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Title: The Immigrant Tide, Its Ebb and Flow

Author: Edward A. Steiner

Release Date: July 15, 2014 [EBook #46294]

Language: English

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Studies of Immigration

The Broken Wall

Stories of the Mingling Folk. Illustrated net $1.00

“A big heart and a sense of humor go a long way toward making a good book. Dr. Edward A. Steiner has both these qualifications and a knowledge of immigrant’s traits and character.”—Outlook.

Against the Current

Simple Chapters from a Complex Life. 12mo, cloth, net $1.25

“As frank a bit of autobiography as has been published for many a year. The author has for a long time made a close study of the problems of immigration, and makes a strong appeal to the reader.”—The Living Age.

The Immigrant Tide—Its Ebb and Flow Illustrated, 8vo, cloth, net $1.50

“May justly be called an epic of present day immigration, and is a revelation that should set our country thinking.”—Los Angeles Times.

On the Trail of the Immigrant

7th Edition. Illustrated, 12mo, cloth, net $1.50

“Deals with the character, temperaments, racial traits, aspirations and capabilities of the immigrant himself. Cannot fail to afford excellent material for the use of students of immigrant problems.”—Outlook.

The Mediator

A Tale of the Old World and the New. Illustrated, 12mo, cloth, net $1.25

“A graphic story, splendidly told.”—Robert Watchorn, Former Commissioner of Immigration.

Tolstoy, the Man and His Message

A Biographical Interpretation

Revised and enlarged. Illustrated, 12mo, cloth, net $1.50


Southern Slavic chief, who exchanged his symbols of authority for pick
and shovel at “Guinea Hill.”

Southern Slavic chief, who exchanged his symbols of authority for pick and shovel at “Guinea Hill.”



Professor in Grinnell College, Iowa
Author of “On the Trail of the Immigrant,” etc.



New York      Chicago      Toronto
Fleming   H.   Revell   Company
London       and       Edinburgh


Copyright, 1909, by

New York: 158 Fifth Avenue
Chicago: 125 No. Wabash Ave.
Toronto: 25 Richmond Street, W.
London: 21 Paternoster Square
Edinburgh: 100 Princes Street


Mr. and Mrs. Bayard Henry,
In whom blend all the nobler
strains which made the past
illustrious, and who are
awake to the peril and the
opportunities of the hour,
This book is
cordially inscribed




“PUT your hand on this cable,” the captain said; and a dozen hands grasped it before it sank back into the sea. Our fingers felt no thrill or shock, for we had touched only the incasing insulation. Then the captain told its length, stretching along the ocean’s depths, its weight and cost; but the figures falling upon our ears roused no emotions; for they gave no idea of the cable’s value to society.

On shore we were taken into a dark chamber and there saw flashes of light, which lived but a moment; yet each spark was a letter, holding some hidden meaning, revealing some vital truth. Here the imagination was stirred and the mighty significance of the cable comprehended.

There are two ways in which to reveal the import of those vital connections between the continents, as established by the immigration of European peoples to America. One way is to record its volume, measure its fluctuations, classify the different groups and statistically determine the value of this movement to them; to trace the effect upon its sources and its significance to the country which receives them.{6}

The state of New York and the government of the United States, through their Immigrant Commissions, have attempted to do this from the statistical standpoint with material gathered by observers, more or less skilled. The difficulties involved in this method are very great, especially if the result is to furnish a test of the desirability of one race or nationality over another, or determine its value to our civilization. A race may be homogeneous in its historical or racial consciousness, but heterogeneous in its cultural development. This is true of the Slavs, the Latins and the Semitic peoples who make up the bulk of our immigrant population.

Not only is there a number of well defined racial groups, but each group needs to be sub-divided, and those subdivisions in turn have many divisions; for every mountainside has its own traditions and each valley holds different ideals. For instance: I know of one Slav village in Hungary in which illegitimacy is unknown; yet within two or three miles there is a village in which it is the rule rather than the exception. I know some villages in the Carpathians, so remote from civilization that the inhabitants have not yet learned how to make bread with yeast, and I know other villages in the same locality in which are culinary artists who make a cake having national fame.

A man may be a Polish peasant and be a {7}semi-barbarian or he may be on the same cultural level as the German “bauer” at his best.

The statistical method is of value; but it must be exceedingly painstaking, and even then I doubt that it can serve in all cases the purpose for which it is intended.

I have therefore chosen the second, the interpretative method. It sees the sparks in the dark room, it interprets the flying flame and feels the influences on both sides of the sea. It crosses and recrosses the ocean with these human cables which bind together the continents; it listens to their stories and records them, hesitatingly draws conclusions and undogmatically tries to teach some lessons.

In the first part of my book I have tried to show the influences of the returned immigrant upon his peasant home and his social and national life. In the second part I interpret the relation of various races to our institutions, their attitude towards them and their influence upon them.

In all I have told, I have aspired to be an interpreter and not an enumerator; a mediator and not a critic; I have desired to create contacts and not divisions; to disarm prejudice and not give it new weapons.

In this book, as in all the others I have written, I am indebted to my wife; not only for doing all the tedious tasks such work involves, but also for{8} inspiration and the creation of an atmosphere in which I could write in superlative terms of American ideals.

I wish to acknowledge the courtesy of the editors of the Outlook and the Review of Reviews in permitting me to reprint portions of this book.

I heartily thank the Y. M. C. A. of Pennsylvania and Mr. E. B. Buckalew, its efficient State Secretary, for the opportunity to gather material in that state and in Europe; the young men who made up the Pennsylvania Expedition for the Study of Immigration, who were helpful, joyous comrades, and the trustees of Grinnell College, Iowa, for a generous leave of absence.

E. A. S.

Grinnell, Iowa,
August, 1909.



With the Outgoing Tide
I. They That Go Out in Ships 15
II. The Price They Pay34
III. A Murderer, Mary and an Honorary Degree46
IV. Reflex Influences62
V. Our Critics77
VI. The Doctor of the Kopanicze93
VII.Moschele Amerikansky102
VIII.Noch ist Polen Nicht Verloren112
IX. The Disciples in the Carpathians124
X. The Guslar of Ragusa138
XI. Where the Angel Dropped the Stones152
XII.The Hole From Which Ye Were Digged165
With the Incoming Tide
XIII. Problems of the Tide185
XIV. The Slav in the Immigrant Problem203
XV. The Slav in Historic Christianity215
XVI. From Ephrata to Whiskey Hill227
XVII. From the Lovczin to Guinea Hill242{10}
XVIII. The Jew and the Christian259
XIX. The Jew in the Immigrant Problem276
XX. From Fifth Avenue to the Ghetto290
XXI. From Lake Skutari to Lake Chautauqua300
XXII. The Protestant Church and the Immigrant311
XXIII. Twenty-five Years with the New Immigrant329
XXIV. From Chaos to Cosmos348
 Appendix I (Classification of the New Immigrant Groups)359
 Appendix II (Net Immigration to the United States 1899-1908)362
 Appendix III (Industrial Depression and Immigration)364
 Appendix IV (Suggested Changes in Immigration Laws)366



Facing page
A Czar in Embryo Title
Dirty Mary During the Period of Transition50
A Contrast in Homes71
The Market Square in Cracow112
At the Foot of the Tatra Mountains135
Coast of Dalmatia138
Where the Angel Dropped the Stones and Now Drops Dollars158
Two Types of Poles207
The Slavic Home in Hungary236
The Slavic Home on Whiskey Hill236
A Jew of the Poorer Type276
A Jew of the Finer Type276
Faculty and American Students at Missions-Haus, Kattowitz318
Slavic Women352
General and Mrs. Riciotto Garibaldi at the Foot of His Father’s Monument in Rome356




With the Outgoing Tide





“DO really nice ladies smoke cigarettes, papa?” my young daughter asked of me perplexedly, awaiting an answer.

“No, I don’t think they do,” I replied hesitatingly, the passing of severe judgments not being much to my liking.

“Do really nice ladies drink whiskey?” the young interrogator continued. This time I answered with more assurance.

“No. Really nice ladies do not drink whiskey.”

“But, papa dear, so many ladies in our cabin either drink or smoke, and I think they are very nice.”

My little woman is perhaps a better judge of human nature than her Puritanized papa; for going into the smoking-room of the Italian steamer on which we had embarked, I saw, indeed, a number of women smoking and drinking and pretending to enjoy both, with that pharisaic air of abandon which convinced me{16} that they were “really nice” ladies. They were “sailing away for a year and a day,” and were celebrating their liberation from the conventionalities of their environment by “being quite European,” as one of them expressed it.

Ladies who smoke cigarettes and drink cocktails in the smoking-room of an ocean steamer cannot expect that the gentlemen, whose domain they have invaded, will wait for an introduction before beginning a conversation, and soon I was deep in the discussion of the aforesaid cigarettes and cocktails, as pertaining to ladies who are “really nice.” One of these ladies was from “ye ancient and godly town” of Hartford, Conn., and her revered ancestors sleep in the Center Church cemetery, all unconscious of the fact that “The better set, to which I belong,” quoting the descendant of the revered ancestors, “smokes and drinks and breaks the Sabbath.” “And swears?” I asked.

“No; but we do say: Dum it,” she replied, inhaling the smoke as if she were a veteran, but betraying her novitiate by the severe attack of coughing which followed.

“Well, I am not up to it, quite,” she remarked. “You see I didn’t begin till my senior year in college, and gave it up during the earlier years of my married life.”

Then I, a college professor, who has lived these many deluded years in the belief that not{17} even his senior boys smoked, except perhaps when no one was looking—gasped and became speechless. Seeing me so easily shocked, she tried to shock me more by telling tales of social depravity, of divorces, remarriages and more divorces, of which she had one; until my speechlessness nearly ended in vocal paralysis.

I did not find my voice again until a gentleman from Boston who “never drank in Boston,” but who, it seemed, departed from that custom to an alarming degree on shipboard, helped me to recover my lost organ, by launching forth into a tirade against the immigrant, that ready scapegoat for all our national sins.

Upon the immigrant the Boston man laid the blame for the degeneration of America and the Americans.

“What can you expect of our country with this scum of the earth coming in by the million? Black Hands, Socialists, and Anarchists? What can you expect?

“The Sabbath is broken down by them as if it had never been a day of rest. They drink like fish, they live on nothing——” and he went on with his contradictory statements until the well-known end, in which he saw our country ruined, our flag in the dust, liberty dethroned and the Constitution of the United States trampled under the feet of these infuriated Black Hands, Socialists and Anarchists.{18}

Through the open door from the steerage below came the murmur of voices from a thousand or more passengers, crowded in their narrow space, too narrow for even scant comforts; yet in the murmur were long, cheerful notes.

A mixture of sounds it was. Weird snatches of songs from the Greeks, the mandatory call of the Italian lotto players who seem never to tire of their half innocent gambling, and the deep, guttural notes of various Slavic groups, telling the story of the hard fight for money in the strange country.

Above these sounds came the wailing notes of a lonely violin, played by an Hungarian gypsy, who was artist, vagabond, business man, beggar and thief. His playing was intended to lure pennies out of the pockets of the poor; failing in that, he meant to help himself. It would not have been the steerage if the voices of children had not been heard in all their crescendos and diminuendos; nor, indeed, would it have been the steerage if bitter cries had not come from those who could not restrain their grief, although long ago they had ceased to be children. This ship carried not a few such, who had left our land beaten by many stripes; poor and sick and ready to die.

A Boston man who has once broken through his icy crust, especially if that crust be melted by hot drink, can speak long and unctuously, and{19} my wrath had time to gather, and grow thick as a cloud around my brain. Even before he had quite finished speaking, I blurted out in very unacademic language:

“I’ll bet you five dollars, that among the thousand steerage passengers on this ship, you will not find one woman who smokes cigarettes, drinks cocktails, has had a divorce or contemplates having one.”

It was a reckless challenge to make, but my wrath was kindled.

Confusion was added to my anger, however, when the man from Boston said, with a reproachful glance: “I am no sport and I don’t bet. I am a church-member.” Then he called for another cocktail, and I sought the lower deck, over which hung the afterglow of a sunset, rare on the Northern Atlantic, even in June.

The noises on the steerage deck had almost ceased. Most of the children were in their bunks, the lotto players found the light too dim to read the numbers on their cards, the gypsy fiddler continued to wail out lamentations on his instrument; while the Greeks squatted unpicturesquely on the very edge of the forecastle, watching the waves. No doubt the gentle, bluish green held some distant promise of the glory of their Mediterranean.

As I descended the steps I looked into a sea of faces, friendly faces, all. To my “Buon{20} Giorno,” there was a chorus of “How do you do?” from Slavs, Latins and Greeks alike, and in but a few moments there was a rather vital relation established between the man from the cabin and the men in the steerage.

That is to me a perpetual wonder; this opening of their lives to the inquisitive eyes of the stranger. Why should they so readily disclose to me all their inmost thoughts, tell me of what they left behind, what they carry home and what awaits them? There is no magic in this, even as there is no effort. All I am sure of is that I want to know—not for the mere knowing, but because somehow the disclosure of a life is to me something so sacred, as if knowing men, I learned to know more of God.

Of all the pleasures of that journey; those starry, never-to-be-forgotten nights, the phosphorescent path across the sea; the moonlit way from the deeps to the eternal heights, the first dim outlines of the mighty coasts of Portugal and Spain; Capri and Sorrento in the setting of the Bay of Naples—above them all, is the glory of the first opening of strange, human hearts to me, when “How do you do,” from that gentle chorus of voices answered my “Buon Giorno.”

“What’s your name?” I turned to a friendly Calabrian whose countrymen had encircled me and one after another we had shaken hands.

“My name Tony.”{21}

“Have you been a long time in America?”

“Three year,” he answered in fairly good English, while a friendly smile covered his face.

“Where have you been?”

“Tshicago, Kansas, Eeleenoy, Oheeo.”

In pretty nearly every place where rails had to be strung in that vast, encircling necklace of steel; where powder blasts opened the hidden fissures of the rocks; wherever his sinuous arm could exchange its patient stroke for American dollars.

“Do you like America?”

“Yes!” came a chorus of voices. “Yes!” And the faces beamed.

“Why are you going back?” And I looked into the face of a man whom no one would have taken for an Italian, but who, too, was from Calabria.

“Mia padre and madre is in Calabria. They are old. I am going home to work in the field.”

“How long have you been in America?”

“Twelve years.” That accounts for the changed look.

“Where do you live?”

“In Connecticut. Among the Yankees.”

“Do you like the Yankees?”

“Yes,” and his smile grew broader. “Yes, good men; but they drink too much whiskey—make head go round like wheel. Then Yankee get crazy and swear.” And he shook his head,{22} this critic of ours, who evidently did not believe that “really nice” ladies or even “really nice” gentlemen should drink whiskey, overmuch.

“Why do you go back?” And this time it was a diminutive Neapolitan whom I addressed. His face wore a beatific smile.

“Him sweetheart in Neapoli.” Some one ventured the information, and confusedly he acknowledged his guilt, while everybody laughed. He was going home to marry Pepitta and when times grew better they would come back to Pittsburg.

“Don’t you get homesick for Neapoli in Pittsburg?”

“Nop,” he replied. “Me citizen, American citizen,” he repeated with proud emphasis.

“What is your name?” I asked as I shook hands with my fellow citizen who had foresworn his allegiance to the King of Italy and plighted it to Uncle Sam.

Proudly he pulled out his papers. I looked at them and they almost dropped from my fingers; for they were made out to “John Sullivan.” When he saw my astonishment he said: “I change name. Want to be an American. My name used to be Giovanni Salvini.”

At the edge of the ever-increasing circle I saw my friends, the Slavs, and I reached out my hand to them. It was grasped a dozen times or more, by Poles, Slovenes and “Griners,” as they are{23} called, because they come from the Austrian province of Krain. They were less cheerful than the Italians. They were returning home because of the hard times, many of them with empty pockets, some of them with modest savings.

There were Croatians, a few Dalmatians and many Bulgarians and Serbs, who for some reason are the least successful among our Slavic toilers. They were all in rags, looked pinched and half starved and told their hard luck story with many embellishments.

A great many stalwart young fellows were going back to join the army; for the emperor had declared amnesty to all who had left their country before serving their term in arms. One could well afford to be patriotic when the king forgave and when times were hard in America.

Some of the Southern Slavs had marched up in the scale of social life; had become machinists, petty foremen and taskmasters over their own kinsmen. They knew English fairly well and seemed to have acquired some better things than mere bank accounts.

An old gentleman from Lorain, Ohio, was going home to die, and to die in poverty, because the hard times struck at the roots of his business and he was too old to labour in the mills. Another went back to claim a fortune, and asked me for the loan of a dollar, which he would be sure{24} to send back as soon as his fingers touched the waiting wealth.

The circle received constant additions, for our laughter and banter reached down to the dreary bunks, and many of their occupants came up to listen. Women brought their half-asleep children and I drew on my stock of sweets. Even the more reticent women talked to “the man,” and told him things glad and sad. A Polish woman was the spokesman of her group.

“We are going back to the Stary Kray (the Old Country). America ne dobre” (not good).

“Why is it not good?”

“The air ne dobre, the food ne dobre, the houses ne dobre.”

Nothing was good.

“We came to America with red cheeks, like the cheeks of summer apples, and now look at us. We are going back looking like cucumbers in the autumn.”

Yes, their cheeks were pale and pinched and their skin wrinkled. How could it be otherwise? They had lived for years by the coke ovens of Pennsylvania, breathing sulphur with every breath; their eyes had rarely seen the full daylight and their cheeks had not often felt the warm sunlight. America “ne dobre.”

And yet something must have seemed good to them; for they wore American clothes. Long, trailing skirts, shirt-waists with abbreviated sleeves{25} and belts with showy buckles. All of them had children, many children of varying sizes, and among the children not one said: “America ne dobre.”

The boys had penetrated into the mysteries of baseball vernacular, and one of them was the short-stop on his team.

When I inquired of him just what a short-stop is, he looked at me pityingly and said: “Say, are you a greenhorn?”

I am sure if I had told him that I was a college professor, he would have asked for my credentials.

Some of the girls, besides having gone to our public schools, belonged to clubs, wore pins and buttons and chewed gum most viciously. All were loath to go to the “Stary Kray.”

I surely was in my element, the human element; with babies to cuddle, to guess their ages and their weight; to watch the boisterous, half Americanized, mysterious youth and to ask questions and answer them among these strong, friendly men.

There was one woman who neither smiled at me nor answered my greeting; who held her half-clothed, puny baby close to her breast, giving him his evening meal. Other little ones, seemingly all of one age, huddled close to the mother, who looked like a great, frightened bird hovering over her young.{26}

“Her man been killed in the mine,” the women said, and I found no more questions to ask her. I could only sympathize with her in her grief; for I knew it. I knew it because I had seen her or her kind, by the hundreds at a time, prone on the ground beside the yawning pit, claiming some unrecognizable form as that of husband or son; often of husband and son. I have heard the bitter wails and lamentations of a whole hillside. Out of each hut they came, the heart-broken cries of the living over the dead; and in that grief, the Slovak, the Polish or the Italian women were just like the American woman, who more silently, perhaps, grieved over her husband, the foreman of the mine. In the radiant morning he walked away from her and home; into the mine, his tomb.

The poor Slav woman had paid the price for her American hopes and had a right to say: “America ne dobre”; but she did not say it.

“Lift my boy!” a rather muscular, good-looking man said, in the English of New York’s East Side. He seemed a little jealous of the attention I had paid to these strange children.

“He’s the real stuff,” he continued. “A genuine Yankee boy. Born on the East Side.”

“My! But he’s heavy!”

“You bet he is!” the proud father exclaimed, after my only half successful effort to lift the youngster.{27}

“He’s going to be a prize-fighter, like his daddy;” and before I realized it I was initiated into the technicalities of the prize-ring. My new friend proved to be an aspirant for strange honours, especially strange when sought by a Jew. His ambition was to be a champion.

“I was the foist one,” he said, “to start the fighting business among the Jews. There’s lots of ’em now.”

Why was he going over? His wife, a native of Hungary, had grown homesick for the Magyarland. She was dying of that most dreadful of all diseases, consumption; so her Ike and little Joe were going with her to Budapest.

“Say,” Ike confided, “I don’t know what that Old Country is like; but I’ll be hiking back to the good old Bowery in six weeks unless I’m mighty much mistaken.”

Little Joe, with all his weight, had nestled in my arms and grown quite affectionate. When we parted, he called me “Uncle,” and I was properly proud of being the uncle of a future champion prize-fighter of the world.

By the time the first bugle sounded for dinner I had tasted enough of the joys of this new fellowship; so I said good-night in four languages. Up to the deck and to my cabin door, I could hear little Joe calling after me in a voice like that of a lusty young rooster, “Good-night, uncle!”{28}

Dinner in the first cabin was fashionably quiet; for it was our first evening meal together, and we were measuring and scanning one another after the manner of fashionable folk, trying to decide with whom it was safe to speak.

We reached the point of discussing the dinner and the merits of Italian cooking; we spoke of the weather and hoped it would remain so calm and beautiful all the way. Some of us even went so far as to ask our neighbour if this was the first trip over, which is a rather silly question to ask nowadays when every one has crossed the ocean a dozen times, except a few very extraordinary people.

After dinner, as we lounged on deck, a lady, whose face I could not see, sat down beside me and said: “You don’t approve ladies’ smoking, do you?” With that, she drew from her silver case a cigarette, and put it to her lips.

“I don’t myself,” she continued; “but I smoke because my whole nature is reacting against the Connecticut Puritanism in which I have been steeped. I don’t enjoy smoking, at least my nerves don’t; but my whole self takes pleasure in it because I have been told over and over again that I mustn’t; so now I do.

“I do everything, even drink cocktails, as you have seen. I do love to shock people.”

I told her that I had grown accustomed to shocks, that I had seen something of the world,{29} was fairly well acquainted with the weakness of the flesh and the power of the devil; but that I really thought it strange that an American woman and a mother should smoke and drink. Her daughter, a girl of about sixteen, properly gowned and coldly indifferent, watched her mother and listened to our conversation until her maid came and bore her away, after she had bade her mother an unaffectionate good-night.

I suppose it was the cigarettes that made my neighbour communicative, perhaps it was simply because she wanted to talk, that she told me her story—a story more lamentable than I have ever heard in the steerage.

She was graduated from a college which prides itself more than most colleges, on being an intellectual centre. Immediately after entering society she married a man of her own set, wealthy, cultured and a university graduate. Now, after seventeen years of married life, she had obtained a divorce, because, as she said, they had “had enough of each other.” He had already married, and she was going to Europe to find a husband, a man with braid and gilt buttons; preferably some one connected with an embassy.

Several of her friends, she said, had married into that class and were “perfectly happy.”

“Foreigners are so polite,” she said. “Americans, especially American husbands, are boors. Think of nothing but business, know nothing of{30} music or art, and are absorbed in football, the Board of Trade and fast horses.”

I knew that this woman was not a typical American woman, nor typical of a large class; but she was interesting as a type of many of her class who have grown weary of Democracy and the attendant Puritanisms of America, have crossed the seas and recrossed them, have gambled at Monte Carlo and flirted at Budapest and Vienna, have seen the shady side of Paris by early morning light and have become alienated from the best there is in America.

This particular woman had broken up her home, had left a fourteen-year-old son with his grandparents, and was about to throw herself away on pretty nearly anything that presented itself, if it sported brass buttons and trimmings, and had at least a Von to its name. She belongs to a species which I have often seen in the American quarters of European cities; but one so frank as she, I had never met.

I thought I had known something of American homes and American husbands; but evidently I have lived in the social backwoods, for what she told me was indeed a revelation.

In the course of the conversation we were joined by other husbandless women who were to live abroad, although not divorced nor yet seeking gold braid and brass buttons; by the gentleman from Boston who had confessed to{31} being a church-member, and by a merchant from the West who was eager to make up a pool on the ship’s run,—and before we knew it, we were back to my proposition about the steerage.

It was the merchant from the West who said that he noticed how much American clothing these immigrants carried back. That the men had celluloid collars, watches and brass-bound trunks. It was the man from Boston who said that they carried themselves so differently from those who came over, and it was he who began to calculate how much money they carried back, impoverishing our country and enriching theirs.

“One thing,” I ventured in reply, “you have not counted and cannot count. How much of that which is better than money they are carrying back. Ideals filtered into their minds, new aspirations dominating their lives, and all found in the humblest places in America.

“The steerage, as I have said before, and now say again with still more emphasis, carries into Europe more saving ideas than the cabin. What we bring we have borrowed from Europe and bring back in exaggerated forms. Neither Paris nor Berlin, nor Vienna nor Monte Carlo is being blessed by our coming or cares for us at all, but only for our dollars.”

No one contradicted me and I do not think I shall be contradicted.

“Neither Europe nor America is the better{32} for our coming or our going,” I continued. “And you,” turning to the man from Boston, “you who say that the immigrants are to blame for our social and religious deterioration, ask yourself what you and your class bring back to America after a season spent on the frayed edges of the so-called social life of Europe, with which the average American comes in contact. As for the money the immigrants carry back, they have earned every cent of it, and I have no doubt that we in the cabin carry more money over to Europe than they do, and we will spend it there; and I am not so sure that we have earned it.

“Moreover,” waving aside the man from Boston who was about to interrupt me, but I was wound up and could not run down, “they have paid a terrible price for the money they carry home. Shall I tell you what that price is?” And I told the story of the Slavic widow and her orphaned brood. Then my good neighbour, the Puritan rebel, who had heartlessly talked of her deserted home, stretched out her hand and touching mine said: “Please don’t tell us any more. You have already made me think, and I don’t want to.”

Then came four bells from the bridge, and the lonely sailor watching from the crow’s nest called out: “All’s well on board!”

With a sigh my Puritan rebel rose, murmuring what I alone heard:{33}

“Sailor, that isn’t so!” Then she said: “Good-night.”

After that there were more cigarettes and cocktails in the smoking-room; but one woman wasn’t there.{34}



THE ship’s doctor was very much like other men of his profession who choose to be knocked about from port to port, dealing out pills and powder, when pills and powders seem of so little consequence. He was young, inexperienced and had not yet learned half the secret of his calling; namely, to keep his mouth shut at the proper time. At breakfast he told us that he had eight cases of consumption in the steerage, and that three men were about the worst he had ever seen.

He told this with the cool air of the medical man who delights in “cases” as such. Then he told us about one of them, a Greek, who was at the point of death, but all the time kept calling for cheese.

“Don’t you give him cheese, all the cheese he wants?” cried one of the young ladies across the table.

“No,” replied the doctor; “what’s the use?”

Then I looked at the young lady and she looked at me; I whispered something to my steward, and she gave an order; and we both had cheese—real Greek cheese for breakfast.{35}

In the morning the steerage looks its best. The deck has been scrubbed and so have some of the passengers. If the day promises to be fair, the travellers unconsciously draw upon the coming joy in large draughts. When I went down that day, I was no more among strangers. Tony greeted me with an unusually broad smile, John Sullivan shook hands with me so vigorously that I thought he must be the veritable John L. and the children gathered round me, confidently awaiting their sweets. This was truly inspiring; but it became touching when the Slavic widow said to her brood: “The Krist-kindel comes.”

In the depths of the steerage they had heard that a man from the cabin had come down and been good to them; that he had petted the children, luring them with sweets. And the steerage gave up its treasure of little ones, seemingly endless in number; so that the stock of good things had to be replenished many a time before each child had its fair and equal share.

Truly it is “More blessed to give than to receive,” yet the blessing brings its burdens, in the disclosure of real or pretended suffering; and the immigrants are no exception to the rule. I know now as I have never known before, the price they pay for the dollars so safely tucked away, which are their wealth, their power and, I trust, their happiness.{36}

Here is a beggarly-looking group of Bulgarians. They left their home in the richest district of that new Balkan czardom about a year ago. I know their village, set in the midst of acres of roses, of poppies and of maize. Like their forefathers they lived there contentedly until restlessness, like a disease, crept upon them. Coming from the plains in the West, it spread its contagion over the Alps, the Carpathians and the Macedonian hills. The men mortgaged their homes, left their wives and children to gather the roses, the poppies and the maize, and took passage at Triest to gather dollars in America.

On landing, they were shipped West and farther West. They travelled by polluted rivers, and over mountains stripped of their verdure and robbed of the wealth of their veins. They saw the refuse of the mines left like broken trappings of war on the battle-field. They saw the glare of a thousand flaming ovens where coal was being baked into coke, and in their shadows they saw besmirched and bedraggled towns, now clustering, now trailing along, now losing themselves in the darkness, and now glowing again in the lurid light of giant flames pouring from huge furnaces. They saw day turned into night by smoke, and night turned into day by unquenched fires, and they knew not whether it was day or night, or heaven or hell to which they had come. At the end of the journey they were led into a{37} deep ravine through which an inky river struggled, and over which hung a cloud as immovable as if the released elements were forming again into solids.

Twelve men were counted by some one who led them, or drove them, or pushed them into a hut which had once been painted some dingy colour, but now was part of the gloom around it. Other twelve men were made to enter another hut, and so on, until all were disposed of. By signs they were given to understand that this was home; so they spread out their woolen coats and went to sleep. When morning came, after a breakfast of cheap whiskey and poor bread, they were marched into the mill of a certain corporation. It would do no good to mention the name of this corporation, and it would do no harm. No one would be offended; for there is no one to offend.

I have very dear friends who own stock in that company, but they just draw dividends—they do not control the mill. The man and the men who run it produce the dividends; they do not own the stock, certainly not all of it. I cannot single out that corporation; it is not the only sinner nor the chief one, and that would be its only consolation, were it looking for anything so unpractical.

My Bulgarians saw boiling pots of metal and red-hot ingots of metal and men of metal, who shouted at them in an unknown tongue, and the{38} louder they shouted the less the men understood. Little by little, however, they grew accustomed to the tumult, and learned to walk skillfully on the inch plank which alone separated them from death and destruction. They found consolation in the bulging envelope full of money which came to them at the end of the week; for it was much money, exchanged into their currency, more money than three months’ labour brought them among the roses, the poppies and the maize.

Two-thirds of it they sent home, and lived on the other third, eating coarse meat and bread, and indulging in strong drink. Month after month they toiled in the mill, and lived in the same ravine, with the thundering, spewing, belching monsters. They lost the freshness of skin and the elasticity of movement characteristic of their race; but were happy in the fat, bulging envelope at the end of the week.

Of the city, with its churches and its beautiful homes they had seen nothing; for the mill ran day and night, and night and day, and Sabbath days and Sabbath nights as well. They cared not for cities or churches or even for fine houses, so long as they got the envelopes.

One morning, however, they came to the mill and it was silent within, as it was silent without, and the door was closed. One week and another they waited; but there was no envelope{39} with money. Their own small change was gone and they were starving. Then came the same man who had driven them twelve by twelve into the huts, and twelve by twelve he drove them out; for they had no money with which to pay the rent, and men with hearts of metal cannot feel what it means to be driven out of a hut, even such a wretched hut, and be in the roofless street.

Half-starved, the men left their miserable shelter and marched into the main street, past the stores and the churches; and then they saw that the city had homes and that not all the men had hearts of metal.

Bread came in abundance, and soup and meat. Fine women were proud to serve them, and the basement of the church became their lodging place. On Sunday they heard above them the voices of little children, and then deep organ tones and a man’s voice speaking loud enough for them to hear, although they could not understand. Then came a great volume of song, and if the congregation sang: “The Church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ, her Lord,” poetry never was more true to fact; for the church seemed buttressed upon these Slavic brothers of Jesus, in whom, as in all the needy, He incarnates Himself.

By slow stages the men found their way back to the sea, and through the charity of their own more fortunate countrymen, they were now{40} homeward bound. A more forlorn looking set of men I have never seen; emaciated, ragged, unclean and discouraged. They had paid the price.

A man groped his way towards me, his face disfigured and his eyelids closed forever. He had money, nearly a thousand dollars, he told me. “But what would I not give for only one eye?” he said pathetically. He paid the price when a powder blast blotted daylight out forever.

A rather forward Jewish girl snatched from my hands goodies intended for the children, and at a glance I knew the price she had paid, if she carried any dollars across the sea. She belonged to an ever-increasing number of Jewish women, who have forsaken the path of virtue or have been pushed from it, who knows into how deep a hell?

A man came to me, the mere shadow of a man and asked for some soothing sweet for his cough. He was a Montenegrin and had been a stalwart soldier in the army of his prince, in whose domain the white plague is practically unknown. He, too, carried money home; more money than any man in his village in the Black Mountains had ever possessed. It was earned in the iron works of an Ohio town, in a pit so full of flying metal, ground from rough surfaces, that every breath carried destruction to his lungs.{41}

The sight of this man recalled the conversation at the breakfast table, and I looked for the hospital. Two stories below the steerage deck I found the contagious ward, and upon iron cots lay the three dying men, mere shadows of men except the eyes. They were still the eyes of flesh, grown larger seemingly, through suffering, which was all too real.

Nearest the door, and nearest death apparently, was the Greek. He looked almost happy; for he had cheese, the cheese of Greece, which my opposite neighbour at table was feeding him bit by bit. He ate and ate, and called for more. Poor fellow! His soul had already forgotten the glory of Athens; but his craving stomach had a long memory; it remembered the cheese of Greece.

Stolidly looking at the iron ceiling from which hung the huge sweat drops of the labouring ship, lay a dying Slav. The racial marks of his face were almost obliterated, and one could with difficulty recognize the Slav, except by his silence in suffering. My hands touched his; and although they were mere skin and bone, the marks of heavy labour were still upon them. His memory had not quite faded; for between panting breaths he told me of the village in Hungary from which he had gone, a lusty youth; of the old Matka he had left behind, of the sea voyage and then of his work in the{42} mines. It was “Prach, prach” (dust, dust), he said. He was sure that when the air of the Tatra mountains filled his lungs again, he would get well. Did he want anything? “Yes, palenka.” His native white, biting drink. Oh, if he just had palenka! “Wouldn’t whiskey do as well?” “Yes, anything that gives strength; but palenka would be the best.”

There was a third man, an Italian of the Calabrian group to which Tony and John Sullivan belonged. There was, or there had been, a third man; for even as we turned towards him, a rattle in his hollow chest gave sign that he had crossed to another harbour than that for which he had embarked. We would have lingered; but death brought the nurse and the doctor, with much muttering and many complaints against us, and threats of quarantine.

After all, it was good to reach the noisy deck, even the deck of the steerage—and life.

“Tombola! Tombola!” the Calabrian peasants shouted, shaking a pasteboard box of dice. “Tre, sette, dieci,—terno!” the lucky winner screamed, gathering up the greasy soldi piled on the greasy deck.

In another corner the dealer was shaking a wicker basket full of the lucky and unlucky numbers, drawing them forth one by one and calling them out to the winners and the losers. All over the deck there were such groups of{43} noisy Italians, ignorant of the death of a comrade who had drawn the unlucky number—or the lucky one; who can tell?

Unconscious of the fact that death had come in the wake of the ship and overtaken us, all went merrily on—and no one in cabin or steerage must be told; for the dark angel is nowhere so unwelcome as upon the uncertain deep, where there are never more than a few planks of wood or girders of steel between time and eternity. No one thought of death that morning. Who could think of it with the sky so blue and the sea so calm? Even nature seemed oblivious of the fact that one of her children had paid the price.

Nor was the man from Boston, nor many men in Boston, with all their inherited sensitiveness of conscience, nor the men in Pennsylvania where conscience is blackened by coal, and hardened by steel—none of these men, I say, was conscious or is conscious how great is the price these European peasants pay for the dollars they carry home.

In all the industrial states, there are hundreds and thousands of graves, marked by humble wooden crosses, beneath which sleep just such toilers, snatched from life by “The broken wheel, the loosened cord.” They have paid the price, the greatest price, giving their lives for the dollars, the hoarding of which we begrudged them.{44}

No less than 10,000 of these despised aliens laid down their lives in one year, digging coal, making steel, blasting stone and doing the numberless dangerous drudgeries of our industrial life.

All that the Boston man saw was the money, the good clothes, the celluloid collars of the men, and the gaudy shams that decked the women. I could see the mouths of half a dozen mines, out of which were dragged in one year the mangled, powder-burnt, asphyxiated bodies of a thousand once-breathing souls. I heard the cries and groans of hundreds of women and thousands of children; for I have seen mothers embrace bodiless limbs and limbless bodies, fragments of the sons they had borne, and although 30,000,000 dollars and more were carried home by the living, they too had paid a price beyond the hard labour they did. In the suffering they endured in damp mines, by the hot metal blasts, in cold ditches and in dark and dangerous tunnels, they paid the price, indeed.

I wish that the man from Boston and all the men with small vision had been on the deck of that Italian steamer, when three times during her long voyage the engines stopped their breathing, just before sunrise. In the steerage and in the cabin alike, men and women were asleep. The captain, the doctor and a few of us, who knew and dared, were the only ones astir.{45}

From the depths of the ship the sailors carried the sail-cloth sheathed bundles and held them over the waters. Then sharp and clear the captain called: “Let go!” The engines breathed again, the mighty screws churned the quiet sea to foam and the surging waves enfolded the bodies of the men who had paid the price.{46}



ONCE a day the steerage was roused from its monotony. Men, women and children, a thousand of them, pushed and crowded (good-naturedly, of course) in the attempt to get a glimpse of a fellow passenger. There was nothing which distinguished him from the rest of the immigrants except that he had taken human life, and was being carried back to pay the penalty of his crime.

The hour which he daily spent on deck was an hour of singular triumph. Almost reverently the crowd stared at him, as if he had just dropped from heaven or risen from his grave. I am sure that no one felt any ill will towards him, and even the sailor who, revolver in hand, stood guard over him, shared the distinction which the steerage felt in having a murderer there. The fact is, he did not look like a murderer or even like the typical bad man; neither did he seem smitten by remorse, nor did he exhibit any kind of bravado which might have aroused resentment.

Graciously he accepted the cigar which some{47} one gave him, and as graciously permitted me to light it for him (his hands were in irons) while with remarkable frankness he told me his history and the story of his crime.

Of course he was an Italian, born in a southern town in which some 20,000 people had accepted poverty as their inheritance, and made little or no struggle against it. They had also accepted the burden of taxation and exploitation by government officials; although here and there some one with the gleam of freedom in his breast felt the grievousness of it, and secretly or openly protested.

Patriot brigands enough there were, and the stories of their exploits fired the imagination of a number of boys, of whom Luigi (the murderer) was one. On Sunday evenings under a clump of cedars these boys gathered, until in imitation of their elders they organized a society, whose patriotic purposes involved nothing less than the overthrow of monarchy, and wiping Church, priests and Pope from the face of the earth. A rather ambitious program for minors; but they had imbibed the “Zeit-geist” in an exaggerated form, had begun to feel the great social wrongs of the times, and like most youths, admired the heroic.

Luigi told me frankly that he committed thefts first from the till of his father, a shopkeeper, who, upon the discovery of his son’s pilfering,{48} beat him half to death and drove him out of the house. After that the boy stole from any one and any place; because the “Society for the Liberation of the People of Italy” needed money, first, last and all the time, to carry on its ambitious schemes. Ultimately he was caught and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.

I know something of the horrors of Southern Italian prisons, and I could well believe that three such years would ripen rebellious thoughts into desperate ones. Luigi left the prison with vengeance in his heart, slew the judge who had sentenced him, and fled to America.

I have purposely robbed his story of all its patriotic and picturesque elements, for I do not wish to glorify Luigi. He is just a type, perhaps not a very fair type, of many of his countrymen whose coming to America disturbs us and whose leaving it causes no regrets.

Luigi’s further history was interesting to me because he knew some things about America which I did not know. He had lived a number of years in the state of New Jersey, which seems to be a sort of haven of refuge for Trusts and Anarchists. During those years he had been in intimate relation with our courts, jails, prisons and police. He had plotted for them, with them and against them, and now was being sent back in irons because (he said) his remaining in the United States would embarrass certain officials.{49} Luigi saw no great difference between prisons here and in Italy; between jailers there and jailers here; between judges on this side the water and on the other side. The only difference that Luigi did see was that over here they are much smarter than in Italy.

There was but one good thing which Luigi experienced in America. They had been good to his “kid.” Over and over again he told me that, and over and over again he blessed the good women of a certain New Jersey town for being good to his “kid.” Often as he cursed the police (police, state and nation are one in the mind of Luigi and his kind) so often did he bless two women at the edge of that New Jersey town, who had truly revealed the heart of a nation, whose conscience had been falsely revealed to him by the police and the petty courts.

Looking over the railing, the cabin passengers watched the murderer as eagerly as those in the steerage, and when I returned after my interview with him, every one clamoured for a report of the conversation. Many of the men sneered at my suggestion that the murderer might be a victim of circumstances.

“He ought to be shot!” was the brief but conclusive argument of several.

“We’re not strict enough with them,” said the man from Boston; and added the information that shooting is too good for these Black Hands{50} and Anarchists. He called me an “unpractical sentimentalist.” The man from the West, however, took my part.

“You may call the professor a sentimentalist, but I guess he may be right after all. We’ve got a sentimentalist as they called him, in Denver. He took it into his head that you can bust kids of their meanness by being good to them instead of clapping them into jail, and he has done it. We called him a dangerous sentimentalist; but the kids of Denver call him their friend, and he has done more for them than all the sheriffs and judges and jailers put together.”

While the man from the West was speaking, “Dirty Mary,” as we called her, looked wistfully up at me and reminded me that it was candy time in the steerage.

Mary was positively the most hopeless little creature my eyes have ever seen. She was about eleven years of age, and could swear as picturesquely in English as if she were a Bowery tough; while from her stockingless feet up to her head, which looked as if it never had been guilty of contact with a hair-brush, she was a mass of unpicturesque dirt.

Mary had come from Naples to Mulberry Street, and never had a chance to be homesick, for she never had a home. Her father was in prison and her mother had all she could do to take care of the numerous little ones, who, at the{51}



earliest moment, like the fledglings in a nest, were pushed out to shift for themselves. Mary had slept beneath docks, in ash cans and dark alleys, and although still a child, there was nothing left for her to learn concerning the evils of this world.

As I was sharing my sweets with her, the Boston man called down from his safe vantage ground: “Try your love-making on Mary!”

“What’s that bloke talkin’ about?” she asked, noisily chewing her candy.

“He has challenged me,” I answered.

“Say,” she said, looking at the generous proportions of the Boston man and then at me, “he’s got a cinch, ain’t he?”

Nevertheless, I accepted the challenge.

“Mary,” I began, in my gentlest and most persuasive tones, “Mary, I want you to wash yourself.”

“Ain’t got no soap,” was the reply.

“Will you wash yourself if I furnish the soap?”

“Nop”—very decidedly—“no soap in mine.”

The preliminary skirmish was over, and I had lost; but I was not discouraged. Probably the attack had been wrong. I left Mary, and going to the barber’s shop, I bought the most strongly scented soap he had. Armed with this weapon I returned to the steerage, and renewed the attack.{52}

“Mary,” I said, holding the soap close to her nose, “this will make you smell sweet all over, if you use water with it.”

Mary sniffed the musk-laden air, and the primitive spirit in her, lured by the odour, conquered her will. She took the cake of soap and it disappeared in the pocket of her greasy skirt. Triumphantly I went to the upper deck and reported progress. After a remarkably short time Mary reappeared and smilingly looked at me from below. She had used the soap, all of it, I think; for it was liberally plastered over her face, her hands and even her limbs. Indeed dirt and soap were pretty equally distributed over her body.

I had never known that Mary was shy; but when she heard the laughter of the passengers, she disappeared as quickly as a frightened deer, leaving a strong smell of musk behind her.

“What was you all laughing about?” she demanded, when, after a long search, I found her tucked in among the blankets of the shelf which was her bed. Then I explained to her the uses of soap, and by the aid of a pocket mirror showed her its effect when used with the proper proportion of water. Mary was an apt pupil, and then and there washed herself for the first time in many days and weeks.

“Mary, will you wear stockings if I bring them to you?”{53}

Emphatically and briefly Mary answered: “Sure.”

“And shoe-strings in your shoes?” I was growing bold; but “According to your faith——”

The next day Mary appeared, washed clean and wearing stockings which my own little woman had provided.

After that the shoes were laced, and before we reached Naples a hair-brush had invaded the wilderness which crowned her head. A bright ribbon bow was the bribe which accomplished that miracle. Her teeth even became acquainted with a tooth-brush, although I had to use chewing-gum as an inducement to open her tightly closed lips.

Outwardly, at least, Mary became a changed creature. I cannot tell much about what went on in her little soul; but I trust she felt something of that love, which, even in the imperfect way in which it was manifested to her, had some power.

