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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 01, 1875The County Board's Corrupt Eight The Opinion of the Press and the Public
The resentment and indignation which the county board's bold and shameless action of yesterday aroused in all circles, excepting those that were directly benefited, defies description. "Thieves" and "damned scoundrels" are some of the milder and less hostile expressions that were applied to the eight men concerned. Unfortunately, it has long been suspected that Crawford and Johnson are thoroughly corrupt fellows; but everybody was surprised and dumfounded when it was reported that Russell had heaped shame upon his hoary head, that Carroll, MacCaffrey, and Conly, men who were elected on a reform ticket, have departed from the path of honesty, that Lonergan, who can look back upon a long, honorable career, allied himself with rogues, and that Herting abused the confidence which all of his fellow citizens placed in him, merely to gain an advantage for his family. Indeed, there is great consternation.
If such men falter and are untrue to their promises, how can we trust anybody?2
Although the public knows that the frauds which have been disclosed would not have been possible if the committee had not been guilty of gross negligence, it might have excused the evil deeds if the board had shown any remorse; but the fact that the report of these misdeeds was ignored, that an attempt was made to expunge the "aggravating" parts of the record, and that the guilty members of the board were re-elected, proves to the satisfaction of the public that the old members of that body participated in past frauds, and that the new members expect to benefit from future frauds; in other words, that the eight members of the county board, Carroll, MacCaffrey, Conly, Crawford, Johnson, Russell, Lonergan, and Herting are perjurers, thieves, and scoundrels. It is their own fault that the public passes such severe judgment upon them, for the public knows no criterion save the acts which it sees. And they are the only just basis of judgment.
Comments by the English Language Press
The English language press of yesterday did not spare words in condemning the 3eight commissioners, and, judging from indications, will use much stronger expressions today.
The Chicago Times, which deserves due credit for its drastic comments, no matter how objectionable some of its other features are, has the following headlines on its report of the county board's proceedings of last Wednesday:
He Has Been Creating It In The County Board With His Little Report, Which Shows That Some Of The Commissioners Ought To Be Hanged And Others Strangled For Being Common Public Plunderers
The County Supply System Simply A System Of Organized Robbery And The Poorhouse Is The "Fence" Where The "Swag" Is Stored
Indications Of The Formation Of A Ring As Corrupt As That Presided Over by Sam Ashton 4The Chicago Tribune has this to say in an editorial note: "The 'Ring of Eight' was very busy again last night. Anyone who is interested in such matters can inform himself on the policy of the board by reading the report of yesterday's proceedings."
An exposure of fraud in the system of furnishing county supplies which was promised a long time ago by certain members of the county board was made yesterday. The special committee, appointed at the first meeting of the new board to investigate the entire matter, submitted its report. The gist of this report is that the county is being defrauded of large sums of money every year; that the contractors are dishonest in many instances; that the agents of the county are careless and corrupt; that there is no way to determine how many of the supplies that are paid for are received at the county institutions; that the system of outdoor relief has been misused, both by the paupers and the contractors. The committee gives some specific cases of fraud which are quite sufficient to prove the general allegations. The committee shows by a table of comparisons that the dry goods furnished to the county poorhouse by the contractor could have been bought 5from Field and Leiter for $5000 less than was paid; and that the discrepancy between the value of goods paid for and those actually received at the poor-house is $5000. There is at least presumptive evidence of the same kind and degree of robbery at the other county institutions, where no account whatever was kept of goods received.
The abuses in the outdoor system of relief are even more monstrous. The poor have been allowed to take orders for pork or hominy, and to receive from the contractors a pretended equivalent in sugar or tea. Thus a double swindle is perpetrated, first by compelling the county to furnish luxuries, and next by allowing the substitution of less than their equivalent for the articles that were ordered. The coal contract was apparently more liberally interpreted than the others.
It was obtained, in the first instance, by a "straw" bid, and the contractor has been placed on his honor throughout, nobody attempting to check the weights of the half tons furnished by him on the order of the county agent.6
We think that the charge of fraud is pretty well established. The remedy suggested by the committee is good, and perhaps adequate. It is the appointment of a county purchasing agent and of a purchasing committee in the county board, who shall co-operate in the control of all purchases made by the county. The recommendation that a change should be made in the purchasing committee, in order to prevent too intimate an acquaintance between members and the board, also appears to be very wise and necessary.
Mr. Holden and the other members of the committee who made this investigation deserve the gratitude of the community. Their work has been patient and thorough. It has been done fearlessly and honestly, though threats have not been wanting to frighten, or money to bribe the members of the committee.
Election of a New Committee
The public especially resents the fact that the board elected a new committee, although grave charges had been made against at least one of its members; there 7is also much dissatisfaction on account of the manner in which the other offices were filled. People object to the replacement of Doctor Tope, who is an experienced physician and has shown great ability, by a young and inexperienced man. The public thinks it strange that MacCaffrey obtained, as one of the prices for his treason, the appointment of his brother as one of the janitors of the Criminal Court building, while the other janitor job was given to the notorious drunkard Periolat, a brother of the contractor, in preference to old trustworthy Mason.
