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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  • Chicago Tribune -- August 10, 1892
    Chinese Colony Indignant at the Plan for Detecting Chinamen

    The Chinese quarter on South Clark Street was visited last night by a reporter for the Tribune to ascertain the feeling of those residents as to the photographing and measurements now being taken of Chinese in the large port cities of this country by government officials in furtherance of the recently enacted Exclusion Law. The entire colony sat on the sidewalks and doorsteps. They smoked long stemmed thimble sized bowled pipes or held cigarettes in their mouths. Of the larger tea merchants Sam Moy was not in. As Hip Long's place was reached a sidewalk fight started between two Chinese. Hip Long shouldered his way through the perspiring jabbering crowd of his country-men and in a fatherly way counseled peace. The belligerants were separated and the pipe and cigarette resumed sway.

    The reporter introduced himself to the Tea Prince who angrily waved him away with a Chinese newspaper, as one would brush aside an impetuous fly. The reporter insisted on asking as to the Exclusion Act. Hip Long demanded: "Where you come from"? "The Tribune, will your people consent to sit and be photographed?" "Go way! I not talk".

    2

    Chow Tar was called on. The reporter was met by a servant who shrilly called out "What you want?" The business was explained. He disappeared, quickly re-appeared, and said "He lie down, He not see you". "We get dlink". After he had taken a long robust forget-me-not drink of common Peoria whiskey he said in clear English: "If that law means that all my countrymen, residents in America are to be measured as criminals and labeled as so many packages of tea it will never be enforced. The ridiculousness of its provisions will kill it. Are we not residents here? Do we not pay taxes as all other property holders? It would be more nearly justice for them to drive us out. So long as we are accepted as residents we are entitled to some rights. We are not law breakers. There certainly would be a great deal of trouble should an attempt be made, such as you have indicated to place all Chinese residents on a par with professional criminals. For the record of such measurements and pictures would be classed as a "rogues" gallery. Would this Chinese "rogues" gallery be put on exhibition in the Worlds Fair to show the advancement in civilization that this nation has attained? No, no, I think that a telegram stating that such measurements and photographs are now being taken of Chinese in the cities which are ports must be a hoax. "We take another dlink".

    The Chinese quarter on South Clark Street was visited last night by a reporter for the Tribune to ascertain the feeling of those residents as to the photographing and measurements ...

    Chinese
    III B 1, I C
  • Chicago Tribune -- September 13, 1892
    (No headline)

    The orders recently issued in San Francisco by the Chinese Six companies that no Chinaman shall take out government certificates of residence will be obeyed generally by Chicago Chinamen. Not one Chinaman has been near the Internal Revenue Office since the certificates were received from Washington.

    The orders recently issued in San Francisco by the Chinese Six companies that no Chinaman shall take out government certificates of residence will be obeyed generally by Chicago Chinamen. Not ...

    Chinese
    I C
  • Chicago Tribune -- February 17, 1893
    Chinese New Year's Celebration

    Chinatown kept open house yesterday. It was the Chinese New Year as well as the Emperor's birthday, and South Clark Street was the scene of Celestial festivities. Every Chinaman was a host, and rice wine, cigars, and bon bons were free to all.

    The gifts were in the form of cash. Every one intending to call provided himself with a supply of silver coins - quarters, halves and dollars - and did them up neatly in red paper. When rice wine, cigars, and dainties were served he quietly deposited in the center of the table his gift of cash. It was a day of incessant eating, drinking, and handshaking.

    Chinatown kept open house yesterday. It was the Chinese New Year as well as the Emperor's birthday, and South Clark Street was the scene of Celestial festivities. Every Chinaman was ...

    Chinese
    I B 4
  • Chicago Tribune -- February 18, 1893
    (No headline)

    Dr. Gee Wo Chien of this city heads a stock company of wealthy Chinamen who are determined that the customs and institutions of their native land shall not be entirely excluded from the Great Columbian Exposition.

    On Midway Plaisance they secured a desirable concession, and are erecting there a Chinese theatre, joss house, restaurant, and bazaar. Dr. Chien says he thinks the restaurant will excite greater curiosity than any other eating establishment on the grounds. Everything about it will be strictly Chinese except some of the table ware. The restaurant will be furnished with ebony tables and stools all artistically inlaid with pearl.

