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Svenska Tribunen -- May 19, 1880The Emigration
EDITORIAL: Large masses of immigrants who, tired of Europe, arrive at our shores every day, is a proof of our nation's prosperity.
Information of American prosperity was spread with such speed to all civilized land that a renewed request to participate in the work of a free and strong people in its efforts for spiritual and economic independence was heard everywhere
The millions here, who have friends there, serve as advertising agents. Their letters, sent home to the old country, contain reports of the impartiality and freedom of American life and of the respect and financial reward honorable work of different kind receives.
Eighty one thousand two hundred sixty two immigrants came to New York during the first four months of this year,as against only 61,901 in the year 1873.2
The reasons for such large masses of men deserting the places where they were born are, of course, different in each case, but we believe that the first and most powerful reason is the certainty of bettering their financial condition in America. That they really can better themselves in a very short time is so apparent that no one acquainted with the facts on each side of the ocean ever dares deny it.
The majority of the immigrants who now arrive are already familiar with living possibilities in America. More than half of them go directly to places in the West, where they intend to settle. Many have sufficient means with which to buy land and necessary farm equipment. A large part of those arriving have been farmers before, but sold that meager sod, from which they could hardly feed themselves and their children, and are now trying to establish better homes in the West of America. These immigrants carry with them about sixty or seventy dollars each. It is estimated, that this year's immigration will go up to 500,000 persons at least, and if this is correct, the capital they will carry with them will probably amount to around thirty to thirty five millions of dollars.3
The question of emigration which seems to be a serious one in Sweden has been brought before the Swedish Parliament. Several speakers mentioned during the discussion in the Second Chamber of the Parliament, that the people fear the law of compulsory enrollment in military camps. This they thought was the cause for many of the sons of Sweden abandoning their native country.
This has lately been denied by several newspapers, both in Sweden and in America. It is not so much the fear of this law, but rather the ill-feeling against the army system in Sweden which is sucking the best from the people and is driving the young Swede to a foreign country to find a home.
It is the unwillingness to slave and to work and sweat only to support lazy people related to the Chief Executive, which causes many a Swede to seek his living in a country whose highest official must take care of his family himself and pay for his own journeys and recreations as common people do, The Swede is longing for a country, where work is respected and paid for where the workman has just as much to say in regard to public welfare as the 4capitalist or the official, where one is "below the line," and where everyone is talked to and treated alike.
He requests that the capital and not the worker should be taxed, that he himself shall decide the amount of taxes, and should choose his own officials in order that they may know that they are the people's servants and not its masters, masters who like to knock down the masses and trample law and humanity under foot.
The Swede requests full liberty of conscience and that absolute right to decide in regard to his religion. Last, but not least, he wants a free press, because this has always proven itself to be a strong bulwark of liberty and an implacable foe of despotism.
These demands are not new. For a long time they have been smoldering as fire under the ashes and the reason they are now in flame is,"the good times" in America.5
As long as the conditions in Sweden were poor there was no relief for the oppressed worker in Sweden. He had to be satisfied with his economical poverty as well as his political helplessness and other bad circumstances.
Now things on this side of the Atlantic are clad in a brighter dress. A welcome place is open for him here. It is surely hard for every lover of its native land to see old Sweden lose so many of its able citizens, but we believe that it is for the best for that country.
The medicine might taste bitter in the beginning, but in the long run its healing results will be noticeable.
The mighty masters of that country will sooner or later learn to know that all citizens have the same rights. The immigrants will send home reports regarding conditions here. Some may go back to the old country after several years and spread the ideas they have inhaled here.
Perhaps from this emigration, which in Sweden is looked upon with unfriendly 6eyes, will rise a new day in our never to be forgotten native land, and maybe a new form of government, who knows?
EDITORIAL: Large masses of immigrants who, tired of Europe, arrive at our shores every day, is a proof of our nation's prosperity. Information of American prosperity was spread with such ...
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Svenska Tribunen -- December 07, 1881Sweden and America.
EDITORIAL. The newspapers in Sweden do not like the emigration to America, because it is, in their opinion, an economic loss to Sweden, and nothing but a profit to America. It may be, but the loss Sweden is supposed to suffer is not so enormous, nor is the profit for America as large as they think it is in our old country.
During these times, when America is prospering and Sweden is economically pressed, the Swedes in America are sending more money home than they brought over here as immigrants.
