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.

Filter by Date

  • Skandinaven -- January 07, 1887
    The Stockyards

    In November of last year, the National Guard was mobilized and sent to the Stockyards in the strike which had lasted for some time. A few days later, the strike was suddenly called off, without any settlement, but the grumbling has started again.

    We feel that a strike will soon break out again, and it is hoped that at this time there will be no "sell out."

    In November of last year, the National Guard was mobilized and sent to the Stockyards in the strike which had lasted for some time. A few days later, the strike ...

    Norwegian
    I D 2 a 4
  • Skandinaven -- April 13, 1887
    Selz and Swab in Prison Scandal

    For some time, Selz and Swab have had an agreement with the Warden at Joliet permitting their firm to operate a factory in the prison for the manufacture of shoes.

    After this had gone on for some time, the workers in the Chicago shoe factory, 15 Washington Street, went on strike. At once, the Knights of Labor began to organize the shop.

    Then a few days later a strike was called in the prison at Joliet, but the Warden ordered the striking inmates to be "strung," that is, tied by their hands to the cell doors, where they stayed part of the day and the entire night. This form of punishment is a new way to compete with the workers. Of course, the wages paid in the prison is in the form of tobacco and cigarettes.

    2

    And what about the graft paid to the prison officials? No doubt, it is much cheaper than paying the workers.

    This sort of practice is going to be the beginning of many protests, and we will be first in demanding that the State authorities stop the corrupt exploitation.

    For some time, Selz and Swab have had an agreement with the Warden at Joliet permitting their firm to operate a factory in the prison for the manufacture of shoes. ...

    Norwegian
    I F 6, I D 2 a 4, I H
  • Skandinaven -- October 02, 1898
    Disgraceful Vindictiveness (Editorial in English)

    The Times-Herald of yesterday charges Governor Tanner with "refusing protection to the negroes." Here is the argument presented in support of the accusation:

    "Several weeks ago, when the situation brought on by the miners' strike at Pana, Illinois was beyond control of the sheriff, that official wired the facts to Governor Tanner and asked that the state troops be sent to aid him in preserving the peace and preventing the wholesome [sic] assassination of the negro miners who had taken the places vacated by the strikers. Instead of furnishing the desired aid the governor wired back a lot of demagogical claptrap about his alleged opposition to imported labor, and lectured the sheriff for using the force at hand to protect the negro miners--the persons whose lives were endangered.

    2

    "Since then the situation has grown worse steadily, culminating in a series of outbreaks and making it necessary to place the working miners in a stockade, while their assailants are parading the streets armed with rifles and threatening violence. Businessmen have appealed to the sheriff, but he has no force adequate for their protection. On Thursday the sheriff called again on the governor, who has ordered state troops from Galesburg to proceed to Pana and protect the lives and property of citizens, but under no circumstances to aid the mine owners in operating their mines.

    "Whether the troops will be of any assistance to the sheriff in preventing the mob of striking miners from attacking the negroes remains to be seen. Under the orders they have received from the commander-in-chief they are prohibited from protecting the only lives in danger.

    "Under what law or constitutional provision does Governor Tanner conceive it to be his duty to protect only the lives of white men and leave inoffensive 3colored workers at the mercy of armed mobs? Not even in the South, when race prejudice was strongest, was there a more inhuman and lawless procedure on the part of the state authorities.

    "It is incomprehensible that John R. Tanner, who boasts of having fought to free the slaves, should in such a crisis, deny colored men the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the state of which, by misplaced suffrage, he is chief executive. But it is true."

    It is incomprehensible that a newspaper boasting of its independence should be so completely enslaved by the demon of vindictiveness as to admit such a batch of malicious misrepresentations to its columns.

    Everybody knows that the charge preferred by the Times-Herald lacks even the semblance of truth. Governor Tanner has not "refused protection to Negroes."

    4

    He has made no discrimination whatever between white and colored men. He has stated that he is unalterably opposed to the importation of labor by employers who disagree with their men, because this traffic is injurious to our own workers and prejudicial to the best interests of the state. The Times-Herald brands this as "claptrap," but the taxpayers and workers of Illinois and all fair-minded and sensible people in all walks of life will uphold Governor Tanner.

