A Great Danish American Birthday - Christian Madsen

  • February 25, 2022
  • February 25, 2023
  • 2 sessions
  • February 25, 2022 (CST)
  • February 25, 2023 (CST)


Christian Madsen (25 February 1851 – 9 January 1944), A US Marshall from Southern Jutland.  Stood for law and order in the Oklahoma frontier for a lifetime after 15 years in the cavalry fighting the Indians, and he helped to make the first true Western, "The Bankrobbery" (1908) a reenactment with the true criminals and lawmakers.  As a boy, he was at the retreat from Dybbøl in 1864 and one of the few who lived long enough to fight both Bismarck and "this Mr. Hitler".  - (Stig Thornsohn "A Dane Did It")

More from Danish Author Frans Ørsted Andersen - 
"In the period btw 1850 and 1920 more than 50 million Europeans emigrated to the US to improve their lot and get away from poverty, unemployment and war. Among these were 300.000 Danes - and one of those was Chris Madsen. He was born in Denmark 1851 and emigrated 1875. He had a very interesting and a long, dramatic life. He spent 15 years as an Indian fighter in the US Fifth Cavalry (1876-1892) - and got as much promotion as possible for a NCO. He was at center stage in the battle of Slim Buttes 9th September 1876 and played a key role in the succesful Milk River expedition 1879, where the Ute uprising was countered. When finally leaving the army in 1892 it was because he had got a job as Deputy US Marshal in Oklahoma, where he became a leading character in the fight against criminal gangs like the Daltons and the Doolins.

Photo: Scene from 1908 film "The Bankrobbery"

He married and had two children in Oklahoma. Later, he also joined Roosevelt’s Rough Riders and participated in the war with Spain 1898. He kept being curious, learned and got new experiences all through his long life. In stead of retiring, in 1915 he went into the new movie business and together with former colleagues he set up a film company, that produced a famous Western, “The Passing of the Oklahoma Outlaws”. Besides, he loved writing all his life - articles, letters, poems and two autobiographies. Like the fictious characters, “Forrest Gump” and “Little Big Man”, he had a special talent for meeting and becoming friends with famous people and be at center stage at major events, both in Denmark and the US. In the US, e.g. he became frinds with Buffalo Bill Cody and several Indian Chiefs. He went fishing and hunting with President Arthur and helped Teddy Roosevelt. But he also encountered many problems, crisis and tragedies in his long life - 1851-1944. Nevertheless, he always managed to get back on tracks and was active until he died in 1944. All through his life he benefitted from paying attention at school back home in the old country, where he also had received good education at an agricultural folk high school."

National Foundation for Danish America
PO Box 1003
Wilmette, Illinois 60091

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