Marie, Story about my family. 19th Century Scandinavian Immigration - to Minn in America, Part 3
Courthouse in Sverige
This is the third part of the story of a Scandinavian immigrant to the United states in the 1890's. She was a Swedish woman and part of the story of my family. She left some letters to give part of her story, the rest of this immigrants stories I've had to speculate on.
19th Century Sweden
Marie and her mother.
“Must you go to this America land?” Barbra asked.
“Mother, Mother” Marie replied. “I’m a grown woman now. And my brothers in Minnesota and Montana have written of such wonderful things happening there, why shouldn’t I go? See! Viktor has even sent tickets for passage over there.”
Barbara brushed her rolling pin with flour and put the finishing touches on her pie crust. “We had always hoped that you would become engaged to John Nelson to be married.”
Mariestoked the fire in the stove to keep it hot for baking. “We are not engaged nor do we intend to be.” Her lips tightened, as they always did when she was getting angry.
“It was always thought by both our family and the Nelsons that the two of you would marry.”
“That’s what you understood,” Marie replied hotly. “It’s not what John or I want. He is a nice boy and we are friends, but we are not in love.”
“Love! What do you know of love? Love will come in its own time, after you are married.”
Marie looked out the window at the stream that ran past their house. She loved the stream and the land around it. She loved the parish and the church and the people she grew up with. But she knew it was time, as St. Paul said, to put away the things of childhood and live the life of an adult. Yes, she loved these things she grew up with and she would always cling to her memories of childhood-but she did not love John. She knew that she never would.
“Marie.” Her mother embraced her. “Let us not argue. I fear for you going so far away and maybe to never see you again.”
“ I know you do Mother, but we have people there and I feel that God has some purpose for me to go there. I don’t know what it is, but I feel I have a destiny in that land”
Barbra sat at the table and motioned Marie to sit with her. Marie sat and folded her hands over the dark oak tabletop. Putting her own work strong hands over Marie’s entwined fingers, Barbra drew a deep breath, “I too feel that you have a destiny in the America land, but I fear it may not be a good one. I dreamed last night about a place in a Minnesota.
Marie stiffened. Her Mother seldom talked about her dreams, but many folks thought that she had a special gift of insight. Her dreams often proved to be prophetic.
“In this dream I seemed to be floating over this very large village. It had many houses and buildings all made of wood. There were two roads going through the village and there were long rows of buildings along these roads. Some of these buildings were stores. There was one very large building which seemed to be used for cutting more wood to build more buildings. In many of these building there was gambling and drinking. Many were whorehouses. This was a town with much evil in it.”
Marie watched her mother’s eyes. They seemed to be looking straight through her.
“Suddenly, I saw fire falling from the sky. There were large balls of fire that came from the sky and set the wooden buildings to burning something fierce. Pretty soon the whole town and the countryside around it was ablaze in fire.”
Marie leaned over and hugged her mother. “How horrible!”
“There were people in the streets and some trying to escape buildings. Many, I think hundreds, of people were killed. I could do nothing but watch. In a hotel I saw a girl, a young woman, escape from the flames and then return to help a friend. Neither one of them got out. The building collapsed.”
“What a terrible dream. But what does it mean?” Marie asked.
Barbra tightened her hold on Marie’s hand. “I think that
girl that died in the fire was you.”
This series of hubs is a mixture of fiction and non-fiction in-as-much as it consists of letters left behind by my grandfather’s sister and some scenes I wrote to give the story some continuity. The scenes are what I imagine could have happened.
Link to next hub--part 4
- MARIE-an episode in immigration and family history- part 4
Painting of Ship on Nordsjon 1889 by Jocob Hagg.public domain The following letter was written by Marie in Swedish, and then translated by a Swedish resident whose first language was Swedish. Therefore it...
- /MARIE-an episode in immigration and family history-part 4
© 2009 Don A. Hoglund