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(E, H) VILIM TEPES LETTER TO THE EDITOR IN 1911
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  06/21/2004 | Culture And Arts | Unrated
(E, H) VILIM TEPES LETTER TO THE EDITOR IN 1911

 

VILIM TEPES LETTER TO THE EDITOR IN 1911

Croatian Life Stories


Branka Bezic-Filipovic, Chief of Matica Iseljenika from Split, Croatia discovered and translated the below letter written by Vilim Tepes in 1911. Tepes wrote from his village of Rusnice, Hum na Sutli, region of Zagorje, Croatia. In 1911, every family in Rusnice was named Tepes, including mine.

Below is the original article in Croatian, as it appears in "Pucke Novine," printed in Split in 1911. A rough translation is included.

TO SOUTH AMERICA - U JUZNU AMERIKU:

Rusnica, November 7, 1911

Honorable Editor of "Pucke Novine",

The letter from the issue 21st of "Pucke Novine" written by a friend from far away America, better to tell from St. Louis touched me deeply in my heart. As I am leaving soon myself and I will sail away in a few days to United States of America or even to far away Argentina, I ask you dear editor to please advice me where do you think it would be better for me to go - to USA or to Argentina?

There is no life for us here in Croatia, especially this year as there was no rain, our great enemy - the hunger is threatening us and there is no way to earn money, although it could be different, but our money goes to Hungarian safes and we have to live poorly and move to the foreign countries. (In the year 1911, Croatia belonged to Austro-Hungarian Empire. The northern part of Croatia was ruled by Hungary and Dalmatia by Austria, which was represented by Italy).

I have read in some books and newspapers that you can earn well during the harvest, so even our priest in the church of Taborsko has recommended that we leave for Argentina at the harvest time and that the Government of Argentina gives a 20 - 30 years loan for the land and a house, so I am determined to just go, but I am asking you dear editor, what do you think where would be better in North or South America? Is there work in North America and are there some of your Dalmatian people there and are they in Argentina? I have heard that there are many of our brothers Dalmatians in Argentina. Is the heat there unbearable? Did any of your Dalmatian people go to Argentina this year?

Also, please, send me the bill for the newspaper, as I have not paid for a half of a year, I will pay before I leave for America, as well as for the postage if you write back to me. In addition, I would like to tell you that wherever I go, I would remain your subscriber.

How long does it take to get by ship to Argentina and how much does it cost?

My dear Mister Editor, God be with you and our dear Croatia and I am asking you to wish me bon voyage and if I get there safely, wish me good luck.

With sincere respect,

Vilim Tepes
Farmer in Rusnica, house number 2, post office Hum na Sutli. (Region of Zagorje).

Printed in Split "Pucke Novine" number 23, page 198, dated November 7, 1911.


Reply from the Editor of "Pucke Novine":

We have sent you the bill and the price list for the steamboats, and here is the answer in public, so that it can be useful for everyone. We are against the immigration of our people to Americas, we lose our workers and Germans (meant Austrians) and Hungarians are moving to our country to Slavonia and proud Bosnia (from a rhyme 'Bosna ponosna'). Read the book written by Dr. Tresic: "Over Atlantic" and you will realize that by immigrating we lose more than we gain. Its trouble but not against the law. If you want to go away for some time, then go to South and not to North America. That was true what the priest during the Catholic mass by the altar has told you. There was a great harvest in Argentina this year. Previous years, from March to November over 60,000 Italians were going there, working, earning a few thousands of 'kruna' (currency in 1911), coming back home for Easter to work on their own land. That way they were always earning enough. This year they were forbidden to go, because of epidemic of cholera and they are at war. The best way to go is over Trieste (Italy) with the Austro-American Company. You need 200 'kruna' for the travel expenses and food. It is cheaper to go from Genoa, Italy. To get there, you need 3 weeks. We wish you a happy journey and good luck.

From the Editor of "Pucke Novine"

****

U JUZNU AMERIKU

Rusnica, 7 studenog 1911

Slavno urednistvo "Puckih Novina"

Onaj dopis u broju 21 "Puckih Novina" sto ga je prijatelj napisao iz daleke Amerike a naime iz St. Louisa veoma mi je utisnuo u srce. Buduc sam ja sada na odlasku da cu i ja odploviti za koji dan u Sjedinjene Drzave Americke ili cak u daleku Argentinu, pitam Vas gospodine urednice savjetujte me kamo bi bilo bolje da krenem ili u Sjedinjene Drzave Sjeverne Amerike ili u Argentinu?

