My One Hobby:

Grace Raymond Hebard and Americanization in Wyoming

By Frank Van Nuys

 

A highly ironic and bemusing scene may have entertained the Sisters at St. Mary’s Convent in Notre Dame, Indiana, in the winter of 1924; namely, the sight of one of the nuns leafing through the February issue of Today’s Housewife magazine. History does not record where and how the good Sister perused this seemingly inappropriate publication, nor are those questions important. Fortunately, a letter from Sister M. Veronica to Dr. Grace Raymond Hebard of the University of Wyoming tells why—perhaps—the nun was particularly interested in such an irrelevant piece of literature. “I saw an account of your fine work in Americanization in Today’s Housewife for February,” she informed Dr. Hebard, “and it inspired me with a desire to do some such work as you are doing in that line.”1

That Dr. Hebard’s efforts in Americanization—the educating of immigrants in American history, politics, ideals and the English language in preparation for naturalization—brought her national renown during and after World War I is unusual. Wyoming had very few immigrants, in marked contrast to states such as New York or California. Nonetheless, Hebard’s prowess as a maker of Americans made her a model for many other native-born Americans, like Sister M. Veronica in Indiana, who, whether in the interest of wartime patriotism or post-war nativistic anxiety, sought to create a more predictable, homogeneous America.

Of all Grace Hebard’s accomplishments, which included service on the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees, a Ph.D. from Illinois Wesleyan University, admission to the Wyoming bar, the authorship of several historical monographs and textbooks, directorship of the university’s department of political economy, and the marking of historical sites throughout the state, she reportedly valued her Americanization work as “perhaps most precious.” The inspired Sister could not fail to note, as a Wyoming News testimonial expressed in 1935, that Dr. Hebard’s “certificates of preparation for naturalization were accepted by the United States District Court in lieu of examinations for citizenship.”2  That sort of clout suggests that Grace Hebard’s Americanization enterprise beginning in 1916 deserves some scrutiny. While the evidence of her work is fragmentary, it nonetheless places Hebard within an essentially progressive tradition of qualified optimism about immigrants’ ability to assimilate to Anglo-American cultural norms. At the same time, her long-held ideological assumptions about immigrants, especially the “new” immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, led her to express extreme concern—altogether typical of American opinion makers and political leaders during the World War I era—about speeding up the assimilative process.

While Dr. Hebard’s involvement with Americanization in Wyoming began relatively late in her career, evidence of her interest in educating immigrants dates from at least 1896, when she published an article titled “Immigration and Needed Ballot Reform” in The Illinois Wesleyan Magazine. “The danger which threatens us,” she warned, “is the growth in our population of a large foreign element whose habits of thought and behavior are radically different from those which the founders of the nation hoped to establish.”

This contention that “Southern and Eastern Europeans” lacked the necessary requisites to simply ease into the American social and economic order without somehow disrupting it constituted conventional wisdom in the 1890s. Notably, Hebard cited the famed economist and statistician Francis Amasa Walker, whose writings during that decade gave intellectual credence to nativists for years to come. She expressed as well the very common alarm that this class of immigrants, while certainly possessed of some desirable individuals, had a tendency to produce anarchists and rebels. Yet Hebard, convinced of the transforming powers of education, suggested a means to forestall otherwise inevitable and irrevocable damage to the republic. Thus she concluded,

 

the only way in which we can protect ourselves is to educate this heterogeneous mass, so blind to the duties of patriotism that they are unable to distinguish the red flag, typical of society unregulated by any principles of government, from the red, white and blue—a perfect national emblem. We must change this mass into a homogeneous population, and this can be accomplished only by grafting into the hearts of the aliens who have determined to make these lands their lands, the highest conception of citizenship, the reverence for a constitution which gives them their liberties.”3

 

Dr. Hebard’s sentiments in the mid-1890s coincided with a growing movement, centered in the big cities of the northeast and midwest, to indeed assimilate immigrants through intensive education in American history, politics, and ideology.

When so defined as an “educative movement,” Americanization, according to political scientist Edward George Hartmann in his 1948 study, implied “a positive program” in contrast to other nativist movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Americanization also reflected the more hopeful reform impulses embodied in the Progressive movement. Its leadership drawn typically from academia, business, and civic groups, Americanization stressed “education and guidance” rather than “restriction or repression” in meeting the challenges posed to the nation by increasing immigration from southern and eastern Europe. Successful integration of these presumably “less desirable” Europeans into a presumably Anglo-American culture promised economic and political stability as well as a valuable labor supply and Americanizers generally expressed optimism concerning the immigrants’ “ultimate assimilative capabilities.” Moreover, they earnestly desired to assimilate the immigrants as rapidly as possible “through the attendance of the newcomers at special classes, lectures, and mass meetings, where they might be instructed in the language, the ideals, and outlook on life which had come to be accepted as the traditional American point of view.”4

Immigrant night classes, typically operated by settlement house reformers and social workers, began appearing in larger cities in the first decade of the twentieth century. Similar operations sprang up in labor camps and some non-urban areas. Soon thereafter, patriotic organizations, starting with the National Society of Colonial Dames of America, whose Illinois chapter established a University of Chicago scholarship in 1904 for training Americanizers, took the lead in immigrant education. The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, as another example, formed a Committee on Information for Aliens, which published leaflets meant to aid newly-arrived immigrants. Quickly superseding and often coordinating the efforts of the patriotic organizations, the North American Civic League for Immigrants became, with its organization in New York City in 1907, the “first of the active Americanization groups.” Explicitly nonsectarian and composed primarily of “progressive business elements,” the North American Civic League for Immigrants concerned itself with the efficiency and comportment of the immigrant labor force. The League organized immigrant aid centers at its Boston base and in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, and other towns in the northeast. It also prodded expanded Americanization efforts from public schools and provided lectures and pamphlets.5

In 1907, New Jersey became the first state to authorize school boards to direct evening classes for immigrants, establishing a precedent for growing government involvement. The exhaustive studies conducted by the Federal Immigration Commission furthered the trend for states with large concentrations of foreign-born residents to create agencies to address immigration-related problems. New York State’s Bureau of Industries and Immigration, the California Commission of Immigration and Housing, and similar bodies in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island endeavored to investigate conditions and suggest legislation as well as to propose and in some cases implement Americanization programs.6

Meanwhile, industrialists in the northeast, in alliance with the North American Civic League for Immigrants, hoped to influence immigrant workers away from radicalism. They, like the patriotic organizations and government commissions, believed “that some sort of program for educating the immigrant, particularly in the fundamentals of the English language and civics, would be the best means of solving the many evils supposedly arising from his entrance upon the American scene.”7 Consequently, corporate involvement in “industrial Americanization” developed steadily after 1910, overseen to some extent by the Committee on Immigration of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce. Although obviously lacking an industrial economy on the order of many northeastern and midwestern states, Wyoming, as indicated by the Immigration Commission’s survey of immigrant miners in Sweetwater and Uinta counties, possessed similar problems. At the seven coal and coke mines studied by the commission, nearly 86 percent of the employees were foreign-born, with a “large percentage” from southern and eastern Europe. “Only about half of the foreign-born of non-English-speaking races,” the commission reported, “speak English, and of those who are eligible in point of race and residence only about one-third have become citizens.” Implied, though not explicitly expressed in the report, is the presumption that immigrant workers “slow to learn English” and even slower to become naturalized made up a combustible, potentially radical element in southwestern Wyoming’s mines.8

