The Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Progress Administration of Illinois. The purpose of the project was to translate and classify selected news articles that appeared in the foreign language press from 1855 to 1938. The project consists of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities of Chicago.

Read more about this historic project.

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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 16, 1877
    Italian Slave Dealers

    The shameful trade in Italian children, a practice which has already been revealed in several cities and prosecuted more than once, has also come to light here. Emmanuel Mallelo an Italian living at 527 S. Clark Street, was subjected to a severe grilling in the South Side Police Station for alleged slave dealing in Italian children. Here is what happened: A little boy unable to speak English, freezing and crying, was met by a policeman, who brought him to an Italian man to help as an interpreter. The child said that his father had rented him out to Mallelo for $25 a year. He was forced to walk daily through the streets with a harp on his back and to play music. The money thus collected he had to give to his cruel master in the evening. It fared bad with him every time he did not hand over a certain minimum amount to his torturer. He was then beaten, received nothing to eat and forced out again into the dark night to complete the required sum. If he was again unsuccessful, he had to look for another shelter or sleep in the open.

    2

    The court proceedings revealed that Mallelo was keeping eight boys in similar bondage. He gave the boys shelter and food for one dollar a week. Investigations are continuing. It is to be hoped that charitable people will be found to take care of the little Italian slaves.

    The shameful trade in Italian children, a practice which has already been revealed in several cities and prosecuted more than once, has also come to light here. Emmanuel Mallelo an ...

    Italian
    II E 2
  • L'italia -- January 23, 1892
    False Arrest?

    Michele Rossi, accused of knifing John S. Cahill, was placed under arrest while in Joseph Dire's saloon, 531 S. Clark St. He insisted that he is innocent of the crime.

    Michele Rossi, accused of knifing John S. Cahill, was placed under arrest while in Joseph Dire's saloon, 531 S. Clark St. He insisted that he is innocent of the crime.

    Italian
    II E 2
  • L'italia -- February 06, 1892
    Ample Proof

    An annual report from the Chicago Police Department, shows that 22,449 persons have been arrested and of these 26 are Italians.

    The Italian population in Chicago is 25,000 which is an average of one Italian arrested in every thousand.

    We are proud to present these figures because some American newspapers stated that the Italians in Chicago are trouble-makers, and these figures show ample proof that they are not.

    An annual report from the Chicago Police Department, shows that 22,449 persons have been arrested and of these 26 are Italians. The Italian population in Chicago is 25,000 which is ...

    Italian
    II E 2, I C
  • L'italia -- June 04, 1892
    Statistics Report

    Statistics show that out of 1,500 inmates in the Illinois State prison at Joliet, only 5 are Italians.

    Statistics show that out of 1,500 inmates in the Illinois State prison at Joliet, only 5 are Italians.

    Italian
    II E 2, I C
  • L'italia -- December 17, 1892
    [The Shoe-Shine Racket]

    We condemn the inhuman practice, indulged in by certain of our compatriots, of sending boys of 10 or 12 years of age, out on the streets to shine shoes. It has the tendency of creating delinquents, since these boys, in fear of the brutal beatings received when their earnings are below a certain amount will join with others in picking the pockets of pedestrians to assure themselves of the required sum.

    The usual procedure is to give the boy a box containing brush and polish. His master has probably any number of boys out on the main streets of the city at the same time. He is always a brutal, ignorant, uneducated beast who beats his boys without mercy whenever their earnings do not satisfy him. The boy's only renumeration is a scanty meal, a dirty cot and the rags on his back. The meal, he goes without, when he returns empty-handed.

    We condemn the inhuman practice, indulged in by certain of our compatriots, of sending boys of 10 or 12 years of age, out on the streets to shine shoes. It ...

    Italian
    I H, II E 2
  • L'italia -- January 21, 1893
    False Arrest

    Because he had injustifiably beaten Stefano Albertini when the latter had drawn a gun on him in his room over the Roma Restaurant, 386 Jackson St., Clark, a Pinkerton service watchman, was fined $25.00 in court today.

    While asleep in his room over the restaurant, Albertini was awakened by a noise at the front door, at 4 o'clock in the morning, December 25th. Thinking that thieves were breaking into the restaurant, he picked up a revolver and made his way in the dark to the head of the stairs. The street door had been forced open and in the dim light he saw two men ascending the stairs. He levelled the gun at them before he recognized their uniform, that of the Pinkerton Service. The two men took the gun away from Albertini and forced him to accompany them to the quarters of the Service where, while awaiting the arrival of the police patrol which had been summoned by one of them, they mercilessly beat upon Albertini. The arrival of the patrol wagon was 2really a Godsend for Albertini.

