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 -- May 01, 1878
    How Many Swedes Are There in the U.S?

    There are about 200,000 Swedish immigrants in America and about 150,000 persons who were born in the United States of Swedish parents. There are Swedes in every state of the Union, trying to make their living as plain workmen, farmers, merchants, or,- gold diggers. Swedish immigrants are arriving daily, now more than ever in Chicago. Some of them stay here, but many continue their trip to Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Minnesota. This immigration is the result of "hard times" in Sweden at present.

    There are about 200,000 Swedish immigrants in America and about 150,000 persons who were born in the United States of Swedish parents. There are Swedes in every state of the ...

    Swedish
    III G, III A
  • Svenska Tribunen -- October 09, 1878
    Our Veterans.

    EDITORIAL: The existence of The Union was a vital question sometime ago. At that time it was requested of every man to offer himself on the country's altar and sacrifice home, peace, wife, children, parents and future. There were thousands and thousands who called this country their adopted land. Their offer was the greatest, their love the purest. Among them were the Swedes, With unusual willingness did they obey the call issued by Lincoln, and they fought bravely on the battlefields. There were many who never returned from the battlefield, where death reaped a rich harvest. But some of them are still among the living; they remain as witnesses of the fact that the hard times we have now, cannot compare to that time when the call was issued by the President to fight for the welfare of the country.

    We all owe these men, our veterans, both thankfulness and respect. They did their part to save America politically and to give the negroes their freedom.

    We were reminded of these thoughts at a Swedish Soldiers' Convention, which was held at Bishop Hill on October 2nd.

    2

    About six hundred people - many of them veterans of the latest war gathered together. How many of these six hundred people really were veterans, is hard to say. The remainder of Company D of the 57th Volunteer Regiment of Illinois arranged the festival ceremonies. The Company's captain, Eric Johnson, made an inspiring address on the history of the Company. Lieutenant Berglund of West Point sent a telegram regretting his inability to be present, as did also Major Fors Kansas. ...

    EDITORIAL: The existence of The Union was a vital question sometime ago. At that time it was requested of every man to offer himself on the country's altar and sacrifice ...

    Swedish
    III D, III A, I G
  • Svenska Tribunen -- February 02, 1881
    Progress Among the Swedish Americans.

    EDITORIAL: It is only about 36 years since Swedes began to think of emigration from Sweden to America. Up to that time the great Swedish populace had only heard tell of this country as, "far, far away on the other side of the world," or "at the end of the world," where nobody, except bold adventurers, dared to go, and where all were savages and criminals.

    There were only three Swedes in Chicago in 1843 and they were, no doubt, the only ones in the whole of Illinois and the Northwest. Through one of them, Gustaf Flack, Erick Janson and his followers got information about America.

    After their arrival in 1845-50 the way was opened, and has been ever since, for hundreds of thousands of countrymen, who, with their descendants now form the many "settlements" in Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska.

    It is wellknown that the majority of these Swedish immigrants have come from the 2less fortunate classes of our old country; that they met with many difficulties at home. Their trials and experiments in this land are not secrets either. It is also well known that they have not desired to "push" themselves forward as other immigrants have done.

    Their progress on account of these circumstances has been comparatively slow, but that they have been confident, is shown by the general prosperity among them. The carefulness with which they work for their spiritual welfare and the interest they show in all questions in regard to their new country are evidences of progress. Illinois is the State which was first peopled by Swedes, most of them are settled.

    The Swedish population of Chicago has grown from 3 persons in 1843 to about 25,000 and in the State to 75,000.

    The first immigrants who arrived were in the depths of poverty, ignorant of everything concerning the history of this land, its qualifications and position 3among the nations. But the Swedes in Illinois of today are counted as the most educated Americanized immigrants.

    The Swedes bought 80 acres of land in 1846 and now they own some 400,000 acres. Some of them are owners of 1,000 acres each and farms of 400 to 500 acres are quite common.

    The first Swedish church service was conducted 35 years ago in a tent, but the Swedes of this state now worshiping God in 100 different temples, some of them built in the same style and size as in the old country. Chicago alone has 9 Swedish church denominations with just as many churches. There are two great Swedish high schools in this state, many smaller schools, dozens of factories, hundreds of smaller machine shops and thousands of skilful workers.

