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Marcus Thrane In Christiania: Unpublished Letter from 1850-1851
    Translated and edited by Waldemar Westergaard (Volume 20: Page 143)

Marcus Thrane (1817-90) was the leading figure in the labor movement in Norway that started under the impetus of the European revolution of 1848. Besides having been an avid reader from youth, he had acquired some first-hand knowledge of Continental Europe from a tramping trip through Germany, Switzerland, and France, to which his natural curiosity had led him when he was twenty years old. Three years after his return, he took his student’s examination in Christiania; in the year following, he was married; and then he gave up his theological studies to try schoolteaching for some five years at Lillehammer.

To what extent Thrane was directly influenced by Wilhelm W. Weitling’s Guarantien der Harmonien und Freiheit (Guarantees for Harmony and Freedom - Vevey, Switzerland, 1842), of which a Norwegian translation had appeared in 1847, is not certain; but clearly some of his followers in the “Thranite movement” were. He was editor for a few months of the little known Drammens adresse, but lost his position when the owners found that he had speedily turned it into the country’s most radical newspaper. His next step, in December of 1848, was to initiate Norway’s first labor organization, with the announced purpose of “working little by little for the improvement of the laborers’ living standards and making them less dependent on the rich.” The movement thus begun by Thrane grew by leaps and bounds. Thrane wrote better than he spoke, but he traveled ceaselessly from town to town and about the countryside, secured assistance from others - some of whom proved later to be irresponsible agitators - and eventually saw organized, by June of 1850, 273 labor societies with a total membership of 20,850. [144]

As labor’s recognized leader, Thrane proceeded to set up a central board in Christiania to handle the combined organizations. He had already started a labor paper in May, 1849, Arbeider-foreningens blad, which championed the laborer’s right to work and emphasized the need for more common-school education. As a result of his lively interest in better schooling, free instruction was provided in a Christiania Sun day school in which teachers like Henrik Ibsen and A. O. Vinje took part. Thrane looked on the Union King Oscar I as a social-minded ruler who stood above all political parties. So it was with the hope of arousing the royal interest in labor’s cause that he prepared a petition to the king, which was accompanied by nearly 13,000 signatures. This was delivered to the stadholder (king’s representative in Christiania) on May 19, 1850. It requested “administrative support in doing away with the obstacles that lie athwart the path of material and intellectual progress of the working class,” and “asked only for justice by lawful means.” The main objectives listed in the petition were abolition of the protective tariff and introduction of free trade, a new law regarding the cotters’ place in society, restriction of the liquor trade, better folk schools, the universal right to vote, people’s law courts, and universal military service.

To give publicity to this - by modern standards - far from revolutionary program, Thrane and his group held a workers’ convention early in August of 1850, with 103 members participating, of whom but few were actual laborers. De spite the peaceful nature of the meeting, its emphasis on the improvement of the cotters’ social status aroused deep distrust in administrative circles. Thrane was soon charged with encouraging a bloody revolt, but when evidence failed to support any such accusation, he, and others with him, were charged with blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. It is true that, in a few areas, some irresponsible labor agitators had provoked riots against the authorities, despite Thrane’s efforts to bring them under control and within the law. When [145] matters got out of hand, Thrane decided to resign his newspaper editorship as a gesture toward peace. From the beginning of 1851 his student assistant, Theodor F. S. Abildgaard, took charge of the paper.

The blasphemy charges nevertheless continued, not only against Thrane, but also against Abildgaard. Finally, in June of 1855, after protracted trials, some 120 persons received prison sentences, mainly for subversive activities, and some of them got as much as nine years at hard labor. When Thrane was released in 1858, the situation had changed to his disadvantage; many Norwegians looked askance at the recently released long-time prisoner. His wife Josephine (Buch) had worked desperately to keep herself and her children alive during her husband’s imprisonment. After her death in 1862, he set off with the children for the United States, where he settled in Chicago and continued his work in the liberal and labor cause. Some hints of his adjustments to his New-World environment and of his intellectual interests may be gleaned from the five letters written during 1880-84 to his friend from Chicago days, Christen Westergaard, who had homesteaded near Buffalo, Dakota Territory, in 1878. Westergaard had co-operated with Thrane during the 1870’s by printing his paper, Dagslyset, for several years. {1}