The shared concerns of patriotic organizations, government entities, and businessmen drove the continuing centralization of the Americanization movement between 1910 and 1914, the year in which the New York-New Jersey Committee of the North American Civic League for Immigrants changed its name to the Committee for Immigrants in America. The Committee, soon to become “the general consulting headquarters for immigrant and Americanization work throughout the country,” provided the impetus, as well as initial funding and staffing for the newly-created Division of Immigrant Education in the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Education. In addition, the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Naturalization, in conjunction with various public schools around the country, began sponsoring citizenship education in 1914 and holding discussions “upon a proposed nation-wide plan for citizenship preparedness through the Americanization of the resident alien body.” In preparing her citizenship courses, Dr. Hebard relied to a considerable extent upon publications produced by these official Americanization bodies.9

With the outbreak of war in Europe in the autumn of 1914, interest in Americanization, helped along by suspicions of immigrant disloyalty, began taking on attributes of a national public crusade. Propagandizing on behalf of the warring nations by immigrant groups exacerbated the suspicions, though the actions of the German government and assertive German-American organizations combined to bring most of the nativist wrath crashing upon the heads of many Americans of German descent. Attacks on the “Hyphen,” defined by Hartmann as “one who put the interests of his former homeland before those of his adopted country,” combined with exhortations about preparedness to lend a nationalistic flavor to the Americanization movement. Former President Theodore Roosevelt boisterously led the rhetorical assault on “those evil enemies of America, the hyphenated Americans.” Careful to qualify his remarks on behalf of loyal Americans of foreign birth, Roosevelt nonetheless warned of dire consequences should the United States “become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans, or Italian-Americans.” Meanwhile, in his many speeches on national preparedness, President Woodrow Wilson repeatedly stressed the need for unqualified allegiance to the country.10

In the midst of the anti-hyphenate and preparedness rhetoric in 1915–1916, the education of the immigrant became an even larger concern. The Bureau of Naturalization further centralized Americanization training through the public schools, kicking off its ambitious nationwide program at a reception in Philadelphia. President Wilson, in his “Too Proud to Fight” speech given to several thousand freshly naturalized citizens at the event, admonished: “You cannot dedicate yourself to America unless you become in every respect and with every purpose of your will thorough Americans.” Proper guidance by properly trained Americanizers would hopefully assure that immigrants would soon appreciate Wilson’s contention that “America does not consist of groups.”11                      

Likewise, opinion molders in Wyoming, whether aware of the Bureau of Naturalization’s program or not, harped on the theme of teaching immigrants to discard their Old World ways and become unadulterated Americans. Cora B. Wanamaker, in her Rock Springs Rocket, citing “crime, sickness, poverty, unemployment and education,” expressed alarm at the cost of “maintaining the foreigner in our cities.” Education comprised too small a portion of those expenses and the elimination of immigrant illiteracy in English, Wanamaker suggested, could obviate “the enormous cost of not educating the alien.” Once naturalized, the Sheridan Post observed, these new “citizens must show their good faith and loyalty—.If others have came [sic] to us in mockery of the sacred rights, the sooner they return from whence they came the better for all the others.”12

Augmenting the Bureau of Naturalization’s agenda, the Committee for Immigrants in America organized an Americanization Day celebration to take place across the nation on July 4, 1915. A National Americanization Day Committee designed the event to both welcome immigrants and stress national unity. Buoyed by their Independence Day successes the National Americanization Day Committee continued as a national clearinghouse under the new rubric of the National Americanization Committee (NAC) until 1919. The NAC sponsored Immigration and Americanization conferences and also solicited women’s clubs and the Daughters of the American Revolution.13

American entry into the War in April 1917 quite naturally caused the Americanization crusade at home to intensify. All of the various entities—the Committee for Immigrants in America and National Americanization Committee, the Bureau of Education, the Bureau of Naturalization, the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, state and local chambers and governments, churches, women’s clubs, the YMCA, and patriotic organizations—busily drafted plans, organized conferences, conducted surveys, and exhorted both teachers and immigrants to do their duty. As the movement blended into the war effort, the Council of National Defense and the Committee for Public Information—federal agencies created especially for the emergency—joined the already crowded field of Americanization organizations. Attempts to federalize immigrant education through the creation of a bureau of citizenship and Americanization failed in large part because of increasing friction between the Bureaus of Education and Naturalization.14

Of more moment to immigrants, however, were the increasing heavy-handedness of certain patriotic Americans and some dissatisfied rumblings within ethnic communities. While war propagandists staged pageants and parades designed to emphasize the harmonious commingling of the nation’s heterogeneous elements, the war itself, as historian Ellis W. Hawley has shown, drove “ ethnocultural conflict.” Restive ethnic groups, including African Americans, indicated a decreasing willingness to acquiesce in their subordination to the dominant Anglo-American culture. Meanwhile, the distrust of “hyphenated Americans,” especially Germans, reached shrill and even murderous levels in some sections of the nation. Finally, “a repressive loyalty apparatus” emerged, goaded on by federal anti-subversion legislation and aided by state loyalty agencies and defense councils, as well as private vigilante groups.15

These negative forces, manifested in anti-hyphenism and preparedness in 1915 and 1916, were transformed into “100 Per Cent Americanism” with United States entry into the war. As John Higham defined it, 100 percent Americanism meant “universal conformity organized through total national loyalty” and the “inculcation of a spirit of duty,” especially “the enthusiastic cultivation of obedience and conformity.” Not surprisingly, this sort of super-nationalism required a ratcheting up of anti-German hysteria—rumors of conspiracies, attacks on German culture, violence against German Americans, internment camps, and spying. Harassment and arrests of putatively pro-German individuals occurred in Wyoming, often under the guise of quasi-official actions undertaken by 100 Percent American Clubs, vigilance committees, and Loyalty Leagues.16

Despite 100 percentism, Higham found, the “average non-German alien passed through 1917 and 1918 unscathed by hatred, and often touched by sympathy.” Nonetheless, the “impulse for unity crashed against the plain, frightening fact that the new immigrants lived in a social universe so remote from that of the Americans on the other side of the tracks that they knew practically nothing of one another.” In some disagreement with Higham, Lawrence Cardoso, in specific reference to Wyoming, stressed that 100 percentism fed nativist fears of all immigrants, not just Germans. Regardless, Americanizers often found themselves distressed both by the German-Americans’ presumably divided loyalties and the new immigrants’ “apart-ness.” For instance, Dr. Hebard, in an address to Cheyenne women in March 1918, paid tribute to “faithful Germans” but also sounded a Rooseveltian note: “There is no such thing as an American-German. Either they are for us or against, and they can not be both American and German.” An appropriate Wyoming example of the prevailing attitude toward immigrants in general appeared in a Laramie Daily Boomerang editorial in October 1917. “In our easy going way for years,” the Boomerang announced, “we have allowed foreigners to come to America, then draw off in groups where they live in conditions approximating the conditions of their native lands.” Such neglect, the writer continued, caused the immigrants to become  little nations within the nation, “With their own churches, their own newspapers, their own clubs, and often their own schools.” Living and working in America, the immigrants had nonetheless left “their hearts abroad.” “The hyphen,” the editorial concluded, “should not be tolerated.”17

