- Project Runeberg -  America of the Fifties: Letters of Fredrika Bremer /

(1924) [MARC] Author: Fredrika Bremer
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Full resolution (TIFF) - On this page / på denna sida - Boston, February 1, 1850

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their faith, and who sought freedom of conscience
and peace on a new free soil. I see the Huguenot
and the Herrnhuter in the South; and along the
Mississippi in the West, Protestants and Catholics
from all the countries of Europe seeking and finding
there the most precious treasures of mankind,
and who, in that affluent soil, establish flourishing
communities under the social and free laws instituted
by the oldest Pilgrims.

When I contemplate that Puritan community as
it exists in our time, about two centuries after its
first establishment, it seems to me that there
are two mainsprings within its motive heart-machinery;
the one is a tendency toward the ideal
of moral life, the other impels it to conquer the
earth—that is to say, the material powers and
products of the earth. The men of the New
World, and pre-eminently the men of New England
(humorously called Yankees) have a passion
for acquisition, and for this object think nothing
of labor, even the hardest, and nothing of trouble;
nay, to travel half the world over to do a good
stroke of business is but a trifle. The viking
element in the Yankee’s nature, which he
perhaps inherited originally from the Scandinavian
vikings, compels him to work incessantly, to undertake,
to accomplish something which tends either
to his own improvement or that of others; for

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