I had a little bird, its name was Enza. I opened the window, and in-flu-enza. (Children skipped rope to this rhyme during the flu epidemic)
100 years ago, as soon as the dying stopped the forgetting began . . . this story is relevant to today's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Global Pandemic
The 1918 influenza virus or Spanish flu was the worst epidemic the United States has known, taking the lives of an estimated 675,000 Americans, including 43,000 servicemen. More Americans died in one year from the influenza than in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War combined. Yet, most people know very little about the epidemic or have forgotten that period of history.
Unlike any strain ever seen, the mysterious killer virus spread across the country overflowing hospitals and filling mass graves. Joe Hermanson, the nephew of my great-great-great-grandmother, Kari Hermanson (Nese) Ekse, lost his wife Emma (Olson), 42, and six of their twelve children in one week due to the deadly flu. [Pictured are Joe and Emma Hermanson]
Kari Hermundsdatter Nese immigrated in 1861 from Nese i Arnaford, Sogn and married Nils Nilsson Ekse that same year. Her brothers, Elling and Endre; sister, Anna; and father, Hermund Johannesson Nese immigrated together in 1867. Hermund died in 1886 and was buried in the pioneer section of the Black Hammer cemetery, near Spring Grove, Houston County, Minnesota. Spring Grove is recognized as the first Norwegian settlement in Minnesota.
A newspaper clipping from February, 1920 reads: The Joe Hermanson family of Black Hammer near Spring Grove is the most severely stricken family ever known in this section of the state. The family was taken sick the first of the month. Mrs. Hermanson died Wednesday, and Saturday the two oldest boys died, and in the night a nine-year-old boy. Monday afternoon and night two more died, and Tuesday still another making seven dead, while small hopes are entertained for two more. Mr. Hermanson is recovering.
Joe and two of the children, Evelyn and Henry, were taken to the Spring Grove Hospital. According to a family member, the children survived by the doctor draining fluid from their lungs. Emma's brother and niece assisted the remaining family members. Others left food on the porch and helped with the livestock chores.
Because of severe cold and deep snow, the seven flu fatalities were placed in the summer kitchen for a later burial in the Black Hammer Cemetery. All their names, including Joe, who died nine years later, are on one tombstone.
Only one of the children, Leonard Hermanson, now age 92 in 2004, still survives. My mother, Char Nelson, and I visited him in the Houston Nursing Home. In earlier years Leonard and his family lived in Looney Valley near Houston, where he had worked as a farmer and carpenter. [Pictured are Char Nelson and Leonard Hermanson, story printed in the Fillmore County Journal, Preston, MN]
I could sense that deep down sadness that has never gone away as Leonard described his wonderful mother, Emma. Recalling that tragic year, 1920, he cited the names and ages of all twelve children, the six who died from the flu: Edwin, 19; Clarence, 18; Julia, 16; Johnnie, 12; Selmer, 9; Mabel, 7; and the six who survived: Gena, 20; Evelyn, 15; Mina, 13; Henry, 10; Leonard (himself), 8; and Bernice, 4.
Mina's daughter, Ann Bratland, of Laurel, Montana, relayed to me that her mother had gone to help her older pregnant sister, Gena. Gena and her husband, Chris Hanson, lived a mile down the road from the home farm. Mina found out about the family deaths in the Spring Grove paper, as the families had no phones.
The point of origin of the influenza epidemic is thought to have been Camp Funston, part of Fort Riley, Kansas on March 9, 1918. Sandwiched between bone-chilling winters and sweltering summers were blinding dust storms. The camp's thousands of horses and mules produced a stifling, ever-accumulating, amount of manure, which was disposed of by burning. The dust combined with the manure ashes was said to have created a stinging, stinking, yellow haze turning the sky black.
Two days later, over one hundred men were ill, all complaining of fever, sore throat and headache. More than five hundred were reported sick after another two days, many gravely ill with severe pneumonia. No one knew why. The elusive killer spread, striking military camps throughout the country at the very time draft call-ups and troop shipments were in high gear for a nation at war.
In March and April, 1918, over 200,000 American World War I soldiers sailed across the Atlantic in overcrowded ships. By May, 1918 the flu had established itself on two continents. Little did the soldiers know they were carrying with them a virus that would kill tens of thousands by July 1918, and would be more deadly than their rifles.
The influenza had now extended beyond the U.S. and Europe, and cases were reported in Russia, North Africa, India, China, Japan, the Philippines and New Zealand. This first wave was a mere prelude of what was to come that fall.
In early 2003, I attended a lecture on the 1918 influenza at Luther College, presented by retired microbiologist, Professor John Tjostem. He explained that because the world was at war, the Americans and the Germans censored their flu statistics, while Spain, a neutral country, published their flu deaths in the newspapers. The epidemic would later be inaccurately dubbed the Spanish flu. Professor Tjostem further explained that the 1918 influenza pandemic took four months to make its way around the world. With today's modern transportation, it would take only four days.
In the fall of 1918, the relentless flu was reintroduced from Europe with troops returning to the United States from World War I. It hit with a vengeance, as the mutated virus was now more deadly than ever. The lethal flu spread from person to person by tiny droplets produced by coughing and sneezing. It was everywhere and no one was safe, as everyone had to breathe. Unlike any other flu, almost every family lost someone.
Researchers had developed vaccines for diseases such as meningitis, diphtheria, and anthrax, which were caused by bacteria, but they had nothing, in 1918, to stop influenza. Science was powerless, as the electron microscope needed to see the virus had not yet been invented. DNA and RNA, the genetic material of viruses, had not been discovered. Americans took to wearing gauze masks, but they were as effective as keeping out dust with chicken wire.
Many people turned to folk remedies such as garlic, camphor balls or kerosene poured on sugar. Schools closed and laws forbade spitting on the streets. Nothing worked. As the war raged, people gathered for rallies and bond drives where they coughed and infected each other. In October, 1918 alone, more than 195,000 Americans died from the epidemic. A public health disaster had been created by the time the war ended on November 11, 1918. In some places, because of a nationwide shortage, caskets had to be guarded from thieves.
Unlike ordinary influenza that kills mainly the very young or elderly, the 1918 flu targeted young robust adults. Professor Tjostem stated: the fact that twenty to forty year olds were hit the hardest is difficult to explain. People who had lived during a period when a major flu epidemic had previously hit were partially protected. The very young were likely more vulnerable because their immune systems were still developing.
Twenty-five times more deadly than the normal flu, the 1918 flu pandemic killed an estimated 40-50 million people in the world. Within about 48 hours, most victims were dead. They had high delirious fevers, bloody noses, and coughed up blood. Eventually, their bodies turned purplish-blue, the lungs filled with reddish fluid, and they drowned in their own secretions.
