Archiver > TRONDELAG > 2003-06 > 1057026444

From: Margit <>
Subject: [Tronder] Translated From Norwegian Selbu Book 1921 PAGES 25 - 33 JOURNEY TO AMERICA
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2003 21:27:27 -0500


The first people who left Selbu for America had to get started as best they
could. There were no steamship lines at that time, as now. There were not
even sailships that went at regular times for Emigrants to go on.

John Johnson Lien, his wife and 6 month old daughter, and Thomas Larson
Krogstad, we believe, were the very first to leave Selbu, with America as
their goal. They left their area early one morning, while it was dark from
Moslet through the woods and over mountains to Holtdalen. This far some
relatives were with them to give them a ride. From there they hired rides
(by horses) changing from one area to another to Christiania (Oslo). After
many weeks of waiting a reservation on a ship was available to Quebec,
Canada. Others made their way to America in the same way.

A few years later sailships began to make regular trips from Trondheim and
other cities in Norway to Quebec. One of the first of these was called
VICTOR. Later there were more ship" that brought emigrants from Norway to
America. In June 1870 there were 8 emigrant ships from Norway waiting to go
through quarantine.

The sailship NEPTUNUS of Skein, Norway with Captain Ludvigson was one of
those ships that made trips taking emigrants from Norway to Quebec. In that
year large numbers emigrated from Selbu so that ship and its excellent
Captain will be best known and remembered by the people. Captain Ludvigson
was loved and looked up to by all who knew him. He was a peaceful and
Christian man and routinely held meetings and devotions for his passengers.

At the same time and later the sailship FRANKLIN of the same ship company
brought emigrants from Trondheim to Quebec. It was on this ship many of us
came over in 1870. It was a sharply built ship with wonderful sails
especially for side wind. It was great to see how we could keep up with
other ships that tried to pa"" us. Captain Winsnes was our leader, he was
young, just married and had his bride with him for their honeymoon. He was
noble and well liked.

A trip over on NEPTUNUS in 1886 had been lucky to have favorable weather so
hadn't taken many weeks. Most of the passengers were from Selbu, but when we
came in 1870 on FRANKLIN the weather was stormy and it took weeks longer.
Ole Thompson came on Neptunus in 1869 - they were 13 weeks on the Atlantic
and had to bring their own food - flatbread, cheese and dried meats, etc.
When we got into the St. Lawrence Bay the weather and wind was all you could
wish for. Further up the river there began to be things for inquisitive
people to see: The wide majestic river with its many ships; the woods and
clearings to the south; pastures and fields with roads and fences; well
built homes and churches; further on the land was more level with larger
fields, with woods in the background as far as the eye could see. It was a
picture of beauty and harmony that remains in thankful remembrance.

One day as we sailed along this river valley we had good wind and the ship
seems to be rushing in the water but we didn't get anywhere. The tide was
playing a trick on us as it carries from the ocean far up into the St.
Lawrence River. Then the water masses that have flowed up the river return
to the ocean when the tide turns it makes a powerful current so ships cannot
move, even with good wind, often they are anchored and wait. When it was
over we moved hastily on.

As we neared the quarantine place we all cleaned up and polished as we would
have visitors for inspection in the morning. They found nothing wrong with
us so we got to leave the next morning. From there to Quebec the river was
wider but only 1/3 of it deep enough for ships. Out on the ocean we had seen
how the Captain had handled the ship in storms, now it was a test to keep
the ship in its narrow path in the wind. He was at the helm himself and crew
and passengers pulled on the ropes to control the sails whenever the ship
should turn, and that was often, so we went in sig zag until we neared the
dock at Quebec - and was finally towed in to be anchored. So, we were joyful
to be over the ocean, and had similar experiences as many other emigrants.
Some from our area had already begun to cross on steam ships and as more and
more became available the sailships as Emigrantship became a saga.

Inland on The St. Lawrence River

In Quebec we were permitted to go ashore - we younger people especially made
use of it we climbed up a hillside, to the top of a lighthouse to view the
surroundings, much like Abraham reaching the Promised Land. Everything
looked great and luscious to us. The town and surroundings were very
interesting, but there are more beautiful cities than Quebec.

Now we were fortunately over the Atlantic and would continue inland. Our
path would still continue West on the St. Lawrence River. Now it was
important to get started.

The Captain had in Quebec obtained a large amount of Gold - as much as he
thought we were worth. We then went by turn into his office to exchange our
Norwegian money for gold. It seemed this was the best way to handle the
change. Then we had to carry around this gold to Milwaukee, I believe, where
we could get it changed to paper money and a good deal more than dollar for
dollar. I remember when we were at the Captains office that father handed me
a handful of $20.00 gold pieces for me to carry. He didn't want to put it
all on one card. That proved to be a good idea because on the next night on
the steam boat to Montreal he felt tired and laid town to rest a bit, a
small fellow came sneaking around him, probably to empty his pockets when my
aunt who suspected something came tripping by like a chicken, and the fellow
gave up trying. She told me about this so I who was much to busy looking
around to even think of sleeping, stayed around to keep watch while the old
man slept.

After the big emigrant boxes were transferred from the ship to the river
boat and crew and passengers were on board, we left toward evening and by
morning were in Montreal. From there we boarded a smaller boat that would
take us over Lake Ontario to Hamilton, from there we would go by train to
Detroit and then to Grand Haven. I can at least say, we looked around as
much as we could in the towns where the boat stopped in. Many towns were
beautiful, most were neat and clean. Especially we liked Kingston, it should
be Canada's main city, it was beautiful and located at the wide end of Lake
Ontario. With a view of Holmer and some islands while the boat worked its
way in the river between Montreal and Kingston there were many things to
observe. I do not remember if we slept at all, because since we left
FRANKLIN we had no sleeping quarters. We were not emigrants now, we were
immigrants and there were no sleeping rooms upstairs for us, so we walked
around half asleep watching the beautiful landscape beside the river. We
compared the broad valleys -and homey, peaceful scene with the mountains,
narrow valleys, gorges and fjords of Norway. One night we wakened from a
half-sleep to realize the boat was proceeding through a narrow canal and
locks. We watched the lush green meadows along the canal with woods in the
distance, soon we were in open water again. This water has now flowed to the
ocean for 50 years and many changes have occurred and time has moved us with
it, but often our thoughts go back to that trip from Anticosti up the river
and over the lake to Hamilton. Desires came that I might see those sights
again by taking a ride up that river and lake. Now, immigrants are moved by
train so they can see very little, and are traveling over poorest land and
through the darkest, dirtiest part of the cities. This is not right. America
has much to offer, to please the eye and lift the spirit, but they can't see
it. They move too fast nowdays you see.

The two Selbygbogen volumes of 1921 and 1931 are extremely valuable
compilations of genealogical data about emigrants from Selbu, Norway to
America. Contents of each volume is over 300 pages.

Copies of both volumes are at the Norwegian-American Historical Association,
St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota, as well as other information about
the Selbulag (constitution, list of members, etc.). Copies of these volumes
are also at the University Library in Oslo, Norway.

Translating these Norwegian books to English would be a most extensive and
expensive process without a "stable" of volunteer translators available.
Therefore, we have chosen, at this time, to translate a few chapters of the
1921 Edition which we feel would be of interest to those of you who have
ties with Selbu, Marietta, Minnesota, Grant County, South Dakota, Kari
Johnsd Renaa and Paul Paulson (Garberg).

We extend our gratitude to Mabel Harstad Mogard, Revillo, South Dakota who
loaned her Selbu books to us; to Mabel and her friend Marit Thompson for
their suggestions, ideas, and translations.

Also a very special.Thank You" to Johannes Grande, Richardson, Texas (a
native of Norway) for his many hours spent on the translatons.

Clarence D. Paulson Richardson, Texas 1993

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