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 Arnafjord, 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
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
"How" and "Why" Martin Ulvestad published the 100-year-old genealogy books: Norwegians in America, their History and Record [Nordmændene i Amerika, deres Historie og Rekord] years 1825-1913
Written and presented by Deb Nelson Gourley, Astri My Astri Publishing, at NAHA-Norge, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa
Translated into English by Odd-Steinar Dybvad Raneng
Transcribed from Dano-Norwegian Gothic script by Benjamin Keith Huntrods
Now available as a 3-volume-set in ENGLISH at www.astrimyastri.com
Several forewords, prefaces and leaflets, written and signed by Martin Ulvestad, were discovered during the process of both transcribing from Dano-Norwegian Gothic script and translating into English his 1907 and 1913 books [covers years 1825-1913]. These enormous books containing nearly 1,400 pages were written in a unique Gothic script called 1883 Fraktur, which is a form of blackletter font. In Ulvestad’s own words, he describes “How” he compiled the Norwegian-American pioneer data by sending out 163,000 small books and pamphlets along with 450,000 circulars and forms to the early immigrants and their families. By Ulvestad compiling a series of personal information, he explained “Why” divulging personal records would strengthen the Norwegian-American immigrant history.
Martin Ulvestad published the following 1907 (two sizes) and 1913 books that are now republished by Astri My Astri Publishing as a 3-volume series:
The following text written by Martin Ulvestad was transcribed from the Gothic script, translated into English and is now presented in a bilingual English-Norwegian format in order to more fully explain “How” and “Why” Ulvestad published the 1907 and 1913 books. The source material was gathered from seven different sites:
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?
Have we done everything, we could, to regain Mother Norway’s love, which was partially lost through contempt, because we left her and traveled to a land, which she had heard so many bad things about, who she harbored prejudice against or where she thought that we in a way, had wasted our potential? Has she been told about, what her children have done and achieved over here, so that there could be mutual esteem — and interaction with common comfort and advantage? (Conjectures, gossip — and bragging from certain quarters — has only been damaging.)
Do we have the necessary understanding about ourselves? — An acquaintance from which, we could come to understand our own power and how we could build upon it? —
Would not it be both justified and important for us, to link Norway’s history to North America’s? Would it not be good to note the fact that this land was first discovered by the Norwegians, and that the Norwegians later took a prominent part in its clearing and development?
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.
However, here I will hurry to make the remark that I have not given us Norwegians, credit for more than, what the Americans have given us credit for. — (That which they have spontaneously awarded us, which is otherwise based on facts, we may well accept and preserve for our children without taking action against our sense of modesty and without making any infraction of etiquette.) In this context, I would also like to be allowed to call attention to that. When I seldom have pointed out our shortcomings, for example, causing disagreements, our mutual partiality, etc. that it is not because I wanted to overshadow those things (shortcomings), but because it would hardly be appropriate to draw them out into other connections than what is done here.
To judge the book is, of course, not my place. Instead, I mention the expenses that have been associated with the work; for this is surely not inappropriate — and is for me unfortunately, a necessity.
To arouse interest in this matter and to find those who wanted to help me, with further details, I have sent out 163,000 smaller books and pamphlets, which included the results of my first “collection” work in this area; over the last six years I have also sent out approximately 450,000 circulars and forms. A number of these printed materials have obviously been wasted; but they have cost me thousands of dollars, which one must probably acknowledge. Paper, printing, postage, etc., require large sums, of course, when it is on such a large scale. My many travels have also cost a great deal. In addition, when there was no support from the state or any business, all the charges fell on me alone — with the consequence, that I now have a considerable debt.
Those, who have tried it, know that when there are no writings or records to go to, it is associated with numerous difficulties and expenses, even if it is just one county or settlement, you wish to provide historical and statistical information about — and here there were more than 500 counties, as well as Canada. I cherish the hope, however, that our people will buy the book (if it deserves it) and thus remove the debt.
Moreover, since I now have health concerns, I put my humble pen completely away. I say thank you to the party leaders and newspapermen, who by putting up barriers along the way, have motivated my efforts. However, a more heartfelt thank you to those of my countrymen and the newspapers, who sympathetically helped me to complete this impartial labor — yes, again I will say thank you, to them. At the same time, I hope that those who thought I was too aggressive will excuse me, as the kind of information about the Norwegian-American people that was most needed, would not be procured without aggressiveness.
Minneapolis, Minn., in December, 1906, Sincerely, Martin Ulvestad.
Har vi — Nutidens Nordmænd i Amerika — vidst og forstaaet, hvad vore Foregangsmænd her gjorde for os? Har vi nogensinde vist dem, at vi satte tilbørlig Pris paa deres Kampe, Lidelser og Savn? — som blev os til Gavn. Har vi sørget for, at deres Minde skulde kunne leve iblandt os og vore Efterkommere?
Har vi gjort alt, vi kunde, for at gjenvinde Mor Norges Kjærlighed, som delvis gik tabt gjennem Ringeagt, idet at vi forlod hende og reiste til et Land, som hun havde hørt saa meget galt om, som hun nærede Fordom imod og hvor hun troede, at vi paa en Maade kastede os bort? Har hun faaet Besked om, hvad hendes Børn har udrettet og opnaaet herover, saa at der kunde blive Tale om gjensidig Agtelse — og Samvirken til fælles Hygge og Fordel? (Gisninger, løst Snak — og Skryt fra visse Hold — har været bare til Skade).
Har vi skaffet os selv det nødvendige Kjendskab til os selv? — et Kjendskab, hvorved vi kunde bli os vor egen Magt bevidst og hvorpaa vi kunde bygge? —
Vilde det ikke være baade berettiget og af Betydning for os, at knytte Norges Historie til Nord-Amerikas? Vilde det ikke være vel at konstatere det Faktum, at dette Land blev først opdaget af Nordmænd, og at Nordmændene senere har taget en fremtrædende Del i dets Rydning og Udvikling? —
Det var disse og lignende Spørgsmaal og Tanker, som i sin Tid gjorde sig gjældende hos mig og som gav Stødet til det Arbeide, hvis endelige Resultat man nu finder i nærværende Bog.
Men her skynder jeg mig at gjøre den Bemærkning, at jeg ikke har git os Nordmænd Kredit for mere end, hvad Amerikanerne har git os Kredit for. — (Det, som de uopfordret har tilkjendt os og som ellers er baseret paa Fakta, kan vi vel modtage og bevare for vore Børn uden at handle imod vor Beskedenhedsfølelse og uden at gjøre Brud paa nogen Etiquette). I denne Forbindelse vil jeg ogsaa faa Lov til at gjøre opmærksom paa, at naar jeg kun sjelden har paapeget vore Mangler, for Exempel vor Splittelsessyge, vor indbyrdes Partiskhed, osv., saa er det ikke, fordi at jeg vilde overskygge disse Ting (Manglerne), men fordi at det neppe vilde være paa sin Plads, at drage dem frem i andre Forbindelser end som her er gjort.
