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 -- April 02, 1861
    Report of the Agent for the German Society of Chicago for the Month of March

    Employment furnished for 105
    Free tickets for needy 2
    Tickets at reduced prices 3
    Board and lodging for poor travelers 6
    Furnished medicine and medical attention for 11
    Found lost baggage for 3
    Found relatives or friends for 30
    Help in financial matters for 3
    Wrote letters for 61
    Referred to County for medical aid, or lodging and board 27

    Collected for, and donated to, sick:

    Firewood 31/2 cords
    Various kinds of flour 190 pounds
    Potatoes 31/2 bushels
    Beans 6 quarts
    Barley 5 pounds
    Soup-meat 58 pounds
    Old clothing given to 6
    Used shoes 12 pairs

    Chicago, Illinois, March 31, 1861.

    F. Schlund, Agent.

    <table> <tr> <td>Employment furnished for</td> <td>105</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Free tickets for needy</td> <td>2</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Tickets at reduced prices</td> <td>3</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Board and lodging for poor travelers</td> <td>6</td> </tr> ...

    II D 10, II D 3, II D 8
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- September 07, 1861
    Report of the Agent of the German Society of Chicago for August, 1861 by F. Schlund

    Employment secured for 152
    Relatives or friends located for 18
    Prevented from going astray 5
    Helped in money or check matters 13
    Families provided with lodging 2
    Sick supported 3
    Provided medical aid or medicine for 3
    Attended to correspondence for 57
    Made loans to 2
    Located lost baggage for 4

    The number of immigrants has diminished greatly, especially during the last half of this month. The opposition which the Quebec and Canadian Railroad furnished 2for eastern ports and railroads, by lowering the rates for immigrants, has had a favorable outcome in that the Erie Railroad has reduced its fare from $11 to $9.50, and the Pennsylvania Railroad from $11 to $9.35. Had these two Railroads put these prices into effect at the beginning of the present immigration season, the poor immigrants would have saved thousands of dollars. They would not have sailed for Canadian ports, and would have encouraged others to come directly to America. It appears that the railroads are not aware of the importance of immigration; and for that reason I have taken the liberty of using the American as well as the European press to explain how the transportation systems here and abroad may benefit by granting emigrants and immigrants reason able passage rates. And my first attempt was crowned with success; within the last two months the fare from New York to Chicago has been reduced by $2.50. I have reason to believe that all German societies in America will co-operate with me. Therefore, in due time, I shall inform people in Europe about the differences in the rates of various American railroads, and I shall make note of the way immigrants are treated by each road, and the amount of baggage each transports free of charge. Delay in the transportation of baggage has two chief 3causes, and may easily be avoided by immigrants. All baggage consigned to western points is transferred at Castle Garden without check, but is recorded. If such baggage arrives at its destination, all is well; but if it is lost, stolen, or mis-sent, then the immigrant has no receipt or other means of recovering it or obtaining its value in cash. Therefore, let no one deliver any kind of baggage to a railroad company which refuses to issue a receipt. When immigrants pay in advance for "overweight" baggage, they receive baggage checks and are thus protected; if anyone has sufficient money to pay for "overweight" baggage at Castle Garden, he should not fail to do so.

    Another matter which annoys many immigrants is the fact that passengers who have previously purchased their railroad tickets in Europe receive very little attention, and this also applies to their baggage; for as most people know, railroad agents are paid a commission on the tickets they sell. Although there is a great deal of hard work connected with the handling of baggage, the agents who must do this work do not receive a penny of pay for it; these conditions are similar to those which prevail in German cafes and saloons where the employees 4are dependent upon the tips which patrons give them.

    It is regrettable that the Chicago and Milwaukee Railroad Company does not take directly to their destination passengers who arrive here during the evening en route to Milwaukee. The present arrangement does not permit them to complete their trip until the next morning, and then via freight train. When passengers arrive on Saturday evening they are forced either to remain here two nights or change their tickets at a cost of $1.30.

    Immigrants who are not bound for Milwaukee, but for other points in Wisconsin, can proceed to their destination at once, since the Northwestern Railroad has not discontinued its night service to the North. Consequently, as soon as trains arrive from the east, the passengers who wish to reach some city or town in Wisconsin can continue their journey without interruption, loss of time, or added cost. It is very difficult to understand why the Chicago and Milwaukee road have made such undesirable arrangements. Or does that Company believe that it can improve the business of the Milwaukee Grand Haven Line by forcing 5upon immigrants the choice of either traveling to Milwaukee via Grand Haven, Michigan or paying an extra fare of $1.30 to get to Milwaukee on the same night of their arrival in Chicago? If that is the Company's idea, it will find that it is mistaken; for.there is more than one way to get to Wisconsin.

    <table> <tr> <td>Employment secured for</td> <td>152</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Relatives or friends located for</td> <td>18</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Prevented from going astray</td> <td>5</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Helped in money or check matters</td> <td>13</td> ...

