Biographies from Danish National Archives

These Bios from the Danish National Archives were expanded here so that they could be indexed for purposes of the search function on this site's home page.

The following survey of the archives of private individuals states the person’s name and dates, the archive number, the total extent of the archives, and the contents of probable interest to Danish West Indian history.

The Arendrup family (private archives no. 6789, 1 box), include a folder containing the reminiscences and miscellaneous correspondence of planter Julius Arendrup (born 1840, died 1912).

Peder Bang (born 1794, died 1816, private archives no. 91, 1 vol.), consist of a booklet containing a diary kept during a voyage to and in the West Indies 1815-1816 as well as some of this naval lieutenant’s notes on conditions on the islands.

Johan Frederik Bardenfleth (born 1772, died 1833, private archives no. 102, 1 folder), consist of a letter to Governor-General Bardenfleth from Peter von Scholten 1823.

Elisabeth Bauditz (born 1838, died 1902, private archives no. 6841, 1 box), comprise a good deal of letters from her daughter Sophie Helweg-Larsen and son-in-law, Governor Christian Helweg-Larsen 1888-1901.

Frederik Christopher Høst Bauditz (born 1807, died 1854, private archives no. 127, 1 folder), contain the West Indian government’s letter concerning the appointment of Bauditz as public weigher and postmaster of Frederiksted 1838 and an agreement between him and Frederik von Scholten on sharing the emoluments of the office of customs inspector etc. 1842.

Jens Michelsen Beck (born 1721, died 1791, private archives no. 5097, 1 box), contain miscellaneous documents concerning planter Beck’s West Indian property.

Peter Eggert Benzon (born 1788, died 1848, private archives no. 157, 1 folder), include six printed occasional songs, written for special festive events on St. Thomas and St. Croix in 1829 and 1834. Benzon was a pharmacist.

Hans Henrik Berg (born 1789, died 1862, private archives no. 6783, 1 box), consist of documents concerning the Lilienskiold family’s claim on the sugar plantations Liliendahl and Marienhøj on St. Thomas around 1845. Berg was vice-governor and legal adviser to the family.

Johan Frederik Brahde (born 1799, died 1846, private archives no. 5199, 1 vol.), include a survey of the revenues accrued to the office of St. John sheriff 1844-1845 as well as various other accounts and articles on the economy since the end of the 18th century. Brahde was sheriff of St. John.

Johan Lorentz Carstens (born 1705, died 1747, private archives no. 5261, 1 box), was a planter who was ennobled and granted the name of Castenschiold. His archives include letters from the West India and Guinea Company 1735 and 1746 and from other planters; a copy of a letter from Count Zinzendorf to certain blacks on St. Thomas 1739; and Johan Lorentz Carstens’ description of St. Thomas, later published in several editions. Other private archives of the Castenschiold family are to be found in the Provincial Archives of Zealand.

The Castonier family (born 1793, died 1874, private archives no. 7123, 4 boxes), contain primarily correspondence with Mrs. Annie Castonier’s blood relations, the Ferrall family 1820-1928.

C. N. David (born 1793, died 1874, private archives no. 5324, 1 box), include a transcript of Peter von Scholten’s account of the slave rising on St. Croix 1848 to David, who acted as counsel for the defence at von Scholten’s trial.

Heinrich G. Egge (born 1835, died 1910, private archives no. 3080, 1 folder), consist of notes regarding his stay in the West Indies 1866-1878. Egge was chief of the Frederiksted Police.

Frederik Emil Elberling (born 1804, died 1880, private archives no. 5355, 1 vol.), contain notes on the Danish West Indies, where Elberling served as colonial secretary. In addition to a few diary entries, the notes consist mainly of tabular lists and notes on statistical, political, and other conditions on the islands around 1850-1851.

Christian Falbe (born 1828, died 1896, private archives no. 2529, 1 folder), contain a couple of letters from 1871 to Mrs. Clara Falbe (born 1847, died 1882) from her nurse on St. Thomas.

Alexander Foss (born 1858, died 1925, private archives no. 5409, 54 boxes), was an industrialist and a politician. Box 38 contains his speech in 1916 about the sale of the Danish West Indies; box 43, two folders containing material on the debate about the sale 1912-1916. Pictures have been transferred to the Private Archives’ Prints and Photographs Collection.

H. G. F. Garde (born 1825, died 1885, private archives no. 5443, 2 boxes), include a folder containing letters 1843-1879 from the father of Mrs. Anna Garde (born 1834, died 1919), Adrian Benoni Benzon Knudsen, who was surgeon to the garrison on St. Croix.

Niels Falck Gløersen (born c. 1736, died 1785, private archives no. 6784, 1 box), was a Lutheran vicar on St. Thomas. His archives include correspondence with church authorities in Copenhagen and friends and acquaintances on the islands.