At bedømme Bogen tilkommer naturligvis ikke mig. Derimod skal jeg nævne de Udgifter, som har været forbundne med Arbeidet; thi det er vel ikke upassende — og saa er det mig desværre en Nødvendighed.
For at vække Interesse for Sagen og for at finde saadanne, som vilde være mig behjælpelig med videre Oplysninger, har jeg sendt ud 163,000 mindre Bøger og Pamfletter, som omfattede Resultatet af min første Samlervirksomhed paa dette Omraade; i Løbet af de sidste seks Aar har jeg ogsaa sendt ud ca. 450,000 Brev-Cirkulærer og Skemaer. En Mængde af disse Tryksager har selvfølgelig gaaet spildt; men de har dog kostet mig Tusener af Dollars, hvilket man nok vil indrømme. Papir, Trykning, Postporto, o. s. v., kræver jo store Summer, hvor det gjælder saa store Partier. Mine mange Reiser har ligeledes kostet en hel Del. Og naar der da ikke kunde blive Tale om Statsbidrag eller Støtte fra nogen Forening, faldt altsaa alle Omkostninger paa mig alene — med den Følge, at jeg er kommen i en betydelig Gjæld.
De, som har prøvet det, ved, at naar der er hverken Kildeskrifter eller Rekorder at ty til, saa er det forbundet med adskillige Vanskeligheder og Udgifter, selv om det er bare et enkelt County eller Settlement, man skal give historiske og statistiske Oplysninger fra, — og her gjaldt det mere end 500 Countier og Canada ved Siden af. Jeg nærer imidlertid det Haab, at vort Folk vil kjøbe Bogen (hvis den fortjener det) og derved afkaste Gjælden.
Og idet jeg nu af Helbredshensyn lægger min beskedne Pen helt tilside, siger jeg Tak til de Partiledere og Avismænd, som ved at stille mig Hindringer iveien har stimuleret mine Kræfter, men en mere dybtfølt Tak til dem af mine Landsmænd og de Blade, som paa en velvillig Maade hjalp mig til at fuldføre dette upartiske Arbeide, — ja, atter Tak til dem. Samtidig udtaler jeg det Haab, at de, som syntes, at jeg var altfor paagaaende, vil undskylde mig; thi den Slags Oplysninger om det norsk-amerikanske Folk, som mest trængtes, vilde ikke kunne faaes uden Paagaaenhed.
Minneapolis, Minn., i December, 1906, Forbindtligst, Martin Ulvestad.
In this connection, I will take the liberty of telling a true anecdote about myself. It goes so:
Naturally people became weary of Martin Ulvestad (me) and the consequence was often that they refused to take my questionnaires out of the post office; they let them be sent back to Minneapolis where I lived. Then I had the clever idea of changing the name. On the envelope, I printed for example, Publisher of Statistics, Publisher of Norway etc. In addition, when I could not come up with more names that suited, I sent the letters without a name — that is, no name or return address. Just the same, it happened that they did not wish to accept them, since from the postmark they saw that they came from Minneapolis — and from me obviously. Then I moved to Oregon.
And — while I have been busy with the work — and always felt pressed with its associated costs, the advocates for Det norske Selskab (The Norwegian Society) has been busy telling (through newspapers) that they will publish a similar work.** And people who have believed and waited for them have naturally found it superfluous to support me.
** We will note that I have had a couple of personal enemies in this Society, and that it was they, who in this manner sought an opportunity to injure me. Moreover, in this way they also had the chance to advertise themselves. The society itself is without fault. However, should these men actually decide to publish a similar book then perhaps this one (now finished) will be of help? Perhaps they will restrain themselves from using my work since I (unfortunately) do not possess what can be called a higher education. It is in any case, the only defense I can think of in this case, but may possibly not be relied upon. These advocates (not the Society) are of the sort to take the fruits of the toil and drudgery of others.
However, in as much as one works for a good cause and has sufficient faith in it, one will be in a position to continue. Instead of complaining, I will give thanks. All that is significant about the Norwegian-American people I have now managed to scrape together — been given information about. The finances will also straighten themselves out.—Author.
I denne Forbindelse skal jeg faa Lov til at meddele en sandfærdig „Anekdote” om mig selv. Den lyder saaledes:
Folk blev naturligvis trætte af Martin Ulvestad (mig), og Følgen heraf blev da ofte den, at de nægtede at tage mine Spørgebreve ud af Posthuset; de lod dem uden videre bli sendt tilbage til Minneapolis, Minn., hvor jeg boede. Men saa fik jeg det smukke Indfald at forandre Navn. Paa Konvoluttens Hjørne trykte jeg for Ex. „Publisher of Statistics”, „Publisher of Norway”, o. s. v. Og naar jeg ikke længere fandt noget Navn, som passede, lod jeg Brevene gaa uden Tryk paa Udsiden — altsaa uden Navn og Returadresse. Og alligevel hændte det, at man ikke vilde modtage dem; thi af Poststemplet saa man, at de kom fra Minneapolis — og fra mig selvfølgelig! Men da flyttede jeg til Oregon. —
Og, — mens jeg har havt det travlt med Arbeidet — og altid følt Trykket af de dermed forbundne Omkostninger, har „Det norske Selskab’s Talsmænd havt det travlt med at fortælle (gjennem Aviserne), at de vil (de) udføre et lignende Arbeide.**) Og Folk, som har troet og ventet paa dem, har naturligvis fundet det overflødigt at støtte mig.
**) Det bør bemærkes, at jeg har havt et Par personlige Fiender i nævnte Selskab, og at det var de, som paa denne Maade søgte Anledning til at skade mig; derved fik de da ogsaa Anledning til at avertere sig selv. Selskabet som et Hele er altsaa uden Skyld. Men skulde disse Mænd virkelig bestemme sig til at udgive en lignende Bog, saa vil maaske denne (som nu ligger færdig), være dem til Hjælp? Eller kanske de vil holde sig for gode (?) til at benytte mit Arbeide, da jeg (desværre) ikke er i Besiddelse af noget, som kan kaldes Skoleuddannelse. Det er ialfald den eneste Beskyttelse, jeg kan tænke mig i dette Tilfælde, og den er heller ikke til at stole paa. Disse „Talsmænd” (ikke Selskabet) tilhører netop den Klasse, som pleier at tage Frugten af andres Slid og Slæb.
Men saasandt man arbeider for en god Sag og har tilstrækkelig Tro paa den, blir man ogsaa istand til at holde ud. Istedetfor at klage vil jeg takke. Alt, som er af Vigtighed at oplyse om det norskamerikanske Folk, har jeg nu faaet skrabet sammen — faaet Oplysning om. Finanserne vil vel ogsaa rette paa sig. Forf.
