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The Bishop Hill Colony

This guide is for anyone looking to conduct research on the history of the Bishop Hill Colony using Swenson Center resources.

Archival Collections

The Swenson Center has many collections related to Bishop Hill. Here are a few:


I/O:12  American-Scandinavian Foundation (Midwest Office) records

The collection largely consists of correspondence with individuals and organizations promoting special programming (exhibits, tours, lectures, articles, etc.) and various cultural exchanges between Sweden and the United States. Included are also membership records, financial records, and the constitution of the organization, as well as brochures and advertising materials for the events and some photographs. A large number of materials relate to Bishop Hill, Illinois.


I/O:24  Collection on Bishop Hill Colony (Ill.)

Collection includes receipts for payment by members of the colony, a naturalization document, money printed for Bishop Hill, a contract of dissolution of the colony, and a quit-claim deed for property in the colony.


MSS P:8  Philip John Stoneberg papers

The papers include letters, personal papers, literary manuscripts, interviews and documentary material relating to the settlement and the colonists of Bishop Hill. This collection is also available on microfilm as a part of the 13-reel collection of Bishop Hill Colony and Post-colony Papers.


MSS P:17  Johan Edvard Liljeholm papers

The papers include the original handwritten account of Liljeholm's journey to the United States (1846-1850) a copy of the diary and a transcribed and typewritten copy. The diary contains information about his brief stays in Bishop Hill, Illinois in 1846 and 1849. The diary was published by the Augustana Historical Society with the title: Pioneering Adventures of Johan Edvard Liljeholm in America 1846-1850.


MSS P:45  George Malcolm Stephenson newspaper clipping collection

The papers include photocopies of letters sent to Swedish newspapers from 1841-1878. Many of the letters concern the Bishop Hill Colony in Illinois. Collection includes a chronological index. 


MSS P:293  John Norton papers

The collection include papers written and translated by John Norton on the subject of Bishop Hill and Augustana Theological Seminary in Rock Island, Illinois. See catalog record for full list of papers.


SAC P:93  Matt Lagerberg papers

The papers consist of a translated segments of "Svenskarne i Illinois" by Eric Johnson which pertain to the Bishop Hill Colony in Illinois.


SAC P:158  Lars Ahnder papers

The papers contain of a bound volume of 78 pages of photocopied material. Part I include "Letters written from the Bishop Hill Colony, 1847-1856" translated into English by Lilly Setterdahl. Part II are "Mormon Letters, 1857-1869," also translated by Lilly Setterdahl. The Bishop Hill letters were published in Western Illinois Regional Studies Vol. 1:2.


SAC P:180  James Oliver paper

The papers consist of an unpublished paper entitled "The Bishop Hill Murder," dealing with the murder of its leader Erik Jansson.  The author is a historian for the Illinois Department of Conservation.