A History of the Poles in America to 1908Part III: Poles in the Eastern and Southern Statesby Wacław Kruszka (review)
- The Catholic Historical Review
- The Catholic University of America Press
- Volume 85, Number 1, January 1999
- pp. 116-117
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- Additional Information
116BOOK REVIEWS Catholic missionaries had more success with the Osages of mixed ethnic heritage , many of whom sent their children to the Catholic mission school. White also chronicles the trip of an Osage delegation in 1874 to Washington to request Catholic missionaries and a Catholic government agent for the reservation . After providing an account of the decline of the "Peace Policy," White then describes the struggles to establish Catholic schools for the Osages. He provides a detailed history of the struggles of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions with the Commissioners of Indian Affairs, Thomas Morgan and Daniel Browning, who sought to dismantle the practice of the federal funding of contract (religious) schools. Also crucial to the survival ofthe Catholic schools was Mother Katharine Drexel, and White describes how this heiress became involved in the financial support of the Osage mission schools when the Indian Office began to withdraw its support of these schools. White's book is a solid and useful history ofthe Osage Mission which is based on extensive research. At times the book is encumbered by more detail than is necessary, but on the whole the book is a valuable contribution to the study of the Osage mission. Ross A. Enochs Manchester by the Sea, Massachusetts A History of the Poles in America to 1908. Part III: Poles in the Eastern and Southern States. By Wactaw Kruszka. Edited, with an Introduction, by James S. Pula. Translated by Krystyna Jankowski. (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University ofAmerica Press. 1998. Pp. viii, 394. $59.95.) This is the third of four projected volumes combining and translating the original thirteen-volume Polish-language work written by an immigrant Polish priest around the turn of the century. Father Kruszka's History of the Poles in America is the magnum opus of a prolific author and offers readers the insights and opinions of an immigrant intellectual focused on the largest Slavic immigration. As a priest he was concerned mainly with the development of religious institutions. Now more of a primary than a secondary source, the work has a unique value since Kruszka had access to documents since lost, as well as a broad personal acquaintance with the clerical leadership of these numerous newcomers at the height of their entry into the United States. As in previous volumes, the work is meticulously endnoted under the competent editorship of James S. Pula. The citations are particularly relevant to scholars, but the explanatory notes serve to clarify references or figures now obscure in a work accessible to any interested reader. The translation is fluent and the reorganization ofthe volumes from thirteen to four has been structured logically through grouping states by region of the country, as noted in the subtitles . BOOK REVIEWS117 The contents range from brief histories of less than a page to long descriptions of major parishes. The short entries typically locate the church geographically ,followed by a listing ofpastors and often information on membership and societies. The existence of a school if present is invariably noted, a reflection of Father Kruszka's strong interest in education. He is best at the large colonies where background on settlement development provides a helpful context to congregational histories. His extended treatments are heavily biographical with an emphasis on clerics. The parish leader, known to but not necessarily admired by the author, evokes strong opinions that enliven the pages. A good example is his lengthy and insightful discussion of Father Dominik Kolasinski of Detroit's St. Wojciech (Adalbert) Church. A controversial figure in his own time, he emerges from the pen of the Ripon priest as blessed with social graces but willful, demagogic, and a burden to his bishop. Bishop Caspar Borgess does not escape criticism for his clumsy handling of the situation, and Kruszka's description emphasizes his sense that in America the opinion of laypersons must be consulted, though not always be determinant. The History offers an alltoo -rare sense of the flavor of life in a new ethnic community by an intellectual from the leading stratum of this largely peasant group. For scholars the volumes , enriched by the notation, offer a readable and stimulating source of information on the formative years ofAmerican Polonia...