From about 1845 to 1930, Sweden saw massive emigration to the United States. According to one estimate, about a third of the country’s population left. In 1900, more Swedes lived in Chicago than in Gothenburg. Many factors conspired to send people on their way: population expansion, a lack of agricultural land, failed crops, economic recession, and the simple pull of the virtual population vacuum beyond the American frontier, the pull of enormous opportunity, as industrialised Europeans encountered the Stone Age societies of the native Americans.
The emigration left its share of archaeological sites, mainly abandoned torp buildings in poor districts. But by Fullersta mill pond in Huddinge parish south of Stockholm is an unusual kind of emigration site. On a flat ice-polished rock outcrop (registered site Raä Huddinge 176:1) is an inscription in longhand and runes (and I translate).
The inscription was made by the miller’s hand Johan August Andersson, who left for the U.S. in 1872. I don’t know what became of him there.
Thanks to Roger Wikell for telling me about the inscription.