Svenska Tribunen -- December 06, 1882The Emigrant Is Complaining
An Editorial: There are some immigrants, who write home to their relatives, telling them about their hardships in America.
Let us, therefore, try to find out the reason for these lamentations. It is a sad fact that many a farmer in the northern part of Sweden is a heavy drinker. To get money for this bad habit he sells part of his forest and other property time after time. Finally his thought go to America, because he had heard that many have made a fortune there, although he doesn't realize that progress is made through hard work. Then he decides to sell the rest of his property and to emigrate. But it takes some time before he gets his things together for the journey. He has to attend so many farewell feasts and so his money goes to the wind. Instead of saving up to buy farm equipment in the new country he is dreaming of plenty of gold. He 2is still drinking and drinking. Finalley he is on his way to America. How can such a man create a new home in a foreign land with happiness and peace? He is soon disappointed and writes home his lamentations which are reproduced in the newspapers.
Here is another picture. Some young men emigrate. When they were at home with their parents, they were spoiled. They decide to make the trip to the United States and get their share of cash as their parents' heirs. At first they have a good time in the new country, and like the prodigal son, they waste what they inherited. Soon it is all gone and their hardships begin. They then write home their lamentations, asking for more money. Such letters are sometimes forwarded to editors, who write about these young men's sufferings with headlines in their papers like this:
"Warning to Emigrants."
Some years ago a man about fifty years of age emigrated to America. He was a 3heavy drinker.
Before he went away his friends warned him not to go because of his age and his broken health, caused by wild living. But he and his family landed in New York. From there they went out west to a small city. Although he couldn't speak English he went frequently to taverns, drinking and drinking. During one of these visits he became intoxicated and started howling and singing and was kicked out of the saloon on to the street. Here he came in contact with the police and was arrested. He then wrote hom that America was a bad country.
Two years later after this episode, we find our immigrant on the prairie,where he had taken some 160 acres. He had built himself a house of turf with one window. Here he sits, remembering how comparatively easy he had it at onetime in the old country, and still could have had it if he had been more careful with his property. He also realizes that he could have had it much better here in America had he saved his money instead of wasting it on liquor. He could have built a real house and bought farm equipment.4
The tears roll down the gray beard. He starts thinking. At one time I had a nice house. I had forest-meadows, I had plenty, but I wasted it. "Oh, is it too late?" Is it? May we hope that it is not if he, through hard, honest labor, starts over again and stays sober forever.
III G, I B 1, I B 3 b, III H
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