The letters here reproduced in translation were written to Fredrik Borg, a Swedish liberal interested in improving the lot of labor in his country, during the months when Thrane was at the height of his career as a labor organizer. {2} The [146] originals are in the university library in Oslo (Christiania). Thrane hoped ardently that Swedish labor would unite in furtherance of its cause with the same enthusiasm that Norwegian laborers and peasants were already showing. The letters reveal little of what went on in the ranks of Norwegian labor, but show much of Thrane’s optimism and his devotion to duty as he saw it. They reflect something of the spirit of reform that had so terrified many upper-class Europeans in the middle 1800’s but looked less frightening at the turn of the century, when much of Thrane’s program was already being put into effect. Thrane felt that labor had interests that extended beyond national boundaries. His early travels on the Continent and his avid reading in several languages must obviously have convinced him that Norway’s labor problems were shared by many countries, and even, as his documentary files in the Oslo collection show, by his second home, the United States of America.

Thrane’s return to his birthplace in 1883, twenty years after he had set off for America, soon convinced him that he could not expect to render any major service to Norway’s labor cause as things then stood. But he also recognized that the work he had done in his preprison years had not been in vain. Shortly after his arrival in Christiania, he addressed an audience in the labor society’s quarters. After listening to the generous applause and the concluding remarks of the chairman, he stepped before his hearers to say a final word.

There is much spiritual light shed on this country, but it still remains dark for the workers. As for me, the situation is that the common people love me, but do not dare let it be known. And the great-spirited men respect me because they see me as a lighthouse near the channel leading to a new era. I have been convicted and crushed, but in the spiritual realm I will live as long as there is a laborer in the Norwegian state. {3}

Later in 1883 Thrane returned to America, where he continued working and writing for his cause in Chicago and in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He died in 1890. [147]

MARCUS THRANE TO FREDRIK THEODOR BORG, September 20,
October 27, 1850, January 20, April 24, June 1, 1851
[University Library, Oslo, A.L.S.]

I

ARBEIDERFORENINGENS
SENTRAL KONTOR
CHRISTIANIA
September 20, 1850

MARCUS THRANE TO F. BORG:
It gave me tremendous pleasure to receive your letter of September 12, which convinces me that the cause of the labor organizations in Stockholm is not entirely lost. I have also seen in your papers of the past fortnight that your labor society has resumed its meetings and is showing signs of new life. I had the idea that you had died on the vine, that Persson had gone to France, and that all had gone the way of the flesh! {4} So I was all the happier to learn that there is still life left. You speak of a “death sentence.” Oh, laughable! Il n’y a de danger, monsieur! pas encore! We will of course both have to go to prison, that is quite certain; but what has that to do with the case, and least of all for you, who are not married? But what am I to say, I, who have a wife and five children? Mais courage! I have no fear whatever of the prison; but I greatly fear that there will be an uprising here when I am put in prison, and God save us from uprisings as long as the Russian is Europe’s protector! However little I am inclined to do so, I will probably have to ask for a pardon to keep the people satisfied.

I must now tell you that last week I made a little trip to Moss, and while there I was seriously considering making a trip to Stockholm, partly to talk with you and others in the labor society, and partly to investigate attitudes and conditions in the interior of Sweden, especially in the rural areas. A month and a half ago I had an emissary in Sweden, in districts close to Nor way’s border, whose inhabitants have many contacts with Norwegians, and he told me that people there were thinking of organizing into labor societies. Furthermore, I must tell you that it was decided in our labor meeting to send one or two emissaries to [148] Sweden to urge the labor organizations there to work seriously in the country. I had got hold of a Swede from Gothenburg by the name of Renberg who was willing to make the effort, but he has not yet returned from a trip in this country which he was to complete first; and if he does get back, we are still short of money in our central treasury. But I have not given up the plan, as I am convinced how important it is that the [common] people of Scandinavia have similar objectives and understand one another when the time of reckoning is at hand. Nor have I given up hope of making a trip to Stockholm before the year is out; I lack only the money.

The central meeting went off well, and all the society’s members are well satisfied with our proceedings [on the petition]. We have agreed to be known as “radicals,” or, as we now translate the term, “root hewers”; and we have now chosen the law of property as our target. You remark that you know nothing of our meeting beyond what the “liberal” papers have said about it. “Liberals” - alas and woe! What papers are liberal in this country? Yes, we have a couple of liberal papers, namely, two small-town papers, but you could not have meant these. Presumably you meant Morgenbladet, but this is a genuine bourgeois paper, a paper that considers property completely holy. Like others of the same “sour dough,” it wants nothing to give it trouble.