The love I have for the people in the steerage has begotten love in them, and I have brothers and sisters innumerable; while countless children call me “Uncle.” I am quite sure that if these strangers are to be blended into our common life, the one great power which must be used will be this something, which practical people call sentimentalism; but which after all, at its best, is a really practical thing, and accomplishes{54} what rigid law, whether good or bad, cannot accomplish. I have seen this force at work, healing, reclaiming, redeeming; and my faith in it is unbounded, although the practical man may ridicule it and the scientific man may scoff at it. My faith in love as a factor, the greatest factor in our social life, is based first of all upon my belief in our common kinship.

I recognize no barriers of race, class or religion between myself and any other human being that needs me. I happen to know something about human beings; I know intimately many races and more nationalities, and I have discovered that when one breaks through the strange speech, which so often separates; when one closes one’s eyes to what climate has burned upon a man’s skin, or what social or economic conditions have formed or deformed—one will find in every human being a kinsman.

Those of us who know certain races most intimately have come to the conclusion that what at first we regarded as essential differences, are largely upon the surface; and that when we have penetrated the unusual, we quickly reach the essentially alike.

The most interesting books and the most acceptable lectures about strange peoples often come from those who know their subjects least. They were not long enough among them to discover{55} the likeness—that which is so commonplace that one cannot write books about it or deliver sensational lectures regarding it.

If emigration to America has done nothing else, it has proved that but few race characteristics, if any, are fixed. Should some sceptic wish to be convinced on this point, let him visit such towns as South Bend, Indiana; Scranton, Pa., or Youngstown, Ohio, and look at a group of Slavs or Italians who came here twenty years ago. Let him go among those who have had the full advantage of our environment, of our standard of living, of education and of an enlightening religion. He will find what we call race characteristics almost obliterated, from the faces of even the first generation.

The sluggish Pole has become vivacious; while the fiery Italian has had his blood cooled to a temperature approved by even the most fastidious of those who believe that fervour and enthusiasm are not signs of good breeding.

My own anthropological acumen has sometimes played me sore tricks, especially in the following case: I was the guest of a Woman’s Club, in the Middle West, to speak on the theme of Immigration. At the close of the session, refreshments were served.

The mistress of the house—and be it known that her ancestors came to this country when there was neither steerage nor cabin—told me{56} that she had an Hungarian maid whom she wished me to see. I looked about the room and saw two young women serving the guests. One was a typical American girl, with almost a Gibson face; the daughter of the house, I decided. The face of the other showed some Slavic characteristics, and mentally I placed her birthplace in the Carpathian Mountains. I was congratulating myself on my good judgment, when the young ladies came to serve me; then I discovered that the one with Slavic features was the daughter of the house, while the “Gibson girl” had been born by the river March, in Hungary.

One of the most wonderful sights from the sociological standpoint is the main street of Scranton, Pa., and the neighbouring Court-house Square. Scranton has a weekly corso. A vast stream of young people passes up and down the street on Saturday afternoon, to see and to be seen; to court and to be courted. I have watched that stream for hours, and although fully eighty per cent. of those young people are of foreign birth or children of the foreign born, I could only faintly trace racial differences. Almost invariably, too, the racial marks have been most effectually blotted out from the faces of those who have had the best advantages; that is, the same advantages which we have had. It is noticeable that children of{57} the Southern Italians grow larger than their parents, and would grow better than they, if in the changed environment love would supply what chance or fate has denied them.

I believe in love as a factor in social redemption, not only because I believe that we are essentially alike, but because I believe that most human beings respond to it more or less quickly. We know that children do, and that we ourselves rarely outgrow the response to love.

I recall once travelling westward on an immigrant train. To begin with, the car was very much crowded, and after it became part of a slow local train, it was invaded by native Americans, who fretted much and justly, at having to travel in an unventilated, ill-smelling car.

At one station a mother came in, with a child about five years of age. The little one was crying bitterly, because it had the toothache. Two other children caught the infection and lifted up their voices, loud enough and long enough to set every passenger on edge. The mother of the five year old tried to comfort her by telling her that soon they would be at the dentist’s, and he would pull the naughty tooth. That remark failed to produce the desired effect, for the little girl fairly screamed and the two babies joined in the chorus. Then the mother, growing angry, cried: “Jenny, if you don’t keep still, I’ll break your neck!” At which Jenny, not unnaturally,{58} ran from her. I stretched out my arms, and catching her held the struggling form for a minute, then lifted her gently to my knee.

“Tell me, Jenny,” I said, “where does the tooth hurt?”

She pointed to her swollen cheek, and I said: “Now, dear, I’ll take that toothache away,” and I lightly stroked the sore cheek.

Here let me say that I am neither a Christian Scientist nor a Faith Healer, and that when I have a toothache, I go straightway to the dentist. I stroked Jenny’s swollen cheek for a time and then asked: “Does it still hurt, dearie?” and Jenny answered: “Not now. Do it some more.” And I did.

“One, two, three!” I said at last. “I’ll put your toothache into my pocket.” And lo! and behold! the toothache was gone.

Relieved of pain, the child soon fell asleep in my arms, and I carried her back to her mother.

The other children were still crying—challenging my faith in love as a soothing syrup; and I accepted the challenge.

One baby belonged to a Lithuanian woman who was going to join her husband in the coal fields of Illinois. It required more than love to touch that baby; it needed a good digestion as well; for the child was so dirty that it seemed perilous to take it, from whatever point I approached. Finally, I landed it safe. Its skin{59} was hot and dry; evidently it had a fever, and I knew that it would appreciate water without and within. I applied it liberally, and before long I could really love the child; for when the dirt was removed, it was fair to look upon. When its cries ceased, as they did soon after I gave it a cool drink, I laid it on a seat far from its mother, and it went to sleep.

All this time the third baby continued its lamentations; they were the cries of a very young baby, and went to my heart. I asked its Italian mother to let me take it, and she, having witnessed the miracles I wrought, had faith in me and gave me her child. As soon as it felt the strange, muscular arm, however, it howled with renewed vigour; but I held bravely to it, and walked up and down the car, and down and up, and up and down again. I had to; for whenever I attempted to sit down, the baby shrieked the louder, and as I was being eagerly watched by all the passengers, my reputation was at stake. At last I recalled a little Italian lullaby, one my Dalmatian nurse used to sing to me; I hummed it as I continued my weary march, until the child’s cries changed to a low crooning. Then I sat down and number three fell asleep. Triumphantly I carried it to its mother, and took my seat, much the worse for wear and perspiring at every pore.

In a short time a benevolent looking lady{60} wearing eye-glasses came to me and said: “I beg your pardon, sir, but are you an M. D.?”

“No, madam,” I replied, “I am an L. L. B.”

“What is that?” she inquired.

“Lover of Little Babies,” I answered.

I told this story to my fellow passengers in the cabin; not only because I am proud of my honorary degree, but to prove my belief in the fact that most human beings respond to love, and also that it is a specific for many ills.

My theory may be unscientific and impractical; but my fellow voyagers saw it successfully carried out in the steerage of that steamer.

Shall I ever forget the landing of the ship at Naples? Tony and John Sullivan and Pietro and Guisseppi, resplendent in their American clothes,—eager to land; yet not forgetting to shake my hand as they bade me a smiling good-bye. I doubt that there was one of those hundreds of men whose life’s history I did not know, whose hopes for the future I did not share and in whom my love had not awakened some kindly feeling.

I knew the women and the children; I was expected to kiss the babies—and I did—and the children all said good-bye to their “Uncle.” After all, I may not have done them any good, but I know that they enriched my life. Proudly I looked at Mary, no longer “Dirty Mary,” and her clean face made me happy; while her smile was worth much more than gold. I had new{61} brothers and sisters, nephews, nieces and children.

My orthodox friend from Boston stood beside me when they landed. “This is like heaven,” he said as he looked around.

The matchless bay, with its blue water, glittered in the light of the sun, which made a pavement of gold fit for angels and spirits to walk upon. It was like heaven to me also; not because I thought of golden pavements or harps or halos, or any of the glories which the imagination might picture to itself. To me it seemed like heaven because “The redeemed walk there,” those whom America is lifting from the steerage into the many cabins of the Lord.{62}



THE ports of Naples, Triest and Fiume felt the full tide of returning immigration, and although it came sweeping in with unprecedented force, it was not regarded as a calamity. For hours at each port, noisy venders of fruit, and “runners” for modest lodging places hung about the ship, and every passenger who disembarked was an asset, not only to the port in which he waited for the train or boat which would carry him to his native place, but to the whole economic life of his nation.

There was something almost grotesquely grandiose in the air with which each immigrant viewed the shores of his native land, and an unconscious exaggeration of our American ways in his walk and talk, and the prodigality with which he handled small change.

The street venders and purveyors of small pleasures recognized this, and appealed to his newly awakened generosity by charging him twice as much for everything as they charged when he was outward bound.

The customs officers had a sharpened vision{63}


Austria’s commercial harbor; prosperous, whether the immigrant tide ebbs
or flows.

Austria’s commercial harbor; prosperous, whether the immigrant tide ebbs or flows.

and did not treat his baggage with the usual disrespect. The brass-bound trunks contained phonographs to disturb the age-long silence of some mountain village, samples of American whiskey, “the kind that burns all the way down,” and therefore characteristic of our temper. There were cigars, manufactured by the American Tobacco Trust, and safely concealed; for the Austrian and Italian governments have been wise enough to create a monopoly of their own on tobacco.

Gold trinkets, too, there were, for some Dulcinea in the Apennines or the Carpathians—trinkets brought as tokens of faithfulness, which is often as spurious as the metal; and ah, yes! there is something else which they bring and no customs boundary can keep it out. It is hidden away in the innermost being and will come to light some day, although now the wanderer himself may be unconscious of it.

The returned immigrants scatter into thousands of villages, rousing them from their commonplaceness by stories of adventure, boasts of mighty deeds of valor and praise or criticism of our strange customs.

Sitting in the inn of a little Alpine village, I once overheard one of these immigrants comparing the slow ways of the natives with our swifter pace.

“In America the trains go so fast that they{64} can’t stop to take on passengers; they just have hooks with which they are caught as the train flies past.

“They have reaping machines,” this candidate for the “Ananias Club” continued, “to which a dozen horses are hitched, and the grain is cut, threshed, ground to flour and baked, in a few minutes. All you have to do is to touch a button and you can get bread or cake as you choose.”

All this his auditors believed; but when he told them that we build houses forty stories high, their credulity was strained to the breaking point; although he swore by the memory of his departed mother that it was so, and that he had seen it with his own eyes.

One reason that the returned immigrant is so quickly recognized is, that he purposely emphasizes the difference between himself and those who have remained at home. He does everything and wears everything which will make him like an American, even if over here he had scarcely moved out of his group or come in touch with our civilization. With pride the men wear our clothing, including stiff collars and ties, and when one is in doubt as to a man’s relation to our life, a glance at his feet is sufficient; “for by their”—shoes—“ye shall know them.”

While one may deplore the loss of the picturesque in European peasant life, there is an ethical{65} significance in the immigrant’s American garments which is of rather vital importance.

The Polish peasant in his native environment is one of the laziest among European labourers. Wrapped in his sheepskin coat, summer and winter, walking barefoot the greater part of the year, and in winter putting his feet into clumsy, heavy boots which impeded his progress, these garments fitted his temper. They were heavy, inexpensive, never changing, and rarely needed renewal. The American clothes he wears are a symbol of his altered character. They mean a new standard of living even as they mean a new standard of effort.

In America the Polish labourer loses his native laziness. The journey in itself has shaken him out of his lethargy; the high gearing of our industrial wheels, the pressure brought to bear upon him by the American foreman, the general atmosphere of our life charged by an invigorating ozone, and the absence of a leisure class, at least from the industrial community, have, in a few years, changed what many observers regarded as a fixed characteristic.

The whole Slavic race is inclined to lead an easy life, and immigration is destined to have a permanent effect upon it; for the returned immigrant acts contagiously upon his community. Unbiased landowners and manufacturers have told me that we have trained their workmen in{66} industry, that we have quickened their wits and that while wages have risen nearly 60% in almost all departments of labour, the efficiency of the labourers has been correspondingly increased, most noticeably where the largest number of returned immigrants has entered the home field.

The Slavic peasants both in Hungary and Poland were gradually losing their allotted land, and were socially and physically deteriorating, prior to the movement to America. Indolence coupled with intemperance drove them into the hands of usurers, and they dropped into the landless class, thus becoming dependent upon casual labour.

The returned immigrant began to buy land which the large landowners were often forced to sell, because wages had risen abnormally and labourers were often not to be had at any price. In the four years between 1899 and 1903, land owned by peasants increased in some districts to 418%, and taking the immigrant districts in Austro-Hungary and Russian-Poland together, the increase in four years reaches the incredible figure of 173%.

In three districts of Russian-Poland the peasants bought in those four years 14,694 acres of farmland. This of course means not only that money was brought back from America, but that the peasant at home has become more{67} industrious, if not always more temperate and frugal.

The little village of Kochanovce in the district of Trenczin in Hungary, out of which but few had emigrated to America, and to which not many families had returned, has, under this new economic impulse, bought the land on which the villagers’ forefathers were serfs and on which they had worked during the harvest for about twenty cents a day. The peasants bought the whole baronial estate, including the castle, giving a mortgage for the largest part of the purchase sum; but they are now the owners of one of the finest estates in Hungary, and the mortgage drives them to work as they have never worked before. This same impulse has struck the district of Nyitra in which the land had almost gone out of the peasants’ hands, lost by the same causes, intemperance and indolence.

In the last five years the change has been so great as to seem marvellous. Usurers have been driven out of business and the peasant’s house has ceased to be a mud hut with a straw-thatched roof. In fact, that type of building has been condemned by law, at the initiative of returned immigrants.

The shopkeepers throughout the whole immigrant territory rejoice. Their stock is increased by many varieties of goods; for the peasant now wants the best there is in the{68} market, often useless luxuries, to be sure; but while he may spend his money “for that which is not meat,” he wants to spend, and that means effort, than which the Slavs as a race need nothing more for their social and political salvation.

Their advance is strikingly illustrated by the following examples.

The B. Brothers of Vienna are manufacturers of neckties. On a recent visit to their establishment I met some buyers from Hungary, one of whom, when the salesman showed him the class of goods which he had been in the habit of buying, highly coloured, stiff bows of cheap cotton, said:

“We have no use for such stuff. This is the tie we want,” and he pulled out an American tie of rather fine quality and the latest pattern.

I had to promise the head of the firm of B. Brothers to put him in touch with an American haberdasher’s journal, so that he may keep himself informed as to our styles.

Partly to test the influence of immigration in the remotest region of Hungary and partly to satisfy my craving for a certain kind of candy, I visited a little village hidden away in the Carpathians, where neither steam nor electricity has yet obtruded itself. There in a certain store, I bought my very first sweets, and although I have since tasted the delicacies of many civilizations, the lingering flavour of that first candy{69} still seems the most delicious, and its taste has never left my palate. It was hard, highly coloured and usually exposed to flies and dust; but it was my first love, and my first pennies were sacrificed to it; so I was eager to revel in its delights again.

I went to that village in the spirit of one who goes on a pilgrimage, and as one seeks one’s favourite shrine so did I seek that little store. My palate’s memory led me to the very door; but in front of it, forcing itself upon my candy-hungry gaze, was a penny in the slot machine, out of which, in response to two Hungarian Filers, came dropping a stick of genuine American chewing-gum. It is needless to say that my primitive, highly-coloured candy was no more. In its place were caramels and buttercups very much like those I had left behind me in the United States.

Now I do not mean to imply that chewing-gum and caramels have any social or ethical bearing upon my subject; but they do prove that the old order changes and that the new has been brought in by the immigrant. Still within the sphere of the economic, yet having large ethical value, is the fact that the returned immigrant brings gold, not only in his pocket but in his teeth. I certainly never realized the far-reaching social and ethical value of the dentist until I saw the contrast between the returned{70} immigrant, especially the contrast between his wife and daughter and the women who had remained at home.

If it ever was true that coarse fare makes strong teeth, it certainly has not been true during the period of my observations among the peasant people of Europe.

Where I know the bread to be coarsest and the fare simplest, as for instance in impoverished Montenegro, there the old, toothless hags are most numerous, and even the mouths of the young are disfigured by decaying teeth. This is especially true of the Alpine and Carpathian regions, out of which many of the Slavic immigrants come; there, a woman of forty is usually an old woman because she has no teeth. She is ugly in consequence, and therefore neglected by her husband.

The immigrant woman has discovered that gold in the teeth renews one’s youth, that it preserves one’s charms and is apt to keep lovers and husbands more loyal. Mistresses in America know how readily these foreign servants sacrifice their wages upon the dentist’s altar.

Not only does dentistry keep the women young and their lovers faithful, it keeps the men in good health, adds to their self-respect, and into regions hitherto untouched by their beneficent influence, it has introduced tooth-brushes and dentifrice.

If the returned immigrant can be easily {71}recognized

Before he emigrated

Before he emigrated

When the Immigrant comes home.


When the Immigrant comes home.

by his shoes and by gold in his teeth, his residence can be quickly detected from the fact that day and night his isba is blessed by fresh air; and perhaps more significant to the world’s well-being than the American economic doctrine of the “Open Door,” is its physiological doctrine of the open window.

Pastor Holubek, of Bosacz in Hungary, when I asked him what effect the returned immigrant had upon his parish, said:

“A good effect. The returned immigrant is a new man. He carries himself differently, he commands the respect of his fellows, he treats his wife better and he keeps the windows of his isba open.”

The last two facts are exceedingly important, and my observations bear out his testimony. Wherever I saw an open window in the evening, I could with perfect assurance open the door and say: “How do you do?” and I was certain to be greeted by a still more emphatic and cordial, “How do you do?”

For some inexplicable reason, Europeans of all classes are averse to air in sleeping rooms, especially at night. Night air is supposed to hold all sorts of evils, and even the medical profession, progressive as it is, has not yet freed itself from this terrible superstition.

Frequently I have discovered in the returned immigrant a quickening of the moral sense, especially{72} among the men who had come in contact with the better class of American mechanics; and the discovery was as welcome as unexpected. I saw this emphasized during my trip last year. It was on a Sunday’s journey among the villages of the valley of the Waag. Picturesque groups were moving along the highway to and from the church and into the village and out of it. The appearance of my companions and myself always created a great sensation and never a greater one than on Sunday when the peasants were at leisure. They took it as a special privilege to see “genuine Americans,” and those who had been over here were quickly on the scene to air their English and to show their familiarity with our kind.

It was a reciprocal pleasure; for it seemed like a breath from home to hear men talk intelligently of Hazleton, Pittsburg, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre; moreover it gave us a splendid opportunity to test the effect of our civilization upon them.

In one village a husband with his wife and two children came out of their isba, and we could easily imagine ourselves at home; for the whole family looked as if it had just come from a grand bargain sale at one of our department stores. What seemed most delightful to us was the way in which the man spoke of his wife, and no American husband could have been more careful{73} of her than was he; all this in striking contrast to the peasants to whom the woman is still an inferior being.

In conversation with them, I took the returned immigrant as my subject and told them something of our own social order as shown in the relation of husband and wife in America; upon which one of the peasants told a very ugly and realistic story to illustrate what he thought of women. Then it was that the unexpected happened. My immigrant friend blushed—yes, blushed—just as I should expect any well-bred man to blush under similar circumstances, and said to me: “Don’t mind him. He has a dirty mouth. He may after all have a clean heart.”

The man who blushed had been five years in—Pittsburg!

The change brought about through immigration, even in a youth of the better class, whose character had been spoiled by his early training, was shown in a young Magyar in Budapest. That city has the unenviable reputation of being one of the most immoral cities in Europe. The immorality of the great cities is everywhere very much alike in certain respects; still it seems to me that a city is more or less immoral, not according to the size of its tenderloin district, but in how far immorality has been accepted as the norm of life. In that respect Budapest is considerably in the lead; for its youth is{74} nourished in an atmosphere of indolence, false pride and various phases of social impurity.

The family to which this particular young man belonged boasted three sons of whom he is the oldest. He went the road which leads to destruction, and he went with the full knowledge of his parents, for both were going their own gait in the same direction.

Finally he was forced to run away because he had transgressed the law. He landed in New York penniless and fortunately without friends. He learned all the lessons which homesickness, hunger and cold could teach him, and as there was no other way to escape them than by labour, this youth, who never had worked, began driving a milk wagon and ultimately graduated into a clerkship. When I saw him among his own people in Budapest where he was visiting, he was so changed in his physique that not even his closest friends recognized him. Although the law had been appeased and by the death of his father he had the opportunity to conduct the business bequeathed him, his awakened conscience rebelled against the conditions around him and he was eager to return to America.

It was interesting to note that his friends found him unbearable, declaring him no longer a gentleman because he worked with his hands and was not ashamed of it; while the young ladies decided that he had been spoiled by his{75} sojourn in America because he was not eternally kissing their hands and had forgotten how to make pretty and meaningless compliments.

Of course one does not always receive favourable replies to one’s questions as to the effect of the returned immigrant upon his community. Manufacturers who exploited his labour, large landowners to whom he was no more than a serf, and priests, uneasy about the effect of the contagion, are usually very critical; but these unfavourable replies are only a proof that the leaven is at work.

I put the question to some guests at a confirmation feast. The priest told me that the immigrants become Atheists and Salvationists. In his mind there was not much difference between them. The judge told me that they become immoral; which meant that they do not pay him sufficient revenue. The host, a wealthy landowner, said that they become Socialists and Anarchists; which meant that they demand higher wages and better treatment. All agreed that emigration has been of large economic value.

So far as my observation goes, I feel certain that emigration has been of inestimable economic and ethical value to the three great monarchies chiefly concerned, namely: Italy, Austro-Hungary and Russia. It has withdrawn inefficient labour and has returned some of it capable of more and better work; it has lifted{76} the status of the peasantry to a degree which could not have been achieved even by a revolution; it has educated the neglected masses, lifted them to a higher standard of living and has implanted new and vital ideals.

That there are attendant evils, no one will question. There is much more discontent than there ever has been, more haste and less leisure; there is less respect for authority and for established institutions; certain social evils have been accentuated; the newly acquired wealth has proved disastrous to some, and family ties have been strained by the absence of the heads of many households.

Nevertheless, an Hungarian statesman, who had risen from the ranks, said to me: “America has been a blessing to us. Had Columbus not discovered it, all Europe would still be in servitude, and had it not been rediscovered by our peasants, they would not have had much chance to get their necks from under the yoke.

“America is our leaven and will yet be our salvation.”

I have watched the leaven at work, and in the succeeding chapters I have recorded some concrete instances, which clearly show that “A little leaven, leaveneth the whole lump.”{77}



THE third-class waiting-room in the Oderberg station, on the Northern Railroad of Austria, is splendid vantage ground from which to watch the racial and national conglomerate that forms the insecure structure called the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.

Here from her East and West, her North and South, one meets those great social currents which stream from the mountains to the plains and from the villages to the cities. Here, also, the tides of immigration come in and go out, and by their volume one can judge the prosperity of the United States, or at least the condition of our labour markets.

Here the “spick and span” German, from across the border, meets his less vigorous and more “gemuethlich” cousin, the Austrian.

Here the Moravian and the Czech touch elbows and glory in their Slavic speech—the age-long battle for the supremacy of their language being one of the few points which they have won in this contentious monarchy.

This is also the meeting place of Southern and Western Slavs, and here the fierce looking Bosnians{78} carry, in their erstwhile weapon belts, pins, pipes, jack-knives and razors, which they sell to their Slavic brothers of the West; they even deign to speak in broken German to the hated “Schwabs,” when driving their bargains.

Glancing around the crowded waiting-room, one sees Ruthenians and Wallachians, in picturesque garb, travelling from their impoverished mountain homes to the upper Danubian plain. They are harvesters, and their backs are bent under the weight of crude cooking utensils and primitive harvest implements.

Close to this group are fiercely moustachioed Magyars, in their semi-Oriental, loose, white linen trousers and heavy sheepskin coats. They are going to take charge of the flocks of sheep on some lordly estates; they know the ways of all four-footed animals, and are considered faithful shepherds.

In one corner stand smoothly shaven, coarse featured Slovaks, in clothing, home-made, from their felt boots to their felt hats; primitive folk they are, seeking labour in the industrial cities along this busy highway.

Of course, there are Jews from the East and the West; as far removed from each other in culture and beliefs as those two points of the compass, yet all swayed by the same mysterious force which at its best turns their vision towards Jehovah, and at its worst towards Mammon.{79}

They all are divided more or less by speech, blood and faith and are united, only by the poverty which compels them to travel third-class on the government’s railways, whose low-zone tariff encourages the migrations of its people; thus easily relieving economic distress in some regions and providing labour where it is needed.

When the train comes, the conductor sorts this mixture of humanity according to his prejudices or the seeming ability of the travellers to reward him for rescuing them from this malodorous conglomerate, by providing a less crowded compartment. As a rule, I am willing to be thus rescued, but not this time; for there is one element in evidence which makes the well-known mass of people more interesting than usual; namely, the returning immigrant. “Where thou goest, I will go,” even if it was into the thick of bag and baggage carried on the backs of men and women, through the narrow door, into an already over-crowded compartment where windows were hermetically sealed and where the air was not only stiflingly hot but full of mysterious odours, much unlike those of “Araby the blest.”

There seemed no limit to the capacity of the car or to the patience of the passengers who were being pushed about like cattle; until the conductor attempted to thrust in a woman of unusual size, who evidently was acquainted with our ways and certain words of our language.{80} She let loose upon the official the vials of her wrath, her realistic Slavic becoming fairly lurid, reënforced as it was by English words, which, when used in America, make even printers gasp, when they must be printed. Were it not that such words can be indicated only by dashes, it would prove interesting to record them here, to show what changes they undergo upon the lips of our apt pupils.

Puffing and panting, this colossal woman forced her way through the crowded car, looking for a seat. I gave her my place, and as she accepted it, she asked laconically, “’Merican man?” When I nodded assent, the point of contact was made, we shook hands and said: “How do you do?”

Like an electric current the greeting communicated itself from bench to bench. A woman across the aisle caught the force of it and waved her hand over the heads of the crowd as she cried: “How do you do?” She held up a fretful boy of five, who raised his voice in lamentation; while she said: “Behave yourself, kid; there’s an American boss on the car.” But the boy, thoroughly American, would not be frightened by threats of boss, police, or any other bugaboo. He pulled at her skirt, clutched her expansive hat, nearly tearing it from its insecure moorings, then rolled the window shade up and down, suddenly letting it go with a spring—after which, all in one breath, he peremptorily demanded candy, water,{81} bananas, and that his mother make the reluctant “choo-choo cars” go at once.

This woman’s husband is a merchant in Wilmerding, Pa., and she, after many years in America, was going home to visit her people, bringing this hopeful youngster with her to disturb the “peace of Jerusalem.”

“If he were my boy,” growled the unfortunate man who sat on the same bench with him, “I’d throw him out the window;” and the woman apologetically said: “He is an American boy, and they are all like this. You can’t tame them. Whipping does no good.”

“Well,” the man muttered, under his fierce moustachio, “I am glad I am not living in America.”

A young Moravian woman, who, in America, had exchanged her peasant garb and ruggedness for our more expensive dress and gentler ways, corroborated the mother’s statement. She had worked in American homes and testified: “Children in America are all terrible. Nothing is sacred to them; neither the kitchen nor the church. It’s because they have so few children; they spoil them.”

“Yes,” agreed a young Hungarian Jew; “in America, they have the one child system, and many women do not have even one child. They are so sterile. You should see how thin and flat-chested they are.”{82}

Then, in his realistic way, he described the physique of our women. He was a great talker, that young Jew. Having been unsuccessful in New York, he was returning home a cynic and a severe critic.

“Hm!” he continued; “the women of America are the boss. Just think of it; you can’t get a woman to black your boots. That is the reason so many men get a divorce.”

He knew all about the American woman’s luxuries, and talked loudly and long of silken petticoats, lace waists, and other sartorial mysteries; for he had worked in a tailor’s shop and was acquainted with all woman’s “doings.”

“The American men are to blame!” exclaimed a man who was crowded close to me. He had returned from America some time before, and was travelling up and down the country, buying butter and eggs. He had caught a vision of the American man and his business methods in Chicago, where he had worked in a large packing-house, and in a modest way, he was applying his knowledge.

“They work like niggers,” he continued, “and let their women remain in idleness, sitting all day long in rocking-chairs, rocking, rocking”—and he imitated the motion—“and eating candy. Just think of it! They buy candy by the pound!”

Evidently he was not imitating the example{83} of American men in the treatment of his wife who was with him, sharing the hardships of the journeys from village to village. While he was speaking, she drew their luncheon from her ample pockets: hard rye bread and Salami, a sausage as hard as the bread.

“No, indeed!” He had not taken her to America. “That’s where they spoil the women.”

His aspiration was to ultimately control the butter and egg business in his region, and future historians may record his name as a “Captain of Industry,” with those of Armour and Swift. He knew a little of every language spoken in the dual monarchy, and that, together with the fact that he spoke some English, made him a most interesting travelling companion. The greater part of the time he preached to the peasants the gospel of business. “You poor rascals,” he said; “you work in the fields from sunrise to sunset, eat bread-soup, and not much else, three times a day, and carry loads heavy enough to break your backs; while the Jews, who do the business, live in fine houses, eat the best spring geese, which you raise for them, and send their children to college. You ought to go to America and see business. Even the little boys of rich people sell newspapers and lemonade in front of their fathers’ palaces. Go into business and the Jews will have to go back to Jerusalem where they came from.”{84}

The peasants all nodded their heads and said: “Tak ye, tak ye,” it is so, it is so; but one could see in their placid, half-stupid faces, that if they ever have the spirit which ventures, they must first go to America.

The corpulent woman who had accepted my seat knew something about the lot of her kind in America, and, having by this time recovered her breath, she very emphatically gave the butter and egg man her views on the subject.

“You say that women don’t work in America, and that they are spoiled? I just come from there; I have been there fourteen years, in McKeesport, Pa. I have kept boarders ever since I went there, and I haven’t had time to sit in a rocking-chair, and my husband never bought me any candy. It’s true, you can’t beat us women there as you can over here. Soon after we went there, my husband beat me when he was drunk. I took it as patiently as I did here, and he beat me again and I didn’t say anything; although I carried a black eye for a week. Then the young woman who takes the money at the grocery store asked me how I hurt myself. I said I didn’t hurt myself, my husband did it. Then that young girl, as thin as a rail and as meek-looking as a swallow, said: ‘You tell me the next time he hits you.’

“It wasn’t long before he beat me again, and I told her and the police came and took him by{85} the neck and put him in the lock-up, and it cost me twenty-five dollars to get him out. I earned that money myself and it was no punishment to him. I told the young woman about it, and she said: ‘The next time he hits you, you hit back.’ I said: ‘Is it allowed?’ She laughed, and said: ‘If he hits you first and you kill him, nothing will happen to you.’ It wasn’t long until he came home drunk and beat me again and I gave him one with the rolling-pin and he fell, and as he was lying there I got so angry I gave him another and another, and after that he knew better than to beat me.”

This Slavic Deborah told her story graphically and dramatically, and, undoubtedly, her husband was not the first immigrant to learn that marriage on the European plan is one thing, and on the American plan, quite another matter.

“Yes,” said the young Moravian woman. “When I get married, I’ll get an American husband. They don’t expect a dowry, and they don’t make you work like a slave.”

“In a year he’ll get divorced,” the young Hungarian Jew broke in. “They do that quickly.”

“And what of it?” she retorted. “I’ll be still better off. He’ll have to pay me.”

I do not know exactly at what point of the conversation I began to sing the praises of the American man; his loyalty and his sense of justice—if there is one thing that I enjoy more{86} than singing the praise of the American woman it is lauding the American man.

Hardly had I begun to speak, when a young Roumanian, whom I had not previously noticed, commenced to rail at me, telling me in a mixture of three languages to keep my mouth shut; for he knew better. From the time he landed in New York until he left the country, he had not met a man who did not take advantage of him or ill-treat him. In Chicago, he was lured from the Union Station to a saloon on Canal Street, and, when he came to himself, he was lying in an alley, penniless. He found his way to Montana, where he herded sheep. There he tasted something of loneliness and homesickness, seeing nothing for weeks but red hills and blue sky—not a living thing except his sheep, or wolves to drive away. Then one day came American men on ponies and killed every one of his sheep, hundreds and hundreds of them, knocked him down and threatened to riddle him with bullets if he did not turn his face towards the East and march on without looking back. Days and days he walked, and because his face was of a darker hue than others, and his clothes looked strange, “No man gave unto him.” He then worked in the mines of Colorado. “The men there,” he said, “shoot, drink, and gamble, and have about as much regard for human life as for the life of sheep, and as soon as I had money enough I{87} made ready to go home.” No more America for him, and no praise for its men.

“That’s not so, Brother,” came a voice from the farther end of the car, and I turned to see this valiant champion of ours. Had I been asked to give the place of his nativity, I should have put it in that Middle West of ours, which takes from her children all surplus flesh and puts in its place bone and sinew. His complexion was sallow, and the general expression of his face betokened sensitiveness, bordering on the abnormal. “I have been in America twenty years, and those years in Chicago, and I have met many good men. The good men don’t shoot and drink and gamble.”

It seemed strange language to my travelling companions; but to me it sounded familiar.

After the Chicago man had delivered his exordium, I had no difficulty in getting his story from him, and then I knew “whence this man had this doctrine.” Emigrating in his young manhood to Chicago, he had come in touch with Methodist missionaries, who befriended him and saved him from a life of intemperance and infidelity. Unfortunately, his awakened, religion-hungry soul became confused by the shibboleths of contending sects; he travelled and travailed all the way, from striving after a “Second Blessing,” to “Soul Sleepers,” “Seventh Day Adventists,” and Dowie’s religious movement, which{88} at times looked like Opera Bouffe, but which ended in a great tragedy. I did not discover what form of faith was now holding the allegiance of his spirit; but as he told me that it was neither a church nor a sect, I surmised that he belonged to some church or sect whose chief doctrine is that it is neither.

Evidently the Spirit was upon him, some spirit at least; for he told me that he had been sent to Hungary to convert his brethren. Knowing how much the region from which he came needed some moral and religious quickening, I timidly offered him my hand and my good wishes; but he declined both. He “must not lean on the arm of flesh; so the Bible says.” The odour of tobacco offended his sensitive nostrils, and, turning to the butter and egg man, who was the chief offender, he pointed to his pipe, saying: “Throw that devilish thing away!” But a Slav and his pipe are not so soon parted, and the butter and egg man held firmly to his; although he smiled, not wishing to offend this prophet in Israel. Then the luckless man pulled his whiskey bottle out of his pocket and offered it to the ex-Dowieite, who took it, lifted it high in air, and made an eloquent temperance address, after which he threw the bottle out the window.

If, as a drowning man, he had refused a life-preserver, or had thrown diamonds into the sea, his Slavic brothers would not have thought him{89} more reckless or insane. Palenka, as they call it, gives strength. Black bread and palenka have kept the hard-working Slav alive, have given him courage and cheer, and this crazy man had thrown the precious stuff away!

Yet he was so righteously indignant, so wrought up over his heroic task, that the peasants who had risen to remonstrate with him or to attack him, sank back into their seats; while over them all came a solemn silence, broken only by the grinding and jolting of the flat car-wheels.

This was the psychological moment for the prophet to declare his mission and preach to us all, and he did. It was a fervent message; one in which much truth and falsehood mingled, and if Dowie’s spirit hovered near, his satisfaction at hearing one of his disciples speak of the things for which he fought and on which he throve, would have been marred only by the fact that, for once at least, “Elijah the Second” was outdone. All the Dowie vernacular, translated into the realistic Slavic, was let loose by this apostle. Now it was the voice of some Old Testament prophet which spoke; and again it was as if a John pleaded for love’s sake. Then came a jumble of words and bitter invective, which, by comparison, caused the imprecatory Psalms to seem like the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians.

No sooner had the preacher resumed his seat{90} than the spell he had woven about his auditors was broken. The butter and egg man rose and demanded to be reimbursed for his wasted palenka, concluding his remarks by asserting that in America good people do drink whiskey, that everybody drinks, and that “they make you drink whether you want to or not.”

“Tak ye,” so it is, said a young man, who, as far as his clothing was concerned, might have just stepped out of an American Jockey Club. His voice was guttural and every sentence was punctuated by oaths.

“My father keeps a saloon in Hazleton, and the policemen and aldermen come there and drink, and at election time the burgess comes and ‘sets ’em up’ for everybody.”

While he spoke, he jingled the money in his pockets and kept his audience much interested by telling about his betting on horse-races, the intricacies of the game of poker, how much money his father made on liquor and what a high and mighty position was that of a saloon-keeper in Hazleton. He was going to Galicia to visit his grandparents, and he meant to show the slow town of Przemysl what it means to have a “hot time.”

At Hodonin, in Moravia, I had to leave the train; so I bade good-bye to the interesting company.

{91}The woman from McKeesport said, as we shook hands, “America all right, and you bet I’m going back just as soon as I have seen to my property.”

With a contemptuous glance at the young Jew, the Moravian girl said: “Right she is! There’s nothing the matter with America, and when I go back, I bet you I’ll get an American husband!”

“Oh, yes! Of course. They are lying on the shelf waiting for you!” sneered the object of her contempt.

The sport tried to be kind in his good-bye words; but he used so many oaths that he became repulsive. When I remonstrated, he said:

“In America, everybody swear—no make trouble to say: good-morning your—Highness. See a man—slap him on shoulder and say: Hello—John—you—how dy? So long, then, you—old man, good-bye.”

The butter and egg man gripped my hand mightily, and as a parting word gave me this injunction. “Don’t let your old woman boss you;” then, glancing at our prophet, he added: “He little not all right.”

The Roumanian shepherd looked out the window and made no effort to take my proffered hand. His sallow face was drawn by pain, caused by something I dimly divined.

We were at the station, a station famous for a certain kind of sausage, whose odorous steam{92} soon filled our nostrils. Taking several portions from the tray which a waiter held towards me, I gave them to the Roumanian peasant. Like a wild beast he fell upon the food, while into his pain-drawn face came a ray of human joy.

The prophet had difficulty in making up his mind about me. Reluctantly he stretched out his hand as I was leaving the car. When I grasped it, he querulously asked: “Have you received the Blessing?” and with great assurance I answered: “You bet.”{93}



THE last people to feel the sweep of the tide which carried them to the United States and back again were the mountain folk in Eastern Europe.

The Slav is naturally a plainsman, and even in the lowlands, where he could not very well escape the force of world currents, he resisted them as long as possible, content to follow his plough for a meagre wage.

When at last the lure of the gold grew too strong for him to withstand its seductive beckoning, he went first from the great highways along the main branches of railroads, and from villages on the shores of rivers; until the ever-rising tide, with all its volume and all its good or ill, reached the mountains.

Where in straggling villages in the Carpathians the little mud-huts are detached, and scattered on top of the foothills in the midst of their stony fields, these form a Kopanicze; the individual hut is called a Kopanicza, and the inhabitants are called Kopaniczari.

They are the poor mountain folk, isolated from church and school, far from the highways of{94} travel, and are among the most backward, most primitive, and most neglected of the Slovak people. Their isolation has often bred not only ignorance but sometimes lawlessness, and, even now, he who has no pressing business there, avoids these settlements.

Meeting a Kopaniczar on a lonely highway gives one a queer, creepy sensation. He is a raw-boned, clumsy creature, his body wrapped in a sheepskin coat, his head covered by a broad, felt hat, soaked in grease, his feet encased in woolen boots; all his garments of the most primitive home manufacture. He looks more ferocious than he is; for unless heavily under the influence of alcohol, which does not easily affect him, he is a good-natured human being. His superstition and his ignorance, however, coupled with his intemperance, make him often dangerous, as is seen by the following incident which took place last year.

A great many fires of incendiary origin occurred in one of the settlements, and as no satisfactory clue to the perpetrator was found, they were supposed to be the work of evil spirits. Fire in one of these settlements is especially disastrous; for as the huts are built of exceedingly inflammable material, everything is consumed. Such a house usually includes in its primitive possessions a horse or a cow, and when these are destroyed, it spells utter ruin.{95}

One day a tourist came into this Kopanicze, the first of his kind who had ever ventured into that isolated region. Being a tourist, he naturally carried a camera, and as he levelled it upon the buildings, the peasants, conceiving the insane idea that he was marking their huts for destruction, ran out and beat him to death.

A boyhood friend of mine was appointed district physician in the upper Trenczin district, the most poverty stricken in Hungary, largely populated by these Kopaniczari. He was a Jew without powerful protection, and one way of getting rid of surplus Jewish physicians was to put them in charge of one of these regions, in which they were sure to be out of the way of some Gentile aspirant for a large and lucrative medical practice.

My friend had travelled the usual long and thorny road which a poor boy has to travel in striving after a university education. His parents, who were poor, laboured and begged and borrowed; while he tutored and borrowed and begged; yet he found himself still within two years of a diploma when his parents died.

Then he did the not uncommon thing; consulted a marriage broker, who found a marriageable maiden with a dowry, and parents willing to advance a portion of it; so that the young man could finish his education before he led the daughter to the altar.{96}

In Hungary, a doctor’s diploma is a splendid asset in the marriage business, and had my friend been able to wait until he really had his, he could have commanded twice as much dowry and a handsomer maiden. Being poor, he shared the lot of all those unfortunates who have to make purchases on the instalment plan, be they plush albums, life insurance, or wives.

In spite of the materialistic way in which my doctor went about getting a bride, he was an idealist; and, consequently, doomed to have a hard time in this exceedingly practical world. When after his marriage he was sent to the Trenczin district, he found that the Kopanicze had as much use for a doctor as it had for a professor of psychology. Not that the people were never ill; on the contrary, infants born in the wretched huts, unless remarkably well prepared for the stifling air they had to breathe, for the hard rye bread soaked in alcohol, which often they had to eat, and for the poppy seed concoction which they were given to keep them quiet while their mothers were working in the fields—such infants, and there were many—went back into the unknown soon after they came out of it.

If they lingered, if any one lingered, before death overtook him, the witch was the first aid brought into requisition. To cure infantile convulsions, she would lay the baby on the threshold{97} and cause a female dog to jump over it three times. A specific against typhoid fever was a vile compound made of the heart of a black cat, juniper berries, and alcohol; while if a child had eaten poisoned mushrooms, it was hit over the head until it either died or recovered.

Strange to say, and yet not strange, a fair proportion of robust infants, as well as hardened adults, survived such treatment, and even to this day there is a witch not far from the city of Vag Ujhely, who has some degree of national fame for her healing art.

If the witch failed to cure, the priest was sent for and the proper saints invoked for the healing. If the priest’s prayers failed to help—“What’s the use of sending for the doctor?” The undertaker was notified, and the grave-digger did the rest.

Unselfishly my friend tried to save these people. He preached the gospel of fresh air, and in passing through one of the settlements with him, some five years ago, I saw him break window after window (they were not made to open) that fresh air might at least once enter the wretched living-rooms. The result was a riot, and that night all his windows were broken; so that for once he had more air than he desired.

There was consumption in one settlement, and he provided sanitary cuspidors, proscribed by law; but he saw them used for culinary purposes instead!{98}

Vainly, he lifted his voice against the use of alcohol; he had the innkeepers and the State against him. The State prefers to see its people rot from poison rather than lose its revenue.

In spite of all he did, he was regarded as the enemy of the community and not its friend; so having meddled much in business which was not his, he could not expect a promotion, and none came.

Five years ago he had accepted poverty, neglect, and the enmity of his neighbours as his lot in life. He had sunk into such a hopeless attitude that neither in dress nor in habits of living could one easily distinguish him from his ignorant neighbours. His wife was more disappointed than he was. Had she bestowed upon him such a dowry to live in the Kopanicze? She had expected to be the “Highborn Mrs. Dr. M——” and taste something of the forbidden fruits of Gentile society. Ordinarily, the physician breaks through the cast of race and faith; but here she was, despised even by the Kopaniczari, the lowliest of the lowly.

I left the doctor after that last visit, vowing never to see him again; for it was an uncomfortable experience, if not a painful one.

My studies last year carried me into this very region. Since I had left it, hundreds of men and women had gone to America and a large number had returned home. Here, indeed, was the{99} proper field for observation, and the man to help me most, was my boyhood’s friend.

With difficulty I found his home; for it was new, the doctor’s wife was resplendent in fine clothing, and the doctor’s office, once full of dust and cobwebs, contained new cases with new surgical instruments, and, wonder of wonders! a dentist’s machine. I had to wait for the return of the doctor, who was visiting a patient, and had time to catch my breath; for having come a great distance by wheel and then finding such a surprise, proved quite overwhelming.

