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Title: A Stake in the Land
Author: Speek, Peter A. (Peter Alexander), 1873-
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Stake in the Land" ***

Literature in Agriculture (CHLA), Cornell University)










  Copyright, 1921, by Harper & Brothers
  Printed in the United States of America


The material in this volume was gathered by the Division of
Rural Developments of Studies in Methods of Americanization.

Americanization in this study has been considered as the union of native
and foreign born in all the most fundamental relationships and
activities of our national life. For Americanization is the uniting of
new with native-born Americans in fuller common understanding and
appreciation to secure by means of self-government the highest welfare
of all. Such Americanization should perpetuate no unchangeable
political, domestic, and economic regime delivered once for all to the
fathers, but a growing and broadening national life, inclusive of the
best wherever found. With all our rich heritages, Americanism will
develop best through a mutual giving and taking of contributions from
both newer and older Americans in the interest of the commonweal. This
study has followed such an understanding of Americanization.


This volume is the result of studies in methods of Americanization
prepared through funds furnished by the Carnegie Corporation of New
York. It arose out of the fact that constant applications were being
made to the Corporation for contributions to the work of numerous
agencies engaged in various forms of social activity intended to extend
among the people of the United States the knowledge of their government
and their obligations to it. The trustees felt that a study which should
set forth, not theories of social betterment, but a description of the
methods of the various agencies engaged in such work, would be
of distinct value to the cause itself and to the public.

The outcome of the study is contained in eleven volumes on the following
subjects: Schooling of the Immigrant; The Press; Adjustment of Homes and
Family Life; Legal Protection and Correction; Health Standards and Care;
Naturalization and Political Life; Industrial and Economic Amalgamation;
Treatment of Immigrant Heritages; Neighborhood Agencies and
Organization; Rural Developments; and Summary. The entire study has been
carried out under the general direction of Mr. Allen T. Burns. Each
volume appears in the name of the author who had immediate
charge of the particular field it is intended to cover.

Upon the invitation of the Carnegie Corporation a committee consisting
of the late Theodore Roosevelt, Prof. John Graham Brooks, Dr. John M.
Glenn, and Mr. John A. Voll has acted in an advisory capacity to the
director. An editorial committee consisting of Dr. Talcott Williams, Dr.
Raymond B. Fosdick, and Dr. Edwin F. Gay has read and criticized the
manuscripts. To both of these committees the trustees of the Carnegie
Corporation are much indebted.

The purpose of the report is to give as clear a notion as possible of
the methods of the agencies actually at work in this field and not to
propose theories for dealing with the complicated questions involved.


  Publisher's Note                                               v

  Foreword                                                     vii

  Table of Contents                                             ix

  List of Tables                                               xii

  List of Illustrations                                       xiii

  Introduction                                                  xv

  Author's Note                                              xxvii

                           PART I


     I.   NEED OF A LAND POLICY                                  3
          Strength of Home Ties                                  3
          Immigrants' Love of Land                               5
          Need for Land Regulation                              10

    II.   LEARNING OF LAND OPPORTUNITIES                        14
          Friends, Agents, and Advertisements                   14
          Federal and State Immigration Offices                 18
          Policies in California and Wisconsin                  19

   III.   EXPERIENCES IN ACQUIRING LAND                         24
          Russian Sectarian Peasants in the West                24
          The Successful Colony at Glendale                     30
          Other California Cases                                31
          An Oklahoma Settlement                                33

    IV.   INDIVIDUAL LAND DEALERS                               36
          Land Sharks                                           37
          Lower Type of Land Dealer                             39
          The Public-spirited Land Dealer                       42
          "Realtors"                                            45

     V.   PRIVATE LAND COLONIZATION COMPANIES                   49
          A Typical Company                                     52
          The Adviser                                           62
          Children Overworked                                   65
          Securing Credit                                       66
          Conservation of Wooded Land                           68
          The Size of a Colony                                  69
          Learning American Ways                                70
          Two Points of View                                    72
          Colony Snapshots                                      78

    VI.   PUBLIC LAND COLONIZATION                              86
          The California Experiment                             86
          State Provisions for Soldier Settlements              91
          The Reclamation Act                                   95
          Proposed Federal Legislation                          98
          Provision in Other Countries                         105

   VII.   A LAND POLICY                                        107
          Wide Range in Programs                               107
          Plenty of Land                                       111
          Public Regulation of Land Dealing                    112
          A Public Land Exchange                               122
          Reclamation a Separate Function                      124
          A Colonization Board                                 127
          Extension of Public Credit                           135
          Co-operation Indispensable                           135

                           PART II

  VIII.   RURAL EDUCATIONAL AGENCIES                           145
          Importance of Education                              145
          Bridging Differences                                 150
          Parochial Schools                                    153

    IX.   PRIVATE SCHOOLS                                      156
          Nebraska                                             158
          North Dakota                                         161
          Minnesota                                            164
          Michigan                                             167
          Wisconsin                                            172
          South Dakota                                         174
          California                                           175
          Hebrew School in New Jersey                          176
          Opinions on Both Sides                               176
          Temporary Usefulness                                 179
          Need for Regulation                                  180

     X.   IMMIGRANT CHURCHES                                   182
          Bilingual Services                                   186
          English Favored by Members                           188
          Opposition to "Interfaith" Marriages                 189
          Immigrant Pastors                                    192
          Potential Powers for Good                            193

    XI.   THE PUBLIC SCHOOL                                    195
          Limitations of the One-teacher School                195
          Growth of the Consolidated School                    199
          The Rural School-teacher                             203
          Irregular School Attendance                          211
          Practical Curriculum Needed                          217
          Need for Expert Administration                       219
          Proposed Measures                                    222

          Importance of Reaching Women                         226
          The Home Teacher                                     228
          Organization of Immigrant Women                      231
          The Public Evening School                            233
          Education Made Interesting                           241

  XIII.   LIBRARY AND COMMUNITY WORK                           244
          Place of the Printed Word                            244
          Rural Needs for Books                                246
          Package Libraries in Wisconsin                       248
          Selection of Books                                   250
          A Community Hall                                     252
          Amateur Theatricals                                  254
          Community Teamwork                                   256

          INDEX                                                259


  TABLE                                                       PAGE

      I. Number (by sex) of foreign-born white persons
           engaged as farm laborers in the United
           States, 1900 and 1910                                 6

     II. State legislation to promote land settlement
           for soldiers up to June, 1919                     92-93

    III. Soldier settlement plans for United Kingdom
           and provinces                           _Facing_    106

     IV. Per cent unable to speak English, of total foreign
           born, ten years of age and over, in urban
           and rural communities                               147

      V. Enrollment and language used in parochial and
           private schools in Minnesota, 1918                  165

     VI. Enrollment and teaching force of private and
           parochial schools in Wisconsin, 1914-15
           and 1915-16                                         173

    VII. Length of teaching service in Wisconsin rural
           schools, 1915-16                                    204

   VIII. Percentage of population in Arizona, six to
           twenty-one years of age, in schools and not
           attending school, 1915-16                           213


  Long, Hard Months of Work Separate the
      Rough Shanty from White Clapboards and
      an Automobile                                 _Frontispiece_

  Land Is Not the Only Stake in America for
      These Polish Parents                           _Facing p._ 4

  The Owner of this Farm, Settled in 1917, Has
      Persuaded Six Members of His Family to
      Buy Farms in the Neighborhood                      "      14

  Friendly Assistance Makes Pioneering Less
      Baffling                                           "      44

  The Wisconsin Colonization Company Sees the
      Need of Community Centers                          "      54

  This Two-year-old Wisconsin Farm Is Just
      Ready to Care for Its Newly Acquired
      Shropshire Ewes                                    "      64

  This Settler Started Ten Years Ago with No
      Money                                              "     136

  These Children and Teachers in New Mexico
      Join Forces to Wipe Out Illiteracy                 "     146

  The Largest Girl Won a Prize for Scholarship           "     146

  Immediate Returns from Child Labor Do Not
      Make Up for Loss of Schooling                      "     214

  The Arrival of an Immigrant Settler in 1883
      Was Shown in a Community Pageant                   "     242

  The Same Man Is Working for Land and Community
      Development                                        "     242

  A Rural Community Center Plan Was Developed
      by the Wisconsin Colonization
      Company for Southern Sawyer County                 "     252


Students of economics know that the roundabout methods of capitalistic
production are far more fruitful than the direct methods of the primitive
economy. As we advance, we introduce new intermediaries between the
beginning and the end of production. This thought occurs to one in the
study of Americanization. If we would Americanize the immigrant we must
seek him out in his daily economic life and see to it that the influences
under which he works are calculated to give him the right feeling toward
his new home. A large part of our waking life is spent in gaining a
livelihood, and our work brings with it most of our associations. School
and church have their place for young and old, and they likewise must be
considered. Their effect is direct and immediate and is more likely to
attract attention than are the elements making up the economic life.

Doctor Speek has done well in taking up the immigrant as a settler in
the newer and developing parts of our country. The settlers are very
largely immigrants who are trying to acquire a home and livelihood on
the land. The writer of this Introduction has been studying this same
subject for many years, and has done so in many different parts of the
United States. The conclusion which we might reach deductively is
confirmed by observation--namely, that the man who settles on the land
in the right way is, with the rarest exceptions, likely to become a good
American, as are also his children.

But what do we mean by the right way? We mean that he must be on a farm
of suitable size, of good productivity, with needed help in learning how
to farm in the new country and with sufficient time in which to pay for
his farm. These are not the only considerations, but they are the main
ones, and to these Doctor Speek has given his attention.

One of the outstanding features of every study of land settlement is
that the first great cause of failure is poor selection of land. The
second chief cause of failure is insufficient length of time in which to
pay for the land. While this is of very great importance, it stands far
behind the first as a cause of failure. The third cause of failure is
closely connected with the second. It is inadequate credit and capital.

We are dealing here with the results which are universal. The selection
of land is extremely difficult, even for unusually intelligent farmers
who have had long experience in our country. To select land wisely is
quite beyond the capacity of the ordinary settler. The present writer
could give unlimited illustrations of this truth. The man who has lived
in the corn belt of Illinois is very apt to think that black soil is
necessarily good soil, and, going to another state, may perhaps select
some black peat land, underlain with sand, which is almost worthless. He
is sure to be prejudiced against red soil, which may, after all, be good
land. Once, when the writer was being shown citrous-fruit land in
California, the wise friend who was his host would point to one orchard,
which was "planted for oranges," and another "ranch" which "was planted
to sell to suckers"; yet the ordinary man, even if he spent many years
in the study of land values, could not tell the difference.

John Stuart Mill presents, in his _Principles of Political Economy_, strong
arguments for non-intervention of public authority in "the business of the
community." He says that those who stand for intervention must make out a
strong case. When, however, he turns to the consumer or buyer, he finds he
is obliged to make many exceptions to the rule of non-intervention. To use
his own words,[1] "The proposition that the consumer is a competent judge
of the commodity can be admitted only with numerous abatements and
exceptions." He uses also these words:[2] "Is the buyer always qualified to
judge of the commodity? If not, the presumption in favor of the competition
of the market does not apply to the case; and if the commodity be one in
the quality of which society has much at stake, the balance of advantages
may be in favor of some mode and degree of intervention by the authorized
representatives of the collective interest of the state."

We have, then, ample justification for some kind of help to the settler in
the selection of land. What Doctor Speek presents to us simply confirms
what is known to every thoughtful person who has given attention to the
subject of land settlement. If we want to bring it about that our settlers
should understand our institutions and become good American citizens, we
must abandon all ideas of _laissez-faire_ with respect to land selection.
Generally the selection is made for the settler by the land agent. Doctor
Speek gives attention to the real-estate business, and finds that it is not
in a satisfactory condition. About this there can be no question. At the
same time the present writer, as a result of careful observation, affirms
without hesitation that probably no business has made greater progress
toward a true professional level than has the land business during the last
five years. Real-estate agents or brokers are forming associations and are
doing a great deal to eliminate dishonest practices and to put into their
business the idea of service.

There are two lines of progress especially noteworthy. One is the
development of Blue Sky laws, and the other is the requirement that those
who engage in the real-estate business should have licenses. Blue Sky laws
do not as yet afford anything like adequate protection, but certainly they
may not be disregarded with impunity in Wisconsin. Licensing an occupation
has been very generally one of the first steps toward putting it upon a
professional basis. Doctor Speek relates what was attempted unsuccessfully
in California. In Wisconsin we are just beginning the system of licenses,
and so far it promises to be extremely helpful. Much more needs to be done,
however, to help the settler make a good selection of a farm.

Two outstanding movements are mentioned. One is the public-land
settlement of California, under the direction of Dr. Elwood Mead, and
the other is the work of the Director of Immigration of Wisconsin, Mr.
B. G. Packer. Mr. Packer has been in the habit of meeting settlers in
Chicago, the chief doorway into Wisconsin, and giving them advice of a
general character in regard to the purchase of a farm in Wisconsin.
While he is not in a position to recommend the purchase of a specific
piece of land, the advice is pretty concrete and definite. His one
thought very properly is the welfare of the settler, and he believes
that it is in the interest of Wisconsin not to get as many settlers as
possible, but to get settlers who, in his own words, "stick"--in other
words, who will succeed. He does not for a moment hesitate to discourage
a man from coming to Wisconsin if he is not likely to prove successful,
and he does not for a moment hesitate to direct the attention of a
settler away from a selection which would prove disastrous to him. The
writer has visited many settlers in Wisconsin who have been brought to
the state by Mr. Packer, and has found them almost universally prosperous.

However, attention should be directed particularly to an important point
made by Doctor Speek in his report. At present irresponsible and dishonest
people often get hold of the settler first. Mr. Packer's work is being
rapidly developed and it should have still larger funds for expansion. How
is it going to be possible, however, to bring to the knowledge of all the
settlers the helpful agencies that exist? These helpful agencies include
not only the work of Mr. Packer, but of the county agents, and the
different departments of the agricultural college, especially that
department concerned with soil surveys, as well as with many others.

In other states as well there are many helpful agencies for the settler.
If the settler could only get hold of the men who are glad to help him
he could make a wise selection of the land. Federal and state
authorities must co-operate in efforts to bring to the settler a
knowledge of the help that may be his.

The City and Suburban Homes Company, of New York City, affords a
suggestion. This company was formed in order to give the best homes
possible to people in and about New York City compatible with very
modest return on capital. The idea is that of serving the urban dweller.
Vast as is the field of operation, it has accomplished appreciable
results in New York City. Could not companies be formed to begin where
the City and Suburban Homes Company leaves off? Two possibilities
suggest themselves. One is the purchase and sale of land, and the other
is disinterested advice.

In this imperfect world perfection can never be attained, and with the
best efforts mistakes will be made. With a strange perversity men often
turn from those who are their true friends and give their confidence to
the unscrupulous. A typical case is this: A man sold his small farm at a
fair price. Those to whom he sold it were apprehensive lest he should
waste the money and tried to help him make a wise investment. He had
every reason for confidence in those who were trying to help him and who
had never misled him, yet he was evidently suspicious that they were
trying to serve their own ends. Shortly after receiving the money he
took a journey into Canada, fell into the hands of land sharks, and
lost every dollar he had received in the purchase of worthless lands.

As a business becomes professional in character, connections are
established with educational institutions. Medicine and law both occur
to one as illustrations. Our universities are now developing courses in
land economics, and these are going to be helpful in solving the
problems of land settlement, as well as other land problems.

Mention has been made of the length of time needed to pay for a farm. No
mistake is more frequent than the mistake made in underestimating the
length of time needed to buy a farm and to pay for it under the
amortization plan--that is to say, by yearly installments, which
include, with interest, a portion of the capital. Ireland affords a good
illustration. As one great Land Act has followed another, the length of
time for the payment of the farm has been increased, until now the
amortization period is about sixty-eight years.

With the higher return to labor in this country the writer thinks
twenty-five to thirty years is about right. When we have this period for
payment the annual payments of principal are small and the farmer has
the sense of ownership and is able to bring up his family, giving the
children a good education, and enjoying life as he goes on. All plans
for land settlement should include long credit payments for land
purchase; also provision of shorter periods for purchase of equipment.
We are making progress in the provision of rural credit, but we still
have a long way to go.

A plan that should be emphasized is that we need the help of the many
private agencies that have been developed. While splendid experiments
are being conducted in California, so far the land settlement of that
state cannot be regarded as anything more than experimental. The first
purchase consisted of ten thousand acres. On the other hand, a single
company in one part of the country visited by Doctor Speek is making a
fine settlement of sixty thousand acres. Land settlement is extremely
complex and thousands of honest men have developed skill and knowledge
in the solution of its problems. We need their services and we must use
every effort to protect them, as well as the settler, against dishonest
and incompetent individuals, agents and companies.

The district attorney's office of New York City has achieved noteworthy
success in ferreting out land frauds and affording certain protection to
land buyers. Our criminal laws need further development. In every state
there should be those to whom the settler can turn with his grievance.
This is required for the protection of the honest land company, as well
as for the protection of the settler.

When the Wisconsin Railroad Commission was established, the idea was
that one should be able to write on a post card his complaint against
any railroad company, and that the commission should take up and
investigate the case. As Doctor Speek says, we need Federal and state
commissions. These should prosecute relentlessly cases of fraud, and at
the same time encourage right practices.

We hear much about unused land which ought to be brought into use.
Investigations made by Mr. O. E. Baker, of the Office of Farm
Management, U. S. Department of Agriculture, and others, show that the
idea that there are vast stretches of really good land which are not
being utilized is fallacious. It stands to reason it should be so. If I
have land that is worth a dollar an acre per annum I am not likely to
allow it to be unused. I have to pay taxes on the land, and I have the
interest charge, which is still more important. We do have, however, a
great and crying evil in the mistaken, as well as the dishonest, attempt
to bring into use land which is not susceptible of profitable use by
settlers, or by any private individuals, for that matter.

Probably somewhat less than half of the land of the United States can at
present be profitably cultivated, and a large proportion of it has no
value for the individual. Nevertheless, a large proportion of this
inferior land is privately owned, and the owner is under a constant
temptation to sell it to the settler. One of the chief problems we have
is to take out of the market this submarginal land, which is responsible
for so many ruined and embittered lives. Dishonest sale of poor land to
unsuspecting settlers is a cause of Bolshevism, which we ought to fight
in every possible way.

Another point made by Doctor Speek relates to access to the land. How
much utter nonsense has been talked about access to the land. As Doctor
Speek points out, access to the land means a great many different
things. If it is to amount to anything, it means knowledge based upon
experience and it means capital. There is no magic about access to the
land any more than there is about access to any other occupation than
farming. A man who goes into any occupation, if he is going to be
successful, must have the requisite tools, the requisite experience, and
the requisite capital.

The writer would like to touch upon many other points suggested by
Doctor Speek's excellent report. One only, however, will be mentioned.
We have spoken about the selection of land. We must also remember that
those who are settling the land are those who are going to make up our
rural population. Every state in the Union, as well as the Federal
government, should consider the qualifications of those who are
settling the land. We are going to have the experience of every European
country. That is, by no possibility can everyone who would like to own a
farm have one, any more than can everyone who would like to own some
other business obtain it. No better illustration could be taken than
that of Ireland, when visited by the writer in 1913. There was not land
enough to afford farms to all those who wanted farms. A selection had to
be made. As we should have agencies to help select land, we should also
make a wise selection of those who are to become our land owners and
cultivators in our rural communities.

                                        RICHARD T. ELY,
  _January, 1921._                  UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN.

[1] John Stuart Mill, _Principles of Political Economy_, p. 11.

[2] _Ibid._


This report summarizes the results of a preliminary survey of rural
developments in the United States from the viewpoint of the
Americanization of immigrant settlers conducted by the writer for the
Study of Methods of Americanization.

The field study covered a period of about four months, from June to
September, 1918, inclusive, during which time the writer with his wife,
Frances Valiant Speek, as his assistant, visited fifty-four cities and
rural immigrant colonies in New England, the North Middle Western, the
Western, and the Southwestern states. The cities and colonies visited
and the nationalities involved are given in the order followed in the
field study:

   1. New York, N. Y.
   2. Vineland, N. J.         Italians
   3.       "                 Jews
   4.       "                 Russian co-operative farm
   5. Alliance, N. J.         Jews
   6. Norma, N. J.            Jews
   7. Woodbine, N. J.         Jews
   8. Willington, Conn.       Bohemians
   9.         "               Slovaks
  10. Portsmouth, R. I.       Portuguese
  11. Fall River, Mass.       Portuguese
  12. South Deerfield, Mass.  Poles
  13.          "              Lithuanians
  14. Oneida, N. Y.           Italians
  15. Canastota, N. Y.        Italians
  16. Detroit, Mich.
  17. Lansing, Mich.
  18. Holland, Mich.          Dutch
  19. Au Gres, Mich.          Germans from Russia
  20.      "                  Germans from Germany
  21. Posen, Mich.            Poles
  22. Rudyard, Mich.          Finns
  23.      "                  Canadian French
  24. Madison, Wis.
  25. Radisson, Wis.          Poles
  26. Exeland, Wis.           Mixed
  27. Conrath, Wis.           Poles
  28. Weyerhauser, Wis.       Poles
  29. Holcombe, Wis.          Mixed
  30. Wausau, Wis.            Mixed, Germans and native-born predominating
  31. Three Lakes, Wis.       Poles
  32. Jennings, Wis.          Poles
  33. New Rhinelander, Wis.   Italians
  34. Roxbury, Wis.           Germans
  35. Walworth County, Wis.   Germans
  36. St. Paul, Minn.
  37. St. Cloud, Minn.        Slovenians
  38.        "                Germans
  39. Fargo, N. D.            Scandinavians, Swedes, Norwegians
  40. Bismarck, N. D.
  41. Dickinson, N. D.        Russians
  42.        "                Germans
  43. San Francisco, Cal.     Russian Sectarians
  44.         "               Japanese
  45. Sacramento, Cal.
  46. Fresno, Cal.
  47. Los Angeles, Cal.       Russian Sectarians
  48. Glendale, Ariz.         Russian Sectarians
  49. Phœnix, Ariz.
  50. Globe, Ariz.
  51. Austin, Tex.
  52. Lincoln, Neb.           Germans
  53. Milford, Neb.           Germans (Mennonites)
  54. Chicago, Ill.

In addition to observation of the conditions in the colonies, numbers of
the immigrant settlers, their leaders, native neighbors, and local
public officials were interviewed on the subject of the survey. This was
later supplemented by research, conducted mainly by the writer's
assistant in the Library of Congress. No attempt was made to collect
facts and material in a quantitative sense, attention being concentrated
on what seemed to be outstanding facts, conditions, and cases.

In the writing of this summary the writer, as an immigrant himself, has
also used his own experiences and earlier observations beginning in
1909, and his observations during his field investigation of the
conditions of floating laborers in this country for the United States
Commission on Industrial Relations during 1913-15.

The fundamental conclusion at which the writer has arrived in this
summary is as follows:

The establishment of a home may involve direct material assistance, but
requires protection, direction, and instruction given to the
home-seeking and home-building immigrants. These aspects of the problem
are discussed in Part I.

In the question of education the instruction of adult immigrants as well
as immigrant children is important. Among all educational agencies the
public school is the foremost. The parochial school and Catholic and
Lutheran churches are, in many of the districts studied. Part II
discusses the relative efficacy of public and private educational
agencies in tying the immigrant into American life and loyalties.

  P. A. S.






One of the strongest ties uniting human beings is found among the
members of a family, the unit which is the foundation of the structure
of organized society. Each family requires a home for its normal life
and development. A normal home, especially in rural districts, means a
piece of land and a suitable house for the family; it implies also an
opportunity to earn the family living either on the same land--if it is
large enough, as in the case of truck gardens or farms--or in a near-by
industrial establishment; it implies acquaintances and friends in the
same neighborhood, and certain minimum necessities of modern civilized
life, such as roads, post office, newspaper, church, school, physician.


When an immigrant has succeeded in establishing such a home in America
he invariably answers, when questioned as to whether he considers
America or the land of his birth to be his country, that America is his
country. And he goes on to explain, saying that America is a free
country, with better chances for everybody; that he has made his home
here; that his children have been born here; that they have better
schooling and much brighter hope for the future. For all these reasons,
he explains, he does not want to return to his native country except
perhaps on a visit, and he repeats again and again that America, not his
old country, is now his homeland.

There is no other tie that binds a man so closely to a country as his home.
No wonder, for home is everybody's center of the world, lookout tower,
refuge, and resting place. With it are associated the most intimate and
tender feelings a human being ever experiences, and naturally the same fine
feelings extend to the place in which one's home is located. So we speak of
fatherland, motherland, homeland, expressing in these words the close
intimacy between family, home, country, and ourselves.


In direct distinction, the word "homeless" has implications of aimless
drifting, of destitution and misery, and of the indifference of a
"homeless" man to "his" country. Certain advocates of cosmopolitanism in
their agitation against patriotism often take advantage of the
importance of home in the relation of a man to his country when they
appeal to the "proletarians": "Do you own anything? Do you have even a
home in this country? If not, why then should you love it?"

Although a home means a little world by itself--much more than a piece
of land with a shelter on it--the establishment of a home, nevertheless,
involves, first of all, the acquisition of a piece of land, even though
it be the smallest suburban building lot with a twenty-five-foot
frontage. If the piece of land is large enough so that its owner, if he
is inclined to land cultivation, can make a living by working on it as
either gardener or farmer, so much the better.


It so happens that a large number of immigrants who come to our shores
with the intention of remaining here desire to establish a home, to
acquire land, and to become land cultivators in America. Most of them
have had farming experience in Europe. But what actually has happened
and is happening year after year is that these immigrants, saturated
with farm life and experience, drift to the cities, to work in mines and
factories and at pick-and-shovel jobs.

This fact was confirmed so clearly by the investigation of the United
States Immigration Commission that its report has been the basis of the
following statement:

     From one third to three fifths of these newcomers, the proportion
     varying according to race, had been engaged in agricultural
     pursuits before coming to the United States, but not one in ten has
     settled on farms in this country.[3]

In the year 1900, as is shown in Table I, there were 276,745
foreign-born white persons of both sexes employed as farm laborers in
this country. In 1910 the number of immigrant agricultural laborers was
336,753, an increase of 60,008, or about 22 per cent.


  IN THE UNITED STATES, 1900 AND 1910[4]
      SEX    |   1910    |   1900
  Males      |  308,360  |  253,895
  Females    |   28,393  |   22,850
      Total  |  336,753  |  276,745

According to the reports of the Commissioner General of Immigration,
1,602,748 immigrant agricultural laborers, male and female, arrived in
the United States between 1901 and 1910, both years inclusive. If all of
these incoming agricultural laborers had found employment on farms in
this country, the increase of immigrant agricultural laborers in 1910 over
the number of 1900 would have been 579 per cent instead of 22 per cent.

The United States Immigration Commission made a detailed study of 17,141
households, the heads of which were miners or wage earners in
manufacturing establishments. Of the persons of these households for
whom complete data were secured, 62 per cent of the males and 24 per
cent of the females were employed as farm laborers or as farmers before
coming to the United States. The Immigration Commission also secured
detailed information from 181,330 male and 12,968 female employees in
mines and manufacturing establishments. Of these, 54 per cent of the
males and 44 per cent of the females were employed in the old country in
farming or as farm laborers.[5]

The transformation of European peasants into mill hands and miners in
America is to be ascribed partially to the fact that land was not
available to them when they arrived in this country. Either they did not
know where the land which awaited a cultivator was located, or they had
not enough money to buy such land, or they lacked credit needed to
undertake operations in clearing and preparing new land, or they were
ignorant of American farming conditions. Some seemingly insurmountable
reason prevented them from following their desires and calling.

This occupational change has resulted in loss to this country. The
experience in agriculture of these large numbers of men, coupled with
their ability for the hard manual labor required in truck gardening, in
intensive farming, and especially in the opening up of new land, has
been wastefully cast aside. The significance of such loss is clear in
view of the fundamental importance of agriculture in the nation's life.
About two thirds of the area of our country is uncultivated as yet, and
the one third that is cultivated is worked extensively rather than
intensively. Furthermore, native Americans and even old-time immigrants
avoid hard pioneering work in the wilderness since they can find
opportunities of lighter work and better returns elsewhere, on already
established and "paying" farms.

Aside from economic loss there has also been a loss in social values.
The desire of a large number of immigrants to establish permanent rural
homes and to become citizens here has gone to the winds. Instead of
scattering over the country and mingling with the native population,
they have been driven to the congested cities and have formed there
Little Polands, Little Italies, ghettos, etc., remaining almost
untouched by American influences. Both the economic and the social loss
might have been averted to a considerable degree if the nation had had
an effective land policy and if it had come to the aid of the immigrants
in distributing and settling them on the land.

The certainty in the mind of an immigrant that there is a stake in the
land for him, and his confidence that in the acquirement of his stake he
gets a square deal from all concerned, are more important from the
viewpoint of Americanization than the actual acquirement of any
settlement on land; for not all immigrants desire to own a piece of land
and work on it, and not all who desire to can actually do so. Other
considerations--for instance, family conditions, industrial opportunities,
city attractions, etc.--prevent a number of such immigrants from becoming
farmers. Many come to America only to make money so as to return and buy
land at home. For land ownership is to them the goal in life. What a
change in this transient attitude might be made by a policy of
having land available and usable for such birds of passage.

Certainty and confidence as purely psychological factors in the process
of Americanization can be cultivated in the immigrants by affording
effective public guidance and protection to those who actually attempt
to settle on land.

As the land settlement conditions now are, a large number of the
land-seeking immigrants are disappointed in the acquirement of land;
they have no confidence in the land sellers and dealers, and they have
even become suspicious of the country's laws and public institutions
connected with land transfer by purchase. To illustrate: An old-time
Italian immigrant, a skilled truck gardener, working for another Italian
near a small Eastern town, explained to the writer:

     I have saved a small sum of money for the purpose of buying a piece
     of land. But after years of search I have not succeeded in
     acquiring a piece of land suitable for gardening. All land seems to
     have been already "grabbed." The price asked is so high that one
     hardly is able to work it out of the soil. Last year a "Yankee"
     sold me some land, but he did not give it to me; he wanted only my
     money. I had to take a lawyer, but he did not get the land that I
     had bought for me. Only my money was returned, half of which the
     lawyer kept for himself as a fee for his services. There is no help
     from lawyers or courts. I lost my savings of years. The
     land-selling business in this country is a big humbug. Too bad!


It is an astonishing, almost unbelievable fact that, although nearly all
industrial and trade pursuits have come under some sort of public
regulation, licensing, or supervision--even such minor trades as
shoeblacking, fruit peddling, and mere popcorn and peanut selling--land
dealing, one of the most basic of all trades, has been practically
overlooked by our lawmakers.

The regulation of a trade requires a definite policy toward the present
and future of the trade in relation to the public safety and welfare,
and especially is this true in regard to the regulation of land dealing.
The United States needs acutely regulation of land dealing within its
boundaries, and as a natural antecedent to regulation it should have and
must have a definite land policy. To go one step farther, no efficient
policy is possible unless it is founded on certain sound principles.
What are the guiding principles for a practical land policy?

First of all, there is the economic principle. It is the increase of
food production, on which the very life of the nation, its development
and future strength, depend. The war demonstrated this in a most
convincing way. The increase of productivity of the land must be
continuous and permanent. The 1920 Census reports city population
increases five times as rapidly as rural. Aside from conservation of the
soil--that is, saving what we have--there must go on constant
improvement of the soil by fertilizing and by the introduction of more
efficient methods of cultivation, intensive as well as extensive.

Then comes the social principle of an efficient land policy, with the
end in view of affording more opportunities for the establishment of
family homes. Among other results, this would closely bind the
foreign-born elements of the population to the country and in this way
materially assist the assimilation process. It would make for better
public health and for greater happiness of the people.

The political goal is the stability of democracy and the strength of the
country in domestic and international relations, in peace and in war.
The agrarian disorders of Europe, its varied turmoils, revolutions, and
war, accompanied by starvation and epidemics, are to a large degree due
to the old prevailing out-of-date forms of land tenure inherited from
mediæval times.

Toward these ends certain changes and reforms in the distribution and
colonization of land should be undertaken. The existing conditions are
such as require prompt attention, not only in the interests of the
general public and for the sake of the general good of the country, but
especially for the sake of the immigrant. Because of his greater
ignorance and helplessness and his usually strong desire to settle on
land, he suffers more often and more severely than the native-born
American from the unscrupulousness and dishonesty and _laissez-faire_
methods that flourish in the absence of a public land policy and public
land regulation.

The partial or utter misfortune which the immigrant so often experiences
molds his entire opinion of and attitude toward the United States. From
the viewpoint of the Americanization of the immigrant, therefore, the
questions of land policy, land colonization, and land dealing are of the
utmost importance. Before a discussion of reforms is begun, a general
description of present conditions, from this point of view of
Americanization, is necessary.

[3] Jenks and Lauck, _The Immigration Problem_, p. 100.

[4] The figures for 1910 are taken from the Census of 1910, vol. iv, p.
303. The Census of 1900 does not give occupations by nativity. The figures
for 1900 are taken from the _Reports of the Immigration Commission_, vol.
xxviii, pp. 66, 71-79, prepared from original and unpublished data of the
Census Bureau. Since the figures for immigrant female agricultural laborers
are incomplete, it has been here assumed that they were in the same
proportion to that of the males in 1910--namely, about 9 per cent.
Therefore the figure 22,850 for the immigrant female agricultural laborers
for 1900 represents an estimate of 9 per cent of the number of immigrant
male agricultural laborers for 1900.

[5] _Reports of the United States Immigration Commission_, 1911, vol.
xix, pp. 89-102.



The immigrant desiring to settle on land is constantly on the lookout
for an opportunity to acquire land. The most general way of learning of
such opportunity is through personal acquaintance or through
correspondence with relatives and friends of the immigrant's own
nationality who have previously settled on land. These sources of
information are considered by the immigrant to be the most reliable,
although they have certain drawbacks.


First, immigrants on the land are always desirous of increasing the
number of people of their own race or nationality in their particular
locality, for the sake of their own advantage; for the larger their
community the better their social and business opportunities. Therefore
they are often prone to exaggerate the advantages of land and farming in
their section and to be silent as to the disadvantages, so as to induce
more people of their race to join the community.




Second, it is quite a common practice among immigrant settlers to
receive from land companies certain commissions for bringing in further
settlers, which induce them to exaggerate the good qualities of the
land. The usual commission in the North Middle states is fifty cents per
acre. The prospective buyers of land do not usually know about this.

There are also cases where a settler has secretly become a regular agent
of the land company, receiving from the latter a salary in addition to a
commission on each piece of land sold through him. In such cases the
agent, known to the prospective buyer only as an ordinary settler, is in
a position to get much higher prices for the land than a regular agent.

Still more danger for the immigrant lurks in the scheme whereby
immigrant settlers already on the land, or their native-born neighbors,
seeing that new people are coming in rapidly, take options on valuable
land in certain desirable localities and resell it to the newcomers at a
much higher price. Near Willington, Connecticut, there is a Bohemian
colony, and in the days when this colony was growing rapidly a Bohemian
settler looked up land available there and took a number of options on
farms for which he already had would-be buyers. He took an option on one
farm for its purchase at the price of $500; to the buyer he charged
$1,500, and made a clear profit of $1,000. According to a report of the
Immigration Commission relating to the same colony, a man who paid
$1,000 in cash for a farm found that the land "agent" who sold it to him
had bought the option from the original owner for $400 a few weeks
before the bargain was closed.

Quite a number of land companies are employing immigrant agents,
especially of those nationalities and races with which they expect to do
business on a large scale. Usually these agents are sent out to the
immigrant centers in industrial towns. They bring the prospective immigrant
settlers to see the land and they conduct the business in cases where the
immigrants do not know English. The companies consider this the most
effective way of reaching immigrants who desire to settle on land.

Another way in which immigrants learn of land opportunities is through the
land companies' advertisements in the foreign-language newspapers. The
immigrant newspapers, depending on a nation-wide constituency, are, as a
rule, careful in accepting trade advertisements. Often the editor, before
accepting the advertisement from the land company, makes a personal visit
to the company's main office to find out whether the advertisement is
honest or put out by schemers and crooks. According to the testimony of the
land companies the editors of the foreign-language newspapers, in the vast
majority of cases, are honest men who refuse to be bribed. Only in a very
few cases have the editors agreed to accept commissions.

