Like the Swedes and Norwegians, Finns in America were tolerated and accepted into the communities of "established" Americans during the first wave of mass immigration. Their early competitors for work in the mines were the Irish and the Cornish, two groups with whom they had ongoing strained relations.
Finnish Americans soon developed a reputation for clannishness and hard work. Work crews of strictly Finnish laborers were formed. As documented in Women Who Dared, Finnish domestics were always sought after because they worked so hard and excelled at cooking and homemaking. Reputations for good and hard work were tarnished, however, when the second wave of immigrants began to organize themselves and others to fight poor wages and working conditions. Finns became known as troublemakers for organizing strikes and leading protests. They were blacklisted and efforts were made to deport them. Racist slurs—epithets like "Finn-LAND-er" and "dumb Finn"—developed, and some Finns became victims of violent vigilantism. Specific efforts to single them out from other working-class immigrants as anti-American put them on the front pages of local, regional, and national newspapers.
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