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Hagen family; Solem, Andrew P. / Papers, 1879-1899 [Translations]
Call Number, Eau Claire Mss CC Box 1 Folder 1 ([unpublished])

Eau Claire Wis. Christmas Day [18]83 PDF (466.7 KB)

Eau Claire Wis. Christmas Day 83
Dear Grandfather!
So  this  year  1883  is  the 5th Christmas Festival I should be celebrating
or observing on this side of the  great Atlantic  Ocean, which  most  years
 has been poorly observed because of my place of residence, namely the woods.
 I do not mean that living in the woods all of the men  who  are  in  good
health  have  in  all  respects  everything  marvelously well provided. 
But, according  to  God's Word, which  I  am  not always  in  the  proper
 position  and  not always thorougly experienced to  quote:  "God's
 Kingdom  is  not  eating  and drinking, but in righteousness, peace and
joy in the Holy Spirit". Understand this is what is most lacking
 should be of the utmost importance.
But  in  this respect it is better than many believe and think it is.  Even
though there are no churches or  ministers in the vicinity, on finds everywhere
in the woods quite good conduct  and  order.  I  will  say  better than in
many large cities  which  are  deplorable  in  one   respect, but   also
praiseworthy  on  the other hand.  Here I see much is implied and gives the
occasion for posing many questions, which I  am constrained to pass over
for the lack of space.
Just  that  I  will give a short explanation of, namely, How does it happen
they  live  more  orderly  in  the  woods?  Answer, because many who are
in the woods are addicted to the pleasure  of  strong  drink, and which makes
them nearly rave when they live in town, but which is very seldom in the
woods because then it is  a  long  way  to  the  nearest  town, and therefore
 more  difficult to get the hard liquor.  Enough of this for one time.
With regard to America's religious situation, I  believe and  others with
me, that it is good, especially here in town as there are no less than three
Norwegian  Lutheran  Churches and  how  many  more  of  other  nationalities,
I cannot with certainty say.  There are many many churches, but  there  are
also  many  sects or different teachings.  here also are good and Christian
ministers who can measure up with the  present pastor  in Storen parish.
 Yes, this I maintain is not saying too much.
I am working yet on the railroad which I mentioned in my last letter to you
all, but we are just now finished here and if I have no opportunity down
there I will have to go to the woods a while.  The  snow  was  long in coming
this fall, but now two days ago there came about 16 inches, which enlived
the  woods traffic  considerably.  I  do not have much news to report to
you.  Dead is your  acquaintance  Ole  N.  Sneensflaatten who slept  away
 into  his  last rest 5 days ago after a few days illness.  Karl  N. D.*
Estenstadsoien slept away  a  month  ago.  Your  words  of  the 26th of last
month I received 4 days ago and for which I say many thanks.  We see thereby
that you are well and I say that this is the greatest  blessing  which  we
have here on earth.  I can read every word in the letter.  I see you wistfully
say "Were I in condition for that" -

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