The Biographical Dictionary of America/Anderson, Rasmus Bjorn

ANDERSON, Rasmus Bjorn, author, was born at Albion, Dane county, Wis., Jan. 12, 1846, son, of Bjorn and Abel Catherine von Krogh Anderson. His parents emigrated from Norway in 1836, and settled in the wilds of Wisconsin. They were the first couple that took up land and abode in the township of Albion. Here, when the son was four years old, the father fell a victim to cholera. The mother lived until 1885, to see her son honored by the country of her adoption. He attended the common schools, and also received instruction from a Norwegian Lutheran clergyman. The Norwegians had founded a college at Decorah, Iowa, and the boy became one of its first students. His progress was remarkable, and in 1866 he was appointed professor of Greek and modern languages in Albion academy. His success at this school attracted the attention of the authorities of the university of Wisconsin, and after a term as a post-graduate student in that institution he was in 1869 made instructor in languages, and in 1875 the professorship of Scandinavian languages and literature was created for him, which he acceptably filled for ten years. He founded a Scandinavian library at the university. From 1885 to 1889 he was United States minister to Denmark, receiving the appointment from President Cleveland. His works include translations of sagas and folk tales from the Scandinavian, and a translation of the works of Björn Björnson in seven volumes. His published "Julegrave" (1872); "The Scandinavian Languages" (1873); "Den Norske Maalsag"; "America not Discovered by Columbus" (1874); "Norse Mythology" (1875); "Viking Tales of the North" (1879); "The Younger Edda" (1880); a translation of Dr. F. W. Horns "History of the Literature of the Scandinavian North" (1885); "Snöré Sturluson" (1889); and "The First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration; Its Causes and Results" (1896).