You are subscribing to my paper through the Stockholm labor society, and you say that you will send me 2 rix-dollars for it. In this mail I am sending you several recent issues of my paper, but I want to ask you to instruct the society’s management not to send me any pay for it. If the society will do me the honor of reading my paper, and if it feels that it can profit from it, then it will be a real pleasure to me to send it a subscription gratis. Had I known that Mr. Borg was still in Stockholm, I would not have stopped sending it, but I thought you were in Gothenburg.

I was much pained to learn that Reform had to cease publication, and I could not help wondering why the workers did not have more interest in reading a paper that, in my view, was so well edited.

It remains to be said that things here are going well. Our societies are progressing, and we now have more than 25,000 [149] members. We have not been without influence in the Storthing election here.

Could I only get time and funds enough to make a trip to Stockholm, such a trip would be very pleasant for me and per haps would not be without result!

Take good care of yourself, dear Mr. Borg, and let me hear from you often and soon. Pay nothing on the letter; it costs me only 8 sk[illings], as we have here in this country an “English” postage law, so the “porto” is practically nil. I can send letters up to 20 [Norwegian] miles for 4 sk[illings], and as far as I want for 8.

MARC. THRANE

P.S. Greet all members of the Stockholm labor society, and tell me what has happened to Persson, and especially let me know how things are going with his lawsuit!

II

CHRISTIANIA, 27 October, 1850

To MR. F. BORG:
From your last letter I note with pleasure that Stockholm’s labor society is getting on well. In Aftonbladet [Stockholm] I read that meetings and lectures take place regularly in the society’s quarters. Many thanks for the newspaper Demokraten. This paper will, I believe, gain considerable influence, partly because it is inexpensive, and partly because it is so many-sided and tells a little of everything. Now, if it could only be circulated in the rural areas as well, then we would have the best of it. To bring this about, I believe it would be expedient if the traveling emissaries were provided with a number of copies of the first issues, on condition that they, as agents, be promised one fifth of the receipts, for example.

I thank you for your cordial invitation to be the guest of the Stockholm society. In that connection, I must tell you that a month or so ago I almost got over to you. I had taken a trip to Kongsvinger, and when I found myself so close to the Swedish border, I could not resist my desire to look about inside Sweden at once; and so I found myself traveling through Värmland right to Karlstad, where I stayed three days while waiting for money from Christiania. The money came, but when I called on the [150] Karlstad police to request a pass, this was refused me. (I had no pass from Christiania; I had received only a valueless document in Kongsvinger.) The police official even asked me the “purpose” of my trip and looked rather distrustfully at me. I was therefore obliged to return, despite my great desire to visit Stockholm. On my [return] trip through Värmland, I naturally tried to get at moods and attitudes by talking with various humble persons. Unfortunately I got the impression that there was no political spirit in Varmland; people were even afraid to talk with me when I brought up topics of a political nature. It would be of the highest value if the Stockholm society made the greatest possible effort to pay the expenses of men who could travel about in the remoter areas and rouse the spirits of the people there. Instead of a spirit of freedom, I noticed another spirit, namely, a renewal of national hate toward the Norwegians. Everywhere the humble folk said to each other, “The Norweegee” [Nordbaggen] wants an insurrection against Sweden, to drive the king out, but we will show him where to get off.” It was with deep regret that I noted such a state of mind among the Swedish common people, especially now, when in our [labor] organizations we are seeking to inculcate love of the brothers-across-the-border, and make it plain that the Norwegian and Swedish people must stand and fall with each other as brothers. But I understand, of course, where this kind of thinking comes from, namely, from the Swedish nobles and the priestly class. They are of course afraid that the Swedish people will get a true understanding of the Norwegian movements and will acquire similar notions, and therefore our efforts will naturally be attacked. Furthermore, the Swedish nobility fears that an uprising here in Norway lies ahead and therefore finds it good that the Swedish common people are working against us, as this will make it so much easier to keep us down.

You, Mr. Borg, and all members of Stockholm’s labor society!! I beg you in the name of freedom, equality, and brotherhood to do everything possible to counteract these false views among your Swedish common people. Make it as understandable as possible what the Norwegian movement really means, and that the Norwegians, now more than ever before, look upon the Swedes as brothers. Let them know that in our central meeting we unanimously moved to pay the expenses of sending men to Sweden to [151] start [labor] societies there, and that only lack of funds has kept us from doing it. Let them know that the Norwegians are pre pared at any time to counter petty opposition under difficult circumstances. Be sure to let them know that the differences we find are not national, but between wealth and poverty.