In competition with the conformist approach to Americanizing the immigrants, liberal reformers strained to reconcile their softer methods with the need for wartime unity. Yet, as the war dragged on, the liberals’ benign tactics gave way to the more coercive means preferred by the 100 percenters. After the war, immigrants, generally considered agreeable to the exertions of Americanizers, began expressing more resentment of Americanization, regardless of how administered. As for post-war Americanization itself, abject fear of communists, anarchists, and socialists drove the Red Scare of 1919–1920. The National Security League, an organization formed during the preparedness campaign prior to American involvement in the War, defined post-war Americanism as “the fighting of Bolshevism and other un-American tendencies by the creation of well-defined National Ideals.”18 Thus, immigrant education retained its unifying appeal and the national organizations and bureaus hoped support and money would continue. However, new federal legislation prohibited private backing for federal agencies, barring the National Americanization Committee from rendering financial assistance to the Bureau of Education’s Division of Immigrant Education, which folded in 1919. The Bureau of Education subsequently incorporated its immigrant work into its adult education programs and its rival Bureau of Naturalization continued to oversee some Americanization endeavors in the interests of naturalization. Meanwhile, the states, in part impelled by the post-war hysteria, passed legislation to take up the slack. Wyoming, for instance, authorized its State Board of Education to organize Americanization classes through county school boards and establish teaching standards in 1921.19

State efforts to maintain the Americanizing momentum fell short, however, in the face of fading federal aid, the disappearance of supportive private groups, immigration restriction, post-war economic recession, the return to “normalcy” and growing indifference. Despite the Americanizers’ efforts, Hartmann concluded in his study, “the number of immigrants who became Americanized along the formal lines advocated by the Americanization groups must have been small, indeed, when compared with the great bulk of their fellows who never saw the inside of an American schoolroom or settlement house.” Gradual assimilation remained the norm, while immigrant education, generally, was absorbed into adult education programs.20

Turning now to a more specific consideration of Grace Hebard and her Americanization work in Wyoming, it is appropriate to return to her 1896 article for Illinois Wesleyan Magazine. Her discussion of the immigrant problem provides considerable insight into a well-developed ideology of American nationalism. At the outset, Hebard made clear the crucial and obvious legacy of immigration to the United States. “To whom do we owe our Nation’s unparalleled success?” she asked. “Certainly not,” the future author of Sacajawea responded, “to the native tribes which have resisted civilization ever since Columbus claimed the land by right of discovery. No, no, it is not to them; it is to the immigrants.” With the aid of a table showing the number and nationality of immigrants in 1882, 1891, and 1892, Hebard proceeded to point out the large increases in immigration from Russia, Poland, Italy, and other southern and eastern European sources. Then, in an assertion she believed “apparent” from “these figures,” Dr. Hebard stated “that the quality of this immigration is deteriorating.” As a result, she concluded in a manner typical of late nineteenth century American writings on immigration, “vast numbers of people unfamiliar with our habits or political thoughts and actions” would become voters and low-wage competitors with “our workingmen.”21

As she continued, Hebard’s rhetoric took on a more derogatory tone. After lauding the pre-1870 immigration as sufficiently composed of the “better classes,” Hebard lamented: “today we are receiving the dregs of all nations. America has been well called the dumping ground for all of the old world, and from this steaming heap of refuse population made up of the scum of communities, we see arising hideous disease, debasing crime, drod and drivel of the asylums, degrading pauperism and bloody rebellion, and in place of citizenship, anarchy and socialism.” A far cry, indeed, from the sentiments etched at the base of the Statue of Liberty. Pausing to suggest the educational remedy needed to homogenize these motley hordes, Hebard suggested that without citizenship, there could be no patriotism. On the other hand, the overwhelming numbers of virtually unassimilable immigrants posed a logistical problem in training “the incomers into ethical harmony with the fundamental principles of its [America’s] own individual life.” “The great ship of State—citizenship,” she cautioned, “is not overcrowded, but there is a superabundance of steerage passengers.”

Finally, Dr. Hebard decried the nation’s “loose naturalization laws,” which, she claimed, put too much political power “into the hands of ignorant voters” and “their often unscrupulous leaders.” “There should be a Department of Naturalization,” she suggested, because the seriousness of the problem demanded cabinet-level attention. Furthermore, “In each state there should be one officer responsible to the Secretary of Naturalization.” Hebard had other suggestions, including the imposition of educational and property qualifications for voters, before closing her article.22  What is interesting from a historical perspective is both the harshness of her descriptions of the new immigrants and the occasional glimmer of optimism that education—albeit in tandem with severe restrictions on the number of such immigrants allowed into the country—can transform most of them into desirable citizens.

There is no clear evidence that Dr. Hebard applied her intense interest in naturalization and immigration issues in a practical way before 1916. It is probable, though, that she treated her classes in sociology and political economy at the University of Wyoming to discourses resonant of her 1896 article.23 For the period after January 1916, however, one can find numerous clippings, letters, and references to Americanization in Dr. Hebard’s papers. Between January and April of that year, she requested and received a number of documents from the Committee on Immigrants in America and other entities for her Sociology class. In May, she wrote Paul Lee Ellerbe, the Chief Naturalization Examiner in the Bureau of Naturalization’s Denver office, having noticed his reference to citizenship training for foreigners in a Cheyenne newspaper, and asked him for more printed material. “If I were living in Cheyenne,” she closed, “I would be very glad to offer my services for Saturday evening teaching of this subject.”24

As it turned out, not living in Cheyenne did not prevent Dr. Hebard from ultimately offering her services. Having followed with keen interest the developing national push for Americanization, Hebard, by the autumn of 1916, felt prepared to bring the issue before Wyoming’s citizenry. In the weeks leading up to an early October address on the “Americanization of the Immigrant” presented to the Wyoming Federation of Women’s Clubs (WFWC) in Sheridan, she also busied herself with a plan to involve the University of Wyoming in an Americanization program in Laramie. The city’s public schools had evidently ignored the Bureau of Naturalization’s prodding to start night classes for immigrants, so Hebard, in consultation with Chief Examiner Ellerbe, District Court Judge Volney J. Tidball, and University President Clyde A. Duniway, began laying the foundation for the classes. In addition the president of the University’s YMCA expressed to Dr. Hebard his organization’s willingness “to take up this work of helping to instruct the Immigrant.” Ellerbe agreed with Hebard that securing the cooperation of such groups as Wyoming’s women’s clubs and the university’s YMCA would be helpful, but in specific reference to Laramie, he felt that “After it [the class] is started it will be a one-man job and will not take much time at that.”25

In Sheridan, Hebard first enlightened the clubwomen upon the fundamental differences between the class of immigrants—”advanced in industry, skilled in agriculture, and above the average in intelligence”—which had once predominated with those now coming from “southeast continental Europe,” who were “less educated—not skilled in industry,” impoverished, and lacking in ambition. “Americanization and citizenship are two identical words to the majority of the American born citizens,” she then pointed out, yet “Under conditions as they now exist, the two words are as far apart as the North and South pole.” “The alien,” Hebard continued, “should be made to feel that citizenship is a favor and not a right” and, happily, the “immigrants are not only ready to be taught, but beg that they may have instructions.” Finally, she made her appeal, noting first that the public schools were already in use for Americanization training throughout the country yet implying that the schools alone could not adequately instruct every citizenship

article for Illinois Wesleyan Magazine. Her discussion of the immigrant problem provides considerable insight into a well-developed ideology of American nationalism. At the outset, Hebard made clear the crucial and obvious legacy of immigration to the United States. “To whom do we owe our Nation’s unparalleled success?” she asked. “Certainly not,” the future author of Sacajawea responded, “to the native tribes which have resisted civilization ever since Columbus claimed the land by right of discovery. No, no, it is not to them; it is to the immigrants.” With the aid of a table showing the number and nationality of immigrants in 1882, 1891, and 1892, Hebard proceeded to point out the large increases in immigration from Russia, Poland, Italy, and other southern and eastern European sources. Then, in an assertion she believed “apparent” from “these figures,” Dr. Hebard stated “that the quality of this immigration is deteriorating.” As a result, she concluded in a manner typical of late nineteenth century American writings on immigration, “vast numbers of people unfamiliar with our habits or political thoughts and actions” would become voters and low-wage competitors with “our workingmen.”21

