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the quaint words of Thomas Paskell’s that the pigs and cattle might be alletter from Philadelphia in 1683 are true lowed to run at will. What more could in the great West to-day : “ They (the a poor peasant ask? So the ScandinaSwedes] weer but ordinarily cloathed, vians passed by the coast States, by the but since the English came, they have middle Western States, where their longgotten fine cloaths and are going proud." ing for land at a dollar and a quarter an The first result of the later movement, acre could not be satisfied, and streamed both for the adopted country and for into the Northwest: into Illinois and Wisthe immigrant, has been economic. The consin in the forties, into Iowa and Minprime motive of the emigration through- nesota in the fifties, and then, as good out has been the betterment of material government land grew scarcer, into Neconditions. With few exceptions, polit- braska, Dakota, and the Far West. The ical and religious persecution has played Southwest attracted almost none of them, no part whatever. The forerunners of partly because of their hatred of slavery, the later thousands were certain Norwe- partly because of the climate. Since gians who emigrated in the twenties and 1835, when La Salle County, Illinois, thirties, — men of the poorest classes of received the first company, the Scandithe communities whence they came, but navian has been among the foremost in not paupers or criminals. They were redeeming the wilderness of prairie and squeezed out from the bottom of soci- forest. No other class of immigrants, ety, escaping as it were through cracks and few Americans, have been so ready and crevices. The average quality, how- to undergo the hardship, privation, and ever, steadily improved from the first, isolation of the frontier for the sake of a though poverty at home has always been far-distant competence. New-comers filone of the commonest reasons for emi- tered through the old settlements, where gration. Down to about 1878 the great land was well occupied and its price had majority came from the country parishes, risen, to the new regions beyond. They where the dearest ambition was to own did not usually come empty-handed, since land, the more the better. But they the average man brought about a hundred could not expect to gain more than a dollars in specie or exchange. This was few lean acres even by the hard, put into land as speedily as possible, a hut ceasing labor of a lifetime. From Ame- was built, and a home was begun. Some rica came letters full of stories of pro- years ago I became well acquainted with sperity. Occasionally a man returned one of these average men, a young Swede. to his old home, and men tramped scores He had brought a little money with him, of miles to hear him tell of a land of and by working two years on a farm he promise, which, if it did not flow with had saved enough to buy twenty acres milk and honey, at least abounded with of tilled land. Upon this he had had a fabulously rich, level land, to be had at shanty built, which, in the evolution of

, a nominal price. Sometimes these fas- the estate, was to become a storeroom. cinating advantages were set forth, with After another year of work for wages he purely benevolent intent, in a little

was married, and the shanty became a pamphlet, rather more naïve and truth- home. Men who had come before 1850, ful than those circulated later by railroad and had settled in Illinois and Wisconand state land commissioners and immi- sin, were in 1870, in many cases, wealthy gration agents. I found one of these farmers, owning four hundred and even pamphlets, printed in the early forties, six hundred acres of land, and worth in the Royal Library at Copenhagen, and twenty thousand and thirty thousand dolone of the advantages, described in bold- lars. Ease and independence had not faced type, was that land was so plenty been won by speculation or by politics,



but by hard work, care, thrift, and the from the filling-up of the thinly settled normal increase in the value of their regions is another which also springs farms. Exactly the same thing is still from that strong sense of individuality going on in the Northwest wherever and independence which characterizes there is farm land open to settlers, as in the northern Teutons. Organized eminorthern Minnesota and North Dakota. gration has been quite unknown among In a quiet, determined way, the Scan- them. There has been no exploitation dinavian is gaining a home for himself of their labor by agents abroad or by and better conditions for his children. American capitalists. They have come It is simply because he puts a higher as individuals, as families, or as volunvalue upon land-owning than any other tary companies, and they have settled in immigrant, and has generally preferred the same fashion. In general, it is true to settle upon cheap wild land instead of that there is among them no large perpurchasing at a higher price land already manent class of men who have nothing cultivated, or settling down in town, that but their hands. Great numbers of them millions of dollars have been so rapidly are willing to serve for some years as added to the valuation of the Northwest- farm - hands, domestics, or operatives, ern States, like Minnesota and Iowa. while they are learning our language and The extension of railroads in turn at- getting a start, but they are not content tracting more settlers, the development to continue hired laborers. An indeof manufactures, particularly milling, pendent business, however small, a farm

a and the increase of trade have been or a shop of their own, is their ambition, greatly hastened as a result of the Scan- and no labor is too severe to gain it. In dinavian's thrift and steadiness, qualities the last fifteen years many people have

, in which even the German cannot equal been emigrating from the towns of Scanhim. •

dinavia, especially from those of SweIt has been asserted by a noted writer den, and these have located mainly in our on immigration that one reason why the cities and manufacturing towns. Large Scandinavians have been so successful is additions to the Eastern cities have been that their standard of living is lower made in this period, and they seem to than that of other peoples, - the Ameri- be joining the permanent wage-earning cans or Germans, for example. In other class. In Brooklyn, for example, the words, they sell everything they can, and number of foreign-born Scandinavians live upon the rest. My own experience rose from about 4000 in 1880 to 16,000 and observation among them do not con- in 1890. Though many have made their firm this. In 1886 I spent six weeks mark in great commercial enterprises, it in the home of a Danish farmer in Min- is as farmers that the Scandinavians have nesota, and frequently called upon his been preëminently successful. In a class neighbors, both Swedes and Norwegians. by themselves belong the domestics, – There seemed to be no inferiority in the house servant, the coachman, and their homes or their tables as compared the general utility man. They are faithwith those of Americans in similar cir- ful, hard-working, and honest, as a rule, cumstances. On the frontier the same but they have a strong liking for doing holds true, so far as I have observed. things in their own way, regardless of The standard of living in the log hut instructions. They lack the faculty of

. in a clearing in the forest, or in a sod implicit obedience. In the West the house on the prairie, is about the same, quality of those in domestic service whether the owner is American, German, seems to be better than it is in the East. or Scandinavian.

The proletariat is not largely recruited Connected with the economic gain from them. Secret societies and in


trigues are not their specialties. The navians into the Republican party. The anarchist does not look to them for al- example of the earlier immigrants, the lies or supplies.

anti-slavery tradition, and the prestige The difficult problem of municipal gov- of the party after the war predisposed ernment is of course complicated by the the new-comers in favor of the Republirecent addition of a Scandinavian ele- cans. It was a perfectly natural choice, ment. Any increase of the percentage and indicates nothing more than a conof aliens in the urban population adds servative mind. I find very little evidence a danger. But it must be remembered that dislike of the Irish had anything that the new element is fairly well edu- to do with the loyalty of the Scandinacated, and not inexperienced in self-gov- vians to the Republican party. The war ernment. It is capable and ready to as- brought some of them prominently before sist in the solution of the problems, and the public, and soon afterward they beis demonstrating its usefulness for that gan to appear frequently in the state legispurpose. Minneapolis gives a good ex- lature in Wisconsin, as well as in purely ample in connection with its public school local offices. They have filled various system, which is conceded to be one of state offices in Wisconsin and Minnesota the best in the United States. Any one since 1869, when a Swede was first electacquainted with the development of the ed secretary of state for Minnesota. In schools of that city must recognize the 1892, and again in 1894, a Norwegian great services of Norwegians.

was elected governor of Minnesota, and The political influence of the Scandi- that State is at present represented in navians has been second to the economic. the United States Senate by a NorweIn no case have they exercised an influ- gian. In general, the allegiance to party ence proportionate to their numbers. In has been stronger than any race feeling. Minnesota they come nearer doing so Only very rarely has a Scandinavian Dethan elsewhere, but even there, with about mocratic candidate been elected by the one fourth of the population, they have aid of Scandinavian Republican votes. rarely had more than one sixth of the A Swede's loyalty to a Swede is usually members in the state legislature. Of stronger than his loyalty to a Dane or course, in towns and counties which are to a Norwegian. In fact, there is alsolidly filled up by Scandinavians, most ways an undercurrent of jealousy among of the offices are commonly taken by the three nationalities. But it is rarely them. In the early years they were too strong enough to overcome the ordinary much absorbed in home - building and obligations and motives of politics; and money - getting to give much attention while each party usually apportions its to politics, but with prosperity came a candidates among the various nationalichance to indulge their taste for public ties, its failure to do so does not materialaffairs. The Norwegian in particularly affect the result. For example, a state seems to have a penchant for politics. ticket in Minnesota, on which both the He is a controversialist by nature, and candidates for governor and secretary of takes delight in the excitement of a cam- state were Norwegians, polled the usual paign. He has a clear notion at least Swedish and Danish vote. of equality with every other man, and in ago, in Rockford, Illinois, the Democrats shrewdness in pushing toward his polit- nominated a Swede for alderman, against ical goal neither the Dane nor the Swede a native American in a ward strongly can compare with him.

Swedish and Republican. Though there An ingrained antipathy to slavery was was no particular issue, the Swedes could undoubtedly the most powerful impulse not be moved by the offer, and the which before the war carried the Scandi- American was elected. Demands are


Some years

sometimes made of conventions and of Democratic. A few are Prohibitionist, successful candidates, but these cases are while others are Populist. The change rare, and confined mostly to municipal of politics has not usually been due to affairs. Nearly all who have risen to a transfer of ownership. The editor of any prominence in state or national elec- Norden, of Chicago, a paper which betions thus far have been Republicans, came Democratic in 1888, told me that and the majority of them have been the change was made only after a careNorwegians. Out of six Scandinavian ful investigation had shown that such a Representatives in Congress five have move would be approved by its supportbeen Norwegians, though this proportion ers. does not hold good in the state offices, Legislative acts due directly to Scanwhich are more proportionately divided. dinavian influences are few. The most Four of the six Representatives were Re- characteristic measure is that passed by publicans, two Populists.