In Karlstad I paid a visit to the editor of the Värmland tidning, Mr. Losbom. He is one of the simon pure; he is, I under stand, completely conservative and should never have taken on editorial business in the year 1850, etc. He feared the Socialists more than robbers, but at the same time, he feared cholera still more, and so he wrote and spoke mostly about the quarantine. The cholera had just come to Gothenburg and was expected to reach Karlstad any mail day. On the whole, he does not seem to have been among those who would ever set the Thames on fire.

Apropos, I have something to ask of you! There has appeared in Sweden a publication called Lusing for folket [Caning the People]. I have been hoping very much to get this paper if it is not too expensive. How long has it been appearing? Will you be so kind as to send me what has come out this year? Maybe I can get it soon, while steamer travel is still open! And please have the bill of expense sent with it. If I can serve you in return, you have only to ask me.

Things are looking rather tense in Europe - in Russia larger gatherings of troops than ever - in England fermentation - in Germany likewise, with serious internal disturbances - in Italy a black priesthood. How is all this going to end?

How is your litigation getting on? Are you about kaput [played out]? As for me, I expect to be played out by New Year’s, and indications are that no merciful pardon is to be expected. Besides, our “little big people” will work in the reactionary pattern - but Kommet Zeit kommet Rath! [The morning bringeth counsel!]

In Aftonbladet I read of a meeting of the Stockholm society where a lecture called “Nebuchadnesar” was given which aroused general interest. Would it be possible for me to get a copy of it?

I see that Aftonbladet is going to considerable pains to depreciate me, and I notice that the conservative Tiden has taken on, my friend, oh, some curious dispensations of fate in this world [152] of ours. Now one may truthfully say, “Tempore mutantur,” etc. But that is as it must be. We may not know whether we are going out or coming in, but the time will come when the people will come in and the crafty must go out.

Now I must really close for this time, with most hearty greetings to all the honored members of Stockholm’s labor society. May it progress and extend its spirit over the whole country! Live well and write soon to

Your esteemed and devoted   
MARC. THRANE

III

CHRISTIANIA, 20 Jan., 1851

To FR. BORG IN STOCKHOLM:
Since your welcome letter in which you sent me a copy of “Nebuchadnesar,” I have not had the honor of hearing from you, for the obvious reason that you have not heard from me. I have nothing special to write you about, but I must send you a few lines, so as to have some claim on hearing from you again. It is rather humdrum for the time being in the political world, and it does not look as though it will be anything else. There is nothing I regret so deeply as the political dullness in Sweden. If only the Swede would show more power! Oh, then there would still be prospects for disorder-yes, indeed, for all Europe! But unfortunately the Swede looks to France or Germany for guidance, and that means to a distant future.

In this country there is much ferment; in many parts of the country the people are not inclined to wait longer, if no confidence is going to be aroused in this Storthing, which is convening next month. In certain localities it appears that weapons are being put in readiness secretly; in other places there has been violence; right now quite strong proclamations from the central ad ministration have succeeded in keeping the unrest from spreading.

If this Storthing does not do something about it, there is scarcely any doubt that trouble will break out, and it will not be within the power of myself or of the central administration to prevent such a disturbance. In what direction this will lead, one may guess in advance. The uprising will proceed without order or organization, and the poor will have to submit. When [153] I explain this to the hotheads they usually reply: “Yes, it’s all the same, either ‘bread’ or ‘death.’ If we do not win the fight, we will at least have killed a couple of thousand of the worst tyrants,” etc. I have resigned the editorship of the paper to avoid putting myself in a position where I might appear to threaten the legal authorities when matters come to a crisis, and to give the “intellectuals the opportunity to show their friendly feeling for the working class when the Thrane paper was not leading them.” But we will now have a chance to see what the intellectuals will be doing, for whatever it may be worth.

I have not yet received number 1 of this year’s Demokraten. Be so kind as to send me a new copy of number 1.

Mr. Petre is a brave man! If only there were more men of the same sort in the Swedish Riksdag. Is Petre an old man? Is he young and strong enough to start an agitation? {5}

In Cassel things seemed quite promising, [but then] eleven papers were closed down at one time. Oh, yes, it goes well! But when will our turn come?

Tell me something about the sentiment in Finland. Are the Finns showing any interest in uniting with Sweden, or are they satisfied with Cossack sovereignty?

It pleases me to see in Demokraten that the Stockholm labor society is progressing and has regular meetings. But is it not being expanded into rural areas and to other towns?

