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Tellef Grundysen and the Beginnings of Norwegian-American Fiction
By Laurence M. Larson (Volume VIII: Page 1)

The history of the literary achievements of the Norwegian element in the New World begins with the publication of Ole Rynning's famous "America Book" which came from the press in 1838. {1} A year later a printer in Drammen brought out a "Description of a Journey to North America" and into the West by Ole Nattestad, another young immigrant who had been Rynning's fellow-settler in the Beaver Creek colony of Illinois. {2} It is possible that Nattestad's book was written, at least in part, before Rynning began to prepare his "True Account," but the latter has the priority of publication and proved the more important work.

These two pamphlets (for they were scarcely more than that) were in the nature of "guides" to prospective immigrants and were read widely, especially in southern Norway. But though useful and effective, they can be classed as literature only when that term is used in its more inclusive sense. The same must be said of the books, pamphlets, and journalistic writings of Norwegian-American origin that found their way to the press during the forty years following. The harvest was considerable, but the grain was not of the finer sort. The greater part of this material was of a religious character; at least it was produced in the interest of religion. Some of the authors aimed at spiritual edification, but the greater number wrote from the impulse of controversy, of which there was much among the Norwegian pioneers in those early days.

It may seem strange and almost incredible that Norwegians should have been settled in considerable numbers on American soil for nearly fifty years before anyone among them undertook to write anything in the form of literary fiction. The cause of this is not far to seek: the energies of the pioneer were engaged first with the conquest of the soil and next with the building of a new social order. The materials for such building were to a large extent brought from over the sea; but they had to be fitted into the forms demanded by the new environment and that proved to be at times a difficult and often a very delicate task.

The first Norwegian to find a place in American literature was Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen, who went to the West in 1869. Boyesen was of the Norwegian intelligentsia and had received his education in the national university in old Christiania. When he came to America he was not yet twenty-one years old, though he had doubtless reached an intellectual maturity considerably beyond his age.

After some wandering Boyesen went to Chicago where he found employment in the editorial room of Fremad, an ephemeral journalistic venture of the early seventies. {3} His association with Fremad was merely a matter of months; but while it continued he used his native idiom as his only form of expression. Meanwhile he worked at perfecting his English, and soon became a master of it. All his books were written in that language. His first story, Gunnar, was written in 1870 in Urbana, Ohio, where he had been appointed to the faculty of a small and struggling college of the Swedenborgian faith. {4}

Gunnar is decidedly a youthful effort; still, one is amazed to find a story of such high quality written in the English language by an immigrant who had been scarcely more than a year in the New World. There are indications here and there that parts of it may have been done first in Norwegian and later translated into English; but these are surprisingly few and may have no such significance. The author and his work were soon brought to the attention of William Dean Howells, who was on the staff of the Atlantic Monthly and was soon to become its editor-in-chief (1872). Boyesen's story ran as a serial in that periodical in 1873. It appeared in book form in 1874 and proved so popular that it was soon out of print. {5} An eighth edition was published in 1895.

While it remains true that Gunnar was the first novel written by a Norwegian immigrant, it can scarcely be classified as belonging to the genre that one may call Norwegian-American literature. Boyesen spent most of his American years east of the Allegheny Mountains; he was consequently out of touch with his fellow-Norwegians in the spreading settlements of the Northwest and had little knowledge of the forces and movements that were shaping their lives. {6} His literary purpose was to give the American public some acquaintance with Norwegian life and some insight into the Norse character. It is to his great credit that this purpose was in a large measure achieved.

Much the same can be said of another young man who published a notable book in the year that saw the first edition of Boyesen's novel. Rasmus Bjørn Anderson was a little more than a year older than his Norwegian contemporary. Like Boyesen he had had the advantage of university training, though scarcely a training equal to that provided by the universities of Europe. Anderson, too, wished to

make his fellow-citizens aware of the wonders of Norway, particularly those that belonged to the romantic past. His first book, America Not Discover'ed by Columbus, dealt with the difficult problem of the Vinland voyages. {7} His later works also concerned subjects from across the sea. Except in the journalistic arena (and to a lesser degree in the field of local history) Anderson has not dealt with the problems of his brethren in their settlements in rural America.

The significance of these two young writers, Boyesen, the cultured professor in the East, {8} and Anderson, the militant professor in the West, {9} seems to lie for present purposes not so much in what they achieved in their own fields as in the impulse that they gave to literary and other intellectual work in related fields. With their writings a new chapter begins in the history of art and thought in the Norwegian colonies and the year 1874 therefore becomes a date of real significance.

