To my dearest sister. September 29th 1855, Memphis, Tennessee

You could only imagine how I felt when I got mail from you yesterday! It was impossible to hold my tears back, and finally I got a feeling of being near home, even though I am countless hours away. I am happy everything is fine back home, and I hope it will keep that way. This is the first time I have been away from you for so long, and it hurts to think about that it will be a long while before I see you again, dear sister. Our plan was to find a husband in the paper and save enough money to travel to the states together, but you let me down. I know things were a bit difficult for us at home before I left, but I miss you so much! I miss our special talks, and it was wonderful to have someone to share my thoughts with. Anyhow, my new life in Memphis, Tennessee is quite different from Norway, both in good and bad ways. It feels like my life has become someone else’s. I have become a whole different person, and nothing around me is the same as it used to be. I miss the Norwegian landscape, and the Norwegian food. Oh, sister, why did you agree to let me leave?

I have been over here for 3 months now, and I am beginning to get used with all the new stuff around me. The boat from Stavanger to New York took exact one month, and it was a quite long and fearful trip, to be honest. It was rough weather, and my familiar thought was that I was never going to get in land in New York City alive. The heavy winds destroyed parts of the boat, and farer away we came, as more harder and scary the trip were. I prayed every night, and I decided to never give up the hope and the thought of you and all the memories made me never give up. People were screaming of scariness, but the last week on the boat was the worst because of the absence of food. Every person had to bring their own food, but that didn’t work for me, though. Almost every night I stole food from the 1st class-passengers and that kept me alive. Unfortunately, we arrived Ellis Island one weak later than expected. We got to Ellis Island June 23rd, which is an immigrant reception for every immigrant from Europe, but passengers from first and second class, could go strait to land with only a check by the doctor. Fortunately, it went as good as I could dream about so afterwards I was heading for meeting my future-husband, Thomas. I had only seen him on a picture, so I can tell you dear sister, I have never been so nervous in my whole life. I know what you think; “you were properly more nervous that time we were caught staling yeast in the food-store when we were 12 years old”, but no! He looked like he did on the picture. He looked serious and happy at the same time, and he was surprised to se me even if this had been planned for several months. He lives in a farm out in the country with his mother, and his economy is just getting better and better. I am ashamed to say that he makes me a bit spoiled, and he could honestly buy me almost everything I want, which I, of course, appreciate. He got a good sense of humor, and I think you would have liked him. We haven’t got married yet, which is because his mother is sick so he figured out we had to wait for a month or two.

I am happy things worked out between you and Erik. I could see the love in your eyes when you were together the days between I left. You deserve being happy, Hilde, and I hope you know I care about you. You also tell me that Sarah is getting married. Give her my love, dear. I hope I will be seeing you soon, at least get an other letter from you, cause I miss you so much.

Love Jenny