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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  • Skandinaven -- May 04, 1880
    Oldest Settler Dies

    Sivert Amundsen, who died a few days ago, was the oldest Norwegian settler in Chicago. He came to Chicago in 1844. At that time, Chicago was but a small village, containing just a few buildings mostly located north of the river.

    Amundsen started as a shipbuilder and followed this trade for nearly thirty years. He built up one of the largest industries of its kind west of New York.

    Sivert Amundsen, who died a few days ago, was the oldest Norwegian settler in Chicago. He came to Chicago in 1844. At that time, Chicago was but a small village, ...

    Norwegian
    III F, II A 2, IV
  • Svenska Tribunen -- February 02, 1881
    Progress Among the Swedish Americans.

    EDITORIAL: It is only about 36 years since Swedes began to think of emigration from Sweden to America. Up to that time the great Swedish populace had only heard tell of this country as, "far, far away on the other side of the world," or "at the end of the world," where nobody, except bold adventurers, dared to go, and where all were savages and criminals.

    There were only three Swedes in Chicago in 1843 and they were, no doubt, the only ones in the whole of Illinois and the Northwest. Through one of them, Gustaf Flack, Erick Janson and his followers got information about America.

    After their arrival in 1845-50 the way was opened, and has been ever since, for hundreds of thousands of countrymen, who, with their descendants now form the many "settlements" in Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska.

    It is wellknown that the majority of these Swedish immigrants have come from the 2less fortunate classes of our old country; that they met with many difficulties at home. Their trials and experiments in this land are not secrets either. It is also well known that they have not desired to "push" themselves forward as other immigrants have done.

    Their progress on account of these circumstances has been comparatively slow, but that they have been confident, is shown by the general prosperity among them. The carefulness with which they work for their spiritual welfare and the interest they show in all questions in regard to their new country are evidences of progress. Illinois is the State which was first peopled by Swedes, most of them are settled.

    The Swedish population of Chicago has grown from 3 persons in 1843 to about 25,000 and in the State to 75,000.

    The first immigrants who arrived were in the depths of poverty, ignorant of everything concerning the history of this land, its qualifications and position 3among the nations. But the Swedes in Illinois of today are counted as the most educated Americanized immigrants.

    The Swedes bought 80 acres of land in 1846 and now they own some 400,000 acres. Some of them are owners of 1,000 acres each and farms of 400 to 500 acres are quite common.

    The first Swedish church service was conducted 35 years ago in a tent, but the Swedes of this state now worshiping God in 100 different temples, some of them built in the same style and size as in the old country. Chicago alone has 9 Swedish church denominations with just as many churches. There are two great Swedish high schools in this state, many smaller schools, dozens of factories, hundreds of smaller machine shops and thousands of skilful workers.

    Books, newspapers and other literature has become widely used and in circulation. This business was started 30 years ago, when "Homeland Songs" were re-printed and continued with the distribution of Luthers' Catechism. We have now in Chicago 4a bookstore, valued at $25,000.00 of this many prominent works have been distributed.

    The newspapers have expanded tremendously. Beginning with a little sheet not larger than one of our Sunday school papers, the press has,year by year, grown to such an extent that we now have a dozen large weekly Swedish papers, some of them more widely distributed than any such periodicals in Sweden. At least 40,000 copies of Swedish newspapers are printed and distributed in Chicago every week besides the many monthly and bi-weekly papers.

    The Swedes in this State have won many valuable political victories through this press. There are some 15,000 Swedes in Illinois, who have the right to vote and, thanks to them, the Republicans won out.

    The Swedes have clearly shown that they are not behind any other nationality in the United States, but it seems that they have not lived up to a certain social standard. The Swedes in America is very willing to affiliate with other church 5denomination and to give generously to the upkeep of the church. He is also politically interested but seems to prefer isolated life. We mean, in other words, that there is not any real sociability among us yet. If the Swedes were more sociable, the Swedish homes would become brighter in the New World, the life happier and the people as a whole be more able to participate in the great work of cultivation, and development of America.

