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Norwegian Newspapers in America

Connecting Norway and the New Land

Odd S. Lovoll

Publication Year: 2010

In the nineteenth century, the United States, “the land of newspapers,” was also fast becoming the land of immigrants, with increasing numbers of Norwegians arriving amid the European influx. Already Skandinaven, published out of Chicago, kept newcomers and their Old World friends and family informed of political, religious, and social matters discussed in burgeoning Norwegian American communities. From 1847 to today, more than 280 Norwegian-language papers were launched in cities ranging from Minneapolis to Fargo, Boston to Seattle. Some lasted just a few months; others continued for decades; all contributed to a developing Norwegian- American perspective. Odd Lovoll traces newspaper ventures both successful and short lived to offer a comprehensive look at America’s Norwegian-language press. Highlighting diligent editors and analyzing topics of interest to readers through the years, Norwegian Newspapers in America demonstrates how newspapers pursued a twofold goal: forging a bridge to the homeland while nurturing cultural practices in the New World.

Published by: Minnesota Historical Society Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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pp. vii-

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xiii

“We hereby have the true pleasure of presenting the first number of Nordlyset,” the newspaper’s publishers announced on July 29, 1847. The weekly organ would give those who could not read English-language newspapers “an opportunity to acquire knowledge especially about this country’s government. . . . In addition...

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Chapter 1. Pioneer Years

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pp. 1-46

With this pithy statement, the Chicago journal Skandinaven (The Scandinavian)—destined to become the largest Norwegianlanguage newspaper in the United States and, indeed, for some time the entire world—in January 1888 assessed the influence of the press in America. Newspapers were a part of American life and...

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Chapter 2. Building a Norwegian American Community

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pp. 47-92

The conflagration between North and South was a watershed experience for the Norwegian immigrant community; the era of the Civil War—1861 to 1865—marked a decisive phase in the process of adjustment to the “new fatherland.” Norwegian immigrants, newcomers and pioneer settlers, responded to President Lincoln’s call...

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Chapter 3. A Flourishing Midwestern Press

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pp. 93-142

The geographical spread of the Norwegian American press and the time of founding of individual journals relate closely to immigration and the advance of settlement. Land and immigration were the major ingredients in the peopling of the Upper Midwest; newspaper publishing is one measure of where Norwegians...

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Chapter 4. The Rise of a National Norwegian American Press

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pp. 143-203

According to Marcus Lee Hansen, “The distant continent of Europe was never wholly forgotten” by the immigrant press, even though as time passed the focus shifted to American news, “and, in particular . . . the activities and interests of the immigrant group in the United States.” Hansen’s generalization surely also applied to...

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Chapter 5. Community and Public Affairs

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pp. 204-246

Historian Arlow Andersen posited that “Norwegian American newspapers provided the window through which readers viewed the nation and the world from their secluded habitats in rural settlements and urban enclaves.” The weekly visitors were naturally, as has been demonstrated, a significant medium for news and opin-...

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Chapter 6. The Golden Age of Norwegian America

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pp. 247-306

The excerpt above was Decorah-Posten’s optimistic answer to its own question in its September 5, 1924, issue: “Are the days of the Norwegian American press soon counted?” “When its mission is done,” editor Kristian Prestgard further wrote, “it will cease by itself just as quietly as it came into being.” In Prestgard’s opinion,...

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Chapter 7. A Changing Final Role

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pp. 307-350

Carl S

Appendix 1. Secular Norwegian American Publications

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pp. 351-372

Appendix 2 Time of Founding

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pp. 373-

Appendix 3 Length of Publication

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pp. 375-376

Notes

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pp. 377-403

Index

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pp. 405-422

Illustration Credits

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pp. 423-424


E-ISBN-13: 9780873517966
E-ISBN-10: 0873517962
Print-ISBN-13: 9780873517720
Print-ISBN-10: 0873517725

Page Count: 400
Illustrations: 40 b&w illustrations, notes, index, appendix
Publication Year: 2010

Edition: 1

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Subject Headings

  • Ethnic press -- United States -- History.
  • Norwegian American newspapers -- History.
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