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Christian Anderson, called "The Plum Tree,' and then incited my countrymen to sing Swedish songs. Neither were those beautiful Swedish voices lost here in the New World, and I was both affected and impressed with a deep solemnity when the men, led by Bergwall, sang, with their fresh, clear voices, 'Up Swedes! for king and Fatherland,' and after that many other old national songs. Swedish hospitality, cheerfulness, and song lived here as vigorously as ever they did in the Old Country.
"The old lady Peterson had got ready a capital entertainment; incomparably excellent coffee, and tea especially; good venison, fruit, tarts, and many good things, all as nicely and delicately set out as if on a prince's table. The young sons of the house waited on us. At home, in Sweden, it would have been the daughters. All were cordial and joyous. When the meal was over we had again songs, and after that dancing. Mrs. Peterson joined in every song with strong and clear, but somewhat shrill voice, which she said. was 'so not by art, but by nature, since the beginning of the world.' The good old lady would have joined us too, in the dances and the polkas, if she had not been prevented by her rheumatic lameness. I asked the respectable smith to be my partner, and we two led the 'Nigar Polka,' which carried along with it young and old and electrified all, so that the young gentlemen sprang aloft, and the fat American lady tumbled down upon a bench overpowered by laughter; we danced, finally, round the house.
"After that we went in the beautiful evening down to the shore of the lake, and the star-song of Tegnér was sung beneath the bright, starry heavens. Somewhat later, when we were about to separate, I asked Mrs. Peterson to sing a Swedish hymn, and we all joined in as she sang 'Now All the Earth Reposeth.' We then parted with cordial shaking of hands and mutual good wishes, and all and each returned to their homes in the star-bright night.
"I was to remain at Mrs. Peterson's, but not without some uneasiness on my part as to the prospect of rest; for, however sumptuous had been the entertainment of the evening, yet still the state of the house testified of the greatest lack of the common conveniences of life; and I had to sleep in the sister's bed with Mrs. Peterson, and six children lay in the adjoining room, which was the kitchen. Among these was young Mrs. Bergwall, with her little baby and her little step-son; for, when she was about to return home with Herr Lange, his horses became frightened by the pitch darkness of the night and would not go on, and she herself becoming frightened, too, would not venture with her little children. Bergwall, therefore, set off alone through the forest, and I heard his wife calling after him: 'Dear Bergwall, mind and milk the white cow well again tonight.' (N. B.-It is the men in this country who milk the cows as well as attend to all kinds of outdoor business.) He replied to her with a cheerful, 'Yes.' And Mrs. Bergwall and her mother prayed me to excuse there being so many of them in the house that night, etc.-me, the stranger, and who was the cause of this throng! . . . . It was with heartfelt emotion and gratitude that I, after breakfast next morning, took leave of my Swedish friends.
Returning to mention of the leader of this remarkable colony, Gustaf Unonius, he became a student of Nashotah House, then in its infancy, and was the first graduate of that institution to enter the Episcopal ministry. He remained in this country for many years, laboring in the church, but after a visit to his old home in Sweden in 1856, he became so taken up with the hospitality, courtesy, and friendliness extended to him, that the foolish man thought how nice it would be to live there always, forgetting that he was for the time experiencing the hospitality shown to an honored guest. Nevertheless with that delightful thought ever before him, he finally decided to wind up his affairs
in America, despite the pressure of friends here to dissuade him from his purpose. Here he had really prospered, but go he must and go he did, much to his chagrin, for he soon had his eyes opened to the shallowness of human hopes. He had to give up his dearly beloved ministerial gown, for the Swedish church neither would nor could accept the Episcopal ordination. So there ended the poor man's dreams, for poor he was and poorer he became when he was obliged to accept a meager professorship. His death occurred in
Sweden a few years ago.
Unonius may be said to have given the first impetus to the regular Swedish emigration. He was young and fearless and possessed many of the qualities necessary for the struggles in the American wilderness. Although the settlement at Pine Lake failed, it was not without its influence upon the Swedish-American history.
HISTORIC SPOTS IN WISCONSIN
W. A. TITUS
THE VENERABLE LA POINTE REGION
Dark behind it rose the forest,
Rose the black and gloomy pine trees,
On the far northern shores of Wisconsin where the great wedge of water now called Chequamegon Bay is thrust southwestward between islands, cape, and mainland, there arrived in 1665 the first missionary to the natives of the Wisconsin region, and through all the years that have come and gone since white men first touched these shores, an air of sanctity and veneration has hung over the little hamlet of La Pointe. Indeed, long before the French came, the Indians themselves had a tradition that spirits dwelt on the island now known as Madeline, and it was almost impossible to persuade an Ojibway to land his canoe on these enchanted shores. Of all the spots where early history was made in Wisconsin, the La Pointe region was and is the most picturesque. The beautiful bay, bounded on the east by a natural mole of sand, was studded with islands on which were dense growths of sombre evergreen trees. It is not remarkable that the savages came to believe that in these gloomy island forests dwelt spirits that were powerful for good or for evil. Longfellow, by placing the scene of Hiawatha on these shores, has added romance to history and made the whole region as charming in poetry as it is venerated in authentic story.
The pioneer explorers, Radisson and Grosseilliers, coasting along the southern shores of the Great Lake, came,
probably in 1659, to the spit of land that then formed a natural dike between lake and bay. Dragging their canoe across the narrow barrier, they crossed the broad bay and landed somewhere between the present cities of Ashland and Washburn. Here they proceeded to construct a "fort," triangular in outline, and surrounded by palisades. This was probably the first structure reared by civilized men within the present limits of Wisconsin; modern authorities agree that it was located at or near the mouth of Whittelsey Creek. The explorers concealed their supplies in a cache and then, by a friendly attitude, ingratiated themselves with the native tribes with whom they made long hunting journeys. They pushed westward among the Sioux as far as the headwaters of the Mississippi, suffered much from lack of food, and finally found their way back to their base on the west shore of the bay. They remained in the wilderness of the Northwest for almost three years, with the exception of a brief visit to the settlements on the St. Lawrence during the winter of 1660-1661.
In 1665 Father Claude Allouez came to the abandoned "fort" of Radisson and Grosseilliers, and near its ruins he built a small chapel of bark-the first mission building erected in what is now Wisconsin. Allouez named his mission La Pointe du Sainte Esprit. Although a considerable number of savages dwelt in the several villages on the west shore of the bay, Allouez was able to effect little or no change in their pagan practices. He tired of the hopeless task, and in 1669 he was relieved by Father Marquette, whose later fame as missionary and explorer completely eclipsed that of the humble founder of the La Pointe mission. The new missionary soon realized that he was making little progress in the field where his predecessor had failed. Because of the Jesuit dogma that baptism insures salvation to the dying penitent, special effort was made to baptize such infants and children as the missionary found to