Carl Woltzer


Niels Andreas Kierkegaard, Copenhagen, emigration, America


Niels Andreas Kierkegaard, born April 13, 1809, was apparently destined by his father, a merchant in Copenhagen, to take over the family business. His two brothers were top students in the University-bound curriculum, but Niels was steered into business. Dissatisfaction with the course his life was taking and frustration with parental pressure led him in 1832 to seek advance payment on his inheritance and to emigrate to America, where he by no means lived the life of a prodigal son . In letters to his family, the first one from Providence, Rhode Island, and dated January 8, 1833, he told of the cold reception he had received in New York and Boston as a tradesman . In February, he wrote about the difficulty of keeping a job in his trade.