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The Editorial Policy of Skandinaven, 1900-1903
By Agnes M. Larson (Volume VIII: Page 112)

Perhaps to few born in America does the distinctly American story of Rip Van Winkle come first in a foreign language. Old Rip was introduced to the younger children of our household when an older sister read Irving's story to us from Ved Arnen, the literary supplement to the Norwegian newspaper, Decorah-Posten. The stories, riddles, and puzzles in this paper furnished much entertainment for us, and in the winter when evenings came early our mother must quite have blessed it for keeping us occupied and quiet.

Our experience was not unlike that of hundreds of children whose grandparents or parents had trekked into the great prairies of the Northwest. Chicago had scarcely outgrown the Fort Dearborn stage when the first Norwegian immigrants arrived there. Many who came in the fifty years that followed stayed in Chicago and helped to make it the fourth largest Scandinavian city in the world, but more of them went on into the northwest country, where eighty-one per cent of the Norwegian immigrants of those years settled. {1}

They were land hungry, those people from Norway. It is difficult for us to understand how the broad, level prairies appealed to them. Here in America --- particularly after the passage of the Homestead Act of 1862 --- land could be had on the easiest terms, land that was neither swamp nor rock, but, as far as the eye could see, rich rolling prairies waiting for the plow. Here there were no farms hanging on the mountain sides, as in old Telemarken, and no husmænd working little strips, for which they paid dearly in labor. To the people in Norway the description of conditions in America seemed at first like a daydream; my own grandfather, writing to his brother in Norway, said that if he told how things were in America those at home would not believe him. Nowhere is the keen hunger for land better portrayed than in the character of Per Hansa in Giants in the Earth. Per, who had come from the bleakest, rockiest part of Norway, dreamed and worked, adding to his domain one quarter section after another. {2}

As has been mentioned, the Northwest, notably the states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, and the Dakotas, absorbed most of the Norwegian immigrants. In 1900 those states had, among a total population of 11,595,555 persons, 272,077 born in Norway and 237,029 who were of Norwegian-born parentage. {3} These Norwegians settled in definite communities. In this new any-man's-land they seemed to think that security lay in numbers; numbers, that is, of their own people. So we find that Otter Tail County, Minnesota, had in 1900 a population of 5,738 Norwegian-born in a total of 45,375, and Fillmore County had 3,593 Norwegian-born among a population of 28,238. {4} But these figures tell only a fraction of the story, for most of the Norwegians had large families; and those of the second generation were familiar with the culture of their parents and loyal to it. Even among the third generation, the children of the early twentieth century, it was not unusual to find Norwegian the mother tongue. The little village of Spring Grove in southeastern Minnesota has even today a population almost purely Norwegian in descent --- a visitor in the village is said to have remarked that even the dogs there bark in Norwegian. Place names in the Northwest indicate the presence of the Norwegians and their descendants --- one can hardly mistake the source of the names Norway, Arendahl, Sogn, and Thor, which are found close together in southeastern Minnesota.

The immigrants from Norway were largely of the peasant class. The minister and his wife, the schoolmaster, and the rare doctor or lawyer constituted the so-called educated and cultured people among them. There was an occasional craftsman. The large majority, however, had been small farmers, small renters, or farm laborers in Norway. They were not, nevertheless, an illiterate people; illiteracy was rare among them. In 1736 confirmation came to be compulsory both in Norway and in Denmark. The state church of Norway required that children who were candidates for confirmation be familiar with Luther's Catechism., Pontoppidan's Explanation, the hymn book, and the Bible. Since, therefore, everyone had to learn to read, public schools were established by government ordinance in 1739. {5} As a result, illiteracy finally came to be confined almost entirely to the mentally deficient. The preacher and the teacher, as guardians of their people's souls, followed the Norwegians into America as the New England preacher and schoolmaster followed the migration of their people into the West.

The Norwegian immigrant had a bent for politics. The Norwegian peasant's experience in the democratic movement of the Napoleonic era and his subsequent training under the leadership of Thrane, Ueland, and Sverdrup, had accustomed him to thinking, in his simple way, of government and its problems. Long before the Norwegian migration to America began, Norway was celebrating its own independence day and the day of the establishment of its constitution, May 17, 1814. That constitution, which gave much power to the common people, began the abolishment of nobility which was completed by law in 1821. {6} Thus the Norwegian immigrant was familiar with American ideas of democracy and equality in government.

The Norwegian immigrant probably did not differ much in his social system and in his standard of morals from immigrants from other parts of Germanic Europe. As with the Germans, the family was the important unit around which the interests and activities of the individual centered. To continue to generalize --- admittedly dangerous in matters concerning which we are more directed by opinion than by exact knowledge --- the Norwegians were perhaps more of individualists than the other Scandinavian or the German immigrants. Their strict moral code would probably have compared well with those of early New England, but that does not mean that the code was always observed. While the Norwegians were apparently pious, serious-minded, and introspective, they often --- perhaps because of those very qualities --- went to excesses in fighting, drinking, and lovemaking. On the whole, however, they were a law-abiding, hard-working people.

To these people America had much to offer, and though little money was needed to secure what America had to give, the price paid was high in other terms. For an individual, or even a family, to leave a familiar environment, thereby breaking the ties of kinship, friendship, and culture, and for that individual to be transplanted in a frontier community that differed largely from the one at home was not simple, even though the economic conditions were most favorable. For immigrants from non-English-speaking countries, the problems were especially serious. Often the university-trained man became, because of his language difficulties, a frontier farmer. The man with literary talent and aspirations might get work on a newspaper, but the chances were that he would be an unhappy misfit. Beret, another character from Giants in the Earth, is representative of the sensitive and introspective character, who, accustomed to the more refined though simple life of the old country, sinks into melancholy under the roughness and hardships, both physical and spiritual, of frontier immigrant life. Few were as sensitive as Beret and few had intellectual aspirations, but even for the large mass of the immigrants the transition was not easy.

In making adjustments there was much to aid the immigrant. The Americans, much as they exploited him, gave him invaluable assistance. The best school, though a hard one, for the young immigrant woman was the fine "Yankee" home where she worked. The American school was helpful, particularly to the young people. But these schools failed in one respect --- they did not take into account that complexity of training, ideas, interests, institutions, and experiences --- called culture --- which was the immigrant. This lack could best be supplied by his own people and institutions; it was for this reason that he so treasured his own church, his press, and his school. Adequate recognition has not yet been given to the contributions of those institutions and of the personalities who maintained them; they not only made the adjustments easier but they also made the period of transition a more constructive one.

Much could be written of the fine influence of the pastor and his wife, who were often people of high education and social standing in Norway who had come to America with a fine missionary spirit. {7} The influence of such schools as Luther College and St. Olaf College, and of many others long since almost forgotten --- schools that were in many ways etude even in a etude community --- can in some measure be seen from the leaders that they produced among the second generation in America. But in reaching the mass of immigrants probably nothing was more effective than the newspapers published in America in the Norwegian language by Norwegians. News from back home, from America and from the whole world, gossip, politics, and commodity prices reached the immigrant through his own press. Indeed, his newspaper furnished him almost his only contact with the world of literature and thought. Scores of such newspapers have at one time or another flourished among the Norwegians of the first and second generation in America. Today most of them are forgotten, but for the student of recent American history they offer a rich field for study.

Perhaps the most admirable and, certainly, the most influential of these papers was Skandinaven. This paper was established in Chicago in 1866 and still continues. Curiously, it had its origin in a group of low-church people who opposed the state-church group. The latter were trying to persuade the Lutheran Norwegian in America to follow the state church of Norway with its bishops and archbishops. {8} The low-church people advocated an organization similar to that of the Congregational church of New England; their religious thinking resembled that of the American Methodists. It is interesting, too, that the founders of Skandinaven resisted any movement that stood for imperialism or class distinction.

John Anderson and Knud Langeland were the first editors of Skandinaven; financial assistance for the project was furnished by Iver Larson, the father of Victor Lawson of the Chicago Daily News. Young Lawson, it may be added, received his first training as a newspaper man under John Anderson of Skandinaven. Anderson guided the paper during the pioneer days, and he made it a faithful aid to his countrymen in the New World. He was born in Norway; as has been said, "like so many of the Norwegians he had gotten as a cradle gift a quite definitely designed hatred for all that was artificial and aristocratic." Anderson represented the finest type of Norwegian immigrant. Shortly after the Anderson family arrived in America, the father died of cholera; John, still a young boy, went to work to help support the family. He immediately secured a job as a newsboy with the Commercial Advertiser in Chicago. He and another lad had charge of the distribution of the paper in that city. Then he was apprenticed to the print shop of the Advertiser, and later he worked for Scripp and Brothers. Leaving a position as the highest paid typesetter in the city, he began the publication of Skandinaven in 1866. {9}