Kod nas u Hrvatskoj vise zivota neima a osobito ove godine radi velike suse prijeti nam ljuti neprijatelj glad, a zarade kod nas nigdje neima, premda bi se moralo sve to graditi a zaliboze kako, kad nas novac otide u Magjarske kese pa tako mora nas narod trpjeti oskudicu i seliti se u tudje krajeve.

Iz nekoliko knjiga i novina nacuo sam da je u Argentiniji dobra zasluzba kod zetve pa i nas gospodin zupnik i kapelan u nasoj crkvi Taborsko iz propovjedaonice osobito preporuca narodu da neka putuje k zetvi u Argentinu te da ondjesna vlada daje ko hoce odmah uz povoljne polaksice place uz 20-30 godina odplacivanje zemljiste (grunt) i kucu mu sagrade, pa stoga ja samo idem pa idem, samo Vas pitam gospodine urednice, jos kamo bi bilo bolje ili u sjevernu Ameriku ili u juznu Ameriku Argentinu, je li imade u sjevernjoj Americi zarade te dali imade tamo vasih zemljaka dalmatinca i je li ih imade sto u Argentini kako to cujem pripovijedati da su nasa braca dalmatinci tamo stalno naseljeni? Je li zbilja u Argentini tako nesnosna vrucina da je nas covjek nebi mogao podnijeti?

Je li je koji Vas zemljak dalmatinac odputovao u Argentinu k ovodisnjoj zetvi?

Ujedno mi izvolite poslati racun mog duga na Vasem listu, koji sam preko ˝ godine primao, ja cu vam to prije podmiriti nego odem u Ameriku kao i trosak odgovora dopisivanja ako mi budete odgovorili na taj list; a ujedno Vam takodjer velim da makar bio gdje mu drago biti cu Vaseg lista pretplatnik.

Koliko dugo se parobrodom plovi u Argentinu, odgovorite mi i koliko stoji sa cijelom opskrbom?

Gospodine urednice, ostajte mi z Bogom Vi i mila nam Hrvatska domovina, te Vas molim, da mi zelite sretan put, a ako tamo sretno preplovim sretan boravak.

Sa osobitim stovanjem,

Vilim Tepes
poljodjelac u Rusnici k broj 2 z. posta Hum na Sutli.


ODGOVOR:

Poslali smo Vam list i cijenik za parobrod, a sad evo Vam javni odgovor, da bude na znanje i drugim. Mi smo protivnici iseljivanju nasega naroda u Amerike, gubimo radne snage na domu a Svaba i Magjar poplavili ravnu Slavoniju i Bosnu ponosnu. Citajte knjigu Dra Tresica "Preko Atlantika" pak ce te se uvjeriti da iseljivanjem vise smo na steti nego na koristi. Ipak nevolja zakona neima. Ako mislite poci preko daleka mora samo za koje kratko vrijeme, idite u juznu a ne sjevernu Ameriku. Istina je, sto Vam je zupnik s otara najavio. U Argentini zetva je ove godine vanredno obilna. Proslih godina poslo bi tamo od studenoga mjeseca do konca ozujka preko 60,000 Talijanaca, obredili tamo zetvu, dobili koju tisucu kruna i opet pred Uskrs povratili se svojim kucam u Italiju da obrade svoja polja. Na taj nacin nisu nikad na gubitku vec na velikom dobitku. Tako i Vi ucinite. Ove godine Talijanim zabranjeno je radi kolere, a opet im je rat. Najzgodniji Vam put iz Trsta sa Austro-Amerikanskim drustvom. Trosi se Kr: 200 put i hranu. Preko Genue talijanskim parobrodima jeftinije. Put do tamo 3 sedmice.
Zelimo Vam sretan put, i dobru srecu.

Urednistvo "Pucke Novine" broj 23, stranica 198, datum 7. xi 1911

Submitted by Katarina Tepesh who left Croatia in 1968 and now lives in New York City.
tepeshk@aol.com
 

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