Laurence Grundell (died 1759, private archives no. 5482, 1 vol.), consist of the extensive probate material generated following his death on St. Croix, where he served as regimental barber-surgeon.

M. J. G. Grønbech (private archives no. 3472, 1 folder), consist of letters 1858-1865 from his son Sophus Emil Grønbech, who had a medical practice in Christiansted.

Peter Hansen (born 1854, died 1905, Military Archives, archive no. 1015.098), consist of one original letter of discharge from the West Indian Military Forces 1878 for Hansen, who served as a private in these forces.

Johan Friedrich Heinrich (died 1808, private archives no. 2564, 1 folder), consist of a letter 1786 from Julius von Rohr, a naturalist who served as surveyor in the Danish West Indies, with an account of his travels in the West Indies 1783.

Christian Helweg-Larsen (born 1860, died 1934, private archives no. 5604, 2 boxes), served as a government official in the Danish West Indies from 1888 and ended up as governor 1912-1916. He was married to Sophie Bauditz (born 1862, died 1943), who published several works of fiction describing conditions in the islands. Their private archives contain much correspondence with family members, friends, and colleagues from the islands; Helweg-Larsen’s reminiscences from the islands; household accounts 1888-1889; and West Indian miscellanea, such as Helweg-Larsen’s testimony before the West Indian Commission of 1916. Photographs have been transferred to the Private Archives’ Prints and Photographs Collection.

Vilhelm Helweg-Larsen (born 1850, died 1927, private archives no. 5606, 5 boxes), include quite a number of letters 1885-1919 from his son Povl Helweg-Larsen, who was a Lutheran minister in Christiansted from 1910 to 1917.

Hugo Hørring (born 1842, died 1909, private archives no. 2404, 1 folder), consist of only one letter from Gustav Hansen, a member of the Danish Parliament, 1898 to Minister of Finance Hørring about the sale of the Danish West Indies.

Svend Rud Haagensen (born 1886, died 1942, private archives no. 2821, 1 folder), served in the Danish West Indies as first lieutenant. The archives contain his diary 1916-1917 and a lively account 1934 of his stay on the islands. Photographs have been transferred to the Private Archives’ Prints and Photographs Collection.

Carl Wilhelm Jessen (born 1764, died 1823, private archives no. 3379, 1 folder), contain just one letter 1823 to his son, from Jessen, who was governor of St. Thomas.

Ferdinand Jøhnke (born 1837, died 1908, private archives no. 2833, 1 folder), contain Walther Christmas’ account of his endeavours, as the Danish government’s representative, to sell the Danish West Indies 1898-1900.

Michael Liebenberg (born 1744, died 1784, private archives no. 6785, 1 box), was a senior examining customs officer on St. Thomas. His archives include letters 1780 from sheriff Torben Holm in Frederiksted and accounting files 1772-1784.

Christen Lintrup (died 1772, private archives no. 5893, 3 boxes), include a volume concerning a project for plantation maintenance on St. Croix 1753, drafted by a person with the initials A. W., possibly sheriff Andreas Willumsen on St. Thomas.

Otto Diderik Lorentzen (private archives no. 1228, 1 folder), consist of six letters 1796 from his son, Johannes Lorentzen, who served as surgeon to the garrison on St. Croix.

Peter Atzer Lorentzen (private archives no. 1229, 1 folder), include 53 letters 1798-1807 from his brother, Johannes Lorentzen, who served as surgeon to the garrison on St. Croix.

Vilhelm Marstrand (born 1884, died 1955, private archives no. 8002, 165 boxes), contain 1 large folder (in box no. 10) with material 1916-1934 concerning the work involved in transferring archival material from the former Danish West Indies to Copenhagen 1919 and concerning the Danish West Indian Society.

Joachim Godske Moltke (born 1746, died 1818, private archives no. 5979, 29 boxes), include material on the West India and Guinea Company 1738-1754 (in box 15); on the West India trade 1763-1776 (in box 17); on the West India Trading Company 1780-1817 (in box 17); and many other things concerning overseas trade – a subject of interest to Moltke in his capacity as politician and administrator.

Otto Mortensen (born 1855, died 1929, private archives no. 2380, 1 folder), consist of letters and postcards 1913-1914 from his sister-in-law Sophie Helweg-Larsen and her husband, Governor Christian Helweg-Larsen.

P. Munch (born 1870, died 1948, private archives no. 6663, 204 boxes), was a Danish foreign minister, and box no. 37 in his archives contains several files concerning Iceland, Greenland, and the Danish West Indies 1913-1918 and 1931-1933.

