- Project Runeberg -  America of the Fifties: Letters of Fredrika Bremer /
208

(1924) [MARC] Author: Fredrika Bremer
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Unonius, now the minister of the Swedish
congregation of this district, and his wife. They were
among the earliest Swedish emigrants who
established themselves on the banks of the beautiful
Pine Lake, in Wisconsin, where they hoped to
lead an Arcadian, pastoral life. The country was
beautiful, but the land for the most part was
sterile.

These Swedish gentry, who thought of becoming
here the cultivators and colonizers of the wilderness,
had miscalculated their fitness and their
powers of labor. Besides this, they had taken
with them the Swedish inclination for hospitality
and a merry life, without sufficiently considering
how long it could last. Each family built for
itself a necessary abode, and then invited its
neighbors to a feast. They had Christmas festivities
and midsummer dances. But the first year’s harvest
fell short. The poorly tilled soil could not
produce rich harvests. Then succeeded a severe
winter, with snow and tempests, and the ill-built
houses afforded but inadequate shelter; on this
followed sickness, misfortunes, want of labor, want
of money, wants of all kinds. It is almost incredible
what an amount of suffering some of these
colonists must have gone through. Nearly all
were unsuccessful as farmers; some of them, however,
supported themselves and their families by

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