Preface (Part 2)
Here I will allow myself to mention some of the things I have kept in mind during the collection and sorting of material for this portion of the book.
Now finally, I must agree with myself that Compilation of Norwegian Communities in America will make it possible for these communities to find each other. And also I had hoped that it would be a means by which even more Norwegians who have spread beyond North America’s plains to come to light so that their own should reach them. (Any of those who are mentioned here can in all likelihood give information on someone who is not mentioned, and if one then collects everyone’s knowledge on this, then it can amount to much knowledge; in this way it will be possible to receive news on anybody).
Aye — I had hoped that this compilation will help many a dear son or brother, relation or friend that one has lost track of to be found again, —
That it will build a bridge — not just only between us Norwegian-Americans, but also between us and our brethren beyond the Atlantic, —
That it will form the foundation for a society whereby our common interests can be taken care of, —
That it will give the readers an idea of what strength (in the spiritual as well as the physical sense) that the respective places and regions of Norway has bestowed upon America, —
And that it will preserve for history and for the future generations all these Norwegian names: personal names and names of towns, villages and larger regions there at home, but especially those names that Norwegians have endowed upon American soil and which one finds time and time again in the form of addresses — cities and post offices.
But my most important motive for this compilation was that we could form groups from the communities. There is certainly not anything that can bind us together and encourage us more to take care of memories of the home and on things that are in connection with or emanates from that, than if we, if cradles stood side by side and were to later share life’s joys and hardships, could now once again come together or at least exchange letters and writings. Of such factions, or whatever we would call them, I of course also thought we could create a common group — a Norwegian society in America. And further: I thought that with the unified thinking [of this group] this would urge things on, thereby one would know what the Norwegian people had accomplished and which creditable positions many of our communities and countrymen of old had reached here in America. If there is nothing one can point at, — nothing one can look up to and be enthusiastic about, — it will then go bad with the unified thinking as well.
It was therefore this that I had set my mind to when I began my collection. And therefore it has pleased me to see that some of those who throughout the years I had bombarded with circulars and pamphlets have begun to create Norwegian societies and other groups of the above-mentioned nature. But we needed material as said, and it is that which is now at hand, — I hope. (In this connection I shall call attention to the fact that the two advocates for the Norwegian Society I spoke of earlier in the book [Vol. I, page 198, 2010 edition] who had made an effort to damage my work, and now that the rumors have almost outplayed their roles also as advocates, — I therefore entertain the best hopes and best wishes for the society’s future).
In this compilation of communities I could obviously not list others than those whose hometowns I knew. It would however have been dear to me to mention many more of our countrymen whose whereabouts, business and so forth I received information about and which the foregoing statistics are built.
In comparison to the book’s first part [Vol. I, 2010 edition] where I had permanent correspondents with laid-out territories, and which therefore became as complete as it (of its type) was possible to get it, this (second) part must almost be considered as a work of leisure, — even though it has not been without problems and expenses.
Respectfully, The compiler.
Here again in the second part, I have tried to organize things so that it should take up a minimum of space. Explanations that otherwise might occur in connection with the different names or at the bottom of every page [footnotes* that were moved by the translator to be closer to the name or places concerned], I have actually now arranged so that one will find them all at once, so please take note so that the whole method will be correctly understood:
All these communities exist, (or more correctly said, existed at the time the reports for this work was submitted), unless otherwise annotated. And the vast majority were born in Norway, while a few were born here in America of parents whose places or towns there at home have been given in the book.
Places of birth are therefore organized alphabetically; but also the person’s names are listed alphabetically below, so that one can quicker find the person or persons sought. However, there are (in regards to personal names) exceptions to this rule. In places where I knew that a person belongs to the one and same family, I have placed them together even though the names are different, for example: Gullick Pedersen (father) and Anders Gullicksen (son) [explanation of paternal naming system in Norway, Vol. I page 8, 2010 edition]. One will also note that the one and same name is often written differently (by the different bearer [owner]) for example: Grov, Grove, Groven; Dale, Dahle, Dahley and so forth. The Norwegian farm name I have added whenever it was known to me. Unfortunately it is not always that one uses it here in America.
When one or another town in Norway is given as ones place of birth, it is not always the town itself that is meant, but the town’s immediate vicinity.
As far as rural districts are concerned it has been rather difficult to pinpoint the exact place. I had of course to list the place of birth that they themselves — or the correspondents — gave to the best of their ability. But some gave the farm or the town name, whilst others gave the parish or the name of the county. Therefore it will be necessary for the reader to search the different places (within the one and same area). If a person from Søndmøre for example wants to have information of all the people from his community that are here listed, then it is not enough for him to search under Søndmøre; he must also search under Aalesund, Borgund, Gursko, Herø, Hjørundfjord, Nordalen, Søkelven, Søvden, Ulfsten, Vanelven, Vigerøen, Volden, Ørskaug, Ørsten and other places that he knows are in Søndmøre. And accordingly for all the other places in Norway as well. In this way one will get the projected as well as the maximum result from this here, collected personal information. (The reason for this part of the book you will find explained on the previous page [Preface]).
A number of the here listed Norwegians have had town positions; but the office itself I have not mentioned except for in certain special cases. It seemed to me to be more important to mention the person’s main occupation (life’s occupation). Therefore I have listed other (higher) and paying positions after the names of those who now have or have had posts of that type. On the latter one will find a more detailed report in a separate section earlier in the book [Norwegians in public positions in America]. And about the soldiers one will find further information on in the section Norwegians in American Wars.
The term “f. s.” is used where the person was the first or one of the first settlers in his or her town or neighborhood. But those who turned out to be the very first in their respective counties, one will find as we know, in the settlement’s history earlier in the book [Vol. I, 2010 edition] and not here. Most of the pioneers now rest below the turf. Honor is to their memory! — M. U.
Forord (til 2den Del)
Her skal jeg tillade mig at nævne nogle af de Ting, som jeg har havt for Øie under Indsamlingen og Ordningen af Materialet for den nærværende Del af Bogen.
Jeg blev nu for det første enig med mig selv om, at en „Sammenstilling af norske Sambygdinger i Amerika” vil kunne gjøre det muligt for disse „Sambygdinger” at finde hverandre. Og saa har jeg haabet, at den vil blive et Middel til at endnu flere af de Nordmænd, der har spredt sig udover Nord-Amerikas Vidder, kan komme for Lyset, saaledes at deres egne skal kunne naa dem. (Enhver af dem, som her er nævnt, kan sandsynligvis give Besked om nogen, som ikke er nævnt, og hvis man saa lægger alles Kundskab paa dette Omraade sammen, kan det bli noksaa meget; paa denne Maade vil man eventuelt kunne faa Besked om hvemsomhelst).
