Jacob Rolfsen's Missionary Journal
Translated by Harald Kulø (notes interspersed)
Wednesday the 26.
Was at home at the office and settled some accounts.
Thursday the 27.
Was out and watched a huge steam ship crossing the waters. Was at a meeting in the evening. I preached. Some strangers were present.
28. Friday, was at home at the office. The ice was then broken up by a steam ship all the way from Færder [Note: Færder is a light house tower far out and in the middle of the Oslo fjord]
Saturday, was with Jens Olsen at Sagene for dinner. [Note: Sagene is a small, local community in Oslo.] Read a letter from Flygare.
1. March. Saturday the first of March was at home and visited Jens 0lsen at Sagene for dinner.
Sunday the 2. of March
Was in meeting before and after mid-day and I preached in the afternoon. Many strangers were present. Good meeting.
Monday the 3.
Brother J A Halvorsen arrived here from Stavanger after having visited Tønsberg og Holmestrand to see his family. Was also in Drammen and Modum and everything was all right. [Note: Modum is a little village outside Drammen.]
Was at home and visited Christopher Nielsen and in the evening I attended a council meeting.
Was at home, but also at Kampen with Brother Grønberg and gave blessing to a child who took the name of Ane Gurine Marie; was born on the 15 of February 1879. [Note: Kampen is a local community in Oslo.]
Thursday the 6.
Was at home, but in the afternoon visited Brother Holter together with Brother Halvorsen. Sister Holter was happy to see and speak with us and she was ill and had been so for 3 years. We stayed there for an hour or two in the evening.
Friday the 7.
Was at Korsvollen [Note: a local community in Oslo, now called Korsvoll.] with Johannes Jacobsen and assisted his wife as she was mighty ill. Brother J A Halvorsen was there also. We assisted Brother Jacobsen as he was ill too.
Saturday the 8.
Was with Jens Olsen and had dinner there. All three of us went and visited Sister Andersen who was very ill and we anointed and blessed her, so they felt all right. We forgave them and they felt well.
I, J A Halvorsen plus 3 members of the choir visited Krogstad County [Note: Krogstad is now a little village west of Drammen.] It's about 4,5 miles [Note: Norwegian miles: 1 mile = 10 km = 10.000 m.] from Christiania and Gustav Andersen had been there a couple of days earlier and was permitted to hold a meeting in a school house, but when the priest heard about this, he prohibited it. But then there was a rich farmer whose name is Bjerke. He said that we were allowed to hold a meeting there in his house, because he was in no way under the might of any Priesthood. We came there in the afternoon and were treated to coffee and cakes, and a lot of people had arrived and we experienced that we had held a very good meeting for attentive listeners. Afterwards we had supper and our horses had been very well taken care of and the man wouldn't have anything for his troubles or food serving and he said if we would come his way another time, then his house would be open, also for preaching, for he was in no way under the might of a priesthood. We left the place at 8 PM and arrived in Christiania at 2 o'clock AM, everything OK!
Monday the 10.
Was at home and at the office. Brother Halvorsen and I visited Sister Hagensen where also Madame Dahl was present and we spent a most pleasant time together, for we talked about the Gospel. After having had coffee, supper and said our prayers, we left them and went home at 10.30 (PM). On the same day I received a letter from my wife and everything was all right, and I wrote a letter to Peder Andersen as I the very same day had gotten a letter from him that he had baptized 7, seven persons. On the same day the stars arrived.
Tuesday the 11.
Was at home and sent stars and wrote a letter to J. Petersen and my wife and Ole Ellingsen, sent stars and attended a council meeting in the evening.
Was at home and at the office.
Thursday the 13.
Was at home and took part in a meeting in the evening.
Friday the 14.
Was at home.
Attended a meeting together with Brother Halvorsen at Jens Olsens place where we had dinner; we were with Christen Johannesen in the afternoon where we gave blessing to a little child. We were there until 9 in the evening.
Sunday the 16.
Held a meeting and preached both before lunch and in the afternoon. Some observant listeners so it was a very good meeting. Received a letter from Flygare.
Was at home.
Tuesday the 18.
