The Czechs of Cleveland

Title:The Czechs of Cleveland
Author:Eleanor Edwards Ledbetter
Publication date:1919
Publisher:Cleveland : Americanization committee, Mayor’s advisory war committee
Digitizing Sponsor:Columbia University Libraries
Contributor:Columbia University Libraries
Repository:Internet Archive
The Czechs of Cleveland
The Czechs of Cleveland

The Czechs (more commonly known as Bohemians) constitute one of the largest and oldest groups of immigrants which has made Cleveland its home. More than a generation ago the Czechs started to settle in Cleveland and in the course of time have become a permanent and more stable element in the life of the city. The following pages describe how the Czechs first settled in the Croton Street section of the East Side when that marked the extreme limit of urban life and with the growth of the city moved steadily east and south. Bohemians have been leaders in the development of the great city in which they they found homes. Men and women of Bohemian birth have found their way into places of distinction in all of the varied activities of the city.

There have been some Czechs in America from the very earliest times. The presidency of Harvard College was offered by Governor Winthrop to the great Czech educator, Jan Amos Komensky, better known by the Latinized name Comenius; but Cotton Mather tells us that “the solicitations of the Swedish ambassador diverting him another way, that incomparable Moravian became not an American.”

After the failure of the Revolutionary movement of 1848, some Czech leaders were compelled to flee the country, and others, despairing of the future under the House of Hapsburg, were disposed to give up the seemingly hopeless struggle. These were the pioneers of the Czech emigration to America. From 1850 to 1870, most of them came with the idea of taking up land and developing homesteads in Nebraska, Iowa, and Wisconsin. The journey in those days was a long and tiresome one, and Cleveland was a convenient resting place on the way. Some who stopped only to rest, found it good to stay; in 1850 there were three families here, in 1860 there were fifteen, and in 1869 the number had grown to 696 families, including 3252 persons. Thus the Czech immigration was from the first an immigration by families.

Notes About the Book

  • 40 pages : 23 cm
  • “Authorities consulted”: p. 39



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