    Books, newspapers and other literature has become widely used and in circulation. This business was started 30 years ago, when "Homeland Songs" were re-printed and continued with the distribution of Luthers' Catechism. We have now in Chicago 4a bookstore, valued at $25,000.00 of this many prominent works have been distributed.

    The newspapers have expanded tremendously. Beginning with a little sheet not larger than one of our Sunday school papers, the press has,year by year, grown to such an extent that we now have a dozen large weekly Swedish papers, some of them more widely distributed than any such periodicals in Sweden. At least 40,000 copies of Swedish newspapers are printed and distributed in Chicago every week besides the many monthly and bi-weekly papers.

    The Swedes in this State have won many valuable political victories through this press. There are some 15,000 Swedes in Illinois, who have the right to vote and, thanks to them, the Republicans won out.

    The Swedes have clearly shown that they are not behind any other nationality in the United States, but it seems that they have not lived up to a certain social standard. The Swedes in America is very willing to affiliate with other church 5denomination and to give generously to the upkeep of the church. He is also politically interested but seems to prefer isolated life. We mean, in other words, that there is not any real sociability among us yet. If the Swedes were more sociable, the Swedish homes would become brighter in the New World, the life happier and the people as a whole be more able to participate in the great work of cultivation, and development of America.

    EDITORIAL: It is only about 36 years since Swedes began to think of emigration from Sweden to America. Up to that time the great Swedish populace had only heard tell ...

    Swedish
    III A, III C, III F, III G, I J
  • Svenska Tribunen -- August 02, 1882
    Shadows and Daylights the Colony.

    Whenever immigrants are travelling or have settled down one hears about "The poor immigrants."

    Poor? Yes, if one means that they are lacking earthly possessions. Surely he is poor, when he has not even a country he can call his own, because the newly arrived immigrant is in this position, as well as fighting the uncertainties of his new existence. Yes, he is poor, for often he has not more than $10 and has a wife and some times ten children to care for when he arrives in a foreign country. Many have not even a dollar and even more children. But I am of the opinion that while these heroic immigrants in my story lacked gold and property and other worldly goods,.....they possessed qualities more valuable than gold, which consisted of good strong bodies, desire to work, will power, 2religion, good manners, simple living. Such were the pillars upon which they founded their wealth. The fruits of their work and ability soon evidenced itself in fertile fields, well filled barns, beautiful homes and money.

    Other treasurers soon came to light, because the spirit of song and music had followed the people from their native land and chosen its home among the oaks. Sometimes it as hard for the older ones, who carried most of the burden, but then the younger ones sang away many a trouble. All the hardship of existence are gone, and the song becomes clearer and louder, as the joy and tone of living becomes more discernible. The songs of the birds are no longer the only music heard because one hears the tunes of a piano from more than one house. The change is noticeable and becomes more so every year, because prosperity is more and more evident and so is the culture; new talents are discovered among the younger generation and a new spiritual world is dawning for all.

    No, the immigrants are not poor. It is not America who makes them rich, but it is they who make America prosperous and rich. But the immigrant knows that despite his strength and will power he could not have become economical or prosperous in 3Europe or America. He, therefore, thanks God, who has reserved for him a land like this, where he can use for his own and common good those treasures God has bestowed upon him.

    Whenever immigrants are travelling or have settled down one hears about "The poor immigrants." Poor? Yes, if one means that they are lacking earthly possessions. Surely he is poor, when ...

    Swedish
    III A, III G
  • Svenska Tribunen -- December 27, 1882
    Sweden and the Swedish-Americans.

    EDITORIAL: There is soon a Sweden in miniature in America. If the immigration continues, let us say six years more at the present rate, the Swedish-American population, at the next census, which will be taken in 1890, will be just as large as that of Sweden a couple of centuries ago.

    There are probably 100,000 Swedes in the State of Illinois, which is a much higher figure than that found in many of the provinces in Sweden. There are Swedes by the thousands in the five states of Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska, and they are not scattered, but dwell together in large colonies or communities. One fifth of the Illinois Swedes are to be found in Chicago. Then comes the populous Swedish settlements in Moline, Andover, Galesburg, Princeton, Bishop Hill and Rockford, but there are also dozens of large settlements in every State of the Union.

    2

    "Swedish influence" is therefore noticeable.

    What is more interesting for the population in Sweden to know is how people are faring in the "New Sweden", which is becoming a reality west of the big World Sea? Or maybe our brothers at home forgot the emigrant just as fast as the ship disappears. Impossible, because the tie of relatives is stronger than that. And ties of this kind uniting Sweden with America are so numerous that one cannot travel half a day on a train in Sweden without meeting one or more persons who have children, brothers and sisters or parents in America.

    If it then happens that one is a Swedish-American and has been in America for only a short time and is visiting the old country, then it is quite certain that questions come up regarding the great country "out there". He likes to know what progress is being made, what professions the immigrants have choosen, how they struggle and work and about their recreations and amusements.

    Does not the reading populace in our dear native country get information 3re-printed often in the Swedish press than a pitiful picture of distress and misery in America and how the newly arrived immigrant goes begging for bread and work from door to door or perishes in the struggle with the unkind fate. They cast the black mantle of lie over the dawn.

    If some Swedes are travelling and gather together on German, French or Italian soil for a happy celebration with dinners, songs, toasts and speeches, then the columns in the Swedish newspapers are filled with long reports. But, as we have mentioned before the papers in Sweden are silent about us, except when they find adverse things to mention. Why, one might ask? What is the reason for this silence regarding everything that is Swedish-American? Why despise us so greatly, why this decision to ignore those Swedes who are fighting the struggle of life on American soil?

    Well, it might encourage emigration. The Swedish newspapermen probably have these thoughts: If we keep the readers informed about the real facts over there in that Great Republic, then we would betray our native land, and that 4is too great a responsibility.

    The future of Sweden depends on the people and if the Swedish folkstock is drawn to America, the future will be dark. Therefore, since law cannot stop the westward march, the press shall not directly or indirectly hasten it's speed." He, therefore, keeps quiet.

    But the stream does not stop. "Westward the star of empire takes its way" in spite of the "patriotic" decision of the Swedish newspapers to keep Sweden in ignorance regarding the Swedes in America.

    If we on this side of the Atlantic had "cooled off" in our love for our native land it might be justifiable if we were criticised for it. But the fact is, that the Swedes in America, no matter how Americanized he might be, never forgets his native land and never ceases to love it.

    He might, through new experiences in this free country, have learned to disapprove much of Swedes, but deep down in his heart he keeps as holy treasures thousands 5of dear memories of the time when he was a Scandinavian. This is confirmed by the fact that the Swedish-Americans send home large amounts of money annually to their relatives in Sweden.

    We have questioned several money changers in Chicago and they have informed us that they have sent considerably more than over one million Swedish kronen from Swedish-Americans to their friends in Sweden between Nov. 1st to Dec. 20th. But in addition to sums sent home at Christmas time, at least three times that sum is sent home through bankers in New York, Boston and other cities, and if we add all the money sent home during the year the total sum would no doubt amount to ten million Swedish kronen.

    It would, therefore, seem that people who show so much feeling for their native land, surely should not receive silent despite such as the Swedish Press shows them.

    EDITORIAL: There is soon a Sweden in miniature in America. If the immigration continues, let us say six years more at the present rate, the Swedish-American population, at the next ...

    Swedish
    III A, III H, III G
  • Svenska Tribunen -- April 18, 1883
    How Many Swedes Are There in the United States?

    Editorial: According to the national census taken in 1880 there were within the boundaries of this great republic 440,262 persons born in the three Scandinavian countries. Of this total number, 194,337, so the census has it were Swedes, 181,729, Norwegians, and 64,196 Danes. The same document is authority for the further statement that of the above number of Swedes 42,415 were found in Illinois, 39,176 in Minnesota, 17,559 in Iowa,11,164 in Kansas, 11,164 in New York and 10,164 in Nebraska. As to cities, Chicago contained 12,930, Minneapolis 8,186, New York 3,194, Brooklyn2,848, and St Paul 1,897.