Was in council meeting in the evening. Wrote a letter to Flygare.
Was at home.
Thursday the 20.
Was at home and in a meeting in the evening.
Was at home and received stars and was at Brother Stang's place accompanied by Brother Halvorsen.
Saturday the 22.
Have sent the "Star", was with Jens Olsen for dinner, received a letter from Andreas Hamer and from N C Flygare. [Note: I have a certain feeling that the small square frames plus initials and / or the plus-signs, or may be it is even a cross or a sign for the "Star", are indicators / reminders to whom he has sent informations, letters or other things. It is kind of guess-work from my side, but I'm growing more and more certain that it must be so.]
Sunday the 23.
Was my birthday and I was at home and in a meeting where I "preached" in the afternoon.
Monday the 24.
Was at home and wrote to Andreas Hamer and to my wife as I had altered the "Star".
Tuesday the 25.
Was at home and attended a council meeting in the evening.
Wednesday the 26.
Was at home. Went to the Sandaker fields and visited illtaken people Brother J A Halvorsen also. [Note: There used to be a public hospital in this particular area in the 19th century. The name Sandaker still exists and is now a local community in Oslo.]
Thursday the 27.
Was at home and in a meeting in the evening. Had a letter from O. Ellingsen and Andreas Hansen.
Friday the 28.
Went with C. Larsen to the Gjerdrums [Note: Harald's comments: Gjerdrum is an ordinary family name here in the eastern parts of Norway] family for dinner. On the very same day J A Halvorsen left for Kongsvinger and Solør and I received a letter from my wife that they were all well.
Saturday the 29.
Wrote a letter to my wife and spent some time with Attorney at Law Mr. Brun and spoke with him about the Farm 27.
Sunday the 30.
Meeting, "preached" in the afternoon.
Monday the 31.
Was with Mr. Brun and got some papers, a deed of conveyance, regarding farm N 27, which had been sent from Utah and which did not comply with Norwegian law and consequently had been returned together with a rough draught after which the deed had to be written. I sent these papers to President N C Flygare, Copenhagen, plus wrote him a letter and also to Peter Brown in Coalville who was the owner of this farm.
Tuesday, was at home and attended a council meeting in the evening.
Wednesday April 2.
Was at home, but in the evening I was sent for to anoint Sister Oline Amundsen who had been taken ill; and she began to recover immediately. On the very same day there was a riot in the street as one man had stabbed another and had cut his head and face to pieces in such a way that he was terrible to look at. One was taken to hospital and the other was arrested.
Thursday the 3.
April, In the evening, at 10.30 I left for Risør to be present at my aunt's funeral.
Friday the 4, 12 o'clock arrived Risør and put up at Marte Olsen's place and found out that the Saints were all well. Visited Christian Nielsen and saw my aunt who lay in state to be taken to church, which was made ready for her. She looked so much like herself, as only she could be, for she had been ill only from 7.30 until 10 o'clock the morning of the 28th of March. There was sadness. Martha was at home and Christian was the only one of the boys there. I had recently had a letter from my mother who wanted me to pay my aunt a visit, but I was too late.
Saturday the 5.
At 12.30 I went to the funeral and a huge crowd of people was there. And many of our and my mother's acquaintances were there in the afternoon. Had many and pleasant conversations with old acquaintances. Among them were Susan Maen, Peder Igland, Niels Christensen, C.Magnils, Niels Sønnichsen Willem, Greta and many others, even Nina and Thorjus.
Sunday the 6.
Left Risør and arrived Laurvig [Note: now the town of Larvik] in the evening at 10.30, and in the morning I met Peder Andersen, later I went to visit the Saints who all felt well.
Stayed in Laurvig [Note: Larvik]
Tuesday the 8.
Left Laurvig in the morning with "Drammenser" [Note: obviously a ship/boat] and came to Christiania in the afternoon at four o' clock after a pleasant trip and found the Saints very well, as usual. Received letters from Flygare, Erik Gundersen and N.Isaksen.
Wednesday the 9. of April
Received letters from J.Petersen and Ole Ellingsen. Both of them were well.
