regret that the English papers ignore this meeting. You should have invited the English press. I am not afraid of personal attacks. We will fight it out, if it takes all summer... I have a few resolutions that I will read, if nobody else has prepared any:

    Whereas....

    Whereas it always was the pride and fame of Chicago, that a larger part of its working population was composed of independent home owners than in any other city of equal size:

    And whereas...

    We deeply regret the blindness of those....Even the shabbiest brick 6houses, if they are to stand as high above the level of the street as the wooden houses built on pales, would cost three times as much..... in thousands of cases the owners would be forced to give up the idea of building. The value of real estate in all sections of our city where our working population lives, would be depressed...The effect of the great fire would then only have been to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.

    So far as security is to be considered, the ordinance proposed in the City Council is a swindle and a trap. It permits wooden bay window construction up to the third floor, wooden shacks, and, worse than anything, wooden roof cornices, and does not forbid wooden sidewalks....

    In view of the fact that the so-called fire-proof buildings on the South Side are a pile of rubbish, while the wooden house of Mahlon D. Ogden stands unharmed close to the blackened ruins of two costly stone buildings, it must appear like a mockery of sound common sense when the poor people are to be forced to build the same kind of fire-proof humbug houses as those which were consumed by the thousands inside of a few hours on that tragic October 9th.

    7

    We therefore beseech the City Council most earnestly to refuse the now presented ordinance and to make on the north side of Wells Street the fire boundary....

    Saturday evening a meeting took place in Alderman Carney's corner store on Illinois and Market Streets...No paper except the Illinois Staats-Zeitung had announced the meeting. The Irish especially, complained bitterly ...

    German
    I F 3, IV, I C
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 16, 1872
    Regular Session of the City Council Monday, January 15, 1872

    Now, Bailey and Mac Grath tried to have the posters (of the fire limit demonstrators) brought through the narrow door of the hall, but found it difficult. Several Aldermen became frightened, and the presiding Alderman Mc Avoy declared, without a word of explanation, the session adjourned, inspite of the fact that a motion for adjournment had just been voted down... If the Chairman had continued with the order of the day, the execrated fire ordinance would have received no ten votes; but for that very reason he usurped the power of dissolution.

    Now both doors opened. Flags and banners were carried in amid hurrahs. Alderman Schaffner had told his constituents on Sunday afternoon that one could impress the City Council only in such visual form. The citizens became very angry when they found that the City Council was just now being adjourned. Aldermen mixed with the public that meanwhile had passed the rail...and talked back and forth and reproached each other. The Aldermen had to accept many a sharp criticism.

    2

    Mr. Hesing, being called, made the following speech..."The newspapers have reproached me with stirring up discontent for my personal advantage. They should know better. Lincoln has offered me an office twice, and I have refused it, Grant once, and I again refused. I seek no office, but I do seek to promote the public welfare. I came to Cincinnati at the age of 17, and I already helped at 18, through speeches and agitation, to get a fire ordinance passed. In Chicago I have worked for fire limits, at a time when it was very dangerous to advocate publicly such opinions. I am for fire limits where the citizens want them, and circumstances demand them. But I cannot approve when the workers and handicrafts men are practically prevented from setting on their own plots.

    How the papers howl against the reconstruction of the wooden shacks of the Northside! Why don't they agitate for the cleaning up of our fire and police departments?...I am for a fire limit on the Northside, namely Wells Street to the end, and from Clark to Fullerton."

    At this moment the windows clattered, and stones and pieces of bricks hit heads. It seems that the rowdies had been instigated to disturb Mr. Hesing's speech, and they succeeded. The meeting dissolved.

    Now, Bailey and Mac Grath tried to have the posters (of the fire limit demonstrators) brought through the narrow door of the hall, but found it difficult. Several Aldermen became ...

    German
    IV, I F 5
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 16, 1872
    [Concerning Chicago's Reconstruction]

    According to the resolutions of various meetings of plot-owners on the North Side, a procession formed itself last night at seven before Alderman Carney's house. The home-owners of the 16th and 17th Wards, came under the leadership of Mr. Schlotthauer with a band. Then followed a regiment of torch bearers, under the command of Mr. John Hahn, carrying banners with such inscriptions as "Leave the worker his home," "No tenement houses?" and so on. Though the procession marched in ranks, eight men deep, the head of it had arrived before the new City Hall building, while the end of it was still standing at the corner of Illinois and Market streets. Altogether, the number of participants cannot have been less than 10,000.

    In spite of the vast crowd not a single disturbance and no case of drunkenness occurred, and to the honor of the German citizens of the North Side, be it said that the procession was the quietest (even though there have been bigger ones), that ever passed through the streets of the North Side. 2Of course, the young American loafers were present in packs, but to keep them away from a torch parade would be a feat as difficult to accomplish as to fill in Lake Michigan in one night.

    Before the City Hall building the procession stopped. A committee was to present a copy of the resolutions to the City Council. It had been decided to accompany them into the session chamber with the banners. However, Police Sergeant Lull and six policemen stopped the bearers of the transparencies at the door of the hall. This was the signal for general excitement. In spite of the admonitions of Mr. Hessing that the Aldermanic Council would have to give in to the will of the mass, the crowd pushed into the building and soon the upper story around the staircase was so overcrowded that the floor threatened to collapse. A general confusion ensued; hundreds of people from below tried to get into the chamber; other hundreds, fearing to be buried under the collapsing hall, tried to reach the staircase and the street.