    III H, II D 10, II D 8
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- October 14, 1861
    Semiannual Report of the German Society of Chicago

    Report Dated October 1, 1861, Submitted by F. Schlund, Agent

    Employment secured for 1037
    Reduced fares for poor 10
    Passes for poor immigrants 22
    Lodgings for homeless 7
    Located friends or relatives for 130
    Kept from straying 37
    Assisted in money or check matters 68
    Families lodged 17
    Medical aid or medicine furnished for 16
    Assisted with correspondence 301
    Loans 5
    Located baggage for 35
    Forwarded baggage to destination for 52
    Furnished groceries for 20
    Total 1757

    Report Dated October 1, 1861, Submitted by F. Schlund, Agent <table> <tr> <td>Employment secured for</td> <td>1037</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Reduced fares for poor</td> <td>10</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Passes for poor immigrants</td> <td>22</td> ...

    II D 10, II D 8, II D 6, II D 3, III G
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- December 06, 1861
    Report of the Agent of the German Society of Chicago

    Report for Month of October

    Employment obtained for 117
    Passes for poor immigrants 2
    Located relatives or funds for 20
    Located baggage for 13
    Corresponded for 36
    Assisted in financial matters 12
    Families lodged 3
    Sick families provided with food 6
    Lodged for one night 1
    Provided medical care and medicine for 4
    Total 214

    Report for Month of November

    Employment obtained for 95
    Located relatives or friends for 12
    Located baggage for 10
    Corresponded for 42
    Assisted in financial matters 14
    Sick aided 8
    Provided medical care and medicine for 5
    Total 186

    (On account of illness the agent was not able to compile and publish the report for October in due time.)

    Although immigration has decreased greatly during the past month, after the arrival of each ship a number of immigrants have come to Chicago from New York and an occasional few from Baltimore.


    During the winter months there is a strong demand in rural districts for laborers at a salary of from eight to ten dollars per month; however the supply is not sufficient to meet this rural demand, although many workers vainly seek employment in the city, and continue their fruitless quest until they have spent their last dollar. There is always ample opportunity for employment for girls, and the wages paid are high. Since winter weather has made shipping impractical, many workers, some of them very able men who worked in the sawmills of Michigan, have returned here; they complain that promises with reference to wages were not kept, that it was difficult to collect wages, and that prices of food and clothing are abnormally high; they recommend that only strong men accustomed to hard work apply for work at the mills, and that they demand a written contract. A written contract and (at the final accounting) a note signed by a responsible employer would protect many workers and their families against losses. This advice is also good for workers who hire themselves to the first available farmer, and it would be profitable for the latter to bind workers to serve for the duration of the harvest, by demanding that they sign a written agreement to that affect--after the usual month's 4probational work.

    Winter weather having set in very early, some needy people come to the German House every day to ask for help; although Chicago has remained one of the most prosperous cities of the country despite the unfortunate conditions which generally prevail during these trying times.

    The first charitable offerings arrived at this office last week: two barrels of flour from a German merchant, and one dollar from a woman who does not wish to have her name mentioned. In this connection I wish to ask that the German citizens of Chicago continue to contribute to the support of the sick and the needy. Your agent will follow his custom of thoroughly investigating each case; and though some heartless people claim that the deserving poor are denied help, please do not believe them, for such statements are usually made by persons who have never done anything to alleviate the misery of unfortunates, and never will; they advance such claims merely as an excuse for not assisting in this cause. Where is there even one worthy person who can truthfully say 5that your agent refused to help him? Very often these suspicious statements come from people who provide vagabonds with letters of recommendations, and make strenuous efforts to secure aid for bums who have been driven out of nearby cities. I can cite many instances in proof of my statement.

    The agent is in his office every morning from 9 to 12 A.M., and will be glad to accept gifts and donations. The public may be assured that these will be used only to administer to the needs of deserving persons.

    Report for Month of October <table> <tr> <td>Employment obtained for</td> <td>117</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Passes for poor immigrants</td> <td>2</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Located relatives or funds for</td> <td>20</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Located baggage ...

    II D 10, II D 8, II D 3, III G
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- April 01, 1862
    Monthly Report of the Agent of the German Society of Chicago Report for February and March, 1862 by F. Schlund, Agent

    February March
    Employment secured for 92 68
    Passes secured for 1
    Shelter secured for 1
    Located friends or relatives for 6 4
    Located baggage for 9 7
    Claim entered for loss of baggage 1
    Mis-sent articles located for 3
    Claims for damage entered for dispossessed Unionists. 4
    Financial advice given 30 5
    February March
    Medical aid and medicines secured for 5 4
    Provided fuel and food for 13 21
    Found living quarters for 3 2
    Wrote letters for 68 50
    Loaned money to 3 3
    Total 199(sic) 169 (sic)

    There is a great lack of farm laborers and I was not able to supply even one half of the requests although the employers offered thirteen or fourteen dollars per month, or one hundred and fifty dollars per year, and in spite of the fact that young men are unable to secure employment in the city. And the supply of domestic help is not nearly adequate to meet the demand.

