Preface and Part 1, Chapter I
• The novel is the last installment of books about a group of Swedish immigrants who settled in Minnesota and became American citizens.
• Karl Oskar Nilsson, owner of the first settlement at Chisago Lake, is harrowing his fields when his oldest son, Johan, returns from town and tells his father that war has broken out between the North and the South.
• Karl's wife, Kristina, believes that killing is wrong no matter the reason and that punishment belongs to God alone.
• Karl knows that as a good citizen, he must answer President Lincoln's call for troops but he must wait because he needs to sow his land so people will have food next year.
• Minnesota is the first state to reply to Lincoln's call, and though the President asked for 75,000 men, the people of the North promise him 600,000 soldiers.
• Spring and Summer are peaceful in...
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