the legislature of North Dakota in 1893, Towards the close of the decade 1880- providing for courts of conciliation mod90 the allegiance of the Scandinavians eled after those which have worked so to the Republican party was gradually successfully in Norway. Attempts to shaken. The original anti-slavery im- pass a similar law in Minnesota and in pulse had completely died out; the agra- Wisconsin had been made before, but had rian discontent affected those who were failed. The machinery of the act has farmers, as it did Americans of that class, not been widely used, and it is too soon causing them to look to political forces to to judge of the value of the law. Temrelieve them ; the increased percentage perance legislation, whether high license of immigrants who went to the towns in Minnesota or prohibition in North Dafurnished material for labor agitators. kota and Kansas, has had strong ScandiFinally, the tariff reform sentiment had navian support, especially in the Luthergained a great hold upon them ; so great, an churches. in fact, that one of their Representatives On the social side, the people from was one of six Republicans who voted the Northland are quite as remarkable, for the Mills bill in 1888. Altogether, by contrast, for what they have not the division of the Scandinavians, polit- done as for what they have done. With ically, is going on more and more along rare exceptions, they have not attemptthe same lines as among the Americans. ed to maintain separate church schools The Populist party has gained the most for elementary instruction. Where other in the readjustment of party affiliations, than public schools are opened, it is in and has twice elected a Norwegian to the summer vacation, and for the purpose Congress from the seventh Minnesota of teaching the church catechism and district. Though the Republican party the mother tongue. The length of the still holds the majority of the Scandina- term varies, sometimes extending through vian voters, it can no longer make a re- three months. The teacher, usually a minspectable claim of a monopoly of them. ister or a student in some church seminaA fair index of the loosening of party ry, is paid by the parents of the children ties among them is found in the changed taught or by the parish. Often the pubpolitics of their press. All told, they lic school building is used, in country vilhave about one hundred and thirty news- lages where the Scandinavians predomipapers. In 1885, probably three fourths nate. The maintenance of these summer of those who had any political bias were schools is by no means general. The Republican. At present less than one influence of the younger people is often half of them can be so classed, the re- against it, for they look upon it as an mainder being chiefly Independent or

un-American custom, an attempt to perpetuate a language and distinctions which Swede became somewhat puzzled, and are destined to disappear among them. asked the chairman, a young Swede, to Not infrequently they revolt against the explain the matter in Swedish. From mild paternalism of the clergy who de- that point all motions were put first in sire to keep them in the old paths, and English, and immediately after in Swethe result is either indifference or a com- dish. Remarks were addressed to the plete break with the old church. The chair in both languages. public school is the great foe to clannish- In matters of religion Scandinavians ness, and their loyalty to it is one of the have shown a peculiar facility in cono best evidences of the genuineness of their forming to the bad American custom of Americanization. It is a principle as multiplying denominations. In the home well as a practice. Their vehement oppo- countries, though there is now practicalsition to the famous Bennett law, enact- ly complete toleration, the existence of ed in Wisconsin a few years ago, would a state church and an episcopal organiseem to contradict this statement; but a zation has maintained a good degree of close examination of the law will make uniformity. Neither of these restrainit clear that the resistance, in which Lu- ing influences has ever operated in this therans and Catholics, curiously enough, country. There have been no bishops to

. were allied in the Democratic party, was check the tendency to diversity. Liberty not to the principle of compulsory edu- to adopt any creed and to change church cation, but to the manner of its appli- relations at will is freely used. The cation.

zeal of the Norwegian in controversy has The great adaptability of the Scandina- found even a better field in the church vians to the circumstances and customs than in politics. Before 1890, when three of their adopted country is acknowledged divisions united, there were five bodon all sides. Whenever and wherever ies of Norwegian Lutherans, while the they have transplanted themselves, whe- Danes were comfortable with two, and ther in England in the ninth century, in the Swedes lagged behind with only

, Normandy in the tenth, in Sicily in the one. What the Swedes lack in Lutheraneleventh, or in America in the nineteenth, ism they make up in “dissenting sects," the same process of transformation has though none of them are large. The taken place. No other people in all his- Mormon church has a very large numtory has such a record. In the United ber of Scandinavians, principally Danes, States they have eagerly learned English, though few of them have been converted and have quickly done so because of its in this country. similarity to their own languages in struc- The statistics of intemperance and illeture and vocabulary. Of course, men who gitimacy, which are sometimes so alarmhave come hither as adults always prefer ing in parts of the Scandinavian countries, the old speech, and in some districts in do not appear to find a parallel among the country and in Scandinavian quar- the Scandinavians in America. But all ters of the cities it will be heard almost such statistics are unsatisfactory, and freexclusively, because of the large numbers quently untrustworthy. Generalization is, of the foreign-born. But the second gen- therefore, unsafe. There are drunkeneration quite invariably choose English, ness and illegitimacy among them here, and many of them have forgotten the but I have not observed that it is more language of their fathers. At a town difficult to maintain order and decency convention which I attended in 1894, in in a city like Minneapolis with its NorweChisago County, a large Swedish commu- gians and Swedes, than in St. Paul with nity, the proceedings went on smoothly its Irish and Germans. Of the pauper in English for some time, until an elderly and criminal classes the Scandinavians

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