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Advice to the immigrant going overseas


Excerpts from a book by V. K. Rackauskas, 1914

About 250,000 Lithuanians went to the United States between 1899 and 1914. Based on their immigration experiences, V. K. Rackauskas wrote a 290-page manual for the would-be future immigrant. These excerpts are representative of the book. (V. K. Rackauskas, “Amerika Arba Rinkinys Ivairiu Faktu”, New York, Tevyne Press, 1915.)

The most convenient time to travel

Traveling to North America, that is, to the United States and Canada, is best accomplished in the spring. It is very hot in the cities of the United States in the summer. Our people are not acclimatized to this heat. Traveling in the winter months is not recommended, because the journey itself is uncomfortable. Another reason for not going in the winter is the fact that the factories in many American cities have a work slowdown. Many people are out of work during winter and suffer from want. If you come in the winter you can be sure of two calamities: you will fall into adject poverty dragging your family into it as well, and secondly, you will contribute to the hardship of other unemployed immigrants. Coming in the spring is another matter. If you cannot find work in the cities, you will still be able to survive; finally, it is not difficult to find farm employment in the countryside during the summer months. The best time to journey to South America, that is, to Brazil and Argentina, is in the summer, because that is the rainy season. During our winter months in Lithuania, South America suffers from the hot summer season.

Where Should One Purchase The Shipcard.

Hundreds and even thousands of agents and representatives are making a living out of the fact that people are traveling from Europe to America. There are agents who send their representatives to the frontiers and try to cajole the people by all manners into migrating to America, promising them not only work, but mountains of gold as well. While hoodwinking the people, they represent only their own selfish interests and seek profit. Therefore, one must not trust these soft-talking systers. It is adviseable to go directly to the offices of the shipping companies or to a trustworthy Lithuanian agents firm. It is best to approach acquaintances or relatives in America, asking them to provide the shipcard and send it to you in Lithuania. If you do not have friends or relatives in America, it is advised to write a well-known Lithuanian steamship ticket firm in America. A directory of such firms is provided at the end of this book. It should be fairly simple to choose the best firm.

We are able to indicate the following Lithuanian agencies as being the oldest in America:
1. A. Olszewskis, 3252 So. Halstead St., Chicago, Illinios;
2. J. M. Tananevice, 3249 So. Morgan St., Chicago, Illinios;
3. J. J. Puakstis and Co., 120 Grand St., Brooklyn, New York;
4. “Keleivis” Agency, 28 W. Broadway, So. Boston, Massachusetts and others.

The above-mentioned agents publish their own newspapers: A. Olszewskies - “Lietuva,” J. M. Tananevice - “Katalikas,” J. J. Puakstis and Co. - “Vienybe Lietuvninku,” etc. Thus, these agents are also civic leaders in the Lithuanian community. They are trustworthy people.

We repeat for your convenience, that one can approach the shipping companies directly. Persons traveling through the port of Libau can contact the Russian-American Steamship Company office in Libua (Kurhaus Prospekt No. 2).

6. A List of Shipping Companies.

Traveling through Germany, the best shipping lines are the following: North Deutscher Lloyd and Hamburg American Line. Traveling through Holland, the proper line is the Holland-American Line. The Red Star Line should be taken from Belgium. If you want to travel on a British ship you can purchase a steamship ticket in Libau because several British lines maintain offices there. Below is a list of several shipping companies with information about the port of leave; furthermore we list the central offices and/or agency addresses:
1. The Russian-American Line (Vostocno-Aziatskoje Parochodnoje Obscestvo), travels between Libau and New York. Address: Kurhaus Prospekt No. 2; In New York - 27 Broadway.
2. North Deutscher Lloyd, travels between: a) Bremen and New York; b) Bremen and Philadelphia; c) Bremen and Baltimore; d) Bremen and Galveston; and e) between Hamburg and New York. American offices: 5 Broadway, New York, New York and 42-45 Broadway, New York, New York.
4. Holland-American Line, travels between Rotterdam and New York. Office - 39 Broadway, New York, New York.
5. Cunard Line, travels between Liverpool and New York. Office: 21 State Street, New York, New York.
6. American Line, sails between South Hampton and New York, Liverpool and Philadelphia. Office: 9 Broadway, New York, New York.
7. Anchor Line, travels between Glasgow and New York. Address of the office: 17 Broadway, New York, New York.
8. White Star Line, travels between Liverpool and New York, Liverpool and Boston. Office: 9 Broadway, New York, New York.

7. The Cost of Steamship Tickets.

The cost of steamship tickets often changes, but the changes are not great. Therefore, one can get a fair estimate from the figures given below which should be indicative of the fare to America. We quote the third class steamship fare (steerage):
                 From:        Libau       Antwerpen
                          (in Roubles)    (in Marks)
To New York.................. 82              170
To Philadelphia.............. 88
To Boston.................... 82
To Quebec, Canada............ 82              150
Buenos Aires, Argentina...... 88
                 From:     Rotterdam   Bremen    Hamburg
                            (Marks)    (Marks)   (Marks)
To New York.................. 160        160       150
To Philadelphia..............            140
To Baltimore.................            140
To Galveston.................            140
To Quebec, Canada............            160       160
Buenos Aires, Argentina...... 200        180       200

Second class passengers, to be sure, pay more than those traveling third class. Generally speaking, a second class shipcard costs from 115 Roubles and up. For infants under one year the fare is 15 Roubles. Children to 12 years of age pay half fare.

