The Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Progress Administration of Illinois. The purpose of the project was to translate and classify selected news articles that appeared in the foreign language press from 1855 to 1938. The project consists of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities of Chicago.

Read more about this historic project.

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  • [Association documents] -- April 30, 1878
    Sinai Congregation, Board of Directors Minutes

    The School Committee further reported that an examination of the several classes had been held with a satisfactory result, and that an arrangement had been made for a public exhibition on Sunday following, commencing at 3 P. M. at which occasion it was contemplated to surprise the pupils by gifts of suitable books, etc, involving an expense of from $30 to $35.

    The School Committee further reported that an examination of the several classes had been held with a satisfactory result, and that an arrangement had been made for a public exhibition ...

    II B 2 f, I A 2 a
  • Chicago Tribune -- June 17, 1878
    The Chinese A Sunday-School for Their Benefit

    Whether it be that the Christian people of Chicago have become so accustomed to the sight of the Heathen Chinee that the almond-eyed Celestial has escaped being an object of interest to them, or because those same people have never regarded the Chinese as an object fit for anything beyond washing clothes, is the reason for no effort having been made by Chicago philanthropists to spread the Gospel among the shaven-headed, is something beyond the knowledge of the writer of this item. Perhaps some effort has been made in a small way. Certainly none has been made in a way to attract so much public attention as will be attracted by the plan of work lately begun by Mr. David Jones, a missionary who has for the past two years labored among the Chinese at Evanston.

    Not that Mr. Jones has commenced in a manner that would bring himself and his work conspicuously into notice. He began very humbly by getting the use of a third story room in the Farwell Hall building and calling to his aid a number of ladies and gentlemen he started what is known as the "Chinese Mission."

    Whether it be that the Christian people of Chicago have become so accustomed to the sight of the Heathen Chinee that the almond-eyed Celestial has escaped being an object of ...

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  • Chicago Tribune -- August 05, 1878
    Chinese Sunday-School

    Ah Ching Yuen, the aristocrat, wore a black satin jacket, a straw hat jauntily tipped on one side of his head, and new felt shoes, which made no sound as he proudly trod across the floor. Lo Bo, being only a hired man on moderate wages, could not be expected to "rag out" very well, but he was neat if not gaudy. Ah Sam Chong, Fong Sang, Low Lee, R. Gin, and the rest of the fourteen Celestials who were present at the banquet (there are twenty-one who actually belong to the Sunday-school) were arrayed in much the same scale of splendor as Lo Bo.

    It is now two months since the Chinese Sunday-school was started in an upper room of Farwell Hall, and already it has attained a place among the prominent religious institutions of the city. An eccentric man with a queer history, David D. Jones, was the founder of it.

    It was a great day for the Chinese - yesterday. The pupils of the Sunday-school had extended a formal invitation to their teachers to participate in a banquet at the close of the regular exercises.

    The regular Sunday-school exercises were gone through as usual. A peculiarity of 2this Sunday-school is that there is a teacher for every pupil. Most of the teachers are ladies. The teaching is necessarily simple in its scope, as few of the almondeyed scholars can speak English.

    These Chinese are said to be extremely grateful for the attention shown them by the "Melican" ladies, and have manifested their gratitude by making them several choice presents. One of the ladies was recently presented with an elegant and costly silk and ivory fan imported from China, and another has been notified that there is a pair of shoes coming for her all the way from that far-off shore. Evidently the "Heathen Chinee" of this city is either exceptionally good or else he has been misrepresented on the Pacific slope.

    Ah Ching Yuen, the aristocrat, wore a black satin jacket, a straw hat jauntily tipped on one side of his head, and new felt shoes, which made no sound as ...

    I A 2 a, I C
  • Jewish Advance -- September 06, 1878
    Retrospect on the Year 5638

    The religious year of 5638 draws to an end. It may therefore be proper now, at the closing of the year 5638 of our religious calendar, to review what we have accomplished in this year, and how the ensuing 5639 will find us.

    Our Jewish community of this city seems to be not in a position to act unitedly and in harmony in any general movement which concerns our race and religion. Since the great Fire has dispersed the members of the various congregations into different parts of the city, there seems to be a general disability in congregational matters. There are members, for instance, living miles away in the northern and western parts of the city, who belong to a congregation in the southern part. They had joined that congregation many years before the great fire; they have relatives and friends in the burial ground of their congregation, and stand in friendly connection with the other members. They cannot, therefore, resign their membership there and join another congregation which is nearer to their dwelling-place. They continue their membership by paying their dues, but cannot take any active part in the management 2of their congregation. The synagogue is too far from their house for them to be able to attend service. They seldom even can attend the business meetings of the members. Hence, no energetic united action can be accomplished. The few members living near the synagogue are those who take the most active part in congregational labors,and cliques and clans are a national consequence; damaging the religious principles for which a congregation should work. If a quorum of members are "drummed" together for a meeting, they invariably vote according to the biased opinion of the few leaders.

