The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940 Page: 178
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178 Southwestern Historical Quarterly
of both Missouri and Ohio; and by the early part of 1844 he had
satisfied his curiosity with respect to the states in the Northwest.
At that point he was thinking seriously of California as a suitable
region for colonization, but came to the conclusion that the trans-
portation difficulties were too great.8
"Meanwhile the Texan consul in New Orleans had suggested
Texas and made an attractive offer of land for Norwegian coloni-
zation purpose there, and Reiersen therefore concluded to inves-
tigate the northern area of Sam Houston's domain."9 Thus, in
March, 1844, he arrived by stage in San Augustine, Texas, and
from there proceeded to Austin. He liked Texas very much, and
at once began to formulate "a plan for a colony and was con-
vinced that for thousands of Norwegians then 'gathering crumbs
from the table of the aristocracy' relief was in sight."10 At Austin
he met President Houston, "who told him that he was much inter-
ested in the possibility of a Texas-Norwegian colony and that the
Texan government would extend every aid."'1 From Austin
Reiersen went to Houston, then to Galveston, and finally to New
Orleans. There he took a steamer to Cincinnati, Ohio, and thence
to New York to catch a ship for Norway.12 In a long letter from
Cincinnati, dated March 19, 1844, he reveals that his "mind was
made up as to the wisest choice of a colonization site, but in bal-
ancing advantages and disadvantages he seemed most interested
While traveling about in the United States he was continually
writing down his experiences and observations. He commented
on the socio-economic, political (with historical resumes), and
religious problems in this country, which he considered might be
of help and interest for prospective immigrants from Norway.
His observations were published in book form in Norway in the
latter part of 1844, and obtained wide circulation. This book'
contains a special chapter on Texas. And very liberally did he
BAnderson, op. cit., p. 373, and Blegen, op. cit., p. 178.
OBlegen, op. cit., p. 178.
loBlegen, op. oit., p. 178.
11Blegen, op. cit., p. 181.
12Anderson, op. cit., p. 373, and Blegen, op. cit., p. 181.
18Blegen, op. oit., pp. 181-182.
14The Norwegian title of the book is, "Veiviser for Norake Emigranter
til De forenede nordamerikanske Stater og Temas." It was translated by
Dr. Theo. C. Blegen, and published by the Norwegian-Amerioan Historical
Association, St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn.
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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/m1/192/: accessed December 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.