“What has happened here?” I asked him when he returned.

“One thing at a time,” he replied. “First let’s have some refreshments;” and as we drank the delicious raspberry soda which he prepared, he said: “If I wished to tell you in one word what has happened, I could do it by saying: Emigration.

“It seemed almost a miracle to see the first people leaving the Kopanicze; for neither they nor their ancestors had moved away since the great persecution in the sixteenth century brought them here from Bohemia.

“The letters they wrote, and which I had to read to their neighbours, contained such glowing accounts of America that others went, until nobody was left but the women, the children, the aged, the witch, and ourselves. We were at the{100} point of starvation when the first money came from America, and with it nearly every husband, who sent it, wrote: ‘If there is anything the matter with the children, send for the doctor.’

“My first case was a scarlet fever patient. The child recovered; but the contagion had spread. The mother whose child I had saved told everybody that the witch with her machinations made no impression upon the fever; while the medicine helped. I was called to other cases. In most homes I am sure that after I left the witch was called also; but I did not care so long as the children were given my medicine.

“Soon I was called to other villages, and as the money kept coming from America, and the peasants gained confidence in me, my services were greatly in demand.

“Our old house, which nearly caved in over our heads, was replaced by this one. I still owe money on it, but I am sure I can pay the rest in a year.”

“What use do you make of this?” I asked, pointing to the well-known object found in every dentist’s office in America.

“Since the men have come back,” he replied, “filled teeth have become as fashionable as red waistcoats used to be, and I have had to learn dentistry. And there is more money in filling teeth,” he added with a shrewd smile, “than in giving pills.{101}

“What do I think of the effect of emigration on the Kopanicze? It has driven out the witch, it has awakened a community which had slept for many centuries, it has done for these people in the twentieth century what the Reformation did in the sixteenth. And as for us, it has saved us from starvation.”

As I was about to go, I heard a peasant girl in the hall say: “I kiss your hand, Most Highborn Mrs. Dr. M——. Is the Most Mighty and Honourable Mr. Dr. M—— at home?” And the “Most Highborn Mrs. Dr. M——” answered triumphantly, that the Most Mighty and Honourable Mr. Dr. M—— was at home, but busy. A gentleman from America had come to consult him about his health; and I am sure that at that moment the “Most Highborn Mrs. Dr. M——” felt that her dowry had been well invested and that it was coming back with interest, through emigration to America.{102}



THE Hungarian town inhabited by Magyars, does not materially differ from the villages in which so many varieties and subjects of other races live. Such a town is merely a larger village, and, instead of one broad street flanked by straw thatched huts, there are at least four streets which terminate on the “square,” around which the dignitaries have built their more pretentious dwellings. Here also are the stores, usually kept by Jews, who are not indifferent to the economic movements of the people whose purveyors they are.

Twenty years ago, before emigration from the district of Nyitra had begun, the principal town in that district boasted but half a dozen stores so called, the largest and best of which could be discovered only by its tiny show-window, where, crowded in dire confusion, were a few articles of general merchandise. During all the years of my comings and goings I could never see any change in the articles displayed, nor even by a wild flight of imagination see any indication that a duster had lost its way among them.

It is not, however, of this store that I wish to{103} tell, in spite of the fact that it now has a double show-window, and contains, among many other new things, a genuine American cash register.

The “Amerikansky Schtore” was once the meanest and smallest among all the stores of that village. No front door led into it, no show-window betrayed its existence, and certainly no sign-board gave a hint of what could be purchased within. It was then owned by “Uncle Isaac,” as every one called him. He made a living out of the store; but his life came out of the Talmud, and of course both were scanty.

Uncle Isaac’s father, Reb Ephraim, studied the Talmud, and his sainted grandfather, Reb Isaac, after whom he was named, left such a holy savour behind him that to this day his name is reverently uttered in prayer, as one who is surely near to God and can intercede for the children of this generation who study less Talmud and do more business.

Uncle Isaac’s forefathers, “God knows how far back,” kept this same store in the same way; for like the ring in Lessing’s fable it was to be left to the son who knew most about the Talmud, and, as a consequence, least about the business. The Talmud had to be studied, the store ran itself. Not that there was anything automatic about it in those days; but Uncle Isaac, true to the traditions of his forefathers, sold only those things which his forefathers had sold before him, namely;{104} red earthen pots and big green bowls which he bought from the same family in the same town where the same peasant potteries flourished, from which his forefathers had bought their supplies of these same red pots and green bowls.

If a customer came to the store while the children were little and his wife was busy caring for them (for Uncle Isaac was blessed according to the promise made to Abraham) he had to wait until Uncle Isaac disentangled himself from the mazes of the Talmud. Then almost reluctantly he sold the pot or bowl, scarcely ever exchanging a word with his customer, who was usually a peasant, and of course a Gentile whose presence disturbed the pious atmosphere into which Uncle Isaac had wrapped himself.

If any of the townspeople came, he was more friendly; he had to be, and as was often the case in later days if they asked why he didn’t sell cups and saucers and wash-bowls, he would invariably shrug his shoulders as his blessed forefathers had shrugged their shoulders before him. This shrug was eloquent, and meant many things; but, above all, it meant: “Have I not bother enough to remember what Rasche’s (a celebrated Jewish commentator) comment upon Rambam’s (the abbreviation of another commentator’s name) comment was? How can you expect me to give my time to such things as buying and selling wash-bowls and cups and saucers?”{105}

His children, three boys and three girls, were nurtured in this atmosphere. The sons began studying the Talmud when they were five years of age, and the daughters were initiated into the mysteries of the Kosher household before that age.

As the children grew, Uncle Isaac withdrew almost entirely from business and gave himself more and more to the study of the holy books. The oldest son, named after the sainted grandfather, went to Pressburg to study for the Rabbinate, living from the charity of the faithful, by whom the support of a pious youth is considered a great privilege.

The next son married into a rich but not pious family to whom his sacred learning was a very welcome asset. This left the business, such as it was, upon the shoulders of the youngest son, Moschele.

Moschele inherited less of his pious forefathers’ piety and much more of some remote ancestor’s business talents, and one day he came home from a distant market bringing with him a dozen cups and saucers and a wash-bowl and pitcher.

Had he brought home idols made of clay he could not have hurt his father more, and the whole town soon knew that Moschele—young Moschele whose eyes had already rested lovingly upon the blushing faces of young maidens—had received a beating from his father, who, in his fury, had broken the cups and saucers, throwing{106} the fragments at the poor, defenseless head of the culprit. Uncle Isaac’s temper was equalled only by his piety, and the old man was beside himself.

Moschele was in the same mood, and decided to leave his old father with his red pots and green bowls and dry Talmud. I visited Uncle Isaac’s store many a time after this event. It was less a store than ever. The house itself was sinking into the surrounding mire, the thatched roof was falling in on one side and sliding off on the other.

“Where is Moschele?” I asked him on one of these visits. He lifted his weary head from the Talmud, and extricated from a pile of ancient manuscripts an envelope printed all over with English letters, which announced the business of Jake Greenbaum who kept the “finest General Department Store on Avenue B.” in New York. The letter in the envelope told of Moschele’s employment in the great city, and of his life there.

“Moschele, my Moschele, is in America!” And the tears began to gather in the old man’s eyes as he spoke.

“Who knows whether he eats Kosher, and whether he wears the sacred fringes upon his breast? How I wish I could see him before I go hence!”

I promised to visit Moschele upon my return to America, and the old man’s face beamed.

“Would you mind finding out whether he{107} eats Kosher, and whether he wears the sacred fringes?”

I promised even that; but I did not find Moschele on Avenue B. He was up town, on the West Side, in one of the larger department stores, where he had entire charge of the crockery department. When I told him that I had seen his father, he plied me with questions. I told him the condition of affairs and urged him to return home to save his parents from utter poverty. He promised to go if his father would attend to the Talmud and let him attend to the business. I did not ask him if he wore the fringes and ate Kosher, I did not need to; for we lunched together and ham sandwich was the “pièce de résistance.”

Some eight years later, my journey took me once more through Uncle Isaac’s town. The rapid changes taking place in America seemed as nothing compared with those which I saw in this little spot in the Carpathians. There was actually a sidewalk, a cement sidewalk, the cement furnished by Moschele.

The old wooden pump upon which generations had expended their surplus strength and patience to coax up the water, had given place to an air pressure pump, sold to the town by Moschele.

In the old days, three coal-oil lamps furnished light for the miry street (when there was no{108} moon), and now the town had an artificial gas plant, placed there and partly owned by Moschele. Even as in Florence, this or that or the other is by Michael Angelo; so in this far-away town, generations to come will remember that Moschele ushered in a new era, if not of art, at least of civilization.

It was well worth a trip across the ocean to have looked upon Moschele and Moschele’s store. First of all was the sign in big letters, “Amerikansky Schtore”; then the outer wall of a new building, covered by huge illustrations of the various things sold therein—a method of advertising made necessary because many of the peasants cannot read.

The store itself was full of all sorts of crockery and tin and graniteware, such as had never been seen there before. And oh! the wonder of it! Moschele had already sold one bath-tub, and carried four patterns in stock. “I have not seen such faith, no not in Israel.” He also sold building materials, and the yard was full of everything which could not be crowded into the store. That which especially marked the business as American, was the fact that one price was charged to all.

Uncle Isaac had withdrawn from the world and mourned the departure of the good old days. I found him sitting in a well-lighted, well-furnished room, clothed in finest broadcloth; for{109} it was the Sabbath. Everything around him was new except the Talmud.

Was he happy? No, indeed!

“Where can a thing like this lead? Only to destruction!

“Who ever heard of such a thing as this before? Moschele rests neither by day nor by night; he prints bills and scatters them as if money were paper; he sleeps with an open window even in the winter, as if he wanted to heat all outdoors, and he has even travelled on the Sabbath!”

Then the old man broke down, hid his face in the Talmud, and wept. I think I comforted him; at least I tried to, and as I left him he breathed a prayer for his venturesome son who had deserted the Talmud, and the red pots and green bowls; who certainly was no longer in peril of poverty, but in peril of his soul.

One more year passed and in visiting this town, I immediately turned my steps towards the “Amerikansky Schtore.” I found its doors closed, and from within came sounds of bitter wailing and lamentation. I did not need to be told that the death angel had made his sorrow-bringing visitation, and my heart grew tender as I thought of the dear old man who would no more bend over the Talmud and mourn the departure of the good old times.

A Jewish house of mourning is sadder than{110} can be described. Its atmosphere chills one to the bone, such an air of resigned hopelessness pervades everything. All is sackcloth and ashes; no sign of hope is visible and but little of it lies in the hearts of the mourners.

Entering the room, where the family sat upon the ground lamenting its dead, how great was my amazement to find that Uncle Isaac, instead of being the one mourned for, was the centre of the group of mourners; while the one missing was Moschele, the pillar of the household, the founder of the “Amerikansky Schtore.”

The old man stretched out both hands to me in mute welcome, and when I sat down beside him he told me the sad story which I shall try to give in his own words.

“Moschele is dead! What a blow! What a blow! I expected something terrible! I knew this couldn’t go on! He grew bolder and bolder, and richer and richer. Have you seen the new store? In all Hungary there is nothing like it. He was a genius; even his enemies admit that.” Then the old man fell into silence.

“But tell me how he died.”

“He went out from among us in the morning as strong and straight as an oak, and he was brought home felled to the ground as if struck by lightning. God’s ways are mysterious; but oh, my son, my strong, noble son! If only he had{111} not departed from the ways of his fathers I might still have him.

“He went to the railroad; they had switched his car of goods where he could not get it—he was buying goods by the carload; nothing like this has ever been heard of before—and he wanted his car; so he helped the men to move it. Moschele wasn’t afraid of anything. The men pushed and Moschele fell over a switch and the car went over him.”

Here a paroxysm of grief silenced the old man and he swayed to and fro, weeping piteously.


And again I passed through the town, and this time I went to the God’s acre with Uncle Isaac, to visit the grave of his son. In weird confusion lay the gray and moss-grown stones. No care is bestowed upon the graves or upon the memorials of the departed; for the body is nothing, the spirit is everything and that is with God.

In the centre of the cemetery is a knoll, and upon its crest is a monument such as cannot be found anywhere in Hungary. It is in the shape of a sarcophagus, is hewn out of Vermont granite and is so heavy that it cost over 500 kronen to bring it from the station and put it in place. How much the stone cost no one knows except Uncle Isaac, who erected it for his son Moschele, who wanted everything he had to come from America—even his tombstone.{112}



IT has always seemed to me wise to carry letters of introduction, especially when travelling to the East of Europe; often, too, I have found it still wiser to forget that I had them, for a letter of introduction sometimes blocks avenues of investigation, particularly when the problem in question involves the privileged or official classes.

This time in following the immigrant tide, I carried one letter which I was eager to deliver; it was given me by a personal friend in America and was to be presented to his mother-in-law in Poland. Not that I was overanxious to meet his mother-in-law, but because Polish women of the upper class are, as a rule, so superior to the men, so ready to talk and talk so well, that I promised myself a rather fruitful call. I did not meet the mother-in-law yet I was not disappointed.

Cracow looks dingy even to one who, like myself, is able to illuminate its sombre present in the light of its important if not glorious past. Coming, as I had come, by way of industrial German-Poland, with its glistening newness, from the{113}


Here Poland mourns her glorious past, and the returned immigrant assures
her of a glorious future.

Here Poland mourns her glorious past, and the returned immigrant assures her of a glorious future.

policemen’s helmets to the weather-vane of the new Rathhaus; out of its tense atmosphere of whirring wheels within wheels; out of its geometrically correct parks and new and ever growing building additions, Cracow looked to me as if it had fallen off this revolving planet and settled itself “Where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest”—wherever that may be.

The only thing that had grown since last I saw the city was its hatred of the Germans. On the doors of many stores on the Rinok were large placards, which, literally translated, read: “The gentlemen travellers from Germany, who wish to come in here to do business with us, are politely requested to stay out.”

Everything else looked the same, only more dingy; even the Austrian officers who loaf around Havelik’s restaurant seemed to have lost something of their newness; for braid and buttons, two of the component elements out of which Austrian officers are made, were tarnished and worn.

The Jews’ quarter seemed more hopeless and wretched than ever. On the Kazimir were the same haggling crowds in the same small stores, and the same shambling Jews in black, greasy cloaks. In front of the Jesuit church stood the same twelve apostles, and I regret to say that they were just as shabby-looking as their unbaptized brethren.{114}

Cracow, the freest portion of divided Poland, is certainly as wretched looking as Warsaw, where liberty dare not lift her head, and it cannot compare with any of the cities of German-Poland where the Prussian gendarme is trying, at the point of the bayonet, to cram German speech down the unwilling throats of Polish children.

Why, I asked myself, should this shabbiness, this negligence, this “run-down-at-the-heel” appearance prevail in all the Slavic cities from Belgrade to St. Petersburg, and from Cracow to Irkutsk? Why should this be so of every place, except where the German has stepped in with his iron heel or where the Magyar or the Jew is trying to make of the Slav what he is not and does not care to be?

I was tempted to take the first train out of Cracow, so painful to me was this condition of affairs; for I admire the Slavs, although I think I know their weaknesses. But the first train did not go until midnight, and I had nearly eight long hours on my hands. Then I remembered my letter of introduction. I found it with my passport and letter of credit, and looked at it again, to assure myself that it was right. Yes, it was addressed to the Countess So & So, and all the way to the house, I pictured to myself my friend’s mother-in-law. She would be rather rotund, for Slavic women incline that way, especially during the full moon of life. She would{115} have gray hair, dark complexion, and a rather pronounced down on the upper lip. That seems to be the tendency of the Polish woman as she grows older; perhaps because of her great vitality.

Beneath the portal of a so-called palace, which was pervaded by an incredibly strong smell of whitewash, I presented my card to the porter, who looked somewhat contemptuously at the German name it bore. After long waiting I was guided to the very top story of the house, through clouds of falling mortar and showers of broken brick. The building seemed to be in the possession of masons and plasterers, and the noise they were making was as confusing as the dirt and dust their destructive hands were creating.

Two surprises awaited me. The first was, that in spite of the fact that the roof was partly torn off, and confusion reigned supreme, that top story contained some of the most lavishly appointed apartments I have ever seen. Pictures, statuary, and bric-à-brac, created by Polish genius, costly vases, rare flowers, exquisite rugs and furniture; and everything in perfect taste. If Cracow without seemed dingy and dead, here it was brilliant and alive. Thus had I pictured my Slav at his best—imaginative, creative, revelling in the beautiful, lavish of colour, yet creating harmonies. Everything around me seemed to breathe out life, and here I could understand{116} the “Noch ist Polen nicht Verloren,” although in the street I had been ready to sing a requiem for the nation.

A hundred questions passed through my brain; questions which I would ask the mother-in-law when she appeared. Then came my second surprise. As I sat there thrilled by contending emotions, the curtain opposite me was thrown back gracefully and quickly, not at all as if a short, stout mother-in-law were behind it—and my eyes fell upon one of the most beautiful young women I have ever seen. This again was Poland at her best, if not Poland typified. Her eyes were burningly eloquent, yet showed a hidden pathos; her features looked as if chiselled by a master’s hand, yet, in the background, the crude touch was faintly visible. The welcome accorded me was genuinely cordial, yet tinged by the proper reserve.

“How is it,” I asked, after some conversation, “that you don’t look like a mother-in-law, and that you speak English as if you came from Boston?”

“Because,” she said, with the sweetest smile, “I am as yet only a sister-in-law, and I do come from Boston. That is, I lived there for years after my parents were exiled from Poland. I came back here after my marriage.”

This, then, was my chance to ask all manner of questions about the Slavs in general and the{117} Poles in particular, and have them answered in the light of a rather unique experience.

“Why is Cracow a dead city?” This was certainly a perfectly familiar American question, and I received a characteristic answer.

“It is dead because it is ‘crying over spilt milk.’ Nobody is regarded as a patriot unless he talks about our past glory and blames some one in general and the Germans in particular, for the loss of that glory. We might do great things if we would just do them. We have the vision and the talent; but we wear ourselves out, saying what a great people we are and how superior to all other human beings; yet we accomplish nothing. Look at this house of ours, and you see Poland in miniature. I don’t know just how old it is, my husband can tell you; but when it was built, the work was poorly done, and every year it has to be repaired from the bottom up. In America, it would have been torn down years ago, and a new house built, to suit the needs of the times. Instead of that, my husband is spending a fortune trying to make it a fit place to live in, and he never succeeds.

“Yet that is the thing he enjoys. He can scold the workmen half the year for dragging their task along, and the other half year he scolds them for having done their work so poorly.

“You Americans enjoy being comfortable, we{118} Poles enjoy being miserable. If the Polish men had half the energy of the American men, we would indeed be a great people, and Cracow would be a city worthy of our pride in it.”

I am not sure that I am recording the Countess’ exact words, for to see her talk was such an æsthetic pleasure, that I must have forgotten much of what she said; but I give the substance of her words.

“See what America is doing for our peasants!” she continued.

“They go there lazy and shiftless, they come back thrifty and industrious, and are rapidly taking the places of our decayed nobility. When they come back, they have what we Slavs have always lacked—initiative. I wish we could export to you all our stock of Counts.”

I suggested that she might try it as a business venture; for they would bring a good price in our matrimonial market.

“Oh, no!” she replied. “We would want them back. They have talent and devotion; they need only to learn to work, and America is the world’s great boss.”

At this point in the conversation the Count entered the room. The Countess had told me that her home was the type of Poland; she had not told me what I soon discovered, that her husband was the typical Pole, both physically and mentally.{119}

He was a small man with unmistakable Polish features, which looked well worn; for being a Polish nobleman, he had travelled through life swiftly and indulgently. After scarcely five minutes’ conversation, he began talking about the sufferings of the Poles, and what they would do if it were not for those wicked Germans.

Then followed what was as nearly a family jar as I care to witness. My hostess opened wide her beautiful eyes, and, in most forceful Polish, gave her liege lord a piece of her mind.

“I am tired of your tirades against the Germans. I don’t admire their methodical ways, myself; but they are doing things.

“Go out of Cracow to the border and look across, and you will see order on that side and disorder on this. Step into a German train; it is clean and efficiently managed, while our cars, from the first-class to the third, are dirty and ill-lighted and the trains go by fits and starts.

“Go to the German towns, and you will find business flourishing; while ours stagnates. They don’t neglect art, either. Their music may be slower than ours, but it is art; their paintings may not be as brilliant as ours, but they are as artistic. Go to work! Do something worth while! Build from the foundations! Develop some backbone, some character, do better than{120} the Germans, and then you may call them names!”

The sensitive nostrils of the husband grew wider and contracted again. He was furiously angry; but facing him was his Americanized wife, and he knew that “Discretion was the better part of valour”; so he permitted his anger to cool while he nervously bit the ends of his moustache.

“Yes,” he said, ignoring the Countess’ outburst; “there is a great future for us Slavs when we all get together. We were in Prague this summer, at the Slavic Congress, and everything between us was so harmonious that I have great hopes of a Slav Confederation. Then we will crush our German oppressors. What do you think of it?”

I analyzed the situation thus: “As yet, the Slavs lack racial consciousness. Each group, no matter how small, thinks itself different from the other, and often superior to it. Not only are they divided by small historic dissimilarities, but religious differences have obscured racial unity to such a degree that I have but little hope that their racial consciousness will soon ripen into tangible results.

“In the great game of politics, the Slav has given his soul as a pawn, with which popes and patriarchs have gambled. Poland’s national life has been lost, not so much by corruption from{121} within, as because the Pole was used as a tool by the Roman Curia in the game of world politics she was playing, and playing unscrupulously.”

Ah! It was good to see the Countess’ dark eyes dancing from pleasure, while I thus analyzed the situation. I continued:

“The Slav either lacks sane pride in his race, or he has an overbearing conceit; he is either easily crushed, or he crushes, ruthlessly. Look at this daily paper. In Dalmatia, the Serbs break the windows of the Italians, and tramp madly through the streets proclaiming their superiority over the Latins. In Laibach, the Slovene does the same thing to the Germans. Tears down German business signs, shoots, and is shot in turn. In Prague, the Czechs are constantly bombarding the houses of the Germans, until martial law has to be declared. All this, to the detriment of the development of a rational, racial pride.

“And these same boisterous, roistering Slavs, to-morrow will cringe before their Magyar and German masters.

“Another thing is in the way,” I hastened to add; for I saw that my host was eager to talk: “The Slavs lack collective wisdom. Where there are three thinking Slavs, there are always three quarrels. People who wish to rule must learn to act wisely together; yet in the history{122} of the Slavs this collective wisdom, this inability of one group to acknowledge the equality of the other, has been their greatest lack.

“The Russian revolution failed, even as the Polish revolution failed, and as the Czechs’ will fail, because they lack collective wisdom. It will take at least a hundred years,” I concluded prophetically, “before you Slavs will confederate.”

My host laughed nervously. “You are a false prophet. It will come in a decade. We will flow together like small rivers into a great stream. We Poles, of course, being the most cultured, the most civilized, and the best prepared to play the leading rôle, will be the stream into which all these lesser rivers will flow. In the great overture of Slavic union, the Pole will play the leading part.”

To reason with such a man was futile; so I drank my tea and looked at the beautiful lady opposite me, in whom the practical American and the idealistic Pole were so harmoniously blended. Perhaps in her person she was a prophecy of the great day to come.

The Count talked incessantly about Poland, its past, its powers, its enemies; but I was not listening.

From my silence he thought he had convinced me, and as I rose to go, he asked: “Have you not changed your mind about its taking a hundred years to federate the Slavs?”{123}

“Yes,” I replied, “I have changed my mind. It will take two hundred years; unless”—and I looked at my fair hostess—“you bring back many more such Polish women from America.”{124}



THE river Waag has a broad and beautiful valley in which to indulge its vagabond habits. Now it seeks a channel close to the Carpathian hills on one side, and again rushes far away towards the mountain wall, close to the Austrian border.

The Romans appropriately named the river “Waag,” the vagabond river, and it lives up to its reputation at all times of the year. One can scarcely find fault with its wandering propensities, for both shore lines are imposing and wildly beautiful; many of the little towns are castle-crowned, while each town and each castle has its myth and story, rivalling those of the Rhine in fantastic invention and equalling them in historic interest.

The river Waag, however, is not in Germany, where everything is prohibited, regulated, and subdued, even the turbulent rivers.

This is Hungary, the ill-mated spouse in that Austro-Hungarian alliance, in which quarrels are continual, and divorce, with alimony or without it, is threatened every day. Here rivers and races foam and rage; floods of hate beat against{125} historic walls and there are no smooth channels for politics, education, or religion.

Struggle there is everywhere. Those who are too weak to fight, resist, and none, however small or unimportant, is ready to surrender.

Among those people with strength enough to resist, but not enough to fight, are the Slovaks, who live in wretched villages on both sides of the river. The villages grow more wretched as they climb away from the richer valley to the scant clearings in the mountains, where poverty, ignorance, superstition, and intemperance are the four walls which hem them in from the throbbing life of the century and shut them out from it. No one climbs the almost impassable highways except the Magyar gendarmes, who are the minions of the master race which has subdued the Roumanians, Ruthenians, and Germans within its borders, and is now hard at work to blot out the Slovaks, the feeble remnant of a once powerful people.

These gendarmes are but stupid tools in the hands of a stupid government. They erase the Slavic names of villages and paint over them Magyar names, not even remotely related to the original; they prohibit the Slovak language in the higher schools, fall savagely upon assemblies of innocent folk and disperse them by force of arms, annoy unsuspicious travellers and arrest nationalistic agitators and severely punish them.{126} Then they believe that they have changed sluggish Slovak blood into the fiery Magyar fluid, obliterated age-long, historic memories, created in a day a new patriotism, blotted out a vernacular spoken in related languages and dialects by 100,000,000 of people and substituted for it one spoken by a warlike people, numbering not more than 8,000,000, and slowly emerging from Asiatic barbarism.

This they believe; but the fact is that no people were ever assimilated by force. Force begets resistance, and the most stupid Slovak, shut in by the four walls of his wretched isba, if he knows nothing else, knows that the Magyar is his enemy, and that the Magyar speech must not lodge in his memory and displace his mother tongue. Although he may have no knowledge of his historic past and no idea of the significance of the Slavic race of which he is a member, he does know that he must resist the Magyars, and resist, only where he cannot fight.

Two forces are at work which will soon turn this resistance into fighting. One of them is the unbearable and unreasonable methods used by the Hungarian government, and the other is that giant in the growing, the returned immigrant.

The Slovak immigrant comes back less rugged but more agile; for he has passed through trials by fire and by flood; he goes back less docile, for he has had no masters except those that directed his daily task; his mind is awakened, for he has{127} read the uncensored news from the Fatherland; news coloured more or less by the not always scrupulous agitator; added to all this, the Slovak immigrant goes back conscious of his racial inheritance, for he was one of a great Slavic brotherhood, organized on this side the sea, carrying on, unhampered, its agitations against the historic Magyar foe. Above all, he goes back with a bank account, and money is power in business and politics alike.

Hat in hand, the Slovak used to wait patiently at the ticket window until the Magyar station agent deigned to notice him and sell him his third-class ticket; then, as if he were an ox being loaded for the stockyards at Budapest, the Magyar conductor would push him into a car crowded by his kind.

I have repeatedly seen Slovak men and women miss the only train that could take them to the market town or from it, because the proud Magyar official paid no attention to their repeated request for a ticket. Day after day I have witnessed the incivilities and even cruelties they had to suffer on the trains; but when the Slovak comes back, he knows that the railroad official is only a servant, his servant, and he treats him like one; he demands attention. Woe unto the bribe-taking conductor—and there are no others on the Hungarian railways—who pushes him into a car crowded to suffocation, while more than half the{128} cars of the same class are almost empty, with only here and there a passenger, who is politely treated because he is a Magyar or because he has pressed into the conductor’s responsive hand the usual bribe.

The Slovak immigrant returns home somewhat of a rebel. The Hungarian government knows this, and were it not for the fact that he brings back money, and spends it freely, his emigration to America would be forbidden.

Recently a special police force has been created to watch every outgoing and incoming train, and every third-class passenger who has baggage enough to mark him as an emigrant is detained, rigidly examined, and if permitted to go to America at all, is sent via the Hungarian port of Fiume. On the way he is duly inoculated by the fact that he is an Hungarian subject and that as such he must return.

The stupidity and the illiberal spirit of the Hungarian government are nowhere more clearly manifested than in its relation to the religious movements which are American in their origin and which have been transplanted from the Alleghanies to the Carpathians. In the hands of a truly liberal government this new force might become a constructive and saving one to multitudes of people; instead, it is alienated, put on the defensive and limited in its usefulness.{129}

When the Y. M. C. A. expedition, of which I was the leader, reached the valley of the Waag, to study the Slovak language and people, serious difficulties to the carrying out of our plans presented themselves. The towns have all become Magyarized by the gendarmes and a multitude of officials. To speak the Slovak language marks one an inferior and renders one an object of suspicion.

The village inns are merely dram-shops, kept and generally ill-kept by Jews, who are under the influence of the Magyars, and consequently look down upon the Slovaks. Even had it been possible for us to lodge in one of these inns, our friendly attitude towards the Slovaks would have forbidden it.

The gendarmes were alert and agitated from the moment we entered the valley, and when they learned the nature of our errand they were incredulous. “Who ever heard of anybody’s having a disinterested concern for the Slovaks? How could they believe that Americans, cold, materialistic Americans, would equip an expedition to study the needs of this downtrodden race, that it might be lifted up? Of course, we were nationalistic agitators sent out by the Slovanic Society of America, to arouse the half-awake Slovak into revolution.”

That which confirmed them in this suspicion was the fact that the only place where it was posible{130} for us to lodge was the home of Jan Chorvat, Apostle of the Christian faith in the Carpathians, and suspected of being a revolutionary, because he preached to his countrymen in their native tongue; preached to them a Gospel broad enough to embrace all races and nationalities, strong enough to wean them from drink and free enough to loose them from the bonds of superstition and ecclesiastical tyranny.

The simple and perfect hospitality which Jan Chorvat and his wife offered us was the product of that faith. Without hesitation they moved into the basement and gave the upper rooms to their guests. The first night of our sojourn with them, our hearts were cheered, and we felt as if we were at home when we overheard their evening devotions. The words of an English hymn, “My Faith Looks up to Thee,” came in subdued tones through the thick walls of the room below. Then Jan Chorvat prayed, as only those can pray who walk consciously with God. The sentences which I could translate from the strange tongue knitted us into an unbroken friendship.

“I thank Thee, God, that Thou hast put it into the hearts of the American people to send these dear brothers across the sea, that they might learn to speak the tongue of my people so that they may serve them in the far-away land and inspire them to become sober and chaste; good citizens, good husbands, and good brothers.{131}

“May these young brothers learn, above all, to love my people with the passion of Jesus, so that they will be able to lead them to the source of all redemptive power—Jesus Christ.”

Jan Chorvat and his wife, in their outlook upon life, in the strength of their convictions, in their passion for righteousness, would have fitted easily into the church of the Puritans anywhere on this side the sea, where Puritanism is still at its best. In his asceticism Jan Chorvat reminded us of John the Baptist, in the sweetness of his temper of the Beloved Disciple, and, in his zeal and passion for Christ, of the Apostle to the Gentiles.

Here was a Slovak who spoke English almost perfectly, who wrote his native language classically, who clung to a noble faith passionately; yet that which bound us to him closely and I must regretfully admit, most closely, was the fact that Jan Chorvat was what he was, because of certain religious influences emanating from America. These influences and ideals, which are slowly growing stronger, are being augmented and reënforced by returning immigrants who come home with a passion for their kinsmen, eager to redeem them from their individual and national sins.

The centre of this religious movement is in O Tura, one of those mountain villages isolated, but brought into the world’s current by mighty ideals; fit birthplace of a new hope.{132}

Here a Protestant pastor ministered in the more or less stereotyped forms of the established faith, and, when he died, left three daughters, the “Roy Sisters,” to carry on his work for the people he loved. Hampered by a strict orthodoxy and a suspicious government, they hungered with their people and for them, unconscious of a larger faith and a better way; until so commonplace a thing as a religious newspaper, published by the missionaries of the American Board at Prague, found its way to them.

Our credulity has been so severely tested by the narratives of missionaries who hinged mighty consequences upon trivial causes, that here too one is assailed by doubt; until one reads Christina Roy’s little story: “How I came to the Light.”

In simple yet graphic language, she tells of her life in the parsonage, her father’s struggle against adverse conditions, her own budding ideals, and finally the important moment when for the first time she came in touch with the vital truths of Christianity as presented in the little Bohemian newspaper, Bethania. Upon so slender a thread travelled this mighty current which gave direction to her own life, which has enabled her to enlarge the vision of an oppressed peasantry, and which is now encouraging her and the noble group of men and women around her{133} to attempt the almost hopeless struggle against intemperance.

Whether one agrees with the type of theology which these people preach or not, one can but feel that they are in touch with real spiritual forces, and that, by the test of character and of work accomplished, we who travel faster in the paths of what we call progress, are compelled to halt and admire.

The students who were the members of my expedition were nearly all recent college graduates and had left their schools with much of their traditional faith unsettled. Any doubts they may have had regarding the doctrine of the Incarnation, as it is commonly interpreted, were lost, when they saw the spirit of Jesus dominating the lives of simple peasants whose dull faces have become radiant, whose animal appetites have been controlled, and whose homes have become the abodes of peace and happiness.

To look into the faces of the “Roy Sisters,” of Jan Chorvat and his wife, and of hundreds of peasants who come to hear the Gospel preached in true simplicity, was a better definition of the doctrine of the Incarnation than any professor of theology can give.

The Atonement, as defined by our orthodox churches and which is such a stumbling-block to the rationalistic mind, lost all its mystery in watching another member of this group, John{134} Rohacěk, at work among the gypsies; loving those whom no one loves, living with them in huts by the wayside and trying with a divine passion to lift them out of age-long Paganism into a wholesome relation to the doctrine: “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.”

Although John Rohacěk believes with all his simple soul that “Jesus paid it all,” he is willing and eager to shed his blood for God’s despised children, those most neglected of all, the gypsies. For them he has suffered persecution, imprisonment, hunger and thirst, in the true apostolic spirit; and although those American students may never be able to explain to themselves the meaning of the Atonement, they certainly will never be able to say that they have not seen the Atonement “at work.”

Here among the Slovaks, the seed sown by the American missionary at home and abroad has brought forth more vital fruit, perhaps, than on the home soil. Although these Slovak disciples have gone out to save only this one or that one, they are helping to save a nation and are lifting a race out of degeneration.

Nominally, Jan Chorvat was a teacher in the Slovak language to our expedition; and to learn the more effectually, my students often went with him on his tours from village to village. As they walked, he explained to them the grammar{135}



and enriched their vocabulary. How much of the difficult Slovak language they will remember when they come to their task in Pennsylvania, I do not know; but they can never forget the lessons he taught them by his singleness of purpose, his devotion to his people, and his fearless approach to those who he thought needed his admonition. Those students will surely remember that “Though they speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, it profiteth nothing.”

The last day of our stay in Hungary brought us early to a village at the foot of the Tatra mountains, the village of Czorba. Leaving our uncomfortable third-class carriage in which we had spent the night, we were quickly revived by the ozone-laden mountain air, and by the marvellous sight which greeted our eyes. Here were the giant mountains of Hungary which she has proudly pictured highest on her escutcheon.

That which most quickened us, however, as a group of strangers, was the greeting extended to us by three men waiting in the early dawn. They had come many miles on foot to meet us, and carried huge loaves of rye bread and bottles of milk for our refreshment. They were to guide us to the top of the mountain. The three men belonged to three antagonistic races of Hungary, and we were Americans, a conglomerate of races; Teutonic, Semitic, and Celtic. Together we broke{136} bread, prayed, sang, and exchanged thoughts about the vital things of life.

The man who appeared to be the leader of the group, the brightest and happiest of the three, the one with the largest outlook on life, was a Slovak who had found his vision and his happiness in America. He worked in a blacksmith’s shop in Torrington, Conn. Here some one with a passion for common men ministered to him and led him from drunkenness to sobriety, and from his coarse animal existence into fellowship with the divine. He returned home and is daily at his task of shoeing horses and mending broken ploughshares; but he never forgets that what carried him back among his people was his awakened passion for them.

At the forge, he preaches the gospel of sobriety, of industry, and of peace; and, as he welds broken iron, so he is trying to weld into union the three alien races that battle round the foot of the Tatra. The task is difficult, and it will be slow.

The stupid and materialistic Hungarian government is trying to accomplish this task by throwing people into prison, because they love their mother tongue, or do not lightly regard their historic inheritance.

The Slovak Christian will certainly accomplish more than the gendarmes for the unification of these alien peoples in Hungary; for{137} the Gospel is more powerful than guns and bayonets.

As we parted from our new friends that last day, we sang: “Blest be the Tie that Binds.” The gendarmes, who were watching us, thought we were singing some revolutionary “Marseillaise,” and in that they were not mistaken; for there is nothing more revolutionary than the force which “Binds our hearts in Christian Love.”{138}



IT is a long time since I first saw Dalmatia, on the eastern shore of the Adriatic. Her hills were denuded of verdure, monotonously barren and ashen gray, with a bit of Paradise here and there along the edge of the sea. In silence, her ancient cities mourned a turbulent past of which they were reminded by walls and palaces which the Romans built, as only the Romans knew how to build.

Although these walls have felt the force of Venetian battering-rams, of French, Turkish, and Austrian cannon-balls, they still stand, silent witnesses of a civilization which carried culture in the path of its conquest, and brought a certain kind of liberty to its captives. The Venetians took away these liberties, and, in exchange, gave the Dalmatians churches, whose graceful campaniles tower over the gray and solid Roman walls.

The French came and went; but, far as the eye can see, left nothing behind them.

Austria brought soldiers who are still there; nesting in the forts, commanding the mule-paths{139}


From here, come virile children, of the stony soil, to mine our coal and
dig our trenches.

From here, come virile children, of the stony soil, to mine our coal and dig our trenches.

and seaways and hated by the native population, which is Slavic with a sprinkling of Italian, both races being antagonistic to the ruling power.

That Dalmatia has been badly governed, no one denies. It has been purposely kept out of touch with the mainland, the old motherland behind it, Croatia. Only by the sea had it access to other peoples, to whom it rarely went and who seldom came to it.

Of all Dalmatian cities, Ragusa is the proudest, even as it is the poorest. Once the seat of a virile republic, she sent out armadas for conquest, watched from her sea-girt walls the struggles between Venice and the Ottomans, and, by force of arms, helped to decide the destinies of nations.

Ragusa’s glory was short, but memory is long; although her harbour is choked and useless, her sea-wall in ruins, and her pavements grass-grown; still under marble porticoes half-sunk into the ground, sit the grandees of the city, smoking the Turkish czibuk and musing over those golden days when Ragusa called herself the “Queen of the Adria,” and fought with Venice for its supremacy.

On the corner of the Stradona and the Piazza, there stood all day long an old minstrel, who strummed monotonous strains on the gusla, while he sang the epics inspired by centuries of conflict. As he sang, the grandees smoked and{140} mused; while the lesser folk cobbled opankee, embroidered garments after Oriental fashion, and wove tiny strands of silver into crude filigree.

The old guslar was minstrel, poet, and historian. It was he who told me marvellous stories of the time when in each of those palaces on the Stradone there lived a statesman-soldier, at war politically with one half his world and in social rivalry with the other half. The city’s gentlefolk were divided into the Salamanchesi and the Sorbonnesi; those who sent their sons to the University of Salamanca and those who sent them to the Sorbonne.

These divergent cultural currents kept the nobility apart and gave ample cause for petty quarrels; many a Ragusan Romeo’s love for his Juliet has furnished material for a romance and for a beautiful funeral.

Against these old walls and old traditions the immigrant tide has been beating for the last ten years, carrying away the grandee’s sons, numbers of whom are now digging coal in Pennsylvania, or waiting on table in some cheap restaurant in New York. Yet, whether he lives in a wretched boarding-house in a Pittsburg “Patch,” or accepts the modest tip his patrons give him, the son of a Ragusan grandee never forgets his nobility.

These immigrants, too, have gone home again, and make their presence felt, economically and{141} socially. They have repaired the old palaces and brought money into circulation; but the old guslar, who stood on the corner of the Stradona and the Piazza, and whom I sought out after these ten years, had his story to tell.

“Yes, Signor, many have gone to America and have come back, and will go again; but, Signor, that must be a bad country, a wild country. They come home and walk carelessly up and down the Stradona, the finest street in the world, every house a palace—and they talk of it with disrespect!

“Why, Signor, they say that in America there are finer streets than this, and bigger houses, and they laugh at the Dogana, Signor—at the Dogana, where our Principes and our Consiglios made treaties with the great powers, where we received the ambassadors of the Sultan and of the Doges of Venice!

“Signor, they walk up and down the street with their heavy-soled shoes, talking loudly, and making such a noise that the grandees cannot take their siestas undisturbed.

“Yes, Signor, there are some of them here now. They came back a fortnight ago, a man and his two daughters. A good-for-nothing he is, Signor. Think of it! Ah, listen!” He paused abruptly. I listened. The sweet, harmonious quiet was rudely broken; the air, full of the fragrance of oleander blossoms, seemed suddenly{142} vitiated; the Monte Sergio and the swaying palms beneath it, which made so marvellous a picture, seemed to drop with a crash out of their frame of sky and sea.

“Signor, listen!” And the old guslar trembled from anger and pain. It was the grinding of a phonograph which struck our ears. “Listen, Signor! That they bring out of America! Out of your barbaric country!”

True enough; they were the painfully familiar notes of “canned ragtime” at its worst.

“Signor, that man has come back with his two daughters. They can’t speak a word of their mother tongue; and oh, Signor! they walk up and down the Stradona without a duenna, they look boldly at the men, and they keep their jaws moving constantly, even when they do not speak.

“The father drinks, he drinks maraschino by the bottleful and he defiles the pavements of our ancient streets by his polluted spittle. You want to go to see him?” The guslar looked deeply hurt. He feared that the phonograph had lured me from him.

“No, I shan’t go until you play and sing for me.”

He took his gusla and moved his bow gently over its single string, while he sang of “Mustapha who came riding on a dapple gray stallion, with thirty Pashas as his escort. He struck a glass of wine from the hand of a Servian hero, who{143} vowed that he would shed the black blood of the Turk,” which, after many monotonous verses, he did.

“Signor, I can’t sing very well—ah, there it is again!”

While he had been singing about Mustapha, who died so many years ago, the phonograph bawled lustily about “Tammany, Tammany,” which, unfortunately, is very much alive.

I made my peace with the guslar by putting into his hand a liberal fee; then I followed the sound of the phonograph which had been switched from “Tammany” to the song of “A nice young man, that lives in Kalamazoo.”

On the lower floor of a house in one of the small streets which divide the Stradona, I discovered the phonograph and its owner, a man neither of the nobility nor noble. His knowledge of America extended as far as Brooklyn and the Austro-Italian docks, near which he had established a boarding-house. Of course, he had come home rich, and only for a visit.

“Who could live in Ragusa after Brooklyn?”

He told me that he made a great deal of money selling liquor, and acknowledged that he sold it without a license. Besides that, the sailors brought over various articles for which he found a ready market. His case would not be worth recording were it not for the fact that he may be looked upon as a man who has been spoiled by{144} his sojourn with us. I doubt, though, that there was anything to spoil; evidently, he was a man of poor breeding and low moral standards. In America, he had found an outlet for his evil tendencies, and a bad business which offered opportunities for lawlessness.

His daughters were more interesting than he; for they came back perfect strangers, into the environment which they had left as children. They had quite forgotten Italian and spoke Serbo-Slavic very poorly; while their English was typical.

“Golly! But Ragusa is a bum town!”

The Adriatic shore could not be compared with the sea they knew, bordered as it was by Coney Island.

“No, sir-ree! Give me Coney Island, and you can have this two for a cent, Gravoosa.” And I suppose, the peninsula of Lapad also, circled by palms and olives and set in a sea of turquoise blue.

When I mentioned the guslar, one of the girls said that he “might make a hit at Coney Island as a side-show.”

“Were there many Dalmatians in America?” I asked the father.

“You bet! They have gone from along the whole —— coast, and there is one —— little town near Lucin Piccolo where there is not an able-bodied {145}man left. They’ll all come over when they get the —— money. The more come the better for me.”

His place was the centre to which they came and from which they radiated.

“What do they do in America?” I asked.

“Oh! any old thing. It all depends. There is one back here now.”