The three types of influenza virus are A, B, and C. Influenza A viruses are found in humans and animals, including pigs, horses, chickens, ducks, and some wild birds. Influenza B and C viruses are found only in humans and appear to be more stable than Influenza A.
In 1918, influenza outbreaks appeared in humans and pigs almost simultaneously. It's unclear, however, if pigs infected the humans or if humans infected the pigs. Millions of pigs became ill with severe respiratory infection in the Midwest, decimating entire hog farms.
Influenza viruses, like a chameleon, change their coats each year. Thus, one has to be inoculated each year to have sufficient immunity. In 1918, it's believed a new kind of subtype influenza A virus emerged that was closely related to what is now known as classic swine influenza virus. Pigs are thought to be an intermediary or mixing vessel in this process, since they can be infected with both avian and human strains. The new virus was so different, that few had any kind of immunity, so it spread uncontrollably throughout the human population.
In 1998, after 80 years, scientists identified the genetic code of the 1918 virus by autopsying lung tissue samples from three cases that represented the only known sources of genetic material. Two were paraffin wax samples belonging to U.S. servicemen stationed in Fort Jackson, South Carolina and Camp Upton, New York. The third belonged to a native Eskimo woman, buried in a mass grave and preserved in permafrost, at the Brevig Mission in Alaska.
China and Southeast Asia are believed to be the epicenter for emerging strains of influenza A virus, due to the region's enormous numbers and close proximity of humans, pigs, and aquatic birds. With the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS, the World Health Organization is currently conducting a global surveillance of respiratory virus activity to prevent a 21st century pandemic.
The Preston Republican in the October 25, 1918 issue reported: In all health matters follow the advice of your doctor and obey the regulation of your local and state health officers. Cover up each cough and sneeze, if you don't you'll spread disease.
This headline was published in Levang's Weekly in Lanesboro on January 29, 1920: Influenza in Minnesota - Declared epidemic by State Board of Health, St. Paul. Health authorities throughout the state were immediately called upon to put into effect regulation for its control.
Professor Tjostem contacted his former student, Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, on my behalf in regards to the flu that so tragically struck the Joe and Emma Hermanson family in February, 1920. Both Tjostem and Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, agreed that the Hermanson's flu could have been a case of swine transmission back to humans in a more virulent form than that present in 1918.
The deadly 1918 influenza disappeared just as mysteriously as it started. Perhaps it ran out of people who were susceptible or the survivors developed immunity. What's known is as soon as the dying stopped the forgetting began.
Astri, My Astri: Norwegian Heritage Stories, written by Deb Nelson Gourley, published 2004, 2005 by Astri My Astri Publishing
Ulvestad's 100-year-old "Bible of Norwegian Immigration" 1,400 pages of Gothic Script now transcribed translated into bilingual ENGLISH-NORWEGIAN 3-volume-set! Norwegians in America, their History and Record covers years 1825-1913.
Over 100 years ago, the Norwegian author Martin Ulvestad wrote in the foreword: “Have we — modern Norwegians in America — seen and understood what our forefathers have done for us? Have we ever shown them that we properly appreciate their struggles, sufferings and deprivations — that benefited us? Have we made sure that their memory could live among us, and our descendants? … It was these and similar questions and thoughts, which in time, I felt were valid to me and which gave impetus for the labor, the ultimate result we now find in this book.”
Ulvestad compiled the Norwegian-American pioneer stories by sending out 163,000 small books and pamphlets along with 450,000 circulars and forms to the early immigrants and their families. He then published the 100-year-old oversized (now rare) books.
Areas included in the 7"x10", hardcover, Smyth sewn (library quality) books are:
• USA — 41 states and 500 counties: Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Washington, Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia. Plus Pre-History, Indian Territory, District of Columbia and the story of the emigrant ship “Valkyrien”.
• Canada — 6 provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan.
• Norway — 1,700 areas of Norway including maps of Norway's 18 fylker (districts) and the 433 kommuner (municipalities)
Volume 1 [sorted by geography, USA's 41 states/500 counties & Canada] — includes both an English translation as well as a Norwegian transcription from pages 1-250 of the Gothic script and covers immigration to America 1825-1907. The sagas tell of where the pioneers emigrated from in Norway, immigrated to in America, genealogy, life and hardships on the emigrant ships, canal boat and cattle car journeys to the Midwest, sickness, oxcarts, dugouts, sod huts, numerous pastors and churches, livestock and crops, grasshoppers, prairie fires, blizzards, Indian Wars and more. [480 pgs]
Volume 2 [sorted by occupation and 1,700 locations in Norway] — has both an English translation as well as a Norwegian transcription from pages 251-871 of the Gothic script and covers immigration to America 1825-1907. Norwegians in American Wars includes Military Officers, Privates, the 15th Wisconsin Regiment, Civil War and Andersonville Prison. Other sections contain listings of Norwegian-American involvement: public positions, newspapers and periodicals, book publishing, music, educational and charitable institutions, church societies, pastors, temperance undertakings and historical and statistical summary. Volume 2’s Compilation of Norwegian Communities in America section provides information on over 25,000 pioneers sorted by 1,700 areas they emigrated from in Norway. [640 pages]
Click for list of Ulvestad's 1,700 locations in Norway
Volume 3 [sorted by last name or paternal name, GENEALOGY, cross references Volumes 1 & 2] — has an English translation of over 500 pages the Gothic script and covers immigration to America 1825-1913. Thousands of biographical sketches alphabetized by last name. Information includes where emigrated from in Norway, year, where immigrated to in America and occupation. Also listed are names of sons and/or relatives born in America at that time, where known. Plus MAPS from 1901 in USA. [704 pages]
Ulvestad 3-volume-set was the WINNER of the G. K. Haukebo Heritage Resource Award for Historical Emphasis
Norwegians in America, their History and Record: A transcribed and translated version Nordmændene i Amerika, deres Historie og Rekord, 3-Volume-Set, Written by Martin Ulvestad, Astri My Astri Publishing, 2010, 2011, 2012
See it, Hear it, Read it, Speak it . . . Bilingual English Norwegian! Kings of Norway and its accompanying 3 CDs feature bilingual text, bilingual audio and full colored illustrations of 57 kings and 1 queen who ruled Norway from circa 875 to present. Utilizing visual art along with both written and audio storytelling allows the non-fiction book to be used as a unique language-learning tool. Appealing to readers of all ages on both sides of the Atlantic, the dual English and Norwegian language format is ideal for first-year Norwegian classes, language camps, and heritage and cultural programs. The 128-page, full-colored, hard-cover book includes the bilingual text and singing of both Astri, My Astri and Astri, Mi Astri by Klang Male Chorus Lillehammer, Norway.
• Fully illustrated and written by Anders Kvåle Rue
• Bilingual English Norwegian text in the same book
• Book includes 3 audio bilingual English Norwegian CDs
• 128 pages all in full color, 6" x 9"
• Hardcover and Smyth sewn for highest quality
• Book and CDs all "Made in America"
Deb Nelson Gourley has assembled a team of winning contemporary artists, working in visual art and the art of first-rate storytelling, as they retell in fresh ways the sagas of ancient Norwegian kings. The dual language format allows readers of English as well as Norwegian to savor the stories, and use the book as a unique language-learning tool. —Harley Refsal, Professor, Scandinavian Folk Art, Scandinavian Studies, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa
Astri My Astri Publishing has created nothing less than a masterpiece with this beautiful book featuring illustrations and brief descriptions of 58 different Norwegian monarchs, written in both English and Norwegian. Kings of Norway and its accompanying 3 CDs are ideal for first-year Norwegian classes, language camps, and heritage and cultural programs. The book is a stroke of genius, appealing to readers of all ages on both sides of the Atlantic. —Steinar Opstad, Ph.D., Norwegian scholar and writer, Sarpsborg, Norway
This unique bilingual book, written and illustrated by Anders Kvåle Rue, presents a brief history of the 57 kings and one queen who ruled Norway from circa 875 to the present. Three accompanying CDs by native English and Norwegian speakers adds to the book’s impact as a history and language resource. This book is another outstanding contribution by Deb Nelson Gourley's Astri My Astri Publishing to the field of Norwegian-American studies. —Arne Brekke, Ph.D., Comparative Germanic Indo-European Linguistics, Grand Forks, North Dakota
This English translation brings to life a history written over a century ago by Hjalmar Rued Holand, a Norwegian-American living in Wisconsin. Holand combed the countryside for 13 years, collecting stories from first- and second-generation Norwegian pioneers living in the Upper Midwest. The book was first published in Dano-Norwegian Gothic text.
Lovers of history will enjoy this compilation of pioneer sagas in chronological format, starting with the Vinland voyages and ending with Dakota settlement. In between are the personal stories of the new immigrants as they spread from the East Coast, advancing into Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and the Dakotas.
Through the pages of the book, readers will travel the trails with the pioneers as they embark on the long, arduous canal/Great Lakes trek from New York harbor to homes farther west. They’ll learn about the new settlers and their struggles to overcome malaria, cholera and other deadly diseases, as well as famine, floods, fire, and grasshoppers.
Sprinkled throughout the hardcover book’s 512 pages (63 chapters) are beautiful lithographs, water-color illustrations and closeup inserts from antique maps. A full-color section in the heart of the book contains maps of the Norwegian fylker (administrative districts) and the kommuner (municipalities). A bonus for readers seeking ancestral connections: Along with the names used by the settlers when they first arrived (3,800 names are indexed in the back of the book and searchable via the website below) are their places of origin in Norway.
Noted Norwegian scholar and writer Steinar Opstad, Ph.D., one of three reviewers, sums the book up thus: “Hjalmar Rued Holand deserves credit for being one of only a few who gave us documentation of the Norwegians’ first years in the U.S. ... This publication is an important milestone, one that will serve as a foundation for future generations of Norwegians on both sides of the Atlantic.”
A translated and expanded version of De Norske Settlementers Historie
and Den Siste Folkevandring Sagastubber fra Nybyggerlivet i Amerika:
For a list of 3,800 immigrants listed in the book by first name ONLY visit:
Hjalmar Rued Holand deserves credit for being one of only a few who gave us documentation of the Norwegians’ first years in the U.S. While Holand may at times be criticized for his reliance on secondary rather than primary sources, his book provides an engaging and enthusiastic depiction of the struggles as well as the triumphs of pioneer life. His stories will appeal to a broad spectrum of interest levels, from the grass roots to academia. This publication is an important milestone, one that will serve as a foundation for future generations of Norwegians on both sides of the Atlantic. This new book will create discussion, proof of important work done.
— Steinar Opstad, Ph.D., Sarpsborg, Norway, Norwegian scholar and writer
Hjalmar Rued Holand captured on paper the captivating sagas of the early Norwegian immigrants and the settlements they established across the Upper Midwest. This translation of Holand’s writing lets readers trace the trails of their ancestors through Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and the Dakotas as they explore new frontiers and build new communities. Along the way lurk killer diseases, grasshopper plagues, prairie fires and loneliness. Thanks to this book, countless Norwegian- Americans will be able to learn more about their own heritage from the pioneer sagas recorded here and to pass these stories down to their children and grandchildren.
— Walter F. Mondale, Minnesota, former U.S. Vice President, 2005 Norway Centennial Chairman
History of the Norwegian Settlements gives today’s generations of Norwegian-Americans fresh insight into their heritage. This new 512-page, hard-cover book details the unprecedented migration of the Norse people to America in the 19th and early 20th centuries and their struggles to build a better future. Holand’s translation also describes the importance of faith and worship to the new immigrants. The impact of the pioneer pastors to the settlers and their new communities is beyond measure. Indeed, some such as Pastor C. L. Clausen explored new territories and established colonies to help the new arrivals.
— Pastor Jens Dale, Norway, 2002-05 at Mindekirken in Minneapolis, Minnesota
History of the Norwegian Settlements: A translated and expanded version of the 1908 De Norske Settlementers Historie and the 1930 Den Siste Folkevandring Sagastubber fra Nybyggerlivet i Amerika by Hjalmar Rued Holand, Astri My Astri Publishing, 2006 www.astrimyastri.com
Anders Beer Wilse, 1865-1949, was born in Vest-Agder and raised in Telemark, Norway. Having received his technical degree, Wilse immigrated to America in 1884 and worked as a railroad engineer and cartographer from Minnesota to Washington. He nearly drowned in 1888 on a return visit home to Norway on the emigrant ship Geyser, which collided with the Thingvalla and sank. In 1897, Wilse opened a photography business in Seattle. Expeditions in Montana included photographing Grasshopper Glacier, containing billions of entombed locusts, and the discovery of Mount Wilse. The Wilse family returned to Norway in 1900, where Anders became a world-class photographer. Wilse wrote En Emigrants Ungdomserindringer (1936) and Norsk Landskap og Norske Menn (1943). He left behind over 200,000 documented photographs of his life’s work: to study and know Norway and its beauty from behind a camera.
1949 Biography/Obituary by Wihelm Munthe
Photographer Anders Beer Wilse passed away today 20th of February 1949. He was 83.
One of The Norwegian Tourist Association’s best friends has passed away and will be missed. His life was something of an adventure.
Growing up in Kragerø [Telemark, Norway], Anders’ father was the Town Engineer. He grew up with fresh air and an active life on land and sea. Anders graduated from Hortens Technical School. Being unemployed he swiftly immigrated to America in 1884. Within his first year, Anders had toiled as a railroad engineer, which saw him put down new lines on the prairie and the Rocky Mountains. It was here that Anders as an early adopter of the camera, began using it to help him in the work. When he married, he settled in Seattle, [Washington] and became a “Scenic Photographer” in 1897.
Business was thriving. At the time there were plenty of people who wanted their picture taken. It was primarily lumber jacks and gold diggers - hard workers - that sought Anders’ talents. They had their photos taken while working. Large corporations always wanted their achievements photographed. To take great pictures Anders would often set off on expeditions, he was one of the first to climb Mount Rainier (14,400 ft), Seattle. It was in Montana during one of his prospecting expeditions that he discovered the “Grasshopper Glacier” with millions of frozen insects by a mountain that was later named “Mount Wilse”.
Over the years, Anders’ family grew and his longing home grew with it. In 1900, he uprooted for a second time so he could be back in Norway. Upon on arrival he started his company as a nature photographer. In a surprisingly short time his name became known, not only in Norway, but also in many other countries. This comes as no real surprise as Anders was never shy of hard work. In those days, tourists, ramblers and lovers of nature could never be safe in thinking Anders Wilse wouldn’t appear on top of a mountain hill, with a 10 kg camera on top of his rucksack, tripod and Kodak in hand. Anders was known for his hard work and professionalism. He could stay on location for days, come rain or shine, waiting until he got the right light for that perfect picture. Not only was he present when the fruit trees were in blossom but also on “Lofot Fishing”, a closed railroad due to a snow storm, anything thing that was worth documenting. He loved our nature and country, with all of its changing elements and seasons. His pictures taught others to love and experience the beauty of our nature, not only with grand vistas but also the closeness of nature right next to us. When the tens of thousands of people who have never even been to Norway still have a visual image of it, then Wilse has more right than any to claim the honor for it.
As a speaker, Anders was often used here in Norway and other neighboring countries and in the USA. He himself claimed he had performed 836 slide shows - many times with no fee. One did not appeal to Wilse’s good heart in vain.
Without doubt, our association had to use such a force. Hundreds of his pictures can be found in our annuals. He alone held 15 presentations for us. The first one he did was in 1909, the last one was a wistful remembrance in 1943: “Do you remember-”. He participated in our propaganda, worked hard for the creation of nature reserves, and laid the foundation to our own photo library. When our council was established in 1927 he was soon to be found on the board and he continued right up to 1945 until his health prevented him. In 1932, we honored him with our “Tourist Button” in gold.
But Anders Wilse was not only a force that could be both used and be reckoned with, he was also a man you couldn't help but like. An honest man, a trustworthy friend and a glowing patriot of Norway. It was always a pleasure to meet him. Those who did not get the pleasure, will, in his two books, Life of a Young Norwegian Pioneer (1936) and Norwegian Men and their Country (1943). They will receive an unpolished view of him as a man and a lively commentary to his life's work: A national anthem in pictures.
1949 Biografi/Nekrolog av Wihelm Munthe
Fotograf Anders Beer Wilse -Døde 20.februar i år (1949) 83 år gammel.
Med ham er en av vår forenings beste venner gått bort. Hans liv var noe av et eventyr.
Faren var stadsingeniør i Kragerø¸ og her vokste sønnen opp i friskt friluftsliv på sjø¸ og hei. Som arbeidsløs Hortens-tekniker utvandret han i 1884 til Amerika, slet vondt det første år og kom siden til å flakke om som ingeniør ved utstikningen av jernbaner over prerien og RockyMountains. Allerede tidlig hadde han tatt fotografiapparatet til hjelp, og da han så giftet seg, brøt han overtvert og nedsatte seg i 1897 som “scenic photographer” i Seattle.
Forettningen gikk fint, for det var nok av tømmerhuggere og gullgravere som ville bli fotografert under arbeide og av store aksjeselskaper som skulle ha bilder av naturherlighetene sine. Under en slik “prospecting expedition” i Montana var det han oppdaget “Gresshoppe-breen” med millioner frossne dyr fra et fjell som siden ble kalt Mount Wilse. Han var også en av de første bestigere av Mount Rainier (14 400 fot) ved Seattle.
Men familien vokste og hjemlengslen med den. I 1900 brøt han for annen gang overtvert. Han vendte hjem for å skape seg en levevei som naturfotograf. På overraskende kort tid ble hans navn kjent både hjemme og ute. Men så skydde han heller ikke slit og savn. I de årene kunne fjellvandrere aldri være trygg for at ikke Anders Wilse dukket opp midt i brattlendet, svettende med et 10 kilos platekamera ovenpå ryggsekken og med stativ og kodak i hånden. Han kunne klyve opp til en utsikt dag etter dag eller ligge på lur i timesvis i styggvær for å vente på den riktige belysning. Han var ikke bare på farten når frukttrærne blomstret i Hardanger; han var også med på Lofotfiske, når Bergensbanen snedde igjen eller noe merkelig var på ferde. Han elsket vår natur i alle dens skiftninger. Hans bilder lærte andre å se skjønnheten, ikke bare i de stolte panoramaer, men også i den intime natur rett inn på oss. Når titusener av mennesker, som aldri har satt sin fot i vårt land, allikevel har et synsbilde av Norge, så har Wilse mer enn noen annen æren av det.
Han ble også en benyttet foredragsholder, både hjemme, i nabolandene og i U.S.A. Selv mente han at han hadde holdt 836 lysbildeforedrag - ofte uten honorar. En appelerte aldri forgjeves til Wilses gode hjerte.
Det er klart at Turistforeningen måtte utnytte en slik kraft. Hundrer av Wilse-bilder er spredt i våre års bøker og 15 foredrag har han holdt for oss. Det første var i 1909. Det siste var et vemodig tilbakeblikk i 1943: “Husker Du-”. Han deltok i vår propaganda, arbeidet for naturparker og la grunnen til vårt nåværende fotoarkiv. Da vårt råd ble opprettet i 1927, kom Wilse straks med og satt der like til 1945 da helsen ble skral. I 1932 takket vi ham med turistknappen i gull.
Men Anders Wilse var ikke bare en kraft som kunne utnyttes, han var også et menneske man måtte bli glad i. En ærlig sjel, en trofast venn, en glødende patriot. Det var alltid en glede å møte ham. De som ikke har gjort det, vil i hans to bøker «En emigrants ungdomserindringer» (1936) og «Norske landskap» (1943) få et uretusjert portrett av ham selv og en livlig kommentar til hans livsverk: en fedrelandssang i bilder.
Anders Beer Wilse Photography: Life of a Young Norwegian Pioneer En Emigrants Ungdomserindringer, Volume 1, Astri My Astri Publishing, 2015, www.astrimyastri.com
Knud Langeland (October 27, 1813 – February 8, 1888)
By Odd Sverre Lovoll, Professor Emeritus of History, St. Olaf College
“Langeland’s life and activities,” the newspaper Skandinaven observed in his 1888 obituary, “must be considered among the most meaningful of immigrated Norwegians.” Knud Langeland was born in the municipality of Samnanger east of the city of Bergen October 27, 1813 as the youngest of ten siblings, born to Knud Pedersen Langeland and Magdela Monsdatter Langeland. By all accounts, Langeland descended from a gifted family of farmers, his father being an enlightened and literate man. He died in 1827 when Knud was only thirteen years old.
Knud engaged in farm work to assist his mother, but as his biographers write, hungered for books and education. When the farm was sold after a few years, the young Knud was left to “seek his own fortune.” He suffered the social injustice of his day. He pursued his own education, learning German by comparing a German-language Bible with the Norwegian biblical translation. In Bergen he continued his studies under the guidance of a student; his efforts to extend his knowledge were ridiculed by members of his family. After passing examinations, he was appointed itinerant schoolteacher and precentor in a community close to his birthplace. Knud considered the memories from this time of his life among his most joyful.
In addition to his teaching during the winter months, he found employment as public vaccinator of children in summer. During these years, Knud spent nearly six months in England, acquiring skills that later eased his adjustment to American society. His decision to emigrate related to his failed business ventures after he in 1841 resigned from public teaching. He became smitten with the America fever, and emigrated from Bergen in spring 1843 on the brig Lucy Marie. Older siblings with their families, a brother, Mons Knudsen Aadland, born 1793, and a sister, Magdela Knudsdatter Langeland, born 1800, had embarked for America on the Ægir in April 1837, the first emigrant ship from Bergen. After having surmounted initial difficulties, they encouraged Knud to join them in America. It was indeed a pioneer venture.
Yorkville Prairie in Racine County, Wisconsin, became Langeland’s first home in America. His restless pursuit of knowledge and insight, moved him to participate in political party agitation and debates, and he already in 1844 joined a small, early group of abolitionists. It was again the bitter memories of social inequality and class distinction from his old homeland, as well as his strong sense of freedom, inspired by the poet Henrik Wergeland and an incipient Norwegian labor movement, that motivated his political engagement and protest against human slavery in the new land.
In 1845 Langeland settled on a claim in the southern part of Columbia County and is credited with being one of the four founders of the Norwegian Spring Grove settlement. He sold his claim and returned to his farm in Racine County the following year, where he gave his support to all initiatives that promoted the prosperity of the area. On April 10, 1849, he married the younger Anna Jensdatter Hatlestad (January 12, 1831 – July 16, 1908), who had emigrated from Skjold, crossing the Atlantic on board the Norden from Stavanger in May 1846 together with her brother Ole Jensen Hatlestad and parents Jens Olsen and Anne Olsdatter Hatlestad. The family they started in time numbered eight children.
Langeland described America as “the Land of Newspapers.” He himself became one of the striking figures in the history of the Norwegian American press. The desire for a separate Norwegian newspaper arose, Langeland wrote, among “the more enlightened emigrated Norwegian peasants.” During the 1840s Wisconsin became the main region of Norwegian settlement, at mid-century housing a Norwegian population of 9,467; Illinois, with a growing Norwegian urban colony in Chicago, had 2,067 Norwegians. In late fall 1849 Langeland together with his brother-in-law Ole Hatlestad purchased the weekly Nordlyset, which had been launched July 29, 1847 in the Muskego settlement to serve the Norwegian community, with a postal address at Norway, Racine County. They moved the newspaper to Racine and in June 1850 changed the name to Democraten and finally published it in Janesville. The last issue was dated in October 1851. Norwegian immigrants were not yet ready to support a Norwegian-language press. Politically the newspapers had affiliated with Free Soil Party’s policy of free public lands and intense antislavery stance.
In 1856 Langeland for a time edited the weekly Den Norske Amerikaner (The Norwegian American) in Madison, Wisconsin, but his strong antislavery stance made him resign when the paper gave its support to the Democratic presidential candidate James Buchanan. Langeland’s involvement in politics led to his election to the state assembly in 1860. Thereafter Langeland spent a number of years on his farm, content with having his opinion pieces printed in a newspaper like Emigranten, until he in 1866 was again induced to enter journalism, this time as editor of Skandinaven, launched in Chicago June 1 of that year. His editorship of Skandinaven from its start nearly continuously until 1881 gained him his greatest fame. He only parted company with Skandinaven for a few months in 1872 as co-publisher and editor of the weekly Amerika. It merged with Skandinaven and Langeland returned to its editorial office. It became an organ for the ordinary person and enjoyed a powerful position among Norwegian Americans; it for a time had the status of being the largest Norwegian-language newspaper, not only in America, but in the entire world.
Skandinaven was consistently Republican, and political candidates eagerly sought the newspaper’s support. Langeland encouraged his compatriots to join the party that was founded on the eternal truth of equality before the law for all citizens of the land without regard to religion, place of birth, or color of skin. In 1880 the Republicans recognized his services by nominating him for presidential elector, and, being elected, he cast his vote for James A. Garfield.
Langeland expressed a clear anticlerical position against the high-church Norwegian Synod, and during the Civil War years and later strongly objected to the Synod clergy’s teaching on slavery as being theologically justified – “not in and by itself a sin.” Langeland spoke for the laity in the Synod, which like Norwegian Americans in general abhorred slavery.
The low-church Eielsens Synod had early on made an antislavery resolution, and Skandinaven had great sympathy for the low-church movement and was thought of as its organ. Langeland entered into controversy with the Synod on a number of issues, and as long-time editor of the newspaper Decorah-Posten, Johannes Wist, wrote, his “ingrained ill-will toward Norwegian authority figures made him give special attention to Norwegian theologians in this country, who in his eyes represented the same mindset as the government officials in [his birthplace] Samnanger.”
