Dziennik Chicagoski -- October 20, 1893Polish-American Participation in the Lwow Exposition of 1894
Although much has been said and written on the subject of Polish-American participation in the Kosciusko Exposition to be held at Lwow in 1894, it was not until a few months ago that real action was taken in this matter at the initiative of Dr. E. H. Dunikowski.
A Central Committee was formed here in Chicago, with local committees in New York and Baltimore, and these immediately approached the task of raising funds for the enterprise. As a result of petitions sent by the Committee to the Polish organizations, the Polish Roman Catholic Union and the Polish National Alliance voted three hundred dollars and five hundred dollars respectively toward the erection of a Polish-American pavilion at the Lwow Exposition, and all other organizations promised their full moral support to the Exposition.2
So, as we can see, the foundation has already been laid. Very little progress has been made from this point, however. In truth, the Central Committee did hold a few meetings; it issued notices and appointed subcommittees to prepare dissertations on various subjects which will be presented at the Exposition, but thus far the actual results are insignificant. This, we judge, is not the fault of either the Committee or the public; it is simply that recent preparations for the celebration of Polish Day have absorbed all of our intellectual strength and plumbed the depth of our public's generosity, so that all matters of lesser moment--among others, Polish-American participation in the Lwow Exposition--were relegated to a lower plane.
Polish Day has passed. The Lwow Exposition is again a matter of first importance, and it should be taken up the more energetically since the time is short and much remains to be done. We have begun this series of articles in order to turn the attention of the public to this important question.
Our task is to discuss the necessary steps to be taken in order that American 3Polonia should present itself properly at the Exposition.
It is hardly necessary to ask whether we, the Poles of America, must be represented at Lwow. The question was widely discussed in the[Polish] press. Arguments pro and con were presented. The final opinion was that, in spite of everything, our participation in the Exposition at Lwow is indispensable from the standpoint of the Exposition's character and purpose. The Exposition, to be held in the year of the hundredth anniversary of the Kosciusko Insurrection, is to show the results of a hundred years of cultural, intellectual, and industrial efforts of Poles scattered over the whole world--so far as political restrictions will permit. Such was the original idea of its creators, and in the face of this, we, as a portion of the Polish people, are in duty bound to show our brethren in Poland that we are alive and what we are doing. Further arguments on the necessity of our participation in the 1894 Exposition are superfluous; the necessity was definitely established in the name of the public when the two largest Polish organizations voted appropriations for the cause.4
It seems unnecessary also to consider whether or not the Poles here should erect a special Polish-American pavilion. The dignity of our million-and-a-half Polish population demands that we place our exhibit entirely under our own roof and fly our own colors--the Polish and the American flags. This was the point of view of the Central Committee when it issued its appeal for support to the public; the Union and the Alliance were guided by the same viewpoint when they voted funds for a Polish-American pavilion in Lwow.
The question is: How shall it be done? This problem was discussed at the Central Committee's meetings and the following decisions were reached: The cost of the pavilion will not exceed $2,000; the plans will be made in Chicago by a Polish-American architect in a style used here; construction of the pavilion in Lwow will be directed by Dr. Dunikowski.
The Central Committee will undoubtedly resume its activity now that Polish 5Day has passed and work in connection with this important event in Polish-American history is finished. Among other things it will procure proper plans, present them to the public, and then send them on to Lwow. There are other questions in connection with this, however, that depend not only upon the energy of the Committee, but upon the good will of the public as well: the question of funds, for example. Construction of the pavilion will cost at least $2,000. We have at present, thanks to the generosity of the Union and the Alliance, $800, but $1,200 more is needed. We are not counting the cost of shipping our exhibit to Poland, which, though it will be covered in part by the exhibitors themselves, will amount to something; or administrative costs, or decoration at the place of exhibit, etc. These last expenses, although they may, parenthetically speaking, easily reach another thousand dollars, are of lesser importance; the Central Committee and people of good will will undoubtedly find the means to defray them. We are primarily concerned with the money needed at the moment--money for construction of the pavilion, which should be collected without delay. Building of the pavilion 6cannot be begun until the necessary funds have been collected; its very size and style depend entirely upon the amount of money collected for the purpose. The most important question, then, is that of collecting the sum of $1,200.
As we mentioned above, this depends not upon the Central Committee, but upon the public. The Central Committee has done its part in issuing an appeal to all Polish organizations and to the public at large. Two of our large organizations have done their share. It remains now for the other organizations and for the public to show their good will. If the erection of a Polish-American pavilion at the Lwow Exposition is really a matter of honor to [American] Polonia, it should be possible to raise the necessary funds. Times are hard--everybody knows that. But hard times did not prevent us from contributing several thousand dollars to the Polish Day Fund; hard times, therefore, cannot be an unsurmountable obstacle in the realization of this second, equally important task. Hard times may preclude a general appeal to wageearners, who are the first victims of an economic depression, but there are 7hundreds of Polish societies in America which ought to take the matter in hand. There are also many well-to-do people, and people who have not suffered as much as the workingman. We appeal to their generosity.
The work is already begun; it would be a shame if we were unable to finish it. We repeat: the first requirement toward Polish-American participation in the 1894 Kosciusko Exposition at Lwow is to collect as soon as possible the funds necessary for the erection of a pavilion. We should bear in mind the Latin proverb: Bis Dat Qui Cito Dat [he gives twice who gives without hesitation].
With this appeal, we conclude our first article. In the next, we will consider the problem: How shall we participate in the Lwow Exposition?
Dziennik Chicagoski, Oct. 21, 1893.
Articles on this subject have already appeared in Dziennik[Chicagoski]. In 8these articles we have expressed the opinion that American Polonia can take part in the Lwow Exposition by preparing an exhibit that will give a picture of its religious, intellectual, and social life. Such material must constitute our chief exhibit in Lwow, for the results of industrial and agricultural efforts of the Poles in America are relatively insignificant and can have their place at the Exposition only as an addition. The Central Committee is more or less of the same opinion.
Let us, therefore, leave the question of industrial products for future articles and turn our attention to the exhibit that will give some conception of our social and intellectual life.
In the first place, we should note here that the detailed program of the Exposition, which lies before us at this moment, classifies the types of specimens to be exhibited into thirty-four groups, including agriculture, horticulture, fishing, mining, industry, education, communication, inventions, and so forth.9
A majority of the specimens giving an example of our life here can, in truth, be classified in one or another of these groups; some of them, however, could not in any case be classified thus. And so, our classification of the specimens that ought to be sent to Lwow will be based upon an entirely different principle than that of the official plan.
Our exhibit ought to cover the following subjects: 1. Polish-American religious life; 2. Our school system and efforts toward general enlightenment; 3. The Polish-American press; 4. Polish-American social life, with special emphasis on organizational activity.
Let us take up the above-mentioned subjects point by point.
1. Polish-American religious life. Beyond a doubt, the Polish churches, of which there are from 170 to 180 or more in America, are the foundation of our national and moral life. A church forms the nucleus of a Polish community;10
national and social activities begin in the parish; here, also, Polish schools arise. It is our duty to give our brethren in Poland a conception of these bulwarks of faith and nationalism. It can easily be done. We can send photographs of every Polish church in America, each bearing a legend explaining the location of the parish, approximate number of families, date of organization, date of erection of the church, cost of construction, founder of the parish, and present pastor. In an exhibit such as this, we can not only give our brethren a clear picture of Polish church life in America, but we can also gather invaluable material on the history of the Catholic Church. Naturally, no one but our clergy can supply the necessary information; they will undoubtedly do so. The expense of exterior and interior photographs of a church will be slight, and the half-hour job of appending the proper information is not a difficult task. The Central Committee has already appealed to the clergy; Dr. Pawlicki and Mr. Maryanski, of San Francisco, have even undertaken to compile the material. We have every reason to expect that the matter will be well taken care of, and the Polish public in Lwow, upon seeing the photographs and reading the inscriptions, will 11come to the logical conclusion that, protected by so many bulwarks of faith and nationalism, we in America will not be lost.
