emigration, public opinion, farmhands


One question in emigration research has always intrigued me: Why did Peter Jensen find conditions in Denmark so unbearable that he could stand them no longer or why was he so tempted by the prospects on the other side of the Atlantic that he emigrated, while his neighbor, Jens Petersen, who apparently had exactly the same conditions, stayed at home and put up with things? Unfortunately it can probably never be answered satisfactorily. It may be possible to find reasons for some of the emigrations in letters and diaries, but we have no basis for comparison in the form of contemporary notes from the relevant neighbours to show us why they stayed at home. Perhaps there is a slight hope that Erik Helmer Pedersen will look into the matter now that he has retired.