Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- March 30, 1866Of Chicago ArbeitervereinChicago, Illinois, March 21, 1866.
To the Honorable Board of police Commissioners of the city of Chicago: The Chicago Arbeiterverein has elected the undersigned to act as a committee for the purpose of bringing about an understanding with your honorable Board, in regard to certain issues, and we beg permission to present the following matters:
Through the newspapers and other sources of information we have learned that the members of two other societies, or associations, have been informed that they must discontinue their recreational activities on Sunday evenings. Of course, the Arbeiterverein has nothing to do with the recreation of other organizations, nor do we wish to express our opinions concerning the motives for the Board's action against these societies. However, during the past few weeks, one of these periodic religious movements, generally called "revivals," 2has been in process, and the Chicago Arbeiterverein, always intent upon avoiding any offense against citizen who differ with our religious opinions, takes the view that during the past eight years (the past four under police protection) these "revivals," usually held on Sunday evenings, have taken the form of a kind of social entertainment (sic). Therefore, we ask: Does the above mentioned notice also apply to our organization?
We are aware that you have the right to answer: Wait until you receive notice; but, as loyal citizens, we would not like to offend against any law, nor would we like to suffer the consequences of not knowing the law, nor do we want our members to be taken by surprise by a policeman and disturbed in their innocent and harmless amusements which are in complete accord with the religious liberty guar-anteed by the Constitution, nor do we need an excuse to be provided to make us responsible for an offense against any state law that is in agreement with the spirit of the Constitution,
Should our social entertainments be prohibited by order of your Board, we would respectfully point cut that in 1861 the Board of Police Commissioners entered 3into the following pact with the president of our society:
1. The President will be responsible for the maintenance of order, and the police shall not interfere with our social entertainment;
2. No brass musical instruments shall be used at such entertainments, out of respect for the religious convictions of our fellow citizens, and one or more violins, but only one flute, bass violin, or piano shall be used.
3. The police will not consider these entertainments to be "illegal," as long as the concerts and dances do not disturb the neighborhood.
The Arbeiterverein has strictly observed these conditions despite contradictions by a newspaper, the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, two part owners of which were expelled from the organization on account of their loud, mischievous conduct; they even went so far as to break up one of our public meetings and to slander everybody who did not agree with their arrogant opinions.
We trust that your honorable Board will pay no attention to the malicious 4utterances which these "snakes" publish against our society. Had they conducted themselves in an orderly manner, they would still be members of our society.
We do not advertise our entertainments, nor do we invite strangers to participate in them. We have a Committee on Order and a Committee of Ushers who admit only members or strangers who are accompanied or invited by members, and the members must give their word of honor that they can vouch for and will be responsible for the behavior of these strangers.
The money which is realized through our entertainments is the property of the organization and is used for defraying the expenses incurred by maintaining our library and reading room, and for the support of sick members or their dependent widows and orphans.
[Translator's note: The next (final) paragraph of this article has evidently 5been "removed" by rats or mice, so it is not possible to offer a translation.]
We hope most sincerely that you will permit the Arbeiterverein to continue its Sunday evening entertainments under the conditions which were previously agreed upon.
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