Jonas Victor Swenson Family Photos

Monday, August 22, 2011

1. September 1859 Part 2

In this part Sven writes about the housing, the animals, the weather and the grains.  Rye bread is the common bread in Sweden and immigrants had to get used to using wheat.  It is still the custom in Sweden to eat 5 meals a day.  Immigrants had a difficult time changing to 3 meals a day in America.  Our experience in Sweden is that they drink even more coffee than we do!  He is becoming satisfied.

We are not so "circumstantial", here is only a "cottage" for horses.  They who have money can build good enough, but they who have not money have to support themselves any way they can.  There are deals to buy, but we live many hundred miles from there.  They who have not money have not much to build for.  The farm animals are freezing much during the winter.  They have no protection against the cold. It is colder here than in Sweden.  But the winter is not so long, only 4 months.  The sky is much lower here.  The sun "works" more and it is big thunderstorm here.  Our grain we get during the spring.  We cannot cultivate rye wintertime because the weather changes so much, no snow on the ground and cold wind.  The roots get broken off.  Certainly somebody can get winter wheat here, but it is not many years you can get rye.  If you could that would be much better.  The climate here is so intense during the summer.

The food is good but not enough.  Those who come lose much of their strength.  They use too much coffee here.  Breakfast and supper are not used here (?).

I will let you know that you can buy land, but to build and put up fence costs three times more than to buy land.  We need to earn money.  You need money for everything, but the clothes are not so expensive here as in Sweden.  The reason is that they use sewing-machines.  They do nearly everything with a machine.  We under open sky can thresh 100 barrels a day or more and that machine both threshes and shucks at the same time.

The first letter I wrote you I thought I was more satisfied here.  If you shall say the truth it was quickly dreary when we came here.  At least a year you must be here for getting accustomed to the country.  Now I should not want to go back in any way, but of course it would be nice to speak to you for a week but not longer.  I have much to tell which I cannot describe.

Many people have gone from Andover to Kansas, but they soon come back.  They have not commended Kansas.  I think they scantily have religion or clergyman.  We have both here.  America is large, many times larger than Sweden, but I think that the best land is here.  In Kansas the price of land is good compared to here.  It does not matter.  I am so satisfied with the land I have.  I only want to be able to have a cottage but I am happy.

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