Item: "Free America."

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Record Number: 11829
Call number: PG 278
Box/Case: 5
Folder: 2
Artist: Opper, Frederick Burr, 1857-1937
Lithographer: J. Ottman Lithographic Company
Publisher: Keppler & Schwarzmann
Repository: Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Date of Original: October 12 1887
Original Format: Clippings, Prints › Lithographs › Chromolithographs, Political cartoons
Dimensions: Dimensions of image, 33.5 by 26 cm
Image description: In the image a group of well-dressed immigrants are trying to enter the United States, but an official stops them. Each immigrant worker holds in his or her hand a contract for employment. Behind the official there is a crowd of poorly dressed immigrants who are depicted as criminals. One of these immigrants holds a "socialist" newspaper and a bundle labeled "mischief." An anarchist immigrant with a bindle speaks with a group of street musicians while another immigrant opens bag with an "infernal machine" bomb. The caption below the political cartoon explains that the law bans immigrant workers with contracts from entering the United States. The political cartoon criticizes the Alien Contract Labor Law, otherwise known as the Foran Act which prohibited laborers with contracts or labor agreements from entering the United States. During the 19th century a wave of immigrants from China and southern, central, and eastern Europe immigrated to the United States providing the US economy with a steady source of cheap labor. The Foran Act rose out of anti-immigrant sentiment towards these new immigrant groups and was passed in part due to protect the jobs and wages of native laborers.