On This Day
1825 – Restauration arrives in New York Harbor from Norway, the first organized immigration from Norway to the United States.
Restauration was a sloop built in 1801, in Hardanger, Norway. It became a symbol of Norwegian American immigration. Historical sources may contain several variations on the name of the sloop, including Restauration, Restoration, Restaurasjonen, and Restorasjon.
On what is considered the first organized emigration from Norway to the United States, Restauration set sail from Stavanger on July 4, 1825, with 52 people aboard, many of them Norwegian Quakers. Probably many of this group belonged to a similar local movement, the Haugeans, a Lutheran sect which derived its name from Hans Nielsen Hauge. The group, led by Cleng Peerson, landed in New York City on October 9, 1825, after a three-month voyage. The voyage is described in Ole Rynning’s Amerika-boka (The America Book, 1838).
For a vessel of her size Restauration had far more passengers on board than were allowed by American law. This resulted in a severe fine, confiscation of the ship and the arrest of the captain, L. O. Helland. The situation was solved when President John Quincy Adams pardoned the captain on 15 November, released him and the ship, and rescinded the fine. The people who made this voyage, who are sometimes referred to as the “Sloopers,” moved onward to their first settlement in Kendall, Orleans County, New York.
The Norse-American Centennial was held in Minnesota on June 7–9, 1925, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the arrival of Restauration in New York City. The United States Post Office also issued two stamps commemorate the 1825 arrival. The 2-cent stamp has for its central design a ship representing Restauration. The illustration on the two cent stamp is an artist’s rendition of what Restauration probably looked like based on a drawing of its sister ship.
The 5-cent stamp has for its central design a Viking ship. This design is from a photograph of Viking which sailed from Norway to Chicago for the Columbian Exposition of 1893. The design on the 5-cent stamp was from a photograph of an exact size replica of Viking. A flag of the United States is seen waving from the bow of the ship. That ship was a replica of the Gokstad ship on display in the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo.
In 1975, in honor of the sesquicentennial of the arrival of Restauration, Cleng Peerson was depicted on a Norwegian NOK 1.40 postage stamp. The date of Leif Erikson Day in the United States was chosen to coincide with the day Restauration arrived in New York Harbor: October 9. A replica of Restauration was built at Jørn Flesjå’s small wooden shipyard at Finnøy in Ryfylke, Norway. The replica was launched in 2010 and is now used for education and charter excursions in Rogaland.
Born On This Day
1901 – Alice Lee Jemison, Seneca political activist and journalist (d. 1964)
Alice Mae Lee Jemison (1901–1964) was a Seneca political activist and journalist. She was a major critic of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the New Deal policies of its commissioner John Collier. She was supported by the Seneca Tribal Council, and also lobbied in support of California, Cherokee, and Sioux Indians during her career. Her work was condemned by the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration and she was described harshly in press conferences and before Congressional committees. For a time she was put under FBI surveillance.
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