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History and Biography 


MAJ. R. I. HOLCOMBE, Historical Editor 
WILLIAM H. BINGHAM, General Editor 





PuHlihrr,, Encratirr, and floo* Mariula. 

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SEP -8 1914 



This compendium of history and biograi)hy aims to 
present to the residents of Minneapolis and the gen- 
eral public a clear, succinct and comprehensive ac- 
count of this region from the earliest prehistoric 
period of whcih any authentic information, written, 
archiPologioal or traditional, is attainable. 

The publishers believe that in the treatment of 
aboriginal doings and developments they have ex- 
plored a hitherto largely untrodden field and given an 
account of it far more complete, accurate and satisfac- 
tory than any that has ever before appeared in any 
publication. They feel confident, too, that in tracing 
the course of early explorations in this part of the 
country and following the footsteps of the heroic ad- 
ventures who made those explorations they have won 
a degree of success never before attained. They have 
used every precaution to verify all the facts and de- 
ductions given, and are therefore convinced that every 
statement made in this volume can be fully and safely 
relied on. 

In dealing with the period from the foundation of 
the city to the present time the publishers have found 
an inexhaustible fund of information and suggestion. 
The invasion and conquest of a wilderness ; the wrest- 
ing of a vast domain of hill and valley, forest and 
prairie, from its nomadic and savage denizens; its 
transformation into an empire rich in all the elements 
of modern civilization — basking in the smiles of pas- 
toral abundance, resounding with the din of fruitful 
industry, busy with the mighty volume of a multiform 
and far-reaching commerce and bright with the luster 
of high mental, moral and spiritual life — the home 
of an enterprising, progressive, all-daring people, as 
they founded and have built it, is always and every- 
where an inspiring 1*ieme, and nowhere is it richer in 
elements of true heroi-sm, brighter with the radiance 
of genuine manhood and womanhood or more signally 
blessed with the results of endurance bravely borne 
and industry well applied than here in Minneapolis, 
which was born and has grown to its present magni- 
tude and importance within the memory of persons 
who are still living. 

The book teems with biographies of the progressive 
men of Minneapolis — those who laid the foundations 
of its greatness and those who have built and are build- 
ing on the superstructure — and is adorned with por- 
traits of a large number of them. It also gives a com- 
prehensive survey of the numerous lines of productive 
energy which distinguish the people of the city at 
the present time and those in which its residents have 
been engaged at aU periods in the past since the settle- 
ment of the region began. And so far as past history 
and present conditions disclose them, the work indi- 

cates the trend of the city's activities and the goal 
which they aim to reach. 

No attempt has been made to give undue tone or a 
spectacular appearance to the course of events re- 
corded in this volume. Essential history insists on 
writing itself, and refuses to be anticipated, controlled 
or turned from its destined way. What the men and 
women of Minneapolis have done and are doing for 
its advancement and improvement embodies the real 
essence of the city's growth and progress, and points 
out, with immistakable significance, the sterling char- 
acteristics of the people who have wrought the great 
wonder-work of its creation and development. 

In their arduous task of preparing this compendium 
of history and biography its publishers and promoters 
have had most valuable assistance from Mr. Warren 
Upham, the accomplished and accommodating secre- 
tary of the Minnesota Historical Society. He has 
freely, cheerfully and at all times placed at their dis- 
posal, not only all the publications in the State His- 
torical Library, but also all the stores of his own ex- 
tensive knowledge and teeming memory of persons and 
events connected with the swift march of Minnesota 
from the far frontier to the heart of civilization. 

The special thanks of the publishers are due also 
and are warmly tendered to Mr. C. M. Loring for his 
splendid and sparkling chapter entitled "Looking 
Through a Vista of Fifty Years : " to Mr. Thomas B. 
Walker for his highly entertaining and valuable 
"Early History of the Lumber Industry;" to Mr. 
George H. Christian for his graphic and interesting 
account of the founding of the milling industry and 
fast-fading stories of its early da.vs: to ]Mr. George H. 
Warren for showing in an impressive way the relation- 
ship of the woodsmen to the lumber industry, the vital 
necessity for their service and its inestimable value ; 
to Major R. I. Holcombe for his masterful work in 
preparing the general history of the city which en- 
riches the volume, and to many other persons whose 
aid is highly appreciated but who are too numerous 
to be mentioned specifically by name. Without the 
valuable and .judicious aid of all these persons, those 
who are named and those who are not, it would have 
been impossible to compile a history of the complete- 
ness and high character this one is believed to have. 
Finally, to the residents of Minneapolis and Henne- 
pin County, to whose patronage the book is indebted 
for its publication, and whose life stories constitute a 
large part of its contents, tlie publishers freely tender 
their grateful thanks, with the hope that the volume 
will be an ample and satisfactory recompense. It is 
submitted to the judgment of the public with no other 
voice to proclaim its worth than that of its own in- 
herent merits, whatever they may be. 







FATHER Hennepin's work op toil, suffering, and glory — duluth's attempt to rou the good priest of cer- 










































OF 1851 94 


































R. P. Upton's notes on early days in st. anthony — chas. m. loring's "vista op fifty years" — thos. b. 
walker's reminiscences, historical sketches, and notes on lumber manufacturing at ST. An- 










Showing till' first suspension bridge built tliat year, and the first to span tlu- river anywlu-n 

I'irst settler on tiie original site of Minneapolis. (Krom 
photo ill ISSd.) 


'l"he prniiiiiieiit pioneer w lio gave tlie ( ity of .Minneapolii 
it> name. (I'nun an old ni'Wspaper print.) 






To the great cataract iu the Mississippi River at 
its site, the city of Minneapolis owes its origin, its 
existence, and the principal elements which form its 
condition and character. The history of this cataract, 
or Oi the series of cataracts known as the Falls of 
St. Antliouy, is practically, therefore, the history of 
Minneaiiolis. But for these falls there would liave 
been no city here, and their development has kept 
progres-s with that of the city'; and though the city 
could now live and prosper if the great water power 
were taken away, yet that mighty force is still one 
•of the strongest elements and features of the munici- 
pality's well-being and prosperity. 

And the history of the city is also a very impor- 
tant part of that of Minnesota. The two records are 
interwoven and so dependent as to be insepai-ahle. 
IMiuneapolis could hardly exist without Minnesota, 
and ]\Iinnesota at large finds its great busy, bustling, 
and enterprising metropolis of immense advantage to 
the material welfare of the State and its people. No 
history of Miiuicapolis can be complete without a fair 
mention of that of jMinnesota. 


At a very early period in American history, per- 
haps before the Christian era, that mysterious race 
commonly called the jMound Builders occupied por- 
tions of what is now the State of Miiinesota. From 
a fair consideration of the evidences of their occupa- 
tion, it is probat)le that the period of their stay here 
covered at least a hundred years; exactly when they 
came and when they left can never be known. All 
knowledge of them is incomplete, uncertain, indefi- 
nite, and largely speculative. It seem.s certain, how- 
ever, that at a vei'y remote period a race of human 
beings, differing from the red or copper-colored 
Indians of historic times, were in Jlinnesota. They 
left undoubted evidences of their occupation. They 
raised earthen mounds, fortifications, and effigies; 
made and used stone axes, flint arrow-points, spear 
and lance heads, and other weapons and implements; 
and manufactured pottery, beads, and other articles. 

In time tiu^y made implements of copper. They left 
si)ecimens of their work behind them, and very many 
of these specimens are in existence today. 

It seems altogetiier 23robable that at one time there 
was a city of the Mound Builders in the eastern j)art 
of St. Taul, on the cr'est of the great elevation known 
as Dayton's Bluff. Here, until in recent years, were 
a dozen huge conical mounds, some of which were 25 
feet in height and the same dimension in diameter 
at the base. Two or three of these are sup])oscd to 
have been temple mounds, from whose crests human 
sacrifices were offered to the great Sun God ; for, 
many think the Mound Builders were akin to the 
Aztecs of Mexico, whom Cortez found worshiping the 
sun and offering to that gi'eat luminary, fi'om stone 
altars upon lofty elevations, human sacrifices gasiied 
and dismembered with flint knives. Near Little Falls 
are considerable deposits of white quartz; and, from 
certain chips and fragments found in the vicinity, it 
is conjectured that the Minnesota JMound Builders 
worked here and made certain weapons and imple- 
ments. The greater number of these articles found 
in Minnesota were not made here. The material of 
which they are formed came from other States, some 
of it from as far to the eastward as West Virginia. 

Now, the ilound Builders — or at least some very 
ancient people — made all these stone and flint imple- 
ments; their successors, the red or copper-colored 
Indians, did not — could not. They picked them up 
aiul used them. Init they could neitlier manufacture 
them or put them in repair. Evidently the most 
delicate arrow-points were made simply with other 
flint tools. In many Western States, from the Ohio 
to the upper Mississippi, numerous copper imple- 
ments are found in the Mounds and at the sites of 
pre-historic villages. It is conjectured that most of 
the mineral from which these ai-ticles were made came 
from the vast deposits in Michigan. Some of the 
ancient red Indians — notably the Sioux of the ;\Iille 
Lacs — made a rude pottery, but it was not like that 
of the Mound Builders. 

A proportion of the larger ^Mounds seem to have 
been used mainly as the sepulchers or last resting 



places of the kings, chiefs, and other of the illus- 
trious pre-historic dead. The practice of such 
interment may have been copied from the ancient 
Egyptians. The majority of the mounds are small. 
The smaller are called sepulchral mounds, because 
they seem to have been used solely as tombs and 
burial places. Some of the larger and higher mounds 
are thought to have been towers of observation from 
whose crests the approach of enemies might be dis- 
covered. In nearly every mound that has been 
opened, whether sepulchral, temple, or observation, 
human relics have been discovered. In most in- 
stances, however, all that was found of the character 
of liuman remains comprised some fragments of bone, 
which crumbled on exposui-e to the light, and some 
wliitish powder, apparently the last traces of a human 
•skeli'ton which hac! "returned to its original dust." 
In every case of this kind it is fair to presume that 
the mound was not only intended as the tomb of a 
distinguished personage, but was meant to be a monu- 
ment to his memory. It was a Pyramid in honor 
of a Mound Buikler Rameses. 

Tliis is not the place for an essay upon the old 
Mound Builders. Thej' have long been the subjects 
of investigation and discussion, and, in recent years, 
of controversy and dispute among American ethnol- 
ogists and archaeologists. One party contends that 
these pre-historic people were members of a distinct 
race of fairl.v civilized agriculturists, whose remote 
ancestors came from South America, by way of 
Central America and Mexico, into what is now the 
United States; that they lived from remote antiquity 
in the regions where the mounds and the stone and 
Hint implements were found, and that they were 
finally driven away or exterminated by the more 
savage nomadic hordes that came from the northward 
and wliose descendants became the red Indians found 
ill North America l)y the first whites. Another party 
believes that the ilound Builders were merely the 
progenitors and ancestors of the red or copper-colored 
Indians. No written record of the Moiind Builders 
has ever been found, luiless the alleged "golden 
plates" from which the ^Mormons claim their "Bible" 
was translated was such a record. 


There never were but few evidences of the Mound 
Builders' occupation of the present site of ilinne- 
apolis; perhaps there are none now. Out on the 
shores of Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet, in early 
times, there were a few tumuli or sepulchral mounds. 
Tlie Pond brothers, early missionaries, noted one or 
two of these on Lake Calhoun. The late Gov. W. R. 
Marshall, who was one of the very first settlers on 
the east side of the Palls, had several small mounds 
on his claim and excavated one of them for a cellar, 
'but nothing very remarkable was found. At Bloom- 
ington and Lake Minnetonka are al)undant evidences 
of the Mound Builders' presence at a remote time. 
The i-oUection of mounds at Bloomington is large and 
important, but no remarkable "finds" have been 

It is probable that in tlie early periods of human 

occupation the site of the great Falls here was 
regarded as supernatural, as holy ground, not to be 
trespassed upon with impunity, but only to be visited 
in reverence and a spirit of devotion. Any great 
natural feature, as a mountain, a large lake, a water- 
fall, was by the aborigines believed to be the abode 
of a deity and was regarded and respected accord- 
ingly. Even the huge granite boulders scattered over 
the sui'face of the countiy were believed to be the 
abiding places of supernatural beings. These simple 
people, in the natural disposition of mankind to 
believe in the mj-sterious and supernatural, filled, in 
their fancies, not only the earth but the air with 
deities and spirits, and of a ti'uth saw God in the 
clouds and heard Him in the wind. 


The aborigines, both Mound Builders and red 
Indians, did not make their homes immediately near 
the great river falls at the site of Minneapolis. There 
were beautiful locations all about the cataracts, but 
doubtless it was thought to be dangerous to occupy 
them. The powerful spirits whose abodes were here 
would resent the intrusion and visit the intruders 
with awful penalties and punishments. The nearest 
the old-time villages came to the Falls was out about 
Lake Calhoun. 

When the first white man. Father Louis Hennepin, 
visited the Palls, in July, 1680, he saw a Sioux 
Indian offering sacrifices and addressing his prayers 
to the presiding local deity. Other earl.y explorers 
noted that the Indians visited the mightj' cataracts, 
not to fish or hunt, but to say their prayers and show 
all proper respect to their gods; no Indian offered to 
set his tepee or to build his lodge there. In fear and 
trembling they noted the intinision and trespass of 
the white men upon the sacred precincts. They 
regarded the work of improvement here as sacrilege 
and desecration of the worst form. When in 1820 
the garrison at Port Snelling built a miU and a dwell- 
ing house here, they looked to see it overwhelmed by 
a riood or destroyed by thunderbolts. As time passed 
and other improvements were made, ami especially 
when mills were built and the river current made to 
turn them, they were astounded. Finally they con- 
eluded that the old gods had aliandoned the place, 
and then a few of them came and pitched their tepees 
wpon ground which became the busiiiess center of the 
great city. 

Geologists tell us of the great Glacial Period, when 
^Minnesota was covered with a sheet of ice. In time 
this melted away, and it is thought probable that there 
were men in southern Minnesota when what is now 
the northern part of tlie State was ice-bound. The 
scientific men believe that 7,000 or 8,000 years ago the 
Falls were at the mouth of the Minnesota, and that 
during this- time the long, great gorge between Fort 
Snelling and the present cataract was eroded and 
dug, as it were, by the river. 


The city of Quebec was founded by Samuel Cham- 
plain, the French Governor of Canada, in 1608. He 


was soon joini'd by missionary priests of llic .Motlicr 
Clitirch wiio penetrated the siirrouiuiiiiir wiUleriU'Sses 
and labored among the savajre Indians lor their con- 
version to the Christian faitli. The eajytnre of Canada 
by the English, in l(i2!l. defeated any further uiis- 
sionary efforts for a time, but the country was restored 
three yeai-s later and Jesuit priests set out to con- 
tinue the missions alone. 

These zealous religious workers became the first 
discoverers of the greater part of the interior of the 
North American Continent, especially of a great part 
of the Northwest. Within ten years after their second 
arrival, they had not only examined mucii of the 
country from Lake Superior to the Gulf of Mexico 
and founded several Christian villages, but they had 
planted the cross at the 8ault Ste. ]\Iarie, from whence 
they looked out and down upon the eounti-y of the 
Sioux and the valley of the upper Mississippi. But 
for these courageous and pious men very much of 
early Northwestern history would not have been made, 
and much more of it would not have been recorded 
and preserved. 


It was, however, not a priest, but a layman, ilon- 
sieur Jean Nicolet, who first heard of ""a great water" 
which proved to be the upper ^Mississippi. He came 
to Canada from France in ItJlS and had been much 
in the service of the Government as an emissary and 
explorer. In 1639 he was sent to Green Bay and went, 
by way of the Fox River and a portage, to the Wis- 
consin, and down that river for some distance. Of 
this journey Father Vimont, in the Jesuit Relations 
of that year (Rel. 1639-40, p. 135), writes: 

"The Sieur Nicolet, who had penetrated furthest 
into these distant coimtries, avers that had he sailed 
three days more on a great river which flows from 
that lake | Green Bay] he would have found the sea." 

Now it was the Ouinipegou (or Winnebago) Indians 
with whom Nicolet was at the time. They told him 
simply of "a great water," by which term they 
described the big river. From his imperfect under- 
standing of their language, he believed they were tell- 
ing him of tile great ocean, and he hastened back 
with the astounding news. At that time the belief 
was common that the sea was to be found not many 
hundred miles west of Canada. The Jesuit fathers 
now had higl: hopes of rea<;'hing the Pacific with their 
mission stations and prepared to send some of their 
number to "those men of the other sea." (Ibid., 
132-35.) It was not long, however, before the truth 
was learned, or at least enough to realize that the 
Wiiniebagoes meant a big river and not the ocean 
when they told Nicolet of the "great water." 

The Spaniards had discovered the loiocr ;\Iississippi 
a hundred years before, and De Soto had died on its 
banks and been buried in its bo.som in 1542. It is, 
however, fpiite certain that to Jean Nicolet. the 
Frenchman.* is due the credit of having first reached 
and reported upon the waters of the upper portion 
of the great river, which has been not inaptly styled 
the "Father" of them and of many others. 

' Nicolet was drowned at Tlirpo I?ivers, Canada, in 1642. 


In Kill F'athers Isaac Jogues and Charles Raym- 
bault, at Sault Ste. :\Iarie, and in 1660 Father Men- 
ai'd. another Jesuit, with a mission on the southern 
shore of Lake Superior, heard of and reported upon 
■'the great river to the westward," and of the nation 
of people living upon it and its waters. This nation, 
it was reported, spoke another language and differed 
in other characteristics from tlie Algonquins. Father 
Allouez, who succeeded Father ilenard on Lake; 
Superior, was the first to report the name of the 
l)eople and of the river. In the Jesuit Relations for 
1666-67 (p. 1(16) he writes: "The Nadouessi live on 
the great river called ]\Iessipi, which empties, as far 
as I can conjecture, into the sea by Virginia." 

The Jesuit father. James Marquette, and the Sieur 
Louis Joliet, instructed by the French Governor of 
Canada, Frontenac, embarked June 10, 1673, in two 
I'.irch bark canoes on the Wisconsin for an explora- 
tion of the upper Mississippi. Sailing slowly down 
the Wisconsin, amid its vine-clad isles, its varied 
shores, and numerous sand-bars, on the 17th they 
glided into the great river, "with a joy I cannot 
express," writes Father Marquette. They went south 
over the river as far as the mouth of the Arkansas. 
The good father wrote "Meskousing" for Wisconsin, 
spelled the name of the great river "Missisipi." 
wrote "Ouabache" for Wal)ash, "Akansea," for 
Arkansas, etc. 

The upper Jlississippi was now fairly well known, 
but nobody had made known to the world the Great 
Falls which constituted its most important natural 
feature. The first wliite man to see tliem was to come 
seven years after Father Marquette and Joliet liad 
learned for a certainty that there was such a gnvat 
river identical with that discovered and reported upon 
by De Soto's expedition. 


The first pure Caucasians or men of full white 
blood to look upon the site where afterwards arose the 
great city of Minneapolis were Rev. Father Louis 
Hennepin and his associate, Anthony Auguelle. and 
the date of their visit was in July, 1680. There is 
but a single source of information to warrant this 
statement, but yet it has been made myriads of times, 
.seldom questioned, and is still listened to with inter- 
est; it cannot become too well known, and perhaps 
it cannot be too often made. 

Father Hennepin was born in the Province of 
TT.iinault. Flanders, Cnow RelgiunO. in aboiit 1640. 
He became a Franciscan monk and in 1674 wa.s 
present as a chaplain in the French army at the bat- 
tle of Senef. A year or so later he was sent to 
Canada. In December, 1679, he was at Fort Creye 
Coeur, on the Illinois River, eager to engage in nns- 
sionai-v work among the savages. His conuuander 
was tlie renowned Chevali(>r Robert de La Salle: Ins 
religious counselor was the venerable Father 



Ou the 29th of February, 1680, Father Hennepin 
and two Frenchmen left Fort Creve Coenr in a large 
canoe and sailed down the Illinois River, which the 
French, and especially Father Henneiiiu, called the 
Seignelay. The party consisted of the Franciscan 
priest and Michael Accault (Hennepin spells the 
name Ako and others write it Lc Sieur d 'Accault, 
d'Acau, D' Ako, and Dacan) and Antoine Auguelle, 
who was a native of the Province of Picardy and 
often termed "Le Pieard" and "Pieard du Gay." 
They had fire arms and other weapons, a good stock 
of provisions, and Father Hennepin carried all the 
articles commonly employed by a priest in his sacred 

In his "Description of Louisiana" Father Hen- 
nepin states the object of and some other circum- 
stances connected with the expedition. He says: 

■ ' I offered to undertake this voyage to endeavor to 
go and form an acquaintance with the natives among 
whom I hoped soon to settle in order to preach the 
faith. The Sieur de La Salle told me that I gratified 
him. He gave nie a peace calumet and a canoe with 
two men." 

The real leader or commander of the party was not 
Father Hennepin ; he was merely the chaplain of the 
expedition. Pie admits in his journal that his com- 
panions often disobeyed his requests. The real com- 
mander seems to have been IMiehael Accault. Father 
Hennepin says that La Salle, "intrusted him [Accault] 
with some goods intended to make presents, which were 
worth a thousand or twelve hundred livres [or nearly 
$210]. He gave me ten knives, twelve awls, a small 
roll of tobacco to give the Indians, about two pounds of 
black and white beads, and a small package of needles. 
He is very liberal to his friends." 

About March 7, the party reached the mouth of the 
Illinois. Here they were detained five days by the 
floating ice in the Mississippi, which river was then 
called by the French of the country the Colbert. Two 
leagues from the confluence of the two rivers they came 
upon some Indians whose villages were west of the 
Colliert and who called themselves ilaroa or Tamaroa, 
and were probably the bands known to the Algontjuins 
as the Messouret or Missouris. They used wooden 
canoes, or canoes fashioned from logs, while the Algon- 
quins of the lakes had boats of liireh bark, and the 
woi-d .Missouri, or Michouri, means wooden canoe; not 
muddy, as is commonly supposed. The Maroas were 
at war with the Northern Indians towards whom 
Father Hennepin and his companions were going with 
arms and other iron implements. The Indians shot 
arrows at the white men in the endeavor to prevent the 
reenforcemeut of their enemies. 

'i'lie explorers renewed their voyage up the Colbert 
on ^March 12. The woi-k of paddling the rather heavily 
laden canoe against tiie strong swollen current of the 
Mississii)pi in the month of March and the flrst part of 
April, when much driftwood and floating ice must have 
been encountered, was of course very hard and toil- 
some. Landings and encampments were nuide every 
niglit and progress was necessarily very slow. In his 
Jouriud Father Hennepin does not mention these 

embarrassing circumstances, however, and doubtless 
they were cheerfully endured. He speaks joyously of 
the abundance of fresh provisions the country afl;'orded 
them, saying: "We were loaded with seven or eight 
large turkeys, which multiply of themselves in these 
parts. We wanted neither buffalo, nor deer nor bea- 
ver, nor fish nor bear meat, for we killed those animals 
as the}' swam across the river. ' ' 


After a mouth's journey up the great river an extra- 
ordinary incident occurred. The reverend father tells 
us that during tlie voyage they had been considering 
the river Colbert (ilississippi), "with great pleasure, 
and without hindrance to know whether it was naviga- 
ble up and down." It is quite probable that they had 
been instructed to investigate and rei)ort upon the 
navigability of the river, and that they were also to 
examine and describe the country upon both its shores. 
The priest expected to proclaim the Gospel to the sav- 
ages to whom the.y should come, and the daily prayers 
of all three of the white men were that these people 
might be encountered in the daytime, and not at night, 
when they might be mistaken for enemies and ruth- 
lessly killed. Their prayers were answered when, on 
the 11th of April, "about 2 o'clock in the afternoon," 
says Father Hennepin, they encountered '6'i birch bark 
canoes AVith 120 warriors of the great Nadouessioux 
or Sioux nation of Indians. The savages were on their 
way "to make war on the Miamis, the Islinois, and the 
Maroa" Indians, whose country was to the southward, 
and who were the hereditary enemies of the Sioux. Of 
course the Sioux were armed and very desirous of kill- 
ing somebody. 

There was the greatest excitement among them. The 
white men had the peace pipe which La Salle had given 
them, and which Father Hennepin now lipid conspicu- 
ously and ostentatiously aloft that the Indians might 
plainly see it. A peace pipe or calumet was a white 
flag, and not only meant that the bearer was harmless 
and friendly but that he must be respected and pro- 
tected from all harm and injury. It was very valuable 
on this occasion. The Indians yelled and screamed 
and fired arrows at the white strangers, but Father 
Hennepin says: "The old men, seeing us with the 
calumet of peace in our hands, prevented the young 
men from killing us." 

It was a perilously critical time, according to Father 
Hennepin's narration. Some think he exaggerated 
the danger and peril of the conditions, which were 
doubtless bad enough at the best. He says that by the 
signs of the Indians — for their language could not be 
understood — the white men comprehended that the 
savages were on a hostile expedition against their old 
time enemies, the Miamis and others down Itelow. 
Then the good father, "took a little slick and by signs 
which we made in the sand showed them that their ene- 
mies, the Miamis, whom they sought, had fled across 
the river Colbert to join the Islinois." 


Whereupon, realizing that their enemies had escaped 
them, the Sioux lifted up their voices and wept — wept 


loudly and tlu'ir tears flowed profusely. Tlieir iocs 
had lied in safety; hiiic illn l<iilirti»i(i(\ Father Hen- 
nepin, "with a wreteheil handkerehief I had left." 
wiped away some of the tears ; the renuiinder eitlier fell 
on the ground and rolled into the river or were swal- 
lowed up by the earth. Tlie savages refu.sed to he 
comforted. They would not smoke the peace pipe of 
the white men. and even wrenched it from their hands. 
The.v made the poor prisoners cross the river and go 
into caini) witli llieni. 'i'lien they called an assembly 
which tletcrmined that the wrctclunl captives should 
be tomahawked outright. As a peace ottering Father 
Hennei)in then gave them six axes, fifteen knives, and 
.six fathoms (24 feet) of a rope or twist of tobacco an 
inch thick. At last, wishing to end it all, the good 
priest, as he says, handed them an ax and bowing his 
head and baring his neck told them to go ahead and 
decapitate him, and so make an end ! 

At once there was a change of sentiment among the 
Indians. They approached the father in a friendly 
manner, jnit three pieces of hot cooked beaver meat 
into his mmith before presenting him with a bark dish 
full of the same food. Then they returned the peace 
pipe, but the three white men spent the night in great 
anxiety. Augnelle and Accault had their arms and 
swords at hand, determined to sell their lives as dearly 
as possible. The zealous and pious priest was, as he 
says, in a different nmod. Says he: 

"As for my own part, I determined to allow myself 
to be killed without any resistance, as I was going to 
announce to them a God who had been falsely accused, 
unjustly condemned, and cruelly crucified without 
showing the least aversion to those that put him to 
death. But we watched in turn, in our anxiety, so as 
not to be surprised asleep." 


The morning of April 12, a chief or head wari'ior, 
whom Father Hennepin calls "one of their captains," 
and whose name he gives as Narhetoba, all in war 
paint, asked the white men for their peace pipe. Re- 
ceiving it. he filled it "with tobacco of his country" 
(probably kinnikinnick), smoked it himself, and then 
made all of the other members of the band smoke it. 
That settled the fate of the distressed captives ; tiiey 
were to live. .Xarhetoba (see definition, post) told 
them that their lives would be spared, but that they 
must go back with them to their own country. With 
this decision they were well enough satisfietl, since 
the Indians' country was their intended tlestination. 

In his perturbation and nervousnes,s Father Henne- 
pin was constantly muttering and mumbling his pray- 
ers. The Indians noticed him, and the father says 
they cried out, "Oua-Kanclie," which the three whites 
thought was an expression of anger and denunciation. 
Michael Accault said to him: "Keep quiet; if you 
continue to mutter your prayers and recite your bre- 
viary, we shall all be killed." Thereupon the good 
father ceased to pray in public, but uttered his orisons 
in the dark or within the .seclusion of a wood. P>ut 
what the Indians really said was "Wau-Kawn, " or 

j)crhaps " wau-kawn-de," meaning supernatural. In 
eit'ect they said, respectfully enough, "lie is saying 
something of a supernatural or sacred character." 
He afterward read from his breviary in an open canoe 
the Litany of the Blessed Virgin, and was not dis- 
turbed. The Indians seemed to think that the book 
was sacred. 

The point on the Jli.ssissipjji where Father Hennepin 
and his conqjanions met the Sioux cannot now be 
definitely fixed. The most reasonable estimate has 
been made by that eminent authority on Northwestern 
History, ^Varren I'pham, Secretary of the State His- 
torical Society, In his X'oluine 1 of "^Minnesota in 
Three Centuries" (V. 229) Mr. Uphamsays: 

"Hennepin's estimate of the distance voyaged in 
the ascent of the ^Mississipi)i from the mouth of the 
Illinois Hivcr before meeting the Sioux was about 200 
French leagues; and from the i)lace of that meeting to 
where they left this river, at the site of St. Paul, ahout 
250 leagues. The whole distance, thus represented to 
be about J-'iO French leagues, or 1,242 English miles, 
is ascertained by the present very accurate maps to be 
only 689 miles, following the wiiuling Course of the 
river. If we can truthfully accept the proportional 
ratio of the e.stimates of Hennepin, indicating four- 
ninths of the whole voyage to have been passed when 
he met the Sioux and was taken captive, that place 
was near the head of the Rock Island Rainds, some 
15 miles above tlic citii-s of Rock Island and Daven- 


It was probably on the 14th of April when the fleet 
of Indian bark canoes, including the boat of the captive 
white men, set out for the Sioux country up the river — 
the Indians abandoning their war expedition in great 
sorrow. These particular Sioux, connnonly ferocious 
and very savage, were, according to Father Hennepin, 
very lugubrious and lachrymose. They burst into 
tears and wept copiously on the snndlest occasion. In 
tearful tones they would tell the white men how mueh 
they loved them ; the next minute, in voices choked with 
sobs, they would announce that they meant to dash 
out the bi-ains of the helpless captives becaus'^ the 
^liamis had killed some Sioux onci' upon a time, 

;\lore than once Father Heiuiepin's life was saved 
by the intervention of the kind-lu'arted "captain" 
w'hom tlie father calls .Xarhetoba. (Probably, Nali- 
ha-e-topa, meaning, kicks twice to one side.) The head 
chief of the party, according to the father's account, 
was called Aquipaguelin. (Probably A-kee-pa Ga-tan, 
meaning a foi-ked or pronged meeting, from a-kee-jia, 
a meeting antl gatan, forked or i)ronged. and meaning 
one who meets at a forked or pi-onged division of the 
road or i)ath.) For some time this chief was deter- 
mined to kill the tliree wliite men in order to assuage 
his grief for the death of his son, who had been killed 
by till' Miamis. He bawled almost constantly and kept 
up a special roai'ing at night. Father Hennepin says 
he indulged in all this extravagant demonstration of 
a poiginnit sorrow and a broken heart in order to obtain 
the sympathy of his followers so that — probably to 


stop his noise — they would murder the white men 
and appi-opriate their goods. But the father says 
that their lives were spared by the savages for merely 
commercial I'easons. He explains: 

"Those who liked European goods were much dis- 
posed to preserve us, so as to attract other Frenchmen 
there imd get iron, which is extremely precious in their 
eyes, but of which they learned the great utility only 
when they saw one of our French boatmen kill thi-ee 
or four bustards [turkeys] at a single shot, while they 
can scarcely kill only one with an arrow. In conse- 
cjuence, as we afterward learned, the words 'JIanza 
Ouackange' mean iron that has understanding."' 
(llah-/ah Waukon means supernatural iron, and a gun 
was often so called. 

The white men's boat l)ore such a load of freight that 
with its ordinary crew it could not keep pace with the 
light birch-bark canoes of the Sioux ; and so the Indians 
sent four or five of their number to help the French- 
men paddle their craft. The ma.jority of the Indians 
were fairly kind to the prisoners, but their kindness 
sometimes took disagreeable forms. The father 
tells us: 

"During the night some old men came to weep 
piteously, often rubbing our arms and whole bodies 
with their hands, which they then put on our heads. 
Besides being hindered from sleeping Ijy these tears, 
I often did not know what to think — whether these 
Indians wept because some of their warriors would 
have killed us, or out of pure compassion at the ill- 
treatment shown us. ' ' 

When the fleet reached Lake Pepin there was another 
outburst of Indian tears. Father Hennepin says he 
named this lake the Lake of Tears ("Lac des Pleurs"), 
"because some of the Indians who had taken us and 
wished to kill us wept the whole night to induce the 
others to consent to our death." The voyage was con- 
tinued, amid occasional showers of tears and the con- 
stant threats and menaces of old Forked Meeting, for 
nineteen days. It was a voyage of physical toil and 
hardship as well as of mental discomfort. Only one 
thing was comforting, game was abundant aiul there 
was plenty to eat. 


On the nineteenth day after the capture, or April 30, 
the expedition landed on the east side of the Colbert, 
or Mississippi. Father Hennepin says this landing 
was made "in a bay." and at a point "five leagues [15 
miles] below St. Anthony's Falls." The locality has 
been identified as Pig's Eye Lake, a few miles east of 
St. Paul, on the nortli or east side of the river. In the 
early spring this lake has always been connected by 
water with the Mississippi, and Father Hennepin very 
properly called it "a bay." Subsequently the place 
was called "La Pointe Basse," or the shoal point; 
Point Le Claire, for Michel Le Claire, the first bona- 
fide white settler on its banks; and "Pig's Eye," for 
the nickname of an old Canadian Frenchman, Pierre 
Parrant, who kept whisky for sale at the western end 
of the lake, at Dayton's Bluff. 

Here the Indians broke up the white men's boat and 

seized all their goods, taking even Father Hennepin's 
entire equipment for his sacerdotal functions, all the 
articles pertaining to a portable chapel which he was 
carrying with him, his robes, chasuble, etc., everything 
except the chalice, which, because it glittered, they 
thought was "Waukon" and had better be let alone. 
They also distributed the hapless prisoners separately 
to three heads of families, "in place of three of their 
children that had been killed in war. ' ' Then they hid 
their own canoes and some other articles amid the tall 
and rank growth of weeds and ru.shes in Pig's Eye 
Lake, and then set out for their principal villages on 
jMille Lacs, or among the "thousand lakes" of that 

The journey from the river to the village occupied 
about five days. Presumably the Indians followed a 
well known trail, but the march was a hard one, espe- 
cially for Father Hennepin and his companions. The 
distance, as the crow flies, is a little more than a hun- 
dred miles, and the trail was not very far from straight. 
But the Rum River and other streams were to cross, 
swamps and marshes had to be waded, and elevations 
climbed. It was early spring and many of the lakes 
and swamps were covered with a thin ice which broke 
under the feet of the prisoners, and the father says: 
"Our legs were all bloody from the ice which we broke 
as we advanced in lakes which we forded." They ate 
only once in 24 hours and often the priest fell by the 
wayside in the dead prairie grass, "resolved to die 
there," he tells us. But the Indians set fii'e to the 
grass and he was forced to trudge on or be burned to 
death. He swam the chilly water of the Rum River, 
but his companions could not swim, and the Indians 
had to carry them across on their shoulders. 


At last, about the 5th of ilay, they reached the ]Mille 
Lacs village, which Father Hennepin calls Issati, per- 
haps a corruption of E-sau-te (or Isanti), meaning a 
knife. A number of the Indian women and children 
came out to meet the warriors and welcome them home. 
The white men were objects of curiosity but not of 
admiration. Their status was that of slaves and nobody 
envied them. One old man ("weeping bitterly," of 
course) rubbed Father Hennepin's legs and feet with 
wild-cat oil and was very sorry for him. while another 
Indian gave him a bark dish full of wild rice well sea- 
soned with blueberries. 

Father Hennepin's master (A-keepa Ga-tan) had 
five wives. He lived on an island to which he soon 
conveyed his adopted son, whom Hennepin says he 
called Mitchinchi (Me-Chincha, meaning my child), 
and to whom he was reasonably kind. 


Nothing is said by Father Hennepin, in his rather 
elaborate account of his captivity, indicating that he 
and his companions were the first white men that the 
Sioux (or Nadonessis) had seen. He makes no refer- 
ence to the subject whatever. The Sieur dn Luth 
claimed that he was at this same Issati village in l(i7!l. 


the year before Father Hennepin was taken to it, but 
Father Hennepin does not say so. l)u Ijuth returned 
with the Father to the viUage in the early autumn of 
1680, and in mentioning this fact the priest does not 
hint that this was Du Luth's second visit. It is singu- 
lar that Du Luth never ehumed until late in 1680, after 
Father Hennepin's release, that he was at Mille Laes, 
the village of the Issatis, in the summer of 1(J7(). IMany 
have boldly claimed that Father Hennepin and his two 
companions in captivity were the first white men to 
visit the ancient Sioux at Mille Lacs, and that Du Luth 
willfully and knowingly testified falsely when he 
asserted that he was there in 1679. 

LACS IN 1680. 

Father Hennepin and Ids white companions had a 
rather uneventful experience among the Indians of 
Mille Lacs. This great lake at the time was called the 
Spirit Lake, or in Sioux ' ' Meday Waukon. ' ' The peo- 
ple dwelling on its banks came to be called the Meday 
(or Meda or iM'da) Waukontonwan, or people of the 
Spirit Lake ; Meda, lake ; Waukon, spirit ; Tonwan, 
people or village. Father Hennepin found them boil- 
ing their meat and wild rice in earthen pots. He had 
an iron pot "with three lion-paw feet," which the 
Indians were afraid of as "Waukon" and would not 

It is therefore certain that the early Sioux made 
pottery, as did the Mound Builders. It is not proba- 
ble, however, that they made flint implements, or at 
least Father Hennepin does not tell us so. They prob- 
ably used stone war clubs, weapons formed of egg- 
shaped stones fastened in the ends of sticks. Henne- 
pin tells us that on one occasion Chief Aquipaguetin, 
the Meeter at the Fork, came at him with his "head- 
breaker, ' ' which was no doubt a war club. The French 
term is "casse-tete," which Dr. Shea and others trans- 
late tomahawK, but which the best dictionaries render 
a bludgeon, or a mace. Literally the term means head 
breaker. The Indians had no tomahawks or other 
metallic implements at the time of Hennepin's visit, 
for this was doubtless their first meeting with white 
men. Prof. Thwaites translated "casse-tete" club. 

The lot of Father Hennepin and his white com- 
panions among the Sioux at Mille Lacs was not an espe- 
cially happy one. They were slaves and had to work. 
The good father was kept busy at garden making on 
the island of his master. He had brought some vege- 
table seeds with him, it seems, and they came handy. 
He planted tobacco, cabbages, and purslain (portu- 
lacca), as well as corn and beans. He had the satisfac- 
tion of baptizing a child, a little girl, the daughter of 
"Maminisi" (probably Maminni-sha, meaiung looks at 
red water), as she was believed to be dying. The child 
recovered, but died some weeks later. He christened 
her Antonetta, chiefly for Anthony Auguelle, who 
stood as her godfather. 

.Michael Accault (or Akol and the Picard had a 
hard time of it too. Father Hennepin sa.vs the latter 
was especially illy used. The Indian women recoiled 
from both men in horror because of ' ' the hair on their 

faces;" they seemed to think they were practically 
wild beasts of some sort, or the missing links between 
the human and the lii-ute. Father Hennepin shaved 
hiuLself and they liked him. He was then about 40 
years of age and the Flemings were generally good 
looking men. Rut he was not favored by the Indian 
women. In fact they did not even use him kindly. 
He says : 

"I had been well content had they let me eat as 
their children did; but they hid the victuals from me 
and would rise in the night to eat, when T knew noth- 
ing of it. And although women have usually more 
compassion than men, yet they kei)t the little fish they 
had for their children. They considered me as their 
slave, whom their warriors had taken in their enemies' 
country, and preferred the lives of their children before 
any consideration they had for me ; as indeed it was but 
reasonable they should." 

Of course the father had told the men that he did not 
want a wife; that he had promised "the Great ]\laster 
of Life" never to marry, and that he only desired to 
instruct them in regard to that Master and His com- 
mands. They accepted his statement agreeably, but 
when he told them that white men had but one wife 
each, they received the information with derision, and 
intimated that such men must be idiots. They bade 
him have patience, for a great buffalo hunt was coming 
off soon and he should be a member of the party, when 
he would have all the sport and all the buft'alo meat he 
wanted. The head chief, the Pine Shooter, was good 
to the prisoners and denounced the other Indians for 
their neglect and cruelty. Father Hennepin gives the 
name of this chief as "Ouasicoude," in Nadouessioux, 
and translates it Pierced Pine ; but it is altogether 
probable that the Indian name was Wahze Coota, which 
means Pine Shooter; in Sioux Pierced Pine would be 
Wah-ze Pakdoka. 

During the less than three months when he was their 
prisoner. Father Hennepin tried hard to learn the 
Nadouessioux language, but did not succeed very well. 
He set about compiling a dictionary of it, but did not 
get very far. He says : 

"As soon as I could catch the words Taketchialiihen,* 
which means in their language, How do you call that? 
I became in a little while able to converee with them, 
but only on familiar things." 

Yet on a subsequent page he pretends to give us a 
full and correct translation of a rather long jirayer 
made by a Sioux at St. Anthony Falls to the deity of 
the place, entreating vengeance on the Fox tribe of 
Indians, the deadly enemies of the Sioux. 


In the beginning of July the Nadouessioux set out 
on their grand buffalo hunt, going down the IMississippi 
to the great jirairies of Southern JMinnesota and North- 
ern Illinois and Iowa. Two months of fine grazing 
luul made the animals fat, and they were abundant. 
Headed by the Pine Shooter, 80 eabixis, of more than 

"Take, pronounced tah-kay; chiabi, keabi ; ban, hab. Prob- 
ably in modern Sioux Taku keapi hay, meaning, What call itt 


130 families and 250 warriors, composed the party. 
The women went along to care for the meat and of 
course had to take their children with them, ^laiiy 
of the villagers (perliaps the women and children) 
walked from their villages to the Elk and the Rum 
Rivers, where they embarked in birch bark canoes and 
paddled down the upper ilississippi, making portages 
at the Great Falls by carrying their canoes, etc., around 
the cataracts and putting them in the water below. 

Father Hennepin embarked in a canoe with some 
Indians on Rum River, called by him the St. Francis.* 

A sort of boat yard was established at the mouth of 
this river and quite a number of new canoes made. 
The women made the frames and the men cut and 
brought in the bark to cover them. This delayed mat- 
ters so long that Father Hennepin and Anthony 
Auguelle had permission to go in their boat in advance 
of the hunting party. When they embarked on Rum 
River the Picard and Accault would not let the priest 
go in the boat with them. "^lichael Ako told me very 
brutally ('brutalement') that he had carried me long 
enough." The Picard said the canoe allotted them 
was a very rotten one and would have burst had all 
three been in it ; but the priest thought this was not a 
sufficient excuse. He reproached his companions for 
their desertion ; said that whatever favors they had 
received from the savages was due to his good work 
among the latter ; that acting as a surgeon he had often 
bled them and cured them of sickness and rattlesnake 
bites, by administering orvietan** and other medicines 
to them; having kept a stock of these remedies with 
him, and for all this his sworn companions were now 

However, on being allowed to go in advance of the 
hunting party, Anthony Auguelle, the Picard, agreed 
that the Father might go in the boat with him ; but 
Michael Ako preferred to stay with the Indians. 
Father Hennepin had protested that he must hasten to 
the mouth of the Wisconsin, his superior, the 
Chevalier La Salle, had promised to have men and sup- 
plies for him there about that time. Doubtless this 
was a made-up story to deceive the Indians into allow- 
ing their prisoners an opportunity to escape; for this 
is the first mention Father Hennepin makes of such a 
promise on the part of La Salle. 


Father Hennepin and the Picard were allowed by 
the Indians the Picard 's gun, fifteen charges of pow- 

* It has been disputed that the stream called by Father 
Hennepin the St. Francis River was the one so named on 
subsequent maps. Many think it was really the Eum Kiver 
which he named for the saint, and not the stream which other 
travelers and certain maps considered to be the St. Francis 
and which is now called Elk Kiver. The learned Dr. Elliott 
Cones (deceased) who in 1S9.T rejuiblished Lieut. Z. M. Pike's 
Journal of his ascent of the Mississippi, with invaluable notes 
and comments, was positive that Hennepin's St. Francis was 
really Rum River. Seemingly as a sort of compromise an 
upper branch of Elk River is now called St. Francis. Both 
the Rum River and the Elk (or St. Francis) have their head- 
waters in the Mille Lacs and the Nadouesiouxs would have but 
a small portage to make between them and their villages. 

** Orvietan, now obsolete, was a drug described as a counter 
poison, made in Italy, and given in extreme cases. 

der, a knife, a beaver robe, and a "wretched earthen 
pot," the latter their only cooking utensil; w-hat had 
become of the iron pot with the three lion paws is not 
recorded. The two wJiite men paddled swiftly down 
the Mississippi and soon landed above the great falls, 
probably oppasite the head of the present Nicollet 
Island, or maybe a little farther uji the stream. They 
had to make a portage around the falls of more than 
a mile. That is to say, they had to drag their canoe 
from the water, hoist it upon their shoulders, and 
carry it and their baggage around the cataracts from 
the calm water above to the navigable current below. 
It was well that the canoe was of birch bark and not 
very heavy, yet its transportation was a disagreeable 
and toilsome job at best. 

In neither of his two books — "A Description of 
Louisiana." and "A New Discovery of a Vast Coun- 
try," etc., — does Father Hennepin give a very elab- 
orate description of the great falls which he discovered 
and named. In the prelude of the "Description" he 
says : 

"Continuing to ascend the Colbert River ten or 
twelve leagues more, the navigation is interrupted by 
a fall, which I called St. Anthony of Padua 's, in grati- 
tude for the favors done me by the Almighty through 
the intercession of that great saint, whom we had 
chosen patron and protector of all our enterprises. 
This fall is forty or fifty feet high, divided in the mid- 
dle by a rocky island of pyramidal form." 

In his account of the descent of the ilississippi when 
he first saw the falls, as contained in what may be con- 
sidered his journal in the "Description," he makes no 
elaborate mention of his particular discovery. One 
would expect him to give us a rapturous description of 
all the circumstances, his sensations, etc., covering sev- 
eral pages. But he makes simply a brief reference : 
"As we were making the portage of our canoe at St. 
Anthony of Padua's Falls, we perceival five or six 
Indians who had taken the start," etc. Then he goes 
on to describe the performance of one od the Indians. 
He says the savage climbed an oak tree opposite the 
fall and on one of its branches hung an elaborately 
dressed beaver robe, which he suspended as an ottering 
to the spirit that dwelt under the falls — probably Onk- 
tay-hee, the greatest of all the Sioux water spirits, 
the great Nadouessioux Neptune — and begged that the 
hunting party might be successful, etc. But as Father 
Hennepin understood the Indian language quite imper- 
fectly, his pretended literal translation of the aborig- 
ine's prayer cannot be relied upon. Later Michael 
Accault took away for his own use the fine beaver robe 
which he had seen offered to the water god. 

In referring to the Falls, which he was the first white 
man to see. Father Hennepin invariably calls them 
"St. Anthony of Padua's Falls," or "the falls of St. 
Anthony of Padua." He seldom leaves off the affix 
"of Padua." He evidently wants it understood that 
his patron saint was the Portuguese St. Anthony, who 
died at Padua in 1281, and not the St. Anthony of 
Egypt, who died as early as A. D. 356. It was the 
Paduan Saint that is said to have preached to a school 
of fishes and they understood him. 



About three miles below the falls, or probably just 
above iliniiehaha, the Pieanl di.seovered that lie had 
left liis powth'r horn, with its preeiou.s fifteen eharfjes, 
where they had re-embarked and they landed and he 
rau back to get it. And here Fatiier Hennepin tells 
his remarkable snake story. He gravely relates : 

"On the Pieard's return T showed him a huge ser- 
pent, as l)ig as a man's leg and seven or eight feet long. 
['Uu serpent gros eomme la jambe d"un honnne, qui 
etoit long de sept ou liuit pieds. '] She was working 
herself insensibly up a steep, craggy rock to get at the 
swallows' nests ['nids d' hirondelles'] to eat the 
young ones. At the bottom of the eliff we saw the 
feathers of those she had already devoured. We 
pelted her so long with stones till at length she fell into 

the river. Her tongue, which was in the form of a 
lance, was of an extraordinary length. Her hiss 
might be heard a great way and the noise of it seized 
us with horror. Poor Picai-d dreamed of her at night 
anti was in a great agony all the while. He was all in 
a sweat with fright. I have likewise myself been often 
disturlied in my sleep with the image'of her." 

Such a monster, "as thick as a man's leg," would 
be of the proportions of a python or anaconda, and not 
easily knocked down with stones. Nor do snakes, when 
they partake of swallows an naturel, stop to pick off 
the feathers, but bolt the delicate morsels whole and 
without much prci)aration. A snake of the character 
and dimensions described by Hennepin could take a 
young bird into its stomach — that is to say, swallow 
a swallow— feathers and all, as easily as a man can 
bolt an oyster. 



FATHER Hennepin's work op toil, suffering, and glory- — du luth s attempt to rob the good priest op cer- 


As Father Hennepin and the Picard du Gay 
descended the Mississippi tliey found several Indians 
on the various islands — probably Pike's, Gray Cloud. 
Red Wing, and Prairie among others — and these 
people were happily situated. Some of them were 
of the party that had come dovi^n the Ruin River ; 
others were probably those who had marched rapidly 
across the country from IMille Lacs to Pigs Eye 
Lake, or Bay, resurrected the canoes they had left 
there some weeks before, and hurried down tlie river. 
The idea was to be first among the butfaloes, which 
were known to be then coming north, and get tlie 
choice of the herds. They had succeeded and had 
plenty of fresh meat upon which they were feasting. 

Of course the Indians divided their supplies with 
the two white men and all were happy, for a time at 
least. But for the Indians when on a hunting expedi- 
tion to go ahead of a hunting party into the region 
where the game abounded, was a serious infraction 
of the game laws. As Hennepin and Accault and 
some of the "sooner" Indians were feasting on an 
island, suddenly there appeared 15 or 16 warriors 
from the party that had been left at the mouth of 
Rum River. These men had their war clubs in their 
hands and were very indignant at the "sooners." 
They at once seized all the meat and bear's grease 
and reproached the offenders angrily for their viola- 
tion of the Indian hunting rules. 

After leaving this island, which they did secretly, 
Heimepin and the Picard suffered severely for the 
want of provisions. They were not with the Indians 
and Auguelle was a poor hunter. At last they killed 
a buffalo cow and on her flesh and that of some turtles 
and fish they got on very well for a time. 

Hennepin and Auguelle rowed ' ' many leagues, ' ' says 
the father, but could not find the mouth of tlie Wiscon- 
sin. About the middle of July the Forked Meeting 
suddenly overtook them with ten warriors. The white 
men thought he had come to kill them because they 
had desei-ti'd him up the river. But he gave them 
some wild rice and buffalo meat, and asked if they 
had found the white men they expected to meet at 
the month of the Wisconsin. When they told him 
they had not been down to the expected meeting, the 
chief said he and some of his good boatmen would 
hasten down in a light canoe and see il' the white 
men had come. 

Akeepa Gatan and his men i-eturned in three days. 

saying there were no white men at tlie mouth of the 
Wisconsin. The Picard was out hunting when the 
chief returned and P'ather Hennepin was alone in his 
shack. The chief came forward with his "head 
breaker," or war club, in his hand ("son casse tete 
a la main") and the father thought he was to have 
his brains beaten out. He tells us that he seized two 
pocket pistols and a knife, but says: "I had no 
mind to kill the man that had adopted me, i)ut only 
meant to frighten him and keep him from murder- 
ing me." 

The chief contented himself with reprimanding and 
scolding his adopted son for deserting him, and for 
exposing himself to the attacks of the enemies of the 
Sioux, saying that he ought at to have remained 
on the other side of the river. He then said, in 
effect : "Come with me; I have 300 hunters and they 
are killing far more buffaloes than all the otlier 
hunters: it will be better for you." The father says: 
"Probal)ly it would have been better for me to have 
followed his advice." But he was resolved to go on 
to the Wisconsin and meet La Salle's men, and then 
the Picard was afraid to accompany the Forked ileet- 
ing, and "would rather venture all than go up the 
river with him." So Hennepin and Auguelle toiled 
on down to the mouth of the Wisconsin, but found 
no white men waiting for them, and were forced to 
turn about and paddle up the strong current of the 
Mississippi again. Says the father: 

"Picard and myself had like to have perished on 
a hiuidred different occasions ('en cent occasions 
differentes') as we came down the river, and now 
we found ourselves obliged to go up it again, which 
could not be done without repeating the same dangers 
and other difficidties. " 

For the first few days of their return they had 
nothing to eat, but at the mouth of the Buffalo River 
the Picard eauglit two big catfish, bullheads. Fatlicr 
Hennepin says: "We did not stand to study what 
sauce we should make for these monstrous fish, which 
weighed about 25 pounds, both, but cut them in pieces 
and broiled them on the coals. Boil them we could 
not, as our little earthen pot had been broken some 
time before." That night they were .ioined by 
another large detachment of the Nadouessi hunting 
I)artv and among the hunters was the Looker on Red 
Water, father of the little girl whom Father Hen- 
nepin had liaptized, and who died later in the odor 




of sanctity. They uow fared sumptuously, for the 
Indians bad pleuty of meat, and gave it to them 

The Indians continued down the river, and the two 
white men accompanied them on the hunting expedi- 
tion. Hennepin says the Indian women hid a lot of 
meat at the mouth of the Butfalo Kiver, but it is hard 
to understand why it ilid not sjjoil. However, it is 
difficult to understand many things which the good 
father states as facts. 


On the 28tb of July the whole party began to 
re-ascend the ilississij^pi. For Hennepin and Au- 
guelle this was the third time they had paddled up the 
great water-course. The Indians wanted them to go 
with them to the head of Lake Superior to make 
peace and an alliance with their enemies in that 
quarter. At a point which Father Hennepin esti- 
mates (and doubtless over-estimates) as 120 leagues 
from the Sioux country, they met, to their great joy, 
the Sieur Daniel Greysolon du Luth, who, with four 
or five men and two Indian women, had come down 
the Wisconsin, by way of Fox River and its portage, 
in canoes from Lake Superior. And great was the 
joy of Du Luth and his companions at tiie meeting 
with Father Hennepin. Uood Catholics that they 
were, they had not approaclied any of the sacraments 
for more than two j^ears. 


Hearing Father Hennepin's account of his experi- 
ences, Du Luth was anxious to visit the villages of 
the Nadouessioux (or Is.sati). up in the Mille Lacs 
region, and urged the father, because he understood 
Sioux, to accompany him and his party to the vil- 
lages of those people. ("De les accompagner et 
d' aller avec eux aux villages de ees peuples. ") But 
if Du Luth had visited the villages a year before, 
why had he not learned something of the language 
of the people? Wh.v did he want to go to the vil- 
lages if he had already been there and formally taken 
possession of them for the King of France? He says 
he went to reprove the people for their unkind treat- 
ment of the three white men in making slaves of 
them. But he further says that 1,000 or 1,100 of the 
Indians, including the head chief, were with Father 
Hennepin when he met him. Surely that number 
was enough to declare his displeasure to, especially 
as he did not punish the Indians in any other way 
than to scold them. 

There is abundant evidence that Du Luth, in July, 
1680, had never seen the villages of the "Issati," or 
Naudouessioux, nor the Falls of St. Anthony of 
Padua, but wanted very nuich to, and readily 
embraced the opportunity to do so, in company with 
the 1,000 Indians and the two white men. The trip 
was at once entered upon ; apparently it was made the 
greater part of the way liy water — up tiu? IMississippi 
to Rum River, and then up that stream to a point 
opposite the Mille Ijacs villages, when the remainder 
of the journey was by land on foot. 

The next paragraph in Hennepin's "New Dis- 
covery" after that describing the meeting with Du 
Luth reads: "The Sieur du Luth was charmed at 
the sight of the Fall of St. Anthony of Padua, which 
was the name we had given it, and which will prob- 
ably always remain with it. I also showed him the 
craggy rock wdiere the monstrous serpent was climb- 
ing up to devour the young swallows in their 
nests," etc. 

The return party arrived at the villages of the 
Issati (or Sioux), August 14, and all the white men 
remained there until the end of September. Father 
Hennepin was fortunate in finding his silver chalice 
and all his books and pai)ers, which he had buried, 
safe and well preserved; the Indians had been afraid 
to meddle with them. The tobacco he had planted 
was choked with grass, but, the cabbages and the 
portulacca ("purslain") had gi-own to prodigious 


Du Luth says that he assembled the savages in 
council in their chief village and denounced them 
very vigorously for their treatment of Father Hen- 
nepin and his companions. (One white man with but 
.seven companions denouncing in the harshest terms 
thousands of savages in a locality hundreds of miles 
from any other white men!) Father Hennepin, how'- 
ever, gives a different account of this council. He 
says it was a "great feast to which the savages 
invited us after their own fashion." He says that 
"there were above 120 men at it naked." The head 
chief, the Pine Shooter, roundly denounced the Sieur 
du Luth because he did not show proper respect to 
the Indian dead, and told him plainly that Father 
Hennepin was a better man and "a greater captain 
than thou." The only evidence that Du Luth was 
at ^Mille L<u-s in KiT!) is his statement to that eiVect 
in his report to the ilarquis de Seignday, wherein 
he says: 

"On the 2d of July, 1070, I had the honor to plant 
His ^lajesty's arms in the great village of the 
Nadouecioux, called Izatys [meaning Issatis or Isan- 
tis] where never had a Frenchman been — any more 
than one had been at the Songaskitons | Shonka-ska- 
tons, or White Dog People], and the Ilouetbatons 
[Wat-pa-tons, or River People], six score leagues 
from the former [the Issatis], where I also planted 
His ^Majesty's arms in the same year, 107!). " 


If this statement were true, Du Luth visited the 
.Mille Lacs villages a year before Hennepin, liut 
the Chevalier La Salle, who at the time was in gen- 
eral charge of Du Luth. Hennepin, and all of the 
other French forces, and interests in the country,* 
says, in a letter to the Governor of Canada, dated 
August 22. 1682, quoted in the Margry Papers, Vol. 
2, p. 245 : 

"To know what the said Du Luth is, it is only necQp- 

♦ T.a Salle 's official title was. ' ' Lord and Governor of the 
Fort of Frontenac and of the Great Lakes in New France," 



sary to inquire of Mr. Dalera. iloreover the country 
of the Nadouesioux is not a country which he has 
discovered. It has been long known, and the Rev. 
Father Hennepin and ilichael Aceault were there 
before him." 

In other letters and in his official report ("rela- 
tion officielle") for from 1679 to 1681, made to Col- 
bert, the French Jlinister of ]\Iarine, La Salle is 
severe upon Du Luth. He says that in 1680, Du 
Luth had been for three years, contrary to orders, on 
Lake Superior, \\ith a band of twenty eoureurs du 
bois, saying that he did not fear the Grand Provost, 
etc. ; that he and his men engaged illegally in the fur 
trade ; that he induced one of La Salle "s soldiers that 
spake at least the Chipjjewa language to desert his 
post at Fort Fronteuac and join his band and go 
with a delegation of Chippewas ("Sauteurs") to the 
Nadouessioux to make peace between the two nations, 
but two or three attempts to make 'such a treaty 
failed. He further says that Du Luth learned from 
the deserter that there were plenty of beaver skins 
to be had in the Nadouessioux country, and that, 
guided by this soldier (whose name was Faff art) and 
two Indians he set out to get these furs, and on the 
expedition eventually came upon Father Hennepin 
and Auguelle, the Picard. 

The Count de Frontenae had Du Luth arrested and 
held as a prisoner in the castle of Quebec for a con- 
siderable time, intending to send him to France on 
charges made by Duehesneau, the Intendant. His 
men were merely bushrangers and forest outlaws, 
hunting, trapping, and trading without license and 
defying all authority. Many of them were deserters 
from the French army. They were finally granted 
full amnesty by the French King and Du Luth was 
released from prison. He became very prominent 
and even celebrated in French Colonial affairs, chiefly 
as a military leader, and at one time was in command 
of Fort Frontenae. It may well be denied that he 
was the first white man to visit the Sioux at ^lille 
Lacs (to the French soldier Faff art may belong that 
distinction), but there is no question as to the great 
services he rendered in promoting the establishment 
of civilization in the Northwest. He died on Lake 
Superior in 1709, and the city of Duluth may be 
considered his monument. (For the documents 
referred to in Du Luth's case see Vols. 1 and 2 of 
the JMargry Papers in French.) True, one of the 
Jesuit Relations says that Du Luth was at Mille 
Lacs in 1679, but the statement is evidently copied 
from Du Luth's report and no other verification is 


Du Luth. Hennepin, and their companions remained 
the; guests of the Nadouessioux until the latter part 
of Se]itember. or from August 14. Their prolonged 
stay indicates that the time jjassed somewhat agree- 
ably, which does not compare with Du Luth 's account. 
The travelers now wished to return to Canada. The 
Sioux consented, believing the representations made 
to them that the white men would soon return to 

them, bringing great quantities of iron and other 
goods. The chief, Pine Shooter, gave them a bushel 
of wild rice and other provisions, and made them a 
chart of the course they should take. Hennepin says 
that this chart "served us as well as my compass 
could have done." All eight of the Frenchmen 
including Aceault set out on the Rum River in canoes 
given them by the Indians. 

At St. Anthony of Padua's Falls Michael Aceault 
and another Frenchman stole two fine beaver robes, 
offerings to the Indian great water spirit, Onktayhee, 
one of the robes being that which Father Hennepin 
saw the Indian suspend in a tree. Du Luth was 
afraid the theft woukl get the party into trouble, but 
Father Hennepin said that as they were idolatrous 
and heathenish offerings it was better for Christians 
to -take them and convert them to Christian uses! 
The larceny of these beaver robes heads the Caucasian 
criminal calendar of ^Minneapolis ! 

When they neared the mouth of the Wisconsin 
they stopped to dry buffalo meat. In a little time 
came three Mille Lac Indians who told the white men 
that Waze-coota (the Pine Shooter) had proved theii* 
firm friend. After their departure he heard that one 
of his sub-chiefs had determined to follow them and 
kill them. Whereupon the head chief went over to 
the would-be murderer's lodge and knocked out his 
brains. But two days later they were astonished and 
alarmed w'hen they saw a fleet of 140 canoes in which 
were 250 Nadouessioux warriors from Mille Lacs, 
who were apparently following them with evil intent. 
However, Father Hennepin held up a peace pipe, 
and the Indians came ashore, were very friendly, and 
seemed glad to meet the white men again. With the 
Pine Shooter and the Forked Meeting at their head, 
they were on the way to make war upon their enemies, 
the Illinois, the Messorites. and other southern 
Indians. A few pipe-fulls of Martiniijue tobacco made 
everything all right. Not a woi'd was said about the 
votive oft'erings, the two beaver robes taken from the 
trees at St. Anthony of Padua's Palls. 

It would seem that the Indians accompanied the 
eight Frenchmen from thence to the mouth of the 
Wisconsin, and then went on to make war on their- 
enemies to the southward. Du Luth and his party 
made their way far up the Wisconsin, and eventually, 
partly by the help of the Indian chart, reached Green 
Bay, then called the Bay of the Puants, or Stinkei-s. 
as the Winnebagoes were termed. "Here," says 
Father Hennepin "we found Frenchmen trading 
contrary to ordei-s with the Indians." These were 
doubtless some of Du Luth's bush-i"angers or eour- 
eurs du bois. 

ci-osE OF Hennepin's career. 

Father Hennepin spent the winter of 1680-81 at 
St. Ignace IMission, I\Iackinaw. In Easter week. 1681. 
he left the Mission, i)roceeded down or ea,stward over 
the Lakes to Fort Frontenae, and irom thence went 
to Montreal, where he was well received by Governor 
Frontenae. Then he went to Quebec and in the fol- 
lowing autumn returned to Europe. In 1682 he pub- 



lished his "Doscriplioii of Loiiisiaua." in which he 
gives an account of liis voyage from the Illinois River 
np to what is now Minnesota, his capture by the 
Sioux, his deliveranee by Du Luth, etc. In this 
volume he says em])hatically that he ilid not descend 
the ilississippi below the month of tiie Illinois. In 
1697, however, ten years after La Salle had been 
murdered, he brought out another book entitled, "A 
New Discovery of a Vast Counti-y in America," etc. 
In this work he claimed that he did descend the 
^Mississippi from the Illinois to the mouth of the great 
river, then turned about and with his two Frenchmen 
went up the river, was taken prisoner 1)y the Nadoues- 
sioux, discovered the Falls of St. Anthony of 
Padua, etc. 

We do not know when or where he died. A letter 
written at Kome, ^larch 1, 1701, by another priest 
gives us the last word of him extant, li says that he 
was then in a convent of the Holy City, hoping soon 
to return to America under the protection of Cardinal 
Spada. When and where he died we cannot tell, and 
it may be said of the last resting place of this man 
who iirst made the site of ^Minneapolis famous as it 
is written of Jloses: '"No man knoweth of his 
sepulcher unto this day." 

Father Hennepin has been the svib.ject of much 
hostile and bitter criticism. Various authorities have 
denounced him as a falsifier and a fraud. It must be 
admitted that in writing his books he was careless 
in expression and much given to exaggeration. Then, 
too, he wi-ote a great deal about himself, extolling 
liis own merits, vaunting his courage and his exploits, 
while he depreciated the character of La Salle, Du 
Luth. and others. La Salle warned the French Gov- 
ernor that the priest was a prevaricator and given to 
exaggeration, and said he was hardly made a prisoner 
and certainly not treated cruelly by the Indians, but 
that he said he was in order to increase interest iu 
his story, magnify his fortitude, etc. 

Both in his '"Description" and his "New Dis- 
covery" the explorer priest exaggerates distances and 
incidents greatly. According to his statement the 
distance between the mouth of the Illinois and St. 
Anthony Falls is 1.365 miles, whereas, liy the mean- 
derings of the river, it is known to be less than half 
that distance. The palpable falsity of his big snake 
and fish stories, that he was in peril of his life "a 
hundred times" within less than a week, and much 
other misrepi-esentation, j)rove him at least a reckless 

But it is with his second volume, "A New Dis- 
covery of a Vast Country," etc., with which com- 
mentators find most fault. It was issued 15 years 
after his "Description of Louisiana," and after 
Father Jlarrinette, La Salle, and many others that 
knew the facts were dead. It was in this book that 
he claimed hi' went down the Mississippi before 
ascending it. Two features of this book alone prove 
its unreliability if not its utter falsity — its horrible 
confu.sion of dates and the utter impossibility of per- 
forming the canoe voyages within the times given. 
In his "New Dis<^'overy, " for example, he says he 
left the mouth of the Ai-kansas Kiver to paddle north- 

ward on the 24th of April (1680). In liis "Descrip- 
tion" he says he was hundreds of miles north of the 
Arkansas, at the bay of Pig's Eye Lake, on the 30th 
of Api'il, and on the 11th was taken prisoner by the 
Indians somewhere near Rock Island. 

Certain apologists for Father Hennepin claim that 
the misstatements in the "New Discovery" were not 
his. but were the work of unscrupulous publishers. 
Yet the weight of opinion among historians is that 
Father Hennepin wrote the book himself, obtaining 
his information of the country of the Lower Missis- 
sippi from the reports of Father !Mar(<uette, the 
Chevalier La Salle, Father Zenobius ^lembre, and per- 
haps others. 


But the question of most importance in the history 
of Minneapolis, and to the people that are interested 
therein is, Was Father Hennepin and his associate, 
Anthony Auguelle, the first two white men to look 
upon St. Anthony Falls and the present site of Min- 
neapolis .' The answei' from every authority is. Yes. 
The distinction given them is not and never has been 

And was Father Hennepin the fii-st nmn to write of 
and publish to the civilized world the fact of the 
existence of St. Anthony Falls and the future site of 
jMinneapolis '? The undisputed answer is. He certainly 
was. Anthony Auguelle did not write anything about 
the discovery; doubtless he could not. He was born 
in the city of Amiens, in the Province of Picardy, but 
he was a simple man, a hard worker, a voyageur, who 
had come to the new country to better his condition, 
and doubtless he was uneducated. He knew enough 
to be a Christian: he attended to his religions duties, 
confessing to Father Heiuiepin regularly, and he was 
always faithful to the adventurer priest. Good enough 
for .\nthony Auguelle, the Picard du Gay ! 

Father Hennepin's discover}' of the Falls of St. An- 
thony (" of Padua," we jierhaps should add) was the 
event that advertised the country of Minnesota two 
hundred years ago more than any other incident or 
feature. The Falls were marked on every subsequent 
map, every subsequent explorer visited them and wrote 
about them; their name was common before the word 
Minnesota was known. Father Hennepin was respon- 
sible for all this. His great achievement makes us for- 
get his weaknesfses and feel like honoring his memory, 
and w-e all are disposed to say: 

"No farth(>r seek his merits to disclose, 
Xoi- draw his frailties from their dread abode." 

No apology is made for the space given in this vol- 
ume to the account of Father TIenne])in and hi.« imiiort- 
ant and influential discovery. No i)i-evious history of 
Miimeapolis has anything like such an account, and the 
facts in detail of the important discoveiw of St. 
Anthony Falls ought to be as well known to every citi- 
zen of ^Minneapolis as the particulars of the discov(>ry 
of America should In' within the knowledge of every 
citizen of the riiiti'd States. 

The authorities consulted in the preparation of this 



chapter have been, in English, Neill's History of Min- 
nesota, Warren Upham's Vol. 1 Minnesota in Three 
Centuries, Thwaites' Translation of Hennepin's New 
Discovery, Shea's Translation of the Same, Parkman's 
"LaSalle and the Discovery of the Great West," and 
in French, Hennepin's "Voyage, ou Nouvelle Decou- 
verte d'un Tres Grand Pays Situe dans rAnierique, " 
etc., printed at Amsterdam in 1698 by Abraham van 
Someren, and the same printed at Amsterdam in 1704 
by Adrian Braakman ; also Vols. 1 and 2 of the Mar- 
gry Papers. For interesting and valuable notes on 
Father Hennepin and his expedition see Warren 
Upham's articles in Vol. 1 I\Iiun. in Three Centuries. 


During the period between 1654 and 1660, ante- 
dating. Father Hennepin by twenty years, two French- 
men, named Sledard Chouart, connnonly known as 
the Sieur des Groseilliers, and Pierre JJsprit Radisson, 
made two expeditious of exploration and traffic into 
the Northwest from Canada. Tliey may have pene- 
trated the country now comprised in Eastern Minne- 
sota, but it cannot be proven that they did, nor defi- 
nitely concluded just where they did come. The 
"Relations," or reports, of the Jesuit fathers make it 
certain that they were in the Northwestern country 
at different times, but those authorities do not pre- 
tend to state their routes. 

Years afterward, while living in England, Radisson 
wrote in English an account of the expeditions of 
himself and his bi-other-in-law, Chouart, or Groseil- 
liers, but this account is confusing rather than enlight- 
ening. In writing Radisson seldom noted the date of 
any event by the month and never by the number of 
the year. It seems impossible now, from his descrip- 
tion, to identify any lake, river, or other natural fea- 
ture of the eounti-y which he and his brother-in-law- 
visited or traversed, or to tell what tribes of Indians 
tliey met. His language is generally no more definite 
than, "We embarked on the delightfuUest lake in the 
world;" or "we ci-ossed a great river;" or, "we came 
to another river;" or "we came to a I'iver;" or, "We 
abode by a sweet sea (or lake) ;" "We passed over a 
mountain;" or "We met a nation of wild men," etc., 
etc. However he at no time mentions tliat they came 
to a river clearly answering the description of the 
Mississippi, or that they even heard of a waterfall 
resembling the Falls of St. Anthony of Padua. 

Historians and commentators do not agree in their 
conclusions as to the .iourneys of the two adventurous 
Frenchmen. Radisson says they spent about four- 
teen months on "an island." The late Capt. Russell 
Blakely claims, in an elaborate article in the State 
Historical Collections, that this island was in Lake 
Saganaga, on the northern boundary of Minnesota; 
Warren Upham thinks it was Prairie Island, in the 
Missi.ssippi, a few miles above Red Wing. There is 
nothing, and never can be anything but theory and 
speculation regarding the localities and natural fea- 
tures mentioned by Radisson. At the same time 
those most tolerant of and friendly toward Radisson 's 
statements admit that many of them are pure fiction. 

The historian or commentator claiming that Groseil- 
liers and Radisson were ever at the Falls of St. An- 
thony or even at the Mississippi, has not yet appeared. 
AVhat Radisson would doubtless call "the beautifuUest 
hotel iu the world" has been built in ^Minneapolis and 
named for him, but the honor bestowed thereby is 
entirely gratuitous. So much for Groseilliers and 


It is well to mention, though ever so briefly, the 
expeditious into the ^Minnesota country, in the region 
of the present site of Minneapolis, made b.y the 
French explorers that came immediately after Father 
Hennepin and Du Luth. Some of these visited St. 
Anthony of Padua's Falls and wrote alx)ut them, still 
further advertising them. 


Passing by the great liar and falsifier. Baron 
L'Hontan, who pretended to have explored a great 
river and a vast country in Southern Minnesota in 
about 1690, but who never was in the country at all, 
we come to consider the important expeditions of Capt. 
Nicholas Perrot and Pierre Charles Le Sueur. Perrot 
was a Frenchman, and Le Sueur a French Canadian. 
In 1665, when about 21, Perrot came to Green Bay as 
an Indian trader, and for the next few years acted 
as a general peace commissioner among all Indian 
tribes between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi, 
bringing them all into friendly relations with the 

Prabablj' as early as iu 1683 Perrot established a 
trading post, which was named Fort St. Nicholas, on 
the Mississippi, not very far above the mouth of the 
Wisconsin. In early days trading posts were generally 
called "forts" although they were not fortifications 
or hardly had a military character. Perrot, it seems, 
was .soon doing an extensive business, buying the furs 
of the Indians of what are now western Wisconsin, 
northeastern Iowa, and southeastern Minnesota. In 
1685 he built a temporary post on the east side of the 
river, near the present site of Trempeleau. Subse- 
quentl.v, on the northeastern shore of Lake Pepin, six 
miles from its mouth, he built his most noted post, 
which he called Fort St. Antoine. He also had, at 
the outlet of the lake, a small post which he named for 
himself and called Fort Perrot, and another in the 
vicinity of Dubuque ; but the latter were merely 
auxiliaries and feeders of Fort St. Antoine. Dr. E. D. 
Neill was of opinion that Fort Perrot was built first, 
in 1683, and stood on the present site of the town of 

Perrot informed himself about the country in whicli 
he was stationed. He wrote several manuscripts about 
it, describing certain Indian tribes, tlieir wars, cus- 
toms, etc., and giving much of the geography of the 
country ; but he did not mention the Falls of St. 
Anthony of Padua, although three years before he 
came to the country they had been discovered and 
made known. Moreover, his ti-aders must have pene- 



trated to them many times during the fifteen years 
Fort St. Antoine existed. He knew of the St. Croix 
and the St. Pierre (the latter now the Minnesota) 
Rivers and gives their names at least as early as in 
1689, showing that rivers had been named before 
that time ; can it be possible that he did not know of 
St. Anthony's Falls' If he did know tliem, why, in 
his numerous writings, did he not mention tliem .' 


May 8, 1689, at Fort St. Antoine, Perrot, acting 
with full authority, or as he says, "Commanding for 
the King at the post of the Nadouesiou.x," took formal 
possession of a large extent of country in this region 
for and in the name of the King of France. This 
country extended far up the ]Mississippi, and of course 
included the Falls of St. Anthony of Padua, although 
they are not mentioned. It especially mentions the 
country of the Nadouesioux, on the border of the River 
Saint Croix, ("la Riviere St. Croix") and at the 
mouth of the River St. Peter ("La Riviere 
St. Pierre") "on the bank of which are the i\Iantau- 
tans. " The latter named tribe may possibly mean 
the Mandan Sioux, although when first visited and 
reported upon the homes of tliese people were on the 
upper ]\Iis.souri. 

In 1699 King Louis XIV of France ordered the 
abandonment of the French trading posts in the far 
west, reealling the traders and the few soldiers to 
Lower Canada. In a convenient time Capt. Perrot 
obeyed the order and thereafter lived in retirement 
at his home on the St. Lawrence River. It is known 
that he was alive in 1718, but the date of his death 
is not known. 


It is <|uite probable that Pierre Le Sueur was the 
second prominent early explorer to visit the site of 
^Minneapolis. He was a Canadian Frenchman, born 
in 1G57. Probably he came with Nicholas Perrot to 
the Minnesota country in 1683 and was in his employ 
in this region for many yeare. lie was at Fort St. 
Antoine. on the eastern shore of Lake Pepin, in 1689, 
for on the 8th of ilay of that year he, as a witness, 
signed Perrot 's proclamation taking possession of the 
country in the name of the King of France. The other 
witnesses were the Jesuit priest, the Rev. Fr. Joseph 
Jean Marest; M. de Borie-Guillot, "commanding the 
French in the neighborhood of tlie Ouiskonche [Wis- 
consin] on the Mississippi;" Angustin Legardeur, 
Esquire : the Sienr De Caumont, and Messrs. Jean 
Hebert. Joseph Lemire. and F. Blein. All these, in- 
cluding Ix' Sueur, could write tiieir names. Le Sueur 
is described in the document simply as ^Ir. Le Sueur 
and signs without either of his Christian names. He 
was not then a prominent character. 

In 1695 Le Sueur, by order of Gov. Frontenae, built 
a trading post on Prairie Island, in the Mississippi. 

Early in the summer of this year he journeyed to 
Montreal, taking with him a Chippewa chief, Chen- 
gouabe, and "Tioscati, " a Sioux. Tiie idea was the 
promotion of a permanent treaty of peace between the 
two warring tribes in the presence of Gov. Frontenae. 
The Indians remained .several months in Montreal, but 
the Sioux chief Tioscate (probably Te-yo Ska Te, 
meaning white door of a tepee, from te-yopa or te-yo, 
a door; ska, white, and te a contraction of tepee) died 
the next winter. Le Sueur then went to France and 
obtained a commission to work some mines which he 
had previously discovered on the Blue Earth River, 
near its eonfiuence witii the ^Minnesota. 

What he says he reall.v found was some "blue or 
greenish earth" on the banks of the river, and he 
thought that this meant that large deposits of cop- 
per were imbedded deeper beneath the surface. What 
he saw was blue clay, so blue that the Indians used 
it for paint in bedaubing their faces and naked bodies 
on certain occasions. The Sioux called the stream 
whereon they found this blue clay, "Watpa JIah-kah 
to," meaning River of Blue Earth, (Watpa, river; 
mah-kah, earth: to or toe, blue.) Maukato is an Eng- 
lish corruption of .]\Iali-kah to. 

Le Sueur obtained his commission to work his sup- 
posed mines largely through the influence of a French 
assayist named L'Huillier, who analyzed the dirt 
brought from the Blue Earth and said it contained 
copper. Obstacles of one kind and another deterred 
Le Sueur from returning to the Minnesota country 
and working his mine until in the year 1700. About 
October 1 of that year he i-eached the mouth of the 
Blue Earth. He spent the ensuing winter on the Blue 
Earth, a few miles above its mouth, where he built 
a post or "fort" which, in honor of his French fi-iend, 
the assayist, he named Fort L'Ifuillier. 

Le Sueur, who was the historian of his exjiedition, 
says that October 26, 1700, he "proceeded to the 
mines, with three canoes which he loaded with blue 
and green earth." The next spring he is said to have 
left a small garrison at Fort L'Huillier and .shipped 
a lot of his "ore" down the ]\Iis.sissippi to New Orleans 
and from thence by ship to France. Wiiat was done 
with the stuff when it reached Paris is not certainly 
known. The so-called copper mine was never farther 
explored. It was a copper mine without any copper. 
Le Sueur himself is believed to have died before 1712 ; 
one account says he died at sea while on his way back 
to America, and it is also said he "died of sickness" 
in Louisiana, where his home was at the time. 

Le Sueur's journal of his mining expedition was 
published by Bernard La Harpe in French and has 
been translated into English by Shea and others. 
Another historian of the exiiedition was a ]\Ionsieur 
Penicaut, a shipwright, that built Le Sueur's boats 
and kept them in repair. Dr. Neill describes him as 
"a man of discernment but of little scholarship." 
He has, however, written a concise but dear, consist- 
ent, and apparently a fairly correct account of the 
expedition and of the geography of the country. His 
statements agree very well with those of Le Sueur; 
any discrepancies are easily explained. 




We are assured by Penieaut 's account that Le Sueur 
and his men visited the present site of Minneapolis. 
The ship-carpenter historian writes : 

''Three leagues higher up, after leaving this island, 
[Prairie Island] you meet on the right the river St. 
Croix, where there is a cross set at its mouth. Ten 
leagues further you come to the Falls of St. Anthony-, 
which can be heard two leagues [six miles] off. It is 
the entire Mississippi falling suddenly from a height 
of 60 feet, ( !) making a noise like that of thunder 
rolling in the air. Here one has to carry the canoes 
and shallops * and raise them by hand to the upper 
level in order to continue the route by the river. This 
we did not do, but having for some time looked at this 
fall of the whole Mississippi we returned two leagues 
below the Falls of St. Anthony to a river coming in 
on the left, as you ascend the Mississippi, which is 
called the river St. Peter, ['"la Riviere St. Pierre.'"] 
AVe took our route by its mouth and ascended it forty 
leagues, [a large over-estimate] where we found 
another river on the left falling into the St. Peter 
which we entered. We called this (rreen River, [''La 
Riviere Vert"] because it is of that color by reason 
of a green earth, which, loosening itself from the 
Copper mines, becomes dissolved in it and makes it 


The river which is now and has long been known as 
the ^linnesota was originally called by the Sioux 
Indians "' Wat-pa-]\Iiune Sotah," meaning River of 
Bleai-y Water. (Wat-pa, river; Minue, Water; Sotah, 
bleary.) The Chippewas called it by a name signify- 
ing the river where the cottonwood trees grow. The 
earl.y French explorere called it "la Riviere St. 
Pierre," or the river St. Peter, and it was commonly 
called the St. Peter's, which name it bore until in 1852, 
when Congress declared that thereafter it should be 
called the Minnesota. 

Singularly enough. Father Hennepin does not 
mention the Minnesota. Doubtless its mouth was con- 
cealed by an island and trees and he passed up and 
down the eastern channel of the ]\Iississippi and did 
not see it. This was Carver's conjecture. 

The Sioux called it the river of clouded or bleary 
water, because a hundred or more years ago it washed 
some clay deisosits above the present site of the vil- 
lage of Morton, and the dissolved clay clouded or 
bleared th(> water. The current long ago receded from 
the clay banks. 

Why did the French call it the St. Pierre or the 
St. Peter's? The question, like many another relative 
to early history, cannot with confidence be definitely 
answered. It had been named the St. Peter l)efore 
May 8, 1689. because in liis proi'lamntion taking pos- 
session of the country Captain Nicholas Perrot twiee 
mentions it by that designation. A suggestion that it 

was named for the first Christian name (Pierre) of 
Le Sueur has met with endorsement from good 
authorities. But this theory cannot be well estab- 
lished. It is most probable that Perrot christened the 
stream before 1689, possibly in 1688, and at that time 
Le Sueur was in his employ, an obscure person, whom 
Perrot designates as simply a 3Ir. Le Sueur, in com- 
pany with Mr. Le Mire, Mv. Ilebert. and Mr. Blein. 
Not until six years later did Le Sueur become famous 
and worthy of having a river named for him because 
he thought he had discovered a copper mine and had 
built a post on Lake Pepin. In his .journal Le Sueur 
repeatedl,v mentions the river and always calls it the 
St. Peter, without a hint that it was named for him- 
self. He well knew whether or not it was so called, 
for he was at Fort Antoiue when the name was given. 
Penieaut also mentions the St. Peter frequently, but 
never intimates that it was named for his superior, 
which he most probably would have done had this 
been the fact. No early chronicles even suggest that 
it was named for Le Sueur and it is a distinction not 
given him by any biographer. The fact that his name 
was Pierre simply, and not Saint Pierre, is also an 
objection to the claim made for him, but which he 
never made for himself, that the stream was called in 
his honor. His name has been honored in ^linnesota, 
however, by calling one of the best counties and a 
flourishing town in the State for him. 

It has also been suggested that the river was named 
for Capt. Jacques Le Gardeur St. Pierre, at one time 
commander of Fort Beauharnois, on Lake Pepin, but 
he did not come to the country for nearly fifty years 
after the St. Peter was christened and well known by 
its name. 