Finally comes the usual method of all land companies, that of sending out
agents among the immigrants, sending them folders, etc. As a rule the
advertisements and folders exaggerate the good points of the land and gloss
over the bad points. Quite often the exaggerations know no bounds; the land
is described as the most fertile on the surface of the earth--photographs
show corn, for instance, growing like a forest; a record of the yield is
given, showing it to bring hundreds and even thousands of dollars a year
per acre. Such exaggerations may be illustrated by the literature sent out
by the New South Farm and Home Company, advertising ten-acre farms in
Florida. The representations were that the farms were not swampy, were near
direct water connections with New York; that every month in the year was a
growing month; that the farms were surrounded by orange and citrous-fruit
farms; that there were fine roads, wells, homes, schools, hotels, etc.;
that the titles were perfect; that neighboring farms were doubling,
trebling, and quadrupling in price; that the settlements were rapidly
growing; that there was every convenience and comfort, such as Pullman
cars, long-distance telephone, etc., etc.

It is needless to say that many of these advantages were nonexistent. The
decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in regard to this case
was that when a proposed seller goes beyond mere exaggeration of the
qualities of an article and assigns to it qualities which it does not
possess, "does not simply magnify in opinion the advantages which it has,
but invents advantages and falsely asserts their existence, he transcends
the limit of 'puffing' and engages in false representations and pretenses."
By this decision it was established that to invent advantages and falsely
assert their existence in a transaction of sale is a fraud.


The information given to immigrants by the Federal and state immigration
offices is of value, because it presents certain facts needed by settlers,
as, for instance, information on climatic conditions, general soil and
market conditions, and so on. But these information bulletins often do not
reach the immigrants because the immigrants do not know enough to ask for
them; and, even supposing that they did reach the prospective settler, the
bulletins are too general. They describe the conditions of large districts
and sections of the country or state, while what the immigrant needs is
exact, detailed knowledge about a particular piece of land in which he is
interested. The government officials claim that they have not sufficient
forces to undertake a detailed investigation of individual land holdings,
and also that they must try to avoid any appearance of discriminating
between various land companies in the sense of encouraging or discouraging
the sale of land belonging to given companies.

In general, one might say that the ways open to immigrants for learning
of land opportunities are defective. Misrepresentation of land
conditions and actual money frauds have made them suspicious of any land
dealer, so that the best land companies experience, in the immigrants'
suspicion, a handicap in the development of their business. This in part
explains why the various real-estate associations are trying to get some
sort of public regulation for their business and why a number of states
which are interested in the development of their lands have begun to
talk of regulation. They reason that such regulation would be a good
advertisement for the state and would increase the confidence of people
in the chances of successfully settling on land in that state.


In the states of California and Wisconsin the state departments and
colleges of agriculture, through their extension service and the state
immigration offices, are doing highly valuable work in disseminating
correct information in regard to land opportunities among prospective
settlers and in defending the latter against unscrupulous land dealers.
The writer was especially impressed by the methods used by the Director
of Immigration of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Mr. B. G.
Packer. The following statement dictated by Mr. Packer serves as the
best description of his work and methods:

     Four years ago, at the invitation of the Department of Labor, in
     Chicago, I began going down and meeting people by appointment
     there--immigrants who wanted to come to Wisconsin. In order to
     reach them, we advertised in Chicago papers. We ran classified
     notices in the metropolitan papers, in addition inviting
     correspondence from home seekers. We ran articles in
     foreign-language papers, showing what the crops are and how to open
     up the land, how to pull up the stumps, etc. We have had pamphlets
     on Wisconsin, and methods of cultivation of its land, published in
     foreign languages.

     I find that the home seekers do not know where to go or whom to
     believe, but by meeting them in conferences I have been able to
     protect them against exploitation and direct them to localities
     where they stand a good show of making good. The average capital of
     immigrants will run a little over fifteen hundred dollars. The
     average capital of native-born Americans who come to see me is
     considerably less. A man going on the land should have not less
     than twelve hundred dollars after making his first payment on forty
     acres. We have schedules showing approximately what his living
     expenses will be for the first couple of years.

     Our work is largely protective. The leading Chicago papers
     co-operate with us by refusing the advertising of real-estate men
     who misrepresent their properties. The state attorney's office
     co-operates with us by enforcing the confidence-game statute. Every
     inquirer is furnished with a certificate (see p. 22), and I find
     that dishonest dealers refuse to sell to home seekers who present
     this certificate to them.

     One point I should like to emphasize is that the back-to-the-farm
     movement will be successful in proportion to each state's activity
     in supplying home seekers with information that will insure their
     success on the land.

     First, those coming into the new land region in our state, must
     have enough capital to carry them through the first two years for
     the purchase of clothing and food and farm equipment.

     Second, they should have had some experience in farming. The
     city-bred man who wishes to get out into the country, not because
     of love of the country, but because of dislike of the city, is a
     poor investment. Those visiting us who have not had farm experience
     are urged to get it before locating or before investing their

     Third, the wife must be satisfied and willing to undergo some
     pioneering. Right here is where a good many fall down. The man is
     willing to go and his wife goes unwillingly.

     Fourth, the immigrants should not be flimflammed into paying
     excessive prices for undeveloped land. So far as Wisconsin is
     concerned, competition takes care of this, provided the home seeker
     gets into communication with our department. To illustrate: One
     concern in Chicago, operating in Bayfield County, Wisconsin, is
     asking forty and forty-five dollars an acre for cut-over land no
     better than may be obtained from lumber and railroad companies for
     half this figure.

     Fifth, there is a tendency on the part of land salesmen to load up
     the immigrant with more land than he can use, or sometimes pay for.
     Eighty acres makes a good-sized farm for one family to develop and
     handle, and this is the size of tract recommended.

     Sixth, the back-to-the-lander should be a man in good physical
     condition. I believe that it is a mistake to put men on the land
     who are not heavy enough for farm work. The man should weigh not
     less than two pounds for every inch of his height, which is the
     army standard.

     Seventh, it is a mistake to encourage people to go on the land
     after the time for the spring work has passed. I mean by this that
     under our conditions the settler has to construct a small house and
     do some brushing and clearing in order to grow vegetables for
     himself and a small amount of winter feed for his stock.

     Eighth, the back-to-the-lander has too many fake ideas about the
     amount of money to be made in farming. Under our conditions the
     settler is putting money into his land and not taking very much out
     the first two or three years, unless he has merchantable timber
     that can be worked up into cordwood or bolts, or unless he locates
     in a region having little timber to be removed, and is able to
     specialize in potatoes. The men who have become wealthy from
     strictly farming operations are not numerous in Wisconsin or
     anywhere else.

     I should like to call your attention to the following form of
     certificate furnished inquirers in communication with this


     Directing Certificate


     The bearer ......................................... of
     ........................ is in communication with this department,
     and looking for a farm home in ............. County, Wisconsin. It
     is our purpose to keep in touch with him after his removal to this
     state, to note his progress, and learn if he is fully satisfied
     with the business relations he may have with any person or firm
     selling him land.

     Any courtesies extended him will be appreciated.

    .......................... 191......

    _Director of Immigration._

    C. P. Norgord, _Commissioner_.

In a bulletin of information for immigrants, issued by the Commission of
Immigration and Housing of California, 1920, the commission offers its
assistance to the seekers of land in the state of California, in the
following words:

     Immigrants who are thinking of buying farm lands should call upon
     or write to the office of the Commission of Immigration and Housing
     for free information and advice.

          (_a_) The commission co-operating with the Agricultural
          Department of the State University will furnish without charge
          general information regarding agricultural lands; and

          (_b_) It will make an investigation and free report to any
          immigrant concerning any particular tract of land which he may
          have visited, and which he contemplates buying. This report will
          cover the agricultural possibilities of the land and its
          accessibility to markets. If the immigrant states his previous
          experience, his financial condition, and gives other information
          which may be requested by the commission, the report will also
          give advice as to the wisdom of buying the proposed land.

     No purchase or contract to purchase land should be made or entered
     into until the immigrant knows the nature of the land, its true
     money value, and that the land belongs to the one who proposes to
     sell it.

This is the kind of public assistance which the land seekers, especially
the immigrants, most urgently need, and to which they are entitled. The
only questions are, will the other states follow, and how can the
opportunity of such reliable public assistance be made known to the
land-seeking masses?



The experiences of the Russian sectarian peasants in America in their
attempts to settle on land are illuminating in regard to existing
conditions of land dealing and colonization as they affect the immigrant.
There are in the Western states about a thousand families (or six thousand
individuals) of Russian peasant sectarians--Molokans, Holy Jumpers, Wet and
Dry Baptists, and others. They were all engaged in agriculture while they
lived in Russia. As a result of persecution by the Russian monarchy they
left their country and came to America about ten years ago.


From the beginning of their American adventure they have had a keen
desire to settle on land. They have made repeated attempts to acquire
farms, but so far failure has been the rule, with few exceptions.

The facts regarding most of the unsuccessful attempts outlined below
were obtained at a meeting of Russian sectarians in Los Angeles attended
by about one hundred family heads. Each one told his own experience. The
men had great difficulty in indicating American names--the names of
companies, counties, etc.--so that in the following account names are
omitted. When questioned as to how they could secure so much money, they
explained that they all work whenever it is possible to find work, that
they live moderately, that their men and women dress cheaply, that they
do not drink or smoke or go to any places of amusement, as all that is
prohibited by their religion, and that they save. They stated that their
land-seeking attempts are backed financially by the entire colony; the
losses are shared by all its members, although the individual families
who are on the firing line lose more than the families who remain in Los
Angeles and back these scouting parties.

These peasants believe that their difficulty in finding and settling on
land has been due to several causes. First, they have not enough money
to buy immediately a large tract of land, irrigate and improve it, and
give the families a good start. Second, they do not know the country and
conditions well enough, especially the agricultural possibilities.
Third, the private land dealers are mostly crooks who cheat them, either
by misrepresenting the quality of the land, or by not fulfilling their
contract promises, or by making contracts so complicated and so filled
with catches that they afterward prove the ruin of the settler. The
following are some of the most important of the attempts to find land.

From thirty to thirty-three families made a land-purchase contract with
a company of ---- County, Washington. One hundred and sixty acres were
sold to each family, at a price of from $40 to $50 an acre. Each family
pays down $400 and should pay to the company 60 per cent a year of the
first, second, and third years' crops, it being understood that the
remaining 40 per cent would remain in the hands of the settler for the
support of his family. But during the first year it developed that the
company took out of that 40 per cent the interest on the mortgages and
the taxes on the land, so that very little was left for the cultivator.
The next year the settlers left the land, worked on neighboring farms
for another year, and then returned to Los Angeles. Some families had
lost $400, some $700--practically all the money they had saved or borrowed.

Again, fifteen families made a contract with a company near Fresno,
California. Forty acres were sold to each family at $115 per acre, with the
privilege of water for irrigation on the stipulation that the company would
receive half of the market value of the crops. The company promised to lend
seeds and implements. Several of the families had come from Mexico to
escape revolutionary disturbances there, bringing implements, horses,
cattle, etc. When they arrived they had to borrow seeds and provisions for
the support of the families. The company furnished these on a chattel
mortgage at 7 per cent. But the company was not able to provide irrigating
water, so the settlers, after two years of fruitless effort, had to leave
the land, losing all their mortgaged personal property. Some families lost
$700 in cash, some lost $1,000, and some even more.

Later, twenty families made a contract with a land company for the
purchase of farms varying in size from twenty to forty acres, at a price
of $120 per acre. To be cautious, the peasants sent out only seven
families. The company promised to provide either a tractor or horses,
implements, seeds, and water, and was to receive one fourth of the
crops. But it turned out that the company was not able to furnish water.
During two years the settlers tried to make good, but did not succeed,
the lack of water being the main cause of failure. One family lost $700,
another $820, and the others lost about the same amount each.

Another group of twenty families made a contract with a company in the
same neighborhood. Fifty acres were sold to each family at $120 per
acre. The company agreed to provide two horses for each family and all
necessary implements, and for its part was to receive half of all the
crops. It also promised to give water. But when the time came the
company supplied only thirty horses instead of forty, and only three
plows for the whole colony; it also failed to furnish water. The land
was good, but without water it was of no use. The settlers battled for
two years and then left the land. Each lost from $500 to $1,000.

About two years ago a farmer owning lands in the San Joaquin Valley got
in touch with Russian peasants in Los Angeles. He agreed to sell these
people land, with houses, stock, etc., at what seemed a nominal first
payment--$200. It looked like a wonderful opportunity to the simple
peasants, who, by their industry, had saved up two or three hundred
dollars or more. About 120 families were induced to make the first
deposit ($10 or $20). Then Prof. W. T. Clarke of the agricultural
extension service of the University of California was asked by the
Immigration Commission to visit this tract and report on it. He found
that it was the poorest kind of alkali land--land that a grasshopper
would starve on. The farmer who was selling the land raised strenuous
objections to the investigation and the resulting report, but the
commission succeeded in shutting off the entire deal, except in the
cases of four or five peasants who insisted on taking the farms and who
are now making a failure of it.

On an attempt of the peasants to settle in Utah, twenty families contracted
to buy farms at $100 per acre, 130 acres to a family. One fourth of the
crops were to be paid to the company, which promised to provide water; but
the company failed to find water and all the settlers and the company
itself went to pieces. The settlers' losses were very heavy, some losing
$1,000, some $2,000. They were again compelled to return to Los Angeles.

In 1907 certain agents of a German sugar company in Honolulu appeared
and promised to sell the peasants good land in Honolulu. Thirty families
made contracts to buy farms of forty acres, with the stipulation that
they would pay the price gradually out of their income from the farms.
When the families arrived in Honolulu there was no land for them. The
company explained that they had been merely hired for work on its
plantation. Under the conditions of labor there they were half slaves
and the life became unendurable. After six months of trial and hardship
they returned to Los Angeles, each family having lost from $600 to $700.

In another instance seven families bought farms at Elmira, California,
varying in size from twenty to seventy acres. The price was $117 an acre,
and they paid down $10 an acre, the balance being covered by a mortgage at
6 per cent. This land is rather poor, but the settlers have stayed on.


Aside from a few families who have succeeded in settling on land here
and there through the Western states and who are making ends meet, there
is only one group of these peasants which has succeeded in establishing
a well-to-do colony; that colony is at Glendale, Arizona, below the
Roosevelt Dam.

The first colonists arrived in Glendale seven years ago from Los Angeles,
while others came later from San Francisco and from Mexico. The development
of the colony has been steady. There are four groups of colonists located a
few miles from one another, but they communicate freely and consider
themselves one colony. There are at present about seven hundred persons in
the colony, with an average of five or six children in each family. The
settlers paid down little money at the beginning. Some families did not pay
anything; some paid $100, some $500, and a few paid $1,000. The price of
the land was originally $125 per acre, but it has now doubled. Almost all
the land is under cultivation. The men have acquired the necessary
machinery, stock, plants, and seeds; they have plenty to eat, and a large
number of families have Ford automobiles, while a few are considering the
purchase of higher-priced cars.

The success of the peasants in Glendale is to be explained by the
fertility of the new desert land, the adequate irrigation provided by
the Roosevelt Dam system, reasonable conditions of land purchase, the
capacity of the men for hard labor, and their love of the land. The main
money crop is cotton of the highest grade and of exceptionally heavy
yield. There is no difficulty in marketing farm products, for the colony
is within a few miles of Phœnix.


The report of the Commission on Land Colonization and Rural Credits of
the state of California presents some interesting cases.[6]

A tract of wheat land was bought at $7 per acre. The buyer organized a
syndicate composed of himself and his stenographer and sold the land to
the syndicate at $100 per acre. The syndicate sold the land at $200 per
acre. No settler was able to earn either the purchase price or the
interest on it out of the soil.

Another colonization company bought 150,000 acres at an average of less
than $40 per acre. The average selling price at the start was $75 per
acre, but was soon increased to $175 per acre. The agents commission on
the higher price was 30 per cent--_i.e._, considerably more than the
cost of the land.

In another case an agent made a contract for selling a tract of land at 20
per cent of the selling price, which he was free to fix himself. He raised
the price from $150 to $400 per acre, so that he received commissions of
$80 per acre instead of $30. As the terms were one fifth cash, the balance
in four yearly installments, the agent induced the settlers to buy as much
land as would absorb all their capital for the first payments, and then he
pocketed as his commission the total amount paid down. When the tract was
all sold, the owner held the contracts of the moneyless settlers, the
latter had the use of the land, and the agent had the coin.

Some colonization companies, in searching for a tract of land, have
regarded price as the only consideration, saying that any land that could
be bought for $25 an acre could be colonized. Only hardpan and alkali land
could be bought in California at that price. Nevertheless, one company
bought such an area, subdivided it, and traded it for houses and lots in
Los Angeles. Some time later only three of the purchasers were found to be
still in the colony, and probably not one of them intended to remain.

In one district a tract of "goose" land, after selling for $5 and then
$15 an acre, was subdivided and sold as garden soil for $125 an acre.
Three brothers who were market gardeners bought farms and settled there
with their families. They found the soil, when wet, to be a quagmire and
when dry to be possible of cultivation only with dynamite. After three
years of utter failure they were forced to abandon their homes, having
lost their money, time, and labor, and having reaped a bitter feeling of
injustice and wrong.

It appears from the report that a certain class of land speculators,
when buying land for reselling in plots, do not pay so much attention to
the qualities of the land as to its advertising possibilities. If land
in a widely known valley is alkali land, so much the better, for the
buying price is lower. The speculator in his advertisement makes it
appear as fruit land with a great future. It seems also to have been by
no means uncommon for the agent's commission to be higher than the price
paid by the owner for the land.


On February 12, 1919, in Cincinnati, Ohio, sixteen land swindlers of the
McAlester Real Estate Exchange, of McAlester, Oklahoma, were found
guilty by a jury in Federal court. The company's land-advertisement
literature was so worded as to convey the impression that the McAlester
company was acting as an agent of the government in the sale of Indian
lands. The prosecution was largely centered on the distribution among
the customers of a tract of 41,000 acres in Oklahoma. It was charged
that the president of the company secured an option on these lands when
he found that he was unable to buy sufficient land at the government
sale of Indian lands to fill his contracts.

It was also charged that the company perpetrated a fraud on its
customers when it took $135 as a fee for locating and purchasing land,
agreeing to act as attorney and agent for the customer, and then sold
the land that it had bought privately at a profit. These contracts were,
in the opinion of the government, so worded as to convey the impression
that in paying for the locating and bidding the "party of the second
part" was also making a payment on the land and was encouraged in the
belief that his land would be in the midst of areas yielding oil and
other mineral products as well as timber. Timber-right frauds also were
alleged. The company had during 1917 collected from its victims, who
lived in all parts of the country, nearly $1,000,000. It was revealed
also that given plots of land had been sold to more than one buyer.

The foregoing instances indicate that companies formed for the purpose of
exploiting and deceiving land settlers have succeeded. With the increasing
tide of new immigration, it may be possible to ensnare even more unwary
persons. But there have been a sufficient number of exposés, as well as
court decisions, to make the business of fraudulent land promotion a
dangerous one. All types of real-estate dealers are increasingly realizing
the need for making their transactions aboveboard and honest. Steps to this
end are being taken by the better class of dealer.

[6] _California Commission on Land Colonization and Rural Credits_,
1916. pp. 50-53.



Except for government land grants and homestead acts, land dealing and
colonization in the United States have, up to very recent times, been
entirely in private hands. Land is one of the necessities of life; land
dealing, consequently, is one of the most important features in social
and economic relations. Yet it has been left unregulated, with the
result that land dealing is now the most chaotic sort of business, one
which has not worked out its own definite methods, rules, and
traditions, as banking and other branches of commerce and business have
done. It may even be said that people who deal in land have fallen, in
the eyes of the public, into the ranks of those open to suspicion.

In the field investigation for this study, land dealing was considered
to be an important phase of the problem of Americanization in rural
districts. Based upon the experiences and facts collected, the picture
may be drawn as follows:

According to their methods, private land dealers may be classified as

     (1) Land "sharks," divided between those acting outside the law and
     those acting within the law; (2) the ordinary real-estate
     dealer--of two types--the lower, selfish, narrow-minded, the
     higher, public-spirited; (3) "realtors"; (4) land-colonizing


Land sharks are of two distinct varieties. One type is composed of men
of a criminal character. The words "lawful" and "unlawful" have no
meaning for them. They often sell land as their own which they do not
own, or sell land other than they have promised or even shown to the
buyer. Their only aim is to cheat the latter out of his money and to
escape the penalty of the law.

These pirates injure both land seekers and legitimate real-estate men.
They hang about the trains, railroad stations, and all points where
there is a chance of attracting the land seekers. They are sometimes
able to entice those who are being brought in by reputable land men.
Often the pirates are of the same nationality as the immigrants and by
clever emphasis on this common bond and by skillful manipulation of
truth and lies they steal the men away to look at land which they call
their own. The land pirates do not advertise, but live on the
advertising that the reputable land men do. As a result the latter
curtail their advertising and do a comparatively small amount of it,
since they are prevented from realizing the full profits due on the
investment. This is a situation that forces the land men to realize the
need of a licensed real-estate profession.

The president of a land company in Wisconsin gives this description of
the operations of the land sharks and of the effects of their activity:

     Relative to the land pirates, it is hard to estimate how much land
     they sell, but we find that for every customer they do sell to they
     queer deals for this country of from ten to twenty-four which the
     other land men might have landed.... I estimate that within the
     last two years the city of ---- has lost from fifty to one hundred
     customers for land though these pirates, who infest the depot and
     meet all trains.... Their first act is to find that the man is
     looking for land and to find out whom he is expecting to see, for
     they usually come up with some definite proposition to look over.
     The pirate then proceeds to throw cold water on the locality that
     he is to look over, and very often challenges the integrity of the
     party whom he is going to see. He does this preparatory to starting
     in to taking the man off and showing him something of his own.
     Frequently these men do not own a foot of land, but have a few
     pieces for sale on commission. They are usually irresponsible men
     and often put through some rocky deals, and it is through them more
     than anything else that the real-estate men have often got very bad
     names for the way they have handled customers who come up to buy
     land. When the customer's mind has been poisoned against the party
     whom he was coming to see, and against the particular piece of land
     or locality where he had formerly planned to buy, he is often ready
     to quit and go back, and it is very hard for anyone thereafter to
     deal with him, because his confidence has been shaken in the people
     and the country.

The other type of land shark is composed of men who act within the law,
but, for their own gain, apply methods which are mildly called "sharp"
or "unethical." They either misrepresent the qualities of the land they
offer, or charge a higher price than the land is worth, or make in the
contract such stipulations as will afterward ruin the settler. They
profit by the settlers' failures, for each settler adds something to the
improvement of the land before the conditions of the land-purchase
contract which he is unable to meet compel him to leave the land. The
land shark sells the land to a new settler for a still higher price,
capitalizing the improvements made by the former settler. With the new
settler the process is repeated, and so it goes, like an endless chain.
It is similar to the method of splitting fees practiced by private
employment offices and foremen who keep men coming and going.

There are no data collected to show the actual extent of the activities
of the land sharks, but, judging by the stories told by the immigrants,
by records of court proceedings, by suspicious land advertisements in
newspapers, especially in the smaller, less reliable foreign-language
papers, and by the number of cases brought to the attention of the state
immigration commissioners, it is safe to state that the immigrants
suffer very greatly from the land-shark evil.


One group of the ordinary type of land dealer might be characterized as
being composed of narrow-minded, hard, and even heartless business men,
working solely for their own interests. Their business consists merely in
buying and selling land as rapidly as possible. In making prices for land
and in making contract stipulations with the buyers, they do not "monkey,"
as some of them say. As a rule they do not charge a higher price than the
land is worth--that is, not higher than the prevailing market price in a
particular locality. They also avoid unreasonable or impossible contract
stipulations. When land is sold, when the contract has been signed by both
sides, then their care and interest in regard to the land and its owner
end. If the buyer later fails to meet the contract stipulations in any
particular the land dealer sees to it that he leaves the land at once. The
dealer then advertises and sells the land again. Usually, no compensation
for improvements made by the settler, in case of his failure, is stipulated
in the contract. If there is any gain to the land dealer from the failure
of a settler, the dealer often claims that such gain is more than offset by
heavy expenses, such as for advertising, agents' commissions, and the like,
in finding a new buyer.

The land dealer gives little or no consideration to the causes of the
failure of the settler. According to the observation of the writer, a
large number of failures in settling on land are not due to the personal
defects or weakness of the settlers, but are due to external causes,
such as lack of capital and credit, lack of market, poor roads, etc. The
settlers who have failed owing to such causes might be criticized for
their poor judgment in selecting the land, but the land dealers might
equally be criticized for not warning the settlers of the difficulties
before they buy the land.

The land dealers ought to know the market facilities, the extent of capital
and credit required for success on a particular piece of land and in a
particular locality. As a matter of fact, dealers of the type under
discussion do not warn the settlers. They give advice of an optimistic
character and they apply to the settler the Darwinian theory of survival of
the fittest. A number of these land dealers said to the writer:

     Well, it is up to the settler himself, either to succeed or to
     fail. If he fails, he has himself alone to blame, and he must give
     place to the settler who is able to succeed. There is no room for
     weaklings on my land or anywhere else in this world.

The results which follow in the wake of such land-settlement policies
are described in the following extract from the letter of a county
agent. He writes from a locality where many of the settlers are immigrants:

     In some parts of this country ... the statistics show that there is
     a complete change in the farmers every seven years. That means that
     several farmers are coming and going all the time. Several farmers
     are paying out taxes and interest on something they will never
     own.... As to the land companies doing things for the settler, in
     the most part they take care of the new man for a time, but I
     notice that they close them out, too, if taxes and interest are not
     kept up pretty well.

A similar condition is described in the letter below from a county agent
in the same state:

     The land companies in this county are not putting forth any special
     effort to make it easier for the new settlers to succeed. As far as
     I know, all the land companies in this county are reliable. They
     live up to their agreements with the settlers. However, I can also
     vouch for the statement that many of our farms, with very little
     clearing, are continuously changing hands.

The importance of advice and warning from the land company to the
settler, and the deplorable infrequency with which it is given, are
spoken of in this statement by a county agent:

     So far the ... settler's only means of protection has been the
     county agent. From the county agent the settler gets the true
     condition of the land, climate, and possibilities in general, of
     the particular region into which he is going. Too often, though,
     the settler is met at the train by the real-estate agent, and this
     agent does not let his prospective buyer get in touch with anyone
     else until after he has been sold a piece of land. After the
     settler has bought his land the real-estate man thinks that his
     connection with him has ceased, and he is no longer interested in
     him other than to see that the promised payments are paid when due.


The second group of the ordinary type of land dealer, though not so
large as the first group, consists of men who have a broader outlook
upon their business and work. While they also are after personal
profit, they understand that they are rendering, in return for their
profit, a service not only to the land buyer, but also to the public.
Accordingly, they are considerate of the settler, try to make him
successful, and, having the social point of view, they promote
education, welfare work, and other community interests among the settlers.

The writer has met a number of such broad-minded and public-spirited land
dealers. Some of them were so modest as to deny that they were interested
in or were keeping in mind any public or social end in their business.

     Well, I am after profit, nothing more. By helping the settler to
     make a success through extension of credit to him, through
     demonstrations, through finding a market for his products, and
     through organizing community work, I am only advertising my land
     and attracting new settlers. That is, I am applying a little bit of
     Henry Ford's methods to the land-settlement business, that's all!

This explanation was given by a large land dealer in one of the Middle
Western states. Further conversation with him showed that he took great
pride in the fact that the settlers on his land esteemed him highly and
had confidence in him.

It is land men of this type that a county agent from the North Middle
West speaks of in these words:

     The land men in this county all believe that it is to their own
     interests to have every settler a satisfied settler. They are
     getting away from the idea that they are done with the settler as
     soon as they sell him a piece of land. They now believe that they
     are just starting their relations with the settler when he buys
     from them.

Another county agent writes that he believes that

     the real-estate men are beginning to try to see that the settlers
     to whom they sell land make good. They are doing this by being
     lenient with their conditions and by picking only the better types
     of land for settlement.

One of the real-estate men who have this more public-spirited view of
their work describes his relations with the settlers as follows:

     I try to assist the settler by giving him all the moral support and
     encouragement possible, by keeping friendly with him so he feels
     free to come to me with his every problem. I stand ready to finance
     any deserving settler for the full purchase price of good milk
     cows, or to buy a pig or two, or for any other thing that is sure
     to help him over the hill. Especially, I go among them organizing
     farm loan associations and community-center gatherings, thereby
     bringing the whole family the general social opportunities that
     every normal family craves and has the right to expect.



A real-estate company with offices in Chicago states that it assists the
individual settler in many ways:

     1. We sell him horses and cows on liberal terms.

     2. We help him buy on credit building materials and other
     necessaries, such as feed for his stock, small tools, etc. We O.K.
     many small bills.

     3. We many times indorse settlers' notes at banks in order to help
     them get credit, and thus get the money with which to make progress.

     4. Our organization keeps in touch with parties to whom we have
     sold. Our men see them occasionally and give them advice. Often we
     are able to be of material assistance in helping them to buy the
     right stock at the right prices.

     5. We keep hammering away at the importance of their keeping in
     touch with the county adviser and getting the free literature that
     is sent out by the state and Federal authorities.

     6. We try to be of aid in everything which promotes the general
     social and economic welfare of the community. For example:

          a. Our Mr. ---- was chairman of the Liberty Loan Committee in
          ---- County.

          b. Any proposition for new roads, new schools, or new churches
          gets our hearty and immediate support.

          c. In all cases where we have been asked to donate an acre or
          half acre for church purposes, we have done so.

          d. We have been instrumental in helping a number of incipient
          business men to start cheese factories.


Certain phases of the real-estate business requiring concerted action, and
especially the desire of the higher type of land dealers to put their trade
or profession on a higher level, and thus to prevent it from falling into
disrepute in the public eye, have led the better type of real-estate men to
organize themselves into local real-estate boards with an associate
membership of leading local merchants, bankers, lawyers, and others
particularly interested in real-estate developments. The "realtors" prefer
to speak of their trade as a "profession" or "calling," not a business or
trade, for they claim that an up-to-date real-estate dealer is a community
builder and leader whose preparation requires a good general education and
a special training, pointing out that a number of the best colleges in the
country are giving courses in the real-estate business.

Nineteen local boards from thirteen states formed a national association
in 1908. At present the association comprises 130 local boards in this
country and Canada, with a total membership of about 8,500 persons.

The aims of the National Association of Real Estate Boards are to promote
efficiency among its members, to be a clearing house for the exchange of
information and ideas, to publish an organ of the association, to broaden
the sphere of influence of the local real-estate men, to assist in
organizing local boards, to fight the land "sharks" and "curbstone
brokers," and to maintain a high standard of professional ethics.

The members of the associated local boards call themselves "realtors,"
as distinct from "real-estate men" or "land dealers"--names which, they
feel, are tainted by the unscrupulous methods of the "sharks."

The association has published a code of ethics for its members, in
which paragraph 13 is especially noteworthy. It reads:

     As a duty to the public and each other, members should report to
     the board misrepresentations or any fraudulent, criminal, or
     illegal act pertaining to real estate, which may entrap and injure
     innocent or ignorant persons; and the board owes it to members and
     the community to take steps to stop such practices and to punish
     parties guilty thereof.

The local boards often render certain services to the community. The
valuation committees are often called upon to give their expert advice
in land matters even to the courts and government administrative offices.

But how far the association is successful in combating the underhand
business methods of the unscrupulous real-estate men is very difficult
to say. The fact is this, that the association favors public registry
and regulation of the real-estate trade and at present is working toward
that end, supporting bills of this nature that are introduced in the
state legislatures. A number of the realtors are not in favor of the
words "license" and "licensing." They prefer instead the words
"certificate," "registry," and "regulation," believing that the word
"license" is associated in the popular mind with saloon-keeping and
similar trades of a lower order.

The desire of these men to separate from ordinary real-estate men by
calling themselves "realtors" and their business a "profession," and
their advocacy of public regulation, show that the land "shark" is still
very much alive and that the real-estate men themselves by their own
private efforts are not able successfully to combat the "shark."

In the field of private land dealing there is appearing a substitute for
the individual dealer. The modern colonization company has recently grown
up, and out of this new project have grown broader policies and methods.



The earlier so-called city and empire builders were in most cases nothing
more than dealers in land. When a lot or farm was sold, there the company's
interest ended. The modern colonization company goes much farther. When a
man settles on land, the company of the better type usually looks out for
him, backs him with credit, affords him the service of an expert
agricultural adviser, cares for his health, and promotes his social
interests and activities through a salaried community worker.

All this is done by the company not only for the sake of the settler
himself, but mainly for the sake of the business interests of the
company, since the success of the settlers on the company's land is the
best advertisement of the company's business. It creates confidence in
the company among the searchers for land and helps to increase the
volume of business and the profits. Such companies are of rather recent
origin and as yet are comparatively few in number. Their appearance
means specialization in the land-development business.

In the North Middle Western states the wilderness land has been for the
most part owned by the lumber companies. The lumber companies attempted
to dispose of their cut-over and burnt-over land in the easiest way by
selling to individuals. As a rule this retail selling was unsuccessful.
They found that it was more profitable for them to stick to their lumber
business and sell their land in large tracts to the land dealers and to
land-development and colonization companies.

In this connection it is interesting to note that in the wilds of our
north one may still see the following stages of frontier life as they
exist side by side, sometimes overlapping and crosscutting one another.

1. The earliest stage known to American civilization was that of virgin
wilderness inhabited by animals and roamed over by Indians. As remnants
of that time there are found some animals, now driven into the swamps
and rocks, and a few Indians settled on reservations.

2. The next stage was when the white missionaries, traders, adventurers,
followed by professional trappers, began penetrating the wilderness.
This white men's hunting stage is still represented by the present-day
"shackers" and trappers, though they are mostly of an amateur character,
and, so to speak, domesticated.

3. The following stage was when lumbermen began being heard throughout the
forests. They are still there, though in considerably reduced numbers. They
are hurriedly attacking the remaining woods, leaving in their wake a
dreary, sorrowful-looking expanse of cut-over and burnt-over lands.

4. These cut-over lands are now invaded by the land development and
colonization companies, with their armies of new settlers, attempting to
transform the last remnants of wilderness into fertile gardens, fields,
and meadows. This is the last decisive war of man upon the wilderness--a
picturesque and difficult struggle. A settler gives this vivid
description, printed in the Radisson, Wisconsin, _Courier_:

     Everywhere we go we see men, women, and children cutting and piling
     the brush and logs that have covered the ground since the days of
     the logger. Everyone seems to be trying to clear more land than his
     neighbor, and get it ready to produce the crops that are so badly
     needed all over the world, and as we stop a minute to take a better
     view of what each one has done, we hear the boom of dynamite that
     is following the brush lines as they are being pushed back.

In the north the land-clearing line is called the firing line, a term
which can be taken literally, for the land-clearing front is continually
under fire and clouds of smoke from burning debris.

5. The sturdy new settlers, the last pioneers and frontiersmen in the
country, are followed, especially along rivers where water power is at
hand, by industrial workers. Here and there are appearing thriving
manufacturing and commercial towns--the last stage in the opening up of
a new country to civilization.

But the most important work in the wilderness at present is that of the
modern land colonization companies. To give an idea of their work and
methods it is necessary to describe one of these companies in detail.


The particular company investigated with special attention is located in
the wilderness of one of the North Middle Western states. In general the
company is applying the same business methods to land colonization as
Mr. Ford is applying to automobile production--production of new farms
on a large scale so as to diminish the overhead expense, and
standardization of various colonization methods. The guiding test is the
success of the new settlers on the company's land. Failures among the
settlers are avoided and fought against by the company as though they
were a dangerous epidemic. "Each failure among our settlers is a bad
advertisement for our company, a loss to us, and an evidence of defects
in our business methods," stated the company's head.

To insure the success of the settlers and the settlement, the company
proceeds as follows: The most careful study is made of the tract of land
which the company intends to acquire for colonization purposes. Not only is
the tract of land closely looked over by the company's officials, but land
experts, such as soil surveyors, are engaged to examine the land from the
viewpoint of its agricultural possibilities. Federal and state surveyors'
reports are also used in considering the possibilities of the land.

When the land has been acquired, a plan for a colony is worked out, with
provision for necessary roads, town sites, irrigation or drainage
systems, utilization of water power, social centers, experimental farms,
etc. The accompanying map shows the plan of one such colony.

The tract is then surveyed and cut up into farms according to the plan
adopted. A number of farm lots are selected by the company. On each of
these lots there is designated a place for the farm buildings and the
garden. A simple, inexpensive house and a barn are built by the company
on a small clearing, usually facing the main road. At present the
company has ceased to clear any land for agricultural use for the reason
that if there is a piece of cleared land the new settler is apt to
expend his main efforts on cultivation of this cleared land, neglecting
the clearing of more land.

     Our experience has shown that it is much better when a new settler
     begins his settlement enterprise with clearing. He at once acquires
     the needed experience in clearing, and develops the confidence
     that he is able to overcome the difficulties of clearing. As a
     result, his ambition grows to clear more land each year,

explained a company official. This again shows with what fineness the
company has to adjust its methods to the psychological peculiarities of
the settlers.

