Monday, February 2, 2015

THE LAND OF PROMISE, A Foreigner, Michigan, 1928

Dear Farmers' Wives:

I am writing to let you all know how much I appreciate American country life. To begin with: Six years ago we emigrated from Europe, my husband, one daughter and myself. We came from a small lively town in Czechoslovakia, my husband's native town. By birth I am a German.

We all looked upon America as "the Land of Promise." So we came in 1921 to try our luck in the much praised country.

We came straight to a large city. Imagine how dismayed I was! Nothing turned out the way we expected. I had to go to work, too, and we could barely make a living, the three of us. I cried so much then! I don't believe I ever cried so much before. I wanted to go back to my native land as I was happier there. Everything was so strange to me. I had severe headaches and I was a nervous wreck.

One day my husband came home with good news. He showed me an advertisement in a paper. It was about a farm for rent.

A week later we were on the farm. We never went back to the city again and don't expect to.

It's five years now that we have been in the country. And I enjoy it. I've never been sick since I left the dingy atmosphere of the city.

Want to go back to Europe? Oh! no, of course not! Never. 

My daughter, Helene, who was 11 years old when we emigrated, had to start school in the first grade. She is seventeen years old now and goes to high school and the professors say that she is one of the smartest pupils in a school of nearly 300 children. Helene loves school work and she expects to be a teacher after she graduates.

We are all pleased with country life and we're saving enough money so that we can have a farm of our very own.

I believe that there is something in the phrase, "The Land of Promise."


Kay Ahr said...

Just curious as to where these letters come from. I think they are great to read! Makes me wonder just how many of those women on the current "The Bachelor" TV program really want to be a farmer's wife! LOL

Laurie Aaron Hird said...

Hi Kay,
I get most of my material for this blog from my large collection of The Farmer's Wife. This magazine was published from 1903-1939. I had to agree and laugh about your "Bachelor" comment. I really doubt that any of the women on the show would like to live without running water and electricity (as so many of the pre-1940's farm wives had to do) no matter how handsome their husband was!

matty said...

I'm the farmer, not the farmer's wife. I love this writer's pride in their success! I am teaching "My Antonia!" this week to a college class. To me, this letter sums up the theme of the story so perfectly! Opportunity. It isn't a lengthy visitor, but well worth opening the door to!

That Crafty Cara said...

Oh, this letter made my eyes tear up a bit. What a beautiful letter.

NaRong said...
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