It will probabl.v never be certainly known for whom 
the St. Peter was named. No theory yet brought 
forward has been conclusively demonstrated. One 
guess is as good as another until the truth is shown. 
Since it could not have been named for either of the 
individuals suggested, or for any other early pioneer 
and explorer, it may be that it was called for Saint 
Peter himself, the "Prince of the Apostles." It may 
have first been visited by Perrot 's men on June 29, 
or St. Peter's da.y,* of some year between 1683 and 
1G89 ; if so, the appropriate designation would at 
once be perceived and in.sisted upon by Rev. Father 
]\Iarest. the devout Jesuit chaplain of Perrot "s party. 
Or for some other reason it may have been called in 
honor of the great apostle, to whom were delivered 
"the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven," and this seems 
to be the most probable solution of the question. 


The origin of the modern name of the St. Croix 
river has been well enough determined. Father Hen- 
nepin says the Indians called it Tomb river ("Watpa 
ohknah hknah-kah-pe") "because the Issati for. Na- 

• The shallops referred to were probably flat boats propelled 
by both oars and sails; afterwards they were called Mackinaw 

♦ .'vinie chroniclers say that Saints Peter and Paul both 
sutrpred martyrdom at Rome on the same day; others allege 
that St. Paul suffered a year after St. Peter. Tn the Roman 
Calendar St. Peter's Dav is June 29 and St. Paul's June 30. 



douessioux) k-ft thcif tlir l)oily of one of their war- 
riors, killed by the bite of a rattlesnake." The father 
says lie covered the gjrave or toiiili with a blanket, and 
that this act of respect gained him great admiration 
aud impelled the savages to give him the great 
banf|uet he describes which was given on the occasion 
of his and Du Lnth's visit to the big village at .Mille 

It is reasonably certain that the St. Croix bears 
the family name of one of Perrot's Frenchmen, who 
was drowned at the mouth of the stream by the upset- 
ting of his boat, some time prior to 1689, when Perrot 
issued his proclamation in which the river is named. 
In his Journal 11. Le Sueur says that on the 16th day 
of Septend)er. 1700, he "left on the east side of the 
Mississippi a river called St. Croix, because a French- 
man of that name was wrecked at its mouth." M. 
Penicaut. heretofore mentioned, in his description of 
file country in 1700, and his account of Le Sueur's 
expedition, states (see quotation on a preceding page) 
that at the river St. Croix "there is a cross set at its 
mouth." It is jirobable that this ci-oss was over the 
grave of the unfortunate voyageur, or at least marked 
the locality where he was drowned. Carver says in 
his Journal that the river "is said to be named for a 
Frenclnuan that was drowned here." 


In an extract from his "Memoires, " (which is 
printed on pp. 171-72 of Vol. 6 of the Margry Papers, 
in French) M. Le Sueur tells of a canoe voyage made 
by himself on the upper Mis.sissippi sometime about 
the year 1690, or before 1700. He claims that he went 
more than a hundred leagues above the Falls of St. 
Anthony. ("J'ai desja dit que j'avois monte plus de 
100 leaues au-dessus du Sault St. Antoiue.") He fur- 
ther says that the Sioux with whom he went up as- 
sured liim when he had reached the end of his 
upward trip there were yet more than ten days' jour- 
ney to the sources of the Mississippi, of whi'-h sources 
the Indians said there were very many. 

It is to be regretted that M. Le Sueur did not give 
fuller and better details of his alleged voyage, and that 
what he wrote was not intended solely to refute the 
statements of a certain ilathieu Sagean, with whom 
he seems to have had a dispute. He does not say why 
he went up the river or give us any exact dates or en- 
lightening details. Ilis account is not conclusive or 
convincing — and may as well be disbelieved. 

In "jrinnesota in Three Centuries" (Vol. 1, pp. 
■253-4) Warren llpham suggests that Le Sueur and a 
M. de Charleville made the voyage above St. Anthony's 
Falls together. The authority for M. de Charleville 's 
connection is a statement made by M. Le Page? Du 
Pratz in his "History of Louisiana," originally pub- 
lished by him in French in 17.")7. In an English trans- 
lation printed by Becket, London. 1774, the histoi'ian 
(cliaj). 1 of Hook 2) is made to say: 

"M. de Cliaileville. a Canadian, and a relation of 
IVI. de Bienville, Commandant General of this Colony, 
told me that, at the time of the settlement of the 

Fi-ench. curiosity alone had led him to go u]i this 
river [tlu' Mississipiu| to its sources; that for this 
end he fitted out a canoe, made of the bark of a birch 
tree, in oriler to be more portable in case of need. And 
that having thus set out, with two Caiuulians and two 
Iiulians, with goods, ammunition, and provisions, he 
went up the river 300 leagues to the north above the 
Illinois: that there he found the fall called St. An- 
thony's. This fall is a flat rock which traverses the 
river and gives it only between eight and ten feet fall. 
He ascended to the sources 100 leagues above the 

That will be about all for the story of M. de Chai'le- 
ville. It is void for improbability and uncertainty. 
The date of his setting out is given as "at the time of 
the settlement of the French," (meaning probably 
Perrot's settlement) which might be any time between 
1683 and 1695. That he would go to all the trouble 
and expense of fitting out and taking part in an expe- 
dition up the river 1,200 miles (or 400 leagues) above 
the Illinois, merely out of "curiosity alone," is at 
least strange. That he shoukl see and St. An- 
thony's Falls and pronounce them " a flat i-ock" which 
was "only between eight and ten feet fall" is a pal- 
pable mis-statement. He says he went 100 leagues (or 
300 miles) above St. Anthony's Falls and learned 
from the Indians that the sources of the Mississippi 
were still hundreds of miles to the north. He esti- 
mated the entire length of the ]\Iississipi)i at 4.800 
miles or l.(i00 leagues. Nowhere in Du Pratz 's ac- 
count of Charleville is the name of Le Sueur men- 
tioned, aud nowhere in the extract from Le Sueur's 
"Memoires" relating to his voyages is the name of 
Charleville mentioned. Warren Upham sa>s that both 
Le Sueur and Charleville wei'e relatives of the brothers 
Iberville and Bienville, who were at different periods 
(ioveruors of the Louisiana Tcrritor.y. In that case, 
it is again singular that if they were in company when 
they made the voyage to and above St. Anthony's 
Falls, neither of them in his account mentions the 

Purtherniore tliere is no corroboration extant of the 
•statements of Le Sueur and Charleville as to their 
several expeditions 300 miles up the Mississippi above 
St. Anthony's Falls. No other contemporary writer, 
whether hi.storian or recorder, endorses their a.sser- 
tions or even refers to them. The "sources" of the 
Mississipi>i are on a direct line about 160 miles north- 
west of the Falls; by the meanderings of the river 
and through the lakes, the distance is much greater; 
but if Le Sueur, as he says, went up the stream for 
more than 300 miles above Minneapolis, it is prepos- 
terous that there wi're yet "more than ten days' 
journey," or 250 miles, to Lake Itasca, the source of 
the Mississippi. Le Sueur, it seems, was bent on 
making, or at least claiming, a record. In the contro- 
versy over which was the greater explorer, Le Sueur 
said: "I went to the Falls of St. Anthony." Sagean 
replied: "That's nothing: I went 50 leagues above 
those Falls." Le Sueur rejoined : "That's nothing : I 
went 100 leagues above them." As to Charleville he 
is not mentioned in American hi.story elsewhere than 
in Du Pratz 's "Description." Ilis statement to Du 



Pratz is entirely unsupported, and not worthy of 


In 1731, Pierre Gautier Varennes, more commonly 
known as the Sieur de la Verendrye, made, in company 
with his four sons and a nephew, an extended expedi- 
tion west of the western extremity of Lake Superior. 
The expedition was commissioned and equipped by 
the Canadian government and its main object was the 
discovery of an easy route across the country to the 
Pacific Ocean. One of Verendrye 's sons was a priest. 
The expedition built Fort St. Pierre, ^.t the mouth of 
Rainy Lake; Fort St. Charles, on the Lake of the 
Woods, and other forts and trading posts on Lake 
Winnipeg and the Assineboine and Sa.skatchewan, in 

The expedition did not come near St. Anthony's 
Falls or the present site of Minneapolis. It went 
westward and south westward to "the great shining 
mountains," which may have been the Black Hills. 
On the return at the crossing of the Missouri, where 
the city of Pierre now stands, the commander buried 
an inscribed leaden plate, which was resurrected by a 
school girl in Februarj', 1913. 

FROM 1727 TO 1767. 

In 1727 a French post, called Fort St. Beauharnois, 
was built and a Catholic Mission, called the ilission 
of St. Jlichael the Archangel, established on the ]\Iin- 

nesota shore of Lake Pepin, near the present site of 
Frontenac. The first commander of the post was the 
Sieur Perriere, and the commander in 1735 was Capt. 
LeGardeur St. Pierre, before mentioned. The mission 
was in charge of the Jesuit Fathers ilichel Guignas 
and Nicholas de Gonnor. It is not certain that the 
fathers built a separate mission house, and therefore 
the first church building in Minnesota. The post had 
four large buildings and it is probable that a room in 
one of these was used as a chapel. At all events there 
is no special mention in the early records that a sepa- 
rate mission house was erected, though some good 
authorities think there was. 

In May, 1737, Capt. St. Pierre burned Fort Beau- 
harnois and departed down the Mississippi, on account 
of the hostile conduct and menaces of the wild Indians 
of the surrounding countrj'. The Fort was rebuilt in 
1750 and for the next two j^ears was under the com- 
mand of Pierre Paul ilarin. (See Vol. I Minn, iii 
Three Cents., p. 276.) 

Before further explorations and establishments 
were made by the French in the country of the North- 
ern MissLssij^pi the old "French and Indian War" 
between the English Colonies in North America and 
the French of Canada broke out. Meanwhile the few 
and scant records of that period make no mention of 
the Falls of St. Anthony or the country about them. 
In 1763, by the treaty of Versailles, all the territory 
now comprised within the present limits of Wisconsin 
and of ^Minnesota east of the ]\Iississippi was ceded by 
France to Great Britain, and all French establishments 
in this quarter were permanently abandoned. Fort 
Beauharnois being the last of these. 







The first Euglish-speakiiig explorer and English 
suhjei't to visit St. Anthony of Padua's Falls was Capt. 
Jonathan Carver, who tirst saw them in November, 
1766. Capt. Carver was born at Stillwater, or Can- 
terbury, in the then Provinee of Connectieut, in 1732, 
the year of the birth of George Washington. He was 
captain of a company of Colonial troops in the French 
War and was present at tiie massacre of the English 
troops at Fort W^illiam Henry, in northeastern New 
York, in 1757, narrowly escaping with his life. 

In 1763, as soon as peace had been concluded, Capt. 
Carver conceived the idea that it would be greatly to 
his credit and advantage, and to the interests of his 
sovereign and government, if he should explore at least 
a portion of the territory in the Northwest which had 
been recently ceded by France to Great Hritain. That 
territoiy was very little known to Englishmen, and the 
Captain believed that if he were the tirst to explore it, 
and then report upon it, his King would suitably 
reward him, and his countrymen highly honor him. 

Capt. Carver's plan was meditated very early, but 
its execution was greatly delayed. Not until in June, 
1766, did he set out from Boston for the country about 
the Falls of St. Anthony, then fairly well known 
through French explorers and adventurers, although 
no p]nglishman had yet visited it. He proceeded to 
Mackinac, or Mackinaw, then the most distant British 
post. Following the track of Marfjuette and Joliet 
and of Du Luth and other early vnyageurs, he pas.sed 
up Green Bay, ascended the Fox River, made the 
portage across to the Wisconsin, and descending that 
stream entered the Mississippi October 15. His de- 
clared destination after leaving the Falls of St. An- 
thony was the so-called "River of the West," or Ore- 
gon, whieh was supposed to enter the Pacific Ocean at 
the fictitious or mythical "Straits of Annian." 

At Prairie du Chien (which he calls "La Prairie 
Ic Chien") some traders that liad accompanied him 
from ]\Iackinac left him. He then l)Ought a canoe and 
some supplies, and "with two servants, one a French 
Canadian and the other a ^lohawk of Canada." started 
up the Mis.sissippi October 1!). 

Capt. Carver did not return to Boston until in 1768, 
having been al>sent on liis expedition two years and five 

months. The following year he went to Ihigland, 
wrote from his notes a fairly good account of Ids jour- 
neyings, including much narrative and descriptive 
matter, and pulilished it in book form. He died Jan. 
31, 1780, at the age of -18, and after his death several 
editions of iiis l)ook were printed, with .some new mat- 
ter, by his friend Dr. John Coakley Lettsom. He made 
repeated efforts to obtain a suitable reward for his pub- 
lic services from the British government, but failed in 
every instance to obtain anything beyond "an indem- 
nification for certain expenses." His book had a lim- 
ited sale and he made little profit from its publication. 

He became very poor. \n 1779 he was clerk in a 
London lottery office at a few shillings per week. He 
died in extreme poverty. Dr. Lettsom says: "After 
rendering at the expence of fortune and health and 
the risk of life many iin])ortant services to his country, 
he perished from absolute want in the first city of the 
world." His death was caused by dysentery occa- 
sioned by actual want of food. 

With his two men Capt. Carver paddled slowly up 
the ilississippi. About the 12th of November (1766) 
he came to the present site of St. Paul and in what is 
now Dayton's Bluff visited the noted cavern afterward 
called Carver's Cave. He also noted that tlie crest of 
the bluff wa.s even then a prominent burial {)lace or 
cemetery of the Naudowessie, or Sioux, Indians. 


November 17 he visited the Falls of St. Anthony. 
In a very early edition of liis book. ("Travels Tlirough 
the Interior Parts of North America," London, 1778,) 
he describes his visit, with a mention of prominent 
features of the surrounding country. To quote : 

"Ten [?1 miles below the Falls of St. Anthony the 
River St. Pieri-e, called by the natives tiie Wadda- 
pawmenesotor | Wat-pa-.Minne Sotah] falls into the 
Jlississippi from the west. It is not mentioned by 
Father Hennepin, although a large fair river; this 
omission, T conclude nnist liave ])roceeded from a small 
island [Pike's?] by wliich the sight of it is intercepted. 
I should not have discovered the river myself had I 
not taken a view when I was searching for it from the 
high lands opposite, [probably Pilot Knob] which rise 
to a great height. Nearly over against this river I 




was obliged to leave my eaiioe, on account of the ice, 
and travel by laud to the Falls of St. Anthony, where 
I arrived on the 17th of November. The ]\Iississippi 
from the St. Pierre to this place is rather more rapid 
than I had hitherto found it, and without islands of 
any consideration." 

No one that never visited this portion of the IMissis- 
sippi could have described it so accurately. Capt. 
Carver had no printed description to follow ; he must 
have seen the country himself. From where he left his 
canoe he was accompanied to the Falls by a young 
AVinnebago Indian, whom Carver calls "a prince," 
and who had come into the country on a visit to the 
Sioux. The Winnebago left his wife and children in 
the care of Capt. Carver's ^lohawk, while he. the cap- 
tain, and the French Canadian .iourneyed to the Falls. 

Carver says they could hear the roaring of the great 
cataract for several miles before reaching it. He says 
he was "greatlj- pleased and surjirised" when he ap- 
proached this astonishing work of nature. The AVin- 
uebago was profoundly and peculiarly impressed. 
Carver says : 

"The prince had no sooner gained the point that 
overlooks this wonderfid cascade than he began with an 
audible voice to address the Great Spirit, one of whose 
places of residence he imagined this to be. He told 
Him that he had come a long way to pay his adoration 
to Him, and now would make him the best offerings in 
his power. He accordingly first threw his pipe into the 
stream, theu the roll that contained his tobacco, the 
bracelets he wore on his arms and wrists, an ornament 
composed of beads and wires that was about his neck, 
— in short he presented to his god every part of his 
dress that was valuable, at last giving the car-rings 
from his ears. During this distribution he frequently 
smote his breast with great violence, threw his arms 
about, and seemed much agitated. All the while he 
continued his prayers and adorations, petitioning the 
Great Spirit for our protection on our travels." 

Carver says that instead of ridiciding the pagan 
Indian and his heathenish devotions, "as I observed 
my Roman Catholic servant did." he looked on the 
former with gi-eat respect and believed that his offer- 
ings and prayers "were as acceptable to the Universal 
Parent of JIankind as if they had l)een made with 
greater j)omp or in a consecrated place." The Con- 
necticut cajjtain's mention of St. Anthony Falls is 
most interesting. In part he writes: 

"The Palls of St. Anthony received their name from 
Father Louis Hennepin, a French missionary, who 
traveled into these parts about the year IGSO, and 
was the first European ever seen by the natives.* This 
amazing body of waters, which are above 250 yards 
over, form a most pleasing cataract ; they fall per- 
pendicularly about 30 feet, and the rapids below, in 
the space of 300 yards more, render the descent eon- 
sidci'ably greater; so that when viewed at a distance 
they appear to be much higher than they really are. 
The above-mentioned traveller has laid them down at 
above 60 feet. But he has made a greater error in cal- 

• Kviilently Capt. Carver was acquainteil with tlie history 
of tho Falls, and did not believe that Du Luth visited the 
Kamlowessie village at Mille I>acs a year prior to Hennepin. 

dilating the height of the Falls of Niagara, which he 
asserts to be 6UU feet, whereas, from latter observa- 
tions, accurately made, it is well known that it does 
not exceed 140 feet.* But the good father, I fear, too 
often had no other foundation for his accounts than 
report, or at best a slight inspection." 

Of what we now call Nicollet Island Capt. Carver 
interestingly says : 

"In the middle of the Falls stands a small island, 
about iO feet broad and somewhat [ I] longer, on which 
grow a few scragged hemlock [ ?] and spruce trees; 
and about half way between this island and the eastern 
shore is a rock, lying at the veiy edge of the Fall, in an 
oblique position, that appearecl to be about five or sis 
feet broad and 30 oi' 40 feet long. These Falls vary 
much from all the others I have seen, as you may ap- 
proach close to them without finding the least obstruc- 
tion from any intervening hill or precipice." 

Of the island afterwards known as Cheever's Island 
the following description is given : 

"At a little distance below the Falls stands a small 
island, of about an acre and a half, on which grow a 
great inimber of oak trees, every branch of which that 
was able to support the weight was full of eagles' nests. 
The reason that this kind of birds resort in such num- 
bers to this spot is that they are here secure from the 
attacks of either man or, their retreat being 
guarded by the rapids, which the Indians never attempt 
to pass. Another reason is that they find a constant 
supply of food for themselves and their young from 
the animals and fish which are dashed to pieces by the 
Falls and driven on the adjacent shores." 


Deseril)ing the country surrounding the Falls the 
explorer is fairly enthiisiastic in their praise, thus: 

"The country around them is extremely beautiful. 
It is not an uninterrupted plain where the eye finds 
no relief, but is composed of many gentle ascents, 
which in the summer are covered with the finest 
verdure and interspersed with little groves that give 
a pleasing variety to the prospect. On the whole, 
when the Falls are included, which ma.v be seen 
at the distance of four miles, a more pleasing and 
picturesque view cannot, I believe, be found through- 
out the universe. I could have wished that I had hap- 
pened to enjoy this glorious sight at a more seasonable 
time of the year, whilst the trees and hillocks were 
clad in nature's gayest livery, as this must have 
greatly added to the pleasure I received ; however, 
even then, it exceeded my warmest expectations. I 
have eiuleavored to give the reader as just an idea of 
this enchanting spot as possible in the ])lan annexed, 
[alluding to an engraving of the Falls] but all de- 
scription, whether of pencil or pen, nuist fall infinitely 
short of the original." 


Having observed the Falls until his curiosity was 
satisfied, Capt. Carver, accompanied by his Canadian 

* The best authorities give the total descent of Niagara 
Falls as 212 feet "from the head of the rapids." 



Froucliman and his Wiiiiicbaf^o in-iiice, journeyed up 
till' .Mi.ssi.ssii)|)i until Xovciubei- 21, when he reached 
the mouth of the St. J-'rancis. He estimates the dis- 
tance from the Falls to this river at 60 miles, au over- 
estimate of some 20 miles. He says: "To this river 
Father Ilennepiu gave the name of St. Francis,* and 
this was the extent of his travels, as well as mine, 
towai-ds the northwest. The JNlississippi lias never 
been explored higher uj) than the River St. Francis, 
and only hy Father Hennepin and myself thus far." 

Of course he crossed Rum River, which he says is 
14 miles above the F'alls, an under-estimate, and when 
he crossed, it was 20 yards, or 60 feet. The St. 
Francis was ;}0 yards wide. On November 20 he says 
he passed "another stream called Goose River, 12 
yai-ds wide." The cold weather, he tells us, prevented 
ins making many observations of the country in this 
quarter. He noted, however, the mouth of the St. 
Francis. "Here," he says, "the I\Iississippi grows 
narrow, being not more than i)0 yards over, and it 
appears to be chiefly composed of small branches. 
The iee prevented me from noticing the depth of any 
of these rivers;" but he eould have added that it 
facilitated traveling on foot and especially his cross- 
ing sti'cams. Of the country he says: 

"The country in some i)laces is hilly, but without 
large mountains, and the land is tolerably good. I 
observed here many deer and earribboos, some elk, 
with abundance of beavers, otters, and other furs. A 
little above this, to the northeast, are a number of 
small lakes called the Thousand Lakes, [Mille Laes] 
the jiarts about which, though but little frequented, 
are the best within many miles for hunting, as the 
hunter never fails of returning loaded beyond his 


November 25 ("apt. Carver returned to his canoe 
or boat which he had left at the mouth of the St. 
Pierre. Here, he says, he bade good-bye to the Win- 
nebago prince, and set out to ex])lore the Minnesota, 
taking with him his Mohawk and Canadian French- 
man. He discovered and named Carver River and 
passed the Blue Earth, which he calls the Verd, 
or Green River, and which, he says, "forks at a little 
distance from the St. Pierre," the west fork being 
called the "Red IMarble River," meaning probably the 
Red Pi|)cstone. He says this fork had its source 
among some mountains containing red marble. 

Two hundred miles up the St. Peter, according to 
hi? estimate, he says he came to a large village of 
the NainloweSvSies or Sioux of the Plains, and here 
he asserts that be remained living with the Indians 
from December 7, 1766, to April 27, 1767. This 
period he says, on one page of his book, was five 
months, and on another he states that it w^as seven 
months. The truth probably is that he did not pass 
the winter in Minnesota at all. 

•See ilisdission on a |)rei'eiliiig iiage, (Hpnnoi)in's aci-oiint) 
as to whether or not the stream palled by Father Hennepin the 
St. Francis was nut ri'allv Rum River. 

As a geographical and topographical gazetteer of 
the Minnesota country, ('apt. Carver's book of 
travels is very faulty and misleading. He describes 
the country that he actually saw very well indeed; but 
he frankly says that he was obliged solely to the 
Indians for his knowledge of much of that which he 
diti not see but attempts to desi-ribe, ;uid these latter 
descriptions are almost worthless, being for the most 
part incorrect. Then, too, his estimates of distances, 
like the estimates of other early explorers, are not 
even approximately accurate in most instances. The 
early explorers did not cari-y odometers or other 
instruments for measuring distances traveled, and 
their calculations of s])aces traversed S(!em to have 
been based on the fatigue and labor involved in 
encompassing them, and so were always exaggera- 
tions. For example, Capt. (Carver says he ascended 
the ^linnesota for 200 miles; his nuip indicates that he 
went up to a jjoint a few miles below New Clm, or, 
taking into account the meanderiugs of the river, 
about 100 miles from Mendota. If he had gone 200 
miles, he would have stopped not far below Big Stone 

But Capt. Carver's worst fault was that of many 
another traveler. He was a great romancer and pre- 
varicator. He was probably not very nuieh worse 
than some other early explorers and chroniclers of 
Minnesota, and hi.s false statements did no gi'eat 
harm or particular injustice. He said he lived among 
the Sioux for several months and "perfectly acquired" 
their language; the iircteiided Sioux words and terms 
he gives in his book show that he had but a smat- 
tei'ing of the language. His description of their 
manners and customs, founded ujion his pretended 
personal observation of and ac(|uaintance with them, 
is (juite inaccurate and misleading. 

It is somewhat remarkable that in his book Carver 
gives so large a ntnnber of geographical names cor- 
rectly, as Lake Pi'pin. the St. Croix. St. Pierre. Rum, 
and St. Francis Rivers, as they were afterward known." 
This proves the truth that many of these names were 
bestowed a hundred years before and were well estab- 
lished. St. Anthony's Falls was doubtless then the 
best known geographical name in the Northwest. 
Thus, though ('apt. Carver's book is false in many 
things, it is not false in all. 


In tlie lattri' jiarl of .\i>ril. 17(i7. Ca!)t. Cai'ver. 
still with his Mohawk and his Canadian, jiaddled 
down the ^linnesota, according to his statement, and 
returni'd to the "great cave" in the white sandstone 
bluffs at St. Paul. Here he says a grand council was 
held of representatives of all the Sioux bands, "as 
was their custom," although we know that this was 
not their custom. He further says that they brought 
with them the bones of their deceased relatives and 
friends who had died the preceding winter and 
deposited them on the crest of the bluff above the 
cave. "\Ve have long known, however, that the crest 
of Dayton's Blufl' was the last resting i)lace of only 
the liones nf the old-time Sioux that died in the near- 



by villages. The .remains of those that died in the 
remote villages were disposed of there. 

At the couucil, Carver says he delivered a grand 
speech to the Indians on May 1. He prints this 
speech in his hook, and purports to give a verbatim 
report (as if he took it down in short-hand) of the 
reply of one of the chiefs. He also says that on this 
occasion the Indians created him a chief, which is 
utter nonsense; the Sioux never made a ehief out of 
a white man. After his death Carver's heirs exhibited 
a document evidently written by their ancestor and 
which purported to be a deed to a vast extent of coun- 
trj- of St. Anthony's Falls, and which bore the 
pretended signatures of two alleged Sioux chiefs. 
Everything about this "deed" was bogus, and those 
that attempted to gain anything by it failed utterly. 

After attending the council in the Great Cave, Capt. 
Carver says he returned to Prairie du Chien and 
thence went to Lake Superior. He spent some time 
in exploring that region, finally returning to Boston 
by way of the Sault Ste. Marie. Detroit, and Niagara 
Falls. He reached Boston in October, 176S, ■"hav- 
ing," he says, "been absent from it on this expedi- 
tion two years and five months, and during that 
time travelled near 7,000 miles." Soon after he 
went to England and published the first edition 
of his book in 1769 : subseiiuently several editions 
were published and it wa.s transbited and printed in 
Dutch and French. 


As has been said. Capt. Carver, as a writer was a 
prevaricator, and, like most other early explorers that 
narrated their own experiences and achievements, 
often mis-stated and perverted the faets. He wrote 
to please and interest his readers and imagined that 
to do so he must write of something extraordinary 
or at least remarkable. If his own adventures were 
not really remarkable, he must pretend they were. 
Imitating Simon ilagus, mentioned in Scripture, he 
meant to "give out that him.self was sonu^ great one." 

From what we now know, it seems most prol)able 
that Capt. Carver's experience in and about St. 
Anthony's Falls was not of high importance or verj' 
extraordinary. It may be admitted that he came to 
the locality ; that he saw and examined the great Falls; 
that he went up to the St. Francis; that he examined 
the shores of the ilississippi for two miles or so ou 
either side of the river; that he went up the Minne- 
sota to the mouth of the Blue Earth — and practically, 
no farther: that he then returned to the Jlississippi. 
Then he probably spent the winter about the mouth 
of the Jlinnesota or lie may have hastened back to 
the comfortable trading houses of the post on Oreen 
Baj', where he passed the ensuing season very well. 

He hardly spent several months with the Sioux 
near St. Peter or New Ulm, coming down to the mouth 
of the Minnesota in the spring of 17G8. If he had 
spent any considerable time with them he would have 
kiiown them and their country better and his descrip- 
tions would have been more accurate and in accord 
with established facts. 

He, in no sentence in his book, calls the Indians 
that he says he came to know so intimately by their 
proper and real names. Always and in ever}' case 
where he refers to them he calls them Nadowessies, 
with various spellings. Now, this term was an epithet 
bestowed upon the Indians about St. Anthony and 
on the ^Minnesota River by the Chippewas and the 
other tribes east of the ^Mississippi. The term signifies 
in the Algonquin dialect "snakes" and also "our 

If Capt. Carver had spent five months, or seven 
months, with the Jlinnesota Indians, and been treated 
by them with the great kindness and consideration 
he says he received from them, be certainly ought to 
have called them by their proper name, or the name 
they called themselves — Dakota — meaning the allied 
or banded together, the union of the "seven great 
council fires." They always called themselves 
Dakotas, resented any other name, and for a long 
time considered the term Naudowessies (or Naudowes- 
sioux and its contraction "Sioux") as an insulting 
epithet. Nowhere in Capt. Carver's book is it even 
intimated that the name of these Indians was Dakota, 
nor does the word Dakota appear. Imagine a traveler 
spending seven jdeasant months in Mexico and then 
writing a book descriptive of his experience in which 
he refers to the people of that country only as ' ' Greas- 
ers. " Or a European writing of the United States 
and calling our people by the sole name of "Yanks." 

If Capt. Carver had spent five months with the 
Indians in the present St. Peter or New Ulm region, 
he would have learned that there was no "Red ilarble 
River," a fork of the Blue Earth and which rose in 
"some mountains containing red marble." Some- 
body told him of the Watonwan and that this insignifi- 
cant stream had its source out in the direction of 
the Coteaus and the Red Pipestone Quarrj', and his 
imagination made mountains of the Coteaus, and 
marble of the pipestone. 

His pretended council with the Indians in the 
"great cave," at St. Paul, when he says they gave 
him, merely as an expression of good will, a vast 
expanse of country, was never held. His so-called 
deed was a palpable and very clumsy forgery. It pur- 
ported to be signed by two Sioux chiefs, in their tribal 
vernacular ; but there are no such names in the Sioux 
vocabulary as he gives to them, and no such words 
with the translations he presents: his pretended trans- 
lations are preposterous. Then it is pretended that 
with their signatures the grantor chiefs affixed totem 
marks, when it is well known that the Sioux did not 
have totem distinctions or use totem marks. It is 
only necessary- to add that the greater part of the land 
which the deed pretended to convey to Capt. Carver 
was not Sioux land at all; nearly all the described 
tract lay east of the St. Croix and belonged to the 
Chippewas, the "Winnebagos, and tlie Menominees. 

Another evidence that Capt. Carver falsified his 
account of his so.iourn among the Sioux for several 
months is presented by the many errors he makes in 
his descriptions of their character, their manners and 
customs, etc. He copies nuich of this matter from the 
great liar La Ilontan. and well nigh imagines all the 



rest. He foully and inexcusably slaiulei-s the Sioux 
women whom all other writers i)raise for their virtue, 
purity, and innate nobility of character. 

For a correct analysis and estimate of Carver's 
account the invest if?ator is referred to Keating 's 
article in his Journal of Lonpr's Expedition of 1S23. 

Some respectable historians, like Robert Greenhow, 
the historian of Oregon and California, and the re- 
nowned Henry R. Schoolcraft, allege that Carver 
never wrote the book of "Travels, '"etc., which appears 
under his name. Defending him against this charge 
his principal champion. Mr. J. Thomas Lee, of ]\Iadi- 
son, AVis., goes on to make this candid and harmful 
admission: "That some parts of the 'Travels' were 
plagiarized from Hennepin, La Ilontan, Charlevoix, 
and Adair, is a fact well established." Mr. Lee be- 
lieves that Carver himself wrot(> the book, but readily 
admits that it is full of larcenies and lies. 

Prof. E. G. Bourne, late of Yale College, in an 
article in the Am. Review, Vol. XI (1906) proves 
that many portions of Carver's book were plagiarized 
and many others stolen bodily from La Hontan's 
"New Voyages." Charlevoi.x' "Journal." Vol. I. and 
Adair's "History of the American Indians." Since 
the appearance of Prof. Bourne's scathing but con- 
vincing presentation of the facts, other writers have, 
as J\Ir. Lee says, "dismissed Carver with little cere- 


But whatever Capt. Carver's demerits were as a 
descriptive writer of his own travels, he certainly 
did a great deal for JMinnesota and especially for the 
Falls of St. Anthony. He caused them to be still bet- 
ter known to the civilized world. He described the 
entire region as well-nigh all that was desirable. If 
he had been the advertising agent of a big real estate 
firm owning all the country and desiring to sell it, 
he could scarcely have written more attractively. His 
descriptions were glowingly interesting and glaringly 
false. There was, he said, "an abundance of copper" 
on the St. Croix, western Wisconsin aljounded in 
"heavenly spots," and nature had showered "a pro- 
fusion of blessings" over the entire country of west- 
ern Wisconsin, except in some places along the shore 
of Lake Superior. 

LiECT. pike's visit IN 1805-1806. 

Capt. Carver was born and reared in Connecticut 
and was in America until 1769; but, because he was 
always a British subject, some writers claim that he 
was not the first American citizen proper to see St. 
Anthony's Palls, but that to Lieut. Zebulon Mont- 
gomery Pike belongs that distinction. 

The War of the Revolution virtually terminated in 
1782 and by the treaty of Paris in 1783, between 
Great Britain and the United States, the former gov- 
. ernment ceded to the latter all of its former territory 
in North America below the Canada line. This gave 
the United States all the territory of the Mis- 
sissippi, including the eastern end of the Falls of St. 
Anthony and the adjacent land. The country west 
of the Mississippi, to an indefinite extent, belonged. 

after 1769, to Spain, fi'oiii Lake Itasca to the Gulf of 
Mexico; but in 1800, by a secret treaty, Spain ret- 
roceded it back to France. This country included 
the site of what is now the western and principal part 
of i\linncapolis. 

In 1803, by what is commonly called the Louisiana 
Purchase, the United States acquired the French 
country west of the Mississijjpi. Strangely enough, 
as it seems to-day, there was great dissatisfaction 
among a large part of the Amei'icau peoi)le, especially 
those of New England, with the Louisiana Purchase. 
President Jefferson, who had been the jirincipal agent 
in its negotiation, was strenuously denounced ; the 
price paid for the countiy, $15,000,000, was declared 
to be "outrageously extravagant;" the country itself 
was declared to be "a howling wilderness, the abode 
of wild and savage beasts and wilder and more savage 
men, and it cannot be subdued in 200 years," etc., etc. 
It has long been the condition that any two wards of 
the western division of Minneapolis are worth far 
more than the price Thomas Jefferson caused to be 
paid for the entire and vast Louisiana Purchase. 

To silence the clamor against the new ac(iuisition, 
because he believed in its value, and to inform him- 
self and the country about it, President Jefferson had 
the country examined. The southern part, now in- 
eluding the States of jMissouri, Arkansas, and Louis- 
iana, were fairly well known, but surveyors and 
exploiters were sent in considerable numbei's to lay 
it out for settlement and to report upon it. Two 
important expeditions, semi-military in character, 
were ordered to ascend respectively the Missouri 
and the Mississippi Rivers to their sources, and see if 
the northern part of the country was really a ' ' hyper- 
borean region under Arctic conditions," as had been 
alleged, and to assist President Jefferson in the con- 
firmation of his opinion that he had not bought a piece 
of blue sky, but that the country he had purchased 
was worth the money ]iaid for it. Captains Lewis 
and Clark, with a considerable expedition, went up 
the JMissouri in 180-1 and Lieut. Pike, with another 
party of soldiers, ascended the ^Mississippi in 1805-6, 
both expeditions setting out from St. Louis. 

Lieutenant Pike, a New Jerseyman, was but 29 years 
of age when he first saw the Palls of St. Anthony. He 
set out from his encanii)meiit near St. Louis, August 
9, 1805, in a keel-boat, 70 feet long, with a crew of 
regular soldiers consisting of one sergeant, two cor- 
porals, and 17 privates, and with rations and pro- 
visions for four months. He was equipped with math- 
ematical instruments for calculating latitude and long- 
itude, measuring elevations and distances, etc., and 
with barometers and tiiermomctcrs, drawing appa- 
ratus, etc. ; he was accomplished in the use of all these. 
On the 21st of September he reached Pig's Eye Slough 
and what is now Dayton's Bluff, St. Paul, when; then 
was a Sioux village of cabins presided over by Chief 
Little Crow HI, the third of the Corvidean dynasty of 
Sioux sub-chii'fs. The same day he passed old Jean 
Bapfiste Faribault's trading post, on the west side of 
the river, below Mendota, and that night encamped on 
the northeast point of what is now Pike's Island, oppo- 
site the mouth of the St. Peter's or Minnesota. 




On the 23d he held a council niuler an arbor on 
Pike's Island with the following Sioux chiefs: Little 
Crow III, of the Kaposia or "light" band; the Son of 
Penechon, of the band at Black Dog's Lake; Shakopee 
of the band living near where the town of Shakopee 
is now ; Stands Suddenly, whose real Indian name was 
Wokanko Enahzhe, though Pike gives it as Wayago 
Enagee also called the "Son of Penishon," and who 
was a chief of the Wah-pay Kootas. or Leaf Shooters, 
down on the Cannon River, and Tah-tonka jManne, 
(Walking Buffalo) of the Red Wing band. There also 
took part in the treaty, or conference, thi-ee Indian 
head-soldiers, the Big Soldier, the Rising Moose, and 
the Supernatural Deer's Head (Waukon Tahpay). 
The deed made at the conference was signed by but 
two chiefs. Little Crow III and the son of Penishon 
or Stands Suddenly — "Wayago Enagee." Pike also 
mentions the Supernatural Deer's Head by the French 
designation of "Le Becasse," meaning a woodcock. 

Under the deed signed by the two chiefs, the Sioux 
nation granted of their eoiiutry to the United States, 
"for the establishment of military posts," nine miles 
square at the motith of the St. Croix; "and also from 
below the confluence of the Mississippi and the St. 
Peter's up the Mississippi to include the Palls of St. 
Anthony, extending nine miles on each side of the 
river." The amount to be paid the Indians was left 
to the U. S. Senate, which fixed the sum at !i*12,000, 
which was subsequently paid mostly in goods. 

Although only two chiefs touched the goose-quill 
and made their marks to this deed, none of the tribe 
ever attempted to repudiate it for any reason what- 
ever. There are some interesting features of this so- 
called treaty and deed which may be passed over here. 


On the 23d of September, from his camp on his 
island, Lieut. Pike sent up three of his men to make 
a preliminary obsei-vation of St. Anthony's Falls, but 
"their reports were so contradictory." he says, "that 
no opinion can be formed from them." But on the 
25th he broke camp and renewed his voyage to see them 
for himself. That night he encamped opposite the 
mouth of Minnehaha Creek, but did not notice or com- 
ment upon the stream or the beautiful little waterfall 
only a few hundred yards away. As for his itinerary 
the ensuing four days, the following extracts from 
his Journal comprise a sufficient account: 

"Sept. 26 — Embarked at the usual hour, and after 
much labor in passing through the rapids, arrived at 
the foot of the Palls about 3 or 4 o'clock ; unloaded my 
boat and had the principal part of her cargo carried 
over the portage. With the other boat [his barge] 
full loaded, however, they were not able to get over the 
last .shoot, [chute] and encamped about 600 yards be- 
low. I pitched my tent and encamped above the shoot 
[chute]. The rapids mentioned in this day's marcli 
might propei-ly be called a continuation of the Falls of 
St. Anthony, for they ai'e equally entitled to this ap- 
pellation with the falls of the Delaware and Su» 

quehanua. Distance nine [ ?] miles. Killed one deer.* 

"Sept. 27 — Brought over the residue of my lading 
this morning. Two men arrived from Mr. Frazer, on 
St. Peter's, for my dispatches. Sent a large packet 
to the general [Gen. James Wilkinson] and a letter 
to Mrs. Pike, with a short note to Mr. Frazer. This 
business of closing and sealing [letters and dispatches] 
appeared like a last adieu to the civilized world. 
* * * Carried our boats out of the river as far as the 
bottom of the hill. 

"Sept. 28 — Brought my barge over and put her in 
the river above the falls. While we were engaged with 
her, three-quarters of a mile from camp, seven Indians, 
painted black, appeared on the heights. 

"We had left our guns at camp and were entirely 
defenseless. It occurred to nie that they were the 
small party of Sioux who were obstinate and would 
go to war when the other part of the bands came in. 
These they proved to be. They were better armed than 
any I had ever seen, having guns, bows, arrows, clubs, 
speai'S, and some of them even a case of pistols. 

"I was at that time giving my men a dram, and 
giving the cup of liquor to the first Indian he drank 
it off; but I was more cautious with the remainder [ !] 
I sent my interpreter [Joseph Renville] to camp with 
them to await my coming, wishing to purchase one of 
their war-clubs, wliich was made of elk-horn and deco- 
rated with inlaid work. This and a set of bows and 
arrows I wished to get as a curiosity. But the liquor 
I had given the Indian beginning to operate, he came 
back for me ; refusing to go till I brought my boat he 
returned, and (I suppose being offended) borrowed a 
canoe and crossed the river. 

"In the afternoon we got the other boat [the keel- 
boat, 70 feet long,] near the top of the hill, when the 
props gave wa\' and she slid all the way down to the 
bottom, but fortunately without injuring any person. 
It raining veiy hard, we left her. Killed one goose 
and a raccoon. 

"Sunday, Sept. 29 — I killed a remarkably large 
raccoon. Got our large boat over the portage and put 
her in the river at the upper landing. This night the 
men gave sufficient proof of their fatigue by all throw- 
ing themselves down to sleep, preferring rest to supper. 
This day I had but 15 men out of 22; the others were 
sick. ' ' 

Even at this day, when it can do no good, one cannot 
but sympathize with Pike's poor soldiers that per- 
formed so nuich hard work during his entire expedi- 
tion, and especially with the 15 that performed the 
heavy and greatly fatiguing labor of carrying the 
heavy boats, the baggage, and the provisions up the 
high and steep banks of the river and around the falls 
for a distance of at least a mile. The big keelboat was 
70 feet long and must have weighed not less than 30 
pounds to the foot, or 2,100 pounds, a weight of 140 
pounds to each of the 15 soldiers. The Lieutenant's 
barge was of course smaller, but heavy enough in all 
conscience. No wonder that Pike gave his men fre- 

*A K'eat dral of the space in Pike's Journal is taken up 
with notiees of his hunting and fishing exploits. Whenever 
he shot a deer or a raccoon or a duck or caught a catfish, be 
made a note of it. 



queiit "ilraiiis'" to t'liuouragc ami .stiiiiulato them; no 
woiuler that the bijr boat .slid hack ilown the high 
blutf, which Dr. Cones and others thiuk was ou the 
east side ; no wouder that 7 nieu out of 22 were sick 
and unable to work ; no wonder that on the evening 
of that memorable Sunday the 15 that had worked 
fell exhausteii and prostrated, cheerfully foregoing 
their suppers for a few minutes more of sleep. Con- 
tinuing his journal, Lieut. Pike writes: 

"Sept. 30 — Loaded my boat, moved over, and en- 
camped on the Island. | Nicollet.'] The large boat 
loading likewise we went over and i)ut on board, (sic) 
In the meantime I took a survey of tlie Falls, the poi-t- 
age, etc. If it be possible to pass the falls at high 
water, of which 1 am doubtful, it must be on the east 
side, about SO yards from shore, as there are three lay- 
ers of roeks, one below the other. The pitch-off of 
either is not more than five feet, but of this I can say 
more on my return. [After his return Pike added to 
the foregoing as to the practicability of passing the 
Falls at either end ; ' It is never possible, as ascertained 
on my return.'] 

"October 1 — Embarked late. The river at ap- 
peared mild and sutKciently deep ; but after about four 
miles the shoals counuenced and we had very hard 
water the remainder of the day. This day the sun 
shone after I had left the Falls, but whilst there it 
was always cloudy. Killed one goose and two ducks.'' 


Describing the country along the Jlississipjii from 
what is now St. Paul to the mouth of Rum River the 
Lieutenant w-rites well, although exaggerating dis- 
tances between geographical points: 

"About 20 [!] miles below the entrance of the 
St. Peter's, on the E. .shore, at a place called the 
Grande ^larais [Big ^larsh, now Pig's Eye Lake] is 
situated Petit Corbeau's [Little Crow's] village of 11 
log houses. 

"From the St. Peter's to the Falls of St. Anthony 
the river is contracted between high hills, and is one 
continual rapid or fall, the bottom being covered with 
rocks which in low- water are some feet above the 
surface, leaving narrow channels between them. The 
rapidity of the current is likewise much augmented 
by the numerous small, rock,y islands which obstruct 
the navigation. The shores have many large and 
beautiful springs issuing forth which form small 
cascades as they tuml)le over the cliffs into the Mis- 
sissippi. The timber is generally maple." 

He also says that the river between the St. Peter's 
and the Falls is "noted for the great quantity of wild 
fowl." Of the Falls themselves, having surveyed 
them, he is able to give us actual dimensions and 
correct descrii^tious : 

"As I a.scended the ^lississippi the Falls of St. 
Anthony did not strike me with that ma.jestic appear- 
ance winch I had been taught to expect from the 
descriptions of former travelei-s. On an actual survey 
I find the portage to be 2f)0 poles (4,290 feet) ; but 
when the river is not very low- boats ascending may 
be put in 31 poles below, at a large cedar tree, and 

this would reduce it to 22!) poles. The hill over which, 
the portage is made is 6!) feet in a.scent, with an 
elevation at the point of debarkation of 45 degrees. 
The fall of the water between the place of debarkation 
and reloading is 58 feet ; the perpendicular fall of the 
shoot [chute] is IbVo feet. The width of the river 
above the shoot [chute] is 627 yards; below 20'J. In 
high water the appearance is much more sublime, as 
the great quantity of water then forms a spray, which 
in clear weather reflects from some positions the 
colors of the rainbow, and when the sky is overcast 
covers the Falls in gloom and chaotic ma.iesty." 

Just what is meant by "" chaotic majesty" is not 
certain, but the nuitter is not important. The gal- 
lant explorer continued his voyage under the adversi- 
ties of low water and cold weather. On the 3d of 
October he left the mouth of the Rum River with the 
mercury at zero and ice forming. That day, however, 
he killed three geese, a raccoon, and a badger, and was 
happy, and the next day it rained and he killed 
two geese, a grouse, and a wolf. 

Proceeding with some difficulty up the Jlississipiii, 
the explorer and his party were overtaken by early 
snow and cold October 16, and forced to go into winter 
quarters at Pike Rapids, in what is now .Morrison 
County; the site of their stockaded encampment or 
fort has been identified. Though they had made fine 
game-bags every day, killing dozens of geese, ducks, 
prairie hens, pheasants, etc., there was more hardship 
than sport among the party. Of the distresses among 
the men the la.s1 day, Pike tells us: 

"After four hours' work we became so benumbed 
with cold that our limbs were perfectly useless. We 
put to shore, built a large fire, and then discovered 
that our boats were nearly half full of water. My 
sergeant [Henry] Kennerman, one of the stoutest 
men I ever knew, broke a blood-vessel and vomited 
nearly two quarts of blood. One of my corporals, 
[Samuel] Bradley, also evacuated nearly a pint of 
blood. These unhappy circumstances, in addition to 
the inability of four other men, whom we \yere obliged 
to leave on shore, convinced me that if 1 had no 
regard for my own constitution, I should have some 
for those poor fellows who were killing themselvi'S 
to obey my ordei-s. « * * We immediately un- 
loaded our boats and secured their cargoes." 


Setting out December 10. Pike advanced^ up the 
Mississippi with Corporal Bradley and a few men, 
who dragged a sled in which were provisions and on 
which rested one end of a small canoe or i)irogue. His 
object was not only to examine the country but to 
reprimand the English traders at Sandy, Leech, and 
Cass Lakes. These men were Hying the British Hag 
over their posts and occasionally giving out British 
medals to the Indians. Pike visited them, made them 
haul down their I'nion Jacks and substitute the Stars 
and Stri]ies aiul also made them pi-omise to thereafter 
comport themselves as law-abiding residents of the 
United States. 



The brave and gallant officer returned to his fort 
at Pike Rapids on March 6, 1806. Ou the 6th of 
April he set out ou his return vojage and on the 10th 
arrived at St. Anthony's Falls, and that day trans- 
ported the boats and baggage around the Falls and 
put them into the water below. The job of making 
the portage on this occasion was far less arduous than 
on the up trip. 

ST. Anthony's falls in the spring of 1S06. 

Of the appearance of the Falls ou the lOth of April 
Lieut. Pike says: 

"The appearance of the Falls was much more tre- 
mendous than when we ascended ; the increase of 
water occasioned the spray to rise much higher, and 
the mist appeared like clouds. How different my sen- 
sations now from what they were when at this place 
before. * » * Ours was the tirst [ ?] canoe 
that had ever crossed this portage. * * * '^ow 
we have accomplished every wish, peace reigns 
throughout the vast extent, we have returned this 
far on our voyage without the loss of a single man, 
and hope soon to be blessed with the society of our 
relatives and friends. The river this morning was 
covered wtli ice wliich continued floating all day; 
the shores were still barricaded with it." 


April 11 it "snowed veiy hard." Lieut. Pike en- 
camped on the island which still bears his name. The 
same evening he held a council (perhaps on the 
mainland) with 600 Sioux. These were of two west- 
ern bands and one eastern. The western were the 
Sissetons (Pike calls them "Sussitongs") and Wah- 
pay-tons (Pike calls them "Gens des Feuilles;" or 
People of the Leaves) and the Medawakantons, or 
People of the Spirit Lake, (Pike calls them "Gens 
du Lac") were the eastern band. The council had 
been arranged a month or so before, while Pike was 
still on the upper river. The Yanktons, (or "Yank- 
tongs," as Pike calls them) whose homes were out in 
what is now South Dakota, were expected to be pres- 
ent, but Pike says, "they had not yet come down." 

The council was held in an improvised room which 
had been i)repared by Wayago Enagee, the Son of 
Penishoii, and the Chief of the Walipaykootas or I^eaf 
Shooters. Its proceedings related to an arrangement 
for a treaty of permanent peace between tbe Sioux 
and the Chippewns, and amounted to nothing because 
the Indians could not understand Pike's interpreters, 
who were tlieii two Chippewa half breeds named Rous- 
seau and Roy. The Chippewas bad sent liy Pike some 
pipes to tlie Sioux with a request to smoke them if 
they wanted peace. The Sioux smoked them. 

Lieut. Pike invited Chief Stands Suddenly, alias 
Wayago Eiuige(>, alias Son of Penishon, and the son 
of a Sis.seton Chief, named Red Eagle, to supper with 
him. Red Eagle's son had visited Pike on the upper 
River the previous winter. Pike translates the chief's 
name into French as "Killeur Rouge," the term 
Killeur being a corruption of "Killiou," the French- 
Canadian patois for eagle. 


April 12 the return voyage was resumed, and soon 
the present site of St. Paul was reached. Pierre Rous- 
seau had been up the river frequently, but Pike says : 
"He could not tell me where the cave spoken of by 
Carver could be found ; we carefully searched for it 
but in vain." Of Little Crow's village at Dayton's 
Bluff and of Little Crow himself, Lieut. Pike says : 

"We were about to pass a few lodges, but on i-eceiv- 
iug a very particular invitation to come ashore, we 
landed and were received in a lodge kindly ; they pre- 
sented us sugar, etc. I gave thfe proprietor a dram 
and was about to depart, when he demanded a kettle 
of liquor; on being refused and after I had left the 
shore he told me that he did not like the arrangements 
and that he would go to war this summer. I directed 
the interpreter to tell him that if I returned to the 
St. Peter's with troops I would settle that affair with 
him ! ' ' 

Old Little Crow and the most of his people were 
not in the village at the time of Pike's visit, being 
out on a hunting expedition on the lower St. Croix. 
Pike tells us: 

"On our arrival at the St. Croix I found Petit 
Corbeau [Little Crow] with his people and IMessrs. 
Frazer and Wood. [The latter were two white men, 
formerly with the old Hudson's Bay Company.] We 
had a conference, when Petit Corbeau made many 
apologies for the misconduct of his people. He rep- 
resented to us the different manners in wliich his 
young warriors had been inducing [ ?] hira to go to 
war [against the Chippewas] ; that he had been much 
blamed for dismissing his war party last full, but that 
he was determined to adhere to our instructions at 
that time; that he thought it most prudent to 
remain here and restrain the warriors [from fighting 
the Chippewas.] He then presented me with a beaver 
robe and a pipe and gave me a message to the general 
[Wilkinson] that he was determined to preserve peace 
in his band and 'make the road clear.' He also 
wanted it remembered that he had been promised an 
American medal." 

On this 12th of April. Pike .says he observed the 
trees beginning to Inul for the first lime. Going on 
to Red Wing's village, he found Lake Pepin closed 
and had to wait until the 15tli for the ice to go out. 
lie reached St. Louis on the last of April. 


A few weeks after reaching St. Louis, Lieut. Pike 
was again ilispatched by Gen. Wilkinson upon an 
imi:)ortant expedition. His ordei'S were to take an 
escort of a party of soldiers, ascend the Missouri 
and Osage Rivers, penetrate to the head waters of the 
Arkansas and the Red Rivers and, en route, to treat 
with the Iiuiiaii tribes and explore the country west 
and southwest of St. Louis. In this second expedition, 
December 3, 1S06, he measured the height of the 
mountain in central Colorado which has ever since 
been called Pike's Peak. Proceeding southward he 
(perhaps intentionally) stumbled across the then line 



between Spanish America and the United States and 
he and his men were made prisoners by the Spanish 
military' authorities. Pike was taken before the Span- 
ish Government at Santa Fe, and finally after much 
delay, was escorted out of Spanish territory and 
allowed to return to the United States. In 1813, dur- 
ing the Second War with Great Britain, Pike was 
made a brigadier general and given a command. At 
the attack on York (now Toronto) in Canada, April 
27, 1813, he. with many others of the troops of the 
American and British armies, was mortally wounded 
by the explosion of a British magazine. His body 

was buried at Fort Tompkins, a little distance from 
Sackett's Harbor, N. Y. 


Pike 's expedition to near the headwaters of the Mis- 
sissippi was of the greatest importance to the Min- 
nesota country. He reported upon it fully and made 
it much better and far more favorably known than 
it ever had been before. Several printed editions of 
his journal were issued, containing an engraving and 
description of St. Anthony's Falls, etc., and these 
were largely circulated. 








Soon after Lieut. Pike went down the Mississippi, 
in 1806, tlie British ti'aders in the jMinnesota country 
began a persistent violation of the promises they had 
given him. They took down their American tiags, 
sold whisky freely to the Indians, and poached and 
trespassed on the American territory as far south as 
the lower Des ^loines and as far eastward as the 
Chippewa River of Wisconsin. 

During the War of 1812 (or "last war with Great 
Britain") every trading post in Minnesota was a re- 
cruiting station for the British army. British officers 
enlisted Sioux from the villages on and near the .Min- 
nesota and took them to their main armies in ^lichi- 
gan and northern Ohio. The warriors of the liands of 
Little Crow and Wabasha, led by their respective 
chiefs, furnished the most men for the Ohio expedi- 
tion; but the other bands sent representatives. 

^Vt the siege of Fort JMeigs. in Northern Ohio, in 
May, 1813, the Northwest Indians took a prominent 
part. The Winnebagoes captured some American sol- 
diers, killed them, roasted and served them up 
for dinner, and sent word to the Sioux to come and 
partake of the feast. Little Crow and Wabasha went 
over and found the cannibals at their horrible repast, 
with gorgeously uniformed Britisli officers looking on 
and laughing. The Sioux chiefs roundly denounced 
the officers for permitting such a horrible and heath- 
enish thing. They said they came out to fif/ht Ameri- 
cans, not to eat them, and were going home if such 
a thing were i)erniitted.* Little C'row had a nephew 
named Big Hunter who had been persiuided to sit at 
the loathsome table. His uncle took him by the nape 
of the neck, .ierked him from his seat, struck him with 
the flat of his tomahawk, and drove him away. Not 
long after, the Sioux left the army and returned to 
Minnesota. (See Ncill's Hist, of Minn., pp. 281-2: 
McAfee's "Late War in the Western Country." and 
other publications on tlie siege of Fort Meigs during 
the War of 1812.) 


A))Out 2G0 Canadians and several hundred Sioux, 
Chippewas, Winnebagoes, and Menominees captured 

* f'ol. Robert Dick,son, a prominent early trader in Min- 
nesota, and who had recruited the Sioux and cundui'tod them 
to Ohio, interfered and broke up the feast. 

the American post at ^lackinaw in July, 1812; and 
among their leaders were Joseph Rolette, Sr., and 
^lichael Cadotte, both afterward well known in ilin- 

In July, 1814, a force of British and Indians 
captured Fort Shelby, an American post at Prairie du 
Chien. Among the captors were Capt. Joseph Rolette, 
Sr., Lieut. Joseph Renville, Sr., Louis Provencalle, 
and even old Jean Baptiste Faribault, all of whoni 
became prominent in Minnesota affairs. In 1812 they 
were loyal to their country, which then was Canada : 
and, when they became American citizens, they were 
truly loyal to the United States. Among the Indians 
who helped the British capture Fort Shelby were some 
Sissetons. For their seiwices on this occasion the 
British promised to give them two boat-loads of goods 
and a cannon, which debt the Indians afterward tried 
to collect, to the great annoyance of ller jMajesty's 
officials. In 1859 old Chief Sleepy Eye was returning 
from Winnipeg, where he had been to try to get the 
long past-due cannon and goods, when he died. Late 
in 1814, Little Crow and many of his warriors went 
down to Prairie du Chien to help defend tlic place 
from a threatened attack by the Americans, but the 
latter, under Zachary Taylor, came no farther than 
Rock Island. 

The onl.y Sioux that were truly faithful to their 
promises to Lieut. Pike and loyal to the United States 
during the War of 1812 were Tah-mah-hah (accent on 
the first syllable) Pike's "Rising I\loose." a ^Icdawa- 
kanton, and llay-pee-dan, (meaning the second child 
if a son) a Wahi)aykoota. Tah-mah-hah had but oiu» 


In 1811 the established an Indian trading 
post on Pike's Island, at the mouth of the Minnesota, 
and maintaiiu'd it for some years. It was a big post, 
sold whisky freely, and did a large business. For 
some time it was in charge of Capt. Thos. G. Ander- 
son, who bad an Indian wife. lie educated his two 
mixed-blood daughtei's, and some of their descendants 
became prominent in jMiiniesota affairs. At that time 
there wsis no other trading post near St. Anthony's 
Falls. (See Neill's Hist, of Miini. and also of St. 




Paul: ('apt. Aiulcrson's " Personal Recollections," in 
Wisconsin Hist, Socy., Collections, vols. 2 and 3; 
]\Iinn. Socy. Coll., etc.) 

For some years after the War of 1812, which en- 
tirely closed in the early part of the year 1815, the 
British traders swarmed in the Minnesota country. 
Rohert Dickson. — ■"the red-head." as he was called — 
established Joseph Renville on the Minnesota, up about 
Lac qui Parle, and Jolm B. Faribault was back down 
about Mendota. Other traders were near .Meudota. 
for all the old Indian villajres in the Jlinnesota River 
section iiad been re-jn'opled after havino; been par- 
tially abandoned during the War. Up in the Chip- 
pewa country, at Leech Lake, Cass Lake, Red Lake, 
and other northern lakes, were luuuerous posts Hying 
the liritish thig; American tiadei-s were practically 
crowded out. 

The Americans had complained that the English- 
men had seized all of the best tra<ling sites in the 
northern country, and Congress had enacted that no 
man should receive a trader's license unless he first 
becanu' an American citizen. The British merchants 
in the ^liiuiesota counti-y simply derided the law, 
thinking that the Fnited States would not go to the 
trouble and expense of trying to enforce it. In this 
they were mistakeu. The Secretary of War in 1819 
was Jtjhn C. Calhoun, of South Carolina, the fiery old 
nullitier and radical States" rights man. He was de- 
termined, however, that the laws of the United States 
should be obeyed and respected, at least over territory 
they owned, and which had not been formed into 


The location and establishment of the militai-y 
post now and long since called Fort Snelling con- 
stituted an important and influential event in the 
history of JMinneapolis. It brought civilization near 
to the great Falls of St. Anthony and hastened the 
time of their improvement, which meant a city at 
their site. 

It was the bad conduct of the English traders in 
]\Iinnesota which caused the establishment of Fort 
Snelling, in the early autumn of 1819. But for their • 
disreputable course, the fort would probably not 
have been l)uilt until twenty yt-ars later. 

By what is known as the Treaty of London, betweeu 
the United States and (treat Britain, in 1794, the 
English obtained the right of trade and intercourse 
with the Indians of the northwestern portion of the 
United States. The western boundary of the Repub- 
lic was then the Jlississippi River. This valuable 
privilege gave the British traders practically a 
monopoly of the trade with the various savage tribes 
in northern ^liehigan, Wisconsin and northern ^lin- 
nesota east of the Jlississippi, all Amerii'an territory, 
and without saying "by your leave." they occupied 
the country owned by France, which lay about the 
headwaters of the Mississipjn and the Missouri. In 
return for their license to occupy American soil, the 
traders were bound, morally at least, to obey the 
authority of the United States and commit no offense 

against their sovereignty and interests; but they failed 
in these duties most disgracefully ami to the practical 
in.jury of our country and its people. 

In northern — or rather north central — Minnesota 
Lieut. Pike nuide these dealers pull down their British 
flags, but as soon as he had left the country they 
jnilled ihem up again. Then, as has been stated, dur- 
ing the War of 181'J they were in open and armed hos- 
tility to the United States and the Americans. After 
the close of the war their conduct continued bad and 
menacing. Among other thinirs British emissaries 
arrange(i fre(|Uent "talks" lietween them.selves and 
the Iiulians of the country, and these talks were held 
at the trading iiosts. These affairs were always accom- 
panied by a ])rofuse distribution of presents and Brit- 
ish flags and medals among the savages, and many 
other means were resorted to in order to win their 
regard for His Britannic ^Majesty and his subjects and 
to pi'omote a dislike for Americans. 

In 181G Congress authorized the President to pro- 
hibit all foreigners from trading with the Indians 
within the limits of the United States; if they wanted 
licenses to trade, they nuist take out naturalization 
papers and become American citizens. The British 
traders sought to evade and avoid this law by having 
licenses issued to their American employes, the trad- 
ers really owning and conducting the business and 
sharing the profits: but many a trader sna])ped his 
fingers at the United States and, continued to flaunt 
the T^nion Jack before the faces of the Americans and 
the American aufhoi-ity. 

The Uniteil States adopted stringent measures to 
remove this evil. In the early ]y,\rt of 1819 Secretary 
Calhoun arranged to establish military posts at (Coun- 
cil Bluffs and the mouth of the Yellow Stone, on the 
^Missouri River, and at the mouth of the St. Peter's, 
for Minnesota) on the IMississippi. and at the Sault 
Ste. ]\Iarie. "The occupation of the eontemnlated 
posts.'" he wrote to the House Committee on ^Military 
Affairs, December 29, 1819, "will put into our hands 
the power to correct the evils." Of the St. Peter's 
post he wrote : 

"The post at the mouth of the St. Peter's is at the 
head of navigation of the ^lississippi, and, in addition 
to its commanding position in relation to the Indians, 
it possesses great advantages, either to protect our 
trade or to prevent that of foreigners." He further 
said that, when the lioundary line between the United 
States and Canada was definitely drawn and tlie mil- 
itary i)0sts established and garrisoned. "AVe will have 
the power to exclud(> foreigners from trade and inter- 
course with the Indians residing within our limits." 

It is Rlain that the jiriucipal olt.ject of the establish- 
ment of what is now Fort Snelling was to bring the 
British traders to subjection, or drive them fi-om the 
country. Dr. Xeill (Hist, of :\Iinn., Chap. Hi) and 
others following him say that the founding of Lord 
Selkirk's colony, in the lower Red River region, was 
the chief reason for th(> building of the fort. But 
Lord Selkirk's colony is not mentioned or hinted at 
in Secretarj' Calhoun's letters or in any of the 
records in the case. 




In February, 1819, Secretary Calhoun ordered the 
Fifth U. S. Infantry to concentrate at Detroit with a 
view to go, by way of the Lakes and Fox River, to 
Prairie du Chien. After leaving a garrison for Fort 
Crawford, at the latter place, and another for Fort 
Armstrong, at Rock Island, the commander and the 
remainder of his men were to go on and build the new 
post at the mouth of the St. Peter's. From Fort 
Dearborn, at Chicago, the baggage was to be hauled in 
wagons drawn by horses and o.xen to Prairie du Chien. 
The commander of the Fifth was Lieut. Col. Henry 

Having re-enforced the garrisons at Prairie du 
Chien and Rock Island, Lieut. Col. Leavenworth set 
out with the balance of his command, via the ]\Iissis- 
sippi, for the St. Peter's. His troops numbered "98 
rank and file." They were in fourteen batteaux or 
keelboats, and were accompanied by 20 voyageurs or 
boatmen ; thus the entire force numbered 118. Besides 
the batteaux, which .served as troop-ships, there were 
two large boats loaded witli provisions, ordnance, etc., 
the barges of Col. Leavenworth, and the boat of ]\Ia.j. 
Forsyth, or in all 18 boats, which were propelled by 
oars, poles, and sails. 

The expedition left Prairie du Chien August 8, 
(1819) and arrived at the mouth of the St. Peter's 
on Tuesday morning. August 2-t, having made the trip 
of 234 miles, by the river, in sixteen days, an average 
progress of 20 miles a day. Of the live stock belong- 
ing to the detachment only some cows were brought 
by land from Prairie du Chien that fall, but next 
spring all the cattle were driven from the Prairie du 
Chien to St. Peter's; all the driving was done by John 
Baptiste Faribault and other members of his family. 
With Col. Leavenworth from Prairie du Chien came 
Maj. Thomas Forsyth, from St. Louis, with the $2,000 
worth of goods to be given the Sioux in payment for 
the lands deeded by them to the United States at 
Pike's council, in 1806. 

En route, at the mouth of the Ouisconsin River, 
the wife of Lieut. Nathan Clark, of the Fifth Regi- 
ment, gave birth to a daughter, who was christened 
Charlotte Ouisconsin Clark, and who became the wife 
of Gen. Horatio P. Van Cleve and a well known and 
highly esteemed lady citizen of Minneapolis. She 
always spelled the first syllable of lier middle name 
according to the French method. 

At Pig's Eye Slough, now a part of St. Paul, the 
boats were detained by head winds for two days. The 
officers visited old Chief Little Crow's Sioux village, 
then, as on Pike's visit, under the eastern wall of Day- 
ton's Bluff. The Kapozia band (as Little Crow's was 
called) then numbered about 70 warriors and in all 
about 200 people. They lived in very comfortable 
cabins, which had palisaded walls of tamarack poles 
and roofs of brush covered with bark. The chief had 
a large cabin, 30 feet long, divided into two rooms. 


As soon as the soldiers arrived at the mOuth of the 
St. Peter's, they left their boats and went into a tem- 

porary camp on the right bank of the stream, near 
its mouth. Col. Leavenworth selected the site, which 
comprised the fiat land between Mendota and the St. 
Peter's. Perhaps the Sibley and Faribault houses 
now stand on tlie eastern end of the old site. 

The Sioux called the place "]\I'do-ta," meaning a 
.iunction of one water with another, which has been 
corrupted to Mendota. The Indian word is really a 
contraction of "minne-dota ;" minne means water but 
dota means throat, and hence the phrase may mean 
the throat of the water, or the place where water 
passes through a narrow channel into a larger recep- 

When the.y arrived at the St. Peter's, more than 
half of Col. Leavenworth's 98 soldiers were sick from 
drinking the warm and unhealthy river water during 
their voyage. The remainder, less than 40 men, "were 
immediately set to work in making roads up the bank 
of the river, cutting down trees, etc.," says Maj. For- 
.syth, in his journal. The first tree was felled by Dan- 
iel W. Hubbard, one of the soldiers. In a compara- 
tively short time a sufficient number of log cabins had 
been built to accommodate those present, and the work 
of clearing off the camp gi'ound was continued in antic- 
ipation of the imminent arrival of re-enforcements 
known to be en route, and which, to the number of 
218 men, rank and file, arrived September 3. 


Saturday, August 28, a party, composed of Col. 
Leavenworth and other officers and also the wife of 
Capt. Gooding, with an escort of soldiers, visited St. 
Anthony's Falls. Mrs. Gooding was the first white 
woman to see them. The excursion was made in Llaj. 
Forsyth's boat, and in his journal the ]\Iajor writes: 

<< # # # rpj^g sight to me was beautiful. The 
white sheet of water falling perpendicularly about 
twenty feet, as I should suppose, over the difl'erent 
precipices: in other parts rolls of water, at different 
distances, falling like so many silver cords, while about 
the island large bodies of water were rushing through 
great blocks of rocks, tumbling every way, as if deter- 
mined to make war against anything that dared to 
approach them. After viewing the Falls from the 
prairie for some time, we approached nearer, and by 
the time we got up to the Falls the noise of the falling 
water appeared to me to be awful. I sat down on the 
bank and feasted my eyes, for a considerable time, in 
viewing the falling waters and the rushing of large 
torrents through and among the broken and large 
blocks of rocks thrown in every direction ])y some 
great convulsion of nature. Several of the company 
crossed over to the island fNicoUetl above the Falls, 
the water being shallow. Having returned from the 
island, they told me that they had attempted to cross 
over the channel on the other side of the island, but 
that the water was too deep; they say the greatest 
quantity of water desceiuls on the other (the north- 
east) side of the island."— (See Minn. Hist. Socy. 
Coll., Vol. 3.) 

Maj. Forsyth's graphic description of St. Anthony's 
Falls may be said to describe Minneapolis in 1819, 



rill': (iLii i.i)\ Ki;\\ii;\ r mills a i iiih; kali 



since they were the most important feature of the 
city's site at the time. Not a white man, or even an 
Indian, lived there then ; the locality was entirely vir- 
gin and unimproved. 

Col. Leavenworth calle<l his lirst establishment or 
cantonment on the south siile of the ^Minnesota "New 
Hope.'' There was a propriety in the name, for it 
was tile foundation of a new liope for the country and 
the 0[)euing of a new era for its imi)rovement and 
general welfare. 


The winter of 1819-20 was very trying on the men 
of Cantonment New Hope. The cold weather was of 
a severitj' unknown to them. Then in December 
scurvy broke out and became epidemic. Before it 
had passed 40 men had died. At one period Ihere 
were so many sick that for several days garrison duty 
was suspended. The disease was supposed to be 
caused by a long and continuous diet of stale rations 
— pork, beans, hard bread, cracked corn, ("small 
hominy") with a little rice and molasses infrequently. 
No tea, coffee, vegetables, or vinegar then formed a 
part of a soldier's rations. Surgeon Purcell finally 
cheeked the disease by administering a tea made from 
the spruce branches of the country, which proved ver- 
itable "leaves of healing," and by doses of vinegar 
brought up from Prairie du Chien by runners sent 
after it on snow-shoes. One account is that the spruce 
branehes from which the healing tea was decocted 
were brought from the St. Croix. 


In the spring of 1820 Col. Leavenworth began the 
erection of the permanent post on the high plateau on 
the north side of the Jlinnesota, on the eastern end of 
its present site. The first buildings erected on the 
new site were mainly of logs. In May the command 
was removed to the crest of the IMississippi bluff, a 
little to the northward of the permanent site selected 
for the post, and convenient to a large spring which 
furnish(>d a bountiful and excellent supi)ly of pure 
water. From this circnmstnnee the Colonel called his 
new encampment Camp Coldwater. The men were 
quartered in tents during the spring and summer, but 
passed the late fall and winter months in their for- 
mer log ealiins at New Hope. September 20 of this 
year (1820) the corner-stone of the commandant's 
quarters — commoidy considered the corner-stone of 
the Fort^was laid. In August Col. Leavenworth, 
W'ho had been promoted to colonel of the Sixth Infan- 
try and ordered to the Southwest, turned over the 
command of the new post to Col. Josiah Snelling. of 
the Fifth Infantry, who had l)een ordei'cd to complete 
it. Col. Leavenworth went down to the Kansas coun- 
try and built the fort which still l)ears his name. 

Fortunately we have on record an account of the 
building of Fort Snelling from one who assisted in 
the work, Mr. Philander Prescott, who came to Can- 
tonment New Hope in 1819 as a sutler's clerk. He 
lived in INIinnesota ever after or initil his death in 

August, 1862, when he was murdered the first day of 
the great outbreak of tlie Sioux Indians. He was an 
intelligent and educated man and a few years before 
his death wrote a brief autobiography, which is 
printed in Volume 6 of the IMinnesota Historical 
Society's Collections. 

According to IMr. Prescott 's account, which is en- 
tirely reliable, not much was accomplished toward the 
building of the fort in the summer of 1820. A few 
soldiers were employed in cutting trees and hewing 
the logs and hauling them to the site selected. This 
site, it may be noted, was 300 yards west of the one 
finally determined upon and where the fort was 
eventually eonstrucfcd. Although the buildings of the 
post were to be mainly of logs, a considerable quan- 
tity of boards and other sawed lumber was needed. 
The Hrst lot of this material used was cut with whip- 
saws, worked by two men to each saw, and the sawing 
was not easy. By this method of preparing boards 
the work was toilsome and the amount of hunber pro- 
duced in a day by one saw was insignificant. 

It was determined to build a sawmill in the vicinity 
— and this practically led to the founding of Jlinne- 


The first building erected on the present site of 
Minneapolis presaged the future chief character of 
the city. For the first building was a mill for the 
manufacture of lumber and breadstuff, and the manu- 
facture of lumber and breadstuffs has been the indus- 
try which has made Minneapolis famous. 

Col. Snelling determined to raise corn and wheat 
on the prairies about the Fort, and he wanted a mill 
for grinding. He also needed a great deal of lumber 
for the proper construction of the permanent fort 
buildings — plaid\s, boards, and sawed timbei-s. To 
whip-saw these into suitable shape and proper quan- 
tities would require too nuieh time, and the lumber 
would be imperfect. He concluded to build a 
sawmill in the vicinity of the fort. At that time 
steam was not in general use as a motive power, and 
mill machinery was commonly driven by water power. 

Tlie Colonel sought a site for a null as near to the 
Fort as it could be found. An examination of what 
were then commonly called the "little falls," or 
Brown's Falls, (now called Minnehaha,) was made 
and it was hoped to find a suitable site at the little 
cataract, or somewhere near by on the stream which 
formed it. But very little water was running over 
the falls when the examination was made, and it was 
learned that although the creek had an abundant 
"fall," it could not be depended upon to furnish a 
sufficient volume of water at all seasons to turn the 
big water-wheel of a mill. At last a site at the great 
St. Anthiniy's Falls, only a few miles away, was se- 
lected. In his autobiography, before mentioned. 
Philander Prescott thus describes milling operations 
at Fort Snelling in 1820-21-22: 

"An officer and some men had been sent up Rum 
River to examine the pine and see if it could be got 
to the river by hand — that is, without hauling the logs 



with auiuials from where they were cut to the river 
hank. The party returned and made a favorable re- 
port, and in the winter of 1820-21 a party was sent 
to cut pine logs and to raft them down in the spring. 
They brought down about 2,0U0 logs by hand. Some 
ten or lifteen men would haul on a sled one log from 
where it was cut a ((uarter or half a mile and lay it on 
the bank of Rum River. In the spring, when the 
stream broke up, the logs were rolled into the river 
and floated down to the Jlississippi, where thej' were 
formed into small rafts and Hoated down to the Falls. 

"The sawmill was commenced in the fall and winter 
of 1820-21, and finished in 1822, and a large quantity 
of lumber was made for the whole fort and for all the 
furniture and outbuildings. All the logs were 
brought to the mill from the river landing by teams. 
Lieut. "William E. Cruger * lived at the mill and had 
charge of the mill part}-. " 

The area of the mill was 50 b.y 70 feet. The work 
of building it and the adjoining building in which 
Lieut. Cruger lived was conducted by Lieut. John B. 
P. Russell, acting quartermaster of the post at the 
time. He was a Massachusetts man, a graduate of the 
Military Academy at West Point, became a captain in 
the Pifth Infantry in 1830, resigned from the service 
in 1837, and died in 1861. 

According to Rufus J. Baldwin, in the Atwater 
History, (Vol. 1, p. 23) the mill stood, "on the west 
bank of the river, a few rods below the brink of the 
Palls. Water was carried to the big, breast-wheel by 
a wooden flume." The mill was equipped with an up- 
right, quick-acting saw known to lumbermen as a 


In 1823 a gristmill for grinding wheat and corn was 
completed near the sawmill. Its machiner}- was 
driven by an overshot wheel turned by water from 
another flume connecting directly with the cataract. 
Col. Snelling was experimenting in grain-growing. 
West and north of the Port, in the spring and sum- 
mer of 1823, he had large fields of corn and wheat, 
and he expected to be able to furnish fresh bread- 
stuff to his troops. 

In the summer of 1823, when Ma.j. Long's expedi- 
tion was at the Fort, the agricultural operations and 
conditions of the garrison were noted. Prof. Keat- 
ing, the historian of the expedition, (in Chap. 6 of 
Vol. 1) thus describes them: 

"The quarters of the garrison are well built and 
comforta])le; those of the commanding officers are 
even elegant. * * * There were at the time we 
visited it al)0ut 210 acres of land under cultivation, of 
which 100 were in wheat, 60 in Indian corn, 15 in oats, 
14 in potatoes, and 20 in garden vegetables, which sup- 
ply the tables of the officers and men with an abund- 
ant supply of vegeta])les. " 

To aid him in his enterprise the IT. S. Commissary 
at St. Louis, by order of the Department at Washing- 

* In Vol. 6 Minn. Hist. Soi'.v. Coll. tliis officer is ealle<l Lieut. 
Cronzer; in Vol. 2, Minn, in Tliree Cents, he is ealleil 
Lieut. Kruger. The spelling here is from the Army Register. 

ton, sent up a pair of biflir millstones, 337 pounds of 
jdaster, and two dozen sickles to cut the wheat when 
it siiould be ready. The gristmill had at first only one 
run of buhrs, and consisted of a small room only six- 
teen or eighteen feet sipiare, but its size was ample. 
There was no bolting or screening machinery. The 
grain went into the hopper just as it came from the 
threshing floor and the flour was unbolted and the 
corn meal unsifted. The wheat was usually adultei'- 
ated with unripe and smutty grains, bits of weeds, 
dirt, etc., and the effect on the unbolted flour may be 
imagined. Mrs. Ann Adams lived in the fort in 1823 
and was 13 years of age at the time. In her printed 
■•Reminiscences" (Vol. 6, Ilist. Soey. Coll.) she makes 
this reference to the bread baked from the floiir 
ground at the old Government Mill: 

"Col. Snelling had sown some wheat that season 
(1823) and had it ground at a mill which the Govern- 
ment had built at the Palls; but the wheat had be- 
come moldy or sprouted and was dirty and it made 
wretched, black, bitter-tasting bread. This was issued 
to the troops, who got mad because the.y could not eat 
it and brought it to the parade ground and threw it 
down there. Colonel Snelling came out and remon- 
strated with them. There was much inconvenience 
that winter (1823-2-4) on account of the scarcity of 
provisions. Some soldiers died of scurvy. ' ' 


It is surprising that the soldiers dared to treat the 
bread issued to them so contemptuously, and that the 
Colonel's remonstrance did not take a violent form. 
For Col. Snelling was a great martinet, and really a 
military brute. At that date many military officers 
treated their men with great cruelty. The army reg- 
ulations permitted flogging and other brutal punish- 
ments, and a common soldier had no rights that his 
superior was bound to respect. The Colonel drank 
heavily and when in his cups his brutal conduct was 
repulsive and horrible. Mrs. Adams says: 

■■ Intemiieraiice among officers and men was com- 
mon, and the commandant was no exception to the 
ride. When one of his convivial spells occurred he 
would act furiously, sometimes getting up in the 
night and nuiking a scene. But he was very severe in 
his treatment of the men, when tliey got drunk or com- 
mitted any trifling offense, if he was intoxicated. He 
would take them to his room and compel them to strip 
and then flog and beat them unmercifully. I have 
heard them beg him to spare them and 'have mercy 
for God's sake.' " 

In August, 1827. Col. Snelling and the Fifth Reg- 
iment were ordered away from the Port bearing his 
name to St. Louis. In August of that year, while tem- 
porarily in Washington City, he died of delirium tre- 
mens, although the surgeon charitably reported that 
his death was from "l)rain fever." He was of portly 
proportions, had a nibicund visage, and his hair was 
sandy or red, although he was partially bald. 


The gristmill was operated by the military atithori- 
ties until in 184!), when it was sold to Hon. Robert 



Smith, of Alton. Illinois, I)y whom it was rented to 
Calvin Tuttle, who opcrateil it until 1855. According 
to the St. Paul Pioneer of Fehniary 21), 1850, the mill 
ground over 4,000 l)ushels of corn for the Indian trade 
and the settlers, "and about \\\v same quantity of corn 
remains to be ground." The sawmill was then uiuler- 
going repairs, expecting to run next season. Baldwin 
says that the mill remained in use with .some additions 
and repairs, until after the canal of the Jlinneapolis 
Mill Company wa.s constructed, when its site was re- 
quired for a large moilei-n tlouiing mill and it was 


Colonel Snelling's attemi^ts to raise wheat in Minne- 
sota were practically failures, and he did not succeed 
much better in corn-raising. The trouble seemed to 
be that the seed was not .selected with good .iudgment. 
It came from about St. Louis, from Kentucky, and 
from other Southern latitudes, and was not acclimated 
to ^Minnesota conditions. The seasons were not long 
enough for its maturing and it was caught by the 
frost at one end or the other of them. Col. Snelling's 
successors had but little l)etter results than he. In 
time seed wheat was obtained from northern Illinois 
and seed corn from the Indians and from ^ViscoDsin, 
and then there were better results. The fields of win- 
ter wheat sown at first were invariably killed out by 
the hard winters. 

The wheat was cut with .sickles, as in the time of 
Ruth and Boaz, and it was thrashed with flails and 
sometimes was thrown into a cleared ring, resembling 
a circus ring, and horses were driven around and 
around upon it until the grain was tlirashed from the 
straw. Then the grain was separated from the chaff 
by winnowing or pouring the mass from an elevation 
when a wind was blowing: the wind would l)low away 
the chaff, and the grain fell on a sheet. The trouble 
was that dirt and trash fell with the grain. Ft was 
several years before windmills or fanning mills came. 

WA.J. longV expeditions. 

In the spring of 1817 -Ma.j. Stephen II. Long, of the 
Topographical Engineers Deiiartment connected with 
the regular army, was ordered by the Department to 
make a topographical and engineering exannnation of 
a portion of the upper Mississipjii country. It was 
two yi'ars after the close of tiic War of 1S12, and the 
Department designed Iniilding a nuiuber of forts in 
the region in order, as already .stated, to prevent a 
recurrence of certain incidents that had occurred in 
1812-14, and to remove certain conditions then ex- 

He was directed to go by water to the |)()rtage 
between the AVisc-onsin and Fox Rivers, in Wisconsin, 
and then to St. Anthony's Falls. Having returned 
from his visit to the i)ortage. he began the ascent of 
the Mississippi from Prairie du Chien. 

Ma.j. Long left Prairie du Chien July i) (1817) in a 
large six-oared skiff pi-escnted to him by Gov. \Vm. 
Clark (of Lewis and Clark) at St. Louis. His entire 

party consisted of fifteen men, and he had provisions 
for them for 20 days when he started. He had a crew 
of seven soldiers for boatmen; he also had two inter- 
pi-efers, Augustine Roc(iue, a haU'-l)lood, who spoke 
Sioux and French, and Stephen Hempstead (after- 
ward Governor of Iowa) who spoke French and Eng- 
lish. With his party, but in a separate boat, were 
two men named King and Gunn, who were grandsons 
of Capt. Jonathan Carver, and three men accompany- 
ing thein. 

Of Carver's gi'andsons Ma.j. Long writes: 

"They had taken a bai-k canoe at (ireen Bay and 
were on their way to the northward on a visit to the 
Sauteurs, [Chippewas] for the pui-j)Ose of establishing 
their claims to a tract of land granted by those Indians 
to their grandfather. They had waited at Prairie du 
Chien, during my triji up the Ouisconsin, in order to 
ascend the .Mississii)pi with me." 

The gi'andsons had their own l)oat. Two days out 
from Prairie du Chien, at the mouth of Black River, 
they tied up their boat and remained for a time. It 
will be noted that ila.]. Long says they claimed that 
their grandfather had been given his land by the 
Sauteurs, or Ciii])pewas. The Sauteurs (pronounced 
Soo-tee-urs) were so called by the Fi'cncii, because at 
one time large numbers of them lived at the Sault or 
Falls of Sainte Marie. The Sioux called them "Ilkah- 
hkah tonwan," or people of the waterfalls, from hkah- 
hkah — waterfalls — and tonwan — ])eople or village. 
Now Carve)-, or whoevei- wrote the deed, claims in it 
that it was given liy the Sioux, and it nowhere men- 
tions the Chippewas. Further pi'oof of its fraudulent 
character is that the alleged names of the chiefs pur- 
I)orfing to have signed the deed are corruptions of 
either Chiiipewa, ilenominee, or Winnebago names, 
and that each signature has a totem .symbol — one a 
snake and the other a turtle — peculiar to these tribes, 
while the Sioux never iised a totem, and the names 
to the deed are not and never were Sioux. 

On his return, 20 miles below the St. Croix, Maj. 
Long met the party of Capt. Carver's gi-aiidsons. 
They were en route to the "great cave" mentioned by 
their grandfather, and Ma.j. Long told them liow to 
find it. Thei'e is no other record of their journt'y. It 
will lie borne in nuud that had the Carver deed been 
established, the site of Minneai>olis would have be- 
longed to the Carver heirs. 


MA.I. l.dNi; SAW TIIE.M IN 1817. 

Jla.j. Long made an exf ended examination and 
report upon the Falls of St. Anthony. His report was 
printed by the Government and rather widely circu- 
lated for the time. He arrived at theni on the morn- 
ing of July 1() and cncaini)cd on the east shore just 
below the catarait. In liis .jouriud for that day he 
says : 

"Till' rajiids below the Falls of St. .\ntliony com- 
mence al)out two miles above the confluence of the 
Mississipin and the St. Peter's, and are so strong that 
we could hardly ascend them by rowing, sailing, and 
jioliiig, with a strong wind all at the sauu^ time. 
About four nnles up the rapids we could make no 



headway by all these means and were obliged to sub- 
stitute the cordelle in place of the poles and oars. ' ' 
In his journal for Thursday, July 17, he writes : 
"Thursday, 17 — The place where we encamped last 
night needed no embellishments to render it romantic 
in the highest degree. The banks on both sides of the 
river are about 100 feet high, decorated with trees 
and shrubbery of various kinds. The post oak, hick- 
ory, [?] walnut, linden, sugar tree, white birch, and 
the American box ; also various evergreens, such as the 
pine, cedar, and juniper, added their embellishments 
to the scene. Amongst the shrubbery were tlie prickly 
ash, plum, and cherry tree, the gooseberry, the black 
and red raspberry, the chokeberry, grapevine, etc. 
There were also various kinds of herbage and flowers, 
among which were the wild parsley, rue, spikenard, 
etc., and also red and white roses, morning glory, 
and various other handsome flowers. A few yards 
below us was a beautiful cascade of fine spring water 
[the waterfall formerly kno^\^l as the Bridal Veil] 
pouring down from a projecting precipice about 100 
feet high. 

"On our left was the ^Mississippi hurrying through 
its channel with great velocity, and about three-quar- 
ters of a mile above us in plain view was the majestic 
cataract of the Palls of St. Anthony. The murmuring 
of the cascade, the roaring of the river, and the thun- 
der of the cataract all contributed to make the scene 
the most interesting and magnificent of any I ever be- 
fore witnessed." 

Of the Falls themselves Maj. Long makes this de- 
scription : 

"The perpendicular fall of the water at the cat- 
aract, as stated by Lieut. Pike, is IGVa feet. To this 
height, however, four or five feet may be added for 
the rapid descent which immediately succeeds the per- 
pendicular fall within a few yards below. 

"Immediately at the cataract the river is divided 
into two parts "by an island [Nicollet] which extends 
considerablv above and below the cataract, and is 
about 500 yards long. The channel on the right side 
of the island is about three times the width of that on 
the left. The quantity of water passing through them 
is not, however, in the same proportion, as about one- 
third part of the whole passes through the left chan- 
nel. In the broadest channel, just below the cataract, 
is a small island [Hennepin] about fifty yards in 
length and 30 in breadth. Both of these islands con- 
tain the same kind of rocky formation as the banks 
of the river, and are nearly as high. Besides these 
there are, immediately at the foot of the cataract, 
two islands of very inconsiderable size situated in the 
right channel also. 

"The rapids commence several hundred yards above 
the cataract and continue about eight miles below. 
The fall of the water, beginning at the head of the 
rapids and extending 260 rods down the river to 
where the portage road commences, below the cata- 
ract, is, according to Pike, 58 feet. The whole fall, 
from the head to the foot of the rapids, is not much 
less than 100 feet. * * * On the east, or rather 
the north side of the river, at the Falls, are high 
grounds, at the distance of half a mile from the river, 

considerably more elevated than the bluffs and of a 
hilly aspect." 


i\Iaj. Long was impressed by the stories told him 
by the Indians of the melancholy fate of the two noted 
Sioux Indian women of Minnesota that in the long 
ago committed suicide because of disappointment in 
love. These were Winona, (meaning the first-born 
child if a daughter) of Wabasha's baud, who threw 
herself from the ^Maiden Rock, at Lake Pepin, because 
her parents sought to make her marrj' against her 
will, and Ampatu Sappa-win (black day woman) who 
put her two children into a canoe and floated with 
them over St. Anthony's Falls because her husband 
had taken a second wife. Wahzee Koota (Pine 
Shooter) told Maj. Long that Winona belonged to the 
Wabasha band, which was his band, and that her sui- 
cide was committed within his recollection. He also 
said that his mother witnessed the tragic death of 
Black Day and her two little ones. Wahzee Koota 
also related the stories to Prof. Keating, when Maj. 
Long made his second expedition, in 1823. ilany 
other old Indians related them to Joseph Suelling and 
others about Fort St. Anthony in early days. The 
sad stories are certainly true. Indian women did not 
often kill themselves, but sometimes they did. 

Jlaj. Long recommended that a fort "of consider- 
able magnitude" be built on the "commanding 
ground" between the St. Peter's and the Mississippi, 
and when he came up six years later he had the satis- 
faction of seeing svich an establishment nearly con- 
structed. He left the mouth of the St. Peter's on his 
return trip July 18, and arrived at Camp Belle Fon- 
taine, near St. Louis, August 15, after an absence of 
76 days. 

MAJ. long's second EXPEDITION. 

In the spring of 1823 President James Monroe or- 
dered, "That an expedition be immediately fitted out 
for exploring the river St. Peter's and the country 
situated on the northern boundary of the United 
States, between the Red River of Hudson's Bay and 
Lake Superior. ' ' The command of the expedition was 
given to Maj. Stephen H. Long, who had made the 
skiff voyage six years before, and with him were sent 
the learned Thomas Say, a very noted zoologist and 
antiquarian ; Prof. William H. Keating, mineralogist 
and geologist ; Samuel Sejnnour, landscape painter ; 
James E. Colhoun, astronomer. Profs. Sa.y and Keat- 
ing were appointed joint journalists to the expedition 
and charged with the collection of the requisite infor- 
mation concerning the Indian tribes encountered en 

The route commenced at Philadelphia and was from 
thence by wayof Wheeling, (Va.) Fort Wayne, (Ind.) 
Fort Armstrong, (at the Dubuque lead mines) and 
thence up the Mississippi to Fort St. Anthony, 
(mouth of the St. Peter's) : thence to the source of the 
St. Peter's; thence to the point of intersection between 
Red River and latitude 49° ; thence along the northern 



boundary of the United States to Lake Superior, and 
thence lionieward bj' the Lakes. 

The party set out from Philadelphia April 30. 
From the mouth of the Fevre River, at the Galena 
lead mines, the route up the ^lississijipi was on horse- 
back. At Fort Crawford, or Prairie du Chien, the 
party was re-enforced by Lieut. JMartin Scott and a 
corporal and nine men from Col. Snelling's Fifth 
Regiment of Infantry. Augustine R«c(iue, (or Rock) 
ila.i. Long's interpreter of 1S17, was secured as Sioux 
interpreter for this expedition; as he could not speak 
English, his French was translated by Mr. Colhoun 
and y\v. Say. 

At Prairie du Chien, also, Ma.ior Long divided the 
expedition into two parties, one of which proceeded by 
land on liorseback and the other by water, on a keel- 
boat. Tile ila.ior headed the horseback party, which 
was composed of him.self, ^Ir. Colhoun, a soldier 
named George Bunker, a slave boy named Andrew, 
owned by Mr. Colhoun, John Wade, the Sioux inter- 
preter, and the ever faithful guide, Tah-mah-hah, or 
the Rising iloose. 


The boat party reached Fort Snelling, July 2 ; 
Maj. Long and his little party arrived a few days 
before. Keating 's description of the fort as it was at 
the time may be of interest : 

"The fort is in the form of a hexagon, surrounded 
by a stone wall ; it stands on an elevated position which 
.commands both rivers. The height of the half-moon 
battery, wliieh fronts the river, is 105 feet above the 
level of the Mississippi. It is not, however, secure 
from attacks from all quarters, as a position within 
ordinary cannon shot fwliere the present line of offi- 
cere' quartei's begins] rises to a greater elevation; 
but as long as we have to oppose a savage foe alone, 
no danger can be appi-ehended from this. But if it 
were recpiired to resist a civilized enemy having artil- 
lery, possession might be taken of the other position, 
which would command the country to a considerable 
distance and protect the present fort, which is in the 
best situation for a control of the two rivers. The 
garrison consists of five ■companies under the com- 
mand of Col. Snelling." 

No mention is made of the old tower, although it 
was built at the time. 


A few days after their arrival at the St. Peter's, 
Maj. Long again visited the Falls of St. Anthony and 
this time lie was accompanied by the scientific mem- 
bers of the partv. Prof. Keating writes: 

' ' On the fith of July we walked to the Falls of St. 
Anthony, which are situated nine miles by the course 
of the river and seven miles by land above the fort. 
• * • We discovered that nothing could be more 
picturesque than this cascade. * • * "\ye have 
seen many falls, but few wiiich present a wilder and 
more picturesque aspect than thos(> of St. Anthony. 
The vegetation which grows around them is of a cor- 

responding character. The thick growth upon the 
island imparts to it a gloomy aspect, contrasting pleas- 
ingly with the bright surface of the watery sheet 
which retiects the sun in many differently colored 

The force of the current immediately above the fall 
was very great, but the water was only about two 
feet deep, and though it flowed over a flat slippery 
rock tile party waded across from tlie west shore to 
Nicollet Island ; Profs. Say and Colhoun forded from 
the Island across to the east shore ; they had, however, 
to be assisted by a stout soldier on their return. Keat- 
ing notes : 

"Two mills have been ei'ected for the rise of the 
garrison, and a sergeant's guard (five men) is kept 
here at all times. On our return from the Island we 
recruited our strength by a copious and palatable 
meal prepared for us by the old sergeant. Whether 
from the violent exercise of the day or from its intrin- 
sic merit we know not, but the black bass of which 
we partook appeared to us excellent." 

Of the dimensions, Keating puts on record some fig- 
ures well worth keeping here : 

"Concerning the height of the fall and the breadth 
of the river af this place, much incorrect information 
has been published. Hennepin, who was the first 
European that visited it, states it to be 50 or 60 feet 
high. He says of it that it, 'indeed of itself is terri- 
ble and hath something very astonishing.' This height 
is by Carver reduced to about 30 feet; his strictures 
upon Hennepin, whom he taxes with exaggeration, 
might, with great propriety be retorted upon himself, 
and we are strongly inclined to say of him as he said 
of his predecessor: 'The good father, T fear, too 
often has no other foundation for his accounts than 
report, or at least a slight inspection.' Pike, who is 
more correct than any other traveler, states the per- 
pendicular fall at I61/0 feet. Maj. Long, in 1817, 
from the table rock, found it about the same. Mr. 
Colhoun measured it while we were there and made 
it about 15 feet. We cannot account for the state- 
ment made by Mr. Schoolcraft that the river has a 
perpendicular pitch of 40 feet, and this only 14 years 
after Pike's measurement. 

"Mr. Schoolcraft also states the breadth of the 
river, near the brink of the fall, to be 227 yards, while 
Pike found it to be 627 yards, which agrees tolerably 
well with a measurement made on the ice. Messrs. 
Say and Colhoun obtained an approximate measure- 
ment of 594 yards, the result of a trigonometrical cal- 
culation ; but the angles had been measured by an im- 
perfect and the base line not well obtained. 
Below the fall the river contracts to about 200 yards. 
The portage from a proper distance above to a proper 
distance below the Falls is 260 poles." 


The party was delighted with certain natural fea- 
tures of the country about the Fort, and especially 
with the well known ca.scade which has long been 
called ^Minnehaha Falls, then called Brown's Falls. 
Prof. Keating anves us the following somewhat impas- 
sioned description : 



"The country about the fort contains several other 
waterfalls, which are represented as worthy of being 
seen. One of them, which is but two miles and a half 
from the garrison, and on tlie road to St. Anthony's, 
is very interesting. It is known by the name of 
Brown's Falls, and is remarkable for tlie soft beauties 
which it presents. Essentially different from St. 
Anthony's, it appears as if all its native wilduess has 
been removed by the hand of art. A small but beau- 
tiful stream, about tive yards wide, Hows gently until 
it reaches the verge of a rock from which it is precipi- 
tated to a depth of -13 feet, j)i-esenting a beautiful 
parabolic sheet, which drops without interruption to 
its lower level, when it resumes its course unchanged, 
save that its surface is half covered with a beautiful 
white foam. 

' ' The spray which this cascade emits is very consid- 
erable, and, when the rays of the sun shine upon it, 
produces a beautiful iris. Upon the surrounding veg- 
etation the eifect of this spray is marked; it vivifies 
all the plants, imparts to them an intense green color, 
and gives rise to a stouter growth than is observed 
upon the surrounding country. On the neighboring 
rock the effect is as characteristic, though of a de- 
structive nature. The spray, striking against the rock, 
has undermined it in a curved manner, so as to pro- 
duce an excavation, similar in form to a Saxon arch, 
between the surface of the rock and the sheet of 
water; under this large arch we passed with no other 
inconvenience than that which arose from the spray. 

"There is nothing sublime or awfully impressive 
in this cascade, but it has every feature that is re- 
quired to constitute beauty. It is such a fall as the 
hand of opulence daily attempts to produce in the 
midst of those gardens upon which treasures have 
been lavished for the purpose of imitating natui'e ; 
but it has the difference that these natural falls pos- 
sess an easy grace, destitute of the stiffness which 
generally distinguishes the works of man from those 
of nature. ' ' 

Of ]\linnehaha Creek, then called Brown's Creek, 
Keating makes this mention : 

"The stream that exhibits this cascade falls into 
the ;\Iississippi about two miles above the fort ; it 
issues from a lake situated a few miles above." 

And this of Lake Calhoun : 

"A liody of water, which is not re])resented upon 
any map we know of has 1)een discovered in this vicin- 
ity witliin a few years, and has received tlie name of 
Lake Calhoun, in honor of the Secretary of War. 
[John C. Calhoun.] Its dimensions are small." 

Aiul this of Lake Minnetonka : 

"Another lake, of a much larger size, is said to 
have been discovered about ;50 or 40 miles to the north- 
west of the fort. Its size, which is variously stated, 
is l)y some supposed to be ei|ual to that of Lake Cham- 
plain, wliicli, however, from the nature of the country, 
and the knowledge we have of the course of rivers, 
seems searcelj' possible." 


The last lake mentioned then had no distinctive geo- 
graphic name; it was called by the general Sioux term 

for a great water, or a large quantity of water — i\Iiune 
(water) tonka (big, large, or great) — which has be- 
come its i)articular name. The Indians did not even 
call it a big lake, meday (or m'da) tonka ; they termed 
it simply a l)ig water. Tlie lake had been first vis- 
ited and reported upon l)j' white men in the summer 
of 1822, the year preceding Long's second expedition. 
Joseph R. Brown, then a fifer and drummer boy of 
the Fort. St. Anthony garrison, and aged but 17, had 
set out to exi)lore ilinnehaha Creek from the falls to 
its source. There accompanied him a great part of 
the way the gifted but erratic Wm. Joseph Suelling, 
son of the commandant, and two soldiers of the garri- 
son. In his letters descriptive of the early Northwest 
Joe Suelling mentions this trip, saying he was driven 
liack l)y the swaiMiis of mosquitoes before reaching 
the lake. The young drummer boy's exploit is noted 
by Neill in his History of i\Iinnesota, p. ;J31, chapter 
16, narrating the events of 1822. 

Dr. Neill upon the authority of ^Maj. Taliaferro, 
("ToUiver") the Indian agent at Fort Suelling, says 
that the noted cataract was first called Brown's Fall, 
in honor of Gen. Jacob Brown, of the regular army. 
Taliaferro and Neill were both personal enemies of 
Joseph R. Hrown, who became very prominent in iMiii- 
nesota public life; neither of them gave him the credit 
or full and projjer distinction due him. It has been 
freiiuently stated, and it seems proliable. that the old 
Brown's Fall (now the Minnehaha) was named for 
Joseph R. Brown, the drummer boy, and not for Gen. 
Jacob Brown, who never saw the beautiful cataract, 
or even any part of Minnesota or the Northwest. 

It cannot be disputed that the young fifer and 
drummer was the first white man to exploi-e Minne- 
haha Creek and to discover Lake ]\Iinnetonka and 
make report upon it. Old settlers and even old records 
mention the stream as "Brown's Creek," because Joe 
Brown was first to explore it. From this circumstance 
it is plausible that the falls of the creek came to be 
called Brown's Falls. Keating, who came the year 
following the young soldier's exploring feat, calls 
it Brown's Fall, but does not say it was named for 
Gen. Jacob Brown, or for whom it was named. 

In 1826. the year after Joe Brown, the drummer, 
left the army, he made the first land claim ever made 
in Hennepin County. (See Warner & Foote's Hist, 
of Ilenn. Co., p. 175.) He was but 21 at the time he 
made his claim and this was before the land was sub- 
ject to entry, but while it could be "claimed." His 
claim was near the mouth of ]\Iinnehaha Creek. 
Brown built the first cabin or claim house on the 
creek and lived there a short time, without making 
many improvements. Subsequently he owned a little 
mill on the creek, near its mouth, but it cannot be 
stated tliat he built it; the mill dam wa.shed away and 
the mill was abandoned. Years later another mill 
was built, by other parties, and again the dam washed 
away. Early pioneers used to say that not only were 
the stream and the Fall named for the drummer, but 
that they were often called "Joe Brown's Creek" and 
"Joe Brown's Fall," making it almost certain for 
whom they were named. Of course they are now 

.i(isi:iMi i!h;\siiAW I'.uowx 

I'ir-t ilniiiiMiit to land in llrnni>|iiu ('(iiinty iind .Minnesota's 
most dibtiMj;iii-lH.I ciniv piunwr. (From photo ol' ISGS.) 



cullctl .MiiiiR'luilia, and iioliody wauls tlii' iiaiiiL' 

Joseph R. lirown had attached to him vei'V many 
distinctions which wei'i' undisimted. No other man 
tliat ever lived in I^Iiiuiesota had so many. To him 
belongs the erowuing honor ot" suggesting and plan- 
ning the organization of JMinnesota Territory; he 
drew the l)ill for creating the Territory, which was 
first introduced in 18-K), and when the final organiza- 
tion was arranged for at the Stillwater Convention 
it was he who suggested the name and its proper spell- 
ing. (See Vol. 2 .Minn, in Thi-e<' Centuries, pp. 350- 
51; also \'ol. 1 ^linn. Hist. Socy. Coll., pp. 55-59.) In 
Minnesota he laid out the first town, (Stillwater) the 
first wagon road, (from Fort Snelling to Prairie du 
Chien) wa.s the first lumberman to cut and raft logs, 
etc. He lield many important jMiblic positions, and 
could have held many more had he wished. He was 
for a eonsideral)le period editor and proprietor of 
the ^Minnesota Pioneer, now the Pioneer Press, was a 
Major in the great Sioux Outbreak, and commauded 
the whites in the battle of Birch Coulie. 

In her book, "Three Score Years," etc., ^Mrs. Van 
Cleve who came to Fort Snelling in 1819, when an 
infant, says of ^Maj. Brown: '"He came up the river 
with the first troops of tiie Fifth Kegiment as a drum- 
mer boy, and was always considered a faithful, well- 
behaved soldier." On his di'um lie beat the first 
reveille ever sounded by Americans in Minnesota. 

The officers of the first garrison of Fort St. Anthony 
named other lakes in the vicinity Harriet, Eliza, Abi- 
gail, Lucy, etc., for the Christian names of their lovely 
w'ives, l)ut none of them have retained the original 
name Init Harriet. Col. Snelling named Calhoun for 
the Secretarj' of War, who had given him his 


In ilay, 1823. the first steaml)oat in Minnesota, the 
Virginia, landed at Fort Snelling, having left St. 
Louis, May 2. No perfect description of this craft 
can now l)e made. It is known, however, that she w'as 
118 feet in length, 22 feet in width, and drew si.x 
feet of water. She had a single engine, one smoke- 
stack, and was a side-wheeler. 

Her cabin was fairly well arranged. It w-as a long 
trip up file river. Every few miles the boat had to 
stop and tlie crew go ashore and cut wood and carry 
it aboard for the engine, there being no other fuel; 
indeed, at that early day steamboats liurned nothing 
but wood, and "stone coal" was hardly known. 

Among file pas.sengers wlien the boat left St. Louis 
were IMa.j. Lawrence Taliaferro, the newly appointed 
Indian Agent for the Minnesota country: J. Constan- 
tine Beltrami, an Italian count, but who was then a 
lioiifical refugee: Big Eagle, a Sac chief, and some 
immigrants for Galena, then already the site of a 
considerable lead-mining industry. 

"When the steamboat arrived at Fort Snelling the 
entire population of the section, white and red. turned 
out 1o welcome it. The Indians from the near-by 
villages swarmed about to see the strange thing, un- 

certain whether it was a watt-r craft or a "Waukon" 
monster. The red people looked intently at tlie unac- 
customed spectacle of a huge moving wooden bulk, 
with jtaint and polisii and glitter and smell. They had 
managed to hold their ground and stare stolidly when 
the whistle sounded and the bell rang and tiierc were 
other strange noises as the lioat tied up at the bank 
and nestled close to shore, imt they were as full of 
excitement and apprehension as tiiey could hold, and 
when the boat "let off" steam, with a terrible swish- 
ing and clouds of vapor, it was too mucli. Women, 
children, boys, warriors, and even head soldiers and 
chiefs, tumliled over one another and, yelling and 
screaming, tied up the ^Minnesota valley toward their 
villages and tepees. 


Beltrami had for a patron of his expedition a very 
wealthy Italian countess. She, it seems, paid all the 
expenses of his journey. The articles in his book, 
"Pilgrimage in Europe and America," are addressed 
to her. Describing conditions at Fort Snelling at the 
time of his visit he says : 

"Our J) resent ramlile, my dear iladam, will begin 
and end arouiiil this fort. * * « There are no 
buildings around the fort, except three or four log 
houses on the banks of the river, in which some subal- 
tern agents of the fur company live among the frogs. 
There is no otlier lodging to lie had than in the fort. 
The land around the fort is cultivated by the soldiers, 
\vhom the Colonel thus keeps out of idleness, which is 
dangerous to all classes of men, but particularly to this 
class. It yields as much as (iO to 1 of wheat and 
God knows what proportion of maize. Each officer, 
each company, each employe, has a garden and might 
have a farm if there were hands to cultivate it." 

Of St. Anthony Falls. Beltrami gives a very fioritl 
and somewliat bewildering description, which in the 
original Italian may be pictures(|ue and engaging but 
which in English is hardly satisfactory : 

■'What a new scene ])resents itself to my eyes, my 
dear madam! How shall 1 liring it before you with- 
out the aid of either painting or j)oetry ? I will give 
you the best outline I can and your imagination must 
fill it up. Seated on the top of an elevated i)romon- 
tory, I see, at half a mile distance, two great masses 
of water unite at the foot of an island which they 
encircle, and whose majestic trees deck them with the 
loveliest hues in which all the magic jilay of light 
and shade are rcHected on their brilliant surface. 
From this point they rush down a rapid descent about 
200 feet long, and, breaking against the scattered 
rocks which obstruct their passiige, they spray up 
and dash together in a thousand varied forms. They 
then fall into a transverse basin in the form of a 
cradle and are urged upward by the force of gravita- 
tion iigainst the side of a precipice, which seems 
to stop them a moment only to increase the violence 
with which they fling themselves down a depth of 
twenty feet, 'file rocks against which these great 
volumes of wafer dash throw them back in white 
foam and glittering si)ray; then, jilunging into the 



cavities which this mighty fall has hollowed, they rush 
forth again in tumultuous waves, and once more break 
against a great mass of sandstone forming a little 
island in the midst of their bed, on which two thick 
maples spread their shady bi-anches. 

"This is the spot called the Falls of St. Anthony, 
eight miles above the fort ; a name which, I believe, 
was given to it by Father Hanepin [sic] to commem- 
orate the day of the discovery of the great falls of 
the Mississippi. A mill and a few little cottages, built 
by the Colonel for the use of the gari-ison, and the sur- 
rounding country adorned with romantic scenes, com- 
plete the magnificent picture." 

Beltrami attempts to describe the country now 
called Minnesota, but makes a sad job of it. His 
accounts are full of errors. His geographic and other 
proper names are so distorted as to spelling, etc., that 
they are scarcely recognizable. He spells the name of 
chief Wabasha "Wabiscihouwa," Shakopee's name, 
"Sciakape, " the term Naudowessioux, applied to the 
Dakota nation by the Chippewas, " Nordowekies, " 
while the Mankato is ■written "JIakatohose," etc. He 
calls the Chippewas, the "Cypowais, " and very few 
of his names are rightly spelled and very few of his 
items of history are correctly stated. 


On the 9th of July Maj. Long and his party 
renewed their journey of exploration, setting out by 
way of the St. Peter's River. In the aggregate the 
party was composed of 33 persons. Col. Snelling had 
furnished a new detail of soldiers, consisting of a 
sergeant, two corporals, and 18 soldiers to be under 
Lieuts. Martin Scott and St. Clair Denny. The inter- 
preters were the noted half-Sioux, Joseph Renville, 
(for whom the county is named) and Wm. Joseph 

Snelling. The expedition was divided into a land and 
a water party. Four canoes transported the provi- 
sions and the water party, headed by Maj. Long. 
The land party was composed of Lieut. Denny, Profs. 
Say and Colhouu, and Count Beltrami, the last named 
a g-uest. Beltrami quarreled with the officers of the 
expedition, which he left in northern Minnesota, and 
descended the Mississippi. The military escort re- 
turned to Fort Snelling from Mackinaw. 

Jlaj. Long returned to Philadelphia Oct. 26, having 
pursued the route designated for him and having fully 
accomplished the objects of his expedition after a 
tour of 4, .500 miles which lasted six months. 

In the latter part of 1824 Gen. Winfield Scott, then 
the Commanding General of the army, visited Fort St. 
Anthony on a tour of inspection. On his recommen- 
dation the War Department changed the name of 
the fort to Fort Snelling, in honor of the Command- 
ant, Col. Josiah Snelling. The General said of the 
fort, then newly completed: "This work reflects the 
highest credit on Col. Snelling, his officers and his 
men," and he suggested the new name as a compli- 
ment to "the meritorious officer under whom it has 
been erected. ' ' He gave other reasons for the change, 
saying: "The present name is foreign to all our 
associations, and it is besides geographically incorrect, 
as the work stands at the junction of the Mississippi 
and St. Peter's Rivers, and eight [?] miles below the 
great falls called after St. Anthony." 

Improvements connected with the fort were con- 
tinued. In 1830 stone buildings were erected large 
enough to accommodate four companies of infantry; 
a stone wall nine feet high and a stone hospital were 
also built, although these improvements were not fully 
completed until some time after the close of the Mexi- 
can War, in 1848. 











Of the original human inhabitants of the site of 
^Minneapolis nothing definite is known. There is no 
worthy i-eeord more remote than 1670. Even since 
that date, up to within comparatively recent periods, 
the knowledge of them is limited and much of it vague 
and uncertain. A great deal is left to conjecture and 
speculation, and neither conjecture or speculation, or 
guesswork, ought to be set down as history. 

The only evidences that" the Mound Builders ever 
lived on the site were the two small mounds noted 
by Gov. Marshall, on the St. Anthony side, and the 
two elevations only about three feet high, noted by 
Alfred J. Hill, on the shores of Lake Calhoun, and 
which maj' not have been the work of Mound Build 
ers at all. From the time when the ob.servations and 
knowledge of travelers iu the region began to be re- 
duced to writing, (which was after Father Marquette 
and the Sieur Joliet descended the Mississippi from 
the mouth of the Wisconsin, in 1673), the inhabitants 
of the country surrounding the present site of Minn- 
eapolis, for from 50 to 100 miles, were members of 
the gi-eat Dakotah nation of Indians, called by the 
Indians east of them Nah-do-way-soos, or "our ene- 
mies;" in time the last syllable of the reproachful 
word was contracted by the French writers to Siou.x, 
and was fastened upon the people who even yet call 
themselves "Dah-ko-tah," or the allied bands of the 
same general family bound together by the ties of 
blood, friendship, and self-interest. 

About the middle of the 18th century a band of 
Cheyenne Indians, separated from their tribe, lived 
for years in the Minnesota Valley, coming eastward 
as far as the mouth of the Blue Earth ; but in about 
1770 they went into what is now Ransom County, in 
Southeastern North Dakota, and built a large village 
near the present town of Lisbon, on the Sheyenne 
River. The name of th(! tribe and of the river, though 
spelled differenti.v. art' iironouiifM'il alik(>. Contem- 
porary with the Cheyennes was a band of Iowa In- 
dians, who had a considerable village at the mouth 
of the Minnesota, on the south side, on the site of 
Mendota and the Bald Knob. At one period they 

were allies of the Sioux. When, however, in about 
1765, the Chippewas, supplied with guns and other 
metallic weapons by the French traders, drove away 
the Sioux from the Mille Lacs region across the JVIis- 
sissippi, the latter, in turn, fell upon the lowas 
and drove them away from the ilinnesota down into 
what is now the State named for them. 

So it was that for 200 years before the southern 
Minnesota country was settled by the whites the land 
was occupied in part by the Dakota or Sioux Indians. 
Only a small portion of the country was really so 
occupied. The Indian villages were commonly located 
on the streams and in a few instances on the lakes.* 
The great Dakota nation extended from the Medawak- 
antons, on the Mississippi, to the Mandans and Tetons, 
high up on the IMissouri, and practically at the Rocky 
jMountains. These people spoke a common language; 
each great band had its peculiar dialect of that 
language, but a Medawakauton could talk intelligently 
with a JIandan. 

An Indian tribe is, properly speaking, a nation. 
The Sioux ti-ibe was the Sioux nation. It was divided 
into bands, and often these bands were divided into 
sub-bands, the latter having a sub-chief. The Man- 
dans constituted a band ; the Tetons a band ; the Yank- 
tons a band; the Medawakantons a band, etc. East of 
the Mississippi, to the Delaware river, was the former 
great and mighty Algomjuin (or Algonkin) nation, 
and the most western of these Indians were the 
Odjibwai, (Schoolcraft's Discovery, etc., p. 459) or 
Ojibway (Warren, Vol. 5, Hist. Socy. Coll.) or 
Ochipwe (Rev. Fr. Baraga's Die.) or Chipioue, 
Cypoue, and Otchipoua (French) or Chipeway, Chip- 
peway, and Chippewa, (English) the inveterate and 
everlasting enemies of the Sioux. But the Chippewas 
became so great that they constituted a tribe or nation, 
although their dialect was as well miderstood by the 
Jliamis of Indiana as the speech of the Wurtemberger 
is comprehended by the Austi'ian. 

* ' ' There was a small village at Lake Calhoun, one on Can- 
non River, and one at Two Woods, south of Lae qui Parle. 
With these exceptions all the Dakota villages were near the 
tuo rivers and Big Stone and Traverse Lakes." — S. \V. Pond, 
Vol. IL' Hist. Socv. Coll. 




As set down by the early travelers and historians 
the original names of the Indians (or at least the 
spelling) were different from those in modern vogue, 
and this is true of most geographie names. Down as 
late as 1847 Peatherstonhaugli, the great geologist, 
who explored the Minnesota Kiver from mouth to 
source, in 1835, spelled its name "Minnay Sotor." 
The Wisconsin, among other spellings, was early "Mis- 
kousing" and " Meschonsing, " and it was generally 
spelled by both P"'rench and English according to the 
French, " Ouiscousin, " up to and after 1825. The 
Mississippi was spelled a score of ways before the 
present form was adopted, as Messibi, ileschasebe, 
Jlisipe, etc. The French explorers called it Concep- 
tion, Colbert, etc. ilany names were doubtless mis- 
spelled by cojjyists and printers because an n was mis- 
taken for a u and vice versa, as Miscousin, Issauti (for 
Isanti) Mankato (for Maukahto), etc. 

The Indians who are known to have been nearest to 
the present site of Jlinneapolis from 1780 to 185li 
belonged to the Medawakanton })and of the Sioux or 
Dakota Indians of Minnesota. In its entirety the big 
Indian word is pronounced correctly "JM'day-wah- 
kon-tonwans" with the accent on the second syllable, 
(wah) as is the case with most Sioux words; no mat- 
ter how long they are, or of how many syllables the.y 
are composed, the accent is nearly always on the 
second syllable. As has been said the name is inter- 
preted "M'day, " a lake; "wah-kon," a spirit; "ton- 
wan," a people or a village — the People of the Spii'it 
Lake; "tonwan," has been contracted to "ton," the 
common Sioux expression, and "m'day" has been 
changed to "meda," as it is generally pronounced. 

The Medawakantons were the descendants of the 
people met by Father Hennepin and his two com- 
panions at Mille Lacs in 1680, and called by him 
Nadouessioux. Their name for the big Mille Lac was 
M'day Wah-kon, meaning spirit or supernatural lake; 
hence their name. Du Luth called the liig lake, La(! 
Buade, the family name of Gov. Fr'ontenac of Canada. 
Le Sueur called them (or perhaps his copyists did) 
' ' Mendeoucantons. ' ' 

Now, from about 1798 forward there were in the 
Minnesota country four principal liands of the Min- 
nesota Sioux, or Dakotas viz. : The Medawakantons 
and Wah-pay-kootas. in the eastern part, and the 
Wah-pay-tons a)id Sis-se-tons, in the western. The 
second name means the People That Shoot Leaves, 
based on a .ioke whereby they were indiiced to shoot 
into some leaf piles believing them to be Chippewas 
asleep ; the second name means the People That Live 
in the Leaves, because at one time when they lived 
on the upper Minnesota River they often slept in trees 
to keep away from rattlesnakes; the Sissetons were 
the People That Live by the Marish. Then in what is 
now the eastern part of Soiith Dakota lived the 
Ehanketonwans. or People Living at the' End, from 
ehanke (or Ihanke, meaning end).* In time this term 
became Yankton, which is now well known. These 
people were and are Sioux, but their dialect differs 
from the Minnesota vai'ietv. Thev have no sound of 

' Owehanke, inkjiii, ami Yiish-tank]io, oacli, also means end. 

D and substitute L for it, saving Lakota for Dakota, 

In the Atwater History (Chapter 2, p. 18) the 
scholarly pioneer, ]\Ir. Baldwin, makes the strange 
mistake of saying that, "the aborigines of the coun- 
try surrounding .Minneapolis at the time of the advent 
of the white race belonged to the Ihanktonwan or 
Yanktcn branch of the Sioux nation." The Yank- 
tons never came nearer St. Anthony's Falls than to 
the Traverse des Sioux, and then only a small band 
came and did not remain long. 

The Sioux Indians that lived near St. Anthony's 
Falls all belonged to the big Medawakanton or Spirit 
Lake band. When this band was driven down from 
INIille Lacs by the Chippewas with their French guns, 
they established a village a few miles above the mouth 
of the Mirmesota, near the trading post of a French- 
man named Penichon (or Penneshon, etc.). At that 
time they constituted but one band, perhaps under 
Wapasha (or Wahpashaw) the first of the name. 
(Neill, Ed. 1858, p. 331.) In a comparatively short 
time, however, they were divided into sub-bands. 
Wapasha 's sub-band was down by Winona; it was 
called the "Ke-yu-ksah" band, from the Sioux, unk- 
ke-yu-ksah-pe, meaning violating a law, because mem- 
bers of this band inter-married with cousins, step- 
brothers, and step-sisters, and even with half-brothers 
and half-sisters. At Red Wing was old Red Wing's 
(afterwards Wahcouta's) band; at what is now 
St. Paul was Little Crow's Kaposia band; on the 
lower Minnesota were the bands of Black Dog, the 
Son of Penichon, (or Pennishon, or Penesha, etc.) 
Cloud Man, Eagle Head, and Shah-kpay Cor 

According to Saml. W. Pond, the old missionarv, 
(See Vol. 12, State Hist. Soey. Coll.,) the location of 
the bands in 1830-34 was clearly fixed. Wabasha's 
was lielow Lake Pepin and at Winona; Wahcouta was 
chief of the Red Wing band ; Big Thunder was chief 
of the Kaposia band; Black Dog's villatre was two or 
three miles above the mouth of the Minnesota, and 
Great War Eagle (or Big Eagle) was chief; Penne- 
shon 's village was on the ^Minnesota, near the mouth 
of Nine Mille Creek, and Good Road (Tchank-oo 
Washtay) was chief; the band of Cloud JIan (^Makh- 
pea Wechashta) had its village on Lake Calhoun and 
their town was called Kay-.yah-ta Otonwa, meaning 
a village whose houses have roofs; Eagle Head's 
(Hkxi-ah pah's) band was at the mouth of Eagle 
Creek, called Tewahpa, or the place of lily roots, and 
Shakopee 's band (called the Tintah-tonwans, or Prai- 
rie People) were at the present site of the town of 
Shakopee; in English Shakopee (or shah-kpa.y) means 

There were various spellings of the names of the 
old Indian bands. In 1703 Le Sueur wrote of the 
^Medawakantons as the "Mendeoucantons;" the Wah- 
paytons as the "Ouapetons;" the Wat-pa-tons (the 
River People) as the "Oua-del)a-tons:" the Shonka- 
ska-tons (White Dog People) as the "Songa-squi- 
tons," while he called the Wah-pay-kootas (Shooters 
in the Leaves) the "Oua-pe-ton-te-tons, " and trans- 
lated their name as meaning "those who shoot in the 



large pine." As tlir iciiowiu'd disi-ovt'i-er, iligm'r, 
ciud shij)])!'!' of lihif flay and green mud spells it, the 
last name means peoi)le of the leaf living on the prai- 
ries, sinee '"tetons" is a eorruption of the Sioux word 
tintah, meaning a prairie, the n having the French 
nasal sound. M. Le Sueur, referring to the iledawak- 
aiitons, translates their name to meau People (or vil- 
lage) of the Si)irit Lake, ("Gens du Lae d' Esprit"). 
Seldom do any two early writers, whether Englisli 
or French, spell hulian ])ropei' names alike; a stand- 
ard orthograi)hy seems iiartl to establish. 

Of the Indians located nearest ^linneapolis from 
1820 to 18"):^ — in wliich latter year they were removed 
to the upix-r Minnesota — it must be borne in mind 
that they were Dakotas, or Siou.x, belonging to the 
Spirit Lake band of that tri1)e and to the old sub- 
bands of Penneshon. Black Dog. and Cloud ^lan. 

The original Penechon ( however he spelled his 
name) was a French Canadian trader that had a post 
on Lake Pepin in the days of old Fort Beauharnois 
(1745). He had an Indian wife and by her had a son 
who was chosen cliief of a banii. In time this band 
came up to the mouth of the ^linnesota and while the 
Indian name of the chief was Wayago Enagee, he 
was called "the Son of Penechon" by the whites. He 
signed his Indian name to Pike's deed or agreement, 
but Pike always calls him tlie Son of Penechon, or in 
French, "Fils de Pinchon." Ofttimes his name was 
spelled Penneshaw. Upon his death his son succeeded 
him as chief of the suli-band, but when he died an 
Indian named Great War Eagle became chief; when 
he died Good Road, his son, succeeded him, and when 
Good Road died his son succeeded him and took the 
name of jMahkah-toe, (now written .Mankato) mean- 
ing Blue Earth. lie led his warriors in the Sioux 
Outbreak, was killed by a cannon ball in the battle of 
"Wood Lake, Septeml)er 23, 1862, and was the last 
chief of his band. 

Prior to 1840 Black Dog's Iiand lived for many 
years near Hamilton Station and on the lake and 
marsh still bearing tlie name of the old chief. He 
died in about 1840 and was succeeded by his son, 
Wamb'dee Tonka, or the Gi-eat War Eagle; he died 
in a few years and was succeeded by his son. Gray 
Iron, 01- i\Iahzah llkotah. When Old Gray Iron died, 
in 18,').'), his son succeeded him and took the name of 
his graniifather. the (ii'eat War Eagle, but was com- 
monly called Big Eagle. He, too, led his band in the 
outbreak and was in tlie most important battles. He 
surrendered at Camp Release, "graduated" from 
Rock Island prison, became a Presbyterian farmer, 
and diiMl near Gi-anite Falls in the winter of lOOli. 

The band of Cloud -Man, or :\Iakh-iiea (cloud) Wi- 
chashta, (man), lived on the eastern shore of Lake 
Calhoun, between Calhoun and Harriet, literally on 
a part of tlie present site of Minneapolis. Cloud Man 
was not a hereditary chief: he became such in about 
1835. The previous winter he and some other Indians, 
while hunting tniffaloes out on the jilains, near the 
Jlissoui'i River, wei'i' overwhelmed by a bli/.zard and 
snowed under. Sanmel W. Pond says Cloud Man 
told him that while he lay buried beneath the snow, 
starving and freezing, he remembered how often Ma.]. 

Taliaferi-o, the Indian Agent at Fort Snelling, had 
tried to induce him and other Indians to bi'come farm- 
ers of tile rich land about Lake Calhoun and raise 
bountifid supplies of pi'ovisions. and not be de])endent 
upon the uncertain results of the chase aiul the hunt 
for subsistence in the long, cold winters, and indeed 
in all seasons. Cloud ilan said that while shivering 
ill his snow bed he solemnly vowed that if he lived 
til return to Fort Snelling he would become a farmer 
and induce others of his band to .join him. 

He lived to return to his village on the Minnesota 
and gathering a few families about him he started 
"the Village of Roofed Cabins," on Lake Calhoun. 
His village was not very large, but it was thrifty; 
its people always had enough to eat. ]\Iany of the 
other Indians were indignant at his proceedings and 
looked with scorn and sorrow upon the departure of 
their brethren from the ancient ways and methods. It 
took a long time for the Cloud Alan and iiis fellow 
progressives to convince the old stand-patters that the 
new way was the best. The U. S. authorities encour- 
aged Cloud Jlan in his undertakings. They recog- 
nized his authority as chief of the Lake Calhoun 
Indians ; furnished them with seed and tools : plowed 
much of their land for them ; gave them, first Peter 
Quiiin and then Philander Preseott, as teachers to 
instruct them in farming, and even put up buildings 
for them. 

Cloud Man was popular among the whites and 
always friendly toward them. A dashing and accom- 
plished officer at the fort, Capt. Seth Eastman, 
became enamored of one of the chief's daughters, 
about 1833, and. Pond says was married to her "in 
Indian form." By her he had one child, a daughter, 
whom the whites called Nancy, but who was called by 
the Indians the Hol.y Spirit woman, because she was 
a professed Christian. After Capt. Eastman aban- 
doned his Indian wife and married a gifted white 
woman, who was an accomplished poetess, the dis- 
carded Siou.x woman — who subsequently marned an 
Indian — came to Air. Pond with her half-blood daugh- 
ter and wanted him to take the maiden and i-aise her 
as a white girl, saying: "Her father is a white man 
and a Christian ; I am not able to keep her. for I have 
no husband ; my grandmother has kept her for a long 
time, but now she is 12 years old. and must either 
work hard or somebody must care for her.'' 

The missionary said he would gladly take the girl, 
who was bright and smart, although with a hot temper, 
inherited from her mother and grandmother. But 
"tah-kunkshe," her grandmother, interfered. The old 
woman said: "I have brought up the girl to do noth- 
ing, but now that she is able to hel]) me you will take 
her away and make a fine hnly of her; you shall not 
have her unless you giv'e me a horse." The missionary 
had no, and so Nancy remained with her kunk- 
she, who worked her very iiard and scolded her in- 
cessantly. Nancy was high-spirited, but bided her 
time, and when she was about 15 she elojx'd with an 
Indian named Wah-kah-au-de Ota. (or Many Light- 
nings) of another band, anil the grandmother got no to ride, or .so much as a dog to roast I It was 
a great scandal and disgrace. 



Nancy Eastman, as she was called, remained an 
Indian, although she was nominally a Christian. The 
M-hite people made her numerous presents, which she 
stored in the Pond brothers' mission house at Oak 
Orove. Learning this, the grandmother came to the 
Mission and took away everything her grandchild had 
in keeping there, whereat Nancy was very sorry. 
Many Lightnings was a good husband to Nancy. She 
bore him sons and daughters and two of her sous. Rev. 
John Eastman, a licensed minister, and Dr. Charles 
Eastman, the noted author of books on Indian life 
and the husband of the white authoress, Elaine Good- 
ale, have become noted and useful characters. j\Iany 
Lightnings was badly wounded while fighting the 
whites in the battle of Wood Lake. Brig. Gen. Seth 
Eastman, gi-andfather of the Eastman brothers, died 
in 1875. 

Eagle Head became chief of the' "Village where the 
Lily Roots are," at the mouth of Eagle Creek, also 
by election. lie fonnerly belonged to Shakopee's 
band, but he killed a woman of that band, and fearing 
the vengeance of her relatives fled, with some of his 
relatives and friends, to the new location at the mouth 
of the stream which has since been called Eagle Creek. 
The township of Eagle Creek, in Scott County, also 
helps perpetuate his name. 

The people of Minneapolis may well be proud that 
such an Indian as Cloud Jlan lived for many years 
on what became a prominent part of their city. He 
was an industrious and prudent man and always 
advised his people for the best. He never ceased to 
tell his fellow Dakotas that the time had come when, 
if they wished to save their nation from ruin, they 
must change their mode of life and adopt that of 
the white man; but only a few heeded him. Their 
gardens and fields in what is now southern Minn- 
eapolis were a great credit to their industry and 
sagacity, and enabled them to live in comfort. Many 
of the warriors worked in these fields, but the prin- 
cipal part of the farming and gardening was done by 
the women, who usually dug up the ground with hoes, 
planted and hoed the crop, and aided by tlie children 
drove and kept away the vast swarms of blackbirds 
that attacked the corn from the time it was planted 
until it was gathered, and sometimes destroyed entire 

When the treaty of Mendota was made, in July, 
1851, Cloud Man accepted the inevitable and signed. 
His head soldier, the Star, (Wechankpe) and his 
principal men. Little Standing Wind, Scarlet Bov, 
Smoky Day, Iron Elk, Whistling Wind, Strikes Walk- 
ing, Sacred Cloud, and Iron Tomahawk, also "touched 
the goosequill" and legalized their marks to the 
treaty. Some of Cloud Man's people often camped 
temporarily on Bridge Square in 1852 and 1853, when 
they were no longer afraid of tlie Onktayhee living 
under the falls. In the latter year, however, pursuant 
to the ]\Iendota treaty, old Cloud Man led his people 
to their new reservation on the upper Minnesota, and 
they began life anew. AVlien the great Outbreak 
occurred, many of his band became hostiles, hut the 
old chief remained loyal and faithful in his friendship 
for the whites. He died in the first month of the great 

and bloody uprising, which really hastened his death. 
Almost with his last words he lamented the conduct 
and the infatuation of his people and predicted the 
bad results that followed. 

Some Indians of the Lake Calhoun village were 
noted. Take Smok-y Day (Ampatu Shota) for ex- 
ample. On one occasion he and another Indian, dis- 
regarding the commands of Agent Taliaferro, went 
away down into Iowa and fell upon a Sac and Fox 
village in the night, put 14 people to the tomahawk, 
and brought back their scalps. Iron Elk (Hay-Kah- 
Kah jMahzah) was another noted character. 


Early incidents of Fort Snelling history may be 
referred to in connection with the record of the city, 
since the relations of the military- post and the munic- 
ipality have always been so influential and so 


In August, 1820, Col. Josiah Snelliug arrived and 
relieved Lieut. Col. Leavenworth, and on the 10th of 
September the corner-stone of the commandant's 
quarters, the first building of the new fort, was laid. 
Mrs. Snelling accompanied her husband, and a few 
days after her arrival a little daughter was born to 
her. Perhaps this was the first full-blooded white 
child born in Minnesota. The cliild died when but 
thirteen months old and its interment was the first 
in the new fort cemetery; previous interments had 
been made on the Mendota side of the Minnesota. 
Charlotte Ouisconsin Van Cleve (nee Clark) was born 
earlier than Mrs. Snelling 's baby, but in Wiscoasin. 


The year 1821 was busily spent by the garrison in 
the construction of the new fort and of the mill at 
St. Anthony's Falls. October 1, when the work at 
the mill was being supervised by Lieut. R. A. IMcCabe, 
a party composed of Ma.i. Taliaferro, some officers of 
the fort, and the accomplished Jlrs. Gooding, visited 
the mill on horseback. Two weeks later Mrs. Gooding, 
accompanied by Col. Snelling. Agent Taliaferro, and 
Lieut. J. M. Baxley, went down the river, in the big 
keelboat "Saucy Jack," to Prairie du Chien, where 
her hu.sband, formerly Capt. George Gooding, was post 
sutler at Fort Crawford, having resigned from the 
service. It has been noted that Mrs. Gooding was the 
first white woman to .see St. Anthony's Falls. The first 
white women in Minnesota were the wives of the 
officers at Fort St. Anthony, and of these ladies I\Irs. 
Gooding seems to have been the leader in accomplish- 
ments and general attractions. 

In the fall of 1822 the buildings of the new Fort 
St. Anthony were sufficiently completed to admit of its 
occupancy by the troops. In 1823 came the steamboat 
Virginia and Long's expedition. 


In 1824 Gen. Scott visited the fort and changed 
its name to Fort Snelling. The same year Maj. Talia- 



ferro escorted a delegatiou of Chippewas and Sioux to 
Washingtou and arranged for tlie holding of a great 
treaty at Prairie du L'liien the following year. Little 
Crow, Wahnatah, (the Charger) Wapasha, and 
Sleepy Eye were the leading Sioux chiefs. Wahnatah 
was a Yankton, from Lake Traverse, and Sleepy Eye's 
band was at Lac <iui Parle. All four had tlieir 
pictures painted in Washington and these were after- 
wards lithographed and shown in McKenny & Hall's 
"Indian Tribes." The Dakotas returned to iMinne- 
sota by way of New York. In tlie big city the party 
met Rev. Samuel Peters, who said he was the owner 
b}' purchase of the Carver deed, and he gave Little 
Crow a line double-barrelled gun and asked him to 
have his band declare that the deed was legitimate 
and legal. The next year Rev. Peters sent Robert 
Dickson, a half-blood, some presents for him and his 
Indian wife ; and in the same package sent a copy 
of tile alleged deed and a long letter asking Dickson 
to secure evidence among the Indians that the deed 
was genuine, promising a large reward in event of suc- 
cess, etc. Dickson investigated but could not tind the 
slightest evidence in favor of the authenticity of tlie 
preposterous paper. 


April 5, 1825, the steamboat Rufus Putnam, Capt. 
Moses D. Bates commander, fi'om St. Louis, arrived 
at Fort Snelling. The boat closely resembled the 
Virginia ; it was built in Cincinnati and named for 
the founder of the ilarietta (Ohio) Colony and not 
for Gen. Israel Putnam, of the Revolution. Capt. 
Bates resided at Palmyra, Mo., aud laid out tlii' 
town of Hannibal. Jlay 2 the Putnam came to Fort 
Snelling again, this time with goods for the Columbia 
Fur Company, which, at a point aliout a mile up the 
iliiinesota, had a trading post called Land s End. 
Here the goods were delivered and thus the Putnam 
was the first steamboat to ascend the Jlinnesota for 
any distance. 


August 19, 1825, the great treaty of Prairie du Chien 
was held. Govs. Wm. Clark and Lewis Cass repre- 
sented the Ciiited States ami the Indian participants 
were chiefs from the Sioux, Chippeways, Winneba- 
goes, iMenoinonies, Sacs and Foxes, loways, and 
Ottawas. The most important feature of the treaty, 
.so far as iMinnesota history is concerned, was that 
Little Crow's band and all other Sioux were com- 
pelled to remove permanently from the side to 
the wi'st side of the ]\Iissi.ssi[>j>i. Little Crow soon 
removed his village from Dayton's Bluff and Pig's 
Eye, St. Paul, to Kaposia, where Swift & Co. 's pack- 
ing house now stands, at South St. Paul 


Except in summer seasons, in early times the mail 
for Fort Snelling was carried by soldiers or "coureurs 

du bois" to and from Prairie du Chien, and between 
that point and the outside world it was conveyed in 
sleighs. January 26, 1826, Lieuts. Baxley and Russell, 
of the Fort Snelling gan-ison, returned from fur- 
lough, bringing with them the first mail that had 
been received for five months. 


In Februarj' and March deep snows fell, blizzarda 
prevailed, and the Indians suffered greatly. Thirty 
lodges of Sissetons, men, women, and children, were 
caught in a blizzard on the Pomme de Terre River, 
and then cut off by the deep snow. Nearly all the 
members of the party perished; the survivors existed 
only by cannibalism. One woman named Plenty of 
151ankets ate her young child. She was brought to 
Fort Snelling helplessly and liopelesslj' insane, but 
with a craving for human flesh. She begged Capt. 
Jouett to let her kill and eat his .servant girl, saying 
she was ' ' fat and good. ' ' A few days later slie jumped 
from the liijrli bliift' in front of the fort into the river 
and drowned herself; the body was recovered and 
decently buried. 


In the summer of 1826 there were two duels between 
officers of the garrison. Dueling was not uncommon. 
Col. Snelling encouraged it. When drunk he would 
swagger about and offer to waive his rank and fight 
with any of his ofificers, even his subalterns. Capt. 
Martin Scott was hndly wounded in one of the en- 
counters in 1826, but he mortall.y hurt his aaitagonist. 


Nearly all of the officers of the Fifth Infantry at 
Fort Snelling between 1823 and 1827 were married. 
The ranking officials were Col. Snelling, Surgeon Mc- 
Mahon, ]\Ia.i. Hamilton, Maj. Clark, Captain after- 
wards Ma.joi-, Joseph Plympton, and Captains Cruger, 
Denny and Wilcox. Lieutenants Piatt Green, Jlelanc- 
thon Smith, and R. A. McCabe were married, and a 
child of each of the first two was buried in the Fort 
cemetery. The ladies were all accomplished and of 
good families and the society was excellent. They 
had numerous social gatherings, and even entertain- 
ments. The wife of Capt. Plympton brought the first 
l)iano to Fort Snelling and ;\Iinnesota, in 1826. A 
favorite diversion was horseback riding. There were 
several good horses owned in the garrison and a 
gallop up and back to the F'alls was freipiently 
indulged in. MaiTied ladies were generally aci'Oiii- 
paiiied on these occasions by gentlemen other than 
their husbands. Mrs. Snelling was an accom]ilished 
horsewoman and her escort was usually Capt. Martin 
Scott.* He was a splendid rider, and as Lieutenant 

* Capt. Si'ott was a Vernionter and a famous shot with a 
hiiTitinf; rifle. He was the hero of the ridiculous story oon- 
nei'ting liis name with a treed raccoon which he was about to 
shoot. "Don't shoot, Capt. Scott," it is alleged the coon 
cried; "don't shoot; save your powder. I'll come down and 
you can kill me with a club. You'll be sure to hit me if you 
shoot, and I don't want my hide spoiled." 



Colonel lie was leading his regiment on horseback at 
the battle of Molino del Rey, (near the city of Mexico) 
during the Mexican War-, MJien a sharpshooter's bullet 
pierced his heart and he died gallantly. 


The first marriage service in ^Minnesota, wherein a 
clergyman officiated was performed by Rev. Dr. Thos. 
S. Williamson, the missionary, in the summer of 1S35. 
The contracting parties were Lieut. Edmund A. 
Ogden and iliss Cordelia Loomis, daughter of the 
then Captain (afterwards Lieutenant Colonel) Gus- 
tavus Loomis. The bride had been a former sweet- 
heart of the young trader, Henry H. Sibley, and 
according to letters found among the Sibley papei-s 
she never forgot her old love. 

The first marriage at the Fort occurred in August, 
1820. The contracting parties were Adjutant Piatt 
R. Green and the young daughter of Capt. and Mrs. 
George Gooding. Perhaps Maj. Taliaferro perfonned 
the service in his official capacity of Indian Agent, 
which gave him certain magisterial powera. He sub- 
se(|ucntly performed marriages between white persons 
and between whites and Indians and mixed bloods 


Up to ^lay, 1826. the following named steamboats 
had arrived" at the Fort : Virginia, May 10, 1823; 
Neville, in 182-4; Rufus Putnam, April 2. and May 2, 
182.5 ; Mandan and Indian, later in the year 1826 ; 
Lawrence, May 2, 1826; Scioto, Eclipse, Josephine, 
Fulton, Red Rover, Black Rover, Warrior, Enter- 
prise, and Volant, at various dates in 1825 and 1826. 


In 1821, disheartened by the misfortunes and priva- 
tions they had endured in that locality, five Swiss 
families abandoned Lord Selkirk's Colony, on the 
Red River, in Canada, south of Winnipeg, and made 
their way to Fort Snelling. They were kindly received 
by Col. Snelling and permitted to settle on the mili- 
tarj^ reservation. In 1822 the gras.shoppers destroyed 
the crops of Selkirk's colonists, and the following 
year other Swiss families left the inhospitable country 
and came to Fort Snelling. Some went on to Prairie 
du Chien, to Galena, to St. Louis, and even as far as 
to Vevay, Indiana. 

After a great flood in 1826 more families, chiefly 
French-Swiss came. Among the heads of these fami- 
lies were Abraham Perret (or Perry) Joseph Rondo, 
Pierre and Benjamin Gervais, Louis Massie. and 
others, who were among the first settlers and citizens 
of St. Paul. July 25. 1881, twenty more families of 
the unfortunate Red River colonists came to the Fort: 
they had been fold that the United States would give 
them land near the post, and farming implements and 
provisions to last them until they could raise a crop. 
These refugees wer(> settled on the level lands a little 
north and west of Fort Snelling and if they had been 
allowed to remain in that locality a mighty city, in 

compact and developed form, would have been built 
between the Palls and the ilinnesota River — and there 
never would have been a St. Paul. 


Indian Agent Taliaferro encouraged Cloud Man to 
farm at Lake Calhoun by establishing a sort of Indian 
colony there and furnishing its members with seetl, 
implements, and in time with two-horse plowing out- 
fits. It was difficult to plow and bi-eak up the virgin 
tough prairie sod, however, for the plows were frail, 
cast-iron affairs which would l)i'eak easily and when 
broken could not be mended. So the Indian women 
often dug up the stubborn sod the first year, and 
after that the soil could be plowed very easily. Maj. 
Taliaferro called the colony Eatonville, in honor of 
the then President Jackson's Seei-etary of War, Hon. 
John II. Eaton. The colony was established in 1829 
with twelve families, and Peter Quinn, a Red River 
refugee, was the first instructor. lie was suceeeded 
the following year by Philander Prescott. In 1832 
the colon.v had increased to 125 Indians, men and 
women, and great cornfields were planted about Lake 
Calhoun and over a great part of what is now the 
southern pai"t of the city. During the Sioux Outbreak 
of 1862 the Indians killed both Prescott and Quinn, 
each of whom had an Indian wife. They cut off Pres- 
cott 's head and stuck it on a pole, and they pierced 
Quinn 's body with a dozen arrows at the battle of Red- 
wood Ferry. 


In 1834 the Pond brothers, Gideon H. and Samuel 
W. Pond, came to the Fort directly from Galena, 
although they were Connecticut men. They came as 
volunteer Christian missionaries to labor for the con- 
version of the Minnesota Indians. They were not 
licensed ministers, nor were thej* sent by any church 
or society. They were almost "without scrip or 
purse." but simply i-eligious enthusiasts, who believed 
they had a heaven-inspii-ed mission, which they must 
fulfill at all hazards. They endured all sorts of hard- 
ship and privation, and, although they did not make 
very many converts among the Indians, they labored 
steadfastly and unselfi.shly and did much good in 
other ways. These worthy and good men passed the 
rest of their lives in ^linnesota engaged in the work 
to which they had consecrated themselves, and died 
near the principal field of their labors near ]Minne- 
apolis, some years ago.* 


When the Ponds first came to Fort Snelling Agent 
Taliaferro sent them o\it to his Indian colony on Lake 
Calhoun. That summer (1834) they built a log cabin, 
12 by 16 feet in area and eight feet high, on a site a 
little east of the lake and where afterward the Pavilion 
Hotel stood. Unless the little rude hut connected with 
the Government Mill at the Falls is considered a dwell- 

♦ See S. W. Pond's book, "Two Volunteer Mi.ssion.iries"' 
and other Minnesota histories. 



iug liousi', the cabin of the Pond hrothcrs was the 
first white luau's residence built on the j)resent site of 
Jliiineapolis ; at any rate it was the second structure 
erected. It was certainly a residence, for here the 
brothers kept bachelors' hall and cooked, ate, slept, 
and passeil their leisure time, while the hut at the mill 
was only occupied by soldiers tenqiorarily detailed 
to work the mill. 

It is but fair to state that the Pond brothers' luunble 
hut was the actual home of tiie first actual citizen 
settlers in Hennepin County and on the present area 
of ilinneapolis ; the people of the fort were neither 
settlers nor citizens in the proper sense of these terms. 
The cabin was also the first mission house, the first 
house of divine worship, and strictly speakinji; it was 
the first school room; the school teacher Haker, who 
came to Fort Snelling in lS"J-t, taught only the officers' 
children in their own homes. 


In 18;5-I, also, came to Fort Snelling — or to the 
American Fur Company's trading post at ilendota — 
the accomi)lished Henry Hastings Sibley, who became 
so prominent and distinguished in Minnesota history. 
He came as chief factor of the Fur Company, suc- 
ceeding the talented and gifted Alexis Bailly, a French 
and Ottawa mixed blood, educated and accomplished, 
polished as a courtier, but as sharp as a hawk. Tie 
wrote and spoke French as well as Talleyrand; but 
he .seemed to enjoy life in iliimesota as much because 
he could torment Agent Taliaferro to the verge of 
distraction as for any other reason. After being 
deposed as the chief factor of the Fur Company, he 
was employed for j'ears as a trader under it. 


;\[ajor Lawrence Taliaferro (commonly pronounced 
Tolliver), the Indian Agent, was not then connected 
with the regular army, although he had been a lieu- 
tenant. He had his military title of Major by virtue 
of his office as Indian Agent, f(n' in ^linnesota Indian 
agents were always called "^lajor," and Indian 
Superintendents '"Colonel," no matter if they had 
never smelled powder. Ma.i. Taliaferro was from 
Fredericksburg, Va., and was a slave owner. 

In his " Antoiiiography" (Vol. 6, Hist. Socy. Coll.), 
the Jla.ioi' says that he was accustomed to hire his 
slaves to liie officers of the gai-rison, because he had no 
use for them himself. In his journal, as (pioted by 
Neill, he says that in 1831 Capt. Plympton wanted to 
purchase his negro girl Eliza, but he would not sell 
her "because." he says, "it was my intention to free 
all my slaves ultimately." He, however, afterward 
.sold a l)lack man to ('apt. Gale and one of his slave 
girls, Harriet Robinson, to Dr. John Emerson, the 
post surgeon. And thereby hangs a tale. 

]\Iaj. Taliaferro brought the girl Harriet to the 
Fort in 1835. Dr. Emerson, who had come to the 
Fort fi-oin service at Rock Island, had a black man 
named Drcd Scott, that he had imrchascd from the 
Scott family at St. Louis. In 1836 Dr. Emerson pur- 

chaseil Harriet from Maj. Taliaferro ami married her 
to his man Dred. The couple had two children, one 
l)orn at Fort Snelling and one on the steamboat Uipsy 
while her nujthcr was accompanying her mistress to 
St. Louis. In l!S38 Surgeon Emerson was transferred 
back to Jelferson Barracks, near St. Louis, and took 
his negroes with him. Dr. Emerson died in LS43 
and the negroes were inherited by his wife, Mrs. Irene 
Emerson. Nine years later arose the famous Dred 
Scott case which was so much talked about in the 
country fi'oni 1857 to 1861. 

In 1852, instigated by certain prominent anti- 
slavery people of St. Louis, Dred Scott w-as made to 
appear against his as a suitor for his free- 
dom in a district court of that city. He claimed that 
he and his family were entitled to their freedom be- 
cause he had livi'tl in two free districts, viz.: at Rock 
Island, 111., and Ft. Snelling, then in Iowa Territory, 
in both of which places slavery vias prohibited ; that 
by virtue of being taken to such free soil (not running 
away to it) he became free, and once free he must 
be always free. 

The St. Louis district judge, himself a slave owner, 
said that all such suits as Duetl's should be ilecided 
if possible on the side of freedom, and virtually gave 
him his free papers. The Supreme Court of Mis- 
souri, however, (two judges to one), reversed this 
decision and, as it were, remanded Dred and his 
family back to slavery. Mrs. Emerson then sold Scott 
and Harriet to a man named Sandford, a wealthy 
resident of New York City, but who kept his negroes 
in St. Louis. In 1853 the anti-slavery people of St. 
Louis again had Dred Scott suing for his freedom, this 
time against Sandford and in the U. S. Circuit Court. 
In Jlay, 1854, that court rendered a decree that Scott 
and his family "are negro slaves, the lawful jn-op- 
erty of the defendant," John F. A. Sandford. Scott's 
attorneys appealed the decision by a writ of error to 
the Supreme Co\irt of the United States. In March, 
1857, that Court directed the Circuit Court to dis- 
miss the case, saying that Dred Scott was a slave and 
not a citizen and had no right to sue and no standing 
in court : that he did not become free by reason of his 
four years' residence on free soil. Col. Sandford, 
Scott's owner was prominently connected with the 
Chouteau Fur Company of St. Louis and well known 
on the ^Missouri River, although his residence was in 
New York ; he was also well known to the traders of 

But in the meantime Sandford had died and the 
.slaves had descended to certain of his heirs, the family 
of a Brpuhlicnn member of Congress from Massa- 
chusetts! This family hired out the negroes for some 
time in St. Louis, but finally sold them to certain 
Iihilantliropi(; people that wished to set them free. 
These peoi)le conveyed them to Ta.ylor Blow, a drug- 
gist of St. Louis, who emaiu-ipated them Jlay 26. 
1857, two months after the U. S. Supreme (^ourt had 
consigned them to slaverv during their life time. 
(See Scott vs. Emerson, 10 Howard, p. 3!)3 : Nie. & 
Hay. Life of Lincoln, Vol. 2. Chap. 5 and also foot- 
note p. 81. Jlinn. in Three Cents., Vol. 2.) 

A few old citizens who were vouths in 1835-38, and 



who have died recently, remembered Dred Scott and 
Harriet when they were at Fort SnellLiig. Wm. L. 
Quinn, the noted half-blood scout, son of Peter Quinu, 
who lived near the fort, often said that Dred and 
his wife were apparently of pure African blood, jet 
black and shiny ; that they were mildly disposed, in- 
offensive people, but of a low order of intelligence 
and did not like the Indians. Dred was fond of 
hunting and quite successful as a deer-stalker. 

The only resident of Minnesota that was a slave 
owner was Alexis Bailly, who purchased a black 
woinan (Neill says a man) from Alaj. Garland, and 
used her as a house servant and as a maid for his 
mixed blood Indian wife, the daughter of John B. 
and Pelagie Faribault. At tirst the Sioux were 
greatly diverted by the negroes. They called the black 
people "black Frenchmen," (Wahsechon Sappa) fol- 
lowed them about, felt their woolly heads, and then 
laughed heartily. Another negro slave, James Thomp- 
son, was purchased by the missionaries at Kaposia 
from a Fort Snelling officer. He had an Indian wife 
and had acquired the Sioux language, and the mission 
people wanted him for an interpreter. Of course 
they set him free. He seemed to be a devout Chris- 
tian, but soon fell from grace and went wrong. After 
a time he fell back again, then fell out again and sold 
whisky, and finally became a Methodist and died in 
hope of eternal happiness. 


The first commanders of Fort Sneliing were Lieut. 
Col. Henry Leavenworth from September, 1819, to 
June, 1821 ; Col. Josiah Snelling. from June. 1821, to 
May, 182.5 ; Capt. Thomas Hamilton, in Jlay and 
June, 1825, and then Lieut. Col. Willougliby Morgan 
to December, 1825 ; Col. Snelling again until Novem- 
ber, 1827, and then Maj. J. H. Vose, to ]\Iay 24, 1828. 
All these officers were of the Fifth Infantry. Then 
came Lieut. Col. Zachary Taj'lor, of the First Infantry, 
who commanded from May, 1828, to July 12, 1829, or 
fourteen months. 

In after years, when he had become so distinguished 
as a fighting general and had been elected President 
of the United States, the Lieut. Colonel commanding 
Fort Snelling in 1828-29 was again connected with the 
history of Minnesota. Among his very duties 
after he became President was the appointment of the 
officials for the then new Territory, now the North 
Star State. He appointed Alexander Ramsey the 
first Governor, Chas. K. Smith the first Secretary, etc. 
To Delegate H. H. Sibley President Taylor expressed 
his regret that he had not been permitted to sign the 
bill creating IMinnesota Territory, because he had 
been connertcd with its early history and believed it 
would become a great State. "Your winters are long 
and cold," said the President to the Delegate; "I 
know, for I spent one there. But your climate is 
exceedingly bracing and probably the healthiest in the 
Union. With proper care good crops can be raised 
there, for I have seen them growing — as good wheat 
as I ever saw — and we raised very fine vegetables of 
all kinds at the Fort. Then you have vast forests of 

lumber which alone will make your State great, and 
St. Anthony Falls is probably the greatest water 
power in the world." 

While at Fort Snelling Gen. Taylor had with him 
his wife, his four daughters, and his three-year-old 
sou, Richard, who became a distinguished Confederate 
general. One of the daughters, Sarah Knox, familiarly 
called "Knox," mairied Jefferson Davis, a few years 
later, at the home of her aunt, a few miles in the 
rear of Louisville, Ky. It is often said that the mar- 
riage was the result of an elopement, but it was not 
even clandestine ; a number of her near relatives were 
present, although her father had refused his consent. 
She died three months later. 


Perhaps the most noted incidents of early history 
which occurred in the near vicinity of Minneapolis 
between 1820 and 1840 were certain hostile encounters 
between the Sioux and Chippewa Indians wherein 
many lives were lost. So many of these affairs 
occurred throughout the State that their enumeration 
and description at this late day would be most diffi- 
cult. Some of them were rather formidable, but none 
of them were of any more consequence and influence 
on the interests of the country than fights between 
packs of wolves. 

On a night in May, 1827, some Chippewa Indians, 
under the old Flat Mouth, were asleep in their camp 
in front of JMaj. Taliaferro's agency house and under 
the guns of Foi't Snelling. Nine Sioux from Pene- 
chon's village, with guns and tomahawks, crept up in 
the darkness and fired into the sleeping Chippewas, 
killing four and wounding eight. Within two days 
Col. Snelling forced four of the Sioux that had fired 
so cowardly and cinielly upon sleeping men, women, 
and children to run the gauntlet before the guns of 
the Chippewas. All ran gallantly, but all were shot 
down and killed before they had proceeded a hundred 
yards. The Chippewas rubbed their hands in the 
blood.v wounds of their dead enemies and tlien licked 
their fingers with great After scalping and 
mutilating the bodies they pitched them over the 


In July, 1839, there was a stirring, tragic, and alto- 
gether a most remarkable affair between the two i\lin- 
nesota tribes in the perpetuation of their feud. Pre- 
liminary to this incident, which in effect was a great 
dual tragedy, several hundred Chippewas came down 
from their country to Fort Snelling with the mistaken 
idea that they were to receive some money under the 
treaty of 1837. They came in two columns. Hole-in- 
the-Day led the Pillager Band and the Mille Laes 
down the Missi.ssippi in canoes to St. Anthony's Falls, 
where they encamped. The St. Croix Chippewas came 
down that river from Pokegama to Stillwater in canoes 
and then marched across the country to Fort Snelling, 
and encamped a mile or so north of the fort, near 
Cloud Man's band at Lake Calhoun. 



All the Sioux bands in the neighborhood came for- 
ward and greeted their old time enemies very cor- 
dially, and they and the V. S. authorities entertained 
them most bountifully and hospitably. Hole-in-the- 
Day's Indians came down to Lake Calhoun and joined 
in the feasting and the fraternizing. Everybody said 
the tomahawk was buried forever and henceforth there 
would be profound peace between Chippewa and 
Sioux. This most exemplary condition lasted four 
days, and then the Chippewas set out to return to 
their homes, each column taking the route over which 
it liad come. By special invitation the Pokegama 
Cliippewas went first to Little Crow's Kaposia village 
(now South St. Paul) and spent some hours in friendly 
visit and then went on to Stillwater. 

But two young men of Hole-in-the-Day's contingent 
had "bad hearts" all this time. They were from 
Mille Lacs and claimed that tlie Sioux had killed their 
father the year before. When their party set out 
to return home they remained behind. The next 
morning, well armed, they slipped down to near 
Cloud Man's village and hid themselves on the south- 
eastern side of Lake Harriet, in the tall grass, by a 
path that ran on the east side of tlie lake and then 
on to "a great body of timber, a wild pigeon grove, 
on the ilinnesota. 

Just after daylight on the morning of July 2, an 
Indian wliose proper name was Hku-pah Choki Jlah- 
zah, or Middle Iron Wing, came along the path where 
the Chippewas were ambushed. He was on his way to 
the pigeon roost to kill pigeons before early morning 
came, when they would Hy away, returning at dark. 
He had a boy of 12 * with him and each had a gun. 
He was often called the Badger, and this is the name 
given him in some histories. He was a son-in-law of 
Chief Cloud ilan and a nephew of Zitkahda Doota, 
(or Red Bird) the "medicine man" of the band, but 
who in this instance became its head soldier. 

In the tall grass and weeds lay tlie two Chippewas, 
every muscle strained and tense and their eyes gleam- 
ing with excitement and hate, like tigers in a jungle 
about to leap upon their pre.v. When the Badger 
came up within eas.v gunshot they fired at the same 
instant and both bullets struck him, killing him in- 
stantly. The.v rushed forward and took his scalp 
and then slunk awa.v through the tall grass towards 
Minnehaha, or the "Little Falls," as they were often 
called. The boy had tlirown himself in the grass be- 
side the path and was lying still. The Indians said 
the.v saw liim. but forbore to kill him. As soon as 
they had gone the lad sprang up and ran back to the 
village, crying with all his might, "Ilkah-hkah Ton- 
wan! Hkah-hkah-Tonwan!" ** or, "the Chippewas! 
the Chippewas!" 

The boy 's soprano screams rang like silver fire-bells 
and were heard at the mission house as soon as at the 

•In the spring of 189.5 the writer inter\'iewed this "boy," 
but he was then 68 and bearing the white man 's name of 
David Watson. He was then at Flandrau, S. D., where he died 
a few years later. He was a nephew of .Middle Iron Wing 
and well remembered the incident. 

*' Meaning literally People of the Waterfalls, the Sioux 
name for the Chippewa-s who, when the Sioux first knew them, 
lived at the Falls of Sault Ste. Marie. 

Indian tepees. The Pond brothers were at the side 
of the murdered warrior as soon as his comrades were, 
and it is from Saml. W. Pond's printed record (see 
"Two Missionaries") that we get the details of the 
murder and of tlie terrible events that followed. The 
body of the Badger was borne back to the village, 
where, as it were, it lay in state. 

A crowd soon gathered about the scalpless, bloody 
corpse. Red Bird bent over it and kissed it, though 
the blood was yet oozing. Then he removed from 
the body the ornaments which liad bedecked it, and, 
holding them up where all could see, he solemnly 
swore: "1 will avenge you, O, my nephew, though 
I too am killed ! ' ' Turning to the assembled warriors 
he demanded that they too avenge their comrade, and 
they fairly yelled that they would. 

There was a sudden and a very wild excitement 
among the Sioux tliat morning. Swift messengers 
bore the startling and astounding news from village 
to village and from tepee to tepee, crying out wildly : 
"The Chippewiis! The Chippewas! They have turned 
treacherously back from their homeward journey and 
are butchering us! ^Middle Ii'on Wing is already 
killed ! On the liank of Lake Harriet — there lies his 
dead body, all bloody! Go and see it. But get your 
fighting implements ready first!" 

In two hours Cloud Man's warriors, Red Bird at 
the head, stripped almost as naked as Adam, but 
painted and armed for fight, were all read.y and eager 
for the war path. Then in another hour the warriors 
from the other villages began to arrive. The}' came 
from Good Road's village, from Bad Hail's, from 
Black Dog's, from Eagle Head's, and even from 
Shakopee's. Little Crow's men did not come, as will 
be explained, but the plan was made known to him. 

The plan was soon arranged. The Chippewas were 
to be pursued on both of the routes they had taken. 
Little Crow (or Big Thunder) and his Kaposia band, 
because the,y were miles nearer to them, were to fol- 
low after the St. Croix Chippewas, with whom they 
had an old account to settle anyhow, and overtake 
them at Stillwater if possible. The other liands were 
to pursue Hole-in-the-Day's people and those from 
the ]\lille Lacs. Each pursuing party largely out- 
numbered the Chippewas it pursued, the latter being 
composed largely of women and children, while the 
Sioux were all warriors. 

The Sioux came to the war path painted, armed, 
moccasined, and victualed, and all eager as wolves 
on the scent. In eft'ect the warriors were sworn into 
service. The oath or pledge was brief but strong. 
It bound him who took it to fight to the death and to 
show no quarter to any living Chippewa thing. No 
mercy was to be asked and none was to be given. 
The babe was to be served as the grandsire and the 
virgin as the warrior. 

The authorities at the Fort did not offer to inter- 
fere: it would not have been of any use. The Sioux 
hurried up to St. Anthony's Falls and cro,s,sed the 
river by detachments in canoes, landing on the east 
bank, just above the head of Nicollet Island. Samuel 
W. Pond went up and viewed the cros.sing. which was 
not effected until near sundown. Red Bird, so Pond 



tells us, caused his 400 \varrioi"s to be seated in a line, 
down which he marched, naked except for breech-clout 
and war paint, laying his hand on every warrior's 
head and bidding him fight to the last for the sake of 
the Dakota gods and the honor of the Dakota nation. 
It had been a hot July day. but the war party 
started as soon as the favor of its gods had been 
invoked, marched all nigiit. and .iust before day 
reached Hole-in-the-Day"s camp on Rum River. Lit- 
tle Crow and his warriors marched all night and 
arrived at Stillwater at daylight, finding the Chippe- 
was in camp, but ready to embark on the St. Croix 
for their homes. 

Red Bird managed well at Rum River. He waited 
untU the Chippewa hunters had gone ahead on the 
trail and dispersed themselves on either side of the 
road to kill game for the subsistence of the party, and 
these hunters were half of the Chippewa warriors. 
Not every warrior had a gun. hut every gun was 
loaded only with bird shot. The camp had .just been 
broken up and the morning column, composed largely 
of women and children, was stringing out when Red 
Bird gave the signal for attack by a loud and long 
war whoop. The Sioux sprang forward with gun and 
spear and tomahawk. The Chippewa women and chil- 
dren fled in horror and dismay ; the Sioux leaped 
upon them and cut them down. The men present 
with guns fought as best they could, but what could 
they do with bird shot? 

In a little time the Chippewa hunters had come 
back and then the killing was not all on ojie side. 
Oh. no I Hole in the Da.v and his warriors always 
did their share of killing in a battle. The Chippe- 
"was, frenzied at the sight of their dead and mangled 
women and children, fought with such despei-ation 
that in twenty minutes the Sioux were retreating 
from the field, leaving their dead, and some of their 
disabled. Shakopee * and his Prairieville band were 
made the rearguard and had all the.v could do to keep 
back the infuriated Chippewas. Once, when hard 
pressed and his men were not supported, he rode 
among the other chiefs and complained : ' " You have 
poured blood on me," he said, "and now you run 
away and leave me." 

Shakopee. Red Bird, and some others were on horse- 
back, having made their horses swim the ilississippi. 
Red Bird was killed. He rode upon a Chippewa who 
was in his death agonies, but still held his loaded gun. 
Red Bird dismounted to finish him with his knife, 
when the d.ving warrior shot him througli the neck 
and the noted medicine man and fighter fell a corpse 
and into the hands of his enemies. His son, a lad of 
15, was mortally wounded. As they were bearing him 
from the field he noticed that his intestines were dan- 
gling from his wound and he said : "I wish my father 
could see this." Told that his father was killed, he 
did not utter a word more, but closed his eyes and 
wan! Hkah-hkah-Tonwan !"*** or, "'the Chippewas! 
The Chippewas followed the Sioux for some miles, 
and killed three and wounded 2.5 of Shakopee 's rear 
guard. At last they turned back to bury their dead. 

Father of the chief hung at Fort Snelling. 

to care for their stricken ones, and to chop to pieces 
the bodies of the dead and wounded of their enemies 
left on the slaughter field. The Sioux bore away 70 
scalps, at least 50 of which were those of women 
and children. Some of the Chippewas killed were not 
scalped. The Sioux had 12 warriors killed and car- 
ried off about 50 wounded, some of whom afterward 
died, one when he was being lifted from a canoe on 
the west bank of the ^Mississippi. (See '"Two ilission- 
aries;" also Vol. 2, Minn, in Three Cents.) 

Jleanwhile Big Thunder's Kaposia warriors had 
been successful to a degree : for the.v too were forced 
to retreat from the field. The Chippewas were in 
their camp at Stillwater in the big ravine where the 
penitentiary now stands. At the same hour when 
Red Bird attacked the Chippewas on Rum River, Big 
Thunder attacked the St. Croix and Pokegama people. 
The Sioux had crept up within gunshot and bowshot, 
and, without warning, suddenly poured a plunging 
and deadly fire from the crest of the bluff upon their 
enemies' camp. The Chippewas behaved well. Tliey 
retreated toward the St, Croix, women and children 
going first, and the men protecting the rear, fighting 
bravely. Near the shore the.v halted and checked the 
Sioux, finally driving them back and away from the 
battle ground, but not in time to prevent them from 
taking about 20 scalps and cutting off and carrying 
away half a dozen heads. The Sioux retreated in a 
panic, although the Chippewas did not pursue them 
beyond the crest of the bluffs. The fighting was wit- 
nessed by "Wm. A. Aitkin, the trader, (for whom the 
count.v was named) and by Mrs. Lydia Ann Carli, a 
sister of Joseph R. Brown, who lived in the big log 
castle at Stillwater (then called "Dakota") which 
her brother had built. 

In both battles the Chippewas lost 95 killed. 75 
at Rum River and 20 at Stillwater. The Sioux lost 
12 killed at Rum River and five at Stillwater, or 17 
in all. The whole number of wounded cannot well 
be estimated. The Chippewas carried aU of their 
wounded back to their villages, those from Rum River 
on litters and those from Stillwater in canoes, at least 
a great part of the wa.v. 

The scene at Fort Snelling when the Sioux returned 
from their victories was one of wild and fierce exulta- 
tion. Rev. Gideon H. Pond, who was present, wrote: 
"It seemed as if hell had emptied itself here." They 
paraded their blood.v scalps and ghastly heads with 
great ostentation as if for the delectation of the white 
spectators. The.v yelled and danced until the.v 
worked themselves into a state of delirium and 
frenzy. They kept up the scalp dance in all their vil- 
lages for a month. "Why not? They had 95 scalps! 
The Pond brothers and the officers of the Fort saw 
the great and horrid celebration but did not inter- 
fere. There were other witnesses. There were at 
Fort Snelling at the time the Right Reverend Bishop 
Mathias Loras and his assistant, the Abbe Pelamonr- 
gues. Catholic ecclesiastics stationed at Dubuque, who 
had come up to look after the interests of the ^lother 
Church in this quarter. The gentle-souled, mild- 
mannered Bishop was inexpressably shocked at the 
loathsome and hideous spectacle of the dancing and 



howling: Sioux and their ghastly trophies, and he shed 
tears of heartsiekness antl liorroi' as he looketl ui)ou it. 

One of the two young I'hippewas that shot the 
Badger and brought the disasters upon their people 
died at .Mille Laes in 1903. To the late AVm. L. 
l^uinn, of St. Paul, wlio at one time was a trader 
among them and who himself had Chippewa blood in 
his veins, they told the story. It is now w'ell known 
that after they had done the shooting they made their 
way to the "Ijittle Falls," now the Falls of Minne- 
iiaha, and effected their escape as they planned to. 
]ieliind the broad sheet of water that formed the 
cataract proper, snug under the deep shelving bluff 
over which the water poured, they crawled and hid 
themselves. Here they renuiined that day and night 
and the following day. They reasoned that the Sioux 
would not search carefully for them, but would fol- 
low their lirethren ; and when the Dakota warriors 
had gone tliey \»f)uld slip away in the darkness and 
go back to -Alille Lacs. All about the Falls there 
were bramliles and brushwood, and the sheet of fall- 
ing water hid them as if they were behind a big 
white blanket. On the second night the.y crept away, 
swam the JMis.sissippi by the aid of a log, and got 
safely back to their village. They were very sorry 
that the fire they kindled had caused so much distress 
and sadness, but their people forgave them because 
they had meant well and from the Indian ponit of 
view had acted bravely. 

