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Curriculum - 11th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - 1877-1930 (Kansas_Benchmark 1) - German Americans (Indicator 7)

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A. J. Dyck to Arthur Capper

A. J. Dyck to Arthur Capper
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: April 23, 1918
Reverend A. J. Dyck of the Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church, Inman, Kansas, wrote this letter to Governor Arthur Capper of Topeka, Kansas, concerning the Third Liberty Loan drive and its impact on the German American community. Dyck explains that the members of his church have bought more than the amount of Liberty Loans required by the established quota in order to prove their loyalty and avoid harassment by "mobs." In addition, Dyck asks Capper if it would be acceptable for members of his church to donate to the Red Cross rather than providing money to support the war effort.


Aged German is given 48 hours to leave city!

Aged German is given 48 hours to leave city!
Creator: Topeka Journal
Date: February 19, 1918
This article published in the Topeka Journal covers the story of Daniel Klege. Klege, a 75 year old resident of Topeka, Kansas, and veteran of the Civil War, was ordered to leave Topeka until the end of the war with Germany because he had never registered to become a naturalized U.S. citizen.


Alien enemies' wives are loyal

Alien enemies' wives are loyal
Creator: Topeka Capital
Date: January 1, 1918
This article printed in the Topeka Capital details an incident involving Charles H. Johnson and Joseph Fisckale, both of whom expressed sympathies for the Germany and Austria. Turned in by their American-born wives, Johnson and Fisckale were "sent to a place of safe keeping until after the war."


Alien registration card for Vena Peters Schock

Alien registration card for Vena Peters Schock
Date: July 25, 1918
This Alien registration Card, issued by the U.S. Department of Justice to Vena Peters Schock of Topeka, KS, was issued during World War I due to Schock's status as a non-naturalized citizen of the United States. During World War I many German Americans were issued similar registration cards that they had to carry at all times. If a non-naturalized German American was stopped without their card, they could face imprisonment until hostilities between Germany and the United States ceased.


All alien enemies liable to arrest

All alien enemies liable to arrest
Creator: Topeka Capital
Date: June 19, 1917
This article, published in the June 19, 1917, edition of the Topeka Capital addresses the law prohibiting German immigrants who were not naturalized U.S. citizens from entering the Topeka Business District without a special permit from the U.S. Marshall Office. Anyone violating the law could be placed in jail without trial until the end of the war.


Are You With or Against the Hun?

Are You With or Against the Hun?
Creator: Canton Pilot
Date: April 25, 1918
This article, published in the April 25, 1918, edition of the Canton Pilot, encourages readers to buy Liberty Bonds in order to "show the world where you stand."


Bank president is removed for unloyal conduct

Bank president is removed for unloyal conduct
Creator: Topeka Capital
Date: June 5, 1918
This article, published in the June 5, 1918, edition of the Topeka Capital, details the removal of Wamego State Bank president and director Loius B. Leach due to "slackerism." Specifically, Leach refused to buy Liberty Loans, would not donate to the Red Cross, and encouraged his son-in-law to evade the draft. In adddition to his removal, Leach was the target of mobs who painted his vehicle yellow and demanded that he fly the America flag.


Buy liberty bonds or see U.S. lose

Buy liberty bonds or see U.S. lose
Creator: Canton Pilot
Date: May 2, 1918
This article, published in the Canton Pilot, strongly encourages readers to buy Liberty Bonds in order to win the war against Germany.


Charles Schock alien registration card

Charles Schock alien registration card
Date: February 25, 1918
This alien registration card, from the U.S. Department of Justice to Charles Schock of Topeka, Kansas, was issued during World War I due to Schock's statue as a non-naturalized citizen of the U.S. During World War I many German Americans were issued similar registration cards that they had to carry at all times. If a non-naturalized German American was stopped without their card, they could face imprisonment until hostilities between Germany and the U.S. ceased.


Charles Schock permit

Charles Schock permit
Date: 1918
This card, issued by the U.S. Marshall, District of Kansas, is similar to many issued during World War I to German Americans that had not yet attained U.S. citizenship. This card permits Charles Schock to pass through areas otherwise forbidden to anyone classified as a resident alien such as the area near the state house and fairgrounds in downtown Topeka, Kansas.


Disloyalists are warned

Disloyalists are warned
Creator: Inman Review
Date: April 26, 1918
This article, published in the Inman Review, covers the Barton County Night Riders. The Night Riders, a vigilante group of self-proclaimed loyalists, claimed that their mission was to "clean up the country of German spies, German sympathizers and dirty slackers." In addition, the Night Riders threatened to take care of disloyalty in communities "largely populated by people either of German birth or decent."


Either for or against it

Either for or against it
Creator: Newton Evening Kansan-Republica
Date: April 6, 1917
This article, published in the Newton Evening Kansan-Republican, addresses the need for all Americans, regardless of their ancestry or background, to support the U.S. in its war against Germany. The article warns against disloyalty and argues that speaking one's mind about the correctness of the U.S. cause is a necessity.


Executive Clerk to Herman Buckman

Executive Clerk to Herman Buckman
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: May 24, 1915
Reply from the Executive Clerk of Kansas to Herman Buckman in response to Buckman's letter to Governor Arthur Capper regarding U.S. citizenship. The Executive Clerk explains that Buckman should re-file his petition for naturalization despite the fact that relations between Germany and the U.S. are tense as a result of World War I.


Fred Robertson, United States District Attorney, to Charles H. Sessions, secretary to Governor Arthur Capper

Fred Robertson, United States District Attorney, to Charles H. Sessions, secretary to Governor Arthur Capper
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: July 9, 1917
United States District Attorney Fred Robertson of Kansas City (Wyandotte County) writes to Charles H. Sessions, secretary to Governor Arthur Capper, of Topeka (Shawnee County). The letter regards Session's request to send government agents to Wilson (Ellsworth County) to apprehend suspected German sympathizers. During WWI, the Governor's office occasionally contacted the United States District Attorney's office in Kansas City regarding concerns over suspected pro-German elements in local communities, usually at the request of local residents.


Fred Robertson to Charles H. Sessions

Fred Robertson to Charles H. Sessions
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: April 17, 1917
Fred Robertson of the United State Attorney's Office, Kansas City, writes the secretary to Governor Arthur Capper, Charles H. Sessions in response to a letter he received. The letter acknowledges receipt of a letter from W. A. Lewis of Pence (Scott County), who is alarmed by the behavior of a German neighbor. During World War I, citizens suspicious of the patriotic allegiances of their neighbors often sent reports of such suspicions to the Governor. The Governor's Office often forwarded these reports to the United States District Attorney for investigation.


German School Question

German School Question
Creator: Marion Record
Date: September 13, 1917
This article, published in the Marion Record, responds to charges that Marion County schools taught German and advocated support for the Kaiser and Germany.


Governor Arthur Capper's slackers file

Governor Arthur Capper's slackers file
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: 1917-1918
During American involvement in World War I, Kansas Governor Arthur Capper kept this file of correspondence on suspected German sympathizers and persons thought to be disloyal to the U.S. government. Such persons were commonly referred to as "slackers." The file includes letters from Kansas residents informing the governor of suspected sympathizers or dissidents, letters from Governor Capper to accused residents, letters from accused residents to the governor denying such charges, and letters between the governor's office and various local and federal agencies. Early and widespread, public opposition to American involvement in WWI gave way to fervent patriotism and intolerance of dissent shortly after America entered the conflict in April of 1917. Several federal initiatives under President Woodrow Wilson (such as the Committee on Public Information, the Espionage Act of 1917, and the Sedition Act of 1918) contributed to the domestic war hysteria and placed severe limits on individual civil liberties.


Governor Arthur Capper to Phil Crab

Governor Arthur Capper to Phil Crab
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: June 11, 1918
Governor Arthur Capper of Topeka (Shawnee County) writes to Phil Crab of Ada (Ottawa County) requesting that he donate to the Red Cross. The Governor's request was prompted by a letter from Ottawa County Attorney, Lee Jackson, who informed the Governor of the resident's refusal to donate and the subsequent threats made by local residents against him. During WWI, persons whose allegiance to the United States was suspect were often referred to as "slackers." In his letter, the Governor encourages Mr. Crab to support the war by donating to the Red Cross and assures him that he will be considered a "disloyal citizen" or "slacker" if he does not. See Lee Jackson to Governor Arthur Capper, 8 June 1918.