“He’s a regular big head,” interrupted one of the girls; “thinks he’s the whole cheese. He’s a newspaper man. I suppose he’ll be on the Stradona to-night.”

Every evening after sunset, all Ragusa wakens out of its day-dreams and is on parade in the Stradona.

Demure maidens come out from behind latticed windows, reflecting in their garments the sombre hues borrowed from Venice, and a riot of Oriental colours. They are dark-eyed creatures, these maidens, and their faces, as well as their garb, show the mixture of Latin and Slav; for this is the battling-ground of the two races, the persistent Slav being in the ascendency.

The youths followed at a distance; for propriety is one of the assets of Ragusan society.

Noiselessly they walked up and down over the grass-grown pavement, and, when one heard the heavy-soled shoe striking it, one recognized the stranger; and by that sign I knew the Ragusan-American newspaper man. A graceful, swarthy{146} young fellow he was, upon whose face his new environment had already written its story.

His eyes had lost their melancholy look, for he had escaped the thraldom of the past and seemed like a man fully awake to the present. When we met, he looked at my shoes, I looked at his, and the contact was made.

Interesting, indeed, his story was, beginning with his running away from home, one of those ancient palaces on the Stradona. His assets were: money enough to take him to Triest, third-class, a large stock of inherited pride, and nothing else.

At that time there was no passenger service from Triest, but there were freight steamers and a chance to serve as steward to the officer’s mess. Three weeks of life on the sea and then New York. There he served his apprenticeship in the art of “getting along” by walking up and down Broadway, hungry and cold, sleeping in “Sailor’s Boarding Houses,” and finally in the police station.

At last came a turn in his fortunes, through getting work as a strawberry-picker in New Jersey, then working in a restaurant in Pennsylvania as waiter and cook. After much chance and change, he had become the owner of an Italian newspaper, whose chief object was to chronicle the happenings in the Fatherland, for the edification of his countrymen.{147}

It had been a rough road, but it was worth the struggle; for it led to usefulness and into life. He thought that his countrymen always experienced unusual difficulties in America.

“The masses of them are illiterate to an alarming degree; bound by traditions, tribal in their social outlook, and serve as so much carrion for those birds of prey, the steamship companies’ agents, the padrone, the boarding-house keeper, the saloon, and the venal justice of the peace.”

Our national moral character he interpreted in the light or the experiences of his countrymen, and his judgment was not a flattering one. Yet he admitted that America is a blessing to Dalmatia. It has relieved bitter poverty, mentally awakened the people, and has broken down worthless traditions.

In Dalmatia, as elsewhere, the returned immigrant has sharpened the hunger for political liberties, and has intensified the struggle between the oppressed and the oppressor.

Wherever the government was aided by the reactionary church, the people left the church. This is especially true of the northern towns of the peninsula, between Zara and Triest.

“Yes, indeed! The returned immigrant causes much trouble, and I am no exception. I wound my parents by my democratic ways, and I have forgotten many of the niceties of their social life.

“Yes, it was I who hurt the guslar’s feelings{148} by telling him that there are streets in New York finer than the Stradona, and houses bigger than the Dogana. Ah, yes; the returned immigrant causes both sorrow and annoyance. Just watch that man and his two daughters.”

There they were; the man from Brooklyn, garishly attired. His daughters walked proudly beside him, heedless of the fact that over those pavements generations of Ragusa’s great men had walked to victory or to death.

The Brooklyn man seemed quite oblivious of the fact that these people whom he passed so carelessly were the sons and daughters of nobles and heroes. He did not lift his hat to them or step aside to let them pass; his daughters occupied more than their share of space, with their gorgeous and exaggerated hats, and smiled encouragingly on the young men whom they met, although strangers to them.

Later, there was much discussion of these “Americans,” among those who spend the evening at the “Café Arciduca Federigo”; smoking, singing, sipping granite, and talking about the good old days, those quiet, dreamy days which they had spent on this matchless spot, watching the sea as it encircled with its phosphorescent splendour the Island of Lacroma, or when, beaten by the Bora, it lashed itself into fury against the ancient walls.

The young newspaper man told me much{149} about the pride and poverty of his countrymen, of their love for this fair spot, of their moral standards, and their unbroken word.

The guslar, standing in front of the café, began tuning his Jeremaic instrument, looking wistfully, as he did so, at the stranger who had given him so liberal a fee. He needed but slight encouragement to begin his plaintive recitative. A few lines clung to my memory; for they fitted so well into my conversation with the young Ragusan:

“Go out and sing of right and truth,
Of valour and of manly strife;
Better far, thy tongue grow mute
Than that thou sing of baser life
For common gain.”

In the middle of a verse, he dropped his instrument hopelessly.

“Oh, Signor! These terrible Americans! Listen!”

The quiet of that matchless night was being assailed by the awful refrain of: “There’ll be a hot time in the old town to-night.”

“Ah, me, Signor! This will be my ruin! All the young men are at that man’s house drinking like beasts; they no more care for me, or for the heroic songs of their ancestors, and while they used to give me kreutzer, they now give me heller, if they give me anything.”{150}

The old minstrel sighed profoundly and disappeared into the darkness, his gusla under his arm; while from the tin horn poured a medley of songs, the climax of which was: “A nice young man that lives in Kalamazoo.”

The sorrowful old man and his grief made me feel guilty, as if I were responsible for that terrible, torturing, unmusical outburst which disturbed the peace of the wonderful night.

After the guslar had left us, the newspaper man rowed me in his father’s barquetta across the shallow harbour, as far as the shadow cast by the gigantic palm trees on the shore. Every time his oars dipped into the water they brought to the surface a flame of fire; yet amid all the splendour of that night, I could think of nothing but the sad old musician.

Many months passed and I had quite forgotten the guslar of Ragusa. Again I was at the seashore; but it was the turbulent Atlantic—not the sunny Adriatic; Coney Island—not Lacroma.

Many confusing strains of music were in deadly conflict with one another; myriads of glowing lights encircled grotesque buildings of all descriptions; through streets given over to pleasure, crowded in one day nearly as many people as there are inhabitants in all Dalmatia.

I certainly did not think of Dalmatia, until I stood before an “Oriental Palace of Pleasure,” in front of which I saw the man from Brooklyn,{151} resplendent in a gorgeous Oriental costume, “barking” to the multitude the sensuous pleasures which could be enjoyed within “for the small sum of one dime, only ten cents.”

When he paused for breath, I heard peculiar, strange, and yet familiar music. Following the sounds, I found on a balcony, in a blaze of electric lights, the guslar of Ragusa. When he finished playing, he too cried: “Tenee cenee, onlee tenee cenee! C-o-m-e een! Only tenee cenee!”{152}



PRINCE NICOLAS of Montenegro does not remember me, and why should he? It was many years ago, and I was one of 20,000 guests who suddenly descended upon his little capital of 5,000 inhabitants, during its national festivities in honour of the Prince of Bulgaria.

Cetinje’s two modest hostelries, in which under normal conditions twenty strangers might have found crude comforts, were packed from cellar to garret with the entourage of the royal guest. The rest of us, mostly natives and a few strangers, roving about the odd corners of Europe, were sheltered in private homes, hospitably thrown open by Cetinje’s citizens, who still believe in hospitality as a virtue, which they practice on all occasions.

I did not know until the morning after my arrival that my host was the Minister to the Exterior. The Interior, being so small, needed no minister, I suppose. His house, a rude stone structure, was only a degree better than that of the peasant; the bed was softer than his, for it{153} was not the stone floor. The food was practically the same; a monotonous diet of maize bread and mutton, the staple food of rich and poor alike, except that the peasant eats only the bread and sells the mutton.

To find that my boots were blacked by a relative of the Minister to the Exterior, and that by virtue of being his guest I was also to be a guest at the banquet given by Prince Nicolas in honour of his princely visitor, produced in me no little feverish excitement; revealing the fact that I was a mere mortal, and as much pleased by my aristocratic surroundings and the prospect of royal favour, as if I were not a student of social phenomena with a strong bias towards democracy.

It is of no consequence to chronicle these facts here, except that they led to a passing acquaintance with the Prince and his family. His youngest son was then a growing youth of exceedingly lovable character. At that time the Queen of Italy was a visitor in her father’s simple home. The Prince is a writer of some ability, and I was glad to be able to tell him that I was familiar with his contributions to Serbic literature.

The royal favour accorded me stood me in good stead; for not only could I watch the pageant and other festivities from a splendid vantage ground, but it proved very helpful in my journey through the principality, which I traversed{154} from Nyegusi to Lake Skutari, and from the Albanian Alps to the Herzegovina.

The country seemed like a huge eagle’s nest, perched amid inhospitable mountains. Here all men were warriors, from the time they were weaned from their mother’s breast, until they sank into their rock-hewn graves.

The women reared the young, tilled the bit of precious soil found among a waste of boulders, and carried mutton carcases to the market at Podgoricza or Cattaro, the largest trading town in Dalmatia. On the return home, they brought coffee and spring water, the two luxuries of those arid mountain heights. These poor homes, although rarely better than stables, sheltered people full of heroism, hospitality, and primitive social virtues; as well as a passionate hatred for the “Schwab,” their Austrian neighbour, and the Turk, their ancient foe.

The men lived in anticipation of war, not much caring whom they fought; for peace meant a stagnant poverty, while war held glory and pillage.

It was the day of the farewell festivities for the Bulgarian Prince, that the peasant subjects of Prince Nicolas passed in review before their patriarch, who was the supreme judge and arbiter of their fate. The menials kissed the hem of his coat, while the heads of different tribes kissed his cheek. Each man in passing before{155} his lord told his troubles openly, and waited for the word of cheer or of judgment.

With little variation they all told of utter poverty—the kind of poverty which meant that from the month of August until the next autumn, there would be no bread; for the crops had failed. There was no prospect of relief, the Prince himself being poor and in debt; and the country had no resources.

I proposed emigration as a remedy, and rather impatiently the Prince dismissed the suggestion, saying that every warrior was of value in this mountain fastness; soldiers were its one asset, and they might at any moment be needed by their godmother, Russia, if not by himself.

Soldiers we did not need, I told him; the war with Spain was over, and even during its progress, we had soldiers to spare; but if his men would learn to “turn their spears into” crowbars, and “their swords into” shovels (taking liberties with a prophetic utterance) they would find opportunity for work, if not for valour; for a good wage, but not for pillage.

I knew they would come and they did. An apostolic band of twelve men first; seventy and more, following; three hundred on the next steamer, after which a temporary check. The three hundred, having violated the contract labour law, were sent home.

Then, like a flood, too long held back, came{156} thousands, scattering through the Alleghanies and the Middle Western plain, as far as the Missouri River, and into California, where a colony of many hundreds at Los Angeles is in Paradise; although first they went through many a purgatory.

Ten years, and ten times ten years, which in Montenegro’s past were more or less glorious, had left the country practically unchanged; except as the present ruler had tried to root out some of its latent barbarisms. Here Slavic traditions at their best were immovably intrenched, and here were the bulwarks against the best and the worst in our civilization.

Neither steam nor electricity, those destroyers of archaic simplicity, had yet entered the country, nor had our vulgarities of French dress and morals driven out the simple virtues or the picturesque national garb, worn by the Prince and by the peasant.

On all sides, Montenegro’s neighbours, the Albanians, Bosnians, Herzegovinians, and even her brother, Servia, in the lowlands of the old cradle home—had all yielded, in a greater or lesser degree, to Mohammedan influences. Montenegro alone remained an unsealed fortress, in which the crescent never supplanted the cross; nor did the horse’s tail wave from its flag-staff, on which once and forever had been unfurled the victorious colours—red, black, and white.

The dawn of the twentieth century found the{157} principality still Homeric and patriarchal, but the brief years since its opening have been significant ones. During those years her sons for the first time left “their crags and unsealed passes” to go out upon so base an errand as seeking work across the Atlantic, later to return with the booty of a bloodless conquest.

About ten years after my last visit to Montenegro, I was again journeying towards it upon that serpentine road from whose every winding the truly matchless bay can be seen, receding with every turn, hemmed in more and more by the chalk cliffs which look like petrified clouds. Almost barren of verdure they are, but full of an awful majesty; until they blend with the bay, when one can see beyond them the blue Adriatic. The ships upon her bosom are moved by a gentle sirocco, while the islands on the Dalmatian coast, hidden in the shining green of the olive and the yellower tints of fig leaves, make patches of colour which seem to be floating away in the mist rising at noontime from the sea.

Suddenly one turns northward and faces gray stones, walls of stone, fields of stone—nothing but stone—and that is Montenegro. My peasant driver told me that when God made the earth, He saw that He had made it good, with the exception of the stones, of which there were too many. He called His angel Gabriel and told him to take a bag as large as the ends of the{158} four winds and go down to earth, pick up the surplus stones and cast them into the sea.

The devil, who delighted in the stones and the trouble they would give humanity, flew after the busy angel.

When Gabriel had picked up all the superfluous stones on earth, and was about to drop them into the Adriatic, his Satanic Majesty took his pocket knife, cut a hole in the angel’s bag, and all the stones dropped on to that part of the earth where Montenegro is situated.

The peasant’s story accounts for the topsy-turvy position of the stones; now piled high as mountains, then solid walls of stone, and, again, huge boulders scattered about, with plenty of smaller ones between. There are some fertile spots, especially the famous Brda, where flocks find pasture; and there is an occasional field large enough for a horse to turn with its plough. Most of the country, however, is barren, and it is from this bleakest mountain region that the exodus to America has taken place.

At Nyegusi, as usual, there was an hour’s wait, and a chance to refresh the inner man with cheese and coffee. In this primitive hostelry one noticed the first evidences of the changes wrought. Nyegusi, the birthplace of the Prince, under the shadow of the historic Lovczin, has been more drained of its men in these times of peace than ever it was in time of war.{159}


A typical landscape in a district of Montenegro, from which immigration
has set in.

A typical landscape in a district of Montenegro, from which immigration has set in.

When last I passed through it, there stood before every one of the wretched stone huts a giant-like figure, attired in his native costume, which, according to Montenegrin standards, was worth a fortune, and did indeed represent its wearer’s wealth. Ancient and costly weapons protruded from his belt, generously wound around his portly body. Thus armed, he paraded up and down the rocky streets of Nyegusi, or lounged in the village inn, smoking cigarettes and drinking his raki, if he had the wherewithal.

At the time of which I write, the streets were deserted, save for the women, who bent beneath their heavy burdens of wood which they bring down from the ravines in the Lovczin mountain.

Old men sat wearily on the stone walls which surrounded their small fields, and every one told of a son who had gone “to Amerikee.”

One toothless woman could tell her age only approximately, by the number of sons she had borne; and there were eighteen. Ten of them were in America; the others had been killed in border warfare.

In this same town I met a mother of twenty-two sons, twenty of whom had lost their lives in battle. The two survivors were the innkeepers of Nyegusi. The inn itself was the same as when first I saw it, with its beaten earth floor, and walls bare, except for the icon, a splendid bit of Byzantine workmanship; but since I drank the{160} excellent coffee there, ten years ago, more than 5,000 braves have been under its roof, bound for my own country or returning from it. Now the room is full of them, all homeward bound, spending money far too freely in drinking and gambling; two vices which, although taken with them from their mountains, they bring back in exaggerated form.

I must confess to a sense of disappointment when I saw them beside the Montenegrin who had remained at home. The sombre dress of our civilization was a poor exchange for the brilliant, native costume. The hard labour the men performed in America had robbed them of their erect and elastic forms, and they looked like the menials of their brothers who had been keeping watch against the “Schwab,” in the shadow of the Lovczin.

The change was not unlike that which has taken place in the American Indian who left the war-path to repair the steel path of the railroad.

The men in the inn, nearly thirty of them, belonged to all parts of the little realm, from Niksic in the North and Grahova on the Herzegovinian border, to Cetinje and Podgoricza, its centre. They had gone out in neighbourhood groups, members of one tribe; but, returning, had become badly mixed. Some in the original group had failed, while others had succeeded; some decided{161} to remain in America, others were glad to come home.

Most of those in the inn had been West, and knew only the rigorous side of our industrial life, and to no European people could the experience have been so trying; while none could have adjusted itself less easily to it.

The complaints as registered in Cetinje were many, and on the whole justified. They may be classified as follows:

Cheated by Employment Agencies


Cheated by Austrian boarding-house keepers


Money lost by giving bribes to Irish-American bosses who promised jobs which were never given


Rough treatment by bosses


Robbed by railroad crews in Montana


“Shanghaied”—made drunk and railroaded from St. Louis to Southern Kansas


Robbed of money and tickets before departure for home


This represented the dark side of the experience of the Montenegrin immigrant. The brighter side cannot so easily be classified. As with other groups, so with those; America meant an enlargement of their horizon. Most of them had earned money and meant to buy land; some of them had an eye to the undeveloped mineral wealth of their country, and two carried home enriched lives through having attended an evening{162} school, where they had learned to read and write some English.

All were still loyal sons of their mountain home, and only three of the thirty in the inn meant to try their luck again.

The innkeeper thought emigration a great boon, and it was, to him; for the emigrants all passed through Nyegusi whether they came or went, and that meant revenue.

Externally, Cetinje, the capital, is still the same; although there the greatest change has taken place since my last visit. Cetinje now has a parliament, and its post-office officials have something more to do than smoke cigarettes. Its storekeepers are enriched by the inflow of money; the women respond to the new spirit; for a comparatively large number is going to America, and a few have already gone. The men, especially the old peasants, find this new spirit most trying. One of them, in a little stone hut at Kolasin, said: “The women come home after three years’ absence and the devil has got into them. They sit in my presence and demand to eat when I do!

“What kind of country is that anyway which encourages such things? Is it a woman’s country?”

I met one woman whose son I knew in the “States.” He is one of the few that have prospered, and he means to stay. His mother’s little{163} cottage on the outskirts of Cetinje shows plainly the influence of America.

On the walls hang many gaudy calendars, and a crayon portrait of her son, in an elaborate frame.

“Tell me,” she said, as she pointed to a bulky newspaper printed in Scranton, Pa., and sent by her son, as a curiosity, “how many weeks does it take them to read it?”

Her son sends her ten dollars every month, which means fifty kronen. “Only the good Princess has so much money of her own!” the proud mother said; and I am not so sure that even the Princess has it.

There must be many such huts; for the postmaster told me that $30,000 came into this little rocky nest in one year; more money than passed through the hands of that postmaster in twenty preceding years. In a country so impoverished, this money cannot help being a blessing.

It is true, that after a brief glimpse of Montenegro I left it with feelings decidedly mixed as to the benefits it has derived from emigration. The Prince is less a patriarch than he was and not so accessible to his subjects; for he has felt the force of a revolution, small but significant.

The grand opera setting of the villages and towns is being destroyed; men no more strut about like stage heroes, waiting for their cues.{164} The picturesque is going, is almost gone, and will go entirely; poverty, extreme poverty, pinching, grinding poverty is going too, and will soon disappear. Men drink more fiery raki and gamble more; women are beginning to lift up their heads and walk beside the men, not behind them. I am convinced that the relative of the Minister to the Exterior would not now black my boots; for which I rejoice, although the old braves complain and say: “America is a woman’s country.”

Montenegro, hemmed in on three sides by Austria and on the other side by Turkey, and all around by poverty, has found an outlet and relief by way of the sea. Progress has come slowly and from far away and she must pay the price; yet when all is considered, she ought to be glad to pay it.

In talking to the postmaster of Cetinje, I referred to my driver’s story, about the angel’s dropping the stones upon Montenegro, and said: “It must have been a poor sort of angel; for he didn’t pick them up again.”

“Ah, well! He is trying to make up for it. Look here;” and he showed me advices from New York for 1,500 kronen.

“If that angel keeps up the good work, we will have a krone for every stone that he dropped on our soil. Don’t you say anything against our angel!”{165}



IT was some sort of saint’s day, one of the many; this day, just before the harvest time, served at least one useful purpose. It brought together the latifondisti, the landowners, and the contadini, the labourers, who, after mass, bargained with one another for the harvest wage.

There was a time when the padrone had a dozen men at his heels begging to procure them work; but now the tables are turned, and smartly dressed men court these rough toilers of the Abruzzi, and are happy, when, over a bottle of wine and a hand-grasp, the bargain is sealed.

In less than twenty years wages have increased from sixteen to sixty cents a day, and the difference in the attitude of the two classes towards each other is correspondingly great. The withdrawal from the intense congestion in Italy of nearly 2,000,000 toilers in the last ten years, accounts for the change in the economic condition of the common field labourer of that country. No phase of human relations has been left unaffected by this remarkable movement away from the home soil.{166}

“Just as you wish, Signor,” I heard a man say to one of the upper class. “Three lire and not a centesimo less.”

The landowner watched the labourer closely, and when he saw him approached by another landowner, ran to him and sealed the bargain.

“Ah, Signor! Emigration has done this!” the labouring man said when I entered into conversation with him. “There are not men enough left to do the work, and if it weren’t for the hard times in America, I would have charged him two carini (about sixteen cents) more; but there are some men back from America who have not done so well, although they too will not hire out for less than three lire. They say that in America they have received three times as much.”

The gentleman to whom I introduced myself, and who was suspicious that I might be in his parts encouraging emigration, took a different view of the situation.

“It is a curse, sir! Why, sir, you rob us of our men; of our strongest men, and leave only the aged, the women and the children!

“I have fields still unploughed, although it is June, and the bringing in of my crops will cost me three times as much as it did ten years ago.”

“Didn’t he get a much better price for his produce?” I asked.

“Yes, indeed! Perhaps I am no worse off{167} financially than before; but worse than the higher wage is the changed attitude of the common people towards the landowner. Signor, those who come back are worse than the Socialists! The Socialists simply talk and argue; most of our common people cannot understand what they mean. They have always known that God made some rich and some poor, they were content with their cheese and their olives; but these men who come back from America walk through the streets as if they were our equals. They wear just such clothing as we do; shoes without hobnails and starched shirts and collars.

“They no longer greet us respectfully as they used to, and the way they spend money looks to these deluded contadini as if they had found it in the streets of New York.

“Everybody in my town who has anything to sell, sells it or borrows from his friends in America and goes there. Last year over 1,600 went out of my town, which has less than 6,000 inhabitants. The saints alone know what will become of us! And the worst of it is, Signor, that they lose respect for us!”

Travelling from Naples towards Calabria, I noticed in the second-class compartment a group of Italians returning from America for a visit to their native hill town. Among all the people of this class that I had seen, these were the most remarkable. They were better dressed than{168} others, spoke English fluently, were cleanly in their habits and travelled second-class.

“Oh, yes! Italy is beautiful!” said one of them, who I afterwards learned was a stationary engineer at New Brunswick, N. J. His finely chiselled face showed his delight as he watched the landscape.

“But America is more beautiful on the insides. You ask why? I will tell you.

“I was born in a small hill town of 3,000 inhabitants. My parents were poor labourers and I was born in a hole in the wall. I will show you the wall when we come to the town. No windows, no chimney, no nothing. Our goats and pigs had another hole, smaller than ours; but the goats and pigs were not ours, they belonged to the landlord and when the pigs were killed we got half. We had just one meal of the meat and the rest had to be sold to those who could afford to eat it; we couldn’t. It was a great day though when we had that taste of meat, and I don’t think I have ever tasted such good meat since. Of course we had meat only three or four times a year.

“My father and mother both had to work in the fields. They left the hole in the wall at four o’clock in the morning and came back to it at seven in the evening. When I was a baby, my mother carried me along on her back; later my sister carried me and I can’t remember the time{169} when one of my sisters didn’t carry a baby out into the field.

“I worked from the time I was seven; we all worked when there was work to do. I never was hungry when the melons and the figs were ripe; but I never remember having eaten as much bread as I wanted. I remember I wanted to be older than I was, for the children got about an inch more bread for every year, as they grew older.

“I went to school to the padre, and he taught me the Pater Noster and the Ave Maria and just enough writing to sign my name. When I was fourteen years old, an uncle who lived in New York sent money to my father and mother to come over. Never can I forget when that letter came. I nearly went crazy. I ran around to every hole in the wall and called out: ‘We are going to America! We are going to America!’

“My father was crazy, too; for he gave the letter-man half a lira for bringing him such a letter and reading to him the good news. Everybody in the town knew of our good fortune; for the letter-man told all those to whom we could not speak, because they were above us. When we went to Naples I thought I was going to heaven, and on the ship, in spite of seasickness, I was happy; because for the first time in my life I had enough bread to eat.

“I can’t tell you how I felt when we came to{170} New York; but at Ellis Island they turned all my joy into weeping. Two of the younger children had eye disease and they wanted to send all of us back. My uncle said he would take care of us older children, so they let us in and sent father and mother and the younger ones back. It was terribly sad and father and mother cried; but although I too cried, I felt very happy because I would not have to return to Italy. We promised them to come back and here we are.”

These then were the older children, three sons and one daughter, who had been admitted to their heaven and were now coming home to the padre and madre who had lived in the hole in the wall.

“What do you think of emigration?”

The young woman answered: “Signor, it works like a miracle! I used to pray many a time, when I went to sleep, that the good saints would work a miracle and wake me in another world, where I could wear real stockings and ribbons, and now my prayer is answered and the miracle has happened.”

Indeed it was a miracle. “Bessie,” as the brothers called her, was transformed and transfigured. She was more “stylish” than the landowner’s wife who travelled in the next compartment, and I feel sure that her gown cost more than that of a certain American woman who shared with me the pleasures of the journey{171} Bessie was engaged to be married to a countryman of hers, who is head gardener in a cemetery in one of New York’s suburbs.

“When we are married we will live in a cottage all our own, Signor, at the edge of that beautiful cemetery; six rooms it has and a bath room!”

A miracle indeed! From the hole in the wall to a six-room cottage.

Of course this group is not typical. These people went to school in America during their youth. The boys went to night school in New York and the girl went to the public school; they had entered profitable trades. Stone-cutting, engineering and dressmaking.

What was perfectly normal in their history was the effect that their going away has had upon the town from which they came.

Does the father live in the hole in the wall? No indeed. They sent home money enough to build him a house and buy about fifteen acres of land. The children at home were all sent to school. Yes, times have changed. All the children in that town are sent to school; for the immigrant father writes to his wife: “Let the children learn how to read and write. We who cannot, have to remain beasts of burden, while those who can, rule over us.”

My travelling companions grew greatly excited as the train drew near their home. They{172} collected their numerous packages and then looked longingly at the town, perched upon a high hill and crowned by a magnificent castle.

“Look, Signor, look! You see that wall, the old city wall? You see those holes? I was born in one of them!” Tears stood in Bessie’s eyes. No doubt she thought of the six-room cottage and the miracle.

The station, in the shadow of the town, was much like other such stations. There was the usual donkey cart. Pompous officials bustled about and a few carabinieri walked up and down, proud of their fuss and feathers. The padre and madre were there, and a throng of brothers and sisters and relatives, who greeted the travellers with noisy and affectionate salutations.

Bessie’s madre held her at arm’s length at first, as if to be sure that this fine Signorina was really the little girl she left behind in New York twelve years ago. Ah, me! It was a love-hungry heart to which Bessie was pressed. And the boys! What pride shone on the father’s face! Any father might be proud of them, and I was prouder than the father.

“See what America does for your men!” I cried to a portly gentleman who stood beside us at the window, watching the interesting scene. He did not answer; for the train puffed and screeched, and the cars lurched as they were{173} drawn around the curves. For a long time we could see the donkey cart piled high with baggage, the happy people following it.

The train came closer and closer to the walls of that ancient town, and on its southern side we saw again the holes in the wall, swarms of little children, a gray, tired donkey and picturesque dirt and confusion. At sight of those holes in the wall, I repeated my remark.

“See what America does for your men!”

“Ah!” replied the gentleman, “you see only one side of it; the bright side. There is a dark side to emigration, as there is to an olive leaf. We have given you nearly two million of our best men, to do your dirty and dangerous work.”

“Yes,” I replied; “but we pay them a decent wage; more wages in one year than you pay them in ten.”

It was this remark, the sight of those holes in the wall, and the vision of that six-room cottage in America, which set me to striking the balance for Italy, the country most affected by the good and ill of immigration.

Italy has given to America for shorter or longer periods nearly two and one-half millions of men, for whose labour we have paid her a fair wage. At least two million dollars annually to every one of the provinces from which we have recruited this army of men.

While not all the money will remain in Italy,{174} most of it has already been invested in land. In 1906, there were at least 50,000 land sales made, and much of the land will become doubly productive as a result of the extreme care which will be given it by this landless class, which has suddenly gained its foothold.

The rise in wages which is not far from sixty per cent. is a distinct benefit to the whole country; for a living wage means adequate consumption and increased production. While in some provinces there has been a dearth of labour, Italy is rather remarkable in that there is no danger of its being depopulated, and economically, the entire country is the gainer through emigration.

I have heard many complaints, especially in Italy, that we make Socialists and Anarchists out of their once docile peasantry. The facts are these. Crime has decreased in all districts affected by emigration; which however does not prove that the criminal classes have moved to America. There are other reasons. First, improved economic conditions have removed the causes for many crimes. Second, much crime was due to the uncontrolled passions and undisciplined characters of the peasantry; and the sojourn in America has given to many of them the power of self-control.

That Calabria in Sicily reports a reduction of about forty per cent. in crimes against the person, is certainly significant.{175}

Again, the privileged classes in Italy and other European countries naturally look askance at the spirit of independence which the men bring back with them. Much as we may deplore with the aristocracy the fact that the peasant has lost his fine manners, we can but believe that, on the whole, the loss of docility and the gain in independence are a splendid exchange and of untold benefit to all concerned.

Some day, Democracy may teach her children the art of polished manners; let us hope that it may not be at the loss of the democratic spirit. That the peasant looks his master straight in the face and does not cringe; that he demands fair treatment, a comfortable yoke and no pricking with the goad, are as much benefit to Italy and Austro-Hungary, as they are cause for pride to those of us who believe that America has a mission to fulfill in the world.

If the Italian has really lost his good manners, we have given him in exchange a spirit of independence which, I admit, is sometimes a little in need of pruning, and with it, a yearning for better things and the possibility of its realization.

Public education in Italy has received an impetus directly traceable to the returned immigrant, who saw its value. He was a beast of burden because he knew nothing. The men who were educated had wealth, leisure and all that was denied him and his children.{176}

If ignorance is removed from the common people of Italy, especially from those of the Southern provinces, she can well afford to pay double the price she has paid, whatever that price may be.

It is also charged against the returned immigrant, that he spreads sedition by bringing home strange religious ideas.

“Signor,” said a priest to me in the Campagna, “a man came home who had been in America a few years; an ignorant, stupid fellow, and when he came, he invited his neighbours to his house. Not to treat them with wine, as you might think; but to preach to them. Think of the impudence of the man! A common man, uneducated and not a priest!

“And the people flocked to hear him! One day shortly after that, there came a real American and he preached to them and they sang. I could hear them singing, Signor, while I was saying mass. The tunes kept going around on the tongues of the people and a few months after, they began building a church. They call it the ‘Methodisto’ church.

“Tell me, what heresy do they teach? My flock is divided; the women are crazy over this new doctrine and they gather the little children and teach them to sing these heretical songs.”

Undoubtedly, a new element of friction has been introduced into the solidary, religious life of the nation; but it is equally true that, in most of{177} the towns of Italy, destructive ideas have long been at work and have weaned many peasants, especially the men, from the Mother Church, leaving them in an anarchical attitude towards Church and State.

The new religious ideals, which are largely the ideals of Protestantism while also acting destructively, have, after all, large constructive powers, and, on the whole, are of undoubted benefit. It is the undisputed testimony of impartial observers, that the Sectarians come home “cleaner” than others, that almost without exception they insist upon temperance and chastity, and that they encourage a sane, intellectual activity.

I have given concrete examples of this in other countries; but in Italy these examples could be multiplied. I do not know of a single instance where the introduction of vital religious ideals has not done more good than harm.

The work of Rev. Luigi Lo Perfido, a Baptist minister, is somewhat exceptional, yet in the main, typical. He has introduced into the town of Matera a really constructive, liberal, religious movement.

This includes, in addition to the simple church services, a coöperative system which has large economic consequences. He has made his church a social and literary centre besides keeping it a spiritual force of acknowledged value.

The Church in Italy may regard as a menace{178} this spirit of the Reformation, which it thought dead; but the Church itself cannot fail to be stimulated by the introduction of the leaven. The Mother Church will, perhaps, have to bestir herself to hold the people, by offering them something better than festas and processions.

Many observers complain that in Italian towns especially, emigration has left too great a burden upon the women, and that their economic and social condition is worse than before. This is partially true, but is only temporary. The full truth is, that woman is being benefited most by these great changes, although she now suffers most. Just as the contadino in Italy or the nadelnik in Hungary has been freed from the oppression of his masters, by emigration; so the woman in Italy will be freed from the oppression which she is suffering from her “liege lord” who, especially among the peasant classes affected by immigration, is always at his worst in his relation to his wife.

If there is one complaint against the returned immigrant which is louder than others, it is that the woman who has been in America is spoiled and that she is a mischief maker among the other women, who are apt pupils.

While I do not anticipate that the peasant women of Southern Europe will demand suffrage, they are beginning to demand a voice in the affairs of the household; which has ever{179} been their right, which has long been denied them and which certainly does not indicate that they are spoiled. Neither is there danger of their being spoiled; and it is more than probable that the women of Italy as well as of other immigrant centres, are as much benefited as the men, if not more than they.

After seeing the hole in the wall in which Bessie and her brothers were born, and after looking at the matter from all sides, I can still say, and with firmer conviction than before: “So far as my observation goes, I feel certain that emigration has been of inestimable economic and ethical value to the three great monarchies chiefly concerned, namely: Italy, Austro-Hungary and Russia. It has withdrawn inefficient labour and has returned it capable of more and better work; it has lifted the status of the peasantry to a degree which could not have been achieved even by a revolution; it has stimulated the neglected masses, lifted them to a higher standard of living and has implanted new and vital ideals.”

The hole in the wall in which Bessie and her brother were born brought to my mind anew the prophetic injunction: “Look unto the rock whence ye were hewn, and the hole of the pit whence ye were digged,” and aroused in me the spirit of humility; an attitude of mind essential for the appreciation of all the problems and opportunities{180} arising from the presence in our country of these “lesser folk.”

This attitude of mind ought not to be a difficult one for the average American to attain; because most of his ancestors came out of such holes in the wall—some better, some worse.

Even those of whom we no longer think as immigrants, but proudly call our forefathers, who came long ago, came from good, plain, peasant stock; not blue blooded, but of virile red blood.

For this we should be deeply grateful; although we are likely to forget it, and also willing to forget it, I fear.

Recently I travelled with a friend and his wife. The gentleman, a professional man of high standing, was going on a pilgrimage to his ancestral village in Germany. The wife went there in the firm conviction that the home of his parents must have been some ancient castle; for her husband was a noble fellow indeed.

When we found the place where he was born, it was a cow-stable and looked as if it had been none too good for that purpose, even in its palmy days, and my friend discovered that his parents were peasants, so poor that they were sent to America at the expense of the town. Nevertheless, he and his wife are cultured Americans and their children are graduates of our best colleges and universities.{181}

Not long ago, in travelling from the East to the West, my neighbour in the coach, a young man of evident good breeding, complained bitterly at the presence of some Russian Jewish immigrants. He hated them all, he said; and had no use for them.

I looked into his face, and beneath the ruddy skin and dark, wide open eyes, saw that which only the initiated can readily detect—the racial origin. “May I ask your name?” His name was McElwynne, and his parents were English; but before I had done with him I knew that they had come from Russia, that their name was Levyn and that he was a Russian Jew but one generation removed from the steerage.

Quite unintentionally, I once almost broke the heart of a woman in fashionable society. She pronounces her name with a French accent, and I translated it into Slavic; in that language it means a common garden tool, which proves her husband to be of peasant origin.

The sight of the hole in the wall in Italy, and of the wretched huts in Hungary and Poland, has quickened my sympathies with the people who come out of them. Even so our fathers and mothers went forth, driven by hunger and dire need, drawn by the dream of better things and sustained by a simple and devout faith.

After all, we are brothers. Born out of the womb of poverty, nourished by coarse fare,{182} taught in the hard school of labour and saved from wretchedness by the same good providence.

More and more we shall grow into one another’s likeness, and that of God, as all have more bread, better air, cleaner homes, good books and an unobstructed view into heaven.

For this, “Praise ye the Lord, kings and all people; princes and all judges of the earth!”

Praise Him ye Irish and Scotch!
Praise Him ye English and Welsh!
Praise Him ye Germans and French!
Praise Him ye Slavs and ye Latins!
Praise Him ye Gentiles and Jews!

“Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord! Praise ye the Lord!”{183}


With the Incoming Tide





THE 1,200 steerage passengers who sailed for the United States early in November, 1908, on the steamship America, of the Hamburg-American Line, were the advance guard of the vast armies of men which were waiting for the election of Mr. Taft to the presidency.

That to them, was synonymous with the return of good times; but before those good times had a chance to prove themselves identical with those which took sudden flight over a year ago, the steamers of all lines were assured their full number of steerage passengers.

When the first shipload of them sailed into New York harbour, its humble passengers were hailed as the harbingers of the prosperity which was being anxiously awaited by rich and poor; by native and foreign born; by the citizens of New York and Budapest and by the people of Chicago and Spalato.

We, in the United States, have alternated between fear because so many immigrants came, and regret because so many went away; but the recent influx brought joy to all, because the coming{186} again of so many, indicated the return of good times.

For our good or ill, for what is better than mere good times, and for worse than financial depression or economic problems, these strangers of all races and nations come and go, helping to make our history and shape our destiny.

From the beginning, our history has in a large degree been determined by the migratory movements of larger or smaller groups from the Old World, and unless we have idealized these movements overmuch, those groups which came, unconscious of the gold and the iron slumbering in our hills—which came for “conscience’ sake”—those groups have affected our history most fundamentally if not most permanently.

Pilgrims, Puritans, Huguenots, Quakers and German Pietists certainly made history. They sailed the treacherous seas and marched into the pathless wilderness, driven by something higher than the mere necessity to sustain life.

Subsequently came other Germans, the Irish, Scotch and Scandinavians. They came primarily because of economic distress in the home-land; yet even among those were many groups which came because they were dreamers of dreams, and sought “a city whose builder and maker is God.”

In one of our Western states are two large communities, one from Holland and one from Germany; both are late comers to this Western{187} world. One of them has built itself into a rather typical Western town and the other is the one successful example of a religious community in this country. Both these groups left prosperous homes in the Old World to seek a place where they might worship God according to the dictates of their conscience; and all this happened in the latter part of the nineteenth century, at the very zenith of our material development.

Large and influential groups of these seekers after God may be found throughout the length and breadth of our country; although they may now come out of the heart of Russia, like the Molicani in Los Angeles, California, they come moved by the same impulses which drew the Pilgrims to Plymouth and the Germans to Pennsylvania, and they exhibit the same characteristics.

In these days most people believe that when the last Irishman has arrived from Dublin, the Old World will be drained of her best people, and we look upon a certain boundary line in Europe as the division between good people and bad; yet from beyond that line come pilgrim bands in much larger numbers than the casual observer knows, and they are bent upon the same holy errand as that which brought those who came generations ago. In fact the Reformation with its religious and political consequences is making itself felt at this late day in these{188} migratory movements. Large groups driven to the plains of the Volga or the Danube are now coming to the United States; with narrow doctrines, it is true, but with deep convictions, and the churches of the Reformation feel this current in the measure in which they have kept themselves spiritually alert. Yet one must admit that the vast majority of those who come is driven by no higher motive than the economic pressure. Yet it is not always poverty which drives them from their village homes to our cities or from their quiet fields to our noisy shops.

They are no poorer to-day than they were fifty years ago when no one thought of moving even a league from the village in which he was born. They are simply obeying an impulse which is extending to the very edges of civilization; an impulse created by discontent. Everywhere men are beginning to believe that God meant them to enjoy the good things of life now, and that all men, not merely a privileged class, should be able to enjoy them.

Nothing ever quite so rudely shattered the idea of the stability of wealth as the discovery of America and the subsequent migrations there of different groups from different portions of Europe.

Wealth had been in a measure entailed, the possession of a class; and poverty was meekly accepted as the divine apportionment to the mass of men. When it was rumoured that gold{189} lay hidden in the mountains across the sea, that no key was needed to gain access to its hiding-place, and that it would belong to any one who dared, the myth was quickly dissolved. Poor men came and got their share of gold—not so often by finding it as by toiling for it.

Further and further the truth travelled; slowly, as is the way of truth; until to-day, scarcely anywhere is the prevailing social order or economic status accepted as fixed. The greater the number of men returning from America, even with very moderate wealth, the more the discontent spreads, and men seek the place where this change may soonest be effected.

They will continue to come until the economic opportunities at home are appreciably nearer those they find in this strange land. Although at present there is no European country or province from which there has not been some emigration, there are people who have only begun to seek this adjustment; therefore, the force of the tide towards America is destined to increase rather than decrease, and an annual influx of 2,000,000, more, rather than less, may be expected during the next decade.

No matter from where the groups come, they will present an economic problem to those who, in a measure at least, have risen to a higher standard of living. Each group will fear that the younger and often cruder body may lessen its{190} chances of maintaining that standard. The Germans, the Irish and the Norse people were not received with open arms by those who preceded them, even those of related race or nationality. This was especially true during the years when war, famine and persecution brought them in large numbers.

Now, in turn, all these look askance at the Jew, the Slav and the Italian; while they, like the rest, are ready to close the doors to the vast hordes about to move onward, and, as they believe, upward. It is also interesting to note, that among these late comers, there are decided ideas as to who are desirable immigrants, and who are not.

The Slav, if he is a Pole, would exclude his cousin, the Slovak, and both are united in thinking that the Ruthenian is a rather inferior being; while the Ruthenian would debar the Jews, Servians and Croatians from the economic benefits of the land of his adoption.

Until now there has been room for all, and they have not presented a serious economic menace, except as they have intensified the general problem of labour. Each group, driven from the lower and coarser tasks, has risen from mine to shop, from shop to store, and from the store into every avenue of business and professional life.

Thus far all have been crowded up and not many have been crowded out. No considerable groups of native Americans are bewailing the{191} fact that they cannot find work in the mines; nor would large numbers desire to go back to them from their safer toiling places.

The Irish are not mourning because they are not working on sections, nor would they be willing to leave their beats and office chairs from which they are ruling, not only those of us who came after them, but a fair share of those who came before them. They do not care to go back to the track, the pickax and the shovel.

Without the Slav, the Italian and the Magyar, that which we call our industrial development would have been impossible. This development does not lessen the economic problem, it intensifies it; but it cannot be proved that no economic problem would exist if, instead of Slav and Latin, the Teutonic races were dominant in this movement. In that case I believe the problem would be more difficult of solution.

Let me again frankly admit that I do not regard most immigrant groups of the present type as a serious menace to the other groups, or to the whole economic life, provided they are needed to do the work for which they seem best fitted. At present this is still a matter of proper distribution and presents no such serious difficulty as is commonly supposed; for the immigrant will go wherever he is wanted and a fair wage is assured him. Nor is he quite so eager to herd in cities as we imagine, and no community{192} need be without an adequate supply of labourers, if they are needed for hard, crude labour. There is no work so hard or so dangerous that the immigrant will not attempt it.

Like their forerunners in the migratory movement of European races, the present immigrants respond quickly to the American higher standards of living, and in many cases much more quickly than some of the older groups responded.

When we speak of the horrors of the East Side of New York, the crowded Ghetto and Mulberry Street with its Italian filth, we forget the days when the Irish possessed the land, “squatting” wherever they could, and living in wretched huts; when the American used to sing:

“The pig was in the parlour, and that was Irish too.”

The pig and the goat have gone, and instead, the Irish have pianos and phonographs in their parlours; but in one generation, many Slavs and Italians, under less favourable conditions, have achieved the same results, minus the pig and goat period.

To-day, the merchants in Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Connelsville and Pittsburg regard the Slav as a great “spender”; and if the Italian is not now like his predecessors, he soon will become so imbued by the American spirit, that, like us, he will live up to his income and beyond it.{193}

That phase of the problem so much complained of, which relates to the immigrants’ sending the bulk of their earnings to Europe, would not be half so serious if we provided a safe banking system; preferably, Postal Savings Banks. Both the Austrian and Italian governments thus safeguard every penny which is sent abroad, and one cannot blame the toiler who prefers to trust his money to a government in whose financial soundness he has absolute confidence, rather than place it in our own savings institutions, in which we ourselves have but little confidence.

The economic problem as presented by the effect of immigration upon the labour market is made less serious by the fact that large numbers of those who come, go back and forth, according to the demand for the commodity which they supply.

