Eteläkarjalainen maisema

Eteläkarjalainen maisema
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tiistai 15. marraskuuta 2016

Letter from the Finnish American newspaper pioneer from Minnesota 10/02/1870

Finnish Cemetery near Franklin, Renveille County

The pioneer of the Finnish-American press, Alexander Leinonen sent his first writing to Oulun Wiikko Sanomat from Minnesota in early spring 1870. It was released on 04.02.1870. After this, he wrote using pseudonym "-der-nen" into the paper until the year 1876. I wrote this first letter down, so, here you go:

Oulun Wiikko Sanomia.
April 2, 1870
Sand Creek, Scott County, Minn, February 10, 1870
Dear, Mr writer!

Allowed by God, I have happily come America and visited here many States, staying as a railway laborer in cities and working at farms. The most populated part of the State of Minnesota, I've walked around in a criss-cross, so, especially the condition of the laborers, that is here, I think, the best on earth, I have come to know very well. At the beginning of the year, I came to this county, and I've been reading English at a school. For the coming summer I've got work as surveyor in a railway company.

Memoirs of my travels in Sweden and a fragmental description of my visit in the Finnish colony in Mooers Prairie, I will send here for the publication, so you can see if they are fit and worthy. In the same sense, I also send some information about immigration. If I have spoken, in that, at some point too hard/loud to the European ears, so I ask you humbly to eliminate such (words) out,  if you see the writing otherwise, it deserve the publicity. - Only after I've more settled down, I hope to send a larger set of information from America.

There are many more Finns in America than its thought in our homeland, but they are spread all over the United States. In Mooers Prairie [1], at Cokato Lake, there are twelve Finnish land owners, in Homes City area, a hundred miles west of Mooers Prairie, is said to be almost as many. In the third area, called Hort [2] in Minnesota, I've heard (talk) that there are also living some of our compatriots. Only a few have come here direct from Finland. Most have first moved to Finnmark, and from there here. Also, many Swedes, Finns from ancient colony in Wermland, which still are talking wonderful clear Finnish, have settled to the vicinity of the Finns. They have the same nature, among these compatriots, as which we have heard, is also in Ruija (Finnmark), that they keep their mother language, to show it here, too. Scandinavians like a lot of their Finnish neighbors and among yanks have our compatriots got excellent reputation. - Next summer, is expected to come here a lot of Finns from Finnmark, where livelihoods are said to getting worse and all the time.

What comes to America, so much correct is known in Europe about conditions here, but theres even more incorrect. For my part, Ive found here a lot more freedom than I dared to hope, and the local conditions I've seen a lot better when you dared to think of. - The more I come to know these conditions, the more I been satisfied in the belief that Europa has long enough been living without noticing benefits of a rational state and impact of religious freedom on its people.
Age, happiness and health!
Etc. respect.

[1]. Mooers Prairie 1862-1878 was the name of the post office. In 1878 the post office was organized city that adopted its name to Cokato. See. Minnesota Place Names: A Geographical Encyclopedia By Warren Upham, page 639.
[2] The Finns called this settlement for Hurtti. It was located near Franklin, in Renville County.

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