    Again experience proves that the German public cannot be too careful in granting the power of attorney, in giving authority to collect inheritance, in purchasing transatlantic or transcontinental passage, etc. I have often been convinced that our countrymen have reliable or friends in 3the old country who are able and willing to do anything they can for immigrants; yet the latter prefer to trust Americans, whom they know only by name and who must engage a third party in Germany, to transact business, appear in court, collect money, etc.; and frequently both the American businessman and his representative in Germany are dishonest and defraud their clients of large sums of money. Therefore, I advise my countrymen to have whatever business they may have in Germany done by relatives or friends, and, in the absence of such, by the mayor or village president, and to have the respective American consul supervise the transaction. In this way much money can be saved, and there is practically no opportunity to cheat. And if anybody is unable to carry on the necessary correspondence he may apply to the agent of the Germany Society of Chicago and he may be certain to receive competent advice and aid.

    Many Germans in America think that bills of exchange receive the same preference over other claims in America that is accorded them in Germany, but that is not the case. If payment is refused in Europe on bills of exchange 4which were purchased in America, they have no more value than, and are granted no preference over, any other kind of demand. Thus, people of dubious character, and people who are not financially responsible, can carry on this type of business in this country. Banks in Germany, however, can not be licensed to operate unless they have furnished a sufficient guarantee in money and unless the sum guaranteed has been registered. Thus the purchaser of a German bill of exchange is protected not only by adequate security, but also by an exchange court which has the authority to give a bill of exchange preference over any other claim, and woe unto the dishonest banker!

    We have no such protection here; the avowed honesty of the banker is our only guarantee, and if he unexpectedly closes his doors, all the bills of exchange etc. which he has issued, and all the deposits which he has accepted may be considered lost. Therefore Germans should only do business with those bankers whose moral integrity cannot be questioned, and who may be relied upon to assume no greater financial responsibility than they are able to meet.


    Any American bank which has no other means save the money of depositors must be regarded as very unsound, and has nothing to lose in case it is forced to go out of business.

    I cannot understand why the legislatures of the various states of this country do not enact laws which offer the working classes and businessmen more protection against dishonest moneylenders. If a Cook County delegate to the legislature in Springfield should sponsor a bill guaranteeing more security to bank clients as protection against the nefarious wiles and schemes of shylocks, he would at least have the satisfaction of knowing that he had made an attempt to promote the welfare of his constituents; and even if he did not succeed in having the bill passed, he would probably give a future legislature and incentive to provide some really worthwhile legislation for the people of Illinois.

    Germans should also be very careful about the source from which they purchase passage from Europe to America. There are many dishonest ticket agents here.


    They accept money for tickets from local Germans and promise to send the tickets to the purchaser's relatives in Germany who wish to come to the United States, but very often the agents disappear and the tickets are never received. Thus a man in Hamburg, Germany waited for his ticket for five months, and then--he died from disappointment and worry.

    The Homestead Bill which undoubtedly will be adopted by Congress, will cause large numbers of Europeans to come to America; for the Union Army, which will return victoriously from the battlefield, is composed of the pioneer spirit necessary for the expansion of the Western Territories. It is hoped, however, that the Germans will avoid the mistake made by their countrymen who made their homes in Missouri, West Texas, and other Rebel States. The future immigrants should settle in colonies or groups, and not singly, so that they may more effectively promote freedom and progress in the state, as well as in their immediate surroundings. German farmers who live apart from their fellow countrymen are exposed to disadvantages and persecutions, and their best 7opinions and complaints will receive no notice; whereas they will receive attention and exert much good influence in the state as well as in their community, if they live near one another.

    Illinois Staats-Zeitung, Apr. 2, 1862.

    Co-operation is productive of much good. That is the experience not only of the German Societies in America, but also of the bureaus of emigration in the old world, and especially of the emigration authorities of the free imperial cities of Germany. And we hope that co-operation between these organizations will protect immigrants against swindlers.

    We warn all immigrants against buying farms or smaller parcels of land unless the seller tenders a valid abstract, and we emphasize the necessity of having the abstract examined by competent persons; for an abstract is the only official document which protects the purchaser. Furthermore, let no purchaser be persuaded to pay for the examination of the abstract, since the 8seller is legally obligated to defray the cost of such service. It is not sufficient to have a warranty and deed; one must have a legal title. It is also necessary that all debts on the property in question be liquidated, and that such liquidation be attested to by the issuing of a quitclaim deed, before payment for the property is made and ere the pertinent documents have been recorded. Recording should take place immediately after this procedure. One should not be too hasty about buying land, and should give due consideration to the effect of climatic conditions upon health before consummating the transaction. Good soil and good water are prime requisites. It often costs more that the land itself is actually worth to bring wooded or shrubbed land under cultivation, and it is easier to break rolling prairie soil.

    The farmer should make but very moderate use of credit; it is better to have twenty acres of unincumbered land than three hundred acres that are mortgaged for three hundred dollars, for to have debts is like having a rope around one's neck. Failure of harvest, sickness in the family, loss of horses or 9cattle are all sufficient to put the property in the hands of the sheriff, for there are still scoundrels who know how to make the position of unfortunates untenable by raising the interest to twenty five dollars per one hundred dollars and by other diabolical means. On the other hand, the farmer who is not harrassed and hampered by debt can make a good living, can look forward to a rich harvest, can improve upon his property, and even lay aside a sum for a rainy day, or for the days when he can work no more.