During our last financial crisis, the sudden withdrawal from competition of half a million toilers, certainly rendered conditions less difficult than they would have been had we drawn for our supply upon those sources in Northern and Central Europe, which have always sent us their surplus population for permanent settlement. Those aspects of the present immigrant population, which are usually pointed out as its defects, have in a large measure helped to make the economic problem less acute; although they{194} have aggravated some phases of it. Foremost among these is the ethnic problem.

Possibly because of the bitterness of the race question in the South, the American people have become very sensitive to ethnic differences. All those primitive instincts which were at work in the childhood of the race have risen to the surface and threaten to become permanent factors in our national character.

A little more or less pigment in the skin, the shape of a nose or the slant of the eyes, produce in the average American that most primitive of antagonisms—race prejudice.

Being a primitive instinct, it defies reason, the commandments of religion and the dictates of humanity. In fact, it often becomes irrational, irreligious and inhuman.

During the recent agitation of the Japanese question on the Coast, I discovered that no matter how far removed the ordinary American may be from the seat of the difficulty, the very agitation of the question acts contagiously upon the people of the East as well as of the West. As a result, their feelings towards the Japanese have unconsciously changed for the worse, so that the question has assumed in their minds the qualities and proportions of the Negro problem.

To justify its existence, this instinct, if such it is, overemphasizes ethnic differences and minimizes the superior qualities of the race or group{195} involved. It always applies the categoric judgment when the judgment is adverse, and admits grudgingly that in each group or race there are certain individuals who possess good qualities.

In visiting nearly every city of the United States where there are groups of Italians, I have everywhere heard it said by those who had dealings with them: “We have no bad Italians, ours are good, the bad ones are elsewhere.” In Trenton, N. J., you are told that the bad Italians are in Patterson; but when you are there, nearly every one denies the fact and consigns all the bad Italians to New York.

The truth is, that wherever men have had a chance to know the individual Italian, they have discovered that there are good Italians even as there are good Jews and good Slavs, and that there are good and bad in every race.

Naturally, when men apply the warped categoric judgment to another race, particularly when that race is in political or economic competition with them, they are likely to magnify the evil in the character of the race, and rarely even admit the good. That this categoric judgment is seldom just, that it leads to antagonisms which actualize themselves in race riots and wars, is certainly very evident.

I have watched the development of this prejudice against the Japanese, even as I am most anxiously watching it grow against certain European{196} groups which are ethnically more or less differentiated from the native population, and I am not over confident that we shall solve the ethnic problem without much struggle and stress and strain. Indeed, the ethnic problem can be solved only if we have patience, a measure of sympathy and the sense of justice.

There is a subtle force at work, which, to a degree at least, is settling this matter for us—a force which, if we allow it full play, will complete the task whose result will be the miracle of the age.

I call it a miracle, advisedly; for the things which seemed fixed, unchangeable, deeply graven in the nature of certain European races, the products of long ages, vanish in a generation.

Race characteristics which were regarded as biological are found to be sociological; on the outside of the race, if we might so express it, and not on the inside.

The children of the Neapolitans and the Sicilians lose somewhat of their swarthiness; the features lose their sharpness, and as a rule the children grow over the heads of their parents. Indeed, the last named process takes place among natives and aliens alike.

The ethnic differences of even the most strongly marked European races will ultimately disappear; that is, if we have patience and sympathy, and, above all, if we mete out that justice which{197} gives every man a chance, regardless of his nationality or race.

As a nation we do not possess in an abundant degree these qualities; therefore the ethnic problem is one which may yet postpone its solution until that time when indeed there shall be “Peace on Earth and Good Will to Men.”

Thus far I have touched upon two problems presented by the return of the immigrant tide: the economic and the ethnic.

Another problem presented by this influx of aliens is in that rather indefinable realm called culture.

The question is: Will these people be able to appreciate the cultural ideals of America, and make them their own?

It would be an insult to my readers to try to make clear to them that the people who come to us are not barbarians or semi-barbarians; although as a rule they are uncultured and not yet in harmony with many of our ideals. I would not even attempt to mention this, were it not for the fact that it is the commonly accepted idea, that we are dealing with the offscouring of Europe. Let me illustrate. Not very long ago, I heard a home missionary secretary of a certain denomination say before an audience of intelligent, Christian people, that “We are landing annually a million paupers and criminals”; and I venture to say that nearly every one who heard{198} that statement believed it. Let us see who these people are who come to us.

Slavs, Latins and other Aryan groups, such as Lithuanians, Albanians, and Greeks; of whom the first two have fairly earned the right to be called the oldest inhabitants of the continent of Europe. Next in order are Finns and Magyars, from among the Ugru-Altaic races, Jews and some smaller Semitic groups. The bulk is made up of Slavs, Latins and Semitic peoples.

Need I question whether the Latin has in him the qualities which will enable him to appreciate our culture? The Italian who built Florence, whose sons built St. Peter’s, painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and carved out of Carrara marble the “Pieta” and the statue of Moses?

Need I mention Giotto, the builder, Raphael, the painter, a Dante, a Petrarch, a Savonarola—a hundred masters of the chisel and the brush, of rhythmic rhyme and stately prose, all reared in that Garden of Europe, Italy?

Will the Jew learn to appreciate that culture, the best of which was created by his sires? For the glory of our American culture lies in the quality of its manhood and womanhood and that at its best is patterned after men and women whose names would debar them from certain clubs and hotels to-day. Moses, Amos and Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and in all reverence I mention Jesus and Mary, John, Paul and Peter. Strange to{199} say, it is sometimes necessary to call the attention of intelligent people to the fact that these men and women were not Methodists or Presbyterians or even Episcopalians; and that neither their sires nor their sons came over in the Mayflower.

Perhaps we need to realize that as Americans we have neither invented nor discovered education, liberty or religion. What we have accomplished is, that we have made gifts to the many, of some of those blessings which in the immigrants’ country are the possession only of the few; and that is no small achievement.

The problem, the real problem, is: how to feed these people on truly vital knowledge, how to make common to all, the beautiful, the harmonious, the ethical; how to bring to all, the knowledge of that religion which indeed makes free from tribal pride and racial hate and leads men into the freedom of the sons of God.

Perhaps the greatest problem still to be solved is, how to interpret to these people the one supreme gift of all these gifts which most of them never possessed—the right of citizenship.

Herein lies our real peril; not because the immigrant cannot be made to understand how to exercise this right; but because here we are least efficient, and here we, the earlier comers and their children, have most signally failed.

The Scotch-Irish of Pittsburg are not a conspicuous{200} example of good citizenship for the Italians; the Germans of Reading and Lancaster have no overplus of civic righteousness to give the Slavs; the Quakers of Philadelphia have not been moved by the Spirit to teach the Jews how to govern a city righteously; the Yankees of Connecticut and Rhode Island have not ruled their states in such a manner that the crude Lithuanian or the Greek could in all cases follow their example; nor are the Irish of New York in a position to throw stones at the other races.

I do not know of a single case where the newer groups have failed to respond to sane, vigorous leadership in the struggle for civic righteousness; while in every large city there are conspicuous examples of many a battle won, because the immigrants have aided the cause.

In Scranton, Pa., in the fight for a clean city, the mayor’s private secretary, a Russian Jew, did valiant service; while Pittsburg’s “cleaning up” has been accomplished because a vigorous attorney of the same race was one of the captains in a campaign which may have vast consequences for the entire state.

It ought to be a matter of no little pride to the Jews of Pittsburg, that among its non-corruptible councilmen there was at least one of their race.

Prof. Graham Taylor of Chicago, whose worth and work that city does not fully appreciate, has found the Poles of his ward ready to share in{201} the struggle for civic betterment. One of the first “clean” councilmen of the city came from that ward and was a member of the Slavic race.

The problem of citizenship is not a problem created by the immigrant, and his presence makes it more difficult of solution, only because we have not provided him with safe leaders and have not ourselves been very good examples. Indeed the primary corrupting influence in every city with which I am acquainted is either of native stock or belongs to the first or second generation of those immigrants whose coming does not disturb us and whose presence we regard as a blessing. These are either German or Irish, and largely of the latter nationality.

That phase of the struggle which is directed against the saloon, the newcomer does not understand, and as yet no one has taken pains to enlighten him. We are astonished when we find him opposing our efforts to deprive him of his liquor; but to the Slav, at least, whiskey means life and strength. He would regard being deprived of meat as more reasonable than having his vodka or palenka taken from him.

The immigrant needs leaders in whom he can have absolute confidence; leaders who possess the genius of democracy and the spirit of brotherhood; who will have patience with his slow ways.

Those of us who are not born to lead ought to{202} realize that a good example is very contagious, and that the love of righteousness and justice is not so foreign to these strangers as some of us imagine.

It is in the hope of stimulating both leadership and good example that I have written the following chapters. In that hope I have pointed out how contagiously our example acts upon these groups and how the processes of assimilation are retarded by injustice and prejudice.

I have given special attention to the religious life of these newer groups whose interpretation I have attempted, because not only does religion play a large part in their lives; but because I believe that in the field of religion lie the largest possibilities for that kind of assimilation which can make of all these “tribes and tongues and nations” “fellow citizens with the saints”; and of all the “strangers and sojourners,” members of the “household of God.”{203}



IN the three groups which form the bulk of our immigrant population, the Slav is now the strongest and the most interesting factor, and is destined to be for some time to come.

In spite of his being from the least densely populated regions, he is numerically the greatest and will long maintain his supremacy. There are more than 100,000,000 Slavs, and the territory they occupy is vast, covering half the European continent and reaching far into Asia.

These people are scattered in villages, but rarely concentrated in cities; nevertheless, social and political conditions among all of them are now such as to force this most immovable of European races into the great outgoing tide.

The majority of Slavic people is of peasant type, and scarcely anywhere has it developed a middle class strong enough to form a bridge upon which to cross the age-long chasm between it and the upper class. This means that poverty and contempt have been accepted as the reward for hard labour, and as the divinely appointed{204} lot of the peasant, who in but few Slavic countries has escaped serfdom, a condition of semi-slavery from which he emerged with insufficient land, or none, with many limitations as to individual ownership and with practically no limitations as to his share of the burden of government support.

The masses of the peoples of the Slavic countries have never been above economic want, and have been but slowly awakened to the more expensive demands of our civilization.

To the peasant, bread and cabbage to eat, a straw thatched isba to shelter his family, and an occasional pull at the vodka bottle, meant comfort; while to have feather beds, a crowing cock in the barn-yard and a pig killing once a year, was the realization of his wildest dreams.

Fully two-thirds of these more than 100,000,000 people do not know what it means to have enough bread to eat, and with the exception of Hungary, many of the countries in which they live do not produce enough foodstuffs to allow every man the ordinary military rations. Nevertheless, they are forced to export a fair share of their crops, in order to bring sufficient money into the country for the support of the government.

To people living under such economic conditions, emigrating to America will, for some years at least, be a going from Egypt to the Promised Land; although manna and meat have to be{205} supplied without supernatural intervention and at the constant peril of life and limb.

As the Slav has not yet developed a compact middle class, this has had to be supplied by foreigners. Germans, Jews, Tartars, Armenians and Greeks are his merchants and mechanics, his bankers and manufacturers. This condition has fixed the social status of the peasant, placed him under exceptionally burdensome laws and marked him an inferior.

His picturesque clothing became his prison garb, and rarely did he have opportunity to exchange it for the commonplace clothing of our civilization.

To be a peasant means to be addressed by a personal pronoun which is a mark of inferiority; it means to be bound by customs which are as irksome as an “iron shirt”; it means to be the butt of the ridicule of stage fools, who, after all, only mimic the fools in real life.

Military service offered the only escape from this cast, and bravery in battle the only avenue to distinction.

Into some regions the industrial life came with its rude call to freedom, with its trumpet notes of revolution, and the half awakened Slav struck; then went to sleep again, murmuring something like a curse, before he closed his eyes.

This social disability of the Slavic peasant is being partially overcome by immigration; for{206} the immigrant who has tasted a little of even our crude freedom with its mixed blessings, who wears our sombre clothing, whose feet are shod with our shoes—he it is of whom it might again be said, poetically and prophetically: “How beautiful are the feet of him that bringeth glad tidings of good things.”

These glad tidings will, for a long time, bring us these millions, in the hope that they too may earn the right to escape their bondage with its attendant limitations and contumely.

Economically, always at the edge of want and in the shadow of starvation, and socially always at a disadvantage, the Slavic peasant is also living under galling political conditions which he is only now beginning to feel in all their severity.

With but few exceptions, the Slav is an oppressed man; oppressed by alien rulers, who, by force, are trying to wipe out of his consciousness his national memories, and steal from his lips his mother tongue.

Where it is not the German or the Magyar who puts him under the yoke, it is some close Slav relative who is practicing on him the Golden Rule in its perverted form. When these conditions do not exist, the Slav bears the yoke of his own making, in the form of Autocracy.

It is the distinction of the Slavs that they are the only Europeans who, although not unanimously, believe that Autocracy is the form{207}



of government best suited to their national character.

This is certainly true of many Russians, who see in the Czar a divinely appointed autocrat; while many other Slavs of different nationalities dream of the day when they shall bear this same yoke. The Russians also rule, and most severely, their close kinsmen, the Poles, and are not noticeably liberal to the Malo Russ, the Little Russians of the South.

Every cruel, political expedient has been used by Russia to subjugate or assimilate these people, who are flesh of her flesh and bone of her bone.

One might imagine that the Poles would have learned enough in the school of political adversity to treat their own kinsmen, at least, as they would wish to be treated; but the trials the Ruthenians have endured at their hands are equalled only by what they themselves have endured at the hands of the Russians.

That the Poles suffer from the Germans, the Slovaks from the Magyars, the Slovenes and Servians from the Austrians, is only additional evidence that everywhere the Slavic peasant suffers politically, and that there is sufficient cause for the insecurity of his foothold. He realizes this the more, in the measure in which he feels the breath of welcoming freedom from across the seas, which lures him to our turbulent{208} training school in citizenship, and no doubt will continue to lure him.

The economic, social and political conditions among the Slavs are such as will for some time in the future make their coming to America in large numbers, a certainty, and it is not out of the question that they will be the determining factor in our civilization. The Slav fits admirably into the place usually assigned the late comers among the immigrants: the bottom rung of the economic ladder. Of rugged physique and docile temper, he is regarded a valuable workman, performing the hardest tasks uncomplainingly, facing attendant dangers courageously, and enduring hardships and sufferings stolidly and without a murmur. Economically, he is never so much of a problem as the immigrant who comes to make his living by his wits; for that is a sphere likely to be crowded by the earlier, or what we might call the more advanced groups.

The Slav is docile and patient and need not be regarded as a serious economic menace by those who think that our workmen should demand a decent wage and maintain a fair standard of living. He is not temperate in his habits of either eating or drinking, his tastes in regard to clothing are crude, but not necessarily inexpensive and he squanders too much money for “that which satisfieth not.” He spends over thirty per cent. more for drink than the native workman,{209} pays more, according to his wage, for rent, and falls behind only in that mysterious column which the social observer calls “miscellaneous.” In the Slavic groups which have been here longest and which contain households, the wife has lifted this mysterious column to a normal figure; for “Mother Vanity” has many daughters among the Slavic women.

The Slavic standard of cleanliness suffers by comparison with that of the older groups; although they are widely different in this respect and it is not safe to generalize on that point.

In judging the Slav we must take into consideration the housing conditions in America as he finds them, the fact that the men among the Slavs never do woman’s work, that many of them come without their wives and that the woman in her native environment has very little time for the finer household duties. She is her husband’s partner in all his heavy labour; but must do all her household work unaided.

Many of the Slavic groups will be slow to understand and appreciate the higher ideals of our civilization, but our civilization is not so foreign to their genius as we are apt to think. Wherever they have had the slightest opportunity, they have made valuable contribution to it. We must not forget that the Slav gave the world a Copernicus before we gave it a Newton; that he gave it a John Huss before the Germans{210} gave it a Luther; that Comenius, one of the greatest pedagogues, lived and laboured before Froebel and Pestalozzi; and that Turgenieff, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Pushkin and Sienkiewicz stand fairly well beside our makers of literature.

I am not blind to some of the defects in the character of the Slavic peoples, in fact I know them so well that I know their source and I realize that they are not rooted in the race, but are the results of tyranny. These faults which seem so deeply fixed in the lives of the people can and will be wiped out; although the task may not be an easy one.

There is in the Slav a certain passivity of temper, a lack in sustained effort and enthusiasms, an unwillingness to take the consequences of telling the truth, a failure to confide in one another and in those who would do them good, a rather gross attitude towards sexual morality and an undeniable tendency towards Anarchy and intemperance.

They have but little collective wisdom, even as they have no genius for leadership, scant courtesy towards women, and other human weaknesses to which the whole human race is heir. To balance these failings, however, they have a deeply religious nature, a willingness to suffer hardship, a genius for self-expression in all forms of art, are usually honest in their business dealings and hospitable to strangers.{211}

The danger is, that, in his new environment, the idealistic Slav will grow materialistic, that his phlegmatic temper will not take seriously the burdens of self-government, that in an individualistic atmosphere where “help yourself” is the watchword, latent tendencies towards Anarchy may develop, and that in our social organization which demands both the power of leadership and that of cohesion, he will be a brittle element, incapable of either.

Yet I do not fear that Slavic social or religious ideals or even racial characteristics will become dominant among us, even if the Slavs should constitute the bulk of our immigrant population. My reasons are: First: Because these ideals and characteristics are embodied in a peasant population which has little or no influence over its second generation, for it has found a higher social level. To this second generation, neither the speech nor the customs of its parents is attractive.

Second: Because the Slav is environed by city life and no matter how compact his neighbourhood may be, elements which make up the urban spirit penetrate into the most densely populated alley, make themselves felt, and become dominant.

Third: Because in his native environment the Slav has taken on the ideals of his neighbours more often than he has imposed his upon others.{212}

In Asia, he has been influenced by his Mongol neighbours, but has himself not left any visible traces.

In Europe, the numerically weak Finn has resisted the force of the Autocratic State and the Orthodox Church; but has left the impress of his genius upon his Slavic neighbours.

After centuries of close contact with Slavic government, the Germans in the Baltic provinces of Russia are still more German than Russian.

The Czechs of Bohemia, the most virile of all the Slavic peoples, in spite of their stubborn struggle, have not metamorphosed their Germanic fellow citizens into Czechs; although they cannot easily deny the strong influence of their Teutonic neighbours upon themselves.

A mere handful of Magyars, almost at the centre of the sphere of Slavic influence, have imposed upon millions of Slavs their language and their ideals.

Whatever the causes for these conditions may be, and there are good causes, the truth is, that the Slav has nowhere become a dominant factor in the environment in which he has been placed; and we need neither hope nor fear that his ideals or his characteristics will become ours for good or ill.

Again it is true that in America this Slavic peasant population is awakened to its racial and historic heritage, and that feeling may be so artificially fostered by patriotism and religious{213} organizations as to hinder a normal process of assimilation.

The Slav, by virtue of being among the most numerous of our new citizens, has a right to demand that the rest of us should know him; for by knowing him, we shall learn to respect him, appreciate the good qualities of his race and help him to overcome tendencies which hinder his full development.

We must give the Slav a full chance to know us, the best of us and the best in us—he usually knows the worst.

He must have our best interpreted to him in rational terms and ways, and not have it forced upon him by law or by a custom to which he yields but which he cannot understand.

I have described the Slav’s quality as brittle; perhaps stubborn would be better. You can lead him to the water and can also compel him to drink; but he will stop drinking when you are not looking, and “kick” besides.

On the other hand, once he understands and endorses an ideal, he will be loyal to it; stubbornly loyal.

Inasmuch as I believe that America’s best possessions are those ideals which spring from its religious convictions, ideals inherited from its Judaic and Christian ancestry, I also believe that its effort should be to interpret them to the Slav in practical terms of fellowship and service.{214}

How far from these ideals or how near to them the Slav is, I have attempted to show in the next chapter; and to make the task of interpretation easier, I have put the more important Slavic groups with which we have to deal, in their own historic setting.

This will, I trust, stimulate in the further study of these people who are worth knowing for what they have suffered, for what they have done and for what they are.{215}



WHEN the sword of Rome, the ideals of Athens and the faith of Judea strove for the mastery of the world, the Slavs were still unknown to history. Upon the middle European plain, along the Don, the Dnieper and the Vistula they lived a semi-nomadic life, at war only with bear, elk and boar, and at peace with the dominant races in the west of Europe which scarcely knew of their existence.

Very early in the Christian era, the transition from nomadic to agricultural life took place, and they became so identified with the soil that some of the agricultural terms they used have been embodied in other European languages.

The facts that the Slavs inhabited the eastern portions of Europe to its very edge, that Christian civilization was imposed upon them by Byzantine and Roman influences, when both were struggling for the mastery of the Christian world, and that the territory they inhabited became their battle-ground—had great and lasting effect, not only upon their political history but upon their religious life and their national character.

The Slavs then are a late product of Christian{216} civilization; an unfinished and inharmonious product which is at its worst, where later Greek and Roman influences touched it, most turbulent where modern Western ideas have suddenly affected it, and at its best and rarest where the Slav’s own talents and resources have had a chance for rational development and adjustment.

That which complicates the problem presented to us by the Slav is the fact that in spite of his occupying practically contiguous territory, the close family bond was early broken by conquering armies, by rival missionary groups, by invading aliens who came to pillage, barter and trade, and by the influx of his neighbours, who varied all the way from Tartar and Turk to German and Magyar; from Finn and Armenian to Greek and Albanian.

When we speak of Slavs to-day we refer to Aryan people, whatever that may mean beyond the fact that they are Europeans, presenting no great ethnic variations; although there is no doubt that Mongol and Finnish blood has found its way into the veins of the Eastern Slavs. We also mean that they speak a closely related language, the Slavic; but which has become so differentiated in time that there are now literatures in Russian, Polish, Czechish, Servian and Bulgarian; each a distinct language, differing in alphabet, grammar, accent or sentence construction.{217}

Besides these, there are other dialects, vital enough and varied enough to have created their own literature, and zealously guarded as their mother tongue by the people who speak them.

These linguistic differences have aided in complicating the religious and political problems among them. Thus, the Russians and the Poles have been made hereditary enemies, largely, because one received its Christian doctrines from Rome and the other from Constantinople; Ruthenians and Poles in Austria have been pitted against each other in an age-long struggle, by a difference in liturgies; Slovaks and Czechs, almost twin brothers, are little better than strangers to one another, because of a few hooks in the alphabet and a few variations in pronunciation.

The whole Southern Slavic group remains politically ineffective because of the dissimilarities of the Cyrilian and Latin alphabets and all that their difference is made to imply.

Even when transplanted to America, these contentions are magnified by the churches and governments concerned, which thus are effective in the continued separation of related groups.

If the Slavs may be called one race, they certainly present a kaleidoscopic conglomerate out of which emerge three groups: the Western, Eastern and Southern Slavs.

Besides their common racial bond, each group is related by language, economic environment,{218} determined by climatic and political conditions, and above all, by religion, which is a stronger bond than even ties of racial kinship.

The entire Slavic world is living under the dominion of religion more or less clearly interpreted and understood. This manifests itself in conversation with the people. “God help you on your way!” “Go with God.” “Praised be the Lord Jesus Christ!” are common greetings as one journeys along Slavic highways and byways.

The names of the Deity and of the Saviour or the Virgin are never uttered without lifting the hat, accompanied by the words: “Slava i cast nyim budi!” Honour and praise to them!

The highways among the Western Slavs, who are largely Roman Catholic, are lined by crosses, chapels and shrines; and no matter how wretched the village, its church is well appointed and its peasants are not quite happy at the end of the year, unless its monotony was broken by a pilgrimage to some shrine where the Virgin waits, ready to bestow her blessing of good health or other rich favours supposed to be in her special keeping.

Feast days and fast days follow one another in quick succession and no season of the year or event in life is left unhallowed by religious observances.

All this is equally true of the Eastern and Southern Slavs who, with but few exceptions, belong{219} to the Greek Orthodox church, and are cast in a religious mold as fixed as the form of the Byzantine icon, the symbol of that church.

To the Russians, the largest body among the Eastern Slavs, religion is an atmosphere in which they “live and move and have their being.” Among them also, church feasts and fasts regulate the days, while either the pleasure or the pain they bring is willingly accepted.

Sacrifices of candles and oil are freely offered and no pilgrimage is too wearisome to be undertaken. Visiting the tombs of saints and the dwelling places of hermits is a national mania, and religious ceremonies, which in their origin and meaning are wholly Pagan, take place in hut and palace alike; for no class of Russian society is quite free from gross superstitions. The peasant coachman, who drives his miserable beast over the cobblestone pavement, crosses himself before every chapel and icon; while his passenger, be he a general, a university professor or one of the common people, will do the same, with perhaps only a little less unction.

Yet, in spite of the fact that religious forms dominate the life of the masses of the Slavs, there are no people in Europe who less understand the real value of religion, whose conduct towards each other is so little affected by it or to whom it is so entirely a mere belief in the mysterious forces of Heaven and Hell which can be appeased{220} by prayers, formulas, sacrifices and pilgrimages. Religion with them has seemingly nothing to do with sobriety, chastity, conquering the will, or the cultivation of the inner virtues.

The blame for this lies largely with the clergy, which, whether it is in Russia, Bulgaria or the countries inhabited by the different Servian nationalities, stimulates the superstition of the people and does but little to enlighten or ennoble them.

The priests nowhere occupy or deserve the place which they hold among the Western Slavs, and where the Roman Catholic minority has any fighting ground among the Southern Slavs, as in Servia,—there the Franciscans and Trappists tower above the Greek clergy as benefactors of their people and often as true saints and martyrs.

My assertion that the Slav is by nature truly religious, and that the clergy is in a great measure to blame for his hopelessly low standards, is proved by the remarkable phenomenon of the sects, which especially in Russia flourish, in spite of persecution. They grew up from within; some of them, supposedly before the Reformation, and still they are being formed and developed.

These sects range all the way from the most fanatical, whose members seek salvation in voluntary death or in some revolting form of mortification of the flesh, to large and influential bodies, kinsmen to our Quakers, Baptists and Methodists.{221}

It is this hunger for religion which is the most hopeful characteristic of the Slavs, and one which ought to make contact with them less difficult than we usually imagine it to be.

The problem is, how to purge these movements from fanaticism when transferred to America; although in our soberer, freer and more practical atmosphere the dangerous elements are apt to be spontaneously corrected.

Protestantism, as a manifestation of historic Christianity, antedates among them the German Reformation and was contemporaneous with the earliest movements in England. History clearly shows that the Protestant spirit found kinship among the Slavs and that it is still alive. Evidences of this are the sect of the Bogumils early in the fourteenth century, which has left its traces among the Southern Slavs as far as Bosnia; the Hussite movement so vitally effective in preparing the way for Martin Luther and still a force in the national life of Bohemia—and the various sects among the Russians.

This Protestant spirit in its conventional form, as found in Bohemia, in Poland to some extent and among the Slovaks of Hungary, is unfortunately no more a factor than the Mother Church in the shaping of character, in inducing right social relations, or in determining the future of the Slavic race.

There are, however, various Protestant forces{222} at work among these people; forces which emphasize spiritual and ethical ideals; such as the missions of the American Board, in Bohemia; the devoted and enthusiastic members of the “Gemeinschaft” in Kattowitz in Silesia, strategically situated where three great empires meet; the Baptist missions in Russia, and above all, the returned immigrant, who comes home, often enthusiastically but sanely, practically and devotedly religious, and with whom rests largely the religious and political future of at least two Slavic nationalities, the Slovaks and the Ruthenians, the latest to be awakened to the economic possibilities in America.

The Slovaks for nearly a thousand years have retained their national consciousness, in spite of the fact that long ago they were conquered by the Magyars, who have used every possible means to wean them from their language, the one strong link binding them to their historic past.

Patiently they have endured a national martyrdom; although the world at large knows nothing of their sufferings.

Whenever they have tried to speak, prison doors have enforced silence. In the struggle between race and race, the Magyars, who themselves were persecuted for freedom’s sake, have, in their treatment of the Slovaks, violated every principle of political liberty.

In a little village called Hluboka, in the midst{223} of their well tilled acres, lives a group of Slovaks whose Lutheran pastor, John Hurban, was a man who helped to keep alive this national spirit, for which he endured imprisonment and even faced the gallows. In 1892 the people erected a modest monument over his grave, and at its unveiling they were driven from the cemetery at the muzzle of the gun.

The son of the dead pastor wrote an article in the public press protesting against this, and he was sent to prison for twelve months. An editor, Ambrosius Pietor, was incarcerated for eighteen months, for writing two articles complaining of the treatment his people received. When he returned home at the expiration of his term, his admirers met him at the railroad station and some young girls presented him with bouquets of flowers.

Twenty-one persons who took part in this reception were sent to prison for an average of a month each, and the three young girls, who betrayed their native country by handing this man bouquets of flowers, had to pay fines, aggregating 400 kronen.

In 1906, 245 Slovaks were sent to prison, and from 1906 to the present time the number is not far from 500. I have already cited the nature of the offenses for which they are punished.

I have mentioned these facts, not because I wish to throw discredit upon the Magyars, for{224} government and people are usually two different things; but because I wish to throw light upon these Slovaks who come to us to do our most menial work and whose worth is obscured by our not knowing them. Their clannishness, the tenacity with which they cling to their native speech, and their attitude towards our Christian and national institutions, find some explanation in the miseries they have endured for the sake of preserving some kind of national or racial entity.

I consider these Slovaks among the most unspoiled of all the Slavic peoples; low in the scale of culture, it is true, but of such innate goodness and possessing so many virtues, as to make them most desirable immigrants and splendid material upon which to graft the best of our Christian civilization.

Like all Western Slavs they are largely Roman Catholic, but with enough of the Protestant element mixed with it to have given evangelical faith a grappling place.

This broader vision with its ethical element has been transferred from America to the Slovaks in Hungary and is now manifesting itself in a company of people, which, though small, is so thoroughly in earnest and ethical as to prove that they can be brought into harmony with the most vital religious ideals.

Ruthenians, or Ukranians, as they call themselves, who belong to the Eastern Slavic group,{225}


The most backward and oppressed of the Slavic people, whose destiny is
worked out in America.

The most backward and oppressed of the Slavic people, whose destiny is worked out in America.

are a most unhappy people; degraded by adverse economic and religious conditions, worse if possible than those of the most debased Russians whose closest kinsmen they are. In Austria a majority belongs to the Greek Catholic church, which is a union of the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic churches, maintaining distinct Byzantine dogmas and acknowledging the supremacy of the Pope.

There are about 34,000,000 of these people, numerically more important than the Poles, by whom a portion is governed or ill governed and persecuted. Neither have they any chance for full development in Russia where the largest number lives; nor in Hungary, where they make their home on the eastern slopes of the Carpathians. They are now struggling for the maintenance of their national consciousness and are bearing all the unfortunate consequences.

In the United States their protest has taken form politically, in a National Ukranian Society, and religiously, in a Ruthenian Free Church, and both deserve sympathetic aid from those who believe in political and religious freedom.

The great task of religion in its ministry to the Slav, and that no matter what its ancient form or symbol, will be to make clear to him the difference between God and Cæsar; for religion and nationality, Heaven and the throne, are confused in his mind.{226}

It must also teach him that besides its sacramental value it has service value, whose obligations rest upon priest and people alike.

Religion must wean him from his ancient enemies, intemperance and superstition, and when it has done this, it has rendered a service which may again make of the Slavs a homogeneous race; great, vital, virile and well prepared to play a leading part in the future history of Europe as well as America, where they are now, numerically at least, the most important element in the great immigrant tide.{227}



THAT portion of our history, which began with the inflow of Germans from the Palatinate, seems to most of us a closed chapter; yet in the very heart of the Keystone State, where more than 200 years ago the German pietist began to build its cities, since grown to greatness, the German is still a foreigner.

Indeed, he is almost as complete a foreigner as the Slav who lives in the mining patches along the Wyoming arid Susquehanna Rivers. Germanic speech, habits and types survive, and it was in a crowded trolley car in Reading, Pa., just after I had finished a wearisome investigation among the Slavs, that a woman of generously Teutonic proportions said to me: “Setz dich a mahl zu mir her.”

Let me add that although I had never seen the lady before, I obeyed the summons. First, because there was no other seat vacant, and, second, because I have been long enough in America to obey implicitly when a lady commands.

“Du acts wie ein stranger,” the good woman{228} continued, taking my hand; and then, discovering that I had a right to act like a stranger, she apologized profusely. She had mistaken me for her family physician. In spite of her evident embarrassment, we began a conversation, and my ears, accustomed as they now are to our rather monotonous and uneuphonic English, refreshed themselves by listening to this new speech—Pennsylvania Dutch. It required thinking in two languages, and that in their most archaic forms.

Four generations had passed since my neighbour’s ancestors came to this country; yet her English, whenever she attempted it, smacked strongly of the Fatherland, and in an unguarded moment, when my sentences seemed to her rather involved, she said, “Du talkst a bissel zu fast.”

The trolley took us through the manufacturing centre of Reading and out into the fruitful fields of Lancaster County, and the further I travelled in that state the more I realized the difference between the old and the new Pennsylvania, even in the names called into my ears by the prosaic conductor. Philadelphia does not now suggest Bible times so much as it might; but there are Bethlehem, Nazareth, Emmaus, and Ephrata, each name suggesting at once a sacred atmosphere. Then for the new Pennsylvania are the names of Johnstown, Coalton, Scranton, and{229} Steelton, besides those yet unplaced on the map—names like Hunkeytown, Guinea Hill, Dago Roost, and Whiskey Hill, squatted close to the mines, flanked by culm heaps and huge breakers, and cut through and through by ravines and dirt-clogged rivers. All these towns are destined to disappear long before the last lumps of coal dug there, are burned.

The trolley stopped at Ephrata, and my neighbour, who had been in Reading, “bargains zu kaufe im grosse schtore,” left the car; but not without admonishing me to be sure to see the cloister of the German Baptist Brothers, which, she said, “is a grosse sight.” I needed no admonition, for I was there on a pilgrimage. I had come, to stand face to face with a great past, to visit the old haunts of these German mystics, to lose myself in the all-pervading peace of Ephrata, after having been in the thick of the great industrial war, whose presence was attested even here by the cloud of smoke on the western horizon. This cloud of smoke, although changing into a pillar of fire by night, does not seem to be the guide out of captivity. I suppose one easily reads something into the atmosphere of a place; but I am sure that, even without the pilgrim spirit which brought me there, I should have recognized Ephrata as one of the places in which dreamers have built air castles; and these are castles which have foundations.{230} The archæologist does not see them in the dust; but the sociologist, if he has a sensitive spirit, feels them, especially if he has come from a week’s study of Whiskey Hill.

One of the men who has written of Ephrata before me says: “There is nothing peculiar about the village itself, or its people.” He evidently had no “inner sense,” and, moreover, he had never been at Whiskey Hill. Not only is the air of Ephrata “salubrious and the outlook delightful,” the street is full of gabled houses one close upon the other. Some of them are commonplace indeed; but many of them are quaint and clean, with deep-set windows full of flower-pots, the green foliage shining through latticed panes, in rich contrast to the white snow almost up to the window-sills. And the people one sees—“commonplace”? People who for nearly two hundred years have clung tenaciously to a strange garb, in the midst of a “perverse and crooked generation,” bent upon changing the cut of its coats with every passing season? Women who wear brown bonnets and look as modest as thrushes, whom one sees in single file following the men; women who have resisted the allurements of pokes and toques and picture hats for two hundred years—such women commonplace? Such women are as remarkable as they are rare, and such there are in Ephrata.

As I watched them they were going to the{231} modest meeting-house at the edge of the village. I did not follow them, for my way led straight down the main street which ends in the turnpike, over which a toll-gate still hangs. The gatekeeper sits in a little hut among his cronies, smoking the native weed and talking politics—and he who is acquainted with the quality of either ought to know that they are strangely alike.

“The cloisters are across the meadow,” the toll-keeper informed me. And, pointing to one of his companions, a man of uncertain age and a rather doubtful degree of cleanliness, he said: “And he lives in one of them.”

“I am not a member,” the man volunteered, apologetically. “My wife is.”

This alone proved him a modern and commonplace. I left him disgustedly, and, stepping over the stile, walked through the snow-covered meadow and along the shores of the Cocalico towards a group of rather ill-shaped, weather-beaten buildings which suggested a deserted farm more than a cloister. The momentary disappointment vanishes, however, as soon as one has a clear view of the peaked-roof buildings in which no outer beauty is visible, but which, with their low doors, narrow cells, and roped stairway, recall to him who knows, the “Chronicon Ephratense,” the groping of this Brotherhood after the blessed life here below, seeking communion{232} with God in self-denial, in good works and pious songs. These Brothers fell into all the errors of Christendom and practiced many of its virtues in a single generation. Conrad Beisel, a German mystic, came here to live as an anchorite. His pious life drew others to him, and they progressed to monasticism.

When women found them, they all became celibates. They were close to every heresy which threatened the early Church, and were not far from worshipping Conrad Beisel as a reincarnation of Christ; while in the mystic Sophia they came close to the adoration of the Virgin. They practiced communism successfully for over half a century, and branded property as sin long before Proudhon declared it to be theft. They printed Bibles, wrote ecstatic hymns, developed to a remarkable degree the art of illuminating letters, and organized a Sunday-school in which they used some of the so-called modern methods, such as promotion cards, long before the thought came into the mind of Robert Raikes, the founder of the Sunday-school of to-day. They were chaste, frugal, and non-resistant. One of them, Peter Miller, the successor of Conrad Beisel, went to George Washington to plead for the remittance of the death penalty of a man, Michael Wildman, accused of treason. The General told Peter Miller that the severest penalty must be dealt out at a time like that.{233}

“If it were not so, I would gladly release your friend.”

“Friend!” replied Miller; “he is the only enemy I have.”

This, it is said, made such an impression on General Washington that the pardon was granted.

I lingered in the “Saal,” the place of worship. Simple and small it is, with plain pine pews, the beamed ceiling hanging far into the room. The walls are covered by charts on which, in exquisite ornamental lettering, Scripture verses and some of the mystic poetry of the Brothers are written. There are also allegorical pictures, naively drawn by the pen, suggesting the thought that in time a new school of religious art might have been developed here.

Scarcely half a dozen worshippers, I was told by the cronies at the toll-gate, gather here on Saturday; for the sect is that of the Seventh Day Dunkards, or German Baptists, and it cannot be very long before this sanctuary will be empty and forsaken and its ruin complete.

I braved the snow-banks and waded through an unmarked path towards the cemetery where they shall all soon lie. I wandered among the graves, among those who long ago went to their rest and their reward. Here among others are the Sisters Iphigenia and Anastasia and the Brothers Daniel and Gabriel, the headstones of{234} their graves quite covered by the snow. In the centre of the cemetery a stone sarcophagus rises above the snow. It seems to have withstood the ravaging tooth of time, for it stands squarely upon the ground. I brushed aside as best I could the snow which covered the tablet, and read: “Here rests an outgrowth of the love of God, a solitary brother, afterwards a leader, ruler, teacher of the solitary and the congregation of Christ in and around Ephrata. Born in Eberbach, in the Palatinate. Called by his worldly name, Conrad Beisel; but according to his spiritual name, ‘Friedsam,’ the peaceful one.”

The snow and the frost clung closely. I could not read it all, but I saw plainly the beautiful German letters cut deep into the stone. “Friedsam”—it was this word which took me back to Whiskey Hill.

“Friedsam.” No one could be called that on Whiskey Hill. Weather-beaten wooden buildings there are, scaffolded structures, shaken by the vibration of coal-crushing machinery within. From their third or fourth stories down, young boys sit before troughs, along which the coal rushes and rumbles and tumbles. Nine hours a day, in an atmosphere black as night from coal dust, sitting in a cramped and unnatural position, the breaker-boys pick slate from the falling coal by the light of smoky oil lamps directly under their nostrils. Nine hours of this, and many of{235} these boys, mere children, although sworn to be the legal age, which is fourteen, walk homeward like old men. They look so weary, so old, so wizened! They surely are not “Friedsam.”

An old man climbs down the breaker. He, too, is now a breaker “boy.” Only about fifty-six years of age, unfit for the harder work in the mine, he picks slate from the larger lumps. He clings to a bit of broken fence as soon as the fresh air strikes him and coughs so violently that his paroxysm shakes the fence. The boys stand about, jeering; but when a clot of blood comes from the old man’s mouth, and another followed by a stream, the boys take to their heels.

Prach, dust, got into my lungs,” the Slovak miner says. “It can’t last much longer.” Looking after the boys, and then pointing to himself, he adds, “The beginning and the end of the breaker-boy.”

I shall never forget the pain written on that man’s face as he told me that he came to this country, a young Slovak boy from a village by the river Waag, strong and full of health. He is giving his life-blood drop by drop, drop by drop, for our enrichment. He is unable to walk home; so I lead him. Home! This is his home. A gray, weather-beaten hut, one of thirty, standing on a slant of the hillside, surrounded by culm piles, black and forbidding. There is a street,{236} deeply sunk in mire; for there is no sewerage, and a sickening green scum has gathered in front of every house. I say there is no sewerage—there is not even a decent ditch which might carry the foul stuff away.

The hut has three stories, the lowest one built into the hillside, with windows only to the front; the rest of the rooms are damp and cold, not even fit for the storing of vegetables. In one of these holes lives the old, consumptive breaker-boy. Surely this suggests nothing “Friedsam.”

There are thousands and tens of thousands such “homes” in Pennsylvania, all the way from Pittsburg to Whiskey Hill. Each one of them brings rich revenue to somebody, and all of them reap a rich harvest of death. Six, eight, and ten dollars’ rent a month is paid by these miners for a place in which they often die by inches.

The battle against filth is not everywhere zealously prosecuted; but I challenge any American woman to do better than some of these Slovak women on Whiskey Hill. Let me take you into one such home—and I came upon it more often than you may think. The room is freshly papered, the work done by the miner’s wife, and not ill done. The floor is scrupulously clean; gorgeous pictures of the saints hang on the wall; there is a sewing-machine, and a woman busy at her task of making shirts for her miner husband.

There are two rooms, occupied by a family of{237}


A peaceful, little village surrounded by fields of poppies and maize.

A peaceful, little village surrounded by fields of poppies and maize.


Flanked by culm piles, breakers and mines.

Flanked by culm piles, breakers and mines.

five, and four boarders. I know the home of this woman in Hungary, and the very village from which she comes. I know the clean, straw-thatched cottage, the broad, dusty street, and the waving poppy-field back of the house; and I ask, “How are you getting along on Whiskey Hill?” This is the woman’s reply: “Chvala Bohu dobre.” Thank God, very well. I have never seen a more beautiful and grateful smile pass over a face, and have never heard a sentence which more fully suggested “Friedsam”; but suddenly her face grows dark; she hears the noise of hurrying horses and the beating of wheels against the rocky street. “The ambulance! O Virgin Mother, protect me!” she cries; for the ambulance stops at her door, and they bring in the mangled body of her husband.

He went out a few hours ago and she was “Naomi”—now he is brought home, and she is “Marah.” Bitter, very bitter.

What happens next on Whiskey Hill? Do people grow excited? Do the neighbours come rushing in? Do the newspapers in the town at the foot of Whiskey Hill take notice how this “Hunkey” came to his death? No, indeed. Nothing happens. The woman laments alone, even as another Marah laments alone in a similar row on another ridge. There are ten women anything but “Friedsam”; for on a neighbouring hill their husbands were slain together, by the fall{238} of one huge rock or the same powder blast. “And nothing happens?” Yes, something happens. The coroner’s jury is summoned, and brings in the verdict; the same verdict always, with slight variations, rendered ever since the great companies absorbed the anthracite industry. This is it:

“Martin Horvat, aged forty-two, came to his death by a fall of rock in Mine No. 2 on Whiskey Hill, January 30, 1908. The jury finds that the company should have provided the deceased a safe place to work in. It was not the duty of the deceased to pass on the safety of the roof. The deceased is not to blame.” (What a comfort!) “We further find that the place in which the deceased worked should have been properly timbered” (which it was not when the accident occurred), “but we do not find that the company was to blame.”

Who was to blame? The deceased was not, the company was not. I have it—the rock was to blame. Somebody in Wilkes-Barre said, in answer to my query; “These Hungarians are so ignorant.” I see now—ignorance was to blame.

Every day there are funerals on Whiskey Hill, and after the funeral a feast, and after the feast a glorious spree. Whiskey Hill has earned its name, although it might be called Beer Hill just as appropriately. The saloons not only outnumber{239} the churches; they outnumber the stores, schools, churches, undertakers’ shops, and culm hills combined, and a man might make a living by picking up the empty beer barrels that lie in the ravines. There are enough empty bottles lying in the runs, to clog the flow of the creek in the spring, when the current becomes strong enough to make its way through the ooze and slime.

Ignorance and beer are to blame—and avarice, especially avarice. For the first two the miner is to blame, but only in part. This ignorance is an inheritance, often a condition arising from the fact that he is in a strange country, to whose language he is deaf and dumb. The drinking, too, is an inheritance, and often also a condition arising from the circumstances under which he must live and work.

Granting, however, that he is ignorant and intemperate, up here on Whiskey Hill and on hundreds of other hills no attempt is being made by any one to dispel this ignorance. Neither his masters nor his priests are doing it. His priests, perhaps, are more content with his ignorance than his masters, for to the master he might be worth more if he knew more. The priest is sure of the opposite result as far as he is concerned. No one on Whiskey Hill tries to curb intemperance by teaching the “Hunkey” the hurt of it to his bank account, to his body, to his chances of{240} coming alive out of the mine. His priest usually drinks freely, and many a saloon license in Pennsylvania bears the signature of the priest as one of the petitioners.

Even those people who are eager to make laws to curb or prohibit the sale of liquor, ignore entirely the education of the “Hunkey,” although he is now, and more and more will be, a great factor in the political and social life of the state.

Avarice is to my mind the basic fault in all the history of accidents in the mines of Pennsylvania. It is an avarice which thinks human life cheaper than timber, and considers it easier to pay funeral expenses than to support schools and pay teachers. It corrupts politicians to the degree that there is seemingly nothing more to corrupt; and if half the charges are true that are made openly by the newspapers in the coal regions, against the mine inspectors, they certainly are hopelessly debased.

Of the one thousand people slain annually in the anthracite coal region, two-thirds are chargeable to one of three causes: ignorance, intemperance, and avarice. Inasmuch as these causes could in a large degree be removed by the people of Pennsylvania, it follows that the people are to blame.

Twenty-three thousand lives have been sacrificed in the coal-mining industry in the United States in about ten years! Read it again! Twenty-three thousand people had to give up{241} their lives for the light and heat and speed which we enjoyed in the last ten years. Twenty-three thousand men! Almost I envy the Brothers Daniel and Gabriel and the Sisters Iphigenia and Anastasia the time in which they lived, when the waters of the Cocalico turned their wheels, when they printed books and illumined letters, when they could do their share in pushing this world forward without sacrificing the lives of an army of men to what we call progress.

That time will never return, in spite of Rousseau and Ruskin and Tolstoy; but we must have a time, and have it soon, when we shall be able to do all that we are doing without such slaughter. Nothing is worth doing and nothing is worth having unless, like Conrad Beisel, we have a “new name in the Lord.” For myself, if I lived in Pennsylvania, it should not be “Friedsam” but “Streitsam”—not the peaceful one, but the fighter.{242}



ACCORDING to ordinary railway standards the car was only half full, for each passenger was the fortunate possessor of an entire seat. Reluctantly enough, one or the other of my fellow travellers gave to some newcomer the space which allowed him some freedom for the movements of his body; but when a dozen foreigners entered the car at a wayside station, every man and woman moved defiantly to the outer edge of the seat, determined that not one of the intruders should share it.

Ordinarily the conductor sees to it that such monopoly of privilege is properly rebuked; but this time he apologized for the presence of the immigrants by saying that the smoking-car was “jam full of Dagos already.”

Meekly enough, the men stood in the aisle, glad of the privilege of standing in the car, which carried them from the scene of their labours to the distant city where the signora and the bambini awaited them. I made room for one of the men, and for a time employed all my senses to discover if possible the reason for their receiving{243} such treatment. I smelled neither garlic nor whiskey, although I was soon engaged in conversation with my neighbour and thus had a good chance to detect either.

He wore blue jeans overalls, which, while not stylish garments, are certainly honest clothing. There was no crease down the middle, but they had creases all over. His hands were not unclean; although the soil of honest labour was upon them.

In no way was he different from the American working man of the same class, except that he did not chew tobacco and therefore did not indulge in the practice which usually accompanies that accomplishment.

In order to ascertain what chances there were for English conversation, I addressed him in that language, and his answers in broken English were certainly more entertaining than the abrupt “yes” or “no” which one often receives from the native fellow traveller, to whom it is usually a matter of indifference whether or not the time hangs heavily on one’s hands.

At the next station the smoking-car was relieved of its surplus passengers, and my neighbour with all his countrymen was driven into it with rough gestures. I am very proud of the courage I displayed by turning in my seat and addressing the man who sat behind me. {244} “Won’t you please tell me,” I said, hesitatingly, “why you wouldn’t share your seat with one of those men?” I fully expected him to say, “It’s none of your business,” but his stern face relaxed for a moment as he replied, with a rising inflection, “Dagos,” and then looked as stern as before.

I was not satisfied by that answer and said so. This opened the way for an argument, and conversation was soon in full swing.

“What right have those Dagos to come to this country, anyway?” he retorted, when I pleaded that those men had paid their fares and had the same right that he had, to a seat. I soon discovered that neither logic nor ethics was his strong point; so I thought I would try him on history.

“Do you know,” I asked, “who was the first ‘Dago’ that came to this country?” For a moment he put his thinking apparatus to work; then he said, and I am quoting his words exactly:

“I suppose it was somebody by the name of Macaroni, who sold bananas when he landed in New York, and talked an outlandish gibberish.”

“No,” I replied, “his name was Christopher Columbus, and if it had not been for that ‘Dago’ you would still be undiscovered.”

I had great difficulty in making my fellow traveller believe that there are cities in Italy{245} more beautiful than Pittsburg; but when I told him that a “Dago” built the largest church in the world, his materialistic sense was touched and he began to listen respectfully to what I said.

“The same ‘Dago’ who built that church carved statuary so beautiful that whenever any man wishes to free the ‘imprisoned splendour of the stone’ (I did not quote Michael Angelo to him, however), he has to go to see what that ‘Dago’ has done.

“And that same man,” I continued, “painted a ceiling which is one of the great art wonders of the world. His name is Michael Angelo.”

“I never heard of him.”

“I know of another ‘Dago’” I continued, emphasizing “Dago,” “who painted a picture for which even you might be willing to pay $500.”

“I’d like to see it!”

When I mentioned Raphael and the Sistine Madonna, he did have some vague idea of what I was trying to convey to him; for these were fairly familiar names.

Then he fell upon me savagely. “But you don’t mean to say that these ‘Dagos’ that come over here are anything like Michael Angelo or Raphael!” To which I replied: “No, they are not; but neither are you anything like George Washington or Abraham Lincoln.” Then I returned to the perusal of my newspaper.{246}

That man was an average American of the middle class, a representative of the bulk of our population, and he, in common with many of his countrymen, is criminally ignorant of the people who will soon have his weal and woe in their hands.

The Italian, the Greek, and the Syrian are usually called by the classic names “Dago,” “Roundhead,” or “Guinea,” and the Slavs, be they Poles, Servians, Slovaks, or Montenegrins, are called “Hunyaks,” “Hunkies,” and “Slabs”; and I once heard the owner of a great industrial establishment call them “Bohunks.” It was not an ignorant or malicious friend of mine who said of a Jew, a man of scholarly attainment and a common acquaintance, “He is a pretty decent Sheeny.”

I have no quarrel with the fact that the average American is ignorant of the historic place which these people hold among the nations, and of the great age-long struggle through which some of them have passed and are still passing, that they may preserve their identity as a people. I am thoroughly incensed, however, that nearly every one of the names applied to them is an expression of contempt, an offhand judgment of inferiority. After all, it is not even that which makes me take up the cudgel for them, because they must and will prove for themselves that they are perfectly human like the rest of us, and that in{247} all essential things they will grow like us as soon as they have the same privileges which we have had, who came after the first “Dago” had discovered the way to this land of opportunity.

What really does burden me and make me cry out is the consequences which result from such ignorance as I have cited, and because of which I was on that train travelling to Guinea Hill.

Guinea Hill differs from Whiskey Hill in that it bears many other fantastic names and in that there are fewer saloons. The beer-kegs do not lie about in such unpicturesque confusion, and the Slavs who live there come from the shores of the Adriatic and the bleak mountains of Montenegro. The huts in which they live on Guinea Hill are even worse than those of the earlier comers from the north of the Slavic world. I am told that they were built some thirty years ago, and no sacrilegious hand has touched them since, to paint them or to change their original primitive, dry-goods-box architecture. They seem to have sunk into the refuse of the mines, and the sociological investigators, who know the housing conditions in Pennsylvania, declare them to be “the worst in the state,” which phrase would be eloquent from meaning were it not so common as to lose its force.

Living in these wretched huts among stunted trees, the leaves of which are shrivelled and blackened by coal dust, I found young men with{248} whom I had walked among the olive groves near Spalato. These young men had rowed me across the Boche de Cattero, easily the most magnificent bay in Southern Europe, and had shared with me the luscious figs which they carried in their shirt bosoms. I saw many a man whom I first knew beneath the deep shadow of the Lovozin, the historic mountain of Montenegro, whence the spirits of departed heroes still call to fight against Christianity’s hereditary foe—the Turk.

When last I saw these youths they wore garments of red and white cloth, richly embroidered, with their belts full of costly weapons of ancient pattern, and their fierce mustachios stretching out defiantly like long, double-pointed daggers. Here on Guinea Hill they all wear the sober garb of miners, their mustachios are shorn of their fierceness, their weapons have disappeared, their shooting is done in the darkness of the mine, and they rarely shed any blood but their own.

I went to Guinea Hill because I am partly responsible for the presence there of some of these Southern Slavs. Many years ago, when I visited their mountain fastness, numbers of them were at the verge of starvation. The crops on their scant fields had failed; fighting the Turk had grown to be a fruitless and profitless occupation; Russia, their ally and the godmother of their little principality,{249} who in the past sent thither what surplus of foodstuffs she possessed, was herself living on borrowed money and charity, so that nothing remained for these warriors except to starve or seek for work.

I suggested to Prince Nicolas that he permit them to go to the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” Not one of them, however, was then willing to leave his rocky cradle home for the unknown fabled land so far away, and they remained on their bleak mountains to take half-rations or none, waiting for the realization of Russia’s Asiatic dream in which lay wrapped their own future. The Japanese war and the subsequent Russian revolution were like the eagles’ stirring the nest, and the young eagles began to flutter in the exaltation of their first flight, as they sought the shores of our far-away country. Four or five thousand of these braves exchanged the hilt of the sword and the butt of the gun for the shovel and the pickax, and the shadow of the towering Lovczin for the shadeless Pennsylvania hills. There I found them digging coal as bravely as they had fought the Turk, but known to their American masters only as “Hunkies” or “Guineas”—no one discovering in their open, honest faces a superior race—every one scenting in them drunkards, brawlers, and incendiaries.

The usual results of such ignorance followed,{250} in that they have been treated with an injustice which makes them quite unconscious of the fact that they have found the land of “liberty, equality, and fraternity.” I have verified nearly every complaint which they have made to me, for I know how easy it is for sensitive men to exaggerate their wrongs; but I found that they knew only about half of what they suffered, the other half being mercifully hidden from them by their ignorance of the language and the customs of our country.

After pay-days and feast-days the magistrates of the towns around seek them to arrest them, and the fine they must pay is always twice, three times, and in some cases ten times as great as that imposed upon the American offenders. After trials which make a Russian military court seem fairly decent, they are railroaded into jails and workhouses, and I now soberly confess that as a stranger I would rather fall into the hands of the police of Moscow or St. Petersburg than into those of the protectors of the law in most of our industrial centres in Pennsylvania and out of it.

The citizens of Pennsylvania may be comforted by knowing that Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois, in their lower courts, are as unjust to the stranger as their own state. In one town in Ohio there is, or was, a mayor who is reputed to have made $9,000 a year out of the fines imposed upon foreigners for petty offenses, usually for drunkenness{251} or brawling. This ingenious official arrested alien drunkards under the statute of the state which allowed him to fine them as high as thirty dollars, while the native was arrested under the statute of the town and fined three dollars for his spree.

The Indianapolis police arrested a Slovak woman for the heinous crime of picking up coal on the tracks. On the coldest day of the year she was taken from her home and children and driven to the workhouse, in spite of the fact that she was in an advanced stage of pregnancy. The terrible results of this inhuman treatment were, of course, what might be expected. Such facts have led the citizens to organize an Immigrant Protection League, which makes it its business to see that the immigrant is not exploited by the courts.

On Guinea Hill every “Roundhead,” as he is commonly called, despises the court for its undignified procedures and its perspicuous dishonesty. The judges’ contempt for the immigrant, as well as that of other executive officers, rankles and hurts beyond the telling, causing people who might become stanch, loyal, and heroic citizens, to hate and despise our institutions. If in time of turmoil and economic distress they become lawless, as I firmly believe they will, we shall reap only what we have sown. In our present hysteria about Anarchy it is well to remember{252} that it feeds on injustice, that it cannot grow—in sane minds at least—if a nation deals out justice impartially, and that it would die out completely if as a people we would live somewhere within hailing distance of Mount Sinai.

I do not ask any sentimental consideration in our law courts for the Slavic or the Italian offender. Deal with him firmly; punish him if punish we must; but let the man who steals a coal mine be not dealt with more leniently than the woman who picks up coal on the track. Let the Jewish thief suffer, if he has stolen the railway’s old iron; but let him who steals a whole railway also suffer in proportion to the magnitude of his crime.

I have asked for the aliens, and shall not cease asking until I am heard: First, that we learn to know them. The people of Montenegro, Poland, Hungary, and Italy are worth the knowing. If struggle for liberty means anything in the character of a nation, then these people have character; for their fields are drenched in martyrs’ blood. Where in Hungary the poppy grows reddest, or in Italy the figs are most luscious, there the common people have shed their blood heroically.

Besides that knowledge, which, if it did no more for us, would at least enlarge our mental horizon, I ask for common, fundamental justice; not only for the sake of the alien but for our own{253} sake. I ask and shall continue to ask for justice—justice, which is the least if not the most that we are capable of giving them. At present I do not ask, for I cannot expect it, that enlightened justice which is love, the divinest human gift. I ask for just plain, common, every-day justice.

“As ye would that” your own offenders should be done by, so do ye even unto the alien. This is as far from the Golden Rule as Guinea Hill is from the Lovczin; but it is the most we may expect, although not the most for which we ought to ask.

Not a hundred miles away from Guinea Hill, at the Hazleton Young Men’s Christian Association, I want to show you what enlightened justice can do for the “Roundhead.” I came down from the Hill disheartened and sad, and, stepping into the office of that rather remarkable Young Men’s Christian Association building, I saw a man, with dust-cloth and broom, walking about with the peculiarly graceful stride of the mountaineer. “That’s Gabriel—not the archangel; but an angel, anyway,” Mr. Hill, the secretary, told me. “Go from garret to cellar and you will find no dust or disorder. The small boy, that bane of the Young Men’s Christian Association, fears him and loves him in turn. I don’t see how we could get along without Gabriel.”

“Kiss my cheek, Gabriel, and wish me well.”{254} And Gabriel kissed my cheek and wished me well, just as he used to in his Montenegrin home, when kinsman met kinsman upon the war-path as they fought their ancient enemy, the Turk. Now, no weapons bulged from Gabriel’s belt, his clothing was faultlessly American, his once furious mustachios had fallen beneath an American barber’s shears, and his battle-field was this splendidly equipped building. Officially, he was the janitor; but he was also the self-appointed and beneficent dictator, feared by all evil-doers and breakers of rules, and beloved by all who could appreciate a faultlessly kept building.

“You must see his room,” the genial secretary said, with a twinkle in his eyes, and we followed Gabriel to the topmost story. He opened the door of his room with pardonable pride, for Prince Nicolas, the ruler of his country, whose bedroom I have seen and in whose throne-room I have had audience, cannot boast of an apartment so neat and clean or so gorgeously decorated. Besides the comfortable furniture, unrivalled in Gabriel’s home-land, the walls were hung with pictures which reflected prevailing American tastes. Celluloid toilet articles lay upon the bureau, while many books and newspapers betrayed how this janitor spent his spare time.

Gabriel’s face was radiant from pride, and so was mine; while added to my pride was a pleasurable feeling to which I could give no other expression{255} than to ask for another fraternal kiss, which he gave me with a resounding smack. When we returned to the lobby, I looked over the group of men gathered there to meet me, and my wits were tested to place each man according to his nationality. I looked into the face of one young man, a veritable giant, and before he opened his lips I said, “You are a Dalmatian.” “Yes, yes,” he replied, “from Ragusa.”

Again I looked into his deep eyes and finely chiselled features. Yes, it was the type one sees beneath the half-ruined porticoes of ancient palaces, where young men play the tambouritza and young maidens listen behind latticed windows; where old men dream dreams of the Ragusan Republic and its vanished glory, when it vied with Venice in maritime power, although it never gained her ascendency. Now it is dying a slow and a forgotten death, beneath shading palm trees, while its warrior sons, the bluest blood of Dalmatia, are sent to dig coal in Pennsylvania, and its guslar minstrels make music for the merry-makers at Coney Island.

What a fine specimen this is which Ragusa has sent us! Ask the secretary about him and he will tell you that he is intelligent, cleanly, temperate, and frugal; yet in Pennsylvania he is just a “Hunky.” Other members of the Young Men’s Christian Association are loth to see him on the gymnasium floor with them, and to most{256} Americans he is only an undesirable immigrant from Southern Europe—something to be dreaded.

“I am an Italian,” very proudly says the next man who grasps my hand, and, looking into his face, I ask doubtfully, “From Italy?” for his face shows Slavic lines. “From Triest,” he adds.

Ah! now I understand. That is where Italian, Slav, and German meet—and fight, as is the custom of all good Austrians; for each race claims superiority over the others, and in most of them flows the blood of all three races.

“You must come to see my kindergarten and my church.” I promise; for he is quite an important factor in the redemption of Little Italy. The next man is a Slovene from the neighbourhood of Agram, the next a Slovak, then a Pole, and “last but not least,” a Bohemian. All these are gathered here beneath the sheltering wing of this archangel Gabriel, janitor of the Young Men’s Christian Association and self-appointed, beneficent dictator and preserver of the peace. He preserves the peace by carrying out, bodily, offending or offensive visitors—a task for which he is well fitted. One of his ancestors plunged into the thick of Turkish foes, dragged a magnificent Pasha from his horse and carried him across the intervening space in the face of a rain of bullets, one of which struck him. He fell with his burden; but, quickly recovering his footing, held the Pasha safe by the throat with one{257} hand, pulled a pistol with the other, and in a moment argued the distinguished prisoner into taking him upon his shoulders. Carried thus by the Turkish officer, he came riding into camp and presented his trophy to his commander, saying, “This is a fine horse I have brought to you, my captain;” and then fell swooning to the ground.

The building over which his descendant, Gabriel, watches, is as safe as a fortress. There are only two things which this brave fears. One is the steam boiler which provides the building with heat. Steam is an unknown force in his native land, which even the fiery horse has not yet invaded; so, no matter how often Gabriel is instructed, no matter how often he is reassured, when the steam bubbles and hisses he flees for safety; and to this day, valves, screws, wheels, and radiators are terrifying mysteries to him.

Gabriel’s other dread is—women. Not that he dislikes them; on the contrary, you should see his face all aglow from pleasure when a woman looks at him, and yet “trembling takes hold upon him as upon the inhabitants of Philistia,” and he returns to his task as if beaten by an enemy, all discouraged and distraught.

Rightly used and wisely directed, men like Gabriel can become a power among us. Over the various nationalities of Southern Europe now coming here in great numbers, such men can{258} wield an influence more potent, perhaps, for the peace of the world than the Hague Tribunal.

Nine men of nine nationalities grasped hands in that Young Men’s Christian Association lobby at Hazleton, Pennsylvania, and formed a circular chain like unto the chain formed by the ancient Slavic heroes when they swore fealty to old “Duchan.” Thus did we pledge our faith to this new country as we exhorted one another to patience, to justice, and to love.

In leaving Hazleton I was asked by one of its citizens, “What will these foreigners do to America when they get the power?”

My answer was, “They will help you save it, or they will aid you in destroying it. It is very much in your own power whether they shall be ‘leaven’ or ‘dynamite.’”

P. S. Gabriel has left Hazleton. He is now in New York, a valuable member of the Immigrant Department of the Presbyterian church, and they say that this Montenegrin is “leaven” and not “dynamite.”{259}



OF all animals, man is the most brutal. Naturalists still disagree as to the reason for his cruelty, but whatever it be, he has not often stopped to ask himself the cause. He hates and smites and slays, simply because he hates.

It is true that man’s historic brutalities are hidden under the gloss of what he calls patriotism or preservation of the race; but if the average man were asked the cause for his own unbridled hate of other races, he could give no intelligent answer.

That race hatred is a primitive passion is no doubt true, that it is seemingly ineffaceable is also true; for neither education nor religion has obliterated it; indeed both, strange to say, seem to have intensified it. Even the religion of Jesus Christ, whose main endeavour was to break down the tribal prejudices and hate of races, has not only failed to accomplish its object, but in its historic manifestation has in many cases aggravated it.

Whatever the cause, be it the old tribal spirit, the ethnic motive or the opposing religious{260} dogmas; whatever has been endured by one or other of the races and for whatever cause, the Jewish race has suffered for all causes, has suffered everywhere, has suffered long, and has not yet seen the end of its sufferings anywhere.

There is no country in which the Jews have been in any large numbers, where they have not endured and are not now enduring persecution. There is no country to-day of which we can say that the causes which led to their persecutions have been removed.

This is as true of Germany as it is of Russia, and as true of the United States as it is of Austro-Hungary.

Every fair minded Jew knows this, and because he knows it he would rather not talk about it or hear it talked about.

Every fair minded Gentile knows it, although perhaps he would not be willing to acknowledge it, even to himself.

Undoubtedly, there must be reasons for an attitude so universal, and before we can apply any remedy, it is necessary to analyze the disease.

First: The Jews have been able to maintain the tribal spirit during periods when it was breaking down all around them. The tenacity necessary for this and the extremely exclusive methods used, blocked every avenue of social approach and aroused the suspicion of their neighbours. Whether these neighbours were Egyptians, Assyrians,{261} Romans, Greeks, Slavs or Teutons, they hated the Jews because they kept themselves separate.

The feeling of superiority which the Jew felt, soon degenerated into contempt for the Gentile and was fostered by the fact that the mass of the people with whom he came in contact was beneath him culturally, using the word in its broadest sense.

The Jew could read and write when his Gentile neighbours did not know the alphabet.

The Gentile bowed down to stocks and stones, to priests and Pope, while the Jew held his head erect and covered, even in the presence of Jehovah.

The people who thus voluntarily excluded themselves from Gentile society were finally kept aloof by law, and when their masters became their equals, and in some respects their superiors, the way of approach was effectually blocked; until now, the aversion of the Gentile for the Jew is fixed, and seems almost ineradicable, much as the Jew may wish to free himself from it.

Second: Religious prejudice is another vital factor leading to this antipathy between Jew and Gentile; although it is not the only one. It manifested itself early in some of the New Testament writings, grew more intense as the church began to overshadow the synagogue, reached its height during the crusades and is still a compelling force among the common people all over the world.{262}

The myth that Jews used the blood of Gentile children for their Passover feast very early gained currency, and this, coupled with the fact that it is the anniversary period of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, has always made Easter time a season of brutal outrages against the Jews.

In reality, the Church has never been quite blameless in these fanatical outbreaks; although it is also true that Church dignitaries at all times have tried to shield the Jewish victims. In most cases, however, they have made no effort to put out the fire until after it was well started, and consequently were too late.

Yet I firmly believe that religious prejudice alone does not account for this feeling, because it exists in irreligious and religious people alike; among those who are quite indifferent to the fact that Jesus lived and who have but a vague and distant interest in His crucifixion.

The late Prof. Nathaniel S. Shaler of Harvard, one of the most broad-minded observers, after an exhaustive study of the subject, comes to these conclusions.[1]

“The greater number of those who have helped me in this inquiry note that there is, on contact with those who are characteristic Jews, a distinct and peculiar state of mind aroused by the intercourse. They are conscious that the feeling is other than that which they experience when they{263} meet those of their own race; but there is, as might be expected, no clear agreement as to the precise nature of the impression.

“So far as I have been able to gather, the state is emotional and instinctive, being in effect the same as that which is always excited by contact of racially different men. To support and explain this primitive emotion, there is a natural effort to find some peculiarities of aspect or demeanour in the neighbour. As to what these idiosyncrasies are, there is a considerable difference of opinion. The greater number of the observers agree that there is a failure on the part of the Jews to respond in like temper to the greeting which they send them; they agree further that there is generally a sense of avidity, a sense of the presence of the seeking, in the Jew, for immediate profit, a desire to win at once some advantage from the situation, such as is not immediately disclosed, however clear it might be to an interlocutor of his own race. Several have stated that the offense came from a feeling that the Jew neighbour was smarter than themselves, having keener wits and a mind more intent on gainful ends. Others state that the Israelite spirit makes a much swifter response to the greeting the stranger gives them than the Aryan, and that the acquaintance is forced to such a degree as to breed dislike.

“This last noted feature in the contact{264} phenomena of Israelites and Aryans appears to me a matter of much importance, especially as it accords with my own experiences and with observations formed long before I began to devise and criticise theories on this subject. As one of the Deans of Harvard University, I have been for ten years in a position where I have to meet from year to year a number of young Hebrews. It has been evident to me from the first that these youths normally respond more quickly to my greeting than those of my own race, and that they divine and act on my state of mind with far greater celerity. They are in fact so quick that they are often where I am, in my slower way, about to be, before I am really there. This would make them at times seem irritating, indeed, presumptious, were it not interesting to me from a racial point of view. To those who are in nowise concerned with such questions, this alacrity is naturally exasperating, especially when the movement is not only one of wits but one of sympathies.

“We all know how disagreeable it is to have the neighbour call on us for some kind of affectionate response, before we are ready to be moved, and how certain is such a summons to dry the springs which else might have yielded abundantly. In our slow, Aryan way, we demand an introductory process on the part of the fellow man who would successfully appeal{265} to our emotions. Our orators know this, and provide ample exordiums for their moving passages; none ventures in the manner of the Hebrew prophet to assume that his hearers will awaken at a cry.

“In observations made for me by young men, students in Harvard College, and thus under my own eyes, so to speak, I have confirmation of the hypothesis that an important part of the difficulty of social contact between these diverse people is due to the difference in the way their minds work when they come together. It is an unhappy fact that the last wave of anti-Semiticism, that which led to the semblance of persecution in Germany and to the abomination of the Dreyfus incident in France, swept across the Atlantic and affected to a considerable extent the social position of the Jews in the United States. They became unwelcome in clubs, and in hotels; their daughters were not admitted to certain private schools; and in various ways the unhappy people were made to feel the ancient burden as in this country it had not come upon them before.

“Of this resurgence of dislike, the Hebrew students had some, though not a serious share. Thirty years ago, when the Jews began to be an appreciable element among the students of this university, there was no evidence whatever of dislike to them. They took their places{266} among their mates with no reference to their race; that indeed seemed, so far as I could discern, to be quite unnoted. Following on the last European epidemic of hatred to the Israelites, there has developed among this body of students an evident dislike for their fellows of that race. The feeling is by no means universal or intense; it is condemned by the greater part of the leaders of opinion among these young men; yet it is sufficient to be noticeable and to awaken keen regret in all those who love the catholic and human motive which so long has inspired that school. One of my helpers in the effort to find the reason for this state of mind summed up his acute observations in the statement that when one spoke to the Jew kindly, ‘the fellow climbed all over you.’”

I agree with nearly all Professor Shaler says; but I am sure that there are two facts which he does not sufficiently emphasize. First: The anti-Semitic feeling was carried to Harvard on the wave which came from France during the Dreyfus trial. This is important; for it proves my point that race antipathies are contagious, and that it does not matter whether the contagion springs from an ethical or unethical source.

The psychological law for this lies in the now fairly well explored field of the “mob” and is a common phenomenon from which many races have to suffer.{267}

The second point made by Professor Shaler is that which refers to the Jewish mind. That quick response which the Jews give, which is so obnoxious to the Gentile, was certainly not disagreeable to Jehovah; for if we trust Holy Writ, He often held converse with them and made the quick Jewish mind the vehicle of His thought.

This quality of the Jewish mind made an Amos hear the roaring of the Lord’s voice in the lonely wilderness; it made an Isaiah hear the call of Jehovah amid the din of the traffic of Jerusalem, and brought to the ears of a Paul the heavenly voice, on the road to Damascus.

This quality of the Jewish mind also betrays his “seeking for immediate profit” and explains the repulsion felt by Professor Shaler’s friends, and felt by American people in academic circles and out of them.

In my judgment the difference between the Jew and other commercial people lies largely in the fact that the Jew cannot so well conceal his desire to make profit. It is written upon his mobile face and conveys itself in the shrug of his shoulders and the upturned palms of his hands.

For that reason the Jew is not successful in those forms of business which demand that their commercial features be hidden. He does not make a good life insurance agent, for here one{268} must assume the rôle of a benefactor; nor does he make a good book agent; for in that work one must seem disinterestedly interested in the entire family or sell the book as a great favour to a few cultured people in the community.

Although the Jew, especially in America, becomes a fairly clever gambler, he is a poor match for the Gentile in the game of poker, and for a long time to come he will have to keep out of games in which the mask one assumes determines their success; even as he will have to continue to do business in scrap iron and not in railroads, in pawn-shops and not in politics.

In my experience with Jewish tradespeople in America, I am convinced that the sense of immediate profit is no less present in the Gentile mind than it is in that of the Jew, and that the Gentile does not always completely conceal it.

There is at least one sphere out of which the Jew keeps his business more carefully than does his Gentile competitor, and that is the sphere of religion.

I have yet to see Jewish hymnals invaded by advertisements, as are those of some Gentile congregations, and although the Jew is a direct descendant of those traffickers whom Jesus drove out of the temple, he has managed to keep his synagogue much more free from commercialism than his critics have their churches.

In the great and solemn moments of life, he is{269} not nearly so practical as the funny papers would have us believe. At the birth of a child, at the marriage feast and at the death-bed, he shows his natural idealism and gives, forgives and forgets.

All this is not quite so true of other commercial peoples, notably the Americans. The following instance may not be typical nor may it prove the rule, and would no doubt be attributed to a Jew, had it not occurred in the college town in which I live and where all the clothing dealers are Gentiles, if not Christians.

One of them was suddenly taken to a distant city to be operated on for appendicitis, and the next day a local paper contained the following advertisement:

“I have gone to Rochester, Minn., to have my appendix cut out. This will be a great cut, but it will not compare with the cut I am making in clothing at my store on the corner of X and Y Streets.”

After the operation, while the man hovered between the unknown places, a second advertisement appeared.

“I am having a hot time holding down a bed in this hospital; but it does not compare with the hot time my competitors will have in meeting my prices in clothing at my store, on the corner of X and Y Streets.”

My readers will agree with me that this “beats the Jews.”{270}

The question of business standards is a very different matter, and that I wish to discuss in another chapter.

I have not set myself the task of playing the apologist for the Jew or for any of the groups of which I treat. I freely acknowledge that there are disagreeable qualities in the Jew which explain in a measure, at least, the prejudice aroused by him.

Foremost, I suppose, is the type which, when it is most pronounced, is apt to be unpleasant and unsympathetic.

The offenses against good taste in dress are marked in many of them; but that lies more in the air with which the clothes are worn than in the clothes themselves. They are usually such as fashion dictates, and not in all cases more extreme than those worn by many Gentiles. The love of display is to some degree common to both Jew and Gentile; but is more noticeable among Jewish women, because they cannot conceal their feelings as well as the Gentile woman can.

The Jewish woman who has “arrived” and knows it, wants the whole world to know it also; while the Gentile woman, especially the Gentile American woman, wears her first imported gown and diamonds as if her swaddling clothes had been made in Paris and her original baby pins encrusted with jewels.

Still more apparent is a certain arrogance, a{271} most annoying characteristic, especially in a people which ought to have the quality of humility in a large degree. The Jew recognizes this in his fellow Jew if not in himself, and no one more deplores it.

He calls it Jewish chuzpa, Jewish “cheek,” and it is, perhaps, one of the greatest causes for the social barriers raised against him. It is found in the Jewish beggar and in the Jewish millionaire.

It is an ancient fault; for long ago, “Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked.” It is a quality which leads many eminent Jews to acts of unwisdom, such as protests against Christmas exercises in the public schools; the resolution passed by a recent conference of Jewish Rabbis, that America is not a Christian country, and other acts equally unadvised.

This, also, has its causes, which are found among many peoples suddenly released from disabilities and given social and political rights.

In order to introduce my main theme, the relation of the Jew to the Christian, I have tried conscientiously to analyze the causes which obstruct the social contact between Jew and Gentile.

There are real antagonisms arising from the Jewish mind and habits, which are historic inheritances and cannot be easily overcome; but which have made it often a hard task for the Christian to be a real Christian towards his Jewish neighbour.{272}

There are other barriers, however, and they exist first, in the historic development of Judaism and second, in the nature and content of historic Christianity.

The Jew is heterogeneous in cultural development. There are Orthodox Jews, wrapped in cabalistic mysticism, who have never moved an inch along the pathway of progress; to whom not only each word written in the law of Moses has divine origin and divine meaning, but to whom each word has as many meanings, as it has letters and dots and dashes. Upon these Jews, all the fetters of legalism are still rivetted, and to them, tradition and revelation are one and the same.

There are less Orthodox Jews who have progressed as far as the philosopher Mendelssohn led them a century ago.

There are nationalistic Jews to whom Zion is beckoning, and who hear the voice of the prophet bidding them “possess the land” and promising that “the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion, with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads” and that then, “sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”

There are modern Jews, who have forsaken the law and the ordinances, the Sabbath and the full moons, to whom the reformed synagogue is merely a connecting link with the historic past.

There are rationalistic Jews to whom Karl{273} Marx is the Messiah, and the Socialistic commonwealth, Jerusalem; and there are just Jews, who eat Kosher food because they like it, to whom Mammon is the Messiah and their business the Holy of Holies.

To none of these does Christianity in its historic development appeal very strongly: First, because becoming a Christian means separation from the race; for heterogeneous as the Jews are in cultural development, so homogeneous are they in their racial consciousness. This is something which baffles analysis; it is the strongest example of race cohesion which we have. People who have lost national unity, who have diverged widely in religious beliefs and ceremonial observances, who are as far apart in culture as Greek and Barbarian, are still one as a race, and the man is Anathema who breaks the racial tie. It matters not whether he does it to escape persecution, to gain preferment, or from deep conviction; to his fellow Jews it is always apostasy.

That the broad-minded Jew may have a race consciousness which breaks through the ties of blood, they admit; but he must not become a Christian, even if to him Christianity is the only escape from the narrow tribal idea and from his own outgrown race consciousness, into the broader realm where he can say that he is a member of the human race, and as such is under the obligations of brotherhood to all men.{274}

In the second place, Christianity in its ceremonies, its ecclesiastical practices and its theology, is repellent to all these Jews, from the extreme radical to the extremest Orthodox.

Anything which has even a semblance of idolatry, the slightest suspicion of Polytheism, must be obnoxious to the Jew; for he has been smitten by hail, drought and pestilence, and has been led into captivity because his unregenerate nature delighted in the worship of Baalim, and because he forsook Jehovah who dwelt between the Cherubim and the Seraphim.

Then, too, the methods used to win the Jew to Christianity have aroused his opposition. In the Old World, until comparatively recently, he was forced once a year to attend church and listen to a sermon preached with the avowed object of his conversion. Needless to say, it rarely, if ever, converted him.

The modern method as it manifests itself in Jewish Missions is no less repellent to him; although he is not forced to listen to the missionaries’ sermons. Naturally, the converted Jew, who is an official converter, is usually under suspicion, although that suspicion is not always justified.

With this question of race consciousness and habits, the Jew alone can deal, and he, unfortunately, is not always in the frame of mind required to adjust himself to the feelings of the Gentiles.{275} He will therefore have to bear the consequences which lie in the social realm and may soon reach into the economic.

The task of historic Christianity in its relation to the Jew is not an easy one. It cannot unmake itself or readily adjust itself to his likes and dislikes in theology; nor can it recede from its endeavour to make propaganda for the faith which it believes should be universal.

I have the conviction that when Christ comes fully to His own in the church, He will also come to His own in the synagogue; certainly no sooner, and perhaps not much later.

When He emerges from the tangle of Greek philosophy, Roman legalism and Byzantine traditionalism—when “in deed and in truth” He becomes the Gentile’s Messiah, He will also become the Messiah of the Jew.

As a working basis for the right relation between Jew and Gentile, I wish to quote Rabbi Sonnenschein, formerly of Des Moines, Iowa, in words spoken by him to a colleague in the Christian ministry.

“I want to live so, that when you see me, you will say: ‘There goes Rabbi Sonnenschein, who is a Jew; yet he is a better Christian than I am.’ And I want you to live so, that when I see you, I will say: ‘That man is a Christian; but he is a better Jew than I am.’”{276}



THE Jew has nearly always been an immigrant and a problem. Nowhere is he accepted as indigenous; neither in Russia, where he has lived for centuries, nor in New York, where he will soon represent the bulk of population. He is as much a stranger on his home soil in Palestine as upon the rawest bit of ground staked into a city, in Wyoming or the Dakotas. His going is nowhere regretted at the time and his coming is not welcomed; while his remaining in a place leads to the development of prejudice, which has its root in various causes, already discussed. In a peculiar sense, his coming in large numbers is felt by the toiler and the trader; by the most antagonistic Gentile groups and by those Jews who came earlier, from some more favoured spot in the culture centres of Europe.

The religious development of the Anglo-Saxon people, influenced more often by the Old Testament than by the New, as well as their familiarity with the Bible, has kept the Jew who lives among them immune from the grosser consequences of Anti-Semitism.


A product of persecution and orthodoxy.

A product of persecution and orthodoxy.
A Russian Jew; cultured, artistic and cosmopolitan.

Jehovah’s chosen people have often been regarded{277} with peculiar interest by the Anglo-Saxons, if not always treated with marked favour; yet even among them, this feeling has gradually undergone a change, until, their coming has become a cause for special inquiry by the English Parliament and one of the chief difficulties of the whole immigrant problem, as it affects our cities.

I have had peculiar opportunities to note the development of these changes, and believe that the Jew has been too optimistic regarding his future in the United States; while the Gentile is too pessimistic as to the gravity of the Jewish problem.

A clergyman in the city of New York whose fame is international, who is in constant contact with the best type of Jews, startled me not long ago by saying that the Jewish problem in the city of New York was in a most acute stage. In analysing his own feelings, he said: “No matter what you do, you’re up against it; no matter how you prepare yourself to act the brother towards them, they won’t let you succeed. You can’t love them and you don’t dare hate them.”

Mr. Robert Watchorn, the ex-commissioner of immigration, told me that after an address in which he minimized the problem of immigration, a well-known citizen of New York came to him and said that in twenty years Kisheneff will have its counterpart on the East Side.

One of the most liberal Jewish rabbis in this{278} country, whose addresses teem from the most extreme optimism as to the future of his race in America, will be amazed to hear that because he was invited to preach the baccalaureate sermon in a Western state institution of learning, a large number of the class absented itself from that service. In commenting upon it, I heard one of the number say to another, in unacademic, campus language: “Tough luck, boy. They’ve invited a Sheeny to preach our baccalaureate. It’s an insult to the class!”

The fact that twenty per cent. of the students at Columbia University are Jews, has led a number of Western boys to say to me: “We won’t go to Columbia. There are too many Jews there.”

No less brutally frank expressions I have heard in the shops in which I have worked, and in hotel lobbies where I have loitered; so that while I may not regard the Jewish problem as the most serious in the general one of immigration, I certainly regard it as one of the most sensitive to approach and one of the most difficult to solve.

I usually ask four questions regarding every immigrant group, and the answer determines, in my own mind at least, the desirability of its coming to the United States. The four questions are:

First, Do we need them? By that, I mean, will they perform some useful function which is necessary and which the earlier comers cannot or will not perform? This is entirely an industrial{279} question and can be safely answered only by the economist, who knows the field in all its bearings.

My conviction, based upon no such accurate knowledge, is that we most need those groups which live by their muscle, rather than by their wits; the toiler, rather than the trader. If my theory is correct, this would exclude many Jews; although I am sure that they have performed many important functions in the industrial sphere, both in the realm of manual labour and out of it. Some such discrimination seems to me fair, for it would bar classes, rather than races, and would affect equally other commercial people, such as the Greeks, Armenians and Syrians.

Whether or not this first question is fundamentally sound, of one thing I am sure. Half the ill feeling against the Jews would vanish if they would give themselves in any large numbers to the mechanical trades and to agriculture.

Second, Does the group which seeks admission have the same economic ideals which characterized the earlier groups?

This refers to standards of living as well as to standards of making the living.

The Jew answers well to the first part of the question; in fact, better than the Latin or the Slav. Although he may be compelled to eat plain and coarse food, he craves the richer and daintier fare; if he has to live in a tenement on{280} the East Side, he does it with an eye to a flat in Harlem; for the Jew has never ceased looking for the “land flowing with milk and honey,” or longing for the “flesh-pots of Egypt.” His standard of living is not low, but as some one has said: “elastic.” He may eat red herring to-day, but to-morrow he will eat carp with garlic sauce; that is, if he can afford it.

He will control his historic appetite in order to “get on,” and it is the subordination of health and decency to this desire which often makes him an economic problem, if not a menace.

But when he has attained, he is no miser. His children must have the best education, and his wife the most expensive clothing; he will save his children from the sweat shop if he can, and his wife whether he can or not. He is not willing to live off his children or on the town; although he is not always above living on his more fortunate brethren, whom he thus gives a chance to earn the divine favour by bestowing alms; he rarely sinks into pauperism.

The agencies which minister to pleasure, the theatre, the concert hall and vaudeville, would lose a fair share of their patronage if Jews were excluded from them.

The Jew is neither a total abstainer, nor is he intemperate, and his expenditure for alcohol, compared with that of the Irish, is about as one to a hundred. None dreads the coming of Jews{281} into a neighbourhood more than the saloon-keeper, and some of the vilest localities in New York have been made fairly decent by the expansion of the Ghetto.

One of the most difficult questions to answer is, whether Jewish ideals of making a living accord with those which characterize the older groups. The popular judgment is that they do not. It is commonly charged that the Jew degrades the industries upon which he enters; that as a competitor he is unscrupulous and as an advertiser, dishonest. “Jewing down” is a phrase too well known in commercial life to need interpretation.

Whether it is the “quality of the Jewish mind” which has created this judgment, as Professor Shaler indicates, or whether it is the quality of his moral nature, I am not in a position to determine. All I can say with a sense of assurance is, first, that the business morality of the Jew not only compares favourably with other commercial groups which are coming to the United States, but is generally admitted to be higher than that of the Greeks and Armenians.

Second, That the so-called Jewish business ethics, which in reality are Oriental and not essentially Jewish, and are also prevalent on the continent of Europe, do not compare favourably with the straightforward business methods traditional in America.{282}

Third, That the Jew has adopted these American standards in the lines of business which he controls, and that in every city he is counted among its most substantial and reliable business men.

Fourth, That although the methods used by large numbers of Jews in business are often questionable, as is often the business itself, they have a remarkably clear record in the sphere of high finance, and that it is most fortunate for the well-being of the Jews in America that the so-called “Captains of Industry” are a native product.

Roughly speaking, then, the charges that the Jew is an unfair competitor in the industries and in business may be true; yet if the case were put to a jury which could to some degree free itself from prejudice, the result would probably be a disagreement. What could not be easily denied is, that the sense of truth in the Jew from the east of Europe, notably from Poland, is low.

I quote Mr. H. S. Lewis of London, a Jew, and an unprejudiced authority.[2] “One is sometimes tempted to conclude in despair that the bulk of the Polish immigrants have no sense of truth whatever. No more painful spectacle can be witnessed than the hearing of a summons at an East-End police court, where the parties concerned are foreign{283} Jews. Obvious perjury on the slightest provocation is committed in case after case. The comments of Judge Bacon at the Whitechapel County Court on this fact have been at times severely criticised by the Jewish press. His generalizations may have been too sweeping, being based on his experience of petty litigation, where the seamy side of life is necessarily prominent. At the same time, his remarks have been based on a substantial substratum of truth. It is the experience of most visitors among the foreign poor for charitable societies, that although absolute imposture is exceptional, falsehoods with regard to the details of cases are constantly met with.

