Burlington, Des Moines, Iowa
Wednesday, June 22, 1864
singular fact of the day is the wonderful increase of immigration.- While we are
in the midst of a terrible and exhaustive civil war, while native croakers are
complaining of their trials and constantly predicting overwhelming calamities,
men of foreign countries-countries now enjoying peace, are flocking to our
shores in numbers almost beyond precedent. If any comment were necessary on the
folly of those who predict nothing but evil, evils, too, which can only come as
a consequence and result of their predictions, it is supplied by the tide
constantly swelling, the best that can be made. A country can hardly be deemed
on the verge of ruin, which even in the midst of the greatest of civil wars,
attracts the people of others to its borders and furnishes them with a better
home than they can find in their native lands while in the enjoyment of peace.
A few figures will indicate how enormous this
emigration is. At the port of New York, from the 1st of January to the last day
of May, 68,078 immigrants were landed. Of these, 41, 238 were from Ireland,
15,346 from Germany, 8,114 from England, 1,186 from Scotland, 214 from Wales,
and 1,933 from all other countries. If they should continue to come in the same
ratio throughout the year, the total number at that port will be 214,876. This
will exceed the number for 1863 nearly sixty thousand, and is more than double
the number for any year since 1857.
Much the larger portion of the immigrants land at New
York. They come in steamers and sail vessels. The trouble on the other side is
that both classes prove insufficient. Passages are engaged to the full capacity
of all a month in advance.- Those whose passage is secured refuse double the
price for it. They are bent upon crossing and nothing can bribe them to lose the
speediest chance. Another feature is that fully two-thirds of the Irish
emigrants have their fares prepaid by friends and relatives in this country.
A much larger proportion than usual of the present
immigration is of the more thrifty and industrious classes, and it includes a
very large number of skilled mechanics and workmen, who come prepared to become
at once useful and self-supporting residents among us. Those whose possessions
enable them to form a pretty exact opinion, estimate the amount of coin in the
hands of each immigrant this year at eighty dollars.
In 1856 the number landed from steamers at New York was
only about 5,000 and three per cent of the whole. In 1863, the number from
steamers was 63,931 and forty per cent of the whole. And all the steamers which
brought immigrants last year were foreign. Not one American vessel among them!
There is another illustration of the effect of England's professed neutrality!
The fare by steamers is about double that charged by sail vessels. But the time
occupied is much shorter, sail vessels occupying three or four times as much,
and the risk of disease being multiplied many times over.
Such are a few of the facts relating to the existing
phase of immigration. They indicate that the people of other lands do not find
their condition at home desirable and that they still believe it will be
improved by coming to us. They have faith in our institutions still, though
rebels and traitors insist that they are a failure, and seek to destroy them.
And we have room for all who have this faith and who are determined to prove it
by their acts. Those who are resolved to make their own way among us, the
thrifty and industrious sons of toil, are just what we want. We shall mutually
aid each other. So long as this class comes we shall bid them welcome. There is
ample room and abundance of employment for all who choose to make this their
home and their country. Does not their conduct put us to shame those among us
who would consent to the overthrow of the Republic ,and are too faint-hearted to
make a single effort to sustain and defend it.!
Greene, Butler, Iowa
February 4, 1902
A TOUGH PROPOSITION
The condition of Ireland agriculturally is steadily
improving owing to the more liberal land laws. The percent of Irish immigration
to this country is steadily decreasing, largely due to this improved condition.
This is a distinct loss to America, as Pat more than any other man has
contributed to the splendid system of internal improvements of which America is
so proud. In place of the son of the Emerald Isle we are now getting beggars
from Italy, fortune tellers from Alsatia, tramps from Turkey and scads of all
degrees from the despot ridden and bankrupt principalities of the Mediterranean.
America has done marvelous things in assimilating foreign types and converting
them into a homogeneous citizenship, but she is now receiving at the rate of
half a million head a year of raw material which bids fair to tax the
assimilative power of the country to the utmost. When we say that only 30 per
cent of this crowd can either read or write, it is easy to understand what a job
we have on our hands.
Greene, Butler ,Iowa
Apr 13, 1904
statistics of immigration into the United States during the past eighty-five
years furnished a very interesting study. From 1821 to 1903, both inclusive, the
total number of immigrants that have come into the United States aggregates
21,265,723, equal to one-fourth of the present population of the country. It
takes in almost every known nationality. Europe furnished 93 per cent, the
western hemisphere 4.5 per cent, and China and all other countries 2.5 per cent.
Of the total immigration into the United States from 1821 to 1903, Germany and
the United Kingdom furnished 56 per cent, as follows: Germany, 24 per cent;
Ireland, 19 per cent, and England, Scotland and Wales, 13 per cent. During the
same period Austria-Hungary, Italy and Russia and Poland furnished 21 per cent
as follows: Austria-Hungary, 7 per cent; Italy, 8 per cent, and Russia and
Poland, 6 per cent. Of the total immigration in 1903, Germany and the United
Kingdom furnished only 12 per cent while Austria-Hungary, Italy, Russia &
Poland furnished 68 per cent.
Greene, Butler, Iowa
August 31, 1904
government has failed to prevent the immigration of the undesirables from Europe
with all the restrictions in force to keep them out. In consequence there are
20,000 insane and criminal persons who are supported by our taxpayers. The
insane are three-fourths of the whole. Of the 15,000 mentally afflicted by far
the largest portion are from Ireland, although the proportion of criminal Irish
is very small. Of the 5,000 in prisons and reformatories a large proportion
comes from Italy. The startling fact has been developed that no less than 90 per
cent of all the murderers now confined in jails and prisons in New York State
are Italians. Most of the Italians who reach this country stop in New York City
or the immediate neighborhood. In Pennsylvania, where the proportions of
Italians received is not so large, it was found that Italians constituted 50 per
cent of the murderers awaiting trial or under sentences of death or
imprisonment. These facts would make it appear that Italy is now sending to this
country the dregs of her society.