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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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 18, 1872
    [The Dislike of the "Dutch"]

    The exaggerated and largely untrue reports of the Tribune and Times have tended very unnecessarily, to arouse the American population still more against the Germans. But no reporter of these papers has sought to inquire into the true cause of the excesses of Monday night...

    At the time when the Aldermanic session was over, and when the bearers of the banners( who had entered the hall not in disorderly fashion, but had been admitted on the order of the police superintendent) were starting to go home- the entrance hall and the upper part of the ataircase were filled with people not only from the demonstration, but many of whom had simply been sitting in the "lobby" to attend, as usually, the happenings in the City Council. Meanwhile the majority of the demonstrators were on their way home, and Schlotthauer's section had already arrived at the ruins of the old courthouse. By and by the rooms of the city hall emptied themselves, and there may still have been about 30 people in the lobby and on the stair, when suddenly the 12 policemen of Sergeant Lull together with the whole team of Captain Hickey pressed to the upper part of the staircase in the lobby(a sign that the crowd no longer can have been very large) and pushed without any warning all the people who stood there with violent force down the staircase.

    2

    The greatest hubbub and excitement was the consequence. Even then the police were not yet satisfied. At the entrance still more policemen were waiting, who had come from the Southside, and who now tried to violently push the people who stood on the very high sidewalk onto the street.

    At the same time they used the most abusive terms against the "Dutch". Only then, as an Alderman who was an eye-witness reports, the people took to self-defense. And this would not have been done with bricks had not a pile of them been lying there- a pile onto which the police, lead by Sergeant Lull, had driven the people like a herd of cattle, without giving them time to go peacefully on their way. Lull, who not for the first time, had been carried considerably too far by excessive zeal, is himself to blame when he was hit by a brick. He is the only policeman who was slightly wounded...

    Last night the conversation in the police-stations resolved exclusively around the "keeping down" and"Killing the Dutch." And Mark Sheridan and Superintendent Sherman left the whole city watch out for itself, while 200 police-men had been ordered to headquarters and into the Aldermanic Council,30 policemen and 3 captains stood on the staircase and in the chanber of the Council, while, the other 170 men were kept in the adjourning police station. But everything was quiet and peaceful in the neighborhood of the city hall.

    The exaggerated and largely untrue reports of the Tribune and Times have tended very unnecessarily, to arouse the American population still more against the Germans. But no reporter of these ...

    German
    III A, I C
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 19, 1872
    [Nativist Violence]

    All the infernal hullabaloo of Tribune and Times, all the capon-like crowing of the Evening Journal, all the deep moral indignation of the Evening Post about the "horror" of Monday night, have been in vain. The infamous nativistic maliciousness has in vain been appealed to by the aristocratic money-bags against the just demands of the workers and small plot-owners.

    In its session of Wednesday night, the City Council has adopted a provisory fire limit which does full justice to the original demands of the Germans, even though it will not please a part of the 18th Ward. To make the Chicago Avenue, Wells Street and North Avenue, the fire limit on the North Side, was the compromise solution first proposed in the Illinois Staats Zeitung, and this the City Council has adopted uninfluenced by the howling of the know-nothing papers and the "violence" done to it by the incendiaries of the North Side.

    On the South and West Side it is simply the question of forbidding inside a certain area the construction of wooden houses on plots where formerly no houses at all stood. That is not by any means the same injustice, as if the poor people whose little wood houses were destroyed on the 9th of October were forbidden to restore them in the only fashion that is possible to them.

    2

    The gist of these happenings is simply this: That the nativists tried to exploit the great calamity by which Chicago has been afflicted to push the Germans into the corner; that in this endeavor the whole American press (with the single, honorable exception of a small evening paper, The Mail) fought against the Illinois Staats Zeitung, and branded a noisy demonstration as a "despicable uprising" and the Germans as rebels and criminals, but that in spite of it all, it has been defeated.

    All the infernal hullabaloo of Tribune and Times, all the capon-like crowing of the Evening Journal, all the deep moral indignation of the Evening Post about the "horror" of Monday ...