Some years ago, or in 1877, when the working wages were low in America and many , could only make a scant living, Sweden received about two million Swedish kronen annually from her children in America. Since that time the amount of money sent over to the old country has steadily increased. Our Scandinavian bankers inform us, that their banking business with Sweden has never been so lively as it is now, and that Swedish-Americans have sent homethis year six or seven times as 2much as they did in 1877.
Sweden may, therefore, count on twelve to fifteen million Swedish kronen sent from here this year, which is not to be despised as a sort of financial income for a small country.
A large number of Swedes receive "free tickets" sent from here for their journey to America. The amount of this in aggregate is at least two million dollars.
<p/> EDITORIAL. The newspapers in Sweden do not like the emigration to America, because it is, in their opinion, an economic loss to Sweden, and nothing but a profit to ...
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Svenska Tribunen -- June 07, 1882The Emigration from Sweden and the Cause of It. (Editorial)
The Swedish Tribune re-prints an editorial, which has appeared in Dagens Nyheter, a newspaper in Stockholm, Sweden, and which shows that its author is familiar with both Swedish and American matters relative to emigration. He writes: "It was generally known some twenty years ago that exile was the severest punishment a man could get, but we see in our days how thousands of full grown persons joyfully go into exile of their own accord. There are many reasons for this. The means of travel between various countries has surprisingly expanded and distances are not such barriers as they were some thirty years ago. It is, therefore, easier to change from one country to another. Such change does not require large sums of money or any revolution in opinions or habits.
Six million persons have emigrated from Europe to America since 1860 with upward of half a million annually these later years. The Irish number one third of the immigrants and other nationalities the balance, of which the English 2and the Scandinavians are in the majority. No European country, except Ireland, has contributed so much to immigration as the Scandinavian countries, especially Sweden.
Our country is a small country. There were 4,555,668 persons in 1880; 250,000 have emigrated in 1860-1879. The Swedes in America, with the Swedish-American born children, number considerably more - about 300,000, of which one tenth are living in Chicago.
Here, is an official emigration statistical statement:
1860-1879 em. 250,000 1880 " 45,000 1881 " 50,000 1882 " 60,000
or a total from 1860-82 of 405,000.
The immigrants belong to the working class and are mostly from the country.3
Nearly half of the immigrants are between 20 and 30 years of age.
The author of this interesting articles writes what he observed in Gothenburg, where all the emigrants gather from all parts of Sweden before they go aboard the big ocean steamers, which leave that city every Friday for New York. About 2 to 3,000 persons arrive every week at Gothenburg. The people, he continues, behave very nicely and are well dressed. They have much to take care of in Gothenburg: rent a room, buy their tickets and also some dishes, mattress, trunk and other necessary things for their journey.
Then comes the big day for their departure, when they all gather at Gustaf Adolf's Market place. From here they march to the harbor where they are taken out in small vessels to the big steamers of the Wilson Line. The regular boats are Romeo and Orlando. Soon all are aboard, men, women, young and old, children and babies. A couple of hundred spectators are standing on the shore, mostly from the working class, wondering when their time for such a departure will come.4
Some of the wealthy merchants of the city stop for a moment on their way to their offices. What they think, we do not know, but a lady of their class talks freely, and thinks that the emigrants are fooligh in leaving their native country, "where they have it so nice, to meet an unknown fate in such a land as America."
The anchor is now lifted and the big steamer starts slowly forward. A jubilant hurrah is heard from the crowd aboard and the people on the shore depart. At least three steamers leave in the same manner every Friday, carrying emigrants to America, week after week, month after month. Sweden has, through this emigration, lost one eleventh of her population during the last twenty years.
Now comes the question: Will these removals of a great per centage of the people decrease the population in general; increase too much the population of women, cause a considerable reduction of the most productive groups of the working men's class and bring about great economic and social disturbance? Yes, to a certain extent. According to reports from various places, this condition exists in Sweden. All farm hands in one parish emigrated except those on the priest's farm.5
Out of twenty young men in another parish, who were supposed to be enrolled in compulsory armies, only six came on a certain day for that purpose. The other fourteen had emigrated. Small farmers are compelled to abandon their places for lack of farm hands, or to hire fifteen year old lads or seventy year old men. Instead of hiring strong young unmarried workers, the farmers must now be satisfied with poor married ones with large families. As these married men cannot get higher wages than the unmarried farmhands, it is probable that they and their families must depend upon charity.
The emigration causes also considerable economic loss in cash money for the country, amounting to several million Swedish kronen. But all this is nothing compared with what the loss to the nation in the intellectual field is. This we will not admit perhaps, as the emigrants are recruited from the poorer classes of society.
Let us then hear what the American government says in an official statement relative to the benefit America is gaining from the emigration;
"The emigration of Scandinavians, who already own properties in the North-western states, is very noticeable in general, and although this movement 6does not go further back than a few years, it is now considerable and grows speedily.
These immigrants are industrious, economical, moderate. They ought to be specially welcomed. It is, however, impossible to get any exact idea regarding the value to the country by the arrival of the foreigners. Their culture, their good taste, their artistic talents, and their good taste, their artistic talents, and their aptitude for inventions make them dominating figures. A Swedish immigrant, known by the name of John Ericson, arrived in New York in 1839 from London. What value has he not been to America?
When, however, one considers that emigration has assumed such proportions that Sweden has in three years lost nearly as many people as there are in its capital, the cause must be of a general nature.
The Swedish working man emigrates because he cannot see how it is possible to live on a yearly income ranging between 400 and 700 Swedish Kronen; There is no possibility of earning any extra income, when he must work twelve hours 7daily for this small amount. This wage is hardly enough for an unmarried man, but with great economy he might get some knowledge of the conditions under which he is living. This will be impossible if he is married, and he can scarcely participate in social life.
Then comes the good news from friends in America, that they can make a good living on ten hours work and that a common worker is not prevented from obtaining the education necessary to participate in society life of the community.
He, therefore, longs to go to America. There he can hope to attain peace and comfort in his old age through hard work, which will be impossible here. That is the reason why the young emigrants pack their trunks and start for the land on the other side.
The small wage is not the only cause, though it is the main cause of the emigration. There are other reasons, namely: social ones, for according to the writer:-8
The worker in Sweden feels ill at ease not because of ill will, but because of a sort of mercy from his boss who allows less strictness and makes him feel that he is incapable of achieving anything very well. He is more satisfied with the strictness of his American foreman, when the motive is just, than when his faults have been overlooked.
He knows that the American worker is more respected socially, even if the requirements for good work are higher than here, and he submits to these strict demands, because it increases his self respect. He, therefore, emigrates.
Even people with small capital emigrate. They go along all right in the old country all by themselves, but they emigrate for the sake of their children, when they understand that they can't give them any other future than that of a common worker. They have found out from experience that work does not ennoble a common worker, and they fear that it is not going to be any better here in the old country as long as the authorities do not even try to find out the real cause of the emigration. Something must be wrong in the make-up of society.9
They, who are satisfied with their existence in Sweden - any they are many - may say, that these emigrants are asking too much and are spreading discontent among the working class.
The emigrants opinion ought not to be depreciated, because when such opinions are spread, they will be taken up by the younger workers and cause them to emigrate.
It is very difficult to predict the future of emigration. If low wages are the principal cause for the emigration, then it is clear that it is going to decrease when this cause ceases. It can, therefore, be taken for granted, that the emigration caused by low wages will regulate itself. It will, however, never stop until the conditions for securing a decent living in Sweden are on the same level as those in America, and that is going to take a long time.
It is probable that the wages are not going to rise as long as old folks and children can substitute and be satisfied with the same pay the strong worker finds too low.
When the organization of the work in Sweden is such that it is more important to 10maintain low wages, then there will always be substitutes as long as they last. When these substitutes are gone the wages will be corrected and there will be demands for skilful workers. Hence emigration will continue until the supply is nearly gone.
The risk for the emigration will be less when a greater part of the Swedish population has moved over to America, because it will be much easier for the immigrant to get a job with his own countrymen or through them. Relatives and friends are also a mighty strong power, together with free tickets which are sent home.
It is, therefore, probable that the emigration is going to continue for some years to come, but it is also possible that good years and favorable times would stimulate business to a certain extent and so help to better the wage condition and thereby decrease considerably the emigration problem.
The Swedish Tribune re-prints an editorial, which has appeared in Dagens Nyheter, a newspaper in Stockholm, Sweden, and which shows that its author is familiar with both Swedish and American ...
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Secondary listingsSwedish // Assimilation > Relations with Homeland (III H) ?
Swedish // Attitudes > Social Problems and Social Legislation (I H) ?
Svenska Tribunen -- June 21, 1882Immigration
Scandinavians, familiar with the immigration problem, report that an average of 1,200 Scandinavians arrived daily in Chicago, during the month of May this year. Most of them continued their journey westward and only a few of them settled in Chicago. It is expected that the Scandinavian immigration will be much greater next year.
More than half of this year's arrivals have been travelling on free tickets paid for in advance and sent home to the old country by relatives and friends in America. It is expected that the American-Scandinavians are going to pay out $1,500,000 towards this, this year. At least 60,000 Swedes are expected here this year and they will settle mainly in Kansas,Nebraska,Iowa,Minnesota, 2Missouri and Dakota. The majority of the newly arrived are young men and women.
Not less than 3,500 Scandinavians arrived one evening in Chicago last month. From here they all took different routes and went various places. Extra railroad are running westward night and day, filled with immigrants, but the railroad companies are nevertheless handicapped because they do not know how to accommodate the enormous crowds without delay.
Scandinavians, familiar with the immigration problem, report that an average of 1,200 Scandinavians arrived daily in Chicago, during the month of May this year. Most of them continued their journey ...
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Svenska Tribunen -- July 05, 1882Returning Immigrants.
Editorial: A couple of years ago, when "bad times" in the United States persuaded a couple of hundred Swedes in America to return to their native land. Some of them are merely going for a visit but others intend to remain there. The papers in Sweden published articles and stories about "the misery in America" and the foolishness of emigrating.
Yes, when everything was turned upside down in the Great Republic, it was then natural that our fellow-editors in Sweden tried to make adverse criticism about the returning immigrants and their circumstances. These newspaper men thought that America could never have achieved what is now evident. They did not understand the conditions here. They imagined that America now was powerless and lay as a dead giant, who had fallen trying to do a miracle.2
One of the latest newspapers from Stockholm prints a curious article concerning recently returned immigrants. All of them have advised people not to emigrate according to this paper. One said that he had been away a year, and returned poor, with broken health.
Finnish man, who had been in America ten years, could not save more than $350 in spite of very careful living.
It is sad, of course, to return poor and with broken health, but what had our man expected in America? People with good health usually do not become sick here, but if some one has bad health before he emigrated he cannot expect a change for the better through emigration, and nobody should expect prosperity in one year. This man ought not to be any detering example.
But the Finnish man! He could not save more than $350 in ten years. That was not much, that is true. But how much would he have been able to save by staying 3in Finland during the same period? Three Hundred Fifty Dollars are about 1,800 Finnish Marks. He would need at least twenty years in his native land to save up such a sum as a farm hand; especially when, if he has a family, as this man had.
We do not critise the Stockholm paper because it was not familiar with American affairs. But two Swedish-American papers, one in New York, and one in Chicago have re-printed the stories without corrections or explanations. In view of the fact that this comes from American papers the articles ought to present this country in a favorable light; that the Swedish-American press should be commanded to give correct information regarding the United States.
Thousands read our Swedish-American papers, both here and in Sweden.
When a paper here re-prints misguided reports from papers in Sweden, without correcting them, it feels guilty.
Editorial: A couple of years ago, when "bad times" in the United States persuaded a couple of hundred Swedes in America to return to their native land. Some of them ...
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Svenska Tribunen -- July 05, 1882Thoughts in Regard to the Swedish Emigration
EDITORIAL: Swedes are worried about the enormous emigration from Sweden to America. The latest Swedish papers tell us that the King himself has taken a hand in the matter. He has called his Governorstogether for the purpose of concerning the matter. Each Governor has called prominent men into conference in his state to discuss the best way of managing the emigration of so many young Swedish working men.
At a farmers meeting in Vexio, Smaland, Sweden, a speaker mentioned the emigration question and said frankly that it is very easy to acquire land in America. This is reason enough for poor farm workers to emigrate. Another speaker said that it is every person's right and duty to go where there are better opportunities to make a good living. The emigration would decrease if wealthy land owners would let people rent land cheap and for a long period. Other speakers said that the free tickets sent home to relatives and friends encouraged the emigration; that political 2reasons were connected with the emigration, that the taxes were too high and that small farmers and farm hands should be given better opportunities. The Governor then spoke. "If the strong young men really knew the conditions in America, the emigration would not be so lively," he said.
It should be very gratifying to know what the Governor really meant by this statement. "The real conditions," Yes, if Sweden knew about them the emigration would increase much more and to such dimensions that the King would be forced to call together his Parliament in extra session.
