EMIGRANTS AND IMMIGRANTS, MISSION WORK AMONG. I. In Germany: Both the Evangelical and the Roman Catholic Churches in Germany have established missions whose twofold object is to provide emigrants with the means of spiritual improvement in the harbors of departure and arrival, and to protect them against unscrupulous agents and lodging-house keepers on both sides of the ocean. Aid rendered in European ports takes the form of assistance in making purchases, exchange of money, the care of baggage, etc., as well as the furnishing of cards of recommendation to those in charge of the mission work in the cities to which emigrants are going. Before departure religious services are held, communion being administered to those who desire it. Bibles and works of devotion are distributed. Aid in the form of money loans for the purpose of securing passage is invariably refused. In Hamburg a harbor mission was established some time after 1870, and the work in its present form was organized in 1882. It is carried on under the authority of all the German Lutheran Churches, without regard to the internal divisions within the Evangelical Church in the United States. Bremen has a general mission for all Lutheran emigrants and a minor organization for adherents of the Missouri Synod. There are other missions at Stettin, Antwerp, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam.
Work among Roman Catholic emigrants is carried on by the St. Raphael Society, organized in 1868, through the efforts of Peter Paul Cahensly, a merchant of Limburg on the Lahn, where the society has its headquarters. It has obtained wide influence and has its agents among the Roman Catholic clergy and laity in many American seaports. Its organ is the St. Raphaels-Blatt, published at Limburg. It also has an Italian branch the organ of which is L'Emigranto Italiano, published at Treviso.
II. In the United States: Provision for the welcome, protection, and guidance of foreigners arriving in the United States, has grown with the growing volume of immigration. At New York, the chief port of entry, more than thirty religious societies and homes are represented at Ellis Island by devoted agents and missionaries who are present on the arrival of every immigrant steamship. The following list of these agencies has been pre-pared by Dr. Walter Laidlaw, Secretary of the Federation of Churches and Christian Organizations in New York City.
Austrian Society, 170 East Eightieth Street; Bulgarian Society; American Bible Society, Bible House; Clara de Hirsch Home for Immigrant Girls, 375 East Tenth Street; Danish Mission Home, 130 Prospect Avenue, Brooklyn; Danish Church, 195 Ninth Street, Brooklyn; German Baptist Home Mission, Brooklyn; German Society, 13 Broadway; Deutsches Lutherisches Emigranten-Haus, 4 State Street; Greek Society, 8 Oak Street; Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, 232 East Broadway; Hungarian Home, 3 State Street; Irish Emigrant Society, 51 Chambers Street; Immigrant Girls' Home (Methodist Episcopal Church), 9 State Street; Lutheran Pilger House, 8 State Street; Mission of Our Lady of the Rosary (Irish immigrant girls), 7 State Street; Norsk Lutherescke Church, 216 Twenty-seventh Street, Brooklyn; Presbyterian Board of Home Missions, 156 Fifth Avenue; Protestant Episcopal Church Mission, 29 Vesey Street; Polish Society, 117 Broad Street; Reformed Church of North America, Ellis Island; Swedish Missionary, 24 Greenwich Street; St. Raphael Italian Society, 8-10 Charlton Street; Swedish Baptist Home Missionary, 22 Greenwich Street; Scandinavian Immigrant Home, 22 Greenwich Street; Svenska Lutheran Immigration Hemmett, 5 Water Street; St. Raphael Society, Leo House, 6 State Street; Society for Protection of Italian Immigrants, 17 Pearl Street; American Tract Society, 150 Nassau Street; United Hebrew Charities, 356 Second Avenue; Women's Christian Temperance Union.
The missionaries and agents of these homes and societies command, altogether, the use of more than twelve foreign tongues or dialects, while interpreters employed by the government supply any lack that may still exist; it is seldom that an incoming alien fails of receiving a welcome to America in his mother tongue. Representatives of Churches and denominational societies soon find their own at Ellis Island, and are ready not only to supply them with literature in their native tongue, but to comfort them in distress, to minister to their immediate needs, to protect them against imposture, to assist them in making necessary appeals to the government, to supply them with financial help, if needed in reaching their ultimate destination, and in many cases to furnish them letters of introduction to friends at the West, whither they are bound. The American Bible Society, the American Tract Society, and the Women's Temperance Union are generous in their distribution of literature. The New York City Bible Society has a large and special opportunity in connection with immigrants and is improving it with energy. The distribution of literature by this society alone during 1906 at Ellis Island was 44,368 volumes. Of these only 2,713 were in English. The Polish language ranks first in the number of Scriptures called for, with 10,056 volumes, and the next largest number of Scriptures distributed was in Italian, 4,674. The value of these various agencies is warmly appreciated by the Ellis Island authorities, who heartily second their humane endeavors.
At the port of Boston, the same general methods are repeated, though on a somewhat smaller scale. Yet nearly a score of societies, homes and other institutions are engaged in the work at that point. For twenty years the Boston Young Women's Christian Association has maintained what is known as a Travelers' Aid Department, in connection, especially, with provincial and foreign steamships. In the busy season a hundred boats per month are met. In a single year often three thousand travelers, many of them unprotected girls, coming to the States for work have been safeguarded and assisted. The St. Vincent de Paul Society also employs a woman missionary to watch over the Roman Catholic girl immigrants. Not a small part of the Travelers' Aid is that of bringing safely together the incoming immigrant and her American relatives, who perhaps have been carelessly notified, and not seldom wholly uninformed, of her arrival.
At the port of Baltimore, four distinct agencies cooperate for the care and comfort of the immigrant, chief of which is the German Evangelical Immigrant Home. This mission was established more than twenty years ago by the German Evangelical Synod of North America, and within two years has built a fine immigrant home near the landing-pier at Locust Point. It is undenominational, taking care of all good immigrants, welcoming the friendless and finding work for the willing. It provides religious instruction as well, and regularly holds a short service of prayer every morning and evening. For a score of years it has done a most valuable humane work. The Lutheran Mission Synod also employs a missionary, but as yet has no home. The Bohemian Presbyterian Church sends a missionary to meet every incoming steamship and has recently opened a little home of its own. The German Baptist Church supports two lady missionaries who supply much needed help.
At the port of New Orleans, immigrant relief is not yet distinctly organized. The only foreigners arriving direct from Europe are Italians, who are quickly taken in charge by relatives and friends. See HOME MISSIONS, § 2; SLAVIC MISSIONS IN THE UNITED STATES.
J. B. CLARK.
Bibliography: For Germany: A. Schröter, Die kirchliche Versorgung der Auswanderer, Gotha, 1890; H. E. Schneider, Atlantis Germanica, Leipsic, 1883; P. Müller, Die lutherische Auswanderermission und ihre Stellung zu den kirchlichen Aufgaben der Zeit, Hamburg, 1890; T. Schäfer, Leitfaden der inneren Mission, pp. 142 sqq., ib. 1894. There is no literature bearing upon work done in the United States.