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

Read more about this historic project.

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  • Chicago Tribune -- November 01, 1877
    An Indignant Norwegian

    To the Editor of the Tribune: Chicago, Oct. 31. Sir: I do not think that it can be true that the Democratic Committee has taken our countryman, Mr. Riechel, off of the Democratic ticket and put on a person by the name of Kavanaugh, to satisfy a lot of working men who have no votes. Mr. Riechel is the only representative of the great Scandinavian element who has been put upon any ticket. We think that, after he was fairly nominated, he should remain where he was, and not be interfered with.

    To the Editor of the Tribune: Chicago, Oct. 31. Sir: I do not think that it can be true that the Democratic Committee has taken our countryman, Mr. Riechel, off ...

    Norwegian
    I F 4, I C
  • Skandinaven -- May 27, 1879
    Scandinavian Contributions (Editorial)

    The Scandinavians have contributed much to Chicago culturally and politically. Since the founding of the city, [our people]have held a great number of political offices, both city and county.

    There are seven newspapers in the Scandinavian community, and twelve churches. In business we are well represented, many owning quite large enterprises. In banking we have also been represented, but due to the panic, some of these banks have closed their doors.

    Carl Dreier, the Dane, is connected with the International Bank, and is one of the main stockholders.

    The Scandinavians have contributed much to Chicago culturally and politically. Since the founding of the city, [our people]have held a great number of political offices, both city and county. There ...

    Norwegian
    I C, I F 4, IV
  • Skandinaven -- July 29, 1879
    Real-Estate Owners Protest Building of "L"

    A petition is being circulated protesting the building of the elevated. The petition asks those involved, especially the Civic Council, to "come down to earth and stay there."

    The Scandinavians, especially the Danes around Lake and Peoria, Lake and Kinzie, and Lake and Milwaukee, are the main objectors. [Translator's note:-- The Danes and Norwegians living in the district along Milwaukee Avenue from Lake Street to Chicago Avenue, believed that the "L" would lover real-estate values. The same thing occurred along Bake Street, out they did not get sufficient signatures. On the South Side, the people compromised and agreed on condition that the "L" should be built in the alley between Wabash and State; therefore it was called the "Alley 'L'. "Later the Scandinavians along Milwaukee Avenue regretted the petition, but it was too late--the new franchise had been voted on in the City Council, the line to run west, where the Metropolitan "L" now is located.

    2

    The original franchise specified that the "L" run along Milwaukee Avenue to Chicago Avenue, later to be extended to what was then called Armitage Road.

    Every original franchise issued in Chicago was contested by the people. Some believed that the trains would fall into the street; others that the locomotives then used would set fire to the wooden buildings along the right of way. Many such reasons were given to justify the petitions.

    The Scandinavians also, in many cases, fought "Baron" Yerkes' cable cars, primarily because of the numerous accidents and delays.]

    A petition is being circulated protesting the building of the elevated. The petition asks those involved, especially the Civic Council, to "come down to earth and stay there." The Scandinavians, ...

    Norwegian
    II F, I F 6, I F 4, I M
  • Skandinaven -- August 03, 1880
    Politics

    In the past four years, more Danes and Norwegians have held political offices than ever before. The following offices were filled by Scandinavians: Sheriff, County Commissioner, Clerk of the Superior Court, and Park Commissioner. Scandinavians are also to be found on the School Board and in the legislature at Springfield.

    In the past four years, more Danes and Norwegians have held political offices than ever before. The following offices were filled by Scandinavians: Sheriff, County Commissioner, Clerk of the Superior ...

    Norwegian
    I F 4, I F 4
  • Skandinaven -- September 27, 1890
    Different Nations

    In the Police Department, there are one thousand Americans, six hundred Irish, one hundred seventy-four Germans, thirty-three Swedes, twenty-seven Norwegians, and fourteen Danes.

    It seems that the Scandinavians are not much interested in the Police Department as a career. Nor do we find very many in the Fire Department. There is a total of twenty there.

    In the Police Department, there are one thousand Americans, six hundred Irish, one hundred seventy-four Germans, thirty-three Swedes, twenty-seven Norwegians, and fourteen Danes. It seems that the Scandinavians are not ...