The new committee on investigations, to which the report of the special committee has been referred, has not yet organized. It consists of Commissioners Conly, Carroll, MacCaffrey, Johnson, Herting, and Lonergan, who are members of the corrupt majority, and Schmidt, Jones, Clough, Busse, and Holden, who belong to the honest minority. So the corrupt clique has a majority of one, and will do everything it possibly can to attenuate the charges, or it will deny them in toto. We hope that the minority will make matters difficult for the dishonest men, and that it will do everything it can to disclose the frauds which have 8occurred at the other institutions. We are aware that that will be a difficult task, since Kimberly and McLaughlin have been reappointed supervisors of the poorhouse, insane asylum and county hospital, and Dieden has been appointed county agent.
The resentment and indignation which the county board's bold and shameless action of yesterday aroused in all circles, excepting those that were directly benefited, defies description. "Thieves" and "damned scoundrels" ...
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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 01, 1875The Press as an Educator (Editorial)
The press is the real "people's high school" of America. The ill-ordered quantity of mechanical knowledge which is imparted to the children in our English schools merely furnishes the tools which the pupils later use to read, understand, and study newspapers. And the American press has assumed a much wider sphere of activity than, for instance, German newspapers. The latter confine themselves chiefly to dry, sober politics and relegate those national and social events which we consider to be the most interesting news, to some inconspicuous column. The English-American newspapers, however, follow an altogether different policy. They strive to accommodate all tastes, to serve their readers with news from every phase of life, social, political, and national, to print any news that will interest a part of their subscribers, even though that news consists of the most despicable defamation, or of the darkest sides of social life.2
The result is that while American newspapers contain an extraordinarily large volume of interesting and useful articles, and surpass the entire European press in this respect (even that of England), they are also a veritable pit for the offal and filth of public life. All manner of infamous deeds, crimes, villainy, and blackguardisms are described not only in detail, but also with a certain amount of sensual pleasure which completely nullifies the only real value which such articles could possibly have, namely, to serve as a warning and a deterrent.
However, it is just descriptions of this sort that prove so attractive to people who are only mechanically and superficially educated, and thus lack moral or spiritual stability. It is no exaggeration to state that the English-American press in general is nothing but a school of crime and vice. That is true even of our daily press, the so-called political newspapers, but it is true in a much higher degree of those revolting "belletristic" publications that are issued by the hundreds in America and specialize in hideous murder stories and obscene pictures. This vulgar trash is displayed everywhere, 3especially in small bookstores which are located near schools, and always so that pictures of the most shameful obscenity or of the most hideous murders are plainly visible; and if you ask the storekeeper, he will tell you that half-grown boys and girls are his best customers. Nobody can estimate how many criminal and vicious acts have their origin in this salacious trash. In 1848 old Thadden Triglaff was called a half-witted man because he said: "Freedom of the press--yes! But let us always erect a gallows beside it!"--but there is nothing foolish about this utterance, if one applies it to the criminal press of America. Death on the gallows would not be too severe a punishment for the rogues who use "art and literature" to lead young boys and girls into a life of crime and vice.
That the large dailies, too, and among them even those that claim they are especially decent, are diligently co-operating to spoil the literary taste of the public and to deaden all sense of shame and morality in our people, is evident from a merely superficial view of the headlines of the stories of crime and vice that they relate. Occasional unctuous remarks by the editor 4are no antidote against the rotten, poisonous stories which are told in a manner that appeals to the sensual side of man. These dull remarks call to our mind the words of Mephistopheles, "I shall sing to her a moral song, the more certainly to deceive her".
We offer some of the headings, that appear in large letters over articles that were published in three of our local English morning newspapers on the last day of the year 1874, as a sample of objectionable items, and as a proof of our statements. First we shall quote from the Times, which is the chief offender, and then from the Tribune, which, unfortunately, has done everything possible to ape the Times--because the appetite of the English-American reading public is already so spoiled, that nothing save spicy food can satisfy it:
A Murderous Pair Dropped from the Hangman's Tree
John W. Goodman Pays the Penalty of the Worst of His Bad Deeds5
His Last Words: "This is all Justly Done, I Committed the Crime".
John Murphy's Sudden Death from the Tight Rope in Carson, Nevada
A Wife's Mysterious Disappearance
The Husband Arrested for Murder
Duel in Pennsylvania--Fatal Results.
Two Fools Fight over a Jug of Whiskey and Both Receive Fatal Wounds.
Diabolical Attempt to Murder an Entire Family in Iowa
A Row and a Butchery at a House-Warming in Minnesota
Miscellaneous Criminal Record.6
Dead Sea Fruit
Mr. John Goodman, of Ottawa, Ohio, Being the Choicest Specimen.