As she continued, Hebard’s rhetoric took on a more derogatory tone. After lauding the pre-1870 immigration as sufficiently composed of the “better classes,” Hebard lamented: “today we are receiving the dregs of all nations. America has been well called the dumping ground for all of the old world, and from this steaming heap of refuse population made up of the scum of communities, we see arising hideous disease, debasing crime, drod and drivel of the asylums, degrading pauperism and bloody rebellion, and in place of citizenship, anarchy and socialism.” A far cry, indeed, from the sentiments etched at the base of the Statue of Liberty. Pausing to suggest the educational remedy needed to homogenize these motley hordes, Hebard suggested that without citizenship, there could be no patriotism. On the other hand, the overwhelming numbers of virtually unassimilable immigrants posed a logistical problem in training “the incomers into ethical harmony with the fundamental principles of its [America’s] own individual life.” “The great ship of State—citizenship,” she cautioned, “is not overcrowded, but there is a superabundance of steerage passengers.”

Finally, Dr. Hebard decried the nation’s “loose naturalization laws,” which, she claimed, put too much political power “into the hands of ignorant voters” and “their often unscrupulous leaders.” “There should be a Department of Naturalization,” she suggested, because the seriousness of the problem demanded cabinet-level attention. Furthermore, “In each state there should be one officer responsible to the Secretary of Naturalization.” Hebard had other suggestions, including the imposition of educational and property qualifications for voters, before closing her article.22  What is interesting from a historical perspective is both the harshness of her descriptions of the new immigrants and the occasional glimmer of optimism that education—albeit in tandem with severe restrictions on the number of such immigrants allowed into the country—can transform most of them into desirable citizens.

There is no clear evidence that Dr. Hebard applied her intense interest in naturalization and immigration issues in a practical way before 1916. It is probable, though, that she treated her classes in sociology and political economy at the University of Wyoming to discourses resonant of her 1896 article.23 For the period after January 1916, however, one can find numerous clippings, letters, and references to Americanization in Dr. Hebard’s papers. Between January and April of that year, she requested and received a number of documents from the Committee on Immigrants in America and other entities for her Sociology class. In May, she wrote Paul Lee Ellerbe, the Chief Naturalization Examiner in the Bureau of Naturalization’s Denver office, having noticed his reference to citizenship training for foreigners in a Cheyenne newspaper, and asked him for more printed material. “If I were living in Cheyenne,” she closed, “I would be very glad to offer my services for Saturday evening teaching of this subject.”24

As it turned out, not living in Cheyenne did not prevent Dr. Hebard from ultimately offering her services. Having followed with keen interest the developing national push for Americanization, Hebard, by the autumn of 1916, felt prepared to bring the issue before Wyoming’s citizenry. In the weeks leading up to an early October address on the “Americanization of the Immigrant” presented to the Wyoming Federation of Women’s Clubs (WFWC) in Sheridan, she also busied herself with a plan to involve the University of Wyoming in an Americanization program in Laramie. The city’s public schools had evidently ignored the Bureau of Naturalization’s prodding to start night classes for immigrants, so Hebard, in consultation with Chief Examiner Ellerbe, District Court Judge Volney J. Tidball, and University President Clyde A. Duniway, began laying the foundation for the classes. In addition the president of the University’s YMCA expressed to Dr. Hebard his organization’s willingness “to take up this work of helping to instruct the Immigrant.” Ellerbe agreed with Hebard that securing the cooperation of such groups as Wyoming’s women’s clubs and the university’s YMCA would be helpful, but in specific reference to Laramie, he felt that “After it [the class] is started it will be a one-man job and will not take much time at that.”25

In Sheridan, Hebard first enlightened the clubwomen upon the fundamental differences between the class of immigrants—”advanced in industry, skilled in agriculture, and above the average in intelligence”—which had once predominated with those now coming from “southeast continental Europe,” who were “less educated—not skilled in industry,” impoverished, and lacking in ambition. “Americanization and citizenship are two identical words to the majority of the American born citizens,” she then pointed out, yet “Under conditions as they now exist, the two words are as far apart as the North and South pole.” “The alien,” Hebard continued, “should be made to feel that citizenship is a favor and not a right” and, happily, the “immigrants are not only ready to be taught, but beg that they may have instructions.” Finally, she made her appeal, noting first that the public schools were already in use for Americanization training throughout the country yet implying that the schools alone could not adequately instruct every citizenship candidate that sought “enlightenment.” “I am wondering if I may,” she said, “this evening make an appeal to you to help Americanize the immigrant citizen, that he may be a more intelligent and better citizen and in this way we may have an unparallel[ed] preparedness in time of foreign conflict.” Hebard’s talk struck a responsive chord among her fellow Federation members and they passed a resolution (drafted by Hebard) in support of Americanization.26

That same weekend in Sheridan, in addition to attending the WFWC convention, Dr. Hebard participated in the annual meeting of the State Library Association and presided as State Regent at the Wyoming DAR conference. In her report to the DAR, Hebard quite eloquently referred to her anxiety about immigrants in recommending a DAR role in Americanization:

 

I have but one final recommendation to make and I make this because we are distinctly a patriotic society, and have ancestors who were born so long ago that they are no longer classed as immigrants. This is an earnest plea from me that we try to do something toward the education of the alien, who comes to our shores of liberty and freedom, not only in helping him to read our language, but in understanding our form of government. We cannot Americanize immigrants by simply making citizens of them and allowing them to vote: they must be taught to know what it is to be Americanized, and this can only be brought about by the understanding of our customs and our government. The poor alien does not know, often, what is required by our laws, and often becomes a criminal from ignorance of our laws. May we not take an active part in co-operating with the Judges of the District Court of Wyoming, who grants [sic] citizenship to aliens, in helping the immigrant to a better understanding of the principles for which our government stands, and the technicalities of our government. Incidentally in helping them, we can gleam glimpses of light ourselves. This is a matter very near to my heart, because it is a subject which I teach, and I believe the more you go into the matter, the more vital you will realize that this is a part of the education needed by the alien who has become a citizen and who has not become an American.27

 

“The iron is hot,” Hebard wrote Ellerbe after her successful weekend in Sheridan, “and I believe can be welded into a satisfactory shape, if you will tell me what to do, and let me know what you can do.” In reply, Ellerbe suggested persuading public schools in sections of the state with “an appreciable proportion of alien population to install classes in citizenship.” He hoped to see classes started “at once” in Cheyenne, Laramie, Rawlins, Sun-dance, Casper, Sheridan, Rock Springs, Newcastle, and Kemmerer. Ellerbe later journeyed to Laramie to discuss citizenship education for immigrants with University president Clyde Duniway. Ellerbe’s visit was, according to a letter he wrote to the Laramie Daily Boomerang, a follow-up to a conversation he held with Dr. Hebard in September, during which he “found her enthusiastically interested in the subject.” Despite the small number of immigrant residents in Albany County, Ellerbe believed, as did Judge Tidball, that “the need for such a class is nevertheless very real.” As the Laramie public schools had failed to act upon the Bureau’s request to implement an adult immigrant education program, President Duniway informed Ellerbe “that the University of Wyoming would undertake the conduct of a citizenship class,” to be taught by Dr. Hebard. Ellerbe informed the professor that he would furnish to her the names of those filing petitions for naturalization. He also suggested that Hebard arrange with Frank J. Ihmsen, Clerk of the District Court in Laramie, to refer declarants and petitioners directly to her.28

Thus, Grace Raymond Hebard became Albany County’s official Americanizer. Her crusading zeal fairly leaps out of letters written in the weeks following the establishment of the class. “This Americanization work, in which I am vitally interested,” she informed a Mrs. David, “is to me what a great deal of church work is to other people. I wish to make it a religion, for a time at least. My idea is that one cannot be a real christian until he is a patriot.” To Mrs. Walter McNab Miller in New York City, Hebard noted her intention to get the state’s public schools to ultimately take on the work, then gushed, “I love the work because it is along the line of citizenship and this is my one hobby. I only wish I might be able to do national work on this account.” The first letters to prospective students went out on December 1, 1916.29

A spring 1917 article from a National American Woman Suffrage Association publication, the National Suffrage News, and documents housed in the University of Wyoming’s American Heritage Center provide a glimpse at how Hebard’s classes actually operated. Judge Tidball, a former Hebard pupil, issued the order giving her the right to conduct the classes. Moreover, her students’ certificates of examination eliminated the need for a court-room examination, “an infinite relief to the foreigners, who find a court examination under strange surroundings a trying, sometimes even a disastrous ordeal.” Nonetheless, at the district court on March 8, 1917—with one of Dr. Hebard’s Sociology classes on hand—Judge Tidball and naturalization examiner Frederick C. Emmerich quizzed the professor’s three foreign students. Afterwards, Tidball expressed his wish that “all native-born Americans could answer the questions as well, and with as full understanding.”30

Hebard’s initial citizenship course covered ten weeks—two hours of class one evening each week—during that winter, “a severe test,” the article presumed, “of the desire to become good American citizens.” The first lesson began with the students memorizing the song “America,” then writing an essay on “what the Hymn means.” Hebard, in addition to explaining the process of naturalization, had the class explain “why and under what conditions” they had immigrated to the United States and also discuss the meaning of liberty. Each week focused on a particular theme—citizenship, one of the three branches of federal government, an overview of American history, Wyoming and city government—before ending with a review and discussion of “Citizenship Privileges and Duties.” In addition to “the academic treatment of her subject, Dr. Hebard never let a lesson pass without a patriotic stimulus,” from “special study” of American Presidents to “lessons in democratic ideals from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.” An American flag, “with a picture of Washington in its folds,” hung behind the instructor throughout.31

At the end of the examination, “Dr. Hebard pinned a small silk flag upon the coat or dress of each one of the class” and reminded them that their first duty as new citizens might entail defending the emblem “even at the sacrifice of life.” A lawyer in attendance, moved by the ceremony, assured Dr. Hebard, “[a]lthough you have no sons to send to war, you certainly have made three patriotic loyal citizens out of that number of aliens.” Significantly, one of the spinster professor’s patriotic loyal citizens was Ferdinand Hansen, a German from Rock River, who when asked if he would fight against his former homeland if the United States entered the war, replied in the affirmative, “without any hesitation, but with a troubled brow.” Accompanying the one-page article, a photograph showed Dr. Hebard standing on the courthouse steps with Judge Tidball, Emmerich, the Clerk of Court, and her three students, identified as “German, Irishman, Englishman.”32

Oddly, considering her views about southern and eastern Europeans, Dr. Hebard had very little direct contact with immigrants from those parts of the globe. Yugoslavians, Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Turks, Greeks, and Italians inhabited the coal mining camps in southwestern Wyoming, but Hebard’s citizenship students generally came from the British Isles, Germany, and the Scandinavian countries. Of 53 students listed on enrollment cards found in Hebard’s papers, one was Greek and another Syrian. Of the remaining 51, 11 were English, 11 Swedish, seven Norwegian, six German, three Canadian, three Scottish, two Danish, one Belgian, one Irish, one British West Indian, one Swiss, and one Mexican. The other three were American women married to immigrants, who by law, were citizens of their husbands’ nations of origin until the man became an American citizen. It is unlikely that these three and the five foreign-born wives included in the enrollment cards actually took Dr. Hebard’s course, thereby leaving 45 bona fide students.33  Otherwise, only  three of Dr. Hebard’s immigrant scholars were women, the widowed Englishwoman Louisa Banner, her single daughter Kate, and Jennie McLay, a 42-year-old teacher from Canada. Most of the students worked for the Union Pacific Railroad as engineers, machinists, car inspectors or repairers, tie hacks, rip track workers, and hostlers. Others noted their occupations as laborers, carpenters, and ranchers, with one each being a shepherd, teamster, barber, merchant, and miner.34

During the summer of 1917, Hebard augmented her normal teaching load by conducting more “classes in Americanization.” By November, according to the Woman Citizen, she had already “achieved a nation-wide fame” in “bringing America to many a foreigner.”35 Moreover, Dr. Hebard wasted little time in taking her message about Americanization on the road. As the federally appointed head of Wyoming’s War Lecture Bureau, Hebard traversed the state giving talks not only on Americanization but on food conservation and women’s role in war work. In a presentation before the state board of education in November 1917, she “made a strong plea for some action toward the Americanization of emigrant foreigners in this country, and the removing of the hyphen from their designation in advance of their being made citizens.” She pushed the board to provide free instruction for Wyoming’s foreign residents in English and American and Wyoming history and government. Alas, on this occasion, the board could only express its sympathy with Hebard’s wishes, confessing that a lack of funds prevented the implementation of a state-run Americanization program.36

 A few months later, Dr. Hebard ventured to Fort Collins to address the Cache la Poudre chapter of the DAR. Hebard, described in a newspaper account as “the only woman in this part of the country who has been granted the special privilege of preparing aliens for citizenship,” stressed Americanization as a crucial war measure, reiterating her contention that “many foreigners were naturalized, but not Americanized.” Furthermore, at this talk, the professor discussed another aspect of naturalization that concerned her greatly. In recommending the founding of night schools, she emphasized the need to Americanize the alien’s wife. “She must be educated,” Dr. Hebard declared, “and receive more recognition and [s]ome of the principles of Americanization must be ground into her.”37

In late summer 1918, as the war headed into its final weeks, Grace Hebard traveled east, the guest of Grace H. Bagley of Boston, chair of the Americanization committee of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Mrs. Bagley’s letters of introduction to other women with whom Hebard met during her eastern trip referred to the Wyomingite as “a 100 per cent efficient war time American,” whose “favorite job is the education of immigrants.” In September, speaking to women in Boston, Hebard got swiftly to the point, asking, “Is the melting pot melting?” Answering her own question, she pointed out the self-segregation of Boston’s foreign population. “There should be no foreign quarter,” she declared, and then helpfully explained her Americanization philosophy: “I instruct at night in the fundamentals and ideals of United States history, show them the difference between liberty and license and prepare them for American citizenship.” Impressed, a Boston Herald & Tribune reporter referred to the Wyoming educator as “a patriot with a capital P.”38

