Lapas attēli

to Slav, or in cases where pronounced financial prosperity makes a transfer to a more exclusive residential section possible.

There are no municipal regulations relative to housing.

Immigrant boarding houses are less cleanly, less completely furnished, and more crowded than those occupied by natives in the same grade of employment.

The average price of board, including lodging and washing, in immigrant boarding houses is about $16.50 per month. In a large number of houses occupied by immigrants, $2.50 per month is paid for lodging, cooking, and washing, while the raw provisions, which are cooked by the housewife, are furnished by the boarder. In other boarding houses all the food and drink, except meats, are furnished by the housewife. The prices of lodging, cooking, and washing, and food, exclusive of meat, in these places is about $5.50 per month. The meat is furnished by the boarder and cooked by the housewife. These two latter methods of conducting boarding houses do not seem to exist among the natives.

The boarding-boss system is most general among the Italians. Among the other recent immigrant races are found boarders who pay a set sum for board and lodging as in American boarding houses.

In the boarding houses conducted by Americans the cost of board, lodging, and washing averages about $20 per month.



Effects of recent immigration on the community-Criminality-Health and Sanitation Charity.


The social and moral deterioration of the community through the infusion of a large element of foreign blood may be described under the heads of the two principal sources of its evil effects: (a) The conditions due directly to the peculiarities of the foreign body itself; and (b) those which arise from the reactions upon each other of two nonhomogeneous social elements-the native and the alien classeswhen brought into close association.

Among the effects under the first-named class may be enumerated the following:

(1) A lowering of the average intelligence, restraint, sensitivity, orderliness, and efficiency of the community through the greater deficiency of the immigrants in all of these respects.

(2) An increase of intemperance and the crime resulting from inebriety due to the drink habits of the immigrants.

(3) An increase of sexual immorality due to the excess of males over females. The Twelfth Federal Census showed 2,657 more males than females in the community, an excess largely made up of immigrant bachelors.

(4) A high infant mortality, due largely to the neglect and ignorance of hygiene and sanitary surroundings on the part of the immigrant mothers.

No exact statistics upon these points could be secured for the various races in the community; but while it is not possible to assign to each race its proportionate share in producing the effects, the evidence of their existence is apparent.

Before discussing the effects due to the heterogeneity of the social elements, it may be well to mention the more striking characteristics which separate the recent immigrants from the natives and earlier settlers. These may be roughly catalogued as follows:

(a) Differences of language, religious faith, and degree of literacy. (b) A lower standard of comfort and a less fastidious manner of living. The women of all the foreign races in the town generally go barefooted about their homes. Their rooms and clothing reek with the odors of cooking and uncleanliness.

(c) A different standard of modesty. Pregnant women appear in public unconcernedly until full term. The fathers and brothers bathe before the women and children of the household.

(d) A different manner of observing Sunday. The immigrants attend church regularly in the morning, but the balance of the day they devote to amusements, sometimes of a noisy character, after the continental fashion.

(e) A greater possession of sheer physical strength and a greater willingness to accept employment requiring nothing but brawn. (f) A more habitual indulgence in intoxicating beverages with apparently less permanent physical injury.

The chief effects of a social and moral character arising from the friction and interactions between the native element and the large foreign body possessing the above peculiarities may be summarized as follows:

(1) A general loosening of the forces of social cohesion. The inability, owing to the lingual and educational barriers, of understanding the other's viewpoint prevents the development of sympathy and engenders a disintegrating hostility. Differences in the modes of living hinder social intercourse.

(2) A civic demoralization of the ruling class. The venality of the immigrants overcomes the scruples of the politically ambitious and they succumb to the temptations of bribery. This reacts upon the efficiency of the local government.

The more scrupulous citizens shrink from participation in municipal affairs, which are controlled largely by the worst element in the community.

(3) An enfeeblement of the power of public opinion through the weakness of the public press. There is only one English daily in Community A, and that does not open its columns to criticisms of municipal affairs. The reason given is that it has so few readers it can not afford to offend any of them. The people in power always have a large enough circle of friends to be able to do an unfriendly newspaper considerable harm. The subscribers which, in other communities, would be gained by a reform activity are in Shenadoah not to be found on account of the smallness of the English-reading public. (4) A general stimulation of the cupidity and avarice of the local business and professional men by the tempting prey of the ignorant foreigner.

(5) A growth in the number of saloons (one for every 26 families) to satisfy the immigrant appetite, and a consequent extension of the temptation to the native-born, and an increase in crime among all classes due to inebriety.

(6) A coarsening of the fiber of the native-born through contact with the immodesties of the immigrant.

While all of the above effects are very noticeable in the community, perhaps the most obvious result of the racial mixture is to be seen in the incapacity of the local government, and the wasteful administration of public funds. A sufficient illustration of the municipal mismanagement can be found in the history and present state of the municipal water plant, which is owned and managed by the borough. During the autumn of 1908 occurred the worst drought ever experienced by the community. For several months the water was only turned on in the town mains for two hours a day, and then the liquid that came was so muddy as to be practically useless. The water supply dried up. The shortage was estimated at 100,000,000 gallons.

