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.

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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- June 10, 1867
    Our Financial Legislators

    "Every evil [has] its good," says an old proverb. The truth of the adage is again evident with respect to the heavy debt which we incurred through the great War of the Rebellion. Of course, now that the first great joy caused by our glorious victory has passed, and the immense increase in business brought about by post-war demands has given place to a strong reaction, and taxes are becoming burdensome, hardly anybody will join in the old reckless cry of sanguine Americans--that our debts are a benefit, even though the benefit is disguised. Yet no one will deny that our debt has some good, some "redeeming" features. Necessity teaches us to pray; but necessity also teaches us that we must work. The bitter but salutary lesson of necessity was required to persuade the proud South, which had sunk into idleness, to be more energetic, and to recognize its appalling lack of knowledge and industrial ambition. And the results will be very beneficial for the South. Similarly, a great and perpetually active force like the tax burden which was placed upon the people was needed to put an end 2to the whole Union's thoughtless squandering of public property and neglect of the vast resources which are at our disposal. Of course, the evil of squandering public property is too deeply rooted in all our legislative and administrative branches to be removed immediately. Politicians of all classes and parties, public officials, and the people themselves, are so accustomed to having ample means and regarding the wealth and the resources of the United States as inexhaustible, that much time will elapse and many bitter experiences will have to be borne, before our legislators and administrators will be guided and governed by strict rules of economy. However, the time will come when we will be forced to examine our resources, and then at least an attempt will be made to use them in the interest of the public. Also, and what is more important, the people will finally understand that only those men are fit to serve them as legislators who, besides being honest and loyal, also have a thorough knowledge of and experience in the administration of finances and political economy.

    The experiences of the United States financial administrators during the past 3few years cannot fail to serve as a lesson to the people of the United States and to our legislators in Congress. It is true that Americans pay little attention to the opinions of Europeans, unless the latter flatter their national vanity. However, though Americans continue to pay ever so dearly for their indifference toward the good advice which comes from abroad now and then, the day will finally come when they will begin to heed that advice.

    If the gentlemen who make our laws would ask themselves why American bonds that pay six per cent interest are sold in London at seventy-two, while English bonds that pay three per cent interest are sold there at ninety, and the same American bonds are sold in Paris at seventy-eight, while an issue of French bonds paying three and one-half per cent are sold at sixty-eight, they would find that the credit of the United States, that is, faith in their ability and willingness to pay their debts, is much lower than the credit of England, and that even France, which is ever threatened by a terrible social revolution, has a better credit standing than the great, wealthy, powerful, Union. And yet, all Europe acknowledges not only the great riches of the United States and the stability and solidity 4which the Republic attained and displayed during the recent war, but also the American people's honesty and willingness to sacrifice. An article entitled "The National Debt of America" which appeared May 25, in the London Times makes the following assertion:

    "In the face of urgent necessity, the American Congress did not hesitate to levy heavy taxes, and the American people submitted to them with a willingness that surprised even America's own statesmen. For several years America has been the most highly taxed nation of the world. Not even the English or Dutch are so constantly and variously taxed as the citizens of this Republic."

    However, the London Times also calls attention to the truly foolish extravagance of American legislatures, not only of Congress, but also of the state legislatures. Wherever the burden of taxes has been increased by maladministration, or, if the rumor be true, by something worse, as is the case in New York and other large cities, the burden thus imposed upon individuals must be very great indeed. And now we are told that despite all sacrifices the debt of the United States is not 5decreasing. The Times finds a cause for this situation in extravagance and financial maladministration. It makes a comparison between the American Congress and the English Parliament.

    "The former," it says, "consists of people who hail from all parts of the country, neither know one another nor have any experience in political economy, and therefore are not fit persons to administer the finances of the country, while Parliament has always been 'the watchdog' of the National Treasury of England and a close observer of the actions of English ministers."

    These are bitter truths, yet nobody can refute them. Of course, it can at least be said to the credit of the American people that the political character of their representatives, and the stand of the latter on the burning issues of the day, on the Rebellion and subsequent reconstruction, heretofore so engrossed the attention of the electorate, that a discussion of the financial ability and experience of political candidates was very limited, and, in most cases, entirely ignored. In 6addition, it must be said that in previous periods of legislation political and financial issues were not nearly as important as those which are now before Congress, and that the American people are not yet accustomed to demanding from their public officials a knowledge of public finances.

    But necessity will prove to be an excellent teacher for the American nation and for its lawmakers. The people will make different demands upon their representatives, and the latter will be obliged to pay more attention to the will of the people. The people will live up to the reputation of being eminently practical. They will surely be able to elect men who are the equal of the members of England's Parliament, as far as knowledge of financial matters is concerned--men who have the interest of the entire nation at heart, which cannot be said of the English "money barons" who are supposed to guide the "good ship Albion".