    EDITORIAL: It is only about 36 years since Swedes began to think of emigration from Sweden to America. Up to that time the great Swedish populace had only heard tell ...

    Swedish
    III A, III C, III F, III G, I J
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- March 26, 1881
    Friedrich Hecker

    The robust health of Friedrich Hecker was indicative of a long life, but a stroke of paralysis a few days ago ended the colorful career of this fighter for liberty.

    Hecker was born on September 28, 1811, at Eichtersheim, in Baden. He received an excellent education, and became a very successful lawyer in the city of Mannheim.... His political career began in 1842, when he was elected representative to the Parliament of Baden. Be immediately became one of the most prominent leaders of the opposition party, defending the rights of the people. He also fought for a united Germany, this at a time when Prissia and Austria were still absolutist countries. He thus commanded the attention of all the German people.

    At the outbreak of the revolution in 1848, Hecker became the leader of the 2Republican Party of South Germany. He engaged in a combat with the regular Baden and Hessian troops at Constans, on April 12, 1848, but was defeated at Kamden, on April 20. Hecker then became a political refugee in Switzerland, with hardly any friends. While in exile, he was repeatedlly elected by the district of Thiengen, in Baden, as representative to the parliament in Frankfurt, although the majority declared the election of one guilty of high treason to be null and void.

    In September of the same year, having lost faith in the progress of the cause of liberty in Germany, he emigrated to America, where he was received most enthusiastically. He came to Illinois and bought a farm in St. Claire's County, which remained his residence throughout his life....

    Hecker joined the yet young Republican party in the fight against slavery, and 3toured the East and the West in 1856, giving enthusiastic speeches in favor or Mr. Fremont, the Republican presidential condidate.

    Immediately after the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted as common soldier in the Regiment of Volunteers, formed in St. Louis by Franz Sigel, his countryman. While there he was appointed Commander of the 24th Infantry Regiment of Volunteers of Illinois. With this German regiment he went into the field of action. Nevertheless, the discord among his officers resulted in his early resignation. German patriotism was not dead, however, and the German citizens of Chicago, assisted by the Staats-Zeitung, formed in 1862 another German regiment, known as the 82nd Infantry Regiment of the Volunteers of Illinois, standing under Hecker's command. As a constituent to the Eleventh Army Corps of the Potomac 4army, this regiment fought under Hooker the battle of Virginia against Gerneral Lee in 1863, and was also engaged in the bloody combat at Chancellorsville. There Colonel Hecker received a serious injury to his leg on May 3, while repelling Stonewall Jackson's forces. It was then that our troops suffered heavily, and nothing could have saved Hecker from being captured if it were not for his presence of mind. With supernatural will-power, disregarding the dangerous wound, he dragged himself into safety, behind trees and shrubs. He was taken to the home of his brother-in-law, Doctor Tiedemann, in Philadelphia, as soon as his condition permitted him to travel. At the end of convalescence he returned to the command of his regiment, which together with the Eleventh corps was transferred to the Western front. Hecker thus fought the battle of Chattanooga culminating in victory under General Grant. Not yet fully recovered from the war injury he resigned and returned to his farm in Illinois.

    5

    Although retired from the army, Hecker's interest in public affairs did not diminish. And once again, during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71, he showed that his love for Germany was not extinct and that he remained a patriot of that country just as much as he proved an ardent Republican here. This he demonstrated in a magnificent speech delivered in St. Louis on the occasion of the victory of the German army. But he delivered an equally excellent fourth of July address the same year, at a Turner festival in Indiana, glorifying the American Republican Fatherland. He participated in the National Convention of the Liberals in Cincinnati, in May 1872. However, after the appointment of Greeley, he had become thoroughly disgusted with the Liberal movement and displayed a neutrality with almost a friendly attitude toward Grant. Nevertheless he supported the Democratic party at the election of members of Congress in 1874, which however was a manoenvre in order to bring about the unity of the 6corrupt Republican Party. But during the last two presidential elections he had resumed his old associations with the Republican Party. He was well-known for his excellent character and for his quick temper. He had been a correspondent for the Illinois Staats-Zeitung for many years, although he occasionally disagreed with the publisher over the "struggle between the state and the church in Prussia."