Governor Arthur Capper to William Howard Taft

Governor Arthur Capper to William Howard Taft
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: March 19, 1918
Kansas Governor Arthur Capper of Topeka writes William Howard Taft, former President of the United States, to assure him that Kansas will "enter heartily and vigorously into the campaign" to sell Liberty bonds. Capper informs Taft that the state had already lined up many of the "ablest speakers" in the state to help the campaign achieve success. Bond drives were an attempt to raise money to support the Unites States' involvement in World War I.


Henry Cooprider interview

Henry Cooprider interview
Creator: Bethany College (Lindsborg, Kan.)
Date: 1970s
This oral history interview, conducted by Don Holsinger and Sondra Bandy of Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas, details the experiences of Henry Cooprider. Cooprider, a resident of Inman, Kansas, recalls his experience growing up in Kansas and the treatment he endured while the U.S. was at war with Germany during World War I. On one occasion, Henry's brother George was tarred and feathered by a mob in response to their father's earlier refusal to buy Liberty Bonds. Shortly after the incident, Henry was sent to Camp Funston as a Conscientious Objector.


Herman Buckman to Arthur Capper

Herman Buckman to Arthur Capper
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: 1915
Letter from Herman Buckman, resident of Muscotah, Kansas, to Governor Arthur Capper of Topeka. Buckman, who was born in Germany and lived in the U.S. for 30 years at the time he wrote the letter, wants clarification regarding the process for the naturalization of foreign-born citizens. In addition, Buckman wants to know if his entire family would be deported along with him if deportation, rather than naturalization, was his fate.


Highest priced flag

Highest priced flag
Creator: Moundridge Journal
Date: June 20, 1918
This article published in the Moundridge Journal covers a Red Cross sale that netted more than $2,600. The item that made the most money was a three-inch square American flag made of silk. The flag, purchased by a group of German American farmers led by John J. Goering, bought the tiny flag for the sum of $1200. The flag was then resold to the "whole community."


Hun subjects cannot hold office in Kansas

Hun subjects cannot hold office in Kansas
Creator: Topeka Journal
Date: December 1, 1918
This article, published December 1, 1917 in the Topeka Journal, covers the ruling by the Kansas Attorney General, S.M. Brewster, that German Americans who had not yet naturalized could not hold constitutional or statutory offices in Kansas. In addition, the article mentions that the Attorney General's office contended that un-naturalized German citizens would not be allowed to vote as long as the U.S. and Germany remained hostile enemies.


Lars Larsen correspondence

Lars Larsen correspondence
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: October 13, 1917-November 20, 1917
This correspondence concerns Lars Larsen, a civilian cook who worked at the officer's mess facility at Camp Funston, Kansas. Larsen, a native of Denmark, was arrested on September 21, 1917, and charged with being an agent for the German government. Kansas Governor Arthur Capper asks General Leonard Wood, the commander at Camp Funston, to conduct a "prompt investigation" and advise him of its findings so that he may report them to the U.S. Secretary of State.


Lee Jackson to Governor Arthur Capper

Lee Jackson to Governor Arthur Capper
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: June 8, 1918
Ottawa County Attorney, Lee Jackson, writes Governor Arthur Capper of Topeka (Shawnee County) requesting that he ask Phil Crab an Ada (Ottawa County) resident to donate to the Red Cross. Mr. Crab's refusal to donate to the Red Cross made him the object of ridicule and harassment by other local residents. During WWI, the domestic effort to support the war created an expectation that every citizen would contribute in various ways, including cash donations. Persons who did not meet this expectation, who were critical of the government, or were suspected of being German sympathizers were often referred to as "slackers." Governor Arthur Capper maintained a "slacker" file in his office and frequently appealed to individual Kansas citizens to support the war. See Governor Arthur Capper to Phil Crab, June 11, 1918.


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