|Swenson brothers as young men.|
Jonas Victor Swenson
Cleburne, Riley Co. Kansas. 5 February 1894
Brother Albert! God's Peace.
Thanks for the welcome letter and for the contents to which I will now reply as well as I can. We have fairly good health. There are not so many at home now; only our youngest son is at home and he is at school. The others work in their stores. This summer, the two youngest will be at home.
We have had an especially fine winter, no snow and not so cold.
A short time ago we received two letters from Hans Olson. (His brother-in-law and husband of his sister Greta Lovisa) He has been to Texas. One of his sons is going to Texas this spring to stay there. There are others who went to Texas, but they have come back. They could not stay there, because the harvest was so bad last year. As you know, these are bad times in America. They say there is famine in some places, but perhaps it is not as bad as the newspapers write. Probably it is troublesome for many in the factory towns where there are many people without work. There is corn, meat and pork, but it is extremely cheap.
The reason is that there is a new government. Ever since the war against the South about the slavery, when the Republicans won, John Erikson was the man, who did extremely well for the North America's navy. The South could not resist. John Erikson built a little armoured boat, which was the first of its kind. When they came towards the enemy with that boat, the enemy said that it was a "cheese basket". They thought they would down the boat with the first volley. When they shot the first volley, the men fainted, others had to go help. They destroyed the South's navy with the little boat, so the war was over. This was the first step to victory. It was the Democrats who were defeated.
Since then it has been the Republican government, and we have had good times. The people have had work with good pay and have gone ahead at a rapid pace until the autumn of 1892, when the Democratic president was elected. The workers had a a good life, but they still were not satisfied. They went on strike to get more money for their work and shorter working hours. The people thought that they should have a new government and elected a Democrat. Then there were changes.