The Blizzard of 1888 and its Effect on Immigrants Essays

The Blizzard of 1888 and its Effect on Immigrants Essays

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The Blizzard of 1888 tested how much the human spirit could take. Stacking problems on problems, it was unforgiving to everybody in the area. Though the immigrants who came to the US all took different paths and ended up settling in different places of the Great Plains, in the end they both went through the same cold, unpredictable blizzard.
The Rollag family, originating from Norway, came to the US because her husband, Ole, was assigned five years of military service, their farms were being reduced in size every generation, and for a better life for their children. In Norway, the firstborn son has a much easier life because he is granted a bonde gaard, allowing him to be given the valley parcels. Gro and Ole chose to settle at Decorah in Winneshiek County because of the other Norwegian immigrants who had been there longer. Since their family was known to have a farming background as well, they had no reason to refuse going to Decorah. The factors that pulled them in to settle were apparent reports of there being no pests, such as grasshoppers, or prairie fires and being filled with free land, along with healthy soil, rich loam, and plenty of wheat. Unfortunately by the time they had arrived all the free land was gone so they decided to continue their journey on to Rock County, Minnesota which they heard had some land for them and a lot of potential to grow.
Anna and Johann Kaufmann were from the Ukrainian province of Volhynia and went to the US, along with their two children, Peter and Johann. People like the Kaufmann family referred to themselves as "Schweizers", which were Swiss-German Mennonites. They originally were peacefully living a life of religious freedom, with no military service, their own land and the right to main...


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...torm because he had some grudges with the people he worked with. Professor William Payne and Thomas Cochran Jr. felt as if they were being insulted with Woodruff’s interruptions while Sergeant Adolphus Greely was indifferent on the entire situation and chose to not help. Ultimately they failed doing their job because they lacked communication; they were considered more of a burden than help.
After the harsh storms, the surviving immigrants were still going through hell. The land they were told to be free turned out to be just the opposite, making them move to the coast and near populated cities to find some sort of purpose. Had they continued living in the Great Plains, they would have been financially unstable and technologically inefficient. Bankruptcy was tagging so many immigrants; it makes you wonder if they would have been better just staying where they were.

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