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hold all as if it were not mine, but God's, saw him, he was leaving the house to and ready to resign it."
take the journey for his health which It seemed to me a terrible thing that led suddenly to the next world. My moone so peculiarly strong, sentient, lumi- ther was to go to the station with him, nous, as my father should grow feebler she who, at the moment when it was and fainter, and finally ghostly still and said that he died, staggered and groaned, white. Yet when his step was tottering though so far from him, telling us that and his frame that of a wraith, he was something seemed to be sapping all her as dignified as in the days of greater strength ; I could hardly bear to let my pride, holding himself, in military self- eyes rest upon her shrunken, suffering command, even more erect than before. form on this day of farewell. My father He did not omit to come in his very best certainly knew, what she vaguely felt, black coat to the dinner-table, where the that he would never return. extremely prosaic fare had no effect upon Like a snow image of an unbending the distinction of the meal. He hated but an old, old man, he stood for a mofailure, dependence, and disorder, broken ment gazing at me. My mother sobbed, rules and weariness of discipline, as he as she walked beside him to the carriage. hated cowardice. I cannot express how We have missed him in the sunshine, in brave he seemed to me. The last time I the storm, in the twilight, ever since.
Rose Hawthorne Lathrop.
THE SCANDINAVIAN CONTINGENT.
“What a glorious new Scandinavia ing descendants of the Vikings, 2,500,might not Minnesota become! Here 000, more than one fifth, reside in the would the Swede find again his clear United States, — born of Scandinavian romantic lakes, the plains of Scania rich parents, either in Europe or in America. in corn, and the valleys of Norrland ; In the sixty years since the movement here would the Norwegian find his rapid- really began, about 1,500,000 of these flowing rivers, his lofty mountains, for I northern peoples have left their penininclude the Rocky Mountains and Oregon sular homes and built again in the New in the new kingdom; and both nations World. Few provinces of Denmark, their hunting-fields and their fisheries. Sweden, or Norway contain so many The Danes might here pasture their Scandinavians as the 375,000 who make flocks and.herds, and lay out their farms up one fourth of the population of Minneon richer and less misty coasts than those sota. Wisconsin and Illinois have each of Denmark. ... The climate, the sit- 200,000. Iowa, Nebraska, and the two uation, the character of the scenery, Dakotas have the larger part of the reagrees with our people better than that mainder. Twenty-five thousand or more of any
other of the American States." are in Kansas, in each of the far Western So wrote Frederika Bremer from St. States of California, Washington, and Paul in the autumn of 1850, when there Utah, and even in the east coast States of were barely a score of Scandinavians in Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylall the vast region she called Minnesota. vania. In the last three States, however, Forty-five years have brought a marvel- they live for the most part in the great ous fulfillment of these prophetic words, cities and manufacturing towns. and to-day, of the 11,500,000 direct liv- As I have gone about in the new Scandinavia and in the old Scandinavia, not- broader fields of Sweden and Denmark, ing the same points of striking similarity in their towns, and by the all-surroundwhich Miss Bremer described, and dif- ing sea. Any one who has investigated ferences equally marked, I have ceased the situation on both sides of the water to wonder at the coming of the mighty will realize that no class or section can host that has settled so quietly among us. be neglected in such a study, for the imThe surprise is rather that so many have migrants have come from all grades of been content not to come. That the ad- society and from all parts of the three vantages in life for the vast majority of countries. Many times, in various parthose who have emigrated are very real ishes and cities in Norway and Sweden, I and positive is demonstrated by the ex- have asked men, as I met them, if they ceedingly small percentage who return to had relatives or intimate friends settled the homeland for permanent residence. in America, and I cannot recall a single Some of these backsliders from faith in negative answer. Peasants in out-of-thethe great West have repented, and emi- way valleys in the Norwegian mountains grated a second time. A physician, grad- or in northern Sweden, fishermen, tradesuated at the University of Christiania, men in the cities, editors, government had gained a small fortune in a large officials, and university professors, — all Wisconsin town, and returned to Chris- gave me the same reply. Every class is tiania with his family and belongings by bound to America by the closest ties. the same steamer in which I went. He An excellent example of one of the Swehad served his term in exile, and was dish nobility settling in the United States going back where a man could really live. is found in the late Baron Nils Posse, In two years he was again in the North- who was so well known in educational west, to stay
circles. Not since the English immigraIt is a suggestive fact that so large tion of the seventeenth century has there a proportion of the Scandinavians are come to us such complete representation settled in the distinctively agricultural of all classes of a civilized community. States. A glance at a map showing the The term “Scandinavian” is convelocations of the various foreign elements nient, but at best only broadly generic. of our population would increase the sig- As descriptive of Swedes, Norwegians, nificance by disclosing how much greater and Danes, it is even looser than the use that proportion is with the Scandinavians of “ British to describe the English, than with any other class of immigrants. Scotch, and Welsh collectively. We all The most reliable figures obtainable in- know that there is no Scandinavian landicate that, of the Scandinavians, one out guage, no Scandinavian nation, but we of four engages in agriculture; of the do not so well realize that Sweden and Germans, one out of seven ; of the Irish, Denmark have different languages, govonly one out of twelve. But this fact ernments, and traditions. To be sure, alone must not be over-emphasized. It Norway and Sweden, since 1814, have does not follow that immigrants are de- constituted a dual monarchy, but they are sirable because they choose the country just as widely separated in language and rather than the city. The value of the tradition as Spain and Portugal, or as RusScandinavians is that they choose a pur-sia and Poland. The physical features suit in which they excel.
of the countries — the mountains, fjords, In order to understand the conditions and extensive coastline of Norway, the and tendency of the generation of to-day, level stretches, the lakes, and the regular something must be added from a close coast of Sweden, and the fat, sandy study of these children of the north, plains and islands of Denmark seem to among the mountains of Norway, on the find a spiritual counterpart in the people
themselves. The typical Swede is aris- Björnstjerne Björnson, one of the most tocratic, assertive, fond of dignities ; he striking and original figures of the cenis polite, vivacious, bound to have a good tury in Norwegian politics and letters, time, without any far look into the future. himself an enthusiastic patriot and a radYet he is persistent, and capable of great ical, wrote some years ago to Professor energy and endurance. He is fond of Hjärne, of Upsala, in Sweden, concernmusic. In literature his best work has ing the Norwegian people: “ The Norwebeen the lyrics and epics of Bellman and gians are, in my opinion, not that people Tegnér. The typical Norwegian is, above in the north which is least gifted or has all, democratic. He is simple, severe, in- the weakest character. But ... its aims tense, often radical and visionary. There are not far reaching. It is not so grand lies an unknown quantity of passion in as the Swedish people, - not so flippant, him, a capacity for high, even turbulent either, perhaps. It is not so industrious endeavor, but rarely the qualities of a and faithful as the Danish people, — not
He too is fond of music, so zealous, either, perhaps. It takes hold but with a dramatic element. In his lit- and lets go, it lets go and takes hold, of erature of this century, even more than persons and aims. It will exert itself in his music, the dramatic predominates. to the utmost, but it demands speedy and The towering figures of Björnson and signal success. Its ambition is not so Ibsen, great in both drama and novel, great as its vanity. Hot-headed, impetbelong not merely to Norway, but to the uous, in small things, it is patient in world. The Dane is the Southerner of great ones. ... The condition of conthe Scandinavians, though still a conser- ditions (for great things] is the right of vative ; gay, but not to excess. He is self-determination." preëminently a small farmer or a trader, The Scandinavian countries belong to ready and easy-going, not given to great a group of five or six European states risks, but quick to see a bargain and which are set down, in ordinary statisshrewd in making it. His interests have
His interests have tical works, as practically without illitled him out from his small kingdom in eracy; that is, with less than one per all directions, so that he, more than his cent of persons unable to read and write. brothers to the north, has yielded to for- These figures are confirmed in the case eign influences. His best literature has of Sweden by the statistics of the army been romantic.
recruits. They also gain in meaning imJudged by American standards, these mensely when compared with tho northern folk are slow, often immoder- some other countries of Europe from ately slow. Their fastest express train which there has been large emigration. rarely attains a speed of thirty miles an Austro-Hungary shows thirty per cent hour, and does not run at all in the win- of illiteracy, Italy forty-one, Russia nearter. The ordinary trains from Christiania ly eighty. An educational requirement north, some years ago, ran only during would debar a large part of these immithe day, and passengers were obliged to grants ; but however rigidly the United go to an inn for the night. All three States might enforce it, the Scandinavipeoples, down to the stolidest laborer, ans would be only very slightly affectmountaineer, or fisherman, are industri- ed. They have actually done for themous and frugal. Nature is no spendthrift selves, without flourish or bragging, what in any part of the Scandinavian coun- we, with our boasted system of public tries. Small economies are the alphabet schools, have not yet been able to do. In of her teachings. Only by diligence are nine years spent in Minneapolis I became the treasures in land and sea wrung from personally acquainted with hundreds of her unwilling grasp.
them, and in my visits to the various sec
tions of Minnesota and the neighboring With such equipments as these, the States, where they are thickly settled, I Scandinavians have come into the United met hundreds more. Not a single adult States, not for adventure, but with seriamong them all, so far as I observed, ous purpose; not merely to get away from was unable to read and write. On the Europe, but to "arrive” somewhere in other hand, some of the physicians, min- America. Most of them have been far isters, and teachers were men educated from typical Swedes, Danes, or Norwein the universities of Christiania, Copen- gians. Conservatism and slowness, with hagen, Upsala, and Lund.
them, have often degenerated into stolidIn the matter of religion, all Scandina- ity, independence into stubbornness, and vians are most uncompromising Protes- shrewdness into insincerity. They have tants. There are barely enough Catho- sometimes been clannish ; but how can lic exceptions in Europe and the United any class with a foreign speech avoid clanStates together to prove that conversion nishness? It is a necessary stage in the to the Roman Catholic faith is possible evolution, and, with the people from the for them. Dislike of Catholicism is rather north, only a stage. Out of it, through an instinct, coming down from Reforma- the gates of the English language, speedy tion times, than a matter of knowledge naturalization, and increased prosperity, or close observation. It is so strong as they pass into broader relations. Until an innate sentiment that, consciously or the recent increase of the urban element, unconsciously, it colors their relations in none of the three nationalities has delibpolitics and in society. The distrust of erately settled apart, intensifying its pethe Irish, which sometimes takes active culiarities. They mingle freely with each form, is at bottom religious, and not other and with the Americans in busiracial.
ness and politics. Intermarriages are by Few of them come here without some no means uncommon. In the complex political knowledge and experience. people, or mixture of peoples, which may Freedom, republican institutions, consti- hereafter be called Scandinavian will aptutional government, and elections are no pear many of the qualities of each comnovelties. The Norwegian lives under ponent. Fresh additions will continue to the extremely democratic constitution of reinforce the old, while the third and 1814, and on the 17th of May, on both fourth generations cannot lose completesides of the Atlantic, celebrates its adop- ly the original characteristics. They will tion. In Norway all titles of nobility be sturdy, independent, and Protestant; have been abolished. The essential dif- they will be intelligent, persistent, paference between the Norwegian system tient, and thrifty. We shall not, thereand our own is that in the former a fore, expect the current of their life to property qualification is still retained.
run counter to that of the nation. The Swede since the reforms of 1866, For this hopeful expectation there is and the Dane since those of 1849 and good historical reason. America has an 1866, have lived under much the same experience of Scandinavian colonization conditions as the Norwegian, though in more than two centuries old, and the both Sweden and Denmark there is still result shows what may be expected from a noble class. It has been natural, there the next two centuries. The Swedish fore, for all three nationalities to fall in settlement of the seventeenth century is with the method of government in the doubly instructive: because it was formed United States, and at once to take a nor- from the same classes of society and folmal part. There have been none of the lowed the same lines as the movement excesses characteristic of the use of a of the last fifty years, and because the new-found liberty.
Swede of the seventeenth century and the Swede of the nineteenth century, in ity of the colony continued, and by the essential characteristics, are one. Two end of the seventeenth century it numhundred years have wrought far less bered about one thousand, scattered along change in him than in his cousin of both banks of the Delaware. Germany or England. The colony on the It was only a handful of quiet, inDelaware was like an experiment in irri- dustrious men and women who made gation: the nature of the result must be up the colony of farmers. Nor was it the same, whether the water be applied continually reinforced by additions from by the bucketful in Delaware or by turn- Sweden. It cannot be said to have exing a great stream upon the prairies of ercised any powerful or controlling influthe Northwest.
ence on colonial life. But as an element Before the second generation of Eng- it was highly desirable. It contributed lish or Dutch settlers in America had only good blood and sturdy good sense grown to manhood, the Swedes began to a heterogeneous population that all too their colonization. The colony had been often sorely needed just these qualities. originally planned by Gustavus Adolphus The Hon. Thomas F. Bayard, who had in 1624. It was to be no mere commer- lived long among their descendants, wrote cial speculation, no mere haven for aris- in 1888 : “ I make bold to say that no tocratic adventurers, but “a blessing to better stock has been contributed (in prothe common man,” a place for "a free portion to its numbers) toward giving a people with wives.” But sterner duties solid basis to society under republican took the energies of the great king, and forms than these hardy, honest, indusit remained for his daughter, Queen trious, law-abiding, God-fearing Swedish Christina, and his faithful Oxenstjerna settlers on the banks of the Christiana to carry out the plans. From 1638 to in Delaware. While I have never heard 1655 the Swedish flag floated over a of a very rich man among them, I have Swedish colony on the banks of the never heard of a pauper. I cannot recall Delaware, and then disappeared forever the name of a statesman or distinguished as a sign of sovereignty in America. In law-giver among them, nor of a rogue these years several hundreds of settlers nor a felon.” For two centuries can this had there acquired a home. Their jus- Swedish thread in our fabric be clearly tice in dealing with the Indians had traced, and to-day many a man bearing prevented any massacre or war. Their the familiar Swedish name of Nelson, shrewdness and thrift had sent back to Thompson, or Anderson is indebted to Sweden many a cargo of furs. Their the Swedes on the Delaware for char. loyalty and piety had built the fort and acteristics as well as a name. One of the church side by side. Dutch and these descendants gave clear evidence English threats did not destroy the pro- that he was no degenerate son of New sperity of the company; and when an Sweden, for in the defense of Fort Sumexpedition set out for New Sweden in ter Major Robert Anderson displayed 1654, about one hundred families who virtues worthy of the terrible field of had made preparations to go were left Lützen, where Gustavus Adolphus and behind for lack of accommodations. his Swedes sacrificed themselves to win
Sweden seems thus to have had a religious freedom for millions who were touch of the “ America fever” as early as not of their blood. the middle of the seventeenth century. The story of the nineteenth-century The disease, however, did not become Scandinavian immigration is but that of chronic, for in 1656 New Sweden be- the seventeenth-century Swedish settlecame a part of New Netherland, and in ment, revised and rewritten on an im1664 a part of New York. The prosper- mense scale. With a slight modification,