    While he is opposed to the importation of labor, black and white, he has shown that he is ready to afford protection to imported workers, black and white, if necessary by the military arm of the state. But he knows his duties too well to prostitute the national guard by permitting the troops to aid embarrassed mine-owners in running their mines. He was clearly justified in calling out troops three weeks ago, as he was justified in resorting to this extreme measure on Thursday.

    5

    His instructions as to the use of the troops are exactly what the constitution and the dignity of the commonwealth and sound common sense demand.

    The Skandinaven has at times felt called upon to criticize Governor Tanner's actions; but in this matter he is all right, while the Times-Herald is all wrong, and discreditably wrong at that.

    The Times-Herald of yesterday charges Governor Tanner with "refusing protection to the negroes." Here is the argument presented in support of the accusation: "Several weeks ago, when the situation brought ...

    Norwegian
    I D 2 a 4, I D 1 a, I H
  • Skandinaven -- October 23, 1898
    The Anarchy of Capital (Editorial in English)

    Those contemporaries who a few days ago vilified and hounded Governor Tanner because he refused to aid the Chicago and Virden Coal Company in running its mines, have suddenly become as silent as the grave. What is the matter with them? Is the Constitution dead since they have quit quoting it upon the Governor, or have they come to understand that the Governor was right?

    However this may be, their silence is significant. If it is sullen and ill-tempered, it is nevertheless a plain recognition of the force of public opinion. The Governor acted for the best interests of the people in this grave crisis; the people understand this, and no amount of misrepresentation will blind their eyes to the plain fact.

    The officers of the coal company had a great deal to say about their constitutional rights and the duty of the Governor to protect these rights by all the 2power at his command. But they were silent about the duties of their corporation and the rights of the state.

    Theirs is a position that cannot be tolerated in a civilized society. There are no rights without corresponding duties; right and duty are in every instance so completely intertwined that one cannot be separated from the other. When workers attempt to enforce their rights without any regard to their duties, they wage war upon the fabric of society as it exists today, and are branded as anarchists. The same is true of capitalists. The impudent threat that the Virden Coal Company would enforce its rights at the mouth of Winchesters and to the extent of sacrificing every life on the train, was the rankest sort of anarchy. The Governor properly took the ground that the company had outlawed itself by its armed attack upon the state, and that it is responsible for the lives lost in the deplorable conflict.

    Governor Tanner has furnished a precedent for his successors in this state and the executives of other states. His position is in advance of the written letter of the law, but it is in line with public sentiment, which will be the 3law of tomorrow. He deserves the thanks not only of labor but of the people at large for his wise, patriotic, and courageous action. And the tragedy at Virden will arouse the people to a sense of the danger that threatens society from the anarchy of corporate capital that is controlled by unscrupulous men who recognize no duty or law that conflicts with their rapacity and greed.

    Those contemporaries who a few days ago vilified and hounded Governor Tanner because he refused to aid the Chicago and Virden Coal Company in running its mines, have suddenly become ...

    Norwegian
    I D 1 a, I D 2 a 4
  • Skandinaven -- December 10, 1899
    The Way of Harmony (Editorial in English)

    There is now a fair prospect of an early adjustment of the difficulties that for so long have paralyzed the building industries of Chicago. The contending parties have at last entered upon the road which in nine cases out of ten is the short cut from industrial war to peace--direct negotiation. They have agreed to meet in a friendly conference under conditions that will insure a free and full discussion of all the points at issue. Each body will be represented by a committee of men who enjoy the confidence of their respective constituents and understand the situation thoroughly. A full exchange, by two such bodies, of views and information cannot fail to correct misunderstandings that may have existed on either side, eliminate every irrelevant point injected into the controversy, foster a spirit of conciliation, and thus pave the way for a restoration of complete harmony.

    2

    The pianomakers' contest, which thus far has cost the employees something like a quarter of a million dollars, illustrates forcibly that trouble between employers and employees is much easier made than mended by outside agencies. This is the burden of the decision just rendered by the state board of arbitration after a searching investigation of the causes and origin of the controversy.

