Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 05, 1863The German Society
The general meeting of the German Society of Chicago was held in the German House, May 3, 1863, with President Heinrich Greenbaum presiding.
The report of Agent Schlund was read and adopted, and the matter relating to the Reform School was referred to a committee which will endeavor to persuade the executive board of the Reform School to act in line with Mr. Schlund's suggestion.
The financial report was adopted as read. Election of officers took place with the following result: president, Heinrich Gindele; treasurer, Karl Vergho; secretary, Conrad C. Diehl. Butz and Schneider were appointed to inform the above of their election. The following rules were adopted:
1) The newly elected officers may not refuse to serve.2
2) Minimum membership fee shall be two dollars. [Translator's note: The secretary does not state whether this sum is the annual or monthly fee.]
3) Anyone who pays fifty cents or more shall be permitted to speak and vote in the general meetings for the period of one year.
4) The salary of the agent shall be three hundred dollars per year.
Heinrich Greenbaum, President.
Report of the Agent of the German Society of Chicago for April and May, 1862
April May Secured employment for 93 85 Secured railroad passes for poor 3 1 Secured railroad passes for wounded soldiers 3 1 Found baggage for 11 2 April May Located relatives for 5 3 Families allotted food 7 5 Assisted in financial matters 8 6 Found lodgings for families 6 2 Secured medical aid and medicines for 7 5 Soldiers' families supported 6 6 Assisted immigrants to proceed on their journey 4 1 Corresponded for 120 98 Referred to county for aid 5 2 Total 281 219 Total for April and May 500
My activity as agent of the German Society of Chicago was interrupted by the President's call for the organization of volunteer state militia. In my spare time I have devoted myself to helping needy immigrants and 4countrymen without remuneration from the Society, until the Conscription Act was passed; but now my term of service has expired.
The German public of Chicago, a city where fifty thousand Teutons live, should pay more attention to immigration which is the cause of the great and rapid development of the city.
While Americans annually spend large sums of money for benevolent purposes, as for instance, for orphan homes, homes for the friendless, and homes for the aged, the German Society of Chicago, which has become a refuge for helpless immigrants and needy German citizens, ought not fall asleep; for the German Society of Chicago is the only German organization which aids needy Germans without respect to origin or creed
If our German citizens would cease helping every beggar and bum who comes to their door or approaches them in the streets, especially in the winter, and would donate corn, flour, meat, potatoes, etc., no Chicago family 5that is worthy of support would have to go hungry.
The German Society has done much to increase the school attendance of poor children by exercising a "moral" compulsion--by giving shoes and clothing to those poor pupils who attend school regularly.
We take great pleasure in commending the work done in the Juvenile Home, where German children were always heartily welcomed and well cared for.
The Home of the Friendless is maintained for the benefit of children of dissolute or criminally inclined parents, or children who are in danger of entering upon a life of crime, and it has proved to be very effective. However the Home of the Friendless is not a suitable place for the children of poor but law-abiding parents; these children should be placed in more pleasant and less dangerous surroundings, so that they are not estranged from their parents and do not fall prey to greedy employers.6
The Home for Workers is in its infancy. It is the most pleasant and most necessary of all branches of charity; for who is more deserving among the needy than the man or woman who is diligent and faithful and would like to work but is prevented from doing so by age and physical disability, and would rather starve than become an inmate of a poorhouse?
In the Reform School there are proportionately few German boys; and the majority of them have been placed there because of youthful carelessness or indifference on the part of their parents, who either send their boys out to gather old iron and other junk, or permit them to loiter idly about the streets and alleys. In time the lads meet bad companions and finally are confined to reform schools, where they come into contact with confirmed and hardened offenders, and as a result the boys are totally demoralized.
I hope that the German Society of Chicago endeavors to have juvenile delinquents classified, so that light offenders, first offenders, or those who do not participate in evil deeds, but just accompany the offenders, are not 7placed on the same level with, treated as, and confined with, real criminals, thieves, robbers, murderers, etc., but are kept separate from the latter.
The inmates of the Reform School should be classified in the following manner: 1) Non-participating observer; 2) Seduced; 3) Corrigible; 4) Incorrigible.
As in Germany, the societies "for the protection of German emigrants" are expanding their activity, so we also should take greater precautions to protect immigrants in our country.
In conclusion I wish to emphasize that if the German Society of Chicago is not more alert, the thieves and confidence men in New York and other ports will have a gay time; for the German Society of Chicago and the St. Louis Immigrant Society have done more to prevent swindling than any other organization in the United States. The German Society of Chicago may justly be proud of the fact that it has exposed several attempts to defraud innocent people of large sums of money and valuable property, and has also succeeded 8in locating much valuable baggage.
If the German immigrants who come to Chicago are left without a source of information or material aid, the city will not only lose its wide-spread reputation for the assistance rendered immigrants, but also will soon be deprived of the valuable services of these people.
The Chicago Turnverein and the Chicago Arbeiterverein have done much for charitable purposes; however, the great majority of the members of these organizations are of the laboring class; many of them are members of the German Society of Chicago, and their zeal is commendable. Yet it is desirable that those who have wealth--home owners, businessmen, and professional men--take a greater and more active interest in benevolence. And they really are obligated, for they avail themselves of the services of the Society when they need help in their offices, stores, or homes.
I wish to thank our president, Mr. Heinrich Greenbaum for the valuable 9aid he has given me in my work. He was always willing to assist me whenever difficulties presented themselves, though at times it was necessary that he neglect his business in order to comply with my request.
I have always tried to be just toward everybody; if I appeared to be unsympathetic in some instances it was only because I wished to discourage people who are not worthy of assistance. There are a great number of beggars who journey from city to city; they are very successful in arousing the sympathy of the public, much more so than worthy applicants for aid. They manage to lead the existence which appeals to them by carefully avoiding any flagrant offense against the laws pertaining to vagrancy. When I refuse to feed or house these lazy persons, they slander the German Society of Chicago. And the public, not knowing that these professional beggars have been driven from some neighboring city by the civil authorities, believes their stories about about inhuman treatment.
.......[The next paragraph of this article contains a repetition of previously 10expressed thoughts.]
F. Schlund, Agent.
ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT
Receipts for 1862 and 1863 $652.07 Disbursements for 1862 and 1863 246.50 Balance $405.57
Heinrich Greenbaum, President.
May 2, 1863.
III B 2, I B 3 b, I D 1 a, II D 3, II D 4, II D 5, II D 7, II D 8, II D 10, II E 2, II E 3, III D, III G
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