    Again, the Sabbath is the best business day in the week. The gentlemen have therefore no time to attend service. But the Sabbath is also the best day for shopping, and the ladies who must attend to that important affair are compelled to have their housework done in the forenoon, and thus they have not time to attend the services at the synagogue. Thus, the ministers officiate before a 3few old ladies, who are the judges of his work, and whose judgment influences the actions of their husbands and sons at the congregational meetings.

    There is not a respectable man but he belongs to two or three lodges of our secret orders. The meetings of the lodges are considered of greater importance than those of the congregation. They are certainly of immediate practical significance, inasmuch as the sick-benefit and the endowment funds are connected with them. There is a great deal of charity and benevolence shown by our Orders. But these Orders have no specific religious character. The pre-occupation with lodge affairs absorbs a great deal of the interest due to specifically religious congregational matters.

    Our Jewish educational matters have fared none the better during this year. Positively nothing has been done for the instruction of the children of poor parents - nothing by the community, although, perhaps something by a few isolated individuals.


    Our charitable institutions? We have no hospital, no orphan asylum, no home for the aged and infirm of our poor brethren. We have a relief society and a few ladies' societies partly co-operating with it, partly working for themselves. A few occasional applicants have been assisted, a few poor families have been helped to food, fuel, clothing, and in cases of sickness. We have done what our means allowed us to do - the means of the charitable societies, namely.

    Our young men's culture and social affairs have been thriving much better. The young men's societies have had literary gatherings, social entertainments, and meetings for mutual improvement.

    As to the social standing and achievements of our community during the passing year, it is not different from that of other communities.

    The religious year of 5638 draws to an end. It may therefore be proper now, at the closing of the year 5638 of our religious calendar, to review what we ...

    I C, I A 2 a, III C
  • Jewish Advance -- September 13, 1878
    New Congregations

    The North Side is the seat of war at this time. Sometime ago about thirty gentlemen went together and organized a congregation to be known under the name of Congregation Emanu-el. They adopted "Minhag America" (American custom) and rented a hall for temporary services.

    While we ought to be glad and happy to see the Israelites of Chicago wake up and give some signs of their interest in Judaism, still our joy is not complete, for it is marred and disturbed by the way the work for the holy cause is inaugurated. Our brethren in Chicago do not try to open schools for the children of the poor Israelites. O, No, they start new Congregations, as though we had not enough temples in the city. The fact is that we have here too many congregations and only two of them are able to enjoy an easy existence. One has built a fine temple, but cannot afford to keep a minister, etc.

    About the same time a number of Israelites, also on the North Side, organized a new congregation with Minhag Polen (Polish custom) - (they have already 2erected a synagogue which is to be dedicated next Sunday). An attempt was made by the better elements of these two chevras (groups) to unite in one congregation on a sound basis. Committees were appointed but unfortunately could not agree (the terrible Minhagin were the stumbling blocks) and Chicago is going to have two more congregations.

    The North Side is the seat of war at this time. Sometime ago about thirty gentlemen went together and organized a congregation to be known under the name of Congregation ...

    III C, I A 2 a
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 20, 1879
    The Poles in Chicago

    Among the many nationalities in Chicago, the Poles play a leading part. During the last years, especially after the Chicago Fire, they increased noticeably, so that they now number about twenty-five thousand. The first Polish pioneers arrived in Chicago as early as 1852; they lived in various sections of the city, virtually strangers, since there was no specific Polish settlement in the city at that time. As most of them were of the Roman Catholic faith, they became affiliated with the German Catholic churches, although a desire prevailed to build a Polish church. In 1869 a club was finally organized to raise funds. Within a short span of time several thousand dollars had been gathered and the erection of a church commenced in earnest. The site was at Noble and Bradley Streets. When the fact became known, hundreds of Polish families from all parts of America and particularly from the Kaschubei in Germany flocked to Chicago. The Kaschubes are of Polish origin. Their language shows much borrowing from the German. These people live in the vicinity of Danzig, Berend, and Neustadt in Upper 2Silesia, Prussia, and represent a low cultural level, due to the Prussian school edict whereby all Polish children must study the various school subjects in German, a language which is strange to them. The Kaschubes are fervent Catholics, frugal and economical. Many of them have ten thousand to thirty thousand dollars.

    The first wooden church, later converted into an elementary school, was dedicated in 1869; Reverend Jaskowski was the first Polish priest.