    After the great work of political reconstruction has been accomplished, our nation will devote itself to financial, industrial, and economical reconstruction, and then we shall be recipients of one of the greatest benefits that can 7be bestowed upon a nation, and which we will not esteem and appreciate less, because it will be one of the good results of the Rebellion and of our great national debt.

    "Every evil [has] its good," says an old proverb. The truth of the adage is again evident with respect to the heavy debt which we incurred through the great War ...

    German
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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- December 27, 1867
    The Whiskey Tax Swindle (Editorial)

    Chicago boasts that it is the metropolis of the West, as New York is the metropolis of the East. Unfortunately, however, this similarity extends not only to the result of legitimate, but also illegitimate, enterprise. It is a most deplorable fact that, in Chicago, the Government is defrauded of just as enormous sums, through the notorious whiskey tax fraud, as are lost in the same manner in New York.

    Illinois, as everybody knows, or at least should know, produces more whiskey than any other state of the Union; twenty million gallons per year is a conservative estimate of the local production. But the statistics for the last fiscal year show that the receipts in whiskey taxes amounted to only $400,000. That means that taxes were paid for only one out of every one hundred gallons. So, for every $200 that should have been received by the treasury from this 2source, only 200 cents were actually received.

    This state of affairs is certainly revolting in the extreme. It probably has no parallel in the entire history of United States taxes. The monetary loss thus suffered by the people is bad enough; the consumers of whiskey actually pay the tax; as it is included in the sale price of the product. However, since not the Government, but thievish distillers and government officials receive the tax, the amount thus lost to the Federal treasury must be supplied through other taxes. Not Andrew Johnson, not McCollough, are defrauded, but Peter and John and every other citizen of the United States, yea, every resident of our country, because each and every person in America pays a tax on everything that he buys--either directly or indirectly. Thus, every inhabitant of the United States has a right to look upon these thievish distillers and their partners in crime, the bribed Federal officers, as mean, low thieves, who have taken money from his pocket.

    But the worst part of this unparalleled success of the whiskey swindle is that 3the public in general does not share our view of this matter; that the defrauders can continue their evil practices undisturbed; that they need not fear that they will be ostracized from decent society by public opinion; thanks to their ill-gotten gains, they can occupy prominent places in those circles in which the possession of wealth is the criterion of respect.

    Such fraudulent practices corrupt our entire public life; for if the public notices that people acquire honor and wealth through acts which merit a sentence to the penitentiary, but that honest businessmen are ruined through inability to compete with thieves, it must accustom itself to the thought that dishonesty and ignorance are identical terms. Thus the natural sense of right and morals is lost and success becomes the only criterion of morality. We are actually not very far from the moral teaching of the Spartans, who considered a cleverly executed theft a virtue, and condemned and despised a thief only if his infamous deed was discovered. If logic has any value, we may be sure that such demoralization of public opinion must ultimately lead to the downfall of the performance of duties assumed by the nation as a whole.

    4

    It is perfectly clear that the colossal fraud practiced in connection with the collection of the whiskey tax could not be carried on if the tax officials were not guilty of accepting bribes. It is not humanly possible that these officers could be so ignorant as to be duped by the distillers. Why should they be the only persons who are unaware of matters that are known to every businessman? And how could the accounts in tax books be correct unless they were manipulated with the full knowledge and consent of the respective Federal employees? Or can anyone imagine that tax officials know nothing of it when raw whiskey is pumped from the cellars of bonded warehouses to rectifiers located on the second story? Can anybody imagine that they know nothing of it when unusually large quantities of whiskey are entered upon the books as "leakage" or "loss through distillation," so that very little remains to be taxed? Or can anybody conceive that educated men are not aware that "something is rotten in the state of Denmark" when frequently entire shipments disappear in transit from a local bonded warehouse to one in New York (according to distillers' records) and no claim is filed against the carriers by the owners of the liquor?

    No, indeed. Mentally sound people do not doubt in the least that distillers and 5tax officials are working hand in hand, and that the latter also must be prosecuted if the former are to be brought to account before court. Congress should appoint a committee to investigate the administration of local tax collectors and their relations with the distillers. Any Federal employee who would offer lame excuses, or refuse to answer questions excepting in the presence of a counsel, or resort to other well-known subterfuges, should be looked upon and treated as an accessory to a crime; for it is as clear as day that a man who knows that he is innocent will do everything in his power to facilitate an investigation. The truth can stand the test of a rigid investigation.

