This Research Guide is for materials related to interactions between Native North Americans and Scandinavian immigrants available at the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center.
Native North Americans and Scandinavian Immigrants
One major topic to explore is the Dakota War of 1862 (also known as the Sioux Uprising/Dakota Uprising/Sioux Outbreak/Dakota Conflict/Little Crow's War). During the war, the Dakota/eastern Sioux in Minnesota attacked some settlers, including Scandinavian immigrants, causing many to flee the area. Some immigrant accounts in our collection detail this conflict firsthand, secondhand, or years after the fact.
Keywords / Search terms:
Here are some search terms to try in the library catalog or other search areas. Using the asterisk (*) is a wildcard option, that will return variations on a search term. For example, Indigen* will bring up Indigenous, Indigeneity, etc.
Possible research questions:
Here are some more books to get you started!
Negotiating settlement: colonialism, cultural exchange, and conflict in early colonial Atlantic North America, 1580-1660
Van Zandt, Cynthia Jean, 1998.
Kort beskrifning om Provincien Nya Swerige uti Amerika (A short description of the Province of New Sweden in America).
Holm, Thomas Campanius, 1988.
Bland Nordamerikas indianer, bilder ur indianernas utvecklingshisoria intill våra dagar
Lindquist, Gustavus Elmer Emanuel, 1926.
Germans and Indians: fantasies, encounters, projections
Calloway, Colin G., 2002.
Scandinavians in Chicago: the origins of white privilege in modern America
Jackson, Erika K., 2019.
America's architectural roots: ethnic groups that built America
Upton, Dell. 1986.
MSS P:4 John Olof Viking papers
Correspondence. Viking's best friend was the Swedish-American writer and poet, Johan Gustav Runeskiold Baner of Ironwood, Michigan. Besides their common ancestry they shared knowledge of the Chippewa Indians culture and language. The two friends wrote each other several times a week. As a result of Viking's friendship with the Chippewa's they gave him the title Hofobi Anukfili. Viking was deeply interested in preserving the history of the Swedish pioneer and the American Indian and contributed to the Great Lakes Historical Society, New Sweden Historical Museum, Philadelphia and the Swedish Historical Society of America. [See copy of correspondence on MSS P:Micro 11]
MSS P:4 John Olof Viking papers
Scrapbooks. Viking's scrapbooks contain clippings from mostly local Upper Peninsula newspapers and they reflect his broad interests and curiosity in local history. The scrapbooks cover the period 1930-1953 and are arranged by subject including "Indians."
SAC P:81 Erik Jönsson letter copies
Collection includes a photocopy and English translation of a letter describing the Sioux Uprising of 1862 in Nicollet County, Minnesota and the murder of Erik Jönsson's wife and son. Also includes a typed article recollection of the same by another survivor, C.C. Nelson, in The Lafayette Ledger newspaper.
MSS P:11 Peter Anderson Cederstam papers
From Chisago Lake, the Cederstram family moved to St. Peter and Scandian Grove (Minnesota) where they stayed until the Indian uprising in 1862 (also known as the Dakota War and the Sioux Uprising). The family fled, and eventually found themselves in Galesburg, Illinois where they stayed at Hasselquist's house until a call from the Swedish congregation in Geneva, Illinois was issued in 1863.
MSS P:264 Peter Broberg family papers
The papers include genealogical information, correspondence, news articles and clippings pertaining to the family history and the Monson Lake massacre, as well as numerous family photographs from New London, Minnesota (mostly under unidentified). The photographs and albums are all original, as are some of the older correspondence, but many of the newspaper clippings and articles are photocopies. The collection also has a witness account from Peter Broberg describing in detail his experiences at the Monson Lake massacre, as recorded by his granddaughter, Christine Anderson. Anderson's account also describes Broberg's sympathies towards Native American peoples for the ways they were treated by the United States government. Also included are also Peter Broberg's account books from his years as a co-owner of the Leading Store in New London, Minnesota.
Here are some other resources to consider alongside the Swenson Center’s library and archives. Some of these speak more broadly to Native American experiences and perspectives of colonialism and immigration, and therefore may help to contextualize the historical interactions between Swedish immigrants and Native peoples. These resources may be found by searching through Tredway, i-Share, and Google Scholar. This is not an exhaustive list!
Books and articles by scholars of Indigenous studies:
The transit of empire: Indigenous critiques of colonialism.
Byrd, Jodi A., 2011.
Caretaking Relations, Not American Dreaming
Tallbear, Kim, 2019.
Settler colonialism and the elimination of the Native
Wolfe, Patrick, 2006.
Critical Indigenous Studies: Engagements in First World Locations
Moreton-Robinson, Aileen, ed., 2016.
Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States
Simpson, Audra, 2014.
Not "a nation of immigrants": settler colonialism, white supremacy, and a history of erasure and exclusion.
Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne, 2021.
Immigration and the Political Economy of Home: West Indian Brooklyn and American Indian Minneapolis, 1945-1992
Buff, Rachel, 2001.
See a *dynamic* (constantly being updated, added to, and corrected) interactive map of Native territories, language areas, and treaties here: