Article about how Italian immigrants are aided by the Italian government representatives in the US

staff_reporter Member Photo

Clipped by staff_reporter

Article about how Italian immigrants are aided by the Italian government representatives in the US - ITALIAN IMMIGRANTS PROFESSOR ODRINI LOOKS AFTER...
ITALIAN IMMIGRANTS PROFESSOR ODRINI LOOKS AFTER THEM AT ELLIS ISLAND. Commissioned by the Italian Government to Protect Newly Arrived Immigrant rrom the Padrone, Examine Their Passports and Help Them In Many Ways. HERE are a good many interesting facta about the immigration of Italians to the United States, and there is no ono in the world who is better able to explain them than Professor Odrini, wlio, since Jnne, 1894, has represented tho Italian government at the "bureau of immigration at Ellis island, in the arbor of New York. Professor Odrini was appointed as tho resnlt of correspondence between Herman Stamp, United States superintendent of immigration; Baron Fava, Italian minister at Washington, and Secretaries Ghresham and Carlislo, regarding the conditions under which Italians of the laboring classes come to America, tho conditions with which they find themselves confronted when they arrive here, and particularly the padrone system, so generally and obnoxiously in existence among the Italians in the United States. In one of the letters, written by Secretary Carlisle, especial attention was directed to tho fact that there is maintained in New York an immigrants' freo employment bureau, to which immigrants of all nationalities are privileged to apply, but which is never taken advantage of by tho newly arrived sons and daughters of sunny Italy. The reason for this is undoubtedly the fact that nearly or quite all Italian immigrants, whether coming hero under direct contract and so liable to be excluded or not, are well informed witli regard to the location of various padroni, and expect to secure employment from them in fact, will not accept it fiom any one else. Previous to the letter by Mr. Carlisle, above quoted from, Baron Fava had written to Secretary Gresham of the Italian government's disapproval of the padrone "system as follows : Th precariou3 condition in which tho Italian urnnijraiits find themselves on their arrival in the United States on account of tho Italian speculators who get hold of them deserves to bo taken into sorious consideration. Tho immoral traSo originates in tho evil of the "padroni" (bosses), who find means in the United States to ransom outrageously the Italian immigrants, with more or leas ovil consequences. In my opinion tho only way to protect the Italian immigrants against tho rapacity of the "padroni" would bo to establish in tho ports of arrival bureaus of labor or other similar offices duly authorized ond recognized by the federal government. This, however, was not considered practicable or desirable, inasmuch as the bureau of which immigrants of all nationalities other than the Italian take advantage is maintained without expense to the government as well as without cost to them, but roomy quarters for tho use of an agent of the Italian government, together with every facility for the performance of his duties, were set apart at the Ellis island bureau by the United States government. Professor Odrini being selected to act as such agent, he began his work, as stated, in .Trine last. Though this Italian bureau is not an employment agency, it has proved to be of the utmost valuo to Italian immigrants, and tho moro so because Professor Odrini and Dr. Sf diner, commissioner at Ellis island, and Mr. ilc - yweeney, assistant commissioner, work in the most perfect harmony. Professor Odrini has been a resident of the United States for many years He speaks the English language perfectly ami understands the immigration laws and the bureau's rales thoroughly. As, of course, ho speaks Italian fluently and knows the Italian character as only an Italian could, he is able to unravel many complications that might be insoluble without him and more thoroughly to protect newly arrived Italian immigrants than they have ever before been protected. Ho is as anxious to see the restrictive laws carried out as any of the United States authorities, for the simple reason that he realizes that in that LEAVING THE BAKGE. way only can those Italian immigrants legally entitled to land reap to the full the advantages of residence in the now world. In the course of his duties Professor Odrini has carefully compared the figures of Italian immigration. Thus during tha last six months of 1S93 15,700 Italians landed here, while for the corresponding period of 1 894 there were but 10,355, a falling off of 5,357. From Jan. 1, 1SS4, to April 1, 1894, the total number was 7,1 IS, while for the same period this year it was but 3,178, a drop of 3,935. In April, 1894, 9,010 Italians landed in New York ; in April, 1895, but 7,471, or 1,539 less. For the total period of ten months during the turrcut fiscal year tho number w;is 10, - fe25 less than during tho same period of the fiscal year which closed on July 1 , 1894. Italian immigration to the United States, Professor Odrini holds, has now reached its second stage that is, the oion who have concluded to remain on Uncle Sam's farm have begun to bring their wives and families to them. In support of this view the professor presents a convincing array of figures, of which only those for January, 1894, and January, 1895, need bo compared hero. In the first mouth of last year 5,125 males and 1,988 females from Italy landed on Ellis island, tho number of males being nearly three times as great as the number of females. In January, 18;io, tho falling off in total Italian immigration was very marked, but not nearly so marked as to tho men as the women, tho males numbering 1,908 and tho females 1,190, or moro than half tho grand total. .The transition stage through which Italian immigration is now passing is exactly similar to tho changes that have taken place in Irish and German immigration. At tho beginning with both these nationalities the great majority of the immigrants were men who came in advance of their families to spy out the land. After a time, as the newcomers succeeded in establishing themselves, there were more women, find now it is the regular thing for whole famr'ies m come together, while for years Irish nna German heads of families have been sending money home to the remaining members, so that they, too, should remove to the now world. Professor Odrini considers the larger proportion of women now arriving from Italy an excellent indication - Perhaps tho most important service performed by the professor has been in making the nature of the United States restrictive laws clear to the authorities