The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics by Dan Kaufman:
The Norwegians were particularly grateful for the freedom they found in their new homeland. In the 1840s, Norwegian migrants founded a community in Muskego, Wisconsin, southwest of Milwaukee, and in 1845, they sent an open letter to the Morgenbladet, a newspaper in Oslo, proclaiming the greatest gifts of their new home. “We have no expectation of gaining riches,” the letter read. “But we live under a liberal government in a fruitful land, where freedom and equality are the rule in religious as in civil matters, and where each one of us is at liberty to earn his living practically as he chooses. Such opportunities are more to be desired than riches.”
Wisconsin would not become a state for another few years, but Ole and Ansten’s settlement there would play a fateful role in the state’s character, both demographic and political. Ansten had succeeded in getting Ole Rynning’s book published in Norway. Called A Truthful Account of America for the Instruction and Help of the Peasant and Commoner, it captivated a desperate population, fueling a wave of Norwegian immigration to the United States. Ultimately, 800,000 Norwegians, 25 percent of Norway’s entire population, emigrated to the United States between 1825 and 1925. Their top destinations were Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.