    In court the next day when asked to explain their presence in the restaurant at that hour of the morning, they gave the excuse that they had found the front door open and having gone in to investigate the possibility of a robbery, they had run into Albertini threatening them with a gun. Thinking that Albertini, who has the room over the restaurant with the proprietor's permission, and is there also for the purpose of keeping watch over the place at night, was the one who had broken into the place, they had valiantly disarmed and hauled him to jail.

    The proprietor of the Roma, and the many friends of Albertini attested to the man's good character, so the Judge freed him and fined Clark, the leader of the two Pinkerton men, $25.00.

    Had the positions been reversed, I wonder if Albertini would have gotten out of it with a $25.00 fine.

    Because he had injustifiably beaten Stefano Albertini when the latter had drawn a gun on him in his room over the Roma Restaurant, 386 Jackson St., Clark, a Pinkerton service ...

    Italian
    II E 2, II A 2, I C
  • L'italia -- February 24, 1894
    [No Italians in the House of Correction]

    It is a great pleasure to us, to hear that in the House of Correction, with 1,200 inmates of nearly every nationality, there is not one Italian.

    This good news was given to us by the Rev. Father Paolo Ponziglione during a recent visit to that institution.

    We wish to call this fact to the attention of our American friends who are always ready to speak ill of the Italians.

    If all the other nationalities could point to as good a record, the authorities of this City could consider themselves very fortunate.

    It is a great pleasure to us, to hear that in the House of Correction, with 1,200 inmates of nearly every nationality, there is not one Italian. This good news ...

    Italian
    II E 2, III C, I C
  • L'italia -- April 07, 1894
    The Daily News and Oscar Durante

    The following Article, which we are reprinting in its entirety, appeared in the March 31st issue of the Chicago Daily News. Quote:

    "Oscar Durante, the youthful and well-known director of the Italian newspaper, L'Italia, one of the most widely circulated Italian-language papers in the United States, has left the field of journalism for the practice of law.

    "In the year 1886 when only sixteen years of age, Durante founded this newspaper in company with Carlo Gentile. Four months later, having paid Gentile his share in the paper, he remained sole owner.

    "Durante has always worked for the benefit of the Italians in Chicago.

    "It seemed to him that the majority of Italians sentenced in the Courts of the State were victims of their own lack of education and ignorance, rather than an innate delinquency.

    2

    "In the distant State of Washington, Dominick Corrello was condemned to death by hanging for a deed of which Durante believed him innocent. Hieing himself to Washington he was successful in having the death sentence commuted to eight years' imprisonment.

    "In the case of Dominick Migliavesi, also sentenced to death by hanging, Durante succeeded in having it changed to a sentence of three years in prison.

    "Believing a federation of all Italian Societies would be of greater benefit to the Italians in America, he was successful to the point of being elected Honorary President of the combined organization."

    This judgment of a newspaper as important as The Daily News, is more than a repayment for all blows received by Mr. Durante in journalistic bouts.

    The following Article, which we are reprinting in its entirety, appeared in the March 31st issue of the Chicago Daily News. Quote: "Oscar Durante, the youthful and well-known director of ...

    Italian
    II B 2 d 1, III B 2, II E 2, IV
  • L'italia -- July 07, 1894
    (No headline)

    Italian Workers Seek Their "Boss."

    A group of Italians came into the L'Italia's office seeking assistance against Joseph S. Long who, after having charged them two dollars each for a job that was to last three months, decamped with their money after they had worked ten days.

    Italian Workers Seek Their "Boss." A group of Italians came into the L'Italia's office seeking assistance against Joseph S. Long who, after having charged them two dollars each for a ...

    Italian
    II A 2, II E 2, I C
  • L'italia -- September 16, 1894
    L'italian Workers Defrauded

    Twenty Italian laborers who had paid six dollars each for a job, to an Italian track-boss, nicknamed "Jim Sullivan", arrived at their destination only to find that the promised jobs did not materialize.

    Being without funds they were forced to walk back to Chicago.

    (In those years it was a common experience for Italians to be sent to railroad section camps with the expectation of having a job for which they had paid some unscrupulous employment-agent a sum that varied from three to six dollars, only to find that the job was not there. The agents were, in many cases, Italians, Translators, - Note J. G.)

    Twenty Italian laborers who had paid six dollars each for a job, to an Italian track-boss, nicknamed "Jim Sullivan", arrived at their destination only to find that the promised jobs ...

    Italian
    II E 2