H. C. V. Møller (born 1854, died 1943, private archives no. 6012, 32 boxes), was a harbour engineer. Boxes nos. 22-26 concern primarily his contribution to the improvements of the port of St. Thomas 1904-1917 and the power station at Charlotte Amalie 1913-1915. There is also a good deal of printed matter and lectures in manuscript, as well as photographs from the Danish West Indies. From these archives, two large folders of maps and technical drawings – mainly of the port of St. Thomas – have been transferred to the Maps and Drawings Collection.

August F. Neumann (born 1871, died 1953, private archives no. 7064, 3 boxes), was a commissioned officer who served in the Danish West Indies from around 1900 to 1914. His archives include correspondence with private individuals, and Neumann’s personal papers 1878-1945. They contain files concerning the West Indian Military Forces 1896-1905; the West Indian Gendarmerie 1907-1914; St. Thomas Singing Club 1903-1905; the Danish Speaking Club 1903-1914; Christiansted Rifle Club 1912; Christiansted National Club 1913-1914; and the Danish West Indian Society 1938-1954.

Christian Albrecht Neve (born 1728, died 1773, private archives no. 2576, 1 folder), include letters of appointment, examination certificates, and passports of Neve, who had a law degree and was a government official on St. Thomas.

Niels Olesen (born 1866, private archives no. 3276, 1 folder), consist of personal papers, including his authorisation as inspector of the St. Croix gaol 1915.

Axel Olsen (born 1866, died 1937, private archives no. 6699, 1 box), consist mainly of material concerning Olsen’s stay in the Danish West Indies 1904-1911 as a lower-court judge at Frederiksted. His archives include personal papers, miscellaneous correspondence 1904-1916, and files on the Danish West Indian Society 1923-1934, including a large collection of issues of the West Indian Newsletter, i.e. the Society’s bulletin.

H. R. L. Ostermann (born 1842, died 1907, private archives no. 1463, 1 folder, and Military Archives, personal papers, archive no. 1015.206, box no. 29, 1 folder), contain documents concerning his conduct as a lieutenant and that of others during the rebellion on St. Croix 1878.

Peter Lotharius Oxholm (born 1753, died 1827, private archives no. 6087, 6 boxes), was a commissioned officer arriving 1777 in the Danish West Indies, where he married first Maria Heyliger and later Ann O’Neill and acquired several plantations. In his archives, section E (boxes nos. 3-4) includes files concerning the Danish West Indies, viz. an extract of a diary, etc. 1779; files concerning the West Indian Government 1792-1799; documents concerning Oxholm’s mission to London 1814 and his period as governor-general in the Danish West Indies 1814-1816; files concerning the free blacks 1815-1817; correspondence with the West Indian Debt Liquidation Commission concerning plantation acquisitions 1815-1820; statistical material; and miscellanea 1799-1816.

Agnes Preuss (born 1866, died 1940, private archives no. 3130, 1 folder), include a number of letters to her siblings 1904-1910 from her from the West Indies, where she served as a nurse. Pictures have been transferred to the Private Archives’ Prints and Photographs Collection. Preuss’ correspondence with Queen Louise is kept in the Archives of the Royal Family.

Philip Peder Rosenstand (born 1831, died 1912, private archives no. 6221, 1 box), graduated in law and resided in the Danish West Indies from 1860 to 1886, where he served as presiding judge of the Superior Court, among other things. His archives consist of his correspondence with the governor 1871-1880 and material on the rebellion on St. Croix in October 1878.

Carl Rothe (born 1844, died 1924, private archives no. 1728, 1 folder), include ten letters to him from his father, Vice-Governor Louis Rothe 1860-1865.

Louis Rothe (born 1811, died 1871, private archives no. 2577, 1 folder), include his appointment as Knight of the Dannebrog 1862 and a letter from him to his wife the same year.

Viggo Rothe (born 1814, died 1891, private archives no. 6739, 1 box), contain a folder containing material on slavery in the Danish West Indies, submitted confidentially by Governor Louis Rothe 1848.

Olaf Rübner-Petersen (born 1862, died 1919, private archives no. 6236, 7 boxes), was director of education for St. Croix. His archives, which cover the period from 1907 until his death, exclusively concern the Danish West Indies. In addition to two boxes of correspondence, the archives contain notes (e.g. on the school system 1856-1917, the Agricultural Society 1912-1915, the strike on St. Croix 1916, and the cession of the Danish West Indies to the United States 1917); accounts 1910-1917; printed matter; and newspaper clippings.

Jacob Scavenius (born 1838, died 1915, private archives no. 6256, 13 boxes), was a Danish landowner and politician. He sat on the board of the Danish West Indian Plantation Company, and box 13 in his private archives contains company reports and accounting statements etc. 1903-1915.