Ja, jeg har haabet, at nærværende Sammenstilling vil bidrage til, at mangen en kjær Søn eller Bror, Slægtning eller Ven, som man har tabt Sporet af, kan findes igjen, —
At den vil danne en Bro — ikke alene mellem os Norsk-Amerikanere indbyrdes, men ogsaa mellem os og vore Frænder hinsides Atlanteren, —
At den vil danne Grundlaget til et Byraa, hvorved vore fælles Interesser kan ivaretages, —
At den vil give Læserne en Forestilling om, hvilke Kræfter (paa Aandens saavelsom paa Haandens forskjellige Felter) de respektive Steder og Strøg i Norge har skjænket Amerika, —
Og at den vil bevare for Historien og for de kommende Slægter alle disse norske Navne: Personnavne og Navne paa Byer, Bygder og større Strøg derhjemme, men i Særdeleshed de Navne, som Nordmændene har plantet paa amerikansk Grund og som man her finder opførte Gang paa Gang i Form af Adresser — Byer og Postaabnerier.
Men min allervægtigste Bevæggrund for denne Sammenstilling var den, at vi skal kunne danne Lag af Sambygdinger. Der er visselig ikke noget, som bedre kan binde os sammen og anspore os til at tage Vare paa Minderne om Hjemmet og paa de Ting, som staar i Forbindelse dermed eller flyder deraf, end netop det, at vi, hvis Vugger stod Side om Side, og som senere kom til at dele Livets Glæder og Besværligheder, nu igjen kan komme sammen eller ialfald veksle Breve og Skrifter. Af saadanne Bygde-Lag, eller hvad vi end vil kalde dem, troede jeg naturligvis ogsaa, at man kunde danne et Fælles-Lag — et norsk Selskab i Amerika. Og videre: Jeg troede, at Samlingstanken vilde skyde Fart derved, at man fik vide, hvad det norske Folk har udrettet og hvilke kreditable Stillinger mange af vore fordums Sambygdinger og Landsmænd har opnaaet her i Amerika. Er der ikke noget, som man kan pege paa, — noget, som man kan se op til og begeistres for, — gaar det daarlig med Samlingstanken ogsaa.
Det var altsaa dette, jeg havde for Øie, da jeg paabegyndte mit Samlerarbeide. Og derfor har det glædet mig at se, at nogle af dem, som jeg i Aarenes Løb har bombarderet med Cirkulærer og Pamfletter, allerede har begyndt at danne et norsk Selskab og andre Lag af den ovenomtalte Art. Men vi trængte Materiale, som sagt, og det er det, som nu foreligger, — haaber jeg. (I denne Forbindelse skal jeg gjøre opmærksom paa, at de „to Talsmænd” for det norske Selskab, om hvem jeg tidligere i Bogen [Bind I, side 481, 2010 udgave] blev nødt til at sige, at de har lagt Vind paa at skade mit Arbeide, efter Forlydende nu nærmest har udspillet deres Rolle ogsaa i Egenskab af „Talsmænd”, — og nærer jeg derfor det bedste Haab og de bedste Ønsker for Selskabets Fremgang).
Under denne Sammenstilling af Sambygdinger kunde jeg naturligvis ikke opføre andre end dem, hvis Fødebygder jeg vidste. Det vilde dog have været mig kjært at nævne mange flere af vore Landsmænd, hvis Opholdssteder, Gjøremaal o. s. v., jeg fik Oplysning om, og hvorpaa foranstaaende Statistik er bygget.
I Sammenligning med Bogens første Del [Bind I, 2010 udgave], til hvilken jeg havde faste Korrespondenter med afmaalt Territorium, og som derfor blev saa fuldstændig, som det (ifølge dens Art) var muligt at faa den, maa denne (anden) Del nærmest betragtes som et Leilighedsarbeide, — der dog ikke har været uden Besvær og Udgifter.
Ogsaa her i Bogens anden Del har jeg forsøgt at ordne Stoffet slig, at det skal optage den mindst mulige Plads. Forklaringer, som ellers maatte forekomme i Forbindelse med de forskjellige Navne eller paa Bunden af hver Side [Fodnoter* der blev flyttet af oversætteren for at være nærmere paa de paagjældende navn eller pladser.], har jeg nemlig nu opført saaledes, at man vil finde dem alle paa en Gang, og bedes man at mærke sig samme, for at den hele Fremstillingsmaade rettelig skal kunne forstaaes:
Alle disse „Sambygdinger” lever, (eller rettere sagt, de levede i den Tid, Rapporterne for dette Arbeide blev indsendte), medmindre anderledes er anmærket. Og de allerfleste af dem fødtes i Norge, mens enkelte blev født her i Amerika af Forældre fra de i Bogen angivne Steder eller Bygder derhjemme.
Fødestederne er jo ordnet efter Alfabetet; men ogsaa Personnavnene opstilles i alfabetisk Orden derunder, for at man hurtigere skal kunne finde den eller dem, man søger. Der er dog (hvad de personlige Navne angaar) Undtagelser fra denne Regel. I Tilfælder, hvor jeg vidste, at Vedkommende tilhører en og samme Familie, har jeg nemlig sat dem sammen, trods det, at Navnene er forskjellige, for Exempel: Gullick Pedersen (Fader) og Anders Gullicksen (Søn). Man vil ogsaa lægge Mærke til, at et og samme Navn ofte er skrevet forskjelligt (af dets forskjellige Bærere) for Exempel: Grov, Grove, Groven; Dale, Dahle, Dahley osv. Det norske Gaardsnavn har jeg tilføiet saa ofte, som det var mig bekjendt. Det er desværre ikke altid, at man bruger dette her i Amerika.
Naar en eller anden By i Norge er opgit som ens Fødested, saa mener man ikke altid selve Byen; man mener tildels Byens nærmeste Omegn.
For Landdistrikternes Vedkommende har det været noksaa vanskeligt at træffe den nøiagtigste Bestemmelse. Jeg maatte naturligvis indføre det Fødested, som man selv — eller Korrespondenterne — efter bedste Evne opgav. Men nogle opgav Gaardens eller Bygdens, mens andre gav Kirkesognets, Prestegjeldets eller et større Distrikts Navn. Og derfor vil det være nødvendigt for Læseren at stille de forskjellige Steder (inden et og samme Strøg) sammen. Hvis en Søndmøring til Ex. vil have Besked om alle dem af hans Sambygdinger, som her er samlede, saa er det ikke nok, at han søger under „Søndmøre”; han maa ogsaa søge under Aalesund, Borgund, Gursko, Herø, Hjørundfjord, Nordalen, Søkelven, Søvden, Ulfsten, Vanelven, Vigerøen, Volden, Ørskaug, Ørsten og andre Steder, som han ved, ligger paa Søndmøre. Og saaledes for alle de andre Strøg i Norge. Ved en saadan Sammenstilling vil man faa det tilsigtede og størst mulige Udbytte af de her samlede Personal-Oplysninger. (Hensigten med denne Del af Bogen vil man finde nærmere forklaret paa foranstaaende Side).
En Mængde af de her opførte Nordmænd har indehavt Town-Embeder; men selve Embederne har jeg ikke nævnt undtagen i enkelte specielle Tilfælder. Det forekom mig vigtigere at nævne Vedkommendes Hovedbeskjæftigelse (Livserhverv). Derimod har jeg opført andre (høiere) og lønnede Stillinger efter Navnene til dem, som nu har eller som tidligere har indehavt Stillinger af den Slags. Om sidstnævnte finder man forresten en mere udførlig Besked i en særskilt Afdeling tidligere i Bogen [„Nordmænd i offentlige Stillinger i Amerika”].
Og om Soldaterne finder man nærmere Underretning i Afdelingen „Nordmænd i amerikanske Krige”.
Betegnelsen „f. s.” er brugt, hvor Vedkommende var den første eller en af de første Settlere i sit Town eller Nabolag. Men de, som viste sig at være de allerførste i sine respektive Countier, finder man, som bekjendt, nævnt i Settlementernes Historie tidligere i Bogen [Bind I, 2010 udgave], og ikke her. Størstedelen af Pionererne hviler nu under Torven. Ære være deres Minde! — M. U.
A friendly appeal to each and every one of my work’s readers.
If you, through reading my already published book, find that I have left out any of the earliest Norwegian pioneers, new settlers or people that cleared the land, — or anyone who took part in the American wars, — or anyone who has held an official office in a county or state, — or any of our pioneers in church or school, — or any books, writings or periodicals published by Norwegians in America, — or if a mistake has crept in somewhere, I invite you to write to me about it. In the case that you feel that you yourself cannot give enough information in regard to they, or to what you find left out, then give me the address on someone you think can give me comprehensive information.
Now the work has come so far that anyone can help. Now we have a book before us with information about many people and things, by means of which our thoughts and reminiscence lead to others of the same grouping that should also have been mentioned. I shall therefore avail myself of the perception and the opportunity the published book has produced. At the same time I ask the readers for further information. And I know that the second volume where such information is to be printed will be as complete as it is humanly possible to get it, as long as we all help. It should also be of interest to you that the second volume will be as complete as possible as it shall become your property. (It shall arrive free of charge as promised as you bought the first. This offer is also valid for those who now buy the first volume. Tell people of this, and do whatever you can for sales, and I will be very grateful to you. I have no other compensation for my toils and outlays than that which I receive from the buyers. As you know, the price is $4.75).
Here I will also reveal that if there are any of your — to America emigrated kinsmen or acquaintances, of whom you wish to have knowledge, then go to one or another of my representatives in your neighborhood, from whom you will for free have the opportunity go through and see a long list of names etc. in the book my correspondents have been sent, which actually contains a section called Compilation of Norwegian communities in America, and there you will find information on communities. The main purpose of this section was otherwise so that one could form communities such as Sognalag, Telelag, Trønderlag etc. Before such
lag [groups] could be formed it was actually necessary to find out where people from the different settlements were staying, so that one could write to them to form their groups. Many such are already formed and they will better than any single person or any other society in collecting and storing detailed information about people from their respective districts in Norway. That list of communities has thus been, and still is useful in that it has enabled the creation of community historical societies. And since the list with information on ca. 25,000 individuals can be found in those books that my correspondents in different communities have received, it is no longer printed. It would therefore be an unnecessary outlay for me.
But do not forget to send me information on pioneers and things in general of such that is desirable and suitable for printing in the future volume of Nordmændene i Amerika, deres Historie og Rekord. [Norwegians in America, their history and record]. Let us help each other and promote the work for a good cause, which will only come into its own after the present generation rests in its grave, but which will then be doubly appreciated.
Gratefully yours, Martin Ulvestad, 2601 — 6th Str. So., Minneapolis, Minn.
En venlig Opfordring til hver enkelt af mit Arbeides Læsere.
Hvis De ved Gjennemlæsning af den allerede udkomne Bog finder, at jeg har udeladt nogen af de tidligste norske Pioneerer, Nybyggere eller Rydningsmænd, — eller nogen, som deltog i amerikanske Krige, — eller nogen, som har indehavt offentlige Stillinger i County eller Stat, — eller nogen af vore Foregangsmænd i Kirke eller Skole, — eller nogen Bøger, Skrifter eller Blade udgivne af Nordmænd i Amerika, — eller om der har indsneget sig Feil paa et eller andet Sted, bedes De at skrive til mig derom. I Tilfælde De synes, at De ikke selv kan give tilstrækkelig Oplysning om dem eller det, som De finder at være udeladt, saa giv mig Adressen paa nogen, som De tror, kan give udførligere Besked.
Nu er Arbeidet kommet saalangt, at nogen hver kan hjælpe. Nu har vi en Bog liggende foran os med Underretning om mange Personer og Ting, hvorved vor Tanke og Erindring ledes hen paa andre af samme Klasse, som ogsaa burde have været nævnt. Jeg vil altsaa benytte mig af den Spore og Anledning, som den udkomne Bog har frembragt. Jeg beder samtlige Læsere om udførligere Oplysninger. Og jeg ved, at 2det Bind, hvori de her søgte Oplysninger skal trykkes, blir saa fuldstændigt, som det staar i menneskelig Magt at faa det, saasandt vi alle hjælpes ad. Det burde jo ogsaa være af særlig Interesse for Eder, at 2det Bind blir saa fuldstændigt som muligt; thi det skal jo bli Eders Eiendom. (Det skal komme frit som lovet, fordi at De kjøbte det 1ste. Dette Tilbud vil ogsaa de, som nu maatte kjøbe 1ste Bind, faa godt af. Fortæl Folk dette og gjør, hvad De kan for Salget, saa er jeg Dem meget taknemmelig. Jeg har ingen anden Erstatning for mit Stræv og Udlæg end den, som jeg faar fra Kjøberne. Prisen er, som bekjendt, $4.75).
Her vil jeg ogsaa oplyse, at om der er nogen af Deres til Amerika udvandrede Slægtninger eller Kjendinger, som De ønsker at faa Rede paa, saa gaa til en eller anden af mine Representanter i Deres Nabolag, hos hvem De gratis vil faa Anledning til at gaa igjennem en lang Liste af Navne o. s. v. Den Bog, som mine Korrespondenter har faaet sig tilsendt, indeholder nemlig en extra Afdeling, som kaldes „Sammenstilling af norske Sambygdinger i Amerika”, og der vil De faa Rede paa Sambygdinger. Hovedhensigten med nævnte Afdeling var ellers den, at man skulde sættes istand til at danne Bygdelag, saasom „Sognalag”, „Telelag”, „Trønderlag” osv. Førend saadanne Lag kunde dannes, var det nemlig nødvendigt at faa Rede paa, hvor Folk fra de forskjellige Bygder opholdt sig, saa at man kunde skrive til dem og danne sine Lag. Mange saadanne er allerede dannet, og de vil bedre end nogen Enkeltmand eller nogen anden Forening kunne samle og opbevare udførlige Oplysninger om Folk fra deres respektive Distrikter i Norge. Nævnte Liste over „Sambygdinger” har altsaa gjort og gjør sin Nytte i det, at den har muliggjort Oprettelsen af bygdehistoriske Lag. Og da Listen med Oplysning om ca. 25,000 Personer desuden findes til Gjennemsyn i de Bøger, som mine Korrespondenter i de forskjellige Settlementer har faaet, trykkes den ikke længere. Det vilde herefter være en unødvendig Ugift for mig.
Men glem nu ikke at sende mig Oplysninger om Pioneerer og Ting i Almindelighed, saadant som ønskes og egner sig for Trykning i Fortstættelses-Bindet af „Nordmændene i Amerika, deres Historie og Rekord”. Lad os hjælpes ad og fremme Arbeidet for en god Sag, som dog først kommer til sin Ret længe efter at den nuværende Slægt hviler i sin Grav, men som da blir sat dobbelt Pris paa.
Deres forbundne, Martin Ulvestad, 2601 — 6th Str. So., Minneapolis, Minn.
Also I have picked some information from the Norwegian-American newspapers.
And in here I wish to thank everyone.
In the content of my book there is approximately 5%, which I have borrowed from the above sources [books, pamphlets, periodicals, newspapers]. The majority of the information I have actually collected in other ways. I have personally visited 822 places in America and have sent out so many letters that I would rather try to forget the number. Many have been lost; but I am happy and grateful that I was able to find someone nearly at every place, who were willing and dedicated enough to give me information thereof. Norge i Amerika [Norway in America] with maps over the Norwegian settlements, which I published earlier, was also a great deal of help to me during the compilation of both the first and this (Volume 3) of Nordmændene i Amerika [Norwegians in America].
Table of Contents and the necessary explanations are found at the end of this book.
Publisher [Martin Ulvestad].
Desuden har jeg plukket en Del Oplysninger fra de norsk-amerikanske Blade.
Og siger jeg herved Tak til alle.
Det er omtrent 5 Procent af mine Bøgers Indhold jeg har laant fra ovennævnte trykte Kilder. Størstedelen af Oplysningerne har jeg altsaa maattet indhente paa andre Maader. Jeg har personlig besøgt 822 Steder i Amerika og har sendt ud saa mange Breve, at jeg helst forsøger at glemme Antallet. En Masse har gaaet tilspilde; men jeg er glad og taknemlig for, at det lykkedes mig at finde nogen omtrent paa hvert Sted, som har været villige og opofrende nok til at give mig Besked derfra. „Norge i Amerika” med Karter over de norske Settlementer, som jeg udgav tidligere, var mig ogsaa til adskillig Hjælp under Udarbeidelsen af baade 1ste og dette (2det) Bind af „Nordmændene i Amerika.”
Indholdsfortegnelse og de nødvendige Forklaringer findes sidst i Bogen.
If such a title was possible, I should have called my work a Basis for further information about Norwegians in America; as it covers mainly things that can eventually be used as a step or a source to make it possible for historians to continue the writing.
From ancient times we know that writing history that (because no indisputable information had been found amassed) was built on legends and presumptions, has led almost only to debate — with argument against argument — and has therefore been of doubtful value. As far as Norwegians in America were concerned, it was really about time right now, that whilst there were still some pioneers left alive, who alone could give reliable basic information, to have these [pioneers] convened. Later on it would be too late.
Apart from historical and statistical facts (see Vol. of this work) [Vol. 1 (2010) and Vol. 2 (2011), I have as one now sees, tried to put together a series of personal information, that strictly speaking does not belong in history nor where one would normally find thousands of men mentioned. But I have done what I have done, primarily because I believed that our people’s divulged personal record would strengthen the history. When one for example can point to 100,000, who either were forerunners, or who hold representative and respectable positions in the community, then it speaks better and stronger for that nationality that they belong to rather than if one could only point to 100 such people.
Besides, I have always believed, and now begin to see — evidence that the more and the better the information our people in Norway receive about their emigrated sons and daughters, their lives, their endeavors and their nature, the better will be the understanding and the solidarity, the stronger the bridge between them and greater the good things that one would exchange and share in the future for mutual happiness and prosperity.
This information can thus also have its use when there is something more one would like to know about some of the persons who are mentioned. Or when any of their descendants make themselves distinguished, one will thereby be able to ascertain that they are of Norwegian descent. After all, it has happened that the Swedes, Danes or others have made claim of the same famous personalities (and perhaps with just as much right) as the Norwegians, only because there was no positive link found to the origin of the person in question.
There are a number whose birthplace in Norway, year of emigration and so forth that I have not been able to ascertain, but still I have listed them because they belong to those groups that deserve it, which I had set myself the goal to include. The majority of the people I mentioned in Norge i Amerika [Norway in America], published in 1901, or in Sammenstilling af norske Sambygdinger i Amerika [Compilation of Norwegian communities in America], published in 1907, I have not mentioned in this — my last work. Men who are not found here, one must search for there, if one wishes information about them.
Changes of addresses, deaths and so forth cannot destroy the benefit of the work, which many (without thinking) seem to believe. The given information after all, as far as that goes, is correct, and will always be what what they were; furthermore they will as said — serve as a link to further information, not only about the people and things mentioned here, but through them also about others — in short, almost anywhere in America where Norwegians are found, especially where they are found in colonies.
But the work and the plan have become misunderstood and unappreciated by so many because they have not had enough interest to familiarize themselves with the work. The index one has not bothered to read, and the historical and statistical information that is found interposed between the rows of names, and otherwise at the bottom [footnotes — now moved closer to the names concerned by the translator], one has not noticed. Nor has one bothered to take a look at the included maps [a large two-sided foldout map was included in the original version of 1907] whereupon there has also been laid out a massive amount of work and money, and which show what parts of this country that the Norwegians have cleared, where they have cast an eye about as forerunners and farmers, where they have erected churches and schools, where they have given post offices and cities and townships Norwegian names, and where they in other ways have given the Norwegian nation worthy appraisals, which is why they deserve a deep-felt thanks, not solely from their fatherland whose ambassadors they have been; but mostly from their adoptive country and their descendants who receive direct gain from their self-sacrifice and pioneer work. Aye, there are also a number of times when Norwegian pioneers had to sacrifice their life. That the information that I thus have tried to collect and store will at some time be made use of — I am positive; but it [period of time] is far too close to the present time for today’s relatives to be interested; which is why my toil over the years has been desecrated. However, it has been acknowledged by a few, of which I am glad, that it has already helped procure the understanding about the emigration of people from Norway, which was the main aspiration of this work.
