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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/353

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ITALIAN AND OTHER LATIN IMMIGRANTS.

about Cape Cod are giving up this pursuit and taking up farms in that vicinity with their usual success. There is plenty of room for these agricultural Portuguese immigrants in this country, particularly in the south, and their coming will greatly increase the productiveness of any state with waste land, or farms that have been abandoned for a more fertile section.

Little need be said of Spanish immigration, which is small, but of excellent quality. Their total in 1903 was only 3,297. In striking contrast to their neighbors, the Portuguese, they exhibited over $50 per capita, and their illiteracy was only 9 per cent. They show less inclination to become permanent settlers, however, than the Portuguese, as evidenced by the small number of women and children among them. A large proportion was made up of merchants, professional men, students, marines and skilled mechanics, and less than 1,000 were classed as laborers.

The Roumanian, or Rouman, immigrants are classed as Latins, and in their appearance and speech resemble that group of peoples. The Roumanian people numbers about 5,000,000, most of them in Roumania. Roumans are also found in considerable numbers in Hungary, Transylvania, Bessarabia and the Balkan states. They are descended from a blended stock, made up of Roman colonists and disbanded soldiers, and the Illyrian and Thracian inhabitants of Macedonia at the time of the Roman conquest (146 B.C.). The whole of Macedonia was, up to the seventh century and the coming of the Slav, occupied by a Latin-speaking race. The Slavic conquest forced the Roumans in great numbers to their brothers north of the Danube, and many were carried farther by the wave of invasion—as far west as the Tyrol. The Roumans in Macedonia are skilled in metal working and the building trades, but we receive comparatively few Roumans from either Macedonia or Roumania. Eighty-five per cent, of our Roumanian immigrants come to us from Austria-Hungary—and they are practically all unskilled laborers. Although classed as Latins and speaking a Romance tongue, they show, in many cases, evidence of fusion with other races, Magyar and Slav. The Rouman type is short and dark, and they are usually free from disease and have a fairly good physique.

They bring very little money—less than ten dollars per capita—but, being unskilled laborers, seldom become public charges. They are an industrious people and possess in a marked degree the pride of race common to all peoples of Roman blood. In desirability these various Latin peoples might be rated higher than the Italians, but their numbers are relatively so insignificant that more extended notice is unnecessary.