He was Suspended Yesterday on a Gallows for an Example
A Major Criminal in Massachusetts--The Champion Sinner
Murder, Robbery, Theft, Incest, and the Rest of the Cataloge.
The Inter-ocean is somewhat more conservative. Following are a few of its headlines:
Two Murders Pay the Awful Price of their Bloody Crimes
Goodman Hanged at Ottawa, Ohio, for Killing John Haywood and Wife
Execution of John Murphy, at Carson, Nevada, for the Murder of J. R. McCallum.
And the publications quoted are among the decent "political" newspapers, and they would not deem it a compliment to be placed on the same levels with the Koelnische Zeitung or the Augsburgische Allgemeine Zeitung....
The press is the real "people's high school" of America. The ill-ordered quantity of mechanical knowledge which is imparted to the children in our English schools merely furnishes the tools ...
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Secondary listingsGerman // Contributions and Activities > Crime and Delinquency > Crime Prevention (II E 3) ?
Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 09, 1875Equality before the American Law (Editorial)
Another "pretty" example of the highly vaunted "advantage" of America!
The wealthy Americans of Long Island, who shot and killed Masher and Douglas, two burglars whom the former caught in the act, were not even arrested because of their act, and the coroner's jury not only acquitted, but also commended, them for "their efforts in behalf of the welfare of the community". In connection with this case, Charles O'Conor (sic), one of the foremost jurists of our country, rendered an opinion, stating that it is permissible, even commendable, to kill a burglar, and that a burglar, from the moment he sets out to do his evil deed, has not the rights which an honest man, or the man who is threatened by the burglar, enjoys.
Since that time, a 72-year-old German citizen, who also lives on Long Island, shot a robber who sought to deprive him of his meager property, and the robber 2died as a result of the wound. This elderly German gentleman, who took this means of protecting his property against the robber, is logically entitled to the immunity from punishment and the praise that the rich men from Long Island, who killed a burglar, received. Moreover, his deed is logically more justifiable, because he would have suffered more by the loss of his property than the wealthy men would have, if the burglar, whom they killed, had attained his object. According to the conclusions contained in O'Conor's opinion, the old German was fully within his rights. His act is also justified by the fact that he is old and could not have protected himself against an attack by the burglar.
However, in the same Brooklyn where the rich men who killed a burglar were greatly commended for their deed, the poor old German, who committed a like act under more extenuating circumstances, was arrested; and instead of acquitting and praising him, the coroner's jury rendered a verdict in which the man whom this German shot is expressly called a burglar, but which recommends that the German be held "for bringing about the death of a person through too rash 3an act". He will be tried for manslaughter, and is now held in jail.
The New York Belletristic Journal makes these bitter, but true, comments on this matter:
"This is a public declaration that our institutions give only to the wealthy the right to protect their property, and that the poor have not that right. To shoot a thief who steals the silverware of a rich person is a commendable deed, but if a man shoots down the thief who steals the pig or chicken of a pauper, he is guilty of a criminal act. The rich judge's brother, who, with his well-armed company, could easily have captured the thief, was justified in using his gun--but the 72-year-old German, who faced the thief alone and did not know but that he might have had one or more accomplices who might fell him immediately, acted "rashly" when he fired his weapon. According to the opinion of the coroner and his wise jury, the German should have waited until he was attacked, and then defended himself as well as he could, or permitted the thief to do his wicked deed unmolested.4
"There is a vast difference between burglarizing the villa of a rich judge and stealing the chickens of a poor German!"
Another "pretty" example of the highly vaunted "advantage" of America! The wealthy Americans of Long Island, who shot and killed Masher and Douglas, two burglars whom the former caught in ...
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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 09, 1875German Society of Chicago Fair Committee Reports
The regular monthly meeting of the executive board of the German Society of Chicago was held yesterday afternoon, at 5 o'clock, at the offices of the organization, 51-53 LaSalle Street. The following members were present: A. Schoeninger, M. Eberhardt, Charles Knobelsdorff, A. Loeh, J. Huhn, H. Haarbleicher, F. Lackner, W. Hettich, H. Claussenius, A. Erbe, J. Beyersdorf, G. Schneider, and H. Enderis.
Mr. Schoeninger acts as chairman, Mr. Eberhardt as secretary, and Mr. Knobelsdorff as treasurer.
The minutes of the last meeting of the board were approved as read.
According to the report of the treasurer, the Society had a balance of $62.56 in its treasury on January 1, 1875.2
Then the secretary read the following report on the receipts and disbursements of December, 1874:
Balance November 30th, 1874,.................. $888.22
Receipts during December....................... 221.79
Support of immigrants............................ $ 88.50
Board and lodging for needy immigrants....... 92.25
Relief of local indigents.......................... 526.00
Rent and office supplies.......................... 75.00
Total................................................. $1,047.45 [sic]3
Although the press reported that immigration from Europe had decreased greatly during the past year, and one might expect, therefore, that only a few applicants for assistance had visited our office during the month of December, the deduction is erroneous; in the past few months there were many calls for aid. As matters turned out, the financial condition of many who arrived here from Germany lately was such that they were obliged to ask for help as soon as they arrived in Chicago. In fact, a great number came to our office directly from the depot.