His defense of the American public school system against the Norwegian Synod pastors, who saw it as an inherent threat to Lutheranism and the Norwegian language, caused a controversy well documented in Skandinaven’s columns. Langeland editorially challenged the Synod clergy; he emphasized that the common school encouraged democracy, indirectly taught religious tolerance, and promoted patriotism and love of freedom. His defense of the common school led to the distinction of having one of Chicago’s elementary schools named after him. In conclusion, historian Arlow Andersen’s assessment of Langeland is fitting: “He transcended what might have been an unfortunate immigrant provincialism and, in the process, retained that which was durable in his cultural and religious heritage.”
Knud Langeland died in his home in Milwaukee February 8, 1888, after a long illness, and is buried at Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee.
Knud Langeland (27. oktober 1813 – 8. februar 1888)
“Langelands Liv og Virksomhed”, bemerket avisen Skandinaven i hans nekrolog i 1888, “maa regnes blandt de mest betydningsfulde af indvandrede Nordmænds”. Knud Langeland var født i Samnanger kommune øst for Bergen 27. oktober 1813 som den yngste av Knud Pedersen Langeland og Magdela Monsdatter Langelands ti barn. Etter alt å dømme, kom Langeland fra en begavet bondeslekt; hans far var en opplyst og belest mann. Han døde i 1827 da Knud var bare 13 år gammel.
Knud Langeland drev gårdsarbeid for å hjelpe sin mor, men som hans biografer skriver, hungret han etter bøker og lærdom. Da gårdsbruket ble solgt etter noen få år, måtte den unge Knud “prøve Lykken paa egen Haand”. Han led under tidens sosiale urettferdighet. Han søkte utdannelse gjennom selvstudium, og han lærte seg tysk ved å sammenligne en tyskspråklig bibel med den norske bibeloversettelsen. I Bergen fortsatte han sine studier veiledet av en student; hans anstrengelser på å utvide sin kunnskap ble latterliggjort av noen av hans familiemedlemmer. Etter fullført ble han ansatt som omgangsskolelærer og klokker i en bygd nær hans hjemsted. Knud betraktet minnene fra denne tiden blant de lykkeligste i hans liv.
I tillegg til undervisning i vintermånedene, fikk han ansettelse som offentlig vaksinatør av barn om sommeren. I disse årene tilbrakte Knud nesten seks måneder i England og skaffet seg ferdigheter som lettet hans tilpasning til det amerikanske samfunnet. Hans avgjørelse om å utvandre er knyttet til hans feilslåtte forretningstiltak etter at han i 1841 sa opp sin lærerstilling. Han ble smittet av amerikafeberen og utvandret fra Bergen våren 1843 på utvandrerskipet Lucy Marie. Eldre søsken sammen med deres familier, en bror, Mons Knudsen Aadland, født 1793, og en søster, Magdela Knudsdatter Langeland, født 1800, hadde innskipet seg for overfarten til Amerika på Ægir i april 1837, det første utvandrerskipet fra Bergen. Etter at de hadde overvunnet de første vanskelighetene, rådet de Knud til å komme til Amerika. Det var sannelig et dristig pionérforetak.
Yorkville Prairie i Racine county, Wisconsin, ble Langelands første hjem i Amerika. Hans rastløse streben etter kunnskap og opplysning beveget ham til å delta i politisk agitasjon og debatt, og så tidlig som 1844 sluttet han seg til en liten og tidlig abolisjonistgruppe. Det var de bitre minner fra den sosiale urettferd og klasseforskjell fra gamlelandet, i tillegg til hans sterke frihetsfølelse, inspirert av dikteren Henrik Wergeland og den gryende norske arbeiderbevegelse, som motiverte hans politiske engasjement og protest mot menneskeslaveri i det nye landet.
I 1845 slo Langeland ned på et claim - nybyggerbruk - i den sørlige del av Columbia county og ble ansett som en av de fire grunnleggerne av det norske Spring Grove settlementet. Han solgte bruket året etter og flyttet tilbake til sin farm i Racine county, hvor han støttet alle tiltak som fremmet velstanden i området. 10. april 1849 ekteviet han den yngre Anna Jensdatter Hatlestad (12. januar 1831 – 16. juli 1908), som utvandret fra Skjold og krysset Atlantern ombord på Norden fra Stavanger i 1846 sammen med en yngre bror Ole Jensen Hatlestad og sine foreldre Jens Olsen og Anne Olsdatter Hatlestad. Deres familie talte med tiden åtte barn.
Langeland beskrev Amerika som “Avisernes Land”. Han selv ble en av de framstående skikkelser i historien til den norskamerikanske presse. Ønsket om en egen norskamerikansk avis ble til, skrev Langeland, blant “de mere oplyste af de udvandrede norske Bønder”. I 1840-årene ble Wisconsin hovedområdet for norsk settlement. I 1850 huset staten en norsk befolkning på 9 467; Illinois, med en voksende norsk urban koloni i Chicago, hadde 2 067 nordmenn. Senhøstes 1849 kjøpte Langeland sammen med sin svoger Ole Hatlestad ukebladet Nordlyset, som var blitt lansert 29. juli 1847 i Muskego-settlementet for å stå til tjeneste for det norske samfunnet, med postaladresse i Norway, Racine county. De flyttet avisen til Racine og i juni 1850 forandret navnet til Democraten og til slutt ga den ut i Janesville. Det siste nummer er datert i oktober 1851. Norske innvandrere var ikke enda rede til å gi sin støtte til en norskamerikansk presse. Politisk hadde avisen sluttet seg til free soil-partiets politiske program om fritt offentlig land og intense antislaveristandpunkt.
I 1856 redigerte Langeland en tid ukebladet Den Norske Amerikaner i Madison, Wisconsin, men hans sterke antislaveristandpunkt overbeviste ham om å trekke seg fra stillingen da avisen ga sin støtte til den demokratiske presidentkandidaten James Buchanan. Langelands deltakelse i politikk førte til hans valg til statens lovgivende forsamling i 1860. Etter den tid oppholdt han seg en del år på sin farm, og nøyde seg med innlegg i en avis som Emigranten, til han i 1866 ble overtalt til å vende tilbake til journalistikk, denne gang som redaktør i Skandinaven, lansert i Chicago 1. juni det året. Hans redaktørstilling i Skandinaven fra dens begynnelse nesten kontinuerlig fram til 1881 skaffet ham hans største berømmelse. Han skilte lag med Skandinaven bare noen få måneder i 1872 som medeier og redaktør i ukebladet Amerika. Det fusjonerte med Skandinaven og Langeland returnerte til redaktørkontoret. Skandinaven ble en avis for den vanlige person og hadde en sterk posisjon blant norskamerikanere; i en tid hadde den status som den største norskspråklige avis, ikke bare i Amerika, men i hele verden.