Complete satisfaction up till now could hardly be expected, at least not for the general reader; as the sphere of study was too large and too new. It encompasses after all an equally long, as a varied migration, in such a large country as America, where moreover, in a few cases, no road had been paved for such a work. I had to try and work my way through the unknown and when I found some of what I was searching for I had to shorten it to the utmost. When every Norwegian settlement had to be included I could not give every single one of them as much space in my books as the readers wished. But I willingly grant that the task would have been better solved if a better man (and not an ordinary every day person such as I), would have taken on the task; or if there had been help from societies or a government grant, which one usually gets for such works. Or if we Norwegians were not by nature such that we would rather compete against each other than be helpful to each other. Of the latter cause — the sale by agents of the first volume was suddenly destroyed, which is why I myself had to go from house to house to (for sales) procure funds to continue the work further and to this I had to offer the second volume free of charge to everyone who supported me by buying the first, — a promise that will now be my pleasure to fulfill. But what I regret is that so much of my time that should have been applied to the actual work which thereby may have been a little better than it is, had to be used on sales. However, it is as good as I through circumstances managed to get it, and then I do have the satisfaction of knowing that my opponents have not received a worse review therein than my friends. It is absolutely impartial.
As previously indicated, it has been my intention (not through boasting, which would have been easier, but through matter of fact information presented such that whosoever can analyze them, if one wished), to show that the Norwegian-American people are — despite their shortcomings — a good people, whose influence and nature their descendents in particular should learn to know and thereby be encouraged to continue to promote that which is good, for oneself and for ones country. It is after all acknowledged as a great legacy to be born of people of good standing. But before there can be a legacy of coming from good people, one must learn to feel it and know and understand that it was good.
Whilst the first volume of Norwegians in America essentially includes the Viking expeditions and other pre-history, along with aspects from the pioneers’ immigration to, and their first stay in America, as well as historical and statistical information of their activities in general, about their participation in the wars, of their positions in public life, about congregation work, churches, schools, charities, periodicals, book publishing, music, temperance activity and more, this (volume two) [Vol. 3, 2012] includes for the most, personal information at the same time as I (in connection with their leaders) have mentioned as many as possible of the associations. But also in this volume is found quite a number of historical stories. I ask people to read the table of contents (back of the book) and follow it so that this work will not be misunderstood — or the most important — disregarded.
Respectfully, Martin Ulvestad, Tacoma, Wash., in June 1913.
Hvis en saadan Titel kunde gaa an, burde jeg have kaldt mit Arbeide et „Grundlag for videre Oplysninger om Nordmændene i Amerika”; thi det omfatter nærmest saadanne Ting, som eventuelt skal kunne benyttes som Traad eller Grundlag og gjøre det muligt for Historikere at fortsætte Skrivningen.
Fra gammel Tid af ved vi, at Historieskrivning, som (fordi, at ingen klare Fakta fandtes samlede) blev bygget paa Sagn og Formodninger, har ledet nærmest bare til Diskussion — med Argument mod Argument — og har saaledes været af tvilsomt Værd. Hvad det norske Folk i Amerika angaar, var det virkelig paa høi Tid nu, mens der endnu levede en Del af Pioneererne, som alene kunde give paalidelige, grundlæggende Oplysninger, at faa disse samlede. Senere vilde det bli forsent.
Ved Siden af historiske og statistiske Fakta, (se 1ste Del af dette Arbeide), har jeg, som man nu ser, forsøgt at samle en Række af Personaloplysninger, der strengt taget ikke hører hjemme i Historie og hvor man heller ikke pleier at finde Tusender af Mænd nævnte. Men jeg har gjort, som jeg har gjort, først fordi, jeg har troet, at vort Folks aabenlagte Personal-„Rekord” vil styrke dets Historie. Naar man, for Ex., kan paapege 100,000, som enten var Foregangsmænd, eller som indehar representative og respektable Stillinger i Samfundet, saa taler det bedre og sterkere for den Nationalitet, de tilhører, end om der kunde paapeges bare 100 saadanne.
Desuden har jeg altid troet, og nu begynder at se Beviser for, at jo flere og bedre Oplysninger vort Folk i Norge faar om sine udvandrede Sønner og Døtre, deres Liv, Stræv og Karakter, des bedre blir Forstaaelsen og Samfølelsen, des stærkere blir Broen mellem dem og det større blir de Goder, som man vil udveksle og bære fremover den til gjensidig Glæde og Velvære.
Disse Oplysninger kan jo ogsaa have sin Nytte, naar det er noget mere man ønsker at vide om nogen af de nævnte Personer. Eller naar nogen af deres Efterkommere gjør sig bemærket, vil man herved kunne konstatere, at de er af norsk Herkomst. Det har jo hændt, at Svenskerne, Danskerne eller andre har gjort Krav paa de samme berømte Personligheder (og det kanske med lige saa stor Ret) som Nordmændene, bare fordi, at der ikke fandtes nogen sikker Traad til Vedkommendes Oprindelse.
Der er en Del, hvis Fødested i Norge, Udvandringsaarstal osv., jeg ikke kunde faa Tag i; men jeg har alligevel indført dem, fordi at de tilhører de Klasser, som fortjener det, og som jeg havde sat mig som Maal at tage med. Størstedelen af de Personer, som jeg nævnte i „Norge i Amerika”, udgivet 1901, eller i „Sammenstilling af norske Sambygdinger i Amerika”, udg. 1907, har jeg ikke omtalt i dette mit sidste Arbeide. Mænd, som ikke findes her, maa man altsaa søge der, om man ønsker Oplysninger om dem.
Adresseforandringer, Dødsfald osv. kan ikke tilintetgjøre Arbeidets Nytte, hvilket mange, (uden at tænke), synes at tro. De givne Oplysninger er jo saavidt mulig korrekte, saa langt de gaar, og vil altid staa for, hvad de var; desuden vil de, som sagt, kunne tjene som Traad til videre Oplysninger, ikke alene om de hernævnte Personer og Ting, men gjennem dem ogsaa om andre — kortsagt paa omtrent hvilketsomhelst Sted i Amerika, hvor Nordmænd findes, specielt, hvor de findes i Kolonier.