The Swedes in America are, with a few exceptions, really happy when they compare their present situation with the one they had in their native country.
The statistics in Sweden show that the people who emigrate are farm-hands and servants, young men and women. How much is the wage of a common Swedish farm-hand? Perhaps 150 Swedish knonen a year. Here he has $300.00 a year. And a maid in Sweden? Maybe 60 to 75 Swedish kronen a year and here $150.00 to $200.00 or more. The same proportions exist between the Swedish and the American worker.3
The farmers make up 1/5 of the emigrants. How do they fare? Ask to see the history of the states of Illinois, Minnesota, Kansas, Iowa. Swedes, who came here with two empty hands twenty years ago are now owners of prospering farms of 200, 300, 400, 500 and in some cases up to 1,000 acres. The Swedes possess in the State of Illinois 400,000 acres at least.
Our countrymen are now very well acquainted with these conditions, and the knowledge of it is one of the causes for the emigration.
There are also other reasons. The Nordic masses are now aroused by the knowledge of their own power and value. They feel the need of more air and light. The tunes of the American liberty song have been heard in old Sweden touching the hearts of many, who only have been listening to mystical Swedish Folk songs and the Swedish hero poems.
The emigration can not be regulated with wrong pictures of America. It can only be stopped by modern reforms in Sweden, political, as well as social reforms, which can ease the people's burden, ease the caste situation, caused by extreme wealth and poverty.4
At the meeting mentioned in this editorial, it was suggested to set up some competition with America. However, competition between the big and wealthy America and the comparatively poor Sweden is inconceivable.
But Sweden can and ought to be just as good as America in one way and that is in the field of liberty, and healthy, political reforms.
EDITORIAL: Swedes are worried about the enormous emigration from Sweden to America. The latest Swedish papers tell us that the King himself has taken a hand in the matter. He ...
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Skandinaven -- July 25, 1882Murder
Two Swedes, Robert Hilding and John Robinson, were arrested a couple of days ago on a charge of burglary. After being booked, Hilding confessed to Lieutenant Steele that he and Robinson had murdered a young woman in Stockholm on December 1, 1875. A merchant, Perault, paid Hilding five hundred crowns for murdering the young woman. The girls name was Sophia Dahlberg, she was strangled to death with a cord, in the good old East Indian fashion.
The two murderers will be extradited to the Swedish police some time in September. Of course, the Swedish Government will pay all expenses.
Two Swedes, Robert Hilding and John Robinson, were arrested a couple of days ago on a charge of burglary. After being booked, Hilding confessed to Lieutenant Steele that he and ...
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Secondary listingsSwedish // Contributions and Activities > Crime and Delinquency > Individual Crime (II E 2) ?
Card ImagesCard Image #1
Svenska Tribunen -- November 22, 1882How One Perish in America.
EDITORIAL: If all persons, who arrived here spoke the truth there would not be so many emigrants, I am sure. These are the words a nice Swedish immigrant wrote in a letter to a Swedish newspaper. He seemed by this to try to do his part to stop the emigration.
His first argument is the old one: namely, that, "millions have emigrated to America, tempted by the hope to obtain wealth quickly and easily, as well as attain more prestige socially, as well as other benefits," but he is very often mistaken concerning this concept.
Some individuals might have arrived here tempted by such hopes but not the great mass of people. They have emigrated to the new world hoping to win a better existence with less hardship than at home, otherwise they would not work 2so zealously; almost immediately after they arrive with a view to securing these benefits. When they land in New York, Boston or in any other Atlantic harbor they do not stay there hoping to be found by rich families and to be their heirs. They take the first train and go westward, where they take jobs on farms, factories, railroads or in any place where they can make a living, not to mention all those who take "homestead" and be come farmers at once.
The correspondent does not view the matter in this way, which indicates that he has not yet had time to grasp the situation. He writes further that times in America are not good, America soil is not good, and that farming is combined with hard work.
The Swedish newspaper who printed this letter takes this as an indicator of the situation here and adds to that if one does well thousands perish. Where they go, if they are killed or are made slaves or go to the poorhouse, we are not told, but they perish theses millions who entered here tempted by the hope 3of becoming millionares, that's certain that's "the whole truth", using the words of that correspondent.
There are at present about half a million Swedes in the United States including the American born.
If this Swedish newspaper, who swallowed these "truths" really spoke the truth then 495,000 of them must have perished, in other words, must have vanished some where in the ocean of life and become wrecks.
