Thorvald Hansen


pioneer, Danish Lutheran Church, religion


Of the four founders of the Danish Lutheran Church in America in 1872, the one concerning whom the most information exists is Rasmus Andersen. Yet it has been my observation that comparatively little is known about him. A reason for this is that, to my knowledge, no comprehensive biography exists, and there is almost nothing available in the English language. Most of the material that does exist is to be found in the Danes World Wide Archives ("Udvandrerarkivet") in Aalborg, Denmark. According to Birgit Flemming Larsen, who oversees that archive, the Andersen collection is the largest at the Aalborg archive. It consists of 104 archival boxes, filled with books, letters, diaries, memoirs, ministerial records, copies of letters sent, unpublished manuscripts and much more. The Danes World Wide Archives constitutes a treasure trove for the researcher who is interested in Rasmus Andersen.