Das Buch der Deutschen in America: Pages 795 - 799

schools, whereby we see to it that children are given instruction in German and that they attend German Sunday school.

2. In cities where their are many congregations, which are not in a position to maintain a German school, the congregations should come together and establish a German public school; the students could take religious instruction at a designated time in the church to which the parents belong.

3. People should read German newspapers. For the most part they are better than English language papers and less sensational.

4. In cities where there are public libraries, people should see to it that the German section is replenished with new books from time to time.

5. People should take an active role in the politics of this country and see to it that good German men are elected to the school board, that there are capable German delegates in the state legislatures and that many more German representatives go to the Congress in Washington.

6. Each autumn Germans in America should celebrate the anniversary of the day on which the Germans first came to this country with speeches and songs; this is German Day, which calls together all Germans in the locality, encourages unity and cooperation. It should be celebrated each and every year without interruption.

The report had a longer section with details devoted to the well-known principles of the Alliance regarding German language and gymnastics instruction in the public schools, questions on personal freedom, support for the German press, theater and the National Teachers Seminary, the building of monuments to remind people of the significance of the German to the history of America. He recommended the founding of associations for the protection of rights under the law and work information offices in all states where either they are in the beginning stages or do not exist at all. He further recommended that branch associations put together lists of hotels in which travelers, especially those from Europe, will find good and inexpensive accomodations as well as finding experienced people, who can provide information for European travelers in the old fatherland.

Progress made by the National Alliance since the convention in Indianapolis was best exemplified in the report of the Alliance Secretary, Adolph Timm. The following is an abridgement:

Since the first days in October, 1905 when the third convention was held in Indianapolis, the National Alliance has experienced significant growth. Branch associations have been founded in no less that 15 states. Four more states - Texas, Michigan, Nebraska and Colorado, may be next to become state associations. Urging by the Alliance's President, Dr. C. J. Hexamer, has contributed much to the enlargement of the Alliance. He has crossed just about every state in the union on his many trips to urge states to join.

Besides urging the establishment of Mozart and Franklin festivals and raising a fund for the General German School Association to finance the "German Community in a Foreign Land Festival," celebrating its 25th Anniversary, with proceeds going to the fund for the German-American Teacher Seminary, there was much to do in Congress, to which the National Alliance issued a statement in favor of a trade agreement with Germany.

Gross misuse of Congressional representatives' franking privileges by fanatics prompted the Alliance to register a protest with Congress,

the Postmaster General and the Anglo-American Press.

A position was taken and petitions were send opposing the Hepburn-Dolliver Prohibition Bill, for which there were two hearings before the Justice Committee in the House of Representatives. In the same year there was opposition to the Littlefield Bill, which will be carried over next year to the Justice Committee of the Senate. According to the "Congressional Record" the past session of Congress was deluged with petitions against national prohibition legislation. Although general petitions sent by various associations are important, individual petitions sent directly to Congressional delegates carry more weight.

A statement was sent to Congress in favor of retaining cantines in for soldiers in this country.

As it had on November 18, 1903, on June 6, 1906 the National Alliance reiterated its position on the establishment of an Immigration Commission and for the apportionment of immigration.

In reference to the San Francisco earthquake, the National Alliance headed the list with a donation of $300 and on July 12, 1906 gave the San Francisco branch $2420.75.

On February 19th of this year the National Alliance was incorporated by Congress after having testified before the Justice Committees of the House and Senate that the Alliance is strictly an American organization.

An agreement was reached with the Ancient Order of the Hibernians to act jointly in matters of mutual interest to both organizations.

The first attempt to amass statistics on German schools has not been completed and this should spur us onward to apply greater effort in its completion.

The South with its outstanding German communities is regularly participating in the goals of the National Alliance.

On October 6th of last year wreaths and floral bouquets were delivered from all sections of the country for the unveiling of the memorial to Dr. Gottlieb Keller in Philadelphia and on June 1st of this year telegrams of congratulations to the Alliance President, Dr. C. J. Hexamer, were received on the occasion of a banquet in his honor. The western branch of the Central Alliance of Pennsylvania sent a silver trophy and the Baltimore branch sent a gold watch chain.

