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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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- September 12, 1876
    [A Socialist Meeting]

    The meeting of the Socialists and the Typographia No. 9, the German Typographical Association, took place last night in Globe Hall on Desplaines Street. The purpose of the meeting was to give the Staats Zeitung a lecture. The meeting was purely communistic. Few of the typographers appeared, because several of the decent typographers of the Staats Zeitung, frightened by this type of meeting, have resumed their work. The communist, Jacob Winnen, was chairman and the communist Conzett, former typographer and now publisher of the Vorbote, thundered against the Staats Zeitung, its editors and business executives. Also the other daily newspapers were not spared.

    Mr. C. Pfeiffer tried to make his audience understand that German type was harder to work with and for that reason German typographers should get better pay than their English fellow-workers. The final speech was made by the well known Communist Thorsmark. After that, happy over the insults heaped upon the capitalistic adversaries, the meeting adjourned.

    The meeting of the Socialists and the Typographia No. 9, the German Typographical Association, took place last night in Globe Hall on Desplaines Street. The purpose of the meeting was ...

    German
    I D 2 a 4, II B 2 d 1, I C, I E
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- July 25, 1877
    Whither Bound? (Editorial)

    The strike of the railroad workers is taking on the character of a revolution which could easily be called a social war... Chicago is not in a position to tolerate excitement and disturbances.

    This city of ours has suffered greatly during the last six years. The great fire of 1871 almost destroyed the whole city; in 1874 again a fire of great destructiveness broke out, and the depression of 1873 combined with the effect of these conflagrations to bring about a very uncertain state of affairs for our capitalists. This is a fact known to every clear-thinking worker. Furthermore, if these conditions are permitted to intensify themselves, they will prove disastrous not only to the capitalist, but to the workers as well, and when factories and other large business establishments cease to operate, thousands of workers will find themselves unemployed without receiving any compensation from the railroad workers with whom they were in sympathy, nor from the communist agitators.

    The strike of the railroad workers is taking on the character of a revolution which could easily be called a social war... Chicago is not in a position to tolerate ...

    German
    I D 2 a 4
  • Chicago Tribune -- August 09, 1877
    Bohemians.

    A second meeting of the Bohemians was held last evening at the Bohemian Hall. The meeting was quite large and composed of better material than such gatherings usually are. The object of the meeting seemed to be to calmly discuss the result of the late riots and to better unite the lumber-shovers, and give some expression in defense of the Bohemian nationality from the aspersions cast upon them in the late troubles. Numerous speeches were made accusing the papers of blamming them for the riots and censuring them as a class, which charges the speakers resented with great earnestness. They maintained that the Bohemians are peacable, law-abiding citizens, and that of the 25,000 in the city a smaller portion had been convicted of crime than any other class. Resolutions were adopted denouncing the papers for accusing them of leading and promoting the riots of two weeks ago. The meeting was devoid of enthusiasm, but from remarks not incendiary -occasionally dropped by a hot-headed speaker, it was evident, that the leaders of that nationality, at least, were ready to resent imaginary evils of any kind at any time, and to join the lumber-shovers or any other class, in a strike, let the consequences be what they may. The following resolution then was adopted.

    2

    "Resolved, that we protest against those calumnies thrown upon us Bohemians in Chicago during the past riotous days by our large dailies, the Tribune and the Times. We refer every fellow-citizen to the criminal statistics of the city of Chicago, which show that the Bohemian Nationality being represented here by at least 25,000 inhabitants, furnish proportionality the least contingent of criminals and transgressors to the prisons and jails. And by these statistics we prove that those calumnies were base affronts to all the best citizens of Bohemian extraction, and we pronounce them a base lie.

    A second meeting of the Bohemians was held last evening at the Bohemian Hall. The meeting was quite large and composed of better material than such gatherings usually are. The ...

    Bohemian
    I D 2 a 4, I C
  • Chicago Tribune -- August 12, 1877
    The Lumber-Shovers' Proposed Strike.

    If the lumber-shovers of Chicago carry out the threats they have previously made, they will strike to-morrow morning for higher wages and undertake to forcibly prevent others from taking their places, with the expectation of coercing their employees to accede to their demands. There are said to be 4,500 lumber-shovers in this city, mostly Bohemians, who were originally mostly all agricultural laborers, and who have abandoned their farm-work in the old country to undertake the harder work of lumber-shoving in Chicago. It may not be that all of them will strike; but the principles at issue are the same, whether 100 strike or the whole 4,500.

