The Bishop Hill Colony was a Swedish religious communal colony founded in 1846 by Eric Janson and his followers. The Colony survived for only 15 years but left a lasting legacy in immigration history. By 1930, 20% of all Swedish people in the world lived in the U.S. Immigration experts agree that much of this Swedish exodus to Illinois and the United States can be traced to the impact of the Bishop Hill Colony. Because of Bishop Hill’s importance to Swedish migration, not only is it a state historic site, but Bishop Hill is also a National Historic Landmark. In addition, 18 Colony buildings still remain and are in use today.
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