Though Anderson was not a man of much formal education, he chose men of wide schooling and experience as his assistants in editing the paper. Outstanding among these was David Monrad Schöyen. He was born in Norway, where he was trained as a lawyer; in America he wrote a book entitled Law for Everyman. Schöyen was succeeded by Peter Hendrickson, a graduate of Beloit College who had studied literature, philology, and philosophy at the University of Christiania. In later years Nicolay A. Grevstad served as editor. He, too, was born in Norway; he was educated there and came to be considered one of the country's ablest young scholars. He passed the law examination in 1878, cum laude. He served as editor of Dagbladet from 1880 to 1883, when he was forced to resign because he supported the great Norwegian liberal leader, Johan Sverdrup. Thereupon he came to America. He was associated with the Minneapolis Tribune as chief editorial writer from 1888 to 1890. In 1892 he joined the staff of Skandinaven. {10}

When a Norwegian immigrant arrived in Chicago he was usually greeted by one of John Anderson's newsboys and given a copy of Skandinaven. To the immigrant this was a friend in need, and the result was that the paper and the immigrant became life-long companions. {11} The subscription list of the paper grew, and Skandinaven was still young when it came to be recognized as a power among the Norwegians of America.

An analysis of the paper itself would give in some measure an idea of what was the nature of its influence. That task, if properly done, would be a work of months, if not years. One may, however, by studying the issues of only a few years, gain some idea as to what Skandinaven furnished its readers. It would have been interesting to examine the early issues of the paper, but since files previous to 1900 were not available the present investigation was started with the issues of that year. Only four years were covered, and emphasis has been placed on the editorial page, where a conscious expression of what the paper was offering its readers is to be found.

According to Pettengill's Newspaper Directory and Gazetter, in 1899 Skandinaven was issuing an eight-page daily with a circulation of 12,405, a sixteen-page Sunday edition with a circulation of 16,424, and a twenty-page semiweekly edition with a circulation of 44,017. In 1905 the semi-weekly, with which this study is primarily concerned, had a circulation of 48,335. {12}

Something of the general scope of the paper may be gathered frown an examination of one issue chosen at random from the year 1900. {13} The issue consisted of two sections, 17 by 22 inches, totaling twenty pages, and a literary supplement equivalent to eight pages of the other sections. The literary section consisted largely of short stories; in addition it carried the equivalent of one page of stories in cartoon (the "funny page "), one page on the geography and geology of islands and fjords, and half a page on practical science; the remainder, about one page, had articles on the unhappy married life of an heiress who married a prince, on women in prison, and on the next war, in which the airplane and the submarine would, the article said, play the most important part. The great miscellany carried in the main sections of the paper can be observed by the following table, which gives the column inches of various types of material in the issue:

Crime and punishment 
News from Norway 
"Of interest to farmers" 
Letters from readers 
Cuba and the Philippines   
"Questions and answers" 
Church and missions 
"Woman's page" 
Education and culture 
Death notices 

The advertisements were largely of the patent-medicine type. The articles on Cuba and the Philippines were concerned mainly with the position of Congress on our relations with the islands. Letters from readers discussed Norway, the Northwest, socialism, prohibition, and poetry. Most of the questions and answers concerned science. On the whole, one can say that the material compared favorably with the type of journalism represented by the Springfield Republican. Undoubtedly Skandinaven lacked the finish and intellectual sophistication of that paper, but it was, on the other hand, not of the scandal- and crime-monger type of so many American newspapers of the time.

Following the idea introduced by Nathan Hale of the Boston Daily Advertiser and practiced later by outstanding American editors, Skandinaven considered the editorial page a means of directing the public mind. The policy and purpose of the paper can therefore be gleaned most readily from that section. The topics treated in the editorials from 1900 to 1903, inclusive, can be grouped somewhat arbitrarily under six heads: politics, social welfare, economics, education and culture, prominent Norwegians, and foreign news.

Skandinaven, fully conscious of the necessity of acquainting its readers with the facts of government, gave much space to parties and leadership, governmental organization and functioning, and political issues. The question of leadership was strongly emphasized during the presidential year of 1900. Of the editorials of that year, about seventeen per cent concerned the two main presidential candidates. Skandinaven's party position is obvious. An editorial quotes at length from the platform adopted by a Young Republican Club of St. Paul, Minnesota:

The Republican party stands today, as ever, for positive politics. It stands for a protective tariff, for sound money, for the control and regulation of combinations of capital that have a legitimate purpose and the destruction of those that have an illegitimate purpose. It stands for the retention of every inch of territory that comes to us by honorable treaty and international law. It stands for the marvelous commercial possibilities of the Orient, for the restoration of our merchant marine, and, finally, it stands for the progress of the United States and the uplifting of mankind throughout the world. . . . As firmly as we believe in America and her institutions, we believe that the party that shall guide us in the great future is the party founded by Abraham Lincoln, supported by Ulysses S. Grant, and exalted by William McKinley. Skandinaven adds the statement, "This has the true Republican ring, and true Republicanism stands for true Americanism at home and abroad." {14}