A third writer who belongs to the same group is Bernt Askevold, an immigrant from Söndfjord. Born in 1846, Askevold was two years older than Boyesen and a few months younger than Anderson. He came to America in 1873 and settled in Decorah, Iowa. He was in that city in 1874 when the two volumes mentioned above came from the press, and doubtless he shared the enthusiasm of those among his countrymen who had literary interests and who rejoiced in the new voices that had begun to tell of the marvels of the North.

In the same year Askevold assisted at the launching of a new venture that was to have much meaning for the Norwegian pioneer. Brynild Anundsen had just perfected his plans to publish a weekly newspaper to be called Decorah-Posten. Askevold was Anundsen's first editor and for this position he was fairly well qualified. He had received a measure of training in the higher schools of his native land, and he continued his education in Luther College. Later he studied theology at Luther Seminary in Madison, Wisconsin. He was ordained to the Lutheran ministry in 1882. But most of this lay in the future. In 1874 he was merely a young newcomer with a strong desire to learn and an equally strong desire to express himself in written speech.

It is important to note that Askevold, in his training and in his later professional duties, kept close to his own people; as student, as journalist, and as pastor he continued to use --- one might say he was compelled to use --- his native idiom. One cannot doubt that to a man of Askevold's ambitions the wide publicity given to the work of his two greater contemporaries proved a powerful stimulus. At any rate, he was soon at work on a novel, in which he sought to reproduce certain aspects of life in his native homeland. He called his book Hun Ragnhild, eller Billeder fra Söndfjord (Ragnhild, or Pictures from Söndfjord). {10} Askevold's book was the first novel in the United States to be written and published in the Norwegian language. As such it is an important landmark in our history, more important than Gunnar, inasmuch as the author directed his appeal not to the cultivated American public in the East but to the untutored men and women in the log houses on the northwestern prairies.

II

A few months after Askevold's arrival in Decorah another young man went to the same town to take an inconspicuous position as prescription clerk in a drug store. This was Tellef Grundysen, a young Setesdöl from a farm in Fillmore County, Minnesota. Grundysen had no college or university training; his formal education was indeed very slight. What instruction he had received in the Norwegian language was such as would be given in a pioneer home, supplemented by preparation for the rite of confirmation. There is no evidence that the young drug clerk was ever taught any of the rules that govern the writing of his native speech; still, he achieved what no one before him had achieved: he wrote Fra Begge Sider af Hayer (From Both Sides of the Sea), the first novel to deal with life in a Norwegian settlement on this side of the ocean. He was, therefore, the first in a notable series that contains such names as H. A. Foss, Kristofer Janson, Peer Strömme, Waldemar Ager, and O. E. Rølvaag.

Teller Grundysen first saw the light in 1854 in Bygland parish, Setesdalen. His father, Grunde Tellefsen, was born on Langei farm in Austad parish, and his mother, Gro Arnesdatter, was from Valle parish higher up the valley. They were both of the cotter (or "houseman") class and their history was no doubt the ancient and much too common story of dire poverty and great hardship. A cotter was allowed a cabin (hence the term houseman) and a little strip of soil, enough, perhaps, for a fair patch of potatoes. The farmer from whom the cotter held his "place" had a right, when need was, to command all his labor, in return, of course, for wages; but these were always small and wholly inadequate to supply the needs of a poor man's family.

Grunde Tellefsen found a little farm to work, but after trying for several years to maintain himself on another man's land, he determined to emigrate. The long journey was undertaken in 1861. Traveling down the valley to Christianssand the family took passage on a sailing vessel, which after a time brought its passengers safe to land in Quebec. Thence the journey went on westward to Fillmore County in southern Minnesota, where the long experience ended, sixteen weeks after the family had departed from Setesdal and Christianssand.

Norwegians had begun to go to Fillmore County ten years earlier, and strong settlements were in the process of formation. {11} The Tellefsen group was therefore among men and women of its own nationality, possibly among friends and acquaintances, for there were many immigrants from Setesdal in southern Minnesota. Tellefsen built his home once more on rented land; but after a few years he acquired a farm of his own and he and his family were soon firmly rooted in the new soil.

The farm was located in York Township not far from the Iowa line. Here young Teller, who was now about ten years old, was to spend another decade until he was ready to make his own way in the world. Here he received most of his training, at least in Norwegian, which he had no doubt learned to read while his parents were still living in the old valley. There were books in the Tellefsen home, and more were added as the years went by. They were largely of a devotional character; but in the little collection there were also historical writings and some books of poetry and fiction.

