The significance of private correspondence among emigrants and their relatives is undoubtedly crucial in time when other possibilities did not yet exist, and mutual visits were minimal due to lack of money. Many sent news to their families already from Ljubljana, then from ports where they were waiting to embark, some from the middle of the Atlantic (ship mail), and the majority on their arrival in America. News from the homeland was longed-for as nostalgia was most strong at the beginning of the path in the new homeland.
A letter from a brother to his sister with all instructions on how to act during the journey to the United States of America.   A postcard from the middle of the sea:
»27. 2. 1902: I heartily greet you from the middle of the Sea. I am letting you know we are in the midst of the sea. So far, I am well. If nothing worse happens, I will be fine. But we are swaying mightily. Oh, time goes by slowly here on the sea. An hour is longer than a whole day at home. We have been travelling for five days and five nights and I have not seen anything else but five ships and some fish. I am not too bored because there are over fifty of us Carniolians. Warm greeting: Jera, Peter, father, Barba Janez from upper village, Merikanc P. J.«
  A postcard greeting from the steamship Grosser Kurfürst of the Norddeutscher Lloyd Company, which sailed on the line Bremen-New York. The steamship had its own post (“Deutsche Seepost”, Linie Bremen-New York).
»Dear sister!
Fortune drives us across the world far to America. I sailed on this ship. We saw a steamboat that went from Rotterdam to New York and it burned down. Until night we were watching as it burned as some village. Soon more. Greetings to cousin.«

  A postcard from an emigrant who does not receive voice from homeland.
»Phila(delphia), April 12th 1903. Dear Petan!
I have not heard from you in a long time, I would like to know whether you are sick or what it is that you do not write. From Jagodič I received the paper and a picture. Today we have here ugly Easter holidays, because it is raining and it is very cold. This morning I went to the Cathedral to attend the mass and I wore a winter coat. I am expecting your kind answer. Heartily greeting you Jo.(sip) Zagorc.«

A humorous and sharp postcard that emigrant Reber sent in autumn 1905 to his friend Frank Petan in Ljubljana as a comment on the unveiling of Prešeren's monument in Ljubljana (1905).
»How did you enjoy Prešeren's festivity? The Franciscans will have time enough to view that beautiful woman on the monument. – Beautiful our new homeland! If the bishop finds the muse in his way then he should lend her his shirt. – But he must mind that it will not have a stain on the back. – Greetings to all friends, and especially to you, your friend Reber.«


© Institute for Slovenian Emigration Studies, Slovenian Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Ljubljana | Ljubljana, Slovenia | 2007 | All rights reserved.