The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940 Page: 177
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Norwegian Migration to Texas
one-family proposition. Not before 1853 did any more people of
Norwegian birth settle in this county.
It was in the year 1845 that the first real Norwegian settlement
was founded in Texas-at Brownsboro ("Normandy," as they called
it at first), in Henderson County; and the names Reiersen and
Werenskjold are outstanding names in this connection.4
Johan Reinert Reiersen was a highly educated man and was
the founder and editor of Christiansandsposten, which even at
this date (1932) is one of the leading newspapers in southern
Norway. He was born in 1810-the son of a deacon, and received
his primary education from a private tutor. After having attended
the University at Oslo for some time, he was unlucky enough to be
caught at a "youthful indiscretion," and dismissed from that insti-
tution. Following this episode, he resided in Denmark and Ger-
many for some time, where he supported himself for several years
by translating German and French books. Not satisfied with this
uncertain occupation, he returned to Christiansand, Norway, where
he began publishing his paper." Through this paper he found an
outlet for his feelings against the aristocratic official classes in
Norway, and he fought valiantly in behalf of education for the
masses, freedom of conscience, religious tolerance, and the devel-
opment of public opinion. He also became "the most vigorous
defender of emigration in Norway in the early forties, and firm
believer in the desirability of organized colonization."
His activities naturally made him many enemies among the
haughty official classes, who privately and publicly discouraged the
migration of people. But he had friends; and a group of these,
led by Mr. Woerenskjold, induced him to make a trip to America
to investigate the socio-economic possibilities for Norwegian emi-
gation into that new and rather unknown world. And for this
purpose they assisted him with the sum of $300.7
In 1813 he sailed for the United States by way of Havre,
France, and New Orleans, whence he proceeded to Illinois and
Wisconsin. In these states a fair number of immigrants from
Norway were settled. On the way north he made an investigation
'Anderson, op. cit., p. 373, and Ulvestad, op. cit., pp. 197-200.
5Anderson, op. cit., p. 373.
eAnderson, op. cit., p. 373, and Theo. C. Blegen, Norwegian Migration
To America, 1825-1860, p. 177, Northfield (Minn.), 1931.
7Anderson, op. cit., p. 373; Ulvestad, op. cit., pp. 198-201; and Blegen,
op. cit., p. 177.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940, periodical, 1940; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101111/m1/191/: accessed September 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.