    Nevertheless, his articles have been published by this newspaper without any interruption and only the other day we published his noble protest against the persecution of Jews in Germany. As a foe of the Temperance movement, he has written many a word with a dynamic force behind it against the ill doings of fanatics.

    7

    In tribute to the memory of Friedrich Heckner we again publish these excellent words, an extract from a letter written by him to his Chicago companions in arms, four months ago.

    "The warm invitation from you, my courageous brothers in arms, who were among the first to offer yourselves at the altar of the great union, now leading the march of nations, perplexing thereby the entire world, was for me a panacea which rendered me oblivious to my suffering. All the struggles and disappointments of life diminish for each of us at the mere thought, that we too have helped with manly loyalty and devotion in building this great structure of Democracy, watching and guarding that precious institution. Especially now, since the ship of this mighty nation is piloted by our genial citizen-soldier, I would appreciate to meet you, old and loyal comrades, to recall with you the 8past and make plans for the future. But advancing years and poor health forbid me this happy reunion.... Convey, please, to each comrade my brotherly salute and my deepest appreciation for the high honor and the preservation of kind memories for their old commander."

    The robust health of Friedrich Hecker was indicative of a long life, but a stroke of paralysis a few days ago ended the colorful career of this fighter for liberty. ...

    German
    IV, II B 1 c 3, II B 2 d 1, II B 3, I B 1, I F 3, III D, III F, I C, I G
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- July 01, 1887
    Music in Chicago. Hans Balatka's Lecture Delivered at the Music Teachers' Convention.

    The Music Teachers' Convention was resumed, yesterday, with many speakers on the program......Hans Balatka delivered a very interesting lecture at the afternoon session, on: "What is the Outlook for the Organizing of a Permanent Orchestra for Chicago?" Mr. Balatka's creative work in the field of music is known throughout America and he is one of the leading musicians of this country. He said: "In contrast to the speakers preceding me who spoke of singing lessons, technique in piano playing, and philosophy of the fine arts, I wish to speak of musical local history, and of the creations of our musical pioneers. The first move for an orchestra in Chicago was made in 1853-1854, when Julius Dyrhenfurth brought with him twelve men from New York, giving Chicago a regular concert season during that winter.

    2

    Through lack of interest shown by the Chicago public, the company was forced to dissolve at the end of the season. Shortly afterwards, some of our music enthusiasts invited C. Bergmann, former conductor of the recently dissolved Germania Orchestra of Boston, to come to Chicago putting great hopes in his ability to form a society of musicians. But this project failed to be realized. It was in 1885 when under H. Ahner, a former member of the Germania Orchestra, the first orchestra concerts were given in Chicago. They continued this work through several seasons when they also were forced to dissolve for lack of financial support. This was the indirect cause of Mr. Ahner's death...........In 1860 I was requested to direct Mozart's Requiem at the Holy Name Cathedral which performance was repeated at Bryan Hall. This great success inspired a large number of music lovers to form a Philharmonic Society which then worked for several years with a marked success.

    3

    The new Crosby's opera house and the Italian operas performed there dealt again a death blow to our orchestra concerts and the Philharmonic Society. Not discouraged by these adverse conditions I decided to become the leader of my own orchestra, when, in the middle of the third season I found that I had sacrificed $2,000 of my own money, thus becoming convinced that Chicago was not interested in the concerts. The "Great Fire" and the business depression of 1873 -1876 added only to the indifference towards symphonic music. Another attempt was made in 1879 to reorganize the Philharmonic Society, but in vain. One reason why all attempts to give Chicago orchestra music failed is because there is a lack of appreciation. The second reason is the inefficacy of conductors and their friends.

    What I mean to say is, that the conductor of a singing society is not a fit person to conduct the performance of difficult compositions. Contrary to the belief of Europeans we have here exceedingly well trained musicians, who are well qualified to be members of any orchestra. How is it possible, then, that Chicago in spite of the high class professional musicians can not call a permanent orchestra its own?

    4

    The answer is simple: "Because an orchestra is not wanted." There are rumors that Chicago will have symphony concerts during the winter season. Let them come here, they will find numerous tombstones under which the ashes of many ambitious undertakings repose and if this does not scare them, then we say, "Come along, you gentlemen. In this little musical cemetery is always room for one more, just as it is in an omnibus; always room for one more passenger."

    The Music Teachers' Convention was resumed, yesterday, with many speakers on the program......Hans Balatka delivered a very interesting lecture at the afternoon session, on: "What is the Outlook for the ...

    German
    II A 3 b, IV, III F
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- June 06, 1888
    Lutheran Wartburg Synod.

    The German Lutheran Wartburg Synod, established twelve years ago in Chicago have today begun their annual conference at the St. Petri church. During the Sunday afternoon four graduates from the Chicago Preacher Seminary shall be ordained. The Wartburg Synod whose members live in the states of Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa is closely associated with the "General Synod" which comprises twenty three districts. The General Synod of the Evangelical-Lutheran church of the United States was founded in 1821.

    The German Lutheran Wartburg Synod, established twelve years ago in Chicago have today begun their annual conference at the St. Petri church. During the Sunday afternoon four graduates from the ...

    German
    III C, III F, III A
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- September 24, 1888
    Bohemian Monument Association

    The "Bohemian Monument Association" is an organization which has proposed to erect a monument for those Bohemian soldiers, who took part in the Revolutionary War and sacrificed their lives for their new fatherland.

    The following officials were elected last Saturday: William Kaspar, President; James Cermak, Secretary; J. Wemeck, Treasurer. Nearly all local Bohemian clubs were represented. A committee was appointed to draw up the by-laws. The next meeting will take place the following Sunday at the "Bohemian Athletic Club", when preparations will be made for the collection of funds.

    The "Bohemian Monument Association" is an organization which has proposed to erect a monument for those Bohemian soldiers, who took part in the Revolutionary War and sacrificed their lives for ...

    Bohemian
    II C, III D, III F, IV
  • Svenska Tribunen -- June 19, 1890
    An Interesting Lecture

    was delivered last Saturday at the Central Music Hall by Professor R.B.Anderson, the former American Ambassador to Denmark.

    He spoke of the Norsemen's (the men from the North) explorations of America long before the days of Columbus. He gave an interesting account of the expeditions made to America by our forefathers in the tenth, eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and drew a word-picture of the history of the first Norseman's colony on American soil. This colony was founded in the year 1007, in what is now Massachusetts, by Thorfinn Karlsefne and his wife Gudrid, who arrived here accompanied by 151 men and 7 women. It is claimed that Gudrid gave birth to the first white child born on the American continent. This child, a boy, later became known as Snorre Thorfinson, from whom the world-famous Danish sculptor, Thorwaldsen, among others, claims his ancestry. All in all it was a very interesting and educational lecture, which was deserving of a much larger audience than the one present that evening.

    was delivered last Saturday at the Central Music Hall by Professor R.B.Anderson, the former American Ambassador to Denmark. He spoke of the Norsemen's (the men from the North) explorations of ...

    Swedish
    II B 2 g, III F, III G
  • Skandinaven -- February 08, 1891
    Scandinavians

    In the year 1890, the Scandinavians were the third best represented [European] nation in Chicago. There are in Chicago today: 384, 958 Germans; 292,463 American-born; 215,534 Irish; and 100,500 Scandinavians. The Irish are the most aggressive of the nationalities mentioned.