    "The manufacturers," says the board," appeared to have made no objection to the wage scale submitted by the men, but preferred to deal directly with their own men rather than with an agent of the union who had never been connected with any department of the piano and organ workers' trade, and who was altogether without practical knowledge of the business."

    Any sensible man would take the same position. A thorough understanding of the nature of a dispute is always the first condition of a fair and intelligent settlement. This applies with particular force to the pianomakers' controversy.

    3

    "There is such a wide difference in conditions in the several factories that we," says the board," shall make no attempt in this case to recommend a wage scale applicable to all of them, but shall leave the wage question to be settled between each individual employer and his employees. We feel confident that no difficulty will be experienced in any case in reaching a satisfactory agreement upon the wage question."

    As the employers had not applied for arbitration, the board could not attempt to arbitrate the matter. It makes the following recommendations:

    "That the strike at the factory of Story and Clark and the lockouts at all other factories be declared off immediately;

    "That work be resumed at all factories at once;

    "That all of the employees at work at the time of the strike and lockout be re-employed without discrimination;

    "That a day's work in all factories and in all departments shall consist of nine hours; 4"That in case of a difference involving a proposed increase in wages, each employer shall meet a committee of his employees and endeavor to settle such differences by mutual agreement."

    To an outsider this looks like a fair proposition. But it is reported that at a meeting of the piano and organ workers the report was received with derision and thrown into the wastebasket, and it was decided to continue the strike.

    Why these recommendations should receive such treatment is a little difficult to understand for the third party to the contest--the community at large; and the employees would not weaken their cause in the least by explaining it to the public. Inasmuch as it may, apparently, be taken for granted that there is no real difference as to wages it may seem to some that the employees are pursuing a shadow and rejecting the substance.

    5

    The lesson taught by this somewhat peculiar controversy is that when anybody gets between employer and employees, trouble is likely to follow, and that a controversy, once started, is not easily settled from without, not even by such a well-intentioned agency as the state board of arbitration. As a rule, arbitration is either unnecessary or ineffectual. No outsider understands a labor contest as well as do the parties to the controversy. The state cannot force either employer or employees to accept in good faith an incongruous decision. But if it cannot compel them to agree, the state has a right to compel them to try to agree. It can make it compulsory upon the parties to a strike or a lockout to meet in conference under conditions that will enable both the contestants and the community at large to learn and understand the exact nature and bearing of the conflict. In most instances an adjustment would then be reached, while the unsettled differences would quickly yield to the irresistible force of a crystallized intelligent public opinion.

    There is now a fair prospect of an early adjustment of the difficulties that for so long have paralyzed the building industries of Chicago. The contending parties have at last ...

    Norwegian
    I D 2 a 4, I D 2 a 2, I D 1 a, I H
  • Skandinaven -- April 29, 1900
    Law Must Prevail (Editorial)

    The reign of violence must come to an end in Chicago. If the city administration is unable or unwilling to preserve peace, other agencies of the law should be invoked. The existing condition of affairs is bordering upon anarchy. Law-abiding and peace-loving workmen are terrorized, beaten, maimed, and even killed, simply because they attempt to exercise their right to work. For weeks and weeks, every day has witnessed fresh instances of brutal assaults. Victim after victim has been sent to the hospitals or to the graveyards, yet nothing has been done by the city authorities to check the rising tide of crime. On the contrary, Chicago has been completely surrendered to lawlessness by the very official who is in supreme command of the city's army of 3,000 peace officers and who is solemnly sworn to uphold law and order.

    2

    Let Carter H. Harrison [Jr.] look upon his hands.

    There is blood upon them. If that is not sufficient to rouse him to a sense of his duty, let him turn his eyes upon the past and read the warning of its ominous tale-:

    Not many years ago Carter H. Harrison [Sr.] was Mayor of Chicago. Anarchy raised its head and began to marshal its forces for a determined attack upon society. Thousands flocked to its red banner; in public meetings revolution was openly preached; the torch flaunted, and arson and murder taught as a right and a duty. But the complacent Mayor was not disturbed, nor did he disturb the conspirators against the public peace. He beheld the law trampled under foot, but he did nothing to vindicate its authority. Encouraged and emboldened by his "hands-off" policy, the anarchist conspirators went from threats to action, and the Haymarket slaughter followed. Under the protection of the city government the dragon teeth of lawlessness and crime had struck root, and in due season the city reaped a harvest of 3assassination and carnage. Carter H. Harrison, the present Mayor of Chicago, cannot have forgotten those dark and bloody days. Yet he has been following the very path that led to the Haymarket tragedy. The only difference between conditions now and then is that the law is more flagrantly violated now than it was during the period preceding the assassination of the seven police officers. Those who at present set the law at naught do not waste much time on inflammatory speeches; they let their brass knuckles, their slingshots, and their revolvers speak for them. The anarchists conceded a man's right to work and respected those who wanted to support their families by the sweat of their brows. Our present-day lawbreakers deny a man's right to work and proceed to beat him or kill him unless he be willing to loaf and let his wife and children starve. The anarchist agitation was a mere breeze compared with the present raging hurricane of lawlessness. And yet the little fellow in the big chair in the City Hall is doing nothing. He has practically abdicated, and mob law rules the city.

    4

    Contrast with the demagogic course of Mayor Harrison the policy of Governor Roosevelt, a man who is in the habit of squaring his performances with his professions. Said he in a recent interview with a Chicago paper:

    "They have found out in New York, that when I declare for a thing, I am in the fight to stay. I am friendly to every right of labor and to its advancement. I am for law and order also. The law must be obeyed in letter and in spirit. If I send the state militia out to guard property, it must be guarded. If a strike is on and rioting liable, the mob must not rule. The men may strike all they wish to but not riot. I think I have made plain where I stand as the Governor of New York, and while I have not, and cannot have, the vote of the plug-ugly or the hoodlum, I have the vote of the solid, law-abiding, right thinking citizen."

    This is the manly policy of an executive who knows his own mind, has the courage of his convictions, holds his oath of office sacred, and who dares 5to do his duty.

    An executive who is a demagogue is neither a man of convictions, nor a courageous man. His winking at vice, his covenant with the criminal element have dulled his sense of duty and made him their tool. He is unable to protect his own honor, much less the public peace. At the first sign of trouble the Mayor and the rest of the "rat-hole politicians" of the City Hall were scared out of their wits and sought a quick and safe retreat in their holes. Whereupon this magnificent maneuver was proclaimed the policy of the administration!

    The pusillanimous and contemptible attitude of the administration must not, however, be permitted to blind the people to its dangers. The future of organized labor is imperilled. The rights and dignity of labor in general are at stake. The honor of Chicago and the prosperity of our people are in jeopardy. And above all, the arm of the law is paralyzed. Since the 6administration has surrendered to lawlessness, the people must rise to guard the welfare of the city, protect labor, vindicate the law, and enforce public peace.

    The reign of violence must come to an end in Chicago. If the city administration is unable or unwilling to preserve peace, other agencies of the law should be invoked. ...

    Norwegian
    I F 6, I D 2 a 4, II E 3
  • Skandinaven -- May 06, 1900
    Law and Labor (Editorial in English)

    The large batch of true bills found by the Grand Jury against rioting strikers will prove a blessing in disguise to organized labor in Chicago and throughout the whole land. This eleventh-hour assertion of the power of the law cannot but make the strike leaders pause in their mad course of lawlessness, as it must open the eyes of those of their misguided followers who are still amenable to reason.

    Unionism, as it has manifested itself in Chicago during the present troubles, has become a positive danger to society, especially to the large body of honest and industrious workingmen. Its aim is to be a law unto itself. It has defied the laws of society as recklessly as it has trampled upon the rights of honest toil. No one believes that the large body of unionists in this city are lawless men, but they cannot escape the responsibility for the lawless acts that 2have been committed in their name and ostensibly for their benefit. The labor leaders have been chosen and invested with their dangerous power by the majorities of their respective unions. If the majority of union men have been misled, it is their misfortune, but this fact does not absolve them from responsibility. Nor can they plead ignorance. It has been plain to all men of average common sense that union labor in Chicago has been unscrupulously exploited by a gang of officeholders who have been using their power in the unions for what there was in it. These self-seeking schemers are the authors of the troubles, but they are supremely indifferent to the want, misery, and suffering that have saddened the hearths of so many thousands of happy homes.

