New Sweden (Me.).

The story of New Sweden [electronic resource] : as told at the quarter centennial celebration of the founding of the Swedish colony in the woods of Maine, June 25, 1895 online

. (page 8 of 8)
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cost more to get you out of the county than it ever did to
get you in here,

Mr. Thomas : That is true.

Mr. Wiggin : That is the idea we had of you. But we
did not know you ; and to-day I say I congratulate you upon
the grand success which has made this celebration possible.
When I go out in other portions of the state and try to
induce others to come here, I point them to the success of
this colony — men and women who came here without being
able to speak a word of the language, who knew nothing of
our customs, of our manners, of our ways of work, but who
came here into this wilderness township and hewed out their
own way, until you have now one of the most prosperous
towns in Aroostook County.

I say that we did not know you, but we ought to have
known better. What is it that has made this success here?
It is Anglo-Saxon pluck. You are of our blood. Why is it
that you have so soon and so naturally amalgamated with
us and become in only twenty-five years an Aroostook town,
an American town ? It is because you are of the same blood
as ourselves, who were here when you came. I say it is a
wonderful thing, the success that you have accomplished
here. Think of it, fellow citizens of Maine. At the close
of the war, "when Johnnie came marching home/' there
wasn't a tree cut on this whole township except what the
lumbermen had cut and floated down these streams to be


sawed at the mills — and within the short space of twenty-
five years this grand success has been achieved. And I
want to say to you as an Aroostook man, as one who has
been interested in the settlement and development of this
county, that we of Aroostook are proud of you, are proud of
the work you have done here, and that Aroostook is glad
and proud to welcome New Sweden to the sisterhood of
Aroostook towns.

You, the fathers of this colony, had some things greatly
in your favor which made your success possible, perhaps.
In the first place a colony of you came here together, and
vou could mutually aid and assist one another. Another
thing was that you had a true and tried leader in whom you
had confidence ; and I venture to say that not a man who
came across with that ship and helped to settle this colony
will ever say that W. W. Thomas Jr., ever went back on him.
[Applause.] He was true to you all the way through ; and
to-day, on this twenty-fifth anniversary of your leaving your
native land, as he comes back to you, you are proud and
glad to welcome him, and he is glad to meet every man and
woman who is left of that little colony and their descend-
ants here in this beautiful town. [Applause.] Then again
you all thought that you had the State of Maine behind
you; and although as Mr. Thomas says you had not the
scratch of a pen of a contract, you had the honor of Maine
behind you and under you and you relied upon it, and you
had reason so to do. But, as my friend who has preceded
me says, you do not owe the State of Maine anything. All
through the commencement of this colony, at the time wiien
these trees were being hewed down and these farms made,
you i)aid as you went. You paid your bills as you went
along, and the State never had a pauper in New Sweden.

There is another thing that I am proud to congratulate
this colony upon and tliat is the fact that when we look
over the records of our criminal courts it is rarely if ever


we see a criminal there whose name shows to us that he is
a Swede. I say it is a record to be proud of. [Applause.]
I don't want to say this to you in flattery, I don't want
to flatter you in any way, but I want to tell you this as a
truth — that the County of Aroostook is proud of the
success you have made here, is proud to welcome this
community to the sisterhood of towns, and we bid you
all Godspeed in your further efforts for success in this
town of New Sweden. [Applause.]

The President then read the following letters :


June 19, 1895.
Hon. William W. Thomas Jr., Portland, Me,

My Dear Mr. Thomas: — I regret exceedingly that official
engagements will prevent my acceptance of the cordial invitation
to attend the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the
settlement of New Sweden.

The colony was established by you at a time when many of our
sons were seeking other communities and states for supposed
greater opportunities than our State tlien offered; and the lapse of
twenty-five years has demonstrated the wisdom of inviting Swedish
immigration to our State; and they have found superior advantages

No better class of citizens come among us. They are intelligent,
frugal and industrious; they are loyal to our laws, and devoted to
our institution; they build homes among us, and believe in the
Christian faith and the schools. The State has profited by the set-
tlement of New Sweden; and the appreciation of our people is due
to you for the great interest you have always manifested, and the
service you have rendered the State.

Yours very truly,

IIenuv B. Cleaves.

