Download Getting ahead: a Swedish immigrant's reminiscences, by Charles J. Hoflund PDF

By Charles J. Hoflund

In 1913, the yr sooner than he died, Charles J. Hoflund dictated his existence tale to his grandson, Stanley Hoflund excessive. That tale is gifted right here for the 1st time in its entirety by way of H. Arnold Barton.Hoflund was once born in Djursdala Parish, Sweden, in 1834, and emigrated to the USA together with his family members in 1850. His lifestyles is extremely consultant of these of so much Swedish immigrants in the course of the earliest part in their nice exodus to the USA. not like different immigrants who recorded their memories, Hoflund presents a wealth of attention-grabbing aspect approximately existence in his domestic parish earlier than he departed for America.He supplies a bright account of the lengthy, harrowing trip to the United States throughout the crusing send period and describes the early days within the unique Swedish "core" settlements round Andover in Henry County, Illinois. possibilities got here speedy at the frontier—the day after the family’s arrival at Andover, Charles was once employed to paintings for a close-by Yankee farmer, permitting him to earn his continue and give a contribution to his family’s depleted resources. Hoflund sought chance anywhere he may perhaps locate it. He tells of slicing bushes within the Wisconsin barren region, rafting down the Mississippi, matching wits with sharp-dealers, farming at the Illinois prairie, operating for political place of work, and at last looking new percentages in Nebraska.

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Sample text

Well, in the evening a couple of neighbors came in. One of them was a vicious character, a leader of the bad element in the place, overbearing and abusive. We were all sitting around the fireplace, the journeyman at one side. After a while this rowdy began to pick a quarrel with the stranger, calling him abusive names, but through it all the man kept quiet. Finally he got so abusive that Father told him to stop, but he paid no attention, and then Father told him he would have to quit his abuse of a man who was under our roof and entitled to our protection.

The first thing we received on arriving home was a small glass of punch, which consisted of homemade whiskey [brännvin] diluted with water and sweetened to taste, some bread and butter, or a little cheese. Then we did the chores and had breakfast, after which the children would strike out for sport of some kind. If the skating was good most all would steer for the mill pond or the low marshy ground along the river, as sometimes that would overflow and freeze and make the finest kind of a skating pond.

Grandpa would sit in his big easy chair near the window and dictate to me by the hour. It seemed to afford him a great deal of pleasure and whenever forced to lay aside the work for a time he would grow anxious and insist on continuing. The book is exactly as he dictated it to me. His grammar and sentence construction were remarkably perfect, while his memory of the smallest details in each incident was wonderful. When the work was finally completed Grandpa seemed lost, for he had been entirely wrapped up in the book and but for school it would have been a pleasure to have carried the Page xx story up to date although the incidents of his life in recent years have not been unusual or especially interesting.

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