We noticed especially that applications for assistance by women were unusually numerous; the majority of these ladies claimed that they had been deserted by their husbands. Even though we investigated each case thoroughly, it was impossible to determine whether or not everyone 4of these applicants told the truth.
Your agent was so busy caring for the needs of local indigent Germans that the collector of the Society had to assist him in his work, every day during the past month in order to do justice to all applicants. Although the German Society of Chicago was called upon to help many needy Chicago Germans who were neglected by other societies during this winter, and to aid many others who could not obtain assistance from other sources, yet a comparison of December, 1873 with December, 1874 reveals that the financial situation of the poor class, especially of laborers, is better during this winter than it was last winter. While 4120 persons, among them 1714 women, applied for help at our office in December, 1873, there were only 1460 applications for assistance in December, 1874, only 376 of them by women. In December, 1873, 1554 persons applied to us for employment, but only 694 in December, 1874. We gave 784 persons cash relief in December, 1873, while in December, 1874, only 189 persons received this form of support. This indicates that the general financial condition has 5greatly improved during the past year, and we hope that the fears which were expressed at the beginning of this winter, and filled the hearts of many charitably inclined people with anxiety, will not be realized.
Following is a report of our activity for December, 1874:
Letters received................... 34
Letters written..................... 103
Visits by employers................ 42
Requests for employment......... 694
Employment secured for.......... 122
Advice and aid given to........... 208
Requests for relief................. 812
Relief granted to................... 512
In conslusion, we are pleased to announce that our membership increased by 73 during the year 1874.6
All reports were adopted and submitted for publication.
Pursuant to a request made by the president of the German Society of Chicago, the executive committee of the Fair made its report. H. Haarbleicher, the secretary of this committee addressed the members of the executive board of the Society as follows:
"Mr. President: As secretary of the executive committee of the Fair, which was arranged for the support of your honorable Society, I have the pleasure of reporting that, according to the records of the treasurer of our committee, Mr. C. Degenhardt, a net profit of $6,834.89 was realized. Mr. Degenhardt will make a detailed report later.7
"The members of the executive committee have asked me to express their sincere gratitude to the German citizens of our city for their participation in this Fair which compares most favorably with any similar enterprise that has ever been undertaken in Chicago.
"We also wish to thank the ladies' arrangement committee, of which Mrs. Bluthardt was chairman and Mrs. August Beck secretary, for their efficient work. Their labors, their zeal, their sacrifice of time spent in soliciting money and goods, and their willingness to co-operate in every respect were certainly most commendable.
We also thank Mr. A. George, manager of the Turnhalle for the assistance he rendered during the entire Fair, and also at the raffle.
Your committee hopes that the money which our treasurer will deliver to you, will enable you to carry on your noble work during this winter. We assure you that we made every effort to do what you expected us to do.8
This report was also adopted and submitted for publication.
Mr. Charles Degenhardt, treasurer of the Fair committee reported as follows:
Tickets sold by the ladies' committee on October 15 and 16 ......................... $3,970.95
Receipts at bar.............................................................................. 1,155.67
Tickets sold at box office.................................................................. 478.25
Received from ladies' committee ........................................................ 5,625.97
Received from societies ................................................................... 347.00
Total .......................................................................................... $9,577.849
Net profit of raffle............................. $824.67
Sale of picture of Beethoven................. 10.00
Grand total...................................... $10,412.51
Goods for bar, restaurant, etc............... $1,779.73
Hall, music, printing, etc..................... 1,797.89
Balance (profit)................................ $6,834.89
G. Schneider, Max Eberhardt, and A. Loeb were appointed to audit the report of the treasurer of the Fair committee.10
The officers of the German Society of Chicago were instructed to thank the ladies who worked so diligently to make the Fair a success, the committees, and the German public for its faithful support of the enterprise.
The following letter of grateful acknowledgement was composed by Mr. George Schneider, approved by the executive board and submitted to newspaper reporters for publication:
"The executive board of the German Society of Chicago takes pleasure in gratefully acknowledging the efforts of the ladies and girls who so generously and faithfully gave of their time and efforts toward the success of the Fair, and without whose co-operation the gratifying results attained would not have been possible. We also express our sincere gratitude to those men who served on the various committees and also sacrificed their time and efforts in behalf of our charitable undertaking. We also thank the choral societies that did much to attract visitors and entertain them during the Fair. And finally we commend the Chicago Turnverein and its 11able manager, Mr. A. Georg, for their advice and assistance, and the German people of Chicago who supported the Fair so liberally.
"A. Schoeninger, President
"Max Eberhardt, Secretary."
