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This collection represents a letter written in Swedish, along with an English translation, from Swedish immigrant Anna Persson to her sister, Sigrid, back in Sweden.
Anna immigrated to the United States in 1907, when she was 20 years old. She took the journey by herself to meet her sister in Illinois. This letter details her experiences sailing from Sweden across the North Sea, transferring boats in England, continuing on to America, and traveling by train to Bloomington, Illinois. Her letter includes descriptions of people she met, going through customs, and how terrible the food tasted.
Anna Persson, born on December 9, 1887, was one of nine children born to Carl Gustaf Persson and Severina Gunnarsson in Halmstad, Sweden. Three of Carl Gustaf Persson's children immigrated to Bloomington, Illinois. Ida in 1898, Anna in 1907, and Sigrid in 1908.
In 1908, Anna began working as a maid in New York City and when her employer moved to Vermont, she went too. In the summer of 1913, she meet Frederick Cave--an Englishman and a gardener. They fell in love and were married in Boston, Massachusetts on February 28, 1914. They had two children. In December 1919, the family went to England to meet grandmother Cave. In March 1920, Frederick Cave returned to Massachusetts, while Anna and the children went on to Sweden to visit Anna's family. They stayed until August of 1920. Upon their return, they found that Frederick had terminal cancer. He died on December 19, 1921. Anna Persson Cave was 34 and took in sewing to support her young family. Anna Persson Cave died on January 30, 1959.
For more information, consult the archival collection Anna Persson Cave family papers, 1897-2006 at the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center, Augustana College, Rock Island, IL.
Questions about this collection? Contact: SwensonCenter@augustana.edu or 1-309-794-7204