Name like a song.
Lonely and lean
Crossing the prairies and wading
His purse full of nothing, his hat
full of dreams.
— Veien har ingen ende.
Kilde: Erik Bye, 1975 i boken Erik Bye, Veien har ingen ende, med tegninger av Karl Erik Harr, utgitt av J. W. Cappelen Forlag a.s, Oslo 1976, s. 27.
Cleng Peerson was born in 1783 in Tysvær, Rogaland County, Norway, and died in December 1865 at Norse, Bosque County, Texas. He has a long-lived and well-earned reputation as the pathfinder of Norwegian emigrants. Today he is still a symbol of all people who dare to leave their homes and communities and take the risk of wandering into the unknown to build a new life. During his own life Cleng Peerson represented tolerance for others with regard to their way of life: their religion, language, and the color of their skin. He would talk with everyone he met on his way, and respected them all.
The concept of migration concerns movement in general. When we speak about human migration, we think about wandering, exploration and settling, groups or individuals crossing borders between countries and regions. Sometimes migration comes about because of poverty and repression, sometimes by the unknown possibilities at another place. It is our goal that the site will promote tolerance and respect for people on the move – be it the migrants of today, or of the centuries before us.
They came to build
On this site we will present short articles on migration: on lived life, but also articles about cultural, social, religious, economical and political elements that together create the society where the migrants lived their lives. See Why migration?
If you would like to contribute an article, see Write an article!
www.clengpeerson.no will be updated on a regular basis.
A map of Chicago from 1830, showing streets and buildings. When Cleng Peerson came here in 1833, he saw a “small village”. But the streets for a greater city were laid out as early as in in 1834.
- Canadian prairies and Norwegian immigrants
- Cleng Peerson og tidlig emigrasjon
- Drømmen om egen gård
- Helse og levekår
- Innvandring, utvandring og migrasjonskjeder
- Kirke, utdanning, norskhet og etnisitet
- Nordmenn i den amerikanske borgerkrigen
- Norske immigranter i Midtvesten
- Norske immigranter i Montana
- Norske immigranter i Texas
- Norske ingeniører i Amerika
- Norske innvandrere og indianere
- Norwegian immigrants in the mining industry
Norsemen Deep in the Heart of Texas: Norwegian Immigrants, 1845–1900
By Gunnar Tore Nerheim
Texas A&M University Press, Tarleton State University Southwestern Studies in the Humanities
The book will be launched during the Texas State Historical Association Meeting 2024 at College Station, Texas, at the end of February/March 2024. A fortnight later, on March 16, the Norwegian American Historical Association will present the book at Norway House, Minneapolis. The book presents considerable new knowledge about the father of Norwegian immigration and the first Norwegian immigrants in Texas.
From the forthcoming Texas A&M Catalogue 2024: “As historian Gunnar Tore Nerheim states in his introduction, “Norway is a foreign country to Texans, and Texas is a foreign country to Norwegians. Neither in Norway nor Texas has there been any awareness that so many Norwegians settled in antebellum Texas.” Norsemen Deep in the Heart of Texas brings Norwegian settlement in Texas to light and in doing so offers the first-ever comprehensive history of Norwegians in Texas.”
Quakers in the town of Stavanger gave Cleng Peerson an assignment to travel to New York in 1821. They wanted him to explore the conditions for Norwegian immigrants. The assignment was fulfilled in 1825 with the first organized group of emigrants…
In July 2025 it will be 200 years since the first organized group of Norwegian immigrants left the city of Stavanger, Norway. Cleng Peerson was their pathfinder in western New York in 1825, and in Fox River, Illinois, in 1833. His…
Some of the early Norwegian settlers in Montana came from the Rushford area in Fillmore County, Minnesota. Several people in Rushford organized a society with the aim of exploring for better land in Montana. Because of several years with crop failures…
In the 1870s and into the 1880s the copper and pyrite mine at Vigsnæs in Avaldsnes on the west coast island of Karmøy was the largest mine in Norway. For more than a decade the newcomer, now known as Visnes or…
A surprising number of Norwegian-American farmers participated in the settler boom in southern Alberta after 1900. Many among their children and children’s children still live and farm in the region today. Seen from a Norwegian perspective it is both fascinating and surprising that so…
Homesteaders exploring opportunities for settlement on the Canadian prairie west of Winnipeg, traveled along either the north or south branches of the Saskatchewan Trail. Prior to 1870 settlements in Manitoba were confined to river lots along the Red River and the Assiniboine River. Technological…
Red River of the North. Created by Carl Musser, based on USGS and Digital Chart of the World. 2023*
When professor Arthur S. Morton published his book History of Prairie Settlement in 1938, he titled his fifth chapter: “Settlement follows the Railways, 1891-1901.” The railway lines which were completed between 1891 and 1896 came to have a clear direction on the stream of…