    There is one rule which may be considered a norm for every farmer--poor soil is not ungrateful, but they who occupy it will never grow wealthy; but good, rich soil makes work easy and yields riches in good harvests. Whenever possible a prospective purchaser should select a farm which is correctly proportioned with reference to meadows, woods, and land under cultivation; for one element is as necessary as the other, and if one is entirely lacking, the farm cannot be operated at a profit. An eighty acre farm should contain forty acres of land under cultivation, fifteen acres of meadow, and twenty-five 10acres of wooded pasture. It could be operated without many hands, excepting during harvest time.

    If one finds and buys a farm which has no wooded plot, it will be necessary to purchase a grove of two to five acres, in the vicinity, in order to have trees for fuel and lumber, otherwise it will be necessary to continually pay cash for this material, or to make debts; and let everybody beware of either, if he wants to be successful.

    A wise buyer will also give much attention to suitable places for erecting a house and other necessary buildings. Dry places on high parts of the farm should be chosen for the house and barns, so that the water can drain off and man and beast are amply protected against dampness. If the drainage is good it is possible to put a good cellar under the buildings, and a dry cellar is of very great value to a farmer.

    As a protection against rain and cold it would be advisable to put few 11windows or doors in the north and west walls of buildings, and as many windows as possible in the east and south walls; and if there are woods or hills to the north and west of the buildings to protect them and the inmates against the strong sharp winds that come from the North and the West, so much the better. Wholesome drinking water is, of course, an absolute necessity. It will be an advantage to build the barns on a basement, since the cattle will be warmer, and, as a result, the cows will give more milk; and all the animals will require less food. We do not mean, however, that they should not leave the barn, for they need fresh air and exercise just as well as human beings.

    However, let no one go into debt! If there is not sufficient money at hand to acquire a farm which has buildings with basements, or to erect such structures on new land, the farmer should either wait until he can pay cash, or erect one building and wait until he has the means to erect another. In forested areas blockhouses are preferable to boarded structures, though not as suitable; however, if there is a lumber mill near by so that freight 12charges may be eliminated, or if the farmer may obtain the necessary logs from his woodland, he may use boards in constructing his buildings, since they are just as good as logs and are more economical.

    Good fences, too, are necessary, as are also enclosures for animals. As to a choice between rails and boards for fencing purposes, all depends upon the amount of lumber which can be taken from the farm, the proximity of the cord wood market, and the price of the cord wood. If the market is not more than ten miles away and the farmer can get from eighteen to twenty shillings per cord for cord wood, and fence boards cost no more than ten dollars, it would be profitable to sell the cord wood and use the proceeds to buy boards.

    Immigrants who were farmers by occupation in Germany ought not spend much time choosing a calling in America, but should immediately acquaint themselves with local farming conditions and purchase a farm when they have the necessary money.


    The price of land depends upon the market value of products; according to the present land value a bushel of wheat should not cost less than seventy-five cents, corn not less than twenty cents, oats not less than twenty-five cents, pork not less than four and one-half cents, and beef not less than four cents.

    During the first two years a new settler will have but few products, and little of them to take to market; but he will have to go to market to buy seed and food; hence, if he has the means to buy a partly improved farm, he should not fail to do so, for he will be able to progress much more rapidly.

    I have described precautionary measures in detail because I am convinced that many of the newcomers do not apply such measures, and do not ask for advice until it is too late.

    F. Schlund, Agent.

    <table> <tr> <td/> <td>February</td> <td>March</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Employment secured for</td> <td>92</td> <td>68</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Passes secured for</td> <td/> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Shelter secured for</td> <td/> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Located friends ...

    I J, II D 10, III B 2, II D 8, II D 7, II D 3, III G, I L
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 05, 1863
    The German Society

    The general meeting of the German Society of Chicago was held in the German House, May 3, 1863, with President Heinrich Greenbaum presiding.

    The report of Agent Schlund was read and adopted, and the matter relating to the Reform School was referred to a committee which will endeavor to persuade the executive board of the Reform School to act in line with Mr. Schlund's suggestion.

    The financial report was adopted as read. Election of officers took place with the following result: president, Heinrich Gindele; treasurer, Karl Vergho; secretary, Conrad C. Diehl. Butz and Schneider were appointed to inform the above of their election. The following rules were adopted:

    1) The newly elected officers may not refuse to serve.


    2) Minimum membership fee shall be two dollars. [Translator's note: The secretary does not state whether this sum is the annual or monthly fee.]

    3) Anyone who pays fifty cents or more shall be permitted to speak and vote in the general meetings for the period of one year.

    4) The salary of the agent shall be three hundred dollars per year.

    Heinrich Greenbaum, President.

    Report of the Agent of the German Society of Chicago for April and May, 1862

    April May
    Secured employment for 93 85
    Secured railroad passes for poor 3 1
    Secured railroad passes for wounded soldiers 3 1
    Found baggage for 11 2
    April May
    Located relatives for 5 3
    Families allotted food 7 5
    Assisted in financial matters 8 6
    Found lodgings for families 6 2
    Secured medical aid and medicines for 7 5
    Soldiers' families supported 6 6
    Assisted immigrants to proceed on their journey 4 1
    Corresponded for 120 98
    Referred to county for aid 5 2
    Total 281 219
    Total for April and May 500

    My activity as agent of the German Society of Chicago was interrupted by the President's call for the organization of volunteer state militia. In my spare time I have devoted myself to helping needy immigrants and 4countrymen without remuneration from the Society, until the Conscription Act was passed; but now my term of service has expired.

    The German public of Chicago, a city where fifty thousand Teutons live, should pay more attention to immigration which is the cause of the great and rapid development of the city.

    While Americans annually spend large sums of money for benevolent purposes, as for instance, for orphan homes, homes for the friendless, and homes for the aged, the German Society of Chicago, which has become a refuge for helpless immigrants and needy German citizens, ought not fall asleep; for the German Society of Chicago is the only German organization which aids needy Germans without respect to origin or creed

    If our German citizens would cease helping every beggar and bum who comes to their door or approaches them in the streets, especially in the winter, and would donate corn, flour, meat, potatoes, etc., no Chicago family 5that is worthy of support would have to go hungry.

    The German Society has done much to increase the school attendance of poor children by exercising a "moral" compulsion--by giving shoes and clothing to those poor pupils who attend school regularly.

    We take great pleasure in commending the work done in the Juvenile Home, where German children were always heartily welcomed and well cared for.

    The Home of the Friendless is maintained for the benefit of children of dissolute or criminally inclined parents, or children who are in danger of entering upon a life of crime, and it has proved to be very effective. However the Home of the Friendless is not a suitable place for the children of poor but law-abiding parents; these children should be placed in more pleasant and less dangerous surroundings, so that they are not estranged from their parents and do not fall prey to greedy employers.


    The Home for Workers is in its infancy. It is the most pleasant and most necessary of all branches of charity; for who is more deserving among the needy than the man or woman who is diligent and faithful and would like to work but is prevented from doing so by age and physical disability, and would rather starve than become an inmate of a poorhouse?

    In the Reform School there are proportionately few German boys; and the majority of them have been placed there because of youthful carelessness or indifference on the part of their parents, who either send their boys out to gather old iron and other junk, or permit them to loiter idly about the streets and alleys. In time the lads meet bad companions and finally are confined to reform schools, where they come into contact with confirmed and hardened offenders, and as a result the boys are totally demoralized.

    I hope that the German Society of Chicago endeavors to have juvenile delinquents classified, so that light offenders, first offenders, or those who do not participate in evil deeds, but just accompany the offenders, are not 7placed on the same level with, treated as, and confined with, real criminals, thieves, robbers, murderers, etc., but are kept separate from the latter.

    The inmates of the Reform School should be classified in the following manner: 1) Non-participating observer; 2) Seduced; 3) Corrigible; 4) Incorrigible.

    As in Germany, the societies "for the protection of German emigrants" are expanding their activity, so we also should take greater precautions to protect immigrants in our country.

    In conclusion I wish to emphasize that if the German Society of Chicago is not more alert, the thieves and confidence men in New York and other ports will have a gay time; for the German Society of Chicago and the St. Louis Immigrant Society have done more to prevent swindling than any other organization in the United States. The German Society of Chicago may justly be proud of the fact that it has exposed several attempts to defraud innocent people of large sums of money and valuable property, and has also succeeded 8in locating much valuable baggage.

    If the German immigrants who come to Chicago are left without a source of information or material aid, the city will not only lose its wide-spread reputation for the assistance rendered immigrants, but also will soon be deprived of the valuable services of these people.

    The Chicago Turnverein and the Chicago Arbeiterverein have done much for charitable purposes; however, the great majority of the members of these organizations are of the laboring class; many of them are members of the German Society of Chicago, and their zeal is commendable. Yet it is desirable that those who have wealth--home owners, businessmen, and professional men--take a greater and more active interest in benevolence. And they really are obligated, for they avail themselves of the services of the Society when they need help in their offices, stores, or homes.

    I wish to thank our president, Mr. Heinrich Greenbaum for the valuable 9aid he has given me in my work. He was always willing to assist me whenever difficulties presented themselves, though at times it was necessary that he neglect his business in order to comply with my request.

    I have always tried to be just toward everybody; if I appeared to be unsympathetic in some instances it was only because I wished to discourage people who are not worthy of assistance. There are a great number of beggars who journey from city to city; they are very successful in arousing the sympathy of the public, much more so than worthy applicants for aid. They manage to lead the existence which appeals to them by carefully avoiding any flagrant offense against the laws pertaining to vagrancy. When I refuse to feed or house these lazy persons, they slander the German Society of Chicago. And the public, not knowing that these professional beggars have been driven from some neighboring city by the civil authorities, believes their stories about about inhuman treatment.

    .......[The next paragraph of this article contains a repetition of previously 10expressed thoughts.]


    F. Schlund, Agent.


    Receipts for 1862 and 1863 $652.07
    Disbursements for 1862 and 1863 246.50
    Balance $405.57

    Heinrich Greenbaum, President.

    May 2, 1863.

    The general meeting of the German Society of Chicago was held in the German House, May 3, 1863, with President Heinrich Greenbaum presiding. The report of Agent Schlund was read ...

    III B 2, II D 10, I D 1 a, I B 3 b, II D 8, II D 7, II D 4, II D 5, II D 3, II E 2, II E 3, III D, III G

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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- June 12, 1866
    Report of Agent of German Society for the Protection of Immigrants for the Month of May 1866.

    Following is the report of my activities during the month of May, 1866:

    Applications for work 279
    Secured employment for 214
    Letters received 33
    Letters written 40
    Families aided financially 15
    Information and advice given to 132
    Located baggage for 4
    Secured railroad passes for 7
    Depots and landing places visited 14
    Caused arrest of "runners" 2
    Secured passage at cost of Society 2
    Issued recommendations to 26

    On May 20, I found Mrs. Henriette Stroeger, widow of an immigrant who died en voyage, her infant child, and her sister lying sick and helpless near the Milwaukee Railroad depot. I had them brought to the Hospital for Women and Children, on Ohio Street where they were restored to health at the Society's expense. Another immigrant who was brought to this institution was treated gratis by Dr. G. Schloetzer. This man has not yet recovered from his illness.

    Our Police Commissioner should place a special policeman who is able to speak both English and German at the various depots to protect travelers, especially immigrants; this officer ought to be present at the arrival and departure of every immigrant train to see to it that immigrants are not mistreated or defrauded by railroad agents, confidence men, expressmen, or by "runners" or proprietors of saloons and hotels which are patronized by immigrants. By making it the sole duty of a policeman to patrol the depots and landing places, the Police Commissioner would do much to prevent the many just complaints that I hear frequently.


    Immigrants who travel from New York to Iowa are often forced to pay the transportation charges on excess baggage from Chicago to Iowa twice, once in New York and again in Chicago, at the depot of the Galena division of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad. This railroad will accept a ticket issued by the railroad agent in Castel Gardens, New York only if the weight of the baggage is written thereon plainly in ink, so that the charges on excess baggage for the trip from Chicago to Iowa can be collected from the agent at New York. However, these agents are frequently intent upon their own interests and they use a lead pencil rather than pen and ink. The figures recording the amount of excess baggage are then written so illegibly on the tickets that the officers of the Northwestern Railroad refuse to accept them as valid. I have brought these facts to the attention of the Commissioner of Immigration stationed at Castle Gardens, New York, and shall follow up the matter until it is disposed of in favor of immigrants.

    On May 30, Mr. Thiener, a German immigrant, bought his passage from Chicago 4to Gillmon, Illinois from the agent of the Illinois Central Railroad. The fare is $3.65. Mr. Thiener gave the agent a twenty-franc piece, expecting to receive $1.35, the premium of exchange, in return. The agent refused to pay the premium, as did the acting superintendent of the railroad when I complained to him. The latter informed me that their agent had been instructed to accept gold or paper money but not to refund the prevalent premium on gold, and that none of the railroads of the West were accepting gold at the market value. Therefore, our German citizens ought to warn all immigrants with whom they come in contact against paying gold for railroad passage.

    About a thousand trunks and other articles--among them much baggage that belongs to German immigrants--is stored in the warehouse of the Illinois and Michigan Central Railroad, where they are kept for two years. Could not these railroads show their appreciation for the many dollars the public pays into their coffers by publishing an exact list of these articles in local newspapers?


    W. C. Boeckmann and Johann Colljung, who arrived here via the steamship "England", which left Liverpool on March 29, have asked me to issue the following warning: The English steamship "England" sailed from Liverpool with 1,312 passengers aboard; 667 of these died at sea or in quarantine at Halifax. There were 563 German immigrants on the ship, and about one half of them died. The food that was served during the voyage was of very poor quality; the fish and the potatoes were spoiled. The rooms on the ship were overcrowded, the ventilation in the steerage was very poor, and everywhere there was filth. Many German passengers were "relieved" of their baggage, or their baggage was taken from them, by health officers at Halifax, who made no reimbursement.

    Frequently, immigrants complain that the transportation of baggage from Baltimore to Chicago by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad leaves much to be desired. This company has not yet introduced the check system, and although C. F. Hillebrand, the Baltimore and Ohio agent at Baltimore, always assures immigrants that their baggage will arrive at Chicago at the same time they 6do, they often must wait ten to fourteen days at Chicago, or continue their journey without their belongings.

    In conclusion, I wish to acknowledge and commend the conduct of John H. Gund, a Police Sergeant, who so kindly and sympathetically cared for the needs of the family of M. J. J. Tagg, who was friendless and destitute when he arrived in this city.

    Ernst J. Knnobelsdorff, Agent.

    Following is the report of my activities during the month of May, 1866: <table> <tr> <td>Applications for work</td> <td>279</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Secured employment for</td> <td>214</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Letters received</td> <td>33</td> ...