    Sober workingmen must now have come to understand that during its present leadership, unionism in Chicago was rushing headlong to destruction. The "leaders," drunk with the sense of their power, may have harbored the insane delusion that, because a cowardly and demagogic administration cowed before them, nothing could withstand their assaults. They have now discovered their mistake.

    3

    Whether the large body of union men have seen the error of their ways is, now-ever, a matter of greater importance; for upon this very point depends the future, not to say the existence, of organized labor. There cannot be a shadow of a doubt that if it is to pursue a course of intimidation, terrorism, violence, and riot, unionism will be crushed and wiped out altogether.

    Organized labor has done much for the advancement of the toiler, if not as much as it has done for the numerous slick talkers who prefer to live upon the fruits of other men's toil rather than to toil for themselves. Organized labor is needed as an educating force, as a steadying and regulating factor in our industrial development. But if it is to exist, it must keep within the pale of the law and not interfere with the rights of any toiler to work as he pleases.

    This plain lesson organized labor must learn and adopt for its future guidance, or it will go down. Labor is great, but law is greater. Labor is the dominating economic force in society, but the true welfare of labor, organized or 4unorganized, depends upon its recognition of law as the greatest and supreme force of the land.

    The large batch of true bills found by the Grand Jury against rioting strikers will prove a blessing in disguise to organized labor in Chicago and throughout the whole land. ...

    Norwegian
    I D 2 a 4, I D 2 a 2, I D 2 a 3
  • Skandinaven -- May 20, 1900
    The Labor War--Peace in Sight

    Efforts are now being made to carry into effect the plan for strike settlement which was suggested by the Skandinaven some weeks ago. Professor Graham Taylor has made some telling speeches along the same lines, and the public generally appears to be favorably impressed with the proposed plan for a reconciliation.

    It must be plain to all thinking men by this time that normal conditions can now be restored only in two ways: by the complete exhaustion of one or both of the contending parties or by a settlement enforced by public opinion. The community has already suffered grievously from this inexcusable war; it cannot afford to have it prolonged a single day if it is within its power to restore peace.

    Let public opinion assert itself with practical unanimity and sufficient force, and the warring parties will be compelled to lay down their arms. The right 2of the public to interfere is plain. It is the third party to, and the heaviest sufferer in, any labor war; it has a better and stronger right to command and enforce peace than have either employers or workmen to precipitate an industrial war.

    The people cannot speak except through a delegate body. In order to be truly representative in character and able to speak with sufficient authority, such a body must represent all shades of public opinion. This is the main point to be considered in making up the prospective committee of conference and conciliation. A committee speaking with the voice of Chicago will end this foolish and disastrous war.

    Efforts are now being made to carry into effect the plan for strike settlement which was suggested by the Skandinaven some weeks ago. Professor Graham Taylor has made some telling ...

    Norwegian
    I D 2 a 4
  • Skandinaven -- October 07, 1900
    The Workers and Their Leaders (Editorial)

    Mr. Edward Carroll has resigned as president of the Building Trades' Council, and Mr. William Schardt has been elected his successor. Mr. Schardt is the president of a Bryan-Alschuler Club. His election as president of the Building Trades' Council means that the latter will use its influence for the advancement of the Democratic ticket.

    There is nothing new in this, since most of the leaders of the organization mentioned have for a long time been in the service of the Democratic party. At their last meeting it was reported, for example, that sixty-eight of the delegates to the Building Trades' Council are Democrats who are holding well-paid positions in the service of the city of Chicago, while two delegates are Republicans, also holding official positions.

    2

    The committee in charge had prepared a proposal demanding that all delegates holding political jobs be expelled from the Council. The leaders of the Council, however, are of course desirous of keeping their fat positions with the city and their influence with the workers as well, and they saw to it that the proposal in question was not even taken up for consideration by the Council.

    The election of Mr. Schardt as president of the Building Trades' Council is, then, in full accord with the policy these leaders have been constantly pursuing. There is one good feature involved in the election of Schardt: the labor leaders have now cast off their mask so completely that even the most confiding workers will be able to see what course is being steered. The fact that these "leaders" have chiefly their own interest in view can no longer be denied by anyone who wishes to see.