2. Education and general enlightenment. As we well know, Polish schools are closely bound to the Church. For this reason, we hope that the patriotic Polish clergy will gather specimens which will give some idea of every one of the hundred or more Polish schools in America. Photographs of the school buildings and their interiors, group pictures of the pupils, outlines of courses of study, examples of the pupils work, and models showing how the schools are equipped, gathered from all over the United States, would constitute an exhibit of great interest to our brethren in Poland; it would show that while we work for our living, we do not neglect our younger generation. Naturally, notations would be appended, giving the place where each school is located, the date it was founded, the name of its directors, the number of pupils attending, and so forth. S. Zahajkiewicz, at the Central Committee's request, has promised to compile the material. It is our hope that this section of the Polish-American exhibit will present itself as 12well as possible. True, it will require considerably more work than the religious section, but undoubtedly the nuns and lay teachers of our schools will shoulder part of the burden. In addition to the material on schools, some sort of disquisition on Polish reading rooms and libraries ought to be prepared.
3. Book publishing and the Polish press. The publishing of books and newspapers is among the more prominent characteristics of the Polish element in America. In spite of their faults, our newspapers characterize us as an active, virile society. Our press will undoubtedly be represented in full at the Lwow Exposition, the more so since the Exposition's program provides a special classification for it under group XXVIII. The program includes in this group, among other things, literary specimens, newspapers, book publishing, and finally, subjects from the field of printing and lithography. Volumes of our newspapers, photographs of the inside and outside of our printing shops and publishing houses, of which we have a few in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Manitowoc, and examples of decorative work done by Polish 13printers and lithographers, would constitute a very interesting collection and would give a good conception of our work in these fields. The Central Committee will complete the exhibit with a general dissertation on Polish journalism in America, which task has been entrusted to one of our local editors.
4. Social activities, institutions, organizations, and the theater. This will be relatively the most extensive section of the Polish-American exhibit. Only in part can it be classified under the grouping of the Exposition program. Group XXVII includes subjects concerning the development of the Polish theater; group XXVIII, specimens from literary and educational societies; group XXX, gymnastic societies and equipment; group XXI, welfare societies; and group XXXIII, statistics and graphs showing the activity and development of banks, building and loan associations, and insurance organizations. Naturally, the program provides no place for military and nationalistic societies, of which we have so large a number; one way or another, these will also be represented at the Exposition. In the first place, our large 14organizations ought to submit their constitutions, emblems, records, convention photographs and others, and, to make it more complete, their histories and present status. Welfare societies, of which we have several in Chicago, New York, and Manitowoc, might send photographs of their buildings and equipment, records, and written or printed information on their present condition. Falcon societies, though they are still not very numerous, can submit photographs showing their uniforms, their emblems, banners, gymnasiums, etc.; also, information on their present status.
Military societies, which are so numerous and splendid here, ought to take a prominent place in the exhibit. Group photographs, showing uniforms, arms, medals, awards, even specimens of uniforms and arms, can decorate the walls of the Polish-American pavilion. Reports showing the number of members and type of organization of these societies should interest the Poles in Poland. The remaining societies ought to be represented in some way also, according to their means and individual decisions. Records and regulations of Polish building and loan associations, of which we have about twenty in the United States, would also be a very interesting feature of our exhibit.15
The Polish-American theater, too, can take a prominent place at the Exposition. Photographs of groups taken from plays we have presented here, samples of tickets, playbills, copies of plays written here, and so on, certainly ought to find a place at the Exposition in Lwow.
As can be seen above, we shall be able to exhibit thousands of interesting specimens which will serve as invaluable material in presenting a view of our religious, nationalistic, and social relations.
In the next article we will consider the question: How and to what extent can our industrial efforts be represented at the Lwow Exposition?
Dziennik Chicagoski, Oct. 25, 1893.
Can it be that the Poles in America have nothing else to show at the Exposition except such an exhibit as we outlined in the last article? This is the question we will answer now, and we can answer without hesitation.16
We say: No. In addition to our civilizational efforts and their results, we American Poles can, if we wish, display at least a small number of items representing our work in such fields as industry, handicraft, agriculture, and so forth.
It is said of us that we are all laborers. This is true in a general sense, but there are, of course, exceptions. Here and there, we have some very capable artisans among us, who are hidden away in small Polish shops. There are also a great many Polish farmers in Michigan and Wisconsin. There are the Polish inventions which are, from time to time, mentioned in the newspapers. All in all, among these exceptions in a population of a million and a half, we are sure to find a considerable number of items that can be exhibited in Lwow.