    It is generally conceded that most of the foreign people founding a new home on these shores lose all sense of discretion in so far as the word liberty is concerned, due to a rapid change from monarchical to democratic surroundings involving the abolition of class consciousness. Therefore, the new arrivals practiced no self-restraint; self-interest ran rampant, and this fault also manifested itself occasionally among the Poles. A Polish priest sits on a volcano, as it were; every member of the parish intends to rule, and gives 3advice to the priest on how to conduct himself within and beyond the confines of the church. Anonymous letters are a daily occurrence; the Lord have mercy on [a minister] who transgresses and lacks energy--that man is lost. Many of the sixty-five Polish communities of this land could give their own interesting versions of certain peculiar incidents, but in so far as these internal affairs are concerned, I shall enshroud them in secrecy.

    The people had conscientious scruples, because they could not order masses to be read for their deceased relatives. Money for masses poured into the church coffers in copious quantities and the impecunious priest became affluent. [Translator's note: This is a literal translation. Possibly the apparent meaninglessness is due to the omission of something from the Staats-Zeitung.] But this egotistical ambition [of the minister] to amass wealth had its repercussions and created enemies. Besides, he had the misfortune of being encumbered with a charming and beautiful "cousin," who today would be called ciotka (aunt).


    Dissatisfaction [in the parish] became rampant; finally a horde armed with cudgels visited the unsuspecting priest and returned with broken weapons. The maltreated disseminator of the gospel fled at that very hour, and a Polish settlement in Minnesota provided a sanctuary.

    His successor was the Reverend Bakanowski, an erudite gentlemen well versed in Polish, German, French, Italian, Latin and English. Besides being endowed with a sympathetic sonorous voice, he was endowed with exceptional talents in rhetoric, and his general conduct inspired friendship. To all these mental attributes must be added, unfortunately, bodily perfection. Like Alcibiades, he was the most beautiful specimen of his race. Attendance at his sermons was large; all nationalities congregated at his distant church on Sundays, to listen and admire the "Beautiful Polish priest". Naturally, the fair sex was most numerous. Invitations galore were sent to him, requesting his presence here and there for the purpose of holding religious meetings and consoling beauteous ladies in their parlors. Would it be reasonable to 5condemn the pious man for yielding to his desire to save souls and accepting such offers? Of course not. Among the mass of Polish penitents was a charming, intelligent, lovely lady, wife of a local physician. Above all, it became increasingly important to save her soul. And while religious solace was given here, the sick, and children in need of baptism, waited vainly at home. The doctor's residence was in another part of the city. The oft occurring absence of the priest aroused antagonism. The burden of his duties in the parish induced the priest to obtain an assistant. This brings to the scene the Reverend Wolowski, a suspicious, conniving man, who had lost one arm during the Polish Insurrection against Russia in 1863, according to his version. Scandalmongers assert, however, that Wolowski, caretaker of the war chest of his regimental division, made a trip to somewhat remote regions, supposedly to protect the precious property from Russian marauders; but the Polish patriots protested against the pretext, and as punishment cut off the pernicious arm. With the officiating of this gentleman the halcyon days of Aranjuez came to a sinister end. Envious of his colleague's success, the 6assistant sent a voluminous denunciation directly to Rome.

    Reverend Bakanowski was called to the Holy City to defend himself and did not return. Like Niobe, the not fully converted beauties pined away from secret sorrow, remembering only the past exhilarating moments while hiding from human scrutiny the grief that engulfed them. But vengeance was in the offing for the insolent schemer who so rudely curtailed clandestine bliss. His attempt to found a Polish school--a measure calculated to bolster his waning popularity--proved unavailing. He was doomed, in so far as Chicago was concerned.

    The following priest, Reverend Zwiardowski, shortly after taking the reins of the parish, dismissed the sinister chap. The school was not to be abandoned, however.

    As dissension arose at the time among the then functioning teachers and the 7priest, and as there existed an absolute dearth of other suitable pedagogues, Reverend Zwiardowski decided to let nuns manage the school. The sisters were mostly Germans and expressed German nationalism in no uncertain terms; it brought a remonstrance. The dissenters found a leader in Mr. Dynsewics, editor of the liberal Polish paper, Gazetta Polska, a publication in existence for the last ten years. Their slogan or, may we say, "the war whoop," was the terse sentence: "In Germany Bismarck Germanizes us, and here a Polish priest!"

    The people were so incensed, that the priest, whose health was none too good, considered it advisable to leave his field of activity. The vacancy thus created provided a berth soon after, in 1874, for the Reverend Vincent Barzynski, who still functions in his ecclesiastical capacity. Few leaders faced greater difficulties. There were more than fifteen thousand people of Polish extraction in Chicago at that time, representing every part of the former great nation (in the period of a bygone century--1667 to 1772--this 8former kingdom represented an area of 21,334 geographical square miles), and everyone was imbued with the ruling complex, insistent on telling the minister what to do.

