This is a letter to Sven's brother, Jonas Victor who is my great grandfather. Apparently, Jonas Victor has asked for advice from Sven about coming to America--the pros and cons. Sven gives him both sides. He thinks that most of the best land in Illinois has already been taken.
Andover, !L 18 January 1869
By request of Victor, I will give answers and common sense about coming to this country. I know that you will not believe my letter. I write the truth and not a lie. You know that I will not urge you to come here to America. The reason why I write this, is that when you come here and get to eat enough you will not remember the distress in Sweden. You will want to go home like sister Lovisa does. The second day she wanted to go home, to live one day here and one day in Sweden. Perhaps it would be so for you brother Victor if you come here.
I think that both you and your wife have a good head, knowledge and a little humor. It is not odd that it is slow to decide. You are now sitting with cattle, house, home and little of everything. You want to come here. You sell everything for nearly nothing. You take your money, your children and wife and come here. When you come, you have nothing. You cannot use your language here. You are not sure you can learn English or not. Your money is gone, but you don't feel that so much. You will miss your Swedish place and your house. There is why you have sadness.
I say, if you cannot get what you need where you are now, come here in the right time, when you have enough money. Clothes and food you can get where ever you are. If you do not demand more, you will be grateful for the little you have. What we have is a loan from God and we should not search for our treasure here on earth, but rather in Heaven.
My friend and brother Victor, if you come here looking for getting a large estate like many people think, you may be disappointed. If you come to take the Lord with you and ask for mercy and forgiveness, he will be with you always and give you daily bread. If you have such thoughts it will be good for you.
You ask how we use the milk we get. We let the calves suckle and I have 30 pigs who need a little. The milk is not so great, so we have nothing to boast of. The land here is going fast and it will be less and less. Finish and great regards to you.
S. P. Swenson