The battles between the Sioux and Chippewas in 
the tirst days of July, 1839, arc to he remembered in 
coiuiection with the history of Minneapolis. They 
were the largest affairs of the kind that occurred in 
Minnesota after the supposed great battles between 
the two tribes near Mille Lacs about 1750, or perhaps 

about ITtiO, and they were planned on the present 
site of Minneapolis. Nearly all the Sioux warriors 
that fougiit in it were from or near the city's site, 
set out from here, and returned here. At least 115 
Indians of both sides were killed — moi-e than the 
aggregate of all the Indians that died on Minnesota 
battle fields after 1760, including those killed in tight 
and hung at Mankato during the Sioux Outbreak of 

Intelligence of the affairs, generally exaggerated as 
to details, went to all parts of the country. Writing 
from St. Louis July 26, 1839, Robert E. Lee, then a 
captain of U. S. Engineers and who had been en- 
gaged in engineering work on the ^lississippi up as 
far as Prairie du Chien, wrote to his associate ollicer, 
Lieut. Joseph E. Johnston, about these Indian battles. 
(It will be understood that both these officers were 
afterwards the two principal Confederate generals.) 
After mentioning an excursion party tliat had re- 
cently' gone up the river on a steamboat to the Falls 
of St. Antiiony. '"with music pla\ing and colors fly- 
ing," and which their mutual friend "Dick" (who- 
ever he was) had accompanied from Galena, Capt. 
Lee wrote : 

"News recently arrived that the Sioux had fallen 
upon the Chippewas and taken 130 [sic| scalps. The 
Hole in the Day, Dick's friend, had gone in advance 
with the larger party and they did not come up with 
him. It is ex])ected that this chief, who is i-epresented 
as an uncommon man, will take ample revenge, and 
this may give rise to fresh trouble. You will see the 
full account in the papers." 

The letter in full is printed in Gen. Long's "Jlem- 
oirs of R. E. Lee," and in Dr. J. William Jones's 
"Life and Letters of Lee," at page 35, but it has never 
before been noticed in a Minnesota publication. 









Prior to the year 1837 every foot of land in what 
is now the State of Minnesota — except the little 
reservation about Fort Snelling — was in primeval 
condition and barbaric ownership. The country was 
red-peopled and virgin, and a white man might not 
make his home anywhere in all that great expanse 
w-ithout permission of the Indians. These people held 
the land solely by the right of conquest and the rule 
of might, having taken it by force from weaker breth- 
ren and defended it against stronger. It was theirs, 
therefore, under Rob Roy's rule: 

" « * * the simple plan, 
That they should take who have the power, 
And they should keep who can." 

The mighty resources of the counti-y, the iron, the 
granite, the soil, the water-power, were as they had 
been for thousands of 3-ears. The great water-power 
at St. Anthon.v's Falls was unharnessed and undi- 
verted and the ^Mississippi flowed "unvexed to the 
sea." But in 1837 a breach was made in the barriers 
that had shut out the forces of civilization, and 
through the gap soon came the advance guard of the 
great army of progress whose many battalions were 
not far to the rear. A foothold was obtained whereon 
white men eould stand and from whence they could 
not be driven. It was made possible and lawful to 
take away the great Falls of St. Anthony of Padua 
from the Oiiktayhee or Indian gods that controlled 
them and make them subserve the uses of mankind, 
and the way was clear to found a great city at their 
site. Two treaties were made with the Chippewa and 
Sioux which opened the lands east of the Jlississippi 
in this quarter to white settlement. It would follow 
that the lands west of the river would soon pass 
under the same control. 

In July, 1837, Governor Ilcnry Dodge, of Wiscon- 
sin Territory, — to which division of the national 
domain the country east of the IMississippi and now in 
southeastern Minnesota then belonged — made a treaty 
with the Chippewa Indians at Fort Snelling for the 
cession of their lands in southeastern Minnesota and 

southwestern Wisconsin. The treaty was signed July 
29, but was not ratified by the Senate until June 15 
of the following year. It was a great occasion. Maj. 
Taliaferro's journal says there were 1,200 Chippewas 
present. They came from all their villages between 
Lake Superior and the Mille Lacs, and this was the 
largest convocation of the tribe ever assembled in 

Under present conditions the boundary line of the 
ceded territory ran from the mouth of the Crow Wing 
River ("Kah-gee .Wugwan Sebe" in Chippewa) 
almost directly east to the Upper Lake St. Croix, 
about 30 miles southeast of Duluth ; thoice, generally 
east, to within 30 miles of the jMichigan line ; thence 
south about 60 miles, or due w^est of Menomonie, Wis- 
consin ; thence, in a general direction south, by way 
of Plover Portage to a point twelve miles south of 
Chippewa Falls ; thence, northwesterly, to the mouth 
of the Watab River, eight miles above St. Cloud, and 
thence to the mouth of the Crow Wing, the place of 

Within what is now ]\Iinnesota the boundary line 
included the southern part of the counties of Crow 
Wing, Aitkin, and Pine ; all of Morrison east of the 
Jlississippi : all of Mille Lacs, Kanabec, Benton, Isanti, 
Chisago, Sherburne, Anoka, Washington, and Ramsey. 
It also included the greater part of northern and 
western Wisconsin, practically confining the Chip- 
pewas of that then Territoi-y to the comparatively 
narrow strip along the southern shore of Lake 

In consideration of the cession of this vast expanse 
of country, amounting to fully 60,000,000 acres, the 
Indians were to receive less tlwn two cents an acre, 
or $810,000 in goods and money, payable in twenty 
annual installments to the members of the tribe: and 
the further sum of .$200,000 to be divided,— $100,000 
to the half breeds of the Chippewa nation, and 
$100,000 for debts due by members of the nation to 
traders and other whites. Of this latter $100,000, 
there was to be paid to Wm. A. Aitkin, $25,000; to 
Lyman JI. Warren, $25,000; to Hercules L. Dous- 
man, $5,000. Aitkin and Warren were married to 
Chippewa women. Many of Warren's descendants 
are yet prominent members of the Chippewas of Min- 




nesota. Not until June 15, 1838, however, did the 
U. S. Senate ratify and confirm the provisions of this 
treaty, so that it did not become effective until that 

The treaty was signed by Gov. Henry Dodge, as 
the U. S. Commissioner, and by the following named 
Chippewas of ^Minnesota — Wisconsin Chippewas not 
named : 

From Leech Lake — Chiefs: Flat Mouth and Elder 
Brother. AVarriors: Young Buffalo, The Trap, Chief 
of the Eartii, Big Cloud, Rabbit, Sounding Sky, and 
Yellow Robe. 

From (JuU Lake and Swan River — Chiefs: Hole 
in the Day and Strong Ground. Warriors: White 
Fisher and Bear's Heai't. 

From St. Croix River — Chiefs: Buffalo and Flat 
Jloufh. Warriors: Young Buck, Cut Ear, and Com- 
ing Home Hallooing. 

From Mille Lacs — Chiefs: Rat's Liver and First 
Dav. Warriors : The Sparrow and Both Ends of the 

From Sandy Lake— Chiefs : The Brooch, Bad Boy, 
and Big Frenchman. Warriors: Spunk and Man 
That Stands First. 

From Snake River — Chiefs : The Wind, Little Six, 
Lone Man, The Feather. Warriors: Little French- 
man and Silver. 

From Red Lake — Francis Goumeau, a Chippewa 

Among the white witnesses to the signatures were 
Maj. Lawrence Taliaferro, Capt. Martin Scott, 
Surgeon Dr. John Emerson, H. H. Sibley, H. L. Dous- 
man, Lyman M. Warren. Wm. H. Forbes, J. N. Nicol- 
let, Rev. D. P. Bushnell, Peter Quiuu, and Scott 
Campbell. The last two, with Stephen Bonga and 
Baptiste Dubay, were Indian interpreters. 

By this treaty the United States secured the most 
valuable pine lands in southeastern ilinnesota and 
western Wisconsin from the Chippewas, who claimed 
them. The timber districts then obtained were not 
entirely cut over in forty years, and not until the.v 
had yielded many millions of dollars in as good lum- 
ber as was ever cut. 

This treaty, also, — in connection with the treaty 
with the Sioux, made two months later, — opened the 
whole of what are now AVashington and Ramsey 
Counties and the small part of Hennepin County 
which is east of the Alississippi, but which was large 
enough to contain St. Anthony, now tbat part of Jlin- 
neapolis on that side of the river. And of course this 
included the land at the east end of St. Anthony's 
Falls where the first iiTiprovements of the Falls were to 
be made by civilians. The vast cession contained pine 
timber enough to supply the entire country of Min- 
nesota as well as many other markets, and the mills 
at the east end of St. Anthony's Falls would reduce 
this timber to lumber. 

The xvny teas oprnrd, therefore, for the building of 
a great citu at the Falls of St. Anthony of Padua, and 
when the foundations of that city were fairly laid it 
was called Minneapolis. 

The treaties also opened to permanent white occu- 
pation and settlement the land in Minnesota on which 

the first settlements were really made, viz. : at Gray 
Cloud Island, at Stillwater, at St. Paul, and at East 
or North Jliuneapolis. Therefore these treaties are 
important to be considered among the incidents per- 
taining to the foundation of Minneapolis. They were 
the first authoritative measures and proceedings which 
made the city possible. All information about them, 
therefore, ought to be of interest to every Minnea- 


Notwithstanding that, by the treaty of Prairie du 
Chien, of 1824, the Sioux apparently ceded away all 
their lands in ^Minnesota east of the Mississippi for 
the benefit of the Chippewas, yet the Government 
recognized and admitted that they still held a sort 
of title to them. So in 18;57 there was made with 
them another treaty, which in effect was a sort of 
quit-claim deed from them to the land east of the 

In September, pursuant to orders from the Indian 
Department, a delegation of about 20 chiefs and 
"head men'' of the Medawakanton band of Sioux, in 
charge of the agent, Maj. Taliaferro, left Fort Snel- 
ling on the steamboat Pavilion, Captain Lafferty, for 
Washington to nmke the ti-eaty referred to. At Ka- 
posia village, below St. Paul, the chief of the band. Big 
Thunder, (or Little Crow IV.) and his ()ii)e-bcarer 
(Wind That Upsets) came aboard; at Red Wing the 
Walking Buffalo and his head soldier, and at Winona 
Chief AVabasha and his head soldier, took passage, 
making in all a delegation of 26. 

A number of white men, chiefly fur traders, inter- 
ested in the treaty, accompanied the delegation. The 
American Fur Company sent H. H. Sibley, its chief 
factor; also Alexis Bailly, Joseph La Framboise, Alex. 
Rocque, Francois La Bathe, Alexander and Oliver 
Faribault, and other traders. They wanted to secure 
a provision in the treaty that about .$100,000 should 
be paid them out of the money allowed the Indians 
in discharge of the debts due them from said Indians 
for goods had and obtained. 

The treaty was concluded and signed September 
29, (1837) "by Joel R. Poinsett, then Secretary of 
AA^ar, who was, by special appointment, the Commis- 
sioner on the part of the Government. None but 
Indians of the Aledawakanton band signed, for they 
were the only ones interested. The cession included 
"all their land east of the Mississippi River and all 
their islands in said river." The land east of the 
river was a strip varying from a mile to a few miles 
in width from the mouth of the Bad Ax (opposite 
the extreme southeastern corner of Alinnesota) up to 
the mouth of the AA^atab. It was an indefinite extent 
of country and there was no possible way of comput- 
ing its area. It could not be said that the Indians 
had a good title to the country, since they had already 
surrendered it to other Indians and had abandoned 
it twelve years before. Under all tiie circumstances, 
therefore they were fairly well paid for it, receiving, 
and to receive, the following sums: 

The interest on $300,000 at five per cent forever; 



for their mixed blood relatives and friends, $110,000; 
to pay their debts to the ti-aders, $90,000 ; an annuity 
for twenty years of $10,000 in goods, or $200,000; 
for the purchase for themselves of medicines, farming 
implements, and live stock, and the support of a 
physician, farmers, and blacksmiths, etc., $8,250 
annually for twenty years; for a supply of useful 
articles, to be furnished immediately, $10,000; for 
the purchase of provisions, to be delivered free by 
the United States, $5,500 a year for twenty years; 
"for the chiefs and braves signing this treaty, $6,000 
in goods upon their arrival in St. Louis." The Sioux 
received for the laud which they virtually only quit- 
claimed at this time far more, in proportion to its area, 
than they obtained for any other land that they ever 
released to the United States. 

On the part of the Indians the treaty was signed 
by the following chiefs and "head men" of the 
Jledawakanton liaud: Chiefs — Big Thunder, Grey 
Iron, Walking Buffalo, CtOocI Road, Cloud Man, Eagle 
Head, and Bad Hail. Head Men — Standing Cloud. 
Upsetting Wind, Afloat, Iron Cloud, Conies Last, 
Iron with Pleasant Voice, Dancer, Big Iron, Shakes 
the Earth, Red Road, Runs After Clouds, Walking 
Circle, Stands on Both Sides, and Red Lodge. These 
were all of the upper sub-bands of the Medawakantous. 

For some reason which cannot here be explained 
neither Wabasha or any of his sub-band signed the 
treat.v, although he was present and he was head chief 
of the entire Medawakanton band. A considerable 
portion of the ceded country along the Wisconsin 
shore of the Mississippi was only immediately across 
the river, from the Minnesota lands of Wabasha and 
his people, and they nnist have had an interest in its 
disposition ; but their signatures to the treaty do not 
appear in the printed copj'.* 

In 1820 the Sioux bands about Mendota gave, or 
attempted to give, the island in the ilississippi 
opposite Fort Snelling, and commonly called Pike's 
Island, to their kinswoman, Mrs. Pelagic Faribault, 
the mixed-blood wife of old Jean Baptiste Faribault, 
the trader that lived on the island. At this treaty of 
1837 Alexis Bailly, her son-in-law, presented the deed 
given Mrs. Faribault by the Indians and sought to 
have it acknowledged in one of the treaty provisions, 
but the demand was refused. Following is an extract 
from the deed itself, which is dated August 9, 1820, 
and fully signed : 

"Also, we do hereby reserve, give, grant, and con- 
vey to Pelagic Farribault, wife of John Baptist Farri- 
bault, and to her heirs forever, the island at the mouth 
of the River St. Pierre, being the large island con- 
taining by estimation 320 acres • * * the said 
Pelagic Farribault being the daughter of Francois 
Kinie, by a woman of our nation." 

At one time Pike's Island — or Faribault's Islaiul, 
as it came to be called, — was considered valuable. 
John B. Faribault lived on it in a somewhat pre- 
tentious establishment, and had the greater part of it 
under cultivation. It was thought that, from its 

• See U. S. Stats, at Large, Vol. 7, ■Indian Treaties," pp. 

situation, it was destined to be a great ti'ading site. 
Samuel C. Stambaugh, at one time post sutler of 
Fort Snelling, and later a trader, oifered $10,000 for 
it, but the otfer was refused. But in 1838 came a 
Mississippi River Hood which submerged the island 
and well nigh swept away everything upon it, Fari- 
bault's buildings included; in 1839 came another 
which completed the destruction and nearly every 
vestige of improvement was washed off. Mrs. Fari- 
bault 's ownership was refused in the treaty ; the Gov- 
ernment finally decided that the island belonged to 
the United States, under the Pike treaty ; the Fari- 
baults were refused anything for their improvements, 
and not long afterward, in indignation and disgust, 
and mortified because they had refused Stambaugh 's 
offer of $10,000 for it, they abandoned it permanently, 
leaving if in the ownership of the Government and at 
the mei'cy of the Great Father of Waters when he 
indulges in his customary sprees in the spring. 


Gov. Dodge's treaty with the Chippewas at Fort 
Snelling for the cession of the St. Croix country was 
signed July 29, or practically August 1, 1837. 
Hardly was the ink of the signatures dry on the paper 
when Franklin Steele, Dr. Fitch. Jeremiah Russell, 
and a man named Maginnis and eight laborers set 
out from Fort Snelling to make claims commanding 
the water-power of the river at the St. Croix Falls. In 
advance of them, however, was the alei't and sagacious 
Joseph R. Brown, who had come over from Gray 
Cloud Island, established a trading house, and begun 
cutting pine at the present site of Taylor's Palls. 
These men were what are now called ' ' sooners ; ' ' they 
went upon the country and made claims "sooner" 
than anybody else and before it was legally open for 
filing claims and making entries. 

Franklin Steele was born in Chester County, Pa., 
May 12, 1813. He came of a good family, was fairly 
well educated, and early in life he manifested the 
traits of character which afterwards so distinguished 
him. His father. Dr. John H. Steele, was a prominent 
Democratic politician, and President Andrew Jack- 
son became the friend and adviser of young Frank 
and urged him to go to the St. Peter's country and 
make his fortune. He came to Port Snelling as the 
post sutler in the spring of 1837, when he was but 
24 years of age. After a brief study of the situation 
he saw that the country had large advantages and 
possibilities, and he determined to nuike if his home. 
In 1837, even after the treaty was signed, the St. 
Croix Falls seemed a better site for business operations 
than the Falls of St. Anthony, for at the St. Croix 
site both sides of the river were open to occupation, 
while at St. Anthony only the east side could be 
settled upon by the whites. Of his venture and 0])era- 
tions on the St. Croix at this time, Mr. Steele has left 
us a good account, (Vol. 2 Minn, in 3 Cents., P. 137) 
as follows: 

"In September f ?] 1837, immediately after the 
treaty was made ceding the St. Croix Valley to the 
Government, I with Dr. Fitch, of Bloomiugton, [now 



Muscatiuo] Iowa, started from Fort Siielling in a 
bai'k canoe, aeeonipauied by a scow loaded with tools, 
supplies, and laborers. We descended tbe IMississippi 
to tlie nioutli of the St. Croix, and thence ascended the 
St. Croix to the Dalles. We clambered over tlie rocks 
to the Fid Is. where we made two large claims, eover- 
ing the Falls on the east side and the ajjproach in the 
Dalles. We built a log cabin at the Falls and a sec- 
ond log house we built in the Dalles, at the head of 
navigation. While we were building, four other 
parties arrived to make claims to the water power. 

'"I found the veritable Joe Brown on the west side, 
cutting tind)er and trading with the Indians, where 
now stands the town of Taylor's P^dls. His were the 
first pine logs cut in the St. Croix Valley, and they 
were used mostly in building a mill." 

Steele and ^lagiunis remained at the Falls with the 
laborers. Two cruising parties, under Russell and 
Dr. Fitch, were sent out to search for good pine lands. 
Jesse U. Taylor and a man named Robinette came 
over to the site in the interest of B. F. Baker, who 
was often called "Blue Beard," the old time trader of 
Fort Snelling and the head of '"Baker's settlement." 
The foundations of a milling industry were laid, but 
for some time no town was pro.iected — none was 
needed, none was wanted. Of operations the follow- 
ing year Mr. Steele, in his account referred to, says : 

"In February, 1838, I made a trip from Fort Snell- 
ing to Snake River, (via St. Croix Falls) where I 
had a crew of men cutting logs. While I was there 
Peshig, the local Chippewa chief, came to me and 
said : ' We have received no money for our lands and 
these logs can't go until we do.' He further said that, 
if trouble arose between the whites and the Indians 
over the matter, he could not control his young men, 
and he would not be responsible for their acts. The 
treaty was ratified, however, in time for the logs to be 
moved. ' ' 

But as payment for the Chippewa lands was not 
made for nearly two years after the ratification of the 
treaty. Chief Peshig, and his warriors nuisT have been 
placated in some other way if they allowed the logs 
to be moved in 1838. Joseph R. Brown, however, 
rafted a lot of his logs down the river in the fall of 
1837. and the Indians did not try to stop him. 

The dissatisfaction of Chief Peshig and his war- 
riors with the delay in the payment under the treat.v 
and his covert threats to l\Ir. Steele seem to have con- 
stituted the beginning of Ihe long series of troubles, 
not yet (>nded, betwt'eii the Chippewas on one side and 
the Uunber cutters and the Government on the other 
over the Indian pine timber. Millions of dollars' 
worth of pine timber have been taken from the Chip- 
pewa Indians of Minnesota illegally and without 
proper compensation. 

Mr. Steele further states that in the spring of 1838 
"we" descended the Mississippi to St. liOuis, where 
he and others organized the St. Croix Falls Lundiei'- 
ing Company. The co-i)artners were Mr. Steele, Dr. 
Fitch, of ^^uscatine ; Washington Libby, of Alton ; W. 
S. Hungerford and James Livingston, of St. Louis; 
Hill and Wm. Ilolcombe (afterwards Lieuten- 
ant Governor) of Quiney. 

While at St. Louis the parties heard of the ratifica- 
tion of the treaties. At once they chartered the 
steamer Palmyra, (owned in and named for Palmyra, 
i\Io.,) loaded her with materials for building a saw- 
mill, took on l)oard 3G laborers, and set out for the St. 
Croix and St. Peter's. What Mr. Steele did when he 
reached the latter port, at Fort Snelling is told on 
subse<iuent pages. 


Perhaps a brief statement of later visits to Fort 
Snelling and St. Anthony's Falls by scientific men, 
who came pi-ior to 1840, is propi'r in this history. 


Ill September and October, 1835, a geological exami- 
nation of certain parts of Southwestern Minnesota 
was made, under Government authority, by an Eng- 
lish geologist named Geo. W. Featherstonhaugh (pro- 
nounced in England "Frestonhaw") and his assist- 
ant, Prof. W. W. Mather, an American, and a gradu- 
ate of West Point. Featherstonhaugh had made a 
somewhat extensive .journe.y. He left Washington 
July 8, (1837) by canal, and went to Cumberland, 
Md.. thence by land to Pitt.sburg and Detroit ; thence 
by lake to Mackinaw and Green Bay; thence, over 
the old route of Joliet, ^Marquette, Carver, and others, 
by canoe, via F'ox River and its Portage, to the Wis- 
consin, then down the Wisconsin to Prairie du Chien 
and up the river from the Prairie to Fort Snelling. 

The results of Featherstonhaugh and Mather's 1i-ii> 
are preserved in the former's two volumes which he 
brought out in London in 1847, and entitled, "A 
Canoe Voyage up the Minnay Sotor. " The volumes 
contain some singular statements. The author's 
si>i'lliiigs of Indian names are invariabl.v incorrect and 
without authority. lie sa.\-s he plainly heard the 
roaring of the Falls of St. Anthony when he was at 
Lake Pepin ; he was the only explorer to say that he 
believed in Carver's "extensive ancient fortifications," 
west of Lake Pepin, which he sa.vs he visited and 
studied. He thought the ridges and other elevations 
and the depressions which he saw were not foiMiied by 
the action of the strong jirairie winds upon the loose, 
sandy soil. He denounced, and ridiculed the mis- 
sionaries. He criticised nearly everybody that did not 
ab.stain from the use of tobacco in his presence, and 
did not furnish him all the good wines and li(|Uors 
he desii-ed. At the same time. chieH.v from what his 
guide, Henry Jlilord (an intelligent half-blood in 
Trader Sible.v's employ) told him, he put on record 
some interesting items of historv, espeeiall.v concern- 
ing the "IMinnay Sotor" and its valle.v. Of St. 
Anthony's Falls, in addition to what has been already 
quoted, he says : 

"They perhaps look best at a distance; for although 
upon drawing near to them they present a very pleas- 
ing object still, from their average height, which does 
not exceed perhaps 16 feet, they appeared less inter- 
esting tiuin any other of the great cascades I had seen 
in North Aniei-ica.'' 



And yet in the next paragraph, describing the fall, 
he says: 

' ' In its details this is a cascade of very great beauty. 
Its incessant liveliness contrasts pleasingly with the 
sombre appearance of the densely wooded island, and 
presents to the observer that element in motion which 
has so much modified the whole channel of the ]\Iissis- 
sippi. The current above the cascade is very strong 
and comes dashing over the fractured limestone of 
this irregular curvature, where it recedes and 
advances with a great variety of plays, etc., etc." 

Featherstonhaugh and Mather, with Henry Milord 
for a guide and a crew of mixed-blood boatmen, set 
out in a big canoe from Fort Snelling on the 16th and 
after a month's paddling reached Lake Traverse and 
were entertained at Joseph R. Brown's trading post. 
Returning he reached Fort Snelling in a cold snap, 
with ice forming in the Minnesota. October 23, he 
left Fort Snelling and descended the Mississippi in 
a boat to Galena. He took with him a young lad of 
14, John Bliss, Jr., the son of Major John Bliss, the 
commandant of Fort Snelling at the time. The boy's 
parents desired and sent him to attend school in the 
Eastern States. At Galena they took the steamboat 
Warrior for St. Louis. From St. Louis Featherstou- 
haugli made an overland journey through Tennessee, 
Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia 
to Washington City, where he arrived October 9, 1S86. 

Featherstonhaugh 's survey was not of much advan- 
tage to Minnesota wlien it was made. His description 
of the country was not printed in time. Not appear- 
ing until in 1847, it came too late to be of much advan- 
tage as an advertisement of the new land of promise. 

"Mr. Frestonhaw," as his countrymen called him, 
did not conduct himself seemingly when he was in 
Minnesota. Sibley assisted and befriended him 
greatly, and in return he abused Sibley and all other 
traders severely. Joseph R. Brown entertained him 
■ and gratuitously furnished him with goods and sup- 
plies, and in return he slandered Brown outrageously. 


In the summers of 1835 and 1836 George Catlin, the 
noted American painter of Indian and frontier scenes, 
came to Fort Snelling. He painted the portraits of 
several Indian chiefs of the vicinity, and he made the 
first pretentious painting of St. Anthony's Falls. Pre- 
viously many little imperfect sketches of the Falls 
had been made, chiefly by officers' wives at the Fort, 
but his painting was of valuable character and of fair 

Catlin came first to Fort Snelling in June, 1835, by 
a steamer from St. Louis ; he returned in a canoe. The 
next year in the early summer he came again, travel- 
ing in a birch canoe from Green Bay to Prairie du 
Chien and thence up the Mississippi to Fort Snelling. 
In the autunni he returned in a dug-out canoe to Rock 
Island and from thence went east. He spent several 
years in touring among the American Indians, painted 
hundreds of pictures illustrating them and the lives 
they led, and finally took a delegation of them to 
Europe. He also published several books describing 

his travels, Indian life, the country, etc. His pictures 
are in a collection called "the George Catlin Indian 
Gallery," and are hung in the U. S. Museum at Wash- 
ington. D. C. 

While in Minnesota Catlin 's greatest single piece of 
work was his journey on horseback, via Traverse des 
Sioux and Little Rock, to the Red Pipestone Quarries, 
and his accurate sketch of that remarkable natural 
formation. His printed description of the country 
and of his experience en route is of value and great 
interest. He rode a horse given him by Gen. Sibley. 
Joseph La Framboise, Jr., son of the old trader at 
Little Rock, was his guide and his main guard. From 
the Rock, on the Minnesota, four miles below Fort 
Ridgely, to the Quarry the route was over a prairie 
trail never before followed by a white man of full 
blood. Joe La Framboise (who died but a few years 
since) was a mixed-blood Sioux. Catlin was the first 
white man to visit and describe the noted Quarry with 
pen and pencil. The peculiar red s.venitic stone was 
and still is called catlinite. 

Catlin 's ^Minnesota pictures are still in the U. S. 
National ]\Iuseum at Washington. They include views 
of Fort Snelling, St. Anthony's Falls, the "Little 
Falls," (Minnehaha) Cloud Man's village at Lake 
Calhoun in 1835, and portraits of old Great War 
Eagle, Chief of the Black Dog band; Toe Wahkon 
Dah-pe (or Blue Sacred Clay) the medicine man of 
Shakopee's band; Tah-tonka ]\Ianue (or Walking 
Buffalo) of Red Wing's band, etc. Copies of these 
sketches ought to be in the State's public halls and 

In his printed reports Catlin gives a bright and 
interesting description of Minnesota country gen- 
erally ))ut makes very brief mention of St. Anthony's 
Falls, saying: 

"The Falls of St. Anthony, which are 900 miles 
above St. Louis, are the natural curiosity of this coun- 
try. They are nine miles above the mouth of the St. 
Peter's, where I am now writing. The Falls are also 
about nine miles above this fort (Snelling) and the 
junction of the two rivers, (ilississippi and ^linne- 
sota) and although the fall is a picturesque and spir- 
ited scene, it is but a pygmy in size to Niagara. The 
actual pei-pendicular fall is but 18 feet, though of 
half a mile or so in extent, which is the width of the 
river, with brisk and leaping rapids above and below, 
giving life and spirit to the scene. * * * 

"To him or her of too little relish for Nature's rude 
works, there will be found a redeeming pleasure at 
the mouth of St. Peter's and the Fall of St. Anthony. 
These scenes have often been described, and I leave 
them for the world to come and gaze upon for them- 
selves. At the same time, I recommend to all people 
to make their next 'fashionable tour' a trip to St. 
Louis; thence by steamer to Rock Island, Galena, 
Dubuque, Prairie du Chien, Lake Pepin, the St. 
Peter's, Falls of St. Anthony; then back to Prairie 
du Chien, etc." 

Catlin, too, was ungrateful for favors. He could 
not have made the trip to Pipestone Quarry without 
the help of Sibley and La Framboise, and yet in his 
report he denounced them unjustly and shamefully. 



Nicollet's four visits, 1836-37-38-39. 

The first large and almost exactly correct map of 
nearly all of the area of Jlinnesota and of much other 
portions of the western and northwestern parts of the 
United States was drafted by Joseph Nicolas Nicollet, 
a French astronomer and civil engineer, and pub- 
lished by the U. S. Government a short time after his 
death, in 1843, in connection with his rejjort of his 
extensive ofHeial surveys. Nicollet was born in Savoy, 
France, in 1786. He came to the United States in 
1832 and not long afterward entered the engineering 
service of the regular army. 

In 1S3() he came first to Fort Snelling and ascended 
the Mississippi to its sources, surveying the country 
en route. He passed the winter of 1836-37 at Fort 
Snelling, and he says, "was a witness that $15 was 
paid for a barrel of tlour and $25 for barreled pork at 
St. Peter, which had probably cost respectively $5 
and $8 at St. Louis." 

In 1838 he surveyed the valley of the Minnesota 
and much adjoining territory, ascended that river to 
Lake Traverse and then went south by way of Lake 
Shetek to the Red Pipestone Quarry. Here on the 
crest of the "leaping rock," on July 1, he carved his 
name ; the other members of his party, including the 
afterwards distinguished John C. Fremont (who then 
wrote his name Charles Fremont simply) cut their 
initials. In the almost adamantine jasper rock the 
carved letters are as plain to-day as when made. 

In 1839 he ascended the Missouri as high as to 
Fort Pierre Chouteau. This place was then a trading 
post owned by the American Fur Company, of which 
Pierre Chouteau, of St. Louis, was a prominent mem- 
ber. The name of the fort was afterwards contracted 
to Fort Pierre ; now there stands opposite the site of 
the old fort the city of Pierre, the capital of South 

He surveyed the country as far north as to Devil's 
Lake, and then came back across the prairies to the 
Minnesota, or St. Peter's, as it was then called.- His 
maji of the country over which he passed was by all 
odds the best made up to that time. His descriptions 
of the lands are accurate, his spelling of Indian names 
uniformly correct, or so that they can be distinctly 
and rightly pronounced, and altogether his report is 
in certain respects invaluable. Of the; locality called 
"St. Peter's," which included the trading houses then 
on the Mendota side of the Minnesota, Fort Snelling, 
and the ])lateau upon which it is situated, Nicollet 
says spiritedly : 

"St. Peter's is, in ray opinion, the finest site on the 
Mississippi River. 'The natural beauties of its 
environs add to its importance and grandeur. Upon 
reaching this place, the traveler is already premon- 
ished of the magnificent scenery which he will enjoy 
in ascending the river tlirough its long, narrow, and 
deej) valley. At the confluence of the St. Peter's and 
the Mississippi there is an extensive and fertile 
platt»au. This reaches far to the west and presents to 
the delighted gaze a level country, interrupted by 
moderate undulations of the surface and beautified by 
intervening prairies, tracts of woodland and lakes." 

Of Minnehaha P'alls he writes: 

"Three miles from Fort Snelling, and on the right 
bank of the Mississippi, there is a very pretty cas- 
cade." Of St. Anthony's Falls he makes but brief 
mention, viz. : 

"Four miles further up from the Little Falls we 
reach the celebrated Falls of St. Anthony. This fall 
— examined in detail, with the boiling of its 
waters, rebounding in jets from the accumulated 
debris at its foot, its ascending vapors, and the long 
and verdant island that separates the two portions of 
the falls, with the solitary rocky island that stands in 
front — altogether form a grand and imposing 

The possibilities and the probabilities of the utiliza- 
tion of the tremendous power of St. Anthony's Falls, 
and of the necessary and resultant foundation of a 
great city at their site, are not even hinted at by Nicol- 
let, or indeed by any other of the; distinguished early 
visitors to the great cataract. The Falls, in their 
entirety, seem to have impressed them only as a 
natural beauty, a thing of picturesqueness and charm, 
worth traveling hundreds of miles to see. 

Nor did the country of jMinuesota impress them as 
a promising future seat of a great civilization. They 
gave favorable descriptions thereof, wrote rhapsodical 
delineations of its topogi-aphy, its scenery, its rich 
soil, its beautiful lakes and streams, but said no word 
of recommendation concerning its fitness as a site for 
future permanent white settlement, occupation, and 
development. Only the pine timber was mentioned 
as the resource of the country likely to become of 
some, but not of great, importance. They seemed to 
be keeping back or withholding some information and 
ideas; doubtless they were, and these ideas were prob- 
ably those given them by certain white men to the 
efi'ect, that, owing to its high latitude and extremely 
cold seasons, the country would not, because it could 
not, even be a valuable agricultural region or attain 
to a high state of civilization and development. 

Nicollet's descriptions of the country and his map 
were embodied in a little volume printed and widely 
circulated by the Government in 1843. His map 
became a standard one; it was often cited in treaties, 
State and Territorial boundaries, etc., and "accord- 
ing to Nicollet's map" appeared frequently in the 
printed documents connected with such matters. His 
descriptions of the country hardly induced immigra- 
tion to it. He made no reference to a future city of 
the proportions of Minneapolis at the Falls, and all 
he said of the country aliout the great cataract was: 

"From St. Antliony's Falls may be visited the Lake 
of the Isles, Lake Calhoun. Lake Harriet, and other 
lakes. Then, crossing the St. Peter's near its mouth, 
the traveler ascends the Pilot Knob, from the summit 
of which he enjoys a magnificent view, embracing the 
whole surrounding horizon; and if he will conclude 
his excursion by going to two natural grottoes [Car- 
ver's and the Fountain Cave, St. Paul] in the vicinity, 
he may flatter himself that it has been most actively 
and pleasurably performed." 

Of the more remote country on the prairies, he 
thought none of it liardly worth settling upon save at 
"the oases of timber" dispersed here and there. He 



thought Traverse des Sioux eligible to become a place 
of importance, but the only other available sites for 
villages in the JMinnesota country which impressed 
him favorably were the shores of Lac qui Parle, Lake 
Benton, Lake Shetek, Lake Tetouka, Spirit Lake (now 
in Iowa) and two or three other lakes. Tetonka was 
then the site of Alexander Faribault's trading jjost 
which he afterwards removed to Lake Sakatah, near 


Moreover tlie accomplislied engineer favored and 
recommended the proposed establishment of the north- 
ern boundarj' of the forthcoming State of Iowa as 
the parallel of latitude passing through the present 
site of the village of Hanska, Brown County, and the 
mouth of the Blue Earth and extending eastward to 
the Mississippi above ^linnesota Citj% in the northern 
part of Winona County. He preferred that the west- 
ern boundary of Iowa be a meridian running due 
south of the mouth of the Blue Earth. 

In 18-44 a proper convention of the people of the 
Territorj' submitted a constitution to Congress for 
the proposed new State of Iowa, with boundaries 
detined, etc. March 3, 1845, Congress rejected these 
proposed boundaries, and substituted others embody- 
ing the Nicollet ielea regarding the northern and west- 
ern, save that the latter should be the meridian of 
Hanska, a few miles south of New Ulm. The constitu- 
tion as amended had to be adopted by the voters of 
Iowa Territory and at the election in the fall of 1845 
they rejected it, but by the narrow margin of 596 
votes. Had oUO electors who voted against it cast their 
ballots in its favor, it would have been adopted. 
Then all of the present part of Minnesota east of the 
meridian of Hanska and south of the parallel between 
ilankato and "Whitman City would now be in Iowa ! 
Our State would not include the eleven fine counties 
of Southeastern Minnesota — Houston, Winona, Fill- 
more, Olmsted, Dodge, ilower, Fi-eeborn, Steele, 
Waseca, Faribault, and Blue Earth, nor all of Brown, 
Watonwan, and Martin. Just to what extent Nicol- 
let's declared preference infiuenced Congress to fix 
the boundaries as it did cannot be said ; but as other 
points were described in the act as "according to 
Nicollet's map," it may be presumed that his opinions 
were at least given consideration. 

Nicollet's proposition would have been a good 
thing for Iowa, but bad for ^Minnesota, Minneapolis 
included. That he did not carefully forecast the 
future of the country is evidenced. He was an accom- 
plislied engineer and his surveys of the country were 
accurate almost to a dot ; but the adapta))ility of a 
country to civilization is not computed by theodolitic 
measurements or calculations by sines and tangents. 

The great surveyor failed to note the importance 
of the St. Peter's country; failed to conceive that 
white men would invade it ; failed to discern that a 
conllict between the forces of civilization and of bar- 
bai'ism for the permanent possession of this and the 
vast regions surrounding was certain to ensue, and 
that civilizalion would win : and failed to discover that 
in this conflict the Falls of St. Anthony would con- 
stitute th(> key-point of the battlefield. 


ilinnesota passed many crises in early days. The 
Iowa boundary proposition was only one. The north- 
ern boundary proposed first by the Iowa people, and 
which Congress rejected for the one they rejected in 
1845, was worse for Minnesota than the latter. It 
was fixed as a line from the mouth of the Big Sioux 
to the mouth of the Blue Earth then down the JMinne- 
sota to the Mississippi and thence down that river to 
the Missouri line. If this bouudai-y had been adopted 
by Congress — and it came near adoption — and rati- 
fied by the people, Jlendota and all of the present 
Southeastern Minnesota south of the Minnesota and 
west of the i\Iississippi would be now a part of Iowa. 

Another crisis was the Doty treaty of 1841, made 
at Traverse des Sioux between Gov. James D. Doty, 
then Governor of Wisconsin Territory, and the Sioux 
chiefs of Mimiesota. The Sioux agi-eed to sell all their 
lands in what are now Minnesota, the Dakotas, and 
Northwestern Iowa, except some small reservations. 
The country acquired was to be made a Northern 
Indian Territory, the equivalent of the Southern 
Indian Territory, (now Oklahoma) and used as a 
dumping gi-ound for all the Indian tribes and frag- 
ments of tribes east of the Mississippi and north of 
the Ohio. The Democratic Senators in Congress killed 
this treaty, because they considered it a Whig meas- 
ure authorized and promoted by Jolm Bell, of Ten- 
nessee, then Secretary of War. Had they ratified it, 
^Minneapolis and Minnesota would not have come into 
existence when and as they did. Indian occupation 
might have held them in the clutches of barbarism 
until in 1!)07, when Oklahoma became a State in the 


The now distinguished men that visited the site of 
Minneapolis advertised it. The Indian treaties of 
1837 opened the country on the eastern side of the 
ilississippi to white occupation, and as soon as the 
news of their ratification reached the St. Peter 's coun- 
try that occupation began. In the case of Minne- 
apolis that beginning had to be confined for a con- 
siderable time to the east side of the river. The Fort 
Snelling reservation and the Indian title to the Trans- 
Mississippi country forbade settlement on that side. 
The boundaries of the reservation were not well 
defined, but when Lieut. Pike treated for it the reser\'e 
itself was described merely as nine miles square about 
an indefinite point somewhere "below the mouth of 
the St. Peter's." However, this was sufficient to keep 
off settlers from the vicinity of the west end of St. 
Anthony's Falls, unless the military authorities per- 
mitted them to come. 

The U. S. Senate ratified the Indian treaties of 
1837 on June 15. 1838, but not until a month later did 
the authentic news reach ?"'ort Snelling per the 
steamboat Palmyra. Capt. John Holland master, nine 
days up from St. Louis. The boat first carried the 
news up the St. Croix to the Falls, whither it went 
with .some mill machinery and other supplies for 



Frank Sttule's lumbering company, with something of 
the same sort for Joseph K. Brown, who, foreseeing 
that tile treaties would soon be ratilied, had already 
begun the cutting of pine timber to be sawed in a mill 
already in process of erection. 

The Palmyra witli her good news came to Fort 
Suelling a few ilays later, or July 15, 183S, and soon 
afterward Franklin Steele, the new sutler at Fort 
Snelliug, and more justly entitled to be called the 
foiiiidir of Minneapolis than any other person, began 
preparations for building a city at the great tumultu- 
ous Falls of St. Anthony of Padua. On the eastern 
shore of the river, at the north end of the ledge over 
which rolled the cataract he made a "claim" to 160 
acres of land. All he could do was to "claim" the 
laud and occupy it ; it was not then subject to regular 
entry ami ditl not become so until in 18-17. The 
particulars of Mr. Steele's "claim" of the laud are 
given on subsequent pages. 


The year 1837 was a memorable one in Minnesota 
and Minneapolis history, for during that year were 
made tiie important treaties before described; also, 
during that year something occurred which had an 
important bearing upon the founding and future 
destiny of Minneapolis. This something was the 
action taken by the military authorities of Fort 
Snelliug to eject and evict the settlers on the reserva- 
tion in the vicinity of the Fort. 

JMaj. Joseph Plymjjton, a Massachusetts man, took 
comnuiud of Fort Snelliug in the summer of this year, 
and it was he who instituted the action. The ilajor 
was an anomalous character. The descendant of 
Puritans and himself a psalm-singing Presbyterian 
from the Bay State, he desired to own slaves, pur- 
chased two from brother otifieers, but failed to buy a 
woman from Agent Taliaferro. An officei' of the U. 
S. army, with a sworn duty to i)rotect American citi- 
zens and settlers, he was especially hostile to those 
about Fort Snelliug. He -had arrested and confined 
in the guard-house those well-meaning and God-fear- 
ing men, Abraham Perret, the Frent^h-Swiss watch- 
nuiki'i-, and Louis Massie, the Canadian farmer, and 
I'onlined them in the guard-house because their cattle 
broke into the enclosures of the Fort. Maj. Plymi)ton 
was typical of the then' commanders of the Fort, of 
whom Col. John II. Stevens, in an address before the 
Miinieapolis Lyceum, iu 1856, said: 

"At that time, as often before and since, the com- 
manding officers at tiie Fort were 'the Lords of the 
North.' They ruled supreme. The citizens iu the 
neighborhood of the Fort were at any time liable to be 
thrust into the guard-hous<'. While the commander 
of the Fort w-as the King, the officers were the princes, 
and persons were deprivd of their liberty and 
impi'isoned by these tyrants for the most trivial wrong, 
or even for some imaginai'y ofTense." 

It was perhaps not best that ^laj. Plympton should 
have been in couunand at Fort Snelliug at any time; 
it cei'taiidy was not well that he had that authority 
in 1837-38-30 and that he inaugurated and enforced 
a particularly unjust and hai-mful policy. 

In October, 1837, by order of Major Plympton, a 
survey was made by Lieutenant Ephraim Kirby 
Smith.* The white inhabitants iu the vicinity of the 
Fort were found to number 157. On the Fort Snell- 
iug side, in what was called Baker's settlemeul, 
(around the old Camp Coldwater) and at Massie 's 
Landing, (three or four cabins strung along under the 
blull) there were 82 people; on the south side of the 
Jliunesota, including those at the Fur Company 's 
establishments presided over by Sibley, Alex. Fari- 
bault, and Antoine Le Claire, there were 75. Seven 
families were living opposite the Fort, on the east 
bank of the Slississippi, and the head of one of them 
was Francois Desire, alias Francois Fronchet, who 
had been a soldier under Napoleon and also of the 
American army, mustered out from the latter service 
at Fort Suelling. He was iu the service of Nicollet 
when the latter made his explorations in this quarter. 
Lieut. Smith further reported that the settlers had 
"nearly 200 horses and cattle.'' 

In transmitting Lieut. Smith's report to the War 
Department Maj. Plympton indicated his determina- 
tion to eject the settlers from the reserve, alleging 
that they were cousinning the wood on the tract 
which was needed by the garrison. The Secretary 
thought Plympton must know best, ami directed him 
to mark over on a map an area of land necessary to 
be reserved. In IMarch, 1838, he traaismitted such a 
map and upon it was marked an extensive tract, 
embracing a considerable quantity of land on the 
east side — now- the St. Paul side — of the Mississipjii. 

About the same time Plympton wrote and caused 
other letters to be written to the Department favor- 
ing a large reservation. Writing himself, he declared 
that the interests of the military post (the future of 
the country and the welfare of the people being tlis- 
regarded) demanded the reservation he had marked 
on his map. Surgeon John Emerson (Dred Scott's 
owner) wrote, in April, that the reservation ought to 
be "twenty miles square, or to the mouth of the 
St. Croix River." 

In July (1838) following, Plymjiton ordered away 
all the settlers from the reserve. Ilis order forbade: 

"All persons not attached to the military from 
erecting any building or buildings, fence or fences, 
or cutting timber for any but for public use within 
said line, which has been surveyed and forwarded to 
the War Department subject to the final decision 
thereof. 'Sly order must, as a matter of right, more 
particularly aliiule to jiersons urging themselves 
within the lines at this tinu\" 

Meanwhile the settlers had not been idle and 
unconcerned. About the time of the making of the 
treaties, in 1837, they had a hint that they were to be 
turned out of and awa.v from their homes and from 
the reservation as soon as the treaties w-ent into effect. 
Thereupon they sent a memorial to President Van 
Buren upon the subject of their ini|)ei-iled situation. 
They said that they had settled upon lands which they 

* A Connecticut man, a West Pointer, killoii at Molino (let 
Rev. in tlie ^texican War. He I'as sometimes lieen cont'onmleiJ 
with Kdinnnd Kirby Smith, who liecamc a prominent Confed- 
erate general. 



were assured belonged to the public domain; that 
they had only exercised the privileges extended to 
them by the benign and salutary laws under whose 
operation other parts of the Western country had 
been peopled ; that they had erected houses and culti- 
vated fields upon the tracts they occupied ; that many 
of them had large families of children that had no 
other homes; that the labor of years had been 
invested in these homes, and they appealed to the 
President for protection in them. They further asked 
that, if in the pending treaty the lauds they occupied 
should be purchased from the Indians for a military 
reservation and they ejected from them, then, and in 
that case, a provision should be inserted in the treaty 
providing for a just payment to them for their 

This memorial seems to have been prepared by 
H. H. Sibley and among its many signers (some of 
whom could not write) were Louis Massie, Abraham 
Perret, Peter Quiun, Antoine Pepin, Duncan Graham, 
Oliver Cratte, Joseph Bisson, Louis Dirgulee, Jacob 
Falstrom, and Joseph Reasche. Numerous descend- 
ants of the first seven named now live in the State. 
Jacob Falstrom, subsequently connected with the 
Methodist missionary service, and who was married 
to a Chippewa woman, was the first Swede to perma- 
nently settle in Minnesota. All the signers were white 
men but all those named except Perret and Jlassie 
had Indian wives. 

Yet the impassioned remonstrances of the settlers 
were without avail. No provision to pay them for 
the improvements they had made was inserted in 
eitlier of the treaties, and they were commanded to 
abandon their homes and little farms and go across 
the river, to the east side, into the Territory of Wis- 
consin, and outside of the reservation. Some of them 
left during the summer of 1838: a few left the 
country entirely, going down to Prairie du Chien. 
Those who remained did so in the hope that there 
would be an intervention in their favor — that some- 
thing would turn up. Certain influential persons 
endeavored to have Maj. Plympton become satisfied 
with the departure of several settlers, and for a time 
he was quiet and let those who had remained dwell 
in peace in their humble homes. 

But in 1839 Plympton broke out again. He declared 
that all settlers sliould be driven from the reserva- 
tion at the muzzle of the musket and point of the 
bayonet if necessary. The reason he assigned was 
that some of them were selling whisky on the east side 
of the river, and that therefore everybody on both 
sides should be driven away. Now, there was an 
illegal and very harmful liquor traffic being carried 
on by four I'stnblishmeiits east of the river. These 
were conducted by Theodore j\Ienk and "Nigger Jim" 
Thompson, on the east bank; Pierre Parrant, down at 
the Fountain Cave, and Donald McDonald, on the 
plateau back of the Cave. For this misconduct some 
40 or 50 innocent men and their families were 
expelled from their homes on the west side to make 
new homes on the east side. There were no excep- 

tions. The wife of Abraham Perry, good old "Aunt 
Mary Ann," was an accomplished and expert mid- 
wife, or accoucheuse, and the married ladies of the 
garrison at the Fort begged Plympton to allow her 
and her husband to remain, but the ofiSeer was 

The result was that the settlers went away from the 
west side of the river to the east side — though some 
of them did not go far enough eastward until in 1840, 
when they were again evicted by the U. S. Marshal 
from Prairie du Chien with two companies from Fort 
Snelling. The people were forced to move all their 
property away. The soldiers, under the direction of 
Marshal Ira B. Brunson, threw their furniture and 
other belongings out of their cabins and then burned 
the cabins. The settlers went down to about where 
the "Seven Corners" now are in St. Paul, and some 
of them farther below. The whisky sellers also moved 
farther down; Jlenk and "Nigger Jim" were closed 
up, but ilcDonald and Parrant kept on selling whisky. 


Had the unjust and unreasoning ]\Iajor Plympton 
(really he was only a brevet-major at the time) 
allowed the settlers to remain on the west side of the 
Mississippi, about Fort Snelling, what mighty and 
everlasting good would have been effected! 

The people he drove away formed a settlement 
which in time became St. Paul. Had Plympton 
allowed them to remain near Fort Snelling, their 
settlement would in time have become the nucleus of a 
great and powerful city extending from south of the 
Minnesota northward to beyond St. Anthony Fails 
and east and west from the Mississippi to beyond 
Lake Harriet. Within these boundaries would now 
be a solid, compact city ; suburbs would be beyond 
these borders. 

Fort Snelling, if not abolished, wonld now stand 
on the east side of the river. The State capitol build- 
ings would probably stand where Stephen A. Douglas 
wanted Ihem to stand, on that "heaven-kissing hill" 
which we call Pilot Knob, with the State House on 
the crest visible 50 miles away in every direction. 

There would be no St. Paul, no Twin Cities, but 
one great, magnificent city, larger by far and better 
in all respects than the aggregated cities as they 
now are. 

The 157 souls, "in no way connected with the mili- 
tary," which Lieut. E. K. Smith found in the fall of 
1837, were enough, with their 200 horses and cattle, 
to start a city with. The first plat, after old St. 
Anthony, might have been laid out near Fort Snell- 
ing, but in time it would have extended clear up to 
the Falls. 

But for the ungenerous and even tyrannical dispo- 
sition of Major Joseph Plympton. dressed in his lirief 
authority, Minneapolis might today, or in the near 
future, be a strong rival of Chicago. It is a very 
good and a very great city as it stands ; perhaps there 
is no use in making it any better, but it may well be 
made greater. 



claim-making follows treaty r.vtification franklin steele makes the first legal land claims at st. 

Anthony's falls — who his associates were — building the first mill on the east side — the work op 

development proceeds slowly for want of a little money first homes and occupants at st. 

anthony — the country and the general situation in 1847, etc., etc. 

Among all the white men that came to Minnesota 
prior to 1840 only the refugees from Red River and 
perhaps four missionaries came with the intention of 
making liomes, identifying themselves with the coun- 
try, and remaining permanently. All the rest had 
come as transients, as soldiers, as traders, as employes, 
under engagements for a certain length of time, and 
wlien this time expired they expected to and generally 
did leave the country. A few voyageurs and other 
engagees of the fur company aiul a few discharged 
soldiers from Fort Snelling concluded to remain and 
take chances. They had no settled purposes in life or 
abiding places, and might as well be one place as 
another. Like most of their comrades and associates, 
tliey were mere birds of passage, flitting from one 
locality to another, and never resting long on any 

One reason why the duration of the existence of 
these people in Jlinnesota was, practically speaking, 
merely ephemeral, was because they could not make 
jiermanent homes worthy of the name. They could 
not marry according to their tastes and ideals, and a 
home withnut a wife is practically no home. Thei'e 
were no nuirriageable white women in the country — ■ 
or but very few — and to many a. white man the idea 
of miscegenation or union with a woman of an alien 
and barbaric race was disagreeable, if not repulsive. 
Yet it was an Indian wife or none ! It is the natural 
desire of men to perpetuate their names through their 
children. And some men insisted that theirs should 
be white children only, and so they left the region 
where there were no white women and went elsew'here. 

Other men selected Indian women for wives and 
had children by them. Uniformly, with hardl.v an 
exception, these Indian women made most excellent 
wives for their husbands. They were chaste and 
pure; they were domestic and affectionate; they were 
industrious and economical ; they loved their hus- 
bands and children devotedly and would make any 
sacrifice for them. Some of the best people in Minne- 
sota are the descendants of early mixed-blood families, 
and the women as a rule manifest the exemplary traits 
of their Indian grandmothers. 


In 1840 one might count on the fingers of his hands 
the men in the Minnesota country with money, or 
resources convertible into money on sight, to the value 

of $5,000. The wealthiest man was Franklin Steele, 
who probably could command $15,000. Sibley, the 
trader, was working for a salary of $1,000 a year and 
house rent and a percentage of the profits of the Fur 
Company above a certain sum ; sometimes this commis- 
sion amounted to $1,500, but generally to about half 
that amount, and sometimes it was nothing. Joseph 
R. Brown had some means ; but his operations were so 
diversified, and he moved from one place to another 
so frei|uently, that it was difficult to keep track of 
him, and to ti'll what he was worth at any i)articular 
time. The mill men had a snug sum in the aggregate, 
but perhaps their average wealth per man did not 
exceed $5,000. By combining, they were able to build 
a mill and conduct lumbering operations at St. Croix 

But no comhiiMtion of men could be found with 
disposition and capital to build adequate mills at St. 
Anthonij's Falls. Franklin Steele had to do the work 
practicalhj alone. 


Steele and Joseph R. Brown were the most promi- 
nent of the men in the St. Peter's country who were 
determined to make ^Minnesota their pennanent homes. 
Sibley, a few years before his death, told the present 
writer that in 1840 he had no thought of passing the 
remainder of his days here. As soon as he had secured 
a comfortal)le "stake" from his business in the fur 
trade he meant to return to Detroit and settle down. 
He did not think the country would be any farther 
developed in fifty years, or by the year 1890, than the 
region in Canada north of Lake Superior. 

Brown said he would stay. There were so many 
chances for an energetic man. Grain could be grown 
successfully here, for he bad grown it. The country 
was finely adapted to stock raising, to growing corn, 
and to raising all kinds of vegetables ; hence it would 
be a farmer's country. The vast forests of the best 
pine timber were practically inexhaustible : the water 
power was incalculable and would last forever. A 
great deal of the country could be reached by steam- 
boats, and all these things woiild nmke a country of 
cities and towns and a large, thrifty population. (See 
Brown's letter to B. II. Eastman, Sibley papers."* 

Soon after the treaties of 1S.']7 had been ratified. 
Brown planned the creation of a new Territory of the 




United States, whieli was to comprise a great deal of 
the country west of the Chippewa River in Wisconsin 
and north of the Iowa boundary, and this Territory 
was to be called ^linnesota, for its principal river, 
wholly within the State. In the prosecution of this 
plan iie went to the present site of Stillwater in 1839, 
laid out the first town, which he called "Dakotah," 
and wiiicli he designed sliould be the eapitol of the 
new Tcri-itory, and he built a huge two-story log 
building which he expected would be the eapitol 

Steele believed that the timber and water power of 
the country alone insured its fviture, and he was 
determined to venture his existence in that future. 
Although a young man, and without experience in 
milling or a.s a lumberman, he resolved to build big 
saw mills at St. Anthony and St. Croix and run them 
in connection with his .sutler store at Fort Snelling. 


In 1836, before the land was subject to entry, the 
Indian title not having been relinquished, Major 
Joseph Plvmpton, Capt. ]\Iartin Scott, and another 
officer of tile Fifth U. S. Infantry from Fort Sneiling, 
made "claims" to a tract of land on the east side of 
the river, at St. Anthony 's Falls, and built a log cabin 
upon it. jMaj. Plympton liad succeeded Ma.j. John 
Bliss in command of the Fort, and subsequently drove 
away the settlers from the Fort reservation. In 1837 
Serg(>ant Nathaniel Carpenter, also of the Fifth 
Infantry, made a "claim" adjoining the Plympton 

Although it was illegal for a military officer to pre- 
empt land while holding a military commission, yet 
Maj. Plympton and his a.ssociates continued to claim 
their lands until after the time of the ratification of 
the treaty, or in Jul.y, 1838, and they were called "the 
Plvmpton claim" hv manv as late as in 1845. About 
the 16th of July, 1838, however. Frank Steele 
"jumped" the claim and continued to hold it. 

i\lr. Steele had spent the winter of 1837-38 in Wash- 
ington, endeavoring to secure the ratification of the 
Indian treaties. He returned from St. Louis to Fort 
Sni'lling June 13, 18.38, on the steamboat Burlington, 
Capt. Joseph Throckmorton. Among his fellow pas- 
.seiigcrs were Benj. F. Baker ("old Blue Beard''), a 
trader at Fort Snelling or "Coldwater"; Capt. Fred- 
erick IMarryat, the novelist, but then of the British 
navy, and Gen. Atkinson, of the U. S. army. The next 
day after their arrival the entire party rode up to 
the Falls of St. Anthony. 

Five days later, on June 18, came the steamer Ariel, 
also from St. Louis. One of its passengers, a Mr. 
Beebee, ainiounced that when be left there was a 
"rumor" current in St. Louis that the treaties had 
been ratified. The "rumor" was premature, for tlu^ 
ratification was not made until three days before the 
Ariel arrived at Fort Snelling. It was generally 
believed, however, and created much interest among 
Steele, Brown, and others who had already made 
"claims" to certain sites. 


The night of the arrival of the Palmyi'a (July 15) 
ilr. Steele made due preparations and set out from 
Fort Snelling for the Plympton claim at the north 
end of the 1* alls. He cro.sscd the river at the Fort, 
went up on the east side, and at daylight had his tent 
pitched on the claim, and with his men went to work 
making '■improvements." Capt. Martin Scott, one of 
the partners in the Plympton claim, appeared on the 
west side of the Falls about the time Steele appeared 
on the east side. The captain had come up to "cinch" 
the title of the partners to the claim by occupying 
and "working" it; but he did not succeecl in crossing 
the river until Steele and his forces were securely in 
adverse possession and boasting of the fact. 

Capt. Scott protested against Steele's "jumping" 
tactics. He pointed to the cabin built by Plympton 
the year before as evidence of prior ownership of the 
claim by the partners. But Steele confidently replied: 
"You and Major Plympton know full well that you 
have no good claim to this site. You made your claim 
to it a year before it was subject to claiming; and, 
moreover, the law is plain and imperative that army 
officers are wholly incapable of either claiming or pre- 
empting land while they are in the military service. 
You have neither a moral or a legal claim here." 

The officer had to admit the correctness of Steele's 
position and retired. Jlr. Steele soon had another 
cabin readj' in which to receive visitors, and in a little 
while, late as was the season, planted a few vegetables. 
He placed a French-Canadian voyageur named La 
Gnie and his wife in ciiarge, and they so remained 
until the fall of 1839, when a sad tragedy terminated 
their occupancy. 


Mrs. La Grue may have had a little Indian blood 
in her veins, but she was almost white in appearance. 
La Grue was a good sportsman and fond of hunting 
and fishing. Returning from a hunting trip, at the 
time mentioned, he found his cal)in burned to the 
ground, with everything it had contained, and the 
charred body of his wife lay among the smoking ruins. 
How the house came to take fire, or why ]\Irs. La Grue 
did not save her.self, was never explained. There were 
no witnesses and the dead woman could tell no tales. 
No censure was ever placed upon the husband, how- 

After gazing upon his loss for a little time. La Grue 
started to cross the river below the Falls in an efi:'ort 
to reach the old Government mill, where he hoped to 
pass the night, before going to j\Ir. Steele with a 
report of his loss. But on the bluff, where the Univer- 
sity buildings now stand, he encountered a war party 
of Chippewas, hidden and in bivouac in the dense 
grove of oaks. They had .slipped down from ^lille 
Lacs and hoped to surprise some unwary Sioux from 
about Fort Snelling and take their scalps. They, 
however, received La Grue kindly, commiserated him 
because of his misfortune and bereavement, and enter- 
tained him as best they could, aiding him to cross the 
river next morning. 



It was believed by many that this band of Chip- 
pewas were the murderers of La Urue's wife and the 
incendiaries tliat first plundered and then burned his 
cabin. Why they did not kill hiiu wliere they found 
liini cannot be explained. A few weeks after the 
tragedy. La Grue left the country and never returned. 
Mrs. La G rue's death was the first of a person living 
in cirilization on the present site of Minneapolis. 
The (late was in tlic fall of 1S39, probably in October. 


A singularly incorrect version of Frank Steele's 
occupation of the Plympton claim has frequently been 
made and printed. It is said tliat when Mr. Steele 
made his claim it was mid-winter and very cold ; that 
he crossed the Mississippi on tlie ice; that he built a 
board sliack and "planted" potatoes in the snow, etc., 
etc. Even the late Gen. R. W. Johnson, of St. Paul, 
who was 'Sir. Steele's brother-in-law, and was pre- 
sumed to know the facts, gives the version above in 
his otherwise historically correct Ft. Snelling sketch 
which appears in Volume 8 of the State Historical 
Society's "Collections." The fact that Steele 
".jumped" the Plympton claim Ji;ly 16, (the next 
day after the arrival of tlie steamboat Palmyra at 
Fort Snelling) makes it impossible that the arctic con- 
ditions mentioned in Gen. Johnson's account could 
have existed when the noted pioneer made his claim. 

.\fter La Grue left the country, heart broken over 
the fate of his wife. Charles Landr.v, (or Laundry) 
another Frencli-Canadian voyageur, was, according 
to the best evidence obtainable, placed in charge of 
the Steele claim. It seems that La Grue had lived in 
the cabin built b.v Plympton and Scott, and this hav- 
ing been burned Landry occupied the one built by 
Steele. A postscript to a note from Steele to Sibley 
dated in December, 1839. sa.vs : "Do not let C. Lan- 
diy have anything on my account without a written 

Landry was not as faithful a steward as La Grue 
had been. He was wont to ab.sent himself from the 
Steele claim frequentl.y and remain away for days. 
It was the rule, if not the law, that the occupation l)y 
a claimant i by himself or agent) of a claim must be 
continuous. If he was absent from it 24 hours, it 
might be, during his absence, held and occupied by 
another. On one occasion when Landry, after an 
absence of some days, returned to his cabin he found 
it (X'iMipied liy James (or Theodore) Menk. (or ]Menke 
oi- Jlink) the afore-mentioned discharged soldier and 
whisky seller. Jim JMenk was as daring as he was 
unscrupulous. He sat with a rifle ])etween his knees 
and swore he would "blow out the brains" of any 
man that attcmiited to enter the cabin or to possess 
tile claim against him ! 

In great alarm and distress L;inili'y left Menk and 
hurried to Mr. Steele and reported the forcible entry 
and detainer of the bold, bad Englishman. Steele 
promptly and vigorously kicked Landry from his pres- 
ence for his negligence and faithlessness, and then 
proceeded to make terms with Jim .Menk. He was 
forced to pay Jim $200 in cash and $100 in store 
goods to relinquish the claim. Mr. Steele then decided 

to put on the claim the head of a family as his agent 
and steward, so that when the agent was oti the 
claim .some member of his family would remain to 
hold it. 

So Stole sent over- from the Fort, Jcseph Reasche, 
another Canailian, with an Indian wife, w-ho was 
industrious, faithful, and prolific. She had five sons 
and two daughters. Keasche had been a trader's 
assistant, and even a trader, among the Sioux, and 
was well known in the country. He could read, write, 
and cast accounts, while nearly every one of his asso- 
ciates couUI, like Jack Cade, thank God that he could 
do neither, but signed his name with a mark, "like an 
honest, plain-dealing man.'" But among them all "the 
wonder grew" that one snudi head, like Joe Reasche 's, 
could "carry all he knew." Reasche died at his home 
in North St. Anthony in 1854. Landry died near 
Bottineau Prairie in 1853. 

So that, without counting Charles Wilson, tlie first 
four white men to reside on any part of the present 
site of ^Minneapolis were La Grue, James Menk, 
Charles Landry, and Joseph Reasche — not taking into 
account the men that lived in the little house at the 
Government mill, on the south side of the river; for 
they were soldiers and their home — if it be proper to 
call it a home — was properly Fort Snelling. And tlie 
occupation of these people was in 1838 and 1839. It 
may well be borne in mind that at the beginning of the 
year 1840 there were but three human dwellings here, 
and one was the hut at the Government mill ; one was 
Steele's log hut occupied ])y Keasche and famil.v. and 
the other was a log hut on the Carpenter & (^>uiini 
claim, north of Steele's, occupant now unknown. 


Ml'. St.*ele"s claim (the old Pl.vmjjton claim) was 
noted in the written claim as "bountled on the north 
by a line beginning at a large cedar tree, situated on 
the east bank of the river," opposite the Falls, and 
"running thence in right angles to the river" to an 
indefinite extent. The first boundary lines of the 
claims were almost admirably luicertain and confused. 
If the land had been wortli -$100 a square foot, as it 
is to-day. perhaps the claimants would have been more 

Sergeant Nathaniel Carpenter's claim, which has 
been alluded to as having been made in 1837, before 
the treaties were ratified, was l)()undcd, "on the south 
b.v the claim of Majoi' J. Plympton," and on the west 
"by the river." The northern and eastern bounds 
bafWe description and understanding, but the whole 
tract was to "contain about 320 acres." The two 
claims of Steele and Carpenter comprised all the lands 
on the east side of the Falls then considered worth 

On November 3, 1838, Sergeant Carpenter trans- 
ferred a half interest in his claim to Thomas Brown, 
for a consideration of $25. Brown is described in the 
certificate of transfer as "Private Thomas Brown, of 
Compan.v A, Fifth United Stati's Infantry." One- 
half of 360 acres of I\Iinneai)olis town site for $25! 
A log house was soon after built on the claim by the 



joint owners. It was situated near the river, on land 
between what are now Third and Fourth Avenues 
Northeast. The certificate (still owned by the heirs 
of the late John B. Bottineau) states that the land 
referred to is "in the County of Crawford, and Terri- 
tory of Wisconsin;" it is dated at "Fort Snelling, 
Iowa Territory," and is signed by Nathaniel Car- 
penter, in the presence of George W. P. Leonard. 
Who occupied the Carpenter cabin is not known. 

May 6, 18-iO, Thomas Brown transferred his inter- 
est in the claim to Peter Quinn, who was described as 
"of St. Peter, Iowa Territory." The deed of transfer, 
which is attached to the deed from Carpenter to 
Brown, is signed by Brown and witnessed by Norman 
W. Kittson, then a young fur trader at the Cold 
Spring, near Fort Snelling. Kittson wrote his name, 
but Brown, who would have been described by Jack 
Cade as "an honest, plain-dealing man," could not 
write, but made his X mark. 

Kittson was born in Lower Canada in 1814 and 
came to Fort Snelling in 1834. Later in life he set- 
tled in St. Paul and became very wealthy, prominent, 
and influential in Northwestern commercial life. He 
died in 1888. Peter Quinn was born in Ireland and 
came to Fort Snelling in 1824 from Winnipeg : his 
half-blood Cree Indian wife (maiden name Mary 
Louise Findley) came the following winter on snow- 
shoes, losing her baby en route in a storm. Quinn 
became a trader's clerk, Sioux and Chippewa inter- 
preter, Indian farmer, etc., at Fort Snelling and was 
acting as Indian interpreter for the Minnesota volun- 
teers when he was killed at Redwood Ferry, Aug. 
18, 1862, at the beginning of the great Sioux Out- 

ilay 1, 184.5, Peter Quinn sold his interest in the 
claim to Samuel J. Findley and Roswell P. Russell. 
The transfers were very loosely made, without seals 
and without naming a consideration. While Quinn 
had become entitled to an undivided half, in his deed 
to Finley and Russell he attempts to divide the claim 
and describes the part sold as "half of claim — say, 
north portion." But nobody questioned the deed 
then. Findley (or Finley) was a Canadian Scotch- 
man and at the time he bought the Quinn interest he 
was a clerk in Steele's sutler store at Fort Snelling; 
the following year (1846) he married Quinn 's daugh- 
ter, Jlargaret ; subsequently he ran the ferry at Fort 
Snelling for many years. He died in 1855. Russell 
came to Fort Snelling with Henry M. Rice, in 1839. 
He established the first store in Minneapolis, was 
receiver of the land office, and became a very promi- 
nent and useful citizen. 

JMay 9, 1846, Findley and Russell deeded their 
interest to Pierre Bottineau, (often pronounced 
Burch-e-noe) one of the most honorably noted mixed- 
bloods in Minnesota. The deed to Bottineau describes 
the property as, " a certain tract of United States land 
in the Territory of Wisconsin, St. Croix County, on 
the Mississipi)i Rivrr, above the Falls of St. Anthony, 
containing one hundred and sixty (160) acres, more 
or less." The consideration is named as .$150. The 
deed was written by Joseph R. Brown, and of course 
is in correct and proper form. It is witnessed by 

Brown and Philander Prescott. Mention has already 
been made that Brown made the first "claim" to land 
in Hennepin County, selecting a tract on Minnehaha 
Creek, near its mouth. Prescott was long connected 
with the Government sendee at Fort Snelling, as 
Indian farmer, etc. Although his wife was one of 
their tribe and he had children by her, he was mur- 
dered by the Sioux on the upper Minnesota, the first 
day of the outbreak of 1862. 


Pierre Bottineau had come to Fort Snelling in 1837, 
with Martin McLeod, (for whom a eounty is named) 
having lost two companions on the way. The men 
lost were two officers, who had been in the British 
military service and were coming into the United 
States from Winnipeg. One, Lieut. Hayes, was of 
Irish extraction ; the other, Lieut. Parys, was a Polish 
gentleman of long experience in military life. They 
were lost in a heavy blizzard west of Lake Traverse. 
Bottineau was the largest real estate owner in East 
Minneapolis for several years in the beginning. 

From the papers of J. B. Bottineau it has been 
learned that Pierre Bottineau became the owner of the 
remainder of the Carpenter claim in 1844, and thus 
came to own and control all of the original Carpenter 
tract of 320 acres. 

In 1842 came Eli Pettijohn, an Ohio man. He has 
resided in ilinneapolis nearly ever since, and now 
(July, 1914) still resides here, aged 96. Strangely 
enough, his name is given in Warner & Foote's, Hud- 
son's, and At water's and other histories as "Petit 
John, " as if his family name were John and his Chris- 
tian name Petit. He made a claim south of Steele's 
claim, or down the river, where the University build- 
ings now stand. Ever since 1842 this noble old pioneer 
has lived continuously on the site of ilinneapolis and 
it is passing strange whj- the historians Atwater and 
Hudson have failed to make proper mention of him. 
In 1845 Pierre Bottineau purchased Pettijohn 's claim 
and then was, by odds, the largest landholder in the 
locality. His possessions extended down the river, 
or eastward, almost indefinitely. 

The same year that Eli Pettijohn made his claim, 
or in 1842, came another French-Canadian, Joseph 
Rondo (or Rondeau), and made a claim north of the 
Carpenter claim. He was a Red River refugee, and 
one of those evicted by ilaj. Plympton's order from 
the Fort Snelling reservation. He came up from 
down St. Paul way and made a claim with such uncer- 
tain boundaries that he was alwaj'S in trouble about 
them. He was 46 years of age then, and could not 
brook opposition from the younger men of the settle- 
ment. Then he was aggressive and troublesome, and 
was continually trying to encroach upon the Carpen- 
ter claim, especially upon Boom Island. 

In 1845, after Bottineau had bought the Pettijohn 
claim, he began to have trouble with Rondo, but 
settled it in a summary and effective way. Rondo had 
a claim down at "St. Paul's Landing," as it was then 
called, and spent some time upon it. One day, when 
he was absent from his St. Anthony claim, Bottineau 



and others tore down his little eabin and with a yoke 
of oxen hauled away the logs a mile or more north- 
ward and piled them up. Then Bottineau proceeded 
to "jump" the Rondo claim and hold it. Rondo gave 
over all attempts to get his claim back, and in the fall 
of 1845 settled permanently vn his St. Paul holdings. 
He lived at St. Paul the remainder of his life, died 
wealthy, and had a street named for him. 

In a subsequent controversy over land that had 
been included iu the original Rondo claim testimony 
was introduced to show that it was really included in 
the Frank Steele claim. Herewith is given a copy of 
a certificate, preserved among the Bottineau papers, 
which was introduced as evidence in the controversy 
referred to : 

"This is to certify that I helped James Mink to run 
certain lines on claims belonging to ^Ir. Mink (now 
said claim belonging to Mr. F. Steele) and one belong- 
ing to Jlr. QuiuD, lying on the east side of the ]\lissis- 
sippi River, near the Falls of St. Anthony. I do 
hereby further certify that the northern line of the 
claim, now belonging to S. J. Findley and R. P. Rus- 
sell, was run by me, in the year 183S, it then belong- 
ing to Mr. P. Quinn. The said line was marked to 
commence on a large elm tree, near the shore, above 
the small island in the Mississippi River opposite said 
claiming. The said nortliern line was marked accord- 
ing to law. The trees were all in a line, running due 
northeast from the river, or from above said elm tree, 
and were blazed on all four sides as well as could be 
done then. 

"This is further to certify that, according to the 
way the above said northern line of said claim was 
drawn, that Joseph Rondo has no claim whatever to 
it ; that said Rondo drew his line inside of the above 
said line, some two or three years after. 

"Sept. 9th, 18-t5. Witness: Peter Ilayden. 

''Bcrptistc S pence." 

(For an interesting and generally correct account 
of these early land claims at St. Anthony, now East 
Minneapolis, see Warner & Foote's History of Henne- 
pin County, 1881, chap. 5.5; also, John H. Stevens's 
"Minnesota and Its People.") 


In 1845 the former Petti.iohn was occupied 
by Baptiste Turpin, a French half-breed voyageur, 
though the claim was still owned by Pierre Bottineau. 
Paschal and Sauverre St. Martin, Canadian-French- 
men, came this year and made a claim below the 
Pettijohn claim, which extended down the river below 
what is now East Washington Avenue and perhaps 
Riverside Park. 

The population of Minneapolis in 1845 was prob- 
ably 50. AVe may speak of the place as Afinneapnlis, 
although it then had, properly considered, neither "a 
local habitation or a name." It had not been chris- 
tened or even laid out. The place comprised a few 
log cabins scattered along the east side of the river 
and the head of the household in each case, with but 
one exception, was a French-Canadian or a French- 
Indian. All of them were cither guarding their own 

claims or those of employers. Old 


was living at the Government mill, on the west bank of 
the river, but he was a soldier and an Irishman. 
Chas. Wilson, an ex-soldier from the Fort and long in 
the employ of Steele as a teamster, was a white man 
and born in Maryland; he held Steele's claim for him 
at intervals, but the greater part of the time was 
engaged in teaming. His wife died in 1838 and when 
he became a single man, his home was under his hat, 
wherever that was, and lie spent the most of his time 
at Fort Snelling. Col. Stevens and Judge Atwater, 
however, considered him the first American settler. 
Only one house in the place had a shingled roof, and 
that was Steele's eabin, which was occupied by Joseph 
Reasche. The other roofs wei-e of elm bark or birch 
bark or sod. 


In 1842 the east side of the river at the Falls was 
practically an unbroken forest, with little clearings 
about the cabins. Nicollet Island was covered with 
magnificent sugar maples, and for successive years, 
until the trees were cut downi, three or fouj* sugar 
camps were opened by the families living near. These 
sugar makers were invariably assisted by Indian 
women from Cloud Man's and Good Road's villages. 
As the trees were on an island constantly surrounded 
by water, their roots drew up plenty of moisture at 
all times and in the .spring the sap was very abundant 
and sweet and never failed. Considerable iiuantities 
of sugar were made each spring, although the machin- 
ery was primitive and rude. Birch-bark pans caught 
the sap as it flowed from gashes in the trees made with 
axes, and it was boiled down and reduced first to 
syrup and then to sugar in kettles swung from a pole 
supported by forked sticks. The presence of flakes 
of ashes, bits of dead leaves, etc., did not atl'ect the 
taste of the sugar, which indeed was verj^ toothsome. 


The west side was then Indian country and back 
from the river to the Indian villages and mission sta- 
tion on Lake Calhoun and on to Fort Snelling was a 
stretch of prairie, with oases of timber and brush- 
wood and grass-bordered lakes here and there. In 
the spring of 1847, when John IT. Stevens first visited 
the locality, he was impressed with it and in his 
"i\[innesota and Its People" (pp. 20 et seq.) he de- 
scribes it as he then saw it: 

"From the mouth of Crow River to the western 
bank of the Falls of St. Anthony was an unbroken but 
beautified wilderness. With the exception of the old 
military building, [the Oovernment mill] on the bank, 
opposite Spirit Island, there was not, — and, for aught 
I know, never had been — a [white man's] house, or a 
sign of [white] habitation, on the west bank of the 
^Mississippi from Crow River to a mile or two below 

"The scenery was picturesque, with woodland, 
prairies, and oak openings. Cold springs, silvery 
lakes, and clear streams alioundcd. Except the niili- 



tary reservation, from what is now known as Bassett's 
Creek to the mouth of the St. Peter's River, the laud 
all belonged to the Sioux Indians, and we were tres- 
passers when we walked upon it. 

"We were particularly charmed with the lay of the 
land on the west bank of the Falls, which includes the 
present site of Minneapolis. A few Indians belong- 
ing to Good Road's band had their tepees up, and 
were living teinijorarily in them, in the oak-opeuiugs 
on the hill a little west of the landing of the old ferry. 
There was an eagle's nest in a tall cedar on Spirit 
Island, and the birds that occupied it seemed to dis- 
pute our right to visit the crags below the Palls * * * 
"Many Government mule wMgons from Port Snell- 
ing, loaded with supplies for Port Gaines, were ford- 
ing the broad, smooth river near the brink of the 
trembling Falls. Here the dark water turned white 
and with a roar leaped into 'the boiling depth and 
gurgled on its rapid way to the Gulf of Mexico. 

"The banks of the river above the Palls were 
skirted with a few pines, some white birch, many 
hard maples, and several elms, with many native 
grape vines climbing over them, (which formed 
delightful bowers) up to the first creek above the 
Palls. The table land back from the river was cov- 
ered with oak. There were some thickets of hazel 
and prickly pear. On the second bench, below the 
Palls, from a quarter to a half mile back, there was 
a dense growth of poplar [Populus tremuloides, or 
quaking aspen] that had escaped the annual prairie 
fires. These trees were very pretty on that spring 
day, with the foliage just bursting from the buds. 

"Here and there were fine rolling prairies, of a 
few acres in extent, in the immediate neighborhood 
of the Palls ; but toward Minnehaha the prairies were 
two or three miles long and extended to Lake Calhoun 
and Lake Harriet. Near the Falls was a deep slough 
of two or three acres. It was seeirdngly bottomless. 
This and a few deep ravines and grassy pouds were 
the only things to mar the beauty of the scene around 
the Pails. 

"On the old road, from the west side landing to the 
rapids where teams crossed the river, [the ford being 
.iust below Spirit Island — Compiler.] was a fine large 
spring witli a copious flow of clear cold water. It 
seemed to be a place of summer resort for Indians and 
soldiers. Large linden trees, with wide-spreading 
branches, made a grateful shade. In after years the 
water of the spring was much used by the early set- 
tlers. Picnic parties were common in those days from 
Fort Snelling. The officers, with ladies, would come 
up and spend the long, hot days in the shade of the 
trees and drink the cool spring water. 

"For many years after 1821 all the beef cattle 
required for the Fort were pastured, wintered, and 
slaughtered near the old Government buildings. The 
locality to the wi'st of the Fort, in the gi-owing sea- 
sons, was often so covered with cattle that it seemed 
more like a New England or Middle States pasture 
■ than the border of a vast wilderness. 

"On the way from the Falls to Fort Snelling, about 
half way to Little Falls (Minnehaha) creek was a 
lone tree. It was a species of poplar [perhaps cotton- 

wood] and had escaped the prairie fires. Its trunk 
was full of bullet holes. This was the only landmark 
then on the prairie between Minnehaha Falls and the 
west bank of the Falls of St. Anthony. It was far 
from being a pretty tree, but it served an excellent 
purpose during the winter months, when the Indian 
trail was covered with snow, and there is not a pioneer 
that had occasion to use the old trail in the winter who 
will not hold it in grateful remembrance." 


According to other settlers, Col. Stevens's descrip- 
tion of Minneapolis in the fall of 1847 was fairly 
faitliful and certainly not overdrawn. It is well to 
contrast the appearance of JMinneapolis in 1847, the 
year before any portion of its site was legally and 
fully acquired, with its condition in 1914. 

Visitors arriving on foot — a very common mode of 
travel in those days from the Fort to the cataract — 
obtained their first view of the Palls from the high 
grounds where now the University buildings stand. 
At this point, according to the late Gov. Marshall and 
others, they would halt and take in the fine view 
presented to the west and north. 

The Palls themselves constituted the central feature 
and the principal attraction. The i-iver seemed to 
leap over the rocks and fall 25 or 30 feet to the foot 
of a precipice which extended in nearly a straight line 
from Hennepin Island to the east ])ank, forming a 
gentle curve from tlie Island to the west bank. With 
a full current in the river, the roaring of the plung- 
ing waters seemed to almost threaten the solid land. 
In the mist which rose above them, however, there 
appeared in the sunshine a beautiful rainbow, a bow 
of promise that no danger was present or threatening, 
and that the traveler would be richly rewarded by a 
fui'tlier and closer approach. 

Just below tlie Falls, but showered by their spray, 
was the little green islet called "Spirit Island." Both 
this and Hennepin Island were covered with beautiful 
tamaracks and other evergreens. The Indian story 
of the suicide of Ampatu-Sapa-win, or the Black Day 
woman, has been referred to on preceding page.';. In 
general this story is true ; it is not a mere legend or 
tradition. The woman committed suicide and mur- 
dered her little children, by floating over the terrible 
cataract into the Maelstrom-like whirling waters 
below. The Indian assertion that the spirit of the 
wretched woman dwelt among the tamaracks, and 
that her apparition was often seen, and her voice as 
she wailed her death song often heard, cannot of 
course be certainly vouched for. 

On the east side of the river the banks sloped gently 
from the high lands above down to the bank of the 
river. Still farther eastward from the highlands was 
a level expanse varied by clusters of oak trees of low, 
scrubby growth, so that they looked like apple trees, at 
a distance, and the collection resembled an old orchard. 
Still farther to the east and nortlieast the expanse 
continued, back to the Rose Hills, with oases of oak 
and a considerable cranberry marsh intervening. 




On the west side a l)eautiful rolling prairie, virgin 
as when first created, stretched out beyond Cedar 
Lake. On the bank of tlie river, at the lower part of 
the Falls, was the old Governnient Mill and tlie 
miller's little hut adjoining. The mill had two depart- 
ments, one for sawing and the other for grinding. The 
latter liad but one run of buhrs — one old-fashioned 
granite millstone — and the gauge had to be altered 
when the miller changed from wheat to corn. There 
was only one saw in 1847, an upright. It did its work 
well, l)ut required great eare in its management, 
because if broken its replacement would bo diflicult. 
At a distance the buildings, with their gray, weather- 
stained surfaces, resembled piles of limestone. 

