Museum logo

Archive Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Collection John Ericsson Republican League of Illinois records
Collection Number I/O: 21
Dates of Creation 1934-1935, 1948, 1953-1962 (bulk 1955-1958)
Extent of Description 2 boxes and 2 folders in oversized box (.66 linear feet)
Language English
Creator Lofgren, George C.
Other Creators Gustav V, King of Sweden, 1858-1950
John Ericsson Republican League of Illinois
John Ericsson Republican League of Knox County
Search Terms John Ericsson Republican League of Illinois
John Ericsson Republican League of Knox County
Swedish-American Republican League of Illinois
Ericsson, John, 1803-1889.
Illinois--Politics and government--20th century.
Swedish Americans--Illinois--Knox County
Gustav V, King of Sweden, 1858-1950
Republican party (U.S. : 1854- )
Access Conditions Collection is open for research.
Copyrights Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the Swenson Center and the copyright holder.
Existence of copies Reproduction of King Gustav V of Sweden's letter to League can be found in The Swedish Element of Illinois by Ernst W. Olson, 1917, page 342.
Related units of description Monitor News
Administrative or Biographical History The John Ericsson Republican League of Illinois (first named the Swedish-American Republican League of Illinois) was organized and incorporated in1894 in order to exert a Scandinavian-American influence on American politics. On December 4, 1894, after numerous advisory meetings, a meeting was held in Chicago of leading Republicans of Swedish descent from the counties of Cook, Henry, Knox, Rock Island, Will and Winnebago. The group was incorporated on December 31, 1894. First officers were Edward C. Westman of Chicago, president; Hjalmar Kohler of Moline, vice president, Will S. Hussander of Chicago, secretary; A. L. Anderson of Andover, treasurer.

The league held an annual convention and banquet on or around March 9th in celebration of John Ericsson Day. This day is to honor Captain John Ericsson, Swedish-American engineer and inventor best known for his creation of the Union ironclad warship U.S.S. Monitor, which defeated the Confederate ironclad warship U.S.S. Merrimac in a naval battle on March 9, 1862. This battle was instrumental in securing a Union victory in the Civil War. The first League convention was held on March 9, 1895 in Chicago.

The League endeavored to publish a small paper concerning its political interests. In 1895, the League published the first, and only, issue of Monitor News, with G. Bernhard Anderson as editor.

In 1905, the League founded the John Ericsson Monument Association of Illinois, headed by Dr. Gustav Andreen, with the object to build a monument in Illinois to the memory of John Ericsson. This project was never realized, however. Monuments to John Ericsson exist in Battery Park, New York City and on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

In 1918, the group changed its name to the John Ericsson Republican League of Illinois.

Over the years, leading Republicans have attended and addressed League conventions and banquets, including President William Howard Taft in 1912, Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Warren L. Wood, Illinois Governor William G. Stratton, United States Senator from Illinois Everett M. Dirksen, and Secretary of the Navy Charles J. Bonaparte.

These materials were likely accumulated by George C. Lofgren of Galesburg, IL. Lofgren was born February 22, 1900 and died December 1962. He was elected president of the League in 1956 and served during 1957.

For more information on the League and Swedish-American political activities in Illinois, see: The Swedish Element in Illinois by Ernst W. Olson, 1917.
Scope & Content The John Ericsson Republican League of Illinois (first named the Swedish-American Republican League of Illinois) was organized and incorporated in1894 in order to exert a Scandinavian-American influence on American politics. The league held an annual convention and banquet on or around March 9th in celebration of John Ericsson Day. Leading Republicans have attended and addressed League conventions, including President William Howard Taft in 1912.

These materials were likely accumulated by George C. Lofgren of Galesburg, IL during his involvement with the League. He served as League president in 1957. Of note are the programs from the League's annual conventions and a letter from King Gustav V of Sweden from 1912.
System of arrangement The collection is arranged into five series. Items in each series are arranged chronologically.
I.Correspondence
II.Resolutions, Speeches, and Press
III.Programs, Pamphlets and Ribbons from Meetings and Events
IV.Newspaper Clippings
V.Photographs
Finding Aid Link Finding Aid Link
Comments