The current roster of state associations in the National Alliance is as follows:

Old State Associations - California, District of Columbia, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia.

New State Associations - Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin.

Number of State Associations -
      In 1905: 10
      In 1907: 25
In the interim 15 state associations have been added.

Individual societies belonging to the National Alliance by State -

19031905Increased by

Including the groups gained from the 15 new state associations the roster now totals 1000 groups.

In other states the National Alliance has individual members. An attempt to enter into partnership with the German Americans in the State of Maine has not been successful.

From reports by the state associations the most important items to appear:

New York: The German-American State Association of New York was established in July 15, 1906 at the urging of the German-American Alliance of the City of Utica and the Society of Germans for the County of Herkimer. Besides these two associations the following cities took part in the founding - New York, Schenectady, Buffalo, Albany, Eintracht [Concord?], Gloversville, Syracuse, Troy, Elmira, Rochester and Amsterdam. Later these associations joined - Rome, Oswego, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie and the suburbs of Albany. The membership roster totals approximately 16,000 with 7000 from the City of New York.

Ohio: In 1905 the association consisted only of the central alliances of Cleveland, Toledo and the municipal association in Hamilton. In two years it has succeeded in adding the central alliances in Chillicothe and Dayton and in organizing municipal associations in Akron, Bucyrus, Cincinnati, Columbus, Fremont, Lima, Lorain, Mansfield, Mt. Healthy, Springfield, Sandusky, Steubenville, Canton, Massillon, Alliance, Tiffin, Bellaire and Youngstown. The membership is between 18,000 and 19,000. Two years ago the Central Alliance in Cleveland declared that its membership was between 12 and 15 thousand, however due to reorganization earlier this year the count is only about 2000. If Cleveland still had the same numbers as a year ago the State Association would have between 30 and 33 thousand members. The Central Alliance of Cleveland is the only entity to slide backwards. No meetings have been held in months while all other associations are working towards progress.

Chicago: At this time there are 81 societies with about 9000 members on the books of the Branch Association in Chicago. Considering the number of German-Americans in Chicago and the number of German societies, two years of laborious effort have produced little result but the Branch Association committee indicates that greater progress should be made in the near future. It was resolved that steps would be taken to form a State Association this winter.

Indiana: The Central Association organized municipal associations in three cities and also added one society. Efforts to introduce marriage license legislation were hindered with the assistance of the Central Association. Higher salaries and pensions for teachers were granted.

Maryland: In the fall of 1905 there was a referendum concerning the drafting of an amendment to the State Constitution, which was not only directed against the Negro but also against the foreign born voter, if broadly interpreted, since the right to vote would require voter registration. We organized hefty opposition to the acceptance of this amendment and we were victorious at the general election even though we were fighting against the political party in power.

Continuing pressure is being leveled against efforts to intensify blue law legislation. There was a definitive victory in the fight of the so-called Local Veto or Precinct Prohibition Bill.

Pennsylvania: The State Association held two very successful conventions in Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre with 10 municipal and county associations.

At the first convention held in 1905 it was decided to hold a German Day Celebration. From the profits $100 was donated for the Pastorius Memorial. There was energetic agitation for Civil Service legislation, for the permanent appointment of teachers, the raising of school standards and the establishment of a pension fund for teachers.Pressure was applied for the introduction of mandatory gymnastics instruction in the third grade for schools in the city. There was renewed protest against limitations in immigration, closing of cantines, the passing of the Hepburn-Dolliver Act and the Littlefield Bill. The first German folktheater was erected in Philadelphia. There was a yearly award totaling $100 distributed to the best students in German schools. Efforts to introduce Local Option legislation by the State Legislature were hindered.

West Virginia and Texas: Both associations reported on vigorous advances in advocacy, such as organization. In West Virginia the Germans from Parkersburg had been won over for the National Alliance.