Men Arbeidet og dets Plan har blit misforstaaet og miskjendt af saa mange, fordi at de ikke har havt Interesse nok til at sætte sig ind i samme. Indholdsfortegnelsen har man ikke gidet læse, og de historiske og statistiske Oplysninger, som findes indskudt mellem Navnerækkerne og ellers paa Bunden af mange Sider, har man ikke lagt Mærke til. Eiheller har man brydt sig om, at fæste Blikket paa de medfølgende Karter, hvorpaa der ogsaa har været nedlagt en Masse Arbeide og Penge, og som viser hvilke Dele af dette Land Nordmændene har ryddet, hvor de har kastet Glans om sig som Foregangsmænd og Jordbrugere, hvor de har reist Kirker og Skoler, hvor de har git Postaabnerier, Byer og „Townships” norske Navne, og hvor de paa andre Maader har sat Norrønastammen værdige Mærker, og hvorfor de fortjener en dybtfølt Tak ikke alene af sit Fædreland, hvis Fanebærere de har været; men mest af sit Adoptivland og sine Efterkommere, som faar direkte Gavn af deres Selvopofrelser og Foregangsarbeide. Ja, der paapeges endog en Del Tilfælder, hvor norske Banebrydere maatte ofre sit Liv. Det, at de Oplysninger, som jeg saaledes har forsøgt at samle og opbevare, engang vil komme til sin Ret, er jeg vis paa; men de ligger den nuværende Slægt altfor nær til at kunne interessere den; hvorfor mit Stræv i Aarenes Løb har blit rigelig belønnet med Skjænd. Det har imidlertid blit paaskjønnet af en Del, og jeg er glad for, at det allerede har hjulpet til at skaffe Udflytterfolket Forstaaelse i Norge, hvilket var et af Arbeidets Hovedformaal.
Aldeles tilfredsstillende kunde det hidtil neppe ventes at bli ialfald ikke for den almene Læser; thi Feltet var for stort og for nyt. Det omfatter jo en ligesaa lang som broget Folkevandring og et stort Land som Amerika, hvor der desuden, paa faa Tilfælder nær, ingen Vei var banet for et saadant Arbeide. Jeg maatte prøve mig frem gjennem det ukjendte, og naar jeg saa fandt noget af det, jeg søgte, maatte jeg forkorte det til det yderste. Naar alle norske Settlementer skulde tages med, kunde jeg ikke give hvert enkelt af disse saa stor Plads i mine Bøger, som Læserne ønskede. Men det indrømmes villigt, at Opgaven vilde have været bedre løst, om en bedre Mand (og ikke et almindeligt Hverdagsmenneske som mig), havde villet paatage sig den; eller om der havde været Hjælp fra Foreninger eller Statsbidrag, hvilket man pleier at faa til slige Arbeider. Eller om vi Nordmænd ikke af Naturen var slig, at vi hellere vilde starte Opposition mod hverandre, end at være hverandre til Hjælp. Af sidstnævnte Aarsag blev Agent-Salget af 1ste Bind pludselig ødelagt, hvorfor jeg selv har maattet gaa fra Hus til Hus, for (ved Salg) at tilveiebringe Midler til at føre Arbeidet videre og til den Ende maatte love 2det Bind frit til alle, som støttede mig ved at kjøbe det 1ste, — et Løfte, som det nu vil være mig en Glæde at fylde. Men, hvad jeg beklager er, at saa meget af min Tid, som burde anvendes paa selve Arbeidet og hvorved det kunde have blit bedre, end det er, maatte anvendes paa Salget. Det er imidlertid saa bra som jeg under Omstændighederne magtede at faa det, og saa har jeg den Tilfredsstillelse, at vide, at mine Modstandere ikke har faaet en daarligere Omtale deri end mine Venner. Det er absolut upartisk.
Som allerede antydet, har det været min Agt (ikke ved Skryd, hvilket vilde have været lettere, men ved nøgterne Oplysninger fremlagte slig, at hvemsomhelst skal kunne sætte Prøve paa dem, om man vil), at vise, at det norsk-amerikanske Folk er — trods sine Mangler — et godt Folk, hvis Virke og Karakter dets Efterkommere i Særdeleshed burde lære at kjende og derved anspores til at fortsætte og fremme det, som er godt, til Gavn for sig selv og sit Land. Det er jo anerkjendt som en stor Arv det, at være født af godt Folk. Men førend der kan være nogen Arv i, at være af godt Folk, maa man lære at kjende det og vide og forstaa, at det var godt.
Mens 1ste Bind af „Nordmændene i Amerika” væsentlig omfatter Vikingefærdene og anden Forhistorie samt Træk fra Pioneerernes Overreiser til og første Ophold i Amerika saavelsom historiske og statistiske Oplysninger om deres Virke i Almindelighed, om deres Deltagelse i Krigene, om deres Stillinger i det offentlige Liv, om Menighedsarbeide, Kirker, Skoler, Velgjørenhedsanstalter, Blade, Bogavl, Musik, Afholdsvirksomhed m. m., indeholder dette (2det Bind) nærmest Personaloplysninger paa samme Tid, som jeg (i Forbindelse med deres Ledere) har nævnt de flest mulige Foreninger. Men ogsaa i dette Bind findes noksaa mange historiske Beretninger. Jeg beder Folk læse Indholdsfortegnelsen (sidst i Bogen) og at gaa efter den, saa at Arbeidet ikke atter skal bli misforstaaet eller det vigtigste forbigaaet.
Ærbødigst, Martin Ulvestad, Tacoma, Wash., i Juni 1913.
Works: (a selection) Edited and published Norsk-amerikaneren 1-7 (The Norwegian American), a historical magazine in Seattle, Washington, 1916-23; Selvhjælp i Engelsk: en Lærebog (Self-taught English, a Textbook), Minneapolis, 1892; Engelsk-Dansk-Norsk Ordbog med fuldstændig Udtalebetegnelse (English-Danish-Norwegian Dictionary with Complete Guide to Pronunciation), Minneapolis, 1895; Norge i Amerika med Kart: Oplysninger om de norske Amerikanere (Norway in America with Maps: Information about Norwegian Americans), Minneapolis 1901; Statistiske Oplysninger angaaende Normænd i Amerika og deres Virksomhed m.m. (Statistical Information about Norwegians in America and Their Professional Activity), Minneapolis, 1902; Nordmennene i Amerika, deres historie og record (Norwegians in America, Their History and Record), two volumes, Minneapolis, 1907-13; Vikings and their Descendants. Norsk-amerikaneren (The Norwegian American), Seattle 1928.
Verk: (utdrag) Redigerte og utga Norsk-amerikaneren 1-7, et historisk tidsskrift i Seattle, Washington 1916-23; Selvhjælp i Engelsk: en Lærebog, Minneapolis, 1892; Engelsk-Dansk-Norsk Ordbog med fuldstændig Udtalebetegnelse, Minneapolis, 1895; Norge i Amerika med Kart: Oplysninger om de norske Amerikanere..., Minneapolis 1901; Statistiske Oplysninger angaaende Normænd i Amerika og deres Virksomhed m.m., Minneapolis, 1902; Nordmennene i Amerika, deres historie og rekord. 2 bind. Minneapolis, 1907-13; Vikings and their Descendants. Norsk-amerikaneren. Eget forlag. Seattle 1928.