Thursday the 10.
Attended a meeting as it was Maundy Thursday. Good meeting.
Good Friday, 11.
Attended a meeting before noon. Many attentive strangers were present. P. Olsen and J.Rolfsen "preached" in the afternoon. The same day's afternoon I visited sister Hågensen together with G.Andersen. Madame Dahl was there also. We spent a wonderful time together.
Saturday 12. which was Easter-Eve, I spent at home and wrote a letter to N.C. Flygare.
Easter Sunday the 13.
Went to a meeting and "preached" before noon. Lots of people were present.
Easter Monday the 14.
Attended a meeting and together with G. Andersen we went to Ironfounder Petersen in Rodeløkken [Note: still a local community in Oslo] for dinner. I "preached" in the afternoon. Good meeting. Received a letter from Lars Larsen in Ogden. He is the son of Halvar [Note: might be Halvor] Larsen and Anniken and he is married to a widow from here.
Received a letter from Lars Jakobsen in Stavanger. Was in a council meeting in the evening.
Was at home
Was with C.Nielsen for dinner and in a meeting in the evening. Jahn Halvorsen came from Solør. Wrote a letter to Lars Larsen in Hyrum. (Harald's comments: Now Hurum. That's where I live at present, a wonderful community on the western side of the Oslofjord, southwest of Oslo) Received letters from Ole Ellingsen and Ole Tjølsen.
Friday the 18.
Wrote letters to Ole Ellingsen and to my mother in Ephraim. The same day Fredrik Finval Nielsen traveled to New York onboard one of the English steamships. Received letters from Dorin and my wife. Everything is all right at home.
Saturday the 19.
Was at home and wrote my wife a letter.
Was in a meeting and "preached" in the afternoon.
Was at home and visited the women's association in the evening; received a letter from Fredrik Larsen concerning his son's emigration.
Tuesday the 22.
I was at a bath house with T.Thoresen, council meeting in the evening.
An old Sister came from Næs, Romerike [Note: Næs is a little village in the county of today's Romerike situated northeast of Olso]. Her name is Gurine Oline Nielsen, she was born on the 24. of March 1812. Was at home in my office.
John A. Halvorsen went to Holmestrand. Was in an evening meeting.
Was at home.
Saturday the 26.
Meeting. "Preached" in the morning. Received a letter from J. Petersen.
Monday the 28.
Wrote letters to John Petersen and Ole Tjølsen.
Was in council meeting in the evening.
Was at home.
Thursday 1. of May.
Was with the ill and sick ones and administered [to them]. Received a letter from Flygare. Meeting.
Was at home, busy making the quarterly report.
Was at home. Received a letter from Brother Hagen in Drammen. John Petersen arrived from Trondheim.
Sunday the 4.
Was in a meeting where I "preached" in the morning. Letter from Fredrik Larsen with money to Thorgersen.
Went with Sister Hågensen to Deputy of Police Mr. Sibbern for dinner.
Received a letter and a report from P. Andersen. Wrote to P.Andersen. In council meeting in the evening.
Wednesday the 7.
Was at home.
Was up in the hillside of Egeberg [Note: now Ekeberg, still a part of Oslo, south east] and visited Brother Iversen. Meeting in the evening, wrote a letter home.
Friday the 9.
Was at home to-day which was Prayer Day. Was in a meeting in the morning. Brother Gustav Andersen, J. Petersen and I "preached". Not many present. Received a report and letter from G.Hagan in Drammen.
Was at home busy with the report
Was in a meeting. Got a letter from Flygare
Wrote a letter to Marte Hagen in Trondheim concerning their emigration.
Was at home. Peder Andersen came from Laurvig. He was well. He had baptized 10 persons this last quarter of the year.
Was at home and did some repairs on the house.
Was at home and many of the Saints were on the premises to decorate for the conference. On the same day I received a letter from my wife and from Rolf.
Friday the 16.
Brother Hagen and Halvorsen came to the conference.
Saturday the 17.
Lots of people were out parading (a 17. of May procession) with flags/banners. [Note: the 17th of May is Norway's Constitution Day. Norway's "new" constitution was signed on the 17th of May 1814, and since that day the 17th of May has been celebrated every year.] President Flygare came in the afternoon to attend the conference which started at 8 o'clock in the morning. Not too many persons were present. But we experienced a good meeting.
Attended the conference again. Many were present and 8 of the Brothers from Liar [Note: probably Lier, a little bit east of Drammen] had a meeting from 10 to 12, from 2 to 4 and from 6 to 8, and many persons were there and experienced a good time together.
Was at home and in a meeting with the women's association in the evening.
Tuesday the 20.
Received a letter from Ole Hagen in Trondheim concerning a journey to Lier and I wrote to him the same day. Before lunch we drove, namely President Flygare, G.Hagan, Jahn Petersen and myself together with Gustav Andersen to Frognersaeteren [Note: F.saeteren still exists and is quite near the Holmenkollen ski-jump arena in Oslo] owned by Consul Hefte [Note: most likely Consul Heftye] and we went up on a high "mount" and up to a looking-point to get a view over the city, the fjord as well as the landscape and we spent a good time together and came home at 2 in the afternoon.
At 3 o'clock in the afternoon President N.C. Flygare traveled to Stockholm after having stayed here since Saturday. He took with him the report and some money amunting to 1145 Crowns (Kroner) and 15 pence (øre). The same day Brother Hagan and Petersen left for Drammen.
Most members of our congregation were out up in the Ekeberg Hills for pleasure and after having come together a gathering was opened with prayer by Brother J.A.Halvorsen. They remained there to heal and sing until 8 o'clock and ended up with thanksgiving prayers by Peter Olsen. Wrote to Copenhaghen for books and writings/notes.
Got a letter from Jens Andersen, Malmøe. [Note: Probably the city of Malmø in southern Sweden]. Wrote a letter to my wife.
Was at home and got a letter from Copenhagen concerning Agnar Olsen's emigration. In the evening I left for Western Norway on board a steamship.
Came to Risør around dinnertime and put myself up with Marte Olsen. She was well. Visited Anders Rolfsen. He was well also.
Went to Gloppe and found Mina well. She was happy to see and speak with me, so I stayed there that night. T had gone [Note: T probably means the train (tog) in this context].
Thursday 27. of May.
At 10 o'clock I left Gloppe [Note: Gloppe is a little place outside Risør, still existing] after having said good-bye to Mina and Maria and Thorjus, who took me to the boat. And one of his folks rowed me out and we went ashore on Risøen [Note: a little island outside Risør] and said good-bye to Thorvil Aammensen [Note: might be Amundsen] and his wife who were glad to see me and Thormine Nebe who was to go to Lyngør, [Note: Lyngør is a little coastal society outside Risør], so I rowed with her to Lyngør and visited Ellen Halvorsen or Skattebakken for an hour before the steamer arrived. So I went onboard there and left for Dynga and there I met Peder Olsen and his wife from Lyngør. They came to meet me and we spoke for a while with each other until we came to Dynga where I went onboard the steamer "Flink" [Note: means clever] and arrived Tvedestrand [Note: a small town, still existing] at 2 o'clock and found Bryngelsen and Lina well, but Ana was a little bit ill, but not in bed though. I was greeted well there.
Said good-bye to Brygelsen, Lina and Ana at 8 o'clock in the morning and went to Dynga again, went onboard the steamship Harald Hårfagre [Note: means Harald Fairhair] and landed at Risør at 12 where I received a letter from Copenhagen regarding Julie Olsen's emigration.
Was at Kronen [Note: the Crown].
Was at Kronen and said good-bye to acquaintances and friends.
Was out in town and said farewell to aquaintant friends. The same day Brother Andreas Hammer came and after a small conversation with him I decided to stay for a couple of days. He was well and had traveled from Salt Lake on the 30th of April. Had a letter from J. Halvorsen and from F.F. Nielsen. Wrote to Jahn A Halvorsen in Christianina.
June, Sunday 1st, which was Whitsunday, A.Hammer and a few of the saints gathered at Marte's place in the evening.
Monday the 2.