    There are two sides to this question, as to every other. There is no doubt that the labor of these men is very hard and toilsome. There is no doubt that their wages are low. Up to last year, they, had we believe, $1.50 per day.

    2

    In the present depressed condition of the lumber-market they receive but $1.25. They ought to get more, if possible, upon the principle that the laborer is worthy of his hire; but, if the business affords no more, and the market will furnish men who are willing to work at the current wages, then these striking Bohemians have no right to prevent them. They have the right to quit work. They have the right to ask what they please and to refuse to work until they get it; but they have no right to forcibly prevent other men from working $1.25, because they want an increase to $1.50. The settlement of this question, therefore depends on the ability of the lumber firms to obtain substitutes. If the market will not furnish men who are willing to work for the prevent wages, then the strikers will succeed in getting their advance. So far as the mere fact of striking is concerned, there is nothing censurable in their announcement. But, when they couple with it the distinct threat that they will not allow any other men to take their places, they not only transcent their rights in the premises, but, if they carry their threat into operation, immediately becomes liable to arrest and punishment under the State law of Illinois, passed last winter, affixing penalties for obstructing business.

    3

    The provisions of this law are so explicit, that the lumber-shovers will have no difficulty in ascertaining its meaning. And it may be added that the businessmen of this city, after the disastrous experiences of the past 2 or 3 weeks, are not in a temper to allow interferences with their business, nor are the authorities in a temper to allow any violent proceedings upon the part of a mob to stop labor. As long as those proposed strikers refrain from interference with business, no one will interfere with them. But the moment they commence to hinder others by force from working, they violate the law and will be persecuted accordingly.

    If the lumber-shovers of Chicago carry out the threats they have previously made, they will strike to-morrow morning for higher wages and undertake to forcibly prevent others from taking their ...

    Bohemian
    I D 2 a 4
  • Svornost -- June 25, 1878
    Local News

    The strike at Cooper's was ended after nine days. Hereafter, they are to receive 40 cents instead of 25 cents for making lard barrels.

    It would be well for all Bohemian coopers to join the union.

    The strike at Cooper's was ended after nine days. Hereafter, they are to receive 40 cents instead of 25 cents for making lard barrels. It would be well for all ...

    Bohemian
    I D 2 a 3, I D 2 a 4, III A
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- August 08, 1878
    A Strike

    When in 1861 the armies of the Union and of the rebels confronted each other for months without moving or doing each other any harm, an Englishman said, when the question came to the American Civil War, - "Yes, a very Civil War indeed". In a similar sense we have now, here in Chicago, a very civil strike. The workers employed by local shoe factories have quietly, after finishing all current work, stopped working because they ask $12.00 weekly instead of $9.00. The owners declared that they are willing to pay $10.50 but could not pay $12.00, because otherwise the prices would rise beyond those demanded by the Eastern factories or those of local firms which sell prison-made goods.

    If there was ever a strike which should end with a peaceful agreement between the employees and employers then this is one. Here would be a case for an industrial court of arbitration, such as are being demanded in Europe, and in some ways have been successfully introduced. Instead of this the guild forces 2itself between the two parties with its ironclad regulations. The Guild of the "Crispines", a sort of union of shoemakers, prohibits the workers from negotiating directly with the employers of certain factories. All transactions are to go through the Board of the Guild, and any concessions made by employers to the workmen are not considered without approval of the Guild Board.

    What now? If the employers really cannot agree to the wage demands without ruining themselves, and instead of yielding, simply stop business by closing their factories? What would the shoemakers then have gained? Hundreds of families instead of having $10.50 per week, would have nothing to live on. Could, would, the Guild assure compensation? And if so - for how long? A means to force the reprobate capitalists to work their factories, does not exist.

    Both parties, employees and employers, agree in the present case, that the competition of cheap convict labor is the main reason for unfavorable wage 3conditions. To imagine that the employer merely wants to oppress the workers out of malice and pure wantonness - there is apparently no foundation. The evil of cheap convict labor cannot be lifted by this strike; for that quite other measures are needed. It is necessary to win a majority of the State Legislature for doing away with the system of leasing convict labor. But the majority in the Legislature consists of representatives of the farming population, and there is so far very little understanding of the evils of this system. For them the situation presents itself simply as that one should permit the convicts to loaf at the expense of the taxpayers, and of that they are not in favor. Now, it might be that one could persuade the farmers in the course of time; however, in the time from tonight until tomorrow morning it cannot be done.

