Thorvald Hansen


Louis Pio, Danish Immigrant Archives, Danish Immigrant Archival Listing project, Danish Church, Denmark


Since I have been working with the Danish Immigrant Archives, and especially with the Danish Immigrant Archival Listing project, it has become increasingly clear to me that those immigrants who become a part of the Danish Church represent but a small fraction of the Danes who came to this country. Sometime in the Danish Church we have, I fear, been so wrapped up in ourselves that we have lost sight of the great majority of Danes who emigrated to America and who, in one way or another have left their mark. Examples are numerous but I think of one little group that, over the years, met around a table in Wilken's Wine Cellar on LaSalle Street in Chicigo. That table, incidentally, is now at the Danish emigrant archives in Aalborg, Denmark. Each of these Danes of the round table, as I would call them, is worthy of a story in himself. It is reported that when Henrik Cavling, the Danish journalist, visited Chicago during the 1890's and met the men at the round table he asked them where he might meet the prominent Danes in the city. "The prominent ones? That's us, by God," came the reply.