Today we conclude our biography on our second American Czechoslav editor in the series, which was featured in the pages of the very first edition (1878) of the priceless Czech genealogy and history resource, Amerikán Národní Kalendář!

If you missed the first instalment of the tory of famed Czech-American editor, Karel Jonas, you can click here and catch up by reading it first.  Then come back here and finish the story!

Enjoy today’s installment!

Amerikán Národní Kalendář

VOLUME: I, YEAR: 1878, Pages 118-127

Published by August Geringer, Chicago, Illinois

Translated by Layne Pierce and Dr. Mila Saskova-Pierce

©Onward To Our Past®


1878 Jonas with Snajdr from Capek


“In February of 1863, at the invitation of his friend Vojt. Mašek, the editor of “Slavie”, he set off for America and took over the editorship of “Slavie”, at that time the only Czech periodical in America, which had about 800 subscribers.  The small entertainment section, “The Bells” [Zvony] that he started to publish along with “Slavie” soon disappeared.  In 1865 he published The Czech English Translator [Tlumač česko-anglický], so that there would be a small help for the most pressing needs in this direction.  In the year 1867 he founded the journal “Progress” [Pokrok] in Chicago.  In 1870 in June he set off for Europe from which he returned only at the end of 1872.  He found that he could not cross the Czech border, since the American Ambassador, John Jay, in Vienna could not provide protection for him as long as there was no agreement with Austria.  He furnished himself with the recommendations of Ambassador Bancroft in Berlin, and the permission of the general staff, and he launched himself to the battle field in France, behind the German armies.  He stayed there until the conclusion of the peace, while sending letters to America, as well as to Prague (these of course through Berlin).

The cover page of my 1890 copy of Jonas's Czech-English dictionary@

The cover page of my 1890 copy of Jonas’s Czech-English dictionary@

He wrote The Defeat of France and its Causes [Porážka Francie a Její Příčiny], then Federation and Austria [Federace a Rakousko], then The Woman in Human Society, Especially in England and America [Žena ve společnosti lidské zvláště v Anglii a v Americe], and these works were published in Prague in 1871.  Finally he visited Bohemia that same year and there he wrote American Federation and Self-Rule [Americká federace a samospráva], which was published in 1872 in Prague.  After his return to America he started to publish a weekly “American” [Amerikán], which, however, was soon handed over to Mr. Rosewater in Omaha and merged with “The Progress of the West” [Pokrok Západu].  In the year 1876 he published Dictionary, Czech-English, English-Czech [Slovník česko-anglický a anglicko-český].

The Karel Jonas monument in Racine at the time of its dedication.

The Karel Jonas monument in Racine at the time of its dedication.

Having quite a lively participation also in local politics, several times he represented the town of Racine as a representative at state conventions, and was called into the election convention of the Reformed Democratic Party in which he took part from 1872 onward.  He delivered a number of campaign speeches to Czech citizens.  In the year 1872 he was nominated to be on a Reformed Democratic Party ticket, for the office of registrar in Racine community.  He received the highest number of votes among all the candidates, however, the ticket and the party were defeated.  In the year 1873 after the Reformed Democratic Party won in Wisconsin, he was offered the job of deposition clerk in the state treasurer’s office, which he did not accept.  That same year, Governor Taylor named him a member of the directorate of the Reformed State School.  In 1876 he was elected a member of the town council in Racine.”


This completes our biography of American Czechoslav editor, Karel Jonas, as it appeared in the pages of the very first edition of Amerikán Národní Kalendář in 1878!  Tomorrow we begin a new Editor’s biography!

Onward To Our Past®

A Genealogical Historian, who is focused on family history and genealogy of the highest quality, but with a dose of fun. Avid about documentation and evidence. Loves helping folks of all levels in their genealogy pursuits, especially in the areas of Bohemia, Czech Republic, Italy, Cornwall, Kent, United Kingdom, U.S. Immigration and Cleveland, Ohio.

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