Studies and Records
Published by the Norwegian-American Historical Association,
Copyright © 1972 by the Norwegian-American Historical Association 87732:52
To the Memory of Beulah Folkedahl
IN 1926 the association issued volume 1 of Studies and Records. This series of publications was designed to "include both primary and secondary materials" relating to Norwegian migration to the New World and to the life of the transplanted Norwegians in America. With volume 6, in 1931, the title was changed to Norwegian-American Studies and Records, and with volume 11, in 1940, the editors "turned from the form of a pamphlet to that of a book." The shortened title of today was adopted, together with a new format, in 1962.
Changes in title and appearance, however, have done nothing to alter the basic content of the series, which has consisted of documents in translation, of short studies on varied phases of the immigrant story, of some articles broadly interpretive in nature, and — since 1930— of bibliographical listings.
This volume, number 25 in the Studies series, continues the program launched 46 years ago. Odd Sverre Løvoll contributes a preliminary overview of the bygdelag movement, the subject of a doctoral dissertation. David T. Nelson, shortly before his death, delivered a lecture on Knut Gjerset, an early editor in the association and the prime mover in starting the Norwegian-American Museum; the address is included here in slightly altered form. Arne Hassing fills a conspicuous gap in association researches with an interpretation of organized response in Norway to the problem of emigration. Also included is my own account of the founding of the Quatsino settlement on Vancouver Island, one of several planned and province-sponsored Scandinavian colonies.
Readers are familiar with the part played by Norwegian immigrants on the Union side in the American Civil War. C. A. Clausen and Derwood Johnson, in presenting a sheaf of letters written by Confederate soldiers serving in Texas regiments, dispel some of the mystery surrounding the role of Norwegians living in the South. The assistance given immigrants on the westward trek in America by Lars and Martha Larson, Quaker Sloopers who settled in Rochester, New York, is sympathetically portrayed by Richard L. Canuteson. Sverre Arestad draws on personal experience to reveal the interest shown in Ibsen by Norwegian Americans and others in the Puget Sound area.
The main focus of study in immigrant religious life has been theological controversy. Here J. C. K. Preus shifts attention to the difficulties inherent in building congregations on the Wisconsin frontier; he illuminates his account of transition from state to free church by quoting the pages of the Reverend Herman A. Preus’s Ministerialbog. With similar respect to detail, Gerhard B. Naeseth lists biographical data about the Norwegian immigrants of 1842, and in doing so suggests the value of ship manifests, parish records, and other sources for social scientists and family genealogists alike.
Beulah Folkedahl, in whose memory this volume is dedicated, began the preparation of "Some Recent Publications" and "From the Archives," contributions that were completed by C. A. Clausen after her death.
I wish to acknowledge, with thanks, the assistance of Ralph L. Henry, professor emeritus of English at Carleton College, in the editing process.
Kenneth O. Bjork
St. Olaf College