Portland, June 18, 189.^
F. O. Landgrane Esq., Sec.^y Q. C Committee, New Sweden.

yiY Dear Sir: — I have to acknowledge your very kind invita-
tion to be present at the Quarter Centennial of your town. I lirlped
at its foundation, and am glad to rejoice with you over tlu' very
creditable past, which you have already made certain; and tlie still


better future I am sure is in store for you. Other engajiemeuts
prevent nic from saying so in person, but I send you my congratu-
lations on what you have done, and my best wishes for your future
welfare. Very truly yours,

T. B. Rf:ed.

At the call of the President, the entire audience
now arose and gave three rousing cheers for " Tom
Reed, the next President of the United States."

Ellsworth, Maine, June 20, 1895.
Hon. William W. Thomas Jr :

My Dear Mr. Thomas: — I regret very much that I cannot
attend the anniversary celebration of the settlement of New
Sweden; but imperative business engagements keep me here.

When you brought the little band of Swedes from the Old World
into the state of Maine, and effected their settlement in our young,
border county, you accomplished one of the most picturesque
events in the history of the State.

Ever since that day I have watched with interest and delight,
the growth of the little colony in all the elements which go to make
prosperity, and have seen, with satisfaction, its harmonious blend-
ing with the older population, the laws and the institutions of

The State owes its gratitude to you and to this young, frugal,

sober, happy people who have come from afar into our midst.

They belong to us, for their home is here, and their loyalty is not

to their mother country, but to our commonwealth, and over and

above all, to our great national republic.

These Swedes have demonstrated the truth of the old Greek
adage, that " The land where thou prosperest is thy country."

With every good wish for yourself personally, and for the suc-
cess of the celebration, I am Sincerelj'^ j'ourSj

Eugene Hale.

Lewiston, June 10, 1895.
F. Landqrane, Esq. :

Dear Sir: — I have always felt a profound interest in the New
Sweden settlement, and have delighted in its constant progress.
For the present accept my congratulations, and for the future my
good wishes. I regret that previous engagements will prevent me
from participating in its Quarter Centennial festivities.

Very truly,

William P. Frye.


L.EWISTON, June 22, 1895.
F. 0. Laiidgrane, Esq., Sec'y of Committee :

My Dear Sir : — I have delaj'^ed replying to your kind invitation
to be present at the Quarter Centennial Celebration of the settle-
ment of New Sweden, in the hope that I could see my way clear to
accept. But at the last moment I find myself unable to go.

I need not say to you that it would have afforded me great pleas-
ure to be present on an occasion intended to commemorate the
twenty-fifth anniversary of a town founded under so v;nique cir-
cumstances as New Sweden was, and grown into so manly propor-
tions in so brief a period. It seems but yesterday since mj' good
friend, Mr. Thomas, pointed the way of the stalwart Swedish pio-
neers who crossed the Atlantic and found their way to the primeval
forest of Aroostook, where now appear so fine farms and so attrac-
tive homes. It is rarely ever that so early success crowns the work
of the pioneers.

I most heartily congratulate you and the Swedish-Americans of
New Sweden on the happy auspices under which you celebrate the
Quarter Centennial of jour prosperous town.

Please accept my thanks for your courtesj'^, and my best wishes
for the success of your celebration.

Cordially yours,

Nelson Dingley Jr.

Belfast, June 15, 1S95.
Hon. W. W. Thomas Jr.:

Dear Sir: — Please accept my cordial thanks for j-our kind
invitation to be present at the Quarter Centennial Celebration at
New Sweden. It was both brave and enterprising on your part to
enter upon so great an undertaking as the transferring of a large
colony of people across the Atlantic and settling them in tlie fertile
county of Aroostook, which is becoming by the energy and intelli-
gence of its people the garden spot of New England. The success
of your enterprise is Remonstrated by the thrift of the Swedish
colony, and the prosperity which seems to be assured for them in
the future.

Their intelligence, civility of manner and willingness to work,
cannot but secure for them a high degree of prosperity, and materi-
ally add to the wealth of the State. Moreover a community of
diligent, intelligent, industrious and saving people will not fail to
have a good influence upon other communities around them. I
earnestly congratulate you upon what I feel assured will be the
success of the Quarter Centennial Celet)ration at New Sweden, and
the valuable results which I am sure cannot fail to grow out of it.


Hoping for the continued prosperity of the Swedish colony, and
tliat tlie people of our State will never fail to give credit to you for
your great and patriotic effort in establishing it, I am with sincere
regards Very truly yours,


Brunswick, Me., June 23, 1895.
F. 0. Landgrane, Sec.^y New Sioeden Q. C. Committee.

