Today we bring you the final biography from the fabulous 1878 Amerikán Národní Kalendář article “The Biographies of Czech Editors in America”

Today we have just a short biography, but from all indications, this Czech-American editor was quite a force for Bohemian issues during his entire life in the States.

We know you will enjoy this look at his life — as we also work to locate a copy of the biography written by his brother, Thomas in 1921.

Amerikán Národní Kalendář

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

Published by August Geringer, Chicago, Illinois

“The Biographies of Czech Editors in America”

Translated by Layne Pierce and Dr. Mila Saskova-Pierce

©Onward To Our Past®

“J. V. Čapek”

1878 J V Capek

“He came to America in August of 1871, and he took over the editorship of “Progress” [Pokrok] in Cleveland.  In the year 1872, however, he left the “Progress” [Pokrok] and founded a humoristic illustrated weekly “Little Devil” [Diblík] and once this took root, he changed it into the political weekly “National Journal” [Národní Listy], which, however, soon died out.  In 1875 he accepted the editorship of the newly founded “New York Journal” [New Yorkské Listy], a political weekly, sponsored by the Slavonic Linden Tree [Slovanská Lípa] in New York.

When the editorial committee went through bankruptcy, with the help of several friends, he bought the print shop and he continued on the publications, until in May of 1877 he changed his publication into a daily, which he is till publishing and editing.  (We could not obtain a more detailed biography from him. R.)”

Editor’s note:  Jan Vratislav Čapek was born in 1842 in Chrášťovice, Bohemia and died in 1909 in the United States.  He was the elder brother of Thomas Čapek (1861-1950).  In 1921 Thomas wrote a biography of Jan, which was titled “Jan Vratislav Čapek : CzŒeskoamericky buditel, zuranalista a vynalezce”, which translates as “Jan Vratislav Čapek: CzechoAmerican revivalist, journalist, and inventor”.  A review of his biography in The Czechoslovak Review (Vol. 6, 1922) states: “He was ever retiring, but always ready to defend with his pen the Bohemian cause.”  Later in this same publication it is noted a plaque was placed in his honor in his home village of Chrášťovice along with a donation of 50,000 Czech Crowns to be used as an endowment for a library named after Jan Čapek in that village. 

Tomorrow we conclude this marvelous article right here at 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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