In September a handful of citizens called a mass meeting to discuss measures to prevent a recurrence of such a water famine. The small hall was hardly filled. Several speeches were made, but only one contained practical suggestions and made a reasonable appeal. The others reflected illy concealed bitterness, echoes of political battles, and partisanship. The meeting was a failure although a propertyholders' committee was appointed and a feeble attempt made to form a civic league. The committee inspected the water plant and recommended the construction of two additional reservoirs for the storage of water from easily accessible streams which are now running to waste. Its report also says:

* * Water is being sold by the Community A Water Company (private) to some of its large consumers at the rate of 10 cents per thousand gallons. This is paid to a company that furnishes its water by gravity. This price is not unreasonable, as is proven by figures from other towns. If Community A received for its water 10 cents for each thousand gallons furnished, it would receive on its duplicate $58,000, while as a matter of fact we are receiving now less than $27,000.

There are now on our borough line 3,026 families paying $6 per year for each family; 133 saloons, paying $6 yearly; 75 beer pumps, paying $6 annually; and there is some water being sold to the breweries by meter at 10 cents per thousand gallons. If the parties using the beer pumps paid at the rate of 10 cents a thousand gallons, as the breweries are paying, then the annual revenue from each beer pump would be about $55, instead of $6, as it is now. We are losing about $4,000 a year on a total of 75 beer pumps used in the town.

The expenses of our water plant are as great as the receipts of the water plant. In other words, we are not receiving any money on the original investment, much less any to set aside to make improvements, and nothing to meet the interest charges on the water plant.


This report was presented to the borough council. It received only partial adoption and stands small show of effecting much improvement in the water supply of the borough.

The average traveler in Community A would be struck by two apparently contradictory facts-the omnipresence of the saloon (about 35 to each of the 5 wards) and the throngs of churchgoers on a Sunday.

Another striking characteristic is the condition of the streets. Only a few of the main streets are paved. The rest are muddy and poorly guttered. Outside of the central portion of the city-especially in the foreign sections-open sewage, tin cans, rubbish, decaying vegetation, manure, and foul odors are frequently encountered. The sidewalks are broken and uneven, in bad repair, and in some places lacking. Street signs are only partially supplied.

The fire department seems to be quite efficient, but the police force, composed of 4 Lithuanians, 2 Poles, 1 German, 1 Irishman, is far below the standard. Robberies and holdups have at times been so frequent that it was not considered safe for a well-dressed person to walk through the foreign sections after dark. The practice of going armed at nighttime is common among all classes, especially on pay days.

A prominent local criminal lawyer expressed his opinion of the police force as follows:

We have a police force that can't speak English. Within the last few years there have been six unavenged murders in this town. Why, if there were anybody I wanted to get rid of, I'd entice him here, shoot him down in the street, and then go around and say good-by to the police.

During the recent squabble for the possession of the Lithuanian church property it was necessary to bring in the state constabulary. But after all these detractory observations are made, a fair notion of the community life is not given unless it is added that the reputation it made early as a town whose boom had never collapsed is still maintained. Animation, bustle, enterprise, and happiness abound on all sides. Life in the community may not run on a very high plane, but it is full-blooded and vigorous.


According to the testimony of local justices of the peace and prominent attorneys, it is very rare that a foreign-born person has been convicted of a crime done after premeditation with a larcenous intent. Such crimes, with but few exceptions, have all been committed by the English-speaking races.

Acts of violence, ranging from assault to murder, done under the influence of liquor and in fits of anger or jealousy, are very common among the immigrants. While there are no exact data upon the point, local reputation ranks the races in the following order, as respects the tendency toward offenses of this character: Lithuanians, Polish, South Italians, Slovaks, Ruthenians.

Among the Italians, violence is more often the result of quick temper than intoxication. But for the marked tendency of the Italians to hide and protect their own criminals, this race might very possibly take first rank on the score of criminality. None of the other races in the community show any marked disposition to hide their criminals. At the same time, neither do any of them exhibit much activity in helping the officers of justice to run down fugitive criminals.

The only well-defined criminal peculiarities noticed among the local races may be summed up as follows:

(1) The Italians resort most frequently to the use of knives in their acts of violence.

(2) The Lithuanians, Poles, Slovaks and Ruthenians resort to revolvers, fists, or the missile nearest to hand in their assaults.

(3) Thievery and other crimes against property are more noticeable among the English-speaking races than among the immigrants. In the community there are two justices of the peace, an Irishman and a Lithuanian. The former hears about 250 criminal cases in six months and the latter about 300 in the same period. In addition to his magisterial duties the Lithuanian justice conducts a real estate, insurance, and steamship business. Inquiry failed to discover any evidences of corrupt practices, or illegal encouragement of litigation on the part of these justices. One prominent race leader said, however, that in the earlier days there used to be a tendency to bring in trumped-up charges and to mulct harmless foreigners upon slight pretexts.

A form of graft was at one time practiced by a burgess and the policemen of Shenandoah. The latter would make wholesale arrests of wedding parties in which there were any signs of boisterous conduct and the burgess would impose liberal fines upon the convivial immigrants, which were not turned into the treasury but shared with the policemen.

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