Jonas Victor Swenson Family Photos

Monday, August 22, 2011

1. September 1859 Part 1

Sven Peter Svenson and his wife Carolina Andersdotter emigrated to America in 1857.  He is the oldest son of Swen Johnsson and Great Pehrsdotter.  (In Sweden for many years, the child took the father's first name and added son for the boys and dotter for the girls.  Women kept their maiden names)
This seems to be the second letter he wrote to his family in Spakrparp and he mentions having received two from them.  We do not have the first letter.  This part of the letter tells about how things are for them and the cost of living here. He has concern for his father's health.  Times were hard in Sweden in these years and I think there was some hunger. Good health was a constant concern.
This letter shows that Sven and Carolina are ambitious and successful in getting a good start in America.
It is interesting to note that his wife seems to have some property of her own.  Roselyn

Andover 24, September 1859.
My dear parents, siblings, relatives and friends.  I wish you everything good.  I will with much gratitude answer your letters.  The first arrived 27 February 1859, which told that you were alive and had the health. I say Thank You God for the same for us.  The second letter came to me 22 September 1859.  It was nice to hear about you, but not so pleasure to hear that you were bad in different ways.  Such a pain and hardship that Father now was more ill than when I was home.  I am sorry for that, and who can work, I am so far away and cannot help you.  You have had so much care for me.

Perhaps you think that I have forgotten you, but now I will tell why it was such a long time before I write.  I have been working with buying a piece of land.  Now I have bought 10 acres of land, so I can tell you that I am so happy with 10 acres of land I have my perfect food.  I have paid 100 dollars for that corresponding to 400 Rdr in Sweden.

I have had good health the whole summer so I have earned $100 off the land and we have some dollars left.  My wife has also had a little income from a cow and a calf for the summer and a little of everything, so we are living at the same place as the last year and we will stay here over the winter for we are feeling much agreed with our master.  I have got much since I wrote the last time, when it was bad and heavy.  Now the light begins to shine over us, everything gets better and better.  We are very happy because we know America.

 I can tell that we have two cows, three heifers, two pigs and also fowls and it is a great value here because you earn much with having farm animals.  This winter if God gives me the health I will tame my first bullocks.

I will with a few words answer our request how prices are here.  Wood, carriages and tools are immoderately expensive.  A complete log here costs here $100, a carriage with four wheels several hundred dollars, a room in town one dollar for a week, in the country 25 cents.  We can buy 40 acres of land in built or unbuilt area for $1,000 and it supports six persons.

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