Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- September 07, 1861Report of the Agent of the German Society of Chicago for August, 1861 by F. Schlund
Employment secured for 152 Relatives or friends located for 18 Prevented from going astray 5 Helped in money or check matters 13 Families provided with lodging 2 Sick supported 3 Provided medical aid or medicine for 3 Attended to correspondence for 57 Made loans to 2 Located lost baggage for 4
The number of immigrants has diminished greatly, especially during the last half of this month. The opposition which the Quebec and Canadian Railroad furnished 2for eastern ports and railroads, by lowering the rates for immigrants, has had a favorable outcome in that the Erie Railroad has reduced its fare from $11 to $9.50, and the Pennsylvania Railroad from $11 to $9.35. Had these two Railroads put these prices into effect at the beginning of the present immigration season, the poor immigrants would have saved thousands of dollars. They would not have sailed for Canadian ports, and would have encouraged others to come directly to America. It appears that the railroads are not aware of the importance of immigration; and for that reason I have taken the liberty of using the American as well as the European press to explain how the transportation systems here and abroad may benefit by granting emigrants and immigrants reason able passage rates. And my first attempt was crowned with success; within the last two months the fare from New York to Chicago has been reduced by $2.50. I have reason to believe that all German societies in America will co-operate with me. Therefore, in due time, I shall inform people in Europe about the differences in the rates of various American railroads, and I shall make note of the way immigrants are treated by each road, and the amount of baggage each transports free of charge. Delay in the transportation of baggage has two chief 3causes, and may easily be avoided by immigrants. All baggage consigned to western points is transferred at Castle Garden without check, but is recorded. If such baggage arrives at its destination, all is well; but if it is lost, stolen, or mis-sent, then the immigrant has no receipt or other means of recovering it or obtaining its value in cash. Therefore, let no one deliver any kind of baggage to a railroad company which refuses to issue a receipt. When immigrants pay in advance for "overweight" baggage, they receive baggage checks and are thus protected; if anyone has sufficient money to pay for "overweight" baggage at Castle Garden, he should not fail to do so.
Another matter which annoys many immigrants is the fact that passengers who have previously purchased their railroad tickets in Europe receive very little attention, and this also applies to their baggage; for as most people know, railroad agents are paid a commission on the tickets they sell. Although there is a great deal of hard work connected with the handling of baggage, the agents who must do this work do not receive a penny of pay for it; these conditions are similar to those which prevail in German cafes and saloons where the employees 4are dependent upon the tips which patrons give them.
It is regrettable that the Chicago and Milwaukee Railroad Company does not take directly to their destination passengers who arrive here during the evening en route to Milwaukee. The present arrangement does not permit them to complete their trip until the next morning, and then via freight train. When passengers arrive on Saturday evening they are forced either to remain here two nights or change their tickets at a cost of $1.30.
Immigrants who are not bound for Milwaukee, but for other points in Wisconsin, can proceed to their destination at once, since the Northwestern Railroad has not discontinued its night service to the North. Consequently, as soon as trains arrive from the east, the passengers who wish to reach some city or town in Wisconsin can continue their journey without interruption, loss of time, or added cost. It is very difficult to understand why the Chicago and Milwaukee road have made such undesirable arrangements. Or does that Company believe that it can improve the business of the Milwaukee Grand Haven Line by forcing 5upon immigrants the choice of either traveling to Milwaukee via Grand Haven, Michigan or paying an extra fare of $1.30 to get to Milwaukee on the same night of their arrival in Chicago? If that is the Company's idea, it will find that it is mistaken; for.there is more than one way to get to Wisconsin.
III H, II D 8, II D 10
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