    Father Vincent was thirty years old at that time; he came from a highly respected family living in the Russian part of Poland. He attended the best schools in his native land and continued his studies in Rome. He is very eloquent--capable of exacting admiration from his adversaries through his powers of persuasion. He is intelligent, pious, but not a hypocrite, and has an excellent reputation. He is fully aware of the traits of his countrymen and his plans take cognizance of them. In many respects his conduct reminds one of Octavius Augustus: If various efforts meet with indifferent success, then he threatens to leave the parish, whereupon every request is promptly granted, and upon urgent entreaties from the congregation he condescends to stay for a while. Various business matters incident to such a large congregation he has placed in the hands of several committees; but, 9basically, he is the sole leader. "Roma Locuta Est, Causa Finita Est," he tells an occasional opponent who cannot be reconciled to the priestly views. He is on a par with Gregory VII, a man of tremendous will power who would rather perish than relinquish a plan designed to elevate the community spiritually and materially. But, Facta Loquuntur.

    Under his capable leadership the Polish school attained increased attendance; six hundred children are at present enrolled and given instruction in their native language by Polish nuns. Music, which in former years induced Polish youths to leave the path of rectitude and seek dance halls, taverns, and other libertine diversions, is now mute.

    Since the small church proved inadequate for the large congregation, an additional house of worship was built: The Church of the Holy Trinity, near Milwaukee Avenue. The Poles, living in the immediate vicinity, virtually surrounded the structure with stores, mostly saloons, and this contingent 10later asked the bishop that their connection with the old church be severed and a priest of their own choice be installed. The antipathy of certain Poles toward Father Vincent is attributable to the fact that he hails from Russian Poland and belongs to the Order of the Resurrectionists. Almost the entire Polish Liberal Party, here and abroad, maintain that the priests of this Fraternity show insufficient patriotism, and that their interests are only centered on Catholicism. While this assumption may be partly justified, it is entirely inappropriate in so far as Father Barzynski is concerned. His sermons express fervent patriotism, and the well-edited, ultramontane Polish paper, Gazetta Polska Katolicka, which is published under his direction, always defends Polish interests. Moreover, the numerous changes he inaugurated and, above all, the founding of a Polish high school, give conclusive evidence of the priest's patriotic sentiments.

    Bishop Farley did not accede to the wishes of the Poles desiring an independent church, as Father Vincent and his assistants proved sufficient.


    Increasing dissatisfaction became apparent, resulting in an eventual rift and at long last two parties, steeped in bitter animosity. Church meetings developed into a replica of the Polish Congress, and a threat was made to apostatize. Time and time again Father Vincent advocated reconciliation but to no avail; he was even insulted and, on one occasion, arrested at the behest of some depraved creature.

    When all efforts in behalf of peace proved fruitless, the Reverend Father carried the "sanctissimum" to the mother church and left his church to the dissatisfied element. Thus the house of worship remained forsaken for almost a year, when a Polish priest, Mielcuszny, appeared. Many Polish people knew him when he lived in the Grand Duchy of Posen, (Germany). He had been active in New York, but was compelled to resign. Cardinal Closkey objected to the priest's wordly activities, because the latter fitted out a saloon, combined with a dance hall, in the basement of the church; this proved a lively place after church services. Mielcuszny, an accomplished dancer, 12usually opened the festivities.

    This priest proved most welcome to the recreants and, contrary to the bishop's wishes, was installed. Intense enmity now involved the two factions, but this is not the place to adjudge theological principles. Suffice it to say, therefore, that according to church canons the installation of priests is one of the ecclesiastical duties delegated to bishops, and this community, in the strict sense of the creed, is not Catholical. After the disgruntled element had affiliated itself with the long-closed church, now given a new lease on life under the leadership of the Polish priest from New York, the parochial domain of Reverend Barzynski again enjoyed the blessings of peace. As the available space provided by the church proved inadequate, a new church was built. Thus far eighty thousand dollars have been spent on construction, and an additional thirty thousand dollars will be required to complete the edifice.

    The not overly large mortgage is being paid by voluntary contributions and 13pew rentals, which amounts to approximately eight thousand dollars per year.

    The paintings for the church have been entrusted to a talented Polish artist, Zabinski, who came directly from Rome (Italy). His studio is at the parish house. A visit will prove very interesting. Several splendid sketches and the full-size, partly completed painting, "The Death of Stanislaus Kostka," give eloquent proof that a genius conceived them.

    For some time Father Vincent considered founding a Polish high school, and to realize that goal he spent large sums of money; however, serious difficulties were encountered. Indifferent success did not deter him, however. Repeatedly he admonished his congregation, and spoke in stentorian tones about public indifference. Finally, the community decided to build a higher institution of learning, and to defray the cost. The school was opened this year, January 2, [1879], and two eminent instructors were secured.