Teller's religious instruction was no doubt based on the conventional study of Pontoppidan's Forklaring (Explanation) and some elementary work on sacred and church history. At the age of fifteen he was confirmed by Tobias Larsen of the Norwegian Synod, who served a group of congregations in that part of the county. All the leading branches of Norwegian Lutheranism were represented in Fillmore County; but the Tellefsen family evidently favored the more conservative standards and adhered to the church that most resembled the establishment in their native land.

For about four months in the year Teller attended a public school in the neighborhood, where he learned English and studied such subjects as were taught in the common schools seventy years ago. There could, of course, be no attendance during the summer. In those days there was little machinery on a pioneer farm: seeding, mowing, reaping, binding, and much of the other work had to be done by hand with the aid of scythes, cradles, and similar implements. It is true that such labor had its compensations: it kept the workman close to nature, and rural nature is not only wonderful but to some souls it is also very enlightening and even stimulating. Yet much of this work was of a deadening character and had little value for one who might be looking forward to intellectual pursuits.

At the age of nineteen (probably in 1873) Grundysen left his home in Minnesota to attend a business college in Madison, Wisconsin. On completing the course he went to Decorah to take a clerkship, as stated above. He remained with his bottles and his medicines for about two years. One cannot help wondering whether he came under the influence of Bernt Askevold, whom he certainly must have known by sight and by reputation, if not more intimately; but on this point the writer has no information.

However this may be, Grundysen, on his return to his Fillmore County home, set about writing a novel. This was in 1876, the year when Askevold's Ragnhild came from the press. For one who had no technical preparation for such work, this undertaking must have been a discouraging experience; but young Grundysen persisted and finally the story was completed. He sent the manuscript to the publishers of Skandinaven, who dealt in books and occasionally published a few. To the author's great delight, perhaps also to his great surprise, the manuscript was accepted for publication.

Fra Begge Sider af Hayer appeared in the book trade in 1877. {12} It was a simple straightforward story of the experiences of a Norwegian family in Setesdal and in Minnesota. It made no pretense to literary art; a modern critic would find little to commend it. But it was exactly the sort of tale that a pioneer public was prepared to enjoy. To prove its popularity one needs only state that a second edition was brought out in 1882 and a third in 1896. {13}

Tellef Grundysen's later career has little interest for the student of literature. In the later seventies "Jim" Hill had begun to advertise the attractions of the Red River Valley and Norwegians were responding in large numbers to the invitation to settle on what was said to be the richest soil in the West. Among those who came into the valley during the earlier years of the migration was Teller Grundysen. Soon after his book was published he made preparations to leave his Fillmore County home and removed to Grand Forks County, Dakota Territory, where he secured a farm under the Homestead Act.

Until Grundysen's farming could become productive he engaged in various occupations; for a time he served as public-school teacher. His neighbors recognized him as a young man of parts and in 1879, when he was still only twenty-five years of age, they elected him county commissioner, an office he held for two years. In addition to the satisfaction of being elected to an important office, he had the gratification of finding himself chosen by a large majority vote.

Two years later, in 1881, the young author entered the journalistic field with a new Norwegian weekly which he called Grand Forks Tidende. Being wholly unacquainted with the details of the newspaper business he was unable to make this venture a success; and after two years of trying experiences he was glad to dispose of the paper. The purchaser, T. Gulbrandsen, continued the publication of Tidende for several years; but in 1888 he moved the paper to Minneapolis and merged it with Minneapolis Tidende, which he had begun to publish the year before.

The young Norwegian did not remain long in the Red River country. In 1883 the completion of the Northern Pacific Railway was celebrated with pomp and ceremony. The Far West was calling and Teller Grundysen obeyed the call. He had recently taken a wife and the two now set out for the coast. There Grundysen found employment in some form of engineering and continued in that service until his retirement a few years ago. So far as the writer knows he is still among the living, though his actual address has not been learned. He would be eighty years old this year. {14}

III

In the decade of the seventies the outstanding figure in Norwegian literature was Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson. Bjørnson had begun his career as a novelist in 1857 with Synnøve Solbakken, a story of rural life in Norway. This was followed in due course by Arne in 1858 and En Glad Gut (A Happy Boy) in 1860. Bjørnson also published a series of shorter stories that were of the same general class as his longer novels. It cannot be denied that Bjørnson's pictures of rural life are highly idealized; but after the critic has pointed out this defect and possibly other faults, he is usually willing to grant that these so-called "peasant stories" are real gems of literary art and richly deserve the popularity that they have achieved.