“It is to this taint of untruthfulness that most of the other defects of the foreign Jews are to be traced. I fear that it cannot be denied that their standard of business morality is often defective. A statement of this kind may be regarded as unfair, and it is, of course, difficult to put it to any exact test. An illustration is, however, afforded by a return of convictions, periodically issued in the minutes of the London County Council, for the use of false weights and measures and kindred offenses. Judging by the names of the offenders, an altogether undue proportion of them appear to be foreign Jews.

“We meet also in East London with far too many cases where the Bankruptcy laws are{284} evaded by persons who pass through the courts and reappear in business with suspicious celerity and without apparent loss.”

The testimony of Rev. Max Wertheim of Ada, Ohio, ought to have some weight—it concerns the Americanized Jew. He was a rabbi at Dayton, Ohio, and after passing through various religious crises, became a Baptist, and is now doing devoted work on a small salary. Naturally, he has not received the most generous treatment from his former co-religionists, and would hardly flatter them. In answer to my question whether he found any difference in business standards between his Jewish and his Christian flocks, he unhesitatingly said that there was no difference.

More weighty is the testimony which Prof. Graham Taylor gave recently before a Christian Brotherhood. “I know as good Christians among the Jews as among the churches.”

I am quite sure that basically there is no difference; although I should characterize some Jewish methods as mean, and those of some Gentiles as dangerous. In making this distinction, however, I realize that “wooden nutmegs,” high-bottomed fruit boxes, sun-kissed apples at the top of the barrel and gnarled ones at the bottom, as well as other tricks of the native trade, are mean enough; while the methods of the theatrical trust, the adulteration of foods and drugs, the white slave trade and other questionable forms{285} of business engaged in by both Jew and Gentile, may be called both mean and dangerous.

It is also interesting to note that in the great industrial struggle the Jew is represented largely on the capitalistic side; but on the other hand, some of the strongest leaders in the labour unions and many of the Socialists of the rank and file are Jews; consequently the vox populi may condemn them for being both.

The third question is: Does the group possess ethnic qualities that will prevent normal assimilation, and therefore will increase race friction already dangerously strong?

Disagreeable as is the Jewish type when very pronounced, it is undergoing such rapid changes where the environment is favourable, that it does not present a serious barrier to assimilation. The issues of intermarriage are exceptionally good and the resultant types normal. Yet in spite of the vanishing type, the Jews are a peculiar people and will long remain so. Their historic inheritance and their religious traditions, no less than their attitude towards the Gentiles and the attitude of the Gentiles towards them, will naturally keep them a group apart. The hostile attitude on both sides ought not to be strengthened, and I believe that for a period at least, Jewish emigration from the east of Europe should cease. Not because I believe the Russian Jew inferior, but merely because he is{286} numerous and the ethnic and cultural difference between him and the native is so marked as to aggravate an antipathy already intense; this the Jews themselves feel.

A Jewish merchant, who lives in a certain town in the Middle West, told me that strong Anti-Semitic feelings were aroused in the community by the arrival there of Russian Jews, and that as soon as they moved away the feeling vanished.

Another Jewish merchant told me that in visiting various places with a view to locating his business, his first inquiry was: “Are there any Russian Jews in the town?” He said that business for the Jew is better where there are no Russian Jews.

The feeling of the Americanized Jew towards this new immigrant was thus expressed by one of them: “We have to stand by them, but we wish they hadn’t come.”

My fourth question refers to the attitude of the groups towards our social and political ideals.

If the family ideal is the basis of our social and political life, it is certainly safe in the keeping of the Jew, who, if he errs at all in that direction, errs in making the well-being of the community or state, secondary to the well-being of his family.

In spite of the fact that divorce, according to the rabbinic law, is easily obtained, almost as easily as in some of our Western states, it is rarely resorted to. Sexual immorality, wife desertion{287} and divorce, become more common among the Jews only under stress of changed economic and religious environment.

The criminal record of the Jew is still good; although he is under suspicion of merely being too shrewd to be caught.

In the so-called lesser and meaner crimes, such as receiving stolen goods and pocket-picking, he has almost a monopoly; while in burglary and murder his record is fairly clean.

At present there are no reliable statistics on this point, and there is much chance of juggling with figures, for friend and foe alike.

The report of the Commission of Immigration of the state of New York presents a table of foreign born white offenders in the state’s prisons in 1904, but unfortunately does not classify the Jews as such. However, if one took the entire number of criminals tabulated under the countries from which the Jews come, namely: Austria, Hungary, Russia and Poland, and counted all as Jews—a procedure manifestly unfair, even then the prison population of the state of New York contains over twelve per cent. more Irish than all the natives from these four countries, who of course are not all Jews, but represent different faiths.

In lieu of reliable statistics, therefore, I must trust to my own experience. I have found that grosser criminality among the Jews is a more{288} abnormal phenomenon than among most of the newer immigrant groups. In my intimate acquaintance with a number of Jewish communities in Europe, I know some as large as 10,000 souls, where such crimes as theft, robbery and murder are never committed; yet where cheating, fraudulent bankruptcy and receiving stolen goods are not uncommon.

The Jew has done himself almost irreparable injury by his protest against the reading of the Bible, and Christmas exercises in the public schools and in his attitude towards Sunday laws. In both cases he has shown himself intolerant, and has alienated staunch friends whose help and sympathy he may need in the day of tribulation. As a citizen and patriot, he is everywhere giving evidence of his devotion; while in the struggle for the coming of a better day in the government of our cities and of the state, he has done his full share; indeed, among the newer immigrant groups, he has furnished to that cause by far the largest quota.

There are several points at which the Jew does not satisfactorily answer the questions I ask. He provides far too large a number of those, who, as a class, seem unnecessary at the present stage of our economic development; he presents too solid a differentiated group, will retard proper adjustment and increase existing race antagonisms. His attitude towards the manifestation of{289} the religious spirit in our public schools, his intolerance towards certain religious practices which are fundamentally ethical and social, but not necessarily sectarian, will more and more alienate those Americans who have been most hospitable towards him and upon whose good will he is dependent, economically and socially, if not politically.

These, I think, are the sore spots of the problem; and if the Jew is as shrewd as he is painted, he will look to their healing; while if the American is as charitable as I think him to be, he will give the Jew full time for reconvalescence.{290}



IT has always been dangerous for the common mortal who was the spokesman of his kind to eat at the king’s table; for the tyrant at close range proved an admirable host and pleasant gentleman, whose tender meats and delicate wines covered a “multitude of sins.”

When, after having eaten lunch on the East Side for a week, one receives an invitation to luncheon on Fifth Avenue, even the most scrupulous may temporize, and I confess that, feeling highly flattered, I tossed my scruples to the winds and accepted the invitation.

The feast began for me, when my eyes rested on the splendid architecture of the palatial residence, its furnishings, marbles and pictures, which appealed to my artistic sense and almost reproduced the atmosphere of the refinement and culture of those lands in which they had their birth. In the winter garden where fountains played, and rare flowers nodded their bedewed heads, filling the air with fragrance, I forgot the squalor of the East Side and the darkness and dampness of that raw, February day.{291}

With the luncheon I was less pleased; for frankly, I prefer noodle soup and Gulyas to French snails and terrapin.

To my plebeian palate the snails tasted like mucilage flavoured with garlic, and the terrapin like fricasseed Turkish towels.

Of more importance than the menu was my host, whose every word betrayed the consciousness of his power and his ignorance of those lesser folk, as whose champion he had invited me to be his guest.

“What can be done to stay the power of Socialism?”

“How can we keep out Black Hands and Anarchists?”

To him, immigrants, Socialists and Anarchists were synonymous terms. My speech was not yet dulled by the luncheon or my brain clouded by the smoke of his Havana cigars, and I gave him such plain answers as I might have given after lunching on noodle soup and Gulyas.

My words were as unpalatable to him as his snails and terrapin were to me; for I told him that Anarchists live in brown stone houses and that Socialism is being fed and nourished on Fifth Avenue. Our views were as far apart as our bank accounts, and to argue with him seriously would have been as useless as it would have been poor taste. He became more human as the luncheon progressed from its airy and aristocratic{292} entrées to the more democratic and substantial roast beef and potatoes.

When we reached pumpkin pie, one of the few connecting links with his humble past, he had quite lost his critical sternness, and asked my advice upon so delicate a matter as how to give his wayward sons a grappling place for the upbuilding of character.

I suggested work in the Settlements; but he regarded them with suspicion, declaring that they are irreligious and a breeding place for Socialism. He listened with indifference to my defense of these institutions which I regard as among the most valuable agencies we have for the common good. I suggested some public service for the community or the state.

“Politics?” he asked quizzically; “it’s a dirty game. I want my boys to help me take care of the interests I have.”

I did not know what those interests were, nor did I care to inquire, and luncheon being over, I rose to take leave.

“Where are you going?” asked my host, rather abruptly.

“To the East Side,” I replied.

He wondered whether I was not afraid to go there, and when I told him that I felt safer in the Ghetto at night than I should feel two blocks west of his palace, he asked whether he might accompany me.{293}

Knowing the free and easy ways of the Ghetto I assured him a hearty welcome; so we left his home together and took the car for Houston Street and Avenue B to attend the Gulyas banquet to be given by the “Bolsover Sick and Benefit Association,” in its hall on Houston Street.

Sunday afternoon is the day on which the East Side looks its best. Its squalor is temporarily hid beneath the festal garb of the rest day; the children are still clean after their weekly scrubbing, and the mothers sit on the stoops, gossiping and watching with the Old World timidity their agile flocks playing in the middle of the street, also fairly clean in comparison with its condition on the busier work days, when the refuse of push-carts and ash cans covers it.

My millionaire host evidently found pleasure in this human mass. He saw children who seemed happier than his own; for although they had fewer pleasures, they had no governess to dog their footsteps, no maid to keep them from exertion and no fear of microbes or bacteria.

Here in the Ghetto all the unrestrained child nature asserted itself, and being children they had no thought for the morrow and having been born in America, they were boisterously happy.

My host decided that after all humanity on Houston Street is not so different from that on Fifth Avenue. The women, especially the younger{294} ones, were gowned as fashionably although less extravagantly; pony coats being the style on Fifth Avenue were also found on Houston Street, and most of the women who paraded both streets looked very much as if they belonged to the same herd.

Hats were as expansive if not as expensive in this hemisphere of the social world as in his own; while pride and social prejudice were common properties of both.

Our entrance into the lodge room, on the fourth floor, over a Kosher restaurant, was announced by the outer guard, after which a committee came out to meet us. Then pledging us to secrecy we were escorted to places of honour at the right and left of the Grand Master of the lodge.

The small room was completely filled by over one hundred members, and after the business under discussion was finished, we were duly introduced and addresses of welcome were made by officers and prominent members.

I doubt that my fellow guest ever listened to addresses which he enjoyed more than those he then heard, spoken in broken yet picturesque language; and I am sure he never before realized that such lofty sentiments lodged in such humble hearts and amid such forbidding surroundings.

These hundred and more men, we were told,{295} were bound together in fellowship to help one another when unemployed, to support and nurse one another when sick, to pay the last honours to the dead and to protect the widows and the orphans.

And that was not all. It is the object of this lodge to work for mutual intellectual improvement, and although politics are tabooed, the lodge strives to develop noble, patriotic ideals among its members.

Of the men who spoke, I have known some from their childhood, and all of them since their arrival in the United States.

It will not break the pledge of secrecy to say a word about these men, typical immigrants from Hungary.

The Grand Master was born in a Jewish home in which the best traditions of the Hebrew faith were adhered to. I have been there many a time carrying messages from son to parent, and it was always a delight to meet the saintly old father and mother who have never ceased being homesick for their boy. He has gone through a hard school in America, from sweat shop to laundry; and now he is a letter carrier.

The Past Grand Master is a wood-worker who tried business, but failed and is now back at his bench.

Another is a metal worker, and his calloused hands prove that he obeys the Divine injunction,{296} and earns his bread by the sweat of his brow.

The man who proposed our being made honorary members of the lodge had entered the University of Vienna, suffered moral bankruptcy and ran away to America. He is a cloak presser.

The man who seconded his motion is a waiter, the prodigal son of a rich father, brought low by his iniquities; but kept from utter ruin by the fellowship of these men.

I know the record of them all; good and bad records, like those of other groups of men; but every one of them is now earning his daily bread and is contributing something to the wealth and the weal of the great city.

My millionaire friend frankly confessed that he had never seen a “bunch” of men which impressed him more favourably than these—and well they might impress him; for they all looked like toilers. Labour had bent their forms, parched their skin and shadowed their eyes.

It was a long meeting, until far into the night. Several times the outer guard had announced that the Gulyas was ready; but not even the odour of its rich sauce which pervaded the building could stop the flow of eloquence, once set in motion, or curb the eagerness with which rival candidates battled for office.

At last the Grand Master smote his desk with{297} his gavel for the last time and the “meetunk” was adjourned.

In proper order and ceremoniously, we were conducted to the basement of the Kosher restaurant. The steaming Gulyas was on the tables, beer and wine awaited the thirsty guests and the banquet began even before all the members of the Bolsover Association were fairly seated.

My companion looked askance at the bowls of Gulyas with its red gravy; but it wooed his appetite through his nostrils and he gained sufficient courage to take a piece of the well cooked meat with its dripping sauce. Then I saw him eat as I had not eaten of his French snails and terrapin. The members of the Society drank their modest measures of beer and Hungarian wine as toast followed toast.

It had been my privilege not long before to have a conference with President Roosevelt, and as I rose to toast the chief magistrate of the United States, I repeated a few of his trenchant sentences. “Elyen! Elyen!” the men shouted when I mentioned his name; and when I said that the President had expressed to me the hope that we strangers should so live that the country which gave us “sanctuary,” a place to work in and to live in, might be proud of us—the enthusiastic “Elyens!” seemed unending. After the banquet, the man who had successfully run{298} for the secretaryship invited us to come into his home, not far away. My host, having had a taste of the East Side and wanting more, readily accepted the invitation.

We found this home in the second story of a tenement house on East Ninth Street. We entered through the kitchen, and in the one other room, living room, sleeping room and nursery combined, was the man’s wife with their three daughters. The youngest was in bed, the older one was reading, while the oldest was entertaining friends—two or three girls and a young man, her “steady company.” The room was crowded, but clean, and my Fifth Avenue friend sat down and looked at the novel picture before him.

The young people chatted about the recent ball of the Bolsover Sick and Benefit Association, of clothes and beaux; very much as they talk of balls and clothes and beaux on Fifth Avenue.

Refreshments were offered us, and then the father told of his good fortune in having been elected secretary of his lodge. Every one was delighted; but the younger daughter, this little Jewish child, said: “Papa, why don’t you run for president, once?”

He replied: “My child, don’t you knows that I gets paid for being secretary, and gets nothing for being president?”

Upon which, this child of the Ghetto faced her{299} father half angrily, crying: “Why, papa, don’t you know that honour is more than money?”

We left the tenement house together and walked across to Broadway, all along that gaily lighted thoroughfare, illy named the White Way. Theatres and concert halls were being emptied, and we were jostled by the crowds. My friend spoke never a word until we reached the marble steps of his home. Then, pressing my hand, he said, with almost a tenderness in his voice: “Honour is more than money.”{300}



WHEN I told a group of friends that I was to speak to the Albanians of Jamestown, N.Y., one of them, who knew both her history and her geography uncommonly well, said, questioningly: “Albanians? Are those the people with white hair and pink eyes?” Then, realizing that Albinos and Albanians are not identical, and being genuine enough not to conceal her ignorance, she asked: “Do you mean the people from Albany, N.Y.?”

She may be pardoned for not knowing who the Albanians are, although they are one of the oldest European peoples, who have kept a corner of that continent turbulent, in the attempt to wrest from their master, the Turk, the right of political existence.

One cannot say that the Balkan would have been a peaceful nook had it not been for these Ghegs and Tosks, as the two main divisions of the Albanians are called; but certainly, the history of Turk, Greek and Southern Slav would have been different had it not been for the Albanians’ clinging tenaciously to ancient rights, and their many struggles against continuous {301}oppression.


The most savage of the Balkan people.

The newest of the Pilgrims, attending the Congregational
church, Jamestown, N. Y.
The most savage of the Balkan people.
The newest of the Pilgrims, attending the Congregational
church, Jamestown, N. Y.

The new régime in Turkey feels this Albanian iron in its veins, for one of the leaders in the new parliament is of this race, as are many of the most virile editors of Turkish newspapers. Both officers and privates in the army which wrought the overthrow of the Sultan are of these same people, who regard themselves as superior to the Turks and to whom no greater insult can be given than to call them by the name of their oppressors.

In my travels through the Balkan, I have often passed through some portion of Albania, which is a narrow strip of land along the Adriatic, between Montenegro and Greece, with much of its interior inaccessible. Its savage state was encouraged by Turkey, which maintained there a borderland against the power and ideals of the West.

Every village was an armed camp, every house a fortress. Tribal warfare never ceased; neither the holy seasons of the Church nor harvest time knew the blessings of peace. Every Albanian was a soldier or brigand and sometimes both, loyal to those to whom he had sworn loyalty; but the musket was law between him and the stranger, and the bullet its executor.

Trained for slaughter, the Albanians spurned common theft, but did not shrink from murder, for pillage or for revenge. The last time I saw them at home, was on the shores of Lake Skutari,{302} retreating to their native mountains in the Albanian Alps, after having pillaged a Montenegrin village, one of the few prosperous enough to make a raid worth while. They were resting on a rocky hillside, and as I attempted to take a snapshot, they resisted religiously, good Mohammedans that they were, by emptying their rifles after me, doing no more damage than frightening my worn-out team into a gallop.

To say that the next time I saw them, was in the prayer-meeting room of a Congregational church, describes graphically the difference between then and now; for it was a docile, conventional looking company of men that I met; their fierce mustachios shaved or cropped, their muscular bodies clothed in the commonplace garments of our civilization. Their eager, black eyes alone spoke of the hot, Albanian blood in their veins not yet chilled in our cool, workaday atmosphere.

Neither Gheg nor Tosk ever had a chief like the one who led them that night in singing the “Shcipetari” song, the battle hymn of Albania; for he who wore the red skullcap of the chief and beat time as they sang, whose placid face was lighted by a deeper passion than their own, was an American,—Arthur Baldwin, Patent Attorney and lover of common folks.

One by one he had gathered them as they drifted into the city by the lake. “Dagos” they{303} were called; homeless, neglected and treated with scorn. One after another they swore fealty to their new chief, until now every one of them acknowledges the sovereignty of his passion over them.

Half savage as the Albanian is, he has a fine feeling for womanhood. Woman is man’s fortress; for he is safe from the enemy’s bullets when in her company, and she may kill the man who has broken his troth with her.

While the men are loyal to Mr. Baldwin, they feel for Mrs. Baldwin a sacred awe, and well she deserves their reverence; for she has been mother and sister to these homeless youths and has taught them the English language by a method of her own.

Most of the Albanians in Jamestown, and many of those who have scattered east and west from there, carry with them Mrs. Baldwin’s letters, which are the English lessons for the week, combined with cordial greetings, a word of good cheer, and advice.

In the prayer-meeting room of that church of the pilgrims, these newest of the pilgrims sang that night their national hymn.

Ce me gne te Kollozhégut,
Ch’u fillua Shocerija,
Ce me gne te Kollozhégut
Ch’u fillua Shocerija
Ch’u fillua, brénda m’u ne Sofijé
Per skoli nde, Shciperi.{304}
Ch’u fillua, brénda m’u ne Sofijé,
Per skoli nde Shciperi.
Burra, burra djéma, burra djém,
Burra djém perpicuni.
Burra, burra djéma, mbuhuni,
Mbushuni mé dashuri.
S’jémi Gréker as Bulgare,
Jémi trima Shcipetare
S’jémi Gréker as Bulgare,
Jémi trima Shcipetare
Dhente Zoti la me la,
Afer ghér nde Pérendi,
Dhente Zoti la me la,
Afer ghér nde Pérendi.
Burra, burra djéma, burra djém,
Burra djém perpicuni.
Burra, burra djéma, mbushuni,
Mbushuni mé dashuri.

The music is savagely martial, although the words are commonplace; for the Albanian, like the rest of us, is thanking God that he is not as other people, especially the detested Greeks and Bulgarians.

After the singing, the men danced. Shades of the Puritan ancestors! Dancing in a prayer-meeting room! But inasmuch as these were semi-civilized people, the dance was decent and full of religious symbolism. The men swayed their agile bodies to the wild notes, bent the knee, then two by two joined hands, forming a cross; thus making their dance an act of worship.{305}

Then I spoke to them of their mountain home and of this one; of their old tribulations and their new opportunities; of their old feuds and their new friendships. When I finished, they crowded around me and pressed my hand, because they had found one who knew them, their fierce nature and their unsurpassed devotion to their native land. I could not help thinking of their brothers who, ten years before, chased me along the shore of Lake Skutari with guns.

While I am sure that Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin would not desire praise for the work they are doing among these people, the methods they have used and the spirit which has animated them are so remarkable as to deserve emulation. Their basis of approach to the Albanians was undisguised and unadulterated friendship. They liked common folks. As other people on the shores of Lake Chautauqua liked automobiles or steam yachts of particular makes, so among folks, the Baldwins liked Albanians. Being their friends, they wanted to do them good, and what they most needed was ability to understand English; so they taught them English and with the new language they have given them the atmosphere of home and impressed upon them the need of character to save them from the new temptations.

Wiser than some others who have attempted to do good to strangers, they restrained their religious{306} ardour and left Greek Orthodox and Mohammedan undisturbed in their faith, except as by their example they taught them that love is more effective than its symbols and deeds more vital than creeds. Neither have they tried to deaden the old patriotism; and the one great, starry virtue of the Albanian which is almost unparalleled, is his devotion to his country.

After I had spoken that night, I was escorted to a restaurant kept by one of them, and there over the steaming coffee we talked of Albania’s griefs and hopes.

Mr. Baldwin knew every nook and corner of the country and its history. He spoke of Albania as if he had been cradled among those far-away mountains, instead of on the placid plains of the Middle West. He deplored the fact that they had no schools in which their own speech was taught, that religion held them apart, through factions of Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholics and Mohammedans; and he talked of Scanderberg, their national hero, as if he were speaking of Washington or Lincoln.

Mr. Baldwin had invited me to Jamestown, to counsel with his men, who are doing the most menial tasks to earn money for Albania. At that time all was dark in Turkey, and a visionary alone could have held out hope for an autonomous Albania.

Practical American that I have become, I told{307} them to save their money, start bank accounts and become prosperous Americans. They knew better; at least they had more faith. They were then training a man in an American college, for political and social leadership; a young Albanian noble, who spoke eight languages, had faith in God and man and, above all, in Albania.

Until long past midnight I talked of peace while they talked of war; I spoke of submission, while they talked of resistance; I thought I knew Turkey and the Turk, while they had faith in Albania and the Albanians. The recent developments prove that their faith was better than my knowledge.

When the Jamestown Albanians scattered as far east as Natick, Mass., and as far west as St. Louis, Mo., their old friends aroused interest in them everywhere. In Natick, Mass., a devoted pastor, Rev. Morris H. Turk, has matched the Jamestown work for these “twentieth century pilgrims” as he calls them. He has learned enough Albanian to lead in devotions, and has fitted out a chapel with chancel, altar and pictures.

“We began,” he says, “where the Greek Orthodox church left off. We secured some Albanian hymn-books from Monastir, and thus we were enabled to conduct a somewhat formal religious service, largely in the Albanian language. Socials, entertainments, receptions, picnics and{308} other diversions supplement the religious and educational work done at Natick.

“The results have been remarkable. Two of the men are fitting for college, a dozen or more have blended completely into the parish life, and best of all, a hundred or more have had the uplift of friendliness and acquaintance with our American ideals.”

Mr. Turk is making a tour of Albania this summer for the express purpose of rendering his service to these people more effective; to see life from their view-point and to acquire a better knowledge of their difficult language.

Mr. Guy J. Fansher writes from Boston, where he has become interested in them: “Their love of country is very strong and, like the old Hebrew prophets in Israel and Judah, we find it necessary to carry on whatever religious work we may wish to do side by side with their love of country. This same love of country has been evidenced in their translating of the Orthodox Church ritual into the Albanian and using that in their church service monthly in a rented hall.

“I found the men apt to stay indoors too closely, so during the winter gave them work in gymnastics, using dumb-bells, basket-ball, etc. We had some flash-light pictures taken of these classes, which the boys were eager to buy and send home.

“The men are close readers of the daily papers,{309} soon get interested in politics (were strong for Taft), get out naturalization papers as soon as possible, and are proud to be in America. They soon learn to dress in neat suits of brown which is very becoming to them with their dark skin and hair.

“The men seem to have good control of their habits, seldom drinking to excess; the cigarette is always with them, however; the social vice is not theirs to any great degree; they are neat about their rooms and do not crowd together as the Italians or Jews. These things have rather assisted our work among them; their exceeding shyness has been hard to overcome; they must be led, not driven.”

“They must be led, not driven,” and Mr. Baldwin adds: “They must be trusted, not suspected; loved, and not merely tolerated.”

The events in Turkey have surprised every one who has an interest in the Balkan question. The young Albanian noble, already referred to, is back in Albania, somewhere near Lake Skutari, helping shape the future of his country; for he is a leading member of the Albanian Committee.

On Lake Chautauqua his countrymen still work and pray and hope for an autonomous Albania, with schools and churches in which they shall be free to use their language and in which they shall have privileges commensurate with{310} their sacrifices and with the burdens they have borne for Turkey.

Then they will sing in Kortia the song they sang in Jamestown, when we parted before the early dawn of a winter’s morning. It was a national hymn, which the Albanians have a right to sing, although they sing it under the crescent banner of Turkey; for it is a translation of our—“America.”

O Zot Ti fucimath,
Ndihna si ghér tashi
Te lutémi;
Lardi tet’apeme
Mé ghithe zémere:
Per dashurimne T’ent
Ce shoheme.




THE one institution in America most gravely concerned with the coming and staying of the immigrant is the Protestant church. Each ship-load of people from Southern and Southeastern Europe increases the already crowded Roman Catholic parishes, lays foundations for the perpetuation of the Greek Orthodox church in the United States and enlarges the tents of Israel whose camps encircle the dying churches.

The Protestant church, in our great cities, pointing to the decrease in her membership, as evidence of her peril, and bravely singing “Onward Christian soldiers, Marching as to war,” moves into the suburbs, away from the congested masses and among the attenuated few.

That the Protestant church has endured thus far, that its ideals are still dominant, that its preachers’ voices are still heard in the tumults of our Babels, is direct evidence that somewhere her foundations rest upon bed-rock and that the Christian faith and practice, as she understands{312} them, are essential in the solution of the problems of our civilization. Because I believe this, I am not frightened by figures but am concerned with forces. It is not a question of the ability of the church to increase, but of her willingness to decrease, if necessary, in the attempt to communicate to these masses, from all races and religions, her passion for humanity and her devotion to the Divine.

I am not at all concerned regarding the inability of the Protestant church to adjust other men to her creeds or to adjust herself to theirs; but I am deeply concerned with her inability or unwillingness to make good her professions of democracy, and to relate herself in some vital way to these new citizens who are satiated by creeds, but are hungry for brotherhood; upon whom, like a curse, rest the damp and mould of tombs and chapels, but who have been untouched by the power of the living, redeeming Christ, as He has incarnated Himself in His followers.

So long as these people are within the sphere of Foreign Missions, in “Greenland’s Icy Mountains,” or some other remote and romantic place, they are the subjects of prayer and the recipients of gifts of men and money; but when drawn into the radius of one’s immediate neighbourhood, they become a peril which threatens everything, from the price of real estate to the foundation upon which the church rests. There is no question{313} that in many cases the Protestant church is facing this problem in an admirable spirit; although very often expressing it in a way calculated to alienate rather than to attract. On the whole there is a growing desire to serve this new host of men, to help them adjust themselves more easily to their new environment and to make of them conscious human beings, consecrated Christians and efficient citizens.

There are to-day increasing numbers of Protestant Christians who have broken away from the old prejudice against the Roman Catholic church. It is not their desire to alienate faithful communicants from the church in which their individual and national life has root and being; but they recognize certain facts.

First, that in this new influx of immigrants there is an appreciably large number of men who have fallen heir to Protestant traditions, without fully realizing their spiritual inheritance and their moral obligations. To these, the American Protestant churches owe the duty of interpreting their common faith in its practical terms.

Second, the church realizes that numbers of men, more than are commonly supposed, among Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox and Jews, are lost to their respective churches. Many of them revert to infidelity and Paganism, and the Protestant church is under obligations to interpret its{314} faith in rational terms to these, who have been touched by the rationalism of our times.

One cannot believe that it is good for such men to be left under the influences of these reactions which may become dangerous to the well-being of the individual and of the State.

Third, the church finds itself surrounded by large masses of men, ignorant of our language, of the laws of health and of the land. They come from countries in which neither Church nor State has attempted to lift them out of ignorance and its attendant superstition; and whenever the churches in whose bosoms these people have starved in the Old World do not make amends here in the New, the Protestant church is called upon to lift them into a better knowledge of the nature of religion and into a better conception of human relations, both for her own sake and for the sake of the communities which she wishes to serve.

This she must do, even if it brings her under suspicion of proselyting; although with my knowledge of nearly all the agencies engaged in this task in the United States, I am convinced that the spirit in which this work is undertaken is not the spirit of the proselyter. Indeed, one of the growing weaknesses of the Protestant church in America is the loss of those deep convictions which make proselyting easy; while the number of those who have the courage zealously{315} to pronounce their shibboleths is growing smaller every day.

The spirit of the following letter justifies its quotation, for it is an admirable example of the way in which one Protestant church is trying to meet the immigrant problem.

—— Avenue Congregational Church,
Hartford, Conn.,
Pastor’s Study, December 17, 1907.

I am writing this letter to you as an office-bearer in the church and one who is influential in forming church sentiment and policies. It concerns the relation of our church to the Jews who are crowding into the streets about the church in ever-increasing numbers. The Standing Committee has earnestly and sympathetically considered the subject, as befits a matter of the first importance to our church.

The settling of these Jews close about us is easily the event of greatest importance in recent years in the field of this church. It would be folly, and in the end impossible, for us to look upon their presence with indifference. We must not drift in this matter. We must have, as a church, an intelligent and positive policy towards them. What shall it be?

Some of us have probably looked upon the coming of the Jew as a misfortune. Is he not also an opportunity? May we trace the providence of God in settling him about our very doors? I believe that we may. This faith grows in me, as one who believes that Christ is to be Saviour of all the nations.

A rabbi in Boston said recently, “The liberty and friendliness of America will put the severest strain upon Jewish exclusiveness that it has ever met. The persecutions{316} of Europe have failed to dissolve our nationality: the kindness of America may succeed.”

In the light of this sentiment, which I share, and with a great confidence in the Gospel, I propose that we undertake definitely a Christian ministry to these Jews. I recognize that an attempt at immediate propagandism would probably be as ineffective as it would be unwise. I appreciate that probably few if any open conversions will reward our labours for many years.

What then shall we attempt? To impress upon them the spirit of the Gospel by living alongside them as Christians should: this first and chiefly. Let us do this in the hope that as their old-world superstitions and narrowness yield to the light of America, they will thus choose the Gospel instead of infidelity. Many of them are already choosing the latter.

How shall we begin? By treating the Jew as we want to be treated. In other words, by treating him not as a Jew, but as a man, each on his own merits. Recognize always that there are both good Jews and bad Jews, as well as good Yankees and bad Yankees. Make the acquaintance of both men and women: and of their children too. Give them a fair chance to show their quality. They are neighbours. They are interested in our schools. They are fellow citizens. These common interests give opportunity to know them and, if we will, their homes also.

Our government by its franchise and its schools welcomes them to an equal opportunity to show and to develop their character. The churches have not shown a like spirit. Shall the state be more Christian than the church?

This proposal of course includes our attitude towards the Italians and all other foreigners among us. I speak{317} especially of the Jews because they are far the most numerous and most difficult to reach.

If a score or even a dozen of us should undertake to show them the spirit of brotherhood that is our Christian boast, and should seek to get our other church-members to do the same, it would not be a month before they would be feeling and speaking of our good will towards them. Meanwhile we can be watchful for opportunity for some special ministry to them or their children, a ministry which shall be welcome both to them and us. The habit of Christian neighbourliness outlined above will lay the foundation of mutual confidence and knowledge necessary for such a special ministry.

Have you faith and patience for such a long campaign? Will you quietly enlist for it and try to persuade others to do the same? If so, will you kindly tell me of it? We will undertake to keep one another informed of any news of progress.

You will understand why this letter and your talks with others about this subject should be confidential.

In the name of Him who was a Jew,

Your Pastor.

The Presbyterian church has given proof of the spirit of its intent by putting the department of Immigration in charge of Rev. Charles Stelzle, a splendid champion of the rights of labouring men, a man with the broadest social and religious outlook and a stranger to Pharisaic cant.

The Rev. Howard N. Grose, D.D., the home mission secretary of the Baptist church, and the men associated with him in the Home Mission{318} Council of the Evangelical churches, seem to me to possess that broad outlook upon life, that appreciation of true values which render impossible their attempting any narrow, sectarian propaganda.

The action of the International Committee of the Y.M. C. A. in placing its work for “Young Men and Boys of Foreign Parentage” in charge of so competent an authority as Dr. Peter Roberts, the author of “Anthracite Communities,”—and the equipment by the State Committee of Pennsylvania of “The Expedition for the Study of Immigration” with its plans for a group of well trained college men as secretaries for immigrants, are additional evidences of the spirit which animates Protestantism in its relation to the immigrant.

There are, however, two fundamental mistakes which the Protestant church has made in her attempt to solve the problem she faces.

First, in the kind of results she tries to obtain.

Second, in the kind of men she has sent to represent her among the immigrants.

The American Protestant of the Evangelical type has carried his business into the church, but not always the church into his business. He expects in the church, results which can be tabulated under the head of profit and loss, just as he expects them in his counting-room.


The young men are members of the Pennsylvania Y. M. C. A. Expedition for
the Study of Immigration. The school is strategically situated where
three empires meet. It is non-sectarian and interdenominational;
permeating the East with Christian ideas.

The young men are members of the Pennsylvania Y. M. C. A. Expedition for the Study of Immigration. The school is strategically situated where three empires meet. It is non-sectarian and interdenominational; permeating the East with Christian ideas.


“Immediate results!” is the cry of the constituents of missionary enterprises, and the result is, that where they cannot be legitimately produced, conversions are simulated for loaves and fishes.

I do not mean to say that missionaries have not so preached and practiced the Christian faith, as to produce in their hearers a desire to adjust their own lives to these new standards; for I know of innumerable cases of this kind among all races and nationalities.

However, the stress laid upon “immediate results,” the praise and money lavished upon those who can produce them, the “showing off” of this or that kind of converted foreigner, the neglect of those who face real difficulties honestly, and cannot humbug those who support them, put severe temptation in the way of missionaries and often unconsciously taint their whole endeavour.

If the Christian religion expresses itself in unselfish devotion to the noblest cause,—the service which the immigrant needs must be performed without an eye constantly upon church records.

The Social Settlement is under no such strain, and its work is like “casting bread upon the water” without expecting it back, “buttered” after a few days.

For a long time and even for all time with some individuals and groups, the church must{320} be willing to follow this Biblical example set by an institution which some ill informed people suspect of being irreligious.

The error which the church has committed in sending poorly prepared men to minister to these immigrants is in many cases as irreparable as it is inexcusable.

An ignorant priesthood is more bearable than an ignorant ministry, and when ignorance is coupled with insincerity, as it is in many cases, the wrong done to both parties is incalculable.

In their haste to “do something,” and in their eagerness to get quick results, nearly all Protestant churches have pushed into the ministry “converted foreigners,” many of whom misrepresent the church which sends them and become a stumbling-block to honest seekers after truth and an insult to the people to whom they are sent.

An example of this lack of wisdom is shown in one of the most interesting missions of a really valuable type, developed in West Pittston, Pa., by a devoted young American woman who, in a remarkable degree, won the confidence of the Lithuanians there. She lived and laboured among them and created a centre of influence which gave great promise of being permanent in its effect. Her work, however, was much too indefinite and slow for the “hustling{321}” church which supported her; so a converted Lithuanian was employed, who in his eagerness to save souls told the people whom he gathered to hear him preach, that they would all be damned if they continued going to the Roman Catholic church. The result was what one might expect. The Lithuanians immediately forsook the mission and went to the prohibited church.

As a rule, the work to be done demands American born men and women who are imbued by the spirit of service, who have some linguistic talent and much consecrated common sense.

The converted foreigner, even if well trained, will be met with suspicion by many groups; for to them he is a traitor to their religion and to their national life, the two being inseparable to them.

No such objection can be made to the American worker, who, if he brings patience to the tedious task of winning confidence, if he has an honest desire to live unselfishly for the people of a neighbourhood, if he gives everything and expects nothing as a reward, may be assured that such service will be accepted and will work out its results in God’s own time.

If converted immigrants are sent among these people, they should have a long testing time; a tutelage and training which, while giving them a{322} thorough equipment for their task, will not spoil them for the humble work it will involve.

There are but few theological seminaries properly equipped to train men for this great work, and still fewer in which there is sufficient spirit of democracy among teachers and students to receive “immigrants” and treat them like brothers.

In many small, industrial communities where the “immigrants” are a problem, its solution is merely a question of the attitude of the churches towards them.

Nothing can be more repellent than the attitude of the average Protestant Christian towards the immigrant of to-day. As a rule he is prejudiced, is grossly ignorant of the historic and religious background of the strangers and meets every one of them with suspicion.

At a recent Summer School of the Y. M. C. A. it was my privilege to teach a class of young college men numbering about 150. They were studying this problem, and the questions asked, a few of which I quote, prove the assertion just made.

“Do not three martyred presidents prove that the immigrant is an Anarchist and ought to be excluded?”

“Is it not true that ninety per cent. of the criminals in the United States are foreign born?”{323}

“Do not foreign governments dump their rubbish of criminals and paupers upon our shores?”

“Is the Constitution of the United States safe in the hands of people who crucified Jesus?”

“Did not our forefathers come to fight for liberty, and do not these people come to despoil us?”

The questions asked displayed such animosity and such ignorance, that to print them all would seem like slandering our Western colleges and the churches in which these young men were reared.

The churches and the Y. M. C. A.’s have no small task in converting their membership to some Christian view-point of these, their neighbours; even if they cannot be converted to a spirit of brotherliness.

The following instance, while not typical, shows the attitude of Y. M. C. A. memberships in many industrial communities, towards the immigrant. An Association in Pennsylvania wished to enlarge its building and solicited funds in the shops of its own community. Slav and Hungarian day labourers subscribed $2,000, every cent of which was paid; which cannot be said of all the money subscribed by Americans.

Some of these foreigners were anxious to learn English, and one of the rooms in the building—not the best—was opened to them and a teacher procured. When one of these{324} boys used some of the public conveniences in the building, the American membership notified the secretary that the “Hunkies” must not be admitted to the building; and they were not, in spite of the fact that they had helped pay for its erection.

While no other such gross injustice has come to my knowledge, I know of many Y. M. C. A.’s in which an Armenian or Greek would be excluded from such a thoroughly religious privilege as taking a bath.

Wherever a church or Y. M. C. A. has shown itself hospitable to the strangers it has had as many of their souls to keep as it has cared to have; but most of them prefer to save the foreigner by “absent treatment.”

The feeling of the strangers regarding the efforts which the churches are making on their behalf in so-called missions, which are often repellently unclean and devoid of any saving grace, is explained in the following letter, written by a graduate of Oberlin Seminary, a young Pole, whose spirit and intelligence the letter itself reveals.

Brecksville, Ohio, October 14, 1907.

Prof. E. A, Steiner, Grinnell, Iowa.

My dear Dr. Steiner:—Your plan for the solution of our foreign problem, as you indicated it in your articles in The Congregationalist of last year and as you outlined it to me in our conversation in Cleveland last week, is{325} excellent; and I wish to tell you that I am in thorough sympathy with it. My own personal experience in the foreign work convinces me that the easiest, most economical, and most effective way of solving the foreign problem is through the American church and the American worker directly. This for the following reasons: First, mission work established for the foreigner strictly in his own tongue is not particularly acceptable to him, and to some it is even offensive. The foreigner regards himself to be a Christian, and, consequently, resents the idea of mission work done distinctly for his particular benefit in order to make a Christian of him. Second, a worker of his own nationality is looked upon by him with suspicion. As you expressed it, he is regarded a traitor, and is not to be trusted too much. When I was in the work, I had that experience over and over again; I felt that my countrymen, that is, a good many of them, when they found out that I was a Pole and not a Roman Catholic, had grave doubts as to whether it was safe for them to trust me. Third, by coming to the mission, the foreigner feels that he is committing himself too much all at once—something which he is very unwilling to do. Then, too, in the mission he is too conspicuous, and thus too much exposed to persecution from his countrymen. Fourth, our greatest hope is, not in the grown-up generation, but in the growing generation—the children and the young people; and these can be reached more easily through the American church than through a mission of their mother tongue, because they want to be regarded, not as foreigners, but as Americans. These difficulties would, to a large extent, be obviated if we tried to reach the foreigner directly through our American churches and other religious organizations and through American workers acquainted{326} with the history of the different peoples, their characteristics, habits, and ways of thinking and looking at things, and to a certain extent with their language also, and in perfect sympathy with them. Of course, the work done at present by the mission ought not to be discontinued; it has its place and its value; but it ought to be supplemented by this better and, as I believe, more effective method which you have in mind and which you propose to our churches for adoption.

Sincerely yours,
Paul Fox.

I do not quote this letter because it approves my plan; for I do not hold dogmatically to any one method. The work of saving men is desperately hard and there are a thousand ways of doing it.

More important than any plan is a right attitude; for in all human contact it is the spirit within the man or institution which counts, and not the precise method of approach.

Wherever an approach has been made in the right spirit towards the foreigners, they have responded in kind, and many Protestant churches have been enriched by their presence, by the ardour of their faith and their willingness to sacrifice for their convictions.

There is, as I have said before, no institution in the United States which will be so profoundly affected by the immigrant as the Protestant church. Without him she will languish and die and with him alone she has a future.{327}

Already the Roman Catholic proclaims the conquest of America, and while that conquest is not complete, it soon will be, unless Protestantism wakens to the wealth of its heritage and its great opportunity; unless with a real sympathy and passion it teaches, preaches and practices the religion of Jesus.

The Protestant church need not rival the Roman Catholic church in building stately places of worship, or clothe herself in gorgeous vestments, or read ancient liturgies.

The immigrant comes from just such environment, and nothing that the Protestant church can do in this direction will be as beautiful and as impressive as that which he has left behind.

The one way and the only way in which she can enter into a successful rivalry with the ancient, Apostolic church, is in reviving the ancient, Apostolic passion for humanity.

Having quoted so many letters, I may perhaps be pardoned for quoting a small part of one written long ago, at a time when the church faced a crisis not unlike the one which she faces to-day.

“If there is therefore any comfort in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassions, fulfill ye my joy, that ye be of the same mind, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind; doing nothing through factions,{328} through vainglory, but in lowliness of mind each counting other better than himself; not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others. Have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross. Wherefore also God highly exalted Him, and gave unto Him the name which is above every name; that in the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”{329}



IT is now twenty-five years since I landed in the United States with a group of Slovaks from the district of Scharosh in Hungary.

I followed them across the sea and watched this historic movement of the Slavs, who until then had remained practically dormant where they had been left by the glacier-like movement of their race, the pressure of the invader or the fate which governed Eastern European politics.

It was a fascinating experience to see these forgotten children of an unresponsive soil coming in touch with a civilization of which they had never dreamed; to see the struggle of emotions in their usually impassive faces, as they saw the evidences of European culture and wealth in the Northern cities through which we passed.

What fear crept into their hearts and drove the healthy blood from their cheeks when for the first time they saw the turbulent sea.

The ocean was vaster and the fear of it most real to us who sailed out of Bremerhaven in the steerage of the steamer Fulda; for we were the{330} forerunners of a vast army of men which had scarcely begun to think of leaving its age-long bivouac. The Slav has never taken kindly to the sea, and the “More” held unconquered terrors.

It is difficult now to describe the incidents of that first landing in New York, for in rapid succession the experience has been so often repeated; and all the joys, fears and hopes which repeatedly I have shared with hundreds and thousands of men are so blended in my memory into one great wonder, that either analysis or description seems vain.