    Professor Stein, thirty years old, passed his examinations with flying colors at the gymnasium in Thorn, on the River Weichsel, and the seminary in Posen. To complete his studies he traveled throughout the greater part of Europe. [In the interim] he taught in Posen and Bromberg at public schools, and academies for young ladies. In America he taught successfully in New York and Detroit. Here, he will give instructions in the German and Polish languages, as well as mathematics.

    Professor Wenslow studied at the Jesuit College here; later he studied philosophy.

    The institution [the Polish high school] accepts students regardless of religion or nationality. At present forty-three students are enrolled; the evening school register shows seventy-two have matriculated. The future of the school is assured, as attendance increases daily.

    The community now entertains the highest regard for its spiritual leader; it 15feels convinced that no personal ambition or selfish interest motivated his action; he was concerned only in the true welfare of his countrymen. Since the storm subsided and outstanding success crowned the priest's efforts, it is expected that the majority of the estranged members will return to the mother church soon.

    This brief sketch does not pretend to give all the details which, after all, would be superfluous. I have merely stated facts, because Chicago has many Polish families, and a large number subscribe to this paper. Perhaps I may have an opportunity at some future time to give an account of the Polish community of the South Side, its church, the Polish press, clubs, and, possibly, some interesting details of prominent Polish people who live in our city.

    Among the many nationalities in Chicago, the Poles play a leading part. During the last years, especially after the Chicago Fire, they increased noticeably, so that they now number about ...

    III C, II B 2 d 1, I A 2 a, I A 2 b, III A, I C, IV
  • Chicago Tribune -- June 23, 1879
    Swedish Lutherans

    The Swedish Lutheran Synod continued its work yesterday at the church , corner of Sedgwick and Hobbie Streets. The edifice was crowed throughout the day and evening. In the morning the Rev. P. M. Sanquist, of Kansas, preached an elaborate sermon appropriate to the Synodical Communion, which followed. In the afternoon the building was inadequate to accommodate the throng in attendance, the feature being the ordination of nine graduates from the Theological Seminary at Rock Island.

    The exercises were opened with singing and prayer, after which the Rev. Dr. Hasselquist preached, taking his text from I. Samuel, iii, 19. This was followed by the reading of selections from the Scriptures, and this by going through the ordination services of the church, which are beautiful and impressive. The following are those ordained: C. A. Swenson, etc, etc.................

    In the evening the exercises were specially for the benefit of the Sunday school, consisting of music and bried addresses.

    The Swedish Lutheran Synod continued its work yesterday at the church , corner of Sedgwick and Hobbie Streets. The edifice was crowed throughout the day and evening. In the morning ...

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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- August 26, 1879
    The Fifth Annual Festival of the Old Settlers

    When the Chicago Turngemeinde (Turner District) arranged an Old Settlers' festival four years ago, the association probably did not expect that the affair would develop into an annual festival. However, after a short time it became apparent that the affair was very popular and served, as nothing else could, to bring together the various [national] elements in the city and so promote good fellowship in general. The Old Settlers' picnic is not only of interest to Germans; it became a festival of the people in general, or, let us say, there are prospects that it will eventually be of interest to our inhabitants.

    This must have been obvious to all who saw the large group of Irish and Americans who came to Ogden's grove yesterday, and observed the great interest manifested by the old settlers--regardless of national origin--in the yarns told, and noticed the rapt attention of the youngsters who listened to stories 2of bygone days.

    The Chicago Turngemeinde was again favored by good weather--a delightful, though somewhat cool, day. It appeared to us that the crowd was even larger than that of last year. Probably more than five thousand people came to yesterday's festival. An indication of the large attendance may be had from the registration, since more than seventeen hundred old settlers of the city entered their names in the book.

    The afternoon and early evening hours were dedicated to youth, as is the custom at all popular festivals. There was the climbing contest, where boys could procure drums, trumpets, and other toys mounted out of reach; dancing was on the program, as was javelin throwing. All of this was calculated to amuse the crowd; but the climax came in the evening, when thousands of paper lanterns and calcium lights, as well as splendid fireworks lasting for several hours, illuminated the park. The pyrotechnic display was arranged by G. D. Zernitz.


    The festival started officially at six o'clock, when Emil Hoechster, president of the Turngemeinde, mounted the speaker's platform and addressed the crowd. He expressed his satisfaction that the Old Settlers' festival had proved to be so popular. He said that this was the fifth annual festival, and that each year showed greater attendance, so that we may well expect the festival to survive and to form a bond between our various nationals long after the originators of the festival have departed. It was apparent that the strictly German character of the festivities had faded, and that the aspect was that of a general festival comprising all groups of people. The speaker said that he hoped this trend would continue in the future, so that the various elements in our city might become more firmly cemented together.

    He then introduced W. Bross as the next speaker.

