Introduction to the Immigrant Handbook

President Benjamin Harrison authorized the Immigration Department
of the United States to develop an Immigrant Handbook which would 
be given to each immigrant and help to acclimate them to their new 
homeland. The handbook informed the immigrants regarding some of the 
following topics:

	1)  The effect of urban political machines and how they 
	    treated immigrants
	2)  The effects of industrialization on living and 
	    working conditions
	3)  Current immigration trends and employment opportunities
	4)  Prime locations to live
	5)  City life and the social scene
It was not uncommon for different groups and areas to publish their
own IMMIGRATION HANDBOOKS to address living conditions and to inform 
immigrants of what to expect when they arrived in the area. There are
in fact, several INTERNET references to some of these documents, such 
as the 
1851 Immigrant Handbook for Wisconsin, and an 1879 and 
Burke's Texas Almanac and Immigrant's Handbook.

Chariton County, Missouri also had it's own handbook, published 
in German for German immigrants by Louis Benecke, President of the 
Chariton County Society for Immigration in 1873. The document was 
written for use by Germans considering leaving their homeland for 
the United States, and specifically for those considering a move to 
Missouri, either from Germany or from another state in the union.

At age 12, Benecke had come to the United States with his family
and had settled in Brunswick, Missouri. Although many Germans came to
America to avoid conscription into the armed services, Louis found 
himself in the middle of the bloody Civil War, and had a number of 
experiences, including being a prisoner for seven months. These life
experiences and his education as an attorney, no doubt helped him form
his very strong opinions which influenced his writing of the IMMIGRANT

The German document was procured and graciously shared by Barbara 
Becker of Portland, Oregon. Barbara is the daughter of Anthony Becker and a 
grand-daughter of William Becker who lived for many years in Wien.
The document was wonderfully translated from German
into English by Charles Sherman, Professor Emmeritus of the University 
of Missouri-Columbia. Many thanks to both of them for sharing it with 

Immigrant Handbook