Unto a Good Land (The Emigrants #2) by Vilhelm Moberg, Gustaf Lannestock (Translation)

Published: 1952 Genre: Historical fiction. 1. First lines. 2. Cover: Minnesota Historical Society 3. Cover of “Minnesota Och Dess Fördelar För Invandraren” (“Minnesota and its Advantages for Immigrants”), a pamphlet written in 1867 by Hans Mattson to encourage Swedes to immigrate to Minnesota. [No known copyright] via MNopedia 4. The St. Croix Boat & Packet steamship at the dock on the St. Croix River in Stillwater, Minnesota [No known restrictions on publication] via Library of Congress 5. In the Land of Promise, Castle Garden, Charles Frederic Ulrich 1884 [Public Domain] via National Gallery of Art 6. Panoramic view print of Manhattan in 1873. By George Schlegel [Public Domain] via Wikimedia

Karl Oskar and Kristina Nilsson, with their family of young children have left Sweden as emigrants and at the beginning of this novel, have arrived in New York in the summer of 1850. They journey to Minnesota Territory where one of their countrymen has settled, and where they intend to stake a claim to land for farming. With very few reserves of money or food, they build a log cabin on some land at Ki-Chi-Garo Lake (now known as Chisago Lake), and begin their new life in America.

At home here in America – back there in Sweden.”

Glanceabook: It is said that “The Emigrant” series was intended to be read as a documentary, and the story is based on detailed research into Swedish settlements of the 1800s in Minnesota. The characters’ daily lives are portrayed in fascinating detail to bring to life the hardships of the settlers. Although it is very interesting, at times it becomes repetitive, especially when the characters’ feelings are described. After reading the first in this series (The Emigrants), I felt keen to follow the journey of this family, and I wasn’t disappointed.

The Culture Trip: The Emigrants‘ gripping tale is part history, part drama – and it will give you a deeper understanding of why Swedes have such a complicated relationship with both their own history and with America.”


“Since stepping ashore in America not many hours ago, he had felt foolish more often than during his whole life in Sweden.”

“Their journey continued in the river furrow, and more great stretches of prairie opened up. The new country was showing its size to them, and the more they saw of its vastness and immensity, the smaller they felt themselves; more than ever before during this long journey they felt lost and strayed ion the world.”

“… they might sleep at German Fischer’s inn; lodging there would cost only ten cents a night for each person; they would, of course, have to sleep with other people, but never more than four in the same bed; and the host was quite strict and let no-one wear his boots in bed. The Fischers were particular and cleanly people and maintained good order at their inn.”

Author: William Moberg

The series:

  • The Emigrants (Utvandrarna)
  • Unto a Good Land (Invandrarna)
  • The Settlers (Nybyggarna)
  • Last Letter Home (Sista brevet till Sverige)


  • The Emigrants (Swedish: Utvandrarna) is a 1971 Swedish film directed and co-written by Jan Troell and starring Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann.
  • Kristina från Duvemåla (“Kristina from Duvemåla”) is a Swedish musical written by former ABBA members Björn Ulvaeus (lyrics) and Benny Andersson (music).

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