Thursday, April 19, 2012
"Early Greek Immigrants" online article by Helen Zeese Papanikolas - Utah Historical Quarterly
"Early Greek Immigrants"
By Helen Zeese Papanikolas
Utah Historical Quarterly V. 22 #2
"The Greek immigrant was the last of the Europeans to come to America. Fewer than two thousand Greeks were in the entire country before the 1880's. The first arrivals were young boys bought by American naval officers and philanthropists on the Turkish slave block. They were sent to the United States for education and freedom and many distinguished themselves as teachers or naval officers.
It was not until the turn of the century that the yearly Greek immigrants numbered a thousand or more. They were mostly young men and boys escaping poverty by sailing towards the bright light of America. Some came to avoid the compulsory three-year military service in the Greek army where a peasant youth could seldom rise above a menial. A great many came from those parts of Greece still under Ottoman domination which conscripted Greek youths into the dreaded Turkish infantry.". . . .