Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech]. Adolf Hrusa, compiler, photog.
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].
Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].

Photographic shots from a journey from Chicago to California and back, undertaken in July and August 1905, prepared and dedicated as a memento to his son Jiri by Adolf Hrusa [translation from the Czech].

[Chicago, Colorado, Utah, California, and other locales, 1905.]. Oblong 24mo (5.5” x 7”), blue cloth. 66 silver prints, mostly 3.5” x 4.5”, mounted on 53 leaves. 3 images cut to ovals. Manuscript captions in Czech.

A photo album documenting a 1905 western tour undertaken by a Czech American from Chicago who was active in the Freethinkers Movement.

Adolf Hrusa was one of many Czechs who belonged to the Freethinkers Movement (or Society of Free-Thinkers), an organization that split from the Catholic Church as a result of resentment stemming from the imposition of Catholicism by the Hapsburgs. Hrusa served as a Secretary of the free-thinking Bohemian Slavonian Union (est. 1892) in Chicago for a number of years in the 1910s and ‘20s.

The present album documents a trip he took to Colorado, then west to California, Oregon, and Washington and back. The album begins with a manuscript title-page indicating that it was created as a memento for his son. Mounted beside the title is a photo of Hrusa, below which is a mounted flower (now partial) that he picked on Pike's Peak. The one-page intro leaf details the route there and back—the whole trip taking twenty-seven days—which included a multi-day stay with his brother, Jan Hrusa, in California, who seems to have lived and worked at the Korbel Vineyard in Guerneville. The subjects of the photos include Denver scenes; a Hotel and Restaurant in Colorado Springs; Pike's Peak and its railway; Salt Lake City; views in San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Rosa and other California towns, including a couple on the steps of their house in Petaluma—the married daughter of Jan Hrusa (presumably Adolf’s niece) and her husband, J. C. Crowley who is shown in another image driving a horse-drawn cart; Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; St. Paul, Minnesota; and an image in Chicago showing the Czech Worker’s Singing Society building. A number of images capture Hrusa’s own family and Hrusa himself, some of which were taken in Cary, Illinois.

Minutes kept at a 1921 meeting held by the Federation of Bohemian Free Thought Schools of Chicago lists Hrusa’s name—linking him to the Freethinkers movement. These minutes record that the Bohemian California Branch of the Czechoslovak National Alliance of America “sends a gift of $25 for the benefit of the Bohemian Free Thought schools. The gift was acknowledged and the secretary was ordered to send a letter of thanks. The Grand Lodge of the Czecho-Slavonic Union, through its secretary, Mr. Adolph Hrusa, informs the Federation that twenty-five percent of the net proceeds of a picnic, which is to be given by the Czecho-Slavonic Union, July 31, 1921, will be donated to the Association of Czech Liberal Schools. It was acknowledged and the secretary was ordered to send a letter of thanks.”

The Freethinkers Movement began in Austria-Hungary around 1848 when serfdom was abolished, Hapsburg power was waning, and emigration from Czech lands was beginning. Believing in love, justice, science and art, members of the movement practiced a form of religion without the structure of a church denomination, buildings, or services. Some Freethinkers were atheists, but most were deists who did not believe in organized religion. Scholar Maratha Griffith details how “the religious situation among the Czechs has been unique, for among no other immigrants who have come to the United States have so many people professed religious liberalism … They gladly welcomed the American idea of the separation of church and state.” By the late-19th century in Chicago, Freethinker immigrants in Bohemian Pilsen (on Chicago’s Southwest Side) had built an extensive social network. A Bohemian Federation of Freethinkers in Chicago was established around 1910, and by 1937 there were twenty-three “free thought” schools in Chicago. The Freethinkers also created benevolent societies; organized children's programs and adult lectures; sponsored musical and dramatic programs, and so forth.

An unusual album documenting the travels of a Czech American Freethinker in the west.

REFERENCES: Bruce C. Nelson. Free Thought at encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org; Statistics, Fraternal Societies (Rochester, NY: The Fraternal Monitor, 1919), p. 24; Freethinkers at oxfordjctgenealogy.com

CONDITION: Good, wear to covers; photos generally good.

Item #6517

Price: $1,750.00

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