Virtual Museum

This tangent note from my research identifies the most significant artifacts describing the early history of Swedes in Warren and Chautauqua County.


1.
Manifest of the Virgina  (5 August 1846)

Location: United States National Archives and Records Administration, Philadelphia storage.
Condition: fair, archived in controlled environment. 
Photograph: John Everett Jones
Significance: Arrival of the group that would become the first settlers in Sugar Grove, Warren County, Pennsylvania
2.
Buffalo Orphan Asylum, Register, Volume 1 (1846)

Location: Buffalo History Museum.
Condition: very good, archived in controlled environment. 
Photograph: Buffalo History Museum
Significance: Placement of Louisa Johnson with the family of Thomas Struthers

3.
Olaf G. Hedstrom, Ministerial Book

Location: Swedish Methodist collection, The United Methodist Church, General Commission on Archives and History archives, Drew University, Madison, NJ
Condition: Fragile, archived in controlled environment
Photograph: Drew University
Significance: Record of the first Swedish religious ceremonies in area. The author was O.G. Hedstrom whose work at the Bethel Ship in New York City welcomed decades of arriving immigrants.
4.
Sugar Grove Lutheran Church, Kyrkobok,  No.1 (1856)


Location: archives of The Swenson Center, Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois.
Condition: Fragile, archived in controlled environment.
Photograph: John Everett Jones 2017
Significance: Original membership list of the second congregation organized by Swedish settlers in the area (Lutheran). The author was Jonas Swensson who later became president of the Swedish-American Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church.
5.
Facsimile of contract between Robert Falconer Sr.
 and Germund and Catherine Johnson

Location: Unknown. Last reference in 1943, when Dr. E.B. Lawson indicated that the originals were in the possession of the W.A. Woodside family of Sugar Grove.
Condition: Unknown. This is a Rekordak print, Julius Lincoln papers, ELCA archives, Elk Grove, IL.
Photograph: John Everett Jones 2017
Significance: Indentured servant agreement and work contract between Robert Falconer and the Johnsons established the Swedish community in Sugar Grove.
6.
Contract between Robert Falconer Sr. and Germund and Catherine Johnson.  Land purchase in Chandlers Valley.
Location: Unknown. The original land deal that established the Swedish community in Chandlers Valley.
Image: None
7.
Charles Gorman in uniform


Location: Originals possibly still in the hands of family members in Laddonia, Audrain County, Missouri.
Image of Letter: None. Partial transcription of letter only.
Photograph: Said to be still in family.
Significance: This letter is an indication of Swedish-American participation in the Civil War. The letter also indicates the carnage of the New York 112th Regiment (the Chautauqua Regiment) after the Battle of Cold Harbor. The photograph is the only known example of an area Swede in uniform during the Civil War.
8.
1845 New York Census for Mina Township
Location: Likely lost, Town of Mina clerk's files
Significance: This would be the first reference of Swedish immigrants in Chautauqua County.
9.
Samuel Johnson letter from Buffalo describing conditions, November 1846.

Location: Original likely lost.  Letter published in the Östgötha Correspondenten, May 26, 1847
Image:  Lars Griberg of Linköpings Universitetsbibliotek, scan from b&w microfilm
Significance: letter details the number of passengers of the Virginia who remained in Buffalo and indicates their circumstances.
10.
Codicil of will of Peter Peterson giving insurance money to cousins in Minnesota.
Location: Original likely lost, Record copy in Warren County courthouse.
Image:  LDS from b&w microfilm
Significance: This codicil indicates the close connections between our area and other Swedish communities like Vasa, Minnesota.
11.
Nya Testamentet Svenska / English. New York:  American Bible Society, 1850 (First Edition)
Location: Multiple. This small edition of the New Testament in Swedish and English was published beginning in 1850 by the American Bible Society and was distributed by Rev. Olof G. Hedstrom to arriving immigrants in NYC and at the Bethel ship.
Image: Third Edition (1854) in the collection of the Swenson Center at Augustana College.
Significance: It is likely that hundreds if not thousands of Swedes improved their English by studying this bible.
12.
Chautauqua County Alms house records, 1851-1860 showing assistance given to the early immigrants

13.
Letter to the Edition by JAP
Original is likely lost.  Published in the Jamestown Evening Journal



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