However, the newspaper has to admit that somehow these people are actually living. Then comes the question: What do they do? We do not think that we say too much when we insist that there are 30,000 Swedish farmers in America, representing 150,000 persons at least. Many of these farmers own several hundred acres of soil. Most of them have not less than 80 but generally 160 acres and very 4few less than 40; and when we think of that the majority of them could not have owned one inch of land, if they had stayed in Sweden then it is not the "whole truth", to classify them with those who have "perished."
There are just as many Swedish mechanics working for a weekly wage from $30 to $10 and many have their own comfortable, luxurious homes, and when one know that most of them never could have earned more than a scanty living we must admit that they have not"perished"but are doing very well.
There are, of course, some people, who have not settled down anywhere, because they have not yet decided what profession they are going to choose or where they intend to live, but they are not, therefore, lost; they do not suffer, they make their living and are not any burden to anybody. They look around and sooner or later some happy discovery is made. This is the truth, the "whole truth" and nothing but the truth.
EDITORIAL: If all persons, who arrived here spoke the truth there would not be so many emigrants, I am sure. These are the words a nice Swedish immigrant wrote in ...
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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.
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 ...
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Secondary listingsSwedish // Attitudes > Mores > Family Organization > Parent-Child Relationship (I B 3 b) ?
Swedish // Attitudes > Mores > Temperance (I B 1) ?
Swedish // Assimilation > Relations with Homeland (III H) ?
Svenska Tribunen -- December 06, 1882Who Ought to Emigrate?
EDITORIAL: This question has been the object of discussion both in America and in Sweden, where the newspapers have been very outspoken in the matter. We in America have had very little to say: we have defended emigration generally and taken a nationalistic point of view whenever an American has-been critised concerning the matter.
The Swedish Tribune has upheld this point of view to the best of its ability and defended the cause of emigration against its enemies in the old country. However, the best judges of the whole matter are those who are familiar with life in both Sweden and America.
On the other hand, if we should state our opinion regarding: "Who ought to emigrate," it would be thus:
America is a splendid land, but that does not mean that everybody ought to come here; not even all poor people, who through hard work make their 2living in this world, either as mechanics or farmers." When the question of emigration comes up, we ought to view it from three angles: Age, profession and prospects. We believe in general, that a person who is middle-aged should not come here, unless he finds it entirely impossible to make a living in his native country.
Furthermore, it is our opinion, that the Swedish man who owes and cultivates enough fertile land to earn his living, even if it causes sweat and hard work, ought not to leave it to seek a better living here. The same is true of the industrial worker. Finally, nobody who has a good living in his own country ought to leave a place where he is firmly and deeply routed because he thinks he can accumulate more wealth here than in Sweden; for there peace is more valuable than so much wealth. Easily won wealth is not always worth its weight in gold. It is better to feel completely at home on a small plot than to feel like a stranger and to be homesick and worried on a 160 acre farm in the American West. There is more joy in living on the soil of your own little farm than achieving great wealth and owning a luxurious home in America, where one feels like a stranger.3
It is a fact that most middle-aged immigrants never really feel at home here. Is it not then better that they stay where they are, if they don't suffer real need or have grown sons and daughters in America upon whom they can depend.
But young men,who will,and can work and can grasp the new ideas of life in the New World, have nothing to lose and everything to gain in coming to America. Nevertheless this class Sweden advises to keep within her own portals. No other country can offer the strong young farmer or mechanic, who has nothing but his working ability such splendid opportunities as America. A Swedish farm hand can never gain as much as one acre good soil with his work but he can own his own farm in a few years in America.
There are very few hired mechanics in Sweden who can build their own little home and make it comfortable; but in America every skilful and regular worker can save his wages in a. short time, live under his own roof; in short, America is 4a splendid land for young and strong men and women, who cannot secure a livelihood very easily in their native country because it is an excellent and open field where their own straight, virtue and merit takes the first prize.
EDITORIAL: This question has been the object of discussion both in America and in Sweden, where the newspapers have been very outspoken in the matter. We in America have had ...
III G, I B 3 c, I E, III H
Secondary listingsSwedish // Attitudes > Mores > Family Organization > Family Economic Organization (I B 3 c) ?
Swedish // Attitudes > Social Organization (I E) ?
Swedish // Assimilation > Relations with Homeland (III H) ?
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