It is strange and yet natural, no doubt, that I remember the trivial incidents of that first landing. The attempt on the part of some of my Slovaks to eat bananas without removing the skins; their first acquaintance with mince pie, which they declared a barbarous dish; our first meal on American soil, in a third rate boarding-house for immigrants, and the injunction of one of the earlier comers: “Don’t wait for anybody, but grab all you can. In this country the motto is: ‘Happy is the man who can help himself!’”

I remember the lonely feeling that crept over us as we found ourselves like driftwood in the great current of humanity in the city of New York, and the fear we had of every one who was at all friendly; for we had been warned against sharpers. I remember our pleasure in the picturesque ferry-boat which carried us to New Jersey,{331} its walking-beam seeming like the limbs of some great monster crossing the water.

Then crowding fast upon one another come memories of hard tasks in gruesome mines and ghostly breakers; the sight of licking flames like fiery tongues darting out at us, from furnaces full of bubbling, boiling metal; the circling camps of the coke burners who kept their night’s vigil by the altars of the Fire God.

There are memories of dark ravines and mud banks, choked by refuse of mill and mine; the miners’ huts, close together, as if space were as scarce on the earth as compassion for the stranger.

I remember the kindness of the poor, the hospitality of the crowded, the hostility of the richer and stronger, who feared that we would drive them from their diggings; and the unbelief of those to whom I early began preaching the humanity of the Slav—rough and uncouth, but human still, although he has scarcely ever had a fair chance to prove it.

Of the names of the various towns through which I passed, in which I worked and watched, I particularly remember four: Connelsville, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and Streator, Ill., all of them typical coal towns. In none of them were my people received with open arms, although they rarely met with organized hostility.{332}

In Scranton and in Streator, they still remember our coming and our staying. Since then, I have repeatedly visited all these four places upon errands of investigation and interpretation.

I always dreaded going back to them; not only because it would revive painful memories of a very hard apprenticeship, but because I could not avoid asking myself if the optimism with which I have treated the problem of immigration, by voice and pen, would be justified.

What if the Americans in these cities should say: “We have lived with these Slavs for twenty-five years and more; we have been with them day after day, while you have flitted about the country. We know better than you do. We told you the ‘Hunkey’ was a menace when he came, and he is a menace still.”

I well know that my readers and my auditors have often criticised my optimism, and especially the sympathetic note with which I approach this problem, regarding which they are always more skeptical the more remote they are from it.

I have tried to modify my view of the problem by facing it in all its bearings; I have not shrunk from seeing the worst of it. In fact I know American cities best from that dark and clouded side. I know the Little Italies, the Ghettos, the Patches around the mines, the East Side of New York and the West Side of Chicago; although I have never been the full length of Fifth Avenue{333} and have never seen the famous North Shore drive.

I am familiar with penitentiaries, jails, police courts and even worse places; for I wanted to know to what depths these leaden souls can sink, and I fear that I have more anxiety as to their nativity than their destiny. Yet, having seen the worst of the bad, I never lost my faith in these lesser folk and my optimism remained unclouded. One fear alone assailed me; that what my critics said to me and of me was true. “He is an immigrant himself, and of course it is natural that he should see the brighter side of the problem.” To me, that was the severest and most cutting criticism, just because I feared it might be true; yet I have honestly tried to see the darkest side of this question, both as it affected the immigrant and the country that received him.

I have listened patiently to jeremiads of home mission secretaries about these “Godless foreigners.” I have read the reports of Immigrant Commissions, and all the literature written the last few years upon this subject, and I am still optimistic, and disagree with much that I have heard and read. Many authors who have written regarding this question had no first-hand information about it. They knew neither the speech nor the genius of these new people; they had a fixed belief that all civilization, culture and virtue, belong{334} to the north of Europe and that the east and southeast of that continent are its limbo; and they relied upon statistics, which at best are misleading, when used to estimate human conduct and human influences.

Typical of this class of literature is a recent pamphlet upon the subject, which, judging from the excellent biography appended, must be based upon extensive reading; yet the author comes to this conclusion: “Assimilation in the twentieth century is a very different matter from assimilation in the nineteenth. In many respects, the new immigration is as bad as the old was good.”[3]

There are several facts which this author has forgotten, as have those from whom he draws. First, the older immigrant is not yet assimilated. In the agricultural counties of Mr. Edwards’ own state, there are townships in which the English language is a foreign tongue, although the second generation of Germans already plows the fertile fields of Wisconsin; and there are cities where the Germans have thoroughly assimilated the Americans.

There are places of no mean size in Pennsylvania, which are as German as they were 200 years ago, and as far as the Irish everywhere are concerned, it is still a question what we shall be when they have done with us.{335}

I venture to predict that the twentieth century immigrant will assimilate much more quickly and completely than the immigrants of the eighteenth and the early half of the nineteenth centuries assimilated.

Beside the fact that the process is going on much more rapidly than ever before, as I asserted, my theories are corroborated by Professor Ross, of the University of Wisconsin, whose book is suggestive if not conclusive. Speaking of the assimilation of the immigrant, he says:

“On the whole, those who come now Americanize much more readily than did the non-English immigrants of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Not only do they come from lesser peoples and from humbler social strata, but, thanks to the great rôle the United States plays in the world, the American culture meets with far more prestige than it had then. Although we have ever greater masses to assimilate, let us comfort ourselves with the fact that the vortical suction of our civilization is stronger now than ever before.”[4]

Neither is any one prepared to prove that the “new immigrant is as bad as the old was good.”

It is very interesting that when authors and speakers quote statistics, as they usually do, to prove the criminal nature of the new immigrant, they do not differentiate between the older and{336} the newer groups. If they did, and would let statistics determine the issue, they would find that the new immigrant is good and the old bad; yes, very bad.

The following tables, quoted from the Report of the Commission of Immigration of the State of New York, are worthy the close study of Mr. Edwards and the authors upon whom he has relied.[5]

Statistics Referring to Foreign-Born Offenders Committed to New York State Prisons and Penitentiaries During 1904.

Total Number of Prisoners Committed

Total white3,34524,96928,314
Native white2,26616,75919,025
Native white of native parentage1,22310,26611,489
Native white of foreign parentage7324,5005,232
Native white of mixed parentage2631,5051,768
Native white of unknown parentage48488536
Foreign-born whites1,0758,1589,233
Whites of unknown nativity45256


Foreign-Born White Offenders by Nativity

England and Wales676.26558.1
Other countries474.41712.1

Paupers Admitted to Almshouses in New York State During Year 1904. by Nativity and Length of Residence in the United States.

All paupers admitted10,272
Per cent. of white paupers admitted: 
    Native44.0 per cent.
    Foreign-born56.0 per cent.

Foreign-Born White Paupers Admitted in 1904, by Nativity

Country of BirthPer cent.  Per cent.
England and Wales6.4
Canada (including Newfoundland)4.3
Hungary and Bohemia0.6
Russia and Poland3.3
Grand total 100.0


What is more striking still is the following table which seems to prove that the new immigrant does not increase his percentage in the criminal column materially, in fact that there is a slight tendency to decrease it.[6]

Foreign-Born Offenders According to Years of
Residence in the United States

Years Major
Under one year363.3861.0
One year797.22292.8
Two years635.82973.6
Three years524.82853.4
Four years403.61772.2
Over four years82475.37,14387.0
Totals1,094 100.0 8,217 100.0

I am not trying to prove that the old immigration was worse than the new; I do not believe that these statistics prove it, in spite of their appearing to. But they do prove conclusively that statistics of this kind are absolutely unreliable in furnishing tests of the moral fiber of this or that group.

Far more reliable is the verdict of various communities after twenty-five years’ experience with the newer immigrant.

Take for example the city of Streator, Ill., which has steadily grown in size and in the number and variety of its industrial establishments;{339} a development which could not have taken place without the new immigrant. There are certain unprofitable seams in the mines which the English-speaking miners would not have worked; even as there are less profitable veins which the Slav does not care to touch and which are being worked by Sicilians, new upon the scene.

It is true that out of the 500 Welsh miners there are only about fifty left; but the 450 were pushed up and not out and are in no position to complain. They have moved on to farms and have grown prosperous while some of the most lucrative business in the city is theirs.

It does seem a great pity that a skilled trade like mining should have passed into the hands of unskilled labourers; but for this, the invention of machinery is to blame, and not the foreigner. Had comparatively cheap labour been unavailable, the genius of the American would not have stopped until he had all but eliminated the human element, as he has done in many other trades in which unskilled foreign labour is not a factor.

Twenty-five years ago I “squatted” near mine No. 3 with my men from Scharosh. It was as wretched a patch as miners’ patches always are. We bunked twenty in a room and took as good care of our bodies as conditions permitted; so that when we went down-town we were cleanly if not stylish.{340}

My men soon learned to drink whiskey like the Irish, swear like the English and dress like the Americans.

After twenty-five years the patches around the mines in Streator are practically gone, and the homes there are as good as the Welsh or English miners ever had. Some of the newer additions in that growing city are occupied entirely by Slavs and do them credit.

Nor has the Slav been content to remain in the mines; he, too, has begun to move out and up. He owns saloons and sightly stores in which his sons and daughters clerk, and it would take a very keen student of race characteristics to distinguish the Slavs from the native Americans.

“Do you see that young man at the entrance to the Chautauqua?” said Mr. Williams, its public spirited secretary.

“Racially, his father is as sharply marked a man as I have ever seen, and the son, a graduate of Harvard, looks as if his forefathers had all grown up in the salt air of the New England coast.”

Here in Streator were the people who have lived with the new immigrant a quarter of a century and more, and I have spoken to them three times, in my most optimistic vein; many a man and woman has said:

“You are right, they make splendid citizens.”{341}

“They are good neighbours.”

“They are as human as we are, and they are proving it.”

This, in spite of the fact that in Streator as in Connelsville and in hundreds of industrial towns, they have been met with suspicion and have been treated with injustice.

“They are a great strain upon our political institutions,” said Mr. Williams, himself once a Welsh miner, pushed out of the mine by the Slav and now one of the leading citizens of Streator.

But Mr. Williams knows that the year I lived in Streator, when the Slav had no vote or influence, politics in that city were already corrupt and that the corrupters were native Americans, whose ancestors harked back to the Mayflower, and who were rewarded for their corruption by high political offices. In truth, when the Slav came to this country, there was nothing left to corrupt, in Scranton or Wilkes-Barre, in Connelsville or Streator; or, indeed, in all Pennsylvania and Illinois. The Slav now has some political power; but as yet he has not produced the “grafter.” I do not say that he will not; but when he does, small blame to him.

In one of the four cities which I have mentioned, I shared with a group of Poles the vicissitudes of the first few weeks in a boarding-house, a combination of saloon and hotel, common in{342} Pennsylvania, and usually offering more bar than board.

One evening an American came among us; a splendid type of agile manhood. When my men saw him, they said: “This is a prince!” They did not know that he was a politician. He shook hands with every one of us, and I said to the men: “This is democracy!” Poor fool! I did not know that it was the day before election.

Then he marched the men to the bar, and said to the barkeeper: “Fill ’em up.” And as they drank the fiery stuff, no doubt they thought they were in Heaven, and forgot that they were in Pennsylvania. When the whiskey took effect, they were marched into a large hall, where other Poles, drunk as they, were congregated; speeches were made, full of the twaddle of political jargon which they did not understand, and when morning came, these Poles, so intoxicated that they did not know whether they were North Poles or South Poles, were marched to the voting-place and sworn in.

I have told this story in each of the four places referred to, and in the place where it occurred, a judge, who was among my audience, said to me: “Don’t tell that story again.”

“Why not? It is true,” I replied.

“Yes,” he said, “it is perfectly true; but you’d better save your strength. In this city, not only the foreigners, who are not citizens, vote; but the{343} dead vote, long after they have become citizens of Kingdom Come.”

One of these same Poles recently took me through the Capitol of Pennsylvania at Harrisburg. With great pride he guided me from foundation to dome, pointing out those objects of interest which every stranger must see, as if they were the memorials of noble deeds of valour.

They consist of wood, painted to imitate marble, chandeliers of base metal, to be sold by the pound, at fabulous prices, and among many other spurious things, a safe, supposed to be fire-proof and burglar-proof, but which was not politician-proof, for an ordinary gimlet bored a hole into its corrupt heart.

What was distressing to me was not so much that the State paid millions for this veneered and varnished fraud, but that my Polish guide pronounced the word graft with evident relish and without fear or shame.

I do not doubt that the presence of the new immigrant is “a great strain upon our political institutions”; but not greater than the old immigrant was, and still is. This certainly is true of Pennsylvania; for there are counties in that state, into whose wilds the new immigrant has not yet penetrated, and where those who have been living off its fat acres since their birth—the sons of immigrants who came 200 years ago—hold their right of franchise cheap. I am told{344} that in these counties nearly every vote can be bought for five dollars.

This may be idle rumour; but the fact remains and can be proved by any one who chooses to investigate, that Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Connelsville and a hundred other cities and towns, are better governed now than they were before Slav, Latin and Jew came to live in their Patches and Ghettos. This is true in spite of our having tried to corrupt these new citizens from the very hour when they received their political rights, and that when they had no rights, we treated them with neglect and scorn.

The mayor of Greensburg, Pa., a man of the newer and better type of administrators, whose territory is completely environed by the coke regions and has an almost totally foreign population—says:

“They make reliable citizens. They can be trusted absolutely. Their worst enemy is drink; but when a foreigner comes before me and is fined, if he has no money and I let him go home, he will come the next day to pay his fine even if he lives ten miles from town. Yet in spite of the fact that the ‘Hunkey’ and the ‘Dago’ have helped build up Greensburg, and have enriched its citizens, they are still held in contempt by the majority of its people.”

This same official told me that a few years ago when the Italians celebrated their Independence{345} Day, the High School boys of that city threw decayed vegetables at them and their national flag.

Without the slightest reserve I can say this: Wherever an enlightened official, like this mayor, or teachers of the public schools, ministers of the Gospel and business men, have come in real contact with the new immigrant, their verdict was entirely different from that of Mr. Edwards and many of the professional writers upon the problem which the foreigner represents.

There are some places in the United States where I have found the immigrant a menace, and one of them is in Pittston, Pa. There the Italian is really bad; there he is an Anarchist and a murderer. But in Pittston I discovered the really bad American, an Anarchist and a murderer; although he may be the owner of some of the mines or a high official in the town. In that city, every law which governs mining has been openly violated, and there is at least one mine in the place which is nothing but a deep hell-hole and is known as such by the men compelled to work in it. It is a mine in which anything may be had for a bribe and anything may be done without fear of punishment. In one of the last communal elections, the candidate for its highest office kept open house, with beer and “booze” in one of the miners’ shacks; young boys, not out of their teens, were allowed to drink to intoxication, and the candidate already mentioned{346} was not an Italian or a Slav or a Jew; but an American, unto the tenth generation and a member of a Protestant church.

I do not rejoice in writing this or in telling it as I have had to tell it in the towns affected, and to the very men who have thus offended.

It is painful to me, because, after all, I do not feel myself so closely identified with the immigrant as with the American. While my sympathies are with the immigrant, they are much more with this, my country, and with that circle of the native born, whose ideals, whose hopes and whose aspirations have become mine.

I am not greatly concerned with immigration, per se; that is a subject for the economist, which I am not. It is for him, if he is skilled enough, to know whether we can afford to keep our gates open to the millions who come, or when and to whom to close them.

Narrowly, or perhaps selfishly, I am concerned for those who are here; that they be treated justly, with due appreciation of their worth, and that they may see that best in the American which has bound me to him, to his land and to its history; to its best men living, and to those of its dead who left a great legacy, too great to be squandered by a prodigal generation.

Knowing how great this legacy is, and yet may be for the blessing of mankind, I am pleading for this new immigrant. If we care at all{347} for that struggling, striving mass of men, unblessed as yet by those gifts of Heaven which have blessed us, let us prove to these people of all kindreds and races and nations, that our God is the Lord, that His law is our law and that all men are our brothers.{348}



WHILE passing through a pleasure park in one of the European capitals I met, quite by accident, my fellow passenger on the Italian steamer, the Puritan rebel; she who smoked cigarettes, drank cocktails, was divorced and had gone to the Old World in search of a more congenial moral atmosphere and a husband with braid and buttons. Now she was drinking the cup of unrestrained pleasure, and having nearly drained it, it was beginning to taste bitter. Officers and attachés, Grand Opera, frivolous plays and care-free crowds, were beginning to pall upon her and she was unmistakably homesick; although she did not confess to that last fact.

“I suppose,” she said, “you can’t get rid of Puritanism, when once it gets into your blood. It’s an hereditary disease.”

“And it is contagious,” I added.

“I thought,” she continued, “that at home we were small and narrow and that over here I should find a larger freedom; but you can’t turn around here, without finding the bars up—{349}racially, religiously, socially and politically. The only unobstructed passage is the way to Hell.”

Hers were large, black, dreamy eyes and the shadows of disappointment passed over them. Then, to shake off the gripping seriousness from her mood, she said, with a forced smile: “I am going to see the Merry Widow to-night with my Captain. They are both inane. Meeting you has made me blue, I fear; you remind me of my father.”

She said this reproachfully, I thought; although she added: “Let us sit down and talk things over. My daughter and the maid are listening to the music and I have nothing to do until my Captain comes to meet me.”

“Now please listen to me,” I said when we were seated. “I was born over here, right in this city. My playground was this very park. I have tasted the best this city can offer a boy, as well as its worst.

“Listen,” I said again; for her eyes wandered to the gay crowds. “I also know your home city, and I wouldn’t give one block in Hartford, Conn., not speaking from the commercial standpoint, for this whole magnificent city, with its Cathedral, its Grand Opera, its royal castle, its officers and its Merry Widow. Do you ask why? Just watch this crowd and let me interpret it to you. Those boys now passing are{350} Bohemians, apprentices; and they are talking Czechish to make themselves obnoxious to the Germans whom they hate and who hate them, more than your forefathers hated the devil.

“Do you see that Bosnian? Notice his smile as he sells a jack-knife to the Austrian soldier. His smile would be more genuine if he could knife this detested ‘Schwab,’ his enemy and the conquerer of his country.

“Those men with the needle-pointed moustaches are Magyars, and they hate the Slavs and Germans and every one else who will not speak their language.

“The officers with the red fez are Turks, as you know; just now they despise everything Austrian, and not without reason.

“The picturesque nurse maids, wheeling the babies, do not have those soldiers with them to protect Austria’s ‘infant industries’; they are Slovaks, aliens of the aliens, and the unprotected prey of the soldiers. The Jews here add to the chaos; for all these races hate them and they reciprocate in kind.”

“We have all these people in Hartford! What of it?” My companion impatiently interrupted my explanations.

“This,” I replied. “These people have lived for many hundreds of years, in chaos and confusion. Each in his little world, hemmed in by the pride of his race or the hate of other people.{351} Each day the barriers grow taller and the hate grows stronger.

“I lived in it for a good many years, and it is an awfully little world one is locked into; yet it is as big and terrible as Hell. That being branded by the marks of your race, by the speech your ancestors have bequeathed you, by your blood or your religion, and isolated as if you were a leper, while your heart yearns for the larger fellowships—all that I have felt from my youth.”

“Haven’t you felt it in America, too?”

“Yes; but with a difference, a tremendous difference. There they may shut one from the social contact, but there remain the public schools, the libraries, the churches and settlements. And what schools you have in Hartford! I have been in schoolrooms there, in the first grade, where 90% of the children were of alien birth, and at a glance I knew their nationality.

“Italians, miniature old men and women, although scarcely seven years of age.

“Serious, little black-eyed Jews, with the burden of ages upon their bent backs.

“Polish boys and girls, with small foreheads, as if some tyrant had trampled upon their heads.

“Armenians, sad-looking, dark-skinned creatures, haunted by the remembrance of their village street, red from the blood of the slain.{352}

“Syrian children, out of the very village in whose meadows the angels sang when Christ was born; but who have never known either peace or good will.

“I went to the second and third grades, and there it seemed as if the hand of a good angel had already passed over those marked and marred faces; I could almost hear the voice of the All-Father saying:

“‘I will blot out the transgressions which have been transgressed against you.’

“They looked like children who were beginning to live the real life of the child in a really human world, and were having a chance to grow into the human likeness.

“I have been to your High School, and there the marks were all but obliterated; there was ‘neither Jew nor Greek, neither Roman nor Barbarian’; they were all a new people.”

Now, my Puritan rebel was listening attentively enough; so I continued: “In America, something happens which cannot happen here. Over there, the fiber, the tissue, that mysterious fluid which we call life or soul, the very nerve cells change, under the benign influences of the heritage left by your fathers; that heritage which you despise—you”—I repeated, and I said it angrily; “you, who expatriate yourself for the sheen of braid and buttons, for Grand Opera and Viennese waltzes! You expatriate yourself{353}





from a country where there is more idealism to the square inch than in all this country, in spite of its statuary, its music and its aristocracy.

“I’d rather live in Connecticut, the wife of a humble artisan, than here, the ‘consort’ of a Count or Duke.”

“You talk exactly like my father,” she repeated.

“Do I? I’m glad of it. I told you that Puritanism is contagious. Maybe I caught it from your father, and if I were sure that I have caught it, I would be sure of more moral fiber than you will get here, if you stay a hundred years.

“That Puritanism which you despise will make cosmos out of chaos; for in spite of its narrowness, there is in it the passion for humanity. It cries for justice, for freedom, for equality, even if it too often burdens itself with theological dogmas hard to understand and harder to believe.

“After all, the best thing in your country is, not that you give the weaker a chance to grow strong, and the broken the blessing of healing—the best of it is, that those of us who are just what we are, have a chance to help in the doing. It’s the work that a man or woman can do over there that counts.

“Yes, go back, crawl back, if necessary, to sober Connecticut; to its pure women and its{354} undemonstrative men, who do not make meaningless compliments, after the fashion of your Captain; but who will at least think no evil of you and who will treat you with real courtesy, when there is need of courteous action.

“You want art? You fear you will miss it? They are doing something worth while at home, in bronze and marble; but they are doing more wonderful things in human flesh and spirit.

“I have seen wretched Italian children who came from where they make little fairies out of Carrara marble, yet they were crooked without and within; and I have seen them grow tall and beautiful and pure, by the grace of God and the passion of some noble woman. That, after all, is the supreme art.

“Music? You can have Grand Opera in New York composed of all the stars in the operatic firmament; yet I have heard music, sweeter, better and truer, sung by children in the Settlements.

“I have seen a Christmas at Hull House, in Chicago, which surpassed any Grand Opera. I am sure if angels come down to earth and care for our mundane pleasures, they must have struggled for a front seat there.

“Fifty children of nearly all the races under Heaven sang the songs of their home-land, all the way from those they used to sing under the dark pines of Norway’s farthest crag, down to{355} those sung by Sicilian children beneath the palms of their ever sunny land.

“Together they sang those Heaven-born prophecies of ‘Peace on earth, good will to men’; and as I heard the blended voices of Jews, Catholics, and Protestants, Greeks, Italians and Syrians, I felt that the ancient prophecies are being fulfilled, at least in spots, on our then unknown continent.

“Go home. Learn to find pleasure in that classic art of making home. Learn how to find joy in giving children a chance to live and laugh, to look towards manhood and womanhood from a mountain top and not from a cage. Catch the rhythm of that new poetry which is now in the making; which speaks in its sonnets of justice, in its epics of war against all human wrong and in its lyrics of a sublimer and a larger love.”

“There comes my Captain!” said my victim, with a sigh of relief; “and I must go.”

Yes, there he stood; all braid and buttons, or just braid and buttons, a waxed moustache, a waxen smile and clicking spurs.

Gracefully he bowed as he offered his arm, in such a charming manner as could not be easily reproduced by any mere American. Thus they left me to my solemn musings, while the living tide swept by me, each drop in the great current antagonistic to the other. Unbidden there arose before me the ship, laden by human freight,{356} leaving America, carrying representatives of these same races and nationalities alien and hostile to each other: Slavs and Magyars, arch foes of centuries’ standing; Northern and Southern Italians, looking with scorn at one another; Jews and Gentiles, Greeks and Bulgarians, Albanians and Montenegrins.

All of them had come out of the chaos wrought by ages of hate and centuries of warfare. But in America, many of them had learned to live together without scorn on the lip or hand on the sword-hilt.

The walls which separated them were weakened, if not broken down, and like blind men they felt for one another in the dark; sometimes missing the larger brotherhood, but often finding it.

The Pentecost of which prophets and seers have dreamt, which is to repair the ruin wrought in the human family by the building of its towers of Babel, cannot be so far away. The cosmos may yet come out of the chaos, and there is no spot of earth on which this creative act can be performed as well as in our America.

The land is vast enough and rich enough; no barrier of language divides the East from the West; the North and the South are almost one, after an internecine war; and in spite of our melting of metals and slaughter of cattle and growing of corn—in spite of souls made hard and unresponsive to anything but money—like the{357}


“It is just like you Americans—you go to work to make your dreams come

“It is just like you Americans—you go to work to make your dreams come true.”

cash register we have invented; in spite of my Puritan rebel and her numerous company—in spite of all that, our land is still full of dreamers of dreams, who yet are awake and practical enough to make their dreams come true.

“It is just like you Americans,” said General Riciotto Garibaldi, to my “boys,” as they stood together at the foot of his father’s monument in Rome; while he listened to the story of their journeyings in the immigrants’ land, living in their huts in Hungary, Poland and Italy, learning their language and their ways, that they may know how to minister to their needs over here, and bind us to them and them to us. “It is just like you Americans. We Italians think about those things and make poetry; you go to work at a great dream to make it true.”

My faith in the dreams of the great dreamers has never wavered. I knew that the prophet’s vision was not a Fata Morgana, and that the words of the Son of Man came straight from the fountain of truth. Believing in them and believing in American manhood and womanhood, in their altruism and in their faith, and believing in the essential humanity of our crowding alien host—I believe that cosmos is being created and that chaos will disappear.

Finally, what we teach the immigrant by precept or by example, he will become. He will bequeath our virtues or our vices, not only to the{358} next generation which will spring with virgin strength from his loins; but through thousands of invisible channels, he will send these blessings or curses to the ends of the earth.

The issues of the Kingdom of God in this generation are with America.{359}



THE new Immigrant groups which are more difficult to classify according to race, nationality and religion:

The Slavs
I. Western Slavs
Nameor political divisionReligion
BohemianThe Kingdom of BohemiaRoman Catholic
or Czecha province of AustriaProtestant
MoraviansMoraviaRoman Catholic
a province of AustriaProtestant
PolesPolandRoman Catholic
divided by the European
powers into
The Russian province of
The German province of
The Austrian province of
SlovaksA number of districts inRoman Catholic
Hungary chiefly in andProtestant
near the Carpathians
WendsSettlements in Germany,Roman Catholic
Prussia and SaxonyProtestant{360}
2. Eastern Slavs
RussiansRussiaGreek Orthodox
{Little RussiansSouthern RussiaGreek Orthodox
{RussniaksHungaryGreek Catholic
3. Southern Slavs
ServiansThe Kingdom of ServiaGreek Orthodox
some districts in
Southern HungaryGreek Orthodox
CroatiansCroatiaRoman Catholic
a province of Hungaryand
Greek Orthodox
MontenegrinsMontenegroGreek Orthodox
an independent principality
BosniansBosnia and HerzegovinaGreek Orthodox
andProvinces of AustriaRoman Catholic
DalmatiansDalmatiaGreek Orthodox
a province of AustriaRoman Catholic
SlovenesCarinthiaRoman Catholic
or GrinersCarnoliaProtestant
Provinces of Austria
BulgariansCzardom of BulgariaGreek Orthodox
Districts in Southern
Eastern European Groups
MagyarsKingdom of HungaryRoman Catholic
and Protestant
a semi-independent
province of Russia
RoumanianKingdom of RoumaniaGreek Orthodox
Roman Catholic
LithuaniansDistrict in RussiaRoman Catholic
and Protestant
GreeksKingdom of GreeceGreek Orthodox
AlbaniansAlbaniaGreek Orthodox
a province ofRoman Catholic
Groups from the Ottoman Empire
ArmeniansAsia MinorArmenian Catholic Church
Gregorian Church
Syrians Syria
a province of
Syrian church {Jacobite
{Ancient Syrian
(Roman Catholic)





THERE is much misapprehension in the popular mind, both as to the number of immigrants arriving in the United States, and those remaining for permanent residence.

Until 1907, all aliens arriving were enumerated; but of those departing, no record was kept.

The Commissioner General of Immigration arrived at the figures of net immigration given below, by estimating the departures according to figures obtained during four months in 1907, when the returning tide of immigration was normal.

The year 1908 shows an abnormally small increase, due to the industrial depression in that year, when the returning tide of immigration was very strong. The following tables show that a large number return every year, and I am inclined to believe that the estimated figures of the net increase are too high, and that the permanent increase of the foreign-born population cannot be calculated from this insufficient data.{363}

The net gain in our foreign born population in the last ten years is estimated as 5,240,200 which is 68% of the total immigration.

  Alien arrivals.
Year. Accepted
Total alien
1899 311,715 [7]45,000 356,715 172,837 183,878 59 per cent.
Total 7,762,317 753,572 8,510,889 3,275,689 5,240,200  




THE following table, giving the number of immigrant aliens admitted from June 30, 1907 to June 30, 1908, is of special interest, because it shows marked decrease during that period of industrial depression.

The figures are from the report of the Commissioner General of Immigration.

The increase in the number of those from Roumania is probably in Jewish immigration, following a period of renewed anti-Semitic disorders.

Should a change occur in the political status of the Russian Jews, a large decrease of that group of immigrants may be expected. While it is not likely to occur soon, Jewish immigration will also be retarded by the fact that the economic conditions in the Russian empire are growing better.

The greatest decrease may be expected from Austria-Hungary, where drastic emigration laws have been passed, and are rigorously enforced;{365} especially against the Slavs, whose withdrawal in large numbers has imperilled agricultural and industrial enterprises in Hungary.

Immigrant Aliens Admitted, Fiscal Years Ended June 30, 1907 and 1908, Showing Increase and Decrease for Each Country.

Country of last permanent residence. 1907. 1908.Increase (+)
decrease (-)
Austria-Hungary 338,452 168,509 -169,943
Belgium 6,396 4,162 - 2,234
Bulgaria, Servia, and Montenegro 11,359 10,827 - 532
Denmark 7,243 4,954 - 2,289
France, including Corsica 9,731 8,788 - 943
German Empire 37,807 32,309 - 5,498
Greece 36,580 21,489 - 15,091
Italy, including Sicily and Sardinia 285,731 128,503 -157,228
Netherlands 6,637 5,946 - 691
Norway 22,133 12,412 - 9,721
Portugal, including Cape Verde and Azore islands 9,608 7,307 - 2,301
Roumania 4,384 5,228 + 844
Russian Empire and Finland 258,943 156,711 -102,232
Spain, including Canary and Balearic islands 5,784 3,899 - 1,885
Sweden 20,589 12,809 - 7,780
Switzerland 3,748 3,281 - 467
Turkey in Europe 20,767 11,290 - 9,477
United Kingdom:
England 56,637 47,031 - 9,606
Ireland 34,530 30,556 - 3,974
Scotland 19,740 13,506 - 6,234
Wales 2,660 2,287 - 373
Other Europe 107 97 - 10
Total Europe1,199,566 691,901 -509,353




I. The examination of all emigrants at the port of embarkation.


(a) The maintenance of an expensive machinery which will be hard to direct and control.

(b) The possible objections of the governments concerned.

(c) The prospective emigrant will necessarily have taken the most serious steps; and rejection at the port of entry will not be a much greater misfortune than rejection at the port of embarkation.

(d) That it will be practically impossible for political offenders to leave their country.

II. “That in addition to the restriction imposed by the laws at present in force, the head tax of four dollars now collected, should be increased to ten.”[9]


This would increase the number of immigrants who come here without their families, and consequently would react upon the United States both morally and financially.{367}


That the ten dollar head tax be collected from adults, and that the present tax of four dollars remain in force for children and possibly for mothers.

III. “That each immigrant, unless he be a political refugee, should bring with him not less than twenty-five dollars, in addition to the amount required to pay transportation to the point where he expects to find employment.”

There is no valid objection to this demand—and the vast majority of immigrants are able to meet it.

IV. “That immigrants between the ages of fourteen and fifty years should be able to read a section of the Constitution of the United States, either in our language, in their own language, or in the language of the country from which they come.”


The demand for such a test is not unreasonable, and is humane in that it exempts the young and the aged; but it does not take account of the fact that in most immigrant groups, the education of the woman has been neglected—and that the enforcement of such a law would have the same effect as that which relates to the increase in the head tax.


That the literacy test be not applied to the wives of immigrants.{368}


A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, P, R, S, T, V, W, Y.

Albania, 300, 302, 305-307
Amerikansky Schtore, 108
Anarchist, 291, 322
Anti-Semitism, 286
Armenia, 351
Austria, 287

Bacon, Judge, 283
Baldwin, 302, 305-306, 309
Beisel, Conrad, 232
“Bessie,” 170 ff.
Black Hand, 291

Calabria, 174
Campagna, 176
Cattero, Boche de, 248
Chautauqua, 305, 309
Chicago, 86, 87
Chorvat, Jan, 130 ff.
Columbus, 244
Connecticut, 200, 353
Connellsville, 192, 331, 341, 344
Constitution of United States, 323
Cracow, description of, 112;
hatred of Germany in, 113;
Jews in, 113;
political condition in, 114
Criminals, 322
Czechs, 212

Dalmatia, conditions in, 138;
government, 139;
America a blessing to, 147
Dowie, Charles A., 89

Edwards, R. H., 334, 336, 345
Ellis Island, 170
Emigrants, views of Americans, 82 ff.;
effect of return of, 72-75

Fansher, Guy J., 308

Gabriel, 256 ff.
Garibaldi, 357
“Gemeinschaft,” 222
Greensburg, Pa., 344
Grose, Howard N., 317

Harrisburg, 343
Hartford, 315, 349, 351
Harvard, 264-266, 340
Hazleton, 353 ff.
Hungary, 260, 287, 295
Huss, 209
Hussite movement, 221

Introduction, letters of, 112
Italy, church of, 177;
dark side of emigration from, 173;
effect of emigration on Italy, 166;
on wages, 174;
on education, 175;
on religion, 176;
on women, 178;
on economic conditions, 179;
on purchase of land in, 174
Italians, bad, 195

Jamestown, 306-307, 310
Japanese question, 194
Jew, the, prevalence of persecution of, 260;
Jewish feeling of superiority, 261;
religious feeling alone does not account for prejudice, 262;
Prof. Shaler’s comparison of Jewish and Gentile students, 264;
Jewish incapacities, 267;
the Orthodox, 272;
nowhere indigenous, 275;
characteristics, 279 ff.{369}

Kisheneff, 277
Kopaniczari, meaning of word, 93;
savage appearance, 94;
view of fires, 94; of cameras, 95;
of medicine, 96
Kortia, 310

Lewis, H. S., 282
London County Council, 283
Lo Perfido, Luigi, 177
Luther, Martin, 210, 221

Matera, 177
Mayflower, The, 341
Medical science in Trenczin, 96, 97
Methodist Church, 176
Molocani, 187
Monastir, 307
Montenegro, Prince of, 153;
minister of exterior of, 152;
festivities of, 154;
emigration from, 155;
neighbours of, 156, 164;
legend of origin, 158;
national dress of, 160

Passover, Feast of, 262
Pennsylvania, 334, 342
Pietor, Ambrosius, 223
Pittston, Pa., 320, 345
Poland, best type of, 116;
in miniature, 117;
federation of, 122
Police, American, 49;
Indianapolis, 251;
Moscow, 250;
St. Petersburg, 250
Polish labourer in America, 65
Polish nobleman, a, 119
Polish peasantry, American influence on, 118
Postal Savings Bank, 193

Ragusa, guslar of, 142, 149 ff.;
returned emigrants in, 143;
and Coney Island, 144;
an evening in, 145
Roberts, Peter, 318
Rohacek, 134
Roosevelt, 297
Ross, Prof., 335
Rousseau, 241
Roy Sisters, the, 132
Ruskin, 241
Ruthenians, 78, 190, 207

Scanderberg, 306
Scharosh, 329, 339
Scranton, 163, 192, 200, 331, 341, 344
Shaler, Prof. N., 262, 266-267
Sicilians, 339
Skutari, 301, 305
Slavs, progress in social scale, 23;
slow to emigrate, 93;
lack of initiative, 118;
future of, 120;
characteristics of, 121, 205 ff.;
numerical supremacy, 203;
condition at home, 204;
dangers in Slavic emigration, 211;
industrial development impossible without them, 191;
late product of civilization, 215;
an Aryan people, 216;
Southern group of, 217;
Western group, Catholic, 218;
priests among, 220;
the reformation among, 221;
speech, 77;
conception of Slovaks, 190;
ideas of drink, 201
Slovak, slowness of, 125-127;
evangelistic effort among, 134;
returned emigrants, 128, 136
Sonnenschein, 275
Spalato, 185, 248
“Stary Kray,” 24, 25
Stelzle, Charles, 317
Streator, Ill., 302-303, 309, 311-312
Syrian children, 352

Taft, President, 309
Taylor, Prof. Graham, 200, 284
Third class travel, 77, 79
Tolstoi, 241
Trenton, N. J., 195{370}
Turk, M. H., 307-308

Vienna, University of, 296

Waag, the River, 124
Wages, 166
Wallachians, 78
Watchorn, R., 277
Welsh miners, 339
Wilkes-Barre, 192, 238, 331, 341, 344

Y. M. C. A., 258, 318, 323-324

Printed in the United States of America



JOHN T. FARIS Author of “Men Who Made Good”

The Alaskan Pathfinder

The Story of Sheldon Jackson for Boys. 12mo, cloth, net $1.00.

The story of Sheldon Jackson will appear irresistibly to every boy. Action from the time he was, as an infant, rescued from a fire to his years’ of strenuous rides through the Rockies and his long years’ of service in Alaska, permeate every page of the book. Mr. Faris, with a sure hand, tells the story of this apostle of the Western Indians in clear-cut, incisive chapters which will hold the boy’s attention from first to last.

JOSEPH B. CLARK, D.D. The Story of American Home Missions

Leavening the Nation:

New and Revised Edition. International Leaders’ Library. 12mo, cloth (postage 10c.), net 50c.

This standard history of the Home Mission work of all denominations in America, has been thoroughly revised and brought up-to-date.


The New America

Home Mission Study Course. Illustrated, 12mo, cloth, net 50c. (post. 7c.); paper 30c. (post. 5c.).

This, the regular text-book for the coming year is on the subject of immigration. The author is eminently fitted for writing on this theme as she has been a worker among immigrants, and has given much time to studying the problem.


America, God’s Melting Pot

Home Mission Study Course. Illustrated, 12mo, paper, net 25c. (postage 4c.).

The subject chosen for study this year, Immigration, covers so wide a field that it was thought best to prepare a supplemental text book from an entirely different standpoint. The author has written a “parable study” which deals more with lessons and agencies than with issues and processes.


Comrades from Other Lands

Home Mission Junior Text Book. Illustrated, 12mo, paper, net 25c. (postage 4c.).

This book is complementary to the last volume in this course of study, Dr. Henry’s SOME IMMIGRANT NEIGHBORS which treated of the lives and occupations of foreigners in our cities. This latter tells what the immigrants are doing in country industries. Teachers of children of from twelve to sixteen will find here material to enlist the sympathies and hold the interest of their scholars.{372}



The Personal Life of David Livingstone

By W. Garden Blaikie, D.D. Complete Authorized Edition, with Portrait and Map. International Leaders’ Library. Cloth, (postage 10c.), net 50c.

For fifteen years this book has remained the Standard Life of Livingstone. The book is of especial interest just now when all the world is observing the Centennary of Livingstone’s birth.

“After all the years that have intervened it still remains the most complete, authentic and inspired of all the biographies of Livingstone.”—The Bookman.


Frances Willard: Her Life and Her Work

By Ray Strachey. With an Introduction by Lady Henry Somerset. Illustrated, 8vo, cloth, net $1.50.

A notable new life of the great temperance advocate written by an English woman from an entirely new standpoint. Mrs. Strachey, the granddaughter of the author of “A Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life,” had immediate access to Miss Willard’s letters, journals and papers, and the benefit of her grandmother’s advice and knowledge.

Israel Zangwill says of the book, “A masterpiece of condensation, an adequate biography of perhaps the greatest woman America has produced. Nobody can read this book without becoming braver, better, wiser.”


Nathan Sites:

With an Introduction by Bishop William F. McDowell. Oriental Hand-Painted Illustrations. 8vo, cloth, gilt top, net $1.50.

This is one of the notable books of the year. China looms large in current political and religious interest, so that this life story of one who for nearly half a century has been closely identified with social and religious reform in that country must have a large place in current literature. The book is more than ordinarily notable also because of its profuse and beautiful illustrations.


Life of G. L. Wharton

By Mrs. Emma Richardson Wharton. Illustrated, 12mo, gilt top, cloth, net $1.25.

A biography of a pioneer missionary of the F. C. M. S., written by a devoted wife who shared the experiences of her husband in a long service in India and Australia. It is a life of unusual interest and an important addition to the annals of modern missionary effort.{373}


The Foreign Doctor: “The Hakim Sahib”

A Biography of Joseph Plumb Cochran, M.D., of Persia. Illustrated, 12mo, cloth, net $1.50.

Dr. Cochran came to a position of power in Western Persia which made his life as interesting as a romance. He was one of the central figures in the Kurdish invasion of Persia, and was the chief means of saving the city of Uramia. In no other biography is there as full an account of the actual medical work done by the medical missionary, and of the problem of the use of the political influence acquired by a man of Dr. Cochran’s gifts and opportunities.


William Scott Ament Missionary of the American Board to China.

Illustrated, 8vo, cloth, net $1.50.

A biography of one of the most honored missionaries of the Congregational Church, whose long and effective service in China has inscribed his name high in the annals of those whose lives have been given to the uplift of their fellowmen.


Frank Field Ellinwood Former Secretary Presbyterian F. M. Board

His Life and Work. Illustrated, cloth, net $1.00.

A charming biography of one of the greatest missionary leaders of the Nineteenth Century.—Robert E. Speer.


The Story of Antonio the Galley Slave

With Portrait, 12mo, cloth, net $1.25.

“Reads like a romance, and the wonderful thing about it is that it is true. A fervid religious experience, a passion for service and good intellectual equipment were his splendid preparation for a great missionary work among his countrymen in America.”—Zion’s Herald.


George Muller, The Modern Apostle of Faith By Frederick G. Warne.

New Edition, including the Later Story of the Bristol Orphan Home.

Illustrated, cloth, net 75c.

“What deep attractiveness is found in this life of the great and simple-hearted apostle.”—Christian Advocate.


Dr. Apricot of “Heaven-Below”

Illustrated, 8vo, cloth, net $1.00.

“No one who has read this book will ever afterwards repeat the threadbare objection, I don’t believe in missions.”—Continent.{374}

A “Vade Mecum” on Immigration

The Immigrant

An Asset and a Liability


Author of the “American Government”

Illustrated, 12mo., cloth, net $1.25

The wide-spread attention focused on this theme makes “THE IMMIGRANT, An Asset and a Liability” especially timely. No other book of this kind gathers into itself the consideration of so many phases of the subject and for this reason it admirably supplements the several text books on the topic. In brief, lucid replies it answers questions like these:

“Why do the immigrants come?”

“How do they come?”

“How are they treated at ports of entry?”

“What helps and what hindrances meet them?”

“Where do they go?”

“What are the relations of immigration and the white slave traffic?”

“Who is the padrone?”

“What is peonage?”

“How does the new immigrant live?”

“What of the future?”

Mr Haskin has succeeded to a remarkable degree in investing the subject of Immigration with intense interest. The story of the greatest human migration of all the ages is told in vivid, incisive and picturesque style. The three centuries of this great world movement are spread out before the reader like a panoramic parade of all nations. Accurate historical statement, philosophic presentation of the underlying principles and a judicial consideration of the ultimate influence on our country characterize this latest and in many respects most satisfactory and complete handbook.{375}


[1] “The Neighbours,” pp. 110-114.

[2] “The Jew in London,” Russel-Lewis, pages 171-173.

[3] “Studies on American Social Conditions. Immigration.” By Richard Henry Edwards, p. 9.

[4] “Social Psychology,” Ross, p. 140.

[5] Report of Commission of Immigration of the State of New York, pp. 182 and 185.

[6] Report of Commission of Immigration of the State of New York, p. 183.

[7] Estimated.

[8] Actual figures.

[9] Protect the Workman. John Mitchell, The Outlook, Sept. 11, 1909.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Immigrant Tide, Its Ebb and Flow, by 
Edward A. Steiner


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