Our Slavic Fellow Citizens - 1910

Slovak Emigration
Chapter VI

Migration Back and Forth

Often the first visit to America is not final; many men Migration go back and forth a number of times.

Of Bohemian immigrants entering the United States in 1905 less than six in a hundred had been in the country previously, of the Slovaks nearly a quarter.

It is amazing how easily this race, which is at once so migratory and so firmly rooted, makes the long journey. They will return to see the old parents, to attend to a bit of legal business, to settle an inheritance or sell off a bit of land. Sometimes the wife is sent home to do what is necessary. One such, a simple peasant woman who had gone home on business, knew every detail of the return trip to New York, down to the right street car in Vienna.

One boastful gentleman is said to have written home, "As far as Vienna the journey goes well; after that it drags a little." But after all the coming and going, in the end many stay permanently in the new home.

Thus an emigration movement which in its inception seemed to be common merely a new phase of the old Slovak wandering, a turning to new fields for temporary employment, comes to be in effect a true emigration, which has transferred to America a substantial fraction of the Slovak nationality.


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