Following the Homestead Act of 1862, many Scandinavians pioneered the lands of the mid-West. These frontier settlers worked hard, and were justly proud of their new home in America. They were not above boasting about their new country, especially to settlers who came from the old.
One man would often speak longingly to his neighbor, Sven, about the echoes in the mountains surrounding his old home.
"I vould call out ‘Yonson’," said he, "and 20 minutes later comes back such a strong echo that it would knock me to the ground."
Well, Sven was not about to let that boast go unchallenged.
"You call that an echo?" he scoffed. "Why, here in Minnesota, we can yell ‘Yonson’ and in less than a minute we’ll get 500 hundred echoes saying ‘Vich Yonson?’!"
Gouverneur Morris, American minister to the court of Louis XVI, was considerably enriched, at the close of the reign of terror, by plate, jewels, furniture, paintings, coaches, and so on, left in his charge by members of the French nobility, that they might not be confiscated in the sack of the city.
Some years before the outbreak of the Civil War, a man with his wife and daughter took up their residence in a log cabin at the foot of Sunrise Rock, near Chattanooga, Tennessee. It seemed probable that they had known better days, for the head of the household was believed to get his living through “writin’ or book-larnin’,” but was fairly useless at hunting and farming.
Wallen’s Ridge, a rough eminence about a dozen miles from Chattanooga, Tennessee, was once an abiding place of Cherokee Indians, among whom lived Arinook, their medicine-man, and his daughter. The girl was pure and fair, and when a passing hunter from another tribe saw her one day at the door of her father’s home he was so struck with her charm of person and her engaging manner that he resolved not to return to his people until he had won her for his wife.