This was sent in by Gene Estensen to share with our readers. Enjoy.

Historical Timeline – Norway to America

Over the years I have collected some 90 books on emigration from Norway to America. From this collection I have developed this timeline. This is our Norwegian-American history. Enjoy! To set the stage, here is a quotation to ponder before you begin your reading:

Ole Rølvaag wrote in 1926 “It is vital in all cultural life to maintain a link between the present and the past. If there is anything that history makes clear it is this, that when a people becomes interested in its past life, seeks to acquire knowledge in or better to understand itself, it always experiences an awakening of new life”. See Blegen, Land of Their Choice, p. 596.

Gene Estensen

500 B.C. – 800 A.D., The Iron Age. The Greek sea-captain Pytheas of Massilia wrote that the Scandinavians “live on oats and the like, namely greens, wild fruits and roots”. The Roman Empire was the economic and political center of power during the first four centuries A.D.

400 AD – 800 AD, the farms of Dale, Såheim, and Bøen of Tinn, Telemark record signs of life during the pre-viking years. Artifacts have been preserved for us to enjoy.

800-1100, The age of the Vikings. Voyages set off and reached as far east as the Russian plains, as far south as the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, and Caspian Sea, as far north as the Barents Sea and as far west as America. The term Viking can be related to the Norwegian work vik meaning “bay” or “cove”. Many of those that had no farm to inherit chose to seek their fortunes as Vikings on voyages to foreign countries. They used a special variety of ship, the knarr, which was especially well-suited to the transport of goods. They worshiped Odin, the god of war. A Viking would far rather die an honourable death doing battle for his chieftain than die of old age in his own bed. The Vikings believed that if they were killed in battle, Odin would transport them to Valhalla, the heavenly kingdom of death. Here they would fight all day and in the evenings, beautiful maidens would serve them meats and mead. The god of thunder was called Thor. Eric Raude of Rogaland (Eric the Red) settled Greenland. His son, Leiv Ericsen, went to America about the year 1000. He wintered near the northern tip of Newfoundland. Harald Fairhair set about unifying Norway. Accompanied by his warriors, the hind, he travelled about the kingdom on veitsle, or journeys of state. Harald died about 930 and his son Håkon the Good inherited the kingdom. He built a great navy for defense. Olav Haraldsson, also of the Fairhair (Håfagr) line, took command until he was killed at the battle of Stiklestad on July 29, 1030. Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 36.

Norsemen have left a deep and lasting imprint on Scotland – on the race, language, literature, art customs, beliefs. Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 40.

William the Conqueror was the great-grandson of Rolf Ganger, the Norwegian founder of Normandy. Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 48.

874, Iceland is occupied by the Norsemen. Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 15.

876, Greenland was seen for the first time by Gunnbjorn Ulfson from Norway. Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 17. Also see Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 56.

983, Eric the Red rediscovered Greenland. Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 96.

986, Bjarni Herjulfson discovered the coast of New England but did not land. Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 96.

1000, Leif Ericksen discovers the new world. Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 15. See also Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 54.

1000, The Norse expedition to America was mentioned for the first time more than two generations later by a German historian, Adam from Breman in what is the oldest appearance of America in literature. Skard, Sigmund, The United States in Norwegian History, p. 3.

1130-1217, The Civil War period. With the establishment of the archbiship at Nidaros in 1152, the Norwegian Church gained a strong leadership. Under Archbishop Østein (1161-1188), attempts were made to create a monarchy that could be controlled and influenced by the church.

1217-1263, Haakon Haakonsson reigns over Norway’s era of greatness, including commerce and expansive territorial possessions.

1349-1350, The Black Death takes a third of population of Norway. By 1400, half the population was gone. After 1350, the survivors were able to take over the best farms, leading to prosperity. It was 1500 before all the farms were reclaimed. Most of the land was farmed by free tenants who paid rent to the landowner in the form of corn, butter, furs, hides, and fish. A hired man on a Norwegian farm earned at most a cash salary of ten specie dollars a year, so that for a trip to America he had to save all of the cash he earned for several years, and he would be penniless when he arrived in the New World. Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 54.

“It was the boldest that set off first”, from Vilhelm Moberg. Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 38.

1500-1600, Norway’s population increased from 150,000 to 900,000 with 90% getting their livelihood from the land. Epidemic plaques no longer raged but infant mortality was still high. As late as the 18th century, almost a quarter of all infants died in their first year.

1521, Sweden is separated forever from Denmark. Nelson, O. A., History of Scandinavians in the United States, p. 18.

1537-1814, Norway unites with Denmark as the inferior. The Lutheran Reformation reduced Norway to dependency upon Denmark. Danish became the written language. Norwegian dialects and customs survived. Semmingsen, Ingrid, Norway to America, p. 5.

1570-1670, Time of the Witch Craze in Norway. Approximately 2000 were tried and 500 put to death.

1630-1674, About 60 Norwegians settled in the state of New York, mostly after service in the British or Dutch navy. Skard, Sigmund, The United States in Norwegian History, p. 9.

1660, the absolute monarchy was established and to begin only 20% of the land was owned by peasants. By 1800 the majority of farm families lived on freehold land. Any farm with sufficient land was partitioned and a large lower class of husmenn (crofters) grew. Acrofter family was permitted to clear and rent land on a larger farm. Crofters and their families were not the only source of labor. Servants were common. In the mid-18th century, the king commanded that all unemployed people enter into annual service for a meager wage. These servants were usually young and single.

1716-1718, The Great Northern War (1700-1721). King Karl XII of Sweden invaded Norway in 1716. The invasion was ended when he was shot at Halden and his troops withdrew.

1717, the year the Tinn parish records go back to.

1736, the introduction of confirmation meant that all children learned to read.

1750, Around this time, a small group of Norwegian Herrnhutians settled at Bethlehem, Pa. Skard, Sigmund, The United States in Norwegian History, p.15.

1769, The population of Tinn, Telemark is 1,709. Norwegian-American Studies, Vol. 29, p. 46.

1771, Hans Nielsen Hauge was born April 3 at Smaalenene. Died March 29,1824. He rose up from poverty and was a great favorite with the peasants. He was imprisoned in Norway from 1804-1814. See introduction to Chronicle of Old Muskego for detail on his life. Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 48.

1782, Cleng Peerson (Kleng Pedersen) is born on May 17 at farm Hesthammer in Stavanger Amt. Norwegian Immigration to the United States, Flom, George, p. 49. For a complete description of his life see Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration 1821-1840, p. 179. Also, Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 112.

1783, January, George Washington is honorary member of the Society “Societies Scandinaviensis” of Philadelphia because of his Norse ancestry. Norwegian Immigration to the United States, Flom, George, p. 42.

1787, Lars Larson I Jeilane was born on September 24 at Stavenger. Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 44.

1800. A town was called a kjøpstad (market place). In Norway there were 23 of them.

1800, Tinn, Telemark now has 1,810 people. Norwegian-American Studies, Vol. 29, p. 46.

1801, In Tinn, property owners comprise 56 % of the population. Norwegian-American Studies, Vol. 29, p. 48.

1801, The first national census tallies 883,487. Cultivation of potatoes with herring replaced barley porridge as the most common daily food. Nutrition improved and infant mortality dropped.

1801, Smallpox vaccination began. It was 1810 before it was mandatory whereby no person could be confirmed or married before showing their vaccination record, then 1812 when the vaccination records began in the parish records. It was then that the records became standardized.

1801, There were 39,400 husmann, then in 1885 there were 65,000, in 1910 there were 19,800, then down to 6,000 in 1929. From this husmann class came a large percentage of the American immigrants.

1801-1835, Population increase 37 % in Tinn, from 1,810 to 2,481. The potato infusion delayed the consequences of this rapid rise in population. Farms were divided between brothers and marginal land was cultivated higher on the mountain sides. The lower, or landless, classes grew the fastest. Before 1850, people were not driven out by poverty and hunger but by a hope for a better future and an improved social status. The early pioneers were people who had sufficient resources to finance their own move.

1802, The number of farms in Norway was 79,256. By 1820 it was 93,621, then to 112,930 by 1845. By 1860 it was more than 135,000.

1804, Elling Eielsen Syndve, later the famous lay preacher in America was born in Voss and this was the same year that Hauge was imprisoned in Norway for violation of the Conventicle Act.Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration 1821-1840, p. 411.

1807-1814, Economic hardship is endured by Norway. A shortage of foodstuffs was common. There is famine 1809-12. Norwegian-American Studies, Vol. 29, p. 75.

1807, Norway, as an ally of Napolean, was forced into war with Great Britain. Semmingsen, Ingrid, Norway to America, p. 8.

1808, The Swedes attacked Norway but were driven back. During the years 1800-1814 the sons of Norway’s farmers were called in to serve their country in the fight against the Swedes. Infantry soldiers served 10 years, horsemen 12 years, but except for the weekly drill after the sermon outside the church, the companies were only transferred to the front when the enemy attacked. According to law the soldiers, even the most humble cropper’s son, were always seated in the front of the church, at the head table at events, and generally being treated above their equals.

1809, Ole Rynning is born at Ringsaker on April 4. He became a teacher at Snaasen. He would later publish an important book, in 1839, that led to emigration of thousands from Norway. Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 85.

1809, Illinois becomes a territory. Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 152.

1810, Johan Reinert Reierson is born April 17 in Vestre Moland, Norway. See a history of his life in Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration 1821-1840, p. 370. Or see J. R. Reiersen, Pathfinder for Norwegian Emigrants, p. 3.

1810, Ole Bull is born in Bergan. He visited America for the first time in 1843. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 288.

1811, Norway establishes its first University and the sons of the upper classes attend it. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 278.

1812, America is at war with Great Britain, as is Norway. Skard, Sigmund, The United States in Norwegian History, p.26.

1813, John Nielsen Luraas was born in Tinn on December 25, 1813. He would later lead the famous Luraas party to America.

1814, After 1814 Norway never experienced years when the country as a whole had more deaths than births. Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 100. One factor was the potato, another was the return of the herring. Herring and potatoes were the staples in the diet, especially the poor.

1814, Søren Bache was born in Drammen, Norway on March 22.

1814, May 17 becomes Independence Day (syttende mai) and began a period of 50 years called embetsmannsstaten, or government by elite (top 1,000 families). During the late winter of 1814 during the final months of the Napoleonic Wars, Norway was quite cordoned off from Denmark by the British and Swedes. The Norwegians organized a Constitutional Assembly that worked out a Constitution (Grunnlov) that was signed on May 17, beginning the return to independence after the country had been at first from 1397 in a union with Denmark and Sweden, then from 1533 a dependency of Denmark.

1814, November, Norway enters into a union with Sweden but retains a sense of Nationalism. Now began a rapid raise in Norway’s population. Denmark was forced by the outcome of the Napoleonic wars to cede Norway to Sweden and was left in a bankrupt condition. Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 46.

1814, “While the nobility was abolished in Norway in 1814, the lines between the upper and lower classes, the wealthy and the poor, were tightly drawn and social classes were well defined.”. Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 72.

1815, Mass emigration from Europe begins with America a preferred destination because of an almost unlimited need to populate the “west”.

1815, Ole Haugen becomes the first Norwegian in Massachusetts. Norwegian Immigration to the United States, Flom, George, p. 197.

1817, A shipwrecked Dutchman came into the port of Bergan with 500 German emigrants on their way to America. America now became a hot topic in Norway. Skard, Sigmund, The United States in Norwegian History, p.43.

1817, This was the first year that America became a topic of common conversation. Semmingsen, Ingrid, Norway to America, p. 8.

1818, Illinois becomes a state. Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 152.

1819, Fort Snelling is built at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. Hansen, Carl, My Minneapolis, p. 13.

1820, Claus Lauritz Clausen is born in Denmark on November 3 on the island of Aero Fyen Stift. Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration 1821-1840, p. 417.

1821, Cleng Peerson (Klein Pedersen Hesthammer) goes to America from farm Hesthammer, Tysver Parish, Stavanger along with Knude Olsen Eide of the small island near Stavenger called Fogn. They went from Stavenger to Goteborg, then New York. Cleng returns in 1824 and causes quite a stir. 1782, Cleng Peerson is born on May 17at farm Hesthammer in Stavanger Amt. Norwegian Immigration to the United States.Flom, George, p. 49. See also Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 114.

1823, The first steamship ascended the Mississippi as far as Ft. Snelling, which was then just built. Nelson, O. A., History of Scandinavians in the United States, p. 298. See Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p.3.

1824, Cleng Peerson returns to Norway from America in 1824 and causes quite a stir. He returned immediately, the same year, and was there to great the Sloopers when they arrived in America. Andrew Stangeland returned with him.

1824, Hauge dies this year. Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 48.

1825, The Erie Canal was completed for 363 miles and opened up the upper Mississippi to settlers. Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 148. This gave the pioneers access to the upper Mississippi lands. Odd Lovoll, The Promise of America, p. 44.

1825, Sondre Norheim is born June 10, 1825 at Øverbø. He became the most famous of Norwegian skiers. To see the history of skiing, see Norwegian-American Studies, Vol. 29, p. 353.

1825, Emigration from Norway begins, but not annual emigration. On July 4 or 5, 1825 the Restauration sailed from Stavenger with 52 aboard. A child was born, Margaret Allen Larsen (9-2-1825), to Lars Larsen and his wife before they reached New York after 14 weeks on October 9. They were the Sloopers. Lars Larsen Geilane was the leader and he was a Quaker. Earlier, Cleng Peerson and Knut Olsen Eide were sent to America to check it out. Eide died and Peerson returned in the summer of 1824. He immediately returned to America to await the Sloopers the following year. Most of them were from Rogaland. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 24. Norwegian Immigration to the United States, Flom, George, p. 46. Lars Larsen’s home in Rochester New York became a Mecca for immigrants. Lars died by accident in November of 1845. Also see Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 57. Also Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 120.

The first fifteen settlements in America are said to be 1. Kendall, N.Y (1825); 2. Fox River, Ill (1834); 3. Chicago, Ill (1836); 4. Beaver Creek, Ill (1837); 5. Shelby County, Mo. (1837); 6. Jefferson Prairie, Wis (1838); 7. Rock Prairie, called Luther Valley, Wis (1839); 8. Muskego, Wis (1839); 9. Koshkonong, Wis (1840); 10. Sugar Creek, Ia (1840); 11. Wiota, Wis (1841); 12. Spring Prairie and Bonnet, Wis (1845); 13. Washington Prairie, Wis (1850); 14. St. Ansgar, Ia (1853), 15. Fillmore County, MN (1853). Rønning, N. N., The Saga of Old Muskego, p. 69.

First Settlement in America, Kendall, Orleans County, NY
1825-1836, Kendall Township, on the shores of Lake Ontario, at Orleans County, New York becomes the first settlement with the arrival of the Sloopers, some 53 of them. It was actually named Murray. Cleng Peerson bought the land there on the shores of Lake Ontario. The land was sold by Joseph Fellows at $5 per acre. They had no money to pay for it but Mr. Fellows agreed to 10 annual payments. The land was heavily wooded and each male head of household purchased 40 acres. During the first two year, they suffered greatly as the land had to be cleared. They longed to be back in Norway but they had burned their bridges behind them. Twenty-four of them crammed into a newly built house that was 12 x 12. They passed the winter and soon they were earning a living helping their wealthy American neighbors by threshing out grain with a flail. They got every 11th bushel. The next year, 1826, they cleared an average of two acres per farm. Then they raised wheat, which gave them bread for the next winter. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 53. Also see Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 77. For a list of the 53 passengers and a detailed history of each see Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 91.