At the same time the company equips the experimental farm and puts it
into operation under the supervision of a trained agriculturist. For the
community work a hall is provided and a community worker engaged.

Meanwhile the company's agents and advertisers have been busy in making
the land opportunities known to people who are intending to settle on
land. The new settlers are of two distinct types. One type consists
either of native Americans or immigrants who have previously been on
land in the United States either as landowners or as tenants. The second
class consists of immigrants who have been living in the cities and who
desire to settle on land. In most cases they have been engaged in
agricultural work in their old countries.


The company itself takes into consideration racial and national factors. In
the year of the investigation the company was doing its main business in
the one section with Polish immigrants, and preferred them even to the
native settlers. The reason given was that immigrants, especially Slavs,
are easy to get along with and readily follow the company's directions and
advice. They are hard workers and are satisfied with a small return at the
beginning. In contrast, the natives commonly pay little attention to the
company's directions and advice, being anxious to make a quick success. In
case they do not succeed as rapidly as they expected, they get discouraged,
leave the place, and give the company a "black eye."

The land is sold in plots of forty acres each, either as "made-to-order"
farms or without farming improvements--"land only." The purchaser may
buy as many plots as he desires and is able to pay for. However, the
company discourages the buying of more land than the settler is able
actually to improve and cultivate, which usually is about forty acres.

The company offers in its folder the following three land sale plans:

     PLAN NO. 1


     First payment, $200 for each 40 acres. Total cost, $750 to $1,000
     for each 40 acres.

     If you buy under Plan No. 1 you pay for the land only. Should you
     want lumber or building supplies, we will furnish them to you at
     cost, and add on to your contract. The same is true in case you
     want live stock. In other words, we will furnish supplies equal to
     the amount of the first payment. Prices vary according to location
     and quality of land.

     PLAN NO. 2


     House 14×20 feet, 1 story,
     1 cow,
     1 small pig,
     4 chickens,
     Complete assortment of vegetable and flower seeds,
     1 bushel mixed clover and timothy seed.

          Cash payment, $250.
          Total cost, $1,100 to $1,350.

     These plans cover only 40 acres. If you wish larger acreage add to
     these plans what land you require, at $750 to $1,000 per 40-acre unit.

     PLAN NO. 3


     House 14×20 feet, 1-1/2 story,
     Barn 12×14 feet,
     1 cow,
     4 chickens,
     2 small pigs,
     Complete assortment of vegetable and flower seeds,
     1 bushel mixed clover and timothy seed,
     1 garden cultivator,
     1 crosscut saw,
     1 ax,
     1 brush scythe,
     1 mattock.

          Cash payment, $400.
          Total cost, $1,250 to $1,500.

     These plans cover only 40 acres. If you wish larger acreage add to
     these plans what land you require, at $750 to $1,000 per 40-acre

As experience has shown, a settler on new land which he has to clear has no
opportunity for using a horse to its fullest capacity during the first two
years. Therefore the company does not include a horse in the preliminary
equipment of a "made-to-order" farm. When a new settler needs horse power
either for plowing or hauling he hires a horse from his older neighbors or
from the company's demonstration farm at a reasonable price.

One of the company's special efforts consists in securing a market for
the settler's produce. With this end in view, co-operative creameries
are favored and promoted by the company.

It is the policy of the company to encourage the organization of local
state banks wherever it does any colonizing work, for the company
realizes that the short-time credit needs of the settlers must be taken
care of. It always encourages the local merchants and people in the
near-by towns to take some stock in the bank. Whatever stock is left
over, different members connected with the company usually take, upon an
understanding with the local people that as soon as any of them wish
some of this stock the company will sell it to them at 6 per cent
interest on its money.

A number of years ago the company organized a bank in one of its
colonies in order that the settlers might get proper credit. The company
found it necessary to do something, as heretofore the settlers had had
no opportunity to secure short-time credit. After the bank had been
organized for three years the people in the colony desired to take the
bank stock, and the men connected with the colonization company sold
all their stock with the exception of one or two hundred dollars each,
which the local people desired that they retain, so that out of $10,000
capital stock $1,000 is held by men interested in the company. In
another colony some of the local people spoke for some stock and were
offered the stock held by men interested in the colonization company at
exactly what they paid for it, plus 6 per cent interest on their money.
This has been true in the different sections where the company has
promoted the organization of a bank.

As the company's business methods are based upon the principle of the
settler's success, the company is keeping in very close touch with its
settlers. For each settler a "Progress Record" card is filed in the
company's local office. The following reproduction of the main features
of the card indicates the items that show the economic progress of the
settler. Although it is not possible to have all the items filled up to
date, a beginning is always made. As visits are made to the settlers'
farms by the company's representatives, or the settlers come to the
company office for advice or help, information is collected and added to
the cards. Eventually an invaluable record of salient facts in regard to
the settler and his progress is accumulated in this way.


  Name ....................... Address .......................

  .............Sec............Tp..........R........  .........
  .............Sec............Tp..........R........  .........
  .............Sec............Tp..........R........  .........
  County..............State...............Total acres.........
  Soil...............Distance from school................miles
  From town..........miles.    Name...........................
  Previous farming experience.................................
                 (year and month)
  Moved on land in..............191.... From..................
  I had in cash.................In stock......................
  Tools and machinery.........................................
      Total net worth (when I moved on land) $................

  Price paid for unimproved land, $...........................

          Paid in cash........................................
          Balance due.........................................

  Improvements, Equipment, and Live Stock included in purchase
  Terms of contract...........................................
  Interest rate 6 per cent.

                       RECORD OF PROGRESS

                              _1st 2d  3d  4th 5th 6th 7th 8th_
                              _yr. yr. yr. yr. yr. yr. yr. yr._

  Cleared (plowed)............................................
  Cleared (stumps in).........................................
  No. of cows.................................................
  No. of calves...............................................
  No. of horses...............................................
  No. of colts................................................
  No. of pigs.................................................
  Days worked out.............................................
  Owed on chattel.............................................
  Owed bank...................................................
  Paid on land (prin.)........................................
  Paid on land (int.).........................................

                   PRESENT VALUE OF PROPERTY

    _Acres        Classification      Acres    Acre     Total_
                                     _Fenced   Value_
  .........Cultivated (stumps in).............................
  .........Meadow (wild hay)..................................
               Total value of land..............$.............

             _Size         Material Insured For         Total_
               Total value of buildings..........$............

                          LIVE STOCK
    _No.                                    Value,   Total_
  .........Dairy cows.........................................
  .........Dairy heifers......................................
  .........Dairy calves.......................................
  .........Beef cattle........................................
                     Total value of live stock.....$..........

                    Total value of machinery.......$..........

             _Assets_                          _Liabilities_
  Value of land.......$......       Due on land........$......
  Value of buildings............    Due on live stock.........
  Value of live stock...........    Due on machinery..........
  Value of machinery............    Other debts...............
  Value of other property.......                       -------
                        --------        Total..........$......
                  Present net worth......$.......

These progress records are valuable to the company for a number of
purposes. They help in considering extension of credit, in giving advice
to the settlers, and in finding out what general business methods are
the best for the company to follow in the way of assisting the settler
to make a success.

As the settler's future well-being depends to a certain degree upon his
progress in Americanization, it would be advisable for the company to
include in the record cards items concerning the date of the settler's
arrival in America, his naturalization status, and the degree of his
knowledge of English at the time of his settlement on land. These few
additional items would hardly complicate or burden the recording work of
the company's local office.


The company's officials stated that the immigrant family when first
arriving in the colony is shy and helpless. The introduction of the
family to the new conditions and surroundings has to be made gradually.
A representative of the company meets the family at the station and
directs it to a hotel, where it stays a few days before it is taken to
the farm. During these several days the company's adviser calls often
upon the family, talks with its members, takes them through the colony
and introduces them to their future neighbors, and explains the local
conditions. When the family is transferred to the farm the company's
adviser still has to call almost daily, for there are numerous matters
upon which the settler needs advice and encouragement.

The majority of the new settlers are quite ignorant of the methods of
land clearing. This the adviser has to teach them. How to feed cows,
what and when to plant, how to cultivate, and how to handle the
products--in all such questions the new settlers need constant
direction. They themselves give two reasons for their need of advice in
farming operations. First, the European methods of farm work are
different from the American methods, especially because in Europe they
were not engaged in opening up new land. Secondly, having been engaged
in industrial work in America, often for long years, they have forgotten
the European farm experience to a certain degree.

While the writer was in the office of the adviser the settlers were
constantly calling upon the latter for advice in all sorts of matters.
One woman came, crying, and said, through her boy as interpreter, that
her cow was sick and perhaps dying. Another woman sought advice as to
her sick baby. A man came to ask that a certain road be extended to his
place. Still another man wanted to do some stumping on his land in
co-operation with his neighbors, provided the company lent a machine and
the adviser came to direct the work. Another man asked advice in regard
to the extension of credit to him. So the stream of inquiries went on
continually. The adviser needed to be, as he was, an extremely capable
man to deal with the extraordinary list of demands. He was an expert
agriculturist, energetic, and in love with the game of helping the
immigrant settlers.



In regard to the need of a trained adviser for the new settlers the
president of the company explained as follows:

     The greatest need for instruction is in land clearing, for the
     modern land-clearing methods--methods of just how to "brush," and
     at what time of year to conduct the operations--are entirely new to
     almost every settler arriving in the colony. No wonder we ourselves
     are studying, experimenting, and improving on land-clearing methods
     each month.

     In general, our immigrant colonists are efficient workers. The fact
     is that some of the buildings in our new town site are being built
     by our settlers. A large number of them were contractors. Many of
     the foreigners worked in the shipyards on the coast. Some of them
     worked on big farms. We find them very intelligent and capable, and
     some of them very good business men. We have built over twenty
     miles of road this year, every bit of it being done under contract,
     and the contracts were all taken by our new settlers. During the
     past year about two hundred houses were built, and these were all
     contracted to the new settlers.

     It is true they have many things to learn, just as we have. We are
     not really teaching them, but we are working with them, studying
     with them, learning much from them, just as they learn from us. We
     are opening up our demonstration farms, studying the problems just
     as they are. Our adviser's main work is to assist them in choosing
     the kind of seed best adapted to that country, to act as a kind of
     leader for the community, for they are all strangers, and until
     they have become accustomed to the country, and until leaders
     have sprung up among them, it is necessary that an outside leader,
     such as our agricultural adviser, should be employed, but not
     because of the ignorance or inefficiency of the foreigners.

Observing the actual operations of such advisers in a number of cases,
the writer has been convinced that in every new rural immigrant colony
an intelligent, sympathetic, and efficient adviser is needed, and that
the private colonization companies are to be commended for employing
such advisers.


In one of the colonies the writer observed that the settlers' children
worked a great deal. On one farm three children--two boys and one
girl--of ages varying from nine to thirteen or fourteen, were clearing
land of stones and the debris of brush and stumps. On another farm, the
settler's wife, with her two tiny and delicate girls, was cultivating
potatoes, each one using a rake. On a third farm, two boys, one of ten
and the other of twelve, were cutting hay with scythes. The boys were
thin and pale. In talk they appeared serious and somewhat cheerless,
although in a measure enthusiastic about their new farm.

The company's local officials and also the settlers themselves admitted
that their children work considerably, even to the extent that they are
often kept home from school. The settlers said that they understood the
harm being done their children both by working too hard and by being
withdrawn from school. But they are very eager to put their new farms on
a paying basis in the shortest possible time. The company's officials
said that they had so far not interfered with the use of child labor,
but that in the future they would try to exercise some supervision over
the work of children in the colony.

The president of the company stated in regard to the labor of the
settlers' children that "in some cases in the cities, on the farms, and
everywhere, there is an indiscreet use of child labor, as also there is
a practice in many communities of letting the children run wild. I
believe I would rather trust future America to those brought up in
pioneer regions than I would trust future America to those brought up
under conditions where no hardship, no pioneering, no work whatever is
expected of them."

While this is quite true, nevertheless the writer's impression was that
a number of the settlers overwork their children and keep them out of
school at times.


As the company's overhead expenses for the maintenance of a number of
offices, for the employment of a large number of agents and for commissions
and extensive advertising, are heavy, the company is able to do successful
business only on a very large scale. The head of this particular company
believed that, in view of this fact, the tract of good farming land on
which a company operates must be not less than 50,000 acres. He also stated
that in view of the fact that the company's outlay of money, and especially
its extension of credit to settlers, is very large, the reliable land
development and colonization companies ought to be assisted in the way of
credit by the public through the government.

During the war the company had great difficulty in borrowing money on
the settlers' mortgages. They had to pay a high rate of interest. Since
the end of the war, however, the company has been able through the banks
of the financial centers of the North Middle West to float a large
number of collateral bonds on mortgages. These bonds at the present time
sell to the general public at 6 per cent. The company, its president
stated, must pay the cost of trusteeship commission on sale of bonds,
etc., which brings the rate which the company pays to a fair amount
above the 6 per cent which the ultimate investor receives. At the
present time there is no difficulty in financing the organization,
although it would be very desirable to have state and Federal assistance.

Bills providing for such assistance have been introduced in the state
legislatures of all of the northwest states. Congressman Knutson at
Washington has introduced a land credit bill to provide capital for the
development by land colonization of the agricultural resources of the
nation, providing for certain privileges to soldier settlers, and
creating a National Colonization Board.[7]


While the company has made provision for the conservation of riparian
rights, for roads, and even for town sites, it has done little for the
conservation of wooded land. It has preserved the woodland on river
banks and 160 acres of timber in one colony, and it has planted about
15,000 small pine trees. Moreover, the company encourages the
conservation of woodland by the settlers, advising them to keep in
timber from five to ten acres for each farm.

How far the settlers will follow this good advice remains to be seen, while
the conservation of wooded land by the company is inadequate. This the
company's local officials admitted, but they reasoned that it would hardly
be advisable for a single company, or even a number of companies, to
attempt to conserve wooded land or other natural resources the return from
which would be in the far distant future. It would be advisable for the
state, or even for the Federal government, to make provisions and necessary
regulations for the conservation of wooded land and other natural resources
upon which the well-being of the public at large depends.


A number of Polish settlers in one of the colonies visited expressed the
desire to have a Polish church and school. They believed that if the
national Catholic Church organization would help them, they themselves
would be able to maintain their church and school.

This fact led the writer to a discussion with the company's officials as
to the advisable size of a compact colony of the same nationality. They
stated that if an immigrant family is established among settlers of
another nationality, the family becomes lonely and desperate and after a
year or two of such loneliness is apt to leave the farm, no matter how
successful it has been in buying and cultivating the land. Therefore the
company's policy is to settle the people of the same nationality together.

The writer asked whether, if a colony of one nationality is large,
having a hundred or several hundred families, the resulting conditions
would not make for separation and isolation. They would have intimate
intercourse only with one another, would establish a church and school
of their own nationality, and would even develop their own town and
elect their own local government officials. The company's officers
admitted that this would possibly happen; they said that the company had
not yet decided how large a colony of one nationality, in the same
locality or neighborhood, it would develop.

The personal opinion of one of the officials was that from fifteen to
twenty-five families of one nationality in the same neighborhood would
not be a source of danger because of becoming clannish and remaining
un-Americanized for a generation or a number of generations. A colony of
such size would not be able to maintain a church and school of its own
nationality. As to the danger of inbreeding, the officials pointed out
that the church rules and state laws would prohibit it, and said that,
furthermore, the immigrants, having friends and acquaintances elsewhere
in the country, would marry into other groups of immigrants.


The writer, while visiting the company's colonies, was struck by the
fact that the settlers who said they had been in this country from
eight to ten years understood and spoke very little English, seemed to
be rather shy, and in general appearance lacked signs of American
influence. Overalls and the tools in their hands were almost the only
betraying marks of the American environment.

The investigation developed the fact that most of the settlers had lived
previously in the congested "Little Polands" in Chicago, Detroit, and
Milwaukee. The settlers explained that they lived there as in the old
country, having their own Polish church, Polish schools, Polish banks,
Polish stores, Polish books and papers, speaking Polish in their homes,
in the streets, and in social gatherings. Even in the factories where
they worked, their fellow workers were often Poles; sometimes even the
foreman was a Pole. There was almost no opportunity for coming in
contact with the American ways of life and with the country's language.

Several settlers declared that they had learned more about America and
had used English more during the last two years in the northern
wilderness than during the previous seven or eight years in the city of
Chicago. Settling on land, they came in contact with the American land
agents, other company officials, government authorities, American banks
and stores, and with American neighbors at the community meetings. Here
in the wilderness they first found how badly they needed English and a
knowledge of American ways. A number of parents started to learn English
by taking lessons from their children, who themselves were learning
English in the local public schools.

The company's officials stated, in confirmation, that the Polish
settlers in their colonies were growing in dignity and self-reliance,
that they were assuming American characteristics and an American bearing.


As the colonies of the company are comparatively young, it is impossible
to foresee their future with certainty. So far they seem to be on a
sound basis, and their success rather than their failure is to be
expected. The soil is good and the settlers stick hard to their work on
the land. The first colony founded seems to be over the danger line
already. It is no longer under the financial control of the company, the
settlers have secured loans outside, and their farms are progressing
from the experimental stage to that of established security.

However, a settler expressed the following apprehension to the writer:

     You see us, men and women, old and young, working here in the
     wilderness like beavers, clearing and digging, scraping and
     building. All are pressed hard by a strong hope of establishing a
     permanent home and of earning future independence. But we still
     live in makeshift houses, and so far only a few families are able
     to make a living, bare and meager, out of their clearings,
     diggings, and cows. The vast majority--almost all of us--have, at
     times, to leave the farm in care of women and children and look for
     work elsewhere--in Duluth, Chicago, Detroit--for the purpose of
     earning bread for the family on the farm. A number temporarily hire
     out to the company, but the latter's wages are considerably less
     than we get in the industrial centers.

     You have heard the company's officials and seen their doings, and
     everything might seem to you to work smoothly for the benefit of
     the settlers. Is it not so? For instance, the company claims that
     it sells us tools at cost, but we already have found out in regard
     to a number of things that the company makes a fair profit on them.
     Again, the company claims that it runs the demonstration farms only
     for our benefit, but as a matter of fact the company's aim is, as
     we understand it, to build up a large farm estate on the best land
     of the tract, and to sell us its products, seeds, breeding stock,
     etc.; in other words, to make money out of demonstration. One
     hardly can object to this, except that the company claims that it
     is doing business with us "at cost," which is not so.

     Almost in everything, even in our home life, we depend upon the
     good will of the company, and so far we have not much complaint to
     make against it. In general, it has treated us well under the
     existing circumstances, but we are a little apprehensive about our
     future. Suppose we, as settlers, finally succeed in making good,
     clear our land, and build up our farms, as expected by the company
     and hoped by ourselves. Will we then be free and independent of the
     company's control? We are afraid not. We will still have to
     transact our financial matters through the bank in which the
     company is interested, sell our products through the company's
     agency, etc., not because any law or stipulation would require
     this, but solely because the company, with all its business
     establishments, is here among us. The company is retaining river
     shores, town sites connected with certain business privileges, and
     the best pieces of land, as its demonstration farms. This means
     that the company, with its fatherly care for us, is going to remain
     with us for a long time to come.

The field notes of the writer on the above statements of the settler
were later shown to the company's head, who answered them as follows:

     The expression "makeshift houses" is not fitting at all, for the
     buildings are warm and comfortable--hardwood floors, painted wall
     board inside. They are small, it is true. You can travel the
     country over, where pioneers are located, and I defy anyone to find
     a better-looking set of houses than those in any one of our colonies.

     This man states that so far only a few families are able to make a
     living. In our older colonies I could show a list of cream checks
     which the different settlers are receiving from their cows; they
     will range all the way from $50 to $400 a month. This does not take
     into consideration the surplus live stock, potatoes, and other
     grains, which they sell from their farms. It is not expected that
     these new settlers will make money out of their crops for the first
     few years. It is expected that they will go away to the cities and
     work part of the time, while their families remain on the land. We
     state in our literature, as does all state literature, that the
     first two or three years contain hardships, and mean some working
     out to earn money, provided the settler comes without any funds
     whatever. The survey of all our settlers shows that while they have
     worked in the city ten to fifteen years, their entire savings have
     amounted to from $200 to $1,000. In the colonies, due to clearing,
     increased value of land, and earnings on their new farms, they have
     made from $500 to $1,000 a year. Surely this entails some hardship
     and some hard work.

     The statement that some of them hired out to the company at less
     wages than are paid in industrial centers I'll agree was true
     during war times. We could not hope to compete with the wages paid
     in the munition factories of the East. The company does, however,
     pay standard wages, as high as are paid anywhere for the same class
     of labor.

     The statement that the company claims that it sells the necessities
     at cost is not correct, for the company sells nothing. We have an
     iron-bound practice that in no case do we enter into the store or
     sales business. We furnish the original house, barn, tools, live
     stock, with the land. After that we sell nothing. We have often
     stated that if we would enter into the store business or selling
     business, it would drive others out, and it was poor practice for
     the company to engage in any business outside of colonization, for
     it involved too much detail and was a separate business.
     Colonization is a game all of itself, and if we divided our
     energies with other industries we could not succeed.

     Some time ago a charge similar to this was made by some of the
     settlers, stating that the company was making profits on buildings.
     We immediately offered to have any lumber company agree to put up
     those buildings for the same price that we did. We asked for a
     large number of bids, and the nearest bid was one hundred and
     twenty-five dollars more than the price we were charging the
     settlers. We did not ask them to bid on only one house, but on one
     hundred houses a year. The reason we have been able to construct
     these buildings at such a low rate is that we have our own timber.
     When the price of lumber went up during war times, we did not
     increase our price one dollar. By building hundreds of houses each
     year, by eight or ten years of experiment, and keeping the same
     foreman and crew, we have been able to develop an efficiency that
     will allow us to put these buildings up at one hundred dollars less
     than the best bid we could get from anyone. We would gladly give up
     this detail work if some one else could do it, for we make no money
     on it and barely take care of costs and our necessary overhead.

     As to furnishing cattle, we made an offer to one of the local
     Holstein and Guernsey associations, asking them if they would be
     willing to furnish all of our settlers cows at the same price we
     were asking, and deliver them at the same time we were delivering
     them; we could not get anyone to accept our offer. We have lost
     money right along on our live stock--not a great deal, but a small
     amount. So when your informer tells you that they purchase goods
     from the company at a fair profit to the company, the statement is
     not correct, for we sell no goods to them at all except what goes
     with the land. In no case do we buy anything from the settlers, and
     in no case do we sell anything to them, except the original
     equipment which goes with the original purchase.

     The statement that the company's purpose is to reserve large
     demonstration farms is laughable, for we only have two
     demonstration farms reserved in our entire tract of 60,000 acres.
     Those two demonstration farms cover 2,500 acres. Already one
     demonstration farm in a colony where we sold practically all the
     land has been cut up into small farms and offered for general sale.
     The other demonstration farm is in the vicinity of our present
     settlement and is not now broken up.

     In our oldest colony we reserve not a foot of land there. The
     cheese factory which we started we turned over to the co-operative
     organization. The warehouse which we constructed we turned over to
     a Co-operative Shippers' Association.

     There is one thing that your informant is correct on, and that is
     that we retain the river shores. We have retained the riparian
     rights for the reason that some day we hope to turn this over to a
     water-power company and develop hydroelectric power for the benefit
     of that whole community. If these river shores were in the hands of
     different settlers, it would be impossible for a hydroelectric
     company ever to go in there and purchase each farm separately at a
     price that would enable it to develop the power.

The contradictions in the above interviews are to be explained by the
settlers' misunderstanding of the company's general policy and methods.
In their eyes everything in the colony belongs to and is managed by the
company, which is quite true at the beginning of the colony, and which
cannot be otherwise at that time. The new settlers know little of one
another, and are ignorant of the local conditions. They lack both
business experience and capital. Therefore, as a rule they are not able
to conduct, either individually or on a co-operative basis, commercial
or industrial establishments at the start. It is therefore up to the
company to see that there is a town, a hotel, a grocery store, a bank, a
creamery, or cheese factory, a shipping office, etc., in the colony.

The fact that the company has interests in, and even controls, these
concerns at the beginning, and that all these business branches work
together, conducting their financial transactions through the same bank,
has led the settlers to believe that everything is permanently owned and
controlled by the company. The settlers in a new colony do not know that
as soon as the success of these business organizations is secure and the
settlers have been assisted to a firmer footing the company will turn
the organizations over to the settlers themselves on a co-operative
basis, as has already been done in the company's oldest colony. It is
the company's policy, as above stated by its head, to specialize in the
land colonization work only, leaving banking, commerce, and
manufactures to others.


The writer visited and investigated two colonies of new settlers founded
by the colonization company within a distance of about twenty to thirty
miles from one another. The following field notes taken during
interviews with the company's local officials and the settlers
themselves give a general picture of the conditions of the colonies.

In the first colony, the first families settled about twelve to fifteen
years ago. At that time a logging camp was operating and the country was
covered with standing timber. As fast as the loggers cleared the timber the
land was opened for settlement by the colonization company. Land buyers
were taken into the logging camp, were given meals and sleeping quarters
there, and were taken out and shown their land. About five years after the
first settlers came most of the timber had been cut. The company then
established the village and began settling from that point. The colony has
steadily increased and at present contains about fifty families.

The settlers were Polish. About ten families came from Russia, twenty
from Germany, and twenty from Austria. They left their old country on
account of poverty, political oppression, and compulsory military
service there. Almost all of them had been engaged in agriculture in the
old country. About forty families had been employed in shops and
factories in America before they succeeded in settling on land here;
only about ten families came from Europe directly to the colony, of
which they learned through the company's advertisements in the
American-Polish newspapers and also through the letters of their friends
and acquaintances.

The largest farm is 120 acres, the smallest 20 acres, and the average 80
acres. Most of the farms are still under mortgage, only a few being
cleared of debt.

In the colony and its vicinity are seven schools: six with one room and
one with three rooms. All teachers are native born and all teaching is
in English. The settlers appreciate education. Most of the children are
inclined to farming and will remain in the colony. One fourth of the
adults do not speak English, one half only speak English, and one fourth
speak and write English.

Only a few of the adult male settlers have second papers; about nine
tenths have first papers, while the rest are totally unnaturalized. In
explanation of this fact the company's president stated that it is only
the older men who have not secured even their first papers.

     A large proportion of the foreign settlers [he said] secure their
     second papers just as rapidly as they can after they locate on the
     land. They desire to take part in local politics; they find that
     they must become interested in local political affairs if they wish
     to have a good system of schools, roads, and gain the other
     advantages which both the county and town can give them. They are
     also interested in the state politics. All this brings the question
     of second papers forcibly to their minds, and in an accurate survey
     of the different colonies we are interested in, you will find that
     a large per cent of those who have been on the land five years or
     more have already secured their second papers. One of the
     difficulties which hinder them from getting their second papers
     sooner is the fact that they must have some one certify that he has
     actually known them for a period of five years. Coming as they do,
     strangers from another state, it is necessary that they live among
     us for a five-year period before such an affidavit can be secured.
     I have had many of the settlers speak to me, desiring second
     papers, but they were forced to wait their period before they could
     secure them.

Most of the settlers read the Polish newspapers published in America.
Quite a number of families take books from the school libraries; among
these are a few Polish books--stories and histories.

The settlers are of the Roman Catholic faith. They attend a local
church. Their Catholic neighbors of other nationalities attend the same
church. The priest is of the Polish nationality; he cannot speak English
well. He is appointed by the bishop. The settlers would prefer to elect
their priest themselves.

While the houses are of the American type, the interior arrangement of
the living rooms remains that of the European Slavic peasantry--the
bedcover is often fancy handiwork, the walls are profusely covered with
family photographs, pictures of Polish heroes, and magazine
illustrations. However, an honored place is given to the picture of the
President and the American flag. Furniture is placed against the wall
around the room. The premises are kept comparatively clean and in order.

Diet is rather mixed, though the Polish meals and the Polish ways of
cooking predominate. The settlers claim that their housewives are more
frugal than the American housewives in their neighborhood.

There are very few intermarriages; nationality alone is considered a
drawback for intermarriage between a Pole and non-Pole. In cases where
the two people are of different faith, the Church is another drawback.

Family discipline, in respect to the authority of the husband as the
family head, is less strict than in the old country. The settlers
believe that this is due to the American influence. Here the husband has
to consult his wife in every important question and the children are not
so often punished.

The relations between the colonists and the national groups in the
neighborhood are generally friendly and help is given mutually in cases
of need. But there is very little social visiting between the groups,
the difference in nationality being a bar.

The settlers secure agricultural advice from two sources--the company's
adviser and the county agent. They raise wheat, rye, oats, potatoes,
grasses--clover and timothy--while their main income is derived from
milk production.

The products are sold to the local agents; there is no discrimination in
prices. Necessities are bought in the near-by towns, prices being too
high and goods not always suited to the needs of the settlers.

Money is loaned by the local banks at 7 to 8 per cent. This rate, the
company stated, was on short-time, unsecured paper. The settlers, it
maintained, have always been able to secure money on farm mortgages at 6
and 7 per cent.

Economically stronger families compel their children to do chores and
work in the field outside of school time, while poorer and weaker
families, especially those of more recent settlers, often let their
children work even during school time.

The settlers are satisfied with their conditions and they all desire to
remain permanently in America. The only thing they want is an increase
in the number of settlers and further development of their locality.

The second colony[8] visited by the writer was started by the company
the year before (1917). There are now about sixty Polish families in the
colony. Half of the adult male population were deserters from the
compulsory military service in Russia, Germany, and Austria. "Why should
we have served in the armies by which Poland was oppressed!" exclaimed a
settler when asked as to their justification for desertion.

Before settling on the land they all had worked in steel mills,
factories, mines, etc., some five to six years, some longer, but their
experience in Europe had been on farms. While in America they had
learned of the land from the company's advertisements in the Polish
papers. In regard to the settlers' previous farming experience the
company's head said that

     our company will not sell land to any settler who has not had some
     farm experience. We advise them first to work on a farm
     somewhere--either rent it or hire out--until they have gained the
     necessary experience to make them successful on their farms. These
     people here are not factory workers, but are primarily farmers,
     land hungry, who came to this country for the purpose of owning a
     home, and only temporarily worked in steel mills, factories, and
     mines, in order to secure sufficient money to get the start that
     they so much desire.

About ten settlers had gone, at the time of the writer's visit, to work in
Duluth and Chicago. Their families and other settlers were busily engaged
in land clearing. The smallest clearing was 6 acres, the largest 20 acres,
and the average clearing for each farm was 10 acres--that is, about one
sixth of the land was already cleared, but most of the cleared land was not
yet turned. The size of the largest farm was 120 acres, that of the
smallest 40 acres, and of the average 60 acres. In May the company
organized a land-clearing contest among the settlers of its colonies,
providing rewards for the winners. "This was a big event in our colony--the
men pushed the brush for all they were worth," said the company's agent.

The settlers estimated that all of the adult males understand English,
and that about 70 per cent can also speak English, though not well,
while not one can intelligibly write English. Most of the adult women do
not even understand English.

There is no Polish church. Once in two or three weeks a Polish priest
comes. The majority of the settlers do not care about having a Polish
church and school. They claim that their religious sentiment is weaker
in America than it was in Europe.

Their diet is almost entirely Polish. Some families keep their homes
clean and in order; some continue to live in dirt as in Europe.

Relations between the Polish and non-Polish settlers are good, though no
social visiting takes place. Still, they meet and see one another at
the community hall, about which the settlers seemed to be enthusiastic.

In clearing land the settlers have so far applied hand labor almost
exclusively, but in the coming year horse power will be needed. Near the
houses small potato patches and vegetable gardens have been planted.
Field crops have been started, in a small and primitive way, and among
these oats and feed grasses predominate. The sale of milk is the most
important item of income of the settlers. Dairy farming is the company's
aim in the development of the colony.

In regard to the clearing of land the company emphasized the point that
the land does not all have to be cleared in order to produce.

     Cattle are immediately turned into the brushland, and can pasture
     upon the brush, the native grasses, and the clover which grows
     throughout the entire region. Land which is cleared is used for
     winter food products. Summer feed for the cattle, hogs, and horses
     comes almost exclusively from the uncleared land. By following
     dairying and live-stock raising, the entire land becomes productive
     at once, while grain or vegetable farming would mean that only the
     land under cultivation would be producing.

The men of the colony seemed to be rather cheerful and hopeful, while
their wives impressed the writer as being somewhat downcast and
self-centered. Several of them said that they have to work much harder
in the colony than in the cities or even in the old country.

[7] H. R. 3274, 66th Congress, 1st Session.

[8] Only those field notes are here quoted which vary from the
description of the first colony.



California is the first, and so far the only state in the Union to
undertake the public colonization of land. Its first experiment is very
recent and on a comparatively small scale. Its leaders are ably
utilizing their knowledge of the experiences in public land colonization
in foreign countries such as Australia, New Zealand, the Scandinavian
states, and Great Britain. Although it is impossible to foresee the
outcome, the writer is inclined to believe that the public land
colonization in California will continue to be a success, giving impetus
to similar projects in other states.


The California experiment and its history may be outlined briefly as
follows: A report of the California Commission on Land Colonization and
Rural Credits made in 1916 revealed the fact that few settlers were
coming to California and that many who had come were leaving because of
hardships created by high prices of land, high interest rates, and
short terms of payment given in colonization contracts. As a result, the
California legislature passed the Land Settlement Act, approved June 1,
1917,[9] for the purpose of

     promoting closer agricultural settlement, assisting deserving and
     qualified persons to acquire small improved farms, providing homes
     for farm laborers, increasing opportunities under the Federal Farm
     Loan Act, and demonstrating the value of adequate capital and
     organized direction in sub-dividing and preparing agricultural land
     for settlement.

The act appropriated $250,000 for a demonstration in state land
colonization, fixing 10,000 acres as the limit which should be bought.
The land might be situated in one or two localities, but not profitably
in more, because of the increase in overhead expenses. To carry out the
provisions of the act a state Land Settlement Board was appointed of
which Prof. Elwood Mead was chairman. The board was organized at the end
of August, 1917, and immediately began the search for a suitable tract
of land. With the advice of technical experts of the University of
California and of other authorities upon soil, irrigation, health, and
various conditions which would affect the success of the colony, final
selection was made of a tract at Durham, Butte County, California.

On May 7, 1918, the land was finally transferred to the state. Prior to
this, however, the land had been subdivided and had been prepared for
farming, a large acreage having even been seeded. On May 15th, 3,421 acres
were offered to settlers, consisting of 53 farms, ranging in size from
3-1/2 acres to 160 acres, and of 21 two-acre farm laborers allotments. The
prices of the farms varied from $875 (above which the next price was
$3,646) to $14,942. The price of the farm laborers' allotments was $400.
The law provided that the value of the former, without improvements, should
not exceed $15,000, and that of the latter, without improvements, should
not exceed $400. The terms of sale were as follows:

Settlers were to pay 5 per cent of the cost of the land and 40 per cent
of the cost of the improvements at the time of purchase, the remainder
of the purchase price to be paid over a period of twenty years with
interest at the rate of 5 per cent per annum. Payments of principal and
interest were to be made semiannually in accord with the amortization
table of the Federal Farm Loan Board.

All applicants for land were carefully considered as to their character
and their fitness for farming. The minimum amount of capital a settler
was required to have was fixed at $1,500 or a working equipment of equal
value. A farm laborer was not required to have any capital, but had only
to pay the initial deposit of $20 and semiannual payments of about $15.

The board reserved the right of supervision of the methods of
cultivation of each settler, of the state of repair of buildings, of
fire-insurance policies, and of other details.

Plans of houses and barns were prepared and the board offered to build
these, or others, for the settler, on payment of 40 per cent of the cost.
An engineer was employed to supervise the erection of buildings and to help
settlers plan the grouping of buildings, orchard, garden, and field. The
board bought material at wholesale and let contracts in groups and in this
way each family was saved much money and valuable farming time.

The board kept the following objects in view:

1. That the settlement become widely and favorably known as the home of
one breed of dairy cattle, one breed of beef cattle, one breed of hogs,
and one or two breeds of sheep.

2. The co-operation of the settlers in buying and selling.

3. The establishment at Durham, or on the settlement, of a training
school in agriculture.

4. The erection in the near future of a social hall owned and paid for
by settlers.

Co-operative action among the farmers and farm laborers was particularly
desired and encouraged. A co-operative stock breeders' association was
formed. Twenty-two acres were reserved for community use, and here it
is hoped that community buildings will be erected.

When the farms were offered for sale there were from ten to fourteen
applicants for each of the improved farms. Four of the unimproved farms
were not applied for and these will be seeded and offered to settlers
later at the opening of the next tract. Every one of the farm laborers'
allotments was applied for. The settlement was made self-sustaining and
productive within sixty days from the date the land was purchased.

