The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962 Page: 459
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fortunes. They mirror people and everyday events as well as her
own reflections, and they have historical interest as homely and
simple chronicles of grass-roots immigrant experience. . . . The
letters record passing scenes and events in faithful detail."
The letters reproduced have been placed in the following cate-
gories: Part One: In the Beginning, 1815-i860; Part Two: Trials
of Reconstruction, i865-1875; Part Three: Lights and Shadows
on the Prairie, 1876-1889; Part Four: Growing Old in Texas,
189o-1895. Mrs. Waerenskjold's letter provide interesting reading,
as the following excerpts will illustrate:
[August 4, 1852] ... I must tell you a little about camp meetings,
which are the oddest form of Christian worship that any person can
imagine. Somewhere in the woods they build a shed-that is to
say, a roof that rests on posts but has neither walls nor floor; there
are a few logs to sit on, as well as a raised platform that serves
as a pulpit. Five preachers were present [when I was there]; at
times there are even more, and they continue preaching day and
night for eight days.
When son Otto was married Mrs. Waerenskjold described the
event in a letter written on May 24, 1871:
The wedding was held at the house of the bride's parents, of
course, and was followed by a party in the evening. The following
day we had a dinner at my house, and in the evening there was a
dance to which a hundred and thirty persons were invited. We
butchered two hogs, three turkeys, and twelve chickens. It does not
cost as much to give a party in this country as in Norway, since
people here usually do not use any other beverages than coffee,
milk, and water. We do not have as many different courses either.
At this dinner we had only roast, stew, several kinds of cake, and
pie. What was left over from the dinner was served cold in the
evening with coffee, and later that night we had coffee and cake for
the third time. Everybody seemed to be having a good time.
Editor Clausen has done considerable research on the back-
ground and early life of Elise Waerenskjold, for there is full and
careful documentation of persons, places, and events mentioned
in both the letters and text. The idea to bring out such a book
as this is most commendable, and the Norwegian-American His-
torical Association deserves credit for sponsoring what turns out
to be a first class publication. It is also a quite timely addition to
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962, periodical, 1962; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101195/m1/517/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.