    Norwegian
    I F 4, I C
  • Skandinaven -- October 03, 1890
    A Word to the Republican Politicians

    Any one who is acquainted with the Scandinavians of the West will know that in every State they have uniformly been found almost solidly massed in the Republican ranks at every election. The exceptions are so few as to prove the rule only. This is a fact of which we are proud, and for which the Skandinaven makes bold to take its share of credit. We also assert that the Scandinavians are Republicans from principle and not for office or boodle. Nor do they believe that the consideration of nationality should play any important part in politics where all are citizens of a common country, equally sharing its privileges and amenable to its laws. But the leading politicians themselves have studiously cultivated this feeling of nationality by appealing to it, and holding out inducements before elections which often have been forgotten or ignored afterwards. In this way, the nationality consideration has been dragged into our politics and must henceforth be taken into account with some care. For broken promises have produced an irritation in some quarters which, if continued, threaten to obscure the consideration of party principles, and raise the question of nationality to a dangerous place, or at least of an undue importance.

    2

    In Michigan, the Scandinavians have not been numerous enough to attain any large share in the management of public affairs, but still strong enough to be duly appreciated when votes are desired, and of considerable importance when Republican majorities are counted. For the reason above stated, we regret that we must record the fact that the Democratic party in Michigan has outstripped the Republicans in offering a prominent place on the State ticket to a Scandinavian. Democratic shrewdness may by this method reap the fruits of the seed sown by unwise and faithless Republicans.

    We regret also to say that we think it is about time this lesson was administered not only in Michigan, but also in Minnesota and Illinois.

    The Democrats have not only chosen a Scandinavian, but a man with both business and personal qualifications, which make him eminently qualified for the position, and fully the equal, if not the superior, of his opponent on the Republican ticket. Even with no grudge from past disappointments, the Scandinavian voters might well be pardoned, if pride 3and satisfaction in the recognition of a worthy countryman should lead them to cast their votes for him without regard to party allegience, especially in an election where national issues are understood to be less prominently involved.

    To insure that the Republican leaders of Michigan more fully comprehend what we mean, and to give them an insight into to the feelings which prevail in some places among the Scandinavians, we will give the substance of a communication from a creditable source, and which is only one of several of the same nature, detailing circumstances and actions which can hardly fail to allienate a large number of voters from the party in the approaching election.

    The communication referred to is from northern Michigan, and is in substance as follows: "In the election of 1888, the Scandinavians were, as usual, faithful to the Republican party. With our gray hats on, we marched in a procession night after night, and shouted ourselves hoarse for 'Harrison and protection,' while the bread-and-butter politicians and office seekers 4stood on the street corners, rubbing their hands in glee, and encouraged us with such friendly expressions as 'that's right boys!'-'the Scandinavians are in line'--'faithful as ever,' etc. The result of the election is well known. We were then told that nothing was too good for the Scandinavians. The fruits of victory were to be distributed, and in the council of the party it was determined that the deputy collectorship should fall to Ishpeming, and of course, a Scandinavian would get this 'plum'. We, therefore, were determined to present the name of Andrew Sandberg, a Swede. He is in every way an honorable and competent man. When Mr. Stone of Detroit had been appointed collector, Mr. Sandberg went to work and got the recommendations and endorsements of the prominent Republicans of the district and forwarded his application to the proper authority. He was so sure of the appointment that he already began to look for suitable office accommodation, forgetting in his ignorance the old adage that"it is imprudent to sell the skin until you have shot the bear." Mr. Sandberg soon received word from the collector that he wished to see him in Detroit. On his arrival there, Mr. Sandberg was shown letters from some of the very persons who had recommended him and indorsed his application, but who now 5opposed his appointment, giving as a reason the fact that the Scandinavians were such faithful Republicans that they needed no such encouragement.

    "The office was consequently given to another nationality whose fickleness had made it necessary to strenghten their Republicanism by substantial recognition. But to show that gratitude was not a feeling entirely foreign to the Republican breast, Mr. Sandberg was graciously offered an inferior clerkship in the office he sought with the magnificent salary of $500."

    (Continued next issue).

    6

    We shall not pursue this unpleasant theme farther. Much might be said on all sides of it and all around it. We have reason to believe that the above account is substantially correct. And we may add that occurrences very similar are not unknown here in Illinois and other States than in Michigan. We will say in conclusion that while the leading politicians, themselves, are largely responsible for bringing the consideration of nationality into politics, they should also be held strictly accountable for the results of their ill-advised policy. We should regret to see the Republican party defeated in Michigan, or in Illinois, and most of all do we regret to see that end accomplished by a defection of the Scandinavians, but we are by no means disposed to find fault with the voter whose pride in nationality might lead him to resent the slight put upon him by the perfidy of political machinists. We rather think such a lesson would be wholesome discipline, and an element in our political education quite suited to the 7times. And it would do the Republican party substantial good if the leading politicians in every State in the Union would give some careful thought to these matters.

    Any one who is acquainted with the Scandinavians of the West will know that in every State they have uniformly been found almost solidly massed in the Republican ranks at ...

    Norwegian
    I F 6, III B 1, I F 4, I C
  • Skandinaven -- January 31, 1891
    A Man for Mayor

    Above everything else, the great City of Chicago needs a real mayor. Whatever our city may do in the next two years by way of preparation for the World's Fair; whatever adornments this "Lady of the Lake" may wish to put on in order to receive and entertain the nations of the world properly, as her guests, Chicago will be molded by the judgment and guided by the hand of its chief magistrate. Some fair officials are to be chosen. There never was a greater opportunity for the city and for the mayor, and there never was a greater peril in a false move. The exigency is with us and must be met.

    But while consideration of this special exigency may be a good leverage for lifting the burden of misgovernment under which we are groaning and which is arousing the citizens to a new sense of responsibility, it is by no means the only or the sole reason for prompt and decisive action. Every consideration of honor and decency, every desire for the moral and physical well-being of the masses of our vast and growing population, as 2well as a due appreciation of the influence of this great metropolis upon the life of the whole interior of our country politically, socially and industrially, should prompt all citizens to a united effort in rising to the height of our opportunity and responsibility.

    The whole world knows that misgovernment of our cities is the blight and blemish attached to American institutions. We have finally become conscious of it ourselves, for it is daily confessed by our press and periodicals, by our best informed and most thoughtful men. This is a good omen, presaging eventual action. The serious and sober elements will not tolerate this great peril and shame to be treated as a subject for raillery and jest. A remedy must be found and applied. And why should it not be done now? Why should not Chicago add this also to her glory? In her youth and vigor it should have crushed the hundred-headed Hydra of municipal misgovernment and destroyed it before it had poisoned her vitals. Why should not Chicago, this "Queen of the Lakes," in grateful recognition of the honor that has been conferred upon her, and in receiving the crown which the entire country has placed upon her brow, herself add this central jewel to the crown by 3purging herself of her filth and setting a worthy example of municipal reform? Could any aim be loftier? Can any action, any effort be more certain of a reward?

    The task is too great to be achieved at a single stroke, but it can be begun at once. A good beginning is half of the whole undertaking, but a piecemeal, timid beginning is an invitation to failure. This is not the way Chicago is wont to do things in business and industrial undertakings. Why should it not prove itself worthy of its character and reputation in the more essential concern of municipal regeneration as well?

    This is not the field for party politics; Republican, Democratic, Mugwump, Prohibitionist and Socialist--every shade of political faith--is confessedly of one opinion in this most essential matter. They have been so for some time, but when the moment for decisive action arrives, the reformers timidly fold their hands, and the grinding, fatal movements of the political machine are heard in every camp. Shall this be repeated in the year 1891? If not, how must it be avoided?