More important for present purposes is the fact that the great author developed something of a formula for the writing of such tales. This method proved a godsend to his less gifted imitators, of whom he had many. The formula appears in its perfection in the story of Øyvind, the "happy boy." Øyvind is a cotter's son, a strong, healthy, intelligent, and capable young man; but his family is poor and his prospects are anything but bright. He is in love with the granddaughter of a prominent farmer, who cannot for a moment consider a cotter lad as a possible grandson-in-law. The schoolmaster, a kindly old man, befriends the bright lad, and through his efforts the boy becomes a student at an agricultural school. In this way Øyvind wins prestige in the parish and is able to break down the caste feeling that has kept him from his beloved. In the end all is well.

One cannot read Boyesen's Gunnar without being reminded of Bjørnson's art in almost every chapter. His prologue on the mountain is reminiscent of the opening chapter in Bjørnson's Arne, though there has been no actual borrowing of details. Gunnar, a cotter lad, loves Ragnhild, the beautiful daughter of a proud and wealthy woman. But Gunnar is not merely a capable boy, he is an artist. He finds his way to the capital where he proves his genius and wins a gold medal. Ragnhild's mother is forced to yield and the story ends with a glimpse of Gunnar and his bride on a journey to the art centers of the continent.

A novel dealing with rural life in Norway must apparently have a poet among its characters. Some of Bjørnson's heroes and heroines have striking abilities in poetic composition. Boyesen has provided one in Rhyme-Ola, whose poems are not entirely to be discarded, though they are not so fine as those of Øyvind or Arne.

It would be a mistake to conclude from what has thus far been said that Boyesen was a mere imitator: he was an artist, youthful and immature, but an artist none the less. He was a master of written speech and had the sort of imagination that could visualize all the essential details of an important situation. Though he belonged to the urban class he had spent some time at the home of a relative who held an official position in Sogn, and in this way he had acquired an intimate knowledge of rural ways and a fund of experience with rural character on which he drew heavily in all his novels of Norwegian life.

Bernt Askevold wrote even more evidently in imitation of his great contemporary. Lars Røisæt has a very lovely daughter Ragnhild whom he wishes to give to a rich husband. But the inevitable cotter lad is near at hand and Ragnhild loves him dearly. The author therefore adopts Bjørnson's expedient and sends Ola Øren to a normal school. His return to the parish as a seminarist is almost an event and the caste feeling begins to yield. The situation is further simplified by the death of Ragnhild's only brother, by which she becomes heiress to the farm. Ola is finally accepted as a son-in-law and very soon rises to leadership in all the larger affairs of the parish.

Askevold's novel moves on a much lower plane than does Boyesen's Gunnar. The story develops quite naturally but the dialogue is often labored and stiff and the characters have no real distinction. The poems that are scattered about among the chapters have little energy. Now and then, however, the narrative rises to greater heights. The author's description of a storm that swept the fjord and wrought destruction on sea and on shore shows real power. The story is wholesome and not without interest. No doubt it had a strong appeal for those who came from the region of many fjords.

Tellef Grundysen's novel differs from Gunnar and Ragnhild in at least one essential respect: the scene is laid partly in Norway and partly in Minnesota; it therefore actually is "from both sides of the sea." Boyesen and Askevold close their stories with marriages: in Grundysen's novel the marriage of the heroine takes place before the story is half told. The main lines of the narrative are projected into a new environment and come to a focus in the solution of a crime. In the portion of the book that deals with Norway, the author has Bjørnson as a guide but he is not a consistent follower. It is true that the clash of the emotions of the cotter and the aspirations of the wealthy farmer is present in the story and the cotter finally wins; but this part of the narrative concerns not the heroine but her friend Sigrid, who belongs to the wealthier class. Anne Granemo, the woman about whose life the story is built, comes from a cotter's home and marries a man of her own station in life.

Anne is an attractive young woman who is perhaps in her early twenties. She lives with her mother on a little "place" attached to an important farm in Setesdal. When the story opens, she is about to enter service on a large farm in a neighboring parish. The episodes in the first part of the novel are chiefly concerned with Anne's experiences in this service and with the friendships that she forms in her employer's household. The marriage of the farmer's daughter Sigrid is one of the most interesting parts of the story; a Setesdal wedding is known throughout Norway to be a picturesque event and the author makes fair use of his opportunity.