    Mr. Bross said: "Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen: Congratulations! Your 4festival, though primarily a social affair, has taken on a certain historical significance, since prizes or medals are given to the oldest settler as well as to the oldest persons in certain professions and commercial pursuits. It will undoubtedly be an interesting day for the recipients of the prizes as well for the donors. Of course, on such a day, subjects of a seriously controversial nature should be avoided. After all, you came here for amusement, and therefore it is our duty to make the meeting as pleasant an event as possible. However, I am fully aware of the intellectual attainments of those who asked me to speak here, and know that you will be interested in historical matters, or at least in some facts which broaden our knowledge. I do not know when the oldest settler came to this city; perhaps it can be ascertained during the course of the festival. But I do know that there were comparatively few Germans here when I came to Chicago in the year 1848.

    "At the festival given by the Calument Club on May 27, this year, 161 old 5settlers were listed as having come here prior to the year 1840, but not a single German name was evident. The list contains only English, Irish, and Scotch names. If there were Germans here prior to 1840, they either died, moved, or failed to register when the festival was held. Up to 1840, and probably for ten years after that, Chicago was an American city with American ideas and habits, which were but little influenced by the influx of foreign elements.

    "Changes, political dissensions, and revolutions occurring in one country often prove a blessing to another nation. And so it quite often happens that the better elements among a people--progressive persons, and individuals with a communal spirit and enterprising mind--seek new homes elsewhere. Instead of hoping for improvement and progress within the boundaries of their native land, these people their escape from conservatism and tradition by emigrating, and America becomes their goal because this nation offers a broader field for their activities, and also because the Americans have the same views as far as social 6questions are concerned. That is best shown by the German revolution of 1848-49. The most intelligent and patriotic contingent of the people insisted upon a more liberal and humane form of government, an administration based not on absolutism, not to say despotism or decree by royal proclamation. These Germans wanted a government which considered the social welfare of the people. The upheaval failed and, as a result, some of Germany's most outstanding men came to America, among them Carl Schurz, who became one of our greatest senators and cabinet members; Georg Schneider, one of our most eminent editors, who is now president of the National Bank of Illinois; George Raster, a highly educated man and indefatigable journalist; Caspar Butz, great speaker and public official; General Sigel and Colonel Fred Hecker, whose valor entitles them to be counted among our most outstanding heroes of the Civil War. And, aside from these few, legions came to our shores--Germany's greatest men, thousands, tens of thousands--and a large portion sought Chicago as a home. Gustavus Koerner and others came before them. Chicago had many Germans prior 7to 1849, as the Staats-Zeitung was founded in 1846; it was a weekly paper at that time. After the German revolution in 1848-49, the Germans became prominent here in business, politics and society. For several years there was some friction, which was to be expected.

    The Germans did not understand our ways, nor did we try to become friendly. Then around 1854, the Know-Nothing party was founded, and its conduct spread terror among the immigrants, but the organization came to life chiefly because of the peculiarities and progress of another large foreign element, while the fact that the new arrivals happened to be Germans was of little concern. I, for my part, instantly recognized the bigotry and untenableness of the party's principles, and wrote a number of articles in my paper, the Democratic Press, to expose the movement--and had the satisfaction of witnessing the eventual disintegration of the party. The friction and animosity engendered by this gospel of hate is now in the past--since we have been neighbors for a quarter-century. After we have seen the rapid growth of our city, its destruction by fire and its rebuilding, we can now look impartially 8at the process of assimilation, that beneficial influence which will make us a homogeneous people.

    "What were the good influences of the German immigration? In that connection, I would like to mention, first of all, the wearing of full beards, which were seldom seen until the Germans came and proved the usefulness of the hairy growth, quite aside from the manly appearance provided thereby and the respect thus created among the ladies. Concerning these beards, let is be said that many a formerly smooth-shaven American face can now be favorably compared with a true German countenance.

    "Second, the Germans gave us a very important and effective example in moderation. I believe that, at present, we have less intemperence among a half-million people than we had when Chicago had only eighteen thousand inhabitants. I base this assertion on my observations during the year 1848, when I first came here. However, one might point to the large number of saloons in the city and 9ask 'What can you say about that? Are not these taverns of German origin?' True, they are, and many Americans patronize the German saloons. But, as a rule, the frequenters of the German taverns do not indulge in whiskey to the same extent as do our native Americans. The Germans abroad drink beer or wine as a matter of course, but you seldom see a drunken person. In 1867, I was in Berlin for a week or longer, likewise in Munich and Vienna; then I spent several days in Dresden, Prag, Salzburg, and other cities; yet, throughout my entire journey in Germany and Austria I did not see one drunken person. If we follow German customs for another quarter-century, insobriety will be wiped out, just as drunkeness is virtually nonexistent in our fatherland.

