Translations from 19th Century German-American Newspapers

Nord Stern

Editor John Ulrich

La Crosse, Wisconsin

Travel Notes 27 July 1867

Description of a trip from La Crosse, Wisconsin to St. Paul, Minnesota, on a Mississippi steamboat and an overland coach traveling through Wabashaw, Reeds Landing, Red Wing, Prescott, Hudson and Stillwater. German original (For German, character set =utf-8)

A Jaunt to Rushford 24 August 1867

Description of a short jaunt to the brand new city of Rushford, the then current endpoint of the southern Minnesota railroad. German original (For German, character set =utf-8)

Taxed Income in La Crosse 30 May 1868

A published list of income taxes owed by all La Crosse residents with the Nord Stern editor's questioning the accuracy of his competitor's taxable income. German original (For German, character set =utf-8)

The United States Tax List 1 June 1867

A published list of all incomes over $1000 after the deduction of necessary expenses from 2nd District of La Crosse County. John Ulrich, Nord Stern editor, questions the absence of the editior of The Democrat, his competitor, on the list.

The Local Jews 18 May 1867 and 14 March 1868

Notes action taken by local Jewish community facing anti-Semitism by American insurance companies and questions the competing local newspaper's emphasis on establishing who is Jewish. German original (For German, character set =utf-8)

A Highly Amusing Misunderstanding 10 August 1867

German troubles in speaking English. German original (For German, character set =utf-8)

Preachers 31 August and 21 September 1867

German-Americans were largely Lutherans or Roman Catholics, two Christian sects with established theologies and church hierarchies. This background made German-Americans suspicious of the many self-taught preachers who roamed the United States, especially those with a superficial knowledge of theological issues and mostly oriented to enriching themselves. German original (For German, character set =utf-8)

German Language 10 August 1867

German-Americans comprised a large segment of the mid-West's immigrant population. They saw no contradiction in being American and retaining their German language and culture. German original (For German, character set =utf-8)

State Legislation 15 February 1868

John Ulrich editorializes on the state legislature German original (For German, character set =utf-8)

African Americans 21 September and 7 December 1867; 22 February 1868

There was little newspaper coverage of the African-American community in the English-language press. Since African-Americans were unlikely to read German, Nord Stern, which was strongly anti-slavery and sympathetic to African-American civil rights, also provided little coverage. These articles were the only ones found for 1867 and early 1868.

National Pride 6 July and 21 September 1867

Immigrant groups often sensed antagonism by some native-born Americans. Physical or verbal sparring sometimes resulted.

Catholic Church News 17 August 1867 and 29 February 1868

The line between news reporting and editorial opinion was often blurred in 19th century American newspapers. John Ulrich comments on personalities while reporting on the activities of local Catholic clergy. German original (For German, character set =utf-8)

Dangers of Sea Travel 25 January and 1 February 1868

Reporting on the dangers of sea travel interested German-American readers who usually knew of friends or relatives planning to immigrate to the United States. German original (For German, character set =utf-8)

Native Americans 19 and 26 October 1867; 25 January 1868

Reporting on Native Americans in the area. German original (For German, character set =utf-8)

Temperance 31 August and 11 May 1867

The religious beliefs of some Americans led them to seek a ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol by all Americans. German-Americans saw no link between their religious beliefs and alcohol, and they vehemently objected to the efforts to make the drinking of alcoholic beverages illegal. German original (For German, character set =utf-8)

Der Demokrat

Jens Peter Stibolt, Editor (1862-1887); Henry Lischer, Publisher

Davenport, Iowa

(Articles from other early Iowa newspapers can be found on the Old Iowa Press website.)