    In the year 1890, the Scandinavians were the third best represented [European] nation in Chicago. There are in Chicago today: 384, 958 Germans; 292,463 American-born; 215,534 Irish; and 100,500 Scandinavians. ...

    Norwegian
    I C, III F
  • Skandinaven -- March 13, 1891
    Grand Opening of Scandia Hall

    The entire Scandinavian Colony must have been present at the opening of Scandia Hall.

    Every Scandinavian Singing Society in Chicago sang, and every organization and church was represented.

    The new president of Branch One was installed. He is the well-known Dane, P. Holgersen, who has been one of the most prominent members of the Scandinavian Colony.

    Several men from out-of-town spoke, but we will only give ex-Sheriff, C. R. Matson's speech, which is as follows:

    "The subject assigned to me is so great that a few points of interest can only be dealt with in the short time allotted to me in this program.

    2

    America! How the word fills its citizens with pride! A loyal sense of patriotism fills the breast of freemen, wherever they may be. This great America, which we can call ours, with its most wonderful material developments, with its grand and noble institutions, and with a government which the immortal Lincoln described as being "of the people, by the people, and for the people" and where every man is a peer, this land has become the Mecca toward which the eyes of the oppressed and downtrodden from all nations, turn.

    We, as Scandinavian-Americans, call it ours. And why should we not? To be sure, we are engaged with other citizens in arranging for the World's Columbian Exposition to celebrate the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of this continent by Christopher Columbus. But, still the fact remains that the hardy Norseman, Leif Ericson, was at least four hundred years in advance of Columbus. So, who will dispute our right to call it our country? Scholars and historians have long since admitted the fact.

    3

    I said that we call it ours, and Scandinavia has furnished her full share of those who are glad to become citizens by adopting such a glorious country. It is a matter of very great satisfaction to know that Scandinavians have the reputation of becoming the most useful and loyal citizens of all those who are of foreign birth. Patriotism and love of freedom is bred in the bones of our Scandinavian-Americans. The man who is wont to sing "Ja Vi Elsner Dette Landet" (Yes, we love the 'land that towers'), and other national songs of his mother country, can with equal fervor and patriotism sing, "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean; the home of the brave and the free," for his adopted country. The vast area of her territory, the great diversity of climate, and countless industrial institutions give an abundance of [opportunity] to all types of people. The mechanic, the artisan, and the professional man are all welcome. The tillers of the soil are offered a bounty. They are given a quarter section of land and the only thing required of them is that they become citizens and reside on the land for, at least, five years and make certain improvements. They may enjoy our free schools, full protection under our laws, as well as every privilege of a native born.

    4

    The dedication of this magnificent building tonight is evidence of the thrift and energy of our Scandinavian citizens. It is also evidence of a higher and loftier aim and principle, manifested in the love and protection of the home, of the widow and fatherless children. The good influence of an organization such as the Scandinavian Workers' Association cannot be explained in a five-minute talk. Its work for relieving the sick and distressed, and its provision for those who are dependent on them, can not fail in making better citizens of those who are engaged in this noble work.

    Then, let us say, America forever, and success to the Scandinavian Workers' Association.

    The entire Scandinavian Colony must have been present at the opening of Scandia Hall. Every Scandinavian Singing Society in Chicago sang, and every organization and church was represented. The new ...

    Norwegian
    II D 6, II B 1 a, II D 10, III F, I C, I J, I L, IV
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- April 20, 1891
    The German American Library.

    The "Germania Male Chorus", which has done much in the last year to further German interests, now appears with a new plan, which is so exceptionally laudable, that it will not fail to arouse lively interest throughout all German-American circles. The association proposes nothing less, than the founding of a German-American library. However, as the following two letters give full details about this splendid idea, we publish them herewith, without comment.