In 18-47 the Falls were nearly perpendicular for 
the most part, but the wall was irregular and broken, 
and on its crest upraised and broken rocks, against 
which parts of trees and other timber had lodged, 
were freciuent. Spirit Island, only a little way below 
the Falls, with its evergreen covering has long since 
disappeared. Cataract, Hennepin, and Nicollet 

Islands, then without names, were also densely 


Opposite the F'alls, but a little removed from the 
bank on the east side, stood the log cabin of Frank 
Steele, with a few acres of corn — one account says 
seven acres — growing in a fenced patch near it; its 
location was at what is now the corner of Second 
Avenue South and ]\Iain Street East. What was then 
called the block house was being built. Pierre Bot- 
tineau's liouse, on the hank of the river, above the 
head of Nicollet Island; Calvin A. Tuttle's claim 
shanty, near the ravine north of the University; 
Steele's house, then occupied by Luther Patch with 
his family, including his two pretty daughtei-s, Marion 
and Cora, and a few humlile cabins occupied by 
obscure Canadian Frenchmen, were all the human 
habitations in the little settlement which became 
Saint Anthony and is now the wealthy and highly 
improved seat of civilization sometimes called East 









Up to 18-48 the land in that part of modern Minne- 
apolis east of the Mississippi was not properly in mar- 
ket. The Indian title to it had been extinguished, but 
until it had been surveyed, and the survey recorded 
and notice of sale at the Land Office given, it could not 
be fully and legallj' acquired. It might be "claimed" 
before final acquirement, but if a ", jumper " went to 
the Land Office and entered the land so claimed and 
paid for it his title was supeiuor to that of the unfortu- 
nate claimant, or "squatter," as he was sometimes 

In 1847 President Polk establislied a Government 
Land Office at St. Croix Falls for the portion of Wis- 
consin Territory lying west of the St. Croix River. It 
will be borne in mind that at that time what is now the 
portion of Minnesota below Rum River and east of 
the Mississippi belonged to Wisconsin, and the coun- 
try west and south of the ^Mississippi practically was 
a part of Clayton County, Iowa. So that until 1849, 
when Minnesota Territory was organized, the portion 
of Minneapolis east of the big river was in Wisconsin. 
Gen. Saml. Leech, of Illinois, was appointed Receiver 
and C. S. Whitney Register of the St. Croix Land 
Office, which was where all the lands in the Minne- 
sota district and those in the Western Wisconsin dis- 
trict were to be sold. The country west of the 
Mississippi was Indian land. 

Considerable time was required to survey the lands 
— to lay them off into sections, town.ships. and ranges 
— and it was not until August 15. 1848, when the first 
tracts were offered for sale ; this sale continued for 
two weeks, but only 3,326 acres were sold, at the uni- 
form price of $1.25 an acre. The second sale com- 
menced September 15, and also continued for two 
weeks. At this latter sale were disposed the lands now 
comprised within the lower peninsula between the St. 
Croix and the Minnesota, including the town sites of 
St. Paul, St. Anthony (or East Mimieapolis") and 
Stillwater. Only a score or so of white settlers then 
lived outside of these towns. 

At that time, and for some years afterward, St. 
Paul was the commercial center of the Northwest. 
It had a store, a Catholic Church, a hundred or so 
inhabitants, largely French-Canadians by birth or 
descent, and waa known down tr> St. Louis as St. 

Paul's or St. Paul's Landing. St. Anthony — by 
which name the little settlement at the Falls was. 
known before it was laid out and regularly named — 
was not so important in 1848. It had neither store 
nor church. The citizens bought their goods at the 
sutler's store of "Mo-seer Steele," at Fort Snelling, 
and when they attended church (which, to tell the- 
truth, was not very often) the greater part of them 
knelt in Father Ravoux's and Father Lucian Galtier's- 
sei-viees in a part of their dwelling at Mendota. 
A few Catholics went to their duties down to the 
little log chapel M-hich good Father Galtier had built 
in 1841 and named St. Paul's, and which finally fur- 
nished the town its name. Every house in both St. 
Paul and St. Anthony was in 1848 of logs, but there- 
were as happy households in the two places then as- 

It was at the September land sales, as has been said, 
when the sites of St. Anthony, St. Paul, and Still- 
water were purchased from the Government. The 
only way of obtaining Government land then was 
by purchase ; the homestead law was not enacted until 
thirteen years later. To be sure the greater part of 
the claims had already been selected, occupied, and 
improved ; but no man could safely say that he owned 
his land until he had the Government's patent for 
it. There had been a little apprehension that "jump- 
ers" might appear at the sale and bid in some of 
the improved claims, but nothing of the kind was at- 
tempted. There were no speculators present at either 
the August or September sale. There was only one 
contra bid, which was in a friendly way between 
two settlers of Cottage Grove, Washington County, 
one bidding ten cents per acre more than the other. 

The most exciting period of the September sale was 
when the town site of St. Paul was offered. Some of 
the settlers who had selected lots and built cabins 
upon them were disturbed by a rumor that specula- 
tors would be present to bid on the homesteads which 
tlie bona fide settlers of St. Paul had selected. Trader 
Sibley had been selected as the agent of all the St. 
Paul settlers to bid in the lands they wanted, and pay 
for them. This he did to the general satisfaction ; in 
some instances he advanced the money to help out 
the impecunious home-seekers. Quite a number of 
St. Paul men accompanied him to the sale. 




45t ^i 

■ «#■ 


|p ^ 





In one of his " Reminiscences, " printed in the 
State Historical Society's "Collections," Gen. Sib- 
ley says: 

"I was selected by the actual settlers to bid off 
their portions of the laud for them, and when the 
hour for business had arrived my seat was invariably 
surrounded by a number of men with huge bludgeons. 
What this meant I could only surmise, but I should 
not have envied the fate of the individual that would 
have ventured to bid against me." 

In the case of St. Anthony there was no trouble 
and apparently no apprehension of any. Franklin 
Steele was practically the only bidder. A few others 
bid and secured lands, but seemingly they were bid- 
ding for i\Ir. Steele's interests, as it has been stated, 
and not denied, that soon after the land sale he owned 
a tract extending from University Avenue to the 
northern limits of St. Anthony village, another tract 
at the upper end of the village, and all of Boom 
Island. It seems from the records that he took meas- 
ures to secure for himself such lands as he thought 
most valuable, particularly the site of his mill, and 
that for some reason he employed others to purchase 
and hold certain claims and then transfer them to 

Steele's mill dam completed 

In the spring of 1847 Wm. A. Cheever made a 
claim near the present site of the University. He had 
an acquaintance with certain men of Boston then 
regarded as wealthy, and through him and his brother, 
Benjamin Cheever, Mr. Steele conducted negotiations 
for the purchase of a portion of tlie water-power of 
St. Anthony Falls at the site of Steele's projected 
mill, tlie money received to be applied to the erec- 
tion of the mill. On the 10th of July the deal was 
closed, and Steele transferred nine-tenths of the 
water-power owned by him to Caleb Cushing, Robert 
Rantoul, and others, of Boston, for a consideration of 

As soon as the money was promised measures were 
at once taken for the erection of a mill. Mr. Ard 
Godfrey, of the Penobscot country in Maine, an ex- 
perienced millwright, was secured to superintend its 
construction, and he arrived on the ground in the 
spring of 1847. Before Godfrey's arrival, however, 
considerable work had been done on .what was called 
the dam. Jacob Fisher, who liad worked for Steele 
over on the St. Croix, directed the construction of 
the water power and other preliminary work before 
Godfrey's arrival. The dam was not fully completed 
until in the spring of 1848. 


In the first part of this year (1847) St. Anthony 
(or perhaps we should say Minneapolis) had its first 
business boom. Work was commenced on the mill and 
carried well along, the money to assure its completion 
was promised, and what was considered a large num- 
ber of settlers came to the place. A few of the names 
have been lost, but the following list is worth looking 
at and preserving. Besides Ard Godfrey, who came 

late in tlie fall, there were Wra. A. Cheever, Robert 
W. Cummings, Caleb D. Dorr, Sumner W. Farnham, 
Samuel Ferrald, John McDonald, Wm. R. Marshall, 
Joseph M. ^larshall, Luther P. Patch, Edward Patch, 
John Rollins, R. P. Russell, Daniel Stanchfield, Chas. 
W. Stimpson, and Calvin A. Tuttle. 

One account says that Cheever came to Minnesota 
in December, 1846, but it seems that he did not set- 
tle in St. Anthony until in the spring of 1847. 

As before stated, Luther Patch occupied Steele's 
log house, with his family, which included his two 
daughters, IMai'ion and Cora. Calvin Tuttle also had 
a family. The other families of the place had come 
in previous years. It is claimed that the female mem- 
bers of the Patch family were the first full-blood 
white women in the place; but unless La Grue's wife, 
of sad fate and memory, was a mixed blood — and 
some who knew her declared she was not — she was 
the first white woman. Mrs. and the Misses Patch 
were the first white American women, for Mrs. La 
Grue was a Canadian. 


The year 1847 saw the establishment of the first 
"store," if it be proper to call it a store. R. P. 
Russell had for some time been engaged in mer- 
chandising at Fort Snelling. He moved over a small 
stock of goods to St. Anthony and exposed them for 
sale in a room of the Patch building, where he 
boarded. One account is that the store-room was im- 
provised for the purpose, by partitioning otf one of 
the lower rooms of the building, and that all of the 
entire stock of goods, including the counter, made 
only one small wagon load. When Gov. Marshall 
established his store, in 1849, he declared that it was 
the first in the place, because Russell's little stock in 
a dwelling house could not be called a store. 

Russell's intimacy with the Patch family as a 
boarder and tenant resulted iu his marriage, October 
3, 1848, to Miss Marion Patch, and this was the first 
marriage of -white people in Minneapolis. Not long 
afterward Cora Patch married Joe Marshall. Mar- 
riageable white girls were in demand in St. Anthony 
at that time. The men were very largely in the 
majority, and nearly all of them were fine young 

Wm. R. ]\Iarshall, who became one of Minnesota's 
greatest and most gallant soldiei-s and also one of its 
ablest and best Governors, walked across from St. 
Croix Falls to St. Anthony in the spring of 1847, 
while the ground was yet frozen. He carried a rather 
heavy pack in which were a blanket and some pro- 
visions. He liked the place, made a claim, bought 
an ax from Russell, and cut logs enough for a cabin. 
The next year he and bis brother Joseph came over 
and built the house. Marshall had heard good ac- 
counts of St. Anthony, but he was a Missourian, born 
in Boone County, and had to be "shown." The 
place was exhibited to him and he liked it. 


Things went well enough for the new settlement 
until came the winter of 1847-48. The new-comers 



were nearly all New Yorkers. They had come to the 
country by steamboat and had not brought much bag- 
gage with them. The Sioux would have called them 
"Kaposia, " as being lightly burdened. They had 
ordered the greater part of their supplies to follow 
them, first loading them on a canal boat on the Erie 

In December a slow-traveling mail brought bad 
news to the New Yorkers at St. Anthony. The canal 
boat in which their supplies were being conveyed had 
sunk in the Erie Canal and the supplies were an 
almost total loss. The hardware and tools, which they 
greatly needed, were wholly a loss. This caused a 
gi-eat scarcity of tools, which were so necessary in 
their building operations. 

The winter came on and it was severe. Provisions 
were scarce and high, and money was also scarce 
and hard to obtain. There were all sorts of discom- 
forts. There was not much to cook, but female cooks 
were very rare, and in most instances men did the 
cooking, with unsatisfactory results. The work of 
building went on, for the men were improving their 
cabins with sawed lumber. Among the New Yorkers 
were some carpenters and they were very busy. Ed- 
ward Patch was a carpenter, and a good one, and he 
became a contractor. But the old Government saw- 
mill, which was depended upon for lumber, was a 
weak affair. It worked slowly and imperfectly and 
could not be counted upon for more than 300 or 400 
feet per day. Big sleds were made and considerable 
lumber was hauled from the St. Croi.K Mills, by 
slowly-moving ox teams, over the snow covered roads, 
with the thermometer below zero. Fond hopes were 
entertained that Steele's new mill would be com- 
pleted the following spring in time to do all necessary 
building in 1848. 

Then word came to Mr. Steele that Cushing, Ran- 
toul, et alii, would not be able to let him have the 
promised money. The ilexiean War was on. Because 
American success meant the acquisition of Texas and 
more slave territory, old anti-slavery Massachusetts 
would not furnish either men or money to contrilnite 
to that success. But Caleb Cushing, and others were 
more patriotic. They raised a good regiment of fight- 
ing Bay State men, and it was armed and equipped 
largely by Cushing 's personal expenditures. He was 
made Colonel of the regiment and led it to the field. 
The expenses his patriotism caused him drained his 
putse so that he had scarcely any money left to build 
mills at St. Anthony. 


For some time in his early experience in Minne- 
sota, JIi-. Steele was often in straits for money, 
although lie was always active and busy and engaged 
in business ciilci'ijrises. 

In April, 1842, hi' was in Philadelphia, where he 
had purchased a bill of goods for his sutler's store at 
Fort Snelling. These goods he meant to ship over 
one of the few railroads then in the country to New 
York, where they would be transferred to a ship and 
carried to New Orleans by sea. From New Orleans 
thev would be carried liy steamboat to St. Louis, and 

from St. Louis, by another steamboat, they would be 
brought to Fort Snelling. 

The Sibley papers, in possession of the State His- 
torical Societ}% show that at this time Steele wrote 
to Sibley (who became his brothei'-in-law) then in 
Washington City two letters which are most intei-- 
esting. April 6, he wrote that he was to marry "Miss 

B , of Baltimore," and take her with him when 

he returned to Fort Snelling. Sibley was earnestly 
invited to attend the wedding, which he did. "Miss 
B." was Miss Ann Barney, a granddaughter of Com- 
modore Joshua Barne}% the noted naval commander, 
and also of Samuel Chase, a signer of the Declaration. 
In the letter of invitation to the wedding J\Ir. Steele 
wrote further to Sibley : 

"Now, dear Sibley, permit me to ask a favour of 
you. Can you assist me, in some way through ilr. 
Chouteau, to about $900? I am willing to pay well 
for the aeconunodation and shall be able to repay it 
in St. Louis or at St. Peter's. * * * If you can 
aiTange it for me, I shall consider myself under last- 
ing obligations to you, and shall always be most 
happy to reciprocate so great a kindness. * * * 
We shall leave inunediately after the marriage for the 
West, my youngest sister accompanying us." 

Tile '"youngest sister" referred to was ^liss Sarah 
J. Steele, who. in the following May, became the wife 
of the then chief trader, Sibley, her brother's friend. 
Three days after the letter quoted from was written, 
Steele wrote again from Philadelphia to Sibley at 
Washington, thanking him for his answer and the 
assurance that he would be present at the wedding on 
the 14th, and earnestly importuning him again to 
procure the loan, saying: 

"I hope that Mv. Chouteau will be able to manage 
the money matter; if not, I shall be under the neces- 
sity of returning here from Baltimore, as I have a 
number of bills to pay for the folks at Fort Snelling, 
as well as the insurance on my goods. Now, my dear 
fellow, if you ever expect to do me a favour, do try 
and assist me in arranging this matter, as a neglect 
may injure me at Fort Snelling, Money matters are 
so tight here that it is entirely out of the question to 
do anvthing. I hope to see you in Baltimore on the 

Jlr. Steele's straitened circumstances continued for 
many years, .just at the critical periods of his life, 
when he was striving to lay the foundations of com- 
mercial enterprise in Minnesota and to accumulate 
a conit'ortable fortune. Yet his condition did not dis- 
hearten him, or even daunt him. lie had eonfidence 
that everything would come out all right in the end 
and he infused a part of this confidence into the sys- 
tems of his associates and fellow-pioneers. His credit 
was never impaired. P^ven the workmen whom he 
had been unable to pay after the failure of the Mas- 
sachusetts capitalists, trusted him and continued to 
work for him, and in the end were paid in full. His 
I, O. U.'s were as good as the best paper money. 


In September, 1847, Daniel Stanehfield. Severe Bot- 
tineau (Pierre's brother'), and Charles Manock went 



up tlic Mississippi aiul Rum Kivur in a birth-bark 
caiioo iu the capacity of what would now be called 
"cruisers" for pine timber. Steele wanted to assure 
himself and Cushing, Kantoul, et al., that there was 
abundant standing pine timber in .Minnesota to jus- 
tify the erection of at least two good saw-mills at St. 
Anthony. Tlien L'ushing et al. would loan him the 
money he needed. Another object of the cruise was 
to procure the proper timber out of which to con- 
struct the mill-dam. Especially were some long pine 
logs wanted. ^loreover, it would be well if logs 
enough for the first sawing could be .secured. 

Stanchtield, another Elaine lumberman, was tlie 
leader of the three cruisers. A logging party accom- 
panied the cruisers but went on foot except for one 
canoe carrying supplies. In the country on the Rum 
River and south of ]\Iille Lacs they found plenty of 
timber. StanchHeld reported to Steele that there was 
"more than 70 saw-mills can saw in 70 years." He 
soon established a logging camp and began cutting. 

Accompanying the "eruisei's" or explorers were 
about 20 men, who were to march along the shore, 
keeping pace with the explorers in the canoe, until 
pine was discovered. Then they were to ft)rm a 
logging camp, while the explorers went on to find 
more pine, and when the camp had been constructed 
they were to begin cutting and "banking" the logs, 
until the explorers returned and further plans shouhl 
be made. Both explorers and cutters worked hard, 
and, though the mosquitoes and gnats nearly ate them 
up, they cut a great many logs, and by the first week 
in November had them piled on the bank. 

Calel) D. Dorr and John JIcDonald had been sent 
up Swan River from the camp for some pieces of big 
timber that could not be obtained on Rum River. They 
had secured the long and big logs, had rojled them 
into Swan River, (which tiows eastward and comes 
into the Mississippi on the west side, near Little Falls) 
then floated them down the jMississippi to the mouth 
of Rum River. Here a great boom of the logs from 
Rum and Swan Rivers was formed. It was a bad 
night, about November 1. The snow was falling fast 
and freezing to the surfaces of the logs as it fell. 
Cold weather had come and apparently to stay. Dorr 
and StanchHeld had talked over their operations. 
They were glad and congratulated themselves that 
they had more logs for Mr. Steele than he could saw 
during the entire winter, even if he ran his saws 
night and day. 

But lo ! at midnight the frail supjiorts of the boom 
gave way, the boom itself broke up. and the logs went 
whirling swiftly down on the bosom of the river, 
da.shed over the Falls of St. Anthony, and were lost 
forever! Mr. Steele stood on the high bank of the 
river at Fort Snelling and saw them floating by. and 
he had no power to stop them. His hopes for a pros- 
])erous and useful season floated away with them, and 
there was a painful hour of discouragement for this 
man of enterprise. Luckily, however, Caleb Dorr suc- 
ceeded in saving most of the fine logs he had cut and 
delivered them safely at St. Anthony the next spring. 


The late pioneer lumberman, Daniel Stanchtield, 
has left iu imperishable form much of his recollection 
of events pertaining to the beginnings of St. Anthony 
and ^linneapolis. In a |)aper which is published in 
Volume 9 of the State Historical Collections, and en- 
titled "Pioneer Lundicringon the Upper Missis.sippi," 
he has set down many items of interest and value. 
This article is freely ([noted from in this chapter. 

Mr. Stanchfield says that upon his return to St. 
Anthony after the disastrous boom break, it was at 
his suggestion and on his advice that Ard Godfrey 
built the dam largely of local timber. The logs used 
were cut on Hennepin Island, without waiting to pro- 
cure othei's from the pine forests of the upjjer ilissis- 
sippi. The logs were of hard wood and used without 
hewing or dressing and proved really superior to 
hewn pine timbers. Then they were procured within 
a stone's throw of whei'e they were used, which was 
a decided advantage. The planks u.sed for nailing 
over the cracks, etc., were brought from the St. Croix 

When the sviceess of the dam was a.ssured, the next 
thing w-as to procure a stock of pine timber for saw- 
ing. In the fall of 1847, as has been stated, prepara- 
tions were made for logging on the upper Mississippi, 
in the region of the Crow Wing River. Teiims to 
haul the cut logs to the river bank, log sled.s to bear 
them, and men to drive and care for them, were ob- 
tained in what is now Washington County. It was 
the first of December, and snow covered the ground, 
when the outfit started ; ten days later it reached the 
lumber district and its scene of operations, below the 
Crow Wing River, a mile back from the ilississipjii. 


Through the assistance of Henry M. Rice, who then 
had a trading post at the mouth of the Crow Wing, 
and Allan ;Morrison, who had long lived in that quar- 
ter and had a Chippewa wife, trees were purchased 
from the Chippewa Chief "Pug-o-na-ge-shig," or 
Hole in the Sky, (commonly called Hole in the Day) 
for a consideration of ")0 cents a tree. Hole in the 
Day was then chief of the old Pillager band of Chip- 
pewas, having succeeded to the name and rank of his 
father, who had been nuu'dered the previous year. 
The Indian village was, in the winter of 1847-18. on 
an island in the JMississippi, opposite the mouth of 
the Crow Wing. 

Work was pro.secuted vigorously through the win- 
ter and with much success. A great deal of the haul- 
ing was done by ox teams, which traveled slowly but 
steadily. March 1 work was stopped and Mr. Stanch- 
field ordered the camj) broken, and he and numy of 
the cutters set out for St. Anthony. A suflicient num- 
ber of drivers was left in cam]) to l)ring down the logs 
when the iNIississippi should be o]ien, a month or so 

Stanchfield tells us that he found Mr. Steele sick 
in bed, perhaps from over-work and worry. The him- 



berman, by Steele's direction, went down to Galena, 
and from bankers there he says he received, "two 
remittances of $5,000 each from Gushing and Com- 
pany, their investment for lumber manufacturing at 
St. Anthony." 


But Mr. Stanchfield's positive assertion that he re- 
ceived for Mr. Steele $10,000 from Cushing and Com- 
pany, is clearly disputed by other good authorities that 
declare the Boston men, Cushing and Rantoul, did 
not pay Mr. Steele $10,000 or any other sum. By their 
default, it is claimed, Cushing and Rantoul forfeited 
their contract and lost all interest in the St. Anthony 
property. Warner & Foote's History, (printed in 
1881, when many old pioneers conversant with the 
facts were living and presumably were interviewed 
for historical data) states positively that these were 
the facts. Goodhue's historical sketch, written in 
1849, apparently from data furnished by Mr. Steele, 
says : " A few months since Cushing and Company, of 
Massachusetts, having failed to comply with the con- 
ditions of their purchase of a part of this property to 
JMr. Steele, he sold one-half of the water power to ilr. 
A. W. Taylor, of Boston," etc. 

Regarding the starting of the mill aiid other inci- 
dents connected therewith, Stanchfield says: 

"The first sawmill that the company built began to 
saw luml)er September 1, 1848, just one year from the 
time when the exploring party in the little canoe 
started up the Mississippi to estimate its supply of 
pine. Following that exploration, the town was sur- 
veyed and lots were placed on sale. The real estate 
office and the lumber office were together. Later in 
the autumn a gang-saw mill and two shingle mills 
were to be erected, to be ready for business in the 
spring of 1849. Sumner W. Farnham ran the first 
sawmill during the autumn, until he took charge of 
one of my logging parties for the winter. As soon 
as the mill wa.s started, it was run night and day, in 
order to supply enough lumber for the houses of immi- 
grants, who were pouring in from the whole country." 


While Steele was completing and when he had com- 
pleted the mill he was annoyed for a time by a Phil- 
adelphia man. Dr. Hartwell Carver, who claimed to 
be one of the heirs of Capt. Jonathan Caiwer, the ex- 
plorer of 1767. Capt. Carver, as has been stated, 
claimed that the Indians had given him a large grant 
of land in this region, including the site of St. An- 
thony Falls. This Hartwell Carver claimed that he 
was a descendant of the old explorer and that he 
had purchased the interests of some of the other Car- 
ver heirs in their ancestor's claim. Jn November 
after the mill was completed he wrote Steele that he 
had borrowed $;30.000 in cash from Hon. Lewis Cass 
with which to purchase the interests of the remaining 
heirs. In the same letter, (which is among the Sib- 
ley papers, and which smells of blackmail,) he warns 
the people of St. Anthony that he can do much for 

them if they will approach him in the proper way. 
To Jlr. Steele he hints that he has a strong legal claim 
on the mill and says: 

"I can prove to you, sir, that I was offered by some 
men in St. Louis ten thousand dollars in cash for a 
quit-claim deed to your claim. The temptation, sir, 
was great, for I wanted the money badly. But, sir, 
come to go oh there and .see what you had done and 
how you was situated, and after talking with some of 
the people I concluded not to do it." 

Two years before, or in 1846, Dr. Carver had vis- 
ited St. Anthony in the interest of his claim. How- 
ever sincerely he really believed in its rightfulness, 
it is reasonably plain that he was trying to frighten 
Mr. Steele into paying him some money in return for 
a quit-claim deed to the site of his mill. It seems 
that his intention was to practice a species of black- 
mail, first upon Steele and next upon the settlers of 
St. Anthonj", whose lands he pretended to own under 
a mythical grant by the Indians to his ancestor, the 
unreliable Capt. Jonathan Carver. 

But Mr. Steele was not "taken in." He knew 
enough of the facts in the case not to be imposed upon. 
He rejected all of Dr. Hartwell Carver's overtures, 
and curtly and emphatically informed him that he 
would have naught to do with his proposition or with 
him, save that if he came any more to St. Anthony 
and endeavored to blackmail the citizens he would be 
treated as he deserved to be. There was no more of 
Dr. Hartwell Carver. 


In 1840 Mr. Steele was commissioned U. S. post- 
master at Fort Snelling — the first postmaster in what 
is now Minnesota. At that day postmasters had the 
franking privilege and could send their mail matter 
free of charge to wherever the mails were carried. 
But this emolument, while it helped Jlr. Steele some, 
did not go far towards helping him build mills and to 
improve the Falls of St. Anthony. 


Notwithstanding the adverse financial circum- 
stances prevailing, the work of building Steele's mill 
went cheerily on. In the spring of 1848, despite all 
obstacles, the mill was completed ; September follow- 
ing it began to run. There was great joy in the little 
settlement when the water-gates were opened and the 
wheels began to go round. And the joy was not con- 
fined to St. Anthony but extended to the other settle- 
ments at Fort Snelling, IMendota, St. Paul's, and up 
the jNlinnesota to the mission stations as far as to Lac- 
qui Parle. The mill had but two saws at first, but in 
a few months two more were added. 

Several new settlers came in and new houses were 
built. The first that was constructed of lumber from 
the new mill was the house of Sherburne Huse, (or 
Hughes) the next was an addition to the house of 
Richard Rogers, and it was built by Washington 
Cetchell ; the third was the house of Getchell himself. 
(See Warner & Foote's History.) 



In the spring of this year (lS-18) William A. Chee- 
ver, the enterprising Bostonian, platted a town on his 
land, now occupied hy some of the University Imild- 
ings. and sold some lots. Other settlers came and 
another boom was on. Cheever's plat was never re- 
corded, however. 


It was in the summer of 1848 when the first steps 
were taken for the organization of Minnesota Terri- 
tory. A bill, whose real autlior was Joseph R. lirown, 
and which provided for the Territory's organization, 
was introduced in Congress by Hon. Morgan L. Mar- 
tin, Delegate from Wisconsin Territory, in 1846. 
Brown and JIartin had been associates in the Wis- 
consin Territorial Legislature in 1841, and it is said 
that the organization scheme was then planned by 
them. The bill passed the House but failed in the 
Senate. It was apparent to the latter body that there 
were not 500 bona-fide white settlers in the proposed 
Territory ! 

Congress admitted Wisconsin as a State ^lay 29, 
1848. with boundaries as they are at present. The 
lower part of the country between the Mississippi and 
the St. Croix, including St. Anthony, had been St. 
Croix County. By the creation of Wisconsin, as a 
State, this St. Croix County was left out and became 
a no-man's land, as it were, and Stillwater, St. Paul's, 
and St. Anthony were under no law or government. 
And yet there was a court house, (at Stillwater) court 
records and clerk, justices of the peace, etc. 

The people were greatly dissatisfied, and finally 
decided to take action and have it determined that 
they were still under a republican form of govern- 
ment. They claimed that the country which had 
formerly belonged to Wisconsin Territory but had 
been left out of Wisconsin State, was, prima facie at 
least, still Wisconsin Territory and entitled to a Dele- 
gate in Congress. 


Pursuant to certain preliminary meetings and a 
public call, a "general convention of all persons in- 
terested" was held at Stillwater, August 28. The 
number of men partici[)ating was 61. Franklin 
Steele, Jo.seph Reascbe, and Paschal St. Martin at- 
tended from St. Anthony. Mr. Steele was prominent 
in the proceedings. 

The Convention declared that the country west of 
St. Croix was still the Territory of Wisconsin and en- 
titled to have a Delegate in Congress. Whereupon 
Henry H. Sibley, of Mendota. was unanimously 
elected by the convention as such Delegate. Sibley 
had not lived in St. Croix County, Wisconsin, but 
always in Iowa, until it became a State, when he too 
became, a resident of a no-man's land. At a special 
election, held Octolier )10, Sitiley was elected Delegate 
by a decided majority over Henry M. Rice. The 
contest was spirited, but the result was accepted and 
Sibley went on to Washington, and. after some discus- 
sion, was admitted as a "Delegate from the Territory 

of Wisconsin," and took his seat in the House of 

The Convention also resolved in favor of the organ- 
ization of a new Territory, to be called Minnesota, 
and it was understood that Delegate Sibley's chief 
duty would be to introduce a bill to that effect, and 
to press it to final passage. This he did, and the nec- 
essary enactment was secured at the ensuing Con- 
gress. One of the very last official acts of President 
Polk, March 3, lS4!t, was the signing of the bill which 
created ^Minnesota Territory. 


The winter of 1848-49 was a hard one on the little 
settlement at St. Anthony. It was long and severe. 
A rather heavy snow fell November 1. To the people 
of St. Paul's, Fort Suelling, St. Anthony, and Still- 
water the long season was uncomfortable. In 
addition to the inclemencj' of the weather and the 
consequent privation, there was a loneliness hard to 
l)ear. The nearest point of mail distribution and sup- 
ply was at Prairie du Chien, nearly 200 miles down 
the river; but for four months of this season the river 
was ice-locked, and neither men, merchandise, nor mail 
could be brought up by water, and so for long periods 
the .settlements were entirely cut off from communica- 
tion with the outside world. 

There were no men and no merchandise en route 
to this locality, but the mail, scanty as it was, might 
be brought in and would be gladly welcomed. There 
were no horse teams available, and so dog sledges were 
constructed and made to serve as mail coaches. Teams 
of dogs were ti-ained to draw them and a coureur du 
bois, who was sometimes a white man but generally a 
mixed blood, was hired to di'ive and manage the dogs, 
having to carry rations for them and himself during 
the entire round trip. 

The mail route was over the ice on the river, and 
it was not always smooth. Ttie outfit encam])ed at 
night by a good fire which the driver kindled. On 
the return trip from Prairie du Chien a chilling, cut- 
ting, arctic wind blew steadily in the faces of man 
and dogs all the way. Under such circumstances the 
mail arrivals were always infrequent and uncertain. 
It was not until January that the news of Gen. Tay- 
lor's election to the Presidency, in the first week of 
November, reached Fort Suelling. About the 1st of 
Febniary. word came that Delegate Sil)ley had intro- 
duced his Territorial bill and was working for it, but 
there were only faint hopes of its passage. 

The snow began to melt about March 1. The track 
on the river became w'et, slushy, and impracticable, 
and the dog mail sh'dge was abandoned and the mails 
discontinued until the opening of steamboat' naviga- 
tion in the spring. It was not until the 9th of April 
when the steamer "Dr. Franklin No. 2." Capt. Rus- 
sell Blakeley, arrived at St. Paul's with the glad news 
that Minnesota Territory had been organized, and the 
cheering tidings soon spread to the other settlements. 
The organization was one of tlie most important 
epochs in our history. The full details, including the 
appointment of the first Territorial ofiScers, with 



Alesaiidei- Ramsey as Goveruor, belong to other his- 
tories. (See Neill's Historj'; also "Miuuesota in 
Three Centuries," etc.) 


The year 18-49 was not only of oonimanding influ- 
ence upon Minnesota, but upon the town of St. An- 
thony, and other towns in the new Territory. St. 
Anthony now belonged to something, and was no 
longer in a no-man's land or a neutral zone. It be- 
longed to a regular political organization of the 
United States, a Territory, with all the rights and 
powers of such a political division, and this fact 
helped wonderfully in the development of the little 
village. New settlers came, new buildings were 
erected, new capital invested. 


The first town laid out and established in Minne- 
sota was "Dahkota," on the St. Croix in 18.39 by 
Jo.scph R. Brown, who made the first claim to land 
in Hennepin County, was the first white visitor to 
Lake IMinnetonka, etc. In 1843 the name of "Dah- 
kota" was changed to Stillwater. St. Paul was laid 
out and named in 1847, but St. Anthony was not reg- 
ularly established until in the spring of 1849. 

In the latter season, Wm. R. [Marshall returned 
from the St. Croix to St. Anthony. It has already 
been stated that he came over in the fall of 1847, 
made a claim, cut some logs for a cabin, but, being 
unable to procure a team to haul them to the site 
selected, he returned to St. Croix. Now he was back 
at St. Anthony, determined to perfect his claim, build 
his cabin and make this his permanent home, and he 
had brought his brother Joseph with him. He soon 
built two houses, and in one of them, which was on 
Llain Street, "above the former residence of John 
Rollins," he and his brother Joe established their 
store, which Gov. Marshall always claimed was the 
first store or merchandising establishment in ^linne- 
apolis; he contended that R. P. Russell's "wheelbar- 
row load of goods" in the Patch residence was not, 
properly speaking, a store. The first weddings, it will 
be remembered, were those of the then young "mer- 
chant princes" of their time, R. P. Russell and Joe 
Marshall, and the two pretty Patch girls. 

W. R. Marshall was a man of various accomplish- 
ments. He was a good land surveyor, and soon after 
his arrival Frank Steele engaged him to survey his 
town niid lay it off into streets, alleys, blocks, and lots. 
Marshall had his own surveyor's compass and chain 
with him, and the work was soon properly done, for 
Marshall was n good surveyor. In his written account 
of his survey on this occasion, made many years sub- 
sequently, he said that he tried to secure good-sized 
lots and wide streets. The lots were generally 66 
feet wide and 16.^ Peet in depth. All the streets were 
80 feet wide. ]\Tain Street, running u]) and down the 
river, was .suiwe.ved as 80 feet wide, liut in places the 
survey did not include certain projections over the 
river bank, and where these unsurveycd portions were 
the street was often 100 feet wide or more. Warner 

& Foote say that [Main Street was "made 100 feet 
wide," by the survey, but this is a mistake. 

The State Historical Society has lately come into 
possession, by purchase, of Gov. [Marshall's plat or 
map of his surve.v of the original town site of St. 
Anthony, or as the plat calls it, "St. xVnthony Falls." 
This document is in fine preservation and not only 
intei-esting but instructive. The certificate attached 
is in Gov. Marshall's handwriting, quite legible, and 
reads : 

"St. Anthony Falls, Oct. 9th, 1849. 

"I hereby certifv that the map hereunto attached is 
a correct plat of a Town survey made by me for 
Arnold W. Taylor, Franklin Steele, and Ai-d God- 
fre.v. Said town being located on sections twentj-- 
three and twent.y-four, in Township No. twenty nine 
north (and) of Range No. twenty-four west of 4th 

"W. R. Marshall, Surveyor." 

The map was recorded in the office of Hon. Win. 
Holcombe, (afterward Lieutenant Governor, etc.) 
then Register of Deeds "for "Washington County" 
(State or Teri-itory not named) at Stillwater, as per 
his certificate attached : 

"Register of Deeds' Office Count.v of Washington. 

"I hereby certify that the annexed Town Plat of 
St. Anthony Falls, certificate of survey, or acknowl- 
edgment was this day received in this office for record, 
at 6 o'clock P. 'SI., and was thereupon dul.v recorded 
in Book A of Town Plats, on pages 36, 37, and 38. 

"Done at Stillwater, Nov. 10, 1849. 

"W. Holcombe, Register." 

At that date Washington County had been created 
and its seat of justice established at Stillwater just 
14 da.vs; the Territorial Legislature had so enacted 
Oct. 27. Why the survey was recorded at Stillwater 
and not at St. Paul cannot be explained. At that 
day St. Anthony was in Ramsey County, whose county 
seat was St. Paul. 

It will l)e noted in [Marshall's certificate the names 
of Arnold W. Taylor and Ard Godfrey appear as co- 
partners with Mr. Steele in the ownership of the town. 
The truth is that Arnold W. Taylor, whom certain 
[Minneapolis histories call "Mr. Arnold," had pur- 
chased half of [Mr. Steele's interest for $20,000, but 
Ard Godfrey was best known as J\Ir. Steele's mill- 
builder, and certainly not regarded as prominently a 
town proprietor. What his real interest was cannot 
now be said. Mr. Taylor had visited the place the 
previous summer; Seymour saw him there. He was 
a rich Rostonian, and. like many other rich men, had 
imperfections of character which rendered him per- 
sonally disagreeable to others. In January, 1852, Mr. 
Steele was glad to purchase his intei-est in the town 
at an advance of $5,000, paying him $25,000. 

In [Marshall's survey Bottineau's interest is not 
referred to; Wanier & Foote 's History is authority 
for the account, on a subsequent page, of the surve.v 
of his lots. [Marshall's original survey was fourteen 
and one-half blocks up and down the river by four 
blocks back from the river. The streets parallel with 



the river were iu onler. Main, Seeoiid, Third, Fourth, 
<iikI Fifth Streets. Tlie street starting opposite the 
Falls anil running haek from and perpendiculai'ly to 
the river northeasterly was called Cedar Street; it is 
now Third Avenue Southeast. The first street down 
the river from Cedar was Spruee, now Fourth Avenue 
Southeast : then eame in order Spring, Jlaple, Walnut, 
Aspen, Bireh, and Willow, now respectively Fifth, 
Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Avenues 

Westward or up the river from Cedar Street (now 
Third Avenu: S. E.) and running parallel with it 
were, in order, Pine, I\lill, Bay, Linden, and Oak 
Streets, now respectively Second, First, and Second 
Avenues Southeast, Central Avenue, and P'irst and 
Second, Avenues Northeast. 


Pierre Bottim-au. the French half-blood, who had 
always been on the Northwestern frontier and had 
never seen a city, and who owned so much of St. 
Anthony realty, outside of the Steele & Arnold sur- 
vey, was impressed with what iMarshall had done for 
Frank Steele's property. He could not read, and 
therefore he had never read of a city and did irot 
know how one was constructed; but he heard Steele 
and ^Marshall and Cheever and others comment on 
^larshall's work, and some months afterward lie said 
to the surveyor: "you .iist take my land and fix him 
same lak ^I'sieu Steele land." Asked for particulars, 
he threw up his hands carelessly and replied: "0, fix 
him lak you please, same lak M'sieu Steele, but do as 
you please." Thereupon Marshall "fixed" it accord- 

Simeon P. Folsom, who had .iust come to the place 
from Prairie du Cliien, after a term of service in the 
Mexican War, had begun a survey before Mai-shall's, 
but it was incomplete, imperfect, and was superseded 
by the new survey. 


Mr. Steele had already chosen the name of his 
town, as simply St. Anthony; but Marshall added the 
word "Falls" to the designation on the map and it 
was so recorded. ^Marshall claimed that "St. 
Anthony Falls" was already so well known that the 
name would advei'tise the place and at once identify 
its locality. Everybody would know that a town had 
been laid out at the famous cataract. But in time 
Steele said "St. Anthony Falls" wa.s "too big a 
mouthful for a man to spit out at once," and plain 
St. Anthony was better because shorter. 


Marsliall was far above mediocrity as a man and as 
a character. He was l)orn in Boone County, ]\Io., but 
mainly reared in Illinois. lie was largely self-edu- 
cated, had acquired book-keeping and a knowledge of 
busines.s, had "picked up" sui-veying and civil engi- 
neering, and l(iuxned much else by reading and private 

study, lie liad been a farmer in Illinois, a lead miner 
at Galena and in Wisconsin, a hnnbernian on the St. 
Croix, was elected to the Wisconsin Legislature in 
18-48, and when he came to St. Anthony he was well 
prepared to tight the battle of life tliere or anywhere. 
Long afterward, when he had been Legislator, Com- 
missioner, colonel, brevet-brigadier. Governor, etc., he 
described, in a public address, (which was printed) 
his imi)ressions of his first view of St. Anthony Falls 
after he had hiked over from the St. Croix, with his 
kuajisack on his back, to see them : 

"When, with weary feet, I stood at last, in the 
afternoon of that day, on the brink of the Falls, I 
saw them in all their beauty and gi'andeur, unmarred 
by the hand of man, and in such beauty of nature as 
no one has seen them in the past 22 years. As the 
light of the fast-declining sun of tliat autumn day 
liathed the tops ol" the trees and the summits of the 
gentle hills and left the shadows of tlii; wooded islands 
darkling the waters, and as the plunging, seething, 
deafening Falls .sent up the mist and set its raiidiow 
arching tiie scene, I was tilled with a sense of the awe- 
inspiring in nature such as I have rarely since ex- 
perienced. At that time (October, 1847) two or three 
claim shanties were the onl.y human habitations 

Governor IMarsliall was a|)parently a meek and 
mild-maniiei'ed man. as gentle as a woman an<i as 
.sweet-voiced as a girl. But his stout arms and hard 
fists had carried him safel.y and triumi)haiitly through 
the battling lead miners of Galena, and he came to 
St. Anthony just after he had licked Jim Purrington, 
the bully of the St. Croix. Moreover, when he be- 
came Colonel of the Seventh Minnesota, he charged 
the Indians, sword in hand, at Wood Lake and rode 
them down and afterward captured hundreds at Wild 
Goose Nest Lake; and when be went South to Nash- 
ville and Tupelo he raged in battle like a son of 
thunder. In the attack on Mobile he received a grisl.v 
wound in the neck from a Confederate musket ball ;' 
yet, when the surgeons had bound it uj), he mounted 
his horse, and in liis capacity of general iu command 
i;f a division galloped at the head of his men scjuare 
up against the Confederate lino and disposed them 
for the fighting. This was the man that laid out 
St. Anthony, opened its first store, and made so many 
good fights for the town in its early existence. 

At different jieriods Gov. ^Marshall was prominent 
as a business man. He was a merchant, a baidcer, a 
real estate dealer, a iiewsj)aper pi-opriiitor and editor, 
etc. He was in ill health in the later years of his life 
and died at Pasadena, California, Jan. 8. 18!)(>. He 
was buried in Oakland Cemetery, St. Paul. 


Meanwhile another important feature of improve- 
ment had been added to St. Anthony. For a long 
time the only means of crossing the river directly 
at the Falls was by fording on the ledge at the foot 
of Nicollet Island, and this could be done only at 
low wafer and b(>fore the dam was built. The cur- 
rent was swift and horses recpiired sharp shoes to 



prevent their slipping on tlie rocks. At Boom Island 
the current was less rapid, and here crossings were 
made in canoes. One old Indian woman, of Cloud 
Man's band, who, however, lived near the Govern- 
ment Mill and was noted for her skill in catching 
fish, ferried many persons across the river at this 
point in her log canoe. 

In 1847 Mr. Steele established the first ferry. It 
ran only between Nicollet Island and the west bank. 
Teams wishing to cross from the east side had to fol- 
low the ledge of the cataract to the foot of Nicollet 
Island, and thence up the Island to the feriy landing. 
The ferry was a fiatboat attached to a rope stretched 
across the stream and fastened to large posts at either 
end. The boat was constructed at Fort Snelling of 
lumber brought fi-om the St. Croix. The ferry was 
of great convenience in crossing the river between 
Fort Snelling and St. Anthony, and as time passed 
became indispensable. 

R. P. Russell, as Steele's agent, took charge of the 
ferry, whose track across the river was sulistantially 
where afterward was the route of the suspension 
bridge, and a little hut was built for the ferryman 
on the island. The first ferryman was a voyageur 
from the Fort named Dubois, (some Minneapolis 
histories call him "Dubey.") Edgar Folsom, a 
brother of Simeon P., came late in the fall of 1847, 
and the next summer took charge of the ferry and 
with the help of an employe ran it one season. He 
met with so many mishaps that he was quite dis- 
gusted with the business. On one occasion the boat 
rope threw him twenty feet into an ice-pack, and he 
nearly lost his life. 

At another time (and this story is vouched for as 
true) Miss Sallie B. Bean, the daughter of Reuben 
Bean, who lived at the old mill, on the west side, 
Mas out in her canoe above the falls. She was raised 
on the Illinois river and knew how to manage a 
canoe, but this time she lost her paddle and her little 
craft floated against the ferry rope. In an instant 
she was struggling for her life in the deep water. 
However she contrived to clutch the rope to which 
she clung until Folsom paddled out in anotlier canoe 
and rescued her. 


When he had borne lier safely ashore, Folsom 
nervily said to the girl that he thought she ought 
to marry him as a reward for having saved her life. 
"But for me you would have drowned," he said; 
"for you could hardly have saved yourself." Folsom 
was quite plain featured, and gazing at him a moment 
the satiric damsel, with aifeeted alarm, exclaimed: 
"0, put me liaek on the rope!" 

The incident became known and Folsom soon re- 
signed. He was succeeded by Captain John Tap- 
per, of noble memory, (and who died recently), and 
who operated it until the ]>ridge was built, in which 
work he assisted, and then he was given charge of 
the bridge and collected lolls on it for several years. 

In her usually correct narration of early incidents 
in her book "Floral Homes," (p. 203) Miss Harriet 

E. Bishop says that Miss Bean's father rescued her. 
Editor Goodhue, of the Minnesota Pioneer, got the 
particulars, from first hands. He was a member 
of Judge Meeker's grand jury which convened at the 
Government Mill in the summer of 1849 and took 
dinner at the hospitable table of Reuben Bean, in 
the little hut adjoining the Mill. From the family he 
obtained the details of the incident and thus related 
them in the next issue (August 16, 1849,) of the 
Pioneer : 

A Fortunate Rrsnir. 

"A few days since Miss S. E. Bean, a young lady 
residing on the west side of the Falls, experienced a 
scene of romantic peril. She left home for the school 
which she attends on the east side of the river. When 
she arrived at the ferry, the young man usually in 
attendance was absent ; she, therefore, took the canoe 
and proceeded alone. When about two-thirds of the 
way across the stream, a flaw of wind somehow car- 
ried away her paddle, leaving her helpless. A short 
distance below the ferry the current, which is every- 
where rapid, begins to accelerate in its descent 
towards the Falls, M'hich are only a few rods below. 
Had it not been for the ferry rope, which is stretched 
from shore to shore. Miss Bean must inevitably 
been carried to a swift destruction ; for the boat, 
after descending a short distance, was seized up by 
the rope and received such a jerk and lifting up that 
the young lady M'as thrown into the dangerous water. 
In an instant, however, she seized the rope and saved 
herself from either sinking or being swept over the 
Falls. She nerved her strength to the occasion, and 
even worked her way along the rope for some five rods. 
Wlien her strength was almost exhausted, Mr. Edgar 
Folsom, the ferryman, arrived with a boat and saved 

THE BOOM OP 1849. 

St. Anthony grew very steadily, even during the 
winter of 1849, and in the spring advanced rapidly. 
Stanchfield says that before Gov. Ramsey, the new 
Territorial Governor, proclaimed the organization of 
Minnesota Territory, which was June 1, 1849, "a busy 
town had grown up called St. Anthony, built mostly 
by New England immigrants and presenting the ap- 
pearance of a thriving New England village." 
Steele 's mill ran day and night in order to supply the 
demands for lumber for houses, which were going up 
all over the place. They were built chiefly of green 
pine lumber; there was no time to wait for it to 
become seasoned. When dry lumber had to lie used 
it was hauled across from Stillwater. Carpentei-s 
and other skilled workmen, as well as common labor- 
ers, were scarce, for Steele's mill company employed 
all that could possibly be used on the mill improve- 

When river navigation opened in 1849 immigrants 
came in what for the time was considered gi-eat num- 
l)ers. They came to St. Paul by steamboat, and then 
in vehicles to St. Anthony, for at that date St. Paul 
was the head of navigation. Both St. Paul and St. 


Anthony doubled their improvements and popuhition 
iu KS4!I. At St. Anthony among tlie new improve- 
ments was a store in a fairly sized imildiug ureeted by 
Daniel Stanehfield, who put in a general stock of 
merchandise and did a thriving business. Anson 
Northruj) cnmmeiioed the erection of the St. Charles 
Hotel and linished it. the following year; in 1848 he 
had built the American House, (first called the Rice 
House) at St. Paul, and it was opened iu June, 1849. 

Minnesota's governmental machinery is set up. 

As has been stated the last official act of President 
James K. Polk, on the night of .March ;3, 1849, was the 
signing of the bill creating Jlinne-sota Territoiy. Polk 
was a Democrat, but his administration did not last 
long enough to allow him to appoint members of his 
party as officers of the new Territory. The incoming 
Whig President. Gen. Zachar.y Taylor, attended to 
the selection of the officials, with the result that they 
were all Whigs. He appointed Alexander Ramsey, 
an ex-member of Congress from Pennsylvania, to the 
position of Territorial Governor; Chas. K. Smith, of 
Ohio, Secretary; Henry L. ^loss, of Stillwater, Dis- 
trict Attorney; Col. Alexander M. Mitchell, of Ohio, 
Marslial ; Aaron Goodrich, of Tennessee, Ciiief Justice 
of the Territorial Court, and David Cooper, of Penii- 
sylvania, and Bradley B. Meeker, of Kentucky, As- 
sociate Justices. The Territory was divided into three 
districts, and each Judge presided over a district. 
In cases of appeal all three of the Judges sat en 
banc; but in every such case the Judge whose deci- 
sion' had been appealed from took no part in the 
final decision. 

All of the appointees reached the scene of their 
duties in proper course. The Governor and his wife 
arrived at St. Paul, ilay 27, but suitable quarters 
could not be found for them in the village which, 
according to Editor Goodhue, ((luoted iu Williams' 
History, p. 208) had but 30 buildings in April, 
although Seymour says (p. 99 of his sketches) that 
in Juue he counted 142. Governor and Mrs. Ramse.y, 
liy cordial invitation, were for some weeks the guests 
of ;\Fi-. and ilrs. Sibley in the historic old Sibley house 
(still preserved by the Daughters of the American 
Revolution) at .Mendota. The fii-st Governor's man- 
sion was a small frame cottage on West Third Street, 
St. Paul, (which afterward became the noted hotel 
called the New England House) and was first oc- 
cupied June 25, 1849.* 

June 1 (iov. Ramsey and the Judicial officers pre- 
pared and published the celebrated "First of June 
I'roclamation," which announced that Territorial 
officers had been appointed and had assumed their 
duties, and also declared: "Said Territorial Govern- 
ment is declared to be organized and established, and 

* St. Paul secured ttie Territorial Capital only by the efforts 
of Dole^ato Sibley. He prepared and introduced the organic 
act in which St. Paul was designated as the seat of govern- 
ment; but Senator Douglas, who had charge of the bill in 
Congress, struck out St. Paul, and inserted Mendota. He had 
visited the Territory and thought Pilot Knob w(ndd lie a fine 
site for a State House. It was with difficulty tliat Sibley 
ijiduced him to consent to the change to St. Paul. 

all persons are enjoined to obey, conform to, and re- 
spect the laws thereof accordingly." June 11, the 
Governor divided the Territory into three judicial 
districts. St. Anthony was iu the Second Di.strict; 
Associate Justice Meeker was appointed the Judge 
and ordered to hold court "at the Falls of St. 
Anthony" on the third Monday in August and Feb- 
ruary following. The boiuidaries of the district by 
political divisions could not be given, because there 
were no such divisions then. 


When Minnesota was made a Territory the boun- 
daries were more comprehensive than at present. The 
Territory lay between the St. Croix River on the east 
and the Missouri on the west, and between the Cana- 
dian boundary on the north and the Iowa line on the 
south, including, however, a great part of what is now 
South Dakota down to the Mi.ssouri River and east- 
ward to Sioux City. The southern boundary was as 
at present except that from the northwest corner of 
Iowa the line extended "southerly along the western 
boundary of said State to the point where said boun- 
dary strikes the Missouri River." 

The western boundary ran from Sioux City up the 
middle of tiie I\Iissouri to the mouth of the northern 
White Earth River (about 60 miles east of Fort 
Buford, or the western line of North Dakota), and 
thence up that river to the British boundary. The 
northern and eastern lines were as at present. The 
area of the entire Territory was about 150.000 square 
miles, or 90,000,000 acres in extent; but of this vast 
area less than a million acres were open to white 


Pursuant to a provision in the Organic Act, the 
Governor ordered John Morgan, then sheriff of St. 
Croix County, to take an accurate enumeration of 
all the inhabitants within the Territoiy June 11, full- 
blood Indians excepted. The census was to include 
mixed-blood people who were living "in civilization," 
and to exclude those living in barbarism. The sheriff 
and his deputies worked hard, and some of them trav- 
eled far, in the prosecution of their duties, but doubt- 
less their work was quite inaccurate. Animated them- 
selves and stinuilated and encouraged by everybody 
to boom the Territory, their count by no means under- 
stated the population. 

The returns showed a population in the entire Ter- 
ritoiy of 3,058 males ami l.TOB females a total of 
4,764. ITnfortunately St. Anthony was counted with 
Little Canada, the French settlement north of St. 
Paul. The aggregate population of St. Anthony and 
Little Canada was 352 males and 219 females, or 571 
in all. 

The census gave St. Paul a white and mixed blood 
population of 840; Stillwater, 609; Pembina, 637; 
Crow Wing, both sides of the river, 244; Wabashaw 
and Root River, 114; Fort Snelling, 38; ^Fendota. 122; 
soldiers, women, and children in Forts Snelling and 
Ripley, 317, etc.. etc. 



As stated, St. Anthony and Little Canada, being 
in one election district, were counted together. In 
taking the census only the names of the heads of 
households were recorded; the number of inmates of 
each household was given numerically, by sexes, thus : 
"Calvin A. Tuttle, 4 males, 2 females; total 6." 

The following is from the Journals of the Ter- 
ritorial Council and House for 1849 — the Council 
Joui-nal printed by McLean & Owens and the House 
Journal by J. M. Goodhue, bound in one volume — and 
is believed to be a list of the families and heads of 
households in each in the St. Anthony sub-district 
of the Third Council District, on June 11, 1849, when 
the first census was taken : 

Heads of Households. Males. Females. Total. 

Calvin A. Tuttle 4 2 6 

E. P. Lewis 4 2 6 

C. A. Loomis 5 3 8 

Beuj. La Fou 2 2 4 

Edmond Brisette 3 3 6 

Charles Mousseau 7 4 11 

John Reynolds 7 3 10 

Ard Godfrey 43 7 50 

Wm. Marat 3 3 6 

Wm. D. Getchell 5 4 9 

S. Huse 7 5 12 

R. FimieU 10 5 15 

Daniel Stanchfield 4 4 

John Stanchfield 2 2 

G. M. Lowe 4 1 5 

A. E. C 7 3 10 

Rondo, (?) 5 3 8 

Joseph Reasche 6 5 11 

Peter Bottineau 17 5 22 

Michel Reasche 1 2 3 

John Banfil 7 2 9 

Wm. Line 3 1 4 

Wm. Freeborn 5 3 8 

Alex. Paul 4 3 7 

Heads of Households. 

Louis Auge 

Saml. J. PMudlay . . . 

Males. Females. Total. 
.... 4 6 10 

.... 4 3 7 




Thus there were 26 households with an average 
of nearly 10 to the household. 

Of the foregoing it is known that several of the 
heads of households lived beyond the confines of St. 
Anthony. Charles Mousseau lived on the shore of 
Lake Harriet on the west side of the river, on the 
claim which had been occupied by the missionary 
brothers, Gideon H. and Saml. W. Pond, nearly 15 
years before. "Rondo," if it was Joseph Rondo that 
was meant, lived east of the village, as did William 
Marat, (or Marette. ) Louis Auge (pronounced 
0-zhay) and Saml. J. Findlay also lived on the west 
side, well down toward Fort Snelling. Benj. La 
Fou's residence may be considered doubtful. His 
name appears twice in the list of householders of the 
combined precincts, and he lived out Little Canada 
way. He and his household were counted twice. 

Circumstantial evidence indicates that the entire 
census of the Territory was "padded" largely and 
even shamefulh*. St. Anthony was not an excep- 
tion. It is difficult to believe that the little log cabins 
of the village accommodated an average of 10 per- 
sons to the cabin. Ard Godfrey is given 43 males, 
mill-hands or lumbermen : it is said he had only 25. 


In 1848 the population of the village of St. Anthony 
had increased until a postoffice %\;as demanded and 
made necessary. A petition to the National Postoffice 
Department was favorably considered ami the office 
established. T^pon the recommendation of Frank 
Steele, and nearly every citizen of the village. Ard 
Godfrey. Steele's millwright, was appointed post- 
master, and he held the position until in 1850. 




Very early in its career, when there were but a few 
log ealiiiis on the site, descriptive writers visited St. 
Anthouy and its noted Falls and made thein known to 
the outside world. 


In the summer of 1849 Mr. E. Sanford Seymour, of 
• ialena, an accomplished writer, (died in 1852) visited 
.Minnesota and spent several weeks in the vicinity of 
St. Paul and St. Anthony. In his volume of 
"Sketches of ^linuesota," printed in 1850. lie de- 
scribes (on page 120 et seq. ) the situation at St. An- 
thony in the summer of 1849 : 

" * <f * "VYe spent the forenoon in examining the 
curiosities about the Falls. The river at this point is 
627 yards in width, and is divided into two unequal 
channels by Cataract Island, which extends several 
rods above and below the Falls, and is about 100 yards 
wide. This is an elevated, rocky island, covered with 
trees and shrulibery. At the upper end of this island 
a dam is thrown across the eastern channel, so that a 
larger portion of the river flows through the western 
channel, wliieh is about 310 yards wide. There the 
rapids fommence many rods above the pei-pendicular 
fall, the water foaming and boiling with great vio- 
lence whenever it meets a rock or other obstruction. 
Reaching the verge of the i-ataract, it precipitates it- 
self perpendicularly about 16 feet. * * * 

■"The upper rock over which the water flows and 
falls is limestone, several feet in thickness. It rests 
upon a crumbling sandstone, whose ijarticles are so 
slightly cemented together that it is with diflficulty a 
solid specimen can be obtained. The water enters the 
extensive rents which cross the strata aluive the Falls, 
gradually waslu's out the particles of sand on wliich 
the limestone ledge rests, causes these particles to 
loo.scn and sink, and then huge blocks are detached 
and pi-ecipitated into the rapids beneath. This sand- 
stone is more easily wa.shed away than the shale under 
Niagara Falls. 

"These Falls were named liy Father Hennepin for 
bis patron saint. Saint Anthony of Padua. They are 
appropriately I'alled by the Chippewas 'K;di-Kali-be- 
Kah' or severed rock, and the Sioux call them, 
'Hkah-hkah,' from 'e-kah-kah,' to laugh." 

Here aa well as elsewhere it may be said that the 
Sioux did not name the Falls from their name for 

the verb to laugh ; they named them from their phrase 
for waterfalls, or water that falls and then takes a 
curling or w'hirling motion. In very many instances 
a Sioux noun in the plural is described by a double 
adjective of description. I'ah-shah means red head; 
but the Sioux for red heads, or more than one head, is 
pah shah-shah. The Sioux word for curl is hkah, 
which is difficult of pronunciation because of the 
hawking sound involved. The Sioux for water that 
falls and curls is ilinne hkah — that is water consid- 
ered in the singular number. Water composing a 
falls or cataract is considered in the plural, and the for a cataract, a rapids, or a waterfall is 
Minne hkah-hkah. 

The Sioux called the Falls of St. Anthony, ".Minne- 
likali-liknh." meaning, "where the curling and whirl- 
ing waters fall." The old Sioux now in the State 
still call them, and even Jlinneapolis, by the old name. 
They called and still call, the Chippewas, "Hkah- 
hkah Ton wan," or the Falls People, "Hkah-hkah," 
meaning waterfalls, or rapids, and "Tonwan" mean- 
ing people or village. When they first knew the Chi])- 
pewas the latter lived at the Falls, or Rapids, of Sault 
Ste. Marie, or St. :\lary's Falls, and the name given 
them then was always used. 

The l)eautiful and now celebrated little waterfall 
called Minnehaha — interpreted by those who don't 
know the Sioux language as meaning "laughing 
water," — was of course known to the old Sioux, hut 
they had no distinctive name for it, simply calling it. 
"minne-hkah che-stina, " or the little waterfall — che- 
.stina (accent on first syllable) means little. The Sioux 
word for laugh, as a verb, is e-khah, accent on first 
syllable. Laughing water in Sioux is Minue-e-hkah. 
St. -Vnthony Falls is the true "Minne-hkah-hkah" — 
or "Minnehaha." (See Riggs's or Williamson's Dic- 
tionaries of the Sioux Language.) 

Further describing conditions at St. Anthony, Mr. 
Seymour wrote : 

"There are various opinions with regard to tiie 
practicability of improving the river for .steamboat 
navigation to within a .short distance of the Falls. 
St. Anthony City, on the east side of the river, about 
a mile below the Falls, and l)elow the worst rapids, has 
been laid out with a view probably of its ultimately 
being the head of navigation : but the more general 
opinion seems to be that the improvement of the river 
to that point will be attended with too much expense 




to be attempted before the country above shall have 
become quite populous. * « « 

"A dam is thrown across the eastern channel from 
the main laud to the upper end of the island, a dis- 
tance of about 400 feet, and extending thence up 
stream about 350 feet to another island above, thus 
forming the two sides of a right-angled triangle, and 
affording, in the present stage of low water, an excel- 
lent promenade. The foundation on which the dam 
is constructed is a smooth limestone rock, presenting 
at its surface a level plane or floor, to which the tim- 
ber is attached by bolts, and the structure thus formed 
seems capable of resisting the utmost violence of the 
waters. This horizontal plane of limestone rock occu- 
pies the bed of the channel from the dam to the per- 
pendicular fall, some forty rods below, and affords 
an excellent foundation for the erection of mills. The 
dam is so constructed as to admit of 18 flumes, extend- 
ing at regular intervals along its course and capable 
of propelling 18 saws or other machinery. Two saws 
are now in operation and cutting at the lowest esti- 
mate, 13.000 feet of lumber daily. The head obtained 
at the low-est stage of water is eight feet. 

"Mr. Steele, the principal proprietor, informed me 
that he made a claim here in 1837. The improvement 
of the water power was commenced in the autumn of 
1847, and the saws commenced running in the autumn 
of 1848. The land, including the town-site and the 
water power, was entered at the I". S. Land Office last 
summer (1848) by ^Mr. Steele, at $1.25 per acre, under 
his claim or pre-emption. The expense of the im- 
provements are estimated by him at •'^35,000. Mr. 
A. W. Taylor, of Boston, who is here to-day, has re- 
centlv purchased one of the water powers for about 

"The mill has not been able to supply the demand 
for lumber, which is taken as fast as it can be sawed 
at $12 per thousand feet for clear stuff and $10 for 
common. The logs were obtained this season on Rum 
and Crow Wing Rivers, which are tributaries of the 
Mis.sissippi. Pine timber is said to abound on the 
upper tributaries of the latter river in inexhaustible 

"Two long and narrow i.slands extending from the 
western end of the dam nearly a mile up the river 
form a secure harbor or mill-pond for an immense 
immber of logs. Another dam might be constructed 
below the other, across the eastern cliannel. where 
there is a perpendicular fall of 12 feet or more. 

"The land on the ojyposite side of the river is in- 
cluded in the military reservation of Fort Snelling: 
a house and mills were erected here for the use of tlie 
garrison nearly thirty years aso. They were formerly 
protected by a sergeant's guard, [five men] but have 
not been occupied recently. It is currently reported 
here tliat Hon. R(il)ert Smitli. of Illinois, has leased 
this propert\' of the Ceneral Government for a ti'fin 
of years, and that lie intends to put the mills in 

There are iiulications tliat when Mr. Seymour was 
here in 1849 he was writing a .series of letters de- 
scriptive of the Minnesota country, probably to an 
Eastern iournal. and that a compilation of these 

sketches made up his "Sketches of Minnesota," a most 
admirable publication in every way. The expressions 
"to-day," "this moniing."' and the like, are common 
in the author's descriptions: apparently he neglected 
to omit them when he transferred his sketches to book 
form. Of St. Anthony in June-, 1849, he writes: 

' ' Saint Anthony, which is laid out on the east bank 
of the ^lississippi, directly opposite the cataract, is 
a beautiful town-site, A handsome elevated prairie, 
with a gentle inclination toward the river bank, aud 
of sufficient width for several parallel streets, extends 
indefinitely up and down the river. In the rear of 
this another bench of table land swells up some 30 feet 
high, forming a beautiful and elevated plateau. A 
year ago there was only one | ?] house here ; now there 
are about a dozen new^ framed buildings, including a 
store [^Marshall's] and a hotel, [Northi'up's] nearly 
completed. During the summer it is expected that a 
large number of houses will be erected. Lots are sold 
by the proprietor [Frank Steele] with a clause in the 
deed prohibiting the retail of ardent spirits on the 
premises [for two years]. 

"Saint Anthony is eight miles from St. Paul aud 
about the same distance from Meudota. It will prob- 
ably be connected with the former place at no very 
di.stant day by a railroad; its manufacturing 
facilities will soon render such an improvement 

"Taking into consideration the amount of fall, the 
volume of water, the facility with which the water 
power may be appropriated, and the beautiful coun- 
try by which it is surrounded, its proximity to the 
head of 20,000 miles of steamboat navigation in the 
Mississippi vallej', and lastly its location in a healthy 
climate, there is not perhaps a superior water-power 
site in the United States than that of St, Anthony. 
That it will cventuallij Ixcome a grrat manufacturing 
toivii there is no doubt. Water-power in ilinnesota 
is abundant, but this at St, Anthony is so extensive 
aud so favorably situated, that it will invite a concen- 
tration of mechanical talent and of population where- 
by the jiecessary facilities for profitable manufactur- 
ing will be abundantly afforded. It is not, indeed, 
expected that a Lowell, of musliroom growth, will 
spriiig up here in a day ; such a state of things, if prac- 
ticable, is not desirable. But let the town only keep 
pace with the country and a- cify will spring up in 
these 'polar regions,' (as some people choose to call 
this country) sooner than is anticipated." 

Jlr. Se\-mour's predictions regarding the future 
of St. Anthony were tjie first of the kind made and 
published by a visitor. He lived to see them abun- 
dantly fulfilled. His description of the country too 
was remarkably accurate, as well as intere.stingly 


While Mr. Seymour was at St. Anthony thr.-e 
Chippewa chiefs from Crow Wing River were there 
and he saw them and interviewed them. They came 
down to collect from Daniel Stanchfield the 50 cents 
per pine tree which he. as the agent of Mr. Steele, had 



promisftl to pay tiu'iii whi'ii the year before they were 
logging on the Crow Wing. Mr. Seymour writes: 

' ■ Three chiefs of the Chippewa tribe are iiere today 
from Crow Wing Kiver. They have had some diffi- 
culty with a person | Stanehficld] who has been en- 
gaged (hiring the past winter in cutting pine logs on 
their land for which a stipulated sum was to be paid. 
They detained the logs and have come down to ar- 
range tile matter. One of them (Hole in the Day) 
was dressed in a fine broadcloth frock coat, red leggins 
and moccasins, a line shirt, a fashionable fur hat, with 
a narrow brim antl surmounted l)y a hirge and beauti- 
ful military plume. About ")() silver trinkets were sus- 
pended from each ear. He held in his hand a pipe 
made of red pipestoue, which had a woodeu stem 
about four feet long.'' 


In the latter part of June (1849) Mr. Seymour 
and a companion set out in a spring-wagon from St. 
Paul for Sauk Rapids and other points on the upper 
Mississippi. At that date Willoughby & Powers ran 
a three-seated open spring-wagon on daily trips be- 
tween St. Paul and St. Anthony — Seymour calls it 
an '"open stage" — and there was no pu.blic convey- 
ance farther northward; but freight wagons, in con- 
siderable numbers, were always on the road betu'eeji 
St. Paul and Port Gaines, (afterward called Fort Rip- 
ley) on the east side of the river, six miles below the 
mouth of Crow AVing. 

St. Anthony liad no hotels or "taverns" then. Un- 
less a traveler met with a hospitable settler willing to 
share his crowded ([uarters, he had to "camp out." 
In all eases where a settler furnished entertainment 
be made no charge for it, although there was great 
complaint then at the high cost of living; for corn 
was .$1 per busliel, oats 50 cents, flour $11 a barrel, 
butter 3714 ceuts a pound, eggs 25 cents a dozen, but 
pork was only $6 a hundred and venison and other 
"wild meat" were very cheap. 

Passing by St. Anthony, on the road up the eastern 
bank of the river about three miles, Seymour says he 
saw a few houses and cultivated farms. Leaving the 
river he struck out northeast over Cold Spring Prairie 
for John Banfjl's house, or "tavei-n" whicli was eight 
miles from St. Anthony, on Rice Creek, near its ,iunc- 
tion with the Mississippi, and became the site of Frid- 
ley. Banfil had a big house, for the times, and a large 
framed barn, lint every night his house was filled 
with travelers and his barn, although it had stalls for 
4n horses, was overflowing. lie told Seymour that 
often 20 horses and nuiles had to stand out of doors 
all night liecanse there was no room for them. These 
teams belonged to freight wagons which were engaged 
in hauling troods and supplies to the upper country, 
and thcii- drivers wei-e. for the most part, the people 
that crowded the house. 

Between Banfll's and Sauk Rapids all of the few 
houses were "stojiping places" where the traveler 
might find food and shelter. At Antoine Robert's 
Rum River Ferry there was a log cabin occupied by 
Robert him.self and \Vm. Dahl. lioth liaclielors. This 

cabin was a tavern, too. Here is the site of Auoka, 
and it is said tluit Robert's cabin was the first house 
in the place. The tavern had no beds, and guests slept 
on the floor, using their own blankets. 

Cokl Spring Prairie, before mentioned, was named 
from a remarkable spring of water in the Mississippi, 
at the Prairie's eastern border. It boiled up, from a 
considerable depth, within a foot or so from the 
water's edge, and with such force that it threw up 
gravel and pebbles. It made a roaring, luibbling noise 
clearly audible 200 feet away. The spring was ten 
feet in diameter, and its water, wliere not mingled 
with that of the ^Mississippi, was ice-cold. Seymour 
caught a handful of pebbles as they were throwu up 
b}- the spring. 

Seymour weut ou up to Sauk Rapids, stopped at 
Gilmau's famous old frontier hotel, wliich was 
crowded with guests, and returned to Simeon P. Fol- 
som's hotel, on Elk River. Folsom iuid been at St. 
Anthony for some time and made the prelinnnary 
survey of the place, but his survey was afterward 
supplanted by J\Iarshall 's. Subsequeutly he was a 
surveyor and prominent citizen of St. Paul. 


The first newspaper in Minnesota was called the 
Jlinnesota Pioneer, and tlie first lumiber was issued 
at St. Paul, April 28. 1849. Under all the circum- 
stances the paper was a very creditable publication 
and did very much indeed to Minnesota 
Territory; twice as many copies of every issue were 
mailed to persons in other States as were sent to local 

Its editor and proprietor, James Madison Goodhue 
(for whom the county was named) was a scholar, a 
lawyer, and an accomplished writer, and in every 
number of his paper he set forth in attractive lan- 
guage the advantages presented by ^Minnesota to iiome- 
seekers and investors. He wrote without dictation 
from any one and had no master or boss. He had no 
mercy on bad men and their schemes and denounced 
them vigorously, and if he believed a man to be a 
thief or a scoundrel of any sort, he did not hesitate to 
say so — and he very often felt imi)elled to say so! 
He always had sometliing good to say of Minnesota — 
not something foolishly extravagant and ovei' lauda- 
tory, btit something that was plausible and convinc- 
ing and rang true. Hence what he said about the 
country was believed, ami as a publicity agent he and 
his paper did a great deal of good for the Territory 
at a very snudl expense. 

Goodhue's "^linnesota Pioneer" did nnich for St. 
Antho)iy at an early day. As soon as there was any- 
thing to be .said about the village, the ]iaper said it. 
The first Fourth of July celebration in the Territory 
was in 1849. and held at St. Paul. All outlying set- 
tlements particiiiated. There was a iirocession, ora- 
tions, etc., and at night a "grand ball" at the Amer- 
ican House. The Pioneer noted that St. Anthony con- 
tril)uted to the celebration. Franklin Steele was mar- 
shal of the day and W. R. Marshall one of tlie man- 
agers of the ball. 




In its issue of August 9, 1849. the Pioneer contained 
a two-column article di-seriptive of St. Anthony, the 
Palls, and general surroundings, and this paper, 
which was written by Editor Goodhue himself, was 
certainly of advantage to the place. Describing the 
mills, the paper said: 

"A very large sawmill, capable of making 2,000.000 
ft. of lumber per annum, has been erected, and 
another mill of the most substantial and thorough 
description is in process of erection. It is the plan of 
the proprietors to erect mills enough to employ 18 
or 20 saws, besides using all the water necessary for 
other machinery. For the present, lumber will be 
the leading interest of the i^lace. The saws went into 
operation last autnnni. and have had no rest since, 
night or day, except Sundays, and yet the demand for 
lumber at the Palls and at St. Paul has not nearly 
been supplied. But, however many mills may be 
built, there will not be a sufficient supply of lumber 
for years to keep pace with the growth of ^linnesota 
and our wants for building and fencing material." 

Of the pine woods to the north and the consequent 
supply of material for the mills to work upon, the 
article was sure that: — 

"There is no ground for apprehending a want of 
mill logs; for between the Palls of St. Anthony and 
the Pokagamon Palls [now near Grand Rapids and 
spelled Pokegama] which are said to be [but incor- 
rectly so] practically another St. Anthony, 400 miles 
north — is a vast body of pine timber, perhaps the 
most extensive in the world, and into which the axe 
has as j'et made no inroads. This region of pines is 
watered by the Crow Wing River, the Rabbit, and the 
Pine Rivers, and many other streams, and embosoms 
in its sombre shades of evergi-een trees Winnipic 
Lake, Lake. Leech Lake, Pokagamon Lake, and 
many other fine sheets of water. The pine region is 
also interspersed with many tracts of fine, rich lands 
which are destined to be cultivated and inhabited." 

John Rollins 's steamboat had not then been built. 
but the Mississippi above the Palls was being navi- 
gated, for the writer said : 

"Prom the Palls of St. Anthony to Sauk Rapids 
the Fur Company has already opened navigation. 
Boats have been constructed this season, under the 
direction of Mr. Henry M. Rice, for towing. A tow- 
path has been prepared, and a boat towed by two 
horses has made several trips, loaded each trip with 
100 barrels of flour. Mr. Rice thinks (he steamboat 
Senator could run the same trip, even as far as 
Pokagamon Falls; the only obstruction is a few 
boulders at Sauk Rapids, which could easily be re- 
moved in low water. If the experiment, which is 
about to be made, of running boats above the St. 
Peter's to the foot of the Palls shall succeed, there 
will then be only a mile or two of interruption to 
navigation [at St. .\nthony] between St. Louis and 
Pokagamon Palls." 

The editor was favorably impressed with the ap- 
pearance of the place, declaring that : — 

"The beauty of scenery at St. Anthony cannot be 

exaggerated. We are particularly delighted with that 
bench of table land back of Water Street, some 30 
feet high, running parallel with the river and from 
which one ovei-looks the Island and the Palls. Along 
this bench a row of houses has sprung into existence 
since our last visit. A healthier spot than St. 
Anthony cannot be found. Most of its inhabitants 
are from the lumber regions of ilaiue and are people 
of industry. energj% and enterprise. Those who are 
loafers and tipplers will find no encouragement at 
St. Anthony. Every person there works for a living. 
There is not a grog shop in town." 

Sketching the place historically — and becoming 
thereby its first historian — jMr. Goodhue wrote: 

"The water power here was first claimed by Mr. 
Franklin Steele twelve years ago [or in 1837.] Mr. 
Steele is the sutler at Port Snelling, a most worthy 
officer, and a man who has done more than a little for 
]\liunesofa. He built the first [ ?] mills on the St. 
Croix and here. He is emphatically a pioneer. 
Laboring under disadvantages which no other man 
can imagine, in obtaining labor, tools, and materials 
for the work, he succeeded in time in building the 
dam and setting things in motion. He has expended 
at these Palls over $50,000. 

"A few months since Cushing & Company, of 
Massachusetts, having failed to comply with the con- 
ditions of their purchase of a part of this property 
from ]Mr. Steele, he sold one-half of the water power 
to iMr. A. W. Taylor, of Boston, a gentleman who 
seems to have had a keen perception of the capabili- 
ties of the place. Mr. (iodfrey, [meaning Ard God- 
frey] who is also one of the mill proprietors, is the 
operating agent of the mills. Under his thorough and 
efficient management, the business of the concern now 
seems to be abundantly profitable, with high promise 
of still greater and better things. 

"Of St. Anthony we are constrained to say, in all 
sincerity, that a place more inviting to the invalid, 
the laborer, or the capitalist cannot be found in the 
East or the West, the North or the South. Nor can 
a more beautiful town site be found anywhere than 
St. Anthony, commencing at Mr. Cheever's landing — 
the head of navigation for the river below tlie Falls 
— and extending to the head of the Island, [Nicollet] 
where navigation above the Palls commences. 

"Among the gentlemen interested in St. Anthony, 
liesides those that reside here, we will mention the 
name of Franklin Steele, Hon. Mr. Sibley, Mr. Rice, 
Mr. Gilbert, Capt. Paul R. (Jeorge. and several others 
whose names do not now occur to us. All of these men 
will be the last in the world to let St. Anthony stand 
still for want of capital, energy, and enterprise and 
fail to develop those mighty resources which the 
Creator has placed here so lavishly. 

" * * * To say nothing of the payment of 
Indian annuities at Port Snelling and the demand 
for the productions of the lumber trade and indus- 
try, it is plain that other extensive mills and manu- 
factories nuist soon be built at St. Anthony ; and these 
will employ nniltitudes of hands in the maiuifacture 
of all articles not of a light character that are most 
needed in this region, and thus build up a trade of 
exchanges between the town and the counfrv'." 



As to the (iiialities ol' tlie surrouudiug country as 
ail agi-ifultural district he declared that: 

"Tliere is certainly no spot in our country where 
farming is likely to be so well rewarded as liere. 
I-'arraers, especially of New England, if they could 
but once see. our lands, would never think of settling 
on the bilious bottoms and the enervating prairies 
in the country south of us. The soils there may be 
a little more fertile, but the country is malarious and 
unhealthy, aiul what is fertility, what is wealth, with- 
out vigorous health and activity of body and mind? 
The considerations that will weigh more in future 
with the immigrants than heretofore will be our clear 
bracing air, an invigorating winter to give elasticity 
to the system, pure and balmy summers with no 
malaria and only iiealth in their breezes, and water 
as pure and wliolesome as the dews of heaven gushing 
from hill and valley." 

And this much by way of prophecy : 

"When we consider how soon the upper Missis- 
sippi will lie placed in direct communication with the 
Atlantic by a railroad extending eastward from 
Galena, and ]>y steamboat through the Wisconsin and 
Fox Rivers and the Great Lakes — -a work already well 
in progress — it is not too much to predii't for this 
young Territory and for the manufacturing interests 
of St. Anthony a rapidity of growth unparalleled 
even in the annals of Western progress." 

.\ PIONEEK L.\DY'S reminiscences. 

In the spring of 1848 Sherburn Huse.* who had 
fomierly resided at ^lachias, Maine, locatt>d with his 
family in St. Anthony, at what is now Eighth Avenue 
Southeast and IMain Street. He had a wife and six 
children, and his family made quite an addition to the 
little community. Mr. Huse lived but two years, hut 
some of his children have resided in ^linneapolis for 
more than three-score years. His daughter, Amanda 
I\I. Huse, married Lucius N. Parker and lived at St. 
Anthony Falls until her death, October 18, 1913. Not 
long hefoi-e her death ^Irs. Parker dictated an article 
detailing her reminiscences of her earliest days in 
I\rinneapolis and this article was printed in the ]\Iin- 
neapolis -Journal of October 19, 1913, the day after 
her death. 

The article itself is interesting and valuable history. 
Mrs. Parker was a lady of strong mental qualities. 
Her memoT-ies of early days were so ample and so 
accurate as to be well-nigh ])henomenal. Her state- 
ments accord witli established and undisputed histori- 
cal facts, and she pi-esents much tliat is new and 
original. Her article is well wortli preserving in tliis 
history and is here given : 

"My father was in poor health when we lived in 
the State of ]\Iaine. [so states Mrs. Parker in her 
articli'l and, believing that the much pi'aised climate 
of Wisconsin Territon- would be of beiielit to him, 
it was decided (lurin<j- the winter of 1S4.")-46 that 
in the following spring our family should undertake 
the .'onrney. So, late in March, 1846, we left ^lach- 
ias. .Me., by boat for Boston. Our party consisted of 

* The family name was originally spelleti Hugbes. 

our family only and included my father, Sherburu 
Huse; my mother, Hester Huse: my two brothers, 
Sanford and George S. Huse ; my three sisters, Elvira 
(who was afterwards Mrs. Calvin C. Church, and 
later Mrs. .John H. Noble); Jane, Evaline, and my- 
self. We went from Boston to Albany partly by 
train and partly by team. At Albany we took a canal 
boat to ButTalo. At Butfalo we embarked on another 
boat for Milwaukee, and from the latter place we 
went to Madison, Wis., by team. It was central Wis- 
consin tliat we had in view wlieu we left Maine, and, 
arriving at Madison, my fatlier built a small frame 
house and we I'euiained there until October, 1847. 
The attractions of the Dalles of St. (Jroix were even 
at that early date not unknown, and in the fall of 
1847 we engaged a team and started for them. We 
made the .iourney by team from Madison to La Crosse, 
Wis., where we took the steamer Jlenomouic, which 
was in charge of Captain ^t'l'i'i Smith, with its desti- 
nation Stillwater, then in Wisconsin. On the steamer 
my parents met a .Mr. Orange Walker, who was a mil- 
lei- in the little settlement of ^Marine, near Osceola, 
and near Stillwater. The result of many chats on the 
steamer caused my parents to change their destina- 
tion to Stillwater, where we arrived in October, 1847. 

"We were still in an unsettled condition in Still- 
water when my father, who was an able millwright, 
received a letter from Franklin Steele, at St. Antliouy, 
offering him interesting inducements to come to St. 
Anthony and assist liim in the building of a saw- 
mill. Among the other inducements that ilr. Steele 
held out if he would come to St. Anthony was, that 
in addition to his wages, he would give my father a 
lot of ground in the vicinity of the proposed mill site, 
on which to build himself a home and that the first 
lunibei' that the proposed mill shouUl saw when com- 
pleted would go for that purpose. 

"Mr. Steele's propositions being accepted, we left 
Stillwater for St. Anthony in May, 1848, and in- 
stalled ourselves in a log cabin, located at what is 
now about Eighth Avenue and ^[ain Street. 
This cabin had been built by French traders, and the 
locality for years after we moved there was known 
as Huse's Creek, as a small stream of water flowed 
near the door and blew away in a pretty spray over 
the bank of the Mississippi not far from our new 
home. ]\Iy father at once took charge of the construc- 
tion of tlie new mill, together with Caleb Dorr, Ard 
Godfrey, a Mr. Roirers, and my two broth'-rs. While 
this mill was being built on the river bank at a point 
what now would be First Avenue Southeast. Caleb 
Doit, my brother Sanford, who was then about 20 
years old, and six others went up the Mississippi as 
far as Rum River, near where Anoka now stands, and 
cut down willi axes enough trees during June to sup- 
ply the new mill with lumber for a shoi-t time. 

"As per the terms of the contract with Mr. Steele, 
the very first lumber sawed in this mill was turned 
over to my father, who, with my two brothers, carried 
it on their backs to what is now Second Avenue 
Southeast and Second Street, where they innnediately 
besan the erection of a six-room frame house. It was 
this corner lot, the northeast comer, that my father 



had selected, as per contract with Mr. Steele, on 
which to build his home. Beyond all peradventure 
this was the first frame house built and occupied in 
the town of St. Anthony. We moved into this house 
in October, 1848, while the upper part of it was yet 
unfinished. Ard Godfrey — who was building a house 
along somewhat similar lines that my father was 
building his, except with two additional rooms — 
finished his house shortly after ours was finished and 
moved into it in Novemljer, one month after we had 
become settled in ours. My father died in this house 
in 1850, and the house was damaged by fire- upon 
two occasions, but was repaired along almost similar 
lines of the original, as my mother would permit of 
little modernizing. 

"The social center of the settlement St. Anthony 
during the winter of 1848-49 was a two-story log 
house that had been erected by the owners of the 
new mill and directly across the street from it. This 
house had been erected for the purpose of boarding 
those who were employed in the mill, nearly twenty 
persons. The landlord during this winter was Calvin 
C. Church, who afterwards married my sister Hes- 
ter. He was the Ward McAllister of the day and 
the principal mover in most social functions. There 
were a great many more Indians in and about St. 
Anthonj' during that winter than there were whites. 
They were always roaming and shifting about through 
the entire locality, and many of them were drawn 
there from many miles through curiosity to see the 
new mill and its wonders. 

"It was almost a daily occurrence to find Indians in 
my mother's best parlor. They would walk in and 
through the little house boldly and stoically, usually 
seating themselves on the floor, and the members of 
the family would have to walk around them. Often 
they brought cranberries or other fruit to sell or trade. 
As I look back at them from this year, 1913, they 
were an audacious and useless lot, but at that time 
their visits were received as a matter of course and 
little attention was paid to them. One incident, how- 
ever, that occurred on July 4, 1848, in my acquaint- 
ance with the 'noble red men,' was of more than pass- 
ing moment. 