    Several American dailies have reproduced these figures and commented thereon, all in a very favorable light, expressing their astonishment at the fact that there are so many Scandinavian born Americans, and their great satisfaction with this class of foreigners, who are described as in every sense the best of those coming to these shores in quest of greater liberty and the other blessings flowing from the institutions of a republican country.

    2

    And yet, it must be a potent fact to every observing Scandinavian-American that the census has told only half the truth in regard to our number. We hold, and that on good grounds, that the Swedes alone are almost as many as the census reports the representatives of all the three nationalities to be,

    Let us take our own state and city as an example, illustrating how wide of the mark the official figures actually are.

    Commencing with Chicago the Swedish-born population, of which according to the census, aggregates only 12,930, we are through diligent inquiry, in a position to inform the census-takers that we numbered no less that 25,000. The basis of our calculation is the church membership. There are today about 10,000 adults belonging to the different congregations in the city, and if we allow 2,000 as the accessions gained from the immigration of the last two years, we had at least 8,000 church members in 1880, the year when the census in question was taken. Add to these 4,000 children born in Sweden (A figure by no means over-estimated) and we have, or had then, 12,000 Swedish-born Chicagoans within the pale of the church.

    3

    The next question is how many non-church members there are among us. Generally they are supposed to be about three times as many as the others, which, if correct, would swell the whole number of what one might call pure Swedes to something near 36,000. But in order not to seem exaggerating we are willing to deduct 10,000 from this figure and say that our numerical strength is 26,000, just twice as great as the census gives it.

    What is true of the city of Chicago in this respect is also true of the state of Illinois. That is to say, the official figure of 42,415 ought to be doubted, if it is to correspond with the actual number.

    To verify this assertion we need only mention that the Swedish-Lutheran Conference of Illinois embraced in 1881 nearly 25,000 persons and that Methodists, Baptists, Mission-friends and others enrolled as regular church members according to all probability fully numbered 10,000. Here, then, we have 35,000 Swedish-born church adherents only in this state, and while the proportion between the church element and those who as yet have no ecclesiastical connections is not the same in the state 4as in the city, we are free to assert that the two classes are at least co-equal in this respect,

    Whence the conclusion follows that the Illinois Swedes born in Sweden reach the figure 70,000.

    But for fear that some one may think we go too high we shall compromise again and declare ourselves satisfied with 60,000 which is an increase of nearly forty per cent on the figures of the census; a calculation that raises the number of Swedes in all the states from 194,337 (see census) to about 276,000. But here our statement will, perhaps, be met with the objection that the discepancy between the (by the census) alleged number and the actual one in Illinois may not exist in the other states.

    We have every reason to believe it does. We are sure that the census underestimates (for although it should be a count it cannot claim to be more than an estimate) to 5the same extent as to every state where Swedes have settled in larger numbers, Minnesota, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and New York in particular.

    In the three cities of New York, Brooklyn and Jamestown, there can be no less than 15,000 individuals born in Sweden, whereas the census gives the whole state only 11,164. But we must conclude, what we wanted to prove is that the census is very unreliable in regard to our number. If it is as wide of the mark in general as in this particular case, the republic now may boast of a population in the neighborhood of seventy millions.

    In as much as the first native-born generation should be classed with the parents as to nationality, we Swedes can now claim to be around a half-million in this country, or more if we include the 100,000 who have arrived after the census of 1880.

    Editorial: According to the national census taken in 1880 there were within the boundaries of this great republic 440,262 persons born in the three Scandinavian countries. Of this total number, ...

    Swedish
    III G, III A
  • Svenska Tribunen -- April 25, 1883
    The Scandinavians Win Praise (Editorial)

    The editorial of the Swedish Tribunen of April 18, in regard to the number of Swedes in the United States has won the attention of many American and German newspapers in Chicago. Not one of them is in doubt as to our calculation that the number of the Swedish-Americans is at least twice as large as the census shows.

    The Chicago Times has an editorial on the matter and says that the census always has been unreliable, "but the office of the census ought to know," says the Times, "that the work of the census-taking cost the country a lot of money," and continues:

    "The Scandinavians do not force themselves to secure favors. They are tolerant and broadminded. They come here not only to stay but also to adapt themselves to our customs, to speak our language, and to love our institutions.

