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Increasingly thoughts turned to the country where there was bread enough for everybody. 12

Even with a gradual recovery from the famine years, the outlook for landless rural dwellers remained so dark that J. W. Snellman, for example, could express his anxiety over the situation in the following terms : "We know that they live in miserable hovels, earn wages which cannot buy them clothes to cover their bodies, and that their children are half-naked, summer and winter. When hard times come, then even hired servants are dismissed and then crowds of men, women and children have nothing before them but the highway and begging for their bread. If the landowners do not want to support their workers as workers, they will have to support them as their beggars." 13

The fate of the landowners' own children did not appear much brighter. The oldest son inherited the estate when the father died, but to the younger sons such a farm could no longer seem like home. If, on the other hand, the land was divided among the children, with each succeeding generation the portions of land became smaller and smaller and soon could not guarantee even the most modest existence. Since many, furthermore, saw no prospect of ever getting any land of their own, they left for the country where there was plenty of it to be had: America. A hunger for land was one of the most important reasons for immigration, although Finland actually had no over-population as such, at least not in the Malthusian sense. l4

Tens of thousands, the sons and daughters of land owners and tenants, the landowners themselves, the workers and the artisans, felt the urge to face the unknown road of immigration, and the new world beyond the ocean welcomed them. It not only welcomed those who came, but it sought them out and lured them to come. Mention has already been made of the rapidly increasing demand for labor in the United States and of steps taken to meet the demand. In the persuasion directed toward Scandinavia, the mining enterprises in the upper mid-west played a leading part. The first contact between Finns and recruiters from mining interests seems to have taken place in northern Norway.

In the seventeenth century, some Finns who had settled in Sweden's Värmland province moved farther afield, crossing over to the northern shores of Norway, to earn their livelihoods. In the

12. John Kolehmainen and George W. Hill, Haven in the Woods. p. 18.

13. Elis Sulkanen, Amerikan Suomalaisen Työväenliikkeen Historia. Fitchburg, Mass., 1951. p. 10.

14. 0. H. Kilpi, Siirtolainen ja Suomen talouselämä 19 vuosisadalla. p. 31


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