Emily Greene Balch - Our Slavic Fellow Citizens

“The general estimate is that between forty and fifty United thousand Bulgars (from Bulgaria and Macedonia) have come to this country, including those in Canada. Their principal centre was here in Granite City, an outlying suburb of St. Louis, but during the last year the majority of the 10,000 who were here have migrated westward. At present there are less than a thousand here. About 10,000 are now working on the railroad lines in Montana, the two Dakotas, Iowa and Minnesota. The belief is they will return here in autumn, but my own impression is, there will never again be 10,000 of them in Granite City.
” Other important centres are Seattle, Butte, Montana, Chicago, Indianapolis and Steelton, Pennsylvania; but they are too shifting a people to make estimates of their numbers in those centres of any value.
“I hope you are not making any racial distinctions between Bulgars and Macedonians. I believe the Bulgars who have come from Macedonia are registered on Ellis Island as Macedonians, which is bound to be confusing and inaccurate, for Macedonians may include Greeks, Vlachs, and even Turks. The distinction between the Bulgars from Bulgaria and those from Macedonia is PURELY political. Many of those who are registered as Greeks are so in church affiliation only, being Slavic by race and tongue.
The majority (I should say about 80 per cent) of the Bulgars in this country are from Macedonia, and nearly all are from one small districtin Monastir vilayet; Kostur, or Castoria.

Their reasons for coming are fundamentally economic, but the immediate causes are the revolution of 1904, when half the people in Monastir were rendered homeless by the burning of their villages, and the continued persecution of the Greek Church since then, which closed Greece to them as a market for their labor. Not five per cent of the Bulgars in this country came before four years ago.

“Our Slavic Fellow Citizens” By Emily Greene Balch pp 274-275

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