Thursday, June 4, 2015
Johanna Carolina Hellsten leaves for North America to join her uncle Eric Helsten in April 1868. She might not know anything of her friend Uno Kempff’s history when she departs, they’ve only lived in the same town for a few months, however, in her family’s previous home they were just 3.5 Km apart so maybe they had already met. Once in Gaylordsville, Connecticut, Johanna clearly knows Uno Kempff, as he is corresponding with her in 1869, asking her to find him a job if and when he comes to America from Sweden.
Malin Klangeryd found not only all of the data for Kempff in “Uno Kempff … Family Scandal or Family Friend?” and our traveler Johanna Carolina Hellsten, but also this revealing Household examination [a record of the Lutheran priest’s visitation with each family in the parish over the years]:
Household examination for 1866-1870 says:
“By Gefle [Gävle] RR (The Supreme Administrative Court) sentenced for forgery and fraud. Submitted certificate from 10 January 1866 from Långholmen [jail] April 10, 1866. Knut Unio Kempff was by Örebro Hall right 9 January 1868 sentenced for first-degree theft to three months' hard labor and was earlier by Gefle Supreme Administrative Court sentenced to tarnish forever [he lost his honour which meant a reduction in his civil rights]. Appealed by Örebro Supreme Administrative Court”
This is yet another incident — the newspaper coverage was written about an earlier event in 1861!
Kempff was in trouble a 2nd time, just months before he and Johanna’s family were living in the same town.
Maybe Uno Kempff is planning to skip town soon when he starts writing Johanna (1868 - 1869), because shortly after contacting her in Gaylordsville, he is in trouble a third time! Sounds like quite the “con artist” at work, as this 23 September 1869 article describes how he conned those who trusted him.
Jönköpingsbladet 1869-09-23 [Jönköping's Journal]
A nice-nice company. Several years ago, lived in Gevle an merchant named Knut Uno Kempff. for fraud in the trade, he was sentenced to hard labor on Långholmen [a prison].
While he was serving his sentence, he bought the property Almbro 1 mil from Örebro, and moved after the penalty period had expired there with a miller Sjöberg, a man named Em Paijtsaz and with a other released prisoners. On Almbro he established himself as a miller, but deceived even now his customers. Shortly thereafter, there was a major theft in Örebro, which was followed by that he and his companions, who were missing following the theft, again was sentenced to hard labor. During all this, Kempff had a meeting at Almbro, but sneaked away to Stockholm, where he narrowly escaped arrest. There he devoted himself to House business, resulting in yet a bankruptcy and yet a sentence at Långholmen. After the penalty he escaped to America with a ill-known woman, who he had worked for as a "bookkeeper" for some time. The earlier mentioned miller Sjöberg, who had been involved in the burglary theft in Örebro and also had received a sentence on Långholmen, was freed on July 28 this year , and has again been taken into custody, as defenseless, reappearing in Örebro, after having being arrested for drunkenness, followed by a visitation at his house where there was found a letter from Kempff, whom imposes Sjöberg to take the life of his "good men", treasurer Ekmark and his son and juryman Lars Jonsson at Ökna. Sjöberg had also visited Kempff, but never met him at home. Sjöberg is now volunteering deserted to Carls and borg [prison] and there recruited to emergency work. Before his departure to America, Kempff managed to deceive a gentleman in a House business of 3000 crowns, a down payment as security, why he left some completely useless promissory notes with 16,350 crowns, issued by the aforementioned prison companions. Mr Em-Paijtsaz is still at Långholmen, and Mr Kempff is well in America continuing his path toward the rope"
This might very well be the newspaper article that was shared with Johanna Hellsten by Mrs. Eriksson and upset her uncle Eric so much about Kempff having "escaped from Sweden!"
So, do we know what ever happened to Johanna? Did she meet up with Uno Kempff as her family feared? Did she marry him as was rumored?
©2015, Erica Dakin Voolich
The link to this blog post is http://genea-adventures.blogspot.com/2015/06/wait-theres-more-about-uno-kempff.html