    German
    I F 3, II B 2 d 1, I F 4, III A, I C
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 19, 1872
    The Fire Ordinance

    The City Council will meet tonight in an extraordinary session to continue the debate on the fire limit ordinance. The first paragraph of it was passed Wednesday night, but will certainly never be accepted in this form. The citizens of the 7th, 8th, and 9th Wards of the West Side, and of the 18th, and 20th Wards on the North Side, are not satisfied.

    REPORT ON THE SESSION OF THE CITY COUNCIL ON JANUARY 17.

    In the session of the City Council last Wednesday, the American aldermen saw themselves forced to present to the Germans and Irish a fire limit ordinance that excludes a very large part of the North and West Side. At the final voting 33 aldermen were present, of whom 17 voted for, 16 against Batcham's 31. Among the 17 were 15 Americans and 2 Irishmen; the 16 on the other hand consist of Germans and Irish and only one American. If all aldermen had been present, Batheham's amendment would have been defeated, and a paragraph move forable to the people would have been adopted.

    The City Council will meet tonight in an extraordinary session to continue the debate on the fire limit ordinance. The first paragraph of it was passed Wednesday night, but will ...

    German
    I F 3, I F 4
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 20, 1872
    [The Fire Hazard and the Germans]

    The Times calls "incendiaries" all who want to permit the owners of houses that burnt down to build wooden huts. Obviously this characterization must find application with double force on all those who build wooden barracks even inside the old fire limit.

    This is what W. F. Storey has done. Yes, the grey old scoundrel who calls the decent German workers and craftsmen on the North Side "incendiaries," because they don't have money enough to build stone houses, has for himself secured the privilege to build in the middle of the business section on the West Side a tinder-box in which he maintains an easily inflammable industry (steam printing).....

    And such a scoundrel thinks he can call decent German workers "incendiaries" (Mordbrenner). Would it not be high time that somebody administered to this creature another portion of Lydia Thompson?

    The Times calls "incendiaries" all who want to permit the owners of houses that burnt down to build wooden huts. Obviously this characterization must find application with double force on ...

    German
    I F 3, III A, I C
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 21, 1872
    Editorial: the American Gospel

    A Presbyterian Clergyman ("Pfaffe" - term of obloquy) ,Abbot E. Kittredge desecrated his pulpit last Sunday by taking the infamous lies and libels of dishonorable American newspaper reporters about the "upheaval" of the Germans as text and topic of his sermon... However, he is not the first American parson to do so, and he wont be the last as long as the first and most important gospel of the American is his "paper." In no other country of the world exists, aside of the sway which the church holds over the minds of people, so absolute a power over the spiritual life of the people... If the events of last week prove anything it is...the utter inability to judge for themselves on the side of the vast majority of the Anglo-Americans. A Horace White, a W. F. Storey, and a Charles Wilson propose to break the power of the Germans by preventing the rebuilding of the "Dutch settlement"; they invent ad hoc a German "uprising", as the instigator of which they present the editor of the Illinois Staats Zeitung... and intelligent "American nincompoops shake their heads full of ire and indignation and cry:"Outrageous! These things must not be tolerated! " So public opinion is made! Surely we don't need to express surprise about the mendacity of the French press and the gullibility of the French people-becauce the American press and the American people are just like them...

    A Presbyterian Clergyman ("Pfaffe" - term of obloquy) ,Abbot E. Kittredge desecrated his pulpit last Sunday by taking the infamous lies and libels of dishonorable American newspaper reporters about the ...

    German
    I C, III A, III C
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 22, 1872
    [Concerning Fire Risks and Their Prevention]

    Many oitizens published on January 18 an appeal in the Tribune that aroused antagonism among the Germans or the 16th Ward. It ran as follows:

    "Those opposed to the extension of these (fire) limits have manifested their wishes conoerning the subject, under the auspices of the Prussian eagle on last Monday evening in the hell or the City Council. So the public is, no doubt, conversant with the peculiar topic of these Communistic philosphers.

    "A grand mass meeting will be held at the place of Mr. Chas. Raggis, on the evening of the 20th, at 7:30 P. M. Let every honest man attend the meeting, and show that rowdyism must be put down, and fire limits, which in reality should be the city limits."

    Signed

    Many Citizens.

    2

    The idea was to pass a series of resolutions which should embrace the fireproof point of view, and should represent the Germans as disorderly, peace-disturbing rowdies. However, the intended demonstration ended not as it had been planned.

    After 8 o'clock many Germans, and Anglo-Americans had arrived, and the designated speakers began to lose their thread. They had to change their tone and were satisfied to have a petition to the City Council adopted asking to have the Eastern and North Eastern part of the Ward, along Lincoln Park, included in the fire limit. On Mr. Hesing's motion a committee was named by the chairman consisting of Mr. A. C. Hesing, P. Bass, I. Hathaway, D. Goodwillie, J. Armstrong and the two Aldermen Schmidt and Stout.

    3

    All that the instigators or this "grand mass meeting" dared to demand was the inclusion of a district about 1/8 square mile large, a district of which only about one-third has been ravaged by the fire, and that third is mostly owned by Anglo-Americans and those who have the means to construct brick houses.

    Mr. Hesing was enthusiastically requested to speak. He gave a prolonged adress.

    Many oitizens published on January 18 an appeal in the Tribune that aroused antagonism among the Germans or the 16th Ward. It ran as follows: "Those opposed to the extension ...

    German
    I F 3, III A, I C
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 22, 1872
    [The German Customs]

    Under the heading, "Rich and Poor", yesterday's Times issued an article on the fire limit question in which it leaves free vent to its xenophobia. The Times fears that the fire limit question might gain political implications, and could be made an "issue" at the next election. It then continues with the following idiocies:

    "Mainly from the Hesing, Prussian-flag point of view, it seems in the nature of a crime, that a man should not be poor, and that all people, other than those who occupy alms houses, or hovels, have no right which the world is bound to respect. It may be added that it was precisely such sentiments as these which, last year, unfurled the red flag in Paris, which inspired the "petroleuses", which fired the palaces massacred ecclesiastics, and lacerated the very heart of the French nation. It is time that this everlasting drivel about the holy rights and claims of poverty should cease."

    2

    The Times then reproaches the Germans with inconsistency:

    "One day we hear that our German fellow-citizens must have their Sunday parades, and their roystering beer gardens, because they had them at home. They came from a land of freedom and intelligence, they assert, and we must accomodate our institutions to their early education. But now comes the question of the right to intimidate councilmen, and to endanger the city by the erection of wooden fire-traps; and herein the customs of the father-land are indirect opposition. They will have no Sunday, and will have beer, because they always had it at home, and they will have riots and wooden shanties because they were never allowed to have them at home.

    3

    "The German element, as represented by Hesing, demands all that it had at home, and all that it didn't have. Because it comes here and accepts our hospitality and straightway betters itself vastly from a pecuniary and moral point, it assumes a dictatorial position, and claims the right to control our institutions after its own desire.

    "It is about time for Americans, no matter where born, to ask themselves whether they propose to submit to the insolent dictation of the part of foreigners? If they, in their distinctiveness as such separate nationality, do not like our American institutions and ways, let them return to whence they came. They are aliens, not Americans. Their absence would be a relief to this country, in that it would stay the agitations of demagogues who, like Kaiser Hesing, sustain themselves by appeals to national sentiments which have nothing in common with those proper to an American citizen."

    So the Times airs its ire.

    Under the heading, "Rich and Poor", yesterday's Times issued an article on the fire limit question in which it leaves free vent to its xenophobia. The Times fears that the ...

    German
    I F 3, III A, III H, I B 2, I C
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 23, 1872
    "Priest and Layman" Editorial:

    ...Apparently Mr. Hesing wished to restrict his answer to the approximate length of Mr. Collyer's letter- or he might have mentioned many other and very pertinent things...

    One point, however, he should have brought out more fully: The Saccherine sweet simpering of the Reverend about the nobility and magnanimity that America proves by giving bread to industrious Europeon workers. What the deuce! Do the immigrants come as beggars, who have to be fed out of pity? Or would it be perhaps the normal thing that the Americans devoured them like savage Fiji Islanders, so that one would owe special thanks for not having been devoured? If Mr. Collyer earned more in his first month in America, than in his last in England, he was lucky indeed. But his employer has surely not shown special generosity, except(what we don't believe) if he paid Mr. Collyer more than his work was worth. As regards the writer of these lines, who was not at all ignorant of English when he arrived, he had to earn as a peasant's servant and a woodchopper a very scanty bread and had to suffer hardships for years before he earned again as much as he used to 2gain in Germany, a country he left voluntarily... If personal experiences are to be taken as proof, then ours are as conclusive as these of Mr. Collyer... When American engineers find employment in Russia or Germany, nobody there thinks of regarding them as charity receivers...Every American statistician calculates with beaming satisfaction the enormous gain the country has from immigration...Very well then, may the country thank immigration and may Mr. Collyer spare us with his whining about the gratitude we owe the country.