In a continued discussion of Republicanism the paper, commenting on former Senator Mantle of Montana, a Democrat who went over to the Republican party, said that "Republicans fight for the country's honor while the Democratic program will lead to disgrace and dishonor." Good times, said an editorial, would continue with the Republicans in power, and the United States under their leadership would continue as a great world power, a position she had gained through the work of the Republican administration of President McKinley. McKinley's re-nomination in 1900 was to be expected in view of his record, said Skandinaven. It added that he was a safe guide, a great leader, and that in peace, as well as war, he had chosen the way that duty, honor, and insight into the condition of the nation bade him. The selection of Roosevelt was also in keeping with Skandinaven's political ideas, "for he is a knight without fear, and an expansionist. As governor of New York he has fought against big corporations for the people's rights." That the Norwegians agreed with the policies of the paper may be assumed from the fact that the states with a heavy Norwegian population voted by a big majority for McKinley and Roosevelt. In North Dakota these candidates carried every county and in Minnesota the largest majority ever received by any president was given to McKinley. {15}

In 1903 a Norwegian Republican club was organized in Illinois; this action received most favorable comment by the editor of Skandinaven. Theodore Roosevelt proved to be as acceptable a candidate for the presidency as McKinley had been; Skandinaven said of him: "Roosevelt is a living example of a sound mind in a sound body. He is as full of life and energy as a ten-year-old boy. He is constantly active. He smiles broadly and brightly at the least provocation; his handshake is vigorous, and he seems to love life and people." President Roosevelt's handling of the coal strike and the trust problem found much favor, lie was said to be able, powerful, and independent, but his greatest asset was his concern for the people. When, said the paper, James J. Hill stated definitely during the Northern Securities Case that neither Governor Van Sant of Minnesota nor President Roosevelt would receive his support in the next election, and though the trusts and money interests were of the same mind, that did not disturb Roosevelt. The American people were his concern, regardless of what his future might be. To Roosevelt it mattered little whether a cause was for capital or for labor --- it was the justice of the situation that was important to him. He was for "Republican ideals without any reference to where a man was born or what faith he professed." {16}

Skandinaven's one criticism of Roosevelt appeared when he appointed Cortelyou secretary of the department of commerce and labor. The paper stated that Cortelyou did not, in the eyes of most men, have the experience that would qualify him to take charge of a department whose policies had not yet been formulated. Secretaries Hay and Root were generally acceptable to Skandinaven. It said of Hay, "His management of the Chinese question is the brightest and most honorable chapter in the history of modern diplomacy, while the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty, as finally formulated, removes the only dishonorable blot upon the diplomatic records of the nation." Skandinaven called Root "the greatest war minister that the United States had ever had." The American minister to China was commended for having handled the Chinese situation well. {17}

The Democratic party, so vividly headed by Bryan in the election of 1900, also received due attention from Skandinaven. "Bryan," it said, "speaks well and at times gives something worth while." It asked him to justify his attack on the Republican party for not allowing the Filipino to vote when his own party barred the Negro in the South from the franchise. Bryan was bitterly criticized for his close alliance with Croker, the great Tammany chief, and Skandinaven quoted the statement that "the man who sleeps, eats, and drinks with Richard Croker is not our man for president." When Bryan spoke disparagingly of the prosperity said to have been brought about during the McKinley administration, Skandinaven reminded him of the Cleveland days. {18}

La Follette had not then become a national figure, but in Wisconsin he was paving his way for his national career. Commenting on the meeting of one thousand Republicans supporting La Follette in Milwaukee in the summer of 1900, Skandinaven said, "This is a victory for the best principles and the best man, in other words a victory for the people." La Follette had put life into Wisconsin polities. Opposing candidates and the machine feared him, and already there were rumors that he would not stop until he reached the United States Senate. In 1900 Skandinaven expressed the hope that the Norwegians would vote for La Follette. Later it made the statement that "bolters [stand-patters] in Wisconsin have carried scarcely a single district where the Norwegians are numerous enough to exert a decisive influence upon a contest between the parties or within the lines of the Republicans. The Scandinavian counties are all in the La Follette column." {19}

On the question of organization and functioning of government, Skandinaven stood for anything that increased control by the people, though it favored a strong centralized government as opposed to state's rights. It continually attacked the method then in use of electing United States senators. Legislatures were wasting their time, in its opinion; the legislatures of Delaware, Nebraska, Montana, and Oregon, in the sixth week of their sessions, had done nothing but consider the question of senators and had not yet completed that. "Bribery and corruption; endless costly deadlocks; frequent failures to fill vacancies with consequent loss of representation in the Senate on the part of the states concerned; appointments of doubtful legality when a legislature has been able to elect, as in the Quay case; these are only some of the glaring evils of the existing system." {20} Skandinaven definitely favored election of senators by the people.

In those years Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, and North Dakota were in the midst of agitation for the direct primary. In some states, said Skandinaven, party leaders were successful in strangling this issue, but in Minnesota the people won, and in Indiana the direct primary was tried for the first time in 1902. {21}

Skandinaven gave much attention to the leading political issues of those years. In national affairs it stood, as has been seen, for Republican policies, usually those defined by Roosevelt. It defended a high tariff, but in relation to the tariff it was cognizant of the significance of the tariff to the farmer. It stated that agricultural imports to the United States in 1897 had a value of $400,000,000, while a year later, under the Dingley Tariff, they amounted to only $314,000,000. Skandinaven stressed again and again the prosperity that had come with McKinley and attributed it in a measure to the Republican tariff policy. As evidence of this prosperity, figures on imports and exports in 1880 and 1900 were given. In the former year imports amounted to $667,900,000 and in the latter, $849,900,000, while exports grew from $855,600,000 to $1,394,500,000! The average selling price of a cow was $21.77 in 1894 and $31.60 in 1899. More traffic on the Great Lakes, more money than ever in the United States, and a greater favorable balance of trade gave assurance that the McKinley administration with its tariff policy had greatly improved the condition of the country since the Democratic administration. {22}

On the trusts, John P. Altgeld was quoted as saying that they "signify a great industrial advance" and that "people must not destroy them but government must control them." Skandinaven seems to have adopted this as its viewpoint. It did not hesitate to criticize the great meat-packing companies for combining to control prices and storage. When the packers loudly cried that they were losing money, the paper suggested that they allow a government investigation to be made into their affairs so that the people might give them due credit for their generosity in selling so low! {23} In the years 1902 and 1903 there were forty-eight editorials relating to trusts.

As to expansion the paper favored the policy of the administration. Expansion, urged Skandinaven, was an American policy, for it had its beginning with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. It attacked Bryan and Hoar bitterly for rendering aid, by their position, to the rebellious Filipinos. While favoring expansion, the paper gave strong support to the Hague Peace Conference, and spoke of it as one of the greatest accomplishments of the last half of the nineteenth century. {24}

In foreign affairs Skandinaven followed the administration. In domestic affairs it was Progressive; though it might justly be called Republican in its outlook, it was the Republicanism of La Follette and Roosevelt and not of the stand-patters. Direct election of senators, direct primaries, and control of trusts were all strongly advocated. Therefore it may be concluded that it was a Republican paper of the Progressive wing.

On questions of social welfare and social reform Skandinaven took a decided stand. It gave much attention to child labor, the race problem in the South, relief for disaster-stricken people, and prohibition. Skandinaven granted that it was well for children to learn to work, but it could not sanction the employment of children from twelve to fourteen hours a day for a wage of two to three dollars a week. Neither did it consider selling papers or shining shoes conducive to the development of the best in the child. John Anderson, the owner of the paper, had himself been a newsboy, so he knew the undesirable features of that job for a child. Skandinaven praised the work of prominent New York men in supporting the child labor bureau, and the efforts of Governor Stone of Pennsylvania to secure stricter laws governing labor of children in mines and stone quarries. Georgia's position in voting down a child labor law was severely criticized, and fear was expressed that Alabama would take the same action. {25}

The Negro found in this paper a firm believer in equality --- equality for the Negro as well as for the white man. Roosevelt was commended when he invited Booker T. Washington to the White House, and Skandinaven remarked that "as long as a Negro cannot be a guest in the White House as well as a white man, without arousing criticism in the South, American feeling and equality is not a reality in all parts of the country." Opposition to Roosevelt's appointment of a Negro postmistress in Mississippi was regarded as further evidence of the inequality of the Negro. In 1903 it was noted that forty per cent of the Negro element was literate. {26}

Skandinaven was untiring in its appeals for disaster-stricken people. When the tidal wave swept Galveston, several editorials were devoted to the need for assistance. A bad storm in Becket and Clay counties in Minnesota likewise brought calls for aid. Concerning the famine in Finland in 1903 the paper said that "there is no people today more worthy of the sympathy and succor of the Christian world than the destitute people of Finland. Their virtues, fortitude, and heroism gleam through the sad gloom of Finnish history as one of the precious heirlooms of all mankind." The same editorial urged bankers, business men, and railroads to take the matter in hand. Skandinaven collected $26,732.71 for Finnish relief. Disasters in Norway, such as the drowning of the fishermen at Herö, the failure of crops, and the fire in Aalesund all brought calls to readers for aid. {27} Though Skandinaven had a special interest in Norway, it was as sincere in its appeals for aid in disasters of a general nature as in those that concerned its own people.

