My individual search for secondary sources within the archives, through interdisciplinary books and online sources has been stimulating. To illustrate this is the start of the secondary sources bibliography for our project, here.
When it comes to primary sources I personally have not yet had the privilege of visiting the Historical Society of Cheshire County, however, my partner Patrick brought back wonderful news from his visit.
Patrick shared with me that he has found passports, immigration forms, and most excitingly, two letters, concerning a Jacob Raitto. Based on these letters a Finnish alien immigrant crossed paths with a bank specifically in the city of Keene. Seeking a loan, Raitto and another man discussed the necessity of being a naturalized citizen. When I have the chance to look at the letters myself, I will see what the indications are about Finnish lifestyles and the hardships of these migrants were in New Hampshire. I would love to find out what this man was hoping to take out a loan for.
Patrick and I discussed what sources we have gathered so far that we can use to fuel our project and we think that it might be beneficial to create a StoryMap of Finnish Migrants in the Monadnock Area and potentially a bit further. We have learned that there is a large population of Finnish in Newport, NH, Rindge, NH, New Ipswitch, NH, and Manchester, NH. Although it is ambitious to begin exploring areas beyond just Keene we believe it will add to the integrity of our project to outline the areas that lured Finnish migrants in and dissect the impact of their culture onto those areas and vice versa.
In other news, Patrick and I both discussed the potential idea that we may completely switch our focus and turn to the migrant history of Hispanics in our local area. While currently this is just a brewing thought, our reasoning is because we believe that by proving the culture that Hispanics have made in our area we would be able to create a new perspective for American’s today who have a racialized view of Hispanic migrants…
For now, we will stick with the Finnish. They are still important to us because Olli Turpeinen, author of The Finns in Newport, New Hampshire is one of the only Historians who have made public the story of the Finns in the Granite State, as stated in the book itself.