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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  • Svenska Tribunen -- December 06, 1882
    The Emigrant Is Complaining

    An Editorial: There are some immigrants, who write home to their relatives, telling them about their hardships in America.

    Let us, therefore, try to find out the reason for these lamentations. It is a sad fact that many a farmer in the northern part of Sweden is a heavy drinker. To get money for this bad habit he sells part of his forest and other property time after time. Finally his thought go to America, because he had heard that many have made a fortune there, although he doesn't realize that progress is made through hard work. Then he decides to sell the rest of his property and to emigrate. But it takes some time before he gets his things together for the journey. He has to attend so many farewell feasts and so his money goes to the wind. Instead of saving up to buy farm equipment in the new country he is dreaming of plenty of gold. He 2is still drinking and drinking. Finalley he is on his way to America. How can such a man create a new home in a foreign land with happiness and peace? He is soon disappointed and writes home his lamentations which are reproduced in the newspapers.

    Here is another picture. Some young men emigrate. When they were at home with their parents, they were spoiled. They decide to make the trip to the United States and get their share of cash as their parents' heirs. At first they have a good time in the new country, and like the prodigal son, they waste what they inherited. Soon it is all gone and their hardships begin. They then write home their lamentations, asking for more money. Such letters are sometimes forwarded to editors, who write about these young men's sufferings with headlines in their papers like this:

    "Warning to Emigrants."

    Some years ago a man about fifty years of age emigrated to America. He was a 3heavy drinker.

    Before he went away his friends warned him not to go because of his age and his broken health, caused by wild living. But he and his family landed in New York. From there they went out west to a small city. Although he couldn't speak English he went frequently to taverns, drinking and drinking. During one of these visits he became intoxicated and started howling and singing and was kicked out of the saloon on to the street. Here he came in contact with the police and was arrested. He then wrote hom that America was a bad country.

    Two years later after this episode, we find our immigrant on the prairie,where he had taken some 160 acres. He had built himself a house of turf with one window. Here he sits, remembering how comparatively easy he had it at onetime in the old country, and still could have had it if he had been more careful with his property. He also realizes that he could have had it much better here in America had he saved his money instead of wasting it on liquor. He could have built a real house and bought farm equipment.

    4

    The tears roll down the gray beard. He starts thinking. At one time I had a nice house. I had forest-meadows, I had plenty, but I wasted it. "Oh, is it too late?" Is it? May we hope that it is not if he, through hard, honest labor, starts over again and stays sober forever.

    An Editorial: There are some immigrants, who write home to their relatives, telling them about their hardships in America. Let us, therefore, try to find out the reason for these ...

    Swedish
    III G, I B 3 b, I B 1, III H
  • Skandinaven -- September 06, 1889
    [A Love Affair]

    The two love birds, the Chinaman Frank Lee and Miss Jenny Ericksen, who is Swedish, are not married yet. Mr. Ericksen stopped the marriage, because Jenny is not yet seventeen. Mr. Ericksen caused both Mr. Lee and Miss Ericksen to be arrested. The judge agreed that Jenny was too young to decide in the matter of her marriage.

    The two love birds, the Chinaman Frank Lee and Miss Jenny Ericksen, who is Swedish, are not married yet. Mr. Ericksen stopped the marriage, because Jenny is not yet seventeen. ...

    Swedish
    I B 3 a, I B 3 b
  • Svenska Tribunen -- August 17, 1892
    He Believed in Education

    Our countryman August Hoglund passed away last Thursday in his home, 13 Otis St., at an age of nearly 66. He was a tailor by trade and had been a resident of Chicago since 1869. He is survived by his widow, five sons, one daughter and four grand-children.

    All of his children were given a good education. Of the three oldest sons, Charles is a Justice of the Peace here in Chicago, John a Lawyer, also in Chicago, and Frank the City Clerk of Rockford, Ill.

    Our countryman August Hoglund passed away last Thursday in his home, 13 Otis St., at an age of nearly 66. He was a tailor by trade and had been a ...

    Swedish
    IV, I A 1 a, I B 3 b
  • Svenska Nyheter -- July 19, 1904
    An Encounter on the North Side

    For the last two years a bitter feud has been raging between Swedish and Italian youths living in the neighborhood of Oak and Townsend Streets on the near North Side, and street brawls--more or less bloody--have been quite a common occurrence.

