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Peerson, Cleng (17 May 1782 or 1783–16 December 1865), "the father of Norwegian immigration", “the father of Norwegian immigration,” was born Kleng Pedersen in the parish of Tysvær—north of the coastal city of Stavanger—in Rogaland County, Norway, on the Hesthammer farm, the son of Peder Larsen and Inger Sivertsdatter, renters of Hesthammer, an ecclesiastical possession. Information about Peerson’s childhood is sparse. An attestation of confirmation is dated in November 1800, making him seventeen or eighteen years old at that time. The relatively high age for this religious rite of passage within the Norwegian Lutheran State Church has suggested to some historians that already at that young age he had revealed a rebellious spirit against the state church, causing the parish minister to delay his confirmation. In his youth he went to sea. It was the beginning of a life as a wanderer and adventurer. He had a quick mind, and visiting England, France, and Germany, he gained some facility in their languages....