America recruits immigrants – the German-Russian Mennonites

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 the biggest prize of all — the German-Russian Mennonites. They were pacifists who had fled Prussia rather than serve in its army three-quarters of a century earlier. … There was plenty of competition for these able and prosperous farmers. After Canada offered them immunity from military service and free transportation if they would settle there, Kansas, Nebraska and Minnesota all also solemnly offered to exempt them from military duty — although they had no legal authority to do so. Everyone promised them the right to govern themselves in their own communities to speak German in their own schools plenty of land at good prices and easy credit.

“Mennonite emissaries were taken to Washington to meet President Grant. … Secretary of State Hamilton Fish personally assured them the United States would not go to war again for at least fifty years.”

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