About the Slooper Society

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Welcome to the Norwegian Slooper Society of America website. We are the descendents of the first Norwegians who sailed from Norway to the United States in 1825. These early pioneers came to America on a 54-foot sloop in search of opportunity and freedom. They have since been known as “Sloopers”, of which we are proud to be part.

Our Mission

The Slooper Society is dedicated to continue the pioneering spirit of the first “Slooper” Norwegians in promoting education in the history of Norwegian-Americans and the keeping the Norwegian-American first-pioneer legacy alive for generations to come.

The Objectives of the Slooper Society are:

  1. To honor the memory of the Sloopers of 1825.
  2. To promote the publication of the history of the Sloopers as a group and of the individual families.
  3. To authenticate, preserve, and mark historical spots made memorable by Slooper association.
  4. To maintain a museum collection of articles having belonged to the original Sloopers and their descendants.
  5. To acquaint the present day descendants of the Sloopers with one another, through the publication of literature and the holding of meetings having literary and social programs.
  6. To promote the interests that are common to the society as a whole.

Who We Are

The first group of Norwegian Immigrants to America departed Stavanger, Norway, July 4, 1825 on the Sloop Restoration and these 52 persons entered new York harbor October 9th — 98 days later. Cleng Peerson led this group first to Upstate New York … then to this area of Illinois near Norway where the first Permanent Norwegian Settlement was established. Descendants of these Norwegians who came over on the Sloop have formed the Norwegian Slooper Society of America, that meets annually at the Norway Community Center in Norway, Illinois, the Sunday nearest to October 9.

The current descendents of the Sloopers come from many walks of life: farmers, storekeepers, industrialists, teachers, and students. Many still live in the Fox River settlement area of Norway, Illinois, while others live miles away in the far reaches of the American continent. The Sloopers include 5th to 7th generation descendents of the first immigrants.