    There is, today, in Germany, in scarcely any trade a workingman who earns half the $1.75 per day offered by the employers here. That should be well considered. If the shoemakers can obtain $2.00 a day nobody will grudge it to them. But if it is impossible for the employers to pay more than $1.75, will, then the Guild seriously expect workers to cease work and starve rather than labor for this pay?

    When in 1861 the armies of the Union and of the rebels confronted each other for months without moving or doing each other any harm, an Englishman said, when the ...

    German
    I D 2 a 4, III H, I J
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- March 18, 1879
    The Stonecutters' Strike Involving the City Hall What They Have to Say

    A committee of the Stonecutters' Union, consisting of Messrs. Heinrich Sonne-born and Otto Schanzenbach, visited our editorial staff yesterday, and asked for the correction of certain erroneous reports, in English language newspapers, about the strike involving the City Hall (now under construction) and the contracting firm of Tomlinson and Reed.

    The first statement was that the Union does not pay the striking members $2.50 per day, as reported; only one dollar per day is given to married men, and single workers receive only enough to defray board and laundry bills. Our informants also said that Tomlinson and Reed did not pay two dollars per day last year, but only $1.25 to $1.50. In November, after the reorganization of the Union, the firm paid two dollars a day for three weeks, and then work was suspended.

    Stonecutters have worked on an average of eight hours per day for the last 2twelve or thirteen years. It is hard, exhausting labor, and only a few men can work longer than eight hours. All other cut stone contractors are satisfied with the eight-hour period; only Tomlinson and Reed are not. Furthermore, cut stone contractors are willing to pay $2.50 for a day's work. Tomlinson and Reed have no reason to pay less, since they have not signed a disadvantageous contract. Besides, just as much work will be performed in eight hours as in ten.

    The stonecutters are not making unfair demands; they can work only seven or, at most, eight months a year; they must provide their own tools, costing from fifty to sixty dollars, and keep them in proper condition, which cost at least twenty dollars a year. Aside from that, apprenticeship lasts four to five years before the worker can command the full wage.

    The committee asked us to interview some stonecutters to corroborate the aforesaid. We complied, and every statement was verified. Mr. Henne, of Boldenweck and Henne, for instance, told our reporter that their best 3worker, who is always given a job if the weather permits, earned only $470 last year. The stone dealers are all in favor of the eight-hour day, because it is believed that more work is actually produced in eight hours than in ten. The work is very strenuous and fatiguing, so that only exceptionally strong people can continue for longer periods. Besides, the foremen gain more time to prepare the work, make plans, and order stone.

    It appears, accordingly, that the strike at Tomlinson and Reed's is fairly justified, as not only the stonecutters, but also other stone contractors, approve it.

    A committee of the Stonecutters' Union, consisting of Messrs. Heinrich Sonne-born and Otto Schanzenbach, visited our editorial staff yesterday, and asked for the correction of certain erroneous reports, in English ...

    German
    I D 2 a 4, I D 2 a 2
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- March 26, 1879
    The Cabinetmakers

    The cabinetmakers of Louis Glanz's factory make the following declaration: "The men went on strike because their employer reduced salaries ten to fifteen per cent. Mr. Glanz can well afford to pay former wages if he has a capable foreman. Aside from that, wages were not always paid regularly, as anyone can ascertain by reading the worker' memorandum booklets; but the latter incident has nothing to do with the strike.

    The cabinetmakers of Louis Glanz's factory make the following declaration: "The men went on strike because their employer reduced salaries ten to fifteen per cent. Mr. Glanz can well afford ...

    German
    I D 2 a 4
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- April 25, 1879
    The Aftereffect of the Riot The Trial of Former Police Commissioner Hickey

    The case of "Harmonia vs. Hickey et al." was on the docket in Judge McAllister's court yesterday afternoon and brings to our mind the regrettable occurrences at the riot two years ago. It is to be hoped that the outcome of the trial will establish definitely where Karl Tessmann died.

    It will be remembered that at the time of the riot near the Halsted Street viaduct the police rushed into the nearby Vorwaerts Turnhalle and broke up a meeting of the Carpenters' Union. The officers claimed stones were thrown from the Turnhalle. Others stated that some of the rioters fled to the hall and were pursued there by the police. At this juncture the officers of the law met with resistance, whereupon the people in the hall were attacked by the police.