My Dkar Sir: — It is with much disappointment that I am com-
pelled at the last hour to forego the anticipated pleasure of being
with you in the celebration of a most interesting event in your
history and the history of our State. I have also a personal reason
and right to share 3'our satisfaction; for the conditions calling for
this celebration serve to justify, after many years, a judgment and
sentiment of mine, which at the time Avere not shared by some of
those who now justly applaud your success, and appreciate its
bearings on your well-being and ours.

Indeed these ends are not no^v diverse; they are identified. This is
the very ground of our greeting. We are together citizens of this
state and of this great republic. "Whatever its privileges are, what-
ever its glory is, whatever its corresponding responsibilities, we
share them on equal terms and with brotherly regard.

I am sure our people recognize the great qualities which have
marked the race of your origin in its career of history, and
which are still manifest in its magnanimous and patient bearing
in the difficult questions of the day affecting your old kingdom
across the waters.

We appreciate what you bring us to mingle with the elements
which are to form the future character of this people. You rein-
force for us the strength of the home virtues — I mean by this
the virtues which preserve and enoble the home, and so reach the
vital point of a nation's life. Add to these the spirit and body of a
brave, energetic, robust manliness, and we have the safeguard of
liberty and honor and true prosperity.

With these, you take your jilace with this great people; you
cherish the hopes, the pride, the loj^alty, wliich will ensure the
best ends of living for all the citizens of the republic. You accept
the duty, the service, the sacrifice by which the best things are
won and held.

In the great issues which are to l)e tried in this country within
the next *' quarter-centurj'-," yqii will bear your part well, which if
not called to be conspicuous in public history, will yet tell with
irresistible force in the vital currents of a people's character. In
the sterling qualities of manhood and womanhood which you cher-


ish are the'fiber and life-blood of which human history is to be

This may strike rather too solemn a strain for the festivities of
your joyous occasion. If I had the inspiration of the presence of
all the tokens of well-doing and well-being which surround you, I
might catch the key-note from you. But accept what I say as also
belonging to you, and as coming from me with sincerity and affec-
tion. With all greetings for the future as for the past.

Truly yours,

Joshua L. Chamberlain.

Paris, Me., June 22, 1895.
F. 0. Landgrane, Secretary of Committee.

I regret that I am compelled to forego the pleasure of being
present at the Quarter-Centennial Celebration of New Sweden, I
have been deeply interested in the establishment and growth of the
" Swedish colony " from the beginning, and now I rejoice with you
in the great success that has crowned your efforts. You have
honored your native land and have added honor and prosperity to
the State of Maine, Very truly yours,

Sidney Perham.


Portland, Me , June 20, 1895.
F. 0. Landgrane, Sec'y Q. C. Comrnittee, Nero Sweden, Me.

Dear Sir: — Your kind note of invitation to be present at the
celebration of your Quarter Centennial is received, and it is with
great regret that I am compelled, by press of business engage-
ments, to forego the pleasure which a trip to your county at such
a time would give me.

Permit me to express to you my cordial congratulations upon the
growth and prosperity of your town We in Portland have been
much interested in your development; first, because we have
learned to have great respect for your people, so many of whom
have become our people; and second, because your father in Amer-
ica, Hon. W. W. Thomas, Jr., is our townsman. So we have watched
and applauded your efforts to grow up a sturdy settlement in the
north woods, and we have been more than gratified with the result.

Thanking you most sincerely for your invitation, and wishing
for you all a continance of happiness and prosperity, in this, our
common country, I am, sir.

Most sincerely yours,

George W. Norton.



Portland, June 11, 1895.
F. O. Laiidf/rane, Esq., Secretary New Sweden, Maine:

Dear Sir : — I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your courteous
invitation to be present at the Quarter Oentennial Celebration of
the founding of New Sweden to be held on June 25, and to assure
you how deeply I regret that imperative business engagements
will prevent my acceptance

You of New Sweden do well to celebrate this anniversary of the
founding of your colony, now tirmly established in our grand old
commonwealth after a quarter-century's struggles and trials. The
State of Maine is proud of you, your sterling worth, your great
results. You may well take pride in the mental worth, in the
industry and economy, in the indomitable perseverance, and above
all, in the high principles which have ever characterized the peo-
ple of New Sweden. You have accomplished much and in such
manner as to give bright promise of a noble future.

I desire to add my congratulations to the many which you will
receive, and my earnest hopes that your anniversary may be as
happy as the past it celebrates. Believe me

Very truly yours,

Payson Tucker.