As a matter of fact, we do not insist that such an exhibit is absolutely essential. It will depend entirely upon the good will of those who are able to produce it. The desire for such an exhibit exists, however, for in New York and Brooklyn, Polish industrialists and artisans have declared themselves 17in favor of participation. We will review the official program of the Exposition and show what sort of exhibit could be prepared to display the modest results of our work.
The very first group takes in farming, farm products, farm buildings, dairy farming, and agricultural schools and societies. Polish-American farmers could easily participate by exhibiting seeds, sheaves of grain, or other products; finally, they could exhibit model farms and farmhouses. Such an exhibit would, in some respects, be very instructive to farmers in the old country.
Group II is concerned with horses, and group III with livestock--our farmers could not possibly exhibit anything in this field. Group IV, however, takes in gardening and apiculture. It is quite likely that a few apiarists might be found among our farmers (a few Polish priests keep bees, it is said), who would like to exhibit model beehives and examples of implements used here in America. Perhaps nothing could be exhibited in the forestry division (group V), but our hunters who frequent the north woods of Wisconsin 18and Michigan may surely have some trophies for exhibit--skins, if not stuffed specimens--under group VI, hunting.
Among the Polish people living in Milwaukee and in other cities on Lake Michigan, there are whole colonies of fishermen, some of whom even own their own steam [fishing] boats. Models of the equipment and boats used in their trade, and a collection of fish caught in Lake Michigan would make a very fine exhibit. Our brethren in Baltimore who engage in oyster fishing plan to submit to this section at least photographs of fishing scenes.
Although thousands of Poles are employed in the coal mines of Pennsylvania and other states, we have practically nothing which might be exhibited under group VIII (mining). However, the Polish gold mine in California, if it begins its operations soon, and two or three other mines which are owned or partly owned (according to the newspapers) by Poles, may be able to supply a few items in this field. Photographs of our people in mining clothes should be submitted. Group IX deals with the oil industry; we have nothing to submit for this section.19
Group X is concerned with milling, starch, distilling, yeast, brewing, etc. The two Polish breweries in Detroit and the Polish distillery in Buffalo could be represented in this section. It may be that there are similar enterprises in other Polish colonies.
Group XI, concerned with other consumers' products, will probably find no exhibitors from America.
The succeeding groups are concerned with various branches of trades and industry. We pass on to group XIV, which includes tinsmithing, locksmithing, goldsmithing, blacksmithing, founding, and watchmaking. There are many Poles working at these trades in America--there are even Polish shops in Chicago and other cities. We have no doubt that at least a few of them will be represented at the Exposition. The same applies to group XV, which includes barrel-making, cabinet-making, and sculpture. We know of many capable cabinet-makers, sculptors, and barrel-makers here in Chicago, in New York, Brooklyn, and Buffalo; we have even seen their work on exhibit at the Columbian Exposition; their work can well be displayed in Lwow.20
Group XVI is concerned with types of carriages; here it would be worth while to send a model of the American light carriage, the so-called "buggy," as an example to the Poles in the old country.
We cannot submit anything under weaving (group XVII), but a very interesting exhibit can be prepared in the men's and women's tailoring trades and in upholstery; there are a great many capable Polish people in America working at these trades. The same can be said for group XVIII (shoemaking). We could also prepare an exhibit with such items as Polish-made cigars and chemical and drug preparations (group XX).
Finally, group XXIV, which includes all types of women's handicraft, will find many exhibitors among our ladies.
The remaining sections are less interesting to us. They take in such subjects as inventions, of which we have already spoken, music, etc. We are not concerned with such sections as those including machinery manufacture, paper-making, and electrotechnics--industries in which we have no part.21
However, we may be interested at least indirectly in the following groups: XXV (ancient art), to which a few American Poles might contribute, and XXVI (architecture, building, and household furnishings). To this last group, it would be proper to submit models of our buildings, models of workingmen's homes, and models showing how houses are moved, a procedure unknown in Poland. Group XXIII, which is concerned with ethnographical matters, should not be neglected.
Such is our idea of a workable outline of the exhibit we can prepare for the Polish-American pavilion at the Lwow Exposition. What sort of exhibit will be prepared remains to be seen. It depends upon the energy and good will of those who work in the fields of handicraft and industry.
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