Wither Grace Hebard’s “capital P” patriotism after the war? An attack of acute indigestion prevented her from attending the naturalization of five of her students in March 1919, and she subsequently informed correspondents that she had taught her last naturalization class.39 Nonetheless, she put considerable effort into immigrant issues and Americanization for the remainder of her life. For example, immediately following the Armistice, the University of Wyoming’s Division of Correspondence Study offered Political Economy XIII: Americanization, taught by Dr. Hebard. “As a future preparedness for national unity,” Hebard’s course description stated, “naturalization of the alien should mean more than a human voting machine, it must mean being an American with all hyphens eliminated.” The course, designed for regular university students, not immigrants seeking naturalization papers, offered a brief history of immigration and a description of “what our government is now doing to Americanize the foreigner.” Soon thereafter, Dr. Hebard began teaching a two credit course, required of Political Economy majors, called “Americanization and Reconstruction.” Reflective of widespread post-war concerns about labor radicalism (a key element in the Red Scare), the catalogue course description pointed out that “the problem of making the immigrant an American before he is naturalized involves important labor conditions which are allied with the period of reconstruction always necessary after a war.” Hebard offered this course, or a variation thereof, until her death in 1936. The 1921 legislation provided the pretext for a summer school class in Naturalization and Citizenship, planned “to meet the new demand of those who are expecting to teach in night schools.”40

Besides teaching the precepts of Americanization to University of Wyoming students well into the 1930s, Grace Hebard continued to find time to preach about the benefits of educating immigrants as well as the dangers of unrestricted immigration. In an address to young immigrant tie hacks at a picnic in Foxpark during the summer of 1922, Dr. Hebard extolled the benefits of Americanization and naturalization. Yet, as the United States worked its way toward placing numerical quotas upon immigration in the early 1920s, Hebard also made her views concerning certain groups known in Wyoming and nationally. At a WFWC convention at Casper in 1920 she warned club-women of an “expanding foreign population, which consists largely of Italians, Slovaks, Czecks [sic], Rumanians, Poles and Russians” lured to the United States because of post-war conditions in Europe and high wages in America.

Hebard again expressed her underlying doubts about these immigrants’ willingness to throw off their “restless spirit” and “become American citizens.” In the Woman Citizen in 1921, she maintained that “our own house needs readjustment just now,” and commended the recently passed federal immigration law, which limited the number of new immigrants from each nationality to three percent of those resident in the United States in 1910. That provision favored immigration from northern and northwestern Europe and greatly reduced the numbers coming from southern and eastern Europe. “Homogeneity,” Hebard asserted, “can only be maintained by admitting in greatest numbers those who are acceptable for assimilation with our American people. The new law aims to restrict the tide from countries which would give us a population difficult of assimilation and give preference to countries whose emigrants are eager to become Americans, with whom we would intermarry.” Perhaps, as examples of those eager to become Americans, Dr. Hebard had in mind the “German, Irishman, Englishman” whom she transformed into Americans several years before. She also gave “Americanization” talks as the 1924 National Origins Act, which ultimately restricted European immigration on the basis of the 1890 census, further reducing the quota for southern and eastern Europeans, approached passage.41

Considered by many of her contemporaries as a “a path breaker” in “[m]aking American citizens,”42 Grace Raymond Hebard, through her career as an Americanizer, represents a paradox in America’s historical treatment of immigrants. While welcomed as a crucial supply of manual labor, the southern and eastern Europeans (not to mention Asian and Latin American immigrants) repelled many “old stock” Americans like Hebard. They lacked the proper individualistic and democratic traditions and seemed particularly susceptible to following the red flags of radicalism. Yet, as noted above, her immigrant students did not come from Poland, Russia, Italy, and other nations of dubious qualities in the assessment of Americanizers.

Responses of immigrant students themselves to Hebard’s classes suggest that she made a positive impression on her citizenship classes. A letter “From a member of my first Americanization class,” thanked Hebard “for the work you have done and the interest you have taken in us.” The correspondent continued: “I consider that we have been singularly fortunate—that your public spiritedness and patriotism prompted you to assume the task—.Personally, I came to the classes at first with a feeling that I was pretty well acquainted with the needful subjects, and that it would not be necessary for me to attend, but at the first lesson I formed a different concept of Citizenship from your enthusiasm and Patriotism.” Kate Banner, the young English woman whose mother and brother Hebard also “Americanized,” thanked the teacher for “your kindness in making things so pleasant for us, especially Mother.”

In 1929, the University of Wyoming’s student newspaper, The Branding Iron, in a story about Dr. Hebard’s fortieth year at the school, reported: “Many of our citizens of foreign birth speak gratefully of this service whenever her name is mentioned in their presence.”43 Thus, in contrast to Hebard’s often harsh comments about certain immigrant groups, it must be acknowledged that she made a concerted and conscientious effort to ease their assimilation into American life. Even if one questions her embrace of homogeneity —and one does so at the risk of yanking Dr. Hebard out of context—her underlying optimism contrasts favorably with much of the raw chauvinism and xenophobia passing as patriotism during and after World War I. One can only guess at whether more contact with southern and eastern Europeans in her classes would have confirmed Hebard in her prejudices or softened her views.

Hebard’s impact must also be considered in relation to the native-born American students who, under her tutelage, confidently strode forth from Laramie to teach the immigrant in communities all around Wyoming and elsewhere. In 1929, for instance, Hebard witnessed a naturalization examination of applicants trained by “my one-time student,” J. E. Thayer. “The way they answered and the earnestness with which they went to their task,” she informed Thayer, “showed very clearly that their instructor had been very painstaking and that he had obtained their respect and confidence.” “As a student in your classes in Americanization and Sociology during the past summer term,” A. L. Burgoon, a school district superintendent in Lincoln County, Wyoming, wrote in 1922, “I wish to express my appreciation for the vision and inspiration you have given me.” And from the nun in Notre Dame, Indiana, delighted at Dr. Hebard’s prompt reply to her request for information, a sincere, even touching, note of gratitude: “I know I should be very proud and happy to have made as many good citizens for our beloved country as you have done.”44 To those devoted to the cause of Americanization that was exactly the point—to make good American citizens. While many at the time and since have rightly criticized them for their zealotry and prejudice, the Americanizers generally conducted their crusade as a sincere and well-intentioned endeavor. The case of Grace Raymond Hebard indicates quite clearly the commingling of fear and optimism inherent in the Americanizers’ approach.

 

1 Sister M. Veronica to Grace Raymond Hebard, March 14, 1924, Grace Raymond Hebard papers, Box 35, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming (hereafter cited as Hebard papers).

2  The Wyoming News, August 3, 1935, clipping in Box 35, Hebard papers; see also Cora M. Beach, Women of Wyoming (Casper, Wyo.: S. E. Boyer & Co., 1927), 122.

3  Grace Raymond Hebard, “Immigration and Needed Ballot Reform,” The Illinois Wesleyan Magazine, October 1896, 230, in box 33, Hebard papers; for Francis Amasa Walker’s views see his Discussions in Economics and Statistics, 2 vols., ed. Davis R. Dewey (New York: Henry Holt & Company, 1899).