    Dr. Gee Wo Chien of this city heads a stock company of wealthy Chinamen who are determined that the customs and institutions of their native land shall not be entirely ...

    Chinese
    II B 1 c 3
  • Chicago Tribune -- April 16, 1893
    Wong Chin Foo Thinks Kern Opposed to His Family

    Chinatown is embroiled in a bitter factional strife between two of its leading families, and Wong Chin Foo, the leader of the Wong faction in its prosecution of the Moy faction, has declared open hostility against State's Attorney Kern. The reason he gives is, that in his opinion, he cannot obtain justice through Mr. Kern in the case of Wong Aloy, in whose interests he came from New York. The fight grew out of an assault which was made upon Wong Aloy, a Chinese student at Evanston, by Moy Toi Nye and Ung Yok the night of March 29 last in front of 307 South Clark Street. The assailants were arrested and placed under a $2,000 bond by Justice Clemon. The prosecution was represented by Attorney John B. Strassburger, who had taken an interest in Wong Aloy and who now harbors him at his home, where the Chinaman is still confined in bed as a consequence of the injuries received.

    The Wong family, however, believed that a more vigorous prosecution would be made if their side of the case could be presented in court by an English speaking Chinaman and after holding a consultation telegraphed to Wong Chin Foo to come and assist in the prosecution. Wong Chin Foo arrived in Chicago on April 2 in response to this call.

    2

    Among the first things which Wong Chin Foo advised was the rearrest of the assailants, which was effected. Their bond was raised to $12,000. The bondsmen of Moy Toi Nye and Ung Yok were Hip Lung, whose real name is Moy Choong Few, and Sam Moy. Between these two men, who represent the Moy family and Wong Chin Foo, who represents the Wong family, is the bitter fight. It is openly asserted by Wong Chin Foo that he is unable to secure justice from State's Attorney Kern and that it is impossible for any Chinaman in the city of Chicago who is not friendly to the Moy family to obtain justice through him. In corroboration, as he thought, of this statement Wong Chin Foo, who speaks unusually good English, told the following story yesterday to a reporter of the Tribune:

    "State's Attorney Kern sent word to Inspector Koch of the Harrison Street Station last Friday morning that he wanted to see me at his office. As soon as I was notified by the Inspector, I hired a cab and drove to Mr. Kern's office in company with two detectives from the Central Station, whom I took along as witnesses. On our arrival there I was asked to step into Mr. Kern's private office alone. As soon as the door was closed and we were alone, Mr. Kern dropped into a chair, crossed his legs upon the table and turning suddenly toward me, began the following conservation 'I know you,' he said. "'I am glad that I need no introduction, then,"' I replied.

    3

    'You have come to Chicago to make trouble. You are a fomenter of trouble and a disturber of the peace among Chinamen.' I was amazed and said: "'I guess you have mistaken the man.'" 'No,' he repled, 'I know you through previous disturbances that have taken place in the city. You came here a few years ago and created dissention among the Chinamen.' "'It is true,'" I replied, "'that I came here a few years ago, but it was for the purpose of quelling a disturbance among my countrymen and in this task I succeeded.'" 'I have my information from Sam Moy,' said Mr. Kern, 'who is a resident of Chicago and I prefer his testimony to yours. Moreover I want you to understand that if you prosecute Sam Moy or Hip Lung you prosecute me. Those men are my friends and in no case will I prosecute them.' "' When the Chinamen told me,'" I replied, "' that whatever Sam Moy or Hip Lung did they were all right with the State's Attorney, I did not believe them.'" 'You may believe them. It is true,' said Mr. Kern. "Very well then,'" I replied, "'I will drop Hip Lung and Sam Moy and will fight you. I have fought the New York police and other formidable opponents in the attempt to secure justice for my countrymen and I do not shrink from this conflict. My life is dedicated to the cause of securing them justice and if I loose it in the attempt it will be an honorable death.'"

    John B. Strassburger, the Attorney for Wong Aloy said to a reporter of the Tribune:

    4

    "I went to Mr. Kern and sought his assistance in prosecuting this case. The grand jury was in session and the request might very properly, as it seems to me, have been granted. Mr. Kern refused it and made no secret of the fact that Sam Moy and Hio Lung were his friends, although he did not base his refusal on those grounds. While I have no proof I feel morally certain that Judge Longenerker would have granted my request."

    State's Attorney made the following explanation to a reporter of the Tribune yesterday of the interview with Wong Chin Foo: "In my opinion Wong Chin Foo is an adventurer. He came to Chicago at this time, I think, for the purpose of stirring up a quarrel among the Chinamen, that he may reap benefit from it. I understand from Hip Lung, whom I have known for a number of years as a prosperous merchant and peaceful man, that he is considered a professional mischief-maker, who travels about among his people in an ostensibly, self-sacrificing manner for his personal profit. I think, I understand Chinamen thoroughly, and believing that Wong Chin Foo had come here to create trouble in Chinatown, I thought the surest way of averting it would be to read the riot act to him. Accordingly I unfolded my plan to Inspector Koch and sent word through him to Wong Chin Foo that I wished to see him here. When he came I talked to him rather savagely and gave him plainly to 5understand, that he might look for no help through this department in stirring up trouble which threatened the city's peace. In doing this I performed what I believed to be my duty. To Mr. Strassburger I said that a precedent had been established in this office, that no criminals except fugitives from justice should be presented until they had obtained a preliminary hearing and were duly bound over to the grand jury. I told Wong Chin Foo if it had been a white man in the case he would have been fined $25 and the case disposed of long ago. They are making a trivial matter the excuse for a bitter factional fight.

    Hip Lung was seen yesterday and said that he was told that Wong Chin Foo had held a meeting of the Wong family and advised the members to raise $600 to be given to any man who would kill him, (Hip Lung), and also that Wong Chin Foo had agreed to withdraw the prosecution provided that the Moy family would pay him $500.

    Wong Chin Foo pronounces both of these statements false and absurd and declares that since his arrival in the city he has not been without a body guard for a moment, one of whom is a detective from Chicago Central Station. He asserts that Hip Lung or Moy Choong Few, as his correct name is, has gained his ascendency over the Chinamen of Chicago through his position as treasurer and manager of the Hip 6Lung company, which has houses in San Francisco and Hongkong, China. The term "Hip Lung" means "united prosperity," he asserts and the company is owned by the Moy family.

    Wong Chin Foo says that he thinks that the financial power of this institution is the secret of its influence over civil courts. He says that Hip Lung himself is financially crippled through sending $8,000 a few months ago for the aid of his correspondents in Canada, who got into trouble by smuggling Chinamen into the United States. He states that the Moy family has about five hundred members in Chicago, while the Wong family numbers about fifty. Hip Lung says that his own family has two hundred representatives in the city while the Wong family has about one hundred and fifty.

    Wong Chin Foo is one of the best educated Chinamen in America and a writer of some repute. He is a contributor to several leading journals and is the author of an article on the drama of China, printed on page thirty-three of this issue of the Tribune.

    Chinatown is embroiled in a bitter factional strife between two of its leading families, and Wong Chin Foo, the leader of the Wong faction in its prosecution of the Moy ...

    Chinese
    I F 4, I C
  • Chicago Tribune -- April 19, 1893
    Wroth Over Chinese Trouble

    When the World's Fair concession for a Chinese bazaar was offered for sale, some South Clark Street capitalists led by Hip Lung and Sam Moy proposed to buy it. Negotiations were still pending when they received a permit from Washington to import Chinese actors and skilled artisans for the bazaar. They at once made a requisition on China for 273 such actors and artisans. But their plans to secure the concession from the Fair directors failed at the last moment when another Chinese syndicate consisting of Hong Sling, Wong Kee and other Mongolians stepped in and took the bazaar rights.

    But according to the tea shop gossip the Lung Moy importations had already embarked for Puget Sound, where they arrived only to be met by cold government officials who refused to let them land. The original permit from Washington was said to be void from the time that negotiations for the bazaar privilege fell to the ground. Accordingly Wong Chin Foo said last night that the colony of 273 was compelled to take a boat back to China without so much as setting foot on American soil.

    When the World's Fair concession for a Chinese bazaar was offered for sale, some South Clark Street capitalists led by Hip Lung and Sam Moy proposed to buy it. Negotiations ...

    Chinese
    III G, I C
  • Chicago Tribune -- April 23, 1893
    Chinese Actors Reach the City

    Passengers standing around the Polk Street depot yesterday morning looked with amazement at 200 Chinese actors as they tumbled from the Santa Fe' Express, which arrived at 10:30 o'clock. They were brought from China in charge of Chin Pork Onay, secretary of the Chinese Columbian Exhibition Company and are billed to play at the Chinese Columbian Bazaar.

    We were taken to the headquarters of the Chinese Exhibition Company, at No. 322 South Clark Street. The headquarters consist of combination hotel, restaurant, mercantile office, opium berth and general jobbing buisness of which Wah-Hoe is proprietor. The weary travelers so long deprived of their peculiar and favorite dishes were soon seated at twenty tables and proceeded to devour steam rice, bamboo shoots, and birds nest soup. After a hearty breakfast the Orientals smoked opium, drank tea at intervals and occasionally gazed up and down Clark Street wonderingly.

    2

    As China is opposite in all things the star actors instead of being objects of high esteem and admiration are looked upon by their fellow men as being low in the social scale. The stars are as follows: Mou Sung Tang, first tragedian; Sho Sung Ning, first villian; Shov Mon Wing, first comedian; Ton Don, leading lady impersonator; Mov Sung Jung, a giant in nature was the life and soul of the party. A number of wealthy Chinese merchants were with the party and seemed to know better what to do with themselves than did the actors. One of them purchased a lot of blue felt hats for the party as a precaution against Chicago weather. Groups of from six to twelve of the newcomers were being instructed in the value of American coins and currency by some of their brethren who have been in this country for years. As fast as the value of one piece of coin or currency was learned it was placed safely in a long stringed purse and the merits of another discussed.

    The headquarters had been temporarily transformed into a baggage room for the company.

    3

    Chinese baskets and curiously shaped trunks containing the theatrical costumes and curios to be exhibited at the Fair are piled up ceiling high. A group of merchants were discussing plans yesterday afternoon for removing their goods to the bazear which will be in readiness for the them in a few days.

    Passengers standing around the Polk Street depot yesterday morning looked with amazement at 200 Chinese actors as they tumbled from the Santa Fe' Express, which arrived at 10:30 o'clock. They ...

    Chinese
    II B 1 c 3, II A 3 d 1
  • Chicago Tribune -- May 17, 1893
    Affirmation of the Geary Law

    There was no visible worry on the faces of the Chinese residents of South Clark Street yesterday in consequence of the Supreme Court's affirmation of the constitutionality of the Geary Law. The news of the court's action was heard in the Chinese colony a few hours after the decision was announced.

    Charley Key, a Chinaman who runs a cigar factory in the heart of the Chinese colony, and who speaks excellent English, said yesterday that so far as he could learn there was nothing like a panic among the Chinese. "I don't know whether they understand it fully, I did all I could to induce them to register" said he. "What they propose to do, I don't know. There has been no meeting called that I know of. I guess they are waiting for further advice".

    There are 3,500 Chinamen in Internal Revenue Collector Mamer's district, he estimates. About 950 of them have complied with the law and registered. There are, it is stated, fourteen different "factions" of Chinese in this city.

    2

    All are to a great extent influenced by the Six Companies. "The Six Companies sent out circulars some weeks ago advising their countrymen not to register", said an official in the Custom House whose duties bring him into daily contact with the Chinese. "The Six Companies told them that the law would be decided unconstitutional and they believed it.

    Collector Mamer says that no Chinaman had called at his office for the purpose of registration for a couple of weeks preceding May 5, A few called on May 6. "The department at Washington, a short time ago, directed us to hold the law in obeyance", said Mr. Mamer. "We have received no communication since. The law can be enforced without particular trouble. The fact that funds may not be immediately available for deporting Chinese laborers, as I understand it, would not necessarily stop the operation of the law. The business of a government department does not come to a stop because of lack of money. Money is taken from another fund, and the deficiency made up by act of Congress".

    There was no visible worry on the faces of the Chinese residents of South Clark Street yesterday in consequence of the Supreme Court's affirmation of the constitutionality of the Geary ...

    Chinese
    I C, III B 1
  • Chicago Journal -- May 23, 1906
    Chinese Refugees Flock to Chicago

    As a result of the San Francisco earthquake and fire many scores of Chinese who were driven from their ruined homes in the stricken California City have sought and found refuge in Chicago. The influx of the Celestials has been very steady, but the number who have come to this city has not been realized either by the authorities or the Chinese themselves until within a few days.

