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Czech American Timeline: Chronology of Milestones in the History of Czechs in America
Czech American Timeline: Chronology of Milestones in the History of Czechs in America
Czech American Timeline: Chronology of Milestones in the History of Czechs in America
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Czech American Timeline: Chronology of Milestones in the History of Czechs in America

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Czech American Timeline chronicles important events bearing on Czech-American history, from the earliest known entry of a Czech on American soil to date. This comprehensive chronology depicts the dazzling epic history of Czech colonists, settlers, as well as early visitors, and their descendants, starting in 1519, with Hernn Corts soldier Johann Berger in Mexico, and in 1528, the Jchymov miners in Haiti, through the escapades of Bohemian Jesuits in Latin America in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Bohemian and Moravian pioneer settlers in New Amsterdam (New York) in the 17th century and the extraordinary mission work of Moravian Brethren in the 18th century, to the mass migration of Czechs from the Habsburg Empire in the second half of the 19th and the early part of the 20th centuries and the contemporary exodus of Czechs from Nazism and Communism. Historically, this is the first serious undertaking of its kind. This is an invaluable reference to all researchers and students of Czech-American history, as well as to professionals and amateurs of Czech-American genealogy, and to individuals interested in immigration and cultural history, in general.
ЯзыкEnglish
ИздательAuthorHouse
Дата выпуска13 сент. 2013 г.
ISBN9781481757065
Czech American Timeline: Chronology of Milestones in the History of Czechs in America
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Автор

Miloslav Rechcigl Jr.

Míla Rechcigl, as he likes to be called, is a versatile person with many talents, a man of science and organization professionally, and Renaissance man by breadth of his knowledge and scholarly interests. Born in Czechoslovakia to a son of the youngest member of the Czechoslovak Parliament, he spent the War years under Nazi occupation and after the Communist’s coup d’état escaped to the West and immigrated to the US. He received training as biochemist at Cornell University and later served as a research biochemist at NIH. Following his additional training he became a science administrator, first at the DHEW and later at US Department of State and AID. Apart from his scientific and science administrative pursuits, he served as an editor of several scientific series and authored more than thirty books and handbooks. Beyond that, he is considered an authority on immigration history, on which subject he had written extensively. He was also one of the founders of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU) and for many years served as its President.

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    Czech American Timeline - Miloslav Rechcigl Jr.

    CONTENTS

    FOREWORD

    PREFACE

    CHRONOLOGY

    GENERAL REFERENCES

    ABBREVIATIONS

    In affection to my beloved wife Eva,

    loving children Jack and Karen,

    adorable grandchildren Greg, Kevin, Lindsey, Kristin and Paul,

    great daughter-in-law Nancy

    and

    in memory of my and Eva’s parents

    FOREWORD

    This is another first for Míla Rechcigl, SVU Scholar in Residence and one of the founders and Past Presidents of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU) for many years. Hardly two years have passed since the publication of his authoritative Czech American Bibliography. A Comprehensive Listing with Focus on the US and with Appendices on Czechs in Canada and Latin America, and now Rechcigl is coming out with his new Czech American Timeline: Chronology of Milestones in the History of Czechs in America.

    His latest work, Czech American Timeline, is not a mere chronology of dates and events bearing on Czech Americans but it is a comprehensive chronicle of history of Czech pioneers and their descendants who affected American history, practically from the time the New World was discovered to the contemporary era.

    This unique publication is a magnificent testimony, not only to the fact that the Czech American immigrants found their new home in the New World, but also that they significantly contributed to its creation. The fruit of Míla Rechcigl’s admirable efforts to trace these men and women, as well as their descendants, and to follow their phenomenal achievements and august contributions, is a permanent reminder of their, sometimes hard and difficult, but always absorbingly interesting life stories which form a strong and eternal bond between our two nations.

    Míla Rechcigl, who rightly belongs among the listed, is one of the important Czech personalities, who came to the US and succeeded. He became a recognized scientist, researcher, writer and historian. At the same time, however, he never forgot where he came from. He has not forgotten his Czech roots and in his new home in Maryland he has always tried to promote mutual ties between the Americans and Czechs for the great benefit of both countries.