    2

    They have never requested that their language be introduced in the public schools. A large number of the Scandinavians attend the evening schools to learn to speak English. English services are conducted every Sunday in most of the Scandinavian churches, which language also is used in their Sunday schools. The Swedes, Norwegians and Danes are satisfied with this country and make it (America) their country. The consequences are that we do not hear so much of Swedish-Americans as we do of other nationalities. It is possible that many Scandinavians forget to declare that they were born on the other side of the ocean and because they spoke such very good English when they answered questions put to them, the census takers took it for granted they were native Americans."

    The editorial of the Swedish Tribunen of April 18, in regard to the number of Swedes in the United States has won the attention of many American and German newspapers ...

    Swedish
    III A, III G
  • Svenska Tribunen -- June 04, 1884
    The Presidential Nomination and the Swedish-Americans

    Editorial: The present year, 1884, is a presidential election year. The Republican candidate is James G. Blaine, who also is the Swede's choice, G. Cleveland is the Democratic candidate. The fight is a hard one and the Swedish Tribune is devoting its efforts toward Blaine's election.

    Native-born Americans are often heard complaining of the un-American sentiments entertained and expressed by some of the naturalized citizens in this country. They say, and the Swedish Tribune has on more than one occasion been tempted to repeat, that the social and political tendency of these foreigners is to establish a state within the state.

    Nevertheless, we really believe that the immigrants have no real desire or deliberate purpose to do so, nor do they have any intention of antagonizing what we may call the American idea. Many of the foreign-born voters are,in their political actions, blinded by wrong notions of their duties as Republican citizens. They have not had the time nor the opportunity to become acquainted with the true spirit of our institutions and the true aim of 2enlightened democracy. Then add to this the fact that they are continually bothered by time-serving and demagogic politicians who lead the unenlightened ones astray by appeals to their passions and prejudices and you need not wonder at their apparent hostility to the principles every true American, whether native or foreign-born, holds dear.

    Neither is there reason to fear that the high pressure of our educational forces and political methods are not able eventually to transform all the now clashing notions and divergent views into common, clear and comprehensive ideas in line with the highest ideal of American citizenship.

    What we were about to say is that the foreign elements are, as a whole, more unanimously American than the natives themselves.

    Speaking for the three leading nationalities, the Scandinavians, the Germans, and the Irish, we are free to say that they, in whatever touches the honor and dignity of America, stand up for their adopted country, as against the states whence they have come. In this, they are perfect strangers to that 3un-American or it would be more proper to say unmanly, and unwise conservatism prevalent among many of the native-born who boast of the ability to trace their lineage to the heroes of Bunker Hill and Lexington.

    This, if nothing else, demonstrates that we are no enemies to the republic, no masked friends of the government from which we have fled. The reason is clear. We are Republicans, or Democrats, if you prefer, from our own free and rational choice, while the natives are unconsciously born to the name. We have acquired the title. They have inherited it. We have learned the difference between the progressive republic and the effete monarchies by a living experience. They can contrast the two sides only theoretically. This explains the absence of all monarchical proclivities, as far as we are concerned. Is it not possible that this fact also accounts for the discernible difference between the sentiments that characterized the thirteen young colonies of 1776, and those advocated in high places now, when the starry flag waves proudly over thirty-eight great and well developed states?

    Be this as it may. The fact now is that the 500,000 Swedes living within the 4United States have a presidential choice, and that choice is the man who is himself not afraid, and thinks that this mighty republic has no reason to be afraid of observing that degree of noble and natural independence, without which any state, be it ever so great in other respects, sinks into political nonentity among the nations of the world.

    For this, as well as for his ripe experience and consummate ability as a statesman generally, the Swedish-American citizens admire James G. Blaine. They look upon him as the best representative of the principles to which they have been undeviatingly attached. Ever since the foundation of the party he has served brilliantly and efficiently, whenever it needed courage in a crisis, or inspiration in an hour of doubt and indecision. They admire him for his grit and pluck. They admire him for his almost unequaled ability to grasp every public problem, and his equally quick and correct judgment about the best way of solving it. But their admiration for his foreign policy is especially high. They know him to be right in that, as in most other things. They want to see the country of their adoption, which they 5love with patriotic favor, maintain its dignity in its dealings with other powers. They have to see this country submit to affronts from the European monarchies in the meek and lowly spirit that befits a fifth rate power, instead of one that stands first in peace, first in war, and first in the heart of every liberty-loving being in America. They know that America is great, and in its greatness sufficiently respectable, to dare to speak as it behooves a first class and progressive state without any risk or danger.

