Studies and Records
Published by the Norwegian-American Historical Association,
Copyright © 1974 by the Norwegian-American Historical Association
In looking forward to the 1975 sesquicentennial of organized Norwegian migration to America, the Association has made plans to issue several books commemorating the arrival of the sloop Restaurationen in 1825. This volume of Studies, although not designated a sesquicentennial publication, nevertheless anticipates the many-sided reexamination of editorial goals and tasks that will attend a renewed interest in Norwegian immigration in 1975óa year that will also mark the completion of a half-century of Association activity.
Kenneth O. Bjork contributes a review of Scandinavian migration to the Canadian prairie provinces after 1893, thus opening a field of study that has received little attention on this side of the border. Eva L. Haugen offers a fluid translation of the life story of Peder Anderson, who arrived in the United States ahead of the mainstream of immigrants and carved out a significant career in the New World. Arvid Sandakerís probing investigation of the forces leading to emigration from Land Parish reflects a growing concern with the migration story among Norwegian historians, as well as a new orientation in the study of local history. The role of immigrants in business, including the lumber industry, has been largely unexplored. Malcolm Rosholt, in his account of John Week in Wisconsin, here calls attention to the richness of this theme for the serious scholar. Raychel A. Haugrud presents a fresh interpretation of the novelist O. E. Rølvaag, revealing the significance of the search for happiness in his writings. New insights into the everyday life of the immigrant volunteer in the famous Fifteenth Wisconsin Regiment are given by Bersven Nelson in his "Notes of a Civil War Soldier."
The focus is on a community in Ethel J. Odegardís "Farewell to an Old Homestead," which discusses people who lived in Merrill, Wisconsin, and the changes wrought there by the passing of time. James S. Hamre analyzes in some detail Georg Sverdrupís plan of education for Augsburg Seminary (now Augsburg College), and reveals the thinking that characterized one of the synods of the Lutheran church in America. Attention is given to the problem of the immigrantís acculturation and assimilation in the New World by Torben Krontoft in a comparative study. Frank C. Nelsen critically reviews the familiar story of controversy over the "common school." The Mormon church, which originated in the United States, strongly urged its immigrant converts to master English as quickly as possible; Helge Seljaas tells how the Norwegians in "Zion" taught themselves the strange and difficult language.
We break new ground in publishing Rodney Nelsonís "Breidablik," a lyric prose account of the friendship of two American boys whose grandparents were Norwegian and who themselves retained a measure of old-country culture. We continue an old practice in printing "Some Recent Publications." The listing was compiled by C. A. Clausen, who also translated the paper by Arvid Sandaker and the notes of Bersven Nelson.
Kenneth O. Bjork
St. Olaf College