Finally, the executive board discussed ways and means of checking (curbing) the number and extent of the demands for assistance, since the Society is not able to meet them. After much deliberation, the following resolution was adopted:
"Resolved, that the German Society of Chicago will henceforth assist only those immigrants who have been in this country no longer than six months, excepting in cases of illness or emergency."
The regular monthly meeting of the executive board of the German Society of Chicago was held yesterday afternoon, at 5 o'clock, at the offices of the organization, 51-53 LaSalle Street. ...
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Secondary listingsGerman // Representative Individuals (IV) ?
German // Contributions and Activities > Avocational and Intellectual > Aesthetic > Theatrical > Festivals, Pageants, Fairs and Expositions (II B 1 c 3) ?
Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 11, 1875The Administration of the City's Finances (Editorial)
In an editorial appearing in yesterday's issue of the Tribune, under the heading, "An Ugly Chapter in the City's Finances," Mr. Joseph Medill rebukes the city council of Chicago because the City Fathers, when they established the tax rate, failed to take into consideration the fact that between ten and fifteen per cent of the taxes that are levied are never collected, but set the rate according to the amount of money that has been appropriated; and Mr. Medill states that this procedure is the cause of the constant increase in the city's floating debt.
Mr. Medill says: "It has long been the custom of the municipal government of Chicago to spend its money before its taxes are collected, and then to collect only a part of them. The tax levy is made on June 30. According to a pleasant self-deception of officials, the full amount of taxes should be in the treasury by July 1, and the various divisions of the municipal administration immediately 2set to work to spend it, and they do so with an energy and a determination that are in marked contrast with the manner in which they collect it--nine months or a year afterwards. When six months have been spent making disbursements, and January has come, a feeble effort is made to collect borrowed money that has already been spent. In the current month the city treasurer will receive, in small amounts of a few hundred or thousand dollars per day, a small part of the taxes which were levied last August. This process of collection will drag on until the end of the fiscal year, in April. Then preparations will be made to sell property on which the owners have failed to pay taxes. Some time during the summer the council will pass a resolution to ask the probate court for a judgment against the delinquents. After that, some more people--those most easily frightened--pay. After this, say in July, a year after the appropriation has been made, the court grants a judgment against all except tax fighters who escape through loopholes, technicalities, informalities, or some legal quibble, and if they fail in that, they appeal to the circuit court, to the Supreme Court, and eventaully manage to avoid payment--but not lawyer's fees.
"As to the others against whom judgment has been secured, about one half to 3two thirds pay their taxes. The remainder let their property be sold for the delinquent assessments. The per cent of penalty not being high enough to tempt tax title buyers, the city is obliged to purchase the property and hold it until such time as the delinquents see fit to redeem it--one, two, three, or more years thereafter. The tax sales are held in August or September, and thus, fifteen months after the city council made the appropriations and began to spend the money, the taxes, or a part of them, are paid into the treasury.
"What is the city doing for money during this interval? Why, borrowing from special funds, from banks, and issuing certificates of indebtedness payable on the January I following.
"About four fifths of the tax levy is finally paid into the treasury between February and October, and is used to redeem the certificates and help the city government cripple and kite along as best it can. Formerly, a comptroller who could be employed for $4,000 a year could manage to borrow enough money to shin along. Now it requires a higher grade of borrowing genius, and requires an 4$8,000 man to do the necessary shinning and borrowing.
"Before long, the case will become so complicated and difficult as to require a financier who will cost $18,000, or $16,000, a year.
"From ten to fifteen per cent of the taxes that are levied each year are never collected, but are lost to the city through the successful resistance of the real estate tax fighters and personal tax absconders. However, the money representing the delinquency has already been spent to the last cent. The paper representing it, therefore, swells the floating debt.
"It was once the custom to fund this floating debt, from time to time, in bonds. The Constitution of 1870 fixed a limit, however, to the bonded indebtedness of the city, and that limit has been reached. We can no longer fund our certificates. So this resource fails.
