Across the Deep Blue Sea: The Saga of Early Norwegian Immigrants

(10 customer reviews)


Across the Deep Blue Sea investigates a chapter in Norwegian immigration history that has never been fully told before. Odd S. Lovoll relates how Quebec, Montreal, and other port cities in Canada became the gateway for Norwegian emigrants to North America, replacing New York as the main destination from 1850 until the late 1860s. During those years, 94 percent of Norwegian emigrants landed in Canada.

After the introduction of free trade, Norwegian sailing ships engaged in the lucrative timber trade between Canada and the British Isles. Ships carried timber one way across the Atlantic and emigrants on the way west. For the vast majority landing in Canadian port cities, Canada became a corridor to their final destinations in the Upper Midwest, primarily Wisconsin and Minnesota. Lovoll explains the establishment and failure of Norwegian colonies in Quebec Province and pays due attention to the tragic fate of the Gaspé settlement.

A personal story of the emigrant experience passed down as family lore is retold here, supported by extensive research. The journey south and settlement in the Upper Midwest completes a highly human narrative of the travails, endurance, failures, and successes of people who sought a better life in a new land.

SKU: 0873519612 Categories: , , ,

Additional information

Best Sellers Rank

#525,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #81 in Province & Local Canadian History #124 in Norway History #501 in U.S. Immigrant History

Customer Reviews

/* * Fix for UDP-1061. Average customer reviews has a small extra line on hover * https

10 reviews for Across the Deep Blue Sea: The Saga of Early Norwegian Immigrants

  1. cynthiaAmazon Customer

    great reading on any norwegian ancestorsconnecting with our ancestors from abroad and realizing what the times were like for them is centralto being at peace with who we are. they made our lives today much richer and they connect us to somepretty neat heritages.

  2. KRR

    Great for a Norwegian GrandfatherI bought this for my husband’s grandfather, a 2nd generation Norwegian from Grand Forks, North Dakota. He absolutely LOVED this book. He found a few people with his last name, and enjoyed the stories. He is an avid reader and very knowledgeable, so it was great that he found joy while reading this book.

  3. HalGun

    want to know why & howGood background for anyone doing research on family emmigrating from Norway in the 1800’s. Helped me understand how, why and the things my ancestors had to overcome to come to get to the USA. Helped me understand why they came to the Midwest to settle. If you have family from Norway and are doing a family tree you need this resource.

  4. Courtney Rae

    Amazing readTerrific find for anybody looking to dig deeper into their roots

  5. Jan

    Norway inform.Got this for gift for a friend who is liking stuff from Norway.

  6. maggie mae

    Four StarsLots of info to digest but interesting reading

  7. MM

    Five StarsExcellent overview of Norwegian history, migration forces, routes, influences upon arriving, and reasons for destinations.

  8. Mom jfj

    Historyhelps understand the long journey –

  9. Joann in Washington

    InterestingIt was an good, informative read.

  10. She Treads Softly

    well presented research on Norwegian immigrantsAcross the Deep Blue Sea: The Saga of Early Norwegian Immigrants by Odd S. Lovoll is a very highly recommended scholarly work.”The idea to seek a better future in America might have been planted by an individual, an innovator, based on news from America. The innovators in general belonged to the Norwegian farming class.”Anyone who enjoys well presented research on Norwegian immigrants or is of Norwegian ancestry, should welcome this academic look at immigration in the mid 1800’s, specifically the passage through Canada in the 1850s-1860. Lovoll gives an overview of Norwegian settlements in Illinois and Wisconsin before 1850 because these communities “became important magnets for Norwegian immigrants in the following decades.” Many early immigrants came based on religious considerations and a desire to seek refuge from religious intolerance. “They sought a place where they could freely and without restrictions worship God.” They were either “The Sloopers” who were Quakers (named after the type of boat they used) or Haugeans, followers of the great lay Lutheran preacher and revivalist Hans Nielsen Hauge.Clearly Canada encouraged the immigrants to use the route through Canada, offering rebates and an easier time getting on with their journey in comparison to NYC. I hadn’t realized that Canada had a quarantine station too, Grosse Île, located in the St. Lawrence River some twenty-nine miles from Quebec City, where a doctor would come onboard the ship an examine the passengers.A “walk down to the customs house on the new docks in Christiania [Oslo], one would most likely catch sight of well-dressed bonde families, men, women, and children, waiting to be put onboard a ship. They have arrived with their luggage, a diverse collection of boxes and chests. One reads: Paul Larsen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, North America; Ole Andersen, Chicago, Illinois, North America; Peder Gulbrandsen, Madison, Wisconsin, North America; Olivia Eriksdatter Nordreie, Iowa, Minnesota, and a great number of other names and addresses.”Although I clearly realize that Across the Deep Blue Sea: The Saga of Early Norwegian Immigrants is not going to have wide spread appeal, I have to admit I found it very interesting and enjoyed it a great deal.Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society Press for review purposes.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published.