Lapas attēli

They do not stand so well with the older inhabitants, from which most of the local leadership comes and who are now in the minority, There are, however, prominent individuals in each class who stand on a parity with the leading men of the other.


There are only a few of the recent immigrants in Shenandoah engaged in the professions. Of the 19 practicing physicians in the community, 17 are of the English-speaking races. The other two are foreign-born Poles; one educated in this country and the other abroad.

The 18 attorneys in the town all come from families of Irish, English, and German descent. A Lithuanian merchant has a son who is practicing law in Waterbury, Conn.

There are 12 licensed pharmacists, all of English-speaking races, except one foreign-born Lithuanian and one foreign-born Russian Hebrew.

Among the Lithuanians there are two professional journalists, one editing a Lithuanian socialist organ and the other, a woman, editing a Lithuanian church


Both were born and educated abroad. The clergy includes four priests—one Lithuanian, two Poles, and one Ruthenian-but they can hardly be considered as representatives of the locality since they were educated abroad and have been stationed in the community by church authorities.

Of the 5 dentists in the community 3 are Irish, 1 is of German descent, and the other is English and Welsh. Two Irish youths are studying dentistry, but none of the more foreign races have as yet attempted to enter the profession.

Among the recent immigrant races there are from 30 to 50 old women who illegally and quietly practice midwifery. They report no births, and the regular physicians come upon their tracks only when something goes wrong with the case. Some of the physicians now refuse to answer night calls in obstetrical cases among the immigrants, because of the probability that the case has already been spoiled by the unclean and clumsy midwife who is invariably called first. The regular physicians are only called in when the case is in extremis, and if the woman dies they are frequently blamed for her death.

The second generation of the local immigrant races have not, up to the present, supplied any recruits for the professional class, but there are several in training for this distinction. One young Lithuanian is studying medicine in Philadelphia, and two Poles are preparing for the same career-one in Washington and Jefferson University and the other in the Baltimore Medical Institute. A Lithuanian is studying law at the University of Pennsylvania, while a Pole is taking post-graduate work there in the same subject. A Lithuanian and a Ruthenian are studying civil engineering at Cornell University. One Lithuanian is studying pharmacy at Philadelphia, while three other boys of that race are apprenticed to local druggists preliminary to a course in a regular pharmacal school. Three Polish youths are studying for the priesthood at Detroit, Mich.

All of these young men are of humble origin, their fathers being, either at present or formerly, of the laboring class.

The immigrant professional men are so inconspicuous in the community from the standpoint of numbers that it is difficult to arrive at their relative standing. The two Polish physicians enjoy comfortable practices, but their clientele is found wholly within the immigrant races. The one Lithuanian pharmacist has a large drug store, well located, and he draws his patrons from the English-speaking as well as from the immigrant races. The Lithuanian church paper in the community has been published for six years under its present manager and editor. It has been financially successful and is considered influential in its own denomination.


The relative tendency toward naturalization of the races from southeastern Europe may be gained from the following table, which is based upon estimates made by the ward assessors and prominent race leaders in Community A.

Table 65.- Present political condition of foreign-born males 21 years of age or over, by

race of individual.

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The rank of the immigrant races from southeastern Europe in regard to the tendency toward citizenship is as follows: (1) Lithuanians; (2) Slovaks; (3) Ruthenians; (4) Polish; (5) Syrians; (6) Italians, South.

The prominent position of the Ruthenians in respect to citizenship is partly due to the activity of their priests and leaders. On the other hand, there is evidence of a pronounced tendency among them to return to the old country. The Lithuanian priests have promoted the naturalization of their parishioners by providing pamphlets containing the United States Constitution in parallel columns of English and Little Russian, with explanatory notes. Through the efforts of their spiritual leaders many of them have been able to pass creditable examinations before the judges.

Another source of information relative to the tendency toward naturalization of the various races may be obtained from the table next presented, which shows, by races, the number of second naturalization papers granted by the court of common pleas of Schuylkill County during the period from January 1, 1904, to September 27, 1906. The court files enabled identification of the races with fair accuracy in all cases except those in which the nationality

was given as “Austrian.” The Austrian-Poles, however, could be distinguished because they were so marked, and since the only other races from Austro-Hungary found in the region to any extent are the Slovak and Ruthenian, and also because of the character of the names, the remainder of the “Austrians” are included with these two races in the following table:

TABLE 66.- Present political condition of foreign-born male employees who have been in

the United States five years or over, by race of individual.

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Considering the length of period (two years and nine months) included in the above tabulation, and the circumstance that all of the individuals for whom data were secured must have filed papers within five years, it is safe to conclude that the table represents with a certain degree of accuracy the rapidity with which the various races are becoming naturalized. No comparison between the races is possible, however, without some knowledge of the relative size of the groups from which they come.

