"This novel is based on historical facts…not the usual historical facts but ones far more personal and individual. Over 67 letters were written by a Swedish immigrant to his family back in the old country over a period of approximately 48 years that John Eric Jernberg lived in this country. He and his brother arrived in the Dakota Territory before it became two states and at various times in his life, lived in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. These letters painted a detailed picture of life in those areas from 1881 to his death in 1928 and are the basis for this story.
John Eric was very careful to identify almost anyone he mentioned in his letters by their full name. However, many of the family members were called by their middle name or their first and middle name together, or by their initials. The spelling of some of the names is a translation matter and sometimes appears to be interchangeable. John’s wife was sometimes was referred to Anna Marie, Anna Maria or even just Maria. The letter “K” was often transposed to “C”. Catharina Jernberg was, in Sweden, Katharina, the “C” being the American spelling. To add to the confusion, Catharina, her daughter, was usually referred to as Carin, and her mother, Katharina, was called Karin, which was actually her middle name. Perhaps this confusion of names led John Eric to often identify even close family members in his letter by full names. Peter Fredrik was usually referred to as PF, however. There were, in the family, three “Carls.” The father, Carl Gustav; one son, Carl Olaf; (who was called Charles after he reached America) and Carin’s young son Carl Erik. We appreciate the fact that John Eric was so precise in identifying who he was speaking about in his letters.
We hope you will enjoy this glimpse of life in the mid and far West as seen through the eyes of John Eric Jernberg, Swedish immigrant. Its creation was truly a labor of love."
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Published June 4, 2013