The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

lished, but their story is not part of Pioneering in Big Business.
The usual spate of encomiums could be added to this book,
but there is no need to repeat adjectives. Suffice it to say that the
Hidys have accomplished what they set out to do-write a bal-
anced history of a major American corporation-and they have
The University of Texas
Land of Their Choice. Edited by Theodore C. Blegen. St. Paul
(The University of Minnesota Press), 1955. Pp. xix+463.
This authoritative study by Dr. Theodore C. Blegen, dean of
the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota, is the real
stuff of history and is an unusual presentation of source material
in a semi-popular vein. Land of Their Choice consists of a fore-
word and an introduction by Dr. Blegen and eighteen additional
sections containing extensive quotations from letters written by
Norwegian immigrants in the United States to their friends and
kinfolk in the mother country.
As the author comments, "a volume of this kind might have
been extensively annotated, but I have chosen not to do so, partly
because my own two-volume work on Norwegian Migration to
America is in a sense an elaborate footnoting of the letters, which
are part of the source materials for that work, and partly because
a precise identification of names and the elaboration of details
on many other matters seem to me unessential to the understand-
ing and appreciation of the basic content of the letters."
The basic content of the letters is the immense satisfaction of
the immigrants with their new homes-in Wisconsin, California,
Minnesota, and Illinois, and along the Missouri. Two of the
eighteen sections reveal the perception and discernment of many
of the Norwegians, and Dr. Blegen has appropriately affixed
such titles as "I Prefer Texas to the Northern States"; "No Better
Land Can Be Found on This Earth"; "Better Come to Texas";
and "Eleven Hundred New Houses in Galveston." The major
section containing most of these gems is taken from the letters
of Elisa Amalie Waerenskjold, who lived in Texas from 1847 to


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed November 27, 2015.