"Heretofore there was another source, which is also about to fail. After the 5Constitution of 1870 was adopted, and before it became effective, the city issued $33,739,000 of bonds for the following purposes:
River improvement $1,029,000 Sewerage and tunnel 475,000 Water supply 1,500,000 School and other buildings 735,000
"The sale of these bonds furnished a fund which served as a pool from which the city borrowed money to meet its needs between July and the time the annual levy was realized upon. Thus it got temporary loans without paying interest, and replaced them with the proceeds of the yearly tax collected in August and September of the following year. This pool has steadily grown smaller, as the improvements for which the bonds were issued were made. The river improvement, sewerage and tunnel, and school funds have been wiped out. Only a small fraction of the water fund is on hand. The public buildings fund, received from the sale of the canal lien to the State, which also served as a pool, was pretty nearly exhausted by the defalcation of Mr. Gage. From Comptroller Hayes' statement concerning the amounts nominally credited to the special funds, it is evident 6that the only money which now can be borrowed by the city without interest for any length of time, is as follows:
Water fund $93,396.65 Bridewell fund 21,851.74
"This is only a drop in the bucket in comparison to the five or six million dollars that the city spends annually. Iy will not be long before this scanty pool will be entirely dried up. Then the city will have to borrow (and pay interest) as it goes, or pay as it goes. It cannot follow the first procedure very long. Our borrowing capacity decreases with every addition to our floating debt. If we persist in issuing certificates of indebtedness to meet our current expenses, we shall swell this debt, not only in the amount of the difference the taxes levied and the taxes collected, but also by the amount of interest we are obliged to pay on these certificates. Our inability to carry our debt, then, merely becomes a question of time. Municipal bankruptcy will surely result. We are rapidly approaching the financial stage which New York has already passed. The message which Mayor Wickham sent to the common council 7of that city contains many suggestions for us. He says: 'At present I am unable to inform you what the present liabilities of the city really are. The comptroller sets the total debt at $110,187,980; but there is a floating debt of from $10,000,000 to $20,000,000 besides. The time has come when the actual financial condition of the city should be ascertained and published.'
"This time has also come here. The time has come, moreover, when we should adopt a sensible system of taxation and collect our money at least as fast as we spend it. We must stop this child's play of gauging our appropriations according to the full face value. When the State of Illinois needs $3,000,000 net, and experience has shown that the cost of collection is ten per cent, the auditor makes a levy of $3,300,000. If this levy yields only $2,900,000 he makes up the deficit the next year by levying $3,500,000 or $3,600,000, or whatever amount is sure to yield the revenue that is required that year, pay the cost of collection, and cancel the deficit. Our city council proceeds according to a radically different plan.8
If the city needs $5,500,000, our sagacious aldermen authorize the various departments to spend that full amount, and then levy a tax of $5,500,000. Of this sum, the city receives, within the year, perhaps $5,000,000 net, or less, and has to use a part of this sum to pay the interest on the money borrowed for six to nine or twelve months or longer, to anticipate the collection of taxes. Mayor Calvin's last message, submitted to the council on December 7, shows that outstanding certificates of indebtedness to be paid between that date and the June 1 next, then amounted to $3,186,015. On nearly all, if not all, of this sum the city is paying from seven to ten per cent interest."
We fully agree with Mr. Medill--excepting with reference to a few technical inaccuracies and some inconsequential, but intended, misstatements, as for instance, that the city pays from seven to ten per cent interest on the money which it borrows; for, since Mr. Hayes entered office, the rate of interest has been less than seven per cent, rather than more.
The Illinois Staats-Zeitung also has often discussed the evils which Mr. Medill 9touches upon. But has not the time come when we should ask: "How does it happen that wise Mr. Madill did not think of all these things before? Why did he not avail himself of the opportunity to correct the faults of our financial management when he was mayor and had full authority to do so, and when the State Legislature heeded his every request and passed any law that he recommended? Had he spoken the right word at the right time, our city finances would be in much better shape. Instead, he enlisted the aid of his adviser, Tully, to increase the city's financial difficulties, by sponsoring the notorious Bill #300. It was just last Sunday that he admitted that this bill was a total failure, that there is no way to correct it, and that it would be best to repeal it. Apparently Mr. Medill has gradually learned that, if it were possible, his entire administration should be undone--for the benefit of our city. Since that cannot be done, we, give him credit for at least admitting that the city did not profit by his administration.
In an editorial appearing in yesterday's issue of the Tribune, under the heading, "An Ugly Chapter in the City's Finances," Mr. Joseph Medill rebukes the city council of Chicago because ...
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Secondary listingsGerman // Attitudes > Social Problems and Social Legislation (I H) ?
Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 12, 1875The German Club
The German Club, organized a few weeks ago, held its first meeting yesterday afternoon in the rooms of the Nescio Club. Dr. Hotz acted as president and Mr. Dawes as secretary, those elected as members of the board of directors are Mr. Louis C. Huck, Dr. Hotz, J. Dawes, Paul Rothbarth and John Seba.
It was decided to choose as the home of the Club a house situated in the center of the city. The Club adjourned until Jan. 25.
The German Club, organized a few weeks ago, held its first meeting yesterday afternoon in the rooms of the Nescio Club. Dr. Hotz acted as president and Mr. Dawes as ...
III B 2
Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 14, 1875Church and School (Editorial)
"If the Illinois Staats-Zeitung can see no practical value for America in our article entitled 'State and Church,' it need only read our today's article about Catholic public schools in Saint Louis. [Translator's note: Verbatim. No doubt, the author uses the word public in the sense of free, meaning to say that no tuition was charged.]