1825-1836, No more ships arrive with Norwegian immigrants. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 57.

1826-1908, Svein Nilsson, the father of Norwegian immigrant history is born in Namdalen, Norway. By 1856 he was working in Oslo for Morgenbladet (The Morning Paper). He came to America in 1867. Clausen, C. A. A Chronicler of Immigrant Life, Introduction.

1827, John Torsteinsen Rue was born in Tinn, Telemark. His mother brought him to America as pioneers, early. John Torsteinsen Rue eventually went west to seek gold. About the time he was ready to call it quits in California, he came across a job that the U. S. Government was having problems keeping filled. It involved carrying the mail across the High Sierras. To make a long story short, John Torsteinsen Rue carried the mail on skis for 26 winters and became the legend of the old west Snowshoe Thompson. Each trip was two days down the mountains, and three days back. A statue to him stands at Donner Pass with a dedication by some of the worlds best skiers, the Olympic Ski Team of Telemark, Norway. “SnowshoeThompson “towered above most of his contemporaries in physical perfection and courage.” Lovoll, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 295.

1828, Ole Johnson Eie and another slooper return to Norway. Ole married, then returned to America.

1830, May 29. The Preemption Act allows pioneers first shot at the land they are living on as the government opens up that land. The price is $1.25 per acre. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 67.

1830, Ole Rynning graduates from the University of Christiania. Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 139.

1831, Gjert G. Hovland went to Kendall this year, then on to Fox River in 1835. His “America Letters” would have a big impact in Norway. The letters were given wide newspaper publication from 1835 to 1843.Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 65. See also, Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 83. Also Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 17. These letters were widely read in Tinn, and early (1837). Norwegian-American Studies, Vol. 29, p. 52. Also Lovell, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 13.

1832, Chicago consists of five log cabins. Odd Lovoll, The Promise of America, p. 47.

1833, Cleng Peerson, with two companions, sets out on foot to explore the great west and started a second colony, the Fox River Colony in La Salle County, Illinois in 1834 (below). Peerson is said to have walked 2,000 miles in this adventure. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 61. Peerson left from the 1st settlement at Kendall, New York. Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 53. Chicago was then a village of about 20 huts. Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 117.

1834, The Kendall colony reaches 400 families, then it begins to break up.

1834, Second settlement in America is formed at Fox River, Mission, La Salle County, Illinois, not far from Ottawa.

1834-1835, Cleng Peerson led the Kendall people to the second settlement at Fox River, Mission township, La Salle County, Illinois. Six families moved in 1834 to found the second colony in America. Land was $1.25 per acre. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 61. See also, Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 55.

1835, The number of tax-listed farms grew by nearly 50% from 1835 to 1865. Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 102. A large portion of the small landowners, the cotters, and the craftsmen, lived in constant struggle to gain enough from the soil and their craft to secure not only survival but a small degree of security.

1835, There are 157 cotters in Tinn, Telemark. In 1855 there were 140 and 134 in 1865. This compares to only 25 in 1900. Norwegian-American Studies, Vol. 29, p. 78.

1835, One of the sloop passengers, Knud Anderson Slogvig, returned to Norway after 10 years in America. The people of his home district, Skjold, traveled for hundreds of miles to hear him speak. This led to the exodus of 1836. He married a sister of Ole Olsen Hetletvedt, father of Porter C. Olson of the Civil War. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 70. See also, Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 62 and 84. Also see Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration 1821-1840, p. 147. Also, Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 132 and 137.

1836, The Norwegian government begins to collect statistics on emigration. Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 38.

1836, Wisconsin becomes a territory. Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 158.

Third settlement in America, Chicago, Ill.
Founded in 1836 by Halstein Torrison and Johan Larson. Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 38.

1836-45, Emigration totaled 6,200 with 2,800 (45.1 per cent) coming from Bratsberg, Amt, now called Telemark. See the chart in Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 359.

1836-1845, Lars Larson receives thousands of visits from new immigrants from Norway at his home in Rochester, New York. His house is the oldest in America, built by an immigrant from Norway. Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 60.

1836, The territory of Wisconsin was organized and in 1848 it became a state. Ole Nattestad (see below) became the first Norwegian settler in Wisconsin. He founded a settlement that became known as Jefferson Prairie, Rock County, Wisconsin Territory. It grew rapidly when his brother Anstein brought a party in 1839 aboard the Emilie, mostly from upper Telemark. This colony was also called the Luther Valley settlement. Many of these farmers owned gaards but were burdened with interest and other payments. Clausen, C. A., A Chronicler of Immigrant Life, p. 50.

1836, Annual emigration begins. Knud Andersen Slogvig leads the first group on the Norden. Lovell, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 13. Mass emigration did not occur until the mid 1860′s. Two brigs, Den Norske Klippe (June 8) and Norden (May 25) sailed from Stavenger to New York with 167 people. Most went to the Fox River settlement. Some went to Kendall but moved on to Fox River within a few years. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 72. See also Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 91. There are a lot of names here. Also, Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 43. Also Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 136.

1836, Conditions in Telemark are described, interesting. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 83. Also, Clausen, C. A., A Chronicler of Immigrant Life, p. 23. During the age of Absolutism, the Dano-Norwegian kings, in accordance with the ideas of mercantilism, frequently granted monopolies to owners of foundries and sawmills to purchase timber from the Norwegian bonder in the surrounding areas. The Blairs, Cappelens, and the Løvenskiolds became wealthy merchants as well as owners of land. Certain aspects of this system lasted until 1860.

1836, Ole and Anstein Nattestad, brothers, and peasants, from Veggli, Numedal, returned from a business venture to Rogaland Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 26 and passed through Tinn on skis and stayed at the Lurås-Rue farm in the fall. In Tysvær, they had hear about America. The early settler Knud Slogvig had visited that community the previous year. Norwegian-American Studies, Vol. 29, p. 51. Some months later, on April 8, 1837, the Nattestad brothers visited the Lurås-Rue farm again on their way to America, heading westward toward Stavanger. Rønning, N. N. The Saga of old Muskego, p. 7. Thus, the locals heard about emigration to America and spoke enthusiastically about it to the people of Tinn. As a result, the so-called Rue party of 1837 left Skien on May 22 for Goteborg, then America with 59 people, mostly from Tinn. This was the first emigration from Eastern Norway. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 87. Also, see the original Norwegian account of the Nattestad’s visit to Tinn in Tinn Soga, by Einung, p. 483. For a complete history of the Nattestad’s learning of America, see Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 102 or Clausen, C. A., A Chronicler of Immigrant Life, p. 50. On page 110 Flom speaks of Erick Gauteson MidBöen, Thore Kittilson Svimbil, and John Nelson Rue who had large families, and two single men Gunder Gauteson Midböen and Torsten Ingebrigtson Gulliksrud. These form the advance troupe of emigrants from the Parish of Tinn. John Nelson Rue became one of the founders of the earliest Norwegian settlement in Winneshiek County, Iowa. Clausen, C. A. A Chronicler of Immigrant Life, p. 12. Gunder Gauteson was a school teacher in Tinn and came over in 1837. He went to Fox River and worked as a day laborer before moving to Muskego. Clausen, C. A., A Chronicler of Immigrant Life, p. 22. Ole and Ansten Nattestad started their journey on April 8. Norwegian-American Studies, Vol. 29, p. 51.

Serious crop failures struck Tinn, Telemark in the years 1837-39. Norwegian-American Studies, Vol. 29, p. 76.

1837-1843, Four-fifths of the emigration from Tinn in Telemark from 1837 to 1843 was family emigration. Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 37. These people were not really poor. “It was the boldest that set off first”, from Vilhelm Moberg. Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 38.

1837, First to leave for America from Tinn, the Rue party. At Sandven at the shores of Lake Tinnsjø a crowd gathered on May 17. Fifty-nine from Tinn and Hovin were leaving. The minister and sheriff (lensmann H. A. Bernaas) made speeches. The emigrants wore old costumes, had trunks and supplies with them, and rowed down the river as family, left behind, waved. In the south end of Tinnsjø the emigrants had to walk through Gransherad and Heddal down to Lake Heddalsvatn. They by boats along Lake Heddalsvatn and thereafter Lake Norsjø they almost reached Skien. The last distance was made by foot. Five days after departure from Tinn the group embarked, went onboard the sailing vessel “Paketten” in Skien (May 22) with Ole Halvorsen as Captain. Norwegian-American Studies, Vol. 29, p. 53. The ship arrived at Gøteborg/Gothenburg, Sweden a few days later. The emigrants changed ships and left for New York with “Niord” about May 31. The ship arrived August 15 in New York after 10 weeks. From New York it was to Chicago(in early September) and the Fox River Settlement south-west of the City in Illinois. Most of them settled there, including Snowshoe Thompson. What happened on the shore of Sandven really was the beginning of a wave. The event was a sensation. Newspapers and magazines made articles. The authorities didn’t say much, but they did not discourage emigration. From a letter by Anfinn Bernaas.

1837, John Nielsen Rue of Tinn leads the “Rue party” to America from Skien on May 22, Norwegian-American Studies, Vol. 29, p. 52. then Goteborg on May 31 to August 15, almost 11 weeks. Three ships sailed this year, the Enigheden, the Ægir captained by Behrens with eighty four passengers including Ole Rynning, and separately the Noord. Three families from Tinn and a couple of single men were on the Noord. Those from Tinn went directly to the Fox River settlement. Those on the Enigheden (Harmony, or Unity), captained by Jensen, started from Egesund, south of Stavanger, then to Stavagner, then to America with 93 passenger who join the Sloopers at the Fox River settlement, then two years later move to Muskego. Many of those on the Ægir (god of the sea) reached Chicago where they were warned by Bjørn Anderson from the Fox River Settlement that they would be ravaged by malaria if they went to Fox River. Their leader, Ole Rynning, was on the latter ship, arriving in June, and he took the bulk of the passengers to the ill-fated Beaver Creek settlement in Iroquois County, Illinois on the advice of some Americans. Ole died there a year later, apparently of dysentery, along with many others. Unmindful of his own suffering, he continued bravely to aid and comfort the settlers. On his sickbed in the winter of 37-38 he wrote a truthful and optimistic account of America. This account of 39 pages did more than anything else to stimulate the early immigration movement. The rest of the settlers fled to the Fox River settlement, arriving in the summer of 1838. The Beaver Creek settlement was abandoned by 1840. Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 85. Also see Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 27.

1837, Three families from Tinn were on the Noord. One was Erik Gauteson Midboen and settled at La Salle. A second was Thor Kittelson Svimbil who died at Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. The third was John Nielsen Rue who in 1869 was living on a farm at Winneshiek county, Iowa. Torstein Ingebrigtson Gulliksrud died in Illinois, was single. Also single, but an educated teacher, and probably a leader of the group was Gunder Gaueteson Midboen. He lived at Fox River from 1837 until 1842, and moved to Muskego where he prospered and has 200 acres of land in 1869. Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 232. See page 233 for the reasons for leaving Telemark. Also see the names of the two wealthy landowners, Brevig and Cappelen of Skien. They owned vasts tracts in upper Telemarken. Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 233. Ole Hier Omdal of Tinn also came over in 1837 and located at Fox River but moved to Iowa in 1868. Clausen, C. A. A Chronicler of Immigrant Life, p. 12.

Two children of the Rue party died at sea. Norwegian-American Studies, Vol. 29, p. 54.

Ole Rynning and his life story appear in Norway. Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 202. Ole was born at Ringsaker but moved to Tronhjem in 1825. He wrote a poem on the AEgir regarding his love of Norway. Page 206.

1837, in the local newspaper “Ugeblad for Skien og Omegn” dated May 23, 1837 was written the following: “Yesterday 56 people from Tinn departed for North-America in order to find a better destiny. Norwegian-American Studies, Vol. 29, p. 53. Some of them is said to be supplied with more than 800 Specie daler, and they have agreed among themselves that they will support each other with money and labour. They had also seen to that in the party there were carpenters, blacksmiths, etc. Two of these people intended to go back then next year together with 2 men from Numedal in order to tell their neighbors and family back home of their destiny and prospects for the future. If the prospects were favorable, one third of the people of Tinn and Numedal wished to emigrate the next year”.

1837, The Aegir sailed from Bergen under Captain Behrens on July 4. Each adult paid 60 specie dollars. Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 100 and 224.

1837, Snowshoe Thompson comes to America with his mother, Widow Rue. They made their home at La Salle County, Illinois, then move to Shelby County, Mo. In 1838. In 1840 the departed for Lee County, Iowa, and in 1846 the became part of the Blue Mounds Settlement in Dane County, Wisconsin. Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 141. Snowshoe carried the mail from 1856-1876. See Norwegian-American Studies, Vol. 29, p. 54 for material on the name issue (Torstein instead of John), plus the fact that Torstein left later (1839) with his sister Kari.

1837, Ellen Sanders, daughter of Østen Sondrason and Aasta, came to America this year from Tinn. Her parents and a sister named Margaret perished at Beaver Creek. Ellen became a Mormon. See story in Lovoll, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 92.

1837, The local administrative unit of Kommune is now formed from the previous “herred” or herad (plural herader). The living conditions at Fox River had been unattractive and out of this disappointment grew an attempt to establish a settlement in Missouri. Cleng Peerson set out and instead of going north, he went southwest to Shelby County, Missouri. In 1837 he led a party of 12-15 to the settlement. It was short-lived, as their was distaste with a slave state, and the Wisconsin land was opening up.

1837, Cleng Peerson founds a third settlement, in Shelby County, Missouri. It did not thrive and the settlers moved to Sugar Creek in Lee County, Iowa. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 112.

1837, there were some 200 public schools in Norway with an enrollment of 15,500 students. Some 160,000 students received instruction in country homes too. Schooling started at eight and often ended at age 12.Blegen, The American Transition, p. 278.

1837, Bishop Neumann called upon people to stay in Norway. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 154. , Bishop Jacob Neumann pictured the desire to emigrate as a contagious disease.

1838, Upper Telemark suffers from hungersnød, or famine, and the people were forced to share in the food with their cattle as a result of the bad years. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 168.

1838, There are no churches or ministers in America. See Blegen, The American Transition, p. 102.

1838, Forth settlement in America is at Clinton, Rock County, WI and is called the Jefferson Prairie settlement.

1838, Norwegians became to establish themselves in Wisconsin. Ole Knutson Nattestad from the ill-fated Beaver Creek Colony came to Rock County, Wisconsin and settled at Clinton on July 1, 1838 where a few American families had built homes. While Ole was exploring, Ansten went back to Norway and brought a group of settlers back to join Ole (see below). This became the important Jefferson Prairie Settlement.Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 114. Also see Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 237. See page 238 for an interesting testimony of why they left Norway and how they heard about America and how he later became the first Norwegian to settle in Wisconsin.