Bangor, IMaine, June 11, 1^5.
F. 0. Landgrane, Esq., Secretary, New Sweden, Me.:

De.\u Sir: — I hasten to thank you for your cordial invita-
tion to be present at the Celebration of June 2.3, and to express my
regret that engagements elsewhere will prevent my accepting.

I know that the colony of New Sweden has been an important
factor in drawing population to Northern Aroostook, and in part
made the Bangor and Aroostook railroad possible. It is my belief
that the road will bring a still greater measure of development and
prosperity to your model Swedish colony, which has every reason
to celebrate the wonderful progress made in the first twenty-five
years of its existence. Yours truly,

F. W. Cram.

Rev. Frank J. Liljegren, of New Haven, Connecti-
cut, a former pastor of the Baptist church at New
Sweden, now gave an address in the hin-
guage which was received with applause.


The old settlers, Capt. Nicholas P. Clas^, Nils
Persson, Anders Swensson and Triils Persson, four
members of the original colony, then stood up on
the tribune where they had seats, and were pre-
sented to the audience by the President. The fifth
survivor of the original twenty-two men, Nils
Olsson, the first lay minister, was confined to his
house by sickness.

In response to earnest and vociferous calls from
the Swedes, Hon. W. W. Thomas, Jr., arose and
addressed them in the Swedish language. This
speech aroused great applause and laughter. In-
deed at one point the enthusiasm reached such a
pitch that the Swedes all stood up and cheered loud
and lonsr. but what it was all about the editor of
this volume is unable to say.

Another selection by the band closed the formal
exercises of the day.

Tables already spread, were now brought forth
from some hidden nook of the forest and placed
upon the tribune, and here the guests of New
Sweden were entertained with an elaborate and
sumptuous banquet, while the Swedes dined in
picnic parties throughout the grove.

Late in the afternoon the guests drove out of the
Swedish woods carrying with them golden opinions
of New Sweden, but the Swedes kept up the cele-
bration with speeches, music and song till close of
this happy and historic day.



List of the twenty-two men of the first Swedish
colony, who sailed from Sweden with Hon. W. W.
Thomas, Jr., June 25, 1870, together with the lots
upon which they settled, in the township of New
Sweden, and the adjoining Plantation of Woodland.

Nicholas P. Clash,
Nils Olssoj^,
Carl Voss,
Gottlieb T. Pilts,
Oscar G. W. Lindberg,
Jons Perssox,
sven svensson,
Karl G. Harleman,
Janne Tj. Laurell,
Truls Persson,
Nils Persson,
Olof G. Morell,
JoHAN Petter Johansson,
Anders Johansson,
Anders Svensson,
Olof Olsson,

Pehr Pettersson,
Solomon Johansson,
Jonas Bodin,
Jonas Bodin, Jr.,
Frans R. W. Plank,
Jacob Johansson,

Lot No. 135,

New Sweden.



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Early in March, 1876, some thirty of tlie first com-
ers in the colony were naturalized by the Supreme
Court sitting in Houlton, and on April 6, 1876, New
Sweden was legally organized into a plantation. An
election was held, and officers chosen the same day.
The following were the first officers of the Plantation
of New Sweden :

Nils Olsson, 1

Gabriel Gabrielson, } -Assessors.

Pehr O. Juhlen, J

Carl J. Tornqvist, Cierk,

Teuls Persson, Treasurer, Collector and Constable.

John Borgeson, "j

John P. Jacobsson, ^ ^^^^""^ Committee.

Petter Pettkrson, J



New Sweden was incorporated as a town on January
29, 1895. The first town election was held on the
March 6, 1895, and the following persons were elected
the first officers of the Town of New Sweden :


Lars P. Larson,

Ola II. Nelson, V

Carl G. Ekman,

Axel W. Tornquist, Town Clerk.

Pehr O. Juhlin, Treasurer.

Anders Nelson, Collector and Constable.

Erik Ringdahl, Constable.

Michael U. Norberg, SupH.

F'bank O. Landgrane, Clerk.

Ola H. Nelson, {^ ^^^^^^ Committee.

Lars Lundvall,

Carl J. Johanson,

Alfred A. Anderson,

Carl G. Ekman, | y,^^^^^^ ^^^^^,

Ola H. Nelson, )




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Online LibraryNew Sweden (Me.)The story of New Sweden [electronic resource] : as told at the quarter centennial celebration of the founding of the Swedish colony in the woods of Maine, June 25, 1895 → online text (page 8 of 8)