    ...Apparently Mr. Hesing wished to restrict his answer to the approximate length of Mr. Collyer's letter- or he might have mentioned many other and very pertinent things... One point, however, ...

    German
    III G, I C
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 23, 1872
    [Concerning the Fire Ordinances]

    (Three and one-half columns, more than half of the editorial page, are filled with a letter by the Unitarian Rev. Robert Collyer to Mr. A. C. Hesing, originally published in the Chicago Tribune. Hesing's answer, and an editorial about the two letters.)

    The Reverend says among other things:

    On the 8th of October, I had a beautiful home on the North Side; it was my own, I was proud of it, and I was so proud of my position as an American citizen, that I told the audience in the Crystal Palace, where I made a speech last summer, I did not know if I should not feel insulted that Queen Victoria had not invited my wife for tea, as we were all sovereigns. My children have received in our public schools a wonderful education that cost me hardly anything.

    2

    Now the question arises: How shall we rebuild? Our municipal authorities demand that we build so that our city cannot burn again. These authorities are, no matter who are the members of it, a part of that great people in which we have found such inestimable worth. I believe, that the majority of those who, a few days ago, made so infamous an attack on our American customs, consisted of people who owed almost everything that they possess to the magnanimous reception that they have found here. I would therefore be very cautious in my attitude toward the good government that the Americans and their forefathers bought with their most precious blood. I would also be wary to talk so much about "poor people," here, where nobody (except in consequence of bad conduct) can be as poor as we have been.

    Yours truly,

    Robert Collyer.

    3

    Mr. Hesing's answer contains the following sentences:

    I have found that you have addressed to me a very beautiful, a very unctuous treatise on the duties of adopted citizens. Perhaps I must be grateful for this honor. In any case I will try to feel such gratitude as our excellent mayor would experience if you dedicated to him a sermon against stealing, or as Mr. H. W. King would, if you addressed to him a sermon against unchastity. That flag, my dear Mr. Collyer, before which you uncovered your head in Heidelberg, as you so edifyingly describe, belonged to your very devoted servant A. C. Hesing.....Those Stars and Stripes, my dear sir, I let proudly wave in the air wherever I found cause to point to the symbol of Republican free government. So in Berlin, when there the Kaiser "was trump". And I may add that the Stars and Stripes were in Berlin not blasphemed and reviled by the people (as the German flag is here), but were greeted with cheers and jubilation. Nowhere have I found a mob so low and mean-spirited as to call them "That dirty Yankee rag",as the German flag here is called by the mob that "dirty Prussian rag".

    4

    Thirty-two years ago, in 1839, I came to America, a young man, almost a boy. My father had been well-to-do. I gave my heritage on my own free will to my brothers and sisters, and emigrated to America. Every cent I own has been gained by honest industry. So far our life stories run parallel. But you say, Mr. Collyer, that you and your family found everywhere the warmest welcome. That such generosity and goodness as you met with you had not dreamed of. There the comparison between us ceases.

    You don't seem to know that in my memory lives a time when Germans were persecuted by American mobs with such brutality, with just as diabolical cruelty as ever Europeans in China, Chinese in California, or Jews in Rumania have been persecuted. You have not seen it - I, Mr. Collyer, did see it; how packs of native Americans, drunk with the desire to kill, burnt down churches of the "damned Germans". You have not seen it (though you might have, you were already in the country), how peaceful Germans were hunted down and butchered in the streets of Louisville. You have probably never heard the land of your 5birth maligned in your presence by people who count themselves among the better classes with that intensive contempt of which only the most ignorant and uncouth hoodlum is capable. And, Mr. Collyer, you probably have never tried to put yourself into the place of decent people - conscious of the most sincere love to the land of their choice - who are mocked and jeered at because they are not able to speak the English language as fluently as those whose mother tongue it is. If you had seen and experienced all that you would not so rashly suppose that a German-born American citizen could forget his German extraction as quickly as a British-born his English birth.

