During the Sioux Uprising – settlers fled to an island in the big lake. An excerpt from Andrew’s diary, the 20th of August 1862, reads: ”We were scared of the indians and so we fled out to the island in ‘Klairwater lake’ – and stayed there until the evenening the 21st when we fared home”.
In Moberg’s novel, most settlers fled to an island in ‘Chisago Lake’ on the 21st of August 1862 – for fear of the indians. But as a matter of fact – in Chisago – 150 km from Andrew’s farm, there was no threat from sioux warriors during the Dakota war in1862!
A neigbour to Karl Oskar and Kristina announced that the settlers had been called out to fight against the indians. Here’s an excerpt from Andrew Peterson’s diary, the 24th of August 1862: ”Just as the meeting was starting, Andrew Swanson came and said that we had to go and fight against the indians”. The meeting was broken up and we all went home to prepare, but then we paused awaiting further orders”.
Diary excerpt, 25th of August 1862: “Was up at ‘Pobbits’ at a meeting to be examined by the Doctor concerning if I was fit enough to enlist” [able to go to the war].
Both before and after the Sioux Uprising – the settlers in Andrew’s ‘Scandia’ had very limited contact with the indians. One of Andrew’s neighbours, William Peltz, who was a neighbour living to the north of Andrew’s farm – described how indians, on a few occasions, came to the doorstep of his parents’ home, before William was born, and asked for food – which they got. Some weeks later, the indians left a deer on their doorstep – as a sign of gratitude. William Peltz remembered Andrew from his childhood – and William was still alive when Moberg visited Scandia and Waconia to interview the descendants of Andrew Peterson’s neighbours. This story reminds of the passage in Moberg’s novel where Kristina gives bread to indians who come to the house to beg for food. After a couple of weeks she receives a foreleg of deer in return for the favour.
Established residents in Waconia helped to build a fort with a defensive wall to protect themselves from the Indians. The work with the construction took place in late August and in early September, 1862. On the 1st of September, Andrew transported lumber to Waconia that probably was needed for the fort – : ”this morning I went to Waconia to deliver logs”. Waconia is situated 7 km away from Andrew’s farm.
In Moberg’s version of events a defensive wall was built in 1862, right in front of Nordberg’s Islet.
You can read about more similarities between Moberg’s books and Andrew’s diary in our pamphlet ”Andrew Peterson, the model for Karl Oskar – 100 similarities”.
Copyright Andrew Petersonsällskapet