Christian Jensen was born Christian Jensen Smedsrud on March 26, 1833. Prior to coming to America on the ship Dröbak, he lived Hadeland, Oppland, Norway. He was twenty eight in 1861 when he made his journey to America
Upon coming to America, his name was Anglicized to Christian Johnson. He met and married Kari Torstensen Rossum in the United States. She was born August 11, 1834 and passed away August 22, 1884 at the age of fifty. Together they had ten children; Tilda (Mrs. Olof Wahler- 1861-1942), John Campbell (1862-1940), Anna Maria (Mrs. Tom Thompson- 1865-1929), Emma Julia (Mrs. John Gralin, D.C.- 1867-1946), Clara Alvida (1869-1960), Olianna (1870-1889), Charles (1872-1913), Bertha Louisa (Mrs. Olaf I. Paulson- 1873-1955), Nellie (1874-1877), and Minnie (1876-1888). All the children were born on the family's farm, which was located a half mile north of Argyle, Wisconsin.
Christian Jensen was enlisted in the Union Army on February 15, 1865, with Company A of the 46th Regiment of the Wisconsin Infantry. He was thirty two at the time. He received an honorable discharge on September 27, 1865.
His main occupation was as a carpenter and cabinet maker. He also designed the Argyle Lutheran Church building. Christian Jensen died in Argyle, Wisconsin, on January 30, 1916, at the age of 83. He survived his wife by thirty-two years.
The Christian Jensen Papers are comprised of a journal Jensen kept during his journey from Christiania, Norway to the United States on the boat Dröbak. Also included are supplemental materials such as a short biography of Jensen and a list of his children with his wife Kari. All of these documents are photocopies of originals.
Jensen's journal of his trip begins on April 20, 1861, the day that he boarded the Dröbak. The ship did not depart from the harbor at Christiania until two days later on April 22. The main entries in the journal include travel details such as the wind, storms, the direction of the ship, and landmarks. The births and deaths that occurred during the journey were also noted. Of the 14 total deaths which he reports being associated with the Dröbak, all but one of them occurred on the ship. Most of those that died were children, including all of the babies born on the ship along with many others. During the third week of the trip, the first mate of the ship also died. After arriving in Canada on July 3 and going through a period of quarantine which the journal also briefly describes, Jensen's journey continued by train from Quebec to Wisconsin. Along with the journal can be found a brief biography of Christian Jensen, as well as a detailed list of his travel expenses from Norway to where his sister Kjersti Larson lived in Mud Branch, Wisconsin.
Following the journal is a detailed list of the children who were born to Christian and Kari Jensen. This list names each of their ten children and, where applicable, also lists significant nicknames and married names. Also on this list are the years of birth and death for each child, and their age at the time of their death.
Also included are notes on the translation of the journal. The journal was translated from the Hadeland dialect of Norwegian by two of his grandchildren in 1971. This document goes on to describe the physical dimensions and appearance of the original journal.
The last item to be found in the collection is a photocopy of an old family photograph.