Hans Andersen Foss

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Hans Andersen Foss (November 25, 1851 – July 9, 1929) was an American author, newspaper editor and temperance leader. Born the son of a small tenant farmer in 1851 in Modum, Buskerud county, Norway, Foss immigrated to the United States in 1887.[1]


A lifelong proponent of the temperance movement and the Populist Party, Foss edited several temperance publications and from 1888 to 1893 served as editor for the Norwegian language newspaper Normanden in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Foss gave up the newspaper business and became a grain dealer, eventually settling in Minot, North Dakota during 1906.[2]

Foss wrote a number of novels, many first serialized in Norwegian language newspaper. Foss's writing style made him a popular author among Norwegian-American immigrants. However, Foss's lasting literary contribution is principally his influence on later, more widely known writers such as Peer Stromme and Ole Rølvaag.[3]

Foss is most associated with his 1899 novel, Husmands-gutte, (English: The Cotter's Son). The book, which tells the story of Ole Haugen, the son of the poor farmer in Sigdal, Norway, is considered by many to be a most accurate depiction of the lifestyle of farm workers in Norway. The popularity of The Cotter's Son serial was credited with saving the Decorah Posten from bankruptcy. The Cotter's Son has long enjoyed popularity in Norway, where numerous editions have been published.[4]

Selected works[edit]

  • Husmands-gutten. En fortælling fra Sigdal (Decorah, Iowa: DP. 1885
  • Livet i Vesterheimen ( Decorah: AP. 1886
  • Den amerikanske saloon (Grand Forks, North Dakota: AP. 1889)
  • Hvide slaver. En social-politisk skildring (Grand Forks, North Dakota: 1892)
  • Allehaande (Minneapolis, MN: Scandinavian-American Publishing Assn. 1907)
  • Valborg (Decorah, Iowa: DP. 1927)

Further reading[edit]

  • Thorson, Gerald. America Is Not Norway: The Story of the Norwegian-American Novel.(Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1958)[1]
  • Øverland, Orm The Western Home: A Literary History Of Norwegian America (Norwegian-American Historical Association. November 1, 1996) [2]


  1. ^ Hans Andersen Foss, Biography (Fiction by ND Authors. Read North Dakota. 2006)
  2. ^ Lovoll, Odd Sverre The Norwegian Press in North Dakota (Norwegian-American Historical Association. Volume 24: Page 78)
  3. ^ Mossberg, Christer Lennart Scandinavian Immigrant Literature (Texas Christian University Press, 1998).
  4. ^ Skardal, Dorothy Burton The Scandinavian Immigrant Writer in America (Norwegian-American Historical Association. Volume 21: Page 14)

External links[edit]