TABLE #1. LITHUANIAN IMMIGRANTS TO THE UNITED STATES

Year      Men     Women   Totals
1899    5,291     1,567    6,858
1900    7,683     2,628   10,311
1901    6,499     2,316    8,815
1902    8,576     3,053   11,629
1903   10,721     3,711   14,432
1904    8,854     3,926   12,780
1905   13,842     4,762   18,604
1906    9,429     4,828   14,257
1907   18,716     7,168   25,884
1908    8,522     5,198   13,720
1909   10,284     4,970   15,254
1910   15,360     7,354   22,714
1911   10,473     6,554   17,027
1912    8,098     5,980   14,078
1913   16,069     8,578   24,647
1914   12,282     9,302   21,584
Total 170,699    81,895  252,594

TABLE #2. LITHUANIAN IMMIGRANTS BY AGE

Year  0-14 Years  14-45 Years  Over 45 Years
1899     448         6,276          134
1900     790         9,347          174
1901     712         7,986          117
1902     949        10,479          201
1903   1,137        13,078          217
1904   1,317        11,279          184
1905   1,474        16,875          255
1906   1,270        12,765          222
1907   1,563        23,928          393
1908   1,256        12,173          291
1909   1,088        13,694          472
1910   1,813        20,381          520
1911   1,382        15,331          314
1912   1,186        12,635          257
1913   1,760        22,438          449
1914   2,040        19,059          485
Total 20,185       227,724        4,705

TABLE #3. IMMIGRANTS AND THEIR TRAVEL SPONSORS

     Self-Paid     Paid By       Paid By
Year   Fares      Relatives       Others
1908   7,967         5,639          114
1909  10,692         4,460          102
1910  14,004         8,538          172
1911   9,259         7,688           80
1912   7,221         6,784           73
1913  13,833        10,681          133
1914   9,182        12,259          143
Total 72,158        56,049          817

TABLE #4. STATES WHEREIN THE LITHUANIANS SETTLED:
1899-1914

State          # Lith.   State            # Lith.
Alabama            13    District of Co.       8
Alaska             16    Florida             138
Arkansas           14    Georgia               9
Arizona            14    Hawaii                3
California        232    Idaho                 9
Colorado          280    Illinois         47,339
Connecticut    15,952    Indiana           1,996
Delaware           17    Indian Territory    105
Iowa              973    North Carolina       11
Kansas            109    North Dakota        118
Kentucky           20    Ohio              4,841
Louisiana          15    Oklahoma            162
Maine           2,234    Oregon              125
Maryland        3,896    Pennsylvania     70,019
Massachusetts  37,049    Rhode Island        861
Michigan        3,427    South Carolina        6
Minnesota         387    South Dakota         44
Mississippi        52    Tennessee            15
Missouri          901    Texas                54
Montana            50    Utah                 17
Nebraska          315    Vermont             530
Nevada              2    Virginia            147
New Hampshire   2,023    Washington          574
New Jersey     12,656    West Virginia     2,014
New Mexico          9    Wisconsin         4,045
New York       37,912    Wyoming              21
                         Total           252,594

TABLE #5. LITHUANIAN IMMIGRANTS BY PROFESSIONS:
1909-1914

Professionals:
Lawyers             5    Writers              18
Actors              2    Teachers             37
Architects         10    Musicians            61  
Doctors             6    Editors               4
Electrotechnicians 12    Scupltors/Painters    8
Engineers          18    Other Progessions    32
Clergy             37    Total               255

Craftsmen:
Stonecutters       29    Millers              59
Brewers            11    Machinists          114
Miners          3,160    Mechanics           112
Textile workers    42    Woodworkers          28
Weavers            70    Metalworkers         32
Goldsmiths         10    Butchers             86
Saddlers           49    Dressmakers          11
Barbers            49    Masons              276
Cigar-makers        2    Stokers              60
Carpenters      1,845    Wheelwrights         26
Gardeners          60    Sewers            2,285
Tanners            44    Garment Workers     542
Pattern-cutters     2    Women Garment Work. 320
Photographers      13    Tinsmiths            51
Iron-workers      455    Printers             27
Sailers           156    Cabinet makers      143
Furriers            8    Locksmiths          546
Blacksmiths       707    Plumbers             10
Bakers            150    Tobacco-pickers      10
Hatters            25    Tobacco curists       4
Clerks            244    Upholsterers          9
Bookbinders        17    Painters            132
Shoe-makers       775    Plasterers            2
Watchmakers        32    Other artisans      223
Shipwrights         3    Total            13,185
Locomotive Eng.    78 
Other Occupations:
Agents              3    Farmers             593
Bankers             1    Farm Laborers    79,059
Laborers       71,485    Teamsters            20
Manufacturers      12    Fishermen             6
Merchants         174    Others              241
Saloonkeepers       4    Non-laborers (women &
Servants/Manuals             children included)
               41,884                     45,672
                         Total           239,177
                         Grand Total     252,594

[Table of Contents] [Background - Journey to Linkova] [The Journey to Linkuva] [Photograph Gallery - Linkuva, Lithuania] [Maps of Lithuania] [Blumsohn tree] [Linkuva Directory] [Linkuva and Holocaust Resources] [Audio testimony - Murder in Linkuva]


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