advanced passage money
and paid a commission to the Company. 23
This wartimeimmigration act led to America’s first systematic effort to
import immigrant labor. Although the contract labor provisions of the act
did not account for much of the post-Civil War new immigration, it
established an apparatus for recruiting immigrants, and for making the
expensive journey across the Atlantic affordable to the poor of the Euro-
pean hinterland. By allowing immigrants to mortgage their first year’s
earnings to pay their passage and providing for enforcement of those
, and I November 1912. David DeChenne, "Labor and Immigra-
tion in a Southern Illinois Mill Town, 1890-1937" (D.A. diss., Illinois State Univer-
sity, 1989), 64-66.
30. Survey, 2 November 1912, III-12.
31· Survey, 3 October I914, 7-9. Letter to Jewish Daily Forward in 1914, re-
printed in Isaac Metzker, ed., A Bintel Brief (Garden City, N.Y., 1971), 128-29.
3 2. See discussion of wartimeimmigration in Alan M. Kraut, The Huddled
Masses: The Immigrant in American Society, r880-I92I (Arlington Heights, Ill.,
1982), 18. Statistics from U.S. Department of Labor