    II D 10, II D 8, III G
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- August 06, 1867
    July Report of Agent of Aid Society for German Immigrants

    Requests for work and advice 680
    Employment secured for 135
    Letters received 47
    Letters written 82
    Baggage located for 268
    Secured railroad tickets from County Agent for 13
    Secured aid from County Agent for 19
    Secured admission to County Hospital or Poorhouse for 8
    Depots visited 16
    Aided 28 families with $89.20
    Charges filed before a justice of the peace 1
    Charges filed in a police court 1
    Tickets secured from the Great Eastern Railroad for poor immigrant families 4

    So many complaints and requests for aid are coming to our office from immigrants and others that it is hardly possible to take care of all the work connected with my duties.

    The activity of the Agent benefits our city to some extent, and it is very desirable that our local authorities furnish a policeman for our headquarters, as New York does for the German Immigrant Society of that city. The policeman could devote all his time to the protection of immigrants who arrive at, and leave from, our railroad depots, and to the investigation of complaints made by immigrants that they have been cheated and abused.

    The greatest evil prevailing in Chicago is that certain hotel owners, whose establishments are frequented by immigrants, hire dishonest, unprincipled runners, who exploit immigrants for personal gain, or, in some cases, for the enrichment of their employers. This sad condition should be eliminated; and it could be done easily: The Mayor would merely have to cancel the license of dishonest 3runners if they persisted in their nefarious work after having been fined in police court. And I consider the city authorities to be guilty of a great breach of justice in so far as they are wont to grant a license without previous investigation of the moral character of applicants who have been previously punished by a police judge. The same evil exists in other large cities. It is reported that the city of Detroit has withdrawn all licenses issued to runners.

    On June 25, Johann Hassel, a German immigrant who now lives at Neenah, Wisconsin, gave a baggage master of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad $20 in gold in payment of an excess tariff of $12. The agent returned him only $8 in paper money as his change. The railroad knows nothing about this fraud, and so the baggage master can keep the difference between the value of $8 in gold and its value in paper money. The railroad ought to put a stop to this type of swindle. If, however, the railroad wants its ticket agents or other employes to retain the premium on gold, because they don't have the time to take care of exchange 4transactions, it is the duty of the company to so notify the traveling public.

    A German girl, Amalie Schlichting, now living in Chicago, arrived in Quebec on June 20 via the sail-boat "Roret Brigham". Then she was brought with other immigrants to Sarnia, Canada, the journey lasting three days and four nights. At Sarnia, the immigrants were put aboard the steamship "Montgomery," which was under the command of Captain Nichols, and were taken to Milwaukee and Chicago, where they landed on June 28. Thus the entire trip took six days and eight nights. According to a statement made by Miss Schlichting, so many immigrants were taken aboard the ship that there was hardly room to move, and it was not possible to lie down to sleep at night. The entire journey from Sarnia to Chicago could be truthfully called "cruelty to animals". Captain Nichols should be made to answer for his infamous conduct. Witnesses will not be lacking.

    Furthermore, the immigrants received no baggage checks in Quebec or Sarnia, 5and although Miss Schlichting delivered her baggage to the officers of the "Montgomery" at Sarnia, it was lost in transit. My request that the general agent of the Grand Trunk Line reimburse Miss Schlichting for the loss of her baggage was rejected. The young lady has brought suit against the company, and I hope that the law will see to it that she is dealt with justly.

    Ernst J. Knobelsdorff, 97 Kinzie Street.

    Chicago, Illinois, August 2nd, 1867.

    H. Claussenius, president,

    C. Knobelsdorff, secretary.

    <table> <tr> <td>Requests for work and advice</td> <td>680</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Employment secured for</td> <td>135</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Letters received</td> <td>47</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Letters written</td> <td>82</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Baggage located for</td> <td>268</td> ...

    II D 10, II D 8, III G
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- September 09, 1867
    Report of Aid Society for German Immigrants For the Month of August, 1867 by Ernst Knobelsdorf (Agent)

    Requests for employment 502
    Secured employment for 115
    Letters received 42
    Letters written 45
    Located baggage for 5
    Secured railroad tickets from County Agent for 12
    Secured support through County Agent for 15
    Obtained treatment at County Hospital for 9

    Distributed $130.74 of Society's funds among 36 families.

    The President of the German Society of New York requested that I inform him of the number of immigrants who travel from New York to Chicago on immigrant trains, stating that the railroad companies which have their headquarters for immigrants at Castle Gardens, New York, claim that they bring immigrants from New York to Chicago in less than five days.

    This may be the case now and then, when it does not pay to run an immigrant train, because of an insufficient number of passengers; but the regular trip on an immigrant train from New York to Chicago takes from five to six days. Numerous unnecessary stopovers are made for the benefit of hotelkeepers and 3saloonkeepers who pay railroad employees liberally for the opportunity of relieving the immigrants of their cash.

    Three of the main railroad companies have agents at Castle Gardens. These roads transport the bulk of immigrants to the West. The employees of these roads are under the supervision of the Bureau of Immigration; but that governmental body apparently has no conception of its duty, which is to give immigrants all possible assistance and protection.

    I gladly acknowledge that the authorities at Castle Gardens protect newcomers against the many imposters who formerly tried every means of taking advantage of the ignorance of most immigrants. However, that is but a small part of the prescribed duties of the Bureau of Immigration; and, what is more, immigrants pay for more service, for Castle Gardens is maintained entirely by the poll tax which is levied upon the immigrants and paid by them.