on the other side. In a general way it may be explained that no fugitive from justice, no person likely to become a public charge inside of a year and no person under contract as to employment in tho United States is allowed to remain, and any one found on investigation to come uudor any of the prohibitive clauses must be taken back to tho port of sailing at the expense of tho steamship company bringing him here. Some faint glimmering of the facts seems to exist in Italy, but whatever knowledge there is over there is of the vaguest sort, and generally wrong, for many immigrants, from other countries as well as Italy, upon being questioned by the inspectors at Ellis island, declare themselves to be without money and without relatives in America and entirely undecided as to what they shall do and where they shall go. Italian immi - DETAINED ITALIAN IMMIGRANTS. grants have been known to make affidavits of this sort, when at the very moment of declaration relatives were standing near by, waiting to greet their newly landed friends, and this was known to tho inspectors. A very large proportion of the working people who come to America do so on the recommendation of agents for the steamship companies. These agents, who receive commissions on the sale of tickets, act only from selfish motives, as a matter of course, and therefore their statements are often at wide variance with the truth. They exaggerate the amount of wages to be received here, they minimize the cost of living, and they often enter into agreements, generally verbal, that employment shall bo provided upon arrival in America. It is not at all unusual for these agents to persuade n victim to turn every available possession into cash and then to collect the last cent realized in payment for steamship passage, so that when the poor fellow gets to Ellis island he finds himself utterly penniless, and perhaps liable to be sent back, if not because of violating of the.contract labor law, then on account of physical inability or extreme poverty. It is this class of immigrants which is hardest to deal with. They have been told in a general way that if the facts are known they will surely be returned, and they bend their entire energies to the concoction of plausible falsehoods, often when the truth would be much more satisfactory and advantageous to themselves. Owing to tho efforts of Professor Odrini, however, the number of those coming to America under this sort of misapprehension is constantly diminishing, and, also owing largely to his efforts, steps have been taken by the Italian government to prevent the future humbugging of innocent parties by swindling agents as much as possible. To this end a regulation has lately been adopted that whenever a person not found acceptable on arrival here is induced by the persuasions of an agent to take passage for America, on proof of the facts, the agent and not the steamship company shall be held liable to the swindled person'for money so expended. This is because it would bo manifestly impossible for the company or its officers to have personal knowledge of tho financial ability or physical condition of every person taking passage, whereas each subager.t can and in the nature of things must bo minutely informed as to the affairs of each person he books for passage. It is Professor Odrini 's duty also to extend a helping hand in tho way of giving directions and making explanations to any Italian immigrant who may Ksk for tli' iii. Fie must also examine the passport of ec!: o - io and give him practical instructions as to how to reach his destination. Professor Odrini is enthusiastic and thoroughly efficient in the discharge of all these duties. I. D. Marshall. IHRiCE A LL.D. Career of V.'h!tlt President of Uie Southern Uaptisi Tliaolojjical Seminary. The Rev. Dr. Vv'ilam Hoth Whitsitt, tho new prctadeut of the Southern Bap tist Theological seminary, w a s born in Nashville Nov. 25, 1841, and was the son of James Whitsitt, who owned considerable real estate in the vicinity of Nashville. Young Whitsitt w;is brought up on a farm three miles dr. w. ii. whitsitt. from tho city and was graduated with honors from Union university, but did not receive a diploma, owing to the outbreak of the rebellion. Early in tho war he joined the Fourth Tennessee cavalry, and during the last" two ye ars of tho war his sermons, interesting and original, were attractive features of tho camp lifo. After tho war young Whitsitt was made pastor of Mill Creek church, a country meeting house on his mother's farm. The church had been dismantled by the invading armies, but under his pastorate the ruins were cleared away and the place was beautified. The years 1800 and 1807 he spent at tho University of Virginia, and after finishing hia studies there he attended tho Southern Baptist Theological seminary, then located at Greenville S. O. A year's course in the University of Loipsio and another year in tho University of Berlin completed his education. Upon his ro turn to America he served six months as pastor in Albany, Ga. , and in 1872 ho was elected to a professorship in tho Southern Baptist Theological seminary, which post ho lias held with credit ever since. In 1873 Mercer university made him a D. D. , and Georgetown college, William Jewell college and the Southwestern Baptist university have honored him with the degree of LL D. Dr. Whitsitt is the author of five books of a theological or historical character and has written for numerous periodicals. Ho is in great demand as a lecturer and preacher and has delivered addresses in all the prominent cities of the south. In 1881 he was married to Miss Florence Wallace of Kentucky, and two children ha vo come to brighten his home. A PLUCKY YANKEE GiRL. JUsh Trek Will Attempt the Ascent of the lVriliU3 Thirty yeais ago tho summit of the Matterhorn had never been t cached by a human foot, but now tho ascent of this lofty and dangerous peak is often accomplished, and Miss Aimie 8. Peck, a plucky American - .n, is nlKiut to brave tho perib of tho caow capped Alpine sentinel. Miss Peck is a resident of V5 mm: MISS ANNIE S. PECK. Providence and is a scholar of unusual erudition and a lecturer of considerable note. She was graduated from the University of Michigan in 1878, spent some time in study in Germany and attended the American school of archaeology In Athens. While studying in Athens in 1885 and 1880 she ascended Hymettus i y) 1 ii

Clipped from
  1. Harrisburg Telegraph,
  2. 30 May 1895, Thu,
  3. Page 3

staff_reporter Member Photo
  • Article about how Italian immigrants are aided by the Italian government representatives in the US

    staff_reporter – 14 Jun 2018

Want to comment on this Clipping? Sign up for a free account, or sign in