    But in spite of all that I maintain that the citizens of German birth are just as good and true Americans as those born in this country; that they regard themselves as citizens of the American Republic, and act as such, even though the language difference and the reluctance of the Americans towards intimate social intercourse, may occasionally produce the apperarance as if differences of opinion about public questions were rooted in racial differences. In the present case that is certainly not so.

    6

    As your letter was addressed to me personally it will not be taken amiss when I explain my personal attitude. I was only 18 months in this country and did not yet have the right to vote when I stood at the ballot box exhorting my countrymen to vote for "Old Tippecanoe". That was at a time when the bestial brutality of native American Democrats made it dangerous for "foreigners" to stand on the side of the Whigs. The Cincinnati Enquirer then called me a "Dutch renegade". In 1844, I made public speeches for Henry Clay and his American Policy and was bombarded by native American citizens, with stones and rotten eggs. In 1854, the first meeting of German-born citizens for the formation of an anti-Slavery Party was called together by Mr. Hassaurek and me, in Cincinnati. Soon afterwards I came to Chicago where I owned a kiln together with Mr. Chas. S. Dole. I was then, as I am now, in favor of a fire ordinance.

    7

    You say, Mr. Collyer, that I demanded everybody should build, if he so pleased, exactly as before the fire. But about that you are completely misinformed.........Listen to the facts.

    Shortly after my return from Europe I met Mr. Val Turner who proposed a meeting of the citizens of the North Side. I readily agreed, and soon afterward a number of citizens met in the office of Mr. Nixon and a petition written by Mr. Sheldon to the City Council was endorsed. In this petition the establishment of fire limits which should include the whole area south of Chicago Avenue (with two small exceptions in favor of two wood firms), was urged. These limits furthermore should coincide with Wells Street to North Avenue and from there east to the lake. In the first days of December, I received a round robin signed by about 100 names calling me to a meeting at the Metropolitan Hotel. There, Mr. Collyer, I, the only German-born citizen present met with many of your 8friends, E. C. Larned, W. Nixon, Julian Rumsey, Geo. F. Rumsey, Val. Turner, Aug.Burley, C. H. McCormick, W. H. Kerfoot, Nat. Mears, Ely Bates, Messrs. Page and Adams, Geo. Taylor, S. F. Winston and possibly eighty more. At this meeting the above mentioned petition regarding fire limits was read and it was proposed, that all present should sign it. I objected not because I thought the suggested measure too oppressive, but on the contrary, because in my opinion it did not go far enough. I therefore moved an amendment, proposing to include not only the part of the North Side, that the petition points out, but also the two wood courts and the area east of an imaginary line 125 feet west of Clark Street until Fullerton Avenue.

    That is the point of view I have embraced in this question. When you, Mr. Collyer, tell me that the people demand fire limits coincident with the city limits then you assert something for which you lack all proofs........Neither Mr. Medill nor the editors of two or three papers are the people of Chicago. The opinions of the people manifest themselves 9according to American usage in popular meetings. Where have any such meetings taken place in which the proposal of Mr. Medill has been endorsed? Put your hand to your heart - has not perhaps the persistent and mendacious clamor, that the opposition against Mr. Medill's plan is only a Dutch movement, obscured your otherwise so clear and critical vision?

    A. C. Hesing.

    (Three and one-half columns, more than half of the editorial page, are filled with a letter by the Unitarian Rev. Robert Collyer to Mr. A. C. Hesing, originally published in ...

    German
    I F 3, I F 4, IV
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 24, 1872
    [The German Aid Society]

    The German Aid Society had about exhausted its means and was forced in the last session of its executive to give and in future only in cases of sickness. Yesterday the Society however had the great satisfaction to receive $1000.00. Mr. F. Madlener, 62 W. Lake Street, whose shop is so close to headquarters that he can see daily the misery, and Mrs. Bernauer, the owner of the house of the headquarters of the Society, each gave $500.00 spontaneously.

    The gift of Mrs. Bernauer is all the more impressive as she already had distributed $1200.00 directly to the fire victims.

    The German Aid Society had about exhausted its means and was forced in the last session of its executive to give and in future only in cases of sickness. Yesterday ...

    German
    II D 10