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Finnish Overseas Emigration from Arctic Norway and Russia

John Ilmari Kolehmainen

Hundreds of Finnish folk migrated from the Arctic shores of Norway and Russia to America during the years 1864-1885. The story of their epic search for land and a rural way of life began in Oulu, the northern province of Finland.

Life in the rural settlements scattered along the Tornio, Muonio, Kemi, and other rivers of the vast Kemi and Lapland districts of northern Oulu was incredibly hard. From the forests and streams came insufficient game; herds of cows and flocks of sheep were the infrequent badges of wealth; and agriculture faced formidably unfavorable climatic and soil conditions. A famous traveler found "many small and poor farms, where a large family has to work hard to get a living from the soil" around Matarenki; another observer noted numerous indigent colonists between Kolari and Muonionniska; and beyond the latter place the American Bayard Taylor found only "miserably poor" settlers. Kittilä was described by a Finnish philologist as the "original home of poverty and wretchedness". A fellow countryman encountered snowflakes in July at Kuorinka and concluded that "frost more frequently than the farmer reaped the harvest". Taylor likewise recorded that "Even in mid-summer the blighting frost may fall" and that "a single night may make his labours utterly profitless".

Nowhere in Finland was "food so scarce". The first words of every visitor were: "Onkos talossa leipää, emäntä?" (Is there bread in the house, matron?) Turnips, "bread, potatoes, saltwater, and buttermilk" constituted in normal years the Spartan diet of the colonists.1 In famine years conditions became appalling. In the 1850s, for example, "straw bread" was widely eaten. An American traveling through Kolari in 1856 was given a supper of "a pitcher of cold milk, some bread made of ground barley straw, horribly hard and tough, and a lump of sour frozen butter"; the peasant's family dinner consisted of an "immense pot of sour milk, butter, broken bread, and straw meal".2 The seven lean years of the following decade, culminating in the the ghastly famine of 1867, loosened in many Finns the bonds that tied them to their native land. The unfortunate victims smote their breasts, shouting that God had forsaken Finland, and they were compelled to "scrape birch-bark and mix it with flour, or cook reindeer-moss with milk". Many were the settlers who threatened to abandon "this accursed place".3

"Sharing food with the squirrels" was not the only hardship. Many colonists complained of the interminable red tape in getting title to their holdings. If the onerous conditions were not promptly met, the "poor settlers along with their small children were driven from the humble cottages which they had just been able to erect".4 Small landowners grumbled about their tax burden while their sons and daughters lamented the lack of a promising future. The specter of insecurity most menacingly threatened, however, the numerous landless cottagers and backwoods squatters, hired hands, and servant girls.5 Moreover, a number of the Finns, deeply touched by the Laestadian Awakening of the fifties and sixties, found their countrymen unsympathetic with the new religious teachings. Underlying these grievances was the memory of the grim visitation in years past of war and desolation and military service; vividly many recalled the havoc of the war of 1808-09.6

These factors, playing upon a people descended from the ancient wandering Kainulaiset and Pirkkalaiset and in whose veins still throbbed a "mighty migratory spirit",7 compelled many of them to seek a Promised Land in Ruija (Finmark and East Tromsø) or Ryssän-ranta (Kola Lapland). As early as 1714 (1708?) a Finnish settlement appeared in Alten, but the real growth of the immigrant element in northern Norway came during the first three quarters of the nineteenth century.8 Their number increased from an estimated 780 in 1825 to 2,733 in 1845, reaching 4,596 in 1855 and 5,862 in 1865; the area of Finnish settlement spread from Alten, Lyngen, Nordreisen, Kvaenangen, and other communities in East Tromsø and West Finmark to Kiberg, Jakobselv, Salttjernet, Hovik, Skullnes, Naesseby, Ekkeroy, Vardø, and Vadsø, fishing towns along Finmark's bleak east coast. The immigrants, coming in large numbers during the famine years (205 Finns coming to Vadsø in 1866), were drawn largely from the Oulu settlements' of Kittilä, Oulu, Utsjoki, Sodankylä, Muonionniska, Inari, Kemi, Alatornio, Karunki, Ylitornio, Turtola, Kolari, Tervola, Rovaniemi, Kemijärvi, Kuolajärvi, and Kuusamo. Still others were recruited from the ten thousand or so Finns (13,739 in 1860) living in Norbotten province on the Swedish side of the Tornio and Muonio rivers.9 The accompanying table indicates the number and distribution of the Finnish immigrants in Tromsø and Finmark during the years 1845- 1900.

