In this letter Jonas Victor talks about the presidential election, his family and, as always, the farm and his business and the weather. He is also thinking of home and his Mother. All the letters mention their health and their business. We do not remember the many who came to America and failed to make it financially and the many deaths that occurred with epidemics, and children dying so I guess, it is no wonder they mention their health and business, which were important. How nice it would have been to have letters from the women, so we could hear what running a household was like. Lots of hard work, I am sure. Roselyn
Cleburne October 22 1900
Dear Brother Albert in Spakarp and all. I wish you everything good.
I will tell you something from us. I have received your letter and the portrait from Selma. Thanks so much. We are happy to hear from you. We are rather well. There are my wife and I and our servants. The days pass from one day to another. Soon we are at the end of life. We are having a nice time. We are missing nothing as we are able to get the work done.
The harvest is bad this year. We have less than half the harvest of all sorts. The fruit has been good. This year I have no more than 21 bullocks to fatten. That is not enough. Last year we had more than 50. Swine and cattle are expensive. Everything is high priced and the servants are also expensive. The farm hands get high compensations. At the same time we have quite a lot of money. The banks do not give much interest.
It would be nice to be with you for one or two months and see how everything is and go around and visit. I would like to go and see where my cradle stood. For some time now, I have thought a lot about traveling to Sweden to meet and speak to all of you. I know that I cannot do that without feeling bad. When I have been away a couple of days, I want to go home. I am fond of my home. If I live, we will see how it is.
In America, there is a fight about presidents. The presidential election will be November 6. There are two great parties, Republicans and Democrats. They are too close to tell who will be elected. (The Republican candidate was William McKinley and the Democratic candidate was William Jennings Bryan. President Mckinley was elected but was assassinated in 1901, and his Vice President, Theodore Roosevelt, became president). There are great speakers who go around the country and make speeches for their party members to give the advantages of electing their candidate. All men of age (21 years) vote.
I will let you know how our children are doing. Our daughter, who is the oldest, lives on a farm. They have much land. They have 11 children, 8 girls and 3 boys. Their oldest daughter married last winter. Our oldest son, Alfred, is married but has no children. They live on a farm and are doing well. The next son, Charles Victor is married and has 2 girls. He lives in a town and has a store. Gustaf Alexander is married to an American girl. They married last year. They have no children, live in the same town and have a store. Hans Ferdinand (Henry) is married. They have 3 girls and live 2 miles from us in a town They have a store and also a farm. Petter Luther lives in a town and has a store and a stone mill. He is not married. Otto and Theodore are together and live in a town and have stores. Otto is married to a German girl, no children. Theodore is not married. All together, they have 5 stores and 21 employees.
(Roselyn--please note that any of the brides that were not Swedish were considered as one from another country, though they were American citizens. This feeling in Swedish communities probably lasted until WW II. In small Swedish communities and churches, young people were urged to "marry good Swedes"--meaning members of their churches. On a personal note, there was some surprise when my Swedish father, Vic Skonberg married my Scotch/Irish/German mother, Hazel Lynch, a Methodist. I am happy to report that it turned out to be a very successful and happy marriage!)
We do not have the end of this letter.