    "Third, I assert that the Germans have taught us music--one of the most up-lifting and sensible diversions we have. Of course, we had music before the Germans settled here, but it lacked quality and popularity. Nearly all Germans sing or play some musical instrument--and they perform well. One can hardly estimate the elevating influence which a musical education provides. Only 10operas by the greatest masters and outstanding works of the most gifted composers are considered by the Germans. All our children study music, and no branch of education exerts a better influence on mankind. Now, with respect to the success and achievements attained in music, I have heard from the most prominent German authorities that our Apollo and Beethoven clubs compare favorably with the oldest musical societies of Germany. Although the Apollo Club is a strictly American organization, its members undoubtedly recognize the German influence which was the motivating force for its progress.

    "Furthermore, I must not fail to mention that our German fellow citizens have always defended liberty and supported the constituted authorities. The Germans were patriots in their own country and a vast majority were, likewise, patriots when they became Americans. It must be remembered that the Germans left their own nation because they could not form a liberal government and, in coming to the United States, they now support the Republic because it represents the 11ideal they had in mind for their own native land. When the South threatened the existence of our form of government, the Germans--to a man--rallied to the support of that party which fought for liberty. The German votes and bullets were cast in the name of freedom. And that explains why the Germans so gladly and liberally bought government bonds to help continue the war; of course, a profit was made thereby, and we are glad of it. These bonds were acquired by Germans at a time when the English aristocracy spent hundreds of millions of dollars to buy Confederate bonds and to equip rebel privateers. But John Bull lost his money, and paid the tidy sum of fifteen million dollars as indemnity for acts committed by British vessels. He [John Bull] got his just reward. Naturally, I am fully aware of what the Scandinavians and others did for the Union and will, at some opportune time, cover that phase at length. But today I am speaking of the Germans, who did their duty at the elections and who shed their blood for the nation, the men who deserve the gratitude of all people who believe in liberty. The heroism of these Germans was indeed monumental, so let us not 12stint with our praise.

    "I also like to reiterate the biological fact that a mixture of two strong races produces a better race than either one of the original races. This was proved by the Romans and also by the English, on whose possessions the sun never sets. The small island of Queen Victoria was invaded and conquered time and again--a great blessing. The Romans, Saxons, and Normans sent their select armies, whose members mingled with the British, Irish, and Scotch people, thus producing a race which is unequalled in bodily strength as well as mental accomplishment. Think what we may, therefore, expect here in America, where we have assimilated the best elements of these highly select races!

    "Where can one find more auspicious conditions for the development of an enterprising, diligent, intelligent hybrid people than here, where liberal laws prevail and where we are blessed with continental possessions--a land of great 13fertility and exceptional resources, which not only provides the necessities of life but helps us to produce articles of luxury which the whole world covets today--a country whose mineral wealth rivals the fantastic tales of bygone ages; here, in America, where we have schools, colleges, and churches to further our education; a great land with freedom of speech--a press which resorts to biting sarcasm in fighting vice in all its branches--a country where the son of even the poorest family can aspire to greatness--where mind and labor can perform miracles--with these countless benefits available to us, the greatest blessings the Almighty ever gave to mankind--who, then, considering these conditions, can predict what we will amount to when our population reaches two hundred million?

    A great race, free and highly cultured, has never existed; when we reach that stage, it will affect all of the people on earth. It is destined that our Republic shall reach this goal."


    The speech evoked great applause.....The next part of the program was a vote on the question: "Who was, or is, the best mayor Chicago ever has had?" This, of course, proved of great interest to the politically minded, and toward the end a great, lively crowd milled around the voting booth, just as though it were an actual election. It appeared certain that Monroe Heath would win, but at the last minute Harrison's friends managed to gather considerably more than two hundred votes, and so the latter won.

    The results of the balloting were given at the large musicians' platform. The festival committee, consisting of Messrs. Emil Hoechster, president; John D. Zernitz, secretary; Frank Schweinfurth, treasurer;....[altogether, sixteen people], walked from the tent where the balloting was in progress to the stage, while the band played.

    Emil Hoechster, in making the announcement, declared that according to the votes, 15Carter H. Harrison had won; he received 282 votes, Monroe Heath 208, H. S. Colvin 111, John Wentworth 44, Joseph Medill 40, J. W. Rice 9, and several others one vote each. (Cries of "Never! John Wentworth was the best mayor! The votes must have been short!"). However, Mr. Hoechster declared that the votes were cast and paid for and, under the circumstances, he would have to give the medal to Mayor Harrison, who, unfortunately, was not present to receive it in person.

    The Oldest German Freemason

    There were six contestants: H. M. Peters, in office from 1859 to 1861..... The medal was given to H. M. Peters, because he was inducted eight days prior to Mr. Kauffeldt. In accepting the medal, Mr. Peters regretted that it was not given to Mr. Kauffeldt.

