Ernst Skarstedt

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Ernst Skarstedt.
Photo in the auto-biography published in 1914.

Ernst Teofil Skarstedt (April 14, 1857 - March 13, 1929) was a Swedish-American author, journalist and editor of Swedish language books and newspapers. He is most noted as the author of a three volume trilogy covering the Swedish immigrant experience in the Pacific Northwest.[1]


Ernst Teofil Skarstedt was born in Solberga parish, municipality of Kungälv, in Västra Götaland County, located in the traditional province of Bohuslän, Sweden. Skarstedt was born at the parsonage where his father served as Minister. His father, Carl Wilhelm Skarstedt, became a distinguished professor of theology at Lund University. His younger brother was Swedish journalist and politician, Carl Abraham Waldemar Skarstedt.[2]


He emigrated to the United States in 1878. Skarstedt became the co-editor of Svenska amerikanaren in 1880 and Svenska tribunen in 1884, both published in Chicago. From 1891 he edited Vestkusten, published in San Francisco. Ernst Skarstedt was later hired as the editor of Nordstjernan in New York City. Later having moved to Portland, Oregon, Skarstedt made an attempt to publish a local Swedish language newspaper, Demokraten a newspaper aimed at educating Swedes about local politics.[3][4]

In 1890, Skarstedt published Oregon och Washington: Dessa staters historia, resurser och folkliv (Oregon and Washington: The History, Resources and Folklore of These States), a volume that combined history with a handbook for potential settlers. Washington och dess Svenska Befolkning (Washington and its Swedish population) was published in 1908. This provided a history of the area and descriptions of communities and industries. In 1911, he published the last volume in his trilogy about the Swedish immigrants Oregon och dess svenska befolkning (Oregon and its Swedish Population). The book included biographies of prominent Swedish-Americans. [5]

Selected works[edit]

  • Svensk-amerikanska poeter i ord och bild (1890)
  • Oregon och Washington (1890)
  • Våra pennfäktare (1897)
  • Under västliga skyar, poetry (1907)
  • Washington och dess svenska befolkning (1908)
  • California och dess Svenska Befolkning (1910)
  • Oregon och dess svenska befolkning (1911)
  • Vagabond och redaktör (1914)
  • Svensk-amerikanska folket i helg och söcken (1917)


Related reading[edit]

  • Lindquist, Emory An Immigrant's American Odyssey: A Biography of Ernst Skarstedt (Rock Island, Illinois: Augustana Historical Society, 1974)
  • Nordström, Lars Swedish Oregon (Portland: Swedish Roots in Oregon Press. 2008)
  • Rosqvist, Leif The Great History of Swedes in Oregon (Portland: Swedish Roots in Oregon Press. 2008)

External links[edit]