The last week's Gazette and Courier has an interesting article on the incoming
of the Poles in the town in the southern part of Franklin and a few towns in
Hampshire county. On the whole the writer thinks the many Poles will be a benefit
to the people in those towns financially, and the children, who are now attending
our primary schools will make good citizens. What should we do for help, is
asked by our farmers if it were not for the Poles--Sunderland Correspondence
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved. Contact us for information about using this image.
The arrival of Polish immigrants into Massachusetts' Connecticut River Valley region led to many debates about them. On one side, articles argued that the Poles were all too foreign and could never assimilate into American life. The other side argued (as in this article) that although Poles were indeed foreign, they were important new blood in what was seen as dying communities. They also offered local farms a significant boost in labor. By 1907, the debate was strident enough that the Dillingham Commission of the U.S. Senate was tasked to examine the question. Their recommendation was that immigration to the United States should be stopped. That did not happen in 1907 and many Americans began to accept these new immigrants. However, an anti-foreigner backlash after the First World War (1914-1918) led to the effective end of immigration into the U.S. in 1924.