The Hedstroms and the Bethel Ship Saga: Methodist Influence on Swedish Religious Life

By Henry C. Whyman; Kenneth E. Rowe | Go to book overview

8
Jenny Lind

She was called "the Swedish Nightingale" and possessed a coloratura soprano voice of exceptional range and quality. Equally remarkable, and contributing to her fame, was the personal quality of Jenny Lind herself. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who attended eight of her Boston concerts and who met her on at least four occasions, testifies to the latter: "Her power is in her presence, which is magnetic." That power shone through her performance even though she sang "like the morning star; clear, liquid, heavenly sounds."1 The person and the exquisite voice were so fused that one became the expression of the other. While residing in London in 1849, Lind abandoned the theater and her renowned operatic career to devote herself to concert and oratorio singing.2

While in London, Jenny Lind received an invitation from P. T. Barnum to make an extended American tour of 150 concerts to be arranged and managed by him. After negotiations, she accepted and arrived in New York Harbor on Sunday morning, September 1, 1850, to begin what Allan Kastrup has called "the most successful and influential tour of the United States ever made by a musical celebrity from Europe."3 The welcome was elaborate and spectacular. A public relations campaign orchestrated by Barnum had prepared the American people for her coming. The first concert, at Castle Garden on September 11, was attended by seven thousand persons, the largest audience for which Lind had ever performed. She was accompanied by an entourage, the provision for which Barnum had arranged according to the terms of her contract. It included two of Jenny Lind's cousins -- Miss Ahmansson, to serve as companion, and Max Hjortz

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The Hedstroms and the Bethel Ship Saga: Methodist Influence on Swedish Religious Life
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations viii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xv
  • 1 - The Unintentional Immigrant 1
  • 2 - Steps Toward the Methodist Ministry 11
  • 3 - The Circuit Rider 27
  • 4 - Hedstrom's Relation to the Läsare 40
  • 5 - Peter Bergner, Pioneer Missionary 58
  • 6 - The Bethel Ship John Wesley 77
  • 7 - From North River to Swedish Bethel 87
  • 8 - Jenny Lind 104
  • 9 - Jonas Hedstrom Migrates West 114
  • 10 - Bishop Hill and Victor Witting 126
  • 11 - From Ship to Scandinavian Shores 138
  • 12 - An Accomplished Mission 153
  • Notes 159
  • Index 179
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