Between 1880 and 1920 some towns in Belgium experienced a real “America-rush.” Although alternatives to overseas migration were still available and used by many, Belgians were attracted to the New World in increasing numbers.Continue reading “Belgian Immigration to America between 1880 and World War I”
The first “Belgian” settlement in America dates back to 1624, when some thirty Protestant families, “for the most part Walloon,” landed at Manhattan island aboard the “Nieuw Nederland”.1 They had fled religious persecution in the Spanish Low Countries (present day Belgium), and sought refuge in the town of Leiden in the Netherlands. There some of them had come in contact with the West India Company, who organized and financed their emigration to the New World.2Continue reading “Belgian Immigration to America until 1880.”
No comprehensive work exists describing the Belgian immigration to the Moline, Illinois area. The following is a brief annotated bibliography of works, some more scholarly than others, that include information about this particular Belgian-American community.Continue reading “Some Secondary Resources for the Belgians in and around Moline, Illinois.”
Did you know that during the first two decades of the twentieth century, Moline, Illinois, was the major center for the Belgian immigrants? Not only did the area receive a large portion of the new arrivals, but the city even hosted its own Flemish newspaper, the Gazette van Moline.1Continue reading “The Belgians in Moline, Illinois: An Overview.”
Did you know that, just like the Germans, Italians, and other ethnic groups in America, the Belgians created and maintained their own ethnic press? The two best known Belgian-American newspapers are the Gazette van Moline, which appeared from 1907 until 1940 in Moline, Illinois, and the Gazette van Detroit (Detroit, Michigan), which was first published in 1914, published its first online issue in 2006, went completely digital in 2015, and, sadly, was discontinued in December 2018. In addition, there were several other more short-lived publications. Most were written in Dutch, yet at least two were issued by Walloons, and therefore were composed in French.