As to the racial composition of this colony and the way in which the
method of colonization would affect the incorporation of the different
racial elements in the life of the settlement, the superintendent, Mr.
George C. Kreutzer, made the following statement:

     Five of the settlers on the colony are of German origin, two of
     Danish origin, two Italian, one French, and all the others are of
     either English, Irish, or Scotch origin.

     No policy of mixing nationalities was followed. These farmers put
     in either a first, second, or third choice for the allotments they
     desired, and the board then selected the man best suited
     agriculturally for the particular block he was allotted.

     Under our system of allotting blocks here the farmers are
     particularly concerned in making a success of their farms
     financially, rather than socially. We were never confronted with
     the problem of having too many of one nationality in the community,
     and as we have only fifty-three farms to offer for settlers, it is
     not large enough to involve the problem at all. Further than this,
     I do not think the problem will come up under this system of
     allotting blocks, for the reason first stated above.

     It will Americanize immigrants through co-operation and social
     intercourse, through the various settlers' organizations necessary
     to their social and financial welfare. We have a Stock Breeders'
     Association which meets at regular times to discuss live-stock
     problems at intervals during the year. They are all on equal terms,
     each one buying the land for himself, thus breaking down class
     distinction. There will not be the distinction between lessees and
     freeholders that we find in the Middle States. Their children will
     go to the same school.

This undertaking of California is the only one in the field of public
land colonization anywhere in the country, except for projects involving
soldier settlements which some states have lately begun to undertake.


With the close of the War there began to appear on the calendars of
state legislatures the subject of land settlement provision for
returning soldiers. Up to the time this report was written, twenty-three
states had passed some legislation relative to this need. The following
table indicates in a general way the extent and nature of this provision.


                |            |                     |  Amount of
    State       | Bill Number|   Date Approved     |Appropriation
  Arizona       | Senate   89|March    26, 1919[10]|$     100,000
                |            |                     |
  California    |{Senate  246|April,       1919    |   10,000,000
                |{Senate  221|April,       1919[10]|    1,000,000
  Colorado      | Senate  262|April     9, 1919[10]|
  Delaware      | House   182|April     2, 1919    |       25,000
  Florida       | Senate   21|December  7, 1918[10]|
  Idaho         | House   100|March     7, 1919[10]|      100,000
  Maine         | Chapter  89|April     4, 1919[10]|
                |            |                     |
  Missouri      |{Senate  355|April,       1919[10]|       10,000
                |{Senate   15|April,       1919[10]|    1,000,000
  Montana       |{House   130|March    11, 1919[10]|       50,000
                |{House   170|March     4, 1919[10]|      200,000
  Nevada        | House   219|March    28, 1919    |    1,000,000
  New Jersey    | Senate    5|March    26, 1919    |
  New Mexico    | House   204|March,       1919[10]|       30,000
  North Carolina| Chapter 266|March    10, 1919[10]|
  North Dakota  | House   128|March     6, 1919    |
                |            |                     |
  Oklahoma      | Number  249|March    28, 1919    |      250,000
  Oregon        | Senate  147|March     4, 1919[10]|       50,000
  South Dakota  | Senate  255|March,       1919[10]|      100,000
                |            |                     |    1,000,000
  Tennessee     | House   447|April    16, 1919[10]|
  Texas         |            |May      24, 1919    |
  Utah          |{Senate   79|March    17, 1919[10]|       25,000
                |{Senate   80|March    17, 1919[10]|    1,000,000
  Vermont       | Number   15|March    26, 1919    |
  Washington    |{House   200|March    18, 1919    |    1,050,000
                |{Senate  184|March    20, 1919[10]|      160,000
  Wisconsin     | Senate    8|February 23, 1919[10]|
  Wyoming       | Senate   70|February 28, 1919[10]|        5,000
                |            |                     |      200,000

  TABLE II--Continued

     State      |              Special Note
  Arizona       |To aid Federal Reclamation Service in this
                |  state.
  California    |Referendum on bond issue.
  Colorado      |No appropriation indicated.
  Delaware      |
  Florida       |Appropriating state lands.
  Idaho         |Conditional upon similar Federal legislation.
  Maine         |Necessary amount out of remainder of
                |  reserve land fund.
  Missouri      |
                |Revolving fund submitted to popular vote.
  Montana       |
                |To be drawn upon if necessary.
  Nevada        |By bond sale.
  New Jersey    |Appropriation for placement work.
  New Mexico    |Plus half of certain state rentals and sales.
  North Carolina|Commission appointed to report.
  North Dakota  |Twenty-five dollars per soldier per month
                |  in service.
  Oklahoma      |For loans to land settlers.
  Oregon        |
  South Dakota  |
                |Bond issue.
  Tennessee     |No appropriation indicated.
  Texas         |State credit for land settlers.
  Utah          |
                |Bond issue.
  Vermont       |
  Washington    |Revolving fund for state Reclamation Act.
                |For land settlement.
  Wisconsin     |Commission appointed to report.
  Wyoming       |
                |For loans to land settlers.

In more than half the states the laws refer to Federal legislation, in a
few cases specifying that the appropriation shall be contingent upon a
national appropriation. Several states signify their approval of
co-operation with Federal provision, but make no appropriation for the
work. The largest appropriation in the form of a bond issue for popular
approval of $10,000,000 was passed by the California legislature.
Similar provision was made by Missouri, South Dakota, and Utah to the
amount of $1,000,000. Nevada arranged for the borrowing of $1,000,000
for "reclamation, improvement, and equipment of lands ... for soldiers,
sailors, marines, and other loyal citizens." Washington appropriated a
revolving fund beginning with $1,050,000 and eventually reaching
$3,000,000 to create a state Reclamation Service.

In spite of this evidence of awakened interest in soldier settlements,
many such projects have died before any real attempt could be made to
put them into practical operation. This is to be explained as follows.
The projects in a number of cases were products rather of sentiment than
of logic based upon experience. War-time patriotism created a desire to
give some sort of reward to men fighting for the country's cause. "Let
us give to each returning soldier a farm--a ready-made farm!" was heard
throughout the country. Whether we had enough land, or economically
available land, for millions of farms was not always asked. Many of the
project-makers turned to our swamps, deserts, and cut-over lands filled
with stumps and debris.

The easy-flowing imagination of these people, especially of the city
type, made out of these lands new farms, flourishing gardens, meadows
and fields burdened with crops waving in the winds. How much it would
cost, whence would come the money and energy to create such a miracle,
and how much time the prosecution of the plan would require was not
asked. Would not our returned soldiers, who already are matured men, be
in their graves before their desert and swamp farms gave a living to
their cultivators? Still more strange was the common notion that all
soldiers, even the crippled, were eager to settle on land--that all
wanted land and all were fit to be farmers!

As the product of mere fancy, such sweeping soldiers' settlement
projects were bound to die a natural death. And yet they have not been
without value. They created lively discussion, and called attention to
our land problems, especially to the reclamation and colonization of
unused lands by the people who want land and are fit to be farmers and
to do hard land-pioneering work, be they returned soldiers, native
farmers, or newly arrived immigrants.


The Federal Reclamation Service was established by an act of June 17,
1902, ch. 1093, 32 Stat., 388.[12] This act provides that the moneys
received from the sale of public lands in the Western states, with the
exception of the 5 per centum reserved by law for educational and other
purposes, shall be set aside in the Treasury as a _reclamation fund_ to
be used for the construction and maintenance of irrigation works for the
purpose of reclaiming arid and semiarid lands in these states.

Authority to conduct the reclamation work is placed in the hands of the
Secretary of the Interior. He is given authority to withdraw from public
entry the lands required for irrigation works and to restore the
withdrawn lands to public entry when their use for such purpose is over.
Under the authority conferred upon him by the act (Section 4, and
Opinion Assistant Attorney General, April 16, 1906, 34 L. D., 567) he
may enter into contracts for the construction of irrigation works or
construct such works by labor employed and operated under the
superintendence and direction of government officials.

The Secretary is authorized to give public notice of the lands irrigable
under such project, and limit of area per entry, which limit shall
represent the acreage which, in the opinion of the Secretary, may be
reasonably required for the support of a family upon the reclaimed
lands; and of the charges which shall be made per acre upon the entries,
and upon lands in private ownership which may be irrigated by the
waters of the irrigation works. The charges shall be determined with a
view to returning to the reclamation fund the cost of construction and
shall be apportioned equitably.

It is provided that in all construction work eight hours shall
constitute a day's work and no Mongolian labor shall be employed (32
Stat., 389). No right to the use of water for land in private ownership
shall be sold for a tract exceeding 160 acres to any one landowner. It
is provided that the reclamation fund shall be used for the operation
and maintenance of irrigation works and that when the payments required
by the act are made for the major portion of the lands irrigated the
management of these works shall pass to the landowners.

The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to acquire any rights or
property for reclamation purposes by purchase or by condemnation under
judicial process, and to pay from the reclamation fund sums needed for
that purpose. Within thirty days, upon application of the Secretary of
the Interior, the Attorney General of the United States shall institute
condemnation proceedings. The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to
make rules and regulations for carrying the provisions of the act into
full force and effect.

In the seventeen years since the passage of the Reclamation Act the
surveys, examinations, and construction authorized by it have proceeded,
and to-day, according to the report of the Secretary of the Interior
for 1919,[13]

     the service is in a position to deliver water to about 1,600,000
     acres of irrigable land, covered by crop census, of which about
     1,120,000 acres are now being irrigated. Besides this storage water
     is delivered from permanent reservoirs under special contracts to
     about 950,000 acres more. The projects that have been undertaken
     have been planned to provide for an area of about 3,200,000 acres.

A number of bills have been proposed for enlarging and extending this work.


The Department of the Interior has prepared a draft of a bill providing
rural homes for returning soldiers. Copies of the bill were sent to the
Governors for consideration by various state legislatures.

The bill is based on the principle of co-operation, according to which
(1) the state provides land, acquiring it by purchase or by agreement
with the present landowners whereby the latter turn their holdings over
to the state for a reasonable price gradually paid to them out of the
returns from the settlers, and (2) the Federal government advances money
for reclamation through irrigation, drainage, and clearing, and for
preparation of the land for immediate farming through the providing of
buildings, implements, seeds, live stock, etc. The total cost of the
land and improvements, with interest at 4 per cent on capital invested,
will be repaid by the settlers during the course of, approximately,
forty years by an annual payment of 5 per cent of the total cost.

A bill was introduced in Congress by Senator Myers (S. 4947, 65th
Congress, 2d Session) in October, 1918, and backed by the Department of
the Interior, which provided for a survey and classification by this
department of all unentered public lands and all privately owned unused
lands for the purpose of finding out what lands can be reclaimed and put
to productive use by returning soldiers who would like to settle on land
and engage in agriculture. After such an investigation the Secretary of
the Interior was required to report to Congress and to propose a plan
for the settlement and cultivation of such lands.

There were two bills (S. 5397 and H. 15672) introduced by Senator W. S.
Kenyon of Iowa and Representative M. Clyde Kelly of Pennsylvania,
respectively, which, among other features, made possible development of
rural districts. Although differing in details, the bills both appropriated
$100,000,000 to be expended in providing employment primarily for returning
soldiers. This was to be done through the authorized public construction
work, or through the organization and extension of useful public works, in
the development of natural resources. Only in localities where the
Secretary of Labor reports extraordinary unemployment to exist shall public
works be carried on from this fund.

The House bill provided for the building of new post roads; for the
transfer of war material no longer needed by the army, the same to be
used for the construction, improvement, and maintenance of the post
roads; for supplementing the public school equipment where public school
buildings are or shall be designated as postal stations, for the use of
the construction service; and for other purposes. The bill provides for
the establishment of motor transport and postal routes; for the
organization of a system of marketing facilities for the collection and
delivery, through the postal service and public school buildings, of
farm products from producer to consumer; and for the construction of any
authorized public work.

In addition to these more indirect ways of opening up the country the
bill carried specific provision for promoting and conducting
land-settlement colonies, as well as provision for logging or milling
operations, contingent upon a continuous yield of timber, so that the
forest communities would be permanent. The provisions of the bill were
to be carried out by an interdepartmental National Board of Public
Construction, which would organize a body of workers, known as the
United States Construction Service.

Since the bill carried the reclamation and technical land-improvement
work, the only question might be, is there any need for this to be
carried on by a special Construction Service? Would it not be a
duplication of the work of the already existing Reclamation Service of
the Department of the Interior? Would it not be economical and otherwise
proper to increase the staff and other working forces of the Reclamation
Service to the extent of the proposed reclamation duties of the
Construction Service?

Representative E. T. Taylor of Colorado introduced in the House, February
15, 1919, a bill (H. R. 15993) providing for employment and the securing of
rural homes for returned soldiers and for the promotion of the reclamation
of land for cultivation under the direction of the Secretary of the
Interior. Short-term loans to settlers were provided for. This bill
contains a good land-development plan, except that the Reclamation Service,
Department of the Interior, ought not to be burdened with colonization work
and with loans to settlers. Colonization work ought to be the duty of a
separate body, and the extension of credit to settlers naturally belongs to
the Farm Loan Board, Department of the Treasury.

Representative Mondell of Wyoming introduced in the House, May 19, 1919,
a bill (H. R. 487) providing employment and rural homes for returned
soldiers through the reclamation of lands under the direction of the
Secretary of the Interior, who may, for this purpose, acquire by gift,
purchase, deed in trust, or otherwise, the necessary lands for soldier
settlement projects and, for the same purpose, may withdraw, utilize,
and dispose of by contract and deed suitable public lands. An
appropriation of $500,000 is proposed.

The plan in this bill for the acquisition and reclamation of unused land
is a strong one. Equally commendable is the provision for safeguarding
the settlers' holdings against speculation, for the selling, leasing, or
mortgaging of the land by settlers requires the approval of the
Secretary of the Interior. The bill requires that the Interior
Department, through its Reclamation Service, acquire and improve lands,
colonize them, and make loans to settlers. It would seem a more
efficient plan to make a division of these various duties. The
Reclamation Service should acquire and improve lands for settlement,
while the colonization work and the extension of loans to settlers would
be made the duties of other public authorities, as pointed out below.

House Bill No. 3274, introduced by Representative Knutson, May 27, 1919,
proposes to create, in the Treasury Department, a National Colonization
Board with local colonization commissions, for the purpose of providing
capital for the development by land colonization of the agricultural
resources of the nation, affording certain privileges to soldier
settlers. The commissions approve and charter private colonization
companies and recommend applications for loans after seeing all the
provisions of the act have been complied with. The commissions are to
include the directors of the district land bank.

The main aim of the bill is to standardize private land colonization
companies to a certain degree, to facilitate the extension of credit to
them, and to make loans to soldier settlers. The Knutson bill in meeting
these needs is a comprehensive one. It deserves the closest attention of
Congress. Would it not be advisable, however, to attach the
administrative machinery for credit extension outlined in the bill to a
division to be created in the Farm Loan Board, with separate
colonization credit funds, and to leave the regulation and licensing of
the private colonization companies to a separate body as outlined below?

Senator Thomas J. Walsh of Montana introduced in the Senate, August 20,
1917, a bill (S. 2812) which was passed by both Houses and reported from
conference for passage in February, 1919. The bill provides for the sale or
lease of coal, oil, and other mineral lands on the public domain. The
leasing clause of the bill is weakened by the provision, "unless previously
entered under Section 2 of this act." The public coal lands would be
"entered," sold into private ownership, which means the loss of public
control over these lands and the methods of their exploitation. However,
the bill if passed would be a step forward in the sense that it would
increase opportunities for investment of capital and employment of labor,
which would result in the increase of the coal output so much needed.

The only step so far undertaken by Congress in the direction of land
colonization is the appropriation of $200,000 for an investigation by the
Reclamation Service, Department of the Interior, of lands outside of the
existing reclamation projects. The measures needed are waiting for action.

In regard to the available land for acquisition, reclamation, and
colonization, several projects are proposed by the above-quoted bills
and by various Federal departments. The principal projects are as follows:

  1. Agricultural:

       a. Logged-off lands in the North Middle Western
          and Northwestern states.

       b. Irrigation of desert lands in the Southwestern

       c. Drainage of swamp lands in the Southern states.

  2. Forestry projects; permanent colonies for logging,
     milling, and reforestation of logged-off lands in the
     Northwestern states.

  3. Colonization projects for an intensive cultivation of
     lands around smaller growing towns.

  4. Colonization projects in Alaska for developing various
     extractive industries.

Action of some sort is eminently desirable in this country, especially
in view of the fact that other countries have already taken steps to
these ends.


The settlement of soldiers on land has been a problem much considered in
all of the warring nations. Although the plans are just only being tried
out for the first time in many cases, they are suggestive of the trend
that land-settlement laws are taking.

In 1918 a law was enacted in France "providing for the acquisition of
small rural properties by soldier and civilian victims of the war. It
provides in part for 'individual mortgage loans to facilitate
acquisition, parceling out, transformation, and reconstitution of small
rural properties of which the value does not exceed 10,000 francs.' The
loans are to be made from the agricultural lending societies at a rate
of 1 per cent, with a term of twenty-five years. Advances for
improvements are provided for and a special commission is appointed to
administer the law."[14]

In the United Kingdom, as well as in the majority of its dominions and
states, acts providing for land settlement for ex-soldiers have been passed
or formulated. Large sums of money have already been appropriated for the
purchase, improvement, and development of land. In some cases the crown
lands are to be used and in other private lands are to be bought. Table III
indicates some of the general provisions of the legislation.

Over $133,000,000 has been appropriated and in two Australian states
alone 2,060,000 acres have been set aside. The size of the individual
holdings varies from 10 to 160 acres.

In some cases the land is given outright, in others the settler must
help bear the cost of surveys and improvement. The third plan is that of
a lease, usually with an option to buy, varying in different states.
Whatever the terms of settlement are, in most cases the ex-soldier can
meet his obligations because of the easy terms by which he can borrow
money from the government. Although the maximum amount is limited, the
rate of interest is low in most cases and the term of years, with one
exception, twenty years or more. Although some farming experience is
required, in almost every law, there is provision for a demonstration
farm. Here the prospective farmers can learn scientific farming, usually
getting paid for their work in the interval.


         Country                Act         |
  Dominion of Canada[16]| August 29, 1917   |
  Ontario               |  No. 150, 1916    |
                        |                   |
  British Columbia      |6 Geo. V. 59, 1916 |
  New Brunswick         |6 Geo. V. 9, 1916  |
  Australia             | 1917 Conference   |
  New South Wales       |  No. 21, 1916;    |
                        |  amended, 1917    |
  Victoria              | October 22, 1917  |
                        |                   |
  Queensland            |       1917        |
                        |                   |
                        |                   |
                        |                   |
  South Australia       | 1916, 7, Geo. V.  |
  New Zealand           |6 Geo. V. 45, 1916;|
                        |   amended, 1917   |
  Tasmania              |Geo. V. 20; 1916-17|
                        |                   |
                        |                   |
  United Kingdom        |6 and 7 Geo. V., c |
                        | 38                |
  Union of South        |   1912; amended   |
  Africa                |      1917         |
                        |                   |
                        |                   |

  TABLE III--Continued

                        |                     Aid Given                   |
                        |                 |                 |             |
                        |       Maximum   |                 |   Interest  |
          Country       |       Amount    |       Time      |   Per Cent  |
  Dominion of Canada[16]|    $2,500[A]    |20 equal payments|      5      |
  Ontario               |     $500[B]     |    20 years     |      6      |
                        |                 |                 |             |
  British Columbia      |    [C] [B]      |    20 years     |      5      |
  New Brunswick         |$500 to $1,500[B]|    20 years     |      5      |
  Australia             |       [C]       |       [C]       |     [C]     |
  New South Wales       |     $2,500      |     Lease       |  2-1/2 on   |
                        |                 |                 |   capital   |
                        |                 |                 |    value    |
  Victoria              |     $2,500      |  31-1/2 years   |      6      |
                        |                 |                 |             |
  Queensland            |$2,500 buildings;|  40 years; 25   | 3-1/2 to 5; |
                        |     $3,500      |    years;  10   |  1-1/2 on   |
                        |    equipment    |years; perpetual |   capital   |
                        |                 |                 |    value    |
  South Australia       |     $2,400      |     21 years    |      4      |
  New Zealand           |      [D]        |                 |             |
                        |                 |                 |             |
  Tasmania              |     $2,500      |     21 years    | 3-1/2 to 5  |
                        |                 |                 |             |
                        |                 |                 |             |
  United Kingdom        |                 |                 |             |
                        |                 |                 |             |
  Union of South        |  $1,250; $25 a  | 3-1/2 years to  |    4-1/2    |
  Africa                |     month to    |    7 years.     |             |
                        |     families    |                 |             |
                        |                 |                 |             |

  TABLE III--Continued

                        |               |          Acres Assigned         |
                        |               |---------------------------------+
                        |               |                      |          |
                        |               |                      |Individual|
          Country       | Appropriation |         Total        | Holdings |
  Dominion of Canada[16]|   $2,910,000  |Certain dominion lands|   160    |
  Ontario               |   $5,000,000  |                      |   100    |
                        |               |                      |          |
  British Columbia      |   $500,000    |                      |          |
                        |    annually   |                      |   160    |
  New Brunswick         |               |        20,000        |  10-100  |
  Australia             | $100,000,000  |                      |          |
  New South Wales       |               |       1,500,000      |          |
                        |               |                      |          |
  Victoria              |  $11,250,000  |500,000 wheat-growing |          |
                        |               | plus irrigated lands |          |
  Queensland            |    $50,000    |       560,000        |          |
                        |               |                      |          |
                        |               |                      |          |
                        |               |                      |          |
  South Australia       |   $220,000    |        10,000        |          |
  New Zealand           |  $3,000,000   |       270,000        |          |
                        |               |                      |          |
  Tasmania              |   $750,000    |                      |   100    |
                        |               |                      |          |
                        |               |                      |          |
  United Kingdom        |  $10,000,000  |                      |          |
                        |   asked for   |        60,000        |          |
  Union of South        |      [C]      |Lands purchased not to|          |
  Africa                |               |exceed $7,500 for each|          |
                        |               | settler who provides |          |
                        |               |  one fifth of price  |          |

  TABLE III--Continued

                        |                 |        |             |
                        |                 |        |             |
                        |                 |        |Demonstration|
                        |                 |Training|    Farm     |Capital
          Country       |     Tenure      | Needed |  Provided   |Desirable
  Dominion of Canada[16]|   Free grant    |   Yes  |     Yes     |   Yes
  Ontario               | Patent given in |   Yes  |     Yes     |   Yes
                        |     5 years     |        |             |
  British Columbia      |    Free grant   |   No   |             |
  New Brunswick         |    Free grant   |        |     Yes     |   Yes
  Australia             |                 |        |             |
  New South Wales       | Perpetual lease |   Yes  |     Yes     |   Yes
                        |                 |        |             |
  Victoria              |   Purchase in   |   Yes  |             |   Yes
                        |  31-1/2 Years   |        |             |
  Queensland            | Perpetual lease |        |     Yes     |   Yes
                        |      only       |        |             |
                        |                 |        |             |
                        |                 |        |             |
  South Australia       | Perpetual lease |        |     Yes     |   Yes
  New Zealand           | Lease 66 years, |        |     Yes     |   Yes
                        |  or freehold    |        |             |
  Tasmania              |  99-year lease; |  Yes   |     Yes     |
                        |   or purchase   |  Yes   |     Yes     |
                        |  after 10 years |        |             |
  United Kingdom        |     Lease       |  Yes   |     Yes     |
                        |                 |        |             |
  Union of South        |  Lease for 5    |        |     Yes     |
  Africa                |years and option |        |             |
                        |  of purchase,   |        |             |
                        | with 20 years   |        |             |
                        |    to pay       |        |             |

[9] Senate Bill No. 584, chap. 755.

[10] In co-operation with the Federal government.

[11] Compiled from manuscript given to the author by the Department of
the Interior.

[12] Federal Reclamation Laws of the United States. House Committee on
Irrigation of Arid Lands, 66th Congress, 2d Session, Washington, D. C.,
1920; chap. v, pp. 13-50.

[13] Reports of the Department of the Interior for the fiscal year ended
June 30, 1919. Washington, Government Printing Office, 1920; vol. 1, p. 96.

[14] _Work and Homes for Our Fighting Men_, U. S. Reclamation Service,
1919 (pamphlet).

[15] Tabulated from table compiled by United States Reclamation Service,
Work and Homes for Our Fighting Men, 1919, p. 20-21 (pamphlet).

[16] From Canada comes the news that at the end of January, 1921, 20,000
soldiers have taken farms, and that 42,000 of 59,000 applicants for land
grants have been declared qualified and will soon get the land. Although
the men have 25 years to pay off their land debt, several hundred have
already paid in full. The Canadian soldiers have received 2,000,000
acres of farming land in government soldiers grants.

[A] Security required.

[B] In addition to Dominion advance.

[C] Amount not specified.

[D] Sufficient for clearing.



Most of the land-reform programs, beginning with those of the extreme
conservatives, _laissez-faire_ theorists of various schools, and ending
with those of the extreme radicals, anarchists, and socialists of various
leanings, are primarily concerned with the question of land ownership.


These programs might be, in the main, classified as follows:

   I. Private land ownership:

        A. Large-scale ownership, subject to no public interference.

        B. Small-scale ownership, limited and regulated by
          public authority.

  II. Public land ownership:

        A. Secured by

             1. Confiscation, by revolutionary action.

             2. Purchase, by land bond issues.

             3. Taxation, by the single tax.

        B. Forms of public ownership:

             1. Nationalization; national ownership. In the
                United States it would be Federal ownership.

             2. Provincial ownership. In the United States it would be
                state ownership, and in Switzerland canton ownership.

             3. Municipalization or communalization; land
                owned by cities and communities in the rural districts.

             4. Nobody's ownership; free to all, except that the
                public takes the ground value (irrespective of
                improvements) through the single tax, from the land users,
                which practically means a disguised form of public
                ownership, or at least a condition very near it.

        C. Methods of use:

             1. Parceling the public land into homesteads of
                one-family size, and reselling these to the
                cultivators on the basis of individual fee simple.

             2. Giving the homesteads to cultivators on the
                basis of perpetual leasehold.

             3. Public cultivation, either direct or through
                communes or co-operative associations.

Comparing these programs one with another and with the existing
conditions, one reaches the following conclusions: All the programs tend
to treat the land problem merely as a question of ownership. Each favors
a specific form of ownership almost as an all-inclusive remedy for
defects in social relations so far as they depend upon land cultivation
and land use. The argument is based upon reasoning, a mere logical
calculation, and on what the authors of the program desire. The existing
conditions and tendencies are much more varied and complex than they
seem to appear to the land reformers.

First, there is nothing new or untried in these programs, for almost all
the advocated forms of land ownership are already existing side by side.
It seems that no one single form is able to remedy the defects in the
land situation. We have in this country national (Federal), provincial
(state), and municipal or communal ownership, with small-scale private
ownership predominating. We also have special land taxation, as, for
instance, in certain cities that tax unimproved land higher than
improved land. These existing forms of land ownership are competing with
one another. The forms which allow more efficient cultivation, result in
greater social stability, and are based on social justice will be the
winners in the march of the economic and social progress of the country.

The bold claim of Marxian or German Socialism that large private land
ownership, erroneously identified with cultivation on a large scale, is
going to prevail through absorption of small private land ownership is
rapidly losing ground. The small landowners are able to enjoy, through
co-operation, all the technical advantages of large-scale cultivation,
retaining as well the advantages resulting from individual initiative and
efficiency. There is a marked movement toward co-operation among the small
farmers the world over. In Denmark it has developed to the highest degree.

Second, mere land ownership is only a part, though a vital part, of the
problem. Many other important things have to be considered.

If a man has land, but lacks capital or credit, he is unable to make
economic use of his land. If he has both land and capital, or credit, or
in other terms purchasing power, but lacks access to sources of supply
in which to buy seeds, breeding stock, and implements, he still is
unable to make use of his land. If he has at hand all the needed
implements, seeds, and stock, but lacks knowledge and experience in
farming, he might entirely fail in his enterprise. Even if he possesses
the necessary knowledge and produces grain, milk, beef, and other
agricultural products, he must have a market for his products, be it a
domestic or an international market. This involves transportation
facilities, trade organization and regulation, tariff, and other forms
of organized international relationships, economic and political.

Moreover, land cultivation requires social stability, security, and
order, for an investment in land improvements must wait long for its
returns. If a man does not know who is going to harvest his fields, or
who is going to get the product of his toil, he will be disinclined to
sow anything. A striking illustration of such a state is the case of the
western provinces of the Russian Empire, where the battle lines for
several years were surging back and forth. First the Russian monarchy
collected the farm products, then came the Germans, then came the civil
warfare. When there is no security for a land cultivator, neither for
his products nor his very life itself, there can be no production. There
is land enough and there are cultivators enough, but the population
starves because of unsettled political and international conditions.


In considering the land situation as it exists, it is true that the
ownership of land or, rather, the access to land, is of primary
importance. The question arises, Is there enough land in the United
States for all citizens who desire to become cultivators?

The Secretary of the Interior, Mr. Lane, states[17] that more than
15,000,000 acres of irrigable lands remain in the hands of the United
States government. There are between 70,000,000 and 80,000,000 acres of
swamp and overflowed lands in the United States of which about
60,000,000 acres can be reclaimed for agricultural purposes, and there
are about 200,000,000 acres of cut-over or logged-off lands which are
suitable for agricultural development.

Although it might be questioned how much of these unused lands are
economically available under normal conditions--for no rigid
investigation has been made--still the fact remains that unused
lands--swamps and deserts, cut-over and burned-over lands--are being
continually improved and taken under cultivation by private and public
effort. Not one land improvement and colonization company visited by the
writer complained of lack of land. All the companies seemed to want more
settlers and more credit. This fact indicates that there is economically
available land in our country, and probably plenty of it, for a normal
process of reclamation and colonization.


In the field investigation, the main questions of immigrants desiring to
settle on land seemed to be where to find land of the "right kind," and
how, in acquiring it, to avoid being cheated by private land sellers.
The questions as to whether there was land available and what its price
was were of minor importance. In many cases the immigrants had been
employed in war industries and had saved money enough to buy a farm, but
they were unable to decide where to settle and what kind of land to buy
because they feared land sellers. Their experience with these agents
had awakened an almost universal fear of private land dealers.

To facilitate the access to land, the private land-dealing trade must be
put upon a higher level. There must be Federal legislation regulating
land dealers doing business in two or more states, state legislation for
dealers doing business within one state only, and municipal legislation
for the land dealers doing business within the city limits only. Through
co-operation of these governments uniformity of such legislation can be
secured and maintained so far as various local conditions and
peculiarities allow.

Such regulative legislation should aim at doing away with
misrepresentation and frauds in land dealing. As an effective assistance
in the enforcement of the laws all private land dealers should be
licensed, interstate dealers by the Federal, state dealers by the state,
and city dealers by the city governments. By refusing or recalling
licenses a considerable number of land sharks--get-rich-quick charlatans
in the real-estate business--can be sifted out of the trade and the
necessary confidence on the part of land seekers can be secured.

According to a report made in 1916 by the Committee on State Legislation
of the National Association of Real Estate Boards, a sentiment was then
growing in most parts of the country favoring the enactment of laws for
the regulation of real-estate brokerages under state authority. This
sentiment is still growing, and the secretary of the association says
that realtors in several states continue to introduce bills in their
legislatures with the belief that it will be possible to pass them.

In only one state has such a law passed. The state of Wisconsin enacted
a law in 1919[18] which provides for the establishment of a state
real-estate brokers' board consisting of three members, at least two of
whom are real-estate brokers in the state, appointed by the Governor.
The Director of Immigration, Department of Agriculture, acts as
secretary to the board. The latter issues licenses to the real-estate
brokers and salesmen doing business in the state. An annual license fee
of ten dollars from a broker and five dollars from a salesman is
required. License may be refused or revoked by the board for
misstatement in application, for fraud or fraudulent practices, for
untrustworthiness or incompetence in real-estate business.

The board receives complaints against any real-estate broker or salesman.
It may conduct hearings and investigations, subpœna and compel the
attendance and testimony of witnesses and production of documents, books
and papers. The board shall, from time to time, publish the names of
licensed real-estate brokers and salesmen, with information as to when each
license expires. The publication shall include the names of those
real-estate brokers and salesmen whose licenses have been revoked at any
time within one year prior to the time of the issue of publication.

This Wisconsin Real Estate Licensing law has been in operation a year.
Mr. B. G. Packer, Director of Immigration, and secretary to the Real
Estate Brokers' Board, gave to the writer the following information in
regard to the results of the operation of the law so far.

This law requires registration of all real-estate brokers and salesmen
doing business in the state. In the past there was no way to tell who
they were or where located. The license is good for one year, and
thereupon a new application must be made. This gives the board a check
on the dealer's operations the preceding year. The board requires him to
cite all legal actions arising out of his real-estate business whether
he was plaintiff or defendant.

It is a common practice with some dealers to take a judgment note for
commission which can be entered up without process and execution levied
against the property of the defendants. The defendant can open up the
judgment and put in a defense if he can show misrepresentation and
fraud. This year, when several applicants applied for new licenses, the
board found this condition and the licenses were refused.

The applicant for license must show affirmatively that he is trustworthy
and competent. In the past the state took no pains to find this out. The
licensing board operates as a poor man's court of redress in
transactions arising out of the land business. In the past the
purchaser's remedy was a more or less satisfactory suit at law.

The licensing board can make investigations and hold hearings on its own
motion. In the past the initiative had to be taken by the party claiming

Last year the board granted licenses to 4,600 brokers and salesmen,
denied 20 applications, revoked 2 licenses, and has at present 60
hearings pending on applications for licenses in 1921.

The Wisconsin license law does not reach the owner who has worthless
land to unload upon an unsophisticated purchaser. Besides this, the law
has other limitations. But nevertheless it is a step ahead.

Pennsylvania, the Southern states, and cities in many parts of the
country have required a license fee or an occupation tax from
real-estate men, but such laws do not regulate, because, as the
above-mentioned report states, "no matter how high the fee, the usual
run of licensing or prosecuting official will not use his authority to
establish moral standards." Furthermore, "in New York and most Northern
and Western states, even the slight check of the occupation tax is
absent and there is no formality to be observed in entering our
profession by any person, no matter how unreliable, irresponsible, or
incapable, and whatever his record."

After agitation covering a period of twelve years, the real-estate brokers
of California succeeded in 1917 in having enacted a law for the regulation
of real-estate brokerage. In 1918 this law was declared unconstitutional by
the Supreme Court, on the ground that insurance men were exempted by the
wording of the act and that such exemption made the law discriminatory.

The Real Estate Commissioner of the state gives the following synopsis
of the law:

     The act "provides for the issuance of licenses to two classes of
     persons--the broker himself, who, in addition to taking out a
     license, is required to put up a bond running to the state of
     California, and the salesman, who is defined as one in the employ
     of a licensed broker and ... is not required to put up a bond." The
     act is administered by a Real Estate Commissioner appointed by the
     Governor. Upon petition to the Real Estate Commissioner appointed
     by those aggrieved in their dealings with brokers or salesmen, a
     hearing is provided before the commissioner, and upon proper
     showing the petitioner may be granted the privilege of suing the
     broker on his bond.... There is also a provision for the filing of
     complaints against brokers and salesmen concerning their conduct
     and, upon investigation, if found guilty, the commissioner is
     empowered to revoke their licenses. The law provides a heavy
     penalty for a broker--a fine of $2,000 or a prison sentence of two
     years--and in the case of corporations, a maximum fine of $5,000.
     The fees for licenses are, for brokers, $10 per annum, and for
     salesmen, $2 per annum.

The operation of the law appears to have been extremely successful and
to have been heartily indorsed by the public generally and by all the
reliable real-estate dealers and salesmen in the state. The Real Estate
Commissioner gives the following picture of the results of the law
during the eight months it was in force:

     1. It gave the realtors faith in each other, each being under bond
     and licensed by the commissioner with power of revocation in case
     of violation of the law.

     2. It increased the confidence of the public generally in the
     realty business, for the law afforded the public a ready and
     inexpensive means of redress in case of wrongdoing.

     3. During the eight months, some sixty complaints were filed with
     the commissioner, and all were adjusted without even a formal
     hearing up to the time the law was thrown out, March, 1918. Some
     twenty-five hundred dollars was returned to defrauded purchasers
     through appeals to the commissioner.

     4. The deterrent effect of the law on wrongdoers will never be
     known, but must have been far-reaching.

     5. So satisfactory was the law that the public, the bankers, and
     especially the realtors, are preparing again to present to the
     legislature during the winter of 1918-19 a more carefully worded
     law governing the realty business.