Iowa's Puritans 21 January 1869; A Note on Bible Reading 2 January 1883

On the separation of church and state and its importance to German-Americans. Editor Stiboldt objects to Senator Harlan's proposed U.S. Constitutional amendment that would make God the source of civil government and Jesus the highest authority. German original In commenting on the arrest of the flamboyant George Francis Train for obscenity, Editor Stibolt wryly notes that Train merely quoted the Bible. Stiboldt states his opposition to Bible reading in public schools. (English translation underway.) " German original (For German, character set =utf-8)

Soldiers, Expenditures and Debts of the European Countries 7 June 1883

The founding fathers struggled with the issue of whether the federal government should have a standing army. Some of them observed that the King of England had used a standing army to exercise his power over Parliament. Thus, they worried that a standing army might similarly give the American executive too much power over state governments. Others worried that a standing army could tempt the executive in carrying out foreign military adventures.

Historian Samuel Morrison, in describing the Constitutional Convention wrote:

"Elbridge Gerry, seconded by Luther Martin, wished to restrict the members of the United States Army to 3000 in time of peace, and made a humorous comparison (transmitted by oral tradition) of a standing army to a standing member - "an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure."

This issue is clearly evident in the Federalist Papers and editor Stiboldt takes pleasure in comparing Old Europe's need for large, costly military establishments to America's freedom from such expenses.

A Davenport Pogromist 24 August 1882

Editor Stiboldt responds to an anti-Semitic letter complaining about the city's efforts to help Jewish refugees from Russian pogroms. German original (For German, character set =utf-8)

A Precious Catch 7 November 1884

Great-uncle Henry Martens puts it on the line in fighting Davenport crime. German original (For German, character set =utf-8)

Moses Hirschl Obituary 6 March 1884

A former Davenport resident's prominent father dies. Stiboldt comments on religious intolerance in the world.

The Negro in the State of Freedom 3 May 1883

Editor Jens Stiboldt takes issue with the racist remarks of a white Protestant preacher in Iowa. German original (For German, character set =utf-8)

An Accident 25 May 1882

While Der Demokrat covered Davenport's German-American community, it occasionally wrote about local African-Americans. John Capers' painful workplace accident was one such article as was the report on the tragic death of Chateau, a former slave.

According to federal census information, John Capers was born in South Carolina ca. 1845-47 and in 1870 was working as a coach driver for Charles H. Deere, Vice President of Deere & Co. In 1880 Capers was working at the paper factory and living several doors from Deere on High Street in Moline. German original (For German, character set =utf-8)

Kingly Shots at Davenport's Shooting Society 10 August 1882

(English translation underway.) The Schuetzengesellschaft, a traditional German social organization, played an important role in Davenport's German-American community. Editor Stibolt reports on the festivities surrounding the annual picnic and shooting competition in 1882. German original (For German, character set =utf-8)

The Schuetzenfest and King Competition in Davenport, Iowa, 1883 21 June 1883

The 1883 Schuetzenfest took place under a threat by local Christian political activists to ban all Sunday celebrations. In addition to violating the sabbath, these activists also deplored German beer drinking. Editor Stibolt reports on the festivities surrounding the annual picnic and shooting competition in 1883. Schuetzen Koenig John C. Boehl's speech refers to the German-American community's problems with Christian activists. German original (For German, character set =utf-8)

Jewish and Islamic 25 January 1872

According to the editor Stibolt of Der Demokrat, 19th century American Christian political activists exhibited a poor understanding of Christian teachings when they continually emphasized three issues as social evils: Sunday celebrations, prohibiting the consumption of alcoholic beverages and public prayer, such as in the schools. He asserts that the first two issues, which directly affected German-Americans beer drinking and social events, mistakenly borrow from Judaism and Islam. He also insists that public prayer was not approved by Christ. German original (For German, character set =utf-8)

A Note from Mecklenburg 23 November 1882

Der Demokrat's Editor, Jens Stibolt, publishes a note from Mecklenburg that briefly describes the growing emigration of local working families to North America. German original (For German, character set =utf-8)

The Future of Immigration 25 December 1884

Thoughts on how the recent economic slowdown in the United States might affect German immigration to North America. German original (For German, character set =utf-8)

The Des Moines Register as a Berlin Shoemaker's Apprentice 13 September 1883

Der Demokrat's Editor, Jens Stibolt, criticizes the nativist and anti-German tone in a Des Moines Register article which ridicules how some German-Americans speak English. German original (For German, character set =utf-8)