Skandinaven recognized in the prohibition movement a cause worthy of strong support. Though it did not sanction Carrie Nation's methods and her gospel of smashing, it felt that her work was useful, for she attracted attention to the question and helped arouse the public conscience. The paper agreed with her that, since Kansas had a prohibition law, the law should be enforced. The progress of prohibition in other states was noted. The fact that Vermont had been able to retain prohibition by law for fifty years was attributed to its small size and rural population. Among the deadly results of drinking mentioned were anarchy, insanity, and suicide. The economic waste resulting from the liquor traffic was emphasized, for, the paper said, in one year one billion dollars were spent for intoxicating drinks in the United States --- in contrast to the nation's book bill of $174,964,625. Skandinaven advocated that the danger of drinking be emphasized in the schools and that such institutions be enlisted in the great cause of prohibition. {28}

In a land where economic resources were plentiful and where economic development was obvious, and at a time when economic problems were receiving much attention on every hand, it was natural that Skandinaven would devote much attention to such subjects. It gave voluminous information on financial conditions, and it took definite stands on controversial questions. Skandinaven constantly reminded its readers that trade was increasing in America and that the country was growing in wealth. Figures on imports and exports, on gold production, on the national wealth of the United States compared with that of other countries, on exports of farm products, and on the construction of railroads were quoted regularly. A reader would naturally conclude from the evidence given that the United States had become the leading industrial nation; and the French economist, Beaulieu, was quoted as having said that the United States occupied that position. {29}

Skandinaven freely gave intelligent and reasonable advice to the farmers of the Northwest. For instance, they were advised to read a book by Professor Bolley of North Dakota on the choice of seeds. Bolley told the farmers about smut on seed grain and how scales on potatoes might be treated. A bulletin from the United States department of agriculture on the treatment of scabby sheep and cattle was recommended. Farmers were urged to raise cattle for beef, their attention being called to the loans offered by the Cudahy Packing Company and by Swift and Company for buying cattle to be fattened for the market. Chicken-raising was advocated as of special interest for the children, and a bulletin published by the United States department of agriculture was mentioned as of special value to the chicken-raiser. Skandinaven reminded its readers that chicken-raising produced an income of $150,000,000 a year in the United States, and that chicken-raising had become a great industry in Denmark and in France. A pamphlet on hog-raising, written by Secretary Wilson of the department of agriculture, was said to show that clean buildings and surroundings were as necessary to hogs as to any other animals. Dairying was strongly recommended, and another bulletin on this subject was called to the farmers' attention. Similar suggestions were made on sheep-raising, and on the production of macaroni wheat and flax. The organization of cooperatives was urged. Farm boys were encouraged to stay on the farm, for "the farmer is America's uncrowned king." Laborers were urged to seek the farm, where $30 a month, with board, room, and laundry, was better pay than $1.50 a day in the city. {30} In this way the paper was helping to bring about a better distribution of labor.

In 1901 Skandinaven helped homesteaders at Bottineau, North Dakota, to get final title to their land when they were having trouble with the government land agent. The paper was instrumental in lining up the congressmen and senators of the state to aid these homesteaders. {31}

Skandinaven may almost be considered a propagandist for farm life. The farmer was well off and independent; rural life was continually becoming more pleasant with the use of new machinery, improved means of transportation and communication, consolidated schools, and rural deliveries; and the farmer was the bulwark of the democracy.

With regard to labor, Skandinaven was interested mainly in organization and in strikes. It considered organized labor a force for much good: an educational force, a steadying element, and a regulating factor in the industrial system. Skandinaven said that if labor organization wanted to continue, however, it should keep within the pale of the law and recognize law as the supreme force in the land. Samuel Gompers was especially commended for keeping the American Federation of Labor from forming or joining a labor party. Quoting the sixteenth annual report of the labor bureau of the United States to the effect that there had been in the United States in the preceding twenty years 22,793 strikes involving 6,105,614 workers, Skandinaven pleaded for some agreement between capital and labor, because of the danger to society as a whole. The adoption of a profit-sharing plan by the American Steel and Wire Company, and the establishment of old-age pensions for the employees of the Pennsylvania Railroad were especially commended. The death of P. M. Arthur, the president of the Railway Engineers Union, called forth this tribute, "Arthur's life work is the most powerful evidence that it is possible to manage a trade union on the same basis as any other business without use of strikes, uprisings, and bloodshed." {32}

Skandinaven was the strongest advocate that the public schools of the United States had among the Norwegian people. When the first Norwegians came they brought their own teachers, and as the public school offered no religious training the Norwegians insisted on continuing with their own schools. Knud Langeland, who from the first years was associated with Skandinaven, favored the common school, and Skandinaven continued to stand for public education. It took pride in pointing out that the United States had more children in school than any other of the leading western nations. {33}

By 1900 Skandinaven was working for improvement of the grade schools. The immigrants in America had fared well; they were in possession of some of the best land in the country. Therefore, they could afford to make the financial sacrifices necessary for the improvement of the schools. "Our children," said an editorial, "must be prepared to follow the times. They must have the opportunities that others have." The improvement of the Chicago schools, school libraries, parent-teacher associations, better salaries for teachers, the teaching of the fine arts, and kindergartens were some of the features advocated by Skandinaven. {34}

At the same time higher education was receiving much attention from the paper. It quoted Superintendent Cooley of Chicago on the need of a higher education, saying that prominent business men of the city had verified the statement that the leaders of the future would be college-bred men. Norwegian men and women were urged to consider seriously that "knowledge is expensive, but its seed bears fruit earlier or later." {35}

Woman was not forgotten in relation to higher education. Young women were encouraged to go to college that they might bring to their future homes more of the things that are fine. The granting of advanced degrees to women for the first time --- to two American women --- at the universities of Paris and of Berlin was noted. The colleges of the Middle West received a tribute for their fine accomplishments over fifty years. These colleges were the result of the contributions of people of small means. {36}

Trade schools received from Skandinaven no small recognition. The paper commented most favorably on Carnegie's gift of a million dollars to the institution at Pittsburgh that bears his name. Carnegie had thought of giving money for the National University at Washington that had been anticipated by George Washington, but on further thought he decided that George Washington, himself, would have considered a trade school in the capital city more useful than the institution he had hoped for. The establishment of a school of journalism at Columbia was mentioned, as was also the establishment of an agricultural school in North Dakota. The suggestion that a commercial high school be established in Chicago was noted. Skandinaven commended the city of Chicago highly for its twenty-two night schools, in which ten thousand had registered on the opening night. More Norwegians had registered than any other foreign group. The paper urged its people to make use of this helpful opportunity, which cost them nothing and took them away from saloons and dance halls. {37}

Another factor in cultural development that Skandinaven emphasized was the growing need for supplying the people with proper reading material. Carnegie was praised; he had already given $38,505,000 in the United States for libraries. Skandinaven considered Mark Twain and Rudyard Kipling the best living writers at the close of the century. {38}

Skandinaven encouraged the Norwegians to become thorough Americans, but it also considered that their cultural inheritance from Norway should be retained as a part of their contribution to America. It frequently spoke of Jonas Lie, the people's poet; Ibsen, the dramatist; Sophus Lie, the mathematician; and other leaders in the intellectual life of Norway. With considerable pride Skandinaven noted William Archer's criticism of Ibsen. Archer stated that Ibsen was the century's greatest writer and that the fourth act in Brand and Aase's death in Peer Gynt were almost without parallel in composition, poetic power, and coloring. Skandinaven also noted, with a bit of pride, that the editor of the Critic had chosen Bjørnson's Laboremus as the most powerful dramatic work of the year. {39} Within the four years covered, Skandinaven carried eighty-four editorials about Norway, chiefly on literature, government, and science.

Skandinaven watched proudly the achievements of its own people in America. Those it deemed worthy of praise, it praised and urged others to support. It was anxious that the Norwegians should eventually find their place in the government of America, and when such positions were gained, it watched like a proud mother over its child and told others of the success of their own brothers. Senator Knute Nelson was Skandinaven's favorite son. It said of him that "he seems to know what the people want and has acquired the habit of accomplishing what he sets out to do. He gave the country a new bankruptcy law and launched a law creating a department of commerce." On Nelson's sixtieth birthday in 1903, the paper proudly noted a tribute paid him by Governor Van Sant of Minnesota. Congressman Haugen of Iowa was praised for his work on the oleomargarine law, so important to the farmers of the West. Congressman Dahle of Wisconsin, who was so influential in helping to secure the passage of the rural mail delivery act, was another Norwegian whom Skandinaven recognized as a son of Norway true to the fine inheritance he had received from his native country. Of the men the paper supported, not the least important in the future was to be Andrew Volstead, whom Skandinaven first recognized in 1902. {40}

Skandinaven did not confine its editorials to American and Norwegian interests. During the four years studied in this paper, the semi-weekly edition contained one hundred and ninety-two editorials on foreign countries other than Norway. They included a variety of material, but the Boer War and the Chinese situation received the most space.

