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John Knudsen's Trip to Denmark, 1895


Posted By: David Reineke (email)
Date: 12/3/2008 at 22:21:03

I translated the following article from Der Carroll Demokrat, a German-language newspaper published in Carroll, Iowa, between about 1874 and 1920. It was originally published on Friday, 31 May 1895. Any information in brackets or notes at the end are my own explanations. It reads as follows:

John Knudsen, a cigar-maker in the factory of Ed. F. Richmann, received news from Denmark that his elderly mother was ill and had expressed the desire to see her son who was living in America one last time before she died. Quickly deciding to honor his mother’s wish, he made preparations but ran into some difficulties. Mr. Knudsen, who has been living in America for 14 years, took out his citizenship papers many years ago in Davenport. But the printed form was incorrectly filled out, so that therein he renounced allegiance to the Emperor of Germany instead of the King of Denmark. This error could have had disastrous consequences for Mr. Knudsen. For had he been stopped in Germany for an identity check and it had been discovered that his military-conscription requirements were uncertain, he undoubtedly would have been put into a military uniform even though he is Danish. He had often intended to correct this error, but he did not think he would be traveling back to Denmark so soon and the papers were sufficient here in America, so it was not corrected. Just on Saturday he wrote to Judge Church, who replied that Knudsen could come to Jefferson on Monday and produce his witness. Messrs. Richmann and Knudsen traveled there Monday on the early train and met the judge in the clerk’s office immediately, so that the men could return by the train leaving 40 minutes later. And here Knudsen was finally able to renounce his allegiance to the King of Denmark and receive the correct papers. He plans to be back again in August. Meanwhile, his family will remain in Carroll.


Carroll Documents maintained by Lynn McCleary.
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