    This distinctly informative and thought-provoking vade mecum is delightfully readable, stimulating, enthralling and inspiring to the point that you won’t be able to put it down, just as I could not. It is a must for anybody interested in Czech American history and culture. I highly recommend it.

    Petr Gandalovič

    Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United States

    PREFACE

    The present Czech American Timeline chronicles important events bearing on Czech-American history, from the earliest known entry of a Czech on American soil to date.

    Although the mass immigration of Czechs, or Bohemians, as they were originally known in America, occurred only after the Revolution of 1848, enterprising individuals from the Czech Lands began arriving in the New World soon after its discovery. Some of them came because of their adventurous spirit but the majority was sent there because of their particular skills or expertise.

    This comprehensive chronology depicts the dazzling epic history of Czech colonists, settlers, as well as early visitors, and their descendants, starting in 1519, with Hernán Cortés’ soldier Johann Berger in Mexico, and in 1528, the Jáchymov miners in Haiti, through the escapades of Bohemian Jesuits in Latin America in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Bohemian and Moravian pioneer settlers in New Amsterdam (New York) in the 17th century and the extraordinary mission work of Moravian Brethren in the 18th century, to the mass migration of Czechs from the Habsburg Empire in the second half of the 19th and the early part of the 20th centuries and the contemporary exodus of Czechs from Nazism and Communism.

    This is an chronology of historical events, places and people, their settlements in the newly found home, their strenuous and harsh beginnings under the most severe conditions, incredible adaptation to the new surroundings and melting pot, while preserving their ethnic heritage and identity, their rapid progress in economy and social and cultural life, their remarkable achievements in public service and their unique and august contributions to professions, in just about every facet of human endeavor.

    Historically, this is the first serious undertaking of its kind, albeit a few lesser earlier efforts should be mentioned. The first attempt to prepare a Czech-American chronology was that of Tomáš Čapek who devoted a chapter to it in his 1926 classical Czech monograph Naše America.¹ Although now out of date, with its emphasis on memorable events in Czech-American community, it can still be of some use today. There were two other chronologies published later, one in 1978,² and another ca 2001,³ which, though being more current, don’t contain much information on the settlements and on the achievements of immigrants with Czech roots and their contributions to America.

    As for the methodology, specific individuals have been included, irrespective of their language or religion preference, the only criterion being that they were born on, or have descended from, the territory of the historic Czech Lands. The original diacritical marks were retained in the names of the immigrant settlers only; in subsequent generations they were not employed, unless specifically used by some of the individuals. To make this Timeline as useful as possible for the reader, in addition to a Name Index, a number of other extensive indexes are included, i.e., relating to Settlements, the Pioneers, the Clergy, Social and Cultural Life, Public Service and Professional Life.

    This is an invaluable reference to all researchers and students of Czech-American history, as well as to professionals and amateurs of Czech-American genealogy, and to individuals interested in immigration and cultural history, in general. Inasmuch as Czech-American history can be also viewed as an extension, if not an integral part, of Czech history, many a Czech, in his native country, may find this publication not only informative but it may rouse his national pride and admiration for the accomplishments of his countrymen in their new country and may inspire him/her to emulate them.

    CHRONOLOGY

    some 3000 years ago

    Between 1898 and 1903, during his scientific travels across America, Czech-American anthropologist Aleš Hrdlička (1869-1943), a native of Humpolec, Bohemia, became the first scientist to spot and document the theory of human colonization of the American continent from East Asia only some 3,000 years ago. He argued that the Indians migrated across the Bering Strait from Asia, supporting this theory with detailed field research of skeletal remains as well as studies of the people in Mongolia, Tibet, Siberia, Alaska, and Aleutian Islands. The findings backed up the argument which later evolved into the theory of global origin of human species that was awarded by the Thomas Henry Huxley Award in 1927.