They are speaking here of a [partial] change of ministers, in that Councilor of State Sørensen, who is now in Stockholm, is being considered for the Rigsret in connection with Harro Harring’s being driven out; [he] is slated to request dismissal in season, but if I understand the spirit of the royal house correctly, he need have no fear. {6}

Please give my greetings to the Stockholm labor society. I hope to hear from you soon.

Your most friendly          
MARC. THRANE [154]

IV

CHRISTIANIA, 24 April, 1851

GOOD MR. BORG!
Since our last exchange of letters, many disturbing signs have shown up in this country. The sentiment is-to tell the truth- far from good, and it is getting worse day by day as the workers note that the Storthing is becoming intractable and dull. Serious outbreaks are not to be feared until the question of the extension of the right to vote has been taken up. If this does not come up to expectations, then we have everything to fear. We have a weak and stubborn government, which, instead of attempting a sympathetic approach, is more likely to offer stubborn resistance; and it is quite certain that if serious troubles develop here, the people will know how to find their own [dependable compatriots].

What leads me to write now is in connection with new work in the central meeting, which we expect to have convene in June or July. At this meeting matters of such great importance will be decided that I can only hope with all my heart that we can have present at the meeting some labor representatives from Sweden.

The aim in this is to request Stockholm’s in particular, but any other Swedish labor societies besides, to send their representatives to this large central meeting. It is my opinion not only that such a getting together would be profitable, but that it be comes more and more necessary with each passing day. It would make a good impression on all of Sweden and Norway to learn that Swedish and Norwegian brothers are meeting together to consult on the common welfare. A long step toward getting rid of national rivalries will be taken by such action, and who knows how much will thereby be won in case of--

I see from your last letter and from Swedish papers that recently a number of labor societies have been organized in places outside of Stockholm, some in towns (for example, Gothenburg), some in rural areas. If this proposal of mine is approved by the Stockholm labor society, then it will be important to get into touch early with the other Swedish societies by correspondence, [155] to see if they would be willing to send representatives. With regard to the place of meeting, this would presumably depend on how many representatives Sweden sent. If Sweden sends the larger number, the meeting should be held in Sweden; but if Norway sends the larger number, then in Norway. If the number is the same, then on the border; but I think we would be protected on Norwegian soil.

Looking forward to your reply at the very earliest time, I remain with esteem, yours very cordially,

MARC. THRANE

(P.S.) Your letter may be sent to Gravør Buch in Christiania. {7}

V

CHRISTIANIA, 1 June, ‘51.

MOST ESTEEMED:
Your letter of May 19 did not reach me until yesterday (May 31); so it has been on the way rather long. To be sure, I have been away the past three days, but still, according to its date of writing, I received it later than I should have. But it isn’t so bad, at that; the worst is that my letter to you has had so unfortunate a fate. As I did not get an answer to my letter, then either Borg has left Stockholm [I supposed] or the letter has been seized by the police. So I did not think it could be of any use to write it over again, the less so as it was absolutely necessary for us to have our central meeting at Pentecost time.


As a result of all these unfortunate circumstances, we can scarcely hope to see any Swedish representatives among us, unless you, Mr. Borg, have seen in our paper that our meeting is planned for June 10 and you have already decided to visit us. In that case, you will be heartily welcome and I am convinced that everyone will be happy to have a representative from the brother workers at the meeting.


Should you not have left when this letter arrives, it will presumably be too late. Our meeting this time will last only four days, namely, from the 10th to the 14th of June, unless unpredictable circumstances should make a longer session necessary. On the first day of Pentecost [June 8], about 800 Swedish and [156] Danish students are coming here to visit the Norwegian students. This meeting has little interest for us “people,” as the Swedish and Danish students are of the same “sour dough” as the Norwegian. We look upon this student meeting as a gathering of the archaristocrats of the three Scandinavian kingdoms; at least the Norwegians are in this class. It is sad enough that the “intelligentsia” are in so bad a plight, but it also seems to be the fashion among the intelligentsia of our time to take an anti-democratic stand, even against their better feelings.


With regard to our political situation at present, we have reason to expect a majority in the Storthing, but we fear that the government will not sanction [it]. That the dissatisfaction will then be very great indeed is certain, but I still entertain a hope that I will succeed in preventing really serious disturbances, which, during the present reactionary period, can lead only to ruin.


I recently had a letter from Harro Harring. He is in Hull, and in a difficult situation. In our last labor society paper you will see his proclamation, which is to be followed by a large meeting in Gothenburg.

I send greetings to Stockholm’s labor society. May we get together soon.

