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The group did arrive in Duluth, of course, and stayed there overnight, prior to being sent on to jobs on the railroad, where construction work was going on near Fargo, North Dakota. But that stop in Duluth was long enough for the immigrants to hear

tales about the dangers of the wild west, and in the morning they refused to continue their trip any farther, especially since they had also learned that the Finns living in Duluth were making out well. Swanberg lost his temper and an uproar ensued, and it was not quieted down until the police interfered. Since everybody in the group had paid for his own trip in advance, and since none of them had made any definite commitments to the railroad, the Finns were free to do what they pleased. Many of them turned back a bit, to Hancock, Michigan, while others stayed in Duluth or headed for the lumber camps of northern Minnesota. However, in spite of such disappointments, the railroads showed a continued eagerness to guide these groups of immigrants, as evidenced by the letter H. B. Brait and H. Dunnel wrote to Henry Willard, President of the Northern Pacific: "Being greatly concerned about how the immigrants in the United States settle down in various parts of the country, we would like to remind you that at the present time your railroad serves as an efficient means of spreading immigrant settlement. With its help the great numbers of immigrants now coming from northern Europe can be steered away from the eastern states, where their presence would cause confusion and strikes, such as have recently occurred with considerable frequency. The St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railroad has realized this, in trying to direct this flood to the northwest, to the areas of the farthest present settlements. These railroads have opened an immigration agency in St. Paul, directed by a Swedish commissioner with a salary of $5000 per year, and

assisted by a staff of officials and agents ..."81

The Finns in America

"America, here we are!" was once heard in Finnish, too - after the voyage from Hanko to Hull or Liverpool, then the Atlantic crossing to the shores of the New World in over-crowded steerage quarters, suffering seasickness and, surprisingly, attacks of gnawing homesickness and regret at having started out on such a journey at all. When the last physical examinations and other formalities had been passed at Ellis Island, the huge, overwhelm

81. Undated letter, filed April 18, 1882. WPA Collection, St. Paul, Minn.


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