    1466

    The inhabitants of the Kingdom of Bohemia began to dream about the New World, ever since 1466, a quarter century before it was actually discovered, when Václav Šašek of Bířkov had written his fantastic travelogue Deník o jízdě a putování pana Lva z Rožmitálu a z Blatné z Čech až na konec světa v letech 1465-67 (A diary about the voyage and the travels of Lev of Rožmitál and Blatná from Bohemia to the end of the world in 1465-67), in which he writes that, upon reaching the village Stella obscura at the end of the Pyrenean Peninsula, they learned about the land beyond the gigantic ocean.

    1483

    German scholar Franz v. Löher made the claim that Martin Behaim (1459-1507), from New Bohemia (Neuböhmen), in the vicinity of Nuremberg, a noted explorer and the creator of the first globe, rather than Columbus, or for that matter Amerigo Vespucci, was the discoverer of America. Löher celebrated Behaim, whom he considers to be a German, not only as the first European to view the coast of America off Brazil, in the year 1483, but also as the instructor in western navigation of both of the putative later discoverers and explorers, Columbus and Magellan. As the name indicates, Behaim was actually of Bohemian origin, whose ancestors having moved to Nuremberg from Bohemia.

    1504

    The news of the discovery of the New Word reached the Kingdom of Bohemia as early as the first decade of the 16th century, during the reign of Vladislav II the Jagiellonian (1471-1516), when an early print in the Czech language, Spis o nowych zemiech A o novem swietie O niemžto gsme prwe žadne znamosti nemeli Ani kdy tzo slychali, was published in Plzeň, Bohemia in 1504, by one of the first known Bohemian printers, Mikuláš Bakalář. What is astounding is the fact that it came in the same year as the first printed Latin version.

    1519

    Johann Berger (ca 1502-d.), b. Osoblaha (Hotzenplotz), Moravia took part as a soldier in the expedition of Hernán Cortés (1485-1547) against Aztecs. He was presumably 17 years of age when he arrived in Mexico (Spaniards landed at Vera Cruz on March 1519), where he fell into French captivity. After being freed he took part in the exploration and battles in Venezuela and Colombia and subsequently returned to Mexico.

    1528

    The Welser family, Augsburg merchants, was granted rights to colonize most of north-eastern South America by Charles V. In July 1528, the first group of miners (16 men and 1 woman), largely from Bohemia and Silesia, left for America, via Antwerp and Seville in December, sailed off for Santo Domingo. Among them was Hans Trumpel (* aft.1500) from Jáchymov, Bohemia. Two months later the second group of miners (24 men) followed. Altogether some 50 volunteers came to Santo Domingo. It was an unsuccessful venture, number of people died and the remainder returned to Europe.

    1536

    Andrés Morav or Andrés Aleman, possibly born in Brno, Moravia, was accused of heresy by the inquisition in Mexico.

    1585

    Joachim Gans (ca 1560-d.), of Prague, took part in the first British colonization effort in America. On July 13, 1585, a group of 108 English colonists, including Joachim Gans, led by Sir Richard Grenville, reached Roanoke Island, North Carolina. Joachim Gans was a metallurgist by profession who was sent along to seek ores like silver and gold. The expedition returned to Europe the following year without much success.

    1635

    In September of that year, the ship Expedition, bound for the Barbados, had aboard one Richard Benes.

    1637

    Burger Jorissen (Citizen Jorissen) (1612-1671), native of Silesia, settled at Renssalaerswyck on Hudson River, New Amsterdam. He was a blacksmith by trade, who bought and conducted business on Hudson River.

    1642

    According to Cotton Mather’s Magnalia Christi Americana (1693), John Amos Komenský (Comenius) (1592-1670), the exiled Bishop of the Bohemian Brethren, was invited to become president of Harvard College by John Winthrop, Jr., son of the Massachusetts Governor. Unfortunately, he did not accept the offer and went to Sweden instead.

    1644

    Augustine Heřman (1621-1686), b. Prague, the first known immigrant from Bohemia, arrived at New Amsterdam in the employment of the West India Company. He became a surveyor and one of the founders of the Virginia tobacco trade.