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Swedes in Texas - Image of archival boxes

Swedes in Texas
Selected Publications, Archives, and Manuscript Collections

In both 1988 and 1993, the Center for American History mounted exhibitions on Swedes in Texas to highlight the Center's holdings documenting their lives, contributions, and heritage. This list indicates many of the materials displayed, as well as some more recent acquisitions. These materials, and others on the subject, are available at the Center for American History for use in the Reading Room.

Selected Publications

The Arrival of the Palms in Texas, compiled by Rufus A. Palm, Jr. 1976. (CT 262 P34 A75 TXC-ZZ USE IN LIBRARY ONLY)

Typescript of a manuscript collection of reminiscences, biographical sketches, genealogical material, poems, etc. relating to Swante Palm, S. M. Swenson, and descendants of Anna and Anders Palm.

Branham, Annie Swenson. Tales and trails from the Lone Star Cactus State: reminiscences. New York: 1959. (T917.64 B734T USE IN LIBRARY ONLY)

Memoirs about Swedes in Texas and rural life in Texas.

Clarke, Mary Whatley. The Swenson saga and the SMS Ranches. Austin: 1976. (F 391 C526 USE IN LIBRARY ONLY)

Gethsemane Lutheran Church [Austin, TX]. Minnesalbum : utgiven med anledning af Sv. Ev. Lutherska Gethsemane Forsamlingens, i Austin, Texas, Fyrtioarsfast, den 5-7 Nov. 1915. Austin: 1915. (BX 8076 A9 G42 1915 TXC-Z Collection USE IN LIBRARY ONLY)

A pamphlet commemorating the first forty years of the Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Austin, the oldest Swedish Lutheran congregation in Texas.

Morner, Magnus. The Swedish migrants to Texas. Chicago: 1987. (-Q- F 395 S23 M627 1987 USE IN LIBRARY ONLY)

Photocopy of an article from the Swedish American Historical Quarterly, April 1987.

Ransom, Harry Huntt. A Renaissance gentleman in Texas : notes on the life and library of Swante Palm. s.l.: 1950 (T920.9 P18R USE IN LIBRARY ONLY)

From Southwestern Historical Quarterly, 1950.

Rogers, Alfred Ellis. Swante Palm, with notes on the library of a nineteenth-century Texas book collector. MA Thesis, University of Texas: 1966 (TZ 920.9 P18R TXC-Z Collection USE IN LIBRARY ONLY)

Rogers, Alfred Ellis. Swante Palm, the Austin years. (1991). (- Q - CT 275 P317 R653 1991 TXC-Z Collection COPY 2 USE IN LIBRARY ONLY)

Speech given on the occasion of the dedication of the historical marker, First City Centre, Austin, Texas, Sunday, June 30, 1991.

Rosenquist, Carl Martin. The Swedes of Texas. Austin: 1942. (F 395 S23 R673 TXC-ZZ Collection USE IN LIBRARY ONLY)

Svenskarne i Texas i ord och bild, 1838–1918. Austin: 1919. (TZ 325.2485 SV25 V.1, V.2 TXC-Z Collection USE IN LIBRARY ONLY)

Two-volume compilation of information on Swedish migration to Texas.

Sverin, Ernest. Swedes in Texas in words and pictures, 1838-1918: English translation. (Austin): 1994. (F 395 S23 S45 1994TXC-ZZ Collection USE IN LIBRARY ONLY)

The result of more than three years of fieldwork to gather information for every household of Swedes and Swedish descendants that Ernest Sverin and team of collaborators could locate in Texas.

Vedung, Siv. A bibliomaniac on the Texas frontier: Swante Palm and his Swedish library at the University of Texas at Austin. Austin: 1983. (CT 262 P34 V42 1983 USE IN LIBRARY ONLY)

Vedung, Siv. A book collector on the Texas frontier: Swante Palm and his Swedish library at the University of Texas at Austin. Houston: 1990. (CT 262 P34 V42 1990 USE IN LIBRARY ONLY)

Widen, Carl T. The Swedes in Texas. New York: 1924 (-Q- F 395 S23 W486 1924 TXC-Z Collection USE IN LIBRARY ONLY)

Selected Archives and Manuscript Collections

CARL W. BERGQUIST PAPERS, 1912–1913. (1 item)

Booklet of Handwritten essays by Bergquist while a student at the University of Pittsburgh, many about growing up in Sweden. Mr. Bergquist later became the editor of the Texas Posten.

T. E. NELSON PAPERS, 1851–1952. (1 ft., 3 in.)

Correspondence, clippings, and biographical sketches concerning the career and family of T. E. Nelson, banker. The Arvid Nillson family came to the United States in 1854 from Jonkoping County, Sweden, sailing aboard the Horizon from Goteborg to Boston. The family, which became known as the Nelson family, settled in Williamson County, where son Andrew Nelson and his children became landowners and prominent in business, banking, and politics.

SWANTE PALM PAPERS, 1834–1897. (2 ft., 6 in.)

Correspondence, financial records, legal documents, reports, minutes, diaries, and printed material document the life of Palm. Palm (1815–1899) is probably the best known of the nineteenth-century Texas Swedes. Urged by his nephew Swen Swenson to immigrate to Texas, Palm arrived in 1844. Over the next fifty-five years his diverse career included service as postmaster in La Grange, diplomatic secretary, Austin city councilman, Travis County Justice of the Peace, and Vice Consul for Norway and Sweden. in the latter capacity and also as agent for the American Emigrant Company, Palm was responsible for the immigration of many Swedes to Texas. Palm is perhaps best remembered for his personal library of more than 12,000 volumes, the largest private collection in nineteenth-century Texas. In 1897 he gave more than 10,000 books to the University of Texas, increasing the library of the fledgling institution by 60 percent.

ANDREW J. SWENSON PAPERS, 1898–1922. (1 ft., 6 in.)

Correspondence, legal documents, and clippings concerning the career of Andrew J. Swenson as cattle raiser. Papers relate especially to his work as superintendent of the Swenson Brothers Cattle and Land Company and to his efforts to pioneer a Swedish settlement in Texas. See Also the SWENSON CATTLE AND LAND COMPANY PAPERS, 1902–1922. (7 ft.)

SWEN MAGNUS SWENSON PAPERS, 1858–1896. (4 in.)

Correspondence, legal documents, account papers, etc. documenting the career of S. M. Swenson (1816–1896), merchant, banker, financier, and cattleman. Swenson was the first Swedish immigrant to settle in Texas, arriving in Galveston in 1838. He is best known for his SMS Ranches near Stamford, Texas. Swenson also donated rare coins to the University of Texas.


The leading Swedish-language newspaper in Texas; it began publication in August on April 18, 1896, with the final issue appearing on January 14, 1982. The Center for American History's Texas Newspaper Collection contains an incomplete run of issues from April 18, 1896, through January 14, 1982, on microfilm. It is available for both interlibrary loan and for purchase.


An ornate Swedish Bible, bound in vellum and with gilt stamping. One of a limited edition of 200 copies printed in Stockholm in 1922 to honor King Gust.