Minnesota

saint, mississippi, river, indians, territory, fort, dakotas, anthony, government and fur

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History.— The first white men known to have been in Minnesota were Radisson and Grossileurs, two French adventurers and traders who made treaties with the Dakota and Chip pewa Indians in 1656 and 1659. It seems that they were on Prairie Island in the Mississippi near Red Wing and in what is now Kanabec County. In 1680 Father Louis Hennepin, dispatched by La Salle to explore the upper Mississippi, was captured by the Dakotas and held as a prisoner at their village at Mille Lacs until released by Daniel Greysolon Du Lhut, who had made his way to Fon du Lac in the year previous and had heard of the capture of the other Frenchman. Hennepin descended the great river in August 1680 and named the falls after his patron saint, Saint Anthony. Nine years later Nicholas Perrot, another trader, established himself on Lake Pepin, and in 1700 Pierre Le Seuer ascended the Minnesota and established Fort L'huillier, near the present city of Mankato. He returned to France with some of the peculiarly colored earth of the vicinity which he falsely presumed to be copper ore. In 1732 Captain Verandrye traveled along the northern border of the State, going as far west as the Missouri River. None of the French settlements, however, were permanent.

The English, on the other hand, were inter ested in the extension of empire rather than merely trading adventures. Tonathan Carver, a native of Connecticut, in made a con siderable inquiry into the extent and the re sources of Minnesota, and sought earnestly to form friendships with the natives. He traveled on the Mississippi as far as the Saint Francis River, and on the Minnesota nearly to its source. After his return home he went to England, where his journal was published. The English established trading-posts on the prin cipal waterways and developed an important trade in furs. The Hudson Bay, and later, the Northwest Fur, companies were strongly en trenched in the confidence of the Indians. In the War of 1812 Dakotas served against the American troops.

Upon the purchase of Louisiana, which in cluded Minnesota west of the Mississippi, the eastern part belonging first to Michigan, then to Wisconsin, the United States government de termined to explore the territory. Accordingly Lieutenant, afterward Captain, Pike was sent up the Mississippi to make such treaties with the Indians as would guarantee a permanent peace between the Dakotas and Chippewas, hereditary enemies, and thus make possible a profitable trade with both nations. Pike pro cured from the Dakotas a °strip nine miles long from the Minnesota River on both sides of the Mississippi," and a similar strip on the Saint Croix River, the Indians reserving the right to pass freely through the ceded territory on their hunting expeditions. In 1817 Major Long of the United States Engineers selected a suitable site for a fort, and two years later Colonel Leavenworth led a body of soldiers to construct the work, first called Fort Saint Anthony, then Fort Snelling, after the com mandant relieving Leavenworth, at the junc tion of the Minnesota with the Mississippi. In

1821 the government built a mill on the reserva tion opposite the falls and sawed lumber and ground flour for its use. In 1837 the lands east of the Mississippi were opened to settlement by treaty with the Indians; but the government would not permit the settlement of the reserva tion. Franklin Steele, sutler at the fort, how ever, built a squatter's cabin on the east bank of the river, intending to lay claim to the water rights. In 1848 he and others were allowed to develop their holdings, and consequently the village of Saint Anthony was platted. Steele built a saw mill, and soon the lumber industry, stimulated by the arrival in Minnesota of ex perts from Maine, was in full process of de velopment. Similar was the development of the Saint Croix Valley, especially in the neighborhood of Stillwater. Meanwhile other explorations had extended the knowledge of the State. In 1832 Henry Schoolcraft had dis covered, or rediscovered after William Morri son, the source of the Mississippi in Lake Itasca. A little later Beltrami, an Italian count. explored the country between the Red and Mississippi, and Major Long, G. W. Feath erstonaugh and Catlin, the artist, had adver tised the picturesqueness and the possibilities of southwestern Minnesota by their tours along the Minnesota River.

These explorations and the beginning of lumbering operations drew the attention of the nation to Minnesota, so that immigration in creased rapidly. Saint Paul, at first but a col lections of cabins about the home of a whisky trader named Parrant, or Eye° in mock ery of a defect, afterward enlarged by Swiss refugees from Lord Selkirk's colony at Pem bina and dignified by Father Gaultier's build ing of Saint Paul's Chapel in 1841, became the leading town in the territory; and in 1849 was made the capital of the Territory of Minnesota, organized in that year with Alexander Ramsey governor. Saint Paul was not only the prac tical head of navigation in the Mississippi, but was the natural outfitting point for pioneers to the rich Minnesota Valley which was opened to settlement in 1851 by treaty with the Dakota Indians. For this reason it grew rapidly. Still water on the Saint Croix and Saint Anthony also received large numbers of people. The latter overflowed to the west bank of the river, and Minneapolis (Dakota, uMinnehaha*— Laughing Water—and Greek ((Polls? city) was born, and received official recognition as a village in 1855. Townsites were plotted in vari ous inaccessible parts of the State, real estate values became badly inflated, credit was over strained, until in 1857, in common with other parts of the country, the Territory suffered from financial panic. Nevertheless, 12 May 1858 a bill giving statehood to Minnesota was signed by the President, and Henry Sihley, who as fur factor for the American Fur Company, had been a unique figure in the life of the Terri tory for a quarter of a century, and who had been its first delegate in Congress, was made the first governor.

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