Swedes in Wisconsin
The revised and expanded edition of Frederick Hale’s Swedes in Wisconsin begins with the story of the state’s first legal Swedish immigrants, a group of six young people and a hunting dog who set sail from Gävle, Sweden, in 1841 and established Wisconsin’s first Swedish settlement, New Uppsala, along Pine Lake in Waukesha County. Hale describes the mass emigration from Sweden to the Midwest that began during the late 1860s and fundamentally changed both Sweden and the Midwest. During this time more than a million Swedes left their homeland for North America, motivated at least in part by a huge population surge that overtaxed Sweden’s relatively small amount of arable land (agriculture served until the twentieth century as the Swedish economy’s mainstay). Updates for the new edition include new photos and excerpts from letters Swedish novelist and feminist Fredrika Bremer wrote to her sister while touring the Wisconsin frontier in the autumn of 1850.