    The Oldest German Teacher

    The oldest German teacher is G. H. Fischer, the well-known director of the 16German Lutheran parochial schools. He first taught German here on June 1, 1850. The only other contestant was Mrs. Caroline Schuettler who taught German here in 1862.

    The Medal for the Swabians

    Mrs. Philippine Schmutz received this medal; she came here in 1842.....[Altogether six entrants].

    The Oldest German Doctor

    The oldest German doctor, and also the oldest German newspaper writer, is Dr. Carl A. Hellmuth, who practiced in Chicago in 1847, and who was editor of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung in 1848. In accepting the medal, Dr. Hellmuth spoke of the unfortunate seven years 1849-1856, when the cholera raged in Chicago. The second oldest physician is Dr. Ullrich.


    The Largest Number of Descendents

    Undoubtedly Mrs. Marie Grauel can lay claim to that. She came here in 1847, and has two sons, four daughters, thirty-one grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren, making a total of fifty-three descendents. However, quite a few contestants proved close seconds. Mrs. Lorenz Baer, here since 1840, has four sons, six daughters, and thirty-three grandchildren, a total of forty-three descendents....[Eight other names appear].

    In presenting the medals, Mr. Hoechster each time added a few appropriate words, while the orchestra played a flourish. After the end of the official ceremonies, the crowd remained for several hours and enjoyed itself.

    The festival committee and the police, commanded by Lieutenant Bauss, maintained perfect order and saw to it that no disturbing element marred the 18festivities, so that everyone of the participants will always think of the occasion as a perfect day. The only disagreeable feature was the construction work on Clybourn Avenue, which is to be filled in and paved; that prevented streetcars from continuing beyond North Avenue.

    When the Chicago Turngemeinde (Turner District) arranged an Old Settlers' festival four years ago, the association probably did not expect that the affair would develop into an annual festival. However, ...

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  • [Association documents] -- September 30, 1879
    Sinai Congregation, Special Meeting, Minutes

    A motion to discontinue the study of Hebrew in the Sabbath School was lost.

    A motion to adopt the recommendation of the Committee in reference to the establishment of a separate class for the study of Hebrew was carried.

    A motion to discontinue the study of Hebrew in the Sabbath School was lost. A motion to adopt the recommendation of the Committee in reference to the establishment of a ...

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  • Chicagoer Arbeiter Zeitung -- October 02, 1879
    "The Teaching of German in Public Schools."

    The teaching of German in Public Schools is an absolute necessity and not a mere concession. A city which counts among its population such a large percentage of the German Element as Chicago does, can not ignore the German language, without disadvantage to itself; and furthermore, free schools can fluorish with our population only when it offers to the pupils the opportunity, to learn the native language of their parents. This in itself, would be sufficient reason, why the German language should be taught in public schools, and for another still more important reason, because the parochial schools, which are so dangerous to our free thinking, are steadily growing, which is the consequence of devoting much time and energy to the teaching of German. Neverthe-less, the management of public schools, has for years taken a hostile attitude toward the teaching of German in public schools which was taught only to advanced pupils, thus out of 48,000 pupils, only 8000 can get German instructions. But even this small number is, through various limitations, reduced to 6000 for whom the opportunity to learn German is afforded. And of this number 2000 have applied for the German instruction.


    The parents of the children who attend the Picard-School, near Mc Cormick's factory on 22nd Street, have repeatedly asked the School Board, to introduce the German Language in that school, but without any success. Four rooms in the Picard School are vacant, while the neighboring parochial schools are overcrowded, still the superintendent insists, that the school would not prove large enough, should German be added to their studies.

    The same conditions prevail at the Foster School, 12th and Halsted Streets. As limited as the teaching of German already is, it could not be surprising, if it would be stopped altogether. The School-board decided last year (The Germans Frankenthal, Hotz and Vocke, voted for the same measure too) upon optional studies "which means, that only pupils whose parents desire it, may take that particular study, but unless each class room, has at least 20 pupils for such studies, it would cease to be taught, and that of course includes German.

    If the Germans don't employ drastic measures, the German language will not be taught 3in our public schools much longer, and the Germans will have to send their children to private schools, although they have to pay for the support of public schools. Nativism dominates our School-Board, supported by several Catholics, who in their own interest, welcome any measure which would weaken the public-school system, so much hated by them. There are only three German members of the School Board, therefore, nothing can be expected from there, if public opinion would not resort to the necessary pressure, to bring about the desired results.- We call on the reliable men of the city, to take this matter up, and arrange meetings at which, the indignation over the school Board's policy can be expressed, thus the members of the School-Board may see, that the people not only wish the continuance of the teaching of German, but that same should expand among public schools.

    The teaching of German in Public Schools is an absolute necessity and not a mere concession. A city which counts among its population such a large percentage of the German ...

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