Anne also makes friendships in less prominent homes and one of these results in her marriage to Gunnar, a young man of promise but of little wealth. She and her husband find a farm that the author calls Sögaarden (the south farm) where they remain for some years. Meanwhile two of Anne's brothers have emigrated and the letters that come from the New World tell of many cattle and lovely farms. The "America fever" is soon kindled in the humble Setesdal home and before long Anne and her family are on their way to take passage on an emigrant ship that lies waiting in Christianssand.

After an account of pioneer life in Fillmore County, the story becomes concerned with a forgery that cost the Sögaarden family the snug sum of twenty thousand dollars. This part of the novel was probably suggested by one of the many melodramatic tales that were current in the decade following the Civil War. One of Anne's brothers (who does not otherwise figure in the narrative) finds his death on a battlefield in Virginia. He leaves most of his estate --- in Beloit, Wisconsin --- to his sister. His brother Ole, a weak, unprincipled man, who allows himself to be dominated by an evil-minded wife, determines to get the money for himself. With the aid of a corrupt official and of the holder of a mortgage against his brother's property, he succeeds in raising the sum involved in the debt from five hundred to twenty thousand dollars. In the final settlement of the estate Anne receives almost nothing.

Ten years go by and Theodore, the oldest son in the family, has entered the years of young manhood. His parents send him to Madison, where he takes up the study of medicine. Some years later in his professional capacity he is called to the bedside of a "Mr. Johnson," who is dying and wishes to relieve his conscience while there is still time. Johnson proves to be the holder of the mortgage that Ole Granemo took away and replaced with a forged instrument. The dying scoundrel makes a full confession. The young doctor informs the authorities and his uncle is sent to prison.

The deathbed scene (in which the story reaches its climax) is not entirely convincing. "Mr. Johnson" is remarkably clear and precise both in speech and memory for one who has already felt the hand of death. A touch of drama appears at the last when it is discovered that Johnson is the assumed name of a highly undesirable wooer who had proved a great annoyance to Sigrid, Anne's friend of thirty years before in old Setesdal.

One would not be justified in making any great claims for Grundysen's novel as a work of literary art. The characters are drawn with little skill; most of the episodes are quite commonplace both in development and in outcome; and as a whole the author's attempts to describe the marvels of nature, whether in action or in repose, are usually wanting in the essential qualities of beauty and strength. It is true, of course, that he is wholly concerned with ordinary men and women engaged in the ordinary affairs of life. His characters are all simple folk and he tries to deal with them on their own level. Most of those whom we meet on the American scene are defective in the essentials of good character, although the heroine is an upright woman of good parts and the author makes no attempt to make her anything else.

The atmosphere of this tale is, therefore, one of stark reality. Grundysen, unlike his contemporaries in the Norwegian field, who had a strong tendency to idealize, strove after truthful realism in all his episodes. At the same time no critic would care to affirm that the author was wanting in imaginative power; there are pages here and there in his novel that show the contrary to be true. Grundysen's account of the landslide, of the Setesdal wedding, of the toilsome journey to the seaport, and of the raging storm on the ocean, all have undeniable merit, though they seem to show that the artist worked in too great a haste to produce a finished picture.

In a certain sense Fra Begge Sider af Hayer is a family saga, the family concerned being the author's own. A great deal of the materials used in constructing the story appears to have been gathered from Grundysen's own stock of memories and from that of his parents. The experience of emigration, the long and stormy voyage over the sea, early impressions of Minnesota, the renting of land, and the building of a new home on freehold soil --- all these facts appear to have dose parallels in the history of the Grundysen household. Theodore Soegarden {15} and Tellef Grundysen both go to Madison to study. One becomes a physician and writes prescriptions; the other finds employment in a drug store where he fills prescriptions and dispenses patent medicines. One must not, of course, force the argument; all writers draw on their memories and in that way often succeed in imparting realism to what is essentially fiction. The difference in Grundysen's case appears to be merely that he has drawn more heavily on a fund of actual experience than most authors do.

It has been stated above that Grundysen's book, when studied from the viewpoint of the literary critic, is not remarkable in any respect. But when the novel is read in the light of its own history, and when all the circumstances of its origin are taken into account, even the severest critic is likely to grant that the work is, after all, a notable performance. Attention has already been called to the fact that Grundysen was lacking in all the ordinary qualifications for successful literary work. No doubt the manuscript had to be carefully edited in the publisher's office; but the editorial reader evidently concluded that the work would interest the public for which it was written, and the conclusion proved to be sound.

