Jonas Victor Swenson Family Photos

Saturday, August 27, 2011

14. 13 December 1869

In this letter, Johan August again tries to tell his brothers what life is like in America.  He especially is talking to his brother Hans about what he may find.  He knows of the personal problems Hans has had in Sweden.

Andover 13 December 1869
Dear Parents and Relatives in my old native country.  Grace and peace to us all.

I sent a letter to you with Leander Hallgren.  I will again send a letter and answer to your welcome letter of December 12.  It was nice to hear that you all have good health.  Up to now I have had good health.

I have read and looked at your letter very carefully and found much.  I also see that you, Hans, have the permit to come here.  It cannot be too soon.  You have wanted to go for a long time.  In your letter you wonder if you will be happy or not when you come here.  Of course, it would be a great advantage if you could tell that ahead of time.  In that way you could keep away from many troubles.

One person's experience may be different from another's.  You think that I who am here, should be able to say whether it is a good thing for you or not.  Letters from America have told both truth and lies, and it is impossible to tell which is correct.  If anybody near you has come here, ask about everything you want to know.  You think I lie.  Remember, I promised to tell the truth before I went away and I have.

Last spring when I saw Peter Hultgren, he said to me that I wrote very badly about America.  I answered him that perhaps he could have written that it was better and he said he could not.  He saw that there were many changes he had to face.  It was not long before he regretted coming here and thought that until his death.

It was difficult for him to earn money.  He had lost his old friends and missed Sweden.  He had also lost part of his strength, comfort, fun and good  spirit.  That is not good for the health.  It is too much all at once, but I cannot write about that now.

When you have learned everything and have lived here for some time you should be satisfied.  At least, it has been for me.  It can also be that way for you and others who come here.  You need to be careful to be dressed in comfortable clothes, if you want to stay healthy.  You cannot bear to be wet, cold and sweaty and much more.  If you want to stay healthy, you must be dressed as I have been in the summer.  I have clothes of linen (perhaps he means cotton).   If you do not have such clothes the first year you are here, it can do great damage.  If Johannes Peter had been dressed in the right clothes, I think he could still be alive.  Of boredom you do not die so quickly, but of the cold you can die rather quickly.  Many people here die for this reason.

Friendly regards from all of us.

J.A. Swenson

No comments:

Post a Comment