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 Studies and Records
Volume II 


Published by the Norwegian-American Historical Association, Northfield, Minnesota
Copyright 1927 by the Norwegian-American Historical Association

Preface

The first two contributions in the present volume illustrate the historical possibilities of two classes of source material that have hitherto been little used by students of American immigration. Probably every considerable emigration from Europe to America has produced its quota of "emigrant songs," some written by the emigrants themselves, some by friends or enemies of the movement in the home country. These songs reflect the motives and the feelings of the emigrants and also give information about European opinion on the migration. It would be interesting to gather up texts of such songs for all the streams of population that contributed to the nineteenth-century immigration to the United States. Professor Ruud has made an important beginning in the translations here presented.

Professor Cadbury in his article on the immigration of 1836 and 1837 not only makes a notable contribution to the early history of Norwegian immigration but also calls the attention of American historians to the value of the ship manifests now preserved in the archives of the Customs House in New York. It is to be hoped that these precious manuscripts will eventually be placed in the national archives building soon to be erected in 'Washington. They are in fact federal archives and their historical significance makes it imperative that they should be scientifically administered.

The document translated and edited by Mr. Hodnefield is an illuminating "America letter" of the late sixties. Its publication affords an opportunity to the board of editors to remind members that the Association desires to build up a large collection of original "America letters" and to bring out as soon as possible a volume or two of such materials. The cooperation of interested persons both in .Norway and in the United States would greatly facilitate this project.

The articles by Professor Larson and Professor Flom fall within the domain of Norwegian-American cultural history, a field that it is eminently proper for the Association to cultivate. Though it is not planned to establish a regular book review section in the present series, the importance of Dr. Rohne's recently published study of Norwegian-American Lutheranism up to 1872 and the quality of Professor Stephen-son's review of it fully justify the space devoted to it in these pages.

Theodore C. Blegen
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis

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