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Marie, a 19th Century Swedish Immigration Story, Swedish immigrants in Minnesota. Immigration Ships, part 4

Updated on June 22, 2015


Painting of Ship on Nordsjon 1889 by Jocob Hagg.public domain
Painting of Ship on Nordsjon 1889 by Jocob Hagg.public domain

Bergen, Norway

Bergen, Norway
Bergen, Norway | Source

Notes on Marie's first letter

this collection of hubs tells of what one persons journey of immigration to the United States was like in the 19th Century. It is an immigration story and a story of my family.

The following letter was written by Marie in Swedish, and then translated by a Swedish resident whose first language was Swedish. Therefore it still had Swedish language structure. I rewrote it some to conform to American usage.

Marie mentions “Nordsjon” which is the North Sea. It is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean between Great Britain and Europe. And between the Orkney Islands and Norway It is generally shallow, about 308 ft average. Currents from the English Channel and the Baltic current make it unusually turbulent, which is the reason for the seasickness.

Marie signed her letters differently at times. Sometimes it was Marie, other times Maria and even Mary.

A scene in Kristiansund

picture by Janter. GNU free documentation. creative commons share alike3.0
picture by Janter. GNU free documentation. creative commons share alike3.0

Liverpool 1890's

Liverpool 1890's
Liverpool 1890's | Source

Maries first letter

Liverpool October 25th, 1893

Now I’m in England now and my trip has gone well under the circumstances. We left Trondheim, Norway on October 18 at midnight. “Nordsjon” was calm, but I hadn’t seen it yet as it was 8 O’clock Saturday evening. We went on board at 10 O’clock and I fell asleep before the ship got underway and I slept all night. Of coarse I woke up sick. It wasn’t a storm but a high sea. I tried to go out to the deck and was more sick.

In the middle of the day we went to a town called Kristiansund. We anchored there and took a small boat to town and I felt better.

We had a good time at a café there. There are a lot of young people from Norway on the boat and we had a lot of good things to eat during the trip. Many of the people have been to America before.

In the evening I was well. It was a rather high sea again and many people were sick. I was out on deck until evening. When I went to bed, I was sick again.

The next morning was Friday and the boys took us with them to a town called Bergen. We had milk, cakes, grapes and other fruits and I felt well. I was still well the next day, Saturday. We went to another town, Stavanger and got food. I didn’t eat anything on the ship. In the evening we went out to Nordsjon. We took on cargo at all the towns inside the islands. When we went out to Nordsjon the sea was hard and high. Some of us wanted to sleep on deck but water came over it and we were forced to go downstairs.

Downstairs everyone was really sick. It was much better on deck. I didn’t go downstairs because I was promised I could go up where it was warm by the steam boilers. I laid there until Monday afternoon and avoided going downstairs for all that time and also avoided getting sick. I had difficulty eating and didn’t eat anything at the ship, not even coffee. But I wasn’t hungry.

We arrived at Hull, England on Monday evening, the 23rd, but didn’t go into town because there was danger from cholera.

We went by railway to Liverpool. It took only 6 hours. We got there Monday at Midnight and have to return tomorrow.

I am well and everything is fine. There is much to see. We went to a church yesterday. It had beautiful music and a good clergyman.



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    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Not if you are subject to seasickness.Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Didn't go into town because of cholera. That is a detail that really places this story in time. Doesn't sound like a fun journey by ship!

    • dahoglund profile imageAUTHOR

      Don A. Hoglund 

      9 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Thanks for reading and commenting. For some reason I have not been getting the emails to alert me of comments.

    • Hongliang Zhang profile image

      Hongliang Zhang 

      9 years ago from China



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