    What do they care if the workers and their families are starving? Through 3their votes the laborers have made these men "leaders," and because the latter occupy the positions of "leaders" they have been given fat jobs by Mayor Harrison. In return for their salaries they need only create dissatisfaction and dissension, the more the better. In performing this service, they show their power, and it costs them nothing, since the workers are paying--with enforced idleness and starvation. In addition to their salaries from the city, the "leaders" receive their pay from the workers for being "leaders"; furthermore, these"leaders" are in charge of the contributions to workers who are in distress.

    There is every reason to believe that the "leaders" took care to create trouble in the building trades for political purposes. And there is at least an equally strong reason to believe that the intention was to keep the quarrels alive until the election is over. The result is that building activity in Chicago has been paralyzed for about nine months. Thousands upon thousands of workers in the building trades and in related 4industries, who could have been steadily at work at good wages, have had to loaf while their wives and children have been starving. And if anyone attempted to work in spite of the prohibition by the "leaders," he risked being killed by the leaders' thugs.

    Now winter is at hand, and this makes the situation still more miserable in the homes of all these workers. They have kept alive during the summer, but how are they to get along now? They have been unable to save anything and they have no credit. What can they do? Of course they may apply for relief. But to do so is not very agreeable for honest men who are able and willing to work if only they were permitted to do so by the men whom the workers have trusted and who have the workers to thank for the ease and comfort provided for them all the year round.

    Time will tell whether the workers have been learning or whether they are still willing to bow to the selfish tyranny of the "leaders". The workers 5should not relinquish their organization although the temptation to do so may be strong. A radical reform is necessary, however, if it is to be possible for an honest and diligent worker to live in Chicago in days to come.

    Organization ought to have been the worker's best friend; it has become his worst enemy. This cannot go on. But the means for changing the present conditions are in the hands of the workers; they must drive out all the loafers, the office seekers, the humbug-makers, the rascals who during the past years have led the workers into the present morass; they must see that they are represented by able workers, by honest men. Unless this is done there can be no improvement in conditions.

    Mr. Edward Carroll has resigned as president of the Building Trades' Council, and Mr. William Schardt has been elected his successor. Mr. Schardt is the president of a Bryan-Alschuler Club. ...

    Norwegian
    I D 2 a 2, I D 2 a 4, I D 2 c, I F 6
  • Skandinaven -- October 08, 1900
    Scandinavian Painters' Union Tenth Anniversary Celebration

    The Scandinavian Painters' Union, Local 194, celebrated its tenth anniversary last week in Aurora Hall. All the eight hundred or more members belonging to the union had been invited with their families, and more than twelve hundred people were present.

    The program opened with an overture by J. P. Jensen's orchestra.

    Attorney Olaf E. Ray spoke in honor of the occasion.

    The members of the Painters' Union belong to various political parties; yet, in the speech by Mr. Ray there were several statements explaining the program of the Republican party.

    The Danish singing society, Harmonien, sang several numbers. Mr. M. 2Pedersen played a cornet solo; Mrs. Lawrence Hansen gave a piano solo; Mr. H. Saller presented a trombone solo; Severin Arnesen, tenor, gave two vocal solos, "Remember Me," and "Bohemian Girl". All these various numbers were loudly applauded.

    Supper was served in the dining room--the caterer being "The Economy Butter Store," Grand and Central Avenues.

    The celebration was enjoyed by everybody; there was no entrance fee, since the Union assumed all expenses.

    The Scandinavian Painters' Union was organized on October 1, 1890, with fifteen members. The following year the number of members had increased to two hundred. Since then the membership has been increasing steadily, and the Union is now one of the strongest branches in the painters' trade.

    In sick aid the Branch has paid $3,050 during the past three years.

    3

    During the last strike this year, the Branch paid $1,000 to the Building Trades' Relief Fund.

    The Scandinavian Painters' Union, Local 194, celebrated its tenth anniversary last week in Aurora Hall. All the eight hundred or more members belonging to the union had been invited with ...

    Norwegian
    I D 2 a 2, I D 2 a 4, II B 1 a, II D 10, II D 1