Skandinaven var konsekvent republikansk og politiske kandidater søkte ivrig avisens støtte. Langeland oppfordret sine landsmenn til å slutte seg til partiet som var grunnet på den evige sanning om likhet under loven for alle borgere i landet uten hensyn til religiøs tro, fødested eller hudfarge. I 1880 anerkjente republikanerne hans tjenester og nominerte ham til president-valgmann, og, da han ble valgt, ga han sin stemme til James A. Garfield.
Langeland ga uttrykk for en tydelig antiklerikal innstilling mot den høykirkelige Norske Synode, og under borgerkrigen og senere protesterte han mot Synodepresteskapets lære om at slaveri var teologisk berettiget – “ikke en Synd i og for sig”. Langeland talte for legfolk i Synoden, som i likhet med norskammerikanere flest avskydde slaveri.
Den lavkirkelige Eielsens synode hadde tidlig vedtatt en resolusjon mot slaveri, og Skandinaven hadde stor sympati for den lavkirkelige bevegelsen og ble betraktet som dens organ. Langeland engasjerte seg i kontrovers med Synoden i et antall saker, og som langtidsredaktør i Decorah-Posten, Johannes Wist, skrev “at han med sin indgrodde uvilje mot norske øvrighetspersoner særlig la sin elsk paa de norske teologer herover, der i hans øine representerte samme aandsretning som embedsmændene i [hans fødested] Samnanger”.
Hans forsvar av det amerikanske offentlige slolestellet mot Den norske Synodes prester, som betraktet det som en inherent trussel mot den lutherske tro og det norske språk, førte til en kontrovers som er godt dokumentert i Skandinavens spalter. Langeland utfordret Synodepresteskapet redaksjonelt; han framhevet at common school ansporet demokrati, indirekte lærte religiøs toleranse og fremmet patriotisme og kjærlighet til frihet. Hans forsvar av common school førte til hedersbevisningen å få en av Chicagos grunnskoler oppkalt etter seg. Som konklusjon er historiker Arlow Andersens bedømmelse passende: “Han transcenderte det som kunne ha blitt en uheldig innvandrerprovinsialisme og i denne prosessen beholdt det som var varig i hans kulturelle og religiøse arv”.
Knud Langeland døde i sitt hjem i Milwaukee 8. februar 1888 etter en lang sykdom og er bisatt på gravplassen Forest Home Cemetery i Milwaukee.
Arlow W. Andersen, “Knud Langeland: Pioneer Editor,” in Norwegian-American Studies and Records (Northfield, MN, 1944), 122-38; Arlow W. Andersen, The Immigrant Takes His Stand: The Norwegian-American Press, 1847-1872 (Northfield, MN, 1953); Arlow W. Andersen, Rough Road to Glory: The Norwegian-American Press Speaks Out on Public Affairs, 1875 to 1925 (Philadelphia, 1990); Leola Nelson Bergmann, Americans from Norway (Philadelphia, 1950); George T. Flom, A History of Norwegian Immigration to the United States (Iowa City, IA, 1909); Jean Skogerboe Hansen, “A History of the John Anderson Publishing Company of Chicago, Illinois” (Master’s thesis, University of Chicago, 1972); Knud Langeland, Nordmændene i Amerika. Nogle Optegnelser om Den Norske Udvandring til Amerika (Chicago, 1888); Odd S. Lovoll, Norwegian Newspapers in America: Connecting Norway and the New Land (St. Paul, MN, 2010); O. N. Nelson, comp. and ed., History of the Scandinavians and Successful Scandinavians in the United States (Minneapolis, 1900); Johannes B. Wist, Norsk-Amerikanernes Festskrift 1914 (Decorah, IA, 1914); Emigranten, October 24, 1859, October 7, 1861; Norden, August 16, 1882; Skandinaven, January 18, February 1, 15, 1888.
Norwegians in America, Some Records of the Norwegian Emigration to America: A transcribed and translated version of the 1888 Nordmændene i Amerika, Nogle Optegnelser om De Norskes Udvandring til Amerika
Written by Knud Langeland, Astri My Astri Publishing, 2012, www.astrimyastri.com
Peter Christen Asbjørnsen (1812 — 1885)
Peter Christen Asbjørnsen was born on 15th January 1812 in Christiania [present day Oslo], where his father was a glazier. School studies addressed him less than [Sir] Walter Scott and the outdoor life in the city’s environs and in 1827 he was sent north to Ringerike for private tuition to prepare him for the Examen Artium [entrance examination to university]; there he befriended his co-worker to be, the similarly aged, Jørgen Moe. In 1833 he became a [university] student, but was immediately compelled to take up a position as a tutor. When he four years later came back to Christiania, he began medicinal studies and threw himself with ardor into Natural History; especially awaking his interest in Zoology, which he not only dealt with in several writings and dissertations, but also enriched with the discovery of new species. Later he turned himself to more practical areas. From 1856-1858 he studied through a public scholarship, forestry, in Germany. After his homecoming he was appointed to district forestry superintendent in the counties around Trondheim, and in 1864, after a new travel grant, amongst others, to Denmark and Holland, he was appointed as head of the State Peat Operations. In this position he remained, until he in 1876 resigned. A long series of writings of forestry, peat operation and other national economic topics arising from this time frame, including a cookbook Fornuftig madstel — 1864], which gave rise to a lengthy [1864-1867] polemic of the so-called Grødkrig [Porridge War].
What gives Asbjørnsen his major significance for Norway’s intellectual life, is his work in the service of traditional poetry. Already the same year he became a [university] student, he began slowly to record folktales and legends, and in 1842, in conjunction with Jørgen Moe. He published the first booklet of “Norske Folke-Eventyr [Norwegian Folktales], collected and told by P. Chr. Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe”. This collection which has been published in many issues, assimilates as a continuation of “Norske Folke-Eventyr, told by P. Chr. Asbjørnsen. New Collection. With Contribution from Jørgen Moe’s Travels and Records”, 1871 and 1876. — As well as adventure, Asbjørnsen also collected folktales, which he released in a setting of fresh fragrant nature and tales of folk life, “Norske Huldre-Eventyr og Folkesagn”, 1845—1848. Asbjørnsen died in Christiania 6th January 1885.
