Constantin Magnus Esbjörn was born in Princeton, Illinois, on February 14, 1858. He was born to Gustava and Lars Paul Esbjörn, who was the founding president of Augustana College from 1860 to 1862. He traveled with his parents to Sweden in 1863, returning in 1873. C.M. Esbjörn attended Augustana College in Paxton, Illinois, and followed the college when it moved in 1875 to Rock Island, Illinois. He stayed with the college until 1877 when he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. Following his graduation from Augustana, C.M. Esbjörn became an Assistant Professor of Latin, Greek, and Swedish for Augustana College up to the year 1880. He then moved to Philadelphia's Lutheran Seminary, and in 1883 he returned to Augustana College. At this time he married his first wife Hilmore Elizabeth Swan and became the Professor of Swedish for the college until 1890. Also, in 1888 C.M. Esbjörn was ordained. In 1890, he moved to San Francisco, California, and was a pastor there until 1893 when he moved again, this time to Marshfield, Oregon. Hilmore died on January 27, 1895. In 1897, he was remarried to Anna Sofia Rasmusson, and their daughter, Hilmore Sofia, was born on November 1 of that year. The family moved to Kingsburg, California, and lived there until Constantin Magnus Esbjörn passed away on November 25, 1911.
The Constantin Magnus Esbjörn papers include the following series: Personal, Correspondence, and Notes.
The Personal series dates from 1833 to 1922 and some items are undated. This series includes the birth dates of his parents and siblings and several detailed accounts of his life, some of which are in English and some in Swedish. It holds a speech that C.M. Esbjörn gave in 1876 to the Phrenoskosmian Society. The series contains a Letter of Dismission for him and his first wife. It contains his Baccalaureate Diploma, his certificate and license of marriage to his second wife Anna Sofia, and a record of baptism for their daughter. It also holds several tax notices and a receipt for a clerical frock suit. The series compiles Lars Paul Esbjörn's estate records, death notice, and memoirs. C.M. Esbjörn's Vasa Order and several documents and newspaper clippings are also held within the series. Advertisements for Steel Frame Buck Saws and a Jeweler are also within, and the series ends with three photographs; one of C.M. Esbjörn, one of his second wife Anna Sofia, and one of C.M. Esbjörn and three other sophomores attending Augustana at Paxton.
The Correspondence series consists of letters written to C.M. Esbjörn. The majority of the letters are in Swedish, but a number of them are also in English or are translated into English. It contains letters from 1868 to 1922 and some are left undated. Several letters are from his brothers, as well as some from his mother and father. The latter part of the series contains letters from other pastors and Augustana presidents and faculty.
The third series, Notes, dates from 1877 to 1894 and contains some undated material. The series consists of three notebooks, which are in Swedish but contain some English passages as well as translations. There is a detailed description in English written by Conrad Bergendoff about the contents of the notebooks. They seem to be sermons or notes of his years as a professor. The series also contains several random thoughts or notes on small pieces of paper, as well as newspaper clippings pertinent to C.M. Esbjörn's work as a pastor and professor. Also included in the series are two drafts of a sermon and a draft of a proposal to the Augustana Synod suggesting that everyone has the right to vote for church council.
Biographical, 1910 and undated
Baccalaureate Diploma, 1877
Letter of Dismission, 1888
Marriage to Anna Sofia Rasmusson, 1894-1897
Tax Notices and Receipt, 1907-1910
Lars Paul Esbjörn Records, 1908
Lars Paul Esbjörn Memoirs, undated
Vasa Order, inclusive 1910-1922
Miscellaneous Advertisements, undated
Photographs, 1875 and undated
25 January 1898 - 24 May 1898
27 May 1898 - 24 December 1898
Book 1, 1877-1882
Book 2, 1882-1899
Book 3, 1885-1899
Preservation copies of newspaper clippings removed from Book 3
Notes and Clippings, 1894 and undated
Notes and Drafts of Sermon, undated
Draft of Synod Proposal, undated