The Immigration Question in 1891

A friend showed me a box of old area newspapers from as far back as the 1890s -- newspapers from Hudson and River Falls, Wisconsin, the Twin Cities and a few other areas. There is fascinating information in these papers and it is easy to see how much times have changed and how they have not changed.

For instance, immigration is huge debate in today's political debate. In 1891, the Wisconsin-Minnesota border country was a major stopping point for Scandinavian immigrants and other areas of Europe -- Germany, Ireland, Italy, France, etc.

One paper is from the May 27, 1891 edition of the North, a weekly newspaper published in Minneapolis every Wednesday and edited by Luth Jaeger, a Norwegian immigrant. According to is masthead, The North was "a weekly newspaper in the English language, devoted to the inculcation of American principles among the Scandinavian citizens of the United States." The goal of the paper was to Americanize Norwegian immigrants into the American way of life. It was published from 1889-1894.

Jaeger was a member of the Norwegian-American intelligentsia and he was nominated for Minnesota Secretary of State on the Democratic ticket on Sept. 14, 1886.

Below is photo of an ad from the newspaper that I took with my digital camera. Below the picture is a quote taken from the newspaper about the issue of immigration.

"The national life, as developed in the great port of entry - New York - is a huge crucible into which has been dumped in overwhelming masses the sweepings of European cities. The scum at the top, the dregs at the bottom, we wait with anxiety the slow process of national assimilation which shall fuse with the old Dutch and Anglo-Saxon stock, the stolid German, the mercurial Frenchman, and the fiery Celt, and, out of the compound, present the American nation of the future."

Luth Jaeger
The North

No comments: