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came in sailing vessels. The number of steamers arriving in the year 1866 was 401, and that of other craft 349. There were 668 vessels in all sailing from eighteen different ports. The average number of passengers in each was 345.
Of the whole number of emigrants who arrived in 1866, 97,607 reported their destination to be the State of New York; 32,751 Pennsylvania and New Jersey; 18,743 New England; 5,333 the various Southern States; 71,485 the Western States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and California; and 2932 Kansas, Nebraska, and Canada.
During the year 1866 there were 2754 letters written for newlyarrived passengers, and 1551 answers were received with remittances, amounting to 24,383 dollars; 57,350 dollars were sent by friends and relations in the United States in advance, to await the arrival of expected emigrants, and be placed at their disposal; 50,751 dollars in addition were obtained from the German and Irish emigrant societies and other sources, to be appropriated to the same purpose.
10,771 persons, of whom much the larger proportion were females, were provided during the year 1866 with labour at the Castle Garden, or by the agents of the Commissioners at Albany, Rochester, Buffalo, and elsewhere in the interior.
In the same year 249 persons were sent back to Europe at their own request, and 272 were forwarded into the interior, at the expense of the Commission; 8783 patients were admitted into the hospital at Ward's Island; 109 lunatics into the insane asylum; and 179 into the small-pox hospital.
The chief source of the large sums expended annually by the Commissioners of Emigration, is what is called the commutation-tax. This amounted in 1866 to 471,008 dollars. The consignee of each vessel is obliged by law to pay 2 dollars 50 cents (formerly less) per head for all passengers brought to New York, in lieu of executing a bond as security against their becoming a burthen to the State, during the five years subsequent to their arrival. This applies only to the able-bodied; for the sick and disabled, a special bond is exacted.
Though the larger proportion of emigrants hasten away immediately on their arrival, to the interior, a great number remain permanently in New York. It is thus that this city has such an immense foreign population, which is now computed to amount to 600,000 inhabitants, or 200,000 more than the native born.* The Germans count above
The whole population of the city of New York is about 1,000,000.
300,000, and the Irish nearly the same number. New York is thus, in fact, the third largest German city in the world, ranking next to Berlin and Vienna, and the next largest Irish after Dublin.
This large foreign element, of course, reveals itself by its characteristic indications. There are, indeed, whole quarters of the city of New York, and of its suburban towns, Brooklyn, Jersey City, and Hoboken, almost exclusively inhabited by Germans. Here, with their breweries and beer-houses, their gardens and dancing-saloons, their peculiar churches and synagogues, their SAUER KRAUT and sausageshops, their theatres, music and gymnastic societies, they remain in as full enjoyment of their Teutonic tastes as if they had never left their Fatherland. They have as well German newspapers and German schools, and German aldermen, German tax-receivers, and, in fact, German representatives in every department of public life.
The Irish, who bating the brogue, speak the same language as the native Americans, are of course more easily identified with them, but even they, to some extent, retain certain national peculiarities. These are chiefly manifested by the free use of whiskey and the shillalegh, and by the Hibernian readiness for a fight or a row. The Irish too have their newspapers, and their political and other representatives.
The foreign population holding the balance of power in the city of New York, is much petted by the political demagogue. The Irish and Germans become as rapidly as possible citizens of the United States; but in the State of New York* they cannot vote until five years after they have declared their intention to become citizens, though in the meantime they can hold real property and enjoy the other privileges of citizenship. As most of these foreigners have not been properly educated, either morally or intellectually for the exercise of the right of suffrage, they become the leading instruments of the unscrupulous demagogue. Thus political intriguers have obtained the control of the municipal government of New York, and made it one of the most corrupt ever known. They take care not to lose hold of the foreigner, for upon him depends their political existence. He is accordingly flattered by petty officers, or bribed by profitable jobs and liberal grants to the institutions of the religious sect to which he may belong, which is generally the Roman Catholic,† and his vote thus secured.
* In other States the requirements are much less. In most of the Western States the alien can become a citizen immediately.
+ Of 150,000 dollars granted in one year, 2,500 dollars only were given to Protestants.
The hereditary puritanism of the American, though he generally agrees tolerably well with his Teutonic or Celtic neighbour, has brought him into collision lately with his German fellow-citizens. A law was passed by the State of New York prohibiting the sale of beer, wines, and liquors of all kinds on the Sunday. This, the German who loves his lager beer, and does not like to go to church, feels to be a great hardship, and he is determined to do all in his power to get rid of the obnoxious law. The Germans have, it is understood, resolved to withhold all political support from those who refuse to strive to obtain its repeal.
De Tocqueville remarked that while the native Americans formed the aristocracy of the United States, the foreigners were the prolétaires. It is so; the labouring portion of the community is almost exclusively composed of German and Irish. They are the servants and journeymen. It is seldom that an American of mature age is ever seen in any capacity below that of a master workman.
It must not be supposed, however, that foreigners do not thrive in the United States. On the contrary, they are among the most successful and wealthy of its citizens. John Jacob Aster, who, at the time of his death, was by far the richest person on the American continent, was born in Germany, and did not leave his native Hesse-Cassel until he was a full-grown man. Taking London on his way, where he had a brother, a not very prosperous manufacturer of musical instruments, he obtained from him, as a present, an old piano. On arriving at New York this worn out and asthmatic instrument was his sole dependence, but it became the foundation of his huge fortune. He died leaving some ten millions of dollars; his eldest son is supposed to possess nearly treble that amount, and pays tax upon an income of about a million.*
Stewart, too, the great dry-goods merchant, or haberdasher, who shows a ledger with one year's profit of four millions of dollars, and who pays an annual income-tax amounting to four hundred thousand dollars, arrived in New York a poor Irish emigrant less than forty years ago. He is now sixty years old.
Each Irish emigrant cannot expect to become a millionaire, or rather billionaire like Stewart, but he may be sure of getting everywhere in the United States a hearty meal of something more substantial than potatoes, and what seemed so greatly to surprise Dickens, a whole coat to his back.
* Another foreigner, Gerard, was long at the head of the rich men of the United States.
Provincial Dramatic Critics Criticised.
If the London critics err on the score of too great leniency, or a bias to favouritism, it is acknowledged on all sides that they are men of taste, ability, and education. Would that such a saving clause could be added to our judgment of their provincial brethren. On country journals, theatrical reporting is considered an insignificant labour of the office. Sometimes the "taster" is a journeyman pressman or compositor, with just sufficient education to read his copy and—no more; a man whose notions of dramatic excellence seldom soar beyond bluefire and broadsword combats, who admires a play in proportion to the improbability of its incidents, and an actor in proportion to the strength of his lungs, the size of his legs, and his talent for burlesquing humanity.
Another class of critics is composed of very young men, who having cultivated their intellect on penny journals assume a mystic and ideal style, and by selecting a few of the longest words in the English language, puzzle themselves and their readers. They are always sentimental upon the actresses, whom they praise without judgment, and are proportionately severe upon the actors, whom they censure without justice.
Leaving these unfledged younglings, we come to another species, and perhaps the best, of the genus-the middle-aged reporter. But the lack of experience in the former is fully counterbalanced by the bigotry of the latter. He is a man of strong opinions, which it is his wont to express oracularly. He has been an habitué of the theatre from boyhood; and having seen Edmund Kean and Macready on half-a-dozen occasions, he believes himself capable of wielding the pen of a Hazlitt. These great names are continually in his mouth; he never writes a notice without comparing some unfortunate victim with those cherished models. But critics of this stamp are usually amenable to the softening influence of Bacchus, and a few glasses of brandy-and-water have been known to neutralize the asperity of their pens, nay, even to transfer that sword of civilization into the hands of more interested parties. For it is well known that stars visiting the provinces usually write their own critiques, or dictate them to the reporter. These are the critics of the smaller towns. Occasionally, however, "The tasters" of the
they are to be found even in the larger ones. large towns and cities, such as Manchester, Liverpool, etc., although
men of better education and position, are frequently quite as narrowminded, and quite as devoid of true judgment. They are usually of the cynical order, and mask "a plentiful lack of wit" with an assumption of an exquisitely refined and difficult taste, not to be satisfied with anything short of perfection. They praise great London stars fulsomely, and smaller ones coldly; but censure is their forte, as the unfortunate stock actors, whether good, bad, or indifferent, know to their cost. From, perhaps, a latent self distrust they imagine that to be lenient is to want judgment, that to abuse indiscriminately is the sign of superior wisdom, and that the essence of all good criticism is gall
As a specimen of the impartiality and dependibility of country criticism, I subjoin an anecdote, for the truth of which I can vouch :
Several years ago, the leading actor of the theatre in a certain large manufacturing town of the North, was, during the first months of the season, the pet of a weekly newspaper. It lauded him to the skies-everything he did was perfection. Suddenly, from no apparent cause, the organ changed its tune. Censure was now the subject. And why? The actor's talent had not taken flight; he was careful and painstaking as ever. At length accident lifted the veil of the mystery. The revelation was a very simple one, and yet astounding from its very simplicity. He had changed his laundress! The lady who had at first fulfilled to him that necessary office was the reporter's sister.
A notice of provincial criticism would be very incomplete, if it did not include some mention of a certain weekly paper, the heterogeneous organ of the drama, the music-hall, the circus, the booth, the turf, and the licensed victualler. The provincial notices it contains are of a voluntary nature. They are supplied from various sources-by clerks, actors, printers, nondescripts-in fact, by any one who can compose a sentence, grammatical or ungrammatical, who has an affection for the drama on the cheap, by a free entrée to the theatre, and will become a regular subscriber.
Eleven times out of twelve these "notices" are written by men destitute of judgment, education, and the barest knowledge of the principles of dramatic art. I make this assertion fearless of contradiction; the whole profession can vouch for its truth. The columns devoted to such notices are every week the subject of ridicule, contempt, and indignation to actors in every town honoured by such attention. They should be read by the rule of contrary. I see actors week by week extravagantly praised, whom I know, from personal knowledge, to be utter incapables, and others of undoubted ability