    The worst disturbance so far took place about 8 o'clock last Wednesday night when the two factions, composed of about one hundred boys armed with air rifles, knives, blackjacks and a variety of other weapons, staged a veritable battle, and the angry exclamations and the cries of those hurt aroused the entire neighborhood. The police were notified, and two patrol wagons from the Chicago Avenue Station arrived on the scene. The fighters then dispersed, but a few were so badly hurt that they were unable to run away. However, the police showed leniency and let them go with a warning. Two of the combatants, one of them named Harry Peterson, had to be treated by a doctor, and one young man who tried to act as a peacemaker was hit in the head by a flying brick, and had to be bandaged in a nearby drugstore.

    2

    The police were unable to obtain detailed information except that ugly feelings between the two groups of boys have existed for a long time, and that the parents seem to take sides with their children.

    For the last two years a bitter feud has been raging between Swedish and Italian youths living in the neighborhood of Oak and Townsend Streets on the near North Side, ...

    Swedish
    I C, I C, II E 3, I B 3 b
  • Svenska Nyheter -- November 08, 1904
    American Child Sacrifices (Editorial)

    Anglo-Americans often complain about foreigners coming to this country and taking the bread out of their mouths. We have sought and, we believe, found some of the reasons why the native born worker often must move aside for his European competitor, who as a rule is more apt at his trade than his American brother.

    But our observations indicate that it is not only the workers who are born, educated, and trained for their trade in Europe, who often take the best jobs in American industry, but also their children, who are born in Europe and immigrate with them at an early age, before their struggle for existence has yet begun. This phenomenon also has its logical explanation, and official statistics concerning children employed in industry are enlightening in this respect.

    2

    These statistics show that fifty-four per cent of all boys under fifteen years of age employed in industrial establishments, are the sons of native born parents whose American ancestors have lived here for generations; fifteen per cent are American born, but their parents came from a foreign country, and four per cent are foreign born children who immigrated to America with their parents; twenty-six per cent are Negroes.

    The "practical" American who considers money all-important does not feel that he can afford to let his sons go to school and absorb knowledge until they are physically and mentally equipped to go out and earn their livelihood. While they are still in breeches their unwise parents send them into the factories, business houses, and mines to earn a little money. They have no time to learn a trade thoroughly. The apprenticeship is too long and the pay is too small. Therefore, they step right into any job they can get and toil hard until they reach the age at which they should really begin to work, but by that time they are almost played out.

    It is easy to see that these men who never had a chance to be real boys, play 3and "raise the dickens" as boys should cannot have the energy, endurance, and interest in their work as their fellow-workers who have lived a normal boyhood, and then learned a trade which they have come to like and take pride in.

    The records actually tell us that if we go into a factory or mine and gather around us one hundred boys under fifteen years of age, we will find that more than half of them are the sons of Anglo-Americans.

    The less "practical" European-American also appreciates the monetary value of shamelessly exploiting child power in industry, but takes advantage of it to a much smaller extent. Of the one hundred boys, only fifteen can boast of having been born in this country of foreign-born parents.

    Finally, we come to the Europeans who, with their children, have immigrated to America, and who in the eyes of most Anglo-Americans are not "smart" at all. These foreigners have brought with them a sounder outlook in regard to the employment of children in industry. They do not believe that the individual or 4society gains anything by taking the child out of school too early, and depriving it of the enjoyment of normal childhood, which is its birthright. They do not believe in driving a child out into the bitter fight for existence, where one needs strong muscles and an adult brain in order to win. That is why we find among our one hundred boys only four who have seen the Swedish fir forests, the Norwegian mountains, the English meadows, or the vineyards of Germany and Italy. These Europeans have learned to work for their children until the child is old enough and sufficiently equipped to strike out for themselves. In most cases this is the only inheritance they leave their offspring, and it is far more valuable than a few dollars and broken down health caused by overwork in childhood.

    If the Anglo-American wants to complain, he should complain about his own shortsightedness.

    Anglo-Americans often complain about foreigners coming to this country and taking the bread out of their mouths. We have sought and, we believe, found some of the reasons why the ...