One of the services rendered by the Department of the Real Estate
Commissioner was the issue of a directory of licensed real-estate
brokers and salesmen in the state. The first copy was published October
1, 1917, and contained about four thousand names, as well as other
material such as maps, laws, and legal opinions, designed to be of
practical value to all realtors. It was intended that this directory be
issued quarterly and be distributed to licensed brokers, with a
subscription price to others of one dollar a year. The commissioner
regarded this directory bulletin which bound together in fraternalism
the real-estate men of the state, as only one of the many possibilities
of extending valuable aids through his department to the real-estate
profession, and so indirectly to the agricultural industry.

Although there have been attempts in other states to secure legislation,
so far they have been unsuccessful. In essentials they have resembled
the California law, although differing in details, such as amounts of
bonds, fees, and penalties. In Minnesota, several years ago, the State
Immigration Commission was instrumental in introducing a land-regulation
bill which was killed by the efforts of the land dealers.

In 1914 the Executive Committee of the Real Estate Association of New
York submitted for the consideration of the association a bill for the
licensing of real-estate brokers and the creation of a real-estate
commission. In 1916 a bill similar to this one was introduced in the
legislature of the state of New York, but failed of passage. In Texas a
bill was approved by the Texas Realty Association, but was not enacted
into law. In addition to efforts for legislation in the states there
have been national recommendations.

The Committee on State Legislation of the National Association of Real
Estate Exchanges in 1913 reported on a bill for the regulation of the
real-estate business. The main provisions are as follows:

A State Board on Real Estate Licenses shall be established, consisting of
five members, all real-estate men, appointed by the Governor, and having
its headquarters in the state capitol. Every person engaged in the
real-estate business shall apply for a license to the board. The applicant
shall present proof that his standing is above reproach and that his record
for honesty and fair dealing is clear. The applicant shall file a
satisfactory bond in the amount of $1,000, conditioned on the faithful
performance of any undertaking as a real-estate broker, the bond to be
renewed with each renewal of the annual license. The fee for the license
shall be $10 for each dealer, firm, or corporation, and $2.50 for each
salesman, the fees to be, respectively, $5 and $1 after the first year.
Licenses shall expire each year. The board shall have power to revoke at
any time any license where the holder thereof is guilty of gross
misrepresentation in making sales, etc., or of any other conduct which, in
the opinion of the board, is opposed to good business morals. The board
shall investigate all complaints; it shall have power to subpœna
witnesses. Any person violating the act shall be fined not less than the
compensation or profit received or agreed to, and not more than four times
that amount, or be imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.

The Legislative Committee of the Interstate Realty Association of the
Pacific Northwest has proposed a real-estate license law for the state
of Washington, the main provisions of which are similar to the others
already quoted.

Although there has been no successful state-wide provision, in Portland,
Oregon, an ordinance licensing real-estate brokers was approved in 1912,
including the salient features of the proposed state laws. Application
is made to the city auditors, with proof of the applicant's good
standing and square dealing. The Council Committee on licenses has power
to revoke or withhold, and penalties are provided for.

As an example of the occupational tax law applying to the real-estate
business, the law of the District of Columbia may be mentioned. The
District of Columbia (1914) has a law imposing a license tax of $50 per
annum on real-estate brokers or agents. The assessor of the District
said that the fee was not large enough to restrict character of trade,
and that the payment of the fee was the only qualification for a license.


In addition to the need for honest dealing there is everywhere felt the
need of bringing farm sellers and buyers together through a public
agency. Certain states, in co-operation with the Federal Department of
Agriculture, have made provision for doing this. For this purpose an
office is created similar to a public employment office. It aims to
provide the farm sellers and buyers with more or less reliable
information without cost to either side.

In the state of Maryland the Extension Service of the state college, in
co-operation with the Federal Department of Agriculture, has worked out
a farm-description blank for farm sellers. The blank contains questions
in regard to the location of the farm, its size, distance from
communication lines, and inhabited places of various sizes and market
facilities, its soil, its fences, buildings, water supply, ownership,
price, and other points intended to show the condition and value of the
farm for sale. The office distributes these blanks among the county
agents, from whom the farm sellers secure the blanks. The county agents
forward the completed forms to the main state office, which periodically
publishes the collected information for farm buyers.

This information is available to farm buyers for the mere asking. Anyone
can see, in the state office or in the published volume, the blanks
describing in detail the farms for sale. In this way they can be
directly connected with the seller of the selected farm, without agents
or advertising cost to either side. Thus misrepresentation can be
avoided to a certain degree. The Extension Service, however, does not
enter into any financial arrangement or give any guaranties. Aside from
the information contained in the filled forms, it gives information of a
general character concerning the agricultural possibilities of the state
and of various sections and localities in it. At present the Service is
particularly interested in locating the returned soldiers.

As such a public agency system is of comparatively recent origin and has
not had time to develop, it is impossible to judge with certainty its
future possibilities. In theory the operation of the system seems to be
an easy matter, but in practice it is complicated. The farmers who
intend to sell their holdings have to be informed of the work of the
office, and equally the farm buyers have to be acquainted with the plan.
This involves education of the farmers by an extensive advertising
campaign, which requires time and expenditure of public money. However,
there is a real need for such a public agency and the results of the
attempts to establish and develop it have been encouraging.

It would be desirable that the states which have already established or
will establish such public agencies should co-operate with one another
through the Federal Department of Agriculture and, with the assistance
of the latter, should organize a central office as a clearing house.
Nation-wide advertisement should be made by the central office for all
the states in co-operation. In this way the farm advertisements would be
made more effective--unnecessary repetitions, and the expenses connected
with these, would be avoided. Through interchange of experiences a
uniform system might be established. Such a central office, in
co-operation with the Immigration Bureau, Department of Labor, should
inform immigrants who desire to establish rural homes of the various
farm opportunities.


Up to this time both public and private efforts have been applied to the
reclaiming of unused lands, rendering valuable service to the progress
of the country. There ought, however, to be no question whether
reclamation work should be a public or a private enterprise. If a
number, and even a large number, of the private land-development
companies have hitherto mined in the pockets of their land buyers
instead of in the land itself, this has been largely because of the lack
of any public regulation of private land-improvement companies. However,
a number, perhaps a majority, of the companies have improved their land
and have secured settlers who have made a success in the cultivation of
the improved land. Therefore it would be a grave mistake to abandon or
even to repress private enterprise in land-development work. It should
be encouraged by the extension of public credit through the land
companies and by putting their business under public supervision.

Where considerable areas have to be reclaimed, involving large expenditures
and a long period of waiting for returns, public reclamation is preferable.

Although reclamation and colonization work are closely connected and
dependent upon each other, still there is a marked difference. It is one
thing to plan and irrigate a desert area and quite a different thing
successfully to populate the irrigated land. The first is mainly a
technical enterprise, while the other deals mainly with human beings. The
people who direct and prosecute reclamation works--civil engineers and
other technical experts--might not be good colonizers. The duties of the
latter consist in selecting suitable settlers, directing their
land-cultivation work, and organizing and directing the community life of
the settlers. On the other hand, colonizers, trained agriculturists, and
community workers might not be able successfully to conduct reclamation
works. Therefore these two fields ought to be recognized as distinct and
provided for separately.

Almost all the proposed plans of land settlement fail to make such a
distinction. They propose that the same public agency should acquire
land, improve it, and colonize it. The same is true in regard to most of
the private land-improvement and colonization projects. They plan to
improve land and at the same time colonize it, which too often consists
merely in securing land buyers and leaving the latter, after they have
made their initial payment, entirely to their own fate.

Private land-improvement companies doing business in two or more states
should be brought under the jurisdiction of the Federal Reclamation
Service. They should be licensed, their projects approved, and their
general methods of business regulated. Private companies doing business
within state or city limits should be regulated by state irrigation or
drainage district authorities, with whom the Federal Reclamation Service
should co-operate in every possible way.

In order that the Federal Reclamation Service may be extended and
expanded to meet the growing demands, further legislation must be passed
by Congress. Liberal appropriations are needed both for the acquisition
and reclamation of unused lands of different classes, as well as for the
increase of the staff and working forces of the Service. The bills under
consideration were discussed in Chapter VI. The bill introduced by
Representative Mondell of Wyoming effectively provides for this service.


The word "colonization" suggests the following: populating a given
unused area of land suitable for cultivation, according to a plan
covering the selection of people, the cultivation of the land, providing
credit and markets, instruction in land cultivation, planning,
organizing, and directing of community life in its numerous branches,
such as co-operation for various purposes, education, recreation.
Colonization work in the modern sense is a new, delicate, and complex
field, for it affects all sides of human life.

There is a wide difference of opinion the country over as to whether
colonization should be a public affair or be left to private initiative
and effort. Those who favor private colonization claim that public
colonization is wasteful, uneconomical, that it puts a new burden on
the taxpayers, and savors of Socialism. Those who favor public
colonization maintain that private colonization companies in the very
nature of their endeavors work for their own profit, considering the
settlers' interests and public welfare of secondary importance.
Colonization results must not be counted only in the terms of money, but
also in the terms of social value to the community and to the country.

Again the writer has to call attention to the fact that both public and
private colonization is going on side by side all over the world. In
certain foreign countries public colonization is predominant, while in
this country the reverse is true. Only the state of California has
undertaken public colonization as an experiment on a small scale, and so
far with success.

It would be advisable that both public and private colonization go on,
one competing with the other and learning from the other's experience.
Private companies must be regulated and licensed by public authorities,
and public credit should be extended to them. All this requires that the
colonization work be organized on a nation-wide scale.

To meet the national need there should be established an
interdepartmental Federal colonization board with the following duties:

(1) To make community plans. This would involve the location of
settlements, their roads and building sites; plans for division of land
into farms; plans for erection of farm buildings; plans for town sites
and buildings as colony centers, parks as playgrounds, etc., all to be
surveyed and put in working shape by the Reclamation Service, Department
of the Interior.

(2) To select suitable people for settlement on the lands acquired and
improved by the Reclamation Service, with the preference to be given to
former soldiers.

(3) To distribute the selected immigrant settlers of non-English mother
tongue, including soldiers, having in mind the need of mixing different
races with the native settlers so as to facilitate the process of
incorporating all into American life.

(4) To plan and organize the economic life of the colonies. This means
the introduction of, and instruction in, farming and methods of
cultivation suitable to the land, climate, and other conditions
surrounding the colony, the organization of buying and selling
co-operation in the colonies, provision of markets, etc.

(5) To plan and organize the educational, recreational, and general
community life of the colonies--schools, libraries, lectures, games, etc.

(6) To regulate and license or charter private colonization companies.

Among the policies of the Colonization Board a very prominent one should
be a proper distribution of the immigrant settlers. Owing to the lack
of any public plan or measures for the distribution of the immigrants in
the country in the past the results have been astonishing. The Little
Polands, Italies, ghettos, Germanies, and others in our great industrial
centers are well known, though the word "Little" is not applicable in
every case. It is especially inapplicable where the compact immigrant
settlements exceed in numbers the largest cities of their home
countries. For instance, according to the last census figures, there
were in the city of New York more Italians (including their children)
than the population of Rome, more Germans than in Cologne, about as many
Irish as the population of Dublin and Belfast together, and about three
times as many Jews as there were in the British Empire.

All this is already known to the public at large. What is not popularly
known is the fact that there are foreign provinces in the agricultural
sections of the country. There whole counties and even a number of
neighboring counties are populated by immigrants of the same race and
nationality. Such provinces have become self-sufficient; they have their
own towns, their own schools, churches, industries, stores, select local
public officials of their own nationality, speak their own tongue, and
live according to the traditions and spirit of their home country.
These traditions and this spirit are kept alive by their schools,
churches, and libraries, and by the absence of any direct contact with
American customs and traditions. From such localities came a
considerable number of the American-born drafted men who could not
speak, write, or even understand English.

Such foreign provinces in the rural sections of the country are principally
found in the North Middle Western states and Western states. When the
writer, during his field investigation, arrived in such localities--for
instance, in the southwestern part of North Dakota--he found that the
townspeople, business men, and public officials, as a rule, understood
English, but spoke German or Scandinavian among themselves. In talking with
any man in the street the writer had to resort to the man's mother tongue,
while the farmers back in the country, as a rule, did not speak English at
all. Yet many of them were born in this country.

On the whole, the impression of the writer was that the larger the rural
immigrant colony, the less it showed evidences of American influences.
This was quite apparent in regard to the Slavic and especially the
Polish colonies visited by the writer in a number of states.

The immigrants already settled in large colonies of one nationality cannot
be redistributed, but they can be reached by other means, one of which is
an efficient public-school system, which is dealt with in later chapters.

Measures should be undertaken for the distribution of the new immigrant
settlers so as to avoid their congregation in large colonies of only one
nationality. The experience of private land dealers and colonization
companies shows that it is not wise to settle a single immigrant family
among native settlers or the settlers of another nationality. Such a
family becomes lonesome and sooner or later leaves the settlement.
Therefore the immigrants must be settled in groups according to their

The question is, how large such national groups must be in order to keep
the settlers in the colony and at the same time to avoid their becoming
clannish and remaining untouched by American influences for a generation
or a number of generations. The observation of the writer and his
interviews on this question with the people engaged in colonization have
led him to the conclusion that such groups ought to be of from five to
fifteen families each, settled in the same neighborhood among either
groups of other nationalities or native settlers.

Such distribution of the immigrant settlers in smaller groups is favored by
the immigrants themselves. As a rule, they are eager to learn American ways
as soon as possible, and usually accede with alacrity to distribution,
provided no violent compulsion is used and they are directed to land where
they are able to make a success by their investment and toil, without being
cheated or exploited. The writer discussed the size of a rural immigrant
group of the same nationality in a number of the immigrant colonies. The
settlers, even the Russian sectarian peasants, believed that if there were
not less than five families in one group no loneliness would be
experienced. If there were no more than ten or fifteen families there would
be no danger of their becoming clannish and self-sufficient, for they would
of necessity have to deal with other groups and intermingle with them for
both business and social purposes.

A rigid selection of settlers on the basis of their ability to farm and
to stay on the farm is of prime importance. Among the applicants for
farms in new colonies there are three main classes of people, each
distinct from the others: (1) those who have experience, knowledge, and
otherwise ability for land cultivation and the capacity for sticking to
a job. These should be selected and will contribute to the success of
the colony, which ultimately depends upon the settlers themselves; (2)
those who are hunters for easy pickings in the way of a piece of
property or for an opportunity for safe investment or for speculation.
These should be avoided as the plague; and (3) those who are not suited
for rural life and heavy toil on the land, mostly city people who dream
of changing their life for improvement of their health in the country,
for an independent life, or for an easy-going life, of fresh air,
sunshine, flowers, and birds. Such people are not able to make a success
of farming and should be avoided. These classes of applicants are found
among immigrants as well as among natives, soldiers, and civilians.

How important the selection of settlers is for the success of
colonization and settlement on land is shown by the close scrutiny of
prospective settlers made by the agents of modern private colonization
companies and also by certain state immigration officials. They ask an
applicant about his supply of money or credit, about his experience,
about his past in detail, his habits, his inclinations, and his
aspirations. They judge him by his appearance, his physique, and his
health. He is also questioned about his family life; special attention
is given to the attitude of his wife toward rural life, her past
experience, the probability of her being satisfied and able to stay
permanently on the farm and carry the heavy burdens of a farmer's wife.
Finally, the prospective settler is warned of the existing conditions in
the colony, of the heavy toil and the difficulties, and of the long
period of waiting which must elapse before he can enjoy the results of
his investment and labors. Selection made in this way will guarantee
the success of a colonization enterprise, be it public or private.


A last measure which is extremely important and must not be overlooked
in any planning for land settlement is the extension of public credit to
settlers through the Federal Farm Loan Board. This, of course, applies
not only to the settlers in the colonies established by the Federal
Colonization Board, but also to those of private colonization companies
regulated and chartered by the Colonization Board, and to individual
settlers. There must be certain safeguards against loss. To accomplish
this there could be established a settlers' credit division in the
Federal Farm Loan Bureau, with a special land colonization credit fund.
A similar plan was proposed in the bill introduced by Representative
Knutson, May 27, 1919.[19]

Some such provision is indispensable in any comprehensive land policy,
and should secure a place in legislative enactment.


No amount of legislation or smooth-running administrative machinery can
provide, however, for one of the most fundamental factors in modern
small-farm production.

Every colony of small farmers nowadays needs to provide for co-operation
among its members. There is no other way for them to enjoy the technical
advantages of large-scale farming in the buying of seeds, stock,
fertilizers, tools, machinery, and other necessities at wholesale
prices, in the selling of farm products at the best prices; in the
establishment of creameries, etc. The buying of necessary costly
machines, such as stumping machines, tractors, threshers, headers, is
beyond the financial power of an individual settler. Even should he be
able to acquire them, he cannot use such machines to their full capacity
on his small piece of land. But in co-operation settlers are able to buy
the heavy machinery and to use it to its fullest capacity. Mutual
insurance and credit established through co-operation are another
substantial assistance to the success of the settlers.


The co-operative buying and selling organization of a Finnish farming
colony in upper Michigan which the writer investigated in detail proved
to be a great money saver to the settlers. The enterprise has grown from
a small undertaking into the largest business organization in the town,
with its great warehouse overshadowing the railroad station. In the
beginning the surrounding native farmers and townspeople were hostile
toward it. They both feared the competition as well as the broader
results of an undertaking of "foreigners," led by their "demagogic
leaders." Its former opponents have radically changed their attitude,
and many are joining the organization. They find that co-operation means
voluntary, concerted, and co-ordinated action for the common advantage,
and that it is not contrary to the American spirit.

One of the leaders of the Finnish co-operative association explained
that the defects of the local private stores served as the first
inducement for the settlers to establish a co-operative store.

     The private stores usually set arbitrary and high prices on the
     goods, which are often of poor quality and limited variety. As a
     result, a co-operative store among our settlers was established. We
     found that the association, in its meetings and activities, served
     as a school for the development of mutual understanding and
     fellow-feeling among its members. In the direction of
     Americanization our co-operative movement has done much good
     already. Its success has made the native farmers respect us. A
     number of them have already joined our association. Should our
     enterprise grow wider it may be expected to unite the farmers of
     different nationalities, immigrants and natives, into one community.

The interviews of the writer with the native farmers fully substantiated
these statements of the Finns. One of them said that when the Finnish
settlers came the native-born people did not expect much good from them.
They were looked upon as strange intruders, entirely ignorant in
farming. But as time went on they made good not only as farmers, but
also as business men in their co-operative buying and selling
association. They were found to be good, sober, and industrious people.

The co-operative movement was apparent in northern Wisconsin, where
numerous co-operative creameries have been organized among the settlers
of various nationalities. The carrying of milk to the creamery results
in the regular meeting of settlers every day; business meetings and
other activities of the association afford opportunities for the
settlers to get together and work together. In addition to this the
immigrant settler, as a member of the co-operative association, comes
face to face with the wider business world--banks, railways, commission
merchants, manufacturers, market conditions, price fluctuations, etc. As
an individual producer he comes to know the larger problems involved in
marketing his product and his vision and understanding broaden.

Almost all immigrant settlers interviewed on the subject of co-operation
were in favor of it. "Co-operation helps us!" were words often used in
answer to the question why they favor co-operation. This "help" should
not be understood in the material sense only. Co-operative action,
though it begins in economics, extends to and ends in the creation of
ideal, socio-psychological values. The co-operator works and fights in
the spirit of solidarity. He satisfies his wants through concerted
action. His psychology is more complex and his aims become higher than
those of a private individual.

Co-operation is a child of necessity. It cannot be created by outside
suggestion or mere preaching. When there is a need and conditions are
favorable the co-operative movement comes into being. Unquestionably the
need for co-operation is greater in the rural districts than in the cities,
and yet the rural conditions in many respects make the development of
co-operation more difficult. The main obstacles, according to the rural
co-operators themselves, consist in the lack of business connections and
markets, in the absence of knowledge of efficient business methods, and in
credit difficulties. It is hard to find an able and trustworthy business
manager for a co-operative store in a village.

Notwithstanding all difficulties, the co-operative movement among
farmers and especially among immigrant settlers has lately begun to grow
with extreme rapidity. For instance, in 1917 in the state of Wisconsin
there were agricultural co-operative associations in the following
numbers: 380 creameries, 718 cheese factories, 98 feed and produce
associations, and 124 live-stock concerns.[20]

One of the first difficulties in the way of establishing a co-operative
association is its incorporation proceeding. Most of the states up to this
time have had no special laws covering co-operative associations. In such
cases they have to be incorporated under the laws relating to private
companies or those covering charity and public-welfare associations.

A number of states have enacted laws for the promotion and protection of
co-operation among farmers. The Wisconsin law, Chapter 368, Laws of 1911,
makes provision for the establishment of organizations conducting business
on the co-operative plan. No member is allowed to own shares of a greater
par value than one thousand dollars. No member is entitled to more than one
vote. Dividends on the paid-up shares are allowed to be no more than 6 per
cent per annum; 10 per cent on the net profits has to be set aside as a
reserve fund. When this has accumulated up to 30 per cent of the paid-up
shares, 5 per cent goes to the educational fund to be used for teaching
co-operation. One half of the remainder of the profits has to be paid as a
uniform dividend upon the amount of purchases of shareholders and upon the
wages and salaries of the employees, while the other half has to be paid to
the nonshareholders on the amount of their purchases.

In case of productive associations, such as co-operative creameries, or
elevators, dividends have to be paid on raw materials delivered. In case
an association is both a selling and productive enterprise, the
dividends may be divided on both goods purchased and material delivered.
All concerns which do not comply with the provisions of the above law
are prohibited to use the term "co-operative" as a part of their
corporate name or the designation of their business.

According to the Nebraska law, Senate File No. 88,

     the words "co-operative company, corporation, or association" are
     defined to mean a company, corporation, or association which
     authorizes the distribution of its earnings in part or wholly on
     the basis of, or in proportion to, the amount of property bought
     from or sold to members, or of labor performed, or other service
     rendered to the corporation. A co-operative concern has the power
     "to regulate and limit the right of stockholders to transfer their
     stock, and to make by-laws for the management of its affairs, and
     to provide thereon the term and limitation of stock ownership, and
     for the distribution of its earnings."

The California law, Civil Code, Secs. 653M to 653S, provides for
organization of agricultural, viticultural, and horticultural
co-operative associations which shall not have a capital stock and shall
not be working for profit. Each such association shall determine by its
by-laws the amount of membership fee, the number and qualifications of
members, conditions of voting, the methods of business, and the division
of earnings.

There is no question that every state must have special legislation for
co-operative associations quite distinct from that relating to private
business concerns. A co-operative association must have the legal power to
regulate and limit the right of shareholders to transfer their shares, to
make by-laws for the management of business, to limit the share ownership,
to decide on the proportion and method of distribution of its surplus
earnings. It must limit dividends on shares to the prevailing rate of
interest and provide a certain percentage for a reserve fund until the
latter has accumulated up to a certain proportion of the capital invested.
A part of the remainder should be retained for educational and other
social-welfare purposes, the rest proportioned to the amounts of goods
purchased, products contributed, or services rendered. The co-operative law
should provide for one-member-one-vote. Irrespective of the number of
shares owned, or the goods purchased, or the products contributed, or the
services rendered, only one vote should be granted to each member.

Aside from such legislation, each state, as in New York, should have a
special office with adequate forces for the advice and direction of
farmers and settlers who desire to organize a co-operative association,
as well as for those who have already established such an association
and are meeting with difficulties.

[17] _Reclamation Record_, Department of the Interior, Washington, D. C.,
July, 1918, p. 306.

[18] Wisconsin Statutes, Chap. 656, Laws of 1919, Sect. 1636-225.

[19] See chap. vi.

[20] _Bulletin No. 182_, May, 1917, Agricultural Experiment Station,
University of Wisconsin.




The term "Americanization" is used in two senses. In the narrower one it
applies to our immigrant population only, and in a broader sense it
applies to everybody, natives and immigrants alike. This means the
Americanization of America. This broader meaning embraces the whole
national life in all its conditions, tendencies, and forms of expression.

When the writer accepted the invitation of the Study of Methods of
Americanization to make a field investigation of rural developments from
the viewpoint of Americanization, he was certain that the study must be
conducted in relation to the immigrant colonies only. The study of the
Americanization of America would lead us nowhere, especially in view of
the smallness of available forces and the shortness of time. The study
must be confined, therefore, to the immigrant elements of the
population, and even then it could only be a preliminary survey to
reveal the problems to be studied later in detail.


But the first observations in the field study soon convinced him that a
broader scope is inevitable. For instance, inquiry into the conditions
of the immigrants in relation to the acquisition of land for cultivation
necessarily led him to the general land question in the country, land
policies, land laws, land-dealing methods. In even a more striking way
did the field study of immigrant education in the rural districts lead
to the question of general public education in rural communities
regardless of their racial composition.



Education has always been more of a problem in rural districts than urban.
Evidence of this is found in the 1910 Census, which shows that for every
illiterate person living in an urban community there are approximately two
living in rural communities. The higher per cent of illiteracy in the rural
districts is even more marked in the states where immigrants are settling
than in the country as a whole. In New Mexico, Arizona, and California the
ratio is about 250 illiterates in the country to every 100 in the city.
Among the foreign born in rural districts in three of these states an
exceptionally high per cent of illiteracy prevails. For Texas 35 per cent,
New Mexico 34 per cent, and Arizona 37 per cent, of the rural foreign born
are illiterate--in contrast to 13 per cent for the United States. With the
exception of Louisiana these per cents are the highest in the country and
presage a problem that cannot be overlooked in a consideration of land
settlement for the foreign born.

Equally significant are the 1910 comparisons of the figures for
immigrants' inability to speak English in urban and rural communities.
Although the contrast for the country as a whole is not so striking,
being 21.9 per cent in cities as compared with 25.2 per cent in rural
districts, the differences in the four states where new immigrants are
settling on farms are considerable.


                 |    Per Cent   |
  ---------------+---------------|    Ratio of
                 | Urban | Rural | Rural to Urban
   Texas         |  41.8 |  64.0 |    153.1
   New Mexico    |  28.5 |  61.7 |    216.5
   Arizona       |  48.2 |  62.6 |    129.9
   California    |  10.5 |  22.4 |    213.3
   United States |  21.9 |  25.2 |    115.0

Over 60 per cent of the foreign born in rural communities in Texas, New
Mexico, and Arizona are unable to speak English. The principal foreign
group is composed of Mexicans who come from a non-English-speaking
country which has a high per cent of illiteracy. They go into the rural
communities of these border states, where there is practically no
schooling opportunity either for learning the English language or for
learning to read and write. While only 22.4 per cent are not able to
speak English in California rural districts, this is more than twice as
many as are unable to speak it in California cities. This is a high
ratio in the one state in the country which provides public settlement
projects. While these situations are perhaps extreme, their existence is
manifestly inexcusable in a land which prides itself on educational
opportunity for all. There is virtually never equality of opportunity in
rural and urban communities, for either native or foreign born, and the
immigrant who lives on the land is especially handicapped.

In another report[22] of this study there is evidence which points to lack
of educational and social opportunities in rural districts. The average
length of time after arrival in the country before petitions for
naturalization papers are filed is tabulated by occupation for more than
twenty thousand cases. These figures show that, for all occupational groups
of any size, agricultural workers take the longest time, about fourteen
years, before petitioning. The average length of time for workers of all
occupations is about ten and a half years. Back from the currents of life,
with fewer opportunities to overcome disqualifications, the farm worker
does not become a citizen as quickly as his city brother.

The term "education" as applied especially to the rural population is a
very broad one. It comprises everything which helps to elevate the
people materially as well as mentally and spiritually. In this direction
various educational agencies are working. The most important of them
might be classified as follows:

  1. Schools:

       A. Public:

            (1) general.

            (2) evening.

            (3) home teacher.

            (4) vocational (training in agriculture).

       B. Private:

            (1) general.

            (2) church or parochial.

  2. Churches:

       A. American, service in English.

       B. Immigrant, service in foreign tongue.

  3. Libraries:

       A. Public:

            (1) community or town.

            (2) traveling.

            (3) package.

            (4) school.

       B. Private:

            (1) church.

            (2) school.

Among these agencies the public school is the foremost in the
Americanization process. It directly influences the children and
through them their parents--the adult immigrants.


An observer of the home life of immigrant families finds a marked
difference between the parents and the children who attend American
schools, as well as between the American-schooled children and their
European-schooled brothers and sisters. These differences lead often to
friction and dissension in the families, and though each difference may
be concerned with a trivial matter, yet in their entirety they represent
the variation of the American from the immigrant.

The writer once entered the home of a large Russian immigrant family
just when a quarrel between two sets of children was going on. The
European-trained children wanted the window shades rolled entirely up,
for the sake of more light, while their American-bred brothers and sisters
insisted that the shades be left halfway up, as the Americans have them.

Another illustration of these differences is found in the fact that the
immigrants are conservative in clinging to their old-country diet. The
first breach is usually occasioned by pie--the American national
dessert. The immigrant children learn about it and taste it in the
school cooking classes and also in the neighboring American families,
insisting that their mothers make it also. As a result the pie appears
on the immigrant table, though in the poorer families only on holidays.

In the case of language, the parents and their European-schooled
children continue to speak at home their old-country tongue and read
newspapers and books in the same language. The American-schooled
children prefer to speak English and read American newspapers and books,
taking a special pride in this. They answer their parents in English,
although the latter do not always understand English. They call
themselves Americans, in distinction from their European parents and
older brothers and sisters. "My father, mother, and older sisters are
Poles, but I am an American!" answered an American-born Polish boy of
about twelve years when asked about his nationality.

"How do you know that you are an American?"

"I was born here and I speak the American language."

In the Italian colony at Vineland, New Jersey, to give only one
instance, there was marked conflict between the children who went to the
public schools and their parents over the use of the Italian language.
The children wanted to speak English and some even refused to talk
Italian, though their parents wanted them to and tried to teach them.
The children commonly acted as interpreters between Americans and their
parents, especially their mothers. Unfortunately, they did not conceal
their contempt for the latter for failing to understand and use English.

Often such differences are so pronounced that the immigrant parents are
greatly grieved over the "estrangement" caused by the influence of the
American public schools. This dissatisfaction takes an especially acute
form among the sectarian immigrants. In San Francisco there are over four
hundred families of Russian sectarian peasants--Molochans, Jumpers, etc.
Their religion opposes war and military service, and on that account they
were exempted from the draft. Notwithstanding this, four or five of their
young boys volunteered, in spite of the opposition of their parents and of
the whole colony. When the writer visited the colony last year the
colonists were much agitated and upset. They openly cursed the American
schools and the city streets for ruining their boys spiritually. "If we
can't settle on land in the rural districts, then we have to get out of
America!" exclaimed the aged leader. In rural districts, they think, they
would be able to keep their children from going "astray." The street
influence is absent and the school-attendance law is not so severely
enforced as in the city, the immigrant leader believed.

In the Polish farming colony centered at South Deerfield, Massachusetts,
where the Polish children all attend the American public schools, the
children learn English quickly and prefer everything American to everything
Polish. The parents are very much distressed over losing their children as
Polish people. For this reason the parents stated that they were extremely
eager to establish their own Polish school where they could teach their
children the Polish language and Polish history. Only lack of money has so
far prevented the founding of such a parochial school.


When an immigrant group is planning either a parochial or some other
type of private school of its own, one of its arguments is always that this
school will keep the children in its own group, racially and religiously.

The North Middle Western states--Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa,
the Dakotas, Nebraska--have large immigrant groups. In the rural
districts of those states it is a fact that where there exists a private
or parochial school, the public school is neglected, poorly equipped,
and has a very small attendance.

A county superintendent of schools in Minnesota reports:

     One of our greatest drawbacks in attendance is the parochial schools.
     These retard the attendance and keep the school terms down.[23]

A county superintendent in South Dakota writes:

     In a number of districts the attendance is so small, owing to the
     fact that many attend the parochial school, that interest and
     enthusiasm are lacking.[24]

Another report from Minnesota states that,

     the poorest schools in the country are in communities where there
     are private schools in connection with a church.

     The children attend these for years at a time, and when they return to
     the public schools find themselves behind their former companions.[25]

In 1915-16 there were in the state of Wisconsin 78 rural public schools
enrolling five or fewer children, and 445 rural public schools enrolling
six to ten children. The state school authorities explained to the
writer that the small enrollment in certain public schools does not
always indicate that there are not enough children of school age in the
district or that the children do not enroll. Very often in the same
district there is a well-developed parochial or private school attended
by immigrant children. The parents prefer these schools to the public
schools for racial and religious reasons, and contribute liberally to
their development and maintenance.

In a number of cases where there are public and private schools in
immigrant localities, the writer observed an active and intentional
neglect of the public schools by the local school authorities. For
instance, in some cases where the state gives a certain sum of money for
the support of the public schools, the money is deposited in the bank
instead of being used for the development of the public schools. Such
deliberate neglect of the public schools by the immigrant local school
leaders was quite conspicuous in the state of Wisconsin.

[21] _Thirteenth Census of United States_, 1910, vol. i, p. 1279.

[22] John P. Gavit, _Americans by Choice_ (in preparation).

[23] Minnesota Department of Education, Nineteenth Biennial Report,
1915-16, p. 84.

[24] Superintendent of Public Instruction, South Dakota, Report, 1916.
Report of Superintendent of Hanson County.

[25] Minnesota Department of Education, Nineteenth Biennial Report,
1915-16, p. 85.



One of the greatest negative agencies, and in a large number of cases
consciously negative agencies, affecting the Americanization of immigrants
in our rural districts has been private schools. Among these--the writer
wishes to be entirely outspoken--the most conspicuous have been immigrant
Catholic and Lutheran parochial schools and Hebrew schools.

Many of them are run in the spirit of preference for the old country and
for the immigrant race or nationality to America and the American
nationality. Furthermore, the very spirit and aim of their methods are
foreign to America. In their training of children they lay special
stress on discipline, obedience, on the form of things, on punctuality,
on memory, and on mechanism. All these qualities have been desirable in
the "subjects" and in the small "subject nations," from the point of
view of the monarchical and aristocratic European regimes, with which
Catholicism and Lutheranism have been identified, or of the Talmud, upon
which extreme Hebrew nationalism is based.

The authorities of parochial schools, especially the higher authorities,
such as bishops, allow themselves to criticize sternly the American public
schools for looseness, too much freedom, lack of moral teachings, etc. A
prominent German Catholic bishop, who has been for thirty years in America
and who can hardly speak English, stated to the writer that the American
colleges, high schools, and even public schools are no good, that their aim
is to prepare children and students to get easier jobs, to get along in
life without labor and effort. Religious and moral teachings are entirely
lacking in his opinion and the schools work against these teachings.
Especially, the training of girls in America is entirely wrong. They are
not educated to be good housewives, but are just reared for an easy and
joyful life; in fact, girls are too lazy to do family work or any work. The
severely nationalistic churchman was unable to approve the democratic
spirit of the American public school with the stress which it lays upon
freedom of action, self-reliance, initiative, and imagination in children.
He looked upon children as if they were somebody's property or tools, not
human beings with individual destinies.

How important the parochial schools are considered to be by certain
immigrant nationalistic leaders and high clergy is shown by the speeches
delivered at the southeastern Wisconsin district conference of the
Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and
other states, held in the summer of 1918. Prof. A. Piper stated that,

     we must concentrate all our powers upon keeping our hands on our
     schools. To hold our schools we must compete with the public
     schools, must hold classes five days a week, and must work with all
     the strength that is in us. The most important part of all of our
     missionary work is the work in our schools.

The importance of concentrating effort on the parochial schools was
further emphasized by W. Grabner, Milwaukee, who asked:

     What has made Chicago the greatest Lutheran city in the world? [and
     replied] I say it was the Lutheran parochial school. It has served
     as a nucleus for all Lutheran families to settle about. Round it
     all life and activity centered. Our Lutheran forefathers nourished
     the little Lutheran schools with all the powers they possessed.

The situation in the rural districts of various states in regard to the
private and especially the parochial schools in connection with the
Americanization of the children of immigrants born here and abroad is
shown by the following field notes and material collected by the writer.


The Nebraska State Council of Defense made a report on the
foreign-language schools in Nebraska, dated January 14, 1917. The data
were secured through the personal investigation of Miss Sarka Hrbkova,
chairman of the Woman's Committee, aided by Miss Alice Florer of the
State Superintendent's office, and through the efforts of the county
chairmen of educational propaganda of the Woman's Committee. Professors
Link and Weller and other representatives of the German Evangelical
Lutheran Church of the Missouri Synod co-operated with Miss Hrbkova. The
following facts indicate the extent of parochial schools in Nebraska.[26]

     Foreign-language schools are located in 59 counties of Nebraska.
     There is a total of 262 schools in which it is estimated that
     10,000 children receive instruction in foreign languages, chiefly
     the German. In these 262 schools 379 teachers are employed. Five
     thousand five hundred and fifty-four children are attending the
     schools of the German Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Missouri
     Synod, this number including those in the summer sessions as well.
     About 20 teachers give instructions in their homes or in church
     buildings. Of these 379 teachers in private schools, 2 give
     instruction in Danish, 6 in Polish, 14 in Swedish, and 357 in
     German. Less than 2 per cent of the teachers of these schools are
     certified. About 120 of the German teachers are likewise ministers
     in the German Lutheran parish where the school is located. The
     county superintendents of the 59 counties in which the
     foreign-language schools are located reported that in only a few
     cases do these schools give the equivalent of the eighth-grade
     public school. For the most part, the eight years' attendance at
     such a school fits pupils for the sixth grade of the public schools.