    This is what can be done by legislation to decrease the evil (for there is no hope that it can be entirely removed):

    1) The quantity of mash can be taxed, instead of the amount of distilled liquer.

    2) Bonded warehouses can be abolished and any credit whatever for taxes refused to those who must pay them.

    6

    3) A penitentiary sentence can be meted out for every fraud, offer or acceptance of a bribe, and for every attempt to "fix a case".

    4) Immunity can be given to those participants in fraud who act as informers or government witnesses.

    This last recommendation is in agreement with the proposal which was made to the New York Constitutional Convention, by Mr. Opdyke, for the prevention of bribing legislators. We see no reason why the principle could not be applied to bribing administrative officers of the Government. It is a desperate means to use an accessory in crime for the purpose of convicting and punishing his partner in crime; but this procedure is not new to English law. Many a leader of criminals has been brought to justice through evidence furnished by one of his band.

    "Settling" a case against perpatrators of fraud--a practice frequently resorted to in tax fraud cases--only tends to encourage transgression of Federal laws. It is known that, in following this method of disposing of cases, the guilty 7one is often set at liberty after paying only one-fourth or even a smaller fraction of the amount which would normally have been paid. In these instances, the tax administrators are actually accessories in robbing the people. The abuse can be removed only if tax frauds are classed as a felony, thus excluding any possibility of a settlement," which would then become a compound felony.

    We hope that the members of Congress will devote their Christmas vacation to a good purpose--to making a thorough investigation of this morass of crime, and gathering facts and figures to back up their demand that the Government "clean house" thoroughly.

    Not only the reputation of Chicago and Illinois, but also the moral welfare of the nation, is at stake.

    Chicago boasts that it is the metropolis of the West, as New York is the metropolis of the East. Unfortunately, however, this similarity extends not only to the result of ...

    German
    I F 6
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- April 09, 1868
    Yesterday's Primary Election Frauds in the Second ward

    There was a lively participation in the various wards in the primary election held yesterday, and in some wards there was a real rash to the polls. The people who fraudulent forced Gough's candidacy for alderman upon the citizens of the second ward have undoubtedly taught independent Republicans of that ward that a nomination which has been brought about by such means is not equivalent to election.

    The same suspicious characters who succeeded in preventing the nomination of our German countryman, II. Spier, last year, were again active at the polls in the second ward yesterday, for the purpose of nominating one of those "mysterious failures" in the person of Gough, who will do everything but represent the interests of the second ward. The hack drivers, warren and Reed, were especially active in his behalf, and their hacks and express wagons made regular trips between the polls of the first and second wards, in order to throw the ballots of illegal voters in the balance for the benefit of Bolshaw, the 2friend and patron of Chicago prize fighters. Only by exerting themselves to the utmost, did the decent citizens of the first ward succeed in averting the shame of Bolshaw's nomination from the Republican party in Chicago, and in nominating Cox. However, in the second ward, the clique accomplished its end, and Gough won the election from his opponent, Laflin--by fraud; but the citizens of the second ward are determined not to submit to this imposition; the recurrence of the tactics employed at last year's election has caused deep and wide spread indignation, especially among the German voters.

    A meeting will soon be called to place the name of another aldermanic candidate on the ballot, and he will receive the support of all Republicans who have the welfare of the ward and the Republican party at heart.

    The happenings of yesterday again prove that greater precautions are necessary to keep the Republican primaries clean, and it will be the task of the city central committee, which is to be elected, to take the necessary steps to insure honest balloting in the future. Hereafter, lists of Republican voters 3must be in the hands of the election inspectors on the day when the primary election is held, to prevent the fraudulent occurences of yesterday.

    The other candidates for alderman are, on the whole, men whose character and social position merit respect, and who will help to win a victory for the Republican party on April 21.

    From the reports which have been published thus far, General Smith and Lyle King appear to be the leading candidates for the office of delegate to the convention; Mr. Christ Loeding seems to have the best chances for the office of clerk. No doubt the convention will make appointments this afternoon which will do full justice to the Republican party.

    There was a lively participation in the various wards in the primary election held yesterday, and in some wards there was a real rash to the polls. The people who ...

    German
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  • Chicago Times -- January 06, 1871
    Grant Versus Jussen

    In answer to the letter of Orville S. Grant, Esq. to President Grant, published in the morning papers, Col. E. Jussen, collector of internal revenue, has sent the following dispatch to the commissioner of internal revenue:

    "The Chicago papers published a letter purporting to have been written on June 18, 1870 by Orville S. Grant, Esq., to President Grant, charging me with corruptly suppressing a prosecution instituted against Kirchhoff & Co., distillers, for violation of the revenue laws. This charge, as well as every other direct or indirect insinuation against my integrity contained in said letter, is a malicious falsehood. The case against Kirchhoff & Co. is on the trial docket for the present term of the United States District Court. If the letter in question is genuine and published by authority, I respectfully demand an immediate investigation."