    The storming of the Turnhalle was considered justified at the time due to the 2great excitement prevailing in the neighborhood, and it was generally regretted that the carpenters were holding their meeting on such an unfortunate forenoon.

    It will also be remembered, that, despite positive statements made at the time that Tessmann fell at the corner of Halsted and 16th Streets, his relatives persistently declared that the man was shot by the police while attending the meeting at the Vorwaerts Turnhalle.

    The unfortunate incident happened while the Carpenters' Aid Society, incorporated under the name "Harmonia," which had rented the hall, was in session. All damages occurring to the building, due to this police raid, were, therefore, added to the petition of the Harmonia. And, therefore, the name of the Harmonia appears as plaintiff in the damage suit against former Police Commissioner Hickey, a number of policemen, and the mayor.

    Harry Rubens, assisted by two other attorneys, represented the plaintiff; 3Corporation Counsel Tuthill was in charge of the defense.

    The case was called yesterday afternoon at two o'clock. Both parties were satisfied to let the Judge render the verdict by waiving jury trial. Therefore the proceedings started immediately.

    The plaintiff's attorney, in a brief introductory speech, offered to produce evidence showing that the defendants in person, or their subordinates, had entered the Turnhalle illegally and disbanded a meeting of peaceable citizens on July 26, 1877, thereby causing certain damages.

    Wilhelm Starkwehr was the first witness for the plaintiff. He stated that he had been and still was the financial secretary of the Harmonia, and that he was acting in that capacity at a meeting of carpenters, called by the Harmonia, at the Turnhalle on July 26, 1877. The object of the meeting, he testified, was to consider reports and prospects of shorter working hours or increased wages in the carpenter shops of the city. The meeting was a 4continuation of a session held in the same hall on the forenoon of the previous day.

    The meeting began shortly after ten o'clock, he said, and had been in progress for about half an hour, when the police rushed into the hall, where about three hundred people were assembeld, and yelled, "Get the H... out of here!" and clubbed everyone within reach.

    The witness further stated that he was sitting at a table attending to membership applications, and that the table was upset and books and cards trampled on; also, that he saw about ten policemen shooting into the crowd and belaboring it with clubs, and that the assembly fled in all directions.

    According to the witness, none of the Union members were armed. Nothing had been done to provoke the police into making such an attack. The windows of the hall had not been opened and the doors leading to the hall were ajar; admission had been denied to no one. The witness stated positively that no 5order had been given to keep out the police, and that the meeting was not a secret one.

    The next witness was Meyer Wassermann, lessee of the Vorwaerts Turnhalle at the time of the occurrence. He said that he stood at the entrance of the building while the meeting was in progress and that the assembly was exceptionally quiet; that he saw no one carrying arms; that the street was crowded and he watched the people passing by. According to his testimony, suddenly a squad of police, led by Sergeant Brennan, rushed to the hall. He told them that they had no business in the hall, and was given a trouncing and was struck in the face with revolvers. The next moment the police rushed upstairs. What happened there he did not see, but in less than two seconds men were being driven downstairs and clubbed by the police. He also heard shots. He saw Sergeant Brennan on the street shooting wildly; but did not notice anyone being struck. In the opinion of the witness, Brennan was leader of the police.

    When cross-examined, the witness testified that prior to the arrival of the 6police there was no disturbance in the hall. The barroom was closed. No one had told him to exclude the police, he said. He merely tried to prevent the raid, to avoid trouble. He admitted that considerable excitement prevailed in the neighborhood on that day due to clashes of the police with alleged rioters, but said that he knew of it only from hearsay. He asserted that he did not ask Hickey for the names of the policemen who made the raid; that it was unnecessary to do so because he [the witness] knew some of the officers personally.

    The police, he said, had never before this time been refused admittance to the Turnhalle, nor had they ever before acted in such a manner in obtaining entrance.

    The witness declared that he saw no one defending himself against the police, who were clubbing and shooting at everyone in their path; also, that after the police had left, he went into the hall and found it devastated; that on the east side, near the door, there was a large pool of blood.

    7

    In so far as he knew, the witness concluded, there was no reason why the police should have made such an attack. No one in the hall had molested the police, nor had anyone fled from the police to seek shelter there. None of the policemen said what they wanted, no warrant for a person or search warrant was shown, and the Riot Act was not read. The police merely ordered, "Get out," and did not wait for anyone to obey, but cursed and used their cudgels.

    Alderman Stauber

    Alderman Stauber was sworn in and told what he saw.

    He stood, he said, near Wassermann at the entrance to the Turnhalle. He saw a couple of teen-age boys in an alley west of the Turnhalle. These fellows threw chunks of coal at some policemen walking on the opposite side of the street. While one of the officers ran after the youngsters, a police wagon darted around the corner on Halsted Street, and both divisions stormed the 8hall. He heard Wassermann tell the officers, "This is my hall, and I don't want to have a row here," and he saw Wassermann being clubbed. During the melee he, the witness, fled and hid behind a door. He, too, was given several welts on his back as he left the building. He also saw men fleeing from the hall while being cudgeled. He heard several shots.

    George Heidenberger

    George Heidenberger, who was at the carpenters' meeting, corroborated Starkwehr's testimony regarding the unprovoked raid, and the unarmed assembly. He was struck on the head and back as he fled from the hall, he stated.

    Henry Stahl

    According to his testimony, Henry Stahl gave a speech at the beginning of the meeting and then walked downstairs to get a drink at the bar, when he noticed the police at the foot of the stairs. Before he knew what it was all about, 9he was struck with a night stick and dropped, unconscious, to the floor. The assembly was peaceable and had nothing to do with the alleged riot.

    Moritz Wassermann

    Moritz Wassermann, colessee of the hall, said that at the time of the raid he was in the barroom; that, noticing the passing crowd and the rush of the police toward the building, he locked the door leading from the stairway into the barroom; that he heard the fight on the floor above and saw the police on the stairway beating the people as they came down; that he noticed a policeman standing on the wagon and shooting wildly; that Sergeant Brennan, at a corner on Twelfth Street, was amusing himself similarly. He stated that he saw no one injured by the shooting.

    Joseph Danziger

    Joseph Danziger, chairman of the routed assembly, spoke of the peaceable 10character of the meeting and described the police raid in about the same manner as the other witnesses. He said he fled to the stage loft and heard shots, one of which passed near his head. He knew Karl Tessmann, he acknowledged, but could not say whether he was at the meeting.

    The case was then postponed until this morning at ten o'clock, when further testimony will be taken.

    The case of "Harmonia vs. Hickey et al." was on the docket in Judge McAllister's court yesterday afternoon and brings to our mind the regrettable occurrences at the riot two ...

    German
    I D 2 a 4, I D 2 a 2, II D 1, IV
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- July 04, 1879
    The Fourth of July (Editorial)

    The Republic of the United States is one hundred and three years old today. In the first year of the nation's existence, Congress provided that the flag of the United States should consist of thirteen alternating red and white stripes, and that the Union should be represented by thirteen white stars on a blue field. On the present flag, only the thirteen stripes remind one of the original thirteen states which formed the Union; the blue field now contains thirty-nine stars instead of thirteen; and our eight territories give promise of developing into additional states, so that some of our readers will live to see forty-five (sic) stars in the blue field of our banner.

    The flag, which at one time represented a small republic of farmers and planters, is today the emblem of the mightiest and freest country on earth. Our Constitution enables anyone to improve his position, and entire classes of the population 2are given tremendous leeway, as far as laws are concerned.

    The worst place for the red flag, emblem of the social revolution, is therefore next to The Star-Spangled Banner, because the latter presents no obstacles, even to the discussion of the most radical questions, and provides for a peaceful, gradual solution of all problems by due process of law.

    The great majority of our local knights of the red flag seem to realize this, because, regardless of the agitation of the several leaders, the demonstration for the eight-hour day will be a peaceful, lawful affair. Not only will any tilt with the law be avoided, but the arrangers of the parade even give assurances that the demonstration in no way represents an introduction to a general strike; the mass movement is merely adopted to make impressive the insistence of labor for shorter working hours.

    Reports received from other cities also show that the demonstrations scheduled for the Fourth of July are only in furtherance of the eight-hour workday--a 3principle of labor--and the parades on that day are no forerunners of general strikes or violence.

    Communist newspapers in the East threatened a general uprising only a few days ago, and predicted other fearful events. But it appears that the labor unions taking part in the demonstrations have the upper hand, and most members prefer The Star-Spangled Banner to the red rag.

    The Republic of the United States is one hundred and three years old today. In the first year of the nation's existence, Congress provided that the flag of the United ...

    German
    I H, I D 2 a 4