4  Edward George Hartmann, The Movement to Americanize the Immigrant (New York: Columbia University Press, 1948; reprint, New York: AMS Press, Inc., 1967), 7–8; see also Robert A. Carlson, “Americanization as an Early Twentieth-Century Adult Education Movement,” History of Education Quarterly 10 (Winter 1970): 440–64, which concentrates on the distinctions and relationships between humanitarian, social control, and efficiency concepts in Americanization; John F. McClymer, “The Americanization Movement and the Education of the Foreign-Born Adult,” in American Education and the European Immigrant: 1840–1940, ed. Bernard J. Weiss (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1982), 96–116, qualifies Hartmann’s sanguine interpretation considerably by arguing that Americanizers politicized cultural differences through their rigid definitions of loyalty. Another interpretation emphasizes Americanizing influences, often of a radical bent, that immigrants derived from their own working-class culture. See James R. Barrett, “Americanization from the Bottom Up: Immigration and the Remaking of the Working Class in the United States, 1880–1930,” Journal of American History 79 (December 1992): 996–1020.

5 Hartmann, 24–63. Chicago’s Immigrants’ Protective League, organized in 1908, provided services similar to those offered by the North American Civic League. See Rivka Lissak, “Liberal Progressives and ‘New Immigrants’: The Immigrants’ Protective League of Chicago, 1908–1919,” Studies in American Civilization 32 (1987): 79–103.

6  Hartmann, 36, 64–87.

7  Ibid., 88–96, quote on 24. There are a number of important studies of workplace Americanization; see, for instance, Gerd Korman, “Americanization at the Factory Gate,” Industrial and Labor Relations Review 18 (1965): 396–419 and Stephen Meyer, “Adapting the Immigrant to the Line: Americanization in the Ford Factory, 1914–1921,” Journal of Social History 14 (1980): 67–82.

8 Hartmann, 146–53; Reports of the Immigration Commission, Immigrants in Industries, Part 25: Japanese and Other Immigrant Races in the Pacific Coast and Rocky Mountain States, vol. 3, 61st Cong., 2d sess., S. Doc. 633, serial 5684-3 (Washington: GPO, 1911), 279–92, 327–40, 665–69, quotes on 281, 292.

9  Hartmann, 97–104, quotes on 97, 103; McClymer, “Americanization Movement and Education,” 99–103; McClymer, “The Federal Government and the Americanization Movement, 1915–1924,” Prologue: The Journal of the National Archives 10 (Spring 1978): 22–41; see Naturalization vertical files, folder 3, American Heritage Center (AHC), for Committee for Immigrants in America and Bureau of Education publications.

10  Hartmann, 105–07; John Higham, Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1860–1925 (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1955), 195–204; David M. Kennedy, Over Here: The First World War and American Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), 63–69; Theodore Roosevelt, Fear God and Take Your Own Part, in vol. 18, The Works of Theodore Roosevelt, National Edition (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1926), 278, 392; Woodrow Wilson, The Public Papers of Woodrow Wilson: The New Democracy, 2 vols., eds. Ray Stannard Baker and William E. Dodd (New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1926).

11  Hartmann, 108–10; Wilson, 319.

12  Rock Springs Rocket,  May 23, 1916; Sheridan Post, June 16,1916.

13  Hartmann, 112–40.

14  Ibid., 164–215. On labor unions’ Americanization approaches during the war, see Barrett, “Americanization from the Bottom Up,” 1014–18.

15  Ellis W. Hawley, The Great War and the Search for a Modern Order: A History of the American People and Their Institutions, 1917–1933 (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1979), 11–15, 27–30.

16  T. A. Larson, History of Wyoming, 2d ed., rev. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1978), 400–01; Dale A. Poeske, “Wyoming in World War I” (M. A. thesis, University of Wyoming, 1968), 123–24; Lawrence A. Cardoso, “Nativism in Wyoming, 1868–1930: Changing Perceptions of Foreign Immigrants,” Annals of Wyoming 58 (Spring 1986): 27–28. Many of the actions taken against Germans in Wyoming had official sanction, of course. See, for instance, the Laramie Republican, June 4, 1918, which published an announcement that “German alien females” were required by presidential proclamation to register with the chiefs of police or postmasters in all Wyoming cities and towns. The same paper ran a series of articles during the summer of 1918 by Clarence L. Speed of Casper, titled “Why We Fight.” A series of questions with which Mr. Speed ended one such piece provides a good indication of the general tone of his endeavor: “Can we talk of peace with a Germany, that even in times of peace, is trying to disorganize our country, foment strife, and destroy our unity, simply because a strong, united nation on the other side of the world is not German? Can we make peace with a country that fills our land with paid emissaries in an effort to make its language supplant our own? Can we talk of peace while a government that considers the world its prey dominates Germany?” Laramie Republican, June 14, 1918.

17  Higham, 204–215, quotes on 205–06, 215, 213; Cardoso, “Nativism in Wyoming,” 28; Wyoming Tribune, March 2, 1918, in box 37, Hebard papers; Laramie Daily Boomerang,  October 23, 1917.

18  Hartmann, 218–19.

19  Higham, 250–54; Hawley, 48–52; Hartmann, 225–52; Cardoso, “Nativism in Wyoming,” 33; Frances Birkhead Beard, ed., Wyoming From Territorial Days to the Present (Chicago: The American Historical Society, 1933), 1:628.

20  Hartmann, 264–73, quote on 271; For speculation concerning how many immigrants enrolled in and attended Americanization classes between 1914 and 1925, see McClymer, “Americanization Movement and Education,” 102–05; Higham, 254–63. James R. Barrett argues that most immigrants were acculturated through participation in the labor movement, the objectives of which were often antithetical to the official Americanization groups. Barrett, 1011.

21 Hebard, 226, 228–29, italics in the original.

22  Ibid.,  229, 231–34, 238–43.

23 “Immigration” was one of the topics listed in a description of the Department of Political Economy’s “Sociology and Social Problems” course in pre-war catalogues. See, for example, “Catalogue, 1914,” University of Wyoming Bulletin 11 (Laramie: University of Wyoming, April 1914), 95.

24  For the January through April 1916 letters to the Committee on Immigrants in America, et. al., see Naturalization vertical files, folder 4, AHC; Grace Raymond Hebard to Paul Lee Ellerbe, May 10, 1916, in folder 4.

25  Quotes from Grace Raymond Hebard to Paul Lee Ellerbe, September 20, 1916 and Ellerbe to Hebard, September 25, 1916; see also Hebard to Honorable V. J. Tidball, September 15, 1916; Hebard to Ellerbe, September 15, 1916, all in Naturalization vertical files, folder 4, AHC.

26  Grace Raymond Hebard, “Americanization of the Immigrant,” typewritten draft of speech given at Sheridan, Wyoming,  October 6, 1916, before Wyoming Federation of Women’s Clubs, in Naturalization vertical files, folder 3, AHC. Hebard used this text, with only minor modifications, in many subsequent Americanization talks and also published it as an article in the General Federation of Women’s Clubs Magazine for February 1917, a copy of which is in folder 3; “Resolutions Adopted by the Thirteenth Annual Convention of the Wyoming Federation of Women’s Clubs Held at Sheridan, Wyoming, October 4–6, 1916,” in Naturalization files, folder 1; see Hebard’s reference to resolution in Hebard to Ellerbe, October 13, 1916, folder 4; Sheridan Post, October 6, 10, 1916.

 27  Daughters of the American Revolution of Wyoming, report dated Sheridan, Wyoming, October 4, 1916, in Box 1, DAR file, Hebard papers; Sheridan Post, October 6, 1916.