    Edmund Jussen

    Collector, First District of Illinois

    In answer to the letter of Orville S. Grant, Esq. to President Grant, published in the morning papers, Col. E. Jussen, collector of internal revenue, has sent the following dispatch ...

    German
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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- March 08, 1871
    Editorial:"The Dictators of the Erie Railroad."

    "Vanderbilt, Gould and Fisk are typical of the American finance and railroad world. They do openly what the directors of other companies do under cover and which is the fleecing of share-holders, and of the public with the help of the legislature and the Courts of New York. From time to time the great public is permitted to take a look behind the curtain, as a year and a half ago, in "The Chapters on Erie" by Charles Francis Adams, Jr., and since then, through the various attempts made by the unfortunate shareholders to rid themselves of the dictators.

    One connection is that of Gould and Fisk, with Tweed and Sweeney and these dictators of the New York City, and State democracy, makes it all but impossible to attack and to shake the dictatorship over the Erie. The further development of the fight will determine the judgment of the world about the Courts and the Legislature of New York.

    "Vanderbilt, Gould and Fisk are typical of the American finance and railroad world. They do openly what the directors of other companies do under cover and which is the fleecing ...

    German
    I D 1 a, I F 6, II E 1
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- April 18, 1871
    The Temperance Movement.

    This being reported from the three main police stations that altogether about 60 Innkeepers have been denounced for not closing their inns (on Sunday). Nothing as yet has happened to them, but the denunciation is bad enough...The root of the evil-as we said on occasion of the Leonard Scanland Murder trial is the desire to save face... If every German were to carry around in his coat pocket his bottle of beer and were secretly to take a swig in this and that corner, nobody would care...Is it not the same thing with prize-fighting which is being severely punished but attended neverthe less always by the highest officials?

    The personified illustration of this face saving attitude, the most consummate representative of hypocricy is(chief of police) Mark Sheridan. He and Mayor Mason, the products of the greatest hypocritical movement, the People's Reform-Swindle of 1869, are responsible for the newly started policy of intolerance.

    We soon will have occasion to show how from this side also other German interests are opposed, and the German influence is being systematically undermined.

    This being reported from the three main police stations that altogether about 60 Innkeepers have been denounced for not closing their inns (on Sunday). Nothing as yet has happened to ...

    German
    I B 2, I F 6, I C, I F 4
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- April 29, 1871
    United States Constitution.

    Editorial:- Supreme Court and Paper-Money.

    Last year the Supreme Court, then consisting of eight judges, gave a decision regarding the forced course ("Zwangskurs") of paper money. The court decided by five votes to three that the pegged course should have no retroactive effect in regard to payments or promises of payments made before its introduction(in other words that older contracts were to be fulfilled in gold.)

    This decision made a great deal of difference in the budgets of railroad companies, towns, etc...many hoped that in one way or the other the Supreme Court might be prevailed upon to reverse its decision. How they might have contributed to such an outcome will probably always remain a secret, but the fact remains that such a reversal has taken place thanks to the nomination of two judges who as attorneys for the two biggest railroad companies of the East had the greatest possible interest in such a reversal.

    The two judges are Strong and Bradley. Their nomination(thanks to the fact that meanwhile Grier had dropped out) brought the membership of the Supreme Court to nine.

    2

    None of the judges who participated in the former decision changed his mind. But the decision was reversed nonetheless by a vote of 5 to 4.

    We disagreed with the first decision....however, that a Supreme Court decision once made should be reversed in such a way and by such means as in this case.....

    If the question was only (Sic!) one of common ethics, of social or political attitude, the reversal of a former opinion through a later one would only mean that judges, too, stand under the influence of the views of their age-Nobody will ask of the Supreme Court that, because it decided in 1858 that Negroes are not to be regarded as human beings but only as chattel, it must today uphold the validity of this decision. But such is not the present case. Here the question is one of a simple application of Constitutional law in judging a bill under circumstances that should exclude all vague moral feelings or inclinations. In such a case it is more important that a decision once given, even if it appears doubtful to many, should be maintained than that a new, possibly more popular decision is rendered.

    3

    The Constitution lets no limit to the membership of the Supreme Court, and if the ruling party only needs to nominate a few judges in order to make the minority a majority and to have former decisions reversed, then the Supreme Court ceases to be a tribunal of arbitration above the parties...