Finns in Northern Norway

1845

1855

1865

1875

1900

Senjen and Tromsø:

Ibestad

-

25

58

62

44

Maalselven

-

93

108

118

58

Balsfjorden

-

122

167

64

81

Karlsø

29

50

36

-

14

Lyngen

436

719

766

712

498

Skjervø

426

858

585

389

186

Kvaenangen

-

-

392

-

146

Nordreisen

159

367

-

-

491

Alten:

Loppen

50

47

81

-

82

Talvik

863

1,058

111

155

113

Alten

708

716

554

Kautokeino

-

27

24

18

-

Hammerfest:

Hammerfest (rural)

118

-

178

21

17

Maasø

-

10

56

69

80

Kistrand

205

270

227

162

693

Tanen:

Tanen & Naesseby

64

83

163

286

409

Lebesby

13

43

49

64

57

Varanger:

Vardø (rural)

-

-

36

78

226

Vadsø (rural)

129

-

328

654

598

Sydvaranger

-

-

339

702

818

Cities:

Tromsø

82

248

209

98

38

Hammerfest

154

356

318

309

124

Vardø

8

14

35

85

250

Vadsø

134

645

773

1,027

870

Total (including scattered settlements not listed)

2, 733

4,596

5,862

6,393

5,894

 On the other hand, Finnish settlement in Kola Lapland was far less numerous and more recent in character. The first colony was founded at Uura in 1860 by immigrants from Sodankylä, Kuusamo, and Finmark.10 Four years later nine Finnish families in all were reported living in the Russian Arctic holdings. By 1882, however the number of Finns had increased to 678, ditributed in the following settlements: Uura, 184; Pummanki, 183; Paatsjoki and Salmijärvi, 100; Kervana, 50; Vaitokupa, 40; Muotka, 40; Saanivuono, 35; Kola (city), 20; Stolbova, 11; Lapinmutka, 10; and Petsamo, 5.

In 1897, the Finnish immigrants constituted 12 percent (1,056) of the total population of the Aleksandrovsk district; two years later a census revealed 209 immigrant households in Kola Lapland, 139 of which were situated in West Murmansk, 44 in Kolafjord, 25 in the Paats River area, and 1 in East Murmansk.

It was the inexhaustible plentitude of fish in the "wonderfully clear green water" of the Arctic Ocean that attracted a majority of the Finnish rural folk northward. The road to the fishing villages of Finmark, Tromsø, and Kola Lapland was long, difficult, and dangerous. Starting from their homes usually in late February in order to reach the fishing grounds before the commencement of the spring run of cod around March 25, the emigrants traveled on foot or skis or sleighs in groups of 20 to 30, including young and old of both sexes. The weariness of the more affluent, those wearing "silken shawls and fine clothes", was considerably ameliorated by hired horses and "camels of the North".11 The journey to the polar coast, a distance ranging from 400 to 800 kilometers, took from 19 to 35 days; expenditures for some wayfarers rose to 250 Finnish marks. The trek, formidable under the most favorable conditions, was made more onerous by the growing reluctance of the Lapps to give assistance, the lack of adequate food and shelter, and the contingencies of Arctic travel.

Three main routes led from Finland to the shores of the northern sea. The first followed the Tornio and Muonio rivers to Muonionniska where it forked: the right branch went through Kautokeino to the Alten and Tana rivers; the left branch proceeded to Kaaressuvanto and thence to the Lyngen and Tromsø regions. The central route ran northward from Kemi to Rovaniemi, Kittilä, and thence to the Ivalo River and down the Paats River to Neiden and Vadsø. This route was joined at the Ivalo River by branches coming up from Sodankylä, Kemijärvi, and Kuolajärvi. The eastern road leading to Ryssän-ranta started from the Kuusamo and Kuolajärvi districts, crossed into Russian Kantalahti, and followed the Kola River to Kola and Aleksandrovsk.

Upon reaching the seacoast, the immigrants undertook the new and strange and difficult work of deep-sea Arctic fishing. The burdens of the new way of life were many. To begin with, the northern Finlanders were a rural and land-centered rather than a seagoing people. They had, as one writer has convincingly showed, no innate love for the ocean.12 Many, to be sure, successfully made the transition and became able and courageous fishermen and whalers. As a Norwegian observed, "They come from far-off Finland's forests, they have never seen the ocean, yet unafraid they step into their small fishing vessels."13 To these immigrants the sea became in a real sense "their gardens". Yet numerous were the Finns who in time rebelled against the overwhelmingly odorous and monotonous way of life, one whose alpha and omega were: "Live fish, dead fish, dried fish, cured fish, fish-heads, fish-entrails, smell of fish, stink of fish, vessels which bring fish, and vessels which fetch fish, people who buy fish, and people who sell fish, people who only live for fish, people who only live on fish, only speak, think, and dream of fish-nothing else."14

Fishing was not child's play although young boys and girls as well as mothers were compelled to join in the back-breaking jobs of baiting the long multihooked lines, cleaning fish, and hanging them to dry in endless racks. Raw and icy winds and corrosive salt air soon coated the toilers with the unmistakably rough and weatherbeaten exterior of a seafaring people. In the early days of small and undependable craft, fishing was also dangerous. The Arctic Ocean had won for itself a deservedly fearful reputation for sudden and violent storms, when both angry sea and rocky havenless shores conspired against the hapless fishermen. The storm of 1875 shocked the Finns. It came suddenly; the sailors in their eagerness to lift a rich harvest had not noted the restless flight of their faithful companions, the birds - the sign of danger. Quickly "all the sea and sky were but a single vast sheet of water and snow"; Judgment Day rode the waves. In the Vardø district alone, a hundred names were added to the rolls of the unhappy sea spirits haunting the deep polar graveyards. There were no old men in Vardø was the comment of one observer; "few of the poor fishermen end their days in bed".15

There were in addition serious man-made difficulties. The industry was largely controlled by merchant houses to whom the fishermen under the prevailing truck and barter system "sold the fish before they were caught". Easy credit, especially in Norway, enmeshed many gullible as well as needy Finns; in 1866, for example, the names of 222 immigrants were listed in the "big book" of a Vadsø merchant. Often enough in Kola Lapland as in Finmark, the fishermen ended a hard and laborious season still indebted to the merchants. Of great concern to the Finns was the growing statutory discrimination against alien fishermen. Not all of the emigrants going to the fishing settlements intended to reside permanently in the Arctic regions. A large number were transient workers, "birds of passage", who came to the polar sea, like the Lapps since time immemorial, to fish during the spring season and then retum to their homes after the run of cod was over. The Norwegian statutes of the late sixties and seventies, for example, attempted to protect the interests of the permanent residents and citizens from invasion by these migratory fishermen. Under their provisions free fishing rights were taken away from the aliens, they could only hire themselves out to merchants or fish on a share basis in a vessel owned and piloted by a Norse citizen; a special fishing fee was likewise exacted.16

Moreover the usual pecuniary rewards of fishing were hardly commensurate with its hardships. Whether working as hired seamen or fishing on shares under the so-called sweat system, a majority of the Finnish fishermen reaped a pitifully small financial harvest.17 Fond hopes were frequently shattered by bad seasons. In some years the catch of cod was disappointingly small; equally disastrous was the failure, as in 1876, of the bait fish (Mallotus villosuus) to appear. Truly, the lot of the Arctic fisherman's family was an unhappy and unfortunate one, poverty and privation were the recompense for a "constant, never-ceasing battle with the severe and inhospitable elements of nature". As if to make life even more impossible, there was a great deal of illness among the fisherfolk, at least in the early years. Respiratory diseases, stemming from the moist climate and damp overcrowded dwellings, were frequent; scurvy, too, was a common consequence of a singularly unbalanced diet. Yet "not even an apothecary's assistant" could be "found on these thirteen hundred miles of coast between Vardø and Archangel".18

The adversities of a fisherman's life were only heightened by the grim climate and repellent landscape which dominated Finmark's east coast and the shores of Kola Lapland. Bleak desolate mountains and precipitous cliffs against which ceaselessly pounded a mysterious polar ocean whose outer limits the eye could not see. There was not a patch of green grass or a row of shrubbery or a clump of trees. The towns of the east coast seemed to epitomize the unfriendliness of nature: Hammerfest's "dreary, desolate landscape"; Vardø, buffeted by raw winds rising from the "Siberian tundra and the ice-choked Kara sea"; Vadsø, whose winters were "long, and dark and stormy" and whose only "summer perfume" was that of dried cod. Along the Murmansk coast the climate was equally "bleak and raw". All winds are cold on this coast", was the judgment of an English traveler. "The north wind comes from the polar ice: the east wind from the Kara Sea, Siberia, and the Oürâl: the south from the White sea, the half-frozen lakes and the tûndras: the west from the snow-covered fjelds of Norway."19 Surely, commented many immigrants, East Finmark and Kola Lapland were not the manifestation of God's love for man, if for bird and fish; they were as Octher had found them in the late ninth century, a dreadful fog-bound "wildernesse and desert countrey".20 Finnish landscape in retrospect seemed to take on richer meaning. Many immigrants recalled, for the first time perhaps, the beauties of their birthplace: a wintry Hatta under a "lovely azure sky, the play of the sun on the white glistening fields, the gay chirping of the birds from the fir-boughs draped in hoar-frost"; a Kyrö district in the summer, "one vast fir-forest, dotted with lakes, rivers, and marshes ... the rays of the noonday sun playing in the verdant crowns".21 But along the Arctic Ocean nature was so ugly and brutal that the "cocks stop their crowing, the horses their neighing". No doubt the American traveler expressed the thoughts of many immigrants when he wrote: "These people surely deserve to enter Paradise when they die, for they live in hell while upon earth." Ages earlier the Siberian Samoyeds had reached the same conclusion; their Kingdom of Death was upon the earth, and heaven lay below.22

The real love of many Finnish immigrants was, in truth, revealed in their constant and courageous efforts to practice agriculture along with fishing. To be sure, conditions in Finmark and Kola Lapland were even less promising than in Finland's Kemi and Lapland districts: a rocky peaty soil; polar climatic conditions with sudden frosts, crippling cold winds, and short growing seasons; absence of pasturage and hay fields for cattle and sheep. Vardø's annual mean temperature in the seventies, for example, was only a fraction of a degree ahove freezing; the average yearly range in Hammerfest was from 22 to 53 degrees. In 1856 in Vadsø "the snow had been four feet deep in the streets in the beginning of June, and in six weeks it would begin to fall again"; likewise in Vardø snow in July was not a rarity. In many Finmark settlements, as in Kistrand, "neither gardens, fields nor potato patches" seemed possible. Similarly, agriculture in Kola Lapland, as the governor of Archangel reported, was "a perpetual struggle against nature", largely "foredoomed to failure". Bleak springs retarded sowing until the fifteenth of June if not later; early August frosts robbed the fishermen-farmers of the fruits of their toil; the soil, where it was suited for primitive agriculture, required a great deal of manuring. Pasturage for livestock was hard to find; the problem of their fodder, especially during the long winter months, was critical. Frequently enough, to the amazement of an American, a radical solution was found: "A few forlorn cows were hunting pasture over the hills, now and then looking with melancholy resignation at the strings of codfish hanging up to dry, on the broth of which they are fed during the winter."23 Finmark and Kola Lapland much more than Tromsø fit the words of the poet, Peter Daas:

I Tromsen har ingen Mand Plog eller Harv
Dem levnes ej Sæd eller Ager til Arv
Man jorden i Furer ej velter.
I Dybet herunder de søger sit Brød,
Og naar det mislinger, da lider de Nød,
Og megen stor Armod forsmelter.24

Yet the ancient agricultural heritage of the Finns impelled them to try to surmount the rigors of the Arctic region. Parcels of land here and there were laboriously broken into garden plots with plow and harrow frequently carried from Finland; seed, too, came from the Old Country for the first plantings of potatoes, turnips, radishes, barley, and rye. At first only scattered "kitchen gardens" appeared with "a few courageous radishes and some fool-hardy potatoes". By 1860, however, 60 barrels of potatoes were sowed in and around Vadsø, largely by Finnish immigrants; in the seventies, Finmark was growing over 30,000 bushels annually. Potato production in West Murmansk reached nearly 50 tons in 1894. Livestock, moreover, was seen more frequently along side of the ubiquitous reindeer. The immigrant contribution to Finmark's total of over 9,000 cattle, 20,000 sheep, and 400 pigs was important; of the 70 cows competing in a Vadsø show in 1877, a majority of the prize winners was Finnish-owned. In West Murmansk the number of cattle in 1899 was placed at 580 and the sheep at 1,082. Fifteen or so years earlier, the Finnish settlers in Pummanki had 45 cows, 47 sheep, 2 bulls, and 2 calves; at the smaller settlement at Muotka there were 13 cows, 5 sheep, 5 calves, and 2 bulls.25 The pioneering role of the Finns in the Arctic region was generally recognized. A Norwegian asserted: "In agriculture the Finns are the pioneers of Finmark. They have led the way and demonstrated that the land can be successfully cultivated."26 A Scandinavian scientist likewise praised the immigrants; they were, in his opinion, "the best agriculturists in Finmarken".27

At best the life of a Finmark farmer was a "very anxious one". Agriculture seemed doomed to remain laborious, stunted, financially non-remunerative, and forever at the mercy of an unpredictable and uncontrollable nature. Never would it alone provide a living for its followers; "without the ocean and its fish, the people would perish".28 To these land-loving rural-minded fishermen of East Finmark and Kola Lapland as well as to immigrants practicing agriculture under more promising, yet difficult, conditions in East Tromsø and West Finmark,29 came wonderful news: free land in the New World! Reports from Norwegian sources were almost unbelievable: 160 acres of land easily cleared into vast productive fields; opportunity to earn "a barrel of American dollars" in mines and factories and railroads with which to start farming operations; a landscape and climate that verily rivaled those of inimitable Finland. The summons was irresistible. In 1864 three small groups, two of Vadsø Finns and one of Hammerfest Finns, left northern Norway for St. Peter and Red Wing, Minnesota; among their number were Peter Lahti, Matti Niemi, Antti Rovainen, Elias Peltoperä, and Matti Tiiperi.30 In the following year, three Vadsø Finns, Matias Kärjenaho, Johan Wiinikka, and Olli Westerberg, left with the specific object of investigating the much bruited agricultural prospects in the Midwestern States; they likewise went to Minnesota, found a site to their liking, and laid the foundations for the celebrated Cokato settlement. Throughout the sixties and seventies and early eighties, fishermen and farmers abandoned their hard Arctic life without great regret. Over a hundred Vadsø Finns, for example, were said to have been aboard two emigrant vessels in 1871; two years later 200 Norwegian Finns were reported waiting passage at Liverpool. In a single year, 1882, not less than one-twelfth of all the Finns in Kola Lapland (numbering some 60 to 70) set sail for the New World; they included 34 from Pummanki, 10 from Vaitokupa, and an equal number from Uura.31 Already by 1879 there were over 450 Finns in the Cokato country of Minnesota, most of whom had come from the Arctic coast of Norway and Russia. Other immigrant rural communities arose in the Dakotas, Oregon, Washington, and Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

There were, moreover, powerful religious forces compelling the Finns to turn their eyes toward rural America. Most of the Norwegian and Kola Lapland Finns were devout and faithful followers of Provost Lars Levi Laestadius (1800-61).32 The "fire and brimstone" teachings of this Swedish-born preacher and lawgiver to Lapps and Finns alike stressed, among other things, the reality of final judgment and the necessity of living in accordance with a stern religious law; the return to apostolic, non-institutionalized Christianity; the baptism of the spirit; the propriety and value of outward manifestation of inward emotions - crying and sighing and fainting in sorrow over sin, laughing and jumping and dancing over the joy of redemption; and, more mundanely, the forceful denunciation of deer thievery, drunkenness, and worldly urban pleasures. Puritanical, stern, often seemingly uncouth and rough, the Laestadian movement, notwithstanding, spread like "heather fire", as one Lapp recalled,33 to the Lapland regions of Sweden, Norway, Russia, and Finland.

The strange and sometimes fanatical movement was not welcomed. In Finland widespread ridicule, and less frequently punishment, were the fate of the Awakened. In 1852, at Kittilä, for example, three Laestadian followers were fined twelve silver roubles, committed to eight days of "bread and water imprisonment", and compelled to make public recantation of their allegedly heretical behavior. The reception given Laestadianism in Norway was not much more cordial; Norse Lutherans were as critical of this "religious malady" as their Finnish brethren. Perhaps typical was the disapprobation of the scientist who spoke of the "meeting-houses, in whicli the Kvaens exercise their riotous and licentious Laestadian worship".34 Denunciation of the movement swelled after the "fearful and frightening" Kautokeino affair of 1852 when a group of Laestadian Lapps in a moment of religious frenzy murdered two residents of the settlement and threatened the lives of several others. Despite the vigorous defense of Laestadius in denying any legal or moral responsibility for the tragedy, many people in Norway and Finland and Russia, among them Bishops Juel and Johansson, held him accountable. More than that, many failed to see or accept any distinction between the "correct" beliefs of the Finnish Laestadians and the "wild spirit" typified by the Kautokeino Lapps. As a consequence, the immigrants sensed more vividly the tense atmosphere of recriminations of Many other aspects of Arctic life worried the followers of Laestadius. There was widespread drunkenness in the fishing towns, stemming from the proverbial Arctic propensity toward drink and the ease with which intoxicating beverages could he obtained; gambling, dancing, and riotous living also caught their critical attention. Many immigrants reread in the sanctity of their dwellings the teachings of their master who had denounced the degeneracy of town life and had portrayed the hideousness of liquor, the "devil's dragon". They recalled his powerful insistence that goodness and blessedness and faith could only he attained in a rural life; his reiteration that the elect were the humble, plainly garbed, unsophisticated peasants and tillers of the soil.35

A rural way of life and religious toleration - these were the two inner longings of many Laestadian Finns. Both, they came to know, could be found in America. Thus it happened that large numbers lof Laestadian preachers and followers crossed the Atlantic Ocean, bringing with them the beloved sermons and postils of their saint. In 1873 the immigrant Laestadians started their own congregation at Calumet, Michigan; other groups soon appeared elsewhere in Michigan, Minnesota, and neighboring States. By 1906 the Laestadian movement in America counted 68 churches with a communicant body of over 8,000.36

There were, in addition, other forces impelling emigration to the New World. The Finnish settlers in Kola Lapland had many grievances. The imperial laws of 1868 and 1876, designed to encourage colonization in the area, had from the Finnish viewpoint serious deficiencies with regard to education, religion, fishing rights, and landownership.37 As late as the 1890s, for example, the immigrants complained to the governor, of Archangel that there was not a single school in the region, not even a Russian one! The csarist govemment, too, was becoming more and more dubious about the wisdom of colonizing the Arctic coast with Finnish-speaking settlers.

In Norway relations between the native-born citizens and immigrants were not always harmonious.38 The Finns, on their part, complained of growing economic, religious, and linguistic discrimination. In the sixties and seventies, there prevailed, especially in East Finmark, an unfortunate situation marked by mutual suspicion and name-calling. Then, too, the cessation of operations at the Kaafjord mines threw hundreds of immigrants out of work; agents of the copper mines in far-away Michigan found them eager and willing listeners to their "glowing accounts of the good pay" available in that State.39

The Finnish miners, too, had responded to the urge of agriculture. Gardens distinguished their settlement in Kaafjord north of the copper works. In the New World the progression of many an immigrant was from mine hand to independent farmer.

The precise number of Finnish fishermen, farmers, and miners leaving Arctic Norway and Russia during 1864-85 cannot he established. Studies made of the pioneer Finnish settlers in Michigan and Minnesota suggest that perhaps 30 to 34 percent came from northem Norway and a very much smaller number from Russia; among them, of course, were many children born in the immigrant settlements outside of Finland. Perhaps not less than 750 and not more than 1,000 Finns in all took the circuitous route from Finland to Norway and Russia to America. An accurate estimate is made more difficult by two factors: the frequent movement of immigrants from Kola Lapland to Finmark and vice versa; the growing practice of the northern Oulu and Vaasa Finns to emigrate to northern Norway in order to take passage there for the New World. In 1866, for example, a Rovaniemi correspondent wrote to the Oulu Wiikko Sanomat: "Large droves of people are passing here on their way to Finmark, many of them are reported going to America to seek their fortune."40 In a like manner a traveler commented: "A strong tide has begun to set towards the United States, the people coming from Finland in sleighs, and starting for America in the spring. Several hundred had left by way of Vadsø the year before, the steamers taking them either to Trondheim, Bergen, or Christiania."41 By the middle eighties, however, as the America Fever swept southward into the central regions of Finland, more and more emigrants took new and easier routes from Finnish ports to the United States via England. After 1890, only a few Finns trickled into northern Norway either to settle or set sail for America.

Such, then, was the story of the coming of Finnish folk who had sought but not found a Promised Land in Arctic Norway and Russia. For them, as for so many other Europeans, the search for tillable land and a rural way of life, religious toleration and freedom, ended in America.

References

1. Paul B. Du Chaillu, The Land of the Midnight Sun, 1:61 (New York, 1882); Joseph Acerbi, Travels through Sweden, Finland, and Lapland, 2:12-13 (London, 1802); Bayard Taylor, Northern Travel, 71, 161 (New York, 1871); G. W. Edlund, ed., M. A. Castrén's in elämä ja matkustukset, 18-19, 31 (Helsinki, 1878); A. V. Ervasti, Suomalaiset Jäämeren rannalla, 8-9 (Oulu, 1884); J. V. Snellman, "Muutamia muistutelmia maasta ja kansasta Pohjanmaalla", Valitut teokset, 4:163 (Porvoo, 1899); Ragnar Numelin, Some Aspects Of the Geography of Finland, 29 (Helsinki, 1935); and P. G. Minneman, "Finland's Agrilulture", Foreign Agriculture, 4:150 (1940).

2. Taylor, Northern Travel, 92-93.

3. For moving descriptions of the famine years, see K. A. Tavaststjerna, Kovina aikoina (Porvoo, 1892); and Alkio, Murtavia voimia (Porvoo, 1896).

4. P. Laestadius, Försättning af Journalen öfver missionsresor i Lappmarken, 2:380 (Stockholm, 1833).

5. On wages of agricultural workers, see H. Paavilainen, Maataloudesta ja toimenpiteistä sen kohottamiseksi, 116 - 122 (Helsinki, 1913).

6. K. O. Lindeqvist, Suomen historia, 357 - 375 (Porvoo, 1906); for the eighteenth-century wars, see J. Gummerus, comp., Muistelmia ison wihan ajoilta (Jyväskylä, 1913).

7. The precise relationship of the ancient Kainulaiset and Pirkkalaiset, called Kvaener by the Norwegians, to the modern Finns has been a controversial question. For contrasting views, see D. Skogman, "Suomalaiset Ruotsissa ja Norjassa", in Suomi 1869, 129 - 166 (Helsinki, 1870); and Yrjö Koskinen, "Pohjanmaan asuttamisesta", in Suomi 1857, 111 - 150 (Helsinki, 1858), and his Suomen kansan historia, 12 - 14 (Helsinki, 1881). On the ethnography of the Finns, consult among other studies, A. Warelius, "Bidrag till Finlands kännedom i ethnografiskt afseende", in Suomi 1847, 47 - 130 (Helsinki, 1848); U. T. Sirelius, The Genealogy of the Finns (Helsinki, 1925); and C. S. Coon, The Races of Europe, 355 - 360 (New York, 1939). K. J. Jalkanen, in "Amerikantauti" Suomessa 16 ja 17 wuosisadalla (Jyväskylä, 1896), shows the presence in Finland of a migratory tendency antedating emigration to America. On Finnish overseas emigration in general, see M. Tarkkanen, Siirtolaisuudesta, sen syistä ja seurauksista (Helsinki, 1903); O. K. Kilpi, "Suomen siirtolaisuudesta", Oma Maa, 5:694 - 708 (Porvoo, 1908); and John Ilmari Kolehmainen, "Finland's Agrarian Structure and Overseas Migration", Agricultural History, 15:44 - 48 (1941), and "Why We Came to America: the Finns", Common Ground, 5:77 - 79 (1944).

