Subject Material

Norwegian Immigration

Published: 03.02.2010, Updated: 03.03.2017
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On the Way to the Melting Pot

Norwegian emigration to North America began on July 4, 1825, with the sailing of the sloop Restauration from Stavanger bound for New York City. Fifty-two people were on board and 3 months later, on the ninth of October, they arrived in New York.

The ship resturation. Illustration.Restauration  

This first group of Norwegian immigrants were Quakers, who felt discriminated against because of their religion. Religious persecution was but one of the reasons for emigration. Another one was poverty.

Between 1820 and 1925 as many as 860,000 Norwegians emigrated to the U.S. The early immigrants often came from farms and therefore they settled in rural areas in the Midwest. Thus the Norwegians became the most rural of any immigrant group arriving in America in the nineteenth century. These immigrants formed ethnic communities using the Norwegian language and establishing their own churches, schools, newspapers and journals. However, facing a new society, immigrants had to consider adjustments to be accepted as Americans.

Tasks and Activities

Comprehension

1. How many Norwegians emigrated to the U.S. between 1820 and 1925?
2. Where did they mainly settle?
3. How did they adjust to their new homeland?


Immigrant Stories

  1. Learn more about Ida Hansen who emigrated from Norway and established a magazine for Scandinavian women in America.
  2. Learn more about Belle Gunness who emigrated from Norway and became one of America’s most prolific serial killers.

Photo Story

Make a Photo Story entitled “The Never Ending Story” or “The Migrant.”

Write a Short Story

Write a short story entitled “The Never Ending Story” or “The Migrant.”

Research

Research your own family history Youth and Migration: YAM 2008

 

Suggested Reading

Waldemar Ager: On the Way to the Melting Pot (excerpt)