     In certain schools in Fillmore, Cass, Franklin, Gosper, Jefferson,
     Pawnee, and Wayne Counties the instruction is given entirely in the
     German language. In about 200 of the schools three hours daily is
     devoted to instruction in the German language.

     In Deuel, Fillmore, and Jefferson Counties the superintendents
     report that the German national hymn is sung in certain
     foreign-language schools. In Nance and Washington Counties they
     report that it was formerly sung, but not this year. In Cedar Creek
     District No. 88, Cass County, Reverend Kunzendorf, teacher, states
     that they do not sing the American hymn because they do not sing
     any hymns at all. The American national hymn is not sung in about
     100 of the German-language schools. Over 100 foreign-language
     schools lack an American flag. One minister, Rev. J. Aron, from
     Wayne County, writes, "We have no flag, but will see to it that one
     be put up, if requested to do so." In Madison the minister declared
     foreign-language and parochial schools are not required by law to
     have an American flag, and therefore he does not display one.

     Public schools have been closed and forced out by German parochial
     schools in Cedar County, Cheyenne County, Clay County, Colfax
     County (No. 36), Gage County (No. 103), 2 in Johnson County, 5 in
     Platte County, District No. 99 in Saline County, 8 in Seward
     County, No. 38 in Stanton County and Wayne County. In Cedar County
     the Bow Valley, Constance, and Fordyce schools are taught by
     Sisters. In the following counties there are public schools with
     only four or five pupils, because the German-language schools
     absorb the pupils: Clay, Cedar, Cuming, Dixon, Howard, Nuckolis,
     Platte, Polk, Seward, Stanton, Wayne, and Webster.

The following statement was made by Prof. C. F. Brommer, Hampton,
Nebraska, president of the Lutheran Synod of Missouri, at the hearing
before the state Americanization Committee held in Lincoln in September,

     I think we have more parochial schools than any other Protestant
     body in this state; between 150 and 160, with about 5,000 children
     in these schools.

In answer to a question by a member of the committee, Professor Brommer

     I know of one [public school] district where there is no public
     school. There is no need of one, as the children all go to
     parochial school. There are a few such cases.

George Weller, of Seward, Nebraska, stated to the same committee:

     German has never been taught in our schools [German Lutheran] as an
     end, but as a means to an end. We could not teach the old folks
     English, and in order to allow the children and the parents to
     worship together we taught the children the German language.

J. W. Robb of Lincoln informed the commission that in one district the
Germans control the public-school board and they closed the public school
two months in a year, and the children are deprived of two months in
English schools or must go to a German parochial school during that time.


The situation in regard to parochial schools in North Dakota has been and
still is, perhaps, more serious than in Nebraska. The writer in his field
study in North Dakota was impressed that the public officials were afraid
to do anything more than recommend certain desirable changes in these
schools; some were even afraid to visit the German counties or sections on
public business, such as Liberty Bond or Red Cross drives. Several reasons
were given, such as politics, ignorance of the German language, and even
care for their own safety. Therefore an English-speaking German woman was
engaged to speak for Liberty Bonds in North Dakota German sections. She was
successful only because in her German public speeches she praised the
Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty and condemned the Czechoslovaks in Russia.
"Well, she brings home the bacon. For what else do we care!" ironically
exclaimed a North Dakota man to the writer.

The State Superintendent of Public Education made the following
statement to the writer when he asked for data on the foreign-language
schools in the state:

     The State Department of Public Education has no authority whatever
     over the private and parochial schools in the state. There is no
     legal ground for collecting information in regard to them.... There
     have been cases when children of immigrant groups, attending a
     private or parochial school, had to learn the foreign tongue of
     other groups.

A Catholic bishop stated:

     The first grades in the parochial schools use German because the
     children who enter the schools do not know English, and it is far
     better and more successful to start work with them in their mother
     tongue as a teaching language. At the same time, they teach them
     English. As their knowledge of English gradually grows, the
     teaching in the higher grades is transferred to the English language.

To the writer's question whether the non-German children in their
parochial schools--for instance, Bohemians and Hungarians--have also to
start in German, the bishop said that in some cases this is true, for
they are not able to find teachers for each language.

In the bishops diocese there are 37,000 Catholic families. Among these
are 2,000 Indian families, about 2,000 Bohemian families, and between
300 and 400 Hungarian families. The rest are German families, over 100
of whom are from Germany; about 2,000 were born in America, and the rest
are Germans from Russia.

An American church head made the following statement, in reply to an
inquiry about the schools:

     Strasburg, Emmons County, has a large parochial school where German
     is the only language both for teaching and speaking. The public
     school there has only a handful of children. There are plenty of
     parochial schools in which German is taught exclusively in McIntosh
     and Emmons Counties, and in the western counties (in the town of
     New Salem, etc.). Some of the teachers, of whom a goodly number are
     Sisters, cannot speak English at all. Children of other
     nationalities would also be under German influences. There is
     undoubtedly German propaganda in these schools, and American or
     other children become Germanized. Every graded school, private and
     public, should be conducted in English exclusively. Every teacher
     need not be American born; many foreign-born people are better
     citizens than some native Americans. But every teacher should have
     to understand and speak the English language. No one should teach,
     preach, or hold public office who cannot speak English.

The editor of an English daily in Bismarck, North Dakota, said:

     The Americanization work is weakest in North Dakota, and yet it is
     more needed here than anywhere else, for the population is mainly
     composed of foreign elements. Foreign-language churches, parochial
     and other private schools, and certain American public schools in
     which, as it is in a number of places, the teaching language is a
     foreign language, very often German--are keeping the old country
     alive in the state. We have a large number of the second
     generation, grown-up people born here of foreign-born parents, who
     do not know how to write or read English, who do not know anything
     about America, but know well the history of Hohenzollern and
     Hapsburg dynasties in Europe.

A leader of the Women's Organization, North Dakota Council of Defense,
made the following statement:

     The Red Cross work, food-conservation work, and child-welfare work
     are organized in every county, a wide-awake woman being chosen as
     county head. Great difficulty is experienced in reaching the
     foreigner. A large number of them, especially women, do not
     understand English, and do not know enough about the country, its
     traditions, and spirit. Aside from remaining foreigners, they are
     in many cases unbelievably ignorant. For instance, the organization
     undertook a baby census, which included weighing the babies. The
     baby of a German housewife was underweight--that is, below normal.
     When its mother learned of this she began to cry hysterically.
     After the other people succeeded in quieting her she expressed the
     fear that the American government would kill her baby for being
     below normal weight.


The statistical data on parochial and other private schools in the state
of Minnesota for 1918, compiled by the Department of Public
Instruction, are as follows:


  Number of parochial and private schools                   307
  Number of pupils enrolled                              38,853
  Number of teachers                                      1,359
  Number of schools using English only                       94
  Number of bilingual schools in which the teaching is in
    English and German                  195
    English and Bohemian                  1
    English and Dutch                     1
    English and French                    4
    English and Norwegian                 1
    English and Polish                   10
    English and Danish                    1
                            Total       213

The Isanti County school superintendent reports for 1915-16:[27]

     The poorest schools in the county are in communities where there
     are private schools in connection with a church. The children
     attend these for years at a time, and when they return to the
     public schools find themselves behind their former companions. We
     wish arrangements might be made so that these schools could not
     teach the branches unless the teachers were as well equipped as the
     public-school teachers and that the children could be sent to them
     only at the confirmation age for two years.

The Martin County superintendent reports:[28]

     Parochial schools should be required to report to the county
     superintendent the names of their teachers, length of term, etc.
     The teachers should be required to make monthly reports and be
     subject to the same supervision of inspection as those of public
     schools. Their certification should also be subject to state
     approval. Failing this, the pupils should be required to attend the
     public schools for at least eight full years, or until they
     complete the regular eighth-grade work.

Near St. Cloud, Minnesota, there is a Slovenian colony of about fifty to
sixty families. Near by there is a much smaller German colony with a German
parochial school in which the teacher, at the time of the writer's visit,
was a German and the teaching language was German. Quite a number of the
Slovenian families sent their children to this school, where they were
Germanized instead of Americanized. A Slovenian family head explained to
the writer that those Slovenians who are sending their children to the
German school do it for a practical reason. They expect some time to visit
their native Austria, where German is the state language. The man claimed
that about one tenth of the settlers do not understand English, and that
only about one fifth of them can speak and write English, although the
colony was founded in America about fifty years ago.


The following statement made by the Superintendent of Public Instruction
in the state of Michigan to the writer, September 11, 1918, shows the
situation in regard to the private schools in that state. Parochial
schools exist as follows:

     One hundred and sixty-six Catholic; 124 German Lutheran; 19
     Adventists; 22 Christian Reform. There is a total of 331. Of these,
     190 maintain as many as eight grades, and 62 maintain more than
     eight grades. In the grades below the high school there is an
     attendance of 43,836, and in the high schools, 2,813. There are
     employed about 1,200 teachers. Eighty-six schools use German as a
     medium of instruction, German partly; sixteen use Polish; 5 use
     French. Only 2 schools in the state give no time to the teaching of
     the English branches. Seventy per cent of all the schools use the
     English language only as a medium of instruction. The census of the
     state contains 892,787 children of school age, five to nineteen
     years, inclusive. There are enrolled in the public schools of the
     state, 635,020. We regret that we have not yet the data from
     Saginaw and Detroit. The city of Detroit alone would perhaps show a
     parochial-school attendance as large as the parochial-school
     attendance of all the rest of the state.

In a Finnish colony in upper Michigan the writer found three one-month
religious summer schools, well attended. One of the leaders of the
colony stated that they have only Finnish teachers in these schools and
the teaching is in Finnish. The program contains mainly religious
instruction and a limited amount of Finnish history. The expenses are
paid by the church treasury. The people want these schools for
maintaining their religion among the children as well as for sentimental
nationalistic reasons. The schools are conducted in the public-school
rooms during summer vacations.

In the same section of the state the writer visited an old and
comparatively large Polish colony, located at Posen. His field notes
supply the following information: There is at the church a four-room
parochial school, housed in a substantial brick building, with five
teachers, including the priest. The school year lasts ten months.
Teaching is in English, except that an hour each day is devoted to the
Polish language and Polish history. The priest admitted that the
teaching of religion is in Polish. The school program is the same as in
the standard public schools of eight grades. The same textbooks are
used. Although the law does not require examination of the children,
nevertheless to appease the county officials and show the efficiency and
value of their school they send the children to the county board of
education for examination, and the county board has always expressed
great satisfaction with the advancement in education of the children of
the Polish school. The teachers are all Poles, appointed by the bishop,
candidates being presented by the priest.

The need of this school the priest explained as follows: It Americanizes
the children more quickly than the American school--that is, it is more
efficient in teaching the children the American ways of life and American
history than the American public schools, for the teachers are all Poles,
know their people and their psychology better than do the teachers in the
public schools. During a later discussion the priest admitted that the
church service is in the Polish language and that the Polish school exists
rather for sentimental reasons of a racial character than for practical
reasons. The settlers also claimed that the Polish school and the church
service in the Polish language are needed, for the reason that they like
this better; they complained that the expenses are too high; they would
have the county or state help them. Sometimes a few adults come to the
school, but they are irregular in attendance.

The priest explained that the issue of the immigrant schools in the
state has become practically a political issue, and to his mind it ought
not to be, at least not in such a sharp form. Prohibition of these
schools would have a bad effect on the foreign-born population. The
schools might be modified and reformed and the state might exercise
some sort of control and supervision over them, but only so far as it is
agreeable to the colonies themselves. In this way the schools would be a
valuable asset to the education of the people. They would work toward
Americanization, better than the ordinary public schools, for they can
reach the depths of the soul more easily than the American schools. He
believed that his school would be an ideal means to this end.

The writer observed in this colony that the majority of the colonists
are of the second and third generations. Not many families are foreign
born. The colony is on the way to Americanization. The main causes
holding it back are as follows: the colony is to a large degree isolated
from the outside world; the Catholic Church and its schools are keeping
the Polish language and the racial characteristics very much alive. The
writer heard in the town grown-up people talking Polish. All the people
the writer met spoke English fluently. In the street he noticed several
groups of children playing; some spoke Polish, some English. Two boys
were talking together, one speaking Polish, the other English. In
watching and hearing the boys, the writer felt the influence of the
Polish church and school over them. The faces and build of the people
have a specific Slavic character. Otherwise their appearance is American.

At Holland, Ottawa County, Michigan, there is a large long-established
Dutch colony, the vast majority of the settlers being already of the
second and third generations. The colony is far advanced on the way to
Americanization. The writer found the town and farming districts
surrounding it almost the same as any native rural district. He did not
hear any Dutch spoken in the streets, stores, or public offices. Yet the
Dutch language was the language of the service in the churches and the
teaching language in the parochial schools up to recent years. In regard
to this fact the local church head explained to the writer:

     Aside from a number of lower parochial schools, there is one
     parochial high school and one parochial college, Hope College. The
     high school is a preparatory school for the college. The college
     prepares ministers for the village churches. The language used in
     the high school and college was formerly Dutch. They taught Dutch
     history, literature, and mainly religion--Bible study. But during
     late years English has become the teaching language, and the Dutch
     language has remained only as a subject of study. Up to this time
     the leaders of the colony have been working toward Americanization
     unconsciously, but now they have awakened to the fact that the
     Dutch are rapidly Americanizing. They accept this fact as a
     desirable one, and are now working consciously toward the end of
     Americanization. They realize that even if they would like to keep
     the Dutch nationality alive in the colony, they would not be able
     to do it, so that they yield to the inevitable. The activities in
     the church and parochial schools have now to be turned more toward

In a German colony at Au Gres, Michigan, the writer learned that the
colonists have a parochial school in which the teaching is in German.
They teach the German language, the Lutheran religion, and the rudiments
of sciences. The church is composed entirely of Germans. Both ministers
are appointed by the German Synod. The Congregational church has
Saturday and Sunday school. The Saturday school lasts from nine until
twelve in the morning, and the Sunday school from nine until ten in the
morning. The teaching is in German; the subject is Bible study, and also
the learning of the German language and the singing of hymns. The
meaning of these schools was explained to the writer by the settlers as
follows: The parents would like to have their children know the German
language, be able to read and write German, and be instructed in
religious matters, for neither German nor religion is taught in the
American schools. The local native settlers stated to the writer that
the German parochial school ought not to be there. It is a Germanizing
school, opposed to America and Americanization, they argued.


The Superintendent of Public Education of the State of Wisconsin told
the writer that there is no law enabling the public authorities to
supervise or inspect the private schools or even to collect information
in regard to them, except in a roundabout way. There is a law requiring
that the county boards keep records of school attendance and this law
enables the county boards to learn the attendance of every school in
each county. The enrollment in private and parochial schools in
Wisconsin was as follows:


  WISCONSIN, 1914-15 AND 1915-16[29]
  Number attending private or parochial    |       |
    schools only--counties                 |24,370 |25,373
  Number attending private or parochial    |       |
    schools only--cities                   |21,736 |18,556
  Number attending both public and private,|       |
    or parochial schools--counties         |34,335 |34,958
  Number attending both public and private,|       |
    or parochial schools--cities           | 1,441 | 3,276
                                           |       |
  Teaching force of private and parochial  |       |
    schools in counties:                   |       |
    Men                                    |   288 |
    Women                                  |   600 |
             Total                         |   888 |   909

There was a case in Wisconsin in 1918 of a German father sentenced to
five years in the penitentiary for persuading his son to evade the
draft. An editorial commenting on the case said:

     This man, though German in every sense of the word, was born in
     America. Yet when he was on trial he had great difficulty in
     understanding questions put to him in English. Born in America,
     educated in American schools, nearly fifty years old, yet "he had
     great difficulty in understanding questions put in English!" Why?
     Because in the German--not American--community in which he was
     raised the education of American citizens was conducted in German.

A rural postmaster of German descent in a small backwoods town in
Wisconsin, who claimed to have lost long ago his faith in "the Kaiser's
Fatherland," as he put it, stated that there are thousands and thousands
of such victims of the German parochial schools in the state, who,
though born and brought up here, are unable to converse freely in
English. This is especially true among those who live on farms in a
German colony and go only to a German school and church.

     Now these people suffer and are ashamed of themselves. But who is
     responsible? I think both the German clergy and other leaders for
     victimizing these people, as well as the American public for
     allowing such mischief.


In regard to the situation in South Dakota, the Federal Bureau of
Education reports (Bulletin, No. 31, 1918) that,

     some counties, Hutchinson, for example, are largely peopled by
     German stock. A large portion of the school population attend
     German Catholic and German Lutheran parochial schools in which
     German has been used largely as a medium of instruction. (Recently
     stopped by order of the State Council of Defense.) In this county,
     and in Hanson County, the German-Russian Mennonites still live the
     quaint community life brought with them from Russia. German, not
     English, is the language of the villages, although in most of the
     schools English is the medium of instruction.


The California Commissioner of Public Education stated to the writer
that the state authorities have no right to interfere in any way with
the private and parochial schools and that he is not legally able to
collect any information in regard to these schools.

Even the leaders of the Russian sectarian peasant colonies maintain some
sort of a private school of their own. The San Francisco colony has
classes for children two evenings a week, in which they are taught
reading and writing in the Russian language. In Los Angeles the colony
leaders explained that their children learn the Russian language in
their homes, where Russian is spoken exclusively, and that they learn
Russian reading and writing in their Russian private evening schools,
one hour each evening. The peasants themselves teach them. The parents
have to pay certain small sums to the teachers.

The leaders expressed a keen desire that the city should provide them
with a Russian school, for they would like to have their children able
to read, speak, and write the Russian language. If they should not be
able to settle in America on the land they would be compelled to return
to Russia. The leaders of the Russian colony at Glendale, Arizona, said
that they are attempting to teach Russian to their children in the
evenings and other spare time, but owing to lack of time and proper
teachers they have not made much progress.


The local manager of the Hirsch fund in Woodbine, New Jersey, a Jewish
colony, stated that there is in the colony a Hebrew school supported by
individuals and to a certain degree by the Hirsch fund. It is a Hebrew
school connected with activities of the synagogue, maintained for
religious purposes. It corresponds to the parochial school of Christian
churches. About sixty pupils attend this school.


It goes without saying that during war-time excitement, with its
heightened suspicion, the statements made by the defenders of the
foreign-language schools and their opponents do not always correspond
to the reality. It has been the writers impression that the defenders
were inclined to diminish the negative influence of these schools, while
their opponents in a number of cases saw these schools darker than they
really were.

For instance, it was a usual experience of the writer, when he arrived
in an immigrant colony and explained either to individual leaders or to
a meeting of the whole colony the purpose of his inquiry, to receive at
the outset the following answer: "Well, we are all Americanized; we are
all Americans; we understand and speak the American language and love
the country; we are not a colony at all, but just plain American people
of a certain old-country stock," etc. When it developed that the
language of their church service and the teaching language in their
private schools was their old-country language, the leaders began, with
certain embarrassment, to admit that the old folks and the late arrivals
do not understand English, and therefore the mother tongue of the
parents becomes the home language for both the young and old. And since
some settlers intend to return to the old country, and do not like to
lose their former nationality--their old-country tongue is used in the
churches and taught in the schools.

Perhaps the Polish settlers were most outspoken in their attachment to
their nationality, while the German settlers were either silent or
denied their preference for the German nationality; their main argument
in favor of the use of German in their churches and schools was based on
purely religious grounds. It was solely on this religious ground that
they explained the higher proportion of German-language schools to the
number of German immigrants than obtains in any other immigrant national
group. The Jews claimed that their racial characteristics, such as diet,
moral conceptions according to the Mosaic laws, and study of Hebrew
history, were really contributions to America. They justified on this
ground the cultivation of their racial differences, maintaining that
there is nothing in this opposed to American ideals, but that, on the
contrary, it is in accord with what this country stands for and fosters.

On the other hand, the opponents of foreign-language schools often
viewed them as the sole hindrance to the better understanding and
acceptance of American ways and institutions, the creators of
disloyalty. They would close all foreign-language schools in the country
at once, without any further consideration.

As a result of the war-time revelations and excitement, certain changes
have taken place in these schools. In a number of states the use of a
foreign tongue as a teaching medium and even as a subject of study in
the common schools has been prohibited. In a number of places the
immigrant leaders themselves have voluntarily changed their teaching
language to English under the pressure of both public opinion in general
and that of the members of their own group. "It is an injustice to our
own people if we teach them a foreign tongue instead of the language of
this country," stated a Lutheran pastor to the writer.

But in many cases the nationalistic leaders expressed their
dissatisfaction with the changes "enforced" upon them. They expressed
the opinion that after peace is established their people would have
things their own way through their votes. Many of them are already
naturalized and still more are going to be.


The elementary foreign-language schools undoubtedly perform a service in
preventing the disruption of families and are justified to this extent.
The question arises, however, whether much more cannot be done to assist
the parents, through evening schools and home teachers, to learn the
language and customs of the country. If this work could be adequately
done, it would not be necessary to hold the children back by teaching
them a foreign language, only to be used to bridge a temporary gulf in
their homes.

The justification for foreign-language elementary schools does not
apply to the higher institutions. In the Dutch colony at Holland,
Michigan, the writer was struck by the fact that while the people were
largely Americanized and English had become their home or mother tongue,
the colony leaders insisted on the Dutch language in their high school
and college. The only explanation given was that this was done
unconsciously. During recent years they had become conscious of the need
and the inevitableness of Americanization, and, as a result, had
substituted English for Dutch in their higher schools.

The Jewish colony in Woodbine, New Jersey, had a Jewish agricultural
college, supported by the Hirsch fund. To the writer's inquiries as to
why there was need of a special Jewish agricultural college, why the
Jewish boys cannot enter American agricultural colleges, receiving
scholarships from the Hirsch fund if need be, the answers of the
authorities were varied: They had to follow the will of Baron de Hirsch;
in a special Jewish institution the Jewish boys are kept from "going
astray"; teaching and training can be better adjusted to the
peculiarities of the Jewish boys, etc.


There is no question that the foreign-language private schools have done
great harm to the country as a whole and to the immigrants themselves.
The question is, What has to be done?

The parochial schools must be regulated by the following measures: All
elementary private schools should be licensed or registered in the
office of the public-school authorities; all should meet the same
requirements as the elementary public schools in regard to the
qualifications of teachers, school terms, program, teaching language,
and inspection and direction by the public-school authorities. Exception
might be made to permit religious instruction certain definite hours
during the week to the American-born children in English and to recently
arrived immigrant children in their mother tongue as well as instruction
in their mother tongue as an extra cultural subject. The lessons should
be given by a duly qualified teacher.

In another volume[30] of these Studies there is a further discussion of a
successful experiment along this line. The parochial schools of New
Hampshire have co-operated voluntarily with the state authorities. Progress
toward regulation and the establishment of a minimum standard in all
schools in the state has been made. Only through some such provision can
this country insure equal opportunity to its potential citizens.

[26] Report of the Nebraska Council of Defense, January 14, 1917.

[27] Minnesota Department of Education, Nineteenth Biennial Report,
1915-16, p. 85.

[28] Minnesota Department of Education, Nineteenth Biennial Report,
1915-16, p. 92.

[29] C. P. Cary, _Education in Wisconsin, 1914-16_ (1917), p. 93.

[30] Frank V. Thompson, _Schooling of the Immigrant_, chap. iv.



Immigrant or foreign-language churches are needed by the immigrants so long
as they have not learned to understand the English language. But for those
immigrants who have been long enough in this country to know English and
for the immigrants' children born in America no foreign-language churches
are needed. If the church authorities conduct the church services and
activities in a foreign tongue for those immigrants who understand and
speak English, they then do this for racial or nationalistic reasons--as a
service to the old country or to a nationality other than the American
nationality. That this is often the case is shown by the fact that certain
foreign countries have been financially supporting churches here for their
people who have come to America; for instance, the former Russian monarchy
gave liberally for the establishment and upkeep of Russian Greek Orthodox
churches in this country.

In the use of foreign language in nearly all the rural colonies visited by
the writer where there was an immigrant church, the language used in the
church services was the old-country tongue, although occasionally the
services were bilingual, both English and the foreign tongue being used.

In North Dakota an American minister described the situation as follows:

     Most of the German Catholic and Lutheran church services are in
     German; some are bilingual. The Lutherans almost entirely have
     all-German services. In the western part of the state a Bohemian or
     a Slav can get only the German tongue. Scandinavian churches also
     use their own tongue. All foreign churches here use their own
     languages. Quite a number of foreign ministers are foreign born.
     Some can scarcely speak English.

At a hearing before the state Americanization Committee in Lincoln,
Nebraska, held in the fall of 1918, a large number of the priests and
pastors of immigrant churches testified as to the use of the old-country
language in their church services and pleaded for its retention. It was
apparent from the testimony that the foreign-language church service was
prevalent throughout the state in the immigrant churches. Practically
every priest or pastor claimed that the majority of his congregation
could not understand services in English.

The following extracts from the testimony are characteristic. Peculiar
emphasis was laid by the church authorities upon the fact that although
the people might understand and speak English fluently in their
everyday affairs, yet they could not understand church service or
religious instruction when these were given in English.

Statement of H. F. Hensick, Madison, Nebraska, pastor of German
Evangelical Lutheran Church:

     In my own congregation in Madison there are thirty-six who are not
     able to understand the religious instruction in English; they are
     those who were born in this country or who came here years back.

Statement of Richard Kuehne, Lincoln, Nebraska:

     We have in Lincoln about eight thousand German-Russian people; the
     most of them cannot follow an English sermon at all.

Statement of M. Lehninger, Plattsmouth, Nebraska, representing
Evangelical Lutheran General Synod of Wisconsin and other states:

     While there are a good many people who do understand English well
     and speak it quite fluently in everyday conversation, they all have
     had their religious instruction in German, and they understand a
     German sermon where they cannot understand an English one. The
     people of my church have come partly from Germany and partly from
     Canada, and many communicant members are native-born American
     citizens, and still it is a fact that perhaps only half a dozen
     members of the two hundred and fifty communicant members will have
     the full benefit of an English sermon.

Statement of Vic Anderson, Minden, Nebraska, Swedish Lutheran:

     It is my judgment that 35 per cent of our people do not understand
     preaching in the American language. They can do business in that
     language, but when it comes to understanding the interpretation of
     the Bible, they would like to have it in the Swedish language
     because that is the language that their fathers and mothers taught
     them in.

Statement of John H. Steger, Plattsmouth, Nebraska, St. Paul German Church:

     Half of my congregation cannot understand the English language.

Statement of C. F. Brommer, Hampton, Nebraska, Lutheran pastor:

     In every congregation, but mostly in the congregations of the city,
     we have people who understand the English sermon as well as the
     German sermon, and then I think the majority speak, read, and write
     English, in common, everyday life, perfectly, but they still would
     derive greater benefit from the German than the English sermon, and
     I think there are probably nearly 98 per cent of our congregations
     and people who do not understand the English sermons and never will
     learn to understand them. These are mostly old people. When they
     came here they did not have the time nor the opportunity to learn
     the English language.

Statement of Adolph Matzner, Lincoln, Nebraska, representing the
Nebraska district of the German Evangelical Synod of North America:

     The majority of the voting members of our congregation are
     immigrants. They came to this country thirty or forty years ago;
     they settled in the country; they had no opportunity to get
     acquainted and to learn the American language. In the country and
     small towns they have no night schools, and these people never had
     a chance to learn the American language. We have members in the
     congregation who are able to understand it, or at least able to do
     their business in the American language. They can talk to you about
     politics and about the weather, but they cannot get the benefit
     from an American sermon that they can from a German sermon. They
     would perhaps understand a sermon on how to keep cool on a hot day,
     but when you come to a sermon on religious subjects they are not
     able to understand it.

Most of the priests and pastors stated that there were so many
difficulties in the way of having separate English and foreign-language
services, the former for the children and those who understand English,
and the latter for the old people who do not understand English, that it
would be practically impossible to do this. The argument usually given
was that presented by Joseph G. Votava of Omaha, a Roman Catholic,
representing the Bohemians:

     About having separate meetings for the old folks and the
     children--this question came up from Greeley County, and they
     wanted us to have our German service between nine and ten, and
     Sunday school between ten and eleven, and from eleven to twelve an
     English sermon. The old folks and the children come together in the
     same vehicle, and they certainly don't expect the children to sit
     down on the curbing or in the shade until the old folks get
     through, and therefore it is hard to separate the meetings in the
     rural districts, of which we have many congregations all over the


That it is possible to have bilingual services successfully was
testified to by John P. Gross, Hastings, Nebraska, a United States
citizen born in Russia, representing the Adams County Council of
Defense. He said:

     Then we were told to have one preaching service a week in the
     English language, and we all agreed to do that, and we were told we
     could have as much German besides that one English sermon as we
     wanted. And we agreed to have that one English sermon. I went to my
     congregation of three hundred and fifty people, at least half of
     whom did not get any benefit from the English sermon, and I put it
     before them and told them, this is what we are requested to do; you
     don't have to do it, but they would like to have you do it, and
     they unanimously voted in my church, and every other church in the
     county, to adopt the plan. Our congregations in the evening are not
     as large as before because some of the older people do not come
     now, but enough come to church who are living in our community so
     that we can hold the service. So we have lost in one way, but we
     are slowly gaining along another way; one old grandfather there
     said it would have been better if these plans had been adopted
     fifteen years ago. And this plan has worked very satisfactorily in
     our county.

In several of the rural immigrant communities visited by the writer
there were successful bilingual churches. In the Polish colony at Posen,
Michigan, the sermon in the Catholic Church is in two languages, Polish
and English. The priest explained that the Polish language is needed, as
the people, especially the older people, understand it better and the
priest is able to penetrate their souls more intimately in their mother
tongue. The English language is needed for two reasons: among the
colonists are a few American farmers who belong to the same church and
do not speak Polish; and a few of the younger generation understand
English better than Polish, especially those newcomers who have been
born outside of the colony among Americans.

In the Dutch colony at Holland, Michigan, the churches are bilingual.
One service in the morning is in the Dutch language and the other in the
evening is in the English language. English has become a necessity
because a number of the young people have difficulty in understanding
Dutch, and also because a number of the congregation are either native
born or of some other nationality.


On the whole, the writer, in his field study, was impressed by the fact
that the rank and file of the immigrant congregations favored the
English-language service, while the priests and pastors were opposing
it. Whenever an English-language service had been lately introduced it
had been done under the pressure either of the members of the
congregation or of the state Council of Defense.

The clergy often maintained that the foreign-language service was
needed, even in cases where the members of the congregation were largely
American born and understood and spoke English well in everyday life.
Perhaps the most conspicuous in making such claims were the German
Catholic and Lutheran priests and pastors. According to a number of
them, no other language than German is suited for services, no matter
how far advanced the church members are in the use of English.

There were cases where among the membership of a German-language church
there were Bohemians or Scandinavians or Poles. To the writer's question
whether services for these people were conducted in their mother tongue,
the answer was usually given in the negative, with the explanation that
there was no money to engage additional preachers and that these people
understood German well. The only explanation of such extreme claims for
foreign-language services is the nationalism of the clergy.


Certain church authorities hinder amalgamation of the immigrants by
making severe requirements in regard to "interfaith" marriages. For
instance, in a case where one party is Catholic and the other is not,
the Catholic Church requires a written sworn statement from both parties
in regard to certain conditions which they must fulfill in their married
life. What these conditions are the following blank given to the writer
by a Catholic bishop shows:

  In Casu Disparitatis Cultus.

  Vel Mixtae Religionis.



     I, the undersigned, never baptized (baptized in the ..........
     Church), of .......... do hereby promise that if ..........
     receives from the Bishop a dispensation to marry me, I will never
     by word or act interfere with .......... faith in the Catholic
     Church or with .......... practice thereof, and that I will not
     prevent the children of either sex to be born (and already born)
     from being baptized and brought up in the faith and practice of the
     Catholic Church. I also promise that in the solemnization of my
     marriage, there shall be only the Catholic Ceremony.

  Signed in presence of

  .........................     .........................
  Date .........................


     I, the undersigned, of .........., a Catholic, wishing to marry
     .........., unbaptized (baptized in the .......... Church), do
     hereby promise that, if the Bishop finds canonical cause for
     granting me a dispensation, I will have all my children baptized
     and reared in the Catholic Church, and that I will practice my
     Religion faithfully and do all I can, especially by prayer,
     example, and the frequentation of the Sacraments, to bring about
     the conversion of my consort.

  Signed in presence of

  .........................     .........................
  Date .........................

There is no question that such requirements may prevent a number of
marriages between native born and immigrants, when one is a Catholic and
the other a non-Catholic. It is not always possible for a non-Catholic
to follow the required conditions and as a result family quarrels and
the disruption of families may occur. The writer has observed three such
cases. In one case there were involved a native and an immigrant, and in
two cases immigrants alone.

A similar ban or check on interfaith, which often means international,
marriages is found among sectarian immigrant groups. Their extreme
religious sentiment prevents them from marrying outsiders, and as a
result inbreeding occurs. They marry close relatives and defectives. For
instance, near Lincoln, Nebraska, where a small German colony of
Mennonites is settled, the birth of idiots and otherwise defective
children was so noticeable that the colony's leaders and their neighbors
decided to bring about a change. The marriage of close relatives was
prohibited and the ban on marriage with outsiders was done away with.
This change has had a very good result, according to the colony's
leaders. The change was possible only because the sectarian beliefs had
been weakened under the pressure of the general American conditions.

The orthodox Jews are similarly opposed to the marriage of their
members with the Gentiles. So far as the writer has learned, they do not
require signed promises. They are uncompromising in such matters and
ostracize any one of their members who marries an outsider.

The usual explanation of the need of such a ban or check on interfaith
marriages is that if the parents are of different faiths the children
will be lost to the Church. Whatever the explanation or justification of
the Church opposition to interfaith marriages, it often applies to
immigrants and makes for their continued separation from America.


Very often the priests and pastors of the immigrant churches are freshly
arrived immigrants themselves. They scarcely speak English and know
little about America. Consequently they are not able to educate the
members of their congregations in American ways. On the contrary, they
tend to criticize America and favor their old country in their sermons,
public addresses, and activities. During recent years quite a number of
such church heads have been prosecuted in the courts for their seditious
utterances and activities.

Testimony given at the hearing before the state Americanization
Committee in Lincoln, Nebraska, showed how many of the ministers know
little of the English language and little of America:

Joseph G. Votava of Omaha, representing the Bohemians, Roman Catholic,

     A great many of the ministers have come from foreign churches and
     countries, and if you gentlemen were forced to listen to them
     making English sermons, I don't know whether you would go to church
     very often or not.

Rev. F. E. Pomp, Omaha, representing the Swedish Evangelical Mission
Association of Nebraska, said:

     A great many of the ministers in our denomination were born in
     Sweden; some preach very well in English, but the majority,
     perhaps, of those born in Sweden cannot preach in the English

The statement of Rev. Matt W. Nemec, Wahoo, Nebraska, Bohemian Roman
Catholic, was:

     There are eight of these gentlemen who have come over here and are
     in training, and they cannot speak the English language fluently,
     and it would be a great hardship for them to come up before the
     young people who speak English very well and try to preach in English.


An immigrant church can do much toward the amalgamation of its members.
There are a few immigrant churches, Catholic as well as Protestant,
which are doing valuable work in this direction. But while an immigrant
church can do much good it also can do much harm when its services and
activities are conducted in the spirit of preference of the old country
to America. To prevent such harm some action must be taken by the public.

The writer recommends that the immigrant church heads (priests, pastors,
ministers, rabbis, and others) should be American citizens either by
birth or by naturalization. Foreign-language services should be
conducted for freshly arrived immigrants only, and for those old-time
immigrants who have not mastered English.

Immigrant churches should be required to report regularly on the
Americanization progress of their congregations (number of families,
home language, service language, naturalization, etc.) to the state or
Federal Bureau of Education.



The preceding three chapters show how important is the public school as
an instrumentality of Americanization. The question is whether the rural
public school meets present-day requirements. Field investigations and
search through both public and private reports have convinced the writer
that the rural public school is the most neglected class of all the
educational institutions in the country. It is far behind the times. It
not only does not adequately meet the problem of immigrant children, but
it does not even root out illiteracy from the rural population in
general. Some of its limiting features are inevitable, while others are
gradually being changed.


The great majority of rural public schools are one-teacher schools. The
Commissioner of Public Education of California stated that there were in
the state of California in 1918, 2,300 one-room public schools and 410
two-room schools. Over a third of all the Wisconsin school children,
city as well as country, and 42 per cent of the Wisconsin
school-teachers, are found in the one-teacher country schools.[31] A
report on school conditions in Arizona shows that 149 rural schools, or
70 per cent of a total of 214 reporting, are one-teacher schools.[32]

The one-teacher school usually means a crowd of children of various
grades taught by one teacher during the same day. In most cases the
recitation work can go on only with one grade at a time, while the other
grades have to do study work. Without the supervision of the teacher,
this is much less efficient than the recitation work. About two thirds
of the rural teachers answering questionnaires sent out by the United
States Bureau of Education[33] instructed eight or more grades and held
from twenty-two to thirty-five classes a day, which means that the
recitations averaged the absurdly short time of nine to thirteen
minutes. A few teachers manage to lengthen the recitations by a system
of organizing the grades into groups and of combining classes, but this
is the exception, not the rule.

As a rule the one-teacher schools have limited room and equipment. Most
of these schools visited by the writer were small one-room frame
buildings with porchlike attachments on which were built a tiny hall and
dressing "rooms." Quite a few did not have even these "modern
conveniences." The toilets are usually at a distance from the building
and are not always kept clean.

Several teachers stated that the smallness and poverty of the schools
have a depressing influence upon the teachers and prevent any great
respect on the part of the people toward the school.

A third defect of the one-teacher school consists in its monotony and
lack of color and variety as compared with larger schools. Rivalry is
lacking and the recreation enterprises are limited. Of course, much
depends upon the qualities of the individual teacher, but a good teacher
does not stay long in a one-teacher school; she is attracted by better
opportunities elsewhere.

Dissatisfaction with the one-teacher school the writer found to be quite
general, even among the immigrant settlers. The Finnish settlers at
Rudyard in upper Michigan expressed the wish that the government should
give a better public-school system, although the existing schools were
said to be standard schools. They wanted three or four-room schools, a
better heating system, and higher salaries for teachers. Only in this
way could better teaching forces be attracted and kept steadily in the
same schools.

The Polish colonists in Posen, Michigan, explained that they have six
one-room standard public schools in the colony and its vicinity, but
that as the teacher has to deal at the same time with eight grades the
efficiency of her work is naturally below what it should be. The
settlers said that consolidation or enlargement of the schools is badly
needed. No agricultural training is included in the school work.

Reverend Kuizinga of the Dutch colony at Holland, Michigan, stated that
in the backwoods parts of the colony, in purely rural districts, the
school activities ought to be more efficient than they are; certain
schools might be consolidated so as to make fewer grades for one
teacher, teachers' salaries must be increased, and the program for
teaching citizenship broadened.

A leader of an Italian colony at Canastota, New York, stated that the
Italian parents appreciate the schooling of their children, who attend
the American public schools, speak English among themselves, and prefer
the American to the Italian ways of life. In regard to the same colony,
the county school superintendent said that the Italian children attend
school fairly regularly, are able pupils, and excel American children in
their studies.

There is at least one school district in the same colony which has a
defective one-teacher school, which the writer chanced to visit. The
trustee of the school, an American woman, married to an unnaturalized
Italian settler, said that she was worried about getting a
school-teacher for next year, as the county pays only $17 a week. Last
year it paid $15, and that was an increase of $3 over the former salary.
She thought the county might possibly pay $20 this year if she could not
get anyone for less. The people did not like the teacher they had last
year--they thought she did not know enough. There are now seventy-three
children of school age, but there were only twenty-six before, and the
schoolhouse is only large enough for twenty-six. The building is very
small, oblong in shape, with a small partition at one end for cloakroom
and entrance. The school board voted $250 for enlarging the building and
taking down the partition, but the trustee was certain that this would
not be done for that small sum, as "lumber is so high, and the carpenter
wants something." The building needed painting and a number of the
windows were broken The woman said that last year many children of
school age worked instead of going to school, as there was nobody to
force them to go. Now that she was trustee, she said, she would see that
everybody went.


The defects of the one-teacher school have led to the consolidation
movement which is rapidly developing throughout the country. The
Superintendent of Public Instruction of North Dakota reported in 1916
that the consolidated school was becoming more and more the school of
the rural districts and he recommended liberal state aid to these
schools. There were at that time 123 "open country" consolidated schools
in the state and 210 town consolidated schools, the latter being in
reality rural schools.

One county superintendent reported that in the last two years a number
of districts had voted to consolidate their schools; another said that
40 per cent of the pupils were attending consolidated schools. The Rural
School Commissioner of Minnesota stated that consolidation has a very
promising growth in the state; that 210 districts have been organized,
half of which were established during the two years ending in 1916. And
so the story goes in each state that has a largely rural population.

There is some opposition to this movement by parents who live farthest
from a proposed consolidated school, because of the distance and
inability to provide children with hot lunches. But this opposition is
easily overcome by the provision of public transportation facilities for
the children and by serving hot lunches at the schoolhouses. Some
opposition comes from the landowners in the neighborhood of a
one-teacher school which has to be closed on account of consolidation.
Their fear that there will be a lowering of land values is baseless, as
the settlers in that section get much better school accommodations
through consolidation than they had before.

Advantages of the consolidated school over the one-teacher school are
obvious. It makes possible a better division of time in recitation and
study. The teaching is more efficient on account of specialization and a
better and more stable teaching staff.

In the office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, North
Dakota, the writer found the following statements in the reports of
various county superintendents for 1916.[34]

Barnes County:

     The past two years have been marked by the number of districts that
     have voted to consolidate their schools. Five township consolidated
     schools have been built in the open country. Each of these
     buildings has four schoolrooms, a good-sized gymnasium, an
     auditorium with a stage, domestic-science room, and a
     manual-training room. They are modern buildings in every respect,
     steam heated, water system for drinking fountains and toilets. One
     six-room village consolidated school and one open country two-room
     school have also been completed. They are also modern buildings. In
     these schools the country child has equal opportunities with the
     city child. These schoolhouses are used as centers for the social
     life of the neighborhood and are proving most successful.

Benson County:

     Several districts during the past two years have consolidated. We
     believe these schools are demonstrating their superiority over
     one-room schools at least in the way of graduating pupils from the
     eighth grade. Ten schools operating as consolidated schools
     graduated as many farm boys and girls as did nearly eighty one-room
     schools, during the past year.

     In connection with practically every consolidated school is some
     form of community or farmer's club.... Especially during the past
     year much was done through these agencies for the promotion of
     rural life, social and educational. The consolidated school
     principal, with his faculty, is experiencing a new and enlarged
     obligation and opportunity.

Bowman County:

     Considerable work for consolidation has been done from this office.
     Sixteen public meetings have been held, and the proposition of
     consolidation thoroughly discussed with more than twelve hundred of
     our people. Through this system of education the movement is
     finding favor with our people, and it will be only a short time
     before more than half of this county is consolidated.

McHenry County:

     We have three purely country consolidated schools, each serving a
     township, and from our experience here we have come to the
     conclusion that districts of this kind are not a success with bus
     transportation unless they have an assessed valuation of $175,000
     or more. Part of the burden of transportation must be borne by
     parents of the children attending school. With the family
     transportation system these schools are working out very well,
     being able to employ three teachers and run nine months of school
     per year without exceeding the maximum tax levy.

     Eighteen consolidated and graded schools were in operation in the
     county last year, and 40.2 per cent of all the children in the
     county are now enjoying graded school facilities.... McHenry is a
     purely agricultural county.

Everywhere the consolidated school has been successful and has shown far
greater efficiency than the scattered one-teacher schools. This gives
promise that the consolidated rural school will in a few years prevail.


In a number of states visited by the writer the prevailing type of rural
school-teacher was a girl of from eighteen to twenty years of age. That
the country school-teacher is an astonishingly young person is attested
by all reports on the subject. An educational survey of South Dakota[35]
showed that the largest group of rural teachers range between nineteen
and twenty-five years of age; twenty-nine teachers were under seventeen
years of age, and fifty-three were just seventeen.

Most of the teachers about whom the writer collected information were
serving their first or second year. Only a few had been teaching for
three or more years. According to the above survey of South Dakota, 31
per cent of the rural teachers were teaching their first school, and
only 9.6 per cent had taught as many as four schools. Few teachers, the
report showed, have taught more than one or two years in a school, while
the average teaching life of a rural teacher is three and three quarters
school years. The instability of the profession is so great that it is
necessary for the state of South Dakota to recruit annually about one
third of its total teaching force of 7,000.

An investigation made by the United States Bureau of Education in 1915
covering all sections of the country found that the number of school
years taught by the average rural teacher was six and one half, but
stated that the large majority of these teachers fell far below the
average. The average time spent by a teacher in one community is
extremely brief; the investigation showed that it is less than two
school years, or considerably less than one calendar year. Even this
average is considered a high one for the majority of the teachers.

Equally illuminating figures on this point are contributed by the state
of Wisconsin. The state Superintendent of Education reports as follows:


                  |Teaching Services| Total Teaching
      Period      |  in Locality    |    Service
  1 year or less  |     4,136       |     1,421
  2 years         |     1,650       |     1,545
  3 years         |       508       |     1,093
  4 years         |       187       |       738
  5 years         |        83       |       517
  6 years and over|        66       |     1,316
  Total           |     6,630       |     6,630

A number of the teachers that the writer interviewed had only
grammar-school education, with a year or two of high school. Only a few
had full high-school training. In general the training which qualifies
the rural teacher for his work is appallingly slight. Of the rural
teachers in South Dakota covered by the survey mentioned, 58.3 per cent
had completed a four-year high-school course; 45.8 per cent reported
attendance at professional schools; 54.2 per cent became teachers by
taking examinations instead of by going through normal schools and
colleges of education.

The investigation of the United States Bureau of Education referred to
above brings out the striking fact that about one third of the rural
teachers have had no professional preparation whatever, not even summer
courses or other short courses. It was discovered that 4 per cent of
them had less than eight years of elementary training, and that 45 per
cent of the rural teachers have completed four years of high-school
work, but have not done more.

A bulletin of the United States Bureau of Education[37] presents the
following facts regarding the training of rural school-teachers: The
average rural school-teacher remains in the teaching profession less
than four school years of 140 days each. This means a complete turn-over
of teachers every four years, or that about 87,500 new teachers must be
provided annually. During the school year ending 1915 the normal schools
graduated 21,944 students. It is quite certain that most of these found
positions in towns and cities, as did most of those graduating from
schools of education in universities and colleges. Therefore the great
majority of the 87,500 new teachers needed annually for the rural
schools must go to their work professionally unprepared.

Extracts from the reports of county superintendents in various states
show the same low level of qualifications; one reports that nearly 40
per cent of his teachers have been untrained and inexperienced. The
following quotations are taken almost at random from the 1916 reports of
county superintendents filed in the office of the state Superintendent
of Public Education of North Dakota,[38] and might be duplicated by
reports from almost any other state having a largely rural population.

Bowman County:

     During the last two years (1914 and 1915) nearly 40 per cent of our
     teachers have been untrained and inexperienced. We are trying to
     convince our school boards that training for teaching is just as
     essential as training for any other vocation in life, and that the
     trained teacher is worth more and should receive more pay than the
     untrained, and that the sooner we engage trained teachers for our
     schools the sooner we will have better schools.

Logan County:

     There is a lack of permanency in the teaching force (due to lack of
     resident teachers--over 90 per cent are non-residents), and this
     has many disadvantages. Too many of the rural teachers are not in
     sympathy with the rural conditions in this county.

The teachers in the rural districts, especially in the backwoods places,
impressed the writer as having little influence upon the surrounding
community, particularly in cases where the community was composed solely
of immigrants. The immigrants seem not to take the teacher seriously. A
number of them said that they do not go for any practical advice to the
school-teacher, believing that such a young girl knows little. In
personal interviews the teachers said that they are doing some
Americanization work by explaining to the children certain big
historical events in the country's life, such as Washington's crossing
of the Delaware, the battle of Bunker Hill, the liberation of the
negroes. Their understanding of the difference between the American
democracy and the European autocratic and aristocratic governments
seemed to be vague. Even their knowledge of American history was
mechanical rather than conscious or interpretative. In general, the
writer was impressed that teachers of this type--young girls--themselves
need further development before they can do effective educational work
in the schools, not to speak of the community.

The teachers themselves complained of low salaries, difficulties in
handling boys, especially immigrant boys who come from big cities. There
are hardships in finding suitable living quarters and board,
particularly in new immigrant colonies where the people live in
shanty-like shelters and continue to eat pork and sauerkraut, sour milk,
herring, onions, etc. One teacher, a girl about nineteen, told the
writer that she could find an American farm only at a distance of five
miles from the school and that she had a hard time to reach the school
from her boarding place in the winter snows and blizzards.

Not one of the teachers interviewed expected to make teaching a lifetime
profession. They all looked upon their present position as only a
stepping-stone to a better life. They hoped either to continue study and
go through college, or to take up skilled office work, such as that of a
stenographer or bookkeeper.

The average salaries of rural teachers are given in the reports of
various state superintendents as follows:

  Average monthly salary of teachers in rural schools in
  North Dakota:[39]

  Year ended June 30, 1914          $53.25
  Year ended June 30, 1915           54.92

  Average monthly wages of teachers in rural districts in
  South Dakota:[40]

  Year ended June 30, 1915          $53.75
  Year ended June 80, 1916           55.04

  Average monthly salary of teachers in Nebraska, year ended
  July, 1916:[41]

  Males                             $73.21
  Females                            50.94

  Average monthly wages of teachers in rural districts in
  Minnesota, 1916:[42]

  Men                               $62.00
  Women                              52.00

  Teaching salaries of rural school-teachers in Wisconsin,

  Percentage receiving less than $40   0.2
     "           "     $40-$49        78.9
     "           "     50-59          17.9
     "           "     60-69           2.4
     "           "     70-79           0.5
     "           "     80-89           0.1
     "           "     90-99          none

In regard to the influence of the nationality of the teacher upon her
work in a public school there have been no authoritative data
published. In a number of the immigrant colonies investigated by the
writer immigrant teachers were employed. While both the colonists and
their leaders claimed that a teacher of their own nationality can get
better results in her work than a native teacher, because of her
intimate knowledge of the colonists and their children, the school
authorities and the native neighbors did not believe there was any
difference. If a teacher of foreign parents was born in America or
immigrated in childhood, has received American schooling and normal
training, and if she speaks perfect English, knows and loves the
country, there cannot be any difference.

In one case the head of a native family expressed his dislike of a teacher
of Finnish nationality on account of her defective English and because she
taught foreign songs and plays to the American children. As the teacher was
on vacation, the writer could not interview her. The colonists themselves
believed that she was a good teacher, for the children liked her; and the
county superintendent was satisfied with her teaching progress.

In Vineland, New Jersey, there were four teachers in the public schools
of Italian parentage. These teachers would be counted as Americans in
every way. As they understand Italian, know the Italian immigrants and
their children, they get better results in their school and community
work than the native teacher. One good thing is that they stay in the
same school much longer than the latter.

In general the writer is inclined to the opinion that, given equivalent
abilities and training, the teacher with the command of the foreign
language can do better work in an immigrant community than a native-born
teacher who speaks only English. Such a teacher must be thoroughly
imbued with the American spirit and traditions. She will have a better
chance of imparting these to her pupils and their parents if she has
also a knowledge of, and sympathy for, the nationalistic backgrounds and
inclinations of the people in her community. This is a rare combination
to find in a rural school-teacher, but it typifies the characteristics
needed to succeed in amalgamating the colonists, both young and old,
into a common life and purpose.


It is a fact that school attendance is much poorer in the agricultural
sections than in the industrial centers. It is believed that on an
average about 20 per cent of the rural children of school age do not
attend school at all. The attendance of the children of immigrant
settlers is less than that of the children of native farmers. The
immigrants are more used to child labor in the old countries. They are
hard pressed financially, often paying off mortgages and developing new
land. The land and colonization companies are sometimes known to
encourage rather than discourage the use of child labor by the settlers
in their newly created colonies.

The states vary in the length of school term provided for children, ranging
from about five months to over nine months. In only three fifths of the
states, however, are children compelled by law to attend the full school
year.[44] In only rare cases are the compulsory attendance laws completely
inforced, so that the average amount of schooling the child gets is less
than that prescribed by law, and in a number of states less than the amount
of schooling available. This is especially true in rural districts.

The situation in some of the states where land settlement is being
carried on is indicated by the data given below. Although urban and
rural figures are not distinguishable, those given are for predominantly
rural territory. Wherever city populations are included it is a safe
assumption that the attendance showing is better than in the country
districts alone. In Arizona, where conditions are almost entirely rural,
the percentage of children not attending any school is 14 per cent or
above in every county, and runs as high as 48 in one of the counties.


              |            | Private or |
              | In Public  | Parochial  | Attended No
  Counties    | Schools    | Schools    | School
              | (Per Cent) | (Per Cent) | (Per Cent)
  Apache      |     77     |      7     |     16
  Cochise     |     72     |      3     |     25
  Coconino    |     70     |     11     |     19
  Gila        |     80     |      1     |     19
  Graham      |     78     |      6     |     16
  Greenlee    |     76     |      1     |     23
  Maricopa    |     81     |      4     |     15
  Mohave      |     65     |     11     |     24
  Navajo      |     72     |     14     |     14
  Pima        |     57     |     12     |     31
  Pinal       |     77     |      1     |     22
  Santa Cruz  |     47     |      5     |     48
  Yavapai     |     70     |      5     |     25
  Yuma        |     78     |      1     |     21

The irregular attendance of children at the schools in rural districts
of Minnesota is commented upon as follows:[46]

     Irregular attendance is an evil beyond calculation, and we have
     much of it in the open country school. Many schools last year
     showed an average daily attendance of less than 60 per
     cent--children in school only one half or two thirds of the time.

Anoka County:

     The loss of time in the consolidated school is only two thirds of
     that lost in the other rural schools.

Kittson County:

     During the fall of the year farm hands are very scarce, and many of
     the older children have to be kept out of school to assist with the
     farm work. On account of deep snow and cold many children have to
     stay out of school during winter. Transportation in winter would
     help improve attendance in winter.

The per cent of attendance for the entire state of North Dakota was, for
the year ending June 30, 1914, 87 per cent, and for the following, 88
per cent.[47] County superintendents in the state sent in the following
reports for 1916.

McIntosh County, which is largely populated by Germans:

     An investigation showed that hundreds of children of school age
     were either not attending school at all or were lamentably
     irregular in their attendance, for no legal or otherwise good
     excuse. In order to set an example, several cases were prosecuted,
     and this seemed to have a good moral effect all over the county.


Ransom County:

     About half our county is consolidated. I find that we have 1,750
     pupils enrolled in our graded and consolidated schools, the average
     daily attendance of which is 75.4 per cent. There are only 993
     pupils enrolled in the one-room schools, and their per cent of
     attendance is 59.4 per cent.

In South Dakota the actual attendance of those enrolled in the country
schools is less than 60 per cent.[48] From Campbell County it was
reported as follows:

     Most of our people are German-Russians and do not favor long terms
     of school, as they want the labor of their children. For this
     reason it is hard, even impossible, to secure regular attendance.
     Their schools must not begin earlier than October, and close by
     April 1st.

The Superintendent of Public Instruction of Nebraska reports for 1916 as

     The average daily attendance, based on enrollment, is a fraction of
     72 per cent. The loss is mostly to the rural children. Country
     people find it somewhat easier to provide employment for their
     children than do the people of our towns and cities, consequently
     the attendance in our city schools is larger and more regular, and
     a much larger percentage enroll.

In California the compulsory-school-attendance law is rigidly enforced,
except in the case of floating families. In this connection the
Commissioner of Public Education made the following explanation to the
writer: The California industries are mostly seasonal, which means that
the vast majority of labor forces are seasonal and floating. During the
seasons of fruit and hop-picking, cannery and lumber operations, large
numbers of laborers' families move from place to place. To keep track of
their children and to compel their school attendance is almost beyond
the power of the present school authorities, especially as they are now

The state school-attendance laws vary greatly, and one finds still more
variety in the enforcement of these laws. The greatest difficulties are
experienced in the rural districts. Using child labor in farming is a
deep-rooted tradition. The children are looked upon by their parents as
their economic asset. Moreover, it is a hard-headed conviction among the
rural population that child labor is beneficial to the children themselves;
they learn to work, their bodies are strengthened, they acquire good habits
of life, etc. That the children are deprived of the opportunity to play--to
develop as their nature requires--and to acquire a general education; that
this results in their mental abilities and social instincts being
undeveloped, the young people remaining bashful and shy; and that even
their physical development is greatly restricted by overwork--the rural
advocates of child labor cannot understand nor recognize.

In many cases the county school superintendents are elected by the
people who, in the main, are the parents of children. When the position
of the superintendent depends upon the will of the parent farmers, it
is often impossible to enforce the attendance law.


There is widespread dissatisfaction with the present program of the
public schools among the rural population. They say that no practical
training is given to their children. They feel that the teaching is
aimed to prepare their children for high schools and colleges only,
where only a very small percentage ever go. For instance, the Minnesota
Department of Education reports for 1915-16 that approximately 70 per
cent of the country children do not go beyond the elementary grades.
Only 5,532 out of 215,427 children in rural schools graduated from the
eighth grade for the year. Those who do enter high schools, and, later,
colleges, are indeed lost to the rural population, for the
college-trained boys and girls seldom return to the soil. The children
who do not enter high school remain on the farms, but they have secured
almost no practical training for rural life, either as farmers or farm
laborers. Instead, they have been prepared for high school.

The school program was especially sharply criticized by the Russian
sectarian peasants at Glendale, Arizona. "Why, the school is making out
of our children dancers and soldiers of war, instead of
farmers--soldiers of the soil!" exclaimed a gray-headed "prophet" in
disgust. Another peasant, perhaps not so high in the sectarian
hierarchy, wanted the school to teach their boys how to run and repair
automobiles and tractors.

The observations and inquiries of the writer led him to the conclusion
that the criticism of the school program by various elements of the
rural population is justified to a large extent. The school program at
present generally prevailing offers little practical training for
farmers' boys and girls. A native farmer in New Jersey explained to the
writer: "There is no use keeping my children in school after they have
acquired knowledge of reading and writing. They grow and learn more on
my farm than in the school, for I want them to become land tillers and
cattle raisers." This is perhaps an exaggerated and overdrawn statement,
but, nevertheless, the present rural public-school program works in
favor of the city at the expense of the rural communities.

Up to recent years the prevailing teaching language in the public
schools has been English, but in a number of the public schools in the
immigrant rural sections the teaching language has been German. This is
true in the states of Nebraska and North Dakota. A prominent church head
informed the writer that there are at least half a dozen schools in
McIntosh County, North Dakota, paid for by the money of the state, under
the direction of the County Superintendent of Schools, in which the
entire teaching is in German.

The writer found still more numerous cases where a foreign tongue was a
subject of study in the elementary public school, though English was the
teaching language. Both a foreign tongue as the teaching language and a
foreign tongue as a subject of study in the elementary public schools
are now done away with under the pressure of public sentiment against
these practices.


The limitations to efficient rural-school administration are many.
According to a recent bulletin of the United States Bureau of
Education[49] in more than half of the states the county superintendents
are elected by the people, and in the remaining states they are either
elected or appointed by county boards, county courts, state boards,
state Commissioner of Education, Governor, president of township boards,
district boards of education, city or town boards, township directors,
parish boards, local school boards, or union boards.

In the majority of cases the parents control the local school inspection
and direction. Such democratic control would be desirable provided the
parents were as enlightened and expert in school training and education
problems in general as school-teachers and their inspectors and
superintendents. As a matter of fact, the parents, especially in the
rural districts, are quite backward, and often even ignorant, in these
problems. This is the root of the trouble with the local school
inspection and direction. A county superintendent is not always elected
for his merits as an educator, but often for his popularity, influence,
and "agreeableness." An elected county superintendent usually cannot
come into conflict with the parents--for instance, by insisting on a
rigid enforcement of the school-attendance law entailing the arrest of
the parents for disobeying the law--without losing his position at the
next election. This condition causes frequent change or "rotation" of
the county school superintendents, and is in itself a considerable
defect of the existing system of school inspection and direction. With a
few exceptions, county superintendents who were interviewed complained
of this "rotation" to the writer.

In most cases no educational or experience qualifications are required
by any higher authority for inspectors. As a result local politics,
village gossip, and jealousies have free play.

Usually there is no provision for office expenses, assistant, or
clerical force. The superintendent's salary is low, often lower than a
teacher's salary. The superintendent of Ziebach County, South Dakota,
received only $44.76 monthly, while the average teachers salary was
$55.04 per month. Another county superintendent told the writer that all
his salary went for gasoline and repairs for the automobile with which
he made his inspection tours. To the question why he served the county
without compensation he answered, "Because I love the 'game' and have my
own private income."

Another defect is the fact that the superintendents have to cover too
large a field. A county contains from one hundred to three hundred
teachers, and nearly as many schools. The county superintendent is able
properly to inspect all the schools under jurisdiction only once or
twice a year, which is not sufficient for the direction of the school
work. Quite a number of the county superintendents complained about the
lack of authority over teachers, especially in their selection and
appointment. Under such a condition, if a teacher carries out the
superintendent's wish or advice, she does so merely from courtesy.

On the whole, most of the local school inspectors and superintendents
interviewed by the writer impressed him favorably so far as personal
character went. They seemed to like their work and were doing what they
could under the circumstances.


There is no other public institution in the country so varied in its
organization, its strength, its methods and ways as the elementary
public-school system. It ranges from a shanty-like to a palace-like
building, from a teacher almost illiterate herself to a teacher with an
education and training which fit her for a college chair, from a few
hundred dollars of yearly appropriation to tens of thousands of dollars
for upkeep of a single school, from one teacher to a staff of teachers
in one school, from an almost voluntary attendance to a rigid compulsory
attendance. All these wide variations, in themselves picturesque, are a
weakness of the system.

When the writer speaks of the weakness of the elementary public schools
he uses this term in a relative sense, keeping always in mind that there
is no other tool in the hands of the government so powerful in stamping
out and keeping out illiteracy and hyphenism as the public school.

To make it meet these tasks a uniform public-school system based on
standard requirements should be established throughout the country by
the Federal, state, and local governments closely co-operating with one
another for this purpose.

The Federal Bureau of Education should certainly be developed and
elevated to the status of a department similar to that in a number of
the states, and in almost all foreign countries.

The reorganization and the support of an efficient public-school system
would require heavy public expenditure, a substantial part of which should
be contributed by the Federal government to the states as an inducement to
the latter to meet the minimum standard requirements in regard to the
public-school system and to accept Federal inspection of the schools for
the purpose of ascertaining that the states and the counties were keeping
to the minimum requirements, which might be as follows:

(1) Enlargement of one-teacher schools through either consolidation or
development; no less than two teachers and no less than three classrooms
in each school.

(2) At least a general high-school education, two years of training in
teaching methods, practical and theoretical acquaintance with
agriculture, with library work, with first aid and with recreation and
community activities, should be the minimum requirements for candidates
for teachers in the rural public schools.

(3) The rural teacher must receive a satisfactory living salary
throughout the calendar year, to be gradually increased as the years of
service increase. A pension for old age, and accident and health
insurance, should be provided. Near the schoolhouses there must be
established "teacherages," small experimental farms with family living
houses for the teachers.

(4) The school year should be made to coincide with the calendar year,
with a number of short vacations during the time of special farming
seasons, such as planting in the spring and harvesting in the fall. The
work done by the children for their parents during the vacations should
be considered as a part of their school curriculum. They would report on
their work to the school, and receive instructions on how to do the work
in a better way, and at times the teacher in charge of the children's
home work would make inspection and instruction tours in the district
during the vacation periods.

(5) Each child must be compelled to attend the public school, or a
private school which fully meets the requirements of the public school,
until he has completed the elementary-school education. Such school
attendance should be rigidly enforced throughout the country, which
would be possible if the local school authorities, in the enforcement of
the law, were made more independent of the will of the parents in their
districts. In addition to the inspection by the local authorities, a
Federal system of inspection and direction should be established.

(6) English should be the teaching language in all public schools.

(7) There should be included in the school program instruction in
farming methods, varying according to the local soils, climate, and
other conditions and requirements.

[31] C. P. Cary, _Education in Wisconsin, 1914-16_ (1917), p. 51.

[32] "Educational Conditions in Arizona," _United States Bureau of
Education Bulletin_ No. 44, 1917, p. 46.

[33] H. W. Foght, "Efficiency and Preparation of Rural School Teachers."
_United States Bureau of Education Bulletin_ No. 49, 1914, p. 19.

[34] Report of Superintendent of Public Instruction, North Dakota,
1914-16, pp. 84, 85, 87, 89, 109.

[35] "The Educational System of South Dakota," _United States Bureau of
Education Bulletin_ No. 31, 1918.

[36] C. P. Cary, _Education in Wisconsin, 1914-16_ (1917), p. 99.

[37] H. W. Foght, "Rural-Teacher Preparation in County Training Schools
and High Schools," _United States Bureau of Education Bulletin_ No. 31,
1917, p. 5.

[38] Report of Superintendent of Public Instruction, North Dakota,
1914-16, pp. 89, 107.

[39] Report of Superintendent of Public Instruction, North Dakota,
1914-16, pp. 52, 70.

[40] Report of Superintendent of Public Instruction, South Dakota, 1916.

[41] Report of United States Commissioner of Education, 1917, vol. ii,
p. 77.

[42] Minnesota Department of Education, Nineteenth Biennial Report,
1915-16, p. 8.

[43] C. P. Cary, _Education in Wisconsin, 1914-16_ (1917), p. 98.

[44] Department of Interior, Commissioner of Education, Report, 1917,
Vol. II, pp. 69, 77.

[45] "Educational Conditions in Arizona," _United States Bureau of
Education Bulletin_ No. 44, 1917, p. 67.

[46] Minnesota Department of Education, Nineteenth Biennial Report,
1915-16, pp. 34, 75, 87.

[47] Fourteenth Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public
Instruction, North Dakota, 1916, pp. 67, 110, 121.

[48] Report of Superintendent of Public Instruction of South Dakota, 1916.

[49] K. M. Cook and A. C. Monahan, "Rural School Supervision," _United
States Bureau of Education Bulletin_ No. 48, 1916.



The adult immigrant settlers need American education, the women more
than the men. This fact was clearly impressed upon the writer during his
field investigation. The women do not penetrate the American world; they
live in the Old World, their children live in the New, and the men in a
mixed world. No matter how brokenly or how fluently their husbands speak
English, with but few exceptions the wives either speak it not at all or
attempt a few syllables of the strange language with a hesitation and
shyness which soon cause them to fall silent and retire in favor of
their children or husbands. Their social visits, their contact with
women and men other than their family, are confined to members of their
own nationality. They live in a cage, in which they suffer, but to which
they cling because it is all of life that they know.


To reach them, to bring them out into the world in which their families
live, is a difficult task. It must be undertaken and accomplished,
first, for the purely humane reason of lightening their lot and making
them individually more happy in the New World; second, for the sake of
preventing the disruption of families, the corner stone of the present
social order; third, for the sake of creating and sustaining good
citizenship. Whether immigrant women vote or not, they are an inevitable
influence in the political life of the country. They must be helped to
keep pace as nearly as possible with their children, who are
increasingly under the influence of the American environment, especially
the public schools. Not only that, but education of the mothers means a
more effectual development of the children, for the mother is the
greatest educator of the nation. The first question is how to reach them.

It is easy to say that the native women should go to them, establish
friendly social relations, and in this way influence them. The writer
observed in the field that such attempts have been made in earnest, but
without much result. The first difficulty is the lack of a common
language. Next is the difference in the levels of intellectual
development. One might question what common grounds for social
intercourse there would be between an American farmer's wife with either
grammar-school or high-school education and some European peasant's
wife, illiterate, impossibly shy, and downtrodden.

Still, there is a way out. In almost every immigrant rural colony one
may find a more intelligent immigrant woman, either a mother of a family
who has been long in this country or an elder daughter who has received
a public-school education, speaks English satisfactorily, and who, at
the same time, speaks the immigrants' language and knows the families in
the colony more or less thoroughly. Such women should be approached
first, should be brought into intimate contact with the native families,
and should be induced to take a course of training and become organizers
or teachers of the adult immigrant women in the colony. They will be
able to effect an organization which might be called the "Women's Club"
or "Mother's Club." Instead of creating an entirely new body, such
organizations as exist can and should be utilized; there may be clubs,
some co-operative association or a benefit society. There may be no
organization and one may have to be initiated. In that case it is
desirable that the more developed immigrant women be appointed to the
directorate of the new organization.


It would seem advisable for our high schools, normal schools, and
colleges specifically to train their immigrant girl students to become
home teachers in the colonies of their respective nationalities. Such
home teachers, qualified and trained for their work, should receive an
adequate, living salary. Their duty would be to visit the immigrant
homes, talk with the mothers, tell them how to rear their children, how
to care for the health of the family, how to prepare meals of American
food and in American ways, how to can and preserve, and how to work in
the home garden. They should organize recreation facilities, reading
circles, amateur theatricals, choruses, etc. The home teacher should
organize the women into afternoon classes for learning English and
should induce them to visit the evening classes with the men. She also
would be the intermediary for the establishment of friendly and social
relations between the immigrant families of different nationalities and
the native American families. She should be attached to the teaching
staff of the local public school.

Such home teachers have been employed in California under the direction
of the Home Teacher Act passed in 1915. The conditions of employment,
the duties and qualifications of the home teachers are outlined by the
Act as follows:[50]

     Boards of school trustees or city boards of education of any school
     district may employ teachers to be known as "home teachers," not
     exceeding one such home teacher for every five hundred units of
     average daily attendance in the common schools of said district,
     as shown by the report of the county superintendent of schools for
     the next preceding school year. It shall be the duty of the home
     teachers to work in the homes of the pupils, instructing children
     and adults in matters relating to school attendance and preparation
     therefor; also in sanitation, in the English language, in household
     duties--such as purchase, preparation, and use of food, and
     clothing--and in the fundamental principles of the American system
     of government and the rights and duties of citizenship. The
     qualifications of such teachers shall be a regular kindergarten
     primary, elementary, or secondary certificate, to teach in the
     schools of California, and special fitness to perform the duties of
     a home teacher; provided that the salaries of such teachers shall
     be paid from the city or district special school funds.

The provisions of the law at present limit its application to congested

In regard to afternoon classes for the women, one of the home teachers,
Mrs. Amanda Mathews Chase, writes as follows:[51]

     Organize mothers' classes to meet afternoons at the schoolhouse.
     This group work seems to me absolutely necessary in order to cover
     the ground efficiently, and also because of the outlook and
     inspiration for the mothers.... I would suggest forming classes
     from the leading nationalities, each class to meet two afternoons a
     week. One afternoon the program can be an English lesson, followed
     by cooking, cleaning, or laundry. The other afternoon the program
     might comprise English followed by sewing, mending, weaving, or
     similar handcraft instruction. Sanitation, including personal
     hygiene, and patriotic teaching should be kept in mind.... Every
     forenoon will be spent in the homes. After all, the classes will
     only be islands in the sea of your visiting. You must visit to
     form the classes and visit to hold them. You must visit to see that
     the knowledge absorbed at school is actually put into practice at
     the home. You must visit to talk over many matters too delicate and
     personal to be taken up on class afternoons.

The school system of Los Angeles has, under this law, employed an educated
Jewish woman from Russia for work in the colony of the Russian sectarian
peasants. The impression of the writer when he visited the colony was that
she was doing splendid work in helping the peasant women. The writer's
belief is that if she had been of the Russian nationality she would have
accomplished still better results, as the writer observed some antisemitic
feeling among the peasants in connection with her. One peasant woman told
the writer that this home teacher was a good protector for them, but did
not recognize that she was their educator. As the colony is large, the home
teacher really could not do much educational work other than to supervise
the attendance of the children at school and to help disentangle family
difficulties. It would be advisable to train and employ home teachers who
are of the same nationality as the people of the colony in which they work.


Immigrant women's organizations have been already started here and there on
the initiative, and by the efforts of the immigrant women themselves. For
instance, Finnish women in Calumet, Michigan, have organized an
"Americanization Club" for Finnish women, with the intention of extending
the movement into other Finnish colonies in America. The program of the
meetings consists of learning American songs, of addresses on America, its
history, civics, women's social work, child welfare. The club activities
hope to combat disloyalty, which the club members believe to exist among a
number of the immigrants of certain nationalities. The main aim of the
club, as its leaders state, is to assist in the Americanization of the
Finnish women in America--to eliminate the hyphen, to make the
Finnish-American women Americans.

