Here is another letter from Johan August Swenson. He tells of letters from other immigrants comparing notes about the pros and cons of settling in different parts of America. He also refers to the discussion about what they should do about Spakarp.
Andover IL May 13 1869
Dear Parents and also brother and brothers-in-law,
If it is God's will, I now answer your letter we received April 26, which found us all with the finest gift--good health. We also wish that this letter will find you with the same health.
I will answer some questions and Sven Peter answers the rest. I understand that Brother Hans has had much to do at home, more than it has ever been before. Mother will not leave either you or the farm and I cannot tell you whether to move or what you ought to do. You have to do what you want to do. I am happy that I am here and do not need to fight about this.
Now I finish with this and answer your questions. You want to know what the postage is for a letter. It depends on the weight. If it is not over a regular weight, we pay 35 cents when we get letters from you, and 65 cents to send a letter to you.
There is snuff here. The people who use snuff say that it is not as good as it is in Sweden. Hans Olson (Lovisa's husband) uses tobacco not snuff.
The last time I got a letter from Anders Peter, I also got a letter from Johan Wilhelm Andersson in Attarp. He wanted to know how much you can earn here. In Sweden there are no earnings, not any work, so he wants to come over here.
The last spring, 3 weeks after we had arrived here, Karl in Boda went to Minnesota together with Charl Peter and sends regards to Anders that he was still alive. In the beginning of January, I wrote to him to get to know how it was there. He answered in March and wrote that there was good earning there and also land. He said that there are many lakes with much fish. Some say that it is better in Minnesota than it is here. I wonder what he means. I can say that the weather is smoother here. It is like the weather in Sweden. But there is much that is not so good, but I have no time to tell about that.
I will tell you that there has been a little snow this winter and sometimes it has been very beautiful weather, but sometimes colder than in December. I know that you do not believe that, but if you come here, you will experience that.
I am with Sven Peter and I will be there from April 1 to December and I will get $116 for that.
If you come, let me know in time so I can tell you which clothes you should take with you.
Now, I finish this time and finally send my regard to all of you and God be with us all in Jesus name. Amen
From Johan August Swensson
13 May 1869