1838, Ansten Knutson Nattestad returns to Norway, from the Rue party, causing a great sensation. He was like a second Slogvig. He brought back the manuscript of Ole Rynning, of Tinn, that when it was published became the first of what became known as the “America Books”. It was titled “Sandfædig beretning om Amerika til oplysning og nytte for bonde og menigmand”, ie, True Account of America for the Enlightenment and Benefit of the Peasant and the Common Man. Ansten would bring a load of immigrants to America the following year. Twenty two years before the Civil War, speaking about slavery, Ole Rynning wrote “there will probably soon come either a separation between the northern and southern states or bloody civil conflicts”. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 100-102 for a list of suggested items required on the passage to America. Ansten also brought back his brother Ole’s journal of 39 pages and published that. The two books were complimentary. See also Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 85 and 116. Also see Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 215.

1838, Ole K. Nattestad bought land and settled at Clinton, Rock County, Wisconsin. This settlement would be called Jefferson Prairie. He was the first Norwegian settler in Wisconsin. His brother Ansten would join him the next year. Nelson, O. A., History of Scandinavians in the United States, p. 109 of History of Wisconsin. Also Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 141.

1838, Ole Rynning wrote that the Fox River Settlement is up to 16-20 families. He wrote that the “infamous slave traffic” would inevitably lead to a Civil War. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 418.

1838, As late as 1838 there was only one Norwegian ship arriving in New York. Skard, Sigmund, The United States in Norwegian History, p.35.

1839, “Most of the first Norwegian settlers at Muskego came from Tinn, Telemark, in 1839. Tinn is one of the most secluded and mountainous districts in Norway, famed in song and saga for wild beauty and a sturdy people. There the majestic mountain Gausta towers in lonely grandeur above all the other mountains; there the river Rjukan plunges with deafening roar into a yawning abyss and rushes madly through a narrow gorge. During the short winter days, the sun cannot be seen at all by the people in the deep valleys, but during the long sunny summer days, flowers bloom in meadows and woodland, grain grows I the miniature fields, and birds pour out a flood of melody.” Rønning, N. N. The Saga of old Muskego, p. 7.

1839, Wergeland wrote his poem “Famine”, a lament to the cold-hearted stars, which look down so smilingly on the bitter famine and suffering in Norway. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 169 for the wage rates of various professions during this time, and to 1860.

1839, Ansten Nattestad, in June, assembles a group in Drammen from Rollaug and Veggli in northern Numendal. They were about 140 people and set sail on June 12 on the Emilie and arrived in New York on August 26. The “Emilie” carried its passengers to New York for 33 ½ specie dollars per person. Some took the brig “Bunian” for Boston. They took the usual route to the west, up the Hudson River, then by way of the Erie Canal to Buffalo, then through the Great Lakes to Chicago. Although Americans and Norwegians alike tried to get Ansten to lead the people to Muskego, most of these people followed Ansten to the area selected by his brother Ole at Rock County, Wisconsin, the Jefferson Prairie settlement. Two, however, Gullik Gravdal and Gisle S. Halland went on and founded the Rock Prairie (or Luther Valley) settlement at Rock Prairie.Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 119. Also see, Nelson, O. A., History of Scandinavians in the United States, p110 in History of Wisconsin. Also see much detail in Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 127 and Clausen, C. A., A Chronicler of Immigrant Life, p. 56.

1839, June 28, Johannes Johansen and Soren Tollefsen Bache left Store Walle in Lier and came to America. Johannes would go on to write the Muskego Manifesto. Soren would write a book about Muskego. They went to Muskego in the summer of 1840 from Fox River. The Muskego site seemed to Bache to be unfavorably located so he selected lands on the shores of Wind Lake in Norway Township. This led to most of the Muskego folks to move here. Soren returned to Norway in 1842, left again in 1843, returned once more in 1847 and settled in Lier parish where he died in 1890. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 118.

1839, the “America Letters, begin to flow with accounts of freedom and equality. There was no need to bow to officials and “betters” in this land. The letters became an indictment of Norwegian class distinctions but also told of toil and hardship. The letters were copied and sent from farm to farm and community to community. Many were reprinted in newspapers.

1839, For a discussion of horrible things that could happen to the immigrants, like being eaten alive by Indians, see Clausen, C. A. A Chronicler of Immigrant Life, p. 11.

1839, The “Americas Books” begin to appear. Peter Testman’s “Brief Account of the Most Important Experiences during a Sojourn in North America” appeared. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 240.Other such books are described here.

1839, The Gullik O. Gravdal letter attests to the strength of the Rynning book. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 103.

Fifth settlement in America was at Muskego, Wisconsin.
1839, John Nielsen Luraas, the eldest son on the Luraas farm led a party from Tinn. The Rynning book and letter from earlier emigrants motivated him. Also, Ansten Nattestad was leading a group to America this season. John married Anna Olsen Berge on April 8, 1839. By September 8 they were in America. Of the 40, half were from the Luraas families. These 40 left from Drammen with the sloop “Enighteten” on May 5, 1839, then from Goteborg aboard the “Clarissa Andrews” to Boston , sailing from June 1 to July 20. The immigrants went west by way of New York and Buffalo, and after a perilous voyage on the Great Lakes (a miserable journey, see Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 160) arrived in Milwaukee seventeen weeks after they left their native land. Their original plan was to go to the Fox River Settlement in Illinois. They were talked out of it by a couple of Americans and they went to Muskego instead. John Evenson Molee was one of seven children and he left Norway because of the Law of Primogeniture (odelsretten). Later in life John wrote that in 1835 the trades were overstocked. A laborer was not allowed to eat at the same table as the landowner. Labor commenced before sunrise and lasted until after dark. Most of these folks went to Muskego in Waukesha County and founded this settlement, the second settlement in Wisconsin. John Molee there married Anne Jacobsen Einong, sister of Gunhild. At the same time, Gunhild’s sister Aslaug married Hans Tveito. These were the first Norwegians at Muskego. See Luraas reasons for leaving on page 115 of Blegen. John Evensen Molee reasons are on page 116. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America. Also, see Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 66 and 119. Also see Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 268. See the story of John Nielsen Luraas on page 269, and also Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 161. Also Clausen, C. A., A Chronicler of Immigrant Life, p. 13.

See the John Eivindsen Møli (John Evenson Molee) story. Norwegian-American Studies, Vol. 29, p. 83. John Nielsen Luraas on the next page.

For detail on the Luraas party see Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 120.

1839, For the detail on why John Nielsen Luraas left for America, see Rønning, N. N. The Saga of old Muskego, p. 8. and Clausen, C. A. A Chronicler of Immigrant Life, p. 11.

John Evanson Molee of Tinn was with the Luraas party. See his story beginning Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration 1821-1840, p. 300. There is detail here as to the route taken to Muskego. On Lake Michigan the wife of Halvor Lonflok Vinlette was drowned (page 313). Clausen, C. A., A Chronicler of Immigrant Life, p. 14.

1839-41, The reports of the death of Ole Rynning effectively stop all emigration during this time.

1839, Swamp fever, ague, and malaria plague the early settlers at Muskego. They moved out of the low lands, on to Norway Township and adjoining lands in Racine County. They retained the name Muskego however. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 118.

The name Muskego was Muskeego, which is derived from the Indian word Muskeeguiac which means cranberry. These berries are abundant in the low regions of the area. Clausen, C. A., A Chronicler of Immigrant Life, p. 17.

1839, Elling Eielsen emigrated to the Fox River settlement Lovoll, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 78 and carried the word of Hans Nielsen Hauge (Haugean gospel or Haugeanism) throughout the western settlements. Haugeanism was a movement directed against officialdom and the clergy of the Norwegian national church. Elling Eielsen was a Lutheran lay minister that towered above all others in force and ability. Other reasons for emigrating to America can be found listed by Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 167. Also, see Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 75.

1839, Halvor Johansen Nymoen crossed the ocean on an American ship and told of passengers who were kicked and struck while the crew called them “devils” and laughed at their agonies. Blegen, the American Transition, p. 22.

1840s, From the 1840s on an especially large number of young people entered in the workforce in Norway. Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 37.

1840, when a company of newcomers in Muskego or Koshkonong in the 1840s, weary and worn from many months of traveling, they were not impressed with the housing offered them. The houses were no more than 12 to 14 foot square and had been built horridly. Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 66.

1840, There are now six permanent Norwegian settlements in America. Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, 1821-1840, preface.

1840, The importance of the individual as a leader appears to be declining by the end of the forties and the migration, although not yet swelling into great numbers, begins to take on some of the aspects of a mass movement. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 192.

1840, Some from Muskego move on to Racine County, Wisconsin, a little southward of Muskego. They moved into Norway, Waterford, Raymond, and Yorkville townships of Racine County. Also, the greatest of the early settlements, Koshkonong in Dane County was established. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 126. Also see Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 155on Wind Lake in Norway Township, Racine County, Wisconsin. This new settlement was called the Muskego settlement or the Yorkville Prairie settlement. Clausen, C. A., A Chronicler of Immigrant Life, p. 18.

1840, A group of immigrants who had been influenced by Bache and Johansen left Norway led by a well-to-do innkeepter from Lier (near Drammen) by the name of Even Heg. They sailed from Drammen on May 17 on the “Emilie”. Ole K. Trovatten was in this group and he would later be acclaimed for his “America Letters”. They arrived in Muskego August 28 along with son Hans Christian Heg. He bought the property of John Nielsen Luraas. Luraas moved on to Norway, Racine County. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 126-127. Also p. 130. See more on Trovatten in Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 83. Also Clausen, C. A., A Chronicler of Immigrant Life, p. 18.

Sixth Settlement in America, Koshkonong in Dane County, WI
1840, The Koshkonong settlement in Dane County, Wisconsin was started by setters from the Jefferson Prairie and Fox River settlements. Gunnul Olsen Vindegg was probably the first to clear land and he became a well known writer of “America letters”. This was perhaps the most important of all the Wisconsin settlements, certainly the most prosperous. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 141. See also Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 168. The Telemarkings were most numerous in Pleasant Spring Township. Lovoll, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 212.

1840, Ole Knudsen Trovatten from Laurdal, Telemarken was a notable writer of “America Letters”, especially to Moe in Tinn where they created quite a sensation. He arrived at Muskego in 1840. He became the most talked about man back in Upper Telemark. Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 82.

1840, the first immigrants arrive in Iowa, Lee County, the Sugar Creek settlement. It would be ten years before the major move to Iowa, at Winneshiek County, began. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 151. See also Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 192 for much detail. Andrew Simonsen from the Shelby County, Missouri settlement seems to have been first in. With him were Mrs. Rue and her sons Thorstein and Jon (future Snowshoe Thompson). Thorstein came over in 1839. Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 192. In 1843 there were between 30 and 40 families but in 1856 there were only 68 Norwegians. Mrs. Rue and her son were here until 1846 when they took part in the founding of the Blue Mounds Settlement in western Dane County, Wisconsin. Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 197. Also Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 170.

1840, Johannes Johansen and Søren Bache write a long America letter. See this section for a host of such letters. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 203.

1840, August 28 – Bache goes out of his way to describe how dirty the mountain people are. “The mountaineers are generally so slovenly in their ways that it is discusting to associate with them”.Bache, Chronicle of Old Muskego, p. 40 and 45.

“In the south the general level of education was higher than in most of the hinterland, agriculture and technology more advanced, the outlook more cosmopolitan. But in many other parts of Norway an essentially medieval way of life survived in inaccessible mountain districts and on isolated farms. This situation helps explain Reiersen’s opinion of some of his countrymen from the mountain regions whom he met in America. J. R. Reiersen, Pathfinder for Norwegian Emigrants, p. 6.

1841, Epidemic, Yellow Fever, Nationwide (USA)

1841, Seventy persons die at Muskego. Muskego had only 500-600 inhabitants, so that 140 deaths meant that nearly ¼ of the population was taken. Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 67.

1841, Preemption Law of 1841, allowed anyone to buy up to 160 acres of land at $1.25 per acre, upon occupying the land and making necessary improvements. Johnson, Millicent, Let’s Have Harmony, p. 1.

1841, Earliest known instance of skiing in America. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 573.

1841-45, Each family emigrating took along on the average of 400 specie dollar, a considerable sum. In Tinn, the class of independent farmer provided the most emigrants.

1842, The conventicle law that had forbidden religious meetings conducted by laymen was repealed. Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 34.

1842, 63 emigrants from Tinn ship out on Ellida (43), Clarissa (8), Tuskina (3), and Washington (7). Two died on the journey. See a letter in Blegen, Land of Their Choice, p. 97.

1842, For a discussion of the tendency to “flock together” in locations throughout America, see Blegen, The American Transition, p. 75.

1842, Ole K. Trovatten from Telemark became know for his America Letters. He wrote that “any poor person who will work diligently can become a well-to-do man here in a short time”. See Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 198 for a discussion of the sensation his letters caused at Moe, Telemarken. See also, Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 82.

1842, Jacob Olsen Einung and Anne leave for America with eight children. Anne and Susanne die on the journey. Gunhild grows up to marry Hans Christian Heg of Civil War fame. Anne had predicted that she would die on the journey. Norwegian-American Studies, Vol. 29, p. 85.

1842, Blegen, The American Transition, p. 24 describes life aboard the ship “Washington”.

1842, Blegen, The American Transition, p. 41. For a description of the early houses that were built.

1842, Torstein Østeinsen Bøen and Kari leave for America with infant son Østein. Kari’s mother comes too, along with Herbjorn Nielsen Ingulfsland who is married to Kari’s sister. They were on the ill-fated Elida. The Ellida, under Captain Jansen from Flekkefjord left Drammen about June 1 and left from Goteborg to New York, arriving on August 8, 1842. Nine passengers, including three babies born on the journey, died of cholera or typhus. Thirty sick and “half dead” had to be sent to the hospital in New York where one died the same day. A doctor declared that there was no hope for some of them and that others would need many weeks of stay in the hospital. Halvor Gunleiksen Luraas and his son Gunleik died during the voyage. See Skiensposten, Sept. 5, 1842 for the story. Also, Blegen, The American Transition, p. 19. For a description of the misery, see Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 133.

1842, The first Norwegian settler in the Town of Dunkirk, Dane County, Wisconsin was John Nelson Luraas, son of Nils Johnson Luraas (b. 1789) arrived from Norway, Racine County in June 1843. Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 249. Luraas was first at Muskego but very soon left Muskego and bought a farm in Norway, Racine county. This he sold to Evan Heg. Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 276. In October 1868 he moved to Webster County, Iowa. Then, in 1873, he returned to Dane County, to his farm. In the fall of 1886 he moved to Stoughton where he died May 29, 1890.

1842, October 13, Mrs. Evan Heg (Sigrid) dies at Muskego leaving four children. Rønning, N. N. The Saga of old Muskego, p. 20.

1842, Bache went back to Norway in 1842, but returned to Muskego in 1843. He was prominent there until his return to Norway in 1847. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 129. Also Bache, Chronicle of Old Muskego, p. 46. He describes the trip through America in detail.

The relationship between landowners and cotters can be deduced from a study of 46 contracts entered into during the period 1843-1874. The desire of cotters and cotters’ children to escape from their restricted life was not inspired purely by dissatisfaction with economic conditions. They were also motivated by a spirit of protest against the humiliating and oppressive social conventions of the traditional agrarian society. The cotters were looked down upon and treated as an inferior class and were often made to feel the sting of mockery and disrespect. There was something essentially degrading about a cotter’s contract. Norwegian-American Studies, Vol. 29, p. 81. However, every fifth wedding in Tinn crossed class boundaries. Norwegian-American Studies, Vol. 29, p. 82. From Tinn, it was the landowning class which furnished the largest contingent of emigrants between 1837 and 1907 – somewhat more than 40%. Norwegian-American Studies, Vol. 29, p. 83.

1843, May 22 – “Just as I stepped into the boat I looked around and happened to notice someone in the upper floor of the storehouse. I realized that it was my sister, but when she saw me looking up she stepped farther back so as not to be seen. Because of my own sad thoughts I could well understand what feelings must have been in her heart. But still I had a faint hope that I should meet her and be with her once again.”Bache, Chronicle of Old Muskego, p. 75.

1843, The first ever public ski meet was held in Tromsø. The people of Telemark, led by Sondre Norheim (1825-1897) who are considered the pioneers of modern skiing.

1843, Johan Reinert. Reiersen set out for America and upon his return in 1844 he published “Veiviser for norske emigranter til De forenede nordamerikanske stater og Texas”, ie, Pathfinder for Norwegian Emigrants to the United States and Texas. He gives a long list of reasons for emigration. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 158, 167. Also, see 178. Also, Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 86. See his history in Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 28. See Bache, Chronicle of Old Muskego, p. 96. Also see J. R. Reiersen, Pathfinder for Norwegian Emigrants, p. 4.

1843, The year that “Telers” moved into Koskonong, 35 families of 182 people led by Olav Knutson Trovaten. Nils Luraas and his sons Jon Nilsen Luraas and Kjetil went to Koskonong in 1843. Østein O. Blomhaug (43) went soon thereafter. Telemarkings were most numerous in Pleasant Spring Township. For a description of the journey see Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 243. Also see Clausen, C. A., A Chronicler of Immigrant Life, p. 107 and 125 and 128. John and Kjitil Luraas were married to two sisters, the daughters of Olav Berge who was the Master Hunter in Tinn. Telelaget, Telemark to America Volume II, p. 28 and 30.

1843, Hans Tveito, the famous fighter, came from Tinn to Muskego in 1843. His ship from Vestfjorddalen was the “Argo”. Gjermund Kasin was on that ship too. He became very successful at Harmony, MN having come there in 1856. Telelaget, Telemark to America Volume II, p. 79.

1843, John J. Kasen came to America. He helped build the church at Muskego. Oien, Minnehaha County’s Norwegian Pioneers, p. 251. Also assisting was Tosten Kleven. For his story see Rønning, N. N. The Saga of old Muskego, p. 14. For comment on who built the church see Rønning, N. N. The Saga of old Muskego, p. 24.

1843, the famous Heg barn is erected at Muskego. This barn, the first home in America for many a Norwegian immigrant, became the springboard from which families moved westward. Tollef Bache, father of Soren, donoted $400 from Drammen, Norway. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 130.

1843, Reverend C. L. Clausen arrived in America with his bride and became the pastor in the Muskego settlement. The first Lutheran Church in America is set up on Even Heg’s land at Muskego. Elling Eielsen was ordained on October 3 at Fox River as the first Norwegian minister in America, and, along with Clausen, ordained on October 13 at Muskego, and in 1844, J. W. C. Dietrichson, the first university-trained minister, ushered in formal Norwegian-American Lutheranism. Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration 1821-1840, p. 418.

1843, December, 270 Muskego setters sign a document showing they desired to members of Clausen’s church. Rønning, N. N. The Saga of old Muskego, p. 20.

1843, Muskego suffers from malaria as written by Claus Lauritz Clausen in Festskrift til Den norske synodes jubileum (Aniversery Book for the Norwegian Synog, 1903. Seventy persons died at Muskego in the fall of 1843 according to Munch Raeder. Milton Wells visited the Muskego settlement during the winter of 1843-44 and wrote “the amount of wretchedness and suffering which prevailed was such as absolutely to mock all description”. Men like Heg, Bache, and Johansen gave so much aid to new immigrants that Muskego became the place to be for the down-and-out. Every house had to hold 15-20 new immigrants, thus the susceptibility to disease. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 57. See also Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 160. For a vivid account of the wretched conditions, see Blegen, Land of Their Choice, p. 177. see Rønning, N. N. The Saga of old Muskego, p. 22. Also Bache, Chronicle of Old Muskego, p. 166.

1843, See Blegen, The American Transition, p. 223, for a discussion of how the funeral was held.

1843, Blegen, The American Transition, p. 56. Awareness of causes of illness is described.

1843, In upper Telemark 689 traveler passports were issued this year alone. Gaute Ingebrigtsen (Gulliksrud)of Tinn, influenced by good tidings in letters from early emigrants from his home district went to Skien, Havre, New York, and Milwauke, then on to Koskonong. He became one of the earliest pioneers in Dunkirk Township, Dane County. His party from Tinn numbered about 140. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 146. Also see Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 80.

1843, Gunder T. Mandt of Upper Telemarken gave testimony of the opposition to emigration from Norway, especially by the clergy. Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 82.

1843, The second settlement in Iowa was made at Ft. Atkinson at Winneshiek County. Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 172.

1844, Jon N. Bjørndalen, in Milwaukee County, WI Terr to his parents writes of the deaths of many from Tinn including Knud Maerum and his insane son Thore, Tosten Maerum and his wife, Jacob Einong, Ingebret Berge and his wife, Ole Sanden, Østen Eggerud and his wife, Gro Eggerud, Sigurd Vemork, Anne Halvorsdatter Laavekaase, Anne Bøen, and besides many small children. Halvor Jørisdal and Gunner from Sjøtvedt; all told some 68 grown people and children. Blegen, Land of Their Choice, p. 186. The letter goes on to say that Jon Nielsen Rue with his deceitful letters so shamefully induced his parents to come here to utter wretchedness.

1844, Johan Gasmann describes in great detail the trip across America to Milwaukee in Blegen, Land of Their Choice, p. 155.

1844, John N. Gjøsdal relates that 68 from Tinn are already dead of swamp fever. Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 150.

1844, A great many who left for America this year were influenced by the return from Muskego of Knud Svalestuen of Vinje in the Fall of 1843. Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 85.

1844, Reverand J.W.C. Dietrichsen, born Fredrikstad, Norway arrived at Koskonong during the last days of August and immediately began to organize the people into congregations. Two new churches were built this year at Koskonong. Dietrichsen’s successors were A. C. Preus (1850-1860) and J. A. Ottesen (1860-1865). Dietrichsen went back to Norway for good in 1850.

1844, Reverend Clausen confirmed the first class in the Heg barn. The historic Muskego church, projected in 1843, was dedicated on March 13, 1845. It was built of oak logs. See Blegen, The American Transition, p. 144 for details and a picture.

1844, a newspaper, the Bratsberg Amts Correspondent is mentioned, check it out. Blegen, Land of Their Choice, p. 188.

1844, Johan Reinert Reirsen brings out his “Pathfinder for Norwegian Emigrants to the United States and Texas”. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 243. This book was widely read in Norway and had an impact. Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 86. Also see Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration 1821-1840, p. 359.

1844, Racine County, Wisconsin now has 600 Norse. Nelson, O. A., History of Scandinavians in the United States, p. 111 of History of Wisconsin.

1844, John Evanson Molee marries Anne Jacobsdatter Einong in Even Heg’s barn. Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration 1821-1840, p. 316. The other couple was the muscular giant, Hans Tveito and Anne’s sister Aslaug.

1845, Lars Larson dies by accident on November 13. Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 65.

1845, Bratsberg had a population of 72,891, or 5.5 % of the population of Norway. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, map on p. 14.

1845, January 6, The Muskego Manifesto was signed by 80 men of Muskego and inserted in Morgenbladet on April 1, 1845. Johannes Johansen wrote the document. He died later that year. See Blegen, The American Transition, p. 189. Also see Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 209. Also, Bache, Chronicle of Old Muskego, p. 141.

1845, March 13 – The Muskego church was dedicated. Rønning, N. N. The Saga of old Muskego, p. 25. See Bache, Chronicle of Old Muskego, p. 148.

1845, Henrik Wergeland wrote his anit-emigration poem, “the Mountain Hut”, about a group from upper Telemarken. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 318.

1845, “A convenient point at which to examine the rural population groupings is
the year 1845. The total population was then 1,328,471. There were 77,780 independent land holders, most of them presumably family heads. These freeholders made up the bonde element — perhaps the most powerful and influential element in the population of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Norway. The designation of peasants as applied to this class is misleading. Norway never had a feudal system, and the bønder had behind them ancient traditions not only of independence but also of vigorous self-assertion. These freeholders in fact constituted a rural aristocracy, which through centuries had been the very heart of the national culture. They were proud of their traditions, but their position carried with it no necessary implication of wealth. In truth, the economic position of the bønder has been difficult. Many, pressed to the wall by adverse conditions, have sold their ancient farms and emigrated to America. And in many other cases younger sons, barred by the practical workings of the odel system of land tenure from having a share in the ancestral estates, have sought their fortunes in the West. One result of the odel system has been the holding of estates through many generations by one line in direct descent. It is not uncommon in the Norwegian valleys to find farms that have remained in the possession of one family, handed down from father to son, generation after generation, since the fifteenth or sixteenth century. Some understanding of the feeling about land ownership bred by such traditions may be had by noting the view of a Norwegian immigrant who explains that all the sons in his father’s family, though only a few of them became farmers, insisted upon owning farm lands in America, “largely for reasons of sentiment, in harmony with the old conception of land ownership.” The essence of this conception was that “land possessed a certain dignity and worth, aside from its purely commercial value. It was the pride of the old chieftains; it insured economic well-being and personal independence; it gave stability and permanence to the family in whose possession it remained from century to century.” It is not to be wondered at that the bondestand made itself a power in the affairs of modern Norway. After the establishment of constitutional government in that country in 1814, the bønder, becoming increasingly class-conscious, entered upon a protracted but successful contest with the privileged official class and the clergy for leadership in the state. The “rural population,” as Hardy says, “survived centuries of foreign domination, until in the nineteenth century it came once more into its own as the heart and kernel of Norwegian democracy.” Various aspects and implications of the battle of the bønder are considered in later chapters of the present work; it remains to be noted here that from the bondestand have come a large number of the political leaders, writers, poets, musicians, and professional men of modern Norway; and that the same class has contributed liberally, in various fields, to leadership among the Norwegians transplanted to America. The rural population of Norway in 1845 included, in addition to the bønder, 58,049 husmænd, 25,047 renters, 47,000 laborers, and 146,000 servants. The husmænd and laborers, mainly family heads, have been estimated to represent elements of respectively 300,000 and 230,000 people. {11} Most interesting of these classes from the point of view of
emigration were the husmænd, or cotters. These people, most of whom were to be found in the eastern parts of Norway, ordinarily leased small pieces of land to work for themselves, and were required, usually under written contracts, to give a specified amount of service to their landlords, the bønder. Small lots of land, with cottages and other buildings, usually some distance behind the central buildings of the gaard, were reserved for the use of husmænd. It is clear that heavy demands were made upon the cotters. In 1850 they were asking that their required services be restricted to five days a week and the working day to eleven hours. One writer states that practically the only free time the husmænd had for work on their own plots of ground was on Sundays. The value of services beyond the stipulated arrangements might be placed as high as twelve pennies a day in summer, less than half that in winter. Professor Koht writes that the husmænd were personally free — that is, they were not bound to the soil — but that in effect they were economic serfs. “It was only on rare occasions,” he continues, “that any of them were able to win their way out of poverty.” {12} Hardy characterizes the husmand historically as the liberated thrall. {13} Both [8] politically
and socially the class was on a lower plane than that of the bonde. It lacked the suffrage, since its members could not meet the property qualification. The husmænd were on the increase in the period when the emigration movement was rising, an increase that went from 48,571 in 1825 to 65,060 in 1855, the latter being the highest point in the history of the class. In a later chapter the movement for reform with reference to the cotters and its connections with emigration are considered in some
detail. Poverty coupled with stern demands upon the time and service of the cotters tended in many cases to embitter their attitude toward the bønder, whose relationship to the lesser class had had a patriarchal flavor in an earlier day. A considerable number of pensioners, who had surrendered their property to their heirs upon condition of receiving annual allowances and living quarters, are represented in the population of 1845 — 46,512 of them. {15} The dower house, it may be added, is a familiar feature in the usual cluster of buildings at the center of a Norwegian gaard. Samuel Laing in his journal from the thirties prints a translation of an advertisement in a Christiania newspaper offering a Norwegian gaard for sale at a price of four thousand dollars. This presents some interesting concrete detail concerning buildings, equipment, and other aspects of a typical gaard:

A two-story dwelling-house, with seven apartments, of which two are painted. A large kitchen, hall and room for hanging clothes, and two cellars. There is a side building of one story, containing servants’ room, brewing kitchen, calender room, chaise-house, and wood-house. A two-story house on pillars with a pantry, and a store-room. The farm buildings consist of a threshing barn, and barns for hay, straw, and chaff; a stable for five horses; a cattle house for eight cows, with divisions for calves and sheep. There is a good kitchen garden, and a good fishery; and also a considerable wood, supplying timber for house-building, for fences, and for fuel, besides the right of cutting wood in the common forest. The scater (sæter) or hill pasture is only half a mile (that is, three and a half English miles) from the farm. The arable land extends to the sowing of eight barrels of grain and twenty-five or thirty of potatoes (the barrel is half a quarter), besides the land for hay; and the farm can keep within itself, summer and winter, two horses, eight cows, and forty sheep and goats. There is also a houseman’s farm and houses. It keeps two cows, six sheep, and has arable land to the sowing of one and a half barrels of grain and six barrels of potatoes. The property adjoins a good high road, is within four miles (eight and twenty English miles) of Christiania. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p.5.

When they were confirmed, about age fifteen, they went to work as adults, becoming hired men and servant girls, sailors or fishermen. Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 102.

1845, Last year, especially during the winter months, a very severe epidemic raged in our midst, carrying about seventy or eighty men, women, and children to their graves. Bache, Chronicle of Old Muskego, p. 141.

1845, Rev. C. L. Clausen accepts the call to Koshkonong, WI. Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 162.

1846, Rev. C. L. Clausen accepts the call to Rock Prairie, WI. Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 162.

1846, February 10, Johannes Johansen, author of the Muskego Manifesto, dies at Muskego, of disease. Rønning, N. N. The Saga of old Muskego, p. 30.

1846, A haunting poem is written in Telemarken. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 312.

1846, Iowa becomes a state. A few Norwegian settlers crossed the Mississippi into Clayton and Allamakee counties in northeastern Iowa and four years later an important Norwegian settlement was founded in the region east of Decorah, the Washington Prairie settlement. 1846, Ole Valle and Ole Tollefson Kittilsland lead the way into Iowa. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 363. Also see Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 363. 1846. Ole Valle and Ole Tollefson Kittilsland from Rollaug, Numedal lead the way into Northeastern Iowa. See Flom, p. 367 for a description of the hard life of the first pioneers.

1846, the “Amtsmand” of Bratsberg declared that emigration had been advantageous in that it checked the process of land division, which had already gone to extreme lengths. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 168.

1846, Dietrichson’s “Travels among the Norwegian Immigrants in the United North American Free States” was published at Stavenger. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 254.

1846, One of Norway’s famous painters, Tidemand, understood the emotion of the “America Letters” and the departures to America. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 317-318.

1846, Tosten Thompson Rue arrives in Blue Mounds, Dane County, Wisconsin from Racine County. He is the brother of Snowshoe Thompson. Earlier, he was at Sugar Creek, Lee County, Iowa with his mother and brother Jon. Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 340 and 197.

1847, Wisconsin becomes a state. Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 158.

1847, Milwaukee now has a population of eleven or twelve thousand. Blegen, Land of Their Choice, p. 207.

1847, “The worst complaint of all is homesickness; everyone experiences that….most of the immigrants cherish more or less consciously to return some day to their native land”. Blegen, Land of Their Choice, p. 215. Very few Norwegians have yet built comfortable houses. The great majority live in log cabins of the sort that can be erected in a day.

1847-1848, Epidemic, influenza, worldwide.

1847, Blegen tells about the cabins at Muskego on page 43. Page 48 tells of the hard work done by the Norwegian women. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 43-48.

1847, Bache returns to Norway from Muskego where he became a successful farmer.

1847-1850, The first Norwegian-American newspaper was established by James D. Reymert, a lawyer from Farsund in Norway. The name was Nordlyset (Northern Lights). July 29 marked the first issue which was printed in Even Heg’s cabin. The funds came from Heg and Bache. See Blegen for a copy of the contract, p. 289. It obtained 200 subscribers. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 289. Also see Rønning, N. N., The Saga of Old Muskego, p. 42. Nordlyset took a strong stance against slavery.

1847, C. L. Clausen is a pastor at Rock Prairie at this time. His first wife died this year in November, and he remarried in February. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 220.

1847, At Rock Prairie, the public schools run 3 months a year and the teacher is paid $10 a month.

1847, Thomas Anderson Veblen came to America and went to work in a friends, Stephen Olsen, fanning mill. His wife worked as a maid in an American home. By trade Thomas was a carpenter. He occupied a claim but was pushed off of it. He moved to Cato Township, Manitowoc County, where he remained until 1865, when he pushed on to Minnesota. He did well there. One of his sons was Thorstein Bunde Veblen, was born on the Wisconsin farm in 1857. Thorstein became the author of “Theory of the Leisure Class” and “Theory of Business Enterprise”.

1847, When the Norwegian jurist Munch Ræder came to Muskego in 1847, he met people from Tinn who gave him a friendly reception. “Honest and simple folk”, they wore the costume of their valley and spoke the dialect. Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 71.

1848-1849, Epidemic, cholera, North America. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 268. Regarding Muskego, see Nelson, O. A., History of Scandinavians in the United States, p. 110 in History of Wisconsin. See also Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 274 describing cholera outbreaks at Muskego in 1849, 1850, 1851 and 1852. “the plague broke out here again in 1851, and raged with frightful violence and fatality”. Reverend Stub said 1849, 1850, and 1852. Rønning, N. N., The Saga of Old Muskego, p. 44. The first medical doctor came in 1847 or 1848 but left after a short time. The second died in the epidemic of 1849.

1848-1849, Malaria (egern) or “swamp fever” or “cold fever” or “ague” was bad in the summers in the colonies, cholera raged in the settlements in 1849 but disappeared by 1854. Muskego was hard hit in 1849, 1850, and 1852 according to the reverend H. G. Stub. During those years the dead and dying were found in every household and so great was the loss that most of the settlers moved away. Dr. Squires died in the epidemic of 1849. Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 160.

1848-1849, An economic crisis hits Norway when mine and timber owners had problems selling their wares, thus driving down wages. Population pressure is now felt in rural areas. It is now hard to become a crofter.

1848, A law was passed in Norway requiring every town to have a common school. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 278.

1848, Announcements of the California gold discoveries are reported to Norway. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 268.

1849, The British Navigation Acts were repealed effective January 1, 1850, causing a shift in emigration to Quebec and Montreal in 1850 (emigrants to Quebec, and timber back to Norway). For a discussion of the route to America see Blegen, The American Transition, p. 33.

1849, The Indians are removed from Iowa. Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration 1821-1840, p. 292.

1848, In the year of the revolution, Marcus Thrane ws the first Norwegian to raise radical demands on behalf of the underprivilidged. The authorities put his movement down by force in 1851. Skard, Sigmund, The United States in Norwegian History, p.43.

1849, There was a heavy outbreak of cholera in Chicago in April. One person in 36 died. On April 29, cholera was brought by the canalboat “John Drew”. Her captain, who had contracted the disease from immigrants coming from New Orleans, died. Cholera followed the emigrants to settlements like Muskego, Fox River, and Koshkonong. At Muskego, John Evenson Molee reported the “awfullest summer that I have ever experienced in my life. Three or four persons died every day”. “Hans Tveito and myself had all we could do to carry the dead out of the houses and haul them to the grave with our oxen, while other dug the graves”. At Koshkonong a carpenter who was employed to build cofins for the cholera victims in the settlement was unable to supply the demand. In order that he should not be exposed to the disease, his neighbors pushed boards through the window into his shop and the coffins were delivered through the same window. In Muskego so dark a pall of sorrow fell upon the colony that Muskego became known as the “region of death”.Blegen, The American Transition, p. 59.

1849, Cleng Peerson moves to Texas.

1849, Reverend C. L. Clausen of Rock Prairie sets out to find new areas to settle west of the Mississippi. This journey, and one in 1851 were unsuccessful. However, in 1852 he found the beautiful and fertile valley in Mitchell County, Iowa now called the St. Ansgar. In the spring of 1853 forty families, with a train of covered wagons and about 300 head of cattle, set out from Rock Prairie, a journey of 300 miles across trackless prairie.

1849, Hans Christian Heg and three companions leave Muskego for the gold fields of California. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 271.

1849, Minnesota obtains territorial status. Nelson, O. A., History of Scandinavians in the United States, p. 306. Also Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 178. Also see Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p.34.

1849, James Denoon Reymert went to the state Legislature of Wisconsin, the first Norwegian to attain this distinction. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 294. For a synopsis of his life in America see Rønning, N. N. The Saga of old Muskego, p. 40.

1849, The village of St. Paul, MN Territory has about 30 huts. Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 178. C. L. Clausen took the very first steamboat to St. Paul, there was no Minneapolis.

1850, There are seven Norwegians in Minnesota Territory. Nelson, O. A., History of Scandinavians in the United States, p. 300. Some say the census said nine, but there were two soldiers at Ft. Snelling. Qualey, Norwegian Settlement in the United States, p. 111.

1850, There are 29,000 people in Chicago now. Odd Lovoll, The Promise of America, p. 48.

1850, Fredrika Bremer, the Swedish author, expressed “What a glorious new Scandinavia might not Minnesota become”. Qualey, Norwegian Settlement in the United States, p. 97. See also Blegen, Land of Their Choice, p. 419.

1850, There were 562 Norwegians in Chicago now, and 12,678 Norwegians in the U.S. census of 1850. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 481.

1850, Epidemic, Yellow Fever, Nationwide (USA)

1850-1851, Epidemic, Influenza, North America

1850, Census shows 361 Norwegians in Iowa, with 8,651 in Wisconsin. There are 105 in Texas due to the recruiting efforts of John R. Reiersen. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 151. See also Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 86.

1850, Blegen, The American Transition, p. 489, A party of settlers started from Muskego, stopping at Koshkonong to recruit other migrants, pushing on as a company of more that a hundred people in every manner of vehicle, including wagons with wheels “made of solid sections of oak logs”. At Prairie du Chien the caravan divided, some heading north for the Coon prairie and valley country, the others crossing the great river into Iowa and making their way to Winneshiek County. John Nielsen Rue was one of the first into Winneshiek County. Clausen, C. A., A Chronicler of Immigrant Life, p. 12.

1850, Twelve families founded the Washington Prairie settlement in Winneshiek County, Iowa. Most came from Wisconsin and the first settlers that came direct came in 1853. The Reverend Ulrik V. Koren became pastor in 1853. It was not long before thriving settlements showed up in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota. Decorah became one of the leading Norwegian cultural centers in America. 1846, Ole Valle and Ole Tollefson Kittilsland lead the way into Iowa. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 364. Also, Lovoll, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 117.

1850, The earliest settlement in Winneshiek County, Iowa was at Washington Prairie. Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 368. Mikkel Omli was the one from Telemarken. Nels Johnson was the leader.

Decorah, Iowa, for a variety of reasons, became one of the most important cultural centers. Perhaps no Norwegian magazine published in this country has attained a high literary and cultural excellence than “Symra” issued in Decorah. 1846, Ole Valle and Ole Tollefson Kittilsland lead the way into Iowa. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 364.

1850, Even Heg dies at Muskego, as did his wife Siri seven years earlier. Rønning, N. N., The Saga of Old Muskego, p. 43. He was one of the most famous of the lay preachers.

1850, Quebec becomes a port of entrance for immigrants from Norway. 250 came this year. Nearly all went on to the United States. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 358. Also Odd Lovoll, The Promise of America, p. 28.

1850, The Reverend C. L. Clausen wrote to the governor of Minnesota Territory seeking information “about the domain which he governed”. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 366. The next summer, Clausen set off to investigate St. Cloud, St. Paul, and St. Anthony Falls. He also went up the Minnesota River.

1850, 18,200 have left Norway by 1850, nearly 70,000 by the start of the Civil War. Lovell, Odd, The Promise Fulfilled, p. 10.

1850, May 18, the last issue of Nordlyset is printed. On June 8 it became Democraten. Lovoll, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 103. Emigranten didn’t come out until January 23, 1852.

1851, Norwegian vessels brought emigrants to America from Galway, Dublin, Limerick, Antwerp, and Havre de Grace. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 13.

1850, A township was in charge of the local school. All American men over 21 could vote. Immigrants could vote as soon as they had signed a declaration of their intention to become American citizens, what was known as “taking out their first papers”. Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 90.

1851, “These two treaties of 1851 at Traverse des Sioux and Mendota acquired for white settlement nearly 24,000,000 acres of the finest lands in the world”. Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p.36.

1851, Indian treaties open up the greater portion of Minnesota west of the Mississippi River and into present day Dakotas.. The first Norwegian settlers in Minnesota settle in Houston and Fillmore counties. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 383. Also Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 181. The opening up of this rich land was advanced by the railroads to the Mississippi at Rock Island in 1854, to East Dubuque in 1855, to Prairie du chien in 1857, and La Crosse in 1858. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 371-72. Houston and Fillmore counties received swarms of Norwegians from the near-by Iowa settlements and from Rock Prairie, Koshkonong, Muskego, and elsewhere to the southeast, with the process beginning in 1851 and 1852. See also Qualey, Norwegian Settlement in the United States, p. 98 and 111, see p. 112 for a detailed map of settlement. Also see Carley, Kenneth, The Sioux Uprising of 1862, p. 2.

“Among the individuals who were highly influential in attracting Norwegian settlers to Minnesota was the pioneer pastor and farmer, C. L. Clausen……Of far greater influence was Paul Hjelm-Hansen. Qualey, Norwegian Settlement in the United States, p.106.

1851, It is claimed that several Norwegians settled in St. Paul in 1851. Nelson, O. A., History of Scandinavians in the United States, p. 299.

1851, The famous violinist Ole Bull comes to Muskego. Rønning, N. N. The Saga of old Muskego, p. 41.

1851, The “Ebenezer” took emigrants to New York, then carried freight to the West Indies. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 11. See p, 15 for a description of the ships fittings, not too cozy. Then follows the description of the journey.

1851, Nine Norwegian settlers come from Muskego to Southeastern Minnesota to open up Minnesota to settlement. They settled at Newburg in Fillmore County.

Langmvhr A. Austin was one of he pioneers in the Minnetonka tourist traffic. He was born in Bø, Telemark in 1851 and came to America at the age of eighteen, making his home with an uncle in Stevens, County, Minn. Where he remained a couple of years, then lived at Glenwood, Minn. a short while and 1n 1875 located at Lake Minnetonka. Hansen, Carl, My Minneapolis, p. 152.

1852, Epidemic, Yellow Fever, Nationwide (USA)

1852, On the night between August 19th and 20th the vessels “Atlantic” and “Ogdensburg”collided on Lake Erie. “Atlantic” sank and 300 of 600 passengers drowned. Onboard were 138 Norwegians, 68 were drowned and the rest were rescued. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 35. For an account of the incident see Blegen, Land of Their Choice, p. 171.

1852, Ole Bull founded his “glorious” but unsuccessful settlement at Potter County, Pennsylvania. It was called Oleana.

1852, January 23, the newspaper “Emigranten”, the Emigrant, was founded at Inmansville, Wisconsin, in the heart of Norwegian territory. It lasted into the change of the century and best reflected the life and position of the majority of the emigrants. The Rev. C. L. Clausen had a lot to do with it. Clausen ran a history of the U. S. in it. Concurrently, he wrote a history of the state of Wisconsin. The first issues were in an election year and the paper took an anti-slavery position.

1852, the Reverend C. L. Clausen sets out for land along the Iowa-Minnesota border. The following year a caravan of 40 canvas covered wagons set out and established a colony, named St. Ansgar. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 367. Also, see Mitchell County, Iowa for 19 years. Nelson, O. A., History of Scandinavians in the United States, p. 389.

1853, mid June, C. L. Clausen leads 40 settlers to Cedar River country in Mitchell County, Iowa. They found St. Ansgar. Clausen remained until 1872. Qualey, Norwegian Settlement in the United States, p.92. This settlement quickly spread into
Worth County. See also Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 160.

1853, Surveying of public land in Minnesota begins. Land sales begin two years later. One who claimed land was called Klæmeren. Lovoll, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 137.

1853, The second oldest cemetery in the state of Minnesota, at St. Peter, with burials starting this year, contains the graves of many soldiers and many of those killed by Indians in 1862. Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p. 346.

1853, Nicollet County, in the great bend in the Minnesota River, with 78 miles of river frontage, is organized. Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p.59.

1853, Elisabeth Koren and her minister husband leave for America. Nelsen, David, The Diary of Elisabeth Koren, p. 1.

1853, Elisabeth Koren reports cholera onboard, 14 are buried at sea. Nelsen, David, The Diary of Elisabeth Koren, p. 6.

1853, Pastor Koren reports that the first railroad between Buffalo and Chicago was completed in the fall of 1853. Nelsen, David, The Diary of Elisabeth Koren, p. 72.

1853, The first Norwegian farmer whom the Korens met when they neared Washington Prairie, Winneshiek County was Gullik Johnson Rønningen, later Running. His wife was Anne. Nelsen, David, The Diary of Elisabeth Koren, p. 96.

1853, Pastor Koren preaches for the first time at Spring Grove, MN on September 9. Nelsen, David, The Diary of Elisabeth Koren, p. 158.

1853, Torgier Luraas took land in Winneshiek County, Iowa. His granddaughter was Mr. John Thingvold of Decorah. Nelsen, David, The Diary of Elisabeth Koren, p. 171.

1853, It is a time of famine in Norway. Nelsen, David, The Diary of Elisabeth Koren, p. 213.

1853, Indians are discussed on pages 79, 256, 363. Nelsen, David, The Diary of Elisabeth Koren.

1853, Nicollet County – The early (first) pioneers went to this area from Wisconsin in 1853 and took land on the site of St. Peter. Between 1854 and 1860 Scandia Grove and Lake Prairie settlements arose. Qualey, Norwegian Settlement in the United States, p. 124. and Ulvestad, Nordmaendene I America, 1:111, and Holland, Norske Settlementers Historie, p. 478, and History of Nicollet and Le Suer Counties, p. 163.

1853, Hans Valder of Vats Parish, Stavager Amt and an immigrant of 1837 became one of the first Norwegian pioneers in Minnesota. When asked who was first, he stated that he saw three young men in a cabin at Spring Grove. The first probably came in 1852. Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 222.

1853, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” becomes a best seller in Norway. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 346.

1853, Ft. Ridgely was commenced as a protection to settlers along the frontier. Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p.82.

1854, July 7, at Jackson, Michigan the Republican party was born. Since the Norwegians did not feel that National unity was threatened, because the Republicans did not advocate outright abolition of slavery, they moved heavily to Republican from Democrats.

1854, Harmony (then Greenfield until 1895), Minnesota Territory, first Norwegian settlers arrive from Koshkonong. John Jacobsen Einong came in July. Herbjorn Nilsen Ingulfsland with four sons, Hans Johanson Bergan, Knud Pedersen Husevold, Niels and Østein Nielsen Ingulfsland, Hallak Olsen Marum, Ellis and Johannes Thoe from Hjartdal, and Tosten Ellis Quammen. Almost all of the “Tindølar” had come from Muskego. Many settled along the state line opposite Ridgeway, Iowa. Telelaget, Telemark to America Volume II, p. 80. Also see Johnson, Millicent, Let’s Have Harmony, p. 3.

1854, June 16, Herbjorn Nielsen Gausta was born in Vesfjorddalen. He came to America at age 12, to Harmony in 1867. Two years later his father died and Herbjorn had four sisters, and no brothers. At age 18 he went to Luther College where his talent for drawing was discovered. Then he went to Oslo for art training, then on to Munich. He returned to the United States in 1882. He died May 22 in 1924, after long having his home in Minneapolis, but often returning to Harmony for the summers. He never married. Johnson, Millicent, Let’s Have Harmony, p. 104. “The scenes of this grandly beautiful region left a deep impression on him”, speaks of Vestfjorddalen. Hansen, Carl, My Minneapolis, p. 171.

1854, The railroad between Milwaukee and Madison was opened in 1854 and reached Prairie du Chien on the Mississippi River in 1857. Qualey, Norwegian Settlement in the United States, p. 99.

1854, The Norseland settlement at present day St. Peter, MN is founded by Torstein Østeinsen Böen from Tinn, John Tollefosn from Toten, and Lars Swensen Rønning from Hallingdal in the spring.

1854, The Luther Valley settlement is ravaged by cholera.

1854, This year ordinary compulsory military service was introduced in Norway. Young men under the age of 21 could emigrate freely, unless they had already met before the medical board.

1855, Epidemic, Yellow Fever, Nationwide (USA).

1855, The first Norwegians arrive at Northfield, the year that John Wesley North founded the town. Bernt Julius Muus, p. 155.

1855, A caravan of nine covered wagons from Muskego arrives in Dakota County.

1855, At Norseland, New Sweden Township, MN Norwegian Grove, Ole Østeinsen Bøen, Gunder Nereson, and Swenke Torgurson found the Township. Ole and Tosten are the first to arrive in Nicollet County, MN Territory. Holland, De Norske Settlementers Historie, p. 479. Also see Ole Estensen in Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p.166.

New Sweden Township, Nicollet County, MN Territory. “Its people, largely Scandinavians, are the true type of men and women who fear not to do and to dare. They have developed this six-mile square tract of Nicollet County in a manner that would put to blush many an older and fairer looking country, by nature, than was this when they first set their plowshares to the tough prairie sod in the fifties and sixties. Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p. 168.

“The early days in Minnesota were anxious and troublesome ones for the hardy white settlers, as Indians were numerous and not always disposed to be friendly”. Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p. 129, VII.

1856, the frontier settlers were thrown into panic by the murder of forty persons at Spirit Lake Settlement in Iowa and the southern extreme of Minnesota. McConkey, Harriet, Dakota War-Whoop, p. 21.

1857-1859, Epidemic, Influenza, Worldwide, one of worst ever.

1857, Carl Fredrick Solberg a native of Christiania to over the newspaper “Emigranten” and was its greatest editor.

1857, October 1, the first Norwegian newspaper in Minnesota became “Folkets röst (The Voice of the People). It appeared just two weeks before the voting on statehood.

1857, Thorstein Veblen was born in Wisconsin but the family moved into Minnesota eight years later. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 487.

1857, March, 42 settlers were killed at Spirit Lake by the Sioux. Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p.38.

1858, Pastor Laurentius Larsen made a trip to St. Peter and found a settlement of about 30 to 40 Norwegian families and four or five times as many Swedes. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 375. He was present when the congregation was organized October 24, 1858. Bernt Julius Muus, p. 168. Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p.297.

1858, The treaty of April 19 with the Yanktonai Sioux cleared all the region between the Missouri and the Big Sioux rivers of Indians and the new lands were thrown open for settlement July 10, 1859. Qualey, Norwegian Settlement in the United States, p. 131. A number of families migrate from Iowa, and wait for the lands of open. Two scouts from Koshkonong in Wisconsin visit.

1859, Six wagons of Norwegians pioneers set out from Stoughton, Wisconsin (Koshkonong) for Dakota. This was two years before Dakota Territory was established. This would become South Dakota. Because of a lack of trees, it was 1860 and 1861 before many more Norwegians went there. Then the Sioux wars slowed settling. Pioneer minister, Abraham Jacobsen, visited the Dakota settlements in the fall of 1861, traveling from Decorah with a party of eight Norwegians. Qualey, Norwegian Settlement in the United States, p. 132. Also see Qualey, Norwegian Settlement in the United States, p. 140.

1860, about 100 Norwegian settlers live at Norway Lake, a community near Willmar, MN which was attacked by Indians on August 20, 1862. Guri Endresen Rosseland of Vikør in Hardanger wrote about it. Lovoll, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 129.

1860s, these were years of poor crops and falling prices. Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 103. There were crop failures in the years 1859-61. Norwegian-American Studies, Vol. 29, p. 75.Serious crop failures struck Tinn in 1859-60.

1860, There were 1,573 Norwegians in Chicago by this time. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 481.

1860, There were 29,557 Norwegians in Wisconsin at this time. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 485.

1860, There were more than eight thousand Norwegians in Iowa at this time.

1860, There were nearly 12,000 Norwegians in Minnesota at this time.

1860, There were more than 700 Norwegians in California at this time.

1860, The election of this year will determine not only the future of slavery in the United States but the very existence as a nation.

1860, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa have 55,000 Norwegians, 68 percent born in Norway. Only about 50 had a university education. Of Norwegians who sought citizenship, 37.6% could not write their names. Dakota has only 129 Norwegians.

1860, a year when wind conditions were favorable brought travel time from Scandinavia down to 39 days. Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 61.

1860, One hundred ships brought immigrants to Quebec this year.

1860, Around Greenfield, later Harmony, MN, could be found Østein Mæland, Herbjorn H. Ingulvsland, Knut Pedersen Huseval, Jon Jonsen Kasen and his three sons, Herbjorn Gregardsen Bøen, Gunuv Bruflaat, Jon and Tov Krosso, Nils Gausta the famous painter, Helleck, Ole, and Sondre Maarum, Ole, O. Maarum.

1860, Around Ridgeway, near Decorah, Iowa, were Gunnulv and Halvor Kjitilsen, Torgier, Tov, and Gunliek Torgiersen Mogen (Såheimsmogen). Also, Knut, Jon, and Alv Vesset; Jacob Knutsen, Niels Vemork, Kjittil Sondresen, Torgrim and Ole Tveito.

1860, There are 44,000 Norwegians in America now, nearly half in Wisconsin. Nelson, O. A., History of Scandinavians in the United States, p. 112 in History of Wisconsin.

1860, Disastrous crop failures due to early frost occurred in Norway. Nineteen hundred left Norway for America in 1860, 8,900 the following year. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 385.

1861, 200 emigrants died in passage this year. Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 61.

1861, Dakota becomes a Territory (out of Nebraska and Minnesota) but the Indian wars stop penetration for several years. Qualey, Norwegian Settlement in the United States, p. 132. Also Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 186.

1861, About 50 Norwegians join the 12th Iowa, constituting half of Company G. Twenty-five fell at Shiloh. Nelson, O. A., History of Scandinavians in the United States, p. 68 of the Iowa document. Norwegians served in numerous Civil War regiments. See Andersen, The Emigrant Takes His Stand, p. 84 and 145 and the individual family histories in Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, Vol. II.

1861, Slooper Ole Olsen Hetletvedt had three sons who enlisted in the 36th Illinois Regiment. They were Porter C., Soren L. and James Webster. Porter rose to General and was killed at the Battle of Franklin. Soren had his head blown off at Murfreesboro. James survived and moved to Minnesota. Anderson, Rasmus, Norwegian Immigration, p. 117. Porter raised his company at Newark, made up largely of the sons of Norwegians from that locality and from the town of Mission in La Salle county. There is a great description of the battle of Stones River on Page 115. The battle of Chicamauga is described on Page 123.

1861, Luther College is established in Decorah, Iowa.

1861, The “Maple Leaf” sailed for Quebec, where she arrived on June 11th with 598 passengers, nearly all from Telemark. The passengers were ravaged by dysentery, and 19 children and 3 adults died at sea. 198 people were completely broke when they arrived at Quebec, their food supply had run out and they had been forced to buy food from others. All of them had to wait for 8 days in Quebec. Those that had no means got free transportation on the railway to Toronto. After a lot of trouble, they were cheated by a Norwegian interpreter, they arrived in Stoughton, Madison, and La Crosse, Wisconsin.

1861, Hans Christian Heg recruits in Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and Illinois. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 391.

Colonel Hans Mattson organized Company D, 3rd Minnesota in Goodhue County, Minnesota. Almost exclusively Scandinavian. Nelson, O. A., History of Scandinavians in the United States, p. 303. Nearly fifty Northmen serve in the 1st Minnesota and more than three times that number in the 2nd. P. 304. 125 join the 3rd Wisconsin and much of the 27th is Norwegian. Nelson, O. A., History of Scandinavians in the United States, p. 121 in History of Wisconsin.

1862, Homestead Act provides for free land and a great need for settlers. Prior to this the price was $1.25 an acre. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 37. Free land? Morgenbladet refused to believe it.Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 121.

1862, February 14, The 15th Wisconsin, the Norwegian Regiment, musters into the U. S. Service at Camp Randall, Wisconsin. On March 2 they head south.

1862, August 18, the Dakota Conflict begins. Guri Endresen Rosseland from Vikør in Hardanger survives, just barely. Qualey, Norwegian Settlement in the United States, p. 108. Also Carley, Kenneth, The Sioux Uprising of 1862, p. 22. See also Lovoll, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 129.

1862, “So swift were their movements, before any effective resistance could be brought against them, that about eight hundred of the settlers, men, women, and children were murdered within a few days”.Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p.42.

1862, E. O. at St. Peter writes of the Indian atrocities. Blegen, Land of Their Choice, p. 427. See the letter in Lovoll, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 130.

1862, In August Swan Lake and Norwegian Grove were terrorized by Indian attacks that resulted in loss of lives and homes in the vicinity. Bernt Julius Muus, p. 170.

1862, August 27, Torstein and Ole Estensen enlist with the Scandinavian Guards of Nicollet County, MN under Gustaf A. Stark. Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars, p. 807. This group was left by Sibley to garrison St. Peter after he departed to raise the siege of Fort Ridgely. Carley, Kenneth, The Sioux Uprising of 1862, p. 49.

1862, Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p.127 starts a section on the Little Crow Uprising and the role of the citizens of St. Peter.

1862, “During this awful uprising of Indians there were thirty persons killed in Nicollet county, among whom were these….”. Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p.141. See page 154, 155, 180, 198, 207. See also, Treaty Site History Center of St. Peter account on file.

1862, In Nicollet county, Peter A. Peterson is Captain of the home guards. Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p. 54, VII.

1862, See Johnson, Millicent, Let’s Have Harmony, p. 12 for a gripping tale of survival during the Indian Uprising.

1862, The first railroad is built in Minnesota. Lovoll, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 136.

1862, Guri Endreson at Willmar, MN, escapes the Sioux after losing much of her family. She returns to the farm and a State of Minn. Monument marks her grave. Eight Norwegians and 15 Swedes had been murdered. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 405-410. See Lovoll, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 129.

1862, Gro Svendsen writes to her parents while on the ship to America. Blegen, Land of Their Choice, p. 113. She was from ål in Hallingdal. Lovoll, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 139. See her full story at p. 139.

1862, December 26, some 38 Dakota Sioux were hanged at Mankato, MN. Occasional attacks and raids by American Indians continued for three more years. Lovoll, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 130.

1862, Luther College is established at Decorah, Iowa.

1863, The Norwegian government final sets laws related to the number of passengers on an emigrant ship related to the size of the ship. Standards for light and water were established.

1863, September 20, Hans Christian Heg is killed at Chickamauga, Georgia. He was commander of the 15th Wisconsin, the Norwegian Regiment. His wife was Gunhild Jacobsdatter Einong of Tinn, Telemark. Another Norwegian, Colonel Porter C. Olson, the son of a Slooper of 1825, rose to command a company made up chiefly of Norwegians from the Fox River settlement in Illinois, the 36th Illinois Volunteer Regiment. Olson was killed in action at Franklin, Tennessee. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 388-397.

1864, May 27, the battle of Pickett’s Mill shatters the 15th Wisconsin.

1864, Johan Reinert Teiersen dies in Texas. J. R. Reiersen, Pathfinder for Norwegian Emigrants, p. 3.

1865, From 1820 to 1865 total Norwegian migration totaled only 77,874. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 454.

1865-1930, when 87 percent of emigration occurs, some 780,000 people.

1865, Cleng Peerson, the “father of Norwegian emigration” dies at Clifton, Texas. He is buried across from Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in the old Norse settlers cemetery. A tall white marble monument is inscribed in Norwegian on one side and English on the other: “Cleng Peerson. The Pioneer of Norse Emigration to America. Born in Norway, Europe, May 17, 1782. Landed in America in 1821. Died in Texas, December 16, 1865. Grateful countrymen in Texas erected this to his memory”. Nestled at the base of the monument is a bronze plaque commemorating the visit of King Olav V of Norway in 1982 in honor of Cleng Peerson’s 200 birthday. He has been called the “father of Norwegian emigration”. Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 22.

1865, May 17, The St. Peter Tribune talks about the great grasshopper invasion. Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p. 335.

1866, Morganbladet (Morning Post) insisted “the imprudent, ignorant, and poor part of our population… is enticed to emigrate by false accounts from America of easy access to extraordinarily high wages”.

1866, Aasmund O. Vinje, a poet of the people, Telemarken, produced a long poem. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p314.

1866, June 4, The first real settlement occurs in Minnehaha County, SD. John Thompson and Jonas Nelsen Fosmo took land near Sioux Falls. By 1870 there were 68 Norwegians in the county. Qualey, Norwegian Settlement in the United States, p. 143. Also see Oien, Minnehaha County’s Norwegian Pioneers, p. 10.

1866, The newspaper “Skandinaven” was founded in Chicago and still flourished 74 years later.

1866, Søren Jaabaek attributed the potency of America as a magnet to two major forces: its great civic liberty and its wonderfully fertile soil. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 463.

1867, The artist Herbjørn Gausta emigrates from Tinn, Telemark at age 13. Lovoll, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 258.

1867, There were three Norwegian settlements in Texas; Brownsboro, Four Mile Prairie, and Bosque County. Ole T. Nystel was 14 years old when he was captured by the Comanche Indians in Bosque County and was held as a prisoner for three months

1868, A newspaperman wandered down to the docks of Christiania to visit an emigrant vessel. The typical emigrant was from age 20-24, both early and later on in the mass emigration. He saw a boy and his mother saying goodbye. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 63.

1868, Telemarkings came to Minnehaha County, S. D. this year. The first were Andreas Hogstad and Halvor O. Ustrud of Goodhue County. Then came two families from Winneshiek County, Iowa. They were Iver Bersheim and his two sons, Thomas and Ole. They were of Hardanger lineage. Then came Ole and Soren Bergeson from Winneshiek, originally of Hedmarken. Also, in June of the year the first Tellers appeared at Canton, a caravan of 22 wagons besides other freight wagons, all from Eastern Iowa. Oien, Minnehaha County’s Norwegian Pioneers, p. 17 and 109.

1868, The newspaper “Faedrelandet (Fatherland) of La Crosse, Wisconsin absorbed the pioneer newspaper “Emigranten”. Then, in the early 1890s, it in turn was absorbed, along with “Budstikken”, by the “Minneapolis Tidende”. Later, “Tidende” was absorbed by the “Decorah Posten”, in 1935.

1868-70, Svein Nilsson edited periodical, “Billed-Magazin” this year, in Madison. He collected stories from the pioneers themselves. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 584. Also, see Flom, Norwegian Immigration to the United States, p. 67.

1868, Decoration Day, or Memorial Day, was celebrated in a meaningful way. See the description at Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p. 338.

1869, Norway passes a law providing for the establishment of public schools. It is ten years or so before this is widely implemented. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, p. 278.

1869, Kristian and Claus Clausen were born in America and came over to Minnehaha County from Winneschiek County. Oien, Minnehaha County’s Norwegian Pioneers, p. 18.

1869, Norway passed a law providing for public schools. It took 10-20 years for the provisions to be enacted.

1869, Paul Hjelm-Hansen traveled around the Alexandria area to Stephens County where the railroad was to come through shortly. He still feared the Sioux. Blegen, Land of Their Choice, p. 442.

1860s, late, when Svein Nilssen, a genuine pioneer of culture, journeyed about the Norwegian communities of the Middle West interviewing settlers and recording their accounts of immigration and of pioneering. His articles in “Billed-magazin” were titled “The Scandinavian Settlements in America”.

1869, Waldemer Ager was born in Fredrikstad, Norway in 1869 and came to America in the year 1885. Ager, Sons of the Old Country, p. forward. This forward contains an interesting review of Norwegian-American literature.

1869, The singing societies played an important part in Norwegian America. The first society was Normanna Sangerkor (Normanna Singers’ Choir) founded in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The Norwegian Singers Association (Det Norsk Sangerforbund) had fifty member choirs in 1914. The first Scandinavian Institute was founded in Madison, Wisconsin, and Rasmus B. Anderson was appointed professor of Scandinavian languages. Andreas Larsen Dahl immigrated to America from Skrautvål in Valdres. He traveled around in Wisconsin as a photographer

1870, Public offices, elected, for the first time. C. T. Austin (Kaasa) Telemarken was a member of the Legislature’s lower House in 1890, 1895, and 1899. Oien, Minnehaha County’s Norwegian Pioneers, p. 55.

1870, There were 1,264 Norwegians in the Missouri-Big Sioux region of South Dakota.

1870-1910, Most Norwegian emigrants sailed on foreign steamers now. Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 57.

1870, Minnesota census, there were 440,000 inhabitants, more than 48,000 came from Germany, 36,000 from Norway, and 20,000 from Sweden.

1870, According to the census the Scandinavians had become the largest foreign-born group in Minnesota. The Scandinavian group was dominated by the Norwegians. Carl Lewenhaupt wrote a Report on Swedish-Norwegian Immigration in 1870

1871, The first settlers came to Sioux Falls, SD. Lars Simonson was a Tellemarken. It was at the Coulton settlement (Toapi and Grand Meadow townships). Oien, Minnehaha County’s Norwegian Pioneers, p. 19.

It was also in the Coulton settlement (southern Toapi and Northern Grand Meadow) that the Telemarkens were most numerous. Charles T. Austin (Kaase) was the leader there. Oien, Minnehaha County’s Norwegian Pioneers, p. 21.

1871, A bridge is finally placed over the Minnesota River at St. Peter. Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p. 338.

1872, Augsburg Seminary moved from Marshall, Wisconsin to St. Paul, Minnesota.

1873, May 15, Schooners set out from southern Minnesota and northern Iowa for Lake Hendricks, Dakota Territory. See Gustav Sandro, “The Immigrants’ Trek”. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 502. Also see Qualey, Norwegian Settlement in the United States, p. 145. The assembled near the present town of Mabel, Minnesota. Most were originally from Trondhjem, Norway.

1873-1875, Epidemic, Influenza, North America and Europe

1873, Ole E. Rølvaag, Giants in the Earth, settlers move to Minnehaha County. Sioux Falls in Minnehaha and Canton in Lincoln County became Norwegian centers. Qualey, Norwegian Settlement in the United States, p. 130.

1873, January, one of worst Minnesota storms ever. It raged for days and hundreds of people died and thousands of animals. Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p. 341. “There were 75 lives lost between New Ulm and Lac qui Parle during that never-to-be-forgotten storm”. Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p. 342. See also Treaty Site History Center of St. Peter, on file.

1873-1876, Locusts destroy crops annually, covering 13 Minnesota counties. It was estimated that from 12 to 15 hundred settlers were impoverished. Qualey, Norwegian Settlement in the United States, p. 1110.See also Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p. 335. See Lovoll, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 137.

1873, The newspaper “Budstikken” was established and became the chief Norwegian newpaper of the 1870s and 80s.

1873, The first novel by a Norwegian in the United States appears to have been by Hjalmar Hjorth Boyensen’s “Gunnar” which appeared as a serial in the Atlantic Monthly in 1873 and a novel in 1874. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 586.

1874, John Johnson Jøines of Tinn, Telemark came to America. Three children in the family died on the way. Oien, Minnehaha County’s Norwegian Pioneers, p. 384.

1874, Austin K. Rollag of Tinn came to America. Oien, Minnehaha County’s Norwegian Pioneers, p. 397.

1874, St. Olaf’s school is incorporated at Northfield, MN. It became a college in 1886.

1874, St. Olaf College was founded in Northfield by Bernt Julius Muus. Decorah-Posten was one of the three most important newspapers in the Midwest. It was published in Decorah, Iowa, until 1972. In the 1920s Decorah-Posten had about 45,000 subscribers. Rasmus B. Anderson, professor of Scandinavian languages at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, published America Not Discovered by Columbus and Den norske maalsag (The Norwegian Language Issue), Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen, professor of Germanic languages at University of Columbia, New York, published Gunnar, a peasant idyll written in English for American readers.

1874, The “Decorah Posten” was founded and gained a vast circulation through publishing Norwegian-American fiction, notably the novels of H. A. Foss. In 1935, Posten absorbed the “Minneapolis Tidende”. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 549. Also see Lovell, Odd, The Promise Fulfilled, p. 24.

1873, Paster O. O. Sandro comes to the Nidaros Congregation in Minnehaha County. Oien, Minnehaha County’s Norwegian Pioneers, p. 159.

1874, Many people traveled west from Winneshiek County, Iowa and Fillmore County, MN to the southwest corner of MN, Rock County, and to Minnehaha County, Dakota Territory.

1874, Pastor Sando leaves SD for Iowa where he married Barbro Kittleson. Torger Thompson arrives at Burke Township, as does Thomas O. Kittleson, born 4-15-1851, and wife Oline. Ole Østeinsen Bømogen, born 1816, and Liv, born 1811, live here with children Gonil and Aslaug. Torger Tovsen Mogen, born 4-26-1849 in Tinn was here. Others here were John T. Thompson, born 10-28-1869 at Ridgeway, and Torger Thompson, born 1828 in Tinn, with wife Guro, born 1834. Oien, Minnehaha County’s Norwegian Pioneers, p. 160.

1874-75, the ravages of the grasshopper continue in Nicollet County. Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p. 335. And the aid flowed in and it was noted “that this should stand out as a perpetual memorial for this people, who in times of dire distress put forth a self-sacrificing hand to aid their brethren. Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p. 335. “No one can form any idea of the ravages of the grasshoppers in that section of the county without first seeing them. For miles the groundis literally covered with them. They are coming this way and mow evertthing before them”. Gresham, Nicollet and Le Suer Counties Minnesota, p. 337.

1875, St. Olaf School opens its doors on January 8.

1875, There are five times as many Norwegians in Minneapolis than St. Paul.

1875, Diptheria strikes many families at Harmony. Johnson, Millicent, Let’s Have Harmony, p. 10.

1875, On July 5, Rasmus B. Anderson gave a speech in Chicago at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Norwegian emigration to America.

1876, Skandinaven’s bookstore opened in Chicago.

1876, Jon Torsteinsen Rui, or Snowshoe Thompson, dies and is buried at Genoa, Nevada.

1877-1878, Great swarms of grasshoppers crossed the Dakota Territory plains.

1877, Luther College Museum was started at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa. In 1925 the name was changed to Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum. Since then, the museum has been located in the center of Decorah. Nordic Fest takes place in Decorah the last weekend of July every year.

1877, H. A. Foss emigrates to America and in 1889 his book “The Cotter’s Son” became an unparalled success. Skard, Sigmund, The United States in Norwegian History, p.103.

1879, Land boom in North Dakota. Until 1920 Norwegians were the largest ethnic group in North Dakota. The Norwegians settled in Trail County and Griggs County. Towns like Fargo, Grand Forks, Hatton, Mayville, and Hillsboro took on a Norwegian flavor preserved to the present day. The author, Kristoffer Janson, went on a lecture tour of the Midwest and gave about 80 talks and lectures for Norwegian-Americans and other Scandinavians.

1880, The Danish Thingvalla Line established the first direct passenger route by steamship between Scandinavia and the United States. Many Norwegian emigrants booked passage on this line 941 Norwegians now lived in Bosque County in Texas. The Norwegian feminist Aasta Hansteen went to America and stayed in Boston and Chicago while working as a portrait painter

1880-1881, This was the winter of the great snow. See Sando, Chapter 6. Rølvaag had Per Hansa become a victim of the great storm. Lovoll, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 123.

1882, See Blegen for an account of the schooners traveling to South Dakota. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 505.

1883, Ole Thorson, at Olivia, Minnesota writes that the winter has been tough and “several hundred men and horses have frozen to death”. Hale, Their Own Saga, p. 89.

1883, Noted skiers, four of them, from Norway move to Red Wing, Minnesota. They included Torgus and Mikkel Hemmestvedt, the pioneers of the American ski jump. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 575.

1884, The wonderful story, Foss, H. A., The Cotter’s Son (Husmandsgutten) is run in serial fashion in the Decorah-Posten. Husmands-Gutten (The Cotter Boy), a male cinderella story of one who made good in America. Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 138.

1884, Den norsk-amerikanske Venstreforening (The Norwegian-American Liberal Society) was formed because “our old fatherland’s independence and freedom are at stake” as stated in an appeal in Budstikken. Several other liberal societies came into being in the Midwest, and a fund drive was conducted. The society in Minneapolis sent 4,000 kroner to the Liberal (Venstre) party in Norway. Anders Beer Wilse immigrated to America and stayed until 1900. He worked as a railroad engineer and, in addition, became renowned for his work as a landscape photographer.

1885, Sondre Norheim came from Morgedal in Telemark to America. He is known as the father of skiing.

In 1886 the old system for numbering Norwegian farms and sub-farms was redesigned. During the following years all farms and sub-farms were evaluated and given relative values within every kommune based on size, topography and other factors. All farm land in whole Norway was given a total (tax) value of 500 000 mark, and after a rather complicated process a tax value was calculated for every farm in
the country. So if a farm had a value of 5 mark its cultivated area was roughly
1/100000 of the total cultivated area in Norway. When a farm with a tax value of 5 mark later on was divided the total value of the resulting farms should still be 5 mark. 1 Øre is 1/100 Mark. So Mark and Øre in this context is not a kind of currency, and it is not an area unit either, but a kind of a relative measurement of the value of farm land (for farming purpose). During a period of time also the relative values of farm land will change quite a lot. So the 1950 matrikkel was an attempt to adjust the old matrikkel values and also to correct the old farm lists from 1886 as to new information about
names and missing sub-farms and so on.

1886, in the Dakotas a drought begins, prices of wheat decline, and a depression ensues. Qualey, Norwegian Settlement in the United States, p. 134.

1887, Mikkel and Torjus Hemmestvedt, Norwegian champions, introduced ski jumping to the American public at Aurora’s (Minnesota) first tournament on February 8. Lovell, Odd, The Promise Fulfilled, p. 241.

1887, Minneapolis Tidende was one of the three most important newspapers in the Midwest. It was published in Minneapolis until 1935 when it was taken over by Decorah-Posten. The first statue of Leiv Eiriksson was unveiled in Boston. Later many more were erected, in places like Chicago, Duluth, St. Paul, and Seattle. Leiv Eiriksson Day is celebrated every year in October. Andrew Furuseth became secretary in the Sailors Union of the Pacific Coast. He was called the Abraham Lincoln of the sea.
1888, Kvinden og Hjemmet was published in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with Ida Hansen from Ringsaker as the editor of the magazine. In 1924, the magazine had 34,000 subscribers.

1889, Dakota became a state and was divided into South and North Dakota.
The Norwegian-American farmer, Hans Jakob Olson, was lynched in the vicinity of Blair, Wisconsin.

1889, H. A. Foss serialized his “Cotter Boy..” in Decorah Posten, increasing its circulation by six thousand. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 590.

1889, Knud Langeland, the pioneer editor, produced his “Nordmændene I Amerika.

1889, Dakota Territory becomes the states of North and South Dakota. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 505. Also Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 186.

1890, Søren Tollefsen Bache died at Lier parish.

1890, The feeling of alienation and homesickness became a permanent feature in the writings about Norwegian emigrants. Skard, Sigmund, The United States in Norwegian History, p.136.

1891, Concordia College was established in Moorhead, MN.

1892, More than 70% of the one-way tickets from Norway to America were purchased in America. This was often a source of cheap labor.

1892, Claus Lauritz Clausen dies in Paulsbo, Washington.

1892, Ellis Island replaced Castle Garden as a receiving and control station for immigrants. Knute Nelson from Evanger, Voss, was elected governor of Minnesota. From 1895 until his death he served as United States senator.

1893, Recession in America led to a reduction in emigration from Norway. Captain Magnus Andersen sailed a replica of the Gokstad ship, Viking to the World Fair in Chicago. “The Norwegian House” at the exhibition, built as a stave church, is now part of Little Norway, a Museum of Norse Antiques in a Norwegian Pioneer Homestead, 25 miles west of Madison, Wisconsin.

1894, En Saloonkeepers Datter (A Saloonkeeper’s Daughter) by Drude Krog Janson was published in Minneapolis.

1895, Sons of Norway (Sønner af Norge) is established. Telelaget, Telemark to America Volume II, p. 3.

1895, Norwegian-American author Peer Strømme recorded these impressions of Tinn, Telemark in Varden, June 6: “Farther west the Vestfjord valley expands but the farms are still small and a person gets the impression that there is poverty everywhere”. Norwegian-American Studies, Vol. 29, p. 72.

1895, Rasmus B. Anderson produced his “First Chapter of Norwegian Immigraton” drawing heavily on the works of Svein Nilsson, thus making Svein’s work available in English. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 592.

1896, Sons of Norway was founded in Minneapolis. Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 146.

1896, May 17, Six thousand people attended the unveiling of the Ole Bull statue cast and pay tribute to the sculpture Jacob Fjelde. Hansen, Carl, My Minneapolis, p. 160. The next May 17 the statue was dedicated at Loring Park. Jacob Fjelde had just died and there was great sadness at the initial unveiling. His son Paul, age three at his fathers death, would grow up to be a sculpture too. He did the Hans Christian Heg monuments. Hansen, Carl, My Minneapolis, p. 169.

1897, Daughters of Norway is established.

1897, Sondre Norheim, famous skier, dies at Denbigh, North Dakota.

1898, Olaf Ohman, a Swede discovered the Kensington Runestone. Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 62. See a picture at Lovoll, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 277.

1899, The first bygdelag was established on June 25 I Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis. This was for the Valdres folk. Telelaget, Telemark to America Volume II, p. 3.

1899, Thorstein Veblen publishes his Theory of the Leisure Class. Lovoll, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 323.

1899, Canton, in Lincoln County, South Dakota became a center of Norwegian-American life. An important newspaper was established here, as was Augustana College. O. E. Rølvaag came here to college in 1899.

1900, Some Norwegians had moved westward to Montana, Idaho, and Colorado.

1901, Rasmus B. Anderson calls for bygdelags, or district societies. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 582. The Minnesota Historical Society has files of all the lags.

1901, O. N. Nelson comes out with two-volume, English, compendium on early Scandinavians. Blegen, The American Transition, p. 593.

1903, Det Norske Selskab i Amerika (The Norwegian Society in America) was founded in Minneapolis. The goal was to unite all Norwegians in a national organization for the advancement of Norwegian culture. Waldemar Ager was a major force in the society.

1904, The monthly, Sønner av Norge (Sons of Norway), edited by Laurits Stavnheim, began publication. In 1943, the magazine was renamed Sons of Norway (since November 1963, The Viking).

1904, The first church is moved from Muskego to Luther Seminary, St. Paul. Rønning, N. N. The Saga of old Muskego, p. 23.

1905, The Swedish-Norwegian union is dissolved without bloodshed.

1905, Roald Amundsen crosses the Northwest-passage on December 5.

1905, The Swedish-Norwegian union was dissolved. National fervor reached new heights among the immigrants. The Norwegian university student singing society’s tour in America was a celebrated event. Symra was published in Decorah, Iowa, edited by Johs. B. Wist and Kristian Prestgard. Symra was published until 1914.

1906, There were 237 Norwegian organizations in the United States. The St. Olaf Band visited Norway.

1907, Telelaget and Hallinglaget were organized. Nearly fifty societies (bygdelag) came into being. In the heyday of the movement at least 75,000 people took part in the annual reunions. Nordmanns-Forbundet (Norse Federation) was founded, partly due to the initiative of the Norwegian man of letters, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson. It is an international organization that promotes solidarity between Norway and Norwegians abroad and furthers the cause of Norwegian culture and Norwegian interests. Nordmanns-Forbundet was published in Norwegian (from 1908) and The Norseman in English (from 1965) until 1984. Since then the Norse Federation has published the bilingual magazine The Norseman. There are many chapters in the US. The headquarters are in Oslo.

Martin Ulvestad’s Nordmændene i Amerika, deres historie og rekord (The history of the Norewegians in America). The book also contains articles about Norwegian music in America, a list of newspapers and magazines, and Norwegian-American educational institutions.

1907, Telelag of America was organized with Telesoga (the Telemarkings’ Saga) its publication. Torkel Oftelie of Fergus Falls, MN was the guiding force for many years. His slogan was “we must see to it that the Telers are not forgotten”, and every waking hour was devoted to that thought. Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 438. Also see Telelaget, Telemark to America Volume II, p. 2.

1908, Hjalmar Rued Holand, De norske settlementers historie (The history of the Norewegian settlements was published).

1909, Telesoga comes to life. Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 438. Also Telelaget, Telemark to America Volume II, p. 3.

1910, Telestevne convenes at Minot, N.D. Telelaget, Telemark to America Volume II, p. 4.

1910, The Norwegian census indicates that 19,000+ Norwegians and their children had returned from America to Norway. By 1920 the number had reached nearly 50,000.

1911, The emigrants from Tinn and Gransherad organized a Telelag at Lake Madison, SD on June 22, 1911 and adopted the name Tinnsjo-laget. Norlie, The History of the Norwegian People in America, p. 438. Also, Telelaget, Telemark to America Volume II, p. 4.

1911, Roald Amundsen reaches the South Pole on December 14. Hansen, Carl, My Minneapolis, p. 322.

1912, Telelaget met in Glenwood, MN on June 24-25. Telelaget, Telemark to America Volume II, p. 15.

1913, The Norwegian America Line made it possible for emigrants to sail directly from Norway. Ragnar Omtvedt of Chicago set a new world record in ski jumping. Olive Fremstad, who emigrated from Oslo when she was 12 years old, became an internationally renowned Wagnerian opera singer. She sang the role of Isolde at the Metropolitan in New York City.

1914, “The Great Homecoming” resulted when 20,000 Norwegians visited the homeland to take part in the centennial celebrations. The largest May 17 ever held in Minneapolis. Hansen, Carl, My Minneapolis, p. 261. See also Lovoll, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 280. Twenty-six veterans of the 15th Wisconsin were present.

1914, The Norse-American celebration led to the formation of the NAHA or Norwegian-American Historical Association. The winner of an essay contest was Waldemar Ager. Hansen, Carl, My Minneapolis, p. 280.

1918, Epidemic, Influenza, Worldwide

1918, Bratsberg Amt becomes Telemark. This is a fylke (county). Telelaget, Telemark to America Volume II, p. 4. and Norwegian-American Studies, Vol. 29, p. 45.

1918, Ole Hanson, who had grown up in Wisconsin, was elected mayor of Seattle. Peter Julius Rosendahl created the comic strip Han Ola og han Per which was published in Decorah-Posten until 1935. Later, the comic strip was reprinted frequently until 1972 when the newspaper ceased publication.

Knute Rockne from Voss was made coach of the football team of the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana. He held the position until he died in a plane crash in 1931.

1924, Herbjørn Gausta, painter from Tinn, dies. Telelaget of America honored him with a huge grave stone at Harmony, MN. Hansen, Carl, My Minneapolis, p. 171.

1924, The Norwegian-American newspaper Decorah-Posten had 25 correspondents in Norway. Ole E. Rølgvaag’s account of Norwegian pioneer life on the prairies, I de dage, was published. A year later the sequel Riket grundlægges appeared. Rølvaag is the best and most representative of Norwegian-American authors. He taught at St. Olaf College from 1906 until his untimely death in 1931. During the course of 70 years 200 emigrant novels, stories and poems have appeared that interpret the life and experiences of emigrants in their new homeland.

1925, The Norwegian-American community flourished between 1895 and 1925. Norwegian forces united around the celebration of the centennial of the first Norwegian immigration. Patriotic feelings reached a high point during the 100th anniversary for Norwegian immigration. A large exhibit was held in Minneapolis/St. Paul depicting several aspects of immigrant life. President Coolidge praised the Norwegians in his speech ” The President’s Tribute to the Norwegians”. The Norwegian-American Historical Association ( NAHA) was founded in Northfield, Minnesota. NAHA is considered to be one of the most active ethnic historical societies in the US. Nordisk Tidende in New York reported that 10,000 people paraded along 4th Avenue with Norwegian flags and banners. A statue of the Civil War hero Hans Christian Heg was unveiled in Lier near Drammen.

1926, Ole Rølvaag wrote “It is vital in all cultural life to maintain a link between the present and the past. If there is anything that history makes clear it is this, that when a people becomes interested in its past life, seeks to acquire knowledge in or better to understand itself, it always experiences an awakening of new life”. See Blegen, Land of Their Choice, p. 596.

1927, Ole Rølvaag publishes Giants in the Earth. This masterpiece was characterized by “Nation” as the “fullest, finest, and most powerful novel that has been written about pioneer life in America.” Rølvaag taught Norwegian at St. Olaf College from 1906 until he died in 1931. In the course of 70 years, 200 novels that dealt with the immigrant experience were published.

1928-1929, A fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation of New York permitted Theodore C. Blegen to spend the year in Norway studying the emigration
movement at its source

1929, Waldemar Ager published his last novel, Hundeøine (Dog Eyes) translated into English as “I Sit Alone”. It is an account of an old man who sits alone in a shack on the North Dakota grassland and reflects on his life. Lovoll, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 223.

1934, Centennial celebration of the first permanent Norwegian settlement in the United States in the Fox River valley, La Salle County, Illinois.

1940, April 9, the Germans attack Norway. Hansen, Carl, My Minneapolis, p. 270 and 362.

1940, December, noted Nobel Prize winner, and writer, Sigrid Undset visited Minneapolis. Hansen, Carl, My Minneapolis, p. 351.

1940, Theodore C. Blegen’s Norwegian Migration to America : The American Transition was published by the Norwegian-American Historical Association.

1941, Ingrid Semmingsen was the first emigration historian in Norway to study emigration to America in depth. Her two volumes entitled Veien mot vest. Utvandringen fra Norge til Amerika (The emigration from Norway to America) were published in 1941 and 1950.

1942-43, Innumerable young men from Minnesota who spoke Norwegian joined the 99th Infantry Battalion, sometimes called the Norwegian Battalion. Hansen, Carl, My Minneapolis, p. 370.

1946, The church dropped “Norwegian” from its name: it was now the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Semmingsen, Norway to America, p. 155.

1961, First volume of Alfred Hauge’s trilogy about Cleng Peerson, Hundevakt was published.

1969, A replica of Borgund stave church was erected in Rapid City in South-Dakota,

1974, Vesterheim Genealogical Center & Naeseth Library, a section of Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, was established in Madison, Wisconsin, by Gerhard B. Naeseth.

1975, The Sesquicentennial of Norwegian emigration to America was celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic. In Norway there was a matiné in the Nationalteatret on May 17. King Olav V visited “Norwegian America.” Alfred Hauge’s trilogy about Cleng Peerson, translated by Eric J. Friis, was published as one of the Official Publications of the Norwegian Immigration Sesquicentennial. The Norwegian Society of Texas was formed.

1978, Norsk Høstfest took place for the first time in Minot, North Dakota.

1981, A Norwegian chapter of the Norwegian-American Historical Association (NAHA-Norway) was formed. NAHA-Norway organizes seminars and publishes essay collections.

1982, A new replica of the Gokstad Ship crossed the Atlantic. Hjemkomst sailed from Duluth in Minnesota to Norway. The ship was built by Robert Asp, Hawley, Minnesota.

1987, King Olav visited Norwegian America and insisted on driving to Decorah, Iowa, despite bad weather conditions.

1989, Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, Decorah, Iowa, sent three exhibitions to Norway. Norway in America: Painting and Drawing was shown at Maihaugen, Lillehammer; Norway in America: Folk and Decorative Arts was shown at Hedmarksmuseet, Hamar; and Norway in America: The photography of Andrew Dahl was shown at Eiketunet, Gjøvik.

1990, According to the 1990 census, sixteen thousand persons in Minnesota claimed to speak Norwegian. Lovoll, Odd, The Promise of America, p. 335.

1992, King Olav V Chair in Scandinavian-American Studies was inaugurated at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Professor Odd S. Lovoll, who is also the editor of the publications of the Norwegian-American Historical Association in Northfield, holds the position.

1993, The first volume of Gerhard Naseth’s Norwegian Immigrants to the United States: A Biographical Directory was published. Volume I contains biographies of emigrants from Norwegian between 1825 and 1843. Volume II, which was published in 1997, contains biographies from 1844 to 1846. Naeseth collected material for biographies until 1850.

1997, The exhibition The Migration of a Tradition was shown at Norsk Folkemuseum, Oslo, after having toured several cities and museums in the US. Esso Perspektiv published a special issue on Norwegian emigration to America.

1998, A replica of Hopperstad stave church, Vik in Sogn and Fjordane, was inaugurated in Moorhead, Minnesota.

1999, The Bygdelag Centennial was celebrated at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa 27 – 29 July. There are 32 bygdelags in Amerika. The centennial was arranged by The National Council of Bygdelags in America (Bygdelagenes Fellesraad).St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota, celebrated its 125th anniversary. The Norwegian-American Historical Association in Northfield published Bernt Julius Muus : Founder of St. Olaf College by Joseph M. Shaw.

2000, 175th anniversary of Norwegian emigration to America. The anniversary is observed on both sides of the Atlantic. The Norwegian-American Historical Association and Minnesota Historical Society organized a conference at Minnesota History Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, entitled Vandringer: Norwegians in the American Mosaic 1825-2000. An exhibition of paintings by Minnesotans of Norwegian background 1870-1970 opened in James Hill House, St. Paul, at the same time. Marion John Nelson, professor emeritus and former director of Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa, curated the exhibition. The Norwegian chapter of the Norwegian-American Historical Association (NAHA-Norge) organized its seventh seminar in Hamar in August
The exhibition Norwegians in New York 1825 to 2000: Builders of City, Community and Culture opened at Ellis Island in New York in April.

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