    Swedish
    III G, I B 3 b, I B 3 c, I C, I H
  • Svenska Nyheter -- January 17, 1905
    Religion in the Home (Editorial)

    The only place where true religion can be taught is in the home. The best, if not the only place in the world where true respect for religion can be instilled is the home. If children are not taught religion in the home, they may perhaps, never absorb it. In saying this, we do not refer to religious forms and opinion, but to real religion. We are not unaware of the fact that children in Sunday Schools may learn by heart large portions of the Bible, and become familiar 2with the great deeds of Moses, and with the sins of David. But this is not religion. It is not even closely related to religion.

    We also know that visitors at church may be taught to sing religious hymns, may listen to beautiful prayers, may participate in the ceremonies, read the scriptures, etc. The churches are performing their duties in these matters, but this is not what we call religious upbringing.

    To mould the character; to elevate the moral level and strengthen the moral fibre; to develop the soul, must, for the main part, be taken care of in the home. The teachings of the average Sunday 3School do not create the higher moral principles in the scholars, but the religious impressions received by children in their home will usually remain with them throughout their home will usually remain with them throughout their lives.

    It is found occasionally, of course, that children, brought up in so-called non-religious homes, may become church members at some later period in their lives. They may never have seen religious formalities observed in their homes; their parents may never have gone to church; they may even be brought to believe that their parents were but little better than heathens; none the less it will be found, on investigation, that their basic conception 4of God and of righteousness; their attitude towards life and death, may be traced back to teachings during infant years - teachings by fathers and mothers.

    If a child is ever to underst and the full significance of those words, "God is the father of all mankind and we are, all of us, sisters and brothers, and consequently equal," they must be exemplified in the home life. If the father and mother do not practice this in their daily lives, if a child is brought up to believe that certain persons are to be despised, others kept at a distance, and others feared, not all the churches and Sunday Schools in the world will be able to change this conviction, absorbed during earliest childhood.

    The only place where true religion can be taught is in the home. The best, if not the only place in the world where true respect for religion can be ...

    Swedish
    I B 4, I B 3 b, III C
  • Svenska Tribunen -- April 17, 1906
    Ingratitude--The World's Reward

    The truth of the old saying, regarding the world's ingratitude, has been proved thousands of times and we regret that the case of a Chicago Swedish family proves it again.

    A poor old eighty-four year old man, who, in addition to his advanced age, is hampered by blindness and helplessness, is refused a home and care by his own children.

    Mrs. Ward, 155 North Western Avenue, until recently, had given the old father, Philip Lindemann a home, (since the mother's death three months ago). Mrs. Ward found it too much of a burden to care for [him] alone and had her brothers brought into court to force them to help support their father. John Lindemann, the oldest son, refused, stating that the old man was not his father neither were the others his children. They all washed their hands of [any] responsibility concerning the old man.

    2

    The story told by the son was to the effect that their (the children's) name was Lindau, not Lindemann, as their real father (Lindau) had left his wife and children for army service during the U. S. Civil War and had never returned. At the end of the war, Lindemann came home and was presented to the children as their father. He had made his home with and supported the mother and children for many years. Lindemann and the mother were supposed to have been married and the children adopted. He was a good provider for the family but he was only a step-father to the children, so they are under no obligation to him. Their independence is supported by the absence of the marriage certificate and adoption papers.

    The youngest son, a plumber in Galesburg, Illinois, offered the old man a home but Lindemann refused, preferring a home where there were no children.

    The children cannot be legally forced to support the old man, who has no papers to verify his standing, so, it appears that he will become a public burden. He who supported and educated a family will not now be cared for by the family in return. The ingratitude of the world is clearly exemplified by this group. May these ungrateful persons have the same experience later in life, which they, in our opinion, deserve.

    The truth of the old saying, regarding the world's ingratitude, has been proved thousands of times and we regret that the case of a Chicago Swedish family proves it again. ...