Except in so far as later writers have adopted Grundysen's general plan, he appears to have had no conscious imitators. The novel Husmandsgutten {16} (The Cotter Lad) is built on somewhat the same lines as Grundysen's story; but in the development of the narrative there is, after all, very little resemblance. Foss had greater possibilities as an author than Grundysen. He had a more vigorous imagination and a more energetic style. Unfortunately he had a tendency to make literature serve the purpose of propaganda and as a propagandist he would sometimes include materials that were scarcely in good taste. {17}

To the student of literary history Husmandsgutten has much less of real interest than Grundysen's narrative "From Both Sides of the Sea." In the distinctly Norwegian part of his story Foss employs the Bjørnson formula in all its essential details. The cotter lad does not indeed become a student but all the necessary arrangements have been made when the plan is wrecked by the malicious opposition of the young man's future father-in-law. So young Haugen decides to emigrate. But his career in the New World is not that of a typical Norwegian pioneer and as a contribution to the literature of Norwegian-American life Foss's narrative is not very important.

The Sögaarden family, on the other hand, is quite conventional in its experiences in a pioneer settlement. Moreover it is the first family of Norse origin whose experiences have been recorded in this way. Tellef Grundysen saw what Boyesen, Askevold, and even Foss did not appreciate, namely, that a Norwegian-American literature should have as its chief concern the life and the activities of the Norwegian group in its new environment. He has had many followers, most of them greater and more highly gifted than he. But he was the first to break the soil. In his field he was the pioneer.

Notes

<1> Sandfærdig Beretning om Amerika (Christiania, 1858). The preface is dated Illinois, February 13, 1838, and signed by the author. Rynning's book has been republished with a translation by the Norwegian-American Historical Association (Ole Rynning's True Account of America, translated and edited by Theodore C. Blegen, Minneapolis, 1926.)

<2> Ole K. Nattestad, Beskrivelse over en Reise til America Begyndt den 8de April, 1837, etc. (Drammen, Norway, 1839).

<3> Fremad began publication in 1868 and was discontinued in 1871.

<4> "Urbana University" was opened in 1853 under favorable auspices but soon suffered a serious decline; in the early sixties it almost became extinct. A later revival of interest in the institution did not survive. In 1923 it ceased even to give a four-year course and accepted a junior college status. The student body is very small. Boyesen was not happy in Urbana.

<5> The story was first published by Osgood and Company, Boston. Later editions came from the press of Charles Scribner's Sons.

<6> Boyesen's novel Falconberg (New York, 1889), the scene of which is laid in Minnesota, proves that he did not know or understand either the physical or the intellectual environment in which his countrymen lived in the Northwest.

<7> Chicago, 1874.

<8> In 1874 Boyesen secured an assistant professorship in north European languages (which seem to have included German) at Cornell University, which he held for six years. In 1881 he was appointed to a professorship in German at Columbia College, a position he held until his death in 1895.

<9> Anderson was instructor in languages and later professor of Scandinavian languages at the University of Wisconsin, 1869-83.

<10> Chicago, 1876.

<11> See Martin Ulvestad, Nordmændene i Amerika, 79-82 (Minneapolis, 1907).

<12> This information was furnished by Amy Grundysen, Tellef Grundysen's brother. The publisher's office is unable to verify the date, and no copy of the first edition has come to light.

<13> A copy of the second edition of this book is to be found in the library of Luther College and the Minnesota Historical Society has one of the third edition.

<14> Most of the information about Teller Grundysen and his career has been contributed by Amy Grundysen of Fisher, Minnesota. The writer is indebted also to Professor Richard Beck of the University of North Dakota; F. W. Arneson of the editorial staff of Skandinaven, Chicago; Carl G. O. Hansen of Minneapolis Tidende, Minneapolis; Martin Ulvestad, of Seattle, Washington; Karl T. Jacobsen, librarian at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa; and Dr. Theodore C. Blegen, superintendent of the Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, all of whom have contributed information or given other forms of assistance.

<15> Both spellings of the name, Sögaarden and Soegarden, are used in the novel.

<16> H. A. Foss, Husmandsgutten, en Fortælling fra Sigdal (Decorah, Iowa, 1885). Hans Anderson Foss emigrated in 1877.

<17> As for example when he quotes an inscription on a tombstone that records that the deceased had died from indulging too freely in strong drink.

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