"Thus the editor of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung can convince himself that it is the firm intention of the Catholic Church to destroy the American system of nonreligious schools, for the purpose of placing the education of our youth in the hands of religious institutions. This movement has made only modest progress to attain that goal in America; but in New Brunswick, which is not far from our country, Bishop Sweeny, of Saint John, has already shown the way to rebellion against the school tax. He even went so far, in his resistence, as to expose the property under his 2jurisdiction to forced sale for nonpayment of taxes. He said: 'Every Catholic citizen is conscience-bound to refuse to contribute to the support of schools in which his religion is attacked or offended.'
"The offense referred to evidently consists therein, that no religion is taught in the public schools of Saint John."
Anzeiger Des Westens
The "firm intention of the Catholic Church"? Well, if it exists, we in Chicago should see it, or hear of it, for Missouri is not America, by any means, nor is a Saint John bishop the Catholic Church. And as far as the American system of nonreligious (public) schools is concerned it could be destroyed only if it really existed.
It does not exist. The public school has a Protestant tinge; and that, very likely, is true, not only of our local schools, but also of those of Saint Louis.3
When we speak of a Protestant tinge we refer not only to the reading of the Bible, praying, and the singing of religious hymns, but also to the contents of textbooks. Surely, the books used in Saint Louis are no better in this respect than those which serve as textbooks in Chicago. In the latter we find numerous touching references to "Jesus" and the "Lamb of God," references which must be, and are, extremely offensive to the children of Jewish parents. If the Anzeiger Des Westens will kindly examine the textbooks of the public schools of Saint Louis, he will certainly find ample proof for our statement that our public schools are not nonreligious.
Anglo-Americans are so naive in their religious narrow-mindedness that they do not even notice it when they offend people of a different religious belief. The average Anglo-American says: "I am certainly not prejudiced; I do not wish to disturb anyone in his religious views; but anybody can read the New Testament, and, surely, it can harm no one to hear about our Saviour." However, they never consider that there are people who do not wish to read the New Testament, and to whom Jesus is not "our Saviour"; but there are such people, and they are 4forced to pay taxes to support our public schools. By what right? We do not know whether or not, or how, a certain religion is being attacked in the public schools of New Brunswick; but we do consider it probable, in view of the fact that Anglo-American Protestants are naively impudent, that the adherents to the offended religious denomination have just cause to complain about being forced to contribute to the maintenance of such schools. An atheist, who pays taxes, also has a good reason to remonstrate if the opinion that a person who does not believe in a personal God is dishonest, unmoral, and unreliable, is drummed into the head of his child. No religion should be taught in public schools, nor should the pupils be forced to listen to the damnable lie that a man is depraved and unmoral, just because he does not profess a religion.
Not until our schools have been made nonreligious in this respect will the state have a right to compel every citizen, irrespective of his religious belief, to contribute to the maintenance of our public schools. Then, and then only, can the state demand that children whose parents do not provide for other means of educating them, be sent to public school. And when our institutions of learning have been rendered completely nonreligious, we will 5gladly support the enforcement of the compulsory school attendance law. However, we certainly are not in favor of forcing the narrow-minded doctrines of the Protestant Church upon Catholics, Jews, or Gentiles.
"If the Illinois Staats-Zeitung can see no practical value for America in our article entitled 'State and Church,' it need only read our today's article about Catholic public schools in ...
I A 1 a, I C, I B 4
Secondary listingsGerman // Attitudes > Own and Other National or Language Groups (I C) ?
German // Attitudes > Mores > Religious Customs and Practices (I B 4) ?
Hejmdal -- January 16, 1875[Scandinavian Societies Hold Convention] (Summary)
The Scandinavian convention was held last Monday in the Workmen's Hall at Halsted and Ridgely Streets,for all the members of the eight societies. The Hall was decorated very artistically with American, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian flags. The president of the convention, Jacob Nielsen, wished every one welcome and explained the convention's purpose, which is to work for co-operation between the Scandinavian societies.
After the banquet was over, Henry L. Hertz spoke on the major problem on the agenda of the convention; there are fifty thousand Scandinavians in Chicago, one eighth of the city's population. Certainly it is big enough to take care of its own needy countrymen.2
Captain Lange spoke on the necessity of erecting a large building for all the different Scandinavian societies so that they could meet under the one roof. This plan has been tried and has failed, but let us try again.
The Scandinavian convention was held last Monday in the Workmen's Hall at Halsted and Ridgely Streets,for all the members of the eight societies. The Hall was decorated very artistically with ...
III B 4, III B 4, III B 4, IV, I C, II D 10
Secondary listingsSwedish // Assimilation > Nationalistic Societies and Influences > Conventions and Conferences (III B 4) ?
Norwegian // Assimilation > Nationalistic Societies and Influences > Conventions and Conferences (III B 4) ?
Danish // Representative Individuals (IV) ?
Danish // Attitudes > Own and Other National or Language Groups (I C) ?
Danish // Contributions and Activities > Benevolent and Protective Institutions > Foreign and Domestic Relief (II D 10) ?