Very cordially,          
MARC. THRANE

VI {8}

It was rather amusing to read in your letter that I should try to infuse some life into the Swedish students during their stay here. No, no! The “gentlemen students” know well enough what they stand for in our time. “We are aristocrats, all of us,” says your Swedish writer of comedies, Julius, truthfully; it may be properly applied to the students of our time. No! It would be a vain effort to try to influence the Swedish students when it is impossible to influence our own. I was so little interested in this meeting of the “intelligentsia” leaders that I took no part in their festivities. They felt themselves much feted and the outlay (t’Spes) for entertaining Danish and Swedish aristocrats cost [157] Christiania some 20,000 specie dollars (80,000 rix-dollars) at a time when one sees no sign of a single major effort to relieve the need that prevails in the country. The present students here in the North are a miserable race, who are unable to utter an honest word or even to carry out some special deed of political value, if they suspect that thereby they may miss their chance to get an office appointment of one sort or another that might yield them a miserable 300 or 400 specie dollars. So let us leave that petty, narrow-minded intelligentsia to sail on its own sea; let them stay with their egotistical viewpoints. Democracy is so far from needing their services that it would be ill served by help from people whose conceit, inexperience, intelligent “dumbness,” and craven philosophy of life oppress and pervert sympathy for the common man. Democracy does not need their power. What it needs is only common sense and energy.

This must be enough for this time. From Mr. Persson in Lund I received a letter via a Swedish student. This letter I should answer now, but as I don’t know his position or his address, and, moreover, as I don’t know if it is advisable at this time to write him directly, I will ask you to send him this letter that I wrote to you, and ask him to accept it as an approximate answer to his letter to me. The person who had undertaken to bring his letter to me did not come to me himself; he had of course been promptly advised against having any personal contact with so conscienceless, riotous, and robespjerresk [Robespierrian] a person as me, and he has obviously not had the courage to face adverse opinion. {9}

Awaiting your esteemed reply at an early time, I subscribe myself

Most cordially,        
MARC. THRANE

(Letter to me to be addressed to Gravør Buch.)

Notes

<1> See Waldemar Westergaard, tr. and ed., “Marcus Thrane in America: Some Unpublished Letters from 1880-1884,” in Norwegian-American Studies and Records, 9:67 (Northfield, 1936). Thrane’s early life and work in Norway have been dealt with by such Norwegian authors as O. A. Øverland, J. Friis, Halvdan Koht, and Ivar Sæter; but in this country he is little known. For an informing outline of Thrane’s place in Norwegian labor history and his views on emigration, see Theodore C. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, 1825-1860, 323-330 (Northfield, 1931).
<2> Fredrik Teodor Borg (1824-1895) was a Swedish newspaper man and politician. He and N. P. Nordin edited the short-lived Reform in 1849. Borg moved to Halsingborg in 1855 and from 1856 until his death edited Öresundsposten. He championed reform in parliamentary representation, the cause of peace, extension of voting privileges, women’s rights, and other “radical” measures. He became unpopular in nationalistic circles for his stand on the Swedish-Norwegian union.
<3> Quoted in Ivar Sæter, Marcus Thrane: Hans liv og kamp for sosial rettferd, 88 (Oslo. 1942).
<4> Possibly Nils Persson (1798-1871), a Swedish farmer who served in the Swedish parliament and promoted the cause of common-school education.
<5> Johan Tore Petre (b. 1793) was a member of the Swedish Riksdag after 1833. He has a reputation for honesty and forthright courage. During 1849-51 he was an active champion of parliamentary reform for workers and cotters.
<6> Søren Anton Wilhelm Sørensen (1793-1853) was a prominent Norwegian politician and a distinguished jurist. He was sent by Christiania to the Storting, 1830-45, presided over the Odelsting, and became head of the department of justice in 1848. Harro Paul Harring (1798-1870), who was born in Denmark, joined revolutionary forces in Europe in 1830 and was eventually banished from Germany, Switzerland, and Norway, where he had put on an antimonarchist play in 1850, "Testamentet fra Amerika.” The Rigsret was the state law court.
<7> Josephine Buch Thrane (d. 1862), Thrane’s wife, was the daughter of an engraver named Buch; hence the mention of “Gravør Buch” as an intermediary for the transfer of letters.
<8> A “fragment” of a letter from Thrane to Borg, written shortly after the students arrived on June 8, 1851.
<9> This paragraph suggests that perhaps Borg sent the first part of the letter on to Persson in Lund.

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