In assisting the immigrant to make the transition to American ways of thinking and doing, Skandinaven undoubtedly played a significant part. That the immigrant might not completely lose the inheritance that was his, Skandinaven stressed the literature and culture of the mother country. To aid him, on the other hand, to become a genuine son of the new country, its parties and politics and issues were placed before him. Perhaps government received the major emphasis, but other institutions and interests of America were given recognition as well. That the immigrant might make the best use of his opportunities, the paper kept steadily before him the possibilities for self-improvement and economic advancement in the United States. On most matters Skandinaven was fairly conservative, though it was critically so M it was more open-minded and independent than most of the English newspapers of the United States. Its enthusiasm for the people and its optimistic faith in the possibilities of the common man and of democracy give the key to an understanding of its faith in America and its institutions, especially the government and the school. It continually impressed its readers that the United States was a great country and a land of opportunity.


<1> Kendric C. Babcock, The Scandinavian Element in the United States, 75 (University of Illinois, Studies in the Social Sciences, vol. 3, no. 3 --- Urbana, 1914).

<2> Henrietta Larson, ed., "An Immigration Journey to America in 1854." in, Studies and Records, 3:64 (Northfield, Minnesota, 1928); O. E. Rø1vaag, Giants in the Earth (New York, 1927).

<3> United States Census, 1900, Population, vol. 1, pt. 1, p. xviii, clxxiv, and 815.

<4> Babcock, Scandinavian Element, 217.

<5> Babcock. Scandinavian Element, 109 Knut Gjerset, History of the Norwegian People, 2:334 (New York, 1915).

<6> Gjerset, History of the Norwegian People, 423-432, 455, 504, 508, 511.

<7> Karen Larsen, "The Adjustment of the Pioneer Pastor to American Conditions," in Studies and Records, 4:1-14 (Northfield, Minnesota, 1929).

<8> Johannes B. Wist, ed., Norsk-Amerikanernes Festskrift, 1914, 45 (Decorah, Iowa, 1914).

<9> Wist, Festskrift, 45, 47, 48, 49.

<10> Wist, Festskrift, 52-55.

<11> Wist, Festskrift, 50.

<12> Pettengill's National Newspaper Directory and Gazetteer, 103 (Boston and New York, 1899); N. W. Ayer & Son's American Newspaper Annual and Directory, 154 (Philadelphia, 1905).

<13> Issue for May 30.

<14> Skandinaven, July 25, 1900.

<15> July 25, 27, August 15, November 14, 1900.

<16> May 7, November 12, 1902; April 8, October 30, 1903.

<17> June 13, 1900; January 8, 1902; March 18, August 14, 1903.

<18> August 8, 10, October 17, 31, 1900.

<19> June 8, August 17, 1900; July 16, 1902.

<20> March 7, 1900.

<21> April 16, 1901; March 19, 1902.

<22>March 28, July 25, 27, September 12, 14, 1900; May 24, 1901; February 7, 1902; April 10, July22, 1903.

<23> March 14, April 30, 1902.

<24> January 3, 10, April 20, June 15, 1900.

<25> February 25, April 10, 1903.

<26> October 23, 1901; January 9, October 24, November 30, 1903.

<27> September 19, 1900; April 16, June 18, December 5, 1902; January 16, July 13, 1903.

<28> December 7, 1900; February 8, March 8, April 10, July 5, September 25, 1901; May 2, November 2, 1902; August 28, 1903.

<29> January 17, July 6, 10, August 24, September 12, 1900; January 11, 1901; February 7, April 23, 1902.

<30> January 31, 1900; April 5, 26, June 14, July 17, 1901; April 9, 16, 25, December 10, 1902; March 27, May 6, August 2, September 11, 1903.

<31> May 2, 1901.

<32> January 17, May 11, 1900; November 26, December 10, 1902; July 22, 1903.

<33> Wist, Festkrift, 51; Skandinaven, December 7, 1900.

<34> March 5, July 11, 1902.

<35> February 13, 1901.

<36> May 24, July 19, 1901; July 24, 1903.

<37> April 11, July 3, 1901; February 5, 1902; October 14, 1903.

<38> November 16, 1900; July 3, 1903.

<39> March 1, 1901; July 11, 1902.

<40> February 14, April 11, May 2, 1902; February 4, 1903.

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