28  Hebard to Ellerbe, October 9, 1916, and Ellerbe to Hebard, October 11, 1916, in Naturalization files, folder 4;  Laramie Daily Boomerang, October 25, 1916, clipping in Box 37, Hebard papers; Ellerbe to Hebard, October 23, 1916, Naturalization files, folder 4. Ellerbe to Hebard, October 11, 1916, Naturalization files, folder 4. See also Hebard to Richard K. Campbell (Commissioner of Naturalization, U.S. Department of Labor), October 31, 1916, also in folder 4. On cooperation between the Bureau of Naturalization’s chief examiners and local judges see McClymer, “Federal Government and Americanization Movement,” 36.

29  Hebard to Mrs. David, November 2, 1916; Hebard to Mrs. Walter McNab Miller, November 25, 1916, Naturalization files, folder 4.

30  “Americanization Service of the Suffragists,” National Suffrage News, undated clipping in Box 35, Hebard papers; Laramie Boomerang, March 8, 1917. A copy of Judge Tidball’s November 20, 1916 court order is in Naturalization files, folder 2.

31  “Americanization Service;” “Citizenship. Outline Lessons to be used in the Class for Preparation for Naturalization. Grace Raymond Hebard, Laramie, Wyo,” in Naturalization  files, folder 2. Students had to be able to read English to take Hebard’s course. Otherwise, a citizenship candidate would “receive special instruction in another course.” See McClymer, “Americanization Movement and Education,” 105–10, for a general critique of Americanization classes.

32  “Americanization Service;” “Interesting Westerners,” Sunset, September 1918, 46; Laramie Boomerang, March 8, 1917. The German, of course, was Hansen, the Irishman Joe L. Madigan, and the Englishman Walter Teesdale. Hansen was indeed drafted into the armed forces. See Grace Raymond Hebard to A. N. Hasenkamp,  January 17, 1919, in Naturalization files, folder 4.

33  John F. McClymer makes the point that Americanization, though usually taught in public schools and other settings by women, was explicitly geared toward males. McClymer, “Gender and the ‘American Way of Life’: Women in the Americanization Movement,” Journal of American Ethnic History 10 (Spring 1991): 7–9.

34  Information on students gleaned from enrollment cards in Naturalization vertical files, folder 1. McLay, despite missing the first few meetings of Dr. Hebard’s class due to a “very bad cold,” was naturalized on March 19, 1919, along with Peter Ketelson, a German, Razi Najjar from Syria, Frederick G. James, a barber from the British West Indies, and Chris Andersen, a Dane who worked as a hostler for the Union Pacific. See Jennie McLay to Grace Raymond Hebard,  February 4, 1919, in Naturalization files, folder 2. Moreover, McLay, who taught for a period of time at Tie Siding School, about twenty miles south of Laramie, was Albany County Superintendent of Schools from 1923 to 1925. See Albany County Cow-Belles, Cow-Belles Ring School Bells: A History of Rural Schools in Albany County, Wyoming (Laramie: Albany County Cow-Belles Club, 1976), xviii, 34.

35  “In a Suffrage Garden,” Woman Citizen, November 10, 1917, 458, clipping in box 35, Hebard papers.

36 “Dr. Hebard Urges Americanization of Aliens,” unidentified newspaper clipping, dated November 14, 1917, in box 35, Hebard papers; “Interesting Westerners,” 46; Minutes of the State Board of Education for November 12, 1917, in Minutes of and Reports to the State Board of Education, Wyoming State Archives, Cheyenne.

37  “Americanization of Aliens is Urged,” unidentified and undated newspaper clipping, Box 37, Hebard papers. A clipping from the Laramie Republican,  February 11, 1918, refers to a talk on food conservation given in Fort Collins prior to the Americanization address, which took place that evening. The unidentified clipping refers to the earlier talk. Hebard outlined her concern for Americanizing immigrant women in an article published in a Washington State-based journal called The Vanguard and several letters. See Grace Raymond Hebard, “Americanization of Alien Woman [sic],” The Vanguard, March 1918, in Naturalization files, folder 3; Hebard to Hon. V. J. Tidball, September 15, 1916, Hebard to Paul Lee Ellerbe, September 15, 1916, Ellerbe to Hebard, September 25, 1916, Hebard to Mrs. John C. Pearson, undated, all in Naturalization files, folder 4. For a brief discussion concerning the Americanization of immigrant women, see McClymer, “Gender and the ‘American Way of Life’,” 9–16.

38  Grace H. Bagley to Gertrude Barnum, August 22, 1918; Bagley to Julia C. Lathrop, August 22,1918, box 35, Hebard papers; Boston Herald & Tribune,  September 3, 1918, clipping in box 35, Hebard papers. For references to Bagley’s role as the suffrage organization’s head of Americanization, see Ida Husted Harper, ed., History of Woman Suffrage (New York: NAWSA, 1922), 5:520, 560, 690, 697, 729, 732.

39  Hebard also anticipated the state’s public schools and the University’s Department of Education taking control of Americanization. Grace Raymond Hebard to Raymond Martin,  February 26, 1919; Hebard to Paul Armstrong,  February 26, March 21, 1919; Hebard to V. J. Tidball,  March 17, 1919; Hebard to Richard K. Campbell, March 21, 1919; Hebard to Paul Lee Ellerbe, March 21, 1919, Naturalization files, folder 4.

40 “Division of Correspondence Study,” University of Wyoming Bulletin 15 (Laramie: University of Wyoming, December 1918), 42; “Catalogue, 1921,” UW Bulletin 18 (Laramie: UW, April 1921), 76; “Summer School Number, June 19 to July 29, 1922,” UW Bulletin 18 (Laramie: UW, April 1922), 30. See course outlines for training Americanization workers in Naturalization files, folder 1.

41  “Americanization and Naturalization in Wyoming, 1921–22,” The Clubwoman, October-November 1922, 12–13, and unidentified newspaper clippings in Naturalization files, folder 1; [Grace Raymond Hebard], “America for Americans,” typewritten draft in Naturalization files, folder 3; Casper Daily Tribune, September 29-30, 1920; Casper Herald, September 30, 1920; Grace Raymond Hebard, “Why We Exclude the Ninety-Seven,” Woman Citizen, June 18, 1921, 14; Unidentified and undated newspaper clipping, probably April 1924, Hebard papers, Box 37.

42  “Interesting Westerners,” 46.

43  Undated, typed letter (possibly a copy), in Naturalization files, folder 2; Kate Banner to Grace Raymond Hebard, June 5, 1917, Naturalization files, folder 2; “Dr. Hebard Honored on Anniversary of Service,” The Branding Iron, July 1, 1929, clipping in box 35, Hebard papers.

44  Grace Raymond Hebard to Mr. J. E. Thayer, March 18,  1929, in Naturalization vertical file, folder 2, AHC; see also, in same location, Hebard to Honorable V. J. Tidball, March 18, 1929; A. L. Burgoon to Dr. Grace Raymond Hebard, August 1, 1922, box 36, Hebard papers; Sister M. Veronica to Hebard, March 23, 1924.

 

Frank Van Nuys, a native of Rapid City, S. D., holds the Ph.D. in history from the University of Wyoming. He is professor of history at South Dakota School of Mines, Rapid City. Prior to his appointment there,  he taught  history at Northern Michigan University, Marquette. His research interests center on Progressive era debates concerning immigration, ethnicity, and American identity.