    "Germania Male Chorus. Chicago, April 15, 1891. To Messrs. Joseph Baucker, Washington Hesing and Frederick Hild. Gentlemen! The club's secretary will probably have given you notice in regard to your nomination as members of the Library Committee, so it may not be necessary to recapitualte here, except that I had a special purpose in mind, when I suggested your names to the Board of Executives of the Germania Maennerchor (Male Chorus).

    As you know, for a year the Germania has subscribed to the principle, that a powerful, German-American club like ours, has a higher task to fulfill, than to function merely as an assembly which satisfies the social demands of its members, 2and this motto is not only found in our support of art during the grand artistic club productions, but includes our participation in all branches of the club's activity. According to my opinion, we now have an exceptional opportunity, by founding a club library. It is evident of course, that our goal cannot be a general race with the large book collections of the land. However, we have a good chance in achieving something, in so far as we may try to fill the large gaps in the American libraries and, at the same time, we function in conformance with the ideal sense of a German-American club.

    I need not tell you, that in the history of the Germans in the United States, from the very first period of its colonization until the present day, many a pearl of intellectuality lays scattered about, which will be doomed to oblivion if not properly gathered and preserved. As far as I know, no such attempt has ever been made, namely, to make a collection of all the literature in our language, which has been published in the United States, from the first days of the German immigration to the present era; at least in the west, no such work has ever been performed, or satisfactorily accomplished. In regard to the attainments of the German daily newspapers, all their noteworthy deeds for the perpetuation of our customs and language, however valuable they have been and always will be, such an edition we 3cannot include at present at least, because of its voluminous size. But it is within the realm of possibility to procure everything, which the German mind has conceived in this land and put into book form, this we may gather little by little and so preserve it for posterity. Aside from the great historical value of such a collection, it has a tendency to convince the German-American about the spiritual importance of his element, it will strengthen him in his competitive endeavors with other people, by giving him that necessary self respect.

    The administration is prepared to supply you with the necessary means for the realization of this work, and awaits your valued reply, whether you consider this briefly described plan as feasible and desirable, also, if you are willing to participate in your capacity as member of the committee.

    Very respectfully, Harry Rubens, President."

    To this communication the following reply was received: "Chicago, Ill. April 16, 1891. To the President of the Germania Maennerchor, Harry Rubens. Esteemed Sir! Your valuable letter reached me, today, and I hasten to inform you, that I am not only 4pleasedto co-operate, as befits the duties of the chairman of the library committee concerning which I have notified the club's secretary, but it gives me extraordinary pleasure to do my very best, to help realize your idea, the procurement of a specifically German-American library in our club.

    The German-American is unaware of his full importance regarding the past and is not sufficiently conversant with his cultural political problems of the present. The latter belongs to the German-American press. In order to bring the glorious past to his knowledge, he will find it is imperative to peruse history, but to successfully conclude such a study without the help of a large library is unthinkable. The accomplished German-American historian, H. A. Rattermann (German-American Magazine, folio 4, page 515) remarks: "To speak is silver, but silence is golden!" A well known proverb..... We have been silent until all the gold and silver in history has been distributed to all the others and we remain with empty hands. Yet, golden were the German deeds when the cultural development of this land is considered.... It is time.... we should speak of our achievements as German-Americans....until history gives us our deserved recognition...

    5

    Very well, we shall not only speak of the accomplishments of our forefathers, we shall garner them for the present and preserve them for the future.....From private collections....among dealers of antiquities...from publishers.... by appeals to the German press to support our cause,.... with the assistance of Mr. Hesing nad Mr. Hild as committee members,.... by asking for advice and suggestions of such eminent German-American historians as Oswald, Seidensticker, Rattermann, G. Koerner, just to mention a few,....we gladly labor for the beginning of the great work which you visualized and created.... Very respectfully Joseph Brucker."

    The "Germania Male Chorus", which has done much in the last year to further German interests, now appears with a new plan, which is so exceptionally laudable, that it will ...

    German
    II B 2 a, II B 2 d 1, II B 2 d 2, II B 2 d 3, II B 1 a, III A, III F