Swedes in America, 1638-1938

Swedes in America, 1638-1938

Swedes in America, 1638-1938

Swedes in America, 1638-1938

Excerpt

A native of Philadelphia, a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants, and holder of academic degrees from both Princeton and Harvard, Dr. Leach has for twenty-five years served the American Scandinavian Foundation, first as Secretary and then as President. In this capacity he has done pioneering work for a better appreciation of Northern culture in the United States and for more friendly international relations. He lives in New York and is Editor of the Forum.

HIS Royal Highness Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden will be very welcome when he returns to New Sweden this Tercentenary year. He is a worthy successor to Gustavus Adolphus the Great, who conceived the dream of a Swedish colony in the New World. The earlier monarch was a leader of Europe in the arts of war; his namesake is a leader in the still more difficult strategy of peace. Now, for more than a century, Sweden has kept the peace and demonstrated her right to be called one of the most civilized of modern nations. The Crown Prince is a distinguished spokesman for a race that three hundred years ago, and again more recently, has vitalized the blood stream of America and given us many of our most impressive symbols of progress.

The earliest contribution of the Swedes to America was the log cabin. The Swedes came from a land of great forests to another land of vast woodlands. In New Sweden, on the banks of the Delaware in 1638, they rejected the wigwams of the Indians and erected, instead, by applying their inborn engineering skill, strong dwellings made out of roughhewn timber. From New Sweden the log cabin design spread wherever American colonists moved into virgin country.

Ever since 1638 the Swedes have continued to make signal contributions to the New World in research and in the applied sciences, in construction, engineering, and mechanical wonders. The Monitor which, more than any other single "miracle" except Gettysburg, helped to preserve the Union is, of course, the . . .

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