    Being in most cases almost penniless after their railway fare had been paid, these immigrants were forced at first to depend for subsistence on the charity of their friends and countrymen, but now the majority of them have again become independent. These refugees are scattered far and wide over the city, their presence not being confined to Chinatown, although at first almost all of them drifted there.

    So steady was the coming of the Chinese that their arrival was hardly realized at first even in the districts where they made their temporary homes.

    2

    Coming by two's and three's from the stricken city, they immediately made their way to the South Clark Street district, where they soon were given help until they were able to take care of themselves.

    MANY HAD MONEY

    A great many of the refugees were well enough provided with money to carry them over the period until they could find work. Those who were destitute, however, were immediately taken care of by individuals.

    There was little organized work of relief among Chinamen, either for those of their countrymen left in San Francisco or those who came to Chicago. Chinamen sent individual donations to their suffering kinsmen and friends in the California towns, but they did little for the men of their own race by organized effort. The same was true of the aid which they rendered in Chicago. They were very liberal, but all of the giving was personal.

    3

    Until the living quarters in the Chinese section became filled with the refugees they remained in the downtown district, at least until they secured work. Then they scattered throughout the city and suburbs, many of them finding employment in towns as far away as Elgin, Aurora, and Joliet. When the South Clark Street houses could hold no more the Chinese began drifting through the city. Laundries, restaurants, and every other sort of an establishment run by a Chinaman became a refuge. From merely giving shelter in case of need these same establishments soon offered regular work, and so, instead of working for nothing but their board and lodging, many of the refugees became regular employees.

    MANY BECOME HOUSE SERVANTS

    The fact that Chinamen are skilled in the preparation of dishes other than those characteristic of their race is just beginning to dawn on the owners of many "American" restaurants throughout the city, and even upon private families.

    4

    A few of the sophisticated, and those addicted to Chop Suey and similar incongruities, have long employed celestials, but before scores of unemployed Chinamen were turned loose in the city their general adaptability was unknown to but few.

    In good restaurants very good cooks with very good wages have been employed from the ranks of the "Frisco sufferers, but other places of less pretense have secured less expensive cooks, and so down the line, until many a place, which has nothing to say about chop suey, which advertises a "full meal for 15c" has a Chinaman presiding at the range. And in the point of cleanliness and skill the change has generally been one for the better.

    SOUTH SIDE HAS MANY

    As a natural consequence of this the Chinamen so employed have secured places for their relatives and friends as dishwashers and porters until now there are certain sections of the city which, as far as the restaurants are concerned, are overrun with Celestials.

    5

    A particular example of this is in the neighborhood of 63rd, Street, from Woodlawn to Chicago Lawn.

    None of the refugees has as yet become a public charge, and it is very unlikely that any ever will. The majority of them have quietly settled down here to amass the fortune which will make them and their relatives happy when they return to the land of their ancestors.

    As a result of the San Francisco earthquake and fire many scores of Chinese who were driven from their ruined homes in the stricken California City have sought and found ...

    Chinese
    II D 10
  • Chinese Daily Times -- September 18, 1928
    Chinese Merchants Contribute Towards the World's Fair.

    Chicago has decided to open its World's Fair in 1933. The World's Fair pre-arrangement committee ordered organization of branch committees by The Chicago Foreign Communities to co-operate with its preparations.

    In response to the mentioned order, Chicago Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association has organized a Chinese World's Fair Branch Committee to solicit memberships from all Chinese organizations. Membership fee is $5.00. In return, members will receive ten admission tickets to the World's Fair.

    Yesterday afternoon, Mr. L. F. Chen, President of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, and four other members of the Association's Board visited all Chinese stores in Chinatown, soliciting memberships.

    2

    All merchants realizing their honorable duty and a chance to establish their reputation, responded heartily. Fifty-seven out of sixty stores subscribed. The remaining three stores, due to absence of their managers, will join later.

    Chicago has decided to open its World's Fair in 1933. The World's Fair pre-arrangement committee ordered organization of branch committees by The Chicago Foreign Communities to co-operate with its preparations. ...

    Chinese
    II B 1 c 3, II A 2, II D 1, IV