    3

    The police tried to drive the crowd back from the door of the chamber, Alderman McGrath tried in vain to make a speech, and several people tried to convince the demonstrators that their lives were in danger, but nobody would listen. Finally, Police-Superintendent Sherman gave the order to open the doors of the hall. The banners were carried in, but here, too, the floor soon threatened to give in. Those who waited outside did not know that the City Council had adjourned. Finally, the procession marched home over the Clark Street Bridge, Only a few young rowdies who remained behind, amused themselves by breaking some windows panes of the City Hall building. One of the stones is said to have accidentally hit Police-Sergeant Lull, and to have wounded him slightly in the face.

    According to the resolutions of various meetings of plot-owners on the North Side, a procession formed itself last night at seven before Alderman Carney's house. The home-owners of the 16th ...

    German
    I F 3, I F 4
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 16, 1872
    Rowdyism.

    Like those personally interested in the agitation that has arisen against the fire limit ordinance we feel moved to the strongest reprobation of those who last night, after the demonstration of citizens of the North Side was ended and after most of the participants had already left the neighbour-hood of the City Hall, threw stones into the windows of the session room of the City Council.

    Like the personally interested we, too, regret of course deeply that such an act of wantoness has occurred. We are convinced that it could have been executed only by boy gangsters (Gassenbuben). The idea suggests itself that they acted by order of those who were displeased with the aim of the demonstration, and to whom no device can be too low for the manifestation of their displeasure.

    Like those personally interested in the agitation that has arisen against the fire limit ordinance we feel moved to the strongest reprobation of those who last night, after the demonstration ...

    German
    I F 3
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 16, 1872
    Stone and Wood. (Editorial)

    That many born Americans had born behind their friendly grinning faces a quite malicious hatred against the immigrants, could easily be observed in the discussion of the fire boundary question. What the English papers, and especially the Times have been printing about the demonstration of the German, Irish and Scandinavians, is utterly saturated with the most poisonous spitefulness against the immigrated craftsmen and workers... The Times does not hesitate to invent the rawest lies about the "meetings of the North Siders" - to represent the poor fire victims as besotted beer louts - and to distort and ridicule their vigorous utterances in the most insolent and infamous way. In short, once more the vilest xenophobia, the nativistic swelled-headedness and bigotry shows itself naked. What does a scandal sheet like the Times care that the just desires and demands of the "Dutch" remain unknown to its readers?

    If boorish laughter, vulgar scorn and grin, and impertinent caricaturing of the meetings on the North Side that is completely sufficient - at least to the native rowdies.

    2

    ... But when Americans like William B. Ogden and Mahlon D. Ogden agree with us regarding the necessity of permitting wooden structures in the outlying districts, then we can afford to renounce the applause of a Story and an H. White. If any man in the city, then Ogden knows what has made Chicago great and populous... To forbid all wooden structures inside the whole space that in part still consists of fields, meadows, vegetable gardens or empty prairie, but is named on the map, Chicago, means to stop the further growth of the city - is nothing less than suicide.....

    That many born Americans had born behind their friendly grinning faces a quite malicious hatred against the immigrants, could easily be observed in the discussion of the fire boundary question. ...

    German
    I F 3
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 17, 1872
    The Events of Monday Night.

    An unexampled infamy! So the English papers (with the exception of the Evening Mail and the Republican,) are shouting, howling, screaming, grunting and twittering. An unexampled infamy, so say we too, but in a different sense. An unexampled infamy is the malicious damnable rascality, and the ignominious calumniations and revolting lies, that dirty dogs of reporters have catapulted into the world about the happenings on Monday evening. A role so completely bare of all honor and shame as the scoundrels play who phantastically exaggerate those happenings in the Chicago Times and Tribune (in order to awaken the spirit of the most brutal nativism) could probably not be found a second-time in God's wide world. One feels put back into the darkest times of know-nothingism.

    2

    The demonstration on Monday should have been ended before the City Hall with a courteous presentation of the petitions, that we willingly admit. That a number of participants pushed into the Chamber, and tried to take banners with them was wrong. And that one of the banners showed gallows with a threatening inscription, was a scandal, though nothing unheard of. However, that is not intended as an excuse for the vandalism. Such excesses one should leave to the Americans, who have invented them.

    Absolutely mendacious and devoid even of an atom of truth are all descriptions which represent the City Council as a pandemonium, and speak of the breaking down of the balustrade and of desks and of the plundering of drawers, or even try to create the impression as if the aldermen had to flee for their lives.

    3

    Only when some stones came flying through the windows, due to the flight of those who believed they heard shooting a tumult was caused in which two of the desks were broken from their bases. That was the "mob violence" about which the English papers raised such a hue and cry. The only thing that is lacking is that the same cowardly elements who at the end of October in fear of dangers that existed only in their imagination turned to General Sheridan for military assistance, should once more urge the declaration of a state of war.

    The naturalized citizens of the North Side who insist on Chicago's remaining a city where the common laborer too can live in his own little home are better Americans than the insolent money-bags who demand that the laboring classes should be squeezed into large dirty barracks, in order to sink to the level of the European proletariat.

    An unexampled infamy! So the English papers (with the exception of the Evening Mail and the Republican,) are shouting, howling, screaming, grunting and twittering. An unexampled infamy, so say we ...

    German
    I F 3, I C, III A, I F 4