I was with Marte and the few saints, also with A.Hammer. Maria came to town from Gloppe. They were well there.
Brother Hammer and I went up to the cemetery by the waterworks near the waterwing to inspect and meet with old childhood memories and came down by Wlengels and I was with Carl Petersen for dinner.
Left Risør after having said farewell to friends and aquaintancies and took the steamer "Nyland" to Christiania. Arrived in the evening at 11.30. All well.
Was at home and received the accounts from Brother Halvorsen who had been in the office in my place. Meeting in the evening.
Friday 6. June: J.A.Halvorsen went to Holmestrand to continue from there to Skaane [Note: Skåne, in the southern part of Sweden]. At the same time Ole Ellingsen went to Trondheim to work as principal. Received a letter from L.S. Andersen in Efraim concerning Andreas Hansen in Drammen. Money.
Saturday 7. Got a letter from my wife that my son Bent had been taken ill in Frisco and that he had telegraphed home for Niels to make him come and take him home using horses and carriage. I was sorry and sad at heart to get this message. May God restore his health and make him more careful later in life, and I wrote my wife the same day.
Sunday the 8. Attended a meeting where I spoke in the morning.
Monday the 9. Was at home.
Tuesday 10. Was in a council meeting.
Wednesday 11. Was at home in the office. Received 120,- kr. [Note: kroner = Crowns] from Flygare as down payment on the farm.
Tuesday 12. Was out and paid interests to Brun and Yarung. Got a letter from Brother Hagan.
Friday the 13. Brother P. Andersen came from Hadeland. [Note: a county on the eastern side of Mjøsa: the largest lake in Norweay, south of Lillehammer] Got a letter from my wife. Bent had not yet come home so may the Lord bless him and heal him. Big fire in Christiania, 50 houses burnt down.
Saturday the 14. Got a letter from A. Brynhildsen, Tvedestrand plus a package.
Sunday 15. Meeting where I spoke both in the morning and afternoon. Many strangers were present.
Monday 16. Received a letter from President Flygare to help Sister Iversen and her 2 children and to spend 150 Crowns from the tithes fund. The same day Jonas Halvorsen came to replace me as President of the conference.
Tuesday 17. Madame Dahl was baptized. Was at a council meeting in the evening.
Wednesday 18. Was at home.
Thursday the 19. Was at home and in a meeting in the evening where Brother Petersen and I said good-bye to the Saints. Many persons were present.
Friday 20. Was at home busy with emigrants, I spoke. The choir in the evening.
Saturday 21. Left together with 15 emigrants plus J. Pedersen and many of the Saints had gathered at the pier to say good-bye and we went onboard the steamer "Christiania" at 2 o'clock PM in fair weather and hopefully the Lord will keep us on our voyage and we came to Gothenburg at 4 o'clock AM Sunday.
Sunday 22. Arrived Gothenburg at 4 o'clock in the morning and met Brother Quist and Løvdberg who came onboard with 20 Saints, and left at 6 o'clock in the morning and arrived Copenhagen at 5 in the afternoon and were received by an agent and went to the office and settled all accounts together in the evening and met with G.Fransen and Christian Jensen from Mt. Pleasant. They were well and we were happy to meet each other and we were together with G. Fransen until morning.
Monday 23. We made ourselves ready and went onboard (the "SS Cato" from Hull). At 7 in the evening we left Copenhagen with 381 emigrants (11 missionaries) onboard and the weather was good that night.
Tuesday 24. At about 12 we passed Skagen [the northern tip of Jutland, Denmark] and a strong breeze came our way and it blew right towards us. A lot of people was sea-sick. President Flygare accompanied the group to Hull.
Wednesday 25. Fair weather, but some adverse winds.
Thursday 26. Fair weather and we got a sight of England at 3 o'clock. The weather a little bit worse just before we arrived in Hull at 7 in the evening. All well.
Friday 27. In the morning, as one was making oneself ready to leave, a man shot himself by firing a revolver in his mouth. He was a tradesman from Gothland [Sweden] and had run away from his home and he was unknown to the Saints. He had gotten onboard in Copenhagen. He told Flygare that he wished to travel together with us to New York because he had a brother there. Something seemed to be wrong about him because he had such a bewildered and anxious appearance. We left Hull by railroad and came to Liverpool and went onboard the steamship "Wyoming" in the afternoon. All well. Altogether there are about 82 Swedes and Englishmen onboard.
