Jonas Victor Swenson Family Photos

Sunday, September 25, 2011

49. February 1909

This is a letter from Anton Leander Gustafsson, son of Gustaf Albert, who is a brother to Jonas Victor.  Anton is his nephew, who is on his way to America to see what it is like.  Roselyn

Anton Gustafsson
Chicago, Ill
February 28, 1909
Dear Parents, and siblings in the native country.
     Because I have time here, I will write something about my trip up to now.  I had not thought to write before I got to Cleburne, but the trip has been longer than I thought.  I expected to celebrate my birthday in the place of my destination.  
     We went back to Southampton, where I was when you last heard from me.  We left from there at dinner time on Wednesday, February 17.  It was calm, beautiful weather.  The same day before twilight, the steamer passed Cherbourg in France, where some passengers stepped on board from one of the outgoing steamers.  
     The day after that when we had nearly finished dinner, we passed Ireland in the same way.  The Irish came on board with trade;  apples, oranges, pastry and wool--for example, shawls and scarves.  The wool from Ireland is the best.  The funny thing was how the Irish stepped on board.  They came in small boats and threw up lines.  The passengers helped them on board.  
     When we left Ireland, the wind began to blow, so much that many got sea sick.  I was not so sea sick that I vomited, but I felt sick and lost my appetite for two days.  On Saturday, I felt nearly as well as I did on land.  Then it began to be a heavy sea.  If I had not been used to it I would have been quite sick, but now I was well.  I realized that sea sickness is very troublesome.  Some of the passengers had to stay in bed nearly the whole time.  I loathe the sea trip.    
      The food is rather good on the ship.  We had breakfast at seven o'clock, dinner at twelve and supper at five.  Then we had an extra meal at eight o'clock.  If you are not sick, you manage with that food.  I had no food with me, but I did not starve.  The worst of it was that they do not have anything other than wheat bread.  They had only a little crisp bread, which was finished quickly, but there was plenty of wheat bread.
     As I said, the high seas began on Saturday and continued the whole time with some decrease last Wednesday, but blew much worse the day after.  We were not far from land, so the waves were not as big.
     We arrived in New York last Thursday evening, but were not allowed to land until Friday.  
    When you read this you must realize that the time is about seven hours later here in Chicago, six hours later in New York and it will be about eight hours later in Cleburne.
     We left New York at eight o'clock and arrived in Chicago at four o'clock in the morning.  We will leave here at half past nine this evening.  The time is now six o'clock here and where you are it is one o'clock in the morning.
     If everything goes well, I will be in Cleburne at last on Tuesday, March 2.  I feel good.
                                                                Dear greetings from Anton

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