There has been a marked falling off in naturalization in the county in which the community is located since the act of June 29, 1906, became effective. During the two years ending December 19, 1905, 1,307 petitions for second naturalization papers were filed in the county. Under the new regulations, during the two years ending October 29, 1908, only 73 applications for full citizenship were made in the same district. The court under the old law used to sit upon naturalization cases once a month; at present it listens to such cases only five times a year. Only 299 papers of intention were filed in the county during the period from October 13, 1906, to November 6, 1908.

The chief reason for this decrease in the tendency toward naturalization is to be found in the increased difficulty attendant upon complying with the new regulations. Local race leaders claim that their people do not take out papers as much as they used to because they are now called upon to answer so many difficult questions, such as the date of emigration, vessel on which they came, ability to speak the English language, and other matters concerning which the immigrants frequently have no record.

The deterrent effect of the new regulations has undoubtedly been heightened through the fact that much of the naturalization under the former process was due to an artificial stimulation by pecuniarily

or politically interested persons whose ardor in encouraging citizenship has cooled off since the enactment of the new law.

Under a rule promulgated by the county court in 1897 the alien seeking citizenship was obliged to employ an attorney, whose fee was from $5 to $10.Enterprising lawyers were quick to realize the opportunity thus afforded for increasing their incomes. The naturalization files give the attorney's name on the stub of each granted petition, and it is to be noticed among the papers filed after 1897 that they were often secured in lots. Sometimes six, a dozen, a score, and in one instance over 90 papers were found to have been filed at one time by the same attorney,

In addition to the attorney's fee, the foreigner had to pay $3 for advertisement, and if he lived at a distance from the county seat his naturalization cost him also a day's work and a few dollars for carfare and meals.

The Poles and Lithuanians have several political organizations the purposes of which are to promote naturalization and the political advantages of their people.

While the Poles have several leaders and influential individuals whose prominence in local affairs would argue an unusually active civic interest on the part of the race as a whole, evidence indicates that the race falls behind the Lithuanians. A study of the composition of the local government shows that the Poles, with about the same size population as the Lithuanians, are represented in percentages less than one-half.

The following table shows the racial composition of the borough government of Community A in 1909:

Table 67.-- Number and per cent of foreign-born males in the local government of

Community A, by race of individual.

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Both the Slovaks and Ruthenians have leaders who exercise some political power, but their aggregate number is not sufficient to influence local civic affairs. The Syrians have only one man of political influence in the community who is of much more importance than the combined leaders among the politically insignificant Italians.

Eight years ago the immigrant vote was not cultivated by the politicians of either party to the extent of bribing the quondam alien with offices in the borough government. By 1902 five of the dozen councilmen were from the immigrant class. The credit for this achievement is commonly given to the Irish. Except in presidential elections, the borough has been Democratic by from 100 to 400 votes since 1905.

The argument which it is said the Irish have used with strong effect upon the foreigners is this, “We are Democrats. You belong to the same church as we do. Therefore you ought to be Democrats also.” And this line of persuasion has at times been reinforced by the political activity of the priests, notably among the Lithuanians.

In the general election of 1908 this line of argument proved a boomerang. In the spring of the year the archbishop had removed the popular rector of the local Lithuanian church and placed in his stead a former curate. It was under the guidance of the old rector that their magnificent church in Community A had been erected, and he was much beloved by his parishioners. His removal greatly incensed the congregation, who, upon his departure, took possession of the church property, and the new incumbent had to resort to legal process to gain an entrance to the rectory and the church. The Lithuanian congregation is still resentful and has largely deserted the church.

The archbishop is Irish; the attorney employed by the new rector is Irish, and most of his friends are Irish. The Lithuanians identified the Irish with the Democrats at election time, and when the votes were counted, to the chagrin of the local politicians, it was found that a normal Democratic majority of some 300 had been turned into a plurality of about 200 votes for the leaders on the Republican ticket.

The attitude of the various races toward good government is not easily discovered, because very few questions of that character get a chance for discussion in the community. Both the Lithuanians and Poles have had organizations which ostensibly had good government as one of their objects, but in many instances selfish interests got control and either broke up the societies or defeated their avowed purposes.

There is only one party—the Citizen's party-which professes to stand for good government. It is largely composed of men of affairs of the Welsh, German, Scotch, and Irish races, all now fully assimilated Americans and representative of the best elements in the borough. The Citizen's party had control of local affairs during the early part of the present decade, but their efforts did not win the confidence of enough people to enable them to cope with the saloonists and their greedy associates, who succeeded in putting them out of power in 1905.

It is impossible to make any discrimination between the races upon the score of reputations as citizens. The fact is that there are some respected citizens in all the races, except possibly the Italians. The average English-speaking person regards all of the immigrants as purchasable, ignorant, and vicious in a high degree. On the other hand, you will find Americans, Irish, and “Pennsylvania Dutchmen” who claim that they have esteemed friends among the immigrants, especially those who have been here long enough to get into business.

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