Saturday 28. Left Liverpool at 2.30, strong adverse winds and many were sea-sick, all well though. Brother Rudgeir was onboard and organized our group and inaugurated W.N. Williams as president of the group with Henry Flåm and Quist as advisors, and W. Christensen and J. Rolfsen as Presidents for the two Scandinavian districts.
Sunday 29. Came to Queenstown at 11 where we stopped for an hour to receive mail and passengers.
Monday 30. Rainy weather, adversary winds, some sea-sickness among the passengers.
JULY Tuesday 1. Nice weather, westerly winds, rather high seas. Sofie's birthday.
Wednesday 2. Hard winds and high seas, many sea-sick.
Thursday 3. of July: Fair weather and southerly winds. Almost all the emigrants were on deck.
Friday 4, of July. Good weather and some wind from the west.
Saturday the 5. Saturday morning it was blowing hard from the west, but later that morning the wind changed and was now coming from the north and the weather became good and we were then on the banks of New Foundland, we passed several fishermen. I led our prayers that morning.
Sunday the 6. Nice weather and fair winds. 3 meetings/gatherings before mid-day, almost all the emigrants were on deck, excellent and fine weather. One meeting in the evening.
Monday the 7. Nice weather and fair winds. Hope to get ashore tomorrow.
Tuesday the 8. Nice weather and good winds. The sea-pilot came onboard at 7.30 AM, then the wind increased to become very hard so that many of the emigrants were seasick. And we came to New York at 7 o'clock PM. All well.
Wednesday the 9. In the morning we took all of our belongings from the steamer and were searched by the Custom Authorities and then went to the "Castle House" for registration and at 4 o'clock in the afternoon we went to Jersey City and left from there by railroad at 8 o'clock in the evening.
Thursday the 10. Went at high speed through some beautiful regions, summer being in full bloom and went through Harrisburg and Paris and changed carriages in Pittsburgh. [Note: The Paris he mentions must be New Paris in PA of today. I spent some time in this area, Lancaster and Harrisburg, some years ago, so it was easy to track down the places Jacob Rolfsen visited on this journey]
Friday the 11. Arrived in Chicago at 7 o'clock in the evening and changed carriages again [Note: I presume they still traveled by rail.]
Saturday the 12. Arrived in Council Bluffs in the evening and once again we changed carriages.
Sunday the 13. Left Omaha and at 2 o'clock we came to Grand Island.
Monday the 14. Our journey progressed quickly.
Tuesday the 17. At 1 o'clock PM we arrived in Ogden.
Wednesday the 16. Arrived in Salt Lake City and met Maria together with Rolf and wife and was informed that my family wasd well.
Thursday the 17. Traveled from Salt Lake to Nephi and met my wife and son Bent together with Ork, Gim, Verpi who had come to meet me and everything was well and I came home in the evening and met all my children and everybody was well.
Enclosed the accounts he left in Copenhagen:
"I handed over the account book:
Owing to the Publication Office in Copenhagen: 1073,02
I paid kr. 90,82 to the farm account, more than I have received.
[This is the end of the written journal!]
[On the back page of the journal Jacob had written down the names and birth dates of all his family. They were listed as follows:]
|Jacob Rolfsen||Born 23. March 1828|
|Margrethe Christine Rolfsen||Born 4. Nov. 1828|
|Nicoline Rolfsen||Born 21. July 1852|
|Bent Rolfsen||Born 16. Jan. 1855|
|Gjertrude Marie Rolfsen||Born 13. Feb. 1857|
|Niels Rolfsen||Born 13. May 1859|
|Helga Sophie Rolfsen||Born 13. July 1862|
|Jacobine Rolfsen||Born 21. Oct. 1865|
|Jacob Rolfsen||Born 13. Nov. 1867|
|Anna Helena Rolfsen||Born 8. July 1869|