"During the summer of 1848 there were only four 
marriageable white yoiing women in St. Anthony. 
These were Miss Marion Patch (afterwards Mrs. R. P. 
Russell), Cora Patch, her .sister, who afterward mar- 
ried Joseph Marshall, a brother of former Governor 
William R. Marshall: ray sister. Jane Huse, who 
afterward married Charles Kingsley, and myself. As 
there were also only about ten or fiftei n young un- 
married women in St. Paul, the total supply in both 
towns of young women for dance and other social 
functions was somewhat limited. Therefore, when a 
dance of any pretensions was announced to take place 
in St. Paul, it was necessary to call upon the reserve 
force of young women in Minneapolis to fill out the 
'sets.' When a dance took place in St. Anthony the 
four young women of that settlement were aiigraented 
by the buds and lilossoms from St. Paul. Without 
this co-operation, a successful, well-rounded social 

function — we called them 'parties' then — was im- 

"On the evening of the Fourth of July in question, 
a dance had been announced to take place at Bass's 
hotel, in St. Paul. It was a small frame building on 
the same site at the corner of Tlrird /ind Jackson 
streets, where the ilerchants hotel now stands. Those 
who had the arrangements of the proposed dance in 
charge sent a Mr. Bissell as their emissary to collect 
the marriageable female contingent of St. Anthony. 
He arrived in an open Concord wagon, drawn by two 
horses. His disappointment was keen when Luther 
Patch, the father of the Patch sisters, would not let 
his daughters go. After many paternal instructions 
as to what constituted the proper conduct for young 
ladies who hoped for future social favors, mj' sister, 
Jane, and I climbed into the rear seat of the comfort- 
able Concord and we started. 

"At that time the government was transferring the 
Winnebago Indians from a reservation in Wisconsin 
to one above St. Anthon^y some distance. There were 
Indians everywhere, making the trip by slow stages. 
Thousands of them were camped on what is at present 
the campus of the State University, then known as 

"W^hen we arrived at a point where a state reform 
school afterwards was built, between St. Paul and 
Minneapolis, we were stopped by a drunken Indian, 
who took hold of the bridle of one of the horses. He 
demanded whisky. He, and a sober companion had 
been to St. Paul, and, as was always the custom 
with all Indians, if one had gotten intoxicated, the 
other had remained sober to guard his associate. Mr. 
Bissell struck the Indian who had interrupted our 
journey over the head with the butt of his whip, and 
forced him to release his hold on the bridle. When 
the sober Indian saw this lie started for us, aiming an 
18-inch revolver at our driver. The horses by this 
time were on the dead run, but the fleet-footed Indian 
was not to be shaken off' so easily and he kept abreast 
of our buggy for more than a mile. Either caution or 
gallantry prevented him from aiming his ugly-looking 
weapon at either of us girls. This race against death 
was highly exciting, and when the half-crazed redman 
showed signs of exhaustion, and discovered that he 
could no longer keep abreast of our buggy, he fired at 
our driver, the shot knocking Mr. Bissell's hat into 
the road. After stopping at the first store in St. Paul 
so that Jlr. Bissell could purchase new headgear, we 
continued on our way to the dance and we did not 
])ermit the incident of the ride to mar in any way the 
festivities of Bass's hotel. Among those present at 
that dance were: A. L. Larpentenr and wife, Ben- 
.iamin Irvine, ^liss Presley. Jliss Amanda Irvine, and 
others, some tliirty in all. 

"The Indian's greeting, however, left its impres- 
sion, for on our return home the next day, we did not 
return by the 'old i-iver road.' through the avenues 
of tepees and lanes of the men of the forest, but 
more cautiously journeyed away around back of what 
is now Lake Como. 

"It was one day in June. 1849, when Simeon Fol- 
som. who. with his young wife, occupied a little log 



house la-ar a Mr. Denoyi'i-'s, ou what was afterwards 
called "the old St. Anthony road,' now University 
Avenue, sent a team to St. Anthony for me anil Mis-s 
Margaret Karnham, who afterwards became Mrs. 
Frank llihii'eth. to come to hi.s house, as his wife had 
just died. When we arrived there the only other per- 
son at the liouse was Mrs. Patch. .Mrs. K. P. Kussell's 
mother. Miss Farnham anil 1 rendered such comfort 
to the bereaved pioneer as was within our power, and 
as Jlr. Folsom was worn out from his long watching 
and an.xious care of his sick wife, it remained the duty 
of us two girls to 'sit up with the corpse.' It was 
considerably after mi<lnight that we luul fallen asleep, 
liut were suddenly awakened liy the sound of a terrific 
turmoil .just outside of the door, caused by the dogs 
Having been attaelied by a pack of wolves. The eom- 
liat became so fierce that the wolves had the dogs re- 
treating and, finally, in their fear and confusion, the 
wliole pack, dogs and all, l)urst through the door and 
continued the war at our feet. 

"The howling and yelping of the desperate brutes 
had in the meantime arou.sed Mr. Folsom, and, as ]\Iiss 
Farnham and I made a dash for one door, Mr. Folsom 
opened another door and discharged his shotgun in 
the face of the pack. This caused confusion and fear 
among the wolves and gave the dogs renewed courage 
and the whole lot of them went racing across the 
prairie. Tlie outer door was then securely bolted and 
barred, but the uncertainties of the situation pre- 
vented us from getting further sleep during the rest 
of the night. 

■'Had a city directory been compiled in ilay, 1848, 
of St. Anthony, the total list of females in the settle- 
ment would have read as follows: iMrs. Luther Patch, 
Miss Marion Patch, Jane Huse, Mrs. Calvin Tut- 
tle. ^ Cora Patch, ]Miss Amanda M. Huse, Mrs. 
Elvira Huse, Miss Evaline Huse, and not more than 
fifty males. 

"My other sister, Hester (Mrs. John H. Noble) had 
mairied ami remained in Stillwater. 

"My father, Sherburn Huse. died at St. Antlion\-. 
Jan. 5, 1S.')0, and as there was no such thing as a 
hearse in the .settlement at that time, the very plain 
coffin was placed in a small, very ordinary express 
wagon, drawn by one horse. Dr. Foster, who was then 
a boy of about 12 years, drove the express wagon. My 
father was the firet American buried in the old Maple 
Hill Cemeti'ry. 

"The Fourth of July ceremonies in St. Anthony 
took place where the exposition building now stands. 
The orator of the day — 1 have forgotti'u his name — 
was an imported one. He talked from an especially 
erected platform that was about three feet high. This 
platform was encircled by a single row of seats which 
was quite sufficient to accommodate all the w'hite in- 
habitants of the locality. Quite a scattering of In- 
dians stood around thi' outside of this circle. Such a 
thing as 'fireworks' were quite an unknown quantity, 
but what the celebration lacked in pyrotechnics it 
made up in enthusiasm. The real celebration that 
year was to be in the form of a dance at Bass's hotel. 
St. Paul. I left St. Anthony for this dance early in 
the afternoon and it w-as on this trip that T had one 
of my experiences with some Tigly Indians wliidi T 

have related elsewhere. The Fourth of July celebra- 
tion in 1849 was slightly more elaborate and the im- 
ported orator of the day came over from St. Paul. 

"Miss Lucy Russell, now the wife of William L. 
Colbrath, was the first female white child born in St. 
Anthony, and my son, (ieorge B. Parker, was tlie first 
male wliit*- child born in the settlement. My otiier 
children still living are Mrs. Augustine Tiiompson, .")6 
Eleventh street North, Minneapolis; Frank B. Parker, 
of Taeoma. Wash., and Charles A. Parker, of New 
York Cit}'. 

"There being no regularly ordained minister in St. 
Anthony at the time, I was married to Lucius N. 
Parker in my father's house, Sept. 16, 1849, by Rev. 
Jlr. Iloj't of St. Paul. This house, as I have said be- 
fore, was at what is now Second avenue Southeast and 
Second street. Just across the way was the Godfrey 

"As was the custom of the country at the time, my 
husband and I were given a rude serenade called a 
charivari (or 'shivarce') by some of the young men 
and boys of the village. The' ceremony proved to be 
very ill-timed. AVithin a short time of tlie hour that 
1 was married, Mrs. Godfrey's daughter, Ilattie. was 
born. Some eight or ten of the young men of the set- 
tlement had gathered under the shadows of the God- 
frey house well supplied with tin cans, a whistle or 
two and gloried in the possession of one long tin horn. 

"Almost simultaneously with the birth of Mrs. 
Godfi'ey's pretty little dausihter, the charivari broke 
forth in all of its pandeinoniiini, and the young mother 
became very much frightened, believing that the In- 
dians had broken out ori the warpath. Calei) Dorr, 
who boarded with ;\Ir. Godfrey, was summoned post- 
haste to summon St. Anthony's only physician. Dr. 
Kingsley. Jlr. Dorr's sudden dash out of the God- 
frey house into the night .scattered the charivari 
revelers in all directions, as they thought that the 
hurrying messeusjer was some chamiiion of oui's who 
had gone to summon others, and that vengeance was 
n])on them. 

"We. luy husband and I, were a little prenuiture 
in trying to establish our first pre-ein])tion at what 
is now Second Avemu' South and Third street, so we 
finally pre-empted 160 acres on the shores of Lake 
HaiTiet. adjoining the present home of (ieneral 
Charles McC. Reeve. This land we afterwards sold to 
Joel Bas.sett.* I reside at present at 622 East Fif- 
teenth street, ^finneapolis. 

"It would require an effort more than I would care 
to undertake to record from 1848 on down through the 
years the incidents, trials and triumphs of the valiant 
men and women who first settled at St. Anthony and 
Minneapolis. That task I leave to others. To them 
all a laurel wreath is due. As for myself, sixty-five 
years near the Falls of St. Anthony bring mists over 
pictures that were once vivid and declining age causes 
the eyes to turn toward a rainbow of another 

* Tt sppms that tlie Parker claim of 160 acres was on the 
south shore of Ijike Tlrnriot. now known as T.inden Jlills, 
while Calvin C. Church, the first husbanJ of Mrs. Nohle. Mrs. 
Parker's sister, pre-empted where the National Hotel now 
stands, at Second .^vemie South and Washington Avenue. 







In August, 1849, the few settlers at St. Anthony 
were reminded that they were again under the i-ule 
of law and order. A district court, with a real judge, 
a veritable sheriff, and a duly appointed foreman of a 
grand .jury, asisembled in tlieir midst, was regularly 
opened and speedily closed. Saturday, August 25, 
pursuant to order and notice, Hon. Bradley B. 
Meeker, of Kentucky, one of the Territorial Judges 
of Minnesota, and the particular Judge for the dis- 
trict to which St. Anthony had been assigned, came 
up from St. Paul and convened what was called a 

The proceedings of tliis tribunal were somewhat 
farcical. U. S. Marshal Henry L. Tilden was pi-es- 
ent. Judge Meeker appointed a crier and court was 
opened in due form. But there was no clerk, and 
therefore no records made with pen, ink, and paper 
and preserved. However, as there was nothing to 
record, no serious evil was done for the lack of a re- 
corder. Franklin Steele was appointed foreman of a 
grand jury, and the name of only one other member 
of that body is known. There was no business for a 
grand jury to do anyhow, — no indictments and pre- 
sentments demanded. Although it was a time when 
"there was no king in Israel," and "every man did 
that which was right in his own eyes," no offense 
against the law of nature, or of nations, or of the 
natural riglits of man, had been committed. 

The Minnesota Pioneer, tlie first newspaper in IMiu- 
nesota, lia<l lieen established just four months before 
Judge Meeker's court was held. Its editor, James 
M. Goodhue, attended and was the only other mem- 
ber of the grand jury besides Franklin Steele now 
certainly known. In the issue of the Pioneer of 
.\ugnst 30. he related liis experience in connection 
with the proceedings in the following article, never 
before re-printed : 

"We had the pleasure of attending at the opening 
and final adjournment of Judge Meeker's Court at 
St. Anthony, and have the satisfaction of having 
served on the first grand jury ever impaneled in the 
Second Judicial District of Miiniesota. Mr. Bean pro- 

vided an excellent dinner last Saturday,* embracing 
a very great variety of good things, for the people at 
Court. His Honor dismissed the jury with a very 
few handsome remarks. The crier adjourned the 
Court and the people took their departure. It was a 
day and an occasion which will long live in the 
memory of us all. 

"After court adjourned the ilarshal and several 
other gentlemen repaired to the Cavern under the 
Falls of St. Anthony. We made the entrance on the 
west side of the river under the west verge of the 
vast sheet of water. We found ourselves suddenly in 
a chamber nearly 100 feet in length and in width 
corresponding to the shape of an arc of a circle, the 
central width being about 15 or 20 feet and the eleva- 
tion about 20 feet. On the back side is a wall of 
shelving rock leaning fearfully forward ; overhead is 
a flat ledge over which the river pours; in front there 
is the grand curtain of water falling in an unbroken 
sheet, with a roar that might well pass for Nature's 
greatest bass notes. Compared with this exhibition 
the most superb melo-drama appears but insignifi- 

The record of this so-called court is largely legend- 
ary. It has been often stated and printed that it 
convened in the old Government saw-mill, on the 
west bank; that the Judge sat on the saw-carriage 
and the spectators on the saw-logs and lumber ; that 
after a little deliberation "the Sheriff," as U. S. 
^Marshal ;\Iitchell was thought to be, or at least was 
called, produced a gallon of wliisky. which was soon 
drank, and as soon as it had fulfilled its mission, and 
every one felt that he could do anything but deliber- 
ate, the court adjourned "until Court in course." 

Probably the nearest correct account of this court 
is given by the late Gen. R. W. Johnson, of St. Paul, 
and who was Frank Steele's brother-in-law. In a 
historical article published in the St. Paul Globe, Jan. 
3, 1888, the General says that the court convened, 
not in the saw-mill, but in the little building hard by, 
then occupied as a residence by Reuben Bean, the 

* Court was ordererl for Monday, August 27, but for some 
veHsoTi and somehow the date was changed to Satur- 
day, August 25. 




Goveruineut's miller; that, excupt opeuiug ami clos- 
ing the court, no business was transacted, and that 
"the entire session did not last an hour." 

In the first volume (p. 427) of the Atwater history, 
Judge Atwater records that the court was held "in 
the old lioverninent building erected in 1822." By 
"buiUliug"' is probably meant the miller's dwelling, 
for the writer says it was located "near the old 
Govei'nment mill" — not in the mill, but "near'' it. 
This location is now the intersection of Second Street 
and Eighth Avenue South. Tlius Atwater corrobor- 
ates Gen. Johnson as to the identity of the building 
where the "court'" was held. 

But the learned and well informed jurist, by an 
apparent lapse of memory, makes a singular but gross 
mistake as to the county in which the old mill stood 
at the time. He says: "At the time of holding the 
lirsl court, as above stated, the present site of Min- 
neapolis was in the County of La Pointe, which ex- 
tended from Lake Suiierior to the Minnesota River." 

Now. La I'ointe County did not comprise a foot of 
land in Southern ilinnesota after 18-10, in which year 
St. Croix County (Wisconsin) was created and as- 
signed to Crawford for judicial purposes. But in 
18-17 St. Croix became independent of Crawford in 
judicial resjjects and had a court of its own at Still- 
water, with Joseph R. Brown as clerk. Also, in that 
year St. Croix. Crawford, Cliipjiewa, and La Pointe 
Counties constituted a Legislative district ; and at 
the fall election Henry Jackson, the first merchant 
of St. Paul, was elected to represent it in the Legisla- 
ture, and was the last Representative in that body 
from what is now Minnesota. The St. Anthony set- 
tlement was in St. Croix County. 

In June, 1849, when Judge Meeker attempted to 
hold Court, Minnesota was an organized Territory, 
though not divided into counties. The mill whei-e the 
court convened was in the Indian country. Judge 
Meeker's "court," therefore, was not held in any 
proper county ! The Judge took up his residence at 
St. Anthony soon after his arrival in Minnesota. lie 
ac(|uired a considerable tract of land, a great part of 
which is now in the Midway district between St. 
Paul and ^Minneapolis. He w^as unmarried and kept 
bachelor's hall at ^Minneapolis for many years. 

It is not generally known that Judge Meeker's 
appointment as U. S. Territorial Judge was eon- 
firmed only after a long delay and against much 
opposition. He was then a Whig — or at least de- 
clared he was — and a Kentuckian ; but certain 
Kentucky Whigs of the variety knowni as "Old 
Hunkers" disliked him, and it was they who suc- 
ceeded in holding up his confirmation from .March, 
1840, until in September, 1850. He was always very 
popular in Minnesota, however. The Legislature 
named a county for him. and he was always honored 
and I'cspected here. When the Whig party was 
broken up, in 1853, he acted thereafter with the 
Democrats, as did many another former member of 
that old-time party, but he was never called a "turn- 
coat" for his action. He di(>d at I\Iilwaukee. in 
February, 1873. 


The first public matter considered of essential con- 
sequence in a new American community is the elec- 
tion of the necessary officers and public servants to 
direct and manage the general welfare. The first 
election in which the few citizens of pioneer St. 
Anthony took part was held October 3tl, 1848, while 
they were yet citizens of "Wisconsin Territory," as 
w-as called the district west of the St. Croix left out 
by the admission of Wisconsin State. As has been 
stated, the Stillwater Convention chose II. H. Sibley 
Delegate to Congress from this district which was 
con.sidered reallj' Wisconsin Territory. It had once 
iudisi)utably formed a part of that Territory and its 
people were not to blame that they had been cut off 
from the State when it was organized. 

But the certificate of the Stillwater Convention was 
not considered all-surficient for the admission of Sib- 
ley to the Congress; another certificate was neces- 
sary. Hon. John H. Tweedy, the Delegate from 
Wisconsin Territory when the State was admitted, was 
the proper Representative (perhaps) of the St. Croix 
district, claiming to be the Territory, — if there was 
such a Territory. Hon. John Catli)i, the last Terri- 
torial Governor of Wisconsin, was very friendly to 
the project of organizing Minnesota. He suggested 
that, in order to strengthen Sibley's case, Delegate 
Tweed.y resign, and then he. the Governor, would 
call a special election to choose a Delegate to fill the 
vacancy. Sibley, of course, would be a candidate and 
would be elected ; then Gov. Catlin would give him a 
certificate of election by the people, and this and the 
Stillwater certificate ought to be sufficient credentials 
for the trader's admis.sion. Tweedy promptly re- 
signed. Gov. Catlin came over from Madison to Still- 
water, so as to be within Wisconsin "Territory" 
and outside of Wisconsin State, and issued a proc- 
lamation calling the election for October 30. 

There were two candidates for the position, Henry 
H. Sibley and Henry M. Rice. Tliere was much 
astonishment when it was learned that Sibley was to 
have opposition, and that his ojjponent would be 
Mr. Rice. They were rival Indian traders and the 
heads of rival fur companies, Sibley, the chief factor 
of Pierre Chouteau, Jr., & Co.. engaged in trade with 
the Sioux, and Rice, the chief representative of Ewing 
& Co., trading with the Chippewas in their country. 

While there wer(> Imf about 200 voters in the "Ter- 
ritory" — and unnaturalized residents and half-blood 
Indians were allowed to vote — the contest was spirited 
and warm. The issues were largel.y personal; the 
question was whether Sibley or Rice was the better 
man and which of the two great fur companies should 
dominate matters in the new Territory. Both candid- 
ates were Democrats and hoped that Gen. Cass would 
defeat Gen. Taylor for the Presidency at the Novem- 
ber election, in which, however, of course neither 
could participate, as he did not live in a State. 

Charges of personal unfitness, of corruption, of 
illegal practices, etc., were freely made by the can- 
didates themselves and their respective partisans! 



Many letters passed and many promises were made, 
and some money, but not mueh, was spent. At first, 
polling places were established at Stillwater, ^larine, 
Prescott's, Sauk Rapids, Crow AVing, and Pokegama, 
but finally a voting district was established at Benj. 
Gervais"s Mill, at Gervais Lake, north of St. Paul, 
and St. Anthony was made a part of this election 
district, and also given a polling place. 

At the election all the qualified voters — and per- 
haps some that were not qualified — voted. Sibley 
was elected. The voting places controlled by the 
Chouteau Company went largely for him, aud the 
polls controlled by the Ewing Company and Jlr. Rice 
voted nearly or quite unanimously for that gentleman. 
There are no records obtainable of the election at 
Gervais 's Mill, but Gov. Marshall wrote down his 
recollection that Sibley had about 50 majority, and 
that every adult male at Fort Snelling (except the 
soldiers) voted and — under Sibley's and Frank 
Steele's influence — for Sibley. The action of the 
Stillwater Convention in endorsing him was power- 
fully efficient in securing his election. (See Chap. 
29, Vol. 2, Minn, in 3 Cents.) 


In May, 1856, Hon. R. P. Russell, then the Receiver 
of the Land Office at Minneapolis, furnished the St. 
Anthony Express with the annexed copy of the poll 
list of St. Anthony 's Falls precinct at the October .30 
election, 1848, for Delegate to Congress. It is to be 
regretted that there was not some way of recording 
the names of the Sibley men and the Rice partisans. 
All of the voters named lived at or near St. Anthony. 

••Poll List St. Anthony Pncinvt. 

"At an election held at the house of R. P. Russell, 
in the precinct of St. Anthony's Falls, township 29, in 
the County of St. Croix and Territory of Wisconsin, 
on the 30th day of October, 1848, the following per- 
sons received the number of votes annexed to their 
respective names for the following named offices, 
to-wit : 

"Henry H. Sibley had twelve (12) votes for Dele- 
gate to Congress. 

"Henry M. Rice had thirty (30) votes for Delegate 
to Congress. 

"Certified ))v us 

fCnlviu A. Tuttle, 
•JRnswell P. Russell, 
(Sherburn Huse. 
Judges of Election. 

The names of the voters w^re as follows: 

"Henry II. Angell, David Oilman. 

Stephen S. Angell, Sterling Gresshorn, 

John Banfield, Aai'on P. Howai'd, 

Benj. Bidgood. James M. Howard. 

Horace Booth, Sniiford Huse, 

Benj. Bowles, Sherburn Huse, 

Joseph Brown, Eli F. Lewis, 

Ira A. Burrows, John McDermott, 

John J. Carlton, 
David Chapman, 
Wm. A. Cheever, 
Louis Cross, 
Aiulrcw L. Cummings, 
Robert Cummings, 
John Dall, 
Joel B. Daman, 
Caleb D. Dorr, 
Dixon Farmer, 
Sumner W. P'ariihain. 
Edgar Folsom, 
Alplieus R. French, 

Isaac ilarks, 
Chas. L. Mitchell, 
Anthony Page, 
Edward Patch, 
John Rex. 

Alfred B. Robinson, 
Roswell P. Russell, 
Andrew Schwartz, 
Dennis Sherica, 
Iran Sincere, 
Daniel Stanchfield, 
Calvin A. Tuttle, 
Wm. J. Whaland."' 

Writing a note to W. H. Forbes, Sibley's chief 
clerk at ilendota, the da.y after the election, Wm. 
Dugas, (pronounced Du-gaw) a prominent Canadian 
Frenchman of the St. Anthony district, aud a zealous 
Siblej' man, described how the election passed otf and 
was conducted in his precinct : 

"Our election went of yesterday & considerable 
briefly we should have don beter but they co'mence 
buying votes quite early in the Morning, this morning 
two young men was at my house and sa.y that they 
was threteud to be kilt in the morning for saying 
hooraw for Sibley the other says they oft'erd him a 
dollar to vote for Rice but he answer that they were 
all his friends but that he shold vote for Sibley but he 
says now that before he voted he got vei-y Drunk 
and they some of them changed his vote and conse- 
quently got a vot out of him for Rice when he 
entered to vote for Sibley. My Sellfe and all my 
friends around me have I believed save our money 
and not have offered to any one pay for his vote. We 
thought best to pattering after the Honorable Mr. 
Sibley, save our money to buy, lands for our friends 
and our selves rather than buying votes with it, we 
now think that Mr. Sibley is safely elected and may 
God grant." (See Sibley papers, unpublished, 1840- 
50; Chap. 29, Yol. 2, Minn, in Three Centuries.) 


Sibley's election in October, 1848, was as Delegate 
from Wisconsin Territory. He was admitted to his 
seat and at once introduced a liill for the creation of 
Minnesota Territory, and this bill he successfully 
pressed to passage. With the creation of Minnesota 
Territory the erstwhile Territory of Wisconsin be- 
came extinct and Sibley was legislated out of office. 

Not long after his famous "First of Juno Proclama- 
tion," Gov. Ramsey, after due consideration, called 
an election for Delegate to Congress and for members 
of the Territorial Legislature. The organic act pro- 
vided that the so-called Territorial Assembly should 
be composed of a Council, to serve two years, and a 
House of Representative, to serve one year. ^lembers 
were to be voters and residents of their respective 
districts. July 7. (1849) the Governor made procla- 
mation dividing the Territory into seven Council dis- 
tricts and ordering an election to be held August 1 
following, to choose a Delegate to Congress and nine 
Councilors and 18 Representatives to constitute the 
First Legislative Assembly of Miiuiesota Territory. 



Caiiiiidatus wore "brought out" by Ihoir fiiiMuls and 
admiivrs without regard to thi'ir political seutiiueuts 
aud party lines were uot drawn. Sibley was a candi- 
date for Delegate and had no opposition. Out of 
about 700 votes cast in the Territory he received 682, 
and about 20 did not vote at all. Some of the eon- 
tests for menibei-s of the Territorial Legislature (or 
Assembly) were, however, quite spirited. In St. 
Paul's Uavid Lambert, a gifted and eloquent lawyer 
and a most accomplished gentleman was defeated for 
the Council by a vote of 98 to 9L His successful 
competitor was James ilc C. Boal (commonly called 
"McBoal") who came with Leavenworth's first gar- 
rison to Fort Snelling as a musician and was accus- 
tomed to beat a snai-e drum while his bunkmate, 
■lo-seph R. Brown, blew the fife. So elated were his 
partisans over his victory that they hauled him about 
tlie streets in a chariot improvised from an ox-cart 
and cheered loudly and wildly because their candid- 
ate, a house painter, had beaten the great lawyer by 
only seven votes ! 

In St. Anthony there was no contest. The little 
hamlet was \inited wi1h Little Canada, the Fi'euch 
settlement north of St. Paul, in one Council district 
numbfi-ed the Fifth, and both were for some years in 
Ramsey County. The candidates for the Assembly 
agreed upon and elected from this district were John 
Rollins, of St. Anthony, Councilor, and Wni. R. Mar- 
shall, of St. Anthony, and Wm. Dugas, of Little 
Canada, Representatives. The whole number of votes 
cast foi- Delegate to Congress in Ramsey County was 
273; in the territory. 682. At the time of the elec- 
tion -the correct census of the population of the Ter- 
ritory was found to be exactly 5,000, or 3,253 males 
and 1,747 females; and of this population Ramsey 
Coiintv had 976 males and 564 females, a total of 
1 .540. ■ 

John Rollins, of St. Anthony, the Councilor elect, 
was born at New Sharon, ilaine, March 23, 1806, and 
(lied at IMiinieapolis, May 7. 1883. He was located at 
St. Anthony in 1848, built and operated the first 
steamboat that ran above the Falls, and was identified 
with the early lumbci'ing interest of .Minneapolis in 
general. William Dugas was a French Canadian who 
came to St. Paul in 1844. He was a milhvi'ight and in 
1845 erected the first St. Paul saw-mill, which was 
driven by the water of Phalen Creek. In 1847 he re- 
moved to a farm in the Little Canada settlement, 
where he resided until in 185:^, when he went to the 
Crow River \'al]cy. the scene of his death, many years 
lati-i-. Wm. R. .Mai'shall, the other Representative, 
has .-iln'udy been im-ntioned. 


In 1850 political (larty lines as between Whigs, 
Democi'ats. anil l'''ree Soilers were not very strictly 
di'awn. Tiie issues practicallv were as they had been 
in 1848, between II. M. Rice and II. H. Sibley, the 
-iiief factors of the two rival fur companies of Ewing 
& rV).. and Pieri-e Chouteau, .Tr.. & Co. Rice was 
tiien the wealthiest man in the Territory, a distinction 
that gave him great influence. He was said to be 

worth $50,000, and to be out of debt, but had many 
debtors ! 

.Mr. Rice had political ambitions. Sibley had de- 
feated him for Delegate to Congress in 1848' and now, 
in 1850, Sibley was again a canditlate for the place. 
.Mr. Rice had causeil a Democratic Couventiou to be 
called in St. Paul in October, 1849. This convention 
declared for the organization of the Democratic party 
in the Territory, and that in the future it would 
nominate straight Democrats for otifice. This was a 
move of Mr. Rice's to get control of the nui.prity of 
the Democrats and to injure Delegate Sibley, who was 
certain to be a candidate for re-election. Sibley ex- 
pressly stated that as Delegate he represented no 
political part}- or faction, and the convention was 
held to force him to avow or disavow his allegiance 
to the Democratic party to which he luul always 
claimed to belong. 

Sibley's friends presentetl him to the voters for re- 
election in the canvass of 1850, bringing him out, 
somewhat against his protest, in July. The Rice fac- 
tion of the Democracy had declared for straight-out 
Democratic nominations, but now, in order to defeat 
Sibley, they brought about against him the ('andidacv 
of a Whig, Col. Alex. .M. Mitchell, the Marshal of the 
Territory, a wounded hero of the Mexican War, and 
an accomplished gentleman. In the canvass that re- 
sulted the Rice Democrats and the Rice Whigs sup- 
ported ^Mitchell; also some "old hunker" Whigs voted 
for him. The Sibley Democrats and the Sibley AVhigs 
supported the "tall trader," as the Indians called 
him. Even Gov. Ramsey and other staunch Whigs, 
like Col. John H. Stevens, were for Sibley. Great ef- 
forts to win were made by each party. 

The election came off September 2. For the first 
time officers and soldiers composing the gai'ri.sons 
of Forts Snelling and Ripley voted. The Fort Snell- 
ing soldiers voted in the Mcndota precinct ; those of 
Fort Ripley voted at Sauk Rapids. In both precincts 
they voted almost solidly for iMitchell, the candidate 
of the Rice faction. At Sauk Rapids the vote stood : 
For :\litchell, 60; for Sibley, 3. At Sauk Rapids was 
Mr. Rice's trading post and his employes voti d to him. In the St. Anthony precinct Sil)]ey was 
poi)ular enough and Frank Steele worked hard for 
him; but the Whigs were largely in the majority and 
voted for Col. Mitchell, a staunch Whig. The vote 
resulted: For Sibley, 64; for Mitchell, 110. The re- 
sult in the Territory was, for Sibley, 649 ; for Mitchell, 
559; nuijority for Sibley, 90. Total vote in the Terri- 
tory, 1,208. I'nder all the circumstances, Sibley's 
election was a great personal triumph, although he 
was disappointed that he did not receive a larger 

At the same election local candidates were also 
chosen. No |)arty nominations wei-e maile. biri at 
St. Anthony the outspoken Sibley men endorseil iiim. 
nominated Ard Godfrey for County Connuissiouer, 
Caleb D. Dorr for Surveyor of Lumber, and Pierre 
Bottineau for one of the road supervisors. St. An- 
thony and Little Canada were still in the same Legi.s- 
lati\c district. At the election the voting at St. An- 
thonv resulted : 


For Represeutatives in the Legislature, two to be 
chosen, Edward Patch, 158; Johu W. North, 116; 
Chas. T. Stearns, 55 ; Louis M. Olivier, 9. 

For County Commissioner, Roswell P. Russell, 165 ; 
Ard Godfrey, 130. 

For Assessors, three to be chosen, I. I. Lewis, 154; 
Sam J. Findley, 148; S. H. Sergent, 143; Geo. C. 
Nichols, 135 ; Albert H. Dorr, 135 ; Thos. P. Reeci, 103. 

The vote of Little Canada for Representatives was 
Louis M. Olivier, 42; Ed Patch, 38; John \V. North, 
5. For Delegate Sibley received 44 and Mitcliell 8. 

From Dakota County, which then extended fi-om 
the Mississippi to the Missouri, Alexander P^aribault. 
the mixed-blood trader and founder of the little city 
which yet bears his name, and Ben H. Raadali. then 
clerk in Steele's sutler store at Fort Suelling, w-ere 
elected Representatives in the Legislature. Mr. Ran- 
dall has been called the founder of Hennepin County 
because he more than any one else pressed to ]>assage 
in the Legislature the bill which created the county 
and provided for its organization. He died i-t 
Winona in October, 1913. 


The citizens of St. Anthony made active partici- 
pation in the political contest of 1850. Franklin 
Steele, the brother-in-law and friend of Sibley, exerted 
himself to the utmost in behalf of his relative. Sib- 
ley was in Washington and Steele conducted his cam- 
paign. John n. Stevens, then Steele's clerk and 
l)ractically his factotum, was also his political lieu- 
tenant. Stevens was a Whig, but a Sibley Whig. 
Sililey had written that he cared nothing personally 
about being a candidate, but Steele and othens wrote 
him that he must be. July 24 Stevens wrote him : 

■'Much excitement and agitation reign throughout 
Jlinnesota now. but Rice and Mitchell prospects do 
not present so flattering a .show as they did a few 
weeks since. Goodhue will bring you out to-morrow 
in the Pioneer as an independent candidate, and we 
will try to put you through." 

But not until August 8th did the Pioneer "bring 
out" Mr. Sibley "as an independent candidate" with 
an editoi-ial endorsement. Thence forward it sup- 
ported the tall trader by printing proceedings of pub- 
lic meetings strongly endorsing him and which had 
been held at Stillwater. Cottage Grove, St. Paul, 
Wellsville, and elsewhere, and by strong editorials. 
[•! one editorial Mr. Goodhue argued that it was not 
wrong or reprehensible for a man to be engaged in 
the fur trade, and that, "honesty and capacity make 
the man — not the employment of the man. Any at- 
tempt to exclude any man from participation in gov- 
ernment on account of his trade and business is con- 
trary to the genius of true democracy." No doubt 
(lOodhue so wrote to silence the cry made by denni- 
gogues that Sibley ought not to be elected because he 
was the agent of the Chouteau fur company, which it 
was alleged had a "monopoly" of the fur trade in 
Minnesota. "Even at that day," says Gov. Marshall, 
in an address made many years later, "the cry was, 
Anti-^Ionopoly !" 

It was conceded that Frank Steele's exertions ef- 
fected the election of Sibley. Writing to the latter 
in November, and discussing what he called "the 
schemes of the Rice-Mitchell party," Johu H. Ste- 
vens asserted: 

"The fact is that had it not been for Mr. Steele, 
^litchell would have been elected. When we all gave 
up, as you may saj', in despair, Mr. Steele came to the 
rescue and took bets against odds. Together with 
Paul R. George and J. H. McKinney, he di'ove the 
team safe through, giving Mitchell, Rice, and their 
followers their just dues. In taking this course Mr. 
Steele has obtained the most bitterly vindictive ene- 
mies; 3'et we all earnestlj' hope he will ride rougli- 
shod over all of those who attempt to put him down." 

ilr. Stevens himself wanted to be a candidate for 
the Legislature from the Dakota County, or Fort 
Snelling, district, called the Seventh Council Dis- 
trict, and which included, by the terms of Gov. Ram- 
sey's proclamation, the country and settlements west 
of the Mississippi, except the country up about Crow- 
Wing and along the ^lississippi below Little Crow's 
village. The voting place for the electors of ^lendota. 
Fort Snelling, Black Dog's Village, Prairieville (or 
Shaknpee) Oak Grove, Traverse des Sioux, and Little 
Crow's village was "at the lower ware-house in Men- 
dota." The election liooth for the western end of the 
ilistrict or for the voters at Lac qui Parle, Big Stone 
Lake, and the Little Rock was "at the house of Martin 
McLeod. at Lac qui Parle." The residence of Mr. Ste- 
vens was then at Fort Snelling, where he was Frank 
Steele's agent. Alexander Faribault and Ben H. 
Randall had been "brought out" by the Sibley men 
for the Legislature and had Steele's endorsement. 
Stevens tried but without success to indvice one of 
them to withdraw in his favor. He was greatly dis- 
satisfied when both refused. 

Col. Jlitchell and certain other of the Whig Terri- 
torial officers had united with H. M. Rice and his 
Democratic faction in an effort to control political 
interests in Minnesota, and they had succeeded in 
securing the favor of the Taylor administration at 
Washington. Gov. Ramsey had taken the side of the 
Sibley wing of the Democrats and there was utter lack 
of harmony between him and Col. Mitchell. Secretary 
Smith, and the other Whig Territorial officers. It was 
finally determined by the Governor and his friends 
to send John H. Stevens to Washington to induce the 
administration to take a proper and an unprejudiced 
view of the situation in Minnesota. It was believed, 
or at least hoped, that Stevens' representations would 
cause the Administration to adopt the views of Gov, 
Ramsey and his Whigs, and to denounce the course 
of Col. ilitchell and his Whigs as deceptive before the 
country and wrong in fact. 

But Stevens at first refused to go. He got mad 
because he was not elected to the Legislature by the 
Whigs and the Sibley Democrats. In a letter to Sib- 
ley dated at St. Anthony, Jan. 6, 1851, he explained 
and sought to justify his course, saying: 

"I wrote you, some weeks since, that a Whig from 
this Territory would spend the winter in Washington 
endeavoring to counteract the unhallowed purposes of 



Col. Mitu-hi'll and his coutVcliTatos. who are doing so 
much to injurr tlie fair prospects of the Territory liy 
working for their own aggraiulizenient. As 1 was tlie 
one selected by (iovernor Ramsey for this purpose, 1 
deem it proper that you should lie made acciuainted 
witii the reason why 1 have not left home, and why 
probably 1 shall not. 

"When the (iovernor first wanted me to, it was with 
tile understaiuiingi that 1 shouhl be elected to the Leg- 
islature and go in the authority of a Whig member, 
as he thought it would give me more power, liut 
Alex. Faribault would not resign, and it would have 
been perfecth' useless to ask Ben Randall to do so. 
* * * He is a new-comer, without the requisites 
necessar\' to make a good member; but he is a Demo- 
crat, which suited Mr. Steele, who has lost a good deal 
of sympathy on that account, and so he was kept and 
elected. So I could not go to Washington in the 
capacity of a member of the Territorial Legislature. 
Then the (iovernor said he would give me an appoint- 
ment, for which I have waited till now — and now it 
is too late to go. 

"Had such a thing been thought of last summer, 
I would have run from here, (St. Anthony) but felt 
satisfied that a trap was set for me which caught poor 
Petti.john, after I declined to run. But by Mr. Steele's 
say-so Randall could have been choked off and thus 
saved all of the present difficulty. But we hope for 
better times."" 

Notwithstanding Mr. Stevens's expressed opinion 
that it was "too late to go" on the 6th, he was induced 
to start on the 22d for Washington to secure certain 
appointments in Jlinnesota desired by the Sibley 
Democrats and the anti-JIitchell AVhigs. He went by 
sleigh on the ^Mississippi ice to Prairie du Chien, from 
thence by stage to Chicago, via Galena ; from Chicago 
to Detroit by the Jliehigan Central Railroad : from 
Detroit, by a long stage ride through Canada, to 
Buffalo and Niagara, and thence by rail to Washing- 
ton, via New York. . This was the route and the mode 
of travel at that period from Minnesota to Washing- 
ton in the winter season. 

Arriving at the National Capital Mr. Stevens and 
Simeon V. Folsom, escorted by Delegate Sibley, 
waited upon Daniel W^ebster. then Secretary of State, 
and Stevens with a batch of strongly written papers 
presented the case of the anti-Mitchell and Rice forces 
in Minnesota. Webster assured the delegation that 
the back of the Administration's hand was against 
the ^litchell men. and that the Sibley and Ramsey 
pai'ty would be recognized in future Territorial 
appointments. Accordingly Joseph W. Furber. of 
Washington County, was promised and received tlie 
Marshal.ship. in place of Col. Jlitchell ; Frank Steele 
was retained in the sutlershii) a'ld as postma.ster at 
Fort Snelling, etc. The anti-Riee faction controlled 
the National patronage, but tiie pro-Rice people liail 
contrived to secure the appointments of the Terri- 
torial IjCgislature, so that the honors were fairly easy. 


Mr. Stevens returned from his Washington tri]) 
to St. Anthony on the 4th of April. En route at 

Xew York he purchased a supply of goods for Steele 's 
sutler store at Fort Snelling and another stock to be 
opened in a new store owned by him and Steele at 
St. ^\jithony. At Galena he bought for the Whigs 
of Minnesota an entire outfit for a printing-office, 
which was to be shipped to St. Paul by the first steam- 
boat that spring. 

The river was not open at Galena when Mr. Stevens 
was there, and he came home over Hon. Wyram 
Ivnowltou"s new mail route from Prairie du Chien to 
St. Paul, riding in a hack, passing through a great 
hail storm and many other privations. The route ran 
on the Wisconsin side, along the river, terminating 
at Hudson. Waking the next morning after his ar- 
ri\al in St. Paul, he found to his chagrin that a steam- 
boat from Galena had arrived the previous night. 
Had he waited four days at Galena, he could have 
come in comfort on the boat and arrived at St. Paul 
as soon as Judge Knowlton"s two-horse wagon got in. 


According to Col. Stevens's list the following men, 
fhe ma.jority of whom had families, became perma- 
nent residents of St. Anthony during the year 1S41) : 

Amos Bean, John Bean, Reuben Bean, L. Bostwick, 
Chas. A. Brown, Ira Burroughs, Narcisse Beauleau, 
P. X. Crapeau, \Vm. P. Day, Albert Dorr, Rufus 
Faruham, Sr., Rufus Fai-uham, Jr., Samuel Feruald, 
A. J. Foster, Moses W. Getchell, Wm. W. (ietehell, 
Isaac Gilpatrick, Francis Huot, John Packins, Dr. 
Ira Kingsley, Charles Kiugsley, Isaac Lane, Silas 
Lane, Isaac Ives Lewis, Eli F. Lewis, Jos. J\I. Marshall, 
Hon. B. B. Meeker, Elijah Moultou, Dr. J. II. Mur- 
phy, James Mc.Mullen, Owen McCarty, J. Z. A. Nick- 
erson, John W. North, L. N. Parker, Stephen Pratt, 
William Richardson, J. G. Spence, Chas. T. Stearns, 
Lewis Stone, Elmer Tyler, Wm. H. W^elch, Wm. 

And Col. Stevens says that all these citizens were 
"far above the average in regard to merit and enter- 
prise," and that those who came in 1850 "were men 
of equal merit." 

Prominent among those that came in IS.")!) were : 

Isaac Atwater, Joel B. Bassett, Simon Bean, Wai'- 
ren Bristol, Baldwin Brown, Henry Chaud)ers, Thos. 
Chambers. Geo. W. Chowen, Chas. W. (Jhristmas, 
Stephen Cobb. Joseph Dean, Stephen E. Foster, Wil- 
liam Finch, Reuben B. Gibson, Chas. Gilpatrick. 
Chris. C. Garvey, Ezra Hanseombe, C. P. Harmon. 
Chandler Harmon, E. A. Harmon, W^m. Harmon. 
Allen Harmon. Kben How. John llinkston. Wm. L. 
Larneil, Joseph Le Due, (i. (i. Loomis, John S. Mann. 
Ju.stus H. Moulton, Edward Murphy, A. C. Murphy, 
('has. Mansur. Chas. Jliles, ("apt. B." B. Parker, Peter 
I'oiicin. Rufus S. I'ratt. Col. Wm. Smith. Wm. Smiley, 
Simon Stevens, Wm. Stevens, Daniel Staiiciifield, ( ?) 
Waterman Stinson, G. W. Tew. R. P. Cpton. (ieo. T. 
Vail, W. W. Wales, John Wensinger, Horace Web- 
ster, Thos. Warwick, Jose])h P. Wilson, A. R. Young. 

"All these," says Stevens, "were citizens who 
would do honor to any ]iart of the Union." They 
lived to .justify Stevens's assertions, and with sui'h 



men as its iouiiders uo wonder St. Anthony became 
a great city. 


Generally when New Englanders made a settlement 
on the American frontier, the first thing they built 
after they had put up their cabins was a school house, 
and soon a "'school-ma'am," as she was called, was 
installed in it and a school opened. In 1850 two 
school districts were organized in St. Anthony and 
named for the two great capitalists of the region at 
the time, Steele and Rice. Miss Electa Backus was 
the first principal school teacher in St. Anthony, and 
under her superintendeney the schools were very 
successful. She first had a school in the village in the 
summer of 184!) — of course a private school. Some 
Canadian French children were among the brightest 
and best pupils. The St. Paul Pioneer of Oct. 31, 
1850, contained this paragraph, noting two schools 
in St. Anthony : 

"Our neighbors of the lovely village of St. Anthony 
are determined not to be behind the world iu educa- 
tional progress. They are about to have established 
there two schools, to be taught by ladies — the one a 
primary school by iliss Tlioinpson, of whom we hear 
an excellent report, and the other by Jliss il. A. 
Schofield, a lady with whom we are acquainted, one 
of the pioneer teachers of our Territory and a lady 
who well deserves the character she has gained for 
talents and character as a teacher of the advanced 

Prior to this, however, there had been at least one 
private school. This was established some time in 
1849 by a Prof. Lee, who, according to Goodhue's 
Pioneer of December 12, was "a gentleman of schol- 
astic attainments and long experience." At the time, 
too, his school was called the "St. Anthony Academy," 
and the Pioneer said it was in most successful 

It is agreed that Miss Electa Backus taught the 
first private school in St. Anthony in 1849, and was 
also one of the first principals of a public school here. 
Hudson's History (p. 90) says: "Soon after the 
settlement of St. Anthony ]\Iiss Electa Backus taught 
a private school in a frame shanty on Second street, 
and alioul 1850 the first public school of the village 
was built near by and was taught for a time by a 
Mr. Lee." 

But the notice in the Minnesota Pioneer of Decem- 
ber 12, 1849, shows that Prof. Lee's "academy" was 
a lu-ivate school, and no record can be found that he 
"taught for a time" in "the first pulilic school of the 
village." The record is plain that the Rice and Steele 
Schools were the first public schools, that they were 
established simultaneously, late in 1850. and that 
Miss Thompson and ^Miss Schofield were the teachers, 
and ]Mr. Lee had nothing to do with them. 


In the summer of 1850. and for a year or more 
thereafter. St. Anthony's Indian neighbors were fre- 
(lucnt visitors, but gave no trouble. The Lake Cal- 

lioun bands, as Cloud Plan's and Good Road's bands 
were sometimes called, had removed their villages from 
Lakes Calhoun and Harriet. From time to time, how- 
ever, certain families came back to the old scenes and 
pitched their tepees on the former camping ground. 

In July, 1850, when Editor (ioodhue went up the 
St. Peter's on the Anthony Wayne, he noted that 
Black Dog's village had been moved from the west 
side of the river, near the lake which still bears the 
chieftain's name, to the crest of the bluff on the east 
side. The village was now a line of huts and tepees 
extending along the blutf. which, though running 
parallel with the river, was 200 or 300 yards back 
from the stream. It was about three miles above 
Fort Snelling. Between the tepees and the river 
bank, growing in the wai*m, sandy loam and in well 
kept truck-patches, wei-e thrifty crops of corn and 
beans, which the Indian women were industriously 

A little above Black Dog's village, and on the same 
side, was Cloud Plan's. It was now very small and 
consisted of only a dozen t^epees and huts. But every 
family had patches of corn and beans, which the 
women had kept well hoed and which promised abun- 
dant yields. 

Nine miles by land from Fort Snelling, also on the 
east side, was the town of old Good Road (or 
Ta-chankoo-wash-tay) and this was a larger and more 
pretentious village then. The appearance of the 
steamboat caused great excitement among the red 
people, many of whom had never before seen a pay- 
tay wahtah or "fire canoe." Here, as at the other 
villages, the population, men and women, boys and 
girls, some blanketed and well clad and others in a 
state of nature, came running to the river bank to 
see the strange but interesting sight of a huge boat, 
radiant and gleaming in its white paint, but puffing 
like a tired gigantic monster. All gazi'<l as if entranced 
till the boat sounded its whistle with a terrifying 
scream, when everybody but the stoutest hearted war- 
riors fied in terror and dismay back to the tepees and 

The next village above was Shakopee's — where the 
town now is — and this was the largest of the four, 
in point of population. Here also was at the time 
Samuel Pond's mission station. 


In the spring and summer of 1850 the steamboats 
made several excursions to St. Anthony and to points 
very near the Falls. Passengers were carried on each 
occasion and a fair sum realized by the boats. The 
trips were, however, mainly for the purpose of show- 
ing oft" or advertising; but while they advertised the 
boats they at the same time advertised St. Anthony, 
as demonstrating that Ihe place was really the head 
of navigation. 

May 7 the Anthony AVayne ran up from St. Paul 
to very near the cataract — the Pioneer said "almost 
to the' foot of till' Falls:" the Chronicle and Register 
said it came within 3(10 yards of them. The Wayne 
was temi)orarily commanded by a Captain Rogers, in 



the absence of I'apt. Dan Able. The Sixth I'. S. 
Infantry Baud, from Foi-t Snellinir. was on board and 
there were very nearly 150 excursionists. The lioat 
tied up .iust above Spirit Island, and numbers of 
St. Anthony people weut on board as the guests of the 
l)oat. ('apt. Rowrs was a royal entertainer. At night 
he gave a ball in the lioat's tine and spacious caliin, 
the band's orchestra furnishing the music. There 
was an uproarious but a glorious good time! "It is 
.said that the \Vayne l)roke the temperance pledge," 
said the Minnesota Pioneer, putting it mildly. 

The hospitable captain furnished an abundance of 
refreshments and was so princely courteous.- and so 
overwhelmingly entertaining generally, that his guests 
were enthusiastic in their appreciation and admira- 
tion. It was necessary to hold a formal meeting in 
the cabin to express their gratitude sufficiently. 
Hon. John Rollins was chairnuui and the mellitluent- 
voiced \Vm. R. ilarshall was secretary. The staid 
and impressive John W. North, usually so self-con- 
tained, was chairman of the connnittee that reported 
a series of resolutions exuberantly gi'ateful to Capt. 
Rogers for his "enterprise in demonstrating with his 
boat, the Anthony Wayne, the practicability and ease 
with which steamboat navigation nuiy he continued 
to the Falls." They also deelared that he had with 
his boat "performed the first steamboat trip to this 
place," and by that feat had "earned an immortality 
which is .justly due to those that lead the way in all 
useful achievements." In gratitude for his exploit 
the resolutions went on to say that, "in the future 
advancement of our now infant city his name will be 
ever associated with the greatest of our benefactors." 

Unfortunately John North and his associates — Ellis 
Whitall, Ard Godfrey. Joe Jlarshall, and Ed. Patch 
— were so overcome by the gallant navigator's hos- 
pitality that they forgot to learn his Christian name, 
and it is lost. So then it cannot properly be asso- 
ciated with the greatest benefactors, i)ut must go down 
to history and posterity as simply "Captain" Rogers. 
As a substantial reward for what he had done, how- 
ever, Mr. North, on behalf of the citizens of St. 
Anthony, presented him with a purse of $200, which 
must have helped in defraying the extraordinary 
expenses of the excursion. No matter what hap- 
pened on the boat this trip — it was the first steam- 
boat venture up within the spray of the Falls. 


The Pioneer of July 4. IS.iO ainiounced that on 
Friday, June 28, "The enterprising steamboat, the 
Anthony AVayne, enrolled her name in the historic 
annals of our Territory," because with a boatload of 
passengers it had ascended the St. Peter's as far as 
the Little Rapids, near Carver. There were on board 
over 101) ladies and gentlemen of St. Paul, Fort Snell- 
ing. and other local points, and 70 ladies and gentle- 
men from St. Louis. "Win. R. Marsiudl was a promi- 
nent representative from St. Anthony. It was 
'claimed that this was the first time a steamboat had 
ascended the Minnesota above Shakopee's village. 
Editor C4oodhiie was one of the passengers and wrote 

a lively description of the trip. One paragraph reads: 

"If We had been supplied with wood, the general 
ilisposition was to run u]) the stream as long as we 
could find water; but as we ran out of wood, li(iuors, 
f I] and provisions, and as the sun was about to dip 
his blazing bulk into the blue Pacific, the Wayne 
reluctantly turned her l)ow down stream, retracing 
the winding channel of the river at a Hying pace, and 
reaching St. Paul at midnight. Dancing was almost 
continuously indulged in to the music of the Sixth 
Regiment Band, from Fort Snelling. " 

On the 18th of July the Anthony Wayne made 
another trip up the St. Peter's, going this time as far 
as the mouth of the Blue Earth, anil bi'ing absent from 
St. Paul three days. The Nominee had previously 
ascended to the Little Rapids. The Yankee and the 
Dr. Franklin No. 2 also made Minnesota River 
ascensions this season. Jul.v 22. the steamer Yankee, 
Capt. i\r. K. Harris, Master, went up the St. Peter's 
to above the mouth of the Cottonwood, the site of 
New Ulm. 

The Anthony Wayne, as has been stated, had. in 
]May, commanded by I'apt. Rogers, obtained the dis- 
tinction of making the first vo.vage directly to St. 
Anthony Falls. The .Minnesota Pioneer, referring to 
the Wayne and its exploit of ^lay 7. said this was 
"the first boat to throw a bow-line ashore under the 
foaming falls of Saint Anthony, amid the very roar 
and spray of the cataract." It repeated the feat June 
27, 18.50, the day previous to its first St. Peter's trip. 
A number of excursionists from St. Paul, with a party 
from St. Louis, were on board. Editor Goodhue was 
on the l)oat. Commenting upon the excursion he 
wrote : 

"The Wayne started about noon from Fort Snelling 
for the Falls. The river is very rapid and far nar- 
rower than below, with nuuiy islands. The scenery is 
quite novel and the river of a character wholly differ- 
ent from what it is at any ])oint below the Fort. The 
current is at least eight miles an hour; and. as the 
powerful engines of the \Yayne can drive the boat 
against an ordinary current but ten miles an hour, 
she could move only at the rate of two miles an hour 
up stream, though making all the steam .she could 
possibly get u]). \Ye are convinced, however, that a 
boiler like that of the Gov. Ramsey (which now runs 
above the Falls) would make steam fast enousrh to 
contend even with this current of the Mississippi, 
which actually runs like a mill-tail from the Falls to 
Fort Snelling. * * * At about the middle of the 
afternoon the Wayne reached the laiuling she made in 
the spring, which is in plain view of the Falls and 
convenient to the village of St. Anthony. A large 
concourse of our truly enterprising neighbors of St. 
Anthony welcomed us on shore. A little after dark 
the Wayne cast off her lines and swift as an arrow 
she dropix'd down the river to the Fort and thence to 
St. Paul by bedtime." 

Capt. Russell Blakeley. the prominent pioneer 
steamboat man of the upper Jlississippi, in his article 
entitled, "Advent of Commerce in Minnesota," says: 
"The Dr. Franklin No. 2, Capt. Smith Harris: the 
Anthony Wayne. Capt. Dan .Vble. and the Lamartine, 



went up to near the Falls of St. Anthony in the sum- 
mer of 1850. " (See Vol. 8, Minn. Hist. Soey. Coll., P. 



The first celebration of Independence Day in Minne- 
sota was held at St. Paul in 1849 ; the second was 
held at St. Anthony in 1850. The latter was arranged 
at a meeting of the citizens held June 14, when was 
appointed a committee of arrangements which was 
composed of Ard Godfrey, I. Carlton, J. D. Critten- 
den, E. G. Whitall, Edw. Patch, Sumner Farnham, 
R. Cummings, Daniel Stanchtield. and Wm. R. Mar- 
shall. This committee selected Gov. Ramsey for presi- 
dent of the day. Col. Mitchell for chief marshal, W. 
H. Welch for orator of the day, John W. North for 
reader of the Declaration of Independence, and Revs. 
W. C. Brown, of St. Anthony, and E. D. Neill, of St. 
Paul for chaplains. 

At 10 'clock on the ' ' glorious Fourth ' ' the exer- 
cises of the day began by the moving of the procession 
from Anson Nortlirup "s St. Charles House. The Sixth 
Regiment Band from Fort Snelliug headed the 
column : then in order came the president and sundry 
vice-presidents, the orator and the reader, the chap- 
lains and the invited guests. These were followed by 
the benevolent societies and the citizens generally 
Perhaps 75 persons attended from St. Paul and there 
were half a dozen wagon loads from Stillwater and 
intervening localities. 

The march was to the eastern border of town to 
what was called Cheever's Grove, (below where now 
runs University Avenue) and here a speaker's plat- 
form and seats for the crowd had been provided. The 
program was carried out successfully. Judge Welch's 
oration was characterized by Editor Goodhue, who 
was present, as ''replete with original thought and 
powerful illustration." At its conclusion the proces- 
sion inarched back to the St. Charles Hotel and had a 
fine dinner which the committee had provided. After 
dinner many of the company went aboard Capt. John 
Rollins 's steamboat, the Gov. Ramsey, and made an 
excursion a few miles up the river above the Palls. At 
night there was a "grand ball'' at the St. Charles. 
There was a general participation in the exercises and 
it was declared that the occa.sion presented "by far 
the most brilliant assemblage of the kind ever assem- 
bled at St. Anthony." 


The summer of 1850 was long noted as a season of 
high water in Minnesota. The Mississippi, the St. 
Peter's, and all other streams were at flood tide for 
weeks. This was why steamboat navigation on the St. 
Peter's and to St. Anthony, and even above the Falls, 
was rendered ea.s.y. In the last week of Jul}' the Dr. 
Franklin No. 2 made a trip from St. Paul to St. 
Anthony, taking up scores of tourist pass«nigers from 
down the Mississippi that wished to see the celebrated 
Falls. The "Doctor" had powerful engines and made 
the trip in less than two hours. 


Certain of the pioneer business houses in St. 
Anthony in 1850 believed in advertising. There was 
no newspaper then in their home village, and they 
used the journals nearest thereto. Goodhue's Minne- 
sota Pioneer, at St. Paul, was the favorite medium. 
It had many subscribers at St. Anthony and the 
tributary country. Its issue of May 20 and of subse- 
quent weeks contained the advertisement of the family 
grocer}' house of Slosson & Douglass. The advertise- 
ment was about two inches in length, with a single- 
line heading in small black type and without other 
display, and read : 

"Family Groceries at St. Anthony. — Slosson & have opened a store of family groceries, 
nearlj- opposite the new hotel, at the upper end of the 
village. They will keep a supply of the best family 
groceries that can be found, including all leading 
articles usually kept in the trade. Also, a great vai'iety 
of articles of luxuiy for the table, as pine-apple cheese, 
vermicelli, pickled salmon, oysters in cans, sardines, 
pickles, and dried peaches. Also, the best kinds of 
ale, porter, wines, and spirits at retail. Also various 
kinds of nuts, cigars of all qualities, and spices such 
as cloves, nutmegs, and mace. Also prunes, dates, 
raisins, figs, Zante currants, citrons, and other dried 
fruits, and preserves. Also green apples in proper 
season. Also champagne and champagne cider. Also, 
beans, fish, mackerel, chocolate, lemons, and oranges. 
All for sale cheap for cash at a very small profit.'' 

This firm had another "family grocery" store at 
St. Paul, and another at Stillwater. At that day there 
was no prohibitor.y law and liquors were considered 
"famil.y groceries." and openly kept and sold in such 
stores. It was not deemed disgraceful to either sell 
them or bu.v them, or even drink them in modera- 
tion. It was, however, deemed highly improper, and 
indeed disgraceful, to get drunk and "raise a rookus. " 
It was common to give a "dram" of corn whisky to 
every purchaser of 50 cents worth of groceries, or 
half a pint for every dollar's worth. The price of 
two-year old corn whisk.v then, unadulterated and 
untaxed, was 18 cents a gallon at wholesale and 25 
cents at retail; a pint cost five cents. It is but the 
truth to say that there was very little actual drunken- 
ness in St. Anthony, but St. Paul had a most unhappy 
reputation in this respect. In his previously noted 
letter to Sibley of Januar.y 6, 1851, explaining why 
he had not already gone to Washington, John H. 
Stevens declared : 

"St. Anthony is the saint, the Patron Saint of the 
Territory, and ere five years we will number 10,000 
instead of 1,000 souls, our present population. St. 
Paul, witli its gamblers, drinking shops, and drunk- 
ards, and her anti-industry combined, will sink, not- 
withstanding the fact that her four schools and four 
church steeples lift up their heads towards the sky." 


In the Minnesota Democrat (printed at St. Paul) 
of December 17. 1850, appeared an advertisement 

which is herewith copied : 



"Minnesota Breweky, at St. Anthony Falls — I 
am now ready to supply tlic uitizeiis of this Territory 
with Ale and beer, whit-h will be found equal — yes, 
superior — to what is brought from below. I am now 
deraoustratiug that malt li(iuors of the very best 
quality cau be manufactured in Minnesota. Try my 
Ale and Beer and you w'ill be convinced of the fact. 

"John Orth." 

Taylor's mills. 

The ^Minnesota Pioneer of November 14, 1S50, had 
this reference to the operations of Arnold Taylor, Mr. 
Steele's partner, soon after he had acquired his inter- 

"That enterprising gentleman, A. W. Taylor, Esq., 
one of the proprietors of St. Anthony, has entered 
into a contract with a ^Ir. Libbey, for the erection of 
seven superl) saw-mills which will be large enough to 
occupy all of his tiumes below the dam, for the total 
sum, including repairs of the dam, of $15,000. The 
frames are to be erected next summer and three of the 
mills put in operation by September next, and the 
seven mills are all to be in complete operation in one 
year from next April." 


"Grinding — The undersigned is now in readiness for 
grinding Corn, Rye, Oats, Peas, Buckwheat, and what- 
ever else requires grinding, including Salt, at the grist 
mill on the west side of the Mississippi River at St. 
Anthony, for lawful rates of toll. When desired, 
grists will be received at the subscriber's, on the east 

side of the river, and be returned ground at the same 
place. — Calvin A. Tuttle. (Pioneer, June 13.)" 

Mr. Tuttle was then operating the old (Joverument 
grist mill, which Hon. Robert Smith had leased from 
Fort Snelling authorities. Feb. 27 previously the 
Pioneer said, that the mill was in "a dilapidated con- 
dition, in charge of ]\Ir. Bean, who is living there aa 
a tenant of Hon. Robert Smith." 

"Steamer Governor Ramsey — The Light Draught 
Steamer Governor Ramsey will hereafter ply regu- 
larly between Saint .Anthony and Sauk Rapids, leav- 
ing St. Anthony every ^Monday and Thursday at 10 
o'clock P. M. and Siiuk Rapids every Wednesday and 
Saturday at 8 o'clock A. M. For freight or passage 
apply on board. — John Rollins, Master. (Pioneer, 
June 27)." 

The Ramsey was 108 feet keel, 120 feet deck, 25 feet 
beam, and drew 12 inches light. In its construction 
J. S. Meley, of Waterville, Maine, was the master 

"The St. Charles Hotel — At Saint Anthony. 
This large hotel, one of the most spacious in the 
Northwest, is at length completed and furnished and 
is now open for the public. At the bar, in the parlor, 
in sleeping arrangements, at the table, and in every 
department of the establishment the proprietors will 
spare no pains and no expense to suit the wishes and 
convenience of travellers ; and it will not be for want 
of a desire to please if they do not make the house 
agreeable to families and others during their stay with 
them who are visiting the romantic scenery of the 
Falls in pursuit of health or of pleasure. (Pioneer, 
October 17.)" 





OF 1851. 


Very soon after Steele and Taylor entered into 
co-partnership as owners of a great part of St. 
Anthony and the mill-site at the Falls, serious dis- 
agreements ai-ose between them. Each accused the 
other of designing and attempting to secure entire 
control of the property interests jointly owned. Tay- 
lor was in Boston the greater part of the time, but 
he was kept informed of the rapid advance of prop- 
erty in St. Anthony, and wished he had secured more 
of Steele's claim. Steele accused him of plotting to 
obtain (by the advantage of the large sum of money 
he controlled) possession of all the interests of Steele 
& Taylor at the Falls. Taylor retorted that it was 
Steele who was trying to possess these interests. 

Then the two partners could not agree about cer- 
tain details involved in the disposition of their prop- 
erty. Steele wanted to sell lots at reasonable prices 
and on liberal terms, and to donate sites for churches, 
school houses, and other public buildings. Taylor 
wanted to obtain the best price possible for every lot 
sold, and was satisfied with one-fourth down, interest 
on deferred payments to be twelve per cent ! This was 
a common rate at the time for money due on property 
sales; the rates for borrowed money were much 

One liistory says that 'Sir. Taylor withdrew from 
the firm of Steele & Taylor "in a little while," or "in 
the spring of 1850." The truth is that the partner- 
ship existed until in January, 1852. In the fall of 
1850 Taylor was endeavoring to sell the water power 
of the Falls on his own account and had the following 
advertisement in the Minnesota Pioneer of Octo- 
ber 17 : 

"Falls of St. Anthony — Unrivaled Water 
Power. — The undersigned will sell or lease upon the 
most liberal terms water-powers for mills, factories, 
or any other purpose at the Falls of St. Anthony. A 
more favorable opportunity for obtaining unequaled 
hydraulic power was never before presented. 

"A. W. T.\YI.OR. 

"St. Anthony, October 17, 1850." 

In February previously the Pioneer had noted that 
Mr. Taylor (giving his initials incorrectly as "D. L. ") 
had recently "made sale of a large portion of his 
interest." Mr. Steele somehow assented to these sales. 

and possibly participated in them. Mr. Taylor con- 
tinued to hold his interests in the partnership, and 
though their relations were intimate the partners 
were not friendly. Steele was in debt, and it is said 
that Taylor sought to press him out of their business 
by buying the claims against him, and demanding 
their payment. Steele was rather heavily indebted 
to Philadelphia jobbers and sent Stevens to them to 
effect settlements. Writing to Sibley from Lovejoy's 
Hotel, New York, in ^larch, 1851, Stevens says: 
"You can little imagine how glad I feel that Steele is 
out of the clutches of his Philadelphia creditors." 

In October, 1851, ilr. Taylor, accompanied by his 
attorney and agent, a ^Ir. Bundy, came to St. xVnthony 
to look after his interests. At once he began the 
erection of the large storj'-and-a-half building (before 
mentioned) intended as a store and office building, 
and which stood on ilain Street. It was on one of the 
Steele & Taylor lots, although it does not seem that 
Steele consented that Taylor should build it as his. 
own individual property. Also a short time after his 
arrival Taylor made preparations to build a mill on 
his own account at the western end of the dam. 

About the 1st of December he brought an action 
against Steele to recover damages from him and at 
the same time he asked for an attachment against the 
latter 's interest in Hennepin and Nicollet islands and 
in other property. The case was heard by Terri- 
torial Chief Justice Jerome Fuller at his chambers in 
St. Paul and decided by him in December. In his 
published opinion, which appeared in the ]\Iinnesotian 
of December 13, Judge Puller related that the action 
was brought to recover damages for a breach of the 
covenants of seisin and warranty contained in a deed 
from Steele to Taylor purporting to convey, along 
with other lands, one undivided half of Hennepin 
Island. The damages asked were alleged to be $10,- 
000, to which sum the costs of suit were to be added. 
The plaintift', Taylor, alleged in his petition that he 
was justly entitled to the sum named from Steele, the 
defendant, "and that lie has reason to fear, and does 
fear, that he shall lose his said debt ; wherefore he 
prays that an attachment may issue," etc. 

Judge Fuller (|uashed the sunnnons and vacated the 
attachment against ^Ir. Steele, because, he said, that 
under all the circumstances Taylor's claim of alleged 
damages was not a "debt" against Steele, but merely 
a claim, which must first be proved valid before a 




"debt," was created, and this proof had uot beeu 
iiiadi'. Tlierefore Taylor could uot "fear" that he 
should losi- ills "debt" wheu he had no "debt" to 
lose. John W. North, Lorenzo A. Babcoek, and ilor- 
ton S. Wilkinson were Taylor's attorneys, while K. K. 
Nelson and Wni. llollinshead re})resented ilr. Steele. 

Put on the ITtii of January following (or iu 1852) 
Steele purchased all of Taylor's interests in St. 
Anthony, i)aying him therefor $25,(K)(). and Taylor 
was allowed to keep the proceeds of certain sales that 
he had made, giving a bond to convey other proceeds 
and property to Steele. Somehow there was great 
satisfaction in St. Anthouy that Steele was now the 
chief proprietor of the village, Ard Godfrey still 
retaining iiis modest interest. On the 23d the people 
gave Steele a bancjuet at the St. Charles hotel in con- 
gratulation and celebration of his having accjuired 
Tavlor's interests. Plainly they did not like 'Sir. 

A 3-ear or two later Steele brought suit against Mr. 
Taylor to compel him to keep his specific performance 
to convey back certain property. Whereupon certain 
other parties that had contracts with Taylor for 
specific conveyances inten-ened and sought judgment 
against him. The issues were somewhat involved and 
the case was long protracted, being tinaliy decided by 
the Supreme Court in January, 1856, (1st. Minn. 
Rep.) Steele obtained judgment, but the interveners 
lost on technical points. 


It had long been well understood that when the 
Indian title to the lands on the west side of the Missis- 
sippi should be extinguished by purchase, the.v would 
be speedily occupied by the whites. The site opposite 
the Falls would l)e laid out into a town, mills built 
along the shore, etc. The St. Anthony people had pro- 
posed that when the new town came it should be called 
South St. Anthony. In the winter of 1850 the talk 
was that permission to lay out the town would be 
given soon and that the surveying would be done in 
the spring. The Pioneer of February 27 announced 

"There is a probability that a town on the west 
shore of the Falls of St. Anthon.v will be laid out and 
vigorously commenced the ensuing season. We pro- 
pose that if be called All-Saints, so as to head off the 
whole calendar of Saints." 

The editor's suggestion was not meant to be ir- 
reverent, but was simply questionable sarcasm and 
humor. There were already in this region a number 
of geograjihical features, such as rivers, lakes, water- 
falls, towns, etc., bearing the names of saints, and the 
waggish editor pretended that he feared some saint 
would not tie remembered in the bestowal of names 
and thus fail to have proper honor done him; so he 
proposed that the new city be named for all the saints 
in the calendar that not one might be slighted. The 
jest was in bad taste in eveiy respect, and actuall.v 
injured Goodhue and his paper. The projectors of 
the new town thought it a slur upon their enterprise 
and resented it. A little later the editor offended St. 
Anthony liy saying in his paper: 

"There was a notable fire in St. Anthony last 
Tuesday. It was indeed an important confiagration. 
The riames swept across vast oi)en spaces whereon it 
is expected that some day mammoth costly structures 
will stand, and if tiiey had only been there the other 
day enormous would have been the loss to the 'metrop- 
olis of the Northwest.' " 

The Legislature of that season chose a public printer 
for the Territory. Stevens wrote Sibley that John 
North and Ed Patch, the Representatives from St. 
Anthony, both voted against Goodhue for the posi- 
tion, "because of his slurs against this town." 



^laj. Nathaniel McLean, best known historically as 
the old-time Indian agent at Fort Snelling, but in 
1849 senior editor of the ifinnesota Chronicle & Reg- 
ister, of St. Paul, visited St. Anthony in the fall of 
the year named. In his paper of September 15 he 
said that "the half had not been told" concerning the 
wonderful progress made by the pioneer village at 
the Falls. Of the milling interests of the place the 
Jlajor wrote : 

"There is a grist mill, built of stone, on the west 
side formerly used for grinding corn for the Indians. 
Sir. Steele has a saw-mill now running two saws, and 
preparing to run two more in the same building. A 
number of acres of the mill-jiond are covered with 
pine logs, which have been floated down from above." 
Under the heading, "The Falls of St. Anthony," 
Goodhue's i\Iinnesota Pioneer of January 23, 1850, 
gave a pleasing and spirited desca-iption of the little 
town and its interests at that date. Goodhue him- 
self wrote the article, as is evidenced by its glowing 
and at times extravagant statements. He declared 
that its record of growth had never been equaled ; or, 
as he put it, — 

"This place emi)hatieally stands unprecedented in 
the record of its march of improvement. Less than ten 
months ago. after it was founded, the first house was 
built uj-ion the lot given to the first settler; now there 
are nearly 100 buildings and fiOO inhabitants. The 
saw-mill has four saws, with a dam capable of run- 
ning IS ; also a first-rate lath machine combined with 
a shingle machine. An agricultural society has been 
formed and premiums offered for the best grain prod- 
ucts grown in the country. 

"There are five stores in the place and one grocery-. 
A fine steamboat is now building to take hundreds of 
delighted visitors next summer up the romantic Mis- 
sissippi above the Falls, and will be ready to com- 
mence her trips to the Sank Rapiils in ^lay. 

"A liii'ge and commodious hotel has been erected 
on a i>leasant eminence above the Falls, and will be 
completed soon after the opening of navigation the 
coming spring. It will have two piazzas. 72 feet in 
length, fronting the river, and fi'om the upper one 
visitors can have a magnificent view of the angry 
waters as they hurry over the i)recipice. The hotel 
is not more than ten minutes walk from the steam- 
boat wharf, which is now building. It will be kept by 



a geutlemau tliat uuderstauds the art of making his 
guests feel perfectly at home. He was one of the first 
settlers of Minnesota and will be the proprietor of 
the first hotel in St. Anthony. 

■ ■ Two schools have been recently opened where all 
branches of education maj- be pursued, including the 
ornamental. The school house which is on the blutf 
of a beautiful prairie overlooking the Falls, is neat 
and spacious. One of these schools is taught by a 
lady [Miss Backus] and the other by a gentleman 
[Prof. Lee]. 

"A charter for a literary association was obtained 
from the last Legislature. A small- but choice selec- 
tion of books has been purchased and preserved iu a 
fine large book-case. Weekly lectures are given before 
this association by gentlemen of the first talents. An 
excellent singing school has just commenced and is 
taught in the latest style and most approved plan. 

"A great variety of newspapers aaid other publica- 
tions are taken, for the people are a reading and 
thinking people. They ai'e also a church-going people 
and every Sabbath the school room is filled with an 
attentive audience, listening to a Baptist or Methodist 
or Presbyterian clergyman." 

Ill its issue of May 4, 1850, the Minnesota Chronicle 
& Register described how busy the St. Anthony mills 
were then, saying: 

■"The mills at St. Anthony run now night and day. 
Four saws are in operation, turning out 30,000 feet of 
lumber every 24 hours. In addition, some 10,000 laths 
and 6,000 shingles are made daily. The larger part of 
the immense stock of logs got out during the winter 
has been driven down and secured and the Mill Com- 
pany are now prepared to fill bills as fast as ordered. 

■"An absurd rumor has been current, to a certain 
extent, that iu the sale of lumber by the Company 
preference is given to the citizens of St. Authonj', and 
that a resident of that place could buy lumber on a 
year's credit, when a citizen of St. Paul could not 
make a purchase for cash. In sheer justice to the Com- 
pany we give this report a fiat contradiction. This 
story refutes itself, and would not receive notice had 
it not been industriously propagated in certain 
quarters. ' ' 

A prominent and quite effective booster for St. 
Anthony in its first years was L. M. Ford. He was 
interested in the place and had some lots for sale, l)ut 
he was largely unselfisli. He wrote many articles for 
the Minnesota newspapers laudatory of St. Anthony 
and the country, and at his own expense sent scores of 
papers containing his articles all over the Eastern 
country. These printed articles, supplemented by 
hundreds of private letters, were responsible for much 
of the immigration which came to the eountry in 
early days. In an article written by Mr. Ford aliout 
St. Anthony, and which appeared in the Minnesota 
Pioneer of February 27, 1851, he said: 

"• • * rphg extent and beauty of the town 
site attract particular attention, and newly-made 
houses are scattered along its river side, above and 
below the Falls. 

"But on the west side there is a much better site 
and more extensive. This land, however, is not yet 

subject to entry, but being such an admirable situa- 
tion hundreds are looking over it with eager eyes, 
ilany ha\e already gone across the i-iver and made 
their "claims'" even at the risk of having their tem- 
porary lodges torn down bj- a company of Uncle 
Sam's boys from Fort Snelling. There will be a 
grand rush for 'the other side' as soon as the land is 
brought into market. Another town will then and 
there spring up, as the result of Yankee enterprise 
and competition. 

"Saint Anthony has been mostly built up during 
the present season. It has received a great immigra- 
tion and especially from Maine; the lower town is 
mostly settled by people from JMaine, but the upper 
towu is composed more of all sorts, like St. Paul. 
There is a marked difference between the two parts 
of St. Anthony. The lower part, or the Maine set- 
tlement, has no drinking establishments, while it has 
the extensive saw-mills which supply St. Paul and 
the surrounding country with lumber; it also has the 
largest stores, besides a noble school house and a 
church nearly complete. The upper town can boast 
of a splendid hotel, one of the best iu Minnesota, and 
several gToceries — but not of the other things found 
in the lower towu ! 

"* * * In respect to churches Saint Anthony 
is about one year behind St. Paul. The Baptist 
denomination has a house nearly ready for meeting 
in. while the various other denominations are pre- 
paring to build. Within a year from this time we 
may expect to see as many meeting houses in this 
place as there are now at St. Paul. It is supposed 
by some that the town now contains 1,000 inhabitants : 
when the national census of 1850 was taken, last sum- 
mer, it had about 700." 

In an editorial article in the St. Anthony Express 
of December 20, 1851. Editor Isaac Atwater said that 
it would not be an exaggeration to state that 75 build- 
ings had been erected in the village during the pre- 
vious year, and that 75 more were either under way 
or in mature contemplation. Arnold W. Taylor's 
building on ]Maiii Street (occupied as a general store 
in Janiuiry following) was characterized as, "a large 
building, an ornament to the village, and an indica- 
tion of the enterprise of the population." It was a 
large building for the time; Atwater solemnly 
declared that it was "one story and a half high." 
J. P. Wilson, of St. Anthony, and I)i-. ilalonc^-, of 
Illinois, Were having a store building erected on the 
corner of Main and Rollins Streets, filling a gap which 
had hitlierto interfered with the regularity of the 
streets at that point. A number of other houses were 
being built in the upper portion of the village. 

Frank Steele iiad a number of workmen engaged 
in preparing the woodwork for a "hotel of the larg- 
est size," which was to be completed in the .spring 
of 1852. John G. Lennon was preparing to build a 
residence which was to be "eifual in proportions to 
any which has heretofore been built in St. Anthouy. " 
These established and contemplated improvements 
and enterprises were as important in the development 
of St. Anthony in 1851, as have been the sky -scraping 



office buildings and the vast factories evolved iu 
Minneapolis in later periods. 

At the time of writing the foregoing exultant notes 
of the progress liis village had made and was making, 
Editor Atwater took oeeasion to say that, due to the 
season, when the trees were bare and the skies clear, 
an ample and unobstructed view of the village and 
of the surrounding country were abundantly afforded. 
From the crest of Hose Ilill, two miles east of the 
village, there could be seen, curling in tiie wintry air, 
smoke from the chimneys of St. Paul, ijittle Canada, 
Mendota, Fort Snelling, and the little hamlet then 
called Groveland. 

A more extended prospect was offereil from a big 
lone oak which stood, like a great plume, on tlie 
crest of a high hill in the village cemetery grounds, 
which were then a mile or more east and south of the 
College gi-ounds. From the base of this tree the 
valley of the St. Peter's could be traced from Mendota 
up the river, for 28 miles, to Shakopee's village. And 
the Mississippi was visible from far above the Falls 
to the bend .just below the mouth of what was theu 
called Brown's Creek, or the Little Falls Creek, now 
called i\Iinnehaha. Then the lines of the neat white 
cottages in St. Anthony were plainly visible from the 
same base, the whole making a delightfully impressive 


It can hardly be too often and too emphatically 
asserted that Editor Goodhue, of the Minnesota Pio- 
neer, was a most serviceable friend to St. Anthony. 
It has already been shown how he tried to "boost" 
the town and promote its interests by the frequent 
insertion in the Pioneer of well written articles in 
their favor which were widely read. He was an able 
man and recognized the manifest destiny of a prop- 
erly founded city at the site of the great water-power, 
on a mighty river, and in the midst of a vast, resource- 
ful country. In fact while he claimed that his own 
town was then greater, in all respects but one, than 
St. Anthony, he conceded that St. Anthony might 
one day become the greater. In the Pioneer of 
December 26, 1850, he wrote : 

"We do not say that St. Paul will always be the 
most impoi'taiil town in IMinnesota: and we do not 
say that St. Anthony will not l)e." 

The truth is that Mr. Goodhue was "a fellow of 
infinite .iest." He would stop in the midst of engross- 
ing labor to listen to a funny story, and he would 
imperil not only his private business but his personal 
safety rather than forego the exquisite pleasure of 
writing and printing something in his paper which 
he thought was humorous. 

The people about the Falls protested against Mr. 
(Joodhne's suggestion that the new town should be 
called "All Saints," and then he resented the pro- 
test. He saw that he had been inconsiderate, but he 
pretended that he was deliberale. He said that "All 
Saints" would be a splendid name for a city — there 
was no other in all the world so named. John H. 
Stevens (Minn, and People, p. 128) says: 

"Goodhue had uo patience when any other name 
than 'AH Saints' was talked of. His letters to me 
were always so addressed. In September, 1851, I 
received a letter from him containing the following: 
"I, with my wife and sistei-, three children, and a 
servant girl, propose to dine with you to-morrow, 
Tuesday, at All Saints.' Miss Mary A. Schofield, 
the pioneer teacher, also favored the name. 'All 
Saints, Minnesota Terry.' " 

It was not, however until in 1851, when the new 
town on the west side was talked of, that Goodhue 
proposed the name All Saints. He also contemplated 
that this name should be given to the combined towns; 
for he concluded that they would soon be combined 
as one municipality, the situation and all other condi- 
tions demanding such a combination. As has been 
stated, the shrewd editor foresaw, with reasonable 
clearness, the destiny of the place. In his "New 
Year's Address" published in the Pioneer Jan. 2, 
1850, when the paper was but nine months old, he 
"dipped into the future," and thus prophesied: 

"Propelled by our great river, you shall see 
A thousand factories at St. Anthony." 


Very early in their history the citizens of St. 
Anthony sought to have a village newspaper. Every- 
body wanted one. The politicians wanted it that they 
might if possible control it in their own interests; the 
business men wanted it as an advertising medium; 
the citizens wanted it so that the town could boast of 
such an institution, etc. January 6, 1851, John II. 
Stevens wrote to Sibley, then at Washington as Terri- 
torial Delegate : 

"A press at St. Anthony now would be a money- 
making business. You see Rice bought up the 
Chronicle & Register; he already owned the Demo- 
crat, and both of these are his organs. The two filthy 
sheets are gulling the public with their pretensions 
of independence : but the cloven foot sticks out so 
plain thfft a blind man can see Rice — Rice — Rice — 
sticking out all around, and every column shows it. 

"Goodhue, of the Pioneer, works for money; dol- 
lars are his asylum ; [sic] he dreams of them at night 
and is ready to work by day, provided he can get well 
paid for the work. Had he not gone in for St. Paul 
so much, he would have got the public printing; he 
may get it yet, but it is to be doubted. * » * 
John Kollins and Edward Patch would have gone 
for Goodhue had it not been for his remarks about 
St. Anthony. We must have a paper of our own. 

"* * * Now, if you know of any one or two 
young men who want to embark in a profitable busi- 
ness, and have talent, just send them on to St. 
Anthony with a press. T will have a house ready for 
them to move in. They can make money from the 
start. Good managers cannot help but do well. 
* * * We hope to hear of the reduction of the 
Fort Snelling R(>serve soon : yon little know the 
excitement here about it ; what a help to the srrowth 
of the Territory it would be!" 

If Col. Stevens's free and spirited criticisms of the 



newspapers of the Territoiy were true, certainly 
another, and of a ditifereut sort, was needed. There 
were two Democratic and one Whig paper at St. Paul, 
and another Whig paper was demanded somewhere 
in the Territorj*. 

Among the first settlers in St. Anthony was Elmer 
Tyler, who came from Chicago in 1850 and opened a 
small tailor shop on J\Iain street, opposite the Falls. 
He bought a number of town lots and other real estate 
near the village, and in disposing of certain of his 
holdings made handsome profits. He was an ardent 
Whig in politics and prone to street and bar-i-oom 
discussions. In some respects he was eccentric, but 
on the whole a man of information and a certain sort 
of talent. He often said that there ought to be a 
Whig paper in St. Anthony, and as he had made 
some money in his real estate speculations, he said he 
was willing to invest in one. He had no experience 
as a publisher and but little ability as a writer, but 
he put these disadvantages aside, in his enthusiasm to 
accomplish his desires. 

In his history Judge Atwater says that Mr. Tyler 
proposed to establish a Whig paper at the Falls, if 
the then young and promising lawyer, Atwater, would 
edit it, and the proposition was accepted. Tyler went 
to Chicago and purchased the necessary outfit, includ- 
ing a hand press, for a seven-column folio paper. 
How this material was transported from Chicago to 
the JMississippi caiuiot now be stated; there was then 
no railroad between the city and the river. 