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Peter Christen Asbjørnsen er født 15. Januar 1812 i Christiania, hvor hans Fader var Glasmester. Skolestudierne tiltalte ham mindre end Walter Scott og Friluftslivet i Byens Omegn, og i 1827 blev han sendt op til Ringerike for under privat Tilsyn at forberedes til Artium; der lærte han sin senere Ven og Medarbeider, den omtrent jævnaldrende Jørgen Moe, at kjende. Student blev han i 1833, men var nødt til strax at tage ud som Huslærer. Da han fire Aar efter kom tilbage til Christiania, begyndte han paa det medicinske Studium og kastede sig med Iver over Naturhistorie; især vaktes hans Interesse af Zoologien, som han ikke alene behandlede i flere Skrifter og Afhandlinger, men ogsaa berigede ved Opdagelsen af nye Dyreformer. Senere vendte han sig mod praktiske Omraader. Fra 1856-1858 studerede han med offentligt Stipendium Forstvidenskab i Tyskland. Efter sin Hjemkomst blev han udnævnt til Forstmester i de trondhjemske Amter, og i 1864, efter en ny Stipendiereise, bl. a. i Danmark og Holland, ansattes han som Leder af Statens Torvdrift. I denne Stilling blev han staaende, indtil han i 1876 tog sin Afsked. En lang Række Skrifter om Skovbrug, Torvdrift og andre nationaløkonomiske Emner hidrører fra denne Tid, deriblandt en Kogebog, der gav Anledning til en langvarig Avisfeide, den saakalde »Grødkrig«.
Det, der giver Asbjørnsen hans væsentlige Betydning for Norges Aandsliv, er hans Arbejde i Folkedigtningens Tjeneste. Allerede samme Aar, han blev Student, begyndte han saa smaat at optegne Eventry og Sagn, og i 1842 kunde han sammen med Jørgen Moe udsende det første Hefte af »Norske Folke-Eventyr, samlede og fortalte af P. Chr. Asbjørnsen og Jørgen Moe«. Til denne Samling, der er udgaaet i mange Oplag, slutter sig som Fortsættelse »Norske Folke-Eventyr, fortalte af P. Chr. Asbjørnsen. Ny Samling. Med Bidrag fra Jørgen Moes Reiser og Optegnelser«, 1871 og 1876. — Ved Siden af Eventyr samlede Asbjørnsen ogsaa Folkesagn, som han gjengav i en Ramme af friske duftende Natur- og Folkelivsskildringer, »Norske Huldre-Eventyr og Folkesagn«, 1845—1848. Asbjørnsen døde i Christiania 6. Januar 1885.
Jørgen Moe (1813 — 1882)
Jørgen Moe is the son of a farmer from the farm Moe in Hole Parish, Ringerike, where he was born, 22nd April 1813. His father decided on his studies early, and from fall of 1826 he received private tuition in the Artium subjects [university entrance subjects] in his home town. After 1830, having become a [university] student, he was for a long time extensively occupied with esthetic and belletristic literature, but after some hesitancy decided on theology studies, and graduated in 1839. Already during his study years he had to make a living by giving tuition; from this time forth he was a teacher at various schools and for two years was a private tutor at ironworks owner, Jakob Aall at Næs, until he in 1845, was appointed as a teacher at the Royal Norwegian Military Academy, where he taught for eight years. At the same time he was for some years a research fellow at the university, in Norwegian Folk Traditions. In 1853 he began ecclesiastical work, first as chaplain in Krødsherred, later as a vicar in Drammen, and finally in Vestre Aker near Christiania. From there he received in 1875, the calling for bishop in Christiansand, where he died on 27th March 1882.
Moe debuted in 1834 with a polemicist poem against Henrik Wergeland’s Critique of Oehlenschläger’s Poetry. However, his first poem was only published in 1849. Two years later followed his children’s tales I Brønden og i Tjernet [In the well and in the tarn], and in 1855 a collection of religious poetry.
His influence on Norwegian literature, Moe in a fashion, blames Asbjørnsen, especially the classical rendering of folktales. The primary foundation to his collections he made in 1834, and three years later he joined Asbjørnsen for retelling and publishing of both their works. For the second release of the tales (1851) Moe wrote an introduction, which among other things explains the character types in these folk fantasies’ emergence. Also he published the first small collection of Norwegian folk songs and rhymes (1840), and recorded a considerable number of old ballads, of which a number are published in Sophus Bugge’s and Svend Grudtvig’s song collections.
• • • • •
Jørgen Moe er en Bondesøn fra Gaarden Moe i Hole Sogn paa Ringerike hvor han blev født 22. April 1813. Hans Fader bestemte ham tidlig for Studierne, og fra Høsten 1826 fik han privat Undervisning i Artiumsfagene i sin Hjembygd. Efter i 1830 at være bleven Student var han i længere Tid stærkt optagen af Æsthetik og Skjønlitteratur, men valgte efter nogen Vaklen Theologi til Studium, og blev i 1839 Kandidat. Allerede under Studieaarene havde han maattet skaffe sig sit Livsophold ved at give Undervisning; fra nu af var han Lærer ved forskjellige Skoler og i to Aar Huslærer hos Jernværkseier Jakob Aall paa Næs, indtil han i 1845 blev ansat som Lærer ved den kgl. norske Krigsskole, hvor han virkede i otte Aar. Samtidig var han et Par Aar Adjunktstipendiat ved Universitetet i norsk Folketradition. I 1853 gik han over i geistlig Virksomhed, først som residerende Kapellan i Krødsherred, senere som Sognepræst i Drammen, og tilslut i Vestre Aker ved Christiania. Derfra blev han i 1875 kaldet til Biskop i Christiansand, hvor han døde 27. Marts 1882.
Moe debuterede 1834 med et polemist Digt mod Henrik Wergelands Kritik over Oehlenschlägers Digtning. Hans første »Digte« udkom dog først 1849. To Aar efter fulgte hans Barnefortællinger »I Brønden og i Tjernet«, og i 1855 en Samling religiøse Digte.
Sin Betydning for den norske Litteratur skylder Moe, ligesom Asbjørnsen, især den klassiske Gjengivelse af Folke-Eventyrene. Den første Grund til sine Samlinger lagde han i 1834, og tre Aar senere forenede han sig med Asbjørnsen til Gjenfortælling og Udgivelse af begges Optegnelser. Til den 2den Udgave af Eventyrene (1851) skrev Moe en Indledning, der bl. a. gjør Rede for Karaktertyperne i disse Folkefantasiens Frembringelser. Ligessa udgav han den første lille Samling af norske Folkeviser og Stev (1840), og optegnede et betydeligt Antal gamle Viser, hvoraf en Del er udgivne i Sophus Bugges og Svend Grudtvigs Visesamlinger.
[Asbjørnsen og Moe — Kilde/Source: P. Chr. Asbjørnsen, Norske Folke- og Huldre-Eventyr i Udvalg, Glydendalske Boghandels Forlag, Kjøbenhavn, 1896.]
[Norwegian Folk Tales, Fairy Tales and Trolls: Tuss og Troll, 2-Volume-Set
From the collection of Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe as well as others, Astri My Astri Publishing, 2012 and 2013] www.astrimyastri.com