    All such things the present decision of the Supreme Court makes appear as possibilities-may they never change from theoretical possibilities into practical probabilities.

    Editorial:- Supreme Court and Paper-Money. Last year the Supreme Court, then consisting of eight judges, gave a decision regarding the forced course ("Zwangskurs") of paper money. The court decided by ...

    German
    I F 6, I J
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- July 31, 1871
    [Political Matters]

    The meeting of the Workers' Association for Social Politics which was held yesterday at 113 Milwaukee Avenue was very well attended. Mr. Zimpel took the chair. Mr. C. Klings gave the main address. He pointed to an article in the Illinois Staats Zeitung which had all too clearly shown the mistakes of the worker's movements heretofore. The workers must take care not to let themselves be hoaxed again by the professional politicians.

    In 1869 the People's Party accepted the workers' program but not a single one of the People's candidates who were elected kept his promises. Now they had asked Karl Schurz to come, so that his nimbus may throw a glory around the reform humbug. Schurz, however, had shown himself in his true light last year in St. Louis, so that any thinking worker could easily see through him. He would adopt any political persuasion that his interest dictated...Where is there any difference between politicians? Democrats, Republicans, and the reformer Schurz all worked for the land theft from the people by the Northern Pacific Railroad. If the workers were not able to name their own candidates, at least they should not permit themselves to be used by the spoilsmen and office hounds.

    The meeting of the Workers' Association for Social Politics which was held yesterday at 113 Milwaukee Avenue was very well attended. Mr. Zimpel took the chair. Mr. C. Klings gave ...

    German
    I F 6, I D 1 a
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- October 04, 1871
    [Political Matters]

    The German citizens of the western part of the 16th ward, the so-called Bavarian settlement, yesterday had their first meeting at 775 N. Halsted street, in order to consult and come to an agreement on who would be the best man to represent the common interests of this large and in part still "original" district of Chicago. The hall was filled to its capacity; about 100 prominent, long-time citizens, mostly German, discussed animatedly the selection of candidates.

    Mr. Carl Haussner was elected permanent chairman, and Mr. George Menzel, secretary - both by acclamation. Mr. Snyder gave the main address. He proved that no city district was so neglected by the City Council from beginning on as the Bavarian settlement. This German district counts for nothing in the eyes of the honorable aldermen. The numerous population has to pay more than its share into the city treasury without getting anything in return. Because it is a German district, nobody had thought to connect it with the city sewers or the gas and water pipes. Never since the district was settled has an alderman come from there. They hail without exception from the aristocratic eastern part of the 16th ward; and so it has come about that in the east everything has been fixed up and the value of real estate has been multiplied. 2While the western, German part, in many ways seem only a village, even though the people must pay the high city taxes.

    These conditions have engendered the determination to nominate this time a man from the Bavarian settlement as alderman; in the place of Tyler, Mr. B. Miller was recommended, and accepted the nomination. To report on other suitable candidates for alderman a committee of five was nominated, consisting of Messrs. Peter Regitz, Mathias Mathis, Edward Schmeisser, H. Russer, and J. H. Snyder.

    The German citizens of the western part of the 16th ward, the so-called Bavarian settlement, yesterday had their first meeting at 775 N. Halsted street, in order to consult and ...

    German
    I F 1, I F 3, I F 4, I F 6, V A 1, I C
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- November 06, 1871
    [Political Matters]

    Tomorrow the citizens of Cook County will be able to show if the misfortune that has come over Chicago shall not at least have the one good result that the bums and scoundrels who have remained on the property of the city like leeches are put into discard.

    The ticket that has been presented to the public by the central committees of both parties consists of a series of names which belong to the best and most esteemed of the city. They are the names of men to whom every citizen could intrust his private fortune without anxiety. Men, who unlike C. C. P. Holder (candidate of the opposition) do not use up the charity funds intrusted to them to ride around in buggies, nor would they keep them in their own pockets, nor use them to enrich Irish schnaps-keepers, in order to buy votes through them. They are on the contrary, men whose names alone are sufficient to get for the city the credit which it so urgently needs.

    Shall a fellow whom the whole German public for years has been pointing out as an incendiary - be elected as a representative of German intelligence and honesty? Shall our police and our fire department (the impotence and inefficiency of which four weeks ago has been so glaringly exposed) remain an Irish Democratic organization, worse than the disreputable New York municipal 2police? If this should happen, it would be a terrible blow for the honor, the good name, and the credit of Chicago.

    Tomorrow the citizens of Cook County will be able to show if the misfortune that has come over Chicago shall not at least have the one good result that the ...

    German
    I F 1, I F 4, I F 5, I F 6, I C