Building a (White) Nation: Finns in James Kirke Paulding’s Koningsmarke, the Long Finne (1823)
Chapter from the book: Andersson R. & Lahti J. 2022. Finnish Settler Colonialism in North America: Rethinking Finnish Experiences in Transnational Spaces.
James Kirke Paulding’s (1778–1860) historical novel Koningsmarke, the Long Finne: A Story of the New World (1823) came out in the 1820s, when the United States was witnessing the publication of works that were consciously aspiring to create uniquely American literature. The novel creates and reinforces myths about white superiority and the exceptionality of Finns, who are described as possessing traits that continue to resonate in the idealized constructions of Finnishness. This chapter demonstrates how the novel affirms stereotypes, justifies settlers’ land possession, legitimizes removal and slaughter of Natives, and contributes to defining myths about the new nation and ideal national identity.