    One of the greatest evils which prevails at Castle Gardens, an evil which 4greatly discredits the institution, is that the Bureau of Immigration has contracted with the railroads of New York for the sale of tickets to immigrants, and there is a rumor that the companies pay ten thousand dollars a year for this "privilege".

    However, the Bureau neglected to include in this contract provisions to the effect that immigrants are to be transported to their ultimate destination in the United States via express trains, are to be treated humanely, and that the railroad companies represented at Castle Gardens are to assume the responsibility of transporting the baggage of immigrants on the same train on which the immigrants travel.

    As a result of the previously mentioned contract the New York railroad companies gained as much control over Castle Gardens as that held by the officers of the Bureau of Immigration, and they steadfastly disclaimed all liability, save that of promptly transporting immigrants and their baggage as far as the 5immigrants traveled on the respective lines of these companies. In order to avoid complaints due to unnecessary delays, the Bureau was forced to take upon itself the responsibility for prompt service. Therefore, to expedite the forwarding of the immigrants' baggage, special transfer agents have been placed at the end of each railroad, and the salaries of these agents probably amount to more than the "easy money" which the Bureau receives from the New York railroads.

    If the Bureau cares to prove that Castle Gardens exists for the benefit of immigrants, and not for the enrichment of the members of the Bureau and the railroad, it will soon put an end to the evils which we have mentioned.

    I cannot understand how the Bureau of Immigration can possibly justify its action in paying the salaries of the many transfer agents with part of the poll tax, since, according to business ethics the railroads which sell tickets to immigrants thereby assume the legal obligation of rendering prompt and efficient 6service, including protection of passengers against dishonest railroad employees.

    The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad is setting a good example in good service to immigrants; this line transports them from Baltimore to Chicago in from two to three days.

    In Baltimore, immigrants receive checks for their baggage, and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad thus assumes the responsibility for promptness in carrying the immigrants' baggage all the way from Baltimore to Chicago, and the baggage is transported on the same train as its owners.

    This Company also protects its immigrant passengers by employing agents who speak German and can thus give the immigrants the necessary instructions and directions to safeguard them against confidence men, dishonest hotelkeepers and saloonkeepers, etc. This procedure appears to be the only means of providing 7immigrants with adequate protection.

    In the effort to remove all existing evils, the Board of Commissioners of Castle Gardens recommend the following measures:

    1) Abolish immigrant trains and transport immigrants via express trains.

    2) Make the New York roads responsible for prompt transportation of immigrants and their baggage; and force them to employ at all their terminals, agents who speak both English and German so that they can give immigrants adequate protection.

    <table> <tr> <td>Requests for employment</td> <td>502</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Secured employment for</td> <td>115</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Letters received</td> <td>42</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Letters written</td> <td>45</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Located baggage for</td> <td>5</td> </tr> <tr> ...

    III G, II D 10, II D 3, II D 8
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- November 13, 1867
    General Meeting of the Aid Society for German Immigrants

    Mr. H. Claussenius was in the chair, and Mr. C. Knobelsdorff acted as secretary.

    The reports of the secretary and treasurer on receipts and disbursements for the quarter ending on October 4 were adopted as read.

    The revision committee, consisting of Mr. C. Degenhardt and Mr. Louis Nelke, reported that Mr. C. Knobelsdorff's account of money received and paid out in connection with the Fair which was recently given by the Society, has been examined and found to be correct.

    According to this report, the net profit derived from the Fair amounted to $3,599.74, and was delivered to the treasurer.


    It was voted to invest $3,000 of the above amount in county bonds, and the secretary and treasurer were requested to carry out this resolution.

    Thereupon the annual election was held. Mr. Koerner (sic) and Mr. Schwarzlose (sic) were appointed to serve as election committee, and it was decided to take only one vote by ballot for all the officers to be elected, the one receiving the greatest number of votes to serve as president, the one receiving the next largest number of votes, to act as secretary, etc:

    The following gentlemen were then elected for the half year ending April 1,1860.

    President: C. Knobelsdorff, Vice-President: Doctor (sic) Fessel, Secretary: Max Koerner, Treasurer: Charles Rietz

    Directors for the North Side: H. Fromhold, Julius Nelke, H. Claussenius.


    Directors for the South Side: G. Beuttenmueller, H. Kaestner.

    Directors for the West Side: Doctor Weitze, Henderis.

    The following were accorded a vote of thanks: Mrs.Ino Metzke, president of the Ladies Auxilliary of the Aid Society for German Immigrants, and the other members of the Auxilliary who assisted in organizing and managing the Fair;

    Mr. Max Koerner, Mr. Louis Nelke, and Mr. Theodor Falk for their valued advice and help; Mr. H. Claussenius retiring president, and the other officers who served the Society during the past six months.

    C. Knobelsdorff,


    Mr. H. Claussenius was in the chair, and Mr. C. Knobelsdorff acted as secretary. The reports of the secretary and treasurer on receipts and disbursements for the quarter ending on ...

    II D 10, II D 8, IV