19th Century, Culture, Emigration, farming, History, Immigration, Intercession, Minnesota

Swedish Immigration 1862

1024px-Anti-emigration.propaganda.1869

Left side: Dreams of America Right side: Realities of America

Over the next 30 years more than 350 families from the province of Dalarna in Sweden pick up and move to Isanti County. They recongregate around their parish churches.
This emigration represents a second wave from Sweden, driven by hunger during lean years (1863-1877) in their native land.*

There were many reasons Swedes were disenchanted with life in their homeland in this era. Norway and Sweden were ruled by a shared aristocracy and common people allegedly despised the arrogance of monarch Charles XV and his tone-deaf response to their plights. Uppsala graduate Gustaf Unonius left Sweden for the Midwest, and his writings in the Swedish newspaper “Aftonbladet” drew interest in places like Wisconsin and Minnesota.**

Though this wave came from Dalarna, many future Minnesotans came from Smaland (Southern Sweden) where the poor soil and small plots made it difficult to survive. Imagine their surprise when one could buy an acre of excellent land for $1.25?! The climate of Midwest was familiar and pleasant to these northern peoples.

Numerous other factors tipped the scales towards them in the eyes of their American neighbors. “They are not peddlers, nor organ grinders, nor beggars; they do not sell ready-made clothing nor keep pawn shops, they do not seek the shelter of the American flag merely to introduce and foster among us … socialism, nihilism, etc … they are more like Americans than are any other foreign peoples.” ***

Lord, thank you for the gift that Swedes have been to our state! Thank you that they could find this new place to begin again! Will You bless every Minnesotan of Swedish ancestry; them, their generations, and their dwellings by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ?

Jesus, forgive our judgments of these immigrants. Forgive us when we do not remember the trials of their homeland. Most Minnesotans’ of today do not realize that our Swedish ancestors fought starvation, various forms of slavery, political disenfranchisement, and religious persecution.

Lord, will You forgive our bitter judgments of Swedish-Americans! Forgive any counter judgments that enslave them! May we be Your forgiving and free people! Ljuset skringrar varje morker! Gud valsigne Sverige!

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out!

 

Standard
19th Century, Agriculture, Emigration, Exploration, farming, Food, History, Immigration, Minnesota, Native Americans, State Government, trade, Treaties

Settlement in Minnesota 1849 to 1860

images-8

“The number of non-Indian people in Minnesota jumps from 3,814 in 1849 to 172,072 in 1860, a 4,500 percent increase! The newcomers break sod, start businesses, plot towns, look for jobs, and dream of getting rich.

Pent-up demand for good agricultural land is the primary reason. Iowa and Wisconsin had been heavily settled and had both passed from territorial to statehood status by 1848. It had been dangerous and illegal to settle on land in most of Minnesota before treaties with the Dakota and the Ojibwe were signed. But after several treaties were ratified in the 1850s, the floodgates of migration burst open.” *

When we move, we make assessments of our new neighbors and neighborhood. They, in return, watch us move into their neighborhood, and may ‘size us up’ by our friendliness, possessions, (or lack of possessions), our physical appearance, etc. These assessments, I believe, are instincts designed for our survival, but must be tempered or they can morph into prejudice.

Lord, what were the judgments of these ‘new neighbors’ in Minnesota? Will You forgive us the inheritance of those who knowingly moved into the state illegally? Will You forgive the betrayals committed between settler and tribe, and their counter-betrayals? Will You break the power of the derogatory words and names given among these groups? Will You break the vows made in anger, envy, revenge, arrogance, unforgiveness, fear, and unbelief of each group towards its real or supposed nemesis?

Thinking about the impact of these past separations on the present, will You forgive the heart behind the relocation of Native Americans? Will you free us from the bondages and entanglements within poorly made treaties? Will You bring Your heart of restoration to Minnesota? Will You bring to light a new kind of history in Minnesota? Will You write a history that remembers the good, the pleasing, the fair, the gracious, the restored relationship on our hearts? Will you give us Your eyes to see our neighbors’ inherent value?

*mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

Standard