    Swedish
    I B 3 b, I H
  • Svenska Tribunen-Nyheter -- July 03, 1906
    Swedish-American Intelligence (Editorial)

    When one hears an American boast to the foreigner, he can with good reason doubt his sincerity; he is bragging for his own gain or he has a political axe to grind. "Yes, the Swede is certainly a man with brains," is what one may hear even though the expression is lacking in enthusiasm, the voice losing heartiness, at the end of the sentence, so one at once rightfully doubts the American's sincerity.

    Ignorance or jealousy alone could cause any man or woman to say anything uncomplimentary about the Swedes, recognition of our intellegence is due us. The Americans could not belittle our intelligence if they want to be righteous and honest.

    A grand picture of Swedish intelligence has, especially during recent weeks, been painted wherever a Swedish-American colony may be found. In all these 2spots one finds the younger generation outstanding in diligence, behavior and knowledge. In exchange, we note with great pride in papers received at this office the many long articles about Swedish children who have earned top notch marks in their classes, the older ones graduating with highest honors.

    It is a credit to practically every Swedish-American home that every effort and sacrifice is made to give the children a thorough education.

    The parents of the rightfully complimented children have gone through many a hard struggle, with the mediocre education they were able to get, to give their children a real education; as a reward should be credited, even praised for their hard earned accomplishment.

    The standing of Swedish-American children in the grade school, high school, business college, and university is an irrefutable argument to present when confronted by one of the many overbearing, know-it-all Yankees, who, at all times, are inclined to ridicule and belittle the Swede of this country. Though most Yanks are strong for gold and silver, we credit them with having one real ideal, the American public school which is unexcelled anywhere.

    When one hears an American boast to the foreigner, he can with good reason doubt his sincerity; he is bragging for his own gain or he has a political axe ...

    Swedish
    I C, I A 1 a, I B 3 b
  • Svenska Tribunen-Nyheter -- August 21, 1906
    [Dahlstrom and Mattson Bound Over to Grand Jury]

    The colporteurs Albert Dahlstrom and Carl Mattson, whose case we reported in a previous issue, and who for the past several weeks have held their meetings in a tent on Fletcher Street near Clark, were called before Judge Mahoney on Friday, August 17. After a short hearing, the two were bound over to the Grand Jury on an eight-hundred dollar bond for each. The chief witness against the two culprits was Pastor Hult of the Lakeview Lutheran Messiah Church, whose main charge was that a vile book capable of doing much damage, was being sold at the tent meetings. Dahlstrom is the author of the book in question which is written in Swedish and entitled "Aktenskab, Quinnan och Hemmet" (Marriage, Woman and the Home).

    After hearing the translation of a part of this book, Judge Mahoney said, "If there is a living devil, this book is surely his work. I know of no other book that is as capable of destroying a home, a man, a woman, or a child as quickly and thoroughly as this one. The face of a woman who reads this book 2should become crimson at the beginning, and remain so for hours after. A book like this is not found on sale in a bookstore or at a newsstand, but it is put on sale in an open tent where there are women and children, and where the cloak of religion covers its devil-inspired, hypocritical contents as well as its author; it sells and works evil. It will ruin morally every reader--man, woman or child--and destroy the idea of motherhood in the home. This book must be suppressed."

    The one attorney defending Dahlstrom and Mattson attempted to rebuke the judge for his attitude to the evangelists and the book, but got nowhere in his attempt.

    That night Dahlstrom publicly declared that the Prophet Elijah had commanded him to preach the coming soon of Christ, and that churches should be destroyed, and the ministers killed (he called today's ministers Baal-priests who opposed Elijah). Well, Dowie also took out a patent on the Elijah (Elias) inspiration, and he went bankrupt in the role.

    The colporteurs Albert Dahlstrom and Carl Mattson, whose case we reported in a previous issue, and who for the past several weeks have held their meetings in a tent on ...

    Swedish
    II E 2, I B 3 a, I B 3 b, I B 4
  • Svenska Kuriren -- July 26, 1917
    A Father's Right to Custody of His Children

    Hilma Rasmuson, who was in a home for children, was recently refused permission to go with her father to a.4th of July picnic. He appealed to the courts. Judgement for the father, the Court said! The father has certain rights which cannot be taken away.

    Hilma Rasmuson, who was in a home for children, was recently refused permission to go with her father to a.4th of July picnic. He appealed to the courts. Judgement for ...

    Swedish
    I B 3 b