    But they are not bellicose. They have no foreign grievances to avenge, no alien ideas to propagate, no cause of European origin and nature to defend.

    Consequently, this government has no desire to invite the hostility of other nations. On the contrary, they are in favor of maintaining strict neutrality on every question not concerning the weatern continent, and they know that Mr. Blaine is the foremost exponent and defender of these aspirations and principles.

    They know, too, that he is averse to the undignified and almost cringing attitude the government at present assumes in its diplomatic dealings with other nations, and they want his policy to become the policy of the country.

    6

    Nominate him, and they will rally with intense enthusiasm around the old flag. Defeat him for the third time, and many will interpret the act as an endorsement of the ridiculous idea that the fifty five millions now living in America have not a tenth part of the courage and common sense possessed by the five millions that achieved our liberty and founded our independence.

    Editorial: The present year, 1884, is a presidential election year. The Republican candidate is James G. Blaine, who also is the Swede's choice, G. Cleveland is the Democratic candidate. The ...

    Swedish
    III A
  • Svenska Tribunen -- August 13, 1887
    A Statue of Karl von Linne

    A mass meeting was held on June 7th at Svea Hall to sondier a proposal to erect a statue in honor of Karl von Linne in Lincoln Park. The proposal was accepted with great enthusiasm, and the persons present appointed a committee of forty-five to handle the affair. The monument is going to be raised in the name of the Swedish-Americans in the United States and with their financial support.

    The committee elected the following as officers: President, John A. Enander, vice presidents: C.J.Sundell, Rob.Lindblom, P.M.Almin; P.S. Peterson, O.G.Lange, P.W.Nilson and A. Chaiser. Secretaries: L.Hasselroth, V.Tengwald, H.W.Brusewitz and C.Eklund, Treasurer, J.R.Lindgren, Fin. Sec. L.Widestrand.

    The General Committee made this appeal in The Swedish Tribune today:

    2

    "It has been suggested that the intended monument should be a copy of the one erected in Stockholm, Sweden a couple of years ago. About $40,000 is needed for the purpose. We, therefore, ask you, our countrymen, to co-operate with us.

    Linne' was a Swede of world-wide fame as a scientist. We Swedes in America should, therefore, honor him by erecting his statue in a place where men can seek rest after a busy day or week. Linne' gave to the world his beautiful truths of the life of the flowers. We, therefore, ask you for your contribution to enable us to erect this monument in Lincoln Park in Chicago. If 40,000 Swedish-Americans gave $1.00 each we would have the needed money in a couple of months.

    If someone should ask why the statue should be erected in Chicago we answer 3this: The largest Swedish colony is located in Chicago. Chicago is the most centrally located of all the large cities in the United States, and is the binding link between East and West, South and North,Chicago is the most cosmopolitan city in America. It is, therefore, most fitting that the statue should be raised here. The genius of Linne' was of such magnitude that he belongs to the whole world. ...

    A mass meeting was held on June 7th at Svea Hall to sondier a proposal to erect a statue in honor of Karl von Linne in Lincoln Park. The proposal ...

    Swedish
    II C, III A
  • Svenska Tribunen -- September 22, 1888
    New Citizens

    The activities of the Swedish Republican Naturalization Club have increased tremendously. About two hundred Swedes took out their citizen papers last Thursday before Judge Hawes, and five hundred Swedes received their papers last Tuesday from Judge Tuthill. It took a dozen clerks until midnight to write out the papers.

    The officers of the club deserve all honor for their unselfish and patriotic work.

    The activities of the Swedish Republican Naturalization Club have increased tremendously. About two hundred Swedes took out their citizen papers last Thursday before Judge Hawes, and five hundred Swedes received ...

    Swedish
    III A