    4

    It should be avoided by the simple process of choosing a [suitable] man for mayor. He should be a man, not simply a cog in the gearing of a political machine. Chicago can furnish a regiment of such men, who are not representative of the worse, but of the better elements. [We need]a man who cannot afford to sell himself for money or notoriety to a combination of men whose character and occupation is a source of filth; a man who has something to lose when he allies himself with immoral elements and becomes the tool of gamblers and brothel owners. A man, whose strength of purpose and decision of character, when tested, will find support in the sympathy and co-operation of high-minded citizens. This is the beginning and the all essential first step in the upgrade movement. It ought not to be very difficult. It is not necessary to search the back alleys with a lantern for such a man. It is not necessary that his fingers should be covered with the dirt of the workshop or that he should wear silk stockings. Outward appearance, which is often thought necessary to win certain classes of voters, may safely be placed in the background. The simple question to be asked is: Is he a man? Is he a man with permanent interests, who is devoted to the city? Is he a man whose 5capacity for affairs has been tested? Finally, is he a man who cannot afford to desert the standard of good morals and clean goverment, who will reflect credit upon the best character and intelligence of the community and, who, two years hence, can be re-elected and enter the period of the World's Columbian Exposition with experience and with assurance?

    We think that such a man, no matter what his creed is, politically or religiously, will be supported by the majority of our citizens; a majority, with whose support it is safe for such a man to meet any emergency.

    We will not attempt to name the man, but, for the sake of illustration, we will name some men, whom we think, popular judgment will recognize as answering to our postulates. Would not the best interests of the city be safe while the reins of government are in the hands of such men among the Republicans as: John M. Smyth, T. W. Reck, Victor F. Lawson, a Dane, or S. E. Gross, [(the largest real estate and tax shark in the '80's and '90's) -Translator's note]; and among Democrats: E. M. Phelps, John R. Walsh, William D. Kerfoot, A. H. Revell, E. S. Dreier, Max Henius, the latter two 6being of Danish descent.

    The election of aldermen must be placed on the same basis. Reform is as imperative in this field as it is in the executive [branch].

    Let the city take such a step now, with earnestness and unwavering purpose, and it will have fulfilled that condition of success which is necessary in order to pluck the fruit the moment it is ripe. The political bosses might be left at the parting of the ways and the McDonalds and Sullivans, or whatever their names may be, would find themselves out of a job. But the honest citizens would breathe freely again and take heart. Moreover, our streets, which are slippery with mud and reeking with nauseating odors from the business center to every corner would be cleaned. The moral filth, too, would be prevented from flouting itself with brazen effrontery in our thoroughfares. When our million visitors leave us, after the great fair, they will retain pleasant memories instead of disgust and regret. It cannot be repeated too often that correct views on the tariff and silver 7legislation will not restrain the saloon, overturn gambling tables, close the brothels, clean our streets or purify our atmosphere. It is also safe to assume that the foreign elements in our population will offer their support in such a movement in a way that will cheer the hearts of all good citizens. But the movement must be led and led by men of courage and with spirit of self-sacrifice and patriotism.

    Above everything else, the great City of Chicago needs a real mayor. Whatever our city may do in the next two years by way of preparation for the World's Fair; ...

    Norwegian
    I F 5, I F 1, I F 2, I F 3, I F 4, I C, I M, IV
  • Skandinaven -- May 10, 1891
    Carter H. Harrison Defeated

    All the Scandinavian wards were for Carter H. Harrison. If other Nationalities had supported him, he would have been elected.

    All the Scandinavian wards were for Carter H. Harrison. If other Nationalities had supported him, he would have been elected.

    Norwegian
    I F 1, I F 4, I F 2
  • Skandinaven -- December 07, 1891
    Politics

    At the last election, many Scandinavians were elected on both the Republican and the Democratic tickets. Scandinavians are becoming interested in politics; probably that will mean better government.

    At the last election, many Scandinavians were elected on both the Republican and the Democratic tickets. Scandinavians are becoming interested in politics; probably that will mean better government.

    Norwegian
    I F 4, I C
  • Skandinaven -- February 25, 1894
    [Appeal to Scandinavian Voters]

    The Scandinavian Naturalization Clubs advise all the Scandinavians to vote as a bloc at the next local election. Wards 14, 15, 16, and 17 can be controlled by the Scandinavians. We showed that at the last mayoralty election.

    The meeting will take place at the Scandia Hall next Wednesday evening. We expect a large audience.

    The Scandinavian Naturalization Clubs advise all the Scandinavians to vote as a bloc at the next local election. Wards 14, 15, 16, and 17 can be controlled by the Scandinavians. ...

    Norwegian
    I F 1, I F 4, I F 2, III A