Ernst Schimmelmann (born 1747, died 1831, private archives no. 6285, 117 boxes), was a government minister, landowner, factory owner, and planter – in all, one of the richest and most influential men in Denmark. His private archives comprise together with the papers of his father, Heinrich Carl Schimmelmann, what are called the Schimmelmann Papers. Ernts Schimmelmann’s large private archives contain material of many kinds, and it is possible to find information about the Danish West Indies in many places, e.g. in the huge bulk of correspondence, filed by correspondent’s name, or in the group concerning trade and colonial affairs (old transfer boxes nos. 7-11). Of the separate groups concerning conditions on the islands, three boxes deserve mention. They concern the Schimmelmann plantations in the West Indies and sugar refineries in Denmark 1746-1839 (old transfer boxes nos. 68-70), including a map of Estate La Grange; two boxes of letters from governors-general in the West Indies 1763-1833 (new transfer boxes nos. 30-31), primarily from Ludvig Heinrich Schimmelmann, who was governor-general 1784-1787 and cousin to Ernst Schimmelmann; a box of letters 1796-1798 from managers Charles Vanderbourg and la Porte at Estate Princesse (new transfer box no. 32); a box of documents concerning the Schimmelmann plantations in the West Indies 1757-1869 (new transfer box no. 33); and a box of miscellaneous documents concerning the Danish West Indies 1765-1796 (new transfer box no. 34). The old transfer was the removal from Schimmelmann’s mansion in Copenhagen, while the new transfer was the removal to the Danish National Archives from the family manor of Lindenborg at a later date. Please note that the boundary between the private archives of the Schimmelmann family and the archives of public institutions is blurred. The private archives contain many public documents with journal numbers etc., e.g. from the financial administration, while the archives of several public institutions contain file series containing more or less private Schimmelmann papers, e.g. the archives of the Board of Commerce (boxes nos. 2154-2157).

Heinrich Carl Schimmelmann (born 1724, died 1782, private archives no. 6284, 7 boxes), was Minister of Finance and acquired the family’s large estates in Denmark and the Danish West Indies. His private archives contain no separate groups of material concerning the Danish West Indies, except for those just mentioned under Ernst Schimmelmann, his son. Heinrich Carl Schimmelmann’s papers include four boxes of correspondence concerning the Board of Commerce, trade and industry 1780-1831 (old transfer boxes nos. 7-9b) containing some letters and reports from people in the West Indies.

Peter von Scholten (born 1784, died 1854, private archives no. 6795, 1 box), was a government official in the Danish West Indies, where he ended his career as governor-general from 1824 until the emancipation in 1848. His archives include a dozen letters from King Christian VIII 1840-1844 as well as transcripts of miscellaneous decisions regarding the Danish West Indies 1725-1832. Peter von Scholten left the islands in 1848.

Jacob Schwartzkopff (born 1735, died 1789, private archives no. 6786, 1 box), consist of correspondence and accounting files concerning Schwartzkopff’s transactions 1781-1790 as agent to William Smith of Philadelphia, formerly a resident of St. Thomas.

Erik Schäffer (born 1880, private archives no. 3347, 1 vol.), consist of his reminiscences of his stay on St. Croix 1913-1916, where he was a police sergeant and a deputy judge at Frederiksted 1913-1917.

C. F. Tietgen (born 1829, died 1901, private archives no. 6441, 70 boxes), was a Danish financier. Box no. 53 in his archives contains material concerning the St. Croix Cooperative Sugar Factory 1874-1876.

Hildegard Wright, née Bauditz (born 1861, died 1935, private archives no. 6840, 2 boxes), consist of letters from her sister Sophie Helweg-Larsen and brother-in-law, Governor Christian Helweg-Larsen 1888-1916.

Otto Zahle (born 1875, died 1972, private archives no. 6722, 6 boxes), include, in box no. 6, various poems 1829-1853, mostly about the Danish West Indies.

Knud Cizeck Zeilau (born 1886, died 1961, Military Archives, personal papers, archive no. 1015.311, 6 boxes), include a number of diaries with many newspaper clippings from the West End News from 1913 on (in boxes nos. 70-72) and a folder containing miscellaneous correspondence (in box no. 75). Zeilau served as a lieutenant in the gendarmerie at Frederiksted 1913-1917.

Theodor Cizeck Zeilau (born 1886, died 1970, private archives no. 6598, 9 boxes), contain, in box no. 2, a good deal of family letters from the West Indies and the ledgers of local tradesmen on St. Croix 1910-1916, while box no. 8 contains correspondence and manuscripts concerning West Indian military matters, the museum at Estate Whim, and the Danish West Indian Society after 1917. Zeilau served as a commissioned officer at Frederiksted. Further material is to be found in the Military Archives and in the Maps and Drawings Collection.