Hejmdal -- January 16, 1875[The Scandinavian Convention]
The Scandinavian convention was held last Monday in the Workmen's Hall at Halsted and Ridgely Sts. for all the members of the eight societies. The Hall was decorated very artistically with American, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian flags. The president of the convention, Jacob Nielsen, wished every one welcome and explained the convention's purpose, which is to work for co-operation between the Scandinavian societies. After the banquet was over, Henry L. Hertz, took the lead and spoke on the major problem on agenda of the convention; there are fifty thousand Scandinavians in Chicago, one-eighth of the city's population. Certainly it is big enough to take care of its own needy countrymen.
Captain Lange spoke on the necessity of erecting a large building for all the different Scandinavian societies so that they could meet under the one roof. This plan has been tried and has failed, but let us try again.
The Scandinavian convention was held last Monday in the Workmen's Hall at Halsted and Ridgely Sts. for all the members of the eight societies. The Hall was decorated very artistically ...
I C, I C, I C
Chicago Times -- January 17, 1875Biographical Sketch of Rabbi Bernhard Felsenthal, Ph. D
Among the scholars who occupy Chicago pulpits, Rev. Bernhard Felsenthal, the subject of this sketch, stands almost pre-eminent and he has the proud satisfaction of knowing that his talents are thoroughly appreciated, not only by the educated and liberal minds of his own faith, but by all classes whose appreciation is not obscured by sectarian prejudices.
Mr. Felsenthal was born January 2, 1822, in Muenchweiler, in the Palatinate. Having absorbed all that the schools of his native place could offer, he repaired at an early age to Kaiserslautern. After finishing a preliminary academic course, he sought that famous place of learning, Munich. There he continued his path to knowledge, receiving instruction from the best master, and enjoying the fellowship of many of the best youths of the country.
The fact of his Jewish descent debarred him from giving his service to the state, as Bernhard's father intended he should. At the age of twenty, having concluded his studies, and desiring no longer to be a burden upon his father, he struck out in an independent way, and sought a position as teacher, and was not long in securing one.2
While thus engaged in a quiet German village, he continued to pursue his studies. He devoted his especial attention to Oriental languages and literature. Having made himself a thorough master of Hebrew he passed down the philological mine to the bed-rock of Sanscrit, and explored the mysteries of knowledge therein revealed. Always a laborious student, his exclusion from an active life made him a thorough bookworm, but did not affect the clearness of his intellect or independence of character.
In the summer of 1854 Dr. Felsenthal left his Fatherland for the United States. Having friends near of kin in Indiana, he directed his steps to the Hoosier state, but there was nothing among the Hoopoleites to attract or call in demand such a man as the doctor, and in 1858 he came to Chicago, an entire stranger. Here he soon found employment in the bank of the Greenebaum brothers. The work was not altogether congenial to one of a studious turn of mind, but necessity is a hard teacher and kept him at it for three years. His leisure hours, especially in the evening, were still devoted to study, and while there was no demand for his lore, he still continued to store it away, as it might be handy to have in the head some day.
Meanwhile his erudition had become recognized among his brethren of the old faith.3
Soon after his arrival in Chicago, a number of liberal Israelites had formed a society under the name of Jewish Reform Association, its object being indicated by name. Of this society Dr. Felsenthal was chosen secretary, and, although of a retiring disposition, he soon became the recognized leader and the inspiring soul of the organization. This organization was the means of exercising a most potent influence for liberal Judaism throughout the entire northwest.
In 1859 the doctor published a work under the title "Regarding Jewish Reform." The work was most favorably received, both by the Jewish masses and by many of its most advanced thinkers and severest critics. They all united in paying to the modest and the obscure author high encomiums for soundness of views, profound research, and an earnest spirit underlying and pervading the entire work.
The organization of the Reform Association, together with the labors of the doctor, soon gave liberal Judaism a strong foothold in the western metropolis, and in due time, a Reform Synagogue rose on Monroe Street, between Clark and La Salle, of which Dr. Felsenthal was chosen rabbi. The organization was known as Sinai. Subsequently the congregation moved to the old Plymouth Congregational church, corner of Van Buren Street and Third Avenue.4
The official connection of the doctor with this society continued three years, when he received and accepted a call from Zion church, then located on Desplaines, near Washington Street. He is at the head of this congregation, but the "temple" has been removed to the corner of Jackson and Sangamon streets.
Among his published works is one on the Jewish school system in America, and an admirable Hebrew grammar, acknowledged by scholars to stand among the best works of its kind.
The abilities and erudition of Dr. Felsenthal have been honorably recognized by various societies and institutions. The historical society of this city, in 1863, elected him a corresponding member, and the Chicago University has given him the "Philosophical Doctor," an honor never before bestowed on a Hebrew divine by an American college.
Among the scholars who occupy Chicago pulpits, Rev. Bernhard Felsenthal, the subject of this sketch, stands almost pre-eminent and he has the proud satisfaction of knowing that his talents are ...
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