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Language Proclamation Correspondence #1, June 1, 1918

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Letter from Synod Lutheran church to Iowa Gov. William Harding in 1918.
Courtesy of State Historical Society of Iowa, Mattadiess, L.A., 1 June 1918


This 1918 letter from the Sioux City Missouri Synod Lutheran Church to Iowa Governor William Harding is requesting permission to conduct services in Swedish. The letter was sent in response to the Babel Proclamation, which prohibited all languages other than English in public or private schools, in public conversations, on trains, over the telephone, at all meetings and in all religious services.

Transcript of Language Proclamation Correspondence #1

Source-Dependent Questions

  • What arguments did Pastor L.A. Matthadiess use to convince the governor that sermons should be conducted in German and English?
  • If reading all three language proclamation responses (Correspondence #2 and #3), which letter has more effective arguments? What makes you say that?