8. In addition to Skogman, "Suomalaiset Ruotsissa ja Norjassa", the standard Finnish works on the Norwegian Finns include: S. Paulaharju, Ruijan Suomalaisia (Helsinki, 1928), and Ruijan äärimmäisillä saarilla (Helsinki, 1935); A. V. Ervasti, Suomalaiset Jäämeren rannalla (Oulu, 1884); and Ernst Lampén, Jäämeren hengessä (Jyväskyla, 1921). Norwegian accounts include: J. A. Friis, En sommer i Finmarken, Russisk Lapland og Nordkarelen (Christiania, 1880); B. M. Keilhau, Reise i Ost- og Vest-Finmarken (Christiania, 1831); Hans Reusch, Folk og natur i Finmarken (Christiania, 1895); Sophus Tromholt, Under nordlysets straaler: skildringer fra Lappernes land (Copenhagen, 1885); N. V. Stockfleth, Om Qvänerne i Norge; and J. Qvigstad, Den kvaenske indvandring til Nord-Norge.

9. Skogman, "Suomalaiset Ruotsissa ja Norjassa", 168, 184; Ervasti, Jäämeren rannalla, 253 - 254; Paulaharju, Ruijan Suomalaisia, 229 - 230. The governor of Oulu reported that 162 of his inhabitants left for northern Norway during 1863 - 65, 54 being from Kittilä, 37 from Oulu, 25 from Utsjoki, 20 from Sodankylä, 18 from Muonionniska, and 8 from Inari.

10. On Finnish settlement in the Russian Arctic areas, see Ervasti, Jäämeren rannalla, 43 - 178; Theodor Homén, Itä-Karjala ja Kuollan Lappi, 3 - 77 (Helsinki, 1918); A. P. Engelhardt, A Russian Province of the North, 150 - 164 (Westminster, 1899); T. Pohjankanervo, "Suornalaisasutuksen vaiheista Jäämeren rannalla", Veljeysviesti, 20:19 - 20 (Astoria, Oreg., 1943).

11. Frank Vincent, Norsk, Lapp, and Finn, 160 (New York, 1881). Travel by deer was not as swift as many assumed. Sophus Tromholt, Under the Rays of the Aurora Borealis, 2:148 (Boston, 1885), suggested that under certain conditions "a clumsy bullock would distance the reindeer." On the deer in northern life, see Ilmari Kianto, Poro-kirja (Helsinki, 1913). The difficulties of travel to the Arctic coast are well portrayed in Acerbi, Travels, 1:324 - 332, and Taylor, Northern Travel, 110 - 125.

12. Snellman, Valitut teokset, 4:164.

13. Eilert Sundt quoted in Paulaharju, Ruijan Suomalaisia, 508. For tales about the immigrants' experiences as fisherfolk, see S. Paulaharju, Tunturien yö-puolta. Vanhoja tarinoita (Helsinki, 1934).

14. Tromholt, Under the Rays of the Aurora Borealis, 2:270. Paulaharju related the "fears" of many Finns that they would be transformed into fish themselves. According to Lampén, the immigrants, and especially the children, had a hearty dislike for the cod as a fish.

15. Edward Rae, The White Sea Peninsula, 7 (London, 1881).

16. R. G. Latham, Norway and the Norwegians, 2:192-193 (London, 1840); Vincent, Norsk, Lapp, and Finn, 60-61; Paulaharju, Ruijan Suomalaisia, 316-318; Engelhardt, A Russian Province, 126; Friis, En sommer, 86. According to Ervasti, Jäämeren rannalla, 247, there were large numbers of transient fishermen coming annually to the Arctic to fish. Out of a total of 16,429 fishermen in Finmark in 1878, more than 10,000 were not residents of the province. The Finns constituted about one-eleventh of all the fishermen in Norway and Russia. On the Lappish movement to the Arctic, see K. B. Wiklund, Die Wanderungen der nomadisierenden schwedischen Lappen nach Norwegen in älterer und neuerer Zeit (Upsala, 1908).

17. Paulaharju estimated the net savings under the share system to be from 400 to 500 crowns per season; Ervasti suggested that immigrants working for wages carned only from 75 to 150 crowns.

18. Rae, White Sea Peninsula, 88. See also Engelhardt, A Russian Province, 124; Paulaharju, Ruijan Suomalaisia, 352; Homén, Kuolan Lappi, 72.

19. Rae, White Sea Peninsula, 87; the other descriptions have been culled from a number of sources including Du Chaillu, Taylor, Tromholt, and Paulaharju.

20. Richard Hakluyt, The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, and Discoveries of the English Nation, 1:52 (Edinburgh, 1884).

21. The descriptions of Hatta and Kyrö are from Tromholt, Under the Rays of the Aurora Borealis, 2:98, 156. Paulaharju, Ruijan Suomalaisia, 532-533, records the immigrants' colorful memories of Finland's "forested countryside... its wild berries along quiet rural roads... its beauty unsurpassed."

22. Paulaharju, Ruijan Suomalaisia, 179; Taylor, Northern Travel, 311; Castrén'in matkustukset, 109.

23. Taylor, Northern Travel, 314, On the difficulties confronting agriculture in Finmark and Kola Lapland, see also Du Chaillu, Land of the Midnight Sun, 2:135-145, 156, 160; Paulaharju, Ruijan Suomalaisia, 262-264; Engelhardt, A Russian Province, 44, 82; Homén, Kuolan Lappi, 50-51; Cutcliffe Hyne, Through Arctic Lapland, 9 (London, 1898).

24. Quoted in Paulaharju, Ruijan Suomalaisia, 69. An approximate translation would be: "In Tromsø is neither plow nor harrow, no inheritance of harvest or garden, land cannot he plowed in furrow. From the deep they seek their bread, when fortune betrays, they suffer from need, and live in great poverty."

25. The statistical data are from Du Chaillu, Land of the Midnight Sun, 2:145; Homén, Kuolan Lappi, 50-51; Engelhardt, A Russian Province, 331; Ervasti, Jäämeren rannalla, 113-116; Paulaharju, Ruijan Suomalaisia, 272, 470.

26. Bjarne Hofseth, quoted in Paulaharju, Ruijan Suomalaisia, 263.

27. Tromholt, Under the Rays of the Aurora Borealis, 2:216.

28. Paulaharju, Ruijan Suomalaisia, 275. Cutcliffe Hyne, Through Arctic Lapland, 18, observed that "Nothing but fish stands between their town (Vardø) and obliteration." Tromholt also suggested that "The nervus rerum of the town Vardø. is like every other in Finmarken - fish". See also Alex. W. M. Clark Kennedy, To the Arctic Regions and Back in Six Weeks, 222 (London, 1878).

29. Conditions in East Tromsø and West Finmark were more favorable to agriculture. On Finnish rural activity in these areas, see Paulaharju, Ruijan Suomalaisia, 30 (Lyngen), 54 (Nordreisen), 68-70 (Alten), 101 (Kaafjord). As carly as 1715, the Norse newspapers commented upon the successful immigrant cultivation of barley around Alten; by 1860 the area was harvesting over 1,000 barrels. In the opinion of one of Finmark's governors, the Finns "clear and cultivate their land especially well, keep horses, cows, and small stock, and grow gardens where conditions permit". The immigrant women were praised for their skill in spinning, weaving, and making their own clothes and shoes.

30. Ilmonen, Amerikan Suomalaisten Historia, 2:25-27 (Jyväskylä 1923). See also John Ilmari Kolehmainen, "The Finnish Pioneers of Minnesota", Minnesota History, 25:317-328 (St. Paul, 1944).

31. Ervasti, Jäämeren rannalla, 105-106; Pohjankanervo, "Suomalaisasutuksen vaiheista Jäämeren rannalla", 19-20; Ilmonen, Amerikan Suomalaisten historia, 2:27.

32. A recent and sympathetic biography is Kaarlo Castrén, Kiveliön suuri herättäjä, Lars Levi Laestadius elämäkerta (Helsinki, 1932); it has an excellent bibliography. See also Gustaf Johansson, Laestadiolaisuus (Kuopio, 1892); E. Bergroth, Suomen kirkko, 2:857 (Porvoo, 1903).

33. Johan Turi, Turi's Book of Lappland, 75 (London, 1910).

34. Tromholt, Under the Rays of the Aurora Borealis, 2:242; Hans Reusch, Folk og natur i Finmark, 22-25; Johansson, Laestadiolaisuus, 180. For a highly sympathetic description of a Laestadian religious service, see Paulaharju, Äärimmäisillä saarilla, 129-135.

35. The physiocratic leanings of Laestadius are clearly evident in his thesis, Crapula Mundi (1843), published in full in Castrén, Laestadius, 236-258.

36. V. Rautanen, Amerikan Suomalainen kirkko, 13-33 (Hancock, Mich., 1911); E. Bergroth, Eriuskolaistemme, 23 (Kuopio, 1898); Johansson, Laestadiolaisuus, 197; Ilmonen, Amerikan Siirtolaisten historia, 2:75-77; U. S. Bureau of the Census, Religious Bodies: 1936, 2(2): 969 (Washington, 1941). The movement in America as abroad has remained pre-eminently rural in character.

37. The colonization laws are summarized in Engelhardt, A Russian Province, 116-119; Homén, Kuolan Lappi, 36-38; Ervasti, Jäämeren rannalla, 97-106.

38. Norse-Finnish relations are examined in greater detail in John Ilmari Kolehmainen, "Finnish Emigration from Norway to America", to be published in the Norwegian-American Historical Association, Studies and Records (Northfield, Minn.).

39. Du Chaillu, Land of the Midnight Sun, 1:93-96; Tromholt, Under the Rays of the Aurora Borealis. 2:229; Charles Loring Brace, The Norse-Folk, 503 (New York, 1859); Theodore C. Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America: The American Transition, 415-417 (Northfield, Minn. 1940).

40. Skogman, "Suomalaiset Ruotsissa ja Norjassa", 184.

41. Du Chaillu, Land of the Midnight Sun, 2:159.

Published in Agricultural History, 19 (October 1945), p. 224-232.

© John Ilmari Kolehmainen

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