New Jersey: Work in the State is rather complicated but they are making good progress. Hudson County alone has 110 societies belonging to the Alliance. New Brunswick and Newark had good results. There are complications to overcome in Orange and Elizabeth. German theater productions were successful and should be increased. The Bureau for Legal Rights Protection in Hudson County has settled almost 300 cases since its inception.

California: Despite difficulties created by the catastrophe of April 18, 1906, the association has grown to seven societies. The German Day Celebration yielded a profit of $1163, which was turned over to relief efforts for the Germans of San Francisco.

Missouri and Southern Illinois: On May 23, 1907 the German Theater Company in St. Louis was incorporated with working capital totaling $75,000. Plans for the building, which will cost $175,000, are already set and an appropriate piece of land was purchased for $20,000.

In October 1905 the Branch Association consisted only of St. Louis societies with several individual members. Over the course of the past two years, as a result of the protest movement and efforts to apply pressure, the societies of Kansas City, St. Joseph, East St. Louis, Belleville, Lexington, Higginsville, Concordia, California, Joplin, Sedalia, De Soto, Clayton, Upper Alton, Freeburg, Highland, Lebanon and other cities have joined. Individual cities have independent associations and they centralized into the State Association for Missouri and Southern Illinois with proper representation of all members and communal interests.

With this basically all state association reports were finished. President Hexamer announced that a letter had been received from Mr. W. R. Hearst. The letter reads as follows:

"The time has come for the National German-American Alliance to broaden the field of its activity and extend a hand to Germany, so that both countries may forge the path of progress. To this end it is desirable for an International German-American Association to be established with a branch in Berlin to promote understanding for German art and German ideals in America, to advance the study of German social and economic conditions and to establish optimum political relations between the two countries. Previously the proposal had been made that this convention should empower the president to appoint a delegation of ten to twelve prominent citizens, for whom this issue is one close to their hearts,

to go to Germany in 1908 and be active on behalf of this great assignment. Also

"Mr. Hearst pledges to cooperate with this delegation and to publicize its purposes and goals to the government and the people of Germany in his eight newspapers in five cities. In order to defray the cost of this movement, Mr. Hearst offers to pay the expenses of said delegation, including those of any public functions which they might attend in Europe.
                  William Randolph Hearst."

Sustained applause followed. There was a motion to submit this proposal for further scutiny and decision at the next convention.

On the second day the work of the convention entailed the reception of reports from standing committees and the passing of resolutions. Those of decisive importance are briefly listed here:

Historical societies should be founded in each district and county where research should be made into the history of its German community. Standards should be established for the method and scope of this research. Results should be published in the periodicals edited by Prof. Learned of Philadelphia and Emil Mannhardt of Chicago.

Acceptance of a declaration of principles concerning personal freedom drafted by the convention. This declaration agrees with that of the Alliance.

Resolutions made in the interest of the Teacher Seminary:

1. A committee for ways and means should make recommendations on how to raise $100,000 for the building fund and until that fund is fully raised, how to cover the annual deficit.

2. The National German-American Alliance shall, as it had previously, hand over the sum of $200 from its coffers to the seminary administration.

3. Individual state associations and local societies shall raise funds in order to enable young people from their districts to attend the Teacher Seminary.

A contribution of $200 was given to the seminary.

Resolutions in the interest of gymnastics instruction:

We recommend that all associations belonging to the National Alliance consider it their duty to make sure that prospective male and female teachers are capable of imparting systematic gymnastics instruction.

We further recommend that in the larger cities care be taken to entrust the supervision of gymnastics instruction programs only to capable gymnastics teachers.

We further recommend that societies in the National Alliance work within their respective districts to insure that newly erected school buildings have sufficient space designated for systematic gymnastics instruction and sporting venues.

Due to lack of time at this convention, motions were postponed on a detailed means of dealing with the immigration question. A report should be prepared with recommendations by a committee for consideration at the next convention.

To improve the postal service:

Resolved, that the National Alliance considers it absolutely necessary that our postal service be improved and above all else it is fervently in favor of the following:

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Text provided by the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Buffalo NY
Imaging and translation by Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks