Carl Linus Esbjorn Papers

MSS 14
3 linear feet (3 boxes)


Esbjorn, Carl Linus, 1862-1938.


English, Swedish


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Access points:

Augustana College and Theological Seminary (Rock Island, Ill.)--Faculty.
Augustana College and Theological Seminary (Rock Island, Ill.)--Students.
Academic Librarians--Illinois.
Names, Swedish.
League of Nations.

Finding aid prepared by:

Michelle L. Leonard, 2001. Revised by Allison James, 2008, and Samantha Crisp, April 2015.

Preferred citation:

[identification of item], in MSS 14 Carl Linus Esbjorn papers, Special Collections, Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois.


Augustana College Special Collections
Thomas Tredway Library
639 38th Street
Rock Island, Illinois 61201

Custodial History
Biographical Sketch
Scope and Content
Container List
Related Materials


Provenance of materials unknown.



Born in Chicago, Illinois on November 26, 1862, Carl Esbjorn was the son of Lars Paul Esbjorn, a well-known leader in the Augustana Synod and the first president of Augustana College. Esbjorn was about one year old when his family returned to Sweden, where his father accepted a call to become the rector of Ostervala parish. After the death of his father, Carl returned to America and settled in Swedona, Illinois with his mother, his two brothers, Constantin and Paul, and his two sisters, Maria and Hannah. Both Carl Esbjorn and his brother, Constantin, attended their first year of college at Paxton, Illinois. In 1875, Carl went to Rock Island, the new home of Augustana College. There he continued his education and graduated "Classi Primus" in 1880.

In the fall of 1880, Esbjorn began his teaching career as an assistant teacher in modern languages at Augustana. This appointment was short-lived, and one year later he went to the University of Michigan where he obtained a master's degree in language. In 1883 Carl taught at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. Finally, in 1887, he returned to Augustana as a regular professor of language. His fifty-two years of teaching at Augustana were interrupted only for post-graduate work at the University of Leipzig, the Sorbonne, and the University of Chicago. Carl also became the librarian at Augustana College, taking charge of the Charles XV Collection. These books had been presented to the college by the king of Sweden to form the basis of the library.

Carl Esbjorn was interested in simplified spelling, the temperance question, patronymics, Mormonism, and pacifism. He established the Esbjorn Fund for international peace at Augustana College.

On December 30, 1939, when he left his home on 34th Street in Rock Island to mail a letter, Carl Esbjorn was struck by a car and killed. He was survived by his wife, the former Mrs. Mae Sauerman, whom he had married in 1925.



The Biographical Information, 1862-1936 series contains a photo of Carl Linus Esbjorn, as well as a menu from his 60th anniversary. It also includes a biography of his father, Lars Paul Esbjorn, written by Carl Esbjorn, and two photocopied pages from a published volume containing a biography of his mother, Gustava Albertina Esbjorn (Magnusson). Also included in this series is Esbjorn's 1918 Condensed German Grammar.

The Writings, 1918-1941 series contains writings and notes concerning Augustana College at Paxton and Rock Island, as well as the Augustana Church. There are also three of Esbjorn's unpublished manuscripts.

The Correspondence, 1882-1931 series includes letters from Esbjorn's mother, brothers, sisters, Johann August Udden, Carl Aron Swensson, Arthur Wald, and Erland Carlson. Esbjorn's call to a professorship at Augustana College in 1887, signed by S.P.A. Lindhal and Erland Carlsson, is also included.

The Mormonism, 1838-1935 series includes correspondence, notes on Mormonism, and newspaper clippings and pamphlets.

The Patronymics, 1907-1927 series contains correspondence with other Lutheran colleges and various state associations, account books for postage, lists of alternative Swedish names, newspaper clippings, and pamphlets.

The League of Nations and Peace, 1915-1938 series includes correspondence, notes, original peace documents with arguments and summaries, newspaper clippings (including two scrapbooks), and many pamphlets.

Miscellaneous newspaper clippings, 1922-1941



Box 1
      Series I. Biographical Information, 1862-1936
      Series II. Writings, 1918-1941
            Writings concerning Augustana Synod, 1862
            "The Sheik of Alexandria," 1862
            "The Cold Heart," n.d
            "The Cavern of Steenfoll," n.d.
Box 2
      Series III. Correspondence, 1882-1931
            Family correspondence, 1882-1887
            Family correspondence, 1896-1931
            Other correspondence, 1882-1931
            Death notice for J.A. Esbjorn, 1922

      Series IV. Mormonism, 1838-1935
            Correspondence, 1918-1935
            Newspaper clippings and pamphlets, 1938-1926

      Series V. Patronymics, 1907-1927
            Correspondence, 1920-1923
            Correspondence, 1923-1926
            Account books, list of correspondents and "draft for publication,"n.d.
            Name lists, n.d.
Box 3
            State Statutes, n.d.
            Newspaper clippings and pamphlets, 1907-1923

      Series VI. League of Nations and Peace, 1915-1938
            League of Nations and Peace correspondence, n.d.
            Notes and writings, 1920-1934
            Original documents, arguments, and summaries, n.d.
            Newspaper clippings, 1915-1938
            Pamphlets, 1919-1930
            Pamphlets, 1931-1936
            Pamphlets, 1937-1938

      Series VII. Miscellaneous newspaper clippings, 1922-1941



MSS 1 Lars Paul Esbjörn family papers
MSS 13 Constantin Magnus Esbjorn papers
MSS 315 Arthur Wald Armistice Day

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