- Project Runeberg -  Year-book of the Swedish-American Historical Society / Volume 7 (1921-1922) /
11

(1908-1925) [MARC]
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time referred to, the country people in Sweden had to
he content with the barest necessities, the poor often
having to eke out their coarse meal with ground bark
and bones. Frugality was practiced to the extreme, the
family usually supplying what its members needed.
Hence immigrants from that class could spin, knit,
weave and make their own clothing. They knew enough
of carpentering, blacksmithing, and masonry to supply
their own wants in a crude way; and had had
experience in husbandry as carried on in Sweden. Those
who came to forge their way in a new and unknown
country were also persons who were young and
physically fit. They were from childhood enured to hard
and incessant labor. The above traits stood them well
in hand here; for, as stated, with few exceptions all
were without any means worth mentioning when their
destination was reached, and even worse, many were in
debt for part of the passage over. Some had enough
to buy a cow, or a yoke of oxen. Others had to use the
grub-hoe as plow and harrow for the first crop. Even
to those accustomed to poverty and hardships the
experience of the first Swedish settlers in this state was
hard and at times very discouraging. The trails of the
Indians were not serviceable roads. The Mississippi,
Minnesota, and St, Croix rivers were about the only
way by which necessities could be obtained from St.
Paul, the apparent source of supplies. Any saleable
products of the settlers were, before the advent of the
railroad, carried on the rivers to the market. There
have been instances of persons carrying on their backs a
sack of flour such distances as from St. Paul to the
Chisago Lake settlement.

Partly inexperience and partly immediate needs added

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