Voatcs and DOcUmmets
A fourae from Swcde to exKas i# 1867
Translated and edited by CARL T. WIDEN
THE account by Johannes Swenson which follows relates
a journey from Sweden to Texas just after the close of
the Civil War. Swenson was a member of a group of
young people numbering about one hundred. This account was
written in Swedish in 1917 upon the occasion of a fiftieth anniver-
sary celebrated by the Texas Swedish Pioneers Association of
which Swenson was a founder and vice president.
S. M. Swenson, an uncle of Johannes Swenson, left Sweden at
the age of twenty and arrived in New York in 1836. He came to
the Republic of Texas in 1838 where his success as a merchant
and plantation operator was phenomenal. Originally the labor
of Swenson's cotton and sugar plantations was furnished mostly
by Negroes. This Swenson found not wholly satisfactory. In 1847
S. M. Swenson visited Sweden and the reports of his success in
Texas led a party of twenty-five relatives to emigrate the next
year. A wave of migration was inaugurated. Swenson found the
labor of the efficient farm youth of his home parish highly sat-
isfactory in Texas. Through Swenson's brother, Johan, all who
desired to do so were transported to Texas, the emigrant obligat-
ing himself to work a year for his sponsor in payment of passage.
Emigration ceased during the Civil War. Swenson opposed
secession and went to Mexico where he carried on extensive com-
mercial activities. At the close of the war he went to New
Orleans and later to New York where he was rated a multi-
millionaire. Emigration had been revived by 1867.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/. Accessed September 23, 2014.