The Council of Jewish Women in Newark, New Jersey, has established an
Americanization center for the Jewish women, mothers and grown-up Jewish
girls; while this center is in the city it illustrates the principle
involved. The activities of the "center" consist of an afternoon English
class for mothers, in order that they may "overtake their children on the
long road of learning," and of an English class in the evening for Jewish
girls who work in the factories. The chairman of the council states that
they have found a way to make the learning of English really interesting to
the foreign-born woman, that until now the woman who wanted to keep up with
her children in English had had to go to the evening school, where she
found a mixture of men and women of all races and all ages. She soon fell
behind the younger and smarter pupils, and lost her interest. In these
English classes of the "center" the women are practically all of the same
age, the same race, and have the same interests.

These attempts at Americanization by the immigrant women themselves,
under the stress of the tragedies caused by the estrangement of their
children through the American schooling, point the way to the remedy
above outlined. Help the immigrant mothers to keep pace with their
children. This is even more important, the writer believes, than work
with the immigrant fathers.


When the writer visited an immigrant rural colony and found there a
large number of old-time immigrants still unnaturalized, there were two
explanations given. There was, first, the red tape in the naturalization
proceedings; and second, ignorance of English and of American geography,
history, and form of government. There had been no opportunity to learn
all these things, although the colonists had wanted to. Only in a few
cases did their own neglect seem to be a cause for their not being

The following field notes of the writer, taken at random, illustrate
the situation in regard to the knowledge of English and the
naturalization of the settlers in the immigrant colonies.

Italian colony, Canastota, New York. Writer's observations:

     A large number of the men spoke very little English. The women did
     not speak English at all. All the children spoke English.

Statement by their leader, a storekeeper:

     The settlers have organized an "American-Italian Citizens' Club."
     All the Italian voters, 117 in number, belong to this club. The
     purpose of the club is to educate Italians in citizenship and to
     assist them in becoming naturalized. There are about 250
     unnaturalized Italians of voting age. Two causes have kept them
     from naturalization: first, their ignorance; second, the red tape
     of the procedure. Seventy-five per cent of the adults are
     illiterate; 50 per cent of them do not understand English; only
     about 25 per cent of the adults write and read English.

Portuguese colony, Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Statement by the priest:

     Seventy per cent of the adults understand English; 50 per cent
     speak English; 10 per cent speak and write English; about 80 per
     cent are illiterate, not only in English, but in their own language
     as well. The lack of education and culture of the adults is the
     main obstacle in the way of their becoming Americans. For promotion
     of Americanization, settlers should learn English and American ways
     of life--attend evening schools.

Statement of a native storekeeper:

     The only trouble with these Portuguese is that they lack even
     elementary education. The vast majority do not know how to read and
     write even in their own language. As a result, quite a number of
     families live in dirt in their homes, and these are a source of
     danger in the spreading of disease. I do not believe that school
     would help these old people, for they never have been in any school
     and it would be very hard to teach them anything. The only hope is
     in the second and future generations.

Russian sectarian peasant colony, San Francisco, California. Statement
by one of their leaders:

     Five per cent have second papers; from 30 to 40 per cent have first

Russian sectarian peasant colony, Los Angeles, California. Statements
made to the writer by the peasants themselves at a general meeting of
the colony members:

     All but one of the members of the colony are unnaturalized. About 5
     per cent have taken first papers. In explanation as to why they are
     not naturalized, they brought several reasons. First, lack of
     English; second, they have not felt so far that they are settled
     permanently; third, they fear compulsory military service in case
     they are citizens; fourth, their religion is opposed to violence,
     which the government often uses in enforcing laws. During the
     discussion the writer felt that they believed that their not being
     citizens had helped keep their sons from being drafted into
     military service. The writer explained that their sons were not
     drafted solely because of their religion, as conscientious
     objectors, and not at all because they were not citizens. For their
     own benefit and the benefit of the country the writer advised them
     to become citizens as rapidly as possible. They did not either
     approve or reject the proposal, but the writer felt that there was
     some suspicion.

Statement by the home teacher working among these peasants:

     There ought to be schools to teach English to the parents at which
     their attendance would be compulsory. The children now think they
     are above their parents. The parents would gain by the compulsory
     school. The children obey the teachers in school, but will not obey
     their parents. The children go home and tell their parents that
     they don't have to obey them. They lie to their parents. For
     instance, the parents are opposed to dancing, but the children
     dance just the same. The parents are so ignorant! They read the
     Bible, but they don't know what is in the Bible.

Russian sectarian peasant colony, Glendale, Arizona. Statements made by
the peasants at a general meeting:

     Not a single one of them is naturalized. Not one has taken first
     papers. To the question why, they explained that they are firm
     believers in the Kingdom of God, which is immeasurably higher than
     the human kingdom and human governments. They are interested in the
     spiritual kingdom and do not care for politics in any way.

Polish colony, Posen, Michigan. Statements by the local priest and the
settlers themselves:

     About thirty men of voting age are not citizens. This is due purely
     to neglect and the red tape in acquiring papers. Both Republican
     and Democratic organizations exist, but most vote the Republican
     ticket, believing that the Republicans keep the country's business
     going better.

Polish colony, South Deerfield, Massachusetts. Statements by their leaders:

     Almost every adult Pole understands English to a certain degree and
     is able to make himself understood. About half of the adults can
     write English, including those who can only write their own names.
     About 50 per cent of the Poles are illiterate even in the Polish

Large, long-established Italian colony, Vineland, New Jersey. Statements
by their leaders:

     A large number, possibly two thirds, of the adults do not speak
     English. All Italian farmers have first papers and intend to become
     Americans, and about two thirds have second papers.

So it goes through all the rural colonies of immigrant settlers.
Everywhere the crying need is for education and training in English, in
citizenship, in agriculture, in everything. For the remedy, everyone
turns to the evening school for adults.

A large majority of the rural immigrant colonies in the country,
including small country towns, are without evening schools, without
libraries, without any educational facilities by which the adult
immigrant settler might learn the country's language, ways of life, the
meaning of citizenship, or better farming methods.

The public evening schools up to this time have been a city
institution.[52] Only during recent years have they made their appearance
in the centers of a few rural immigrant colonies. These have been
temporary establishments undertaken either privately by native Americans
in co-operation with the local immigrants, or publicly on the initiative
of the local government authorities. The money required has been raised
by collections or the local government has made temporary
appropriations. Usually the idea of a school for adult immigrants was
taken up by some public-spirited and patriotic local leader, a meeting
was held, money secured, a teacher employed, and the immigrants invited
to attend the schools. Almost in every case the enterprise seemed to be
successful at its beginning. The school was well attended and the
teaching and studying enthusiastically started. But after a week or two
the students began to drop out. Then, owing either to the decrease of
students or to the lack of money, the school was closed.

In a large Portuguese colony at Portsmouth, Rhode Island, a township
evening school was established in 1917-18. It was well attended, but
after two months the school was closed on account of lack of funds,
though it was very much needed.

In regard to an experience in establishing a Methodist evening school in
the Italian colony at Canastota, New York, the county school
superintendent made the following statement:

     The greatest problem in the education of Italians here is how to
     educate the parents. In 1915 they organized at the Methodist church
     an evening school for the Italians. About forty students appeared,
     and attended the school for about three or four weeks. They then
     gradually ceased to attend the school. The causes were several:
     there appeared a doubt with them whether the teachers and
     supporters of the school were not trying to induce them to join the
     Methodist church; second, there were no regular teachers, the
     lessons were given by volunteers, and this resulted in
     irregularity in teaching; third, a certain amount of shyness was
     apparent. If such an evening school were to be organized for them
     with no religious connections, and if it were a regular school, the
     Italians would attend it.

In Holland, Michigan, where there is a large, long-established Dutch
colony, there was an evening school, but the attendance declined, the
people claiming that they had no time to attend it.

At South Deerfield, Massachusetts, in a Polish colony, there was
established an evening school a year or so ago.

     It was a good thing for us [explained an elderly, bearded leader of
     the colony]. Quite a number of our people attended it, but the
     great majority did not. They simply did not want to, for they had
     lots of work to do at home. Perhaps their bashfulness was the main
     obstacle. You see, people with beards and lots of children do not
     feel well in school. Look at me. Wouldn't I feel awful there?

In Woodbine, New Jersey, a large Jewish colony, the local manager of the
Baron de Hirsch fund, in charge of the financial affairs of the colony,
stated that there are evening classes held in the public schools during
the winter. Adults may attend these classes, but they do not. General
subjects are taught in these classes.

A prominent Italian in the Italian colony at Vineland, New Jersey, said
that evening schools were needed there. A year ago they had one with two
teachers, but the funds gave out. The people attended. These night
schools would teach voting, civics, etc., to the adults. The
superintendent of schools in the town said there were no classes in
English for the adult immigrants, but suggested that for Americanization
purposes classes should be organized and that the Italian leaders should
be approached and persuaded to bring in Italian people to the classes.

In the Bohemian and Slovak colonies at Willington, Connecticut, there
were no evening classes or schools, though several of the settlers
thought it would be a good thing to have such a school and believed that
the people would go if they had a chance.

In interviews, the rural evening-school students usually explained that
they felt "funny" and were shy and awkward in the school. They went to
the same school which their children attended, sat on the same benches,
had the same teacher, and read the same books which their children did.
Finally, they stopped, deciding that their children could do the
learning of English for both themselves and their parents. They also
explained that their time was too limited to allow of school attendance.
After the daily farm work they have to do chores.

Around a farm, especially a new, developing farm, there are countless
things to be cared for. There is no moment when a settler can say: "Now
everything is done and I am free." Besides, even if he does take time
and goes to the evening school, he feels tired there and is restless
about the work left undone at home. Another explanation given by the
immigrants in regard to their failure to attend the school was that the
school did not teach anything useful to them in their farming, and that
the progress in learning English was slow, almost imperceptible. It
seemed to them that never would they be able to master the language, and
they grew disappointed and discouraged.

The impression made upon the writer was that the complaint about lack of
time and weariness was not well founded. There are certain seasons,
especially in winter, when the settlers have time to go to the evening
school. Even in the heavy working season they might attend school, for
their fatigue from farm work is rather physical than nervous or mental.


The root of the trouble is in inadequate programs, in defective teaching
methods and unsuitable teachers. The knowledge of English, American ways
and standards of living might well be developed in the immigrant
settlers during the process of teaching them something useful,
necessary, and interesting. A simple course on farming methods, local
conditions, and useful information could be given, with the probable
result of awakening their enthusiasm and taste for more.

Such a program makes it essential that the evening-school teacher know
farming and rural conditions in general and be familiar with the home life
of the students and their racial peculiarities, to which he has to adjust
his methods. Possibly the best teacher would be a settler's son or daughter
who, after high school, has had training in agriculture and teaching
methods. The students should be graded according to their race, level of
mental development, and learning ability, whenever this is possible.

The ordinary method now in use consists in imitating and repeating the
words and sentences, often disconnected one from another, and the
stories told by the teacher. The formal copying of the words and
sentences written on the blackboard by the teacher, and reading
children's books are sufficient to discourage the most ambitious
student. Conversation is more successful than the story-telling method,
and exercises in the reading of popular textbooks on farming and of
popular essays on American history, geography, etc., are far more
interesting to the adult settlers than children's stories.



The evening school in the rural immigrant colonies should be provided
and attendance for the adult non-English-speaking immigrants urged,
until they have mastered simple English, the elements of citizenship,
and a rudimentary knowledge of farming.

In almost every colony visited the writer discussed with the settlers
the advisability of compulsory attendance at evening or afternoon
classes. No one was against compulsion, though a number suggested
qualifications. For instance, the evening school should operate in the
wintertime; the teaching should include subjects useful in farming; in
the case of hired men, the school time must be paid for by the employer;
the evening school should be a public institution, not a private,
charitable, or religious enterprise; if private organizations wish to
establish evening schools, they should do so only under public
regulation and control; the purpose of the evening school should be to
teach English, civics, and other useful subjects, not to serve any
special or private interests, party, or class; the evening school should
be free of charge to immigrants.

A few settlers wanted the evening school to teach the operation and
repair of automobiles and tractors; some wanted singing, music, and
theatricals taught; some wanted to be instructed in the growing and
harvesting of special crops, as, for instance, onions, tobacco, and
cotton. In general, the immigrants expect from the evening school more
than English and citizenship. They want practical knowledge which helps
them in their farming.

[50] _The Home Teacher; the Act, with a Working Plan_, the Commission of
Immigration and Housing of California.

[51] _A Manual for Home Teachers_; the Commission of Immigration and
Housing of California, pp. 20-21.

[52] See Frank V. Thompson, _Schooling of the Immigrant_, chap. iii.



So far as Americanization is a question of education and so far as the
printed word is an instrument of education, the reading of American
literature by the immigrant is of inestimable value. It might be safely
stated that almost every time an immigrant reads something in English,
be it only a trade label on a tomato can or an advertisement in a street
car, he learns something about the country, at least a word or two of
the country's language.


As a rule a newly arrived immigrant is eager to learn English. It gives
him a new sensation and a feeling of pride to know and speak another
tongue. When he has succeeded in mastering a few of the most common
words and expressions, like "no," "yes," "how do you do," "good-by,"
"street," "lunch," and others, he likes to use these words in his
conversation with fellow immigrants. When he says to his friend in his
native tongue, "Let us go to lunch," the last word is in English. His
eagerness to learn English is increased by the practical needs of
everyday life--to get a job, to understand the foreman's directions, to
buy or sell something, to travel, to apply for licenses, or to make
agreements. Everywhere the immigrant confronts English.

In addition to the signs on streets and shops, a newly arrived immigrant
soon becomes acquainted with the great American daily, especially its
"help-wanted ads." Here he looks for a job, reading the "ads." with the aid
either of a dictionary or of some one of his fellow immigrants who has
already mastered the "ad." language with its queer abbreviations. When he
has established himself in a job, perhaps he begins to think of taking up a
systematic study of English. He enters an evening school if there is one in
his town. There he makes his first acquaintance with the American book--too
often a children's reader containing stories such as "Puss and Her
Kittens," "Patty and the Squirrel," "The Dormouse," "Lullaby," "Andy and
the Worm," which, though perhaps very interesting to children, do not
correspond to the requirements of his mental development. Nevertheless, the
stories are related in good English and he goes ahead.

As time passes and his mastery of English grows, he begins to read items in
the daily papers and stories in the Sunday editions. Later he takes up the
reading of books, perhaps first those related to his trade, or the subjects
which are connected with his future plans in America. Still later he begins
to read books about America in general, its history, geography, nature,
social life, etc. An immigrant seldom takes to American fiction. He
ardently tries to be practical, being mainly interested in that which is
useful and helpful. When he reads general literature about America he does
this for the purpose of learning to know his new country, knowledge which
would help him to make a success here. The writer has often been approached
by immigrants with requests that he recommend literature on, for instance,
making a certain kind of candy, or pickles, or on hog raising or concrete
building. Frequently he has had to translate or assist in the
interpretation of various formulas and receipts.


A demand of this kind for literature by the immigrants indicates three
problems in connection with their education through the printed word:
first, the immigrant should be advised in his selection of publications,
told which might be the most useful to him. He is quite unable to make
this selection for himself; second, the means for acquiring the desired
publications should be supplied. As a rule the immigrant has little
money to spare for books; third, there should be encouragement and
cultivation of the reading habit among the immigrants as an efficient
means of their general education and, through this, of their

All these problems can be met through the institution of the public
library--a great agency for socializing knowledge in a modern democracy.
Though America is one of the countries most advanced in the development
of public libraries, still the development has not kept pace with the
requirements. This is especially true in regard to the rural
communities. Particularly in rural immigrant communities, the public
library is still lacking. Out of about forty rural immigrant colonies
visited by the writer during the past year, about thirty had no library
facilities at their disposal, while the remaining ten were able to pride
themselves on some sort of a library, either school or parish.

Both these kinds of libraries appear to be very unsatisfactory. As a
rule the school libraries are small and contain mainly children's books,
so that the adults have not much interest in using them. The parish
libraries contain mainly ecclesiastical literature and books on the old
country's history and general affairs. The majority of these last-named
books are in a foreign tongue.

An old Polish settler stated that the children sometimes bring books
home from the school, but that there is nothing in them for the older
people, while the church library is not much, either, for who cares to
read of one Sigismund or of one Friedrich der Grosse? The settler
concluded by saying that he and his fellow immigrants would like to read
American books about America. His colony needed an American public library.

The dean of the extension division of the University of Wisconsin reports
that there are 72 per cent of rural communities which are without public
libraries. This is in a state where the library facilities are
comparatively highly developed. It has been the writers impression, while
visiting the Wisconsin backwoods immigrant communities, that though the
various traveling and package libraries and library "stations" are
successfully operating in other parts of the state, they have not yet
reached these wilderness communities to any extent. As a rule the rural
immigrants do not even know of the existence of such libraries.


Yet the demand for literature among the rural population is great and
growing rapidly. Take, for instance, the package library of the
extension division of the above-mentioned university. It has more than
10,000 packages. Each package contains collected literature--books,
newspaper, and magazine clippings, statistical tables, etc.--dealing
with a certain subject. It is sent, under certain conditions, to anyone
who requests it. The demand for such packages has more than doubled each
year. During 1908 and 1909 there were sent out 524 packages on 116
subjects to 136 localities, and during 1915 and 1916 there were sent out
5,948 packages on 2,404 subjects to 483 localities. The reason why such
wonderful carriers of knowledge do not reach the rural immigrants is
obvious; the immigrants do not know of their existence. Even if they do
know, they do not understand how to order them. In many other states
conditions are much worse.

What must be done to make the library common to every rural settlement?
What kind of a library is best suited to the needs, and how shall it be
extended to the backwoods rural communities?

The recommendation of the writer is that the school libraries be
developed and put on a higher level, with special adult and children's
sections. A library board should be created in each county as a unit
operating under a state law for the purpose of directing and developing
a county library system. A library tax should be levied upon each
county. Schools, community halls, and stores should be made library
stations, so that the settlers could have easy access to the books.


Then there is the question of the selection of publications for the
libraries intended for immigrant communities. In this, the conditions
and requirements of the immigrant settlers have to be taken into
consideration, for it would be useless and wasteful to select books in
which the settlers are not interested and which they do not want to read.

First place must be taken by publications concerning farming.
Particularly should there be included in such libraries the publications
of Federal and state Departments of Agriculture. Then comes the
literature for the learning of the English language: dictionaries,
grammars, textbooks on composition, etc. Recreation literature--books on
sports in the open, plays, music, etc.--would be also in demand. Then
come the publications related to American history, geography, nature,
economics, government, and social life, and other serious publications
containing information about the country's past and present.

Finally comes fiction. A few immigrants who have acquired the habit of
reading fiction prefer to read stories and poems of a more realistic
character, like those of Jack London, Upton Sinclair, Ernest Poole, Mark
Twain, Arnold Bennett, Longfellow. The traveling libraries need not be
voluminous so much as of good quality. Aside from being practically
useful, they should try to help the rural immigrant settlers to improve
their standards of living and to broaden their intellectual horizon.

But who is going to stimulate and lead such an extension of the
libraries into the backwoods communities? The national and state-wide
library associations would be the ones to undertake this work. As they
succeeded in the extension of the American library to the battlefields
of Europe, so they without doubt will succeed in the extension of the
library to the firing line in our own country--to the line where future
America is in the making.

There is no doubt that rural communities will respond to national
assistance and greatly benefit by it. Even if only a small beginning
could be made very soon, increased demand and local initiative would
undoubtedly justify the project.

The day is not distant when the need of community books in every
American community will be recognized as an indispensable supplement to
all schooling work. In the new colonies that are being planned by
colonization companies the library as a part of the general community
scheme must not be overlooked. As the advantages of having book supplies
available become manifest, it may be possible to provide local housing
facilities as well as trained assistants.

There may be a room or even a separate building that can be given over
to this purpose. If there is a general community building, no better use
could be devised for a portion of it than a small, practical, accessible
library. If not the primary object of such a community building it would
certainly be an important one.


A public recreation hall in a rural community may be made one of the most
effective Americanizing agencies. Public meetings, lectures, amateur
theatrical performances, dancing, public celebrations, games, sports, etc.,
may be held there. It is the neutral place where all community members,
natives and immigrants of various races, religions, and tongues, meet one
another and learn to know one another, where the much-needed social
visiting among the natives and immigrants may have its inception.


One of the characteristics of the European immigrants is their inclination
toward singing, music, and amateur theatricals. In the old country there is
rarely a village which does not pride itself on some sort of an amusement
organization, be it a choir, a band, or a drama group. These are to
European people what sport, baseball, football, and the like are to the
mass of Americans. When the European immigrants come over they are strange
and unsettled, they have little opportunity for amusement, they even
neglect church attendance. But when they are settled and have begun to make
ends meet, they usually take up their former amusement activities, perhaps
singing first, then soon a band, and then the stage.

Under present conditions the natives seldom mix with the immigrants in
their amateur amusement enterprises. The immigrants conduct these in
their own tongue and select mostly their own songs, airs, and plays. It
is equally true that the grown-up immigrants seldom acquire interest in
the American sports like baseball and football. Their children, through
the influence of the school and their intercourse with the American
children, quickly become interested in the American sports, so much so
that the parents fail to understand and appreciate their enthusiasm.
"It's all right to a certain degree, but my boys seem to be already
crazy for baseball, neglecting everything else. I am afraid for their
future!" complained an elderly Italian settler to the writer.

Country life is poor in amusements and social intercourse as compared
with city life. Still, through organized efforts, the rural social life
can be made much richer and even very attractive. It was common
testimony given to the writer by the local community leaders that they
have succeeded in keeping their boys and girls at home, on the farms, by
building a community hall, organizing singing, games, and theatricals.

The community dances exert a great attraction in bringing the native and
the immigrant boys and girls together for common pleasure. It is quite a
sight to watch these dances: the village band is playing, the boys and
girls are dancing, while the elderly people are sitting around the walls
of the hall and watching the fun of youth, forgetting their daily
sorrows and worries and remembering perhaps their own youthful days
somewhere beyond the ocean. All, dressed in their Sunday finery, are in
a festive mood.


Perhaps the most beneficial enterprise in the community work is the
amateur theater. It gives the richest opportunity for self-expression.
It includes acting, literature, singing, music, and painting. It amuses
and teaches--it reflects and analyzes the social life and directs it in
its entirety toward higher levels of achievements. Whatever the
shortcomings and the sins of the Russian Bolsheviks, in one thing they
have struck, the writer is sure, the right road. This is in placing the
stage at the forefront in popular education, if only in an experimental
and theoretical way as yet. A properly directed amateur theater is
second only to the school. In a rural community it brings together
varied elements, brings out the best in each, and unites them by
developing common aims and ideals.

The amateur country theater has made much headway in the state of North
Dakota. The State Agricultural College at Fargo took the lead in the
movement. The president of the college attributes the success of the
country theater there not only to the influence of the college
leadership, but also to the deep need for entertainment and the hunger
for social life among the prairie people who are living on farms at long
distances from one another. The fact that the population is largely
foreign-born stock and has inherited an inclination toward stage plays
is another reason.

Professor Arvold of the same college, who is in charge of the
development of the country theater, stated to the writer that their
little country theater has a strong Americanizing influence upon the
population. It brings together both native born and immigrants of
various nationalities. They learn to know one another. They learn about
America, its history, present conditions, and future aspirations more
than in any other way. The theater teaches them the country's tongue,
for the plays are given in English. He believed that every large rural
community and groups of smaller communities in the same neighborhood
should have an amateur theater.

The theater, public lectures, exhibitions, and the American outdoor
sports should be centered in and around the community hall. Such highly
varied activities in community life require a trained director. He
should be a person with a good general education, with experience in
rural life and affairs and in organizing group activities. He must be a
good mixer and a lover of the work. For his work he should receive an
attractive salary. Colonization companies have initiated such work,
which should be taken over and maintained by the community itself.


To put the community work in the rural districts on an organized and
permanent basis the writer recommends that a community board be created
in each county as a unit operating under a state law for the purpose of
directing and developing rural community work, similar to that which the
writer recommends for the development of rural libraries. A community
tax should be levied upon each county, the money received to be used for
community work among the population in the county.

In community union there is strength. Working and planning together for
any undertaking, however limited and comparatively humble its
dimensions, inevitably ties its promoters in bonds of greater
understanding and sympathy. Native and foreign born united for enriching
and enhancing their common life act as a powerful force for
Americanization. Better than any artificially devised scheme is the
spontaneous pulling together for a common need of all elements of the
community. This constitutes real amalgamation in a democracy.



      Factors, 145, 164
        Finnish women's club, 232
        Parochial schools, 169, 171

    Anderson, Vic, 184

        Glendale, 30-31, 217, 236
      Illiteracy, 146-147
      Inability to speak English, 147
        Attendance, 212-213
      Aron, J., 160
      Arvold, Professor, 255


      Settler's, 57-58

    Baron de Hirsch Fund, 176, 180, 239

        Willington, Connecticut, 15-16, 240

    Brommer, C. F., 160-161, 185

    Brooks, John Graham, viii


        Durham, 87-91
        Los Angeles, 24-31, 231, 235
        San Francisco, 152, 235
      Home teacher, 229-231
      Illiteracy, 146-147
      Inability to speak English, 148
      Land settlement, 31-33, 86-91
        Dealers, 117-119
        Co-operatives, 141
        Home teacher, 229
        Land settlement, 87
        Real-estate brokers, 117
        Soldiers, 94
        Private, 175
        Public, 195, 215-217

    California Commission on Immigration and Housing, 23, 229, 230

    California Commission on Land Colonization:

      Colonies, 31-33, 86

    Cary, C. P., 173, 204, 209

    Chase, Amanda Mathews, 230-231

    Chicago, 158
      Colonization company, 44-45

    Child Labor:
      On farms, 65-66

      Foreign language, 182-194
      Immigrant pastors, 192-193
      "Interfaith" marriages, 189-192

    Clarke, W. T., 28

    Colonization Board:
      Federal legislation, 68
      Functions, 127-128

    Colonization Companies (_see_ Settlers):
      A typical one, 52-65
      Credit required, 66-68
      McAlester, Oklahoma, 33-35
      Methods, 49-52
      Policy, 44-45
      Promotion, 14-19
      Regulation, 112-121

      Composition, 90, 132-133
      List, xxvii-xxix
      Size, 69-70, 131

    Commissioner General of Immigration, 7

    Community (_see_ Colony):
        Hall, 252
        Theater, 254-256
        Work, 49, 63-65, 252, 256-257

        Willington, 15-16, 240

      By colonization companies, 68-69

    Cook, K. M., 219

      For land settlement, 136

      California, 141
        Finnish colony, 136-137
      Nebraska, 141
      Wisconsin, 138-141

      Land companies, 67, 135
        Need, 66-68, 110, 135
          Foreign countries, 105-106
          United States, 91-93


    Department of Agriculture:
      Land exchange, 122-124
      Land settlement
        California, 19, 23
        Wisconsin, 19-23

    Department of Interior, 92-93
      Reclamation service, 95-98, 104

    Detroit, Michigan, 167

    District of Columbia:
      Real-estate brokers, 121

        Holland, Michigan, 171, 180, 188, 198, 239
      Schools, private, 171


    Education (_see_ Schools):
      Effect of parochial schools, 153-155
      Immigrant women, 226-228
      Rural agencies, 149

    Elmira, California:
      Farms, 29

    Ely, Richard T., xxvi


    Fargo, North Dakota:
      State Agricultural College, 255

    Farm laborers:
        Allotments, 88
      Foreign born, 6-7
      Naturalization, 148

    Federal Farm Loan Board, 135

        Calumet, Michigan, 232
        Rudyard, Michigan, 136-137, 167-168, 197
      Schools, private, 167-168

      Display, 81, 160

    Florer, Alice, 159

    Foght, H. W., 205

    Ford, Henry, 52

    Fosdick, Raymond, viii

      Soldier settlement, 105

    Fresno, California:
      Land company, 26


    Gavit, John P., 148

    Gay, Edwin F., viii

        Au Gres, Michigan, 172
      Schools, private
        Michigan, 167, 172
        Minnesota, 165
        Nebraska, 159-160
        North Dakota, 161-164
        South Dakota, 174-175
        Wisconsin, 174

    Glenn, John M., viii

    Grabner, W., 158

    Gross, John P., 186


    Hensick, H. F., 184

      Russian peasants, 29

    Hrbkova, Sarka, 159


      Urban-rural, 146

    Immigration Bureau:
      Land settlement, 18-19

    Inability to speak English:
      In colonies visited, 234, 236-237
      Settlers, 71, 166, 234, 236-237
      Urban-rural, 147-148

        Canastota, New York, 198, 234, 238
        Vineland, New Jersey, 151, 210, 237, 239
        Land settler, 10


    Jenks & Lauck, 6

      Center in Newark, New Jersey, 232
        Woodbine, New Jersey, 180, 239


    Kelly, M. Clyde, 99

    Kenyon, W. S., 99

    Knutson, Harold, 68, 102, 103, 135

    Kreutzer, George C., 90

    Kuehne, Richard, 184

    Kuizinga, Reverend, 198

    Kunzendorf, Reverend, 160


    Land dealers:
      Regulation, 112-121
      Types, 39-45
        "Realtors," 45-48
        Sharks, 37-39

    Land exchange:
      In Maryland, 122-123
      Proposed Federal, 124

    Land settlement (_see_ California, Legislation, Wisconsin):
      Available land, 111
      Policy, 3-13
      Program, 107-122
        By Federal Immigration Bureau, 18-19
        By State Immigration Bureau, 18-19
      Settlers' terms, 55-56
      Stages, 50-52

    Lane, Franklin K., 111

        State, 140-141
          Colonization Board, 68
          Credit, 68, 135
          Reclamation Service Act, 95-97, 126-127
          Settlement, 101, 103
          Soldiers, 98, 102-103
        Foreign countries, 105-106
          Credit, 68
          Dealers, 114-122
          Settlement, California, 87
          Soldiers, 92-93
        State, 215-217
          Home teacher, 229-230
          Regulation, private, 180-181

    Lehninger, M., 184

      Rural, 247, 251-252
      Wisconsin, 248-249

    Lincoln, Nebraska:
      State Americanization Committee, 160, 183

    Link, Professor, 159


    McAlester, Oklahoma:
      Colonization company, 33-34

      Land Exchange, 122-123

        South Deerfield, 153, 236, 239

    Matzner, Adolph, 185

    Mead, Elwood, 87

        Au Gres, 172
        Calumet, 232
        Holland, 171, 180, 188, 198, 239
        Posen, 77, 168-170, 187, 198, 236
        Rudyard, 136-137, 167-168, 197
        Schools, private, 167, 172

        St. Cloud, 166
      Land Regulation Bill, 119
        Attendance, 213-214, 217
        Private, 154, 164-166
        Public, 200, 209

        Soldier settlement, 94

    Monahan, A. C., 219

    Mondell, Frank W., 102

    Myers, Henry, 99


    National Association of Real Estate Exchanges, 120

      Farm laborers, 148
      Settlers, 79, 234-237

      Americanization Committee, 160, 183
      Council of Defense, 158-160
      Foreign-language church, 183-186
        "Interfaith" marriage, 191
        Immigrant pastors, 192-193
        Co-operatives, 141
        Attendance, 215
        Private, 159-161
        Public, 209, 218

    Nemac, Matt W., 193

        Soldier settlement, 94

    New Jersey:
        Newark, Jewish center, 232
        Vineland, 151, 210, 237, 239
        Woodbine, 180, 239

    New Mexico:
      Illiteracy, 146, 147
      Inability to speak English, 147

    New South Farm and Home Company, 17

    New York:
        Canastota, 198, 234, 238
        Real-estate dealers, 119
      Occupation tax, 117
      Real Estate Association, 119

    New York City:
      Population, by nationality, 130

    North Dakota:
      Agricultural College, 255
      Americanization work, 164
      Country theaters, 255
      Foreign-language church, 183
      Languages spoken, 131
        Attendance, 214
        Private, 161-162
        Public, 200, 201-202, 206-207, 209


      Farm laborers, 6-7
      Tax, 116-117, 121


    Packer, B. G., 20-23, 115

    Parochial (_see_ Schools, private)

      Occupation license, 116

    Piper, A., 158

        Posen, Michigan, 77, 168-170, 187, 198, 236
        South Deerfield, Massachusetts, 153, 236, 239
      Schools, private, 167-170

    Pomp, F. E., 193

      Comparative, 130
      Urban-rural, 1920, 11

    Portland, Oregon:
      Real-estate brokers, 121

        Portsmouth, Rhode Island, 234, 238

      Land settlement
        Private, 14-19
        Public, 18-23


    Real Estate:
      Regulation of dealers, 112-121

      Federal service, 95-97
      Investigation, 104
      Legislation, 92-94, 98, 99, 100, 126-127

    Rhode Island:
        Portsmouth, 234, 238

    Robb, J. W., 161

    Roosevelt, Theodore, viii

      Colonies studied, xxvii-xxix
      Community work, 49, 63-65, 252, 256-257
      Educational agencies, 149
      Illiteracy, 146
      Inability to speak English, 147-184, 234, 236-237
      Libraries, 247, 251-252
      Population, 1920, 11
        Private, 153-181
          Elementary, 164, 195-225
          Evening, 233-243

        Glendale, Arizona, 30-31, 217, 236
        Los Angeles, California, 24-31, 231, 235
        San Francisco, California, 152, 235


    Schools, private, 153-181
      Foreign language, 159-170, 172, 174-175

    Schools, public:
        Elementary, 154-155, 164, 195-225
        Immigrant, 233-243

      Aid to, 22-23
      Banks, 57-58
      Documents, 72-76, 80, 83
      Inability to speak English, 71, 166, 234, 236-237
      Naturalization, 79, 234-237
      Progress record, 59-61
      Selection, 88, 129
      Terms, 55-56
      Types, 133-134

        St. Cloud, Minnesota, 166

      Land settlement
        France, 105
        Legislation, 91-103
        United Kingdom, 106

    South Dakota:
        Soldier settlement, 94
        Attendance, 215
        Private, 154, 175
        Public, 203-204, 209, 215, 221

    Speek, Frances Valiant, xxvii

    Stager, John H., 185

    Strasburg, North Dakota, 163


    Taylor, E. T., 101

      Home teacher in California, 229-231
      Rural, 203-211

      Rural, 195-199

      Illiteracy, 146-147
      Inability to speak English, 147
      Land settlement Dealers, 119-120
      Realty Association, 119

      North Dakota country, 255

    Thompson, Frank V., 181, 237


    United Kingdom:
      Soldier settlement, 106

    United States Bureau of Education, 196, 204, 205, 219

    United States Census, 6, 11

    United States Immigration Commission, 6, 7

    University of Wisconsin:
    Package libraries, 249

    Urban (_see_ Rural)

        Real-estate brokers, 121
      Russian peasants' settlement, 29


    Voll, John A., viii

    Votava, Joseph G., 186, 193


    Walsh, Thomas J., 103

    War, 11, 67, 91

      Interstate Realty Association of Pacific Northwest, 121
      Land purchase, 26
        Real estate, 121
        Soldier settlement, 94

    Weller, George, 159, 161

    Williams, Talcott, viii

      Co-operatives, 138-139
      Land settlement, 20-22
        Colonization companies, 52-65
        Sharks, 38
        Co-operatives, 140-141
        Real-estate brokers, 114
      Libraries, rural, 248-249
        Private, 173-174
        Public, 154-155, 196, 204, 209

        Document, 164
        Education, 226-228
        Organization, 232

_Americanization Studies_

      Frank V. Thompson, Supt. of Public Schools, Boston

      John Daniels

      Robert E. Park, Professorial Lecturer, University of Chicago
      Herbert A. Miller, Professor of Sociology, Oberlin College

      Peter A. Speek, in charge, Slavic Section, Library of

      Michael M. Davis, Jr., Director, Boston Dispensary

  NEW HOMES FOR OLD. (In press)
      S. P. Breckinridge, Assistant Professor of Household Administration,
      University of Chicago

      William M. Leiserson, Chairman, Labor Adjustment Board,

      Robert E. Park, Professorial Lecturer, University of Chicago

  THE IMMIGRANT'S DAY IN COURT. (In preparation)
      Kate Holladay Claghorn, Instructor in Social Research,
      New York School of Social Work

  AMERICANS BY CHOICE. (In preparation)
      John P. Gavit, Vice-President, New York _Evening Post_

  SUMMARY. (In preparation)
      Allen T. Burns, Director, Studies in Methods of Americanization

_Harper & Brothers Publishers_

[Transcriber's Note:

* The footnotes have been moved to the end of the relevant chapter.

* Americanization Studies section moved from the beginning to the end
of the book.

* p. 106: Table III was broken into four parts due to size.

* p. 193 "Nemec" ("Rev. Matt W. Nemec") and p. 263 "Nemac" ("Nemac, Matt
W.") retained as printed.

* Added "period" to the ending of Chapter XI, Footnote 14.

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