The first number of the paper was issued May 31, 
1851. It was called the St. Anthony Express. Its 
place of publication was given as "St. Anthony Falls, 
Min." In those days every pretentious paper had its 
motto. That of the Express, was conspicuous under 
the title on the first page and at the head of the 
editorial columns and read, "Principles, Not Men." 
Judge Atwater writes that for the first year the paper 
was published in a log house on Main Street, under 
the bluff, and near First Avenue Southeast ; the cabin 
had been used as a boarding house for the men that 
built the first mill dam, and was called by them the 
"mess house," 

The proprietor of the paper — at least the ostensible 
and declared owner — was the Mr. Elmer Tyler, before 
mentioned, and the first announced publisher was II. 
Woodbury. The latter was a practical printer and 
Mr. Tyler brought him from Chicago to take charge 
of the mechanical work on the new paper. His 
brother, J. P. Woodbury, also a printer, came with 
him, and the two, as it seems, did all the work of 
setting the type and "working off" the paper. The 
Express was well and neatly and tastefully printed, 
and presented an attractive appearance, although the 
type was very plain and the printing was done upon 
a hand-press of the fashion used by Ben. Franklin. 

It is not very likely that Mr. Tyler was the real 
owner of the Exjiress; he was jirobably a stockholder, 
but as tJie proprietor was perhaps only a figurehead. 
He was an ardent WHiig and the Express was a Whig 
paper politically. The real owner or the principal 
backer and promoter was doubtless Franklin Steele, 
who in the interests of his business did not want a 

paper at St. Anthony that would in any way, or at 
any time, oppose them. Though Tyler was so loud- 
mouthed a Whig, he could not really afford to indulge 
in the luxury of newspaper ownership at the then 
little frontier village, with all the risk and vicissi- 
tudes which such ownership implied. Though Steele 
was a staunch Democrat in politics, it would be to 
him money well invested if he should purchase the 
controlling interest in a Whig paper, not to shape its 
political course, but to infiuenee its local comments 
and criticisms. The Democratic papers of the Terri- 
tory were friendly to him, as was the ilinnesotian, 
the Whig paper at St. Paul, and then the only journal 
of that polities in the Territory. If he could control 
the Express, all the papers in the Territory would be 
his friends. 

Judge Atwater, in his history, says that he was the 
editor of the Express from its first number until it 
was discontinued, in 1859, and that ]\Ir. Tyler was the 
editor and publisher until "the end of the year," 
meaning the first year. The early numbers of the 
paper, however, do not thus show. From the first 
issue of the Express, May 31. until August 2 it bore 
the names in bold black type of "E. Tyler, Proprie- 
tor, ' ' and ' ' H. Woodbury, Publisher. ' ' Tjder evi- 
dently did not continue with the paper longer than 
three months — and not until "the end of the year." 
August 2, 1851, the paper came out bearing the names 
of "Woodbury & Hollister, Publishers and Pro- 
prietors. ' ' A gifted young man named Shelton Hol- 
lister, of Pennsylvania, seemed to have succeeded Mr. 
Tyler, whose name, as in any way connected with the 
paper, never appeai'ed in it again. But, two months 
later, or October 1, the paper came out bearing the 
names of "H. & J. P. Woodbury, Editors and Pro- 
prietors," and was so issued until the latter part of 
May, 1852. During its first year the name of Isaac 
Atwater never appeared as editor of the paper, or as 
in any manner connected with it. It is a fact, how- 
ever, that he was its chief editorial writer, but it is 
not probable that he selected and prepared the entire 
"copy." The Woodbury Brothers made great dis- 
play of the fact that they were the "editors." 

The Express was a Whig paper. Judge Atwater 
was a Whig of the conservative type, and the paper's 
editorials showed plainly wliere he stood. During the 
first years of the paper there were in the United 
States but two political parties worth considering, the 
Whig and the Democratic; the Free Soil party did 
not have 160,000 members. The cardinal principles 
of the Whig party were a protective tariff, an 
extended system of internal improvements to be estab- 
lished and conducted liy the General Government, and 
that the Federal and State governments of our coun- 
try "are parts of one system." There were in the 
party States' rights and Federalist members, and 
particularly there were pro-slavery and anti-slavery 
men, the farmer residing largely in the South and 
the latter living almost wholly in the North. The 
party was always conservative, did not believe in 
radicalism, opposed war, or anything likely to cause 
great public excitement or distress, and accepted situ- 
ations very readily Thus it accepted slavery and the 



laws protecting it, wluTcat iiiauy of its mfinbi'rs were 
olTiMuifd. and contriliutcii larg.'l.v to tlu- ir)(i.(lll() 
Pivsidi'iitia! voft-s cast in IS")!' for Hale and Jidiaii, 
the candidates of the Free Soilers or, as they ealh'd 
themselves, the "Free Democratic Party," the fore- 
runner of the Republican Party. The truth is that 
GO and 70 yeare ago a large majority of the anti- 
slavery men of the North were Democrats, or aHiliated 
with the Democratic party. When the Reiniblican 
party was organized, in 1804-55. nearly all of the 
Free Soil Democrats .ioincd it. and then, after slavery 
was abolished, some of Ihcni went back to the Demo- 
cratic party. 

"When the Whig pai'ty l)roke up. in 1855, Judge 
Atwater, Judge Meeker, and many other Whigs 
throughout the country went into the Democratic 
party and thereafter acted with it, Atwater was, 
liowever, at all times and under all cii'cumstances a 
patriot and a true American. He was a lover of and 
devoted to his country all the days of his life. In 
1850-51, about the time of the repeal of the Missouri 
Compromise, and when the i|uestion of slavery exten- 
sion was to the fore, the Southern "fire-eaters," as 
they were termed, were blustering and blaspheming 
and declaring for secession and a dissolution of the 
Union. In the St. Anthony Express of July 12, 1851, 
Atwater. as its editor, wrote : 

"It does seem to us that all who clamor for dis- 
union, whether they live North or South, and all fire- 
eaters, wherever found, deserve to be sent over the 
Falls here, and the prescription repeated until they 
become cool. But, seriously speaking, is not this 
eternal clamor about the dissolution of the Union 
insufferable? And shall not Minnesota be character- 
ized by her devotion to the Union ? Shall not any 
man who advocates disunion be branded as worse 
than a traitor?" 

The subse(|nent histoiw of the St. Anthoiiy Express 
may be briefly given. ^lay 28. 1852. George D, Bow- 
man an old newspaper man of Schuylkill County, 
Pennsylvania, a.ssumed control of the paper as pro- 
prietor, publisher, and editor. August 5, 1855, Judge 
Atwater took full charge and made it staunchly 
Denmcratic in polities. In March, 1859, D. S. B. 
Johnston, now the well known capitalist and philan- 
fhi-oiiisf of St. Paul. becam(> Atwatei-'s editorial asso- 
ciate. Johnston was at the time principal of a select 
school in St. Anthony. In August, 1857, Chas. II. 
Slocum purchased a one-third interest in the pai>er 
from Judge Atwater and became its publishei' : 
.Vtwater remained as editor although that yeai- he 
was elected one of the Judges of the first State 
Supreme Court. In 1859 Johnston bought a one- 
third interest in the paper and became an equal ]iart- 
ner with Slocum and Atwater. (Statemeiir of 
Slocum to Com])iler. in 1913.1 

Sometime hitei- Mr. Johnston became thi' editoi- 
and Slocum the publisher. In the fall of 1860 Slocum 
retired and in .May. ISfJl. Mi'. Johnston discontinued 
the papei-. The press and other material were sold 
to lion. John L. McDonald, of Shakopee, and used 
to estalilish and print the Shakopee Argus, (See 
Minn. Hist. Coll. Vol. N. part 1. p. 260.) 


.Many of the first settlers at St. Anthony were from 
the State of Maine, where for some time a stringent 
prohibitory li(|uor law — commonly called the "Maine 
law"— had been in effect. A majority of the 
.Alaineites in St. Anthony were prohibitionists and 
brought their peculiar notions with them to the North- 
west. There was a great deal of promiscuous drink- 
ing in the little frontier village, where even the family 
grocery stores sold liquor for five cents a pint, and 
the "tee-totallers, " as they were often termed, were 
duly horrified. They called themselves "temperance 
men" then, for the term prohibitionist was not in 
vogue. A lodge of the Sous of Temperance, called 
Cataract Division No. 2, was organized at St. 
Anthony, in May, 1850; C. C. Jenks was the "W. P." 

September 15, 1851, the first public "temperance" 
meeting in St. Anthony was held. An organization, 
with Washington Getchell as president, was effected 
and a Territorial Convention of the "friends of 
temperance" was advocated. On New Year's Day, 
1852, in the Presbyterian Church building at St. Paul, 
the Territorial Convention was held. Several of the 
most prominent men of the Territory, including 
Joseph R. Brown. E. D. Neill, Joseph A. Wlieelock. 
John W. North, C. G. Ames, and Dr. J. H. Murphy, 
attended and spoke for a "Maine law." In February, 
1852, the Express boasted: "There is not a gambling 
shop, a drinking saloon, a whisky grocery store, or a 
grog shop in this town." 


From the first settlement St. Anthony had been 
united with the hamlet of Little Canada" as a Legis- 
lative district of Ramsey County; but the Territorial 
Legislature of 1851 made the village an independent 
political division, designating it as the Third Council 
District. The district was to be entitled to one mem- 
ber of the Territorial Council and two mendiers of the 
House of Representatives. The district was still in 
Ramsey County. 


In the latter part of July, 1851, the first Missis- 
sippi bridge was completed at St." Anthony under the 
ownership of Frank Steele. It extended only between 
the eastern .shore and Nicollet Island, and not entirely the river. The gap was filled by a good ferry- 
boat. According to the Exjiress the bridge was a 
very firm and substantial one, constructed of large 
and heavy tiinbei-s and raised to a level with the bank 
on each side. The paper said the bridge was a 
favorite resort for travelers and others, as it afforded 
a fine view of the Island and of the Rapids below. In 
Sei)tembei- Edward Murphy, under W. A. Cheever's 
charter, began opiM-ating the fei-ry below the Falls. 


In Septcmlier the Express gave the retail prices of 
!?roceries and provisions in St. Anthony. Flour was 
•4!5 and $5.50 per barrel: cranberries. $4. Oats. 25-fi> 



■40 eeuts per bushel ; corn, 50 cents : cornmeal, 75 
cents; potatoea, 60 cents. Coffee, 14 and 17 cents a 
pound ; teas from 50 cents to $1 ; brown sugar, 9 and 
11 cents; crushed or white sugar, 15 cents; lard, 12 
cents; butter ""from below" 15 cents; fresh churned 
butter, 20 cents; cheese, 10 and 15 cents; hams, 11 
and 15 cents; fresh beef and mutton, 8 and 10 cents; 
pork aud bacon, 10 and 12 cents; venison, 5 and 10 
cents ; fresh fish, 3 and 5 cents. Common New Orleans 
molasses, 50 and 65 cents a gallon; N. 0. golden 
syrup, 85 cents; whisky 25 and 35 cents; Eggs, 20 
cents a dozen and very scarce. Prairie chickens, 50 
cents a pair, or $2.50 a dozen. 


In August, 1851, the first Catholic Church building 
in St. Anthony was completed. It stood in "upper 
town," where now is the corner of Ninth Avenue 
North aud Maine Street, East Division. The Express 
of August fl described it as a "large and capacious 
building," although a few years later it became neces- 
sary to erect the present fine stone structui-e. The 
churcli was called St. Anthony of Padua, in honor of 
Father Hennepin "s patron saint, and this name it still 
bears. The building was a frame and conaucnced in 
1850, or possibly, as Stevens says, (p. 108) in IS^a. 

The builder of the church was the Rev. Father 
Augustin Ravoux, of blessed and revered memory. 
He had come to Minnesota from France in 1841, and 
had served as pastor of St. Peter's Church at Mendota, 
St. Paul's at St. Paul, and as a missionary among the 
Indians. When his superior, Father Galtier, (the 
founder of St. Paul) left the country, in 1844, Father 
Ravoux succeeded him. He secured the site of the 
church in St. Anthony in 1849. Previous to the build- 
ing of their local church the Catholics of St. Anthony 
attended services at St. Paul and Mendota. where the 
priests lived. 

Father Ravoux was an engaging and admirable 
character. He was zealous and unwearied in his 
church work, but he was retiring, over-modest, and 
shrank from notoriety or publicity. At the request of 
friends, and by instructions from his superiors, he 
wrote his reminiscences of his early church work in 
Minnesota and they were published in book form. 
The book was disappointing. It makes very little 
mention of the many good works Father Ravoux 
actually performed. He makes no mention whatever 
of his building St. Anthony of Padua, although it is 
known that he superintended the work of construction 
in person, coming from Jlendota, via the river, to the 
foot of the rapids in a canoe, wliich he usually paddled 
himself. He was engaged for more than a year in the 
work, but, not desiring to parade his deeds, he does 
not refer to it. 

Father Ravoux conducted the first services in St. 
Anthony of Padua church, but in December, 1851, 
Rev. Father Ledon. another French priest, came and 
assumed charge as the first regular pastor. He served 
until in 1855. a<;cording to Atwater's History, when 
he was succeeded tiy his former college mate and 
friend. Rev. Father Fayolle, who had been serving 
at the little hamlet of Little Canada for some time. 

Stevens says (p. 108) that Father Ravoux began 
the erection of the church building in 1849, and that 
Father Ledon came in 1851 and was the first resident 
priest, although previous to his coming Fathers 
Kavoux aud Lucian Galtier ""held services in private 
liouses." This cannot be true as to Father Galtier, 
for he left ^Minnesota for good in ilay, 1844, when 
there was but one house on the site of St. Anthony. 


Members of the Episcopal Church were not very 
numerous in St. Anthony in early days, but they 
were faithful and zealous. Frank Steele and R. P. 
Russell gave them a site for a church building on 
what is now Second Street, between First and Sec- 
ond Avenues North. Here the corner stone of a 
church building was laid October 30, 1850, by Rev. 
Timothy Wilcoxson, assisted by Rev. Ezekiel G. Gear, 
the latter then, and for many years prior thereto, the 
post chaplain at Fort Snelling. At the time there 
were not more than half a dozen Episcopalians in 
Minneapolis, but it is said that '"many others were 
interested" in the building of the church. The build- 
ing was not completed until in the spring of 1852, and 
the first soi-mon therein was tlelivered by Father Gear 
April 15. The church organization and the building 
were each called Holy Trinity Church. 

Rev. Dr. James L. Breck, who was present at its 
dedication and had assisted in its constraction, says 
the Holy Trinity Church was the "first house of wor- 
ship erected in this growing town" — St Anthonj-. 
(See "Early Episc. Churches," etc. Part 1, Vol. 10, 
i\Iinn. Hist. Kocy, Col., p. 222.) But the best evi- 
dence is that Holy Trinity was not completed so as 
to be ready for service until in the spring of 1852, 
while St. Antliony of Padua, the Catholic church, was 
completed in August, 1851, and the first services in 
it were held the following December. 


The first religious organization formed in St. 
Anthony, however, and wliich held services peculiar 
to it was a "class" of the Methodists, (meaning mem- 
bers of the M. E. Church) whicli was organized by 
Rev. JIatthew Sorin, an itinerant missionary, in July, 
1849, at the house of Calvin A. Tuttle. There were 
about a dozen members and John Draper was the 
"leader." They met regularly every Sunday at the 
members' houses or in the little school house. At 
first they had no pastor, and so there was no sermon. 
The exercises consisted of singing, of prayers, and 
the "giving of testimony." But late in 1849 Rev. 
Enos Stevens was appointed by the Wisconsin Con- 
ference as a Missionary to St. Anthony Falls, and 
then monthly preaching was had in the school house. 
The preacher did well to speak once a month, at St. 
Anthony, for he had to minister to small but zealous 
Hocks of his church at Fort Snelling, Red Rock, Cot- 
tage Grove. Point Douglas, and liissf^ll 's Mound. 

The successors of Rev. Stevens were in order Revs. 
C. A. Neweomb, E. W. Merrill, (who became a Con- 
gregationalist) and Eli C. Jones. The last named 


cauie in lt^52, and it was during his pastorate, (accord- 
ing to Atwatcr's History) when the tirst church, a 
frame, was erected at a cost of $1,000. 


According to At water's History, which seems to 
coutaiu iuformatiou furnished by the records, the 
First Congregational Church of St. Anthony was 
organized November Ui, 1851, by Revs. Charles Sec- 
combe and Richard Hall, with 12 members. It was 
called the First Congregational Church of St. 
Anthony, and the name is still retained. The History 
further says that Rev. Seeeombe had commenced his 
services in St. Anthony "a j'ear earlier," as a home 
missionary, and that he was in ministerial service here 
for lifteen years. 

Stevens says, however, (p. 108) that in July, 1850, 
Rev. Wm. T. Wheeler, "formerly a Congregational 
missionary in Africa, commenced preaching," and 
was succeeded in 1851 by Rev. Charles Seeeombe "as 
pastor. ' ' 

Services were lield for some time in the building 
used as a preparatory school foi' the Hniversity. The 
first church building was commenced in 1853, at 
Ceutral Avenue and Fourth Street Northeast, and 
services were held in the basement that year. It was 
completed and dedicated February 15, 185-1. 


Up to the creation of Hennepin County, in March, 
1852, the village of St. Anthony was in Ramsey 
County, and of this county St. Paul w-as the county 
seat. There was, as has been stated, a rivalry between 
the two villages which extended nearly to a form of 
hostilit.v. The idea of two villages named for the 
lilcssed SI. Paul and St. Anthony being engaged in 
liostilit.v against each other! 

Ill the Territorial Legislature of 1851 a desperate 
attempt was made to remove the county seat from St. 
Paul to St. .\ntliony. If this could be done, tlie pros- 
perity and even the supremacy of the latter village 
might be assured. With its many admitted natural 
advantages the little town might go from county seat 
to capital citv and from capital city to greatness and 

The movement originated in the House of Repre- 
sentatives. An amendment. No. 15, to Council File 
No. 1, consolidating the statutes, provided for the 
removal of the county seat. This amendment was 
adopted in committee of the whole by a vote of 7 to 
(i : but wlien it came up for final action on its ineoi'- 
poration into the general ])ill, the vote of the House 
was !) to 7 against such incorporation. The St. 
Paulites had rallied all their forces into action and 
won by 2 votes. The amendment was expected to 
pass the Council by 5 to 4, and if it had passed the 
TTousc, would doubtless have become a law. 

Those voting for the amendment were David Gil- 
man of Sauk Kapids, North and Patch of St. 
Anthony, Olmstead of Watab, and Ames of 
Stillwater, and Warren of Gull Lake. Those voting 


against were Brunsou, Ramsey, (the Governor's 
brother' Rice, and Tilden of St". Paul; Randall and 
Faribault of Meudota, Sloau of Little Rock, and Tay- 
lor of Washington County. The result was regarded 
as a i)ractical defeat for Henry .M. IJice's friends, 
although his brother, Edmund, voted against the 
amendment. The seven that voted for it were Rice's 


Now, Ben. H. Randall (died at Winona, Oct. 1, 
1913,) and Alexander Faribault, of Meudota, were 
elected to represent Dakotah County. They were 
strong friends of Sibley and not very favorable to 
Rice. There were objections made by the Rice ele- 
ment to their being given seats in the Legislature, 
ostensibly because it was claimed that their election 
was not in due and legal form. A committee re- 
ported that the two members elect were entitled to 
their seats, and on the vote to adopt this report both 
North and Patch, of St. Anthony, as well as three 
others — Ed. Rice. Sloan, and Warren — voted no, or to 
keep out Randall and Faribault. 

And so, wOieu the vote came to remove the county 
seat from St. Paul to the town where both John W. 
North and Ed. Patch lived and had their interests, 
both Randall and Faribault voted "no," and defeated 
the measure! Had they voted for it, St. Anthony 
would liave became the county seat, in all prol)al)ility, 
the vote standing 9 to 7 in its favor. And had North, 
Patch, and the others voted to keep the two Dakotah 
county members in their seats, they probably would 
have voted in the interest of St. Anthony. 

It really seemed that St. Anthony suffered for the 
devotion of some of its principal citizens to the inter- 
ests of Henry M. Rice. AVriting in the St. Anthony 
Express of SeiJtember 27. following. Editor At water 
said : 

" * * * The interests of the west side of the 
river are identified with our own. and the votes of 
that side would have been with us in the last Legisla- 
ture had not a most unprovoked Rice onslaught been 
made on the Representatives from that side Our 
Rice Representatives (North and Patch) were made 
the tools and the active instruments of this attack. 
Consequently we lost the vote of the west side for 
the capital, the penitentiary, and the count.v seat. 
Had our Representatives not taken this suicidal 
course, the county seat would this dav be located in 
St. Anthony." 


The winter of 1840-50 was a long and lonely one 
for the settlers at St. Anthony. Not much work could 
be performed, mails wen* uncertain and infre(pient, 
for Frink & Walker's stage line, or sliMiib line, was 
hard to keep open and clear of snowdrifts all the way 
from Galena to St. Paul. There were no libraries or 
places of amusement, and even church services were 
rare. Rut where there are 200 or 300 .Americans 
in one settlement they will not suffer much 



The New Englanders and otlier x^^merieaiis arranged 
for a series of lectures to be given during the winter, 
at least one a month. The lecture force was com- 
posed of local talent. Lieut. Richard "\V. Johnson, 
afterward a ilistinguished major general of the l^nion 
army, but then not long from West Point and an 
officer of the gari-ison at Foi't Snelling: Rev. E. G. 
Gear, chaplain of Fort Snelling: Wm. R. Marshall, 
who had laid out the town; Prof. Lee, of the "acad- 
emy;" Rev. C. G. Ames, and others were the lecturers, 
and their efforts gave general satisfaction. Marshall's 
lecture was first. December 15; subject. "Our Terri- 
tory;" Lieut. Johnson lectured in January on "Edu- 
cation. ' ' 

The French-Canadians and other fun-loving citi- 
zens, in and about the village, especially the young 
people, had a good time from first to last. They 
had skating parties, sleighing parties, fishing excur- 
sions to the near-by lakes, where they took the fish 
through holes in the ice; the young men made many 
hunting trips, and nearly every incident or event of 
the kind was concluded with a dance. Two or three 
of these dancing parties were often held in a week. 
Commonly these were private affairs, held in dwell- 
ings, where there was room for but one cotillion "set" 
of eight persons at a time. Violins supplied the 
music and the fiddlers were compensated by collec- 
tions taken up during the evening. Occasionally 
there was "a ball" to which tickets were sold for 
sometimes as much as $2 apiece, although commonly 
a dollar was the price. This included supper and 
a great good time. 

At the ordinary dances or cotillion parties, the fid- 
dlers were local talent, too, either from the village or 
from the Frenchmen at Little Canada. But on the 
occasion of a "ball" the orchestra was often imported. 
Then would come Bill Taylor, a negro barber of St. 
Paul, a noted player of dance music, and Lem Fow- 
ler, with his "French horn," also from St. Paul; 
and sometimes there would be somebody from the 
Fort Snelling Military, and then three fiddles and a 
"French horn" would be going and rare was the 
enjoyment and glorious the fun. Modern balls fur- 
nish nothing approximating the real enjoyment and 
delight of the old pioneer dancing parties. No won- 
der that the young men were determined, as the.y 
sang, that tliey would, to — 

"Dance all night till hvo-.ul daylight. 
And go home with the gals in the morning." 

A large proportion of the participants in these 
innocent and exhilarating pastimes were French- 
Canadians; but the Americans fairly rivaled them 
in ininibers and interest, Stevens says that none 
joined in these dances with more zest than the mixed- 
bloods of the time. Th(> social etiuality of those in 
whose veins the Indian and the Caucasian blood were 
blended was generally recognized. For they were 
the offspring of white men and Indian women, who 
had been joined in Christian marriage, and were 
for the most part professed Christians themselves and 
lived reputably before the world. Stevens says that 
many mixed-blood girls were graceful and beautiful 

dancers, as they were graceful and beautiful in other 
ways, and they were much sought as partners by 
the young men. 


No other events or incidents have been of more 
importance in their infiuence upon the character 
and destiny of ilinnesota than the negotiations with 
the Sioux Indians of that Ten-itory in the summer 
of 1851. These events are commonly known as the 
Treaties of Traverse des Sioux and Mendota. The 
latter marked the beginning of a great and important 
epoch in the career of Minneapolis. For as a result 
of the Treaty of ilendota a vast region of country, 
large enough and naturally rich enough for a king- 
dom, was released from the rule of barbarism and 
opened to settlement and civilization; and a leading 
feature of this result was the acquisition of territory 
whereon in time the main portion of the city of Min- 
neapolis was built, and whereon it now stands. 

Prior to these treaties onl.y land in ^Minnesota 
east of the Mississippi was open to white settlement 
and occupation ; the vast fertile expanse of the 
river was Sioux Indian land and forbidden ground 
to the whites, and the greater part of the northern 
portion of the State belonged to the Chippewas. The 
boundary lines between the lands ceded to the whites 
and those retained by the Indians constituted im- 
passable barriers against which the eager waves of 
immigration were beating in vain. In 1851 the 
greatest and most formidable of these walls was 

In June, 1849, Territorial Governor Ramsey and 
John Chambers, a former Governor of Iowa, were 
authorized as commissioners to make a treaty with 
the Sioux for the land west of the ^Mississippi. The 
Commissioners met at Foil Snelling in the fall ; but 
the Sioux were absent from their villages gathering 
wild rice and hunting for their winter supply of 
meat, and sent word that they were too busy to 
make a treatj'. The truth is that the.y were not 
ready to dispose of their lands at that time. They 
heard the great clamor among the whites that their 
lands should be acquired and they believed that 
if they postponed the sale they would get better 
terms. So at this time they remained in their homes 
and the Commissioners returned to theirs. The 
clamor to have the land opened to white settlement 
was renewed with increased volume and force. The 
year 1850 came and passed without a treaty and a 
mighty demand came from Minnesota and the North- 
west that negotiations for the lands be opened at 

The need of some action became imperative. It 
required vigilant effort on the part of the military 
and the Indian agents to prevent liold and enter- 
prising home-seekers from crossing the river and 
claiming and settling upon sites surpassingly beauti- 
ful and inviting, thus trespassing and encroaching 
upon Indian rights. Think of white men standing at 
bay for years upon the east bank of the river at St. 
Anthony Falls and gazing upon the country to the 
westward, so fair to view and so full of possibilities. 



with only a few paddle strokes between theiu and its 
glories I 

At last, ill the spring of 1851, President Fillmore 
directed that the treaty with the Sioux be made. He 
appointed as Commissioners Gov. Ramsey, who was 
ex-olitie-io Indian Commissioner for Jlinnesota, and 
Luke Lea, the National Commissioner of Indian 
Affairs. Particular instructions were given them, so 
that they were entitled to no esjiecial credit for the 
terms and conditions they made, since their duties 
were almost purely ministerial. 

The Commissioners decided to make two treaties; 
that witii the two upjicr Sioux bands, the Sissetons 
and Wahpctoiis, was to be made at Traverse des 
Sioux, and that with the two lower bauds, the ileda- 
wakantons and Wahpakootas, would be at Mendota. 
There was much interest manifested, and many 
prominent men of the Territory attended. Mr. Good- 
hue, of the Pioneer, reported the proceedings of the 
Traverse des Sioux treaty and printed them in his 

The Traverse des Sioux treaty was held under a 
brush arbor constructed especially for the purpose by 
Alexis Bailly, a Jlendota .justice of the peace and at 
one time a prominent trader. The treaty document 
was not tinally signed until July 23. On the part 
of the Indians it was signed liy numerous "head 
men,"' and by Chiefs Running Walker, the Orphan, 
Limping Devil, Sleepy Eye, Lengthens His Head- 
Dress, Walking Spirit, Red Iron, and Rattling 

Six days after the signing of the Traverse des Sioux 
treaty, or July 29, 1S51, the treaty of Mendota was 
begun. It was held also under a brush arbor erected 
by Alexis liailly on the elevated plain on the north 
side of Pilot Knob. On the oth of August it was 
finally signed by the V. S. Commissioners, Lea and 
Ramsey, and by the following chiefs: Wabasha, head 
chief of the ilcdawakantons, and Sub-Chiefs Little 
Crow, Wacouta, (the shooter) Cloud Man, Gray Iron, 
Shakopee, (or Six) and Good Road. There was only 
one band of Wahpakootas and Chief Red Legs signed 
for it. 

The territory ceded by the Indians comin-ised about 
23,750,000 acres, of which more than 19,000,000 acres 
were in ^Minnesota, nearly 3,000,000 acres in Iowa, 
and more than 1,750,000 acres in what is now South 
Dakota. To quote the treaty, the Indians sold — 

"All their lands in the State of Iowa, and also all 
their lauds in the Territory of Minnesota cast of a 
line beginning at the continence of the Buffalo River 
with the Red River of tiie .Xorth, [12 miles north of 
Moorhead] thence south, along the Red River, to the 
Sioux Wood River; thence along that river to Lake 
Traverse; thence south along the western shore of 
Lake Traverse to its southern extremity; thence in a 
direct line to the juncture of Lake Kampeska with 
the Sioux River | Chan-kah-snah-dahta Watpa, or 
Splintery Wood River] ; thence along the western 
bank of said [Splintery Wood, or] Sioux River to the 
boundary line of Iowa." 

The price which it was agreed should be paid to 

the Indians for their lands was 12V:; cents an acre. 
The two upper bands were to receive $1,665,000 in 
cash and suitplics and be allowed a reservation twenty 
miles wide — ten miles on either side of the ^linuesota 
— from the western boundary down to the mouth of 
the Yellow .Medicine and Hawk Creek. Of this sum 
$305,000 was to be expended for their benefit the first 
year, and five per cent interest on the balance of 
$1,360,000. or $()8,000, was to be paid in cash and 
supplies annually for fifty years, commencing July 
1, 1852. Of each annuity $-40,000 was to be in cash, 
$12,000 for "civilization,"" $10,000 for goods and pro- 
visions, and $6,000 for education. 

The two lower bands were to receive $1,410,000, of 
which sum $30,000 was to be paid as soon as the U. S. 
Senate ratified the treaty, $25,000 was to be paid for 
them in .settling their debts with the traders, remov- 
ing them to their new reservation on the upper Jlin- 
nesota, and for schools, mills, opening farms, etc., 
and five per cent of $1,160,000. a trust fund reserved 
bj^ the Government, which interest amounted to 
$58,000, was to be paid annually for 50 years after 
July 1, 1852. The sum of $28,000 was to be expeniled 
for them annually for "civilization," education, 
goods, etc. The lower bands were also allowed a 
resei-vation, ten miles wide on either side of the Min- 
nesota and extending down that river from the month 
of the Yellow ^Medicine to Little Rock Creek, four 
miles east of Fort Ridgely and 1-1 miles west of New 
Ulm. The back annuities due under the treaty of 
1837 were to be paid in annual installments and 
$150,000 in cash was to be divided among the mixed 
bloods of the two bands in lieu of the lands they had 
failed to claim under thi' Prairie lUi Cbien treatv of 
1830. Of the cash paid the sum of $100,000 was to be 
deducted and paid to certain traders for ".just debts" 
due them from the Indians for goods and supplies 
had and delivered in former years. 

The U. S. Senate amended the treaties by striking 
out the jn'ovisions for reservations, foi- whicii ten 
cents an acre was to be paid, and other reservations 
in what is now the Dakotas were to be selected and 
the Indians removed thereto; also the item of $150,000 
in ciish for the half breeds was stricken out. The 
amended ti'eaty came back to ^Minnesota and in Sep- 
tember, 1852. was signed by .some of the chiefs and 
head men of the Indians. President Fillmore pro- 
claimed it. and it went into full legal effect, Februao' 
24. 1853; it had been in practical effect, so far as 
white settlers weii' interested, for many months 
l)efore ! 

After paying $18,000 to the Indians, as a part of 
the purchase price of their reservations, at ten cents 
an acre, the Government, by President Pierce and an 
appropriation bill, refused to select new reservations 
for the Indians and allowed them to keep those given 
them by the treaties of 1S51. They W(>re tinally con- 
firmed in these reservations in July, 1854. 

Tb(> point most prominent in connection with the 
matters under consideration, is that by the Treaty of 
Mendota, in 1851, the site of Minneapolis was pur- 
chased from the Indians for 12yo cents an acre. 




Great was the general rejoicing throughout Min- 
nesota over the fact that by the Indian treaties the 
country west of the Mississippi had been opened to 
white settlement. Even in St. Anthony the property 
owners were glad, although it was fairly certain that 
a competitive town would soon arise just across the 
river from them. The main reason was that all of 
them had a "claim" of some sort already selected 

in the new land of promise ! The fact that the treaties 
had been made was the consummation of desires, 
hopes, and expectations which had long been devoutly 
held by everybody. In May, 1850, John H. Stevens 
had written to Sibley: 

"Immigration pours in, but we fear with little 
money. We want a treaty with the Indians for their 
lands west of the Mississippi. Our Territory wiU 
have bad repute unless we open the west side of the 







The incidents connected with the Indian treaties of 
1851 coii.stituted the most important epoch in the his- 
tory of Minneapolis. For following hard upon the 
treaties a town was laid out on the west hank of the 
river, and this town was named ^Minneapolis. At first 
it was a rival of St. Anthony, the town on the east 
bank, hut eventually it absorbed and benevolently as- 
similated its rival antl extended its corporate limits 
far to the north and west of the original boundaries 
of St. Anthony. 

It would seem that St. Anthony might have pre- 
vented the laying out of the new town with the new 
name. It was then a bright and promising village. 
In two years the rude log cabins of the first settlers 
had been replaced by commodious frame buildings, 
white painted and attractive. There were good .saw- 
mills, a very excellent hotel, a fairly good corn-grind- 
ing mill, two schools, chun-h organizations, and a 
strong array of stores and shops. John G. Lennon's 
big general store was ([uite a creditable institution and 
carried the largest advertisement in the St. Anthony 
Express, a whole column in length. 

The little town had doctoi's, lawyers, scholars, and 
politicians, and brainy men of all avocations, and 
Franklin Steele was largely interested in the place. 
Had the people seen fit they could have had the Legis- 
lature (which met a few months after the treaty was 
signed at Mendota) create a new county embracing 
the territoi-y on both sides of the river at the Falls 
and designating St. Anthony as the county seat. Then 
the cor|)orate lines could have been extended and the 
town on the west side of the river might have been 
"West St. Anthony," for all time! 


It must be borne in mind that while the west side 
was properly considered Indian country, it was liter- 
ally a part of the Fort Snelling military reserve, which 
had been jiurchased from tiie Indians by Lieutenant 
Pike when he visited the country, in 1805-06. Set- 
tlers were not allowed to go njion it except by special 
permits from the military authorities ; but, under all 
the circiniistanccs. and when the manifest destiny of 
the greater part of the reservation was realized, these 
permits or licenses were not hard to obtain. The idea 
was to obtain, preliminary to permanent occupation. 

good claims on the new site, and even the army officers 
and soldiers were disposed to secure this sort of 

Hardly was the ink of the signatures to the treaty 
of iMendota dry on the paper when certain bold, ad- 
venturous spirits, indifferent to legal restrictions, were 
upon the west side of the river selecting, staking out, 
and even building upon their claims. Opposite St. 
Anthony, between the Falls and Fort Snelling, on the 
military reservation were a score ,of these "sooners." 
They expected that Congress would soon reduce the 
limits of the reservation, that their claims would he 
outside of the new limits, and that the ratification of 
the treaties would give them titles secure against all 

Between the Falls and Fort Snelling several cbuMis 
were made and houses, or rather shanties, built on 
them. The "sooners" in these cases made claim to 
large blocks of the land for possible advantage when 
the new town should be laid out. A majority of them 
were St. Anthony men anyhow, and had these claims 
as anchors to windward in case adverse gales of for- 
tune should blow violently upon their little home 

By the 1st of January, 1852. quite a number of 
claims had been made on the Fort Snelling reserve, 
long before the Senate had ratified the Indian treaties 
or the reserve itself had been reduced so as to allow of 
such settlements. Lieut. Col. Francis Lee. of the fith 
V. S. Infantry, connnanding at Fort Snelling, wrote 
to Washington foi' instructions. He was directed to 
at once evict and expel the intruders, destroy their 
habitations and improvements, and sternly forbid a 
repetition of the trespass, under a threat of condign 
and severe punishment. The St. Anthony Express of 
Februai-y 21, 1852. gave the si^quel: 

"The cabins erected on the Reserve, we notice, have 
all been razed to the ground, except those whose own- 
ers had obtained permits. Had not meetings been 
called and so nun-h opposition manifested on the part 
of a few to pei-mits from ofificers. we think that nobody 
would have been disturbed, even those without jier- 
mits. We have some dogs in the manger which, not 
being able to en.ioy themselves, are determined that 
no one else shall. Congress will probably act on the 
matter soon and stop all contention." 

Some of the lumber and timbers of the buildings 
destroyed by the soldiers under the orders of Col. 
Lee were thrown into the Mississippi. The mat^-rial 




of the claim house of Daniel Stanchfield was thus dis- 
posed of. The soldiers did all the work of ejection 
and dismantling. Init were not willing instruments of 
the law in this case. 

Also in Februai-y, about the time the claim houses 
were being destroyed, Philander Prescott, agent of 
the Indian Department at Fort Snelling. was sent 
out through the country west of the Falls to warn off 
certain parties that were cutting timber on the for- 
bidden lands and hauling it to the mills. They were 
ordered to desist their operations at once, and not to 
renew them, or even to visit the lands on the west side, 
without special permission. 


.Ml'. Bean and the other millers in charge of the 
old Government Jlill on the west side of the river can- 
not jiroperly be considered the first permanent set- 
tlers of ]Minneapolis proper. They were not "set- 
tlers" at all in the true meaning of the term; they 
were merely denizens or tenants at will — that is, at 
the will of the landlord, who then was Uncle Sam ; he 
could remove them whenever he wanted to, or they 
could remove themselves at their own pleasure. 

By and by the Mill came to have a renter and suii- 
tenants. A dozen or more years previously Secretary 
of War Poinsett had decided that the Mill was Govern- 
ment property, but located on Indian laud, and only 
to be used in aid of the military, and hence was not 
subject to purchase, to occupation, or to control by 
citizens. In ilay, 1849, Hon. Robert Smith, a member 
of Congress from the Alton, Illinois, district, obtained 
Governmental lease and license to occupy the old Mill 
by himself or by his tenant. The Sibley papers show 
that Henry M. Rice was an unrecorded partner of 
Smith's in this lease, and that at Rice's instance a 
strong but ineffectual effort was made to get Sibley 
to become a third partner. The present writer cannot 
state with certainty who all of Smith and Rice's ten- 
ants were, if they exceeded three, namely, Bean, Dyer, 
and Tuttle, but only one of them (Tuttle) was prop- 
erly speaking a settler or citizen of iliinieapolis. 

But there was one settler on the original site of Min- 
neapolis who came before the Indian title was extin 
guish(>d, and who came to stay, and stayed. This was 
John Harrington Stevens, born in Canada, of Ameri- 
can pai'cntage, in 1820, who had served as captain and 
(|uartermaster in the ^Mexican War, who came to ^lin- 
ncsota early in 1849, and whose name has become a 
household word in Minneapolis. In May, 1849, Mr. 
Stevens entered the employ of Franklin Steele, as a 
clerk; but in a short time he became Steele's bu.siness 
agent, his factotum, his major domo, his confidante, 
and altogether his close intimate. 


Now, when Rice and Smith had secured a lease of 
the Government ^fill. 'Mr. Steele thought their claim 
a menace to his mill interests. Of course he intended 
from the first to secure land on the irrst bank con- 
fronting the Falls, as he had secured a good broad 

foothold on the cast bank. He detennined to head off 
any further approach of Rice and Smith toward the 
west end of the Falls, planning to secure that site 
for himself. The land was not then subject to entry, 
but in time it would be. It was, however, subject to 
occupation, as Rice and Smith had demonstrated in 
leasing the old ^Mill. 

"Who does by another does by himself," is an old 
maxim of law and equity. If Steele could put his 
confidential agent, Stevens, on a tract of land immedi- 
ately above the old Mill, the occupation would raise 
a barrier to an approach toward the land directly 
at the Falls which Rice and Smith could not cross. 
In a little time Stevens was properly placed, and in 
his book he tells us how : 

"June 10, 1849, Mr. Steele asked me to accompany 
him on a little trip from Fort Snelling to St. Anthony 
Falls. I was then his chief book-keei)er in his count- 
ing room at the Fort. On our way up Mr. Steele 
said that in a year or two the Fort Snelling reserva- 
tion would be reduced in size ; that many valuable 
claims could be secured on the lands which would be 
left out by the reduction by securing permission from 
the Secretary of War to immediately go upon them ; 
that he wanted me to at once secure the claim immedi- 
ately above the Government Mill, then controlled by 
Hon. Robert Smith, and he thought there would not 
be much diiificulty in securing the desired permission 
from the Secretaiy of War, then Hon. Wm. L. ]\Iarcy. " 

The Secretary had been very determined that there 
should be no occupation of the reserve by would-be 
settlers, but a way was found to whip him around the 
stump. Steele found it. The Secretary accorded the 
permission, upon the request of Steele, Sibley, and 
Lieut.-Col. Gustavus Loomis, the old Puritan com- 
mander of Fort Snelling and superintendent of the 
reserve. To justify the license a laudable subterfuge 
was resorted to. Stevens was to be allowed to live 
on the west bank of the river on condition that he 
construct and maintain a feriy across the river from 
his habitation to St. Anthony; and he was to trans- 
port on his ferry, free of all charge whatsoever, all 
officers and soldiers of the army and all othei- agents 
of the Government, including teamsters with their 
teams, wagons, and their loads, etc. At that date the 
road from Fort Snelling to Fort Gaines (Fort Ripley) 
was that from St. Paul to the upper fort, which ran 
on the east side of the river, via St. Anthony, etc. ■ 

It was really a convenience to the authorities and 
garrisons of the two posts to hav(> a ferry at St. 
Anthony, in order to facilitate communication between 
them. Stevens had to give a bond of $500, secured 
by Steele, that he would faithfully comply with the 
conditions of his license. There was but little work for 
him to do to pay for his privilege at first, for the mili- 
tary representatives seldom wished to cross, but when 
passage was wanted it was "wanted bad." 

The a.ssertion that Stevens desired the claim in 
order to operate a ferry was an innocent fiction, 
designed to chase Secretary Marcy's order from its 
firm position in front of the stump to a place behind 
it. At first Stevens virtually held thi- claim in trust 
for Frank Steele, so that Rice and Smith and anybody 



t' hut Steele mifiht not .seeiire tlir mill-sites at the 
West eud of the Falls. It was known that in a few 
years the west side would be open to settlement and 
that Stevens eould then perfect the title in fee, when 
the mill-sites would be under the control of the Steele 

Stevens had been only a month in the Territory 
when he received permission to settle on the west 
bank of the river and construct a home thei'e. He was 
a clerk for Steele at Fort Snelling at the time, and 
was unmarried ; but. acting for his emplo.ver, for 
whom he had conceived a great liking, he readily con- 
sented to have his home, and claim it as such, in a 
not very inviting sitnation. He at once began opera- 
tions on his claim, although he was rather busy with 
his duties as clerk for Steele at Fort Snelling and about 
other business for him at St. Anthony. He tells us 
that, "on the bank of the river, .just above the rapids, 
I commenced building my humble house, to which 
when tini.shed. I brought my wife, as a bride, and in 
it my first children were born, the eldest being Iho 
lirst-born white child in iliuneapolis proper. "" 


Stevens did not complete his house for more than 
a year; it was finished and first occupied August 6. 
1850. It was a frame building, of hunber sawed by 
Steele's mill, and probably furnished by him. was a 
story and a half in height, with a wing of one story. 
The striieture stood on the west bank, quite near the 
water and only twenty feet above it, on a l>eneh or 
terrace of land which was several feet below the gen- 
eral level of the land farther back from the river : 
from 200 yards to the rear of the house only its roof 
and attic could be seen. 

At Roi-kford, Illinois. :\[ay 10. 1850. Stevens had 
married ^liss Frances IT. Jliller. Immediately after 
Hie wedding the couple started for St. Anthony Falls, 
and ;\lay 16 arrived at St. Paul and Fort Snelling. 
Tlicy intended residing temporai'il.v in the Fort, where 
Mr. Stevens's work was, but a few daxs after his 
i-i'lurn he was sent to Iowa to assist the soldiers in 
removing the Sac and Fox Indians from their former 
lands in that State, and during his absence ilrs. Ste- 
vens was the guest of Mrs. Jaeol) W. Bass, the land- 
lady of the little log hotel at St. Paul. As her 
husband was returning, Jlrs. Stevens met him at Mus- 
c;itinc. Iowa, and from thence they returned by steam- 
lioat to Minnesota, and. as has been stated, moved into 
their new house at the Falls on tiie 6th of August. 
The Stevens family was the second white household 
til reside at the west end of the Falls: Mr. Bean's, 
tliat occupied the old Government Mill buildings, was 
the first. 


At Muscatine Mr. Stevens bought a small herd of 
five milch cows at ^7 per head : and they were good 
cows at that. He brought them to Foi-t Snelling for 
$4 apiece, and thus they cost him $11 each "laid 

down"' at the Falls. This was the lirst dairy herd lo 
graze on what afterward became the site of ilinncap- 
olis proper. Previously, however, several families in 
St. Anthony each had a cow, and there was plenty of 
live stock, including good grade bulls, down St. Paul 
way. Stevens claims: "Tiiis was uudoubt*'dly the 
first herd of eows ever introduced on the west bank of 
the Falls, aside from those used by the ti'oops at Fort 

Stevens had ildei'mined to operate a small farm on 
his claim. His situation was not altogether what he 
desired, but he nuule the lust of it. • The only means 
of communication with St. Anthony was in a small 
skitf propelled by two pairs of oars, and the water 
route was above the Falls, and above Nicollet Island. 
where the current was so sli-ong that it was fortunate 
when a landing was made at any considerable distance 
above the terrible rapids. ( 'aptain John Tapper was 
the feiTyman and chief oarsman, but his strong arms 
had to be re-enforced by those of another brawn.v 
boatman in order to carry the laden boat safely 
athwart the strong current. The Captain made his 
home a great part of the time at the Stevens house. 
In the warm seasons the mosquitoes came in great 
ravenous clouds and made life it burden for the house- 
hold; bars and screens afforded but little protection 
against them. Lucliily, owing to the pure and 
salubrious climate, there was no poison in their stings, 
no malarial germs or typhus bacilli which they could 
transfer to the human system. 


Immediately ujion occupying his new house Jlr. 
Stevens set about preparing the ad.ioining land on the 
flat near him for cultivation. It was covered largely 
with jungles of black .jack-oak trees and saplings, 
thickly stuck with scraggy and bristling limbs and 
branches, and John Tai)per was given charge of the 
work of clearing these impediments off the land and 
getting it ready for the plow. The land bordered on 
the river, running back 80 rods from the bank, "and 
extending about half way uji to l'>assett's Creek." 

Tapper hired a bunch of expert axmen and they 
soon cleared the land. The trees were cut down, the 
brush piled, the stumps and main roots grubbed up, 
and after saving a lot of firewood and fence-poles, the 
tree-trunks, brush, and grubs were piled together and 
burned. Next siiring. when plowing began, the plow 
moved easily through the rich, mellow soil, as easily 
penetrated as an ash-heap. The work of clearing the 
land and preparing it for the plow had been trouble- 
some and expensive : but it had to be done. Stevens 
had plenty of pi-airie land which had no timbei' upon 
it and required no clearing. But it had something 
more formidable to the plow and the plowman. It 
had a tough, thick sod which could not be cut and 
broken and turned undei- by any plow then in vogue. 
At that date the plows conunonly in use had wooden 
frames and cast-iron points and mold-boards. The 
iron was usually inferior, brittle, and easily snapped 
and shattered by a strong root or stubborn piece of 



This was one reason why the prairie lands were not 
first cultivated instead of the timber lands. The sod 
was from four to six inches thick and composed of 
roots and fibers cemented with well packed earth. 
The ordinary plows would not turn it or even cut it. 
The Indian women had to cut it with hoes, and even 
axes, before they could plant their gardens and corn- 
fields. When the timber tracts were cleared and 
grubbed of their stumps and roots, the loose, loamy 
soil was half plowed: it was easy to finish the re- 
mainder with any sort of a plow. 

In time. wrought-iro}i and steel-pointed plow-points 
supei-seded the cast iron ; and then, when the prairie 
lands had been pastured and big weeds kept down for 
a few years, the roots in the sod rotted and the soil 
was easily broken. Occasionally in the early settle- 
ment of the country the local blacksmiths hammered 
out wrought-iron, " steel-pointed plow-shares which 
were fastened to large strong frames, forming a huge 
machine which, when drawn by two or three yoke of 
oxen, would cut and turn prairie sod quite readily, 
making great wide furrows, and laying and folding 
back the sod very regularly. The up-turned sod had 
to lie under the sun and rains for a year or more 
before its roots rotted so that it could be easily pul- 
verized by cross-plowing and rendered into seed-beds 
Colonel Stevens tells us that the crops produced on 
his land were very heavy and excellent in every way. 
They were a great advertisement for ^linnesota and 
its soil. There were hosts of visitors from other 
States to Fort Snelling and the much noted St. An- 
thonv Falls, and every visitor saw Stevens's fine corn- 
fields, his fruitful gardens, and his fat cattle, and 
went back home telling every one he saw that ilinne- 
sota was well adapted to white occupation and des- 
tined to become a magnificent commonwealth. 
Stevens says: "The yields that were produced on 
this land in after years were so heavy that it en- 
couraged immigi-ants who saw the fields to settle in 
the Territory." 


But while Colonel Stevens was fairly the first per- 
manent white settler on the original site of Minne- 
apolis west of the river, he was not the first on the 
present site. Some three years before his settlement, 
Charles Mousseau came to the site of the old mission 
of the Pond brothers, on the southeast shore of Lake 
Calhoun, and took up his residence as a permanent 
inhabitant. Tie also laid claim to 160 acres of the 
land on which his liouse stood, saying that he would 
perfect title to it as soon as the Indian claiin was ex- 
tinguished and the Snelling reserve oi)ened to white 
settlement, and meanwhile all designing persons were 
requested to notice that he had claims which must be 
respected ! It is believed that at first Mousseau lived 
in the old Pond mission house, and a portion of his 
claim is now included in Lakeview Cemetery. Near 
his house at one time wa.s the cabin of old Chief Cloud 
Man (Makh-pe-ah We-chash-tay), the good old chief 
of the Lake Calhoun band of Sioux. 

Charles Mousseau was born in Canada, in 1807. 

His ancestry, of course, was French. In 1827 he came 
to ^Mendota and entered the employ of the Fur Com- 
pany as a voyageur. In February, 1836, he married 
at Fort Snelling, Fanny Perry, the daughter of 
Abram Perry (or Perret), the old French-Swiss 
watchmaker. The marriage ceremony was performed 
by Indian Agent Taliaferro, and in 1839 confirmed by 
Bishop Loras. of Dubuque, while on his first visit to 
Miiniesota. In the latter year ilousseau became the 
first white settler on the crest of what is now Dayton's 
Bluff, in St. Paul. In 1848 he sold his St. Paul" claim 
to Eben "Weld and having obtained permission of the 
military authorities, removed to the claim at Lake 
Calhoun. He lived in Minneapolis the rest of his 
life, and out of twelve children born to him he raised 
nine to maturity : some of his descendants are yet in 
Minneapolis. In February, 18:52, he gained some 
local notoriety by killing a 700-pound black bear after 
a bloody and exciting fight with the monster near the 
shore of Lake Calhoun. His little daughter, Sophia, 
whose death was chronicled by the St. Anthony Ex- 
press in July, 1850, was probably the first white per- 
son to die within the present limits of ^linneapolis 
west of the river. 


"When Stevens moved into his new house at the 
Falls he was alone in his glory, as the only white set- 
tler on what became the original site of the city. This 
was in August, 1850. A year previously, when Rob- 
ert Smith and Henry M. Rice leased the old Govern- 
ment ilill, they placed a bachelor named Ambrose 
Dyer, of Oneida County, New York, in charge of the 
building, and he occupied it for some months as a 
bachelor's hall, and then, disappointed and dissatis- 
fied, he went elsewhere. The Stevens household and 
home were practically without near neighbors until 
April 25, 1851, when Calvin A. Tuttle crossed his 
family over from St. Anthony and occupied the Jlill 
buildings. Thus the number of families in Minne- 
apolis proper had increa.sed 100 per cent in less than 
a year — from one to two ! 

According to Hudson's History, John P. Miller, in 
August, 1851, secured the second claim at the Falls, 
also under a permit from the Secretary of "War. On 
this claim, which was 160 acres in extent. Miller built 
a good house and made other permanent improve- 
ments. Not long after Stevsns made his claim Rev. 
Ezekiel G. Gear, the chaplain at Fort Snelling, 
laid claim to a tract of land on the eastern shore of 
Lake Calhoun, near Mousseau 's. Permission to file 
this claim was given by the militaiw, but it does not 
appear that any improvements were made upon it 
for some time. As to other pioneer claims, Hudson 
(p. 34) says: 

"Dr. Ilezekiah Fletcher, John Jackins, Isaac 
Blown, "Warren Bristol, Allen Harmon and Dr. Al- 
freil E. Ames made claims during 1851. and were soon 
followed by Edward ]\Iui-phy, Anson Northruj). 
Charles Iloag, Martin Layman. John G. Lennon. 
Ben.j. B. Parker, Sweet \V. Case, Hdgar Folsom. Hiram 
Van Nest, Robert Blaisdell, and otliei's, all of wiioni 



secured permits from the military authorities. Prom- 
inent elaim-liolders just outside the military reserva- 
tion were Joel B. Bassett, \Vm. Byrnes. Chas. W. 
Christmas. Waterman Stinson. Stephen Pratt, anti 
Rufus Pratt, all of whom took up and in what is now 
North iliiineapolis. " 

Nearly all of these were citizens of St. Anthony. 
They crossed the river and made claims on the west 
side, as anchors to vrindward. Everybody was sayins,' 
tliat there would soon be a town on the west side, and 
if tiiis should be at tlu' expense of St. Anthony it was 
well to have a means of covering and balancing ;niy 
loss that might thereby be sustained. It was well 
enough to own property in both towns. 

Dr. Fletcher's claim was considered "far back in 
the country." He built a small house on a site now 
on Portland Avenue, between Fourteenth and Fif- 
teenth Streets. In two years he sold to -John T^. Tenny. 
who, in 1854. sold to Daniel Elliott; subse(|uently the 
tract became J. S. and Wyman Elliott's Addition. 
The Doctor sold his claim for $1,200, which was con- 
sidered a good price. He resided in Minneapolis for 
some yeai-s, was elected to the Legislature of 1854, 
and appointed R+'gistcr of the U. S. Land Office in 
1863. He died in California several years ago, .still 
owning iMinneapolis realty. 

After Dr. Fletcher the next claimant was John 
Jenkins, a Maineite, who had, before coming to St. 
.\nthony, been a lumberman over on the St. Croix. 
His claim was innnediately in the rear of Stevens's, 
and his house stood where afterwards the Syndicate 
Block was built : he did not finally pre-empt his laud 
until 1855, but in the meanwhile nobody attempted 
to "jump" his claim. 

Isaac Brown, another ]\Iaineite, bought a part of 
Jackins's claim and built a big house on the site of 
Sixth Street and Third Avenue South. In October, 
1852. he w'as elected the first sheriff of Hennepin 
County. He and Jackins sui'veyed their land into 
blocks and lots in 1855. Jackins became a IMinne- 
apolis merchant, but finally removed to California. 

Wan-en Bristol came over late in 1S51, took a claim 
of IfiO acres adjoining Dr. Fletcher's claim on the 
west, built a house on it the following winter, and 
b(>came the first lawyer on the west side. The site of 
his house was subsequently that of the high school, on 
Fourth Avenue South, between Grant and Eleventh 
Streets. But the tirst lawyer did not remain long in 
primitive Minneapolis, tiiough he was the first district 
attorney for Hennepin County. Official honors had 
no special charms for him. and before his land came 
fairly into market he had the imperfect judirment 
and incorrect taste to exchange it for St. Paul realty. 
Subsequently lie settled at Red Wing and was Repre- 
sentative and Senator from Goodhue County. Presi- 
dent Grant commissioned him a Judge of the New 
Mexico Territorial Supreme Court and he held the 
jiosition for several years. So much for the first 
lawyer to reside in ^linneapolis. 

Late in the fall of 1851 Allen Harmon came over 
from St. Anthony. Stevens considered him "a man 
of great worth" and says, "we were pleased to have 
him for a neighbor." His claim was some distance 

l)ack from the river and he resided upon it until his 
death, in about 1884, The First Baptist Church 
building, the Atheneum Library, and other promi- 
nent buildings were subsequently erected on the old 
Ilai'mon claim. 

Dr. Alfred E. Ames, from Roscoe, Illinois, made 
claim to the land on which were afterwards built the 
courthouse and jail. The claim was made by permis- 
sion of Capt. A. D. Nelson, then in connnand at Fort 
Snelling, in October, 1851, but the doctor was then in 
practice with Dr. Murphy at St. Anthony and did 
not occupy it until in the spring of 1852. The Har- 
mon and Ames claims were the last made in 1851. 


In the latter part of 1851 tin- project of organizing 
a new county on the west side of the I'iver. to include 
flic western shore at the Falls, w<us agitated by the 
settlers of the region. The leaders of the movement 
were mainly interested in having the county seat of 
the new county at the new settlement springing up 
at the Falls. Since 1849 the district across the river 
from St. Anthony was a part of Dahkotiih County, 
with the county seat at Mendota. The destiny of the 
coiuifry was fast being accomplished and a great 
change in the political organization was necessary. 

Nobody was opposed to the change and there was 
practically nothing in the way. The Indian treaties 
bad been made and were awaiting confirmation, which 
was certain to come. Immigration was pouring in 
and claims were being rapidly made in advance of 
the Government's surveys of the lantl and the opening 
of land offices. The west side needed a county govern- 
ment of its own, and the need would be rapidly in- 
tensified. A tentative effort was made in the Legis- 
lature of 1851 to create the new political division, but 
it was found to be pi-emature. Conditions were, how- 
ever, befitting in the winter of 1852. 

As has been stated, the members of the Legislature 
from the district (Dahkotah County) embracing Men- 
dota. Fort Snelling, and the west side of the Falls — 
and which extended westward to the Missouri River 
— were ilartin McLeod, of Lac ([ui Parle, in the Coun- 
cil and Alexander Faribault, of Mendota, and Benj. 
H. Randall, of Fort Snelling, in the House of Repi-e- 
sentatives. Faribault lived then at Mendota and Wiis 
oi)posed to the new county ; but Randall, of Fort Snell- 
ing, favored if. If was believed that Farilmult's 
op[)osifion would prevent favorable action in 1851, 
and so the matter was postjioned to the rjcgisiature of 
1852, of which if was thought best that he should not 
be a member. 

According to Stevens and other authorities, as the 
election for membei-s of the Legislatui-e of 1852 land 
other officers) approached, if was determined by those 
interested in the new county that no candidates 
but those favoring if should be i>re.sented. Martin 
^IcLeod was selected without opposition to succeed 
himself in the Council. B. II. Randall and James 
JlcCIelland l^oal (commonly called McBoaD were 
Selected as candidates to be voted foi- as member^ of 
the House; both then lived at Fort Snelling. 



Stevens and others tried hard to have Eli Petti.johu 
selected as a candidate for representative in place 
of Boal. But Boal had a host of friends at Snelling 
and Meudota and they outnumbered those of Petti- 
john, up at the Falls, and so the Fort Snelling man 
was made the candidate. As already stated, Boal came 
to Minnesota in 1819 with the first detachment of 
Leavenworth's command that built Port Snelling. 
Wlien his time expired he remained in the country. 
He was by occupation a ho\ise and sign painter, and 
a very good one. Governor Ramsey appointed him 
ad.iutant general of the territory, a position then 
without duties or salary. Later he settled in St. Paul, 
and had a street named for him, though it is called 

As the time for the convening of the Legislature 
approached it was apparent that a ma.jority of the set- 
tlers in the eastern part of Dahkotah County were 
opposed to the boundaries proposed for the new 
county. Tlie proposed limits comprised the country 
north" of the St. Peter's, or Minnesota, and extending 
from the Mississippi westward to the Little Rapids, 
now Carver. The western boundary line was to run 
from the Minnesota at Little Rapids north by west to 
the forks of Crow River, where what is now the 
northwestern corner of Hennepin, and then the line 
was to run down the Crow to the Mississippi, and 
thence down the Mississippi to the mouth of the Mm- 
nesota a.s at present. 

The opponents of these boundaries wanted them to 
commence at a point on the Mississippi at Oliver's 
Grove (now Hastings) and follow up the main chan- 
nel of the river to the mouth of Coon Creek, ten miles 
northwest of St. Anthony Palls; thence west to a 
point due north of Oak Grove ; thence south, crossing 
the Minnesota at that Grove, and continuing south to 
the parallel running east and west through Oliver's 
Grove, and tlience east to the Grove and the begin- 
ning. These boundaries would almost necessarily 
leave the county seat at Mendota. which would please 
Alexander Fanbault, but would not satisfy Steele, 
Stevens, Randall, and the other pro.iectors of the new 
county, who wanted its capital at the Falls. Their 
county, while not as large a.s the one proposed by the 
ob.iectors, was perhaps better, containing an immense 
water power, ample prairies, woodlands, oak openings, 
aud broad meadow lands, besides as fine lakes as could 
be found anywhere. 

The opposition to the new county continued to grow 
as the time for the convening of the Legislature drew 
near. The new county, with the proposed boundaries 
of the Fort Snelling faction, must be created soon or 
it would never be. The Legislature began business 
actively January 14 (1852), but it was not until Feb- 
ruary 27 when Martin ]McLeod introduced the lull in 
the Territorial Council, "to establish the County of 
Hennepin." The bill had been originally drawn by 
John H. Stevens and others and provided that the new 
county should be called "Snelling," for the well 
known fort and for Col. Josiah Snelling, the man that 
built it. But before its introduction the name was 
very properly and wisely changed to honor the pio- 
neer priest. Rev. Father Louis Hennepin, the first 

white man that saw any jiart of its soil and named its 
chief natural feature. The bill was known in the 
Legislature as "Council File No. 17." 

There was some opposition to the new county in the 
Council and strenuous objection was offered in the 
House of Representatives. The bill pa.ssed the Coun- 
cil, however, on the 4th of March, and was hurried 
over to the House. Hon. Benj. H. Randall was given 
charge of it in that body, and had to work for it. 
That night he secured a majorit>' of the House mem- 
bers that agreed to vote for its passage the following 
day, which was the last working day of the session. 
The St. Paul delegation and some other members 
were opposed to it, but made no V(>ry hard fight. A 
rather strong lobby in its favor did good work. 

On the morning of March 5. th(> bill was presented 
to the House and had its first reading. Then, on 
Mr. Randall's motion, the rule was suspended and 
the bill was read the second time. The bill was in- 
tended to provide that the first county ol'ticers .should 
enter upon their duties within "ten days" after their 
election, but by an ovei-sight the word "days" had 
been left out. Randall moved that this word should 
be inserted in the pi'oper place. AVni. P. [Murray, a 
St. Paul member", moved to insert "years." instead 
of "days," so that the new officers might not take 
their positions until ten years after their election! 
ilurray's motion may have been facetiou.s — it was 
certainly ridiculous — but it had to be voted upon, 
and was overwhelmingly defeated. Randall then 
moved that the rule be suspended and the bill given 
its third reading and put upon its final passage forth- 
with. This was ordered, but only by a ma.jority of 
two. On the final vote the bill passed but by a very 
slender ma.jority (three) — not as deep as a well or as 
wide as a barn door, but it sufficed. Governor Ram- 
sey signed it the following day. 

The organization act was not a veiy finished and 
complete statute, but it stood. Almost at the outset it 
provided that the county should remain "unorgan- 
ized" until the TJ. S. Senate should ratify the Indian 
Treaty of Mendota, which had been made the pre- 
vious year, but whose ratification was still hanging 
fire in Congress. The new county was to be attached 
to Ramsey County for .iudicial purposes, "until fur- 
ther provided for," and to remain "in conjunction 
with Hahkotah County," so far as related to the 
election of members of the Territorial Legislature, 
until the next re-apportionment. 

Not until after the Treaty of Meudota was ratified 
were the people of the new county to elect their 
count>' officers; the returns of the election at which 
they were chosen were to be made to the register of 
deeds of Ramsey County, who was to issue certificates 
of election, etc. A great deal depended upon the 
treaty ratification. Other statutes ha.scd upon anti- 
cipation have been declared void. 

A very important provision of tlic act was that the 
first Board of County Commissioners should have 
authority to establish the county seal of the new 
county, but said establishment was to be temporary, 
or "until the same is permanently established by tlie 



Legislature or hy the authorized votes of the qualified 
voters of said eouuty." 

As has heeii stated, the Seuate ratitieil the ileudota 
treaty June 2'3, 1852, three months after the eounty 
organization act, but niadr sueh important amend- 
ments, whieii the Indians had to agree to, that the 
treaty was not finally proclaimed and made of effect 
until February 4, 1853. lUit the Hennepin County 
organization did not await tlie latter ratification. 


Information tliat the Senate iiad ratified the Men- 
dota treaty, after a<lding amendments, reached Kort 
Snelling about July 1. After consultation it was de- 
terminetl to proceed with the organization of the new 
county without waiting for the final ratification of 
the amendments by the Indians. The regular Terri- 
torial election to choose members of the Legislatiire 
was to be held October 12. On the previous Saturday 
the settlers of the new county met at Fort Snelling 
and nominated a full ticket for i-ouiity officers as 
follows : 

For representatives, Henj. II. Randall, of Fort 
Snelling, and Dr. Alfred E. Ames, of "All Siiints, " 
as the settlement on the west side was then often 
called ; county commissioners, John Jackins and Alex. 
;\Ioore, of ''All Saints," and Joseph Dean, of Oak 
( irove ; sheriff,' Isaac Brown : judge of probate. Joel B, 
Bassett : register of deeds and clerk of county com- 
missioners, Jobn H. Stevens: coroner. David Gorham; 
surveyor, Chas. W. Christmas: assessors, Edwin Hed- 
derly, AVm. Chandlers, and Eli Petti.jolin: treasure!', 
John T. .Mann ; justices. Eli Pettijohn and Edwin Hed- 
derly. All the candidates were of "All Saints," ex- 
cept Eli Pettijohn, who was then of Fort Snelling. 

At the election each of the above named candidates 
received seventy-one votes and not a vote was cast 
against any of them : Stevens Siiys this was the only 
election ever held in Hennepin County where the can- 
didates were unanimously elected. Oidy 71 voters 
in the entire county, and even then it was claimed 
that there was a full turn-out and that some votes 
Were cast that were of very doubtful legality! The 
Hamsey Coiinty Commissioners, under whose author- 
ity tile election was held, prescribed but one voting 
place, which was at the house of John H. Stevens. 
At that time there was nothing hut a mis.sion station 
at Oak Grove, and the Stevens house, at the Falls, 
wa.s the nucleus of the densest settlement. 

When the'election returns were made to the Ramsey 
County Commissioners, tliat body directed Jlorton S. 
Wilkinson, who was then their clerk, (afterwards U. 
S. Senator) to issue the proper certificates and direct 
the newly-elected commissioners to meet on the '21st 
and complete the organization of Hennepin County, 
by approving the official bonds of the officers, etc., and 
especially by selecting the county seat. The meeting 
was duly held at the Stevens house and all of the 
officers were soon fitted out and e(|uipped for their 


Almost the first business of the county board was 
the selection of a county seat for the new county. It 
was a foregone conclusion where it .should be. Com- 
nnssioner Jackins moved that its site should be "on 
the west side of the Falls of St. Anthony." and all 
three of the conuuissioners so voted, as was expected. 

Then the question of the name of the new county's 
capital was considered. "All Saints" was at once 
discarded: so wa.s "Hennepin City." which Atwater 
and the St. Anthony ilxpress had argued for. Chair- 
man Alexander ]\loore suggested Albion, an ancient 
name of England. Commissioner Dean said the place 
was destined to be a great manufacturing site sind 
he pi-oposed Lowell, for the city of factories in Massa- 
chusetts. P^inally the name of Albion was agreed 
upon, and the clerk was instructed to use upon all 
official letters the name Albion as the county seat of 
Hennepin County. 

But after the commissioners had adjourned and 
announced the name, the people clamored that they 
did not like it. They had not liked the name All 
Saints, which had attached to their settlement, but 
they preferred it to Albion. The latter was without 
significance and meaningless and had no sort of rele- 
vancj- to the situation. Surprised and striving to 
please their constituents, the comnus,sioners tenta- 
tively suggested "Winona," a perfect Sioux name 
and the one given by eveiy family of that nation to 
its first born child, if a girl. (If a boy, the name 
would be Chas-kay.) Yet the name Winona was not 
received with enthusiasm. 

ileanwhile tlie county's stationery, letter-heads, 
blanks, etc., had been received with "Albion" printed 
thereon as the eounty seat. Certain parties wanted 
the name to be Brooklyn, and half a dozen or more 
friends and admirers of a certain lad\' of the place 
urged that it be called " Addiesville. " A few still 
favored All Saints. At last Chai'K'S Iloag thought 
out the solution of the problem, after he had retired 
to bed and when deep sleep had fallen upon most of 
his neighbors. 

On the morning of November 5. ^Ir. Iloag. then of 
the new town, but formerly living in St. Anthony, 
went into the office of the St. Anthony Ex]>ress and 
tendered the editor, then Geo. D. Bowman, a short 
comnninication having for its subject a suitable name 
for the new Hennepin county seat. It was publica- 
tion day and the forms were about closed. But Editor 
Bowman, hastily reading the manscript, exclaimed: 
"That's good, Charlie: that's the best name yet; 
we'll print it, even if we leave out something else." 
And this was done; the communication was hastily 
put in type and placed in the room of another article, 
without proof-reading, so that two or three t.vpo- 
graphical errors appeared when it was printed. It 
was not signed by Tloag's real name but by ''Minne- 
hapolis," his nom de plume, which he had assumed 
for the occa.sion. Alluding to his proposition particu- 
larly, he explained in this paragraph: 

"The name I propose. Minnehapolis, is derived 



from Minnehaha, falling water, with the Greek affix, 
polls, a city — thus meaning 'Falling Water City' or 
'City of the Falls.' You perceive I spell it with an 
h which is to be sUeut in the pronunciation. This 
name has been very favorably received by many of 
the inhabitants to whom it has been proposed. * * * 
Until some other name is decided upon, we intend to 
call ourselves. Minnehapolis.'' 

There was not time to comment upon Hoag's selec- 
tion but in the next issue of the Express, which was 
November 12, Mr. Bowman said editorially : 

"* * * The name is an excellent one and de- 
sei'ves much favor by our citizens. The h being silent. 
as our correspondent recommends, and as custom 
would soon make it. makes it practical and eupho- 
nious. The nice ad.iustment of the Indian 'minne' with 
the Greek 'polls" becomes a beautiful compound, and 
finally it is, as all names should be when it is possible, 
admirably descriptive of the locality. By all means, 
we would say, adopt this beautiful and exceedingly 

appropriate title, and do not longer suffer abroad 
from connections with the meaningless and outlandish 
name of 'All Saints.' " 

Stevens tells us that Hoag's proposed name for the 
new town met with great favor at home and abroad. 
An impromptu meeting of citizens at his house the 
tirst week in December declared for it, and in a few 
days, at their regular monthly session, the county 
commissioners substituted the name Minneapolis for 
Albion. As the h in the original name proposed was 
to be silent, the commissioners concluded that it 
might as well be absent, and so they sensibly struck 
it out, leaving the Indian part of the name Minneah, 
as the Sioux would pronounce it. The full name 
should be pronounced Minneah-polis, and not I\Iinne- 
apolis, as is common, because "ah" is a contraction 
of "hkah. " meaning a waterfall. 

As has been said in discussing the meaning of the 
word Minnehaha, the name ^Minneapolis literally 
means, the Waterfall City — "minne 'a," the Sioux 
for waterfall, and "polls," Greek for city. 








An important incident in the earl_y history of Min- 
neapolis was the large reduction of the Fort Snelling 
Military Reservation, comprising a great part of it.s 
northern portion and extending from Brown's Creek 
(Jlinnehaha) northward to the Falls and the Missis- 
sippi. The line was the Mississippi and the west 
a line ninning due south from the Mississippi, near 
the Falls, via the eastern end of Mother Lake, to the 
St. Peter's. 

Of course the reduction made a vast extent of most 
desirable eountrv open to white settlement, without 
any special permits or subterfuges. A man could 
make his claim near the old (iovernment Mill, or any- 
where else on the new land, without fear of arrest, 
eviction, or trouble of any sort — provided, that he 
did not infringe or trespass upon another man's 
claim ; if he did such an un.just thing, the Claim 
Association would at once be violently upon him and 
great would be his regret, as is explained on a sub- 
sequent page. 

Bv an act of Congress approved August 26, 1852, 
(See U. S. Stats, at Lge., 1851-55, Laws of 1852, Chap. 
Q5,) the reserve was contracted so as to have the fol- 
lowing general boundary' line : 

Extending from the middle of the Mississippi below 
Pike's Island up to Brown's Creek [Minnehaha] in- 
cluding all islands in the Mississippi ; then up 
Brown's Creek to Rice I^ake ; then through the middle 
of Rice Lake to the outlet of Lake Amelia; thence 
through the middle of Lake Amelia to the outlet of 
.Mother Lake; thence to the outlet of Duck Lake and 
the southern extremity of tlint lake; thence due south 
to the St. Peter's River, and tlieiice down that river 
to the beginning. A quarter section at each end of 
the ferry at the mouth of the St. Peter's was also 
reserved, and 320 acres whereon Mendota stands was 
reserved from sale for one year, with the ])rovision 
that the land might be entered as a town site. 

Let it he emphasized that the tract opened to white 
settlement and occupation included all the country 
within these boundaries: On the east and north, the 
.Mi.ssi.ssippi; on the west, a line running due south 
from the Mississippi, via the eastern end of Jlother 
Lake and the outlet of Duck Lake— the latter hang- 
ing southward, like a jjcndant, to Jlother Ivake— and 

thence, from the southern end of the pendant, due 
south to the Minnesota. Plenty of land for the site 
of a great city — but hardly too much for the one that 
was built upon it! 

Congress was induced to cut down the unnecessa- 
rily large Reserve almost altogether by the efforts of 
Sibley, the then Territorial Delegate. He prepared 
and introduced the bill and his efforts caused it to 
pass. Of course Franklin Steele and Henry M. Rice 
helped, but Sibley was in a position to do far more 
effective work and he did it. Many members of Con- 
gress protested that the.v believed the reduction was 
wanted in the interest of speculators ; but when as- 
sured that the only speculators would be actual .set- 
tlers, who sought homes in or near the site of a future 
great city, which they desired to help build, this ob- 
jection was removed. Press and people accorded the 
credit to Sibley for opening so much of the Reserve, 
which the.v had worked for so long and so hard. 


For some time a dislike for the name of the St. 
Peter's River was manifested by many people. The 
chief objection was that the name had no proper sig- 
niticance. True, by this time a great many persons 
living elsewhere knew Minnesota as "the St. Peter's 
country," and indeed the entire region surrounding 
Fort Snelling was often called sim|)ly ''St. Petei''s." 
The new.spapers down the river were accustomed 
to say : ' ' Everything is quiet up at St. Peters from 
last accounts." Ivetters were carried in the mails 
addressed to "St. Peters, Iowa Territory," and this 
was the name of the first po.stoffice at Snelling. The 
name bad a most distinguished derivation, since it 
was meant to honor the blessed St. Peter, the great 
Apostolic prince and leader: but it was believed that 
the river should have a more befitting, even if a less 
sacred, appellation. 

The Territorial Legislature of 1>!:')2 took action for 
the change. It is impossibl(> to tell now who led the 
movement for it, but on the 6th of March the Gover- 
nor approved a memorial which was addressed to 
President Filltnore and which read: 

"The numbers of the Lrgutlatirc Assembly of the 
Tcrrilory of Mitnirsota lirspi ctfidhj Represent: — 

"That the river from which our Territory derives 




its name was, by the early French voyageurs, called 
St. Peters, in honor of a Mons. St. Pierre, an officer 
in the service of the French Government during the 
seventeenth centniy ; that there is no possil)ility that 
the said St. Pierre was ever connected with the first 
discoveries made in this region of country, or that 
he was ever even on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, 
and was therefore in no wise entitled to the honor of 
perpetuating his name by fastening it upon one of 
the pri)u-ipal tributaries of the gi-eat national high- 
way of the West. 

"* * * That 'Minnesota' is the true name of 
this stream, as given to it. in ages, by the strong 
and powerful irihe of aborigines, the Dakotas. who 
dwelt upon its baaks; and that, not only to assimilate 
the name of the river with that of the Territoiy and 
future State of ilinnosota, but to follow the dictates 
of what we conceive to be a correct taste, and to show 
a proper regard for the memory of the great nation 
whose homes and country our people are now destined 
soon to possess, — for these reasons we desire that the 
river shall be so designated. 

"Therefore the constituency we represent wish that 
the name of St. Peters be entirely dispensed with, and 
that of 'Minnesota' universally substituted. This 
change has been adopted in all the acts and proceed- 
ings of the several Legislative Assemblies of this Ter- 
ritory where it has been neces.sary to alhule to the 
name : and if a like course were followed by the 
officers of the National Government in all their re- 
ports, correspondence, and official intercourse, geog- 
raphers would immediately adopt it, the people at 
large throughout the covuitrA' would soon become 
familiar with the change, and the inappropriate title 
of St. Peter's would be forgotten. 

"We therefore most respectfully request that you 
will be pleased to give directions to the officers of 
the different departments of the Government, civil 
and military, to carri- out the change herein alluded 
to. All of which is respectfully submitted." 

The memorialists did not seem to be aware that 
geographical names are not changed by the directions 
of the President to the different departments and sub- 
ordinates of the Government. Congi-essional legis- 
lation is necessary for the purpose. Delegate Sibley 
took up the matter in Congress and on the 19th of 
June. President Fillmore approved a .joint resolution 
of Congress reading: 

"That from and after the passage of this act the 
river in the Territorj' of ^linnesota heretofore known 
as the Saint Peter's shall be known and designated 
on the public records as the IMinnesota River. ' ' 

The author of the memorial was mistaken in his 
historical references. There was no "Mons. St. 
Pierre" suited to his description that early records, 
histories, and cyclopedias think worthy of mention. 
Those few Frenchmen of the name worthy of having 
rivers named for them lived too long before or too 
long after 1689, when Nicholas Perrot mentioned the 
River St. Peter in his proclamation taking pos.sessioii 
of the country for his sovereign, the King of France. 
It seems as certain as anything not positively suscep- 

tible of proof can be. that the river was named for 
the Great Apostle. 

The Sioux name of the river is Watpa (river) 
IMinne (water) sota, (doubtful) meaning the river 
of some kind of impure or imperfect water. The 
word sota is of uncertain meaning. It is not shown 
as an independent woi-d in the present Sioux vocabu- 
lary. It is probably a corruption of "Sho-shay" or 
muddy, though it may be from "sho-shay" and "hko- 
ta" combined, the latter meaning gray: and so sota 
may mean muddy water of a grayish color. Various 
English definitions of "sota" have been printed as 
"bleary," and "cloudy" and "sky-tinted," and 
"whitish"; but "sota" means neither of these words; 
the Indian words for the English ad.iectives named 
are entirely dissimilar to "sota.'' 


Notwithstanding the fact that not until in 1854 
was ilinneapolis regularly laid out into blocks and 
lots, with streets and alleys, yet the new town was 
settled upon very rapidly almost immediately after 
the making of the Indian treaties and long before 
their ratification. 

Edward I\Iurphy moved upon his claim (which he 
had taken in 1850), down the river from John P. 
^liller and Stevens, in May, 1852. This was an im- 
portant Settlement. He improved a great i)art of his 
land, and an especial feature of this improvement 
was the preparation of a field designed for a nur- 
sery and fruit farm. In due time the field was so 
established and trees set out and seeds planted. 
Thereby Mr. ilurphy became the pioneer nurseryman 
of Minnesota: otliers had set out apple trees before 
him, but he planted the first nursery stock. He did 
not plan wisely. His stock was not acclimated ; it had 
been obtained in the lower and warmer latitude of 
Southern Illinois and could not stand Minnesota 
winter conditions. In a few years the enterprising 
pioneer abandoned his attempts at apple raising and 
to operate a nursery. Nearly all of his trees had 
perished and he lost all the cash he had invested. 
His experience was that of many another pioneer 
would-be fruit grower of ^Minnesota. 

Anson Northrup lived on his little claim, up the 
river, above the Old ^lill claim, from June. 1852, 
continuously until he pre-empted it, in 1853. The 
claim was only a few acres in extent ; subsequently 
it was the site of the depot and yards of the "Mil- 
waukee" Railroad: or Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul. 
Northrup biiilt on his claim a large house in which 
the first sessions of the V. S. Courts and of Hennepin 
Lodge of Free ^lasons were held. lie also put up a 
smaller building, in which was held the first public 
school in original Minneapolis (!Miss ]Mary E. ^Tiller, 
teacher), commencing December. 1852. and where 
also, in June. 1853. Rev. J. C. Whitney was installed 
as pastor of the First Pn-sbyterian Church organi- 

In IMay. 18.52. Pliilip Bassett. a brother of Joel B. 
Bassett. claimed wliat became the part of the city 
knowni as Hoag's Addition to Minneapolis. A few 



wi'oks later, liowi'Ver, In- sold liis i-laiiii to his olil 
New Ilainpsliiro school-fi-llow, Cliark's Iloag, the man 
that jravc .Minneapolis its naiiu-. Previouslj' Joel B. 
Bassett hail taken up a quarter seetion above the 
creek that still hears his name and innnediately upon 
the west hank of the rivei'. He settled upon this tract 
in May, IH'yI. and conducted it as a farm for several 
years, when it became city property. 

As to Phil Hassett's claim which became Iloag's 
Addition, it may Ix' said that it was KiO acres in 
extent. Heally it may be called Iloag "s claim, for 
Pliil Bassett had it only about tiiree weeks when he 
conveyed it to Charley Iloag and went to California. 
Floag had been a school teacher in Pennsylvania, Inil 
in youth he had ])een a farmer's boy. T'pon the laud 
acipiired from Ba.ssett he opened a farm which in- 
cluded the site of tiie West Hotel and what is now 
termed the heart of the business center of the city. 


Col. Emanuel Case had come from ;\Iichigan and 
opened a store in St. Anthony in the spring of liSal, 
with his son. Sweet W. Case, as a partner. Not long 
afterward he came to the west side of the river and 
surveyed and filed on a claim of 160 acres immedi- 
ately north of Bassett's. Peter Ponein, an Indian 
trader, had previously built a small trading house on 
the same claim and sold goods to the Lake Calhoun 
Indians until they removed. He and Colonel Case 
had a controversy over the ownership of the land 
which the Government authorities decided belonged 
to Colonel Case. Ponein was an early merchant but 
had a bad personal reputation. In IMareh. 18.52. 
Colonel 's son, James Gale Case, aged 20, slipped 
through a watering hole near the west bank of tlie 
river and was drowned. In his '■]\Iinnesota and Its 
People" (p. 140) Colonel Stevens says this was the 
second death in ^liinieapolis, but in his Lyc(>um ad- 
dress pul)lished in the North westera Democrat of 
January 27, 1855, he says the second death was the 
wife of Colonel Case, in 1852. Alexander ^loore, 
another Michigander, was interested with Colonel in the ownership of the land, much of which 
was in cultivation up to 1855, when it was laid out 
into lots and blocks and platted as a part of Bas- 
sett, Case & Jloore's Addition to the Village of INIin- 
neapolis. Both Case and Moore became merchants in 
Minneapolis, and both aided in the upbuilding of 
the town in early days. Moore finally removed to 
Sauk Center, but Colonel Case lived in ^Minneapolis 
until his regretted death, in the summer of 1871, 
Colonel Case's original farm became Lawrence & 
Reeve's Addition. 

Joseph Menard came in 1851 and by permission 
of Indian Agent Lea occupied land near the Case an<i 
^loore claim. After the Treaty of ]\Icndota he ac- 
quired full title to the tract which eventually became 
"I\Icr.ard's Addition to ^linncapolis." 'Sir. ^lenard 
died some years since. 

Charles \V. Christnias. an Ohio man, came over 
to MinneajHilis in the fall of 1851 and took a claim 
near Menard which he improved in 1852. This claim 

subse(|Uently was surveyed off and platted as " Christ- 
mas "s Addition to Minneapolis." Mr. Christma.s* 
was a surveyor and laid out the original town of 
.Minneapolis in 185-1. He was a prominent early citi- 
zen, the tii'st county surveyor of Ih'iinepin County, 
luul ('hristmas Island, in Lake Minnetonka, named 
for him, etc. His son-in-law, Isaac I. Lewis, and his 
nephew, Capt. J. C. Reno, the steamboat man, became 
interested with him in the .\ddition. 

The three claim.s of Colonel Case, Joseph ilenard, 
and ('has. W. Christmas were the first made on the 
Indian landji in ilinneapolis or in the vicinity; pre- 
vious entries had been made on the Fort Snelling 


"Waterman Stinson (original family name Stephen- 
son) came from Maine in .1852 with his big family 
of boys and girls, and his aged parents and by per- 
mission of Col. Fi-ancis Lee, commandant at Fort 
Snelling, located on Bassett's Creek and oi^ened a 
fine farm. He raised a big field of wheat and oats and 
his hay meadows were large and very productive. 
His neighbors bought every peck of grain and cv.^ry 
pound of hay he would sell. In time liis farm became 
'' Stinson 's .\dditiou to Minneapolis." His son-in- 
law, a IMr. Brennan, made a claim near him Init sold 
it to Franklin Steele. 

In June, 1851, Isaac Atwater took a claim on the 
old Reserve of 160 acres. The next day he sold it for 
.$10, arnd congratulated himself as a get-rich-(iuick 
fellow that by sheer shrewdness had made $10 in a 
day! Had he but retained ten acres of his 160, he 
would have become a multi-millionaire. 

In 1852 John (ieorge Lennon. the great St. An- 
thony merchant, who had an entire column advertise- 
ment in the Express, came over and by Colonel Lee's 
permission settled on a tract of the Reserve which is 
now inchuled in "J. G. Lennon 's Out-Lots Addition." 

Near the Lennon claim Capt. Benj. B. Parker se- 
cured a quarter section which became a part of his 
son's Addition. Colonel Case and Chandler Ilutchins 
each secured a quarter section l)ack of Lennon 's. and 
in a year or so Colonel Case bought the Ilutchins 
claim, which is now in Chicago, Lake Park and other 
.Additions. Edgar Folsom, the old-time ferryman, ob- 
tained a quarter section in Parker's neighborhood and 
the claim is now a part of Newell, Carr & Baldwin's 
Addition. For some time Mrs. Judith Ann Sayer, a 
New York widow, "held down" a claim near Colonel 
Case's, (now Eustis's .Vddition) but finally sold it 
and married TVm. Dickie, who had a claim near Lake 


Other settlers on the shores of or near Lakes Har- 
riet and Calhoun were John S. ^Mann, Eli Petti.iohn, 
L. N. Parker. Henry .\ngcll, and Henry Heap, with 
James A. Lennon and Deacon Oliver nearby. Oliver's 

* The f.iniily name «as originally Wynaeht, the Gcrtiian 
for riiristmas. 



claim is now Oliver's Addition, and Jim Leunon's 
is in Remington's; Charles ^lousseau's claim, which 
included the old Pond Mission and the log cabin of 
Chief Cloud ^lan, is now Lakewood Cemetery. 

Rol)ert Blaisdell and his three sons — Robert, Jr., 
John T., and William — had claims in 1852 which are 
now respectively in the Flour City, John T. Blais- 
dell's, Bloomington, and Lindsey & Lingenfelter's 

Rev. Dr. E. G. Gear, chaplain at Fort Sneliing, 
made a claim in 1849 on the east shore of Lake Cal- 
houn. There was a technical error in the proceedings 
and the claim was forfeited. Edmund Bresette then 
"jumped" it. Dr. Gear had the matter taken into 
Congress by Delegate Sibley and a special act was 
passed allowing the chaplain to repossess the land, 
and giving him a perfect title, upon the payment of 
$1.25 per acre. A part of the claim is now in Cal- 
houn Park. Geo. E. Huy had the claim east of Rev. 
Gear 's. David Gorham had the claim north of Gear "s, 
bordering on Lake of the Isles, but sold it to R. P. 
Russell, who made of it several Additions to the city. 
George Park had his claim in the now Lake of the 
Isles Addition, aiid N. E. Stoddard was his neighbor. 
A part of John Green's claim is in Lakeview Addi- 
tion. Z. M. Brown and Hill claimed the pres- 
ent Groveland Addition, and Dennis Peter's farm is 
now Sunnyside Addition. 

Win. Worthingham's claim was bought by John C. 
Oswald and is now called Bryn Mawr Addition. ( Bryn 
Mawr is Welch for l)ig hill ; bryn means hill and 
mawr means gi-eat or big.) A little farther o'ut Wm. 
Byrnes made a beautiful home, and after his return 
from good service in the Civil War was elected sher- 
iff of Hennepin County, hut died in office. His old 
homestead is now Maben, White & Le Bron's Addi- 
tion. See biographical sketch of Wm. Byrnes, else- 


In North Minneapolis the claims of Charles Far- 
rington and Elijah Austin were in Sherburne & 
Beebe's Addition; F. X. Crepeau's, in Crepeau's 
Addition; Stephen and Rufus Pratt's in the Addi- 
tions bearing their respective names. Nearly all of 
Oak Lake Addition is on Thomas Stinson's old claim, 
made in 1852. Central Park is on the original claim 
of Joseph S. Johnson. Asa and Timothy Fletcher, 
brothers, located on Merriam & Lowry's Addition 
and Wm. Goodwin pre-empted what is now Ever- 
green Addition. Warren Bristol's old claiin became 
Jackson's, Daniels's and Whitney's, and Snyder & 
Company's Additions. H. H. Shepley's claim was 
partly in Viola Addition. 


In the more southern fiart of the city Andrew J. 
P^oster and ("has. Gili>atrick's farms are Additions 
with the names of the original owners. "Deacon" 
vSully's okl claim is now ])latt('d as Sully & JIurphy's 
Addition. Henry Keith's old Falls City farm, named 

for the steamboat and claimed in 1852, was afterward 
owned by Judges Atwater and Flandrau, of the State 
Supreme Court and became a part of the Falls City 
and the Riverside Short-Line Additions. Mr. G. Mur- 
phy 's claim is in Cook's Riverside and Alfred ]\Iur- 
phy's in the Fair Ground Addition. 


Other claims made in 1852-5.3, with the Additions 
to ^Minneapolis in which the lands subsequently lay 
were Hiram Burlingham's, in ^Morrison & Lovejoy's 
Addition; Simon Odell's, in Palmer's: E. A. Hod- 
son's in the Southside ; Captain Arthur II. Mills's 
and J. Draper's in Galpin's and adjoining Additions; 
Charles Brown's and Frank Rollins 's. in Rollins 's 
Second: John Wass's in Wass's; Amasa Craft's, in 
;\Ionroe Bros. ' ; Hiram Van Nest 's in Van Nest 's ; 
Philander Prescott's in Annie E. Steele's Out-Lots. 
Simon Bean's claim is ]\Iinnehaha Driving Park. 
Ard Godfrey's old claim and home is now the site of 
the Soldiers' Home, and W. G. Moffett's is Minne- 
haha Park. 


Additional settlers in ^Minneapolis in 1851-52, as 
given by Colonel Stevens, were Capt. Sam Woods, a 
former commandant of Fort Sneliing, and Wm. 
Finch, Samuel Stough, S. S. Crowell, ^Mark Baldwin, 
Wm. Hanson, J. J. Dinsmore, Willis G. Moffett, 
Christopher C. Garvey, H. S. Atwood, Thomas Pierce, 
and Titus Pettijohn. The original towm plat bears 
A. K. Hartwell's and Calvin Church's entries, but it 
is not known just when they were made. Among 
those who were residents, but not claim-holders, on 
the west side in 1850 were Simon Stevens, Thomas 
Chambers, Henry Chambers, and Horace Webster ; 
they made claims elsewhere. Wm. Goodnow, the car- 
penter that built Anson Northrup's house, was an- 
other resident but not a claim-holder. His was the 
tii-st case of suicide in Jlinneapolis. He was a drunk- 
ard, and in the early winter of 1852, while demented 
from delirium tremens, he jumped into the river just 
above the Falls, was swept over them, and of course 
lost ; fortunately he had no family. 

Other adult men, unmarried, and who were resi- 
dents but not landholders on the west side in 1852-3, 
were Maj. Geo. A. Camp, a nephew of Anson Northrup 
and who was a member of his uncle's household. 
Gordon Jackins and William Jackins lived with their 
brother John, the merchant ; they were unmai-ried 
but became interested in a forty-acre tract adjoining 
Mrs. Sayer's claim, and William died while living on 
it. William H. Hubbard, a Tennessee lawj'er, held a 
claim on the town site for a year or two but sold 
it before it came fairly into market and left Minne- 
sota. He came first to St. Anthony in 1850, the year 
in which Atwater came. .John Berry pre-empted a 
farm near the Lake of Isles. 


Of some of the earliest settlers of St. Anthony and 
Minneapolis, it may be said that Eli Pettijohn and 



Caleb D. Dorr, each aged more than uinety years, 
are yet living. Anson Northrup died in St. Paul, 
March 27, 18fl4. Allen Harmon died in 1883. Ed- 
ward Murphy died in Jlinneapolis, January IS, 1877. 
Peter Ponein went to the Pacific Coast and died there 
between 1S80 and 1890. Martin Layman, on whose 
farm the fii"st cemetery was platted, died in Minne- 
apolis, July 2.5. 1886. Judge Isaac At water died in 
^linncapolis. December 22, 1906. John George Len- 
nou, whose general store in St. Anthony was in 1850 
Ihe largest mercantile establishment in ]\Iinnesota, 
died in iIiunea])olis, Octoljer 13, 1886, aged seventy- 
one ; he was an Englishman and first came to Minne- 
sota in 1843 and to St. Anthony in 1849; in 1851 
he married Mary B. McLean, a daughter of Ma.j. 
Nathaniel McLean, the old-time Indian agent at Fort 
Snelling. Capt. John Christmas Reno, the old ^lin- 
neapolis steamboat man, died April 13, 1902. N. E. 
Stoddard, the scientific agriculturist that did so much 
to improve Dent com, died on his farm manj' years ago. 
Ard Godfrey died in Minneapolis, October 15, 1894. 
Edwin Hedderly died in the city, in June, 1880. 
Hon. D. Jl. Hanson, a noted Democratic politician 
and in his time regarded as the ablest lawyer in 
ilinneapolis, died while a member of the Territorial 
Council, ilarch 28, 1856; his father, Wm. Hanson, 
died at the age of 82. Chas. W. Christmas, the sur- 
veyor, died June 17, 1884. 

The foregoing list of first settlers in Minneapolis 
has been compiled from the best authorities, notably 
from Colonel Stevens' valuable volume "Recollections 
of ilinnesota and Its People." The list is not com- 
plete, for as to other names and the circumstances 
connected with their settlements the authorities do 
not agree. In the list here presented, where tliere 
have been discrepancies in the authorities the state- 
ments of Colonel Stevens have invariably been de- 
ferred to ; and the same has been done in the of 
many an historical item. 


It is perhaps true, as has been often alleged, that 
the State Universit.v was located at St. Anthony pur- 
suant to a "gentlemen's agreement" among the St. 
Paul, the Stillwater, and the St. Anthony members 
of the Territorial Legislature of 1851. To that Legis- 
lature was given authority to locate the principal 
Territorial institutions. St. Paul was the temporary 
capital, but there was no other public institution. 
There was no penitentiary ; Territorial prisoners were 
confined in the guardhouse at Foi't Snelling. Only 
the three little towns named were to be considered, 
for they were tiie only communities worth consider- 
ing. There was then no J\Iinneapolis or Duluth or 
Winona or Mankato or Fergiis Falls or any other 
village or town in Minnesota, aside from St. Paul, 
St. Anthony, and Stillwater. 

Pursuant to the "gentlemen's agreement" St. Paul 
was given the capital, St. Anthony the University, 
and Stillwater the ix-iiitcntiary. \\u\. R. Marshall 
fouf^lit hai'd to have the capital located at St. An- 
thony, and the St. Paul and certain other members 

were only too glad to give him the University to si- 
lence him. 

The bill creating the University was drawn bj' John 
W. North, assisted by General Marshall, Judge 
Meeker, and Isaac Atwater. The members of the fii-st 
Board of Regents were Franklin Steele, Isaac At- 
water, Wm. R. Marshall, Bradley B. Meeker, Joseph 
W. Furber, Socrates Nelson, Henrv il. Rice, Alex- 
ander Ramsey, II. H. Sibley, Chas. K. Smith, N. C. D. 
Ta.vlor, and Abram Van Vorhees. The first four were 
strong St. Anthony partisans. Steele was made presi- 
dent, Atwater was secretary, and John W. North, 
treasurer. The first meeting was held May 31, 1851. 

Steele donated about four acres for the site of a 
"preparatorv school," and this site was to be between 
what is now Central Avenue and First Avenue South- 
east and also between Second Street and I'niversity 
Avenue. The title to this site was never made over 
to the Board. In lieu ilr. Steele offered, in January, 
1854, to give the l^niversity five acres in Tuttle's 
Grove. Meanwhile a "preparatory school" building 
(costing over $2,500. of which sum Steele had given 
$500) had been erected on the original site, and 
Steele offered to build another, costing as much, on 
the proposed new site. The next year Steele offered 
to pay to the Board the sum of $2,500, instead of 
erecting the building, and the offer was accepted. 
Finally, in 1862, Steele's obligation, which was held 
as an asset, was turned over to the St. Anthony 
Water Power Company in payment of debts owed 
by the University to the Company, and in November, 
1862, the Regents quit-claimed the site of the "pre- 
paratory school" to the same Company in discharge 
of other ITniversity debts. 

It was at the second meeting of the Board, which 
was held in the St. Charles Hotel, June 14, 1851, 
when it was decided to build the "preparatory 
school" building at a maximum cost of $2,500. At 
the first meeting it was decided to erect the building 
but its cost was not limited. The money was raised 
by subscription among the people, and Johnson's His- 
tory says that before the building was completed "a 
second subscription was necessary." When finished 
the building, a frame structure, was two stories high 
with a ground area of thirty by fifty feet. The walls 
of the basement were twelve feet in height, of which 
six feet was above the ground. The floor was reached 
by descending stone steps. For years this building, 
which would now be inadequate for housing the 
smallest ward school, was the seat of the prepara- 
tory department of the University of ^linnesota, and 
of the LTniversity as a whole. 

The building was completed about Novemlier 15, 
1851, and the first school was opened on the 26th. 
when only two rooms were ready. The school was 
practically of the character of a country district 
school. About twenty scholars were enrolled the first 
week, but before the year was out there were per- 
haps double the number. The principal branches 
taught were spelling, reading, grammar, descriptive 
geography, and arithmetic: the charge for instruction 
in these studies were $4 for a "quarter" of eleven 
weeks. The Board, however, advertised to teach 



everything up to Latin, Greek, the higher mathe- 
matics, and astronomy, or as Goodhue expressed it 
in his Pioneer, "everything from a-h abs to algebra." 

At first there was but one teacher. Rev. E. W. Mer- 
rill, who, of course, was called "Prof." Merrill. 
Before the year expired, however, he had an assist- 
ant, and in the second year, when there were eighty- 
five pupils, and elementary spelling as well as conic 
sections was being taught, he had three assistants. 
Unfortunately the names of these assistants have not 
been ascertained for use in this volume. 

Rev. ^lerrill came to take charge of the school be- 
lieving that he would be paid a good salary out of 
the Territorial treasury: but when he came tlie Hoard 
told him plainly that his compensation would be the 
receipts for tuition, minus the expense of running the 
school ! For the first eleven weeks, therefore, he re- 
ceived probably $300, and when he had paid tlie fuel 
bills for those cold winter weeks, his assistant 's salary, 
laid the other expenses, he did not have a very large 
sum left. In the spring of 1855 lie concluded that 

his four years of experience as the virtual head of a 
university was all he wanted, and he closed the school, 
although during the last year he had on his rolls the 
names of 150 students. At the close of 1913 there 
were. 3.932. 

In ilay, 1856, the school house pa.ssed from the 
control of the Board of Regents, as has been stated. 
Thereafter, until it was burned, in November. 1864, 
private schools under the name of "high schools," 
and even "academies," were taught in it from time 
to time. It is, perhaps, well to note that not a dollar 
was ever paid out of the Temtorial treasury toward 
the establishment and maintenance of this preparatory 
school. All the money spent on it was contributed by 
the pioneers. They built the school house and Mr. 
ilerrill defrayed the nanning expenses of the school 
out of the tuition fees received for teaching their 

Whoever would learn the full history of this great 
institution must consult Bird Johnson's "Forty 
Years of the University." 






It was in 1854 when Charles W. Christinas platted 
the claims of John H. Stevens and Frank Steele, 
ileanwhile, the Stevens house had been the scene of 
most of the notable public meetings and transactions 
of the city builders. There they had met and organ- 
ized Hennepin County in 1851, after it had been set 
off from Dakota County. There they had held their 
claim holders" meetings, and there they had organ- 
ized an agricultural society. That they organized to 
further the cause of agriculture is an indication of 
the kind of men they were, for they had already set 
out to prove the soil's fruitfulness and the climate's 
fitness to rival that of older fields of agriculture. 

They organized for this purpose and that ; they en- 
joyi^d such forms of entertainment as a vigorous, cul- 
tured group of people might well be expected to en- 
joy, in the time, and with the best that each could 
contribute from his own talents alone. They went 
on laying the foundations for a city by the splendid 
water power: and all this time, in a county without a 
designated place for its seat of government. This com- 
munity was unnamed, save for the various names 
given it by this or that settler. 

It was not until in 1854 that ^Minneapolis gained 
a place on the postal map of the United States, when 
a postoffice was established, with Dr. Hezekiah 
Fletcher as postmaster. Up to that time mail for 
^linneapolis was delivered at St. Anthony. The two 
connnunities were linked by common citizenship, in 
that there were common interests on both sides of the 
rivei-. Between them plied Ca]>tain Tapper's ferry, 
taking toll from all except troops of the Federal Gov- 
ernment, according to the original license granted to 
Colonel Stevens. The ferrying was a difficult pas- 
sage at first, as Colonel Stevens's reminiscence and 
tliose of other pioneers indicate, in tales of upsets in 
the swift waters above the falls. Colonel Stevens's 
house continued to be the social center of the west 
siders and to mark the line of communication between 
the two settlements. 

In 1854, so rapidly had the settlement of the 
plateau and of the older village progressed, men on 
both sides of the river banded together to secure the 
construction of a suspension bridge over the river. 

The bridge was opened in 1855. It stood where the 
Steel Arch bridge now links the east and west sides,' 
and it gave into a gateway then, just as the present 
bridge does now. In those days they spoke of Bridge 
Street ; later of Bridge Square, when the twin ar- 
teries, Hennepin and Nicollet Avenues, began to take 
definite direction ■. and now it has become Gateway 

Forward-looking men were at work developing the 
nucleus of a city on the west side : and men of no 
lesser culture and forward-looking qualities were 
likewise at work in the older village of St. Anthony. 
In 1851 they had established what they called a pi'e- 
paratory department for the University of Minnesota. 
Indeed, in this latter establishment may be seen the 
true pioneering spirit, for they built this humble pre- 
paratory department apparently in the assurance that 
by the time students were prepared for entrance, the 
University proper would be there for them to enter. 

In the formative conditions of those first years on 
both sides of the river it was natural that there should 
be rivalries between the settlements, and even compe- 
tition for supremacy even within each of the two divi- 
sions. Thus in old St. Anthony there were, at one 
time, three centers which strove for commercial leader- 
ship : "Cheevertown, " where the campus of the Uni- 
versity of Minnesota now lies; the village of St. An- 
thony, centering in the present Central Avenue from 
the river up the hill; and the town of St. Anthony, 
up river in the neighborhood that is now Tliird to 
Fifth Avenue Northeast, and opposite the mouth of 
Bassett's Creek. At the last named site the steamboat 
landing for the traffic above the Falls was established, 
and for a time that was the east side center of busi- 


As the village on the west side of tlie river 
grew, there sprang up that portion of the vil- 
lage which centered on Bridge Street, and an- 
other as far down river as the present Sixth 
to Eighth Avenues South, along Washington 
Avenue. On the east side, the rival communities had 
their hotels, the St. Charles and the Winslow; and on 
the west side there were the Cataract and the NieoUet. 




To all these came, iu the years before the Civil War, 
the flower of Southern society from as far dowu the 
river as New Orleans, making a summering place of 
the beautiful locality about the Falls and the lakes 
near the growing villages. This was a natural out- 
growth of the steamboat traffic on the great river — - 
and in that traffic itself there arose another element 
of rivalry which unified all the competitive elements 
of the twin villages at the Falls of St. Anthony. 


This iinion was the first manifestation of a bitter 
rivalry which dwarfed all the petty differences of the 
several commercial communities at the falls. It was 
the feud between the pioneer cities of Minnesota — 
_ St. Paul and Minneapolis : a vindictive fire which has 
now smoldered, now broken out afresh, tliroughout 
the nearly three-quarters of a century whicli has 
passed since the founding of the towns. It was even 
declared that the long delay in the opening of the 
Military Reservation on the west side of the Falls 
was caused by the machinations of men at Fort Snell- 
ing and in the settlement of St. Paul. The early evi- 
dences of competition for settlers and commerce in- 
cluded scheming by St. Paul to prevent the river 
boats from passing further up-stream to the landing 
below St. Anthony Falls. 


It was this influence which led to the acquirement 
of a steamtioat by residents of St. Anthony, and the 
organization of a river traffic company to maintain 
a line of steamers, of which the Falls City was to be 
the first, which were to ply between St. Anthony and 
the ^lississippi below. That was in 1854, when the 
tii'st mercliant flour mill had been erected on the East 
Side, and when the need of transportation facilities, 
not merely for flour but for wheat, became evident. 
That was an important year in the history of the two 
villages; it saw the first bank established in St. An- 
thony; the first survey on the west side: the first lot 
given away by Colonel Stevens: the establishment of 
the ^linneapolis postoffice : the first retail lumber 
yard; and the operation of the old Goverinnent flour 
mill commercially. 

And while the river traffic lielow the falls was be- 
coming an important element in the future of the 
two settlements, the possibilities of traffic above the 
falls were not neglected. The steamlioat Oovernor 
Ramsey, as has been said, had been put in service as 
early as 1851, plying between St. Anthony and Sauk 
Rapids, and later other steamboats were put on: a 
circumstance in transportation history which shows 
what elements contributed to the development of 
.Minnesota Territory in the years before railroads 
were built and the country opened up by settlement. 
The boats that carried freight and passengers uji- 
river above the falls continued in active service most 
of the years until the Federal Government, in the 
midst of the Civil War. took tiiem around the Falls 
and used tliem in tlic i-iver navy that figured in the 

military operations iu the West. And one of them — 
the first one, the Governor Ramsey — reappeared on 
Lake Minnetonka and did good service there about 
the time the first railroad was laid to the north shore 
of that lake. 

It was not until well into the second decade of St. 
Anthony's history that the railroad figured at all in 
the transportation problems of the city. "Transpor- 
tation" in those first ten or twelve years of the city's 
life meant .steamboat traffic in summer, or stage and 
wagon freighting. The historic Red River carts, 
relics of the first transportation efl'orts in the North- 
west, continued to be features of the time. And 
through the "Big Woods'" to the southwest and west 
there were mail routes, mostly traversed by mounted 
horsemen, to the frontier settlements. Ox teams were 
as common as horses in the farming districts, and all 
communication was as primitive as in any new 


The Lyceum was an institution of the time; debat- 
ing clubs included men. not mere youths, in their 
membership ; intimate acquaintance with literature 
was perhaps a commoner attribute then than it is to- 
day; singing schools were among the forms of enter- 
tainment; and in its earliest years St. Anthony pos- 
sessed a public library co-operative in form. Ten 
years later — in 1859 — the foundation for the ^linne- 
apolis Public Li})rary was laid, in the formation of 
the Atheneum, a private library' association which 
was to all intents and purposes public. It was to this 
semi-public institution that, after another ten years, 
an endowment was to come through Dr. Kirby Spen- 
cer's bequest, which was to yield rich aid to the li- 
brary of the Twentieth Century. 


The significant fact which stands out before all else 
in the history of the communities is that the people, 
were of a high cultural average. Their daily tasks 
were performed amid conditions often full of hard- 
ship, always iu surroundings wholly lacking in ex- 
terior refinement. But all held true to the traditions 
of their forefathers. One may .see proof of cultural 
qualities in the circumstances surrounding the found- 
ing of the first newspaper, the St. .\nthony Express, 
promoted by Tyler, the tailor, and established in 1S.")1. 
The Express had been Whig in politics at the begin- 
ning, and Democratic later, but its brand of Democ- 
racy did not suit those who opposed the old "Silver 
Grays," and in 1853 the Xorth western Democrat ap- 
peared, first under Prescott & Jones and later, after 
it had been moved to the west side, under W. A. 
ITotcbkiss. This second paper succumbed, too. The 
St. Anthony Republican was another weekly paper, 
published by the Rev, C. G. .Ames, who was an out- 
spoken abolitionist and a vigorous figure of the time. 
It was merged, in 1858. with the State News, edited 
by W. A. Croffutt, who in yeai-s to come gained fame 
c<|ual to that of Rev. Mr. Ames in a national way, as 



a thinker and writer. It was Croflfutt who, with his 
partner! ventured the first daily newspaper at the 
Falls — the Daily Falls Evening News. But this was 
short-lived. Indeed, most newspaper enterprises of 
the first deeade failed to sueeeed eonmiercially. It 
was not until 1859 that a newspaper ajjpeared whieh 
was destined to endure the financial storms of the 
times. And its iiublication served to introduce to 
the Northwest a man who became a great, notable 
figure in its history. It was in this year, during the 
stress of hard times following the panic of 1857, that 
Colonel "William S. King founded the State Atlas, and 
the paper at once became a strenuous factor in the 
upbuilding of the community. It held its own for ten 
years, and then was merged into the Tribune, which 
still endures. 


The newspaper history of the young community, its 
achievement in establishing a library, the cultural 
tendencies of its citizens, were part and parcel of the 
same spirit whieh earlier had founded a school sys- 
tem, fii'st on the East, later on the West, Side. In old 
St. Anthony the first institution to have community 
support was a private school, established in 1849 and 
with Miss Electa* Backus as the teacher. That was 
in June of 1849, and the need for better accommoda- 
tions was responded to in the fall, when a .school 
building was erected and the first jniblic school estab- 

The pioneers who east their lot with the settlement 
of squatters and early claimants on the west side of 
the river set about establishing their own schools as 
soon as the settlers became sufficiently numerous to 
warrant. It was in 1852 that Anson Northrup's 
house, close to the present site of the new Minneapolis 
postoffice building, became a school house for a time. 
;\riss ;\laiw Miller was the teacher of the twenty-odd 
pupils in this, the first organized district school west 
of the Mississippi river in the Northwest. It is an 
index to the character of the people, this establishing 
of a school district before they had even gained title 
to or right to settle on the lands about the western 
end of the Falls of St. Anthony. As usual. Col. 
Stevens's house had been the scene of the organization 
meeting, and the first school board was composed of 
Col. Stevens. Dr. A. E. Ames, and Edward Murphy. 

Three years later, in 1855, the questions of title 
and government having been cleared up in a way, the 
people of Minneapolis met in town meeting and deter- 
mined to organize a graded school and erect a school 
building. The result was the erection of tlie I'liion 
School, on the site of the present courthouse and city 
hall. The building was opened and schools estab- 
lished in 1858, with a princijjal and foui' teacluTs. 
It was the real nucleus for the Minneapolis imblii- 
school system. To its traditions and those of the 
Washington School, which succeeded it. scores of .Miii- 

■" Atwater 's History gives her Christian name as Elizabeth; 
but Warner & Foote 's and Hudson 's give it as Electa, which 
is forreet. 

neapolis men and women remain loyal, and people all 
over the West count as their best school days the time 
spent under roof of the Union or the Washington 


As establishment of schools was early one of the 
efforts of the villagers of St. Anthony and of Minne- 
apolis, so were the natural assemblages of the adher- 
ents of one or another religious creed notable circum- 
stances of the time. The first churches in St. Anthony 
have been noticed. On the West Side, the mission of the Pond Brothers, on Lake Calhoun, was 
the first building which by liberal license may be con- 
sidered a church. It was used only to proclaim the 
Gospel to the Indians, and cannot be considered as in 
any sense the foundation of Christian church organi- 
zation in ^Minneapolis. The services first held in tlie 
John H. Stevens house by Presbyterians gave that 
denomination definite part in the church history of 
the West Side, culminating in organization in 185:5. 
The ^lethodists had organized on the East Side in 
1849 ; the Coiigregatioiialists formed a churcii tlierc in 
1851 ; the Episcopalians formed Holy Trinity Parish 
in 1852, and four years later became organized factors 
in religious work on the West Side. The Baptists, 
first established on the East Side in 1850, got together 
on the West Side in 1853. Other Protestant denomi- 
nations came later. As for the Catholic church, the 
parish of St. Anthony of Padua continued for many 
years to embrace all of the members by the Falls. 

Other schools, churches, and libraries sprang up 
spontaneously with the first settlement of either vil- 
lage ; they existed in the will of every one of those 
first settlers in the decade and a half preceding the 
Civil War, and though they may not have had visible 
form and dimension, yet they were truly elements in 
the life of the villages from their very beginning. 
Hardship and privation, financial setback and panic, 
rivalry with St. Paul, intensive struggle for existence 
could not check their growth. Even in the bitter days 
of the panic of 1857 there was no cessation from pro- 
moting the institutions of the mind and of the soul 
as necessary elements in the life of the two young 
cities. The earnestness and the vigor and the cul- 
tural instinct of Eastern fathers and motliei's kept 
their fires alight, and held the people true to tlir 
best that was in their heredity. 


The first preliminary and authoritative ad ion taken 
to organize the Re])ublican party was by a coiivcn- 
fion of Michigan anti-slavery Democrats, eallinu' 
Ihemsclves "■fhe Free Democracy of Michigan," which 
meeting wa.s held at Kalamazoo, Feliruary 22. 1854. 
the anniversary of Washington's birthday. This con- 
vention nominated a State ticket, adopted a strong 
anti-slavery i)latform. and called itself a "convention 
of Free Democrats and Jetfersonian Republicans." 
Aliout a week later, or F(>l)ruai-y 28, a meeting held 
at Ripon, Wisconsin, resolved to hold another meeting 



and I'onu a new party if the Kausas-Nehraska bill, 
then before Congi-ess, was passed. The bill was 
passed, and ]\Iaroh 20 the contemplated meeting was 
held and an organization, called by A. E. Bovay the 
Republican party, was formed; this organization did 
not pretend to l)e State-wide in character. 

June 21, 1854, the "Independent Democrats" of 
iliehigan, in convention at Kalamazoo, endorsed the 
State ticket nominated February 22 previously. July 
6 a grand mass convention, composed of all elements 
of tlie anti-slavery sentiment in Michigan, met in a 
large, shady grove at Jackson, and among other things 
resolved, "that, in defense of Freedom, we will 
co-operate and be known as Republicans." The anti- 
slavery elements of other States followed suit : of 
Wisconsin at IMadison, and of Vermont at Burlington, 
July 13 : of Massachusetts at "Worcester July 20. etc. 
Each of these oi'ganized a State party called Repub- 
lican. There was no national organization until in 
18.i(;. In 18.54 the new party elected a majority of 
the members of the lower House of Congress that 
chose N. P. Banks, of iMassachusetts, Speaker. Feli- 
i-uary 22, 1856, a so-called "People's T'onvention"' — 
all of whose members were Republican.s — met at 
Pittsburg and prepared the way for the holding of 
the first national Republican nominating convention, 
which met at Philadelphia June 17 following and 
nominated John C. Fremont and "Wm L. Davton for 
President and Vice President. (See E. V. Smalley's 
and also S. M. Allen's Histories of the Republican 
Party. Stanwood's History of Presidential Elections; 
Thomason's Political Hist. Wis., etc.) 


Prior to 1855 all political canvasses in Minnesota 
Territory had been non-partisan. Democrats. Whigs, 
pro-slavery, and anti-slavery men, prohibitionists, and 
personal liberty men, were all to be found on the 
same ticket. Simple influences controlled ; a neigh- 
bor was voted for in preference to a man living at 
some distance. The only factions were those of the 
rival fur companies headed by Rice and Sibley. Per- 
sonal fitness for the place largely controlled the voter 
in his selection of a candidate. There wer.e very few 
real pro-slavery men in the Territory, but they and 
the out-and-out abolitionists were about ef|ual in 
mniibers — and in the public esteem. 

An overwlielming nia.iority of the people were op- 
posed 1o the further extension of slavery, did not 
wani any more slave States; but at the same time 
thi'.x did not desire the abolition by Congress of 
sla\i TN- in States where it already existed. The for- 
mer Democrats, still holding to their old States' 
rights beliefs, declared that each State should settle 
the i|uestion foi- itself. If any slaveholding State 
wanted to abolish the "peculiar institution." let it 
do so, in heaven 's name, and God speed it ! Con- 
gress had not the power over the sub.iect. If Con- 
gress could abolish slavery in any State, it could 
establish it in another — and the latter idea was not 
to be entertained for a moment ! 


On the 4th of July, 1854, the little flock of aboli- 
tionists in and about St. Anthony held what they 
called a "mass meeting" in the school house. The 
attendance was small, for an Independence Day cele- 
bration was being held, and the proceedings were so 
unimportant that not one newspaper in the Territory 
mentioned them. Rev. Chas. G. Ames, the Unitarian 
elergj-man, Minnesota's Theodore Parker, was the 
leading spirit of the meeting. He had been a Free 
Will Baptist ; he was now heterodox. He had been 
a conservative Whig; he was now an ultra abolition- 
ist. He made a passionate and even violent speech 
against slavery and those that had any sort of sym- 
pathy with it. He claimed that the U. S. Constitu- 
tion recognized slavery, and for that reason the great 
American charter "ought to be buried so deep that 
it can never be resurrected." He believed with Gar- 
rison that the Constitution is "a covenant with death 
and a league agi'eement with hell." John W. North 
and other members of the meeting made inflanmiatory 
and incendiary speeches, and no doubt tlicv felt much 
better after their fires went out. In the following 
October a new paper called the jMinnesota Republican 
was established at St. Anthony, with Rev. Ames as 
its editor. In his salutatory he announced that he was 
an uncomprising abolitionist, and wanted slavery 
abolished at once wherever it existed. 


Pursuant to much previous advertising, the first 
Republican Tei'ritorial Convention in ^Minnesota was 
held in St. Anthony, Thvirsday and Friday, ilarch 
29 and 30, 1855, more than a year after the first Mich- 
igan convention. Wm. R. Marshall presided and 
James F. Bradley was secretary. It was a mass meet- 
ing, but only abaut fifty men attended, (Editor Emer- 
son, of the St. Paul Daily Democrat, says he counted 
fifty-two, but Smalley says they numbered 200), and 
not a half dozen of these lived outside of Hennepin 
and Ramsey Counties. 

The meeting was divided into radiral and eon.serva- 
tive anti-slavery men. The leailing radieals were the 
fierv preacher. Rev. C. G. Ames, and John W. North, 
W."D. Babbitt. J. F. Bradley. Geo. E. H. Day— one 
preacher, two lawyers, and two business men. The 
influential conservatives were Chairman Mai-shall, 
Geo. A. Nourse, Warren Bristol. Dr. Hezekiah 
Fletcher, and Rev. S. T. Creighton. 

A committee consisting of North. Nourse, Babbitt. 
Rev. B. F. Iloyt, II. P. Pratt. Eli Petti.iohn, and a 
Mr. Bigelow, reported resolutions denouncing slavery 
and the fugitive slave law. but not declaring in favor 
of the abolition of either. Thereupon there was a lot 
of si)ecch-making and heated debates. A resolution 
declariusi- the fugitive slave law wholly unconstitu- 
tional was defeated, and one pronouncing it "uncon 
stitutional in spirit and character, oppressive, unjust, 
and (lang(>rous to domestic tranquility and deserving 
i-epeal," was passed, but by a vote of twenty-five to 
twenty-two. This was a compromise resolution be- 



tween the t\V'0 factions. So spirited had been the 
debates and so intense the feeling that there was dan- 
ger that the convention would "break up in a row,"' 
withoiit crystallizing the sentiment and uniting the 
forces for freedom. The zealot. Rev. Ames, saw this 
danger, and to avoid it he accepted the resolution and 
championed it. He failed, however, to induce very 
many of the impracticable and unrea.soning element 
to follow. 

The .stormy convention held until midnight, and 
then adjourned until the next day when the final ses- 
sion of three hours was held. The last resolution con- 
cluded : "Appealing to heaven for the rectitude of 
our intentions, we this df^.v organize the Republican 
Party of ^linnesota." 


April 3, four days after the Republican Conven- 
tion, the Democrats — or " ' Democratic Republicans, 
as they styled themselves — held a mass meeting at 
Chambers & Hedderly's hall, ^Minneapolis. There 
were 125 members, who were chietiy from iliune- 
apolis and St. Anthony. Dr. A. E. Ames presided 
and Charles Hoag was secretaiy. W. A. Hotchkiss, 
Sweet W. Case, and F, R. E. Cornell, composing the 
committee on resolutions, reported on the slavery 
question: "That while we deprecate slaveiy agita- 
tion, either North or South, we do not, in any manner, 
sympathize with the in.stitution, believing it to be a 
great moral and public evil; and that we will use all 
lawful means to confine it within its present limits." 
The resolutions, including the one quoted, were passed 
without dissent. D. "SI. Hanson and F. R. E. Cornell, 
two able lawyers, spoke eloquently in their favor. 

The resolution on the slavery question adopted by 
this Democratic meeting became practically the car- 
dinal principle of the Republican party and the chief 
feature of its platforms. This was why so many old 
Free Soil Democrats became Republicans. The fol- 
lowing year Editor Hotchkiss and his Northwestern 
Democrat supported Fremont and Dayton and the 
Republican ticket generally, though Hotchkiss 
claimed that he was still a Democrat, In his editorial 
announcing that he would support Fremont he said: 

"We are a Democrat in eveiy sense of the word. 
The Republican platform is the old Democratic policy 
ii extenso. "We are a Democrat — 'dyed in the wool,' 
as the saying is; a States' Rights Democrat are we, 
and not a fillibuster or ruffian. Until the Demo- 
cratic ship gets back to its proper waters and original 
]nii'ity, we shall say hard things of it." 

Tile first year of their political organization the Re- 
publicans would have elected their candidate, Win. 
R. Marshall, as Delegate to Congress over Henry ^I. 
Rice, Democrat, had they not put a strong prohibition 
plank in their platform. The author of this plank 
and of its incorporation in the platform was Rev. 
Chas. G. Ames, before mentioned, and who was as 
zealous a prohibitionist as he was an abolitionist. 
The vote cast at the election, October 6, was: For 
Rice, 3,215; for Marshall, 2,434; for David Olmsted, 
independent Democrat, 1,785. 


In March, 1853, the Territorial Legislature incor- 
porated the Hennepin County Agricultural Society. 
The prime mover and leading spirit in almost every 
public enterprise at that day. Col. Stevens, was the 
prime mover and leading spirit in the organization of 
this society. He believed it would be a great and val- 
uable advertisement, not only for the town of Minne- 
apolis and Hennepin County, but for the Tei-ritory 
and the pioneer farmers, and he infused his ideas into 
the minds of certain of his prominent fellow-citizens. 
The charter members of the Hennepin Society were 
John H. Stevens, Emanuel Case, Joel B. Bassett, 
Alexander iloore, Warren Bristol, Dr. Hezekiah 
Fletcher, Dr. A. E. Ames, Philander Prescott, Joseph 
Dean, and John S. Mann. 

The first meeting of the Society was held in what 
was sometimes termed the courthouse, at St. Anthony, 
Sept. 7, 1853. There was a large attendance for the 
time. Dr. Ames presided. Addresses were delivered 
by John W. North, Isaac Atwater, A. G. Chatfield, 
Captain Dodge, and others. A committee, consisting 
of John H. Stevens. Isaac Atwater, J. N. Barber and 
R. B. Gibson, drew up and presented the constitution 
and by-laws, which were adopted. The officers elected 
for the first year were : President, Rev. J. W. Dorr ; 
ti'easurer. Emanuel Case; secretary, J. H. Canney ; 
executive committee. John H. Stevens. N. E. Stod- 
dard. Wm. Chambers, Stephen Hall, and W. W. 

The Society decided to hold an agricultural fair at 
Minneapolis, October 18. Farmers were cordially in- 
vited to exhibit selections from their fields and from 
their flocks and herds, and the ladies were particu- 
larly requested to send Specimens of their industrial 
work. The people of the Territory generally were 
invited to attend. 

Stevens, Dr. Ames, and Charles Hoag were ap- 
pointed to make a careful analysis of the soil of 
Hennepin County, and to make "a full and candid 
report" as to its adaptability for general agricul- 
tural purposes. Dr. Hezekiah Fletcher, R. W. Gib- 
sou, and David Bickford were appointed another 
committee, "to consider and report upon the best 
means of destroying all birds and animals that infest 
and destroj^ the agricultural productions of this 
county." (See St. Anthony Express, Sept. 17, 1853.) 

At this meeting, pui-suaut to a resolution offered 
by N. E. Stoddard, steps were taken to fonu a Terri- 
torial agricultural society; and the "ilinnesota Agri- 
cultural Society" was organized at St. Paul in Jan- 
uary following, with Governor Gorman as president. 
Although both the Hennepin and the Jlinnesota Soci- 
eties declared for holding fairs in the fall of 1853, 
none were held. But after careful consideration the 
circumstances seemed forbidding, and the exhibitions 
were postponed until the following vear. (Stevens, 
p. 213.) 


The second annual meeting of the Hennepin County 
Agricultural Society was held October 6. 1854. John 



H. Stevens was elected president, Emanuel Case treas- 
urer, and Joseph H. Canney secretary. After dis- 
cussion the Society determined to hold a fair at ^liu- 
neapolis two weeks later, or October 20. The time 
was short for advertising and securing exhibits and 
for making preparations but some of this work had 
already been done. 

The fair was held at the time appointed. It was a 
complete success, with the additional distinction that 
it was the first agricultural and horticultural fair 
held in Minnesota. The site was on the Minneapolis 
side of the river, on what was subsequently known as 
Bridge Square. It was opened with somewhat im- 
posing exercises. Fervent, high-sounding, and fairlj' 
eloquent addresses were delivered by Governor Gor- 
man, Ex-Governor Ramsey, and Ex-Justice Bradley 
B. Meeker. 

In his "Minnesota and Its People" (p. 242), Colo- 
nel Stevens says that the first fair "was a success in 
every department." The grain, roots, vegetables, live 
stock, poultry, daii-y exhibits, the mechanical and in- 
dustrial departments, fine arts, ladies' department, 
and the miscellaneous articles exhibited were all of 
such excellence that, the St. Anthony Express de- 
clared, "they would have done credit to one of the 
oldest and richest agricultural counties in New York 
The number of exhibitors exceeded fifty, and the cash 
premiums, all of which were paid, amounted in the 
aggi-egate to several hundred dollars. 

The exhibition was a valuable advertisement for 
Minnesota and especially for iliuneapolis and Henne- 
pin County. According to all reports, many stran- 
gers from the Eastern, Middle, and other States at- 
tended. They chanced to be here, "looking at the 
country," and the extraordinarily high character of 
the grain, vegetables, and stock shown at the fair im- 
pressed them so favorably with the agricultural value 
of the region that many of them actually became per- 
manent residents of Minnesota and advertising agents 
for the country. It is well settled that one of the 
elements of greatest value in connection with every 
fair. Territorial. State, or County, ever held in Min- 
nesota, has been connected with the publicity made in 
the exhibition of the products of the people. 


It is not generally known, and no previous history 
states the fact, that the Legislature of 185.') jiassed an 
act creating the "County of St. Anthony" out of the 
western part of Ramsey County and locating the 
county seat at the town of St. Anthony. The hill 
passed both houses, but in the closing days of the 
session. It was not introduced as an independent bill. 
but as a supplement to an act amending the incor- 
poration of the State Historical Society. The sup- 
plemental bill defined the county's boundaries, which 
^ere very ample, the northern line being far to the 
northward. As stated, the bill passed in the closing 
(lays of the session, the last days of February, 1S5.5, 
and went over to Territorial Governor Willis A. Gor- 
man for his approval. The Governor had become well 

identified with St. Paul and opposed the dismember- 
ing of Ramsey County. He "pocketed" the bill and 
allowed the Legislature to adjourn (March 3) with- 
out signing it, and so it failed to become a law. 

There was intense feeling at St. Anthony over 
Governor Gorman's action. A few days after the 
Legislature ad,iourned, or on ^larch 6, an indignation 
meeting of more than 200 citizens was held in Cen- 
tral Hall, St. Anthony, to denounce this action. Geo. 
F. Brott presided and the Democratic Territorial 
Secretary, Charles L. Chase, was secretary. For his 
action in pocketing the bill the Governor was scored 
in the harshest terms and in violent language by speak- 
ers familiar with those terms and accomplished in the 
use of that form of language. Among these speakers 
were Hon. D. 'SI. Hanson. Hon. Chas. Stearns, E. 
L. Hall. Moses W. Getchell. and President Brott. A 
large proportion of those participating were Demo- 
crats, but they did not spare the Democratic Governor 
in their speeches. 

A committee, consisting of 'SI. W. Get«hell, II. T. 
Welles, Richard Chute, E. Dixon, Silas Ricker, Rich- 
ard Fewer, and R. W. Cummiugs, reported a series 
of resolutions, the iirst of which and the preamble 

"Whereas, At the last session of the Legislature of 
this Territory an act was passed providing for the 
organization of St. Anthony County, and also an act 
pro^Tding for the improvement of the Jlississippi 
River from the mouth of the Minnesota to the Falls 
of Pokegama ; and whereas Governor Gorman has 
pocketed said bills, thereby defeating the same, with- 
out daring to assume the responsibility of vetoing 
them ; and whereas the Governor has signed other 
bills involving the same principles and providing for 
carrying out similar measures in other localities in 
which he, the said Governor, is believed to be person- 
ally interested ; therefore, 

"Resolved, That we regard the action of Governor 
Gorman in defeating .said bills as a blow aimed in a 
cowardly manner at the prosperity and progress of 
St. Anthony and the northern part of Ramsey County, 
as well as the counties lying between the Mississippi 
and the Minnesota Rivers. 

"Resolved. Tliat the action of Governor Gorman in 
defeating the said bills, passed by both branches of the 
Legislatiu'c. has been of a most tyrannical, selfisli. and 
revengeful nature, showing a total disregard of tlie 
wishes of the people, etc." 

Another i-esolution demanded that the President 
remove Governor Gorman, and still another said of 
him : 

"That his action as above stated, in connection with 
his previous course as Governor of the Territory, dur- 
ing which course he has been engaged in numerous 
street brawls, personal encounters, and other dis- 
reputable acts, for which he has been presented by a 
grand .iury and has been at other times brought to 
answer at the bar of courts of .iustice. have demon- 
strated that he is totally unfit for the responsible 
station which he holds as Governor of the Territory 
of ]\Iinnesota." 

Tlie resolutions were applauded and unanimously 



adopted, after being discussed to see if they could 
not be made stronger. 

The journals of the House and Senate for the ses- 
sion of 1855 give scarcely any information regarding 
this bill ; but see the Xorth-Westera Democrat for 
March 10, 1855, in an editorial under the heading. 
"St» Anthony County Not a County;" also the same 
paper dated March 17. containing a report of the 
meeting at Central Hall, j\Iarch 6 ; also the Pioneer 
and Democrat of ^lareh 5, referring to the Legisla- 
tive proceedings of March 3. 


By an act of the Legislature approved by the Gov- 
ernor March 3, 1855, the village of St. Anthony was 
incorporated as a "city," although it had an esti- 
mated population at the time of about 2,000. The act, 
virtuall.y the city's charter, was very length}', consist- 
ing of nine chapters. By its provisions the city was 
divided into three wards, with two aldermen from 
each ward, and the six aldermen, the mayor, and a 
justice of the peace were to be elected on the first 
Monday in April following. The mayor and three of 
the first aldermen chosen were to serve but one year ; 
thereafter the terra of an alderman was to be two 
j'ears. The other city officials were to be chosen by 
the Council. Notwithstanding that the town was 
strongly Republican or al:iolition, negroes were not 
allowed to vote at municipal elections. 

At the first election H. T. Welles was elected 
maj'or; and the Aldermen (composing the City Coun- 
cil) were Benj. N. Spencer, John Orth, Daniel Stanch- 
field, Edwin Lippincott, Caleb D. Dorr, and Rol)t. 
W. Cummings. April 14 the Council elected Ira 
Kingsley, treasurer, no salary ; W. F. Brawley, clerk, 
annual salary, $325 ; S. W. Farnham, assessor, salary 
not fixed; Benj. Brown, marshal, salary, $300; attor- 
ney, E. L. Hall, salary. $250; collector. E. B., 
salary, three per cent of collections. The ma.yor was 
to receive $200 and the aldermen $100 each. Lard- 
ner Bostwick was elected justice of the peace. 

The election had been of a non-partisan character, 
and the officers were of various political persuasions. 
Mayor Welles was a Democrat. There was a general 
acceptance of the officials as to their qualifications 
except in the case of Marshal Brown ;'he was a saloon 
keeper, and the radical temperance people were 
roused to great indignation over his appointment. 
They held a meeting April 10 and denounced every- 
body responsible for it. and urged that he be re- 
moved. Geo. A. Nourse, John W. North, and Rev. 
Creighton made fiery speeches, and the meeting de- 
manded that the saloons be abolished, or at least that 
no liquor should be sold on Sunday. The resolutions 
adopted were hot-tempered and denunciatory of 
liquor and tlie liquor interests. The Council finally 
enacted that no saloons should be open on Sundays 
or after 10 P. M. on week days, and that they pay 
licenses of the heavy sum of fifty dollars a year; 
drunkenness, fighting, and gambling were prohibited, 
and the moral condition of the city renovated and 
reformed so far as a city ordinance could be made 

eft'ective. In October, Ben Brown resigned as marshal 
and Seth Turner was appointed in his stead. 


The creation of St. Anthony County, with the town 
of St. Anthony as the county seat, having been pre- 
vented by Governor Gorman, in IMarch, 1855, the citi- 
zens of the town and those who sympathized with 
them determined to have satisfaction and redress 
from the Governor and from St. Paul. The members 
of the Legislature from that town opposed the new 
county, because it would take away St. Anthony and 
much other good territory from Ramsey County and 
thereby injure their city. Mr. Isaac Van Etten, of 
St. Paul, had led the fight against the proposed new 
county, and while he had been unsuccessful in the 
Legislature (of which he was a member) he and his 
associates had better success with the Governor, who 
by this time had valuable interests in the Capital 

The St. Anthony partisans were incensed at St. Paul 
and determined that if they could not have a sep- 
arate county of their own they would detach their 
territory from Ramsey County and attach it to Hen- 
nepin. This would deal a blow at the progress of St. 
Paul and increase the good prospects of the twin 
towns at the Falls, St. Anthony and Minneapolis. At 
the very next Legislatiu-e. that of 1856, they intro- 
duced a bill into, and succeeded in having it passed 
by the Legislature carrying out their purpose. 

The bill was adroitly drawn. It was entitled. 'A 
bill to designate the site whereon to erect the count.y 
buildings of Hennepin County and authorizing the 
Commissioners to procure a title thereto, and extend- 
ing the boundaries of the County." Governor Gor- 
man could not well veto a bill allowing sites to be 
acquired for the much needed county buildings of 
the new county : and he had no pleasant memories of 
how the people had expressed themselves about him 
when, the year before, he had pocketed the bill allow- 
ing St. Anthony to separate from Ramsey County. 

The first three sections of the bill related to the 
acquirement of county building sites in Minneapolis. 
The 4th section reads : 

"The boundaries of Heiuiepin County is [sic] 
hereby extended north across the ^lississippi River, 
commencing on the north line of township 29. in 
range 24. on the Mississippi River, and running due 
east to a point between sections 4 and 5, in town- 
ship 30. in range 23 ; thence due south to the town 
line between townships 28 and 29 ; thence due west 
to the Mississippi River." 

The two other sections provide that the Hennepin 
register of deeds should transcribe all the records of 
Ramsey County relating to the newly attached terri- 
tory, and that the delinquent taxes of the new terri- 
tory should be paid to Ramsey County. The act was 
approved by the Governor February 25. 

The original boundaries were not satisfactory, and 
five years later the Legislature of 1861 established 
them as follows: 

"Commencing on the north line of township 29, 



range 24, ou the Mississippi River, thence due east to 
a point between seetioas 5 and 6. township 20, range 
23 ; tlience due south, on the section line, to the ^lis- 
sissippi River : thence up said river to the place of 
beginning. ' ' 

After the act of 1856 St. Anthony entered its 
fourth county. It has been in Crawford and St. 
Croix Counties, "Wisconsin, and Ramsey and Hennepin 
in ilinnesota. The newly attached territoi-j' was or- 
ganized into a civil township May 11, 1858, and the 
first officers were : Supervisors, J. B. Gilbert, J. C. 
Tufts, Richard Fewer: clerk, D. M. Demmon; asses- 
sor, J. A. Lennon; .justices of the peace, Solon Arm- 
strong and Anthony Grethen. The town, however, 
continued its separate corporate existence until in 
1872, when it was united with Minneapolis. 


Perhaps the most intei'esting and influential politi- 
cal events in Minnesota between 1850 and 1860 were 
the formation of the Republican party in 1855, the 
election of Delegates to the Constitutional Conven- 
tion, and the session of that Convention, the latter 
two events occurring in the summer of 1857, and the 
first election for State officers. There was a most 
spirited contest over the election of Delegates to the 
Convention which was to make the organic law of 
the State, soon to be admitted into the Union. 

That Convention would form the first Legislative 
and Congressional districts and make them Demo- 
cratic or Republican, according to the politics of a 
ma.iority of the members. The Legislature would 
elect two United States Senators and the political con- 
trol of Congress might depend upon the new State of 

The Republicans made strenuous efforts to elect a 
ma.iority of the Delegates. They appealed to their 
National Connnittee and their brethren in the East 
for help and some money and some of the best speak- 
ers were sent them to aid in the canvass. Among 
those from other States who came and stumped the 
Territory for the Free Soil ticket were John P. Hale, 
of New Hampshire ; Lyman Trumbull and Owen 
Love.ioy. of Illinois: (ialusha A. Grow, of Pennsyl- 
vania : Schuyler Colfax, of Indiana : Hanseomb, of 
Boston : Moran, of Philadelphia, and James H. 
Baker, of Ohio, — the last named afterward promi- 
nent and distinguished in ^linnesota. Judge Trum- 
bull remained in the Territory after the election as 
chief counsel for the Repviblicans. The Democrats 
employed ordy their local talent : such of them as 
received compensation were paid out of a fund raised 
by Territorial office-holders, all of whom were Demo- 

The election for Delegates came off June 1. The re- 
turns came in slowly and at first it was conceded 
that a ma.iority of Democrats had been chosen, espe- 
cially when it appeared on the face of the returns 
that four of them had been elected in St. Anthony 
precinct, of Hennepin County, by an average ma- 
jority of 13. Rut Senator Trundnill now came for- 

ward with a plan to wrest victory from defeat. The 
authorities had decided that two Delegates were to 
be chosen for each Representative and Councilor in 
the Territorial Legislature, and this construction 
made a Convention of 108 members. 

But June 16, when the board of canvassei-s for Hen- 
nepin County, all of them Republicans, canvassed the 
vote of St. Anthony, they decided that not four Dem- 
ocrats but four Republicans had been chosen from 
that Legislative district and certificates were issued 
accordingly. Lj-man Trumbull had counseled the 
action and furnished the arguments for it. 

The decision was based upon the difference in form 
of the tickets of the two parties. The Republican 
ticket was divided into two parts. The general head- 
ing of the ticket was in black capitals, "Rejiublican 
Ticket." Then came a sub-heading in black lower 
case or italic letters reading, "For Delegates to Con- 
stitutional Convention fz"om Council District," and 
below this heading were the names of the candidates. 
Dr. J. H. Murphy and S. W. Putnam. " Then followed 
another heading in black lower case reading, '"For 
Delegates from the Representative District," and 
underneath were the names of D. A. Secombe, D. M. 
Hall, L. C. Walker, and P. Winell. Now, many of the 
Democratic tickets had but a single heading. "For 
Delegates to the Constitutional Convention," and 
underneath were the names of all six of the candi- 
dates. Judge B, B. Meeker, R. Fewer, Calvin A. 
Tuttle, Samuel Stanchfield, W. :M. Lashelle, and the 
Secretary of the Teri'itory. Chas. L. Chase. 

The Democrats claimed that, as the boundaries 
of the Representative and Council districts were the 
same and identical with the entire precinct, the group- 
ing and division of the names on the ticket were un- 
necessary, but the Republicans denied this contention 
and claimed that the omission to group the candi- 
dates on the tickets and place sub-headings over them 
was fatal to their legality. The returning board 
found enough of such tickets to warrant them, accord- 
ing to their belief, in refusing certificates to any Dem- 
ocrat, although the ballots cast by unchallenged voters 
showed this result : 

For the Republican Candidates, Council District — 
John H. Murphy. 496; S. W. Putnam. 491. Repre- 
sentative District, Philip Wiiiell, 512: L. C. Walker. 
503 : D. :\r. Hall. 485 : D. A. Secombe. 472. 

For the Democratic Candidates, without Distinction 
of Districts: B. B. Meeker. 524: Chas. L. Chase. 521 : 
Calvin A. Tuttle. :509 : Wm. ISl. Lashelle. 497: Sainl. 
Stanchfield, 495: R. Fewer, 496. The Democrats 
claimed that Winell and Walker were the only Re- 
publicans that had been fairly elected and they de- 
manded certificates for Meeker, Chase, Tuttle. and 
Lashelle, but the County Clerk, Rev. C. (i. .\mes. the 
zealous prohibitionist and ardent abolitionist, refused 
emphatically to give them. He was County Register 
of Deeds and ex-officio clerk of the County Commis- 
sioners, who constituted the returning board. 

On the Minneapolis side of Hennepin County, one 
Democrat, Roswell P. Russell, was given a certificate 
by the returning board, which declared that he liad 
received 18 more votes than his Republican com- 



petitor. R^v. Chas. B. Sheldon. It appeared that 
some good Republican friends of 'Sir. Russell had 
erased Rev. Sheldon's name on the Republican tickets 
and substituted the old pioneer's. Then some of Shel- 
don's friends at the precincts of .Maple Grove, Island 
City, and Edeu Prairie had voted Republican tickets 
which were pi-inted like the Democratic, and, to be 
consistent with the action taken in the St. Anthony 
ease, these imitative tickets were thrown out, and this 
gave Russell his ma.iority. ]\Ir. Russell, however, 
stood by his party's contention, declared he was not 
fairly elected, and refused the election eertifieate. 
There may have been another reason for his refusal. 
At the time, he was receiver of the Land Office at 
Minneapolis, and it was doubted that he could serve 
as a Delegate and at the same time hold a Federal 
office. Sir. Sheldon was finally admitted to the Re- 
publican wing of the Convention without any certifi- 
cate at all ! 

For his "official misconduct," as the Democrats 
termed it. in issuing certificates of election to the four 
Republicans of the St. Anthony precinct, who had 
received fewer votes than their Democratic opponents. 
Clerk Ames was cited to St. Paul by Gov. Samuel 
Medary and, after a hearing, the Governor removed 
him from office. The Hennepin County Commis- 
sioners re-elected him within an hour after his return 
from St. Paul to St. Anthony, and announced that 
they would continue to re-elect him as often as the 
Governor removed him. 

In Houston County 0. W. Streeter, Democrat, had 
received 378 votes on a general ticket 'to 329 votes 
for C. A. Coe. The Republican Clerk of the Commis- 
s'ioners, by their direction gave the certificate to Jlr. 
Coe. In Winona and two or three other counties 
there was a singular condition in the Republican tick- 
ets. They were all general, no district divisions, but 
in arrangement were exactly like the Democratic tick- 
ets at St. Anthony. The Republican candidates re- 
ceived a ma.iority of the votes in these southern 
counties and were given certificates by the respective 
i-eturning boards. Asked why the course taken in 
Hennepin with this sort of tickets was not followed 
in Winona County, Thomas AVilson* a delegate, said: 
"Every tub stands on its own bottom, and every 
county controls its affairs in its own way." 

In the nth district, comprising Hennepin, Carver 
and Davis Counties (the latter named for Jefferson 
Davis), the Republican candidates were elected by 
large ma.iorities, except in the case of Dr. Alfred E. 
Ames, the staimch Democratic pioneer of Minne- 
npolis, who received a most flattering vote, and R. 
I'. Russell, whose case has been described. He refused 
the election eertifieate and Rev. Sheldon, of Excel- 
sior, obtained the place by the recognition of the Re- 
publican wing. The Democratic wing had no delegate 
from the 11th District except Dr. Ames. The district 
had twelve Delegates and the eleven Republicans, 
who acted with the Republican branch of the Coii- 

• Mr. Wilson was subsequently a Justiee of the Supreme 
foui't. became a prominent Democrat, was elected to Congress 
a.s such, and was a Democratic candidate for Governor. 

vention, were Cyrus Aldrich. Wentworth Hayden, R. 
L. Bartholomew, W. F. Russell, Henry Eschle, Chas. 
B. Sheldon, David Morgan. E. N. Bates, xilbert W. 
Combs, T. D. Smith, B. E. :Messer. 

Nineteen years after Lyman Trumbull had planned 
to secure the control of the ilinuesota Constitutional 
Convention by the Republicans he was down in 
Louisiana endeavoring to have the electoral vote of 
that State cast for Tilden and Hendricks, the Demo- 
cratic candidates for President and Vice President. 
He was originally a Free Soil Democrat, became a 
Republican on the slavery question, was U. S. Sen- 
ator, etc. After the Civil Wai- when slavery was 
abolished, he went back to his old party and remained 
with it the remainder of his life. He was chief coun- 
sel for the Democrats before the Louisiana returning 
board in 1876. 

When the Convention assembled, July 13, (1857), 
the two parties were present with all their forces, • 
regular and iiTegular. There were the two delega- 
tions from St. Anthony, each claiming legality and 
legitimacy. Each party claimed 69 members and con- 
ceded the other but 53. There was a scramble for 
tiie possession of the Representatives' hall in the Ter- 
ritorial Capitol building, and the Republicans suc- 
ceeded in capturing it. Thereupon the Democrats re- 
paired to the Council Chamber and occupied it. Both 
parties then met regularly in their respective rooms, 
each denouncing the other as a fraudulent as.sem- 
blage, a rump parliament, and claiming to be the only 
legal body. The president of the Republican wing 
was St. A. D. Balcombe, and of the Democratic IT. H. 

Governor iledary and Secretary Chase recognized 
the Democratic delegates and they were paid regu- 
larly out of the public treasury : the Republicans re- 
ceived nothing in the way of pay and had to board 
themselves. At last, on the 29th of August, pursuant 
to a previous agreement, both bodies agreed on the 
same Constitution, each signing a verbatim copy of 
the compromise draft, and both Conventions then ad- 
journed. Three Democrats refused to sign it. be- 
cause, as they said, the "illegitimate Republican"' con- 
vention had been given a part in its making, although 
many Republicans called it "a pureh- Democratic 
instrument. ' ' 


The election for the first State officials of Minnesota 
was held October 13. 1857. Congress had not then 
formally admitted l\Iinnesota into the Union, as a 
State, and these officials were .not to assume their 
duties until after such admission. The candidates 
were H. H. Sibley, Democrat, and Alexander Ramsey. 
Republican. Following close after the election of 
Delegates to the Constitutional Convention and the 
subsequent session of that convention, the canvass 
prior to the election was spirited and warm, and be- 
came unduly strenuous. Each part.v accused the 
other of designing to capture the election by frauds, 
and after the election charges were made that the 
frauds had been perpetrated. Besides the Governor 



and other State officers, three Congressinon were to be 
voted for (but only two were admitted to seats) and 
a Legislature (which should choose two United 
States Senators) was to be elected. Therefore the 
interest in the election became most intense and each 
side was determined to win. The result was that the 
tactics of the contest were not commendable. 

The State was but partially settled, there were no 
railroads or telegraphs, and the returns were not all 
in until several days after election. Then many of 
them were found to be various varieties of irregular 
form. Some were composed of the returns from each 
precinct in the county, without a condensed and duly 
certified abstract, and in many instances these pre- 
cinct returns were signed by only one .iudge or one 
clerk of election, while in some cases they were not 
signed at all. In two instances the returns were not 
certified by the register of deeds, who was ex-officio, 
the county clerk. They came in all sorts of ways. 
The Pembina and other returns were brought by spe- 
cial messengers. Many were sent by mail to the Sec- 
retary of the Territory, others were sent to Governor 
Medary, and in two instances messengers had to be 
sent for them. In Todd County the messenger from a 
large precinct carried the returns to the house of the 
register of deeds, who was absent at the time. The 
precinct messenger slipped the retiirn, a mere folded 
and unsealed paper, under the official's door and 
went away. The clerk did not return for four days. 
Charges of fraud, intimidation, and illegalities of all 
sorts, were made by each party before all the ballots 
were counted, and were reiterated again and again. 

Tliere really were but few instances of intimidation, 
but there were such. It is painful to have to record 
the fact that St. Anthony furnished one of these. 
The upper precinct of the town was largely Repub- 
lican, and many of the voters were stalwart fighting 
lumbermen. There had been much talk about condi- 
tions in Kansas, where the pro-slavei-y men. or "bor- 
der ruffians," who were mostly Democrats, had intim- 
idated many Republicans from voting and mistreated 
them outrageously. The St. Anthony Republicans 
gathered about the place of election, talked violently 
about the Kansas persecutions, and denounced the 
Democrats — or "slaveocrats," as they termed them 
— and finally resorted to actual violence in preventing 
them from voting. 

The voting place was elevated and reached by 
steps. About 2 o'clock a number of Republicans, 
some of them armed with clubs, pulled away these 
steps and warned the "slaveocrats," that no more 
of them would be allowed to vote. When a Repub- 
lican approached the voting place he was lifted up 
to the window and handed in his ticket. The Demo- 
crats were chased summarily away. Of course there 
were many fisticuffs and other personal encounters, 
the Democrats uniformly getting the worst of it, and 
some of them were beaten and bruised with clubs. 
The election returns of St. Anthony showed a major- 
ity for Ramsey of 122. The Republicans also elected 
the entire Legislative ticket from the St. Anthony 
district (then the 23d) the delegation consisting of 

Jonathan Chase, Senator, and Win. H. Townsend and 
L. C. Walker, Representatives. 

Discussing the disgi-aceful affair at the St. Anthony 
polling place the Pioneer and Democrat of October 31, 
following the election, commented : 

"*. * * In St. Anthony, it is notorious that a 
gang of armed bullies in the pay of Republican lead- 
ers took possession of the polls in the Upper Precinct 
and prevented Democrats from voting. Not less than 
150 [?] Democrats were disfranchised by the sup- 
pression of this armed mob. In the afternoon the 
steps leading up to the voting room were torn down. 
Republicans coming to vote were lifted up to the 
window by their associates and voted, but Democrats 
were driven away. This villainy was perpetrated 
directly under the eyes of Priest Ames, Nourse, and 
Secomb, and of course they think there is no evil 
in it. It benefited Republicanism and that removed 
the sin and washed away the criine, as Parson Ames 
argued when he cheated and lied the Democratic 
Delegates to the Constitutional Conventioji out of 
their certificates of election. 

"So rascally was the conduct of the Republican 
leaders in St. Anthony that some of their prominent 
partisans, disgusted by the mob-like conduct, have 
dissolved their connection with the black party. We 
have the names of some who declare that they will 
never hereafter vote with their former party asso- 
ciates. ' ' 

Referring again to what is called "the Republican 
election frauds." the Pioneer and Democrat of No- 
vember 18, in reviewing a series of them, said : 

"* * * At the election in the upper precinct of 
St. Anthony a gang of 50 men — urged on, we are told, 
by Geo. A. Nourse, Republican candidate for .\ttov- 
ney General. — took possession of the polls and pre- 
vented a single Democrat from voting after 2 o'clock 
in the afternoon. No one was allowed to approach 
the window where the judges of election received 
votes unless he exhibited a green or a blue ticket, the 
color selected by the Black Republican candidates. 
At the least calculation 150 Democrats were disfran- 
chised by the action of this mob. Many were knocked 
down and beaten with clubs for attimijiting to vote, 
and others were driven away." 

The Democrats also charged that the Republicans 
had committed gross frauds in Washington. Chisago, 
Goodhue, Steele, and other counties. They said that 
hundreds of imnaturalized Scandinavians had been 
permitted to vote the Republican ticket, etc. On the 
other hand the Republicans charged that the Demo- 
crats had committed frauds in Pembina, at St. Paul, 
in Cass County, and at Cedar Lake, McLeod County. 

There were no charges of fraud by either party 
against the vote of Hennepin, save that some Demo- 
crats claimed that a number of Republicans voted in 
Minneapolis and then crossed over to St. Anthony 
and voted again. The county went Republican by 
over 400 majority, electing the full ticket including 
the Legislative delegation which was composed of 
Erastus N. Bates and Delano T. Smith. S(>nators. and 



Reuben B. Gibson, Geo. H. Keith, and Wni. S. 
Chowen, Representatives. 

Not until December 10, did the Territorial Return- 
ing Board designated by the Con.stitution complete 
the canvass of votes. The Board was composed of 
Gov. Sanil. ]\Iedary and Joseph R. Brown, Democrats, 
and Thos. J. Galbraith, Republican. In the begin- 
ning of the canvass Galbraith offered a resolution : 
"That the duly canvassed returns from the several 
counties be adopted as the basis of calculation by this 
Board of Canvassers." Galbraith and Medary voted 
for this resolution and it was adopted. Brown had 
offered a resolution to canvass by precincts : but Med- 
ary said that it would "take six months to do that." 
Some persons have claimed that Brown's plan would 
have elected Ramsey. 

The adoption of the resolution offered by Mr. Gal- 
braith, staunch Republican though he was, defeated 
Ramsey and elected Sibley by a majority of 240, 
the vote standing, Sibley.' 17,790; Ramsey, 17,5.50. 
The rest of the Democratic candidates were elected by 
majorities averaging nearly 1.500. The H. M. Rice 
influence was still against Sibley and he ran far 
behind the rest of his ticket. Under the Galbraith 
resolution the Board threw out 2,128 votes which had 
been apparently cast for Ramsey and 1,930 intended 
to be counted for Sibley. 

Some curious things were discovered in the can- 
vass. Pembina County was finally counted, 31 fi for 
Sibley and none for Ramsey, but 62 votes for Sibley 
and 16 for Ramsey from that county were thrown out. 
The vote of the First Ward of St. Paul, giving Sib- 
ley 150 majority, was thrown out. In Goodhue 
County a census taken after the election showed that 
there were but 1,652 voters in the coiinty, yet at the 
election it cast 1,928 votes and gave Ramsey 522 ma- 
jority. Red Wing, with but 518 voters, polled 679 
votes : Kenyon, with 33 voters, cast 74 votes ; Zum- 
brota. with 37 voters, gave 91 votes at the election. 
Yet the entire vote returned from Goodhue was 
counted as returned. 

Galbraith, a radical Republican though he was, 
voted with his Democratic colleagues in every in- 
stance where returns were rejected. His Republican 
advisers had assured him that his resolution, if 
adopted, would elect Ramsey, but it did not. 


August 24, 1857, the suspension of the Ohio Life 
and Trust ("ompany, of Cincinnati, precipitated a 
general and most disastrous financial panic through- 
out the country. The New York City banks sus- 
pended specie payments October 14, and did not re- 
sume until December 11. The Illinois Central, the 
^lichigan Central, the Erie, and other railroads made 
assignments. There were great losses and general 
distress for a long period. 

The effects of the panic did not reach Minnesota 
until in October. St. Paul was then the money cen- 
ter of the country, and October 20, its leading bank- 
ing house, that of Borup & Oakes, made an assignment. 
Soon other banks and manv mercantile firms made 

assignments or suspended, until there were but two 
solvent banking institutions in the town, those of 
Willius Brothers and Mackubin & Edgerton. The 
entire Territory suffered from a lack of real monej-; 
the currency commonly in circulation consisted of the 
notes of worthless or practically insolvent banks, for 
those were days of the old free banking system, when 
every bank issued its own engraved bills and foisted 
them upon the people. 

In Minneapolis there was a great fall in the price 
of real estate. Stevens says (p. 301) that lots which 
would bring $3,000 in ^linneapolis in May could not 
be sold for $300, standard money, in October. In- 
terest on specie or paper currency at par rose to five 
per cent a month; and even money borrowed at that 
rate failed in many instances to save property which 
had been purchased partially on credit. The two 
towns at the Falls were on the frontier, and great loads 
of the worthless bills of other States found lodgmtmt 
here, to the great injury of the people. The Chicago 
Tribune of December 16, 1857, said : 

"St. Anthony and Minneapolis appear to be the 
headquarters of the uncurrent money in Minnesota. 
Large quantities of the broken Farmers' Bank of 
North Carolina, quoted in Chicago at 75 per cent 
discount, circulate at par up there! Bills of the Citi- 
zens' Bank of North Carolina, which is busted; of 
Tekama, Nebraska, which is a swindle, and of Flor- 
ence, Nebraska, together with the Fontenelle. which 
are only a little better, constitute about all the cur- 
rency in circulation north of St. Paul. The same vil- 
lainous trash has spread over many of the Western 
counties and driven out everv dollar of current 

The financial distress continued over 1858. In that 
year Minnesota set up its State Government, and as 
soon as might be the Legislature tried to help out by 
the enactment of a banking law, but this law afforded 
only temporary relief. During the winter of 1857- 
58 the stringency continued to injure Minneapolis. 
State orders were worth but twenty cents on the dol- 
lar in gold, but town orders were worth from 30 to 
35 cents. The newspapers were filled with notices of 
foreclosures of mortgages and executions. The City 
Board and the Hennepin County Board were advised 
to issue "denominational scrip" to be used as cur- 
rency. This scheme was put into opei'ation in several 
counties and the scrip circulated until after the Civil 
War was in progress. 

In the spring of 1859, when the country was finan- 
cially prostrated, another panic came and did more 
injuiy to Minneapolis. Several banks in ^Tinnesota 
closed and their circulation was redeemed by the State 
Auditor at from 14 to 40 cents on the dollar. The 
depreciated bills of other States still flooded the coun- 
try. This currency had three designations in the 
form of epithets. "Wild Cat" bills were those of 
banks located in wildernesses where wild cats 
abounded and which had insufficient capital: "stump 
tail" money was so-called because a great deal of its 
original par value had dropped off, resembling the 
tail of an animal from which a gi'eat part has l>een 



removed; "shinplasters" were bills of broken or 
fraudulent banks, of no value whatever except per- 
haps to wrap about bniised and abraded shin liones. 

The panics of 1857 and 1859 were greater set-backs 
to the progress and prosperity of ^linneapolis than 
were the four years of the Civil AYar. liut for these 
adverse influences the town jiiight have had 10.000 
population in 1860, and the value of its property 
would have been several millions. Trade was de- 
pressed, biisiness paralyzed, real estate became of 
little value and much of it could not be sold at any 
price, and immigration ceased. 

Many merchants issued currency of their own. con- 
sisting of small cards with printed promises to pay 
various sums of from five cents to a dollar. These 
checks, as the^' were called were denounced by the 
Rei)ub]ican and the News and defended by their 
authors. C. H. Pettit. 0. M. Laraway. Alex. Moore, A. 
Clarke, Jackins & Wright, Beebe & ]\Iendenhall, Sny- 
der, ^McFarlane & Cook, and other business men. The 
local checks seemed more popular tlian the bills of 
the Nebraska banks of Gosport, Tekama, and Browns- 
ville, which fairly clogged the financial circulation 
of the town. Not until the good crop years of 1859 
and 1860, when wheat brought 50 cents a bushel in 
gold, and was first expoT'ted, did the clouds of finan- 
cial distress lift and the sun of prosperity shine out 
on ^Minneapolis. 

•'the case of eliz.v win.ston, a slave." * 

In August, 1860, in the full tide of the Presidential 
campaign of that year, and when the Winslow House. 
Minneapolis, was well filled with guests — many of 
them from the South, accompanied by their black 
bond-servants — certain of the radical anti-slavery 
men of the town determined to make "a demonstra- 
tion in aid of the cause of freedom" and inform the 
slaves of their rights in ;\Iinnesota. The plan was 
originated by W. D. Babbitt. Wm. S. King, and F. R. 
E. Cornell. iMr. Babbitt was a pioneer citizen and an 
old-time abolitionist. King was the editor of the Min- 
nesota Atlas, a radical Republican ^Minneapolis paper, 
and Coi-nell, a lawyer, was a former prominent Dem- 
ocrat and a recent convert to Republicanism. All 
were noted, and noisy, anti-slavery men. 

A slave woman, about 30 years of age, named Eliza 
AVinston, wa.s to be the subject of the "demon>stra- 
tion." She was the widow of a free negi'o who had 
gone on a mission to Liberia and died there. He had 
owned a house and lot in ^Memphis. Tennessee, as was 
permitted to a free negi-o, and if his wife had been 
free at his death this property would have descended 
to her. But under the laws of Tennessee a slave could 
not own pi'operty in fee simple: his belongings were 
the ])ropei'1y of his master. 

Eliza had passed from her original owner, one Mc- 
Leniore, to a IMr. Gholson, of Memphis, who had 
mortgaged her to secure a loan from Col. R. Christ- 
mas, a wealthy planter and large slave owner of Issa- 

* This is tht> title of the case on the Minneapolis Court 

queiia County. Miss. Gliolson defaulted in payment 
and his slave woman became the property of Col. 
Christmas under a foreclo.sure of the mortgage. She 
was made exclusively a house servant, a maid for her 
mistress and a nurse for a child, and physically her 
lot was not a liard one. She wa.s mucli attached to 
her mistress, her master's wife, who was an invalid 
and had been brou'jht to the cooling lakes and salu- 
brious air of Minneapolis to escape the malaria of a 
hot summer in the South. Her only expressed dis- 
content was that she could not collect and appro- 
priate the rent from her former husband's property 
in Memphis, although she admitted that if she received 
it slie might "spend it foolishly." 

When in August. 1860. the Christmas family, with 
Eliza, had been sojourning in their summer cottage 
at Lake Harriet for some weeks, the bondwoman 
made complaint. She asked a negro barber's wife 
if there were not white men in ^Minneapolis that would 
assist in securing her freedom. The barber's wife 
consulted a white woman, and very soon Babbitt, 
King, and their a.ssociates were up in arms to "de- 
liver their fellow-creature from bondage." as King 
expressed it. A writ of habeas corpus was sworn out 
August 18, by ilr. Babbitt, and issued by Judge 
Vanderburgh, of the District Court, and given to one 
of Sheriff Richard Strout's deputies to serve at the 
Christmas summer home at Lake Harriet. 

About 20 men made an ostentatious and ridiculous 
display of their zeal in "the cause of freedom" by 
arming themselves with shotguns and revolvers and 
riding with the deputy sheriff, as a self-appointed 
posse, when he went out to Lake Harriet to serve tlie 
warrant. At the time Col. Christmas was in ^linne- 
apolis and the garrison of his cottage was composed 
of the invalid Mrs. Christmas, her little child, and 
her maid Eliza. Against this array the stout-hearted 
posse was not dismayed, but boldly went forward. 

Col. Christmas had been warned that a movement 
was afoot to take his slave woman from him : but the 
only efforts he made to thwart the movement was to 
tell Eliza that the "abolitionists" were after her, and 
that when she saw suspicious characters coming toward 
the cottage, and desired to escape them, she must run 
to a patch of brush back of the house and secrete 
herself until they went away. Two or three times she 
liad done this and she was running towards the 
thicket on this occasion when the deputy and his for- 
midable posse pursued, overtook, and apprehended 

The rescued woman was taken to town and into 
Judge Vanderburgh's court in great triumph piid 
amid cheers and shoutings. Mr. Cornell appeared for 
the petitioners for the writ and the slave-woman, and 
a lawyer named Freeman, from Mississippi, repri>- 
sented Colonel Christmas. There was a large and 
excited crowd in the court room -. it was said that the 
calmest man in it was Colonel Christmas himself. In- 
deed Editor King said of him. in the Atlas, that lie 
"liehaved like a iierfi'ct geiitlcnian all througli the 

Mr. Cornell, a very able and eloquent lawyer, was 
expected to make an effort of his life in behalf of the 



slave woman and her release : but he eouteuted himself 
with reading the law forbidding slavery in iMinnesota 
and then sat down. ]\Ir. Freeman, the attorney for 
Col. Christmas, argued that under the Dred Scott de- 
cision Eliza should be restored to her master, as she 
was but temporarily in free territory and therefore 
not entitled to her absolute freedom. Judge Vander- 
burgh decided the ease very promptly. In a few 
sentences he told Eliza that under ilinnesota law she 
was not a slave, but was free to go where and with 
whom she pleased. 

There was nuich excitement among the bystanders 
when the decision was rendered. Col. Christmas 
spoke kindly to Eliza and asked her if she would not 
like to go back to the home at Lake Harriet and take 
care of her mistress until the latter got well, "and 
then you may go if you want to," said the Colonel. 
"You don't need to go if you don't want to," called 
out one of her rescuers. Then Eliza answered: "Yes. 
I'll go back, but not today; I'll come out tomorrow." 
The Colonel re.ioined : "All right: come when you 
please, or don't come at all if you don't want to." 
He then handed her ten dollars and said that if she 
wanted more money she knew where she could get it. 
He then bade her good-bye and walked nonchalantly 
away. A Southern friend called out: "Well. Colonel, 
you have lost your nigger," and the philosophic 
Colonel replied: "Yes, I reckon so: but I have plenty 
more of them and it's all right." (St. Anthonv E.x- 
press. Aug. 20. 1860). 

The rescuers and their friends gathered about the 
embarrassed fflid flustrated Eliza and escorted her to 
a carriage in which she was driven to ^Ir. Babbitt's 
residence, as a temporary home, ileanwliile Bill 
King, the soi disanf and bombastic apostle militant 
of freedom, and withal the editor of the Atlas, was 
pacing the courtroom, his florid face fairly aflame, 
denouncing in violent terms all who would aid or 
abet slaveholding in ^Minnesota, and brandishing a 
heavy cane as if he would like to knock out their brains 
with'it. (Atwater's Hist., Vol. 1. p. 100.) 

A number of citizens, many Republicans among 
them, opposed Mr. King and his comrades and depre- 
cated the entire proceedings. They argued that the 
woman Eliza was in comfort and well treated : that the 
officious intermeddling of her would-be rescuers 
would engender bad feeling and drive away from and 
keep out of Minneapolis a large number of wealthy 
Southern tourists that spent a great deal of money 
in the place, and good gold money at that. The hotel- 
keepers made a specialty of Southern visitors, and to 
the abolitionists they could say of hotel-keeping as 
Demetrius, representing the Ephesian silveremiths. 
said of their calling to Paul and Silas: "Sirs, by this 
craft we have our wealth." They were especially in- 
dignant. Southern people would not come to Minne- 
apolis unless they could bring their slaves with them 
and take them away again without their being both- 
I'l'ed with abolitionists bent on coaxing them to ru'i 

away. Other tradesmen in tiie town who made gain 
from these Southern guests .joined with the hotel- 
keepers in reprobating the proceedings of the ran- 
tankerous abolitionists. 

The thing took a disgraceful turn. After night 
some ,voung men and boys, a dozen or so, went to Mr. 
Babbitt's house and called out: "Nigger lovers! Nig- 
ger lovers! Let that nigger alone — she wants to go 
home," etc. The demonstration was confined to bad 
words, but ilr. Babbitt and those that were helping 
to "guard" Eliza were greatly alarmed. Fearing 
that "the mob," as they styled the young scapegi'aees, 
would forcibly take Eliza away from Babbitt's, the 
rescuers removed her late at night to another refuge. 
The poor African was beside herself with alarm, dis- 
tress, and confusion. She begged her "protectors" 
to "tu'n me loose," that she might go back to her 
mistress; but she was assured that she would be mur- 
dered on the way by pro-slavery men. 

The petitioners and their friends were overly- 
alarmed and preposterously excited. The anti-slavery 
men of the town outnumbered the pro-slavery five to 
one, and King and his associates were in no danger of 
any sort. Yet tlie.y declared and pretended to believe 
that the Atlas office was to be destroyed that night by 
a large and desperate mob (always a "mob") of pro- 
slaveryites! King and a formidable number of his 
friends, armed with shotguns and revolvers and what 
not, stood guard about the printing office all night, 
swearing to shed the last drop of blood in its defense. 
]\Iean while the "enemy," the incendiary "cohorts of 
slavery," were sleeping soundly in their beds — not 
one of them had contemplated arson or rapine of any 

In a few days Eliza was sent to Canada liy way of 
La Crosse, Chicago, and Detroit. She remained at 
Windsor, Ontario, for about two months, when she 
returned to Detroit. Why all this fleeing to Canada 
and over the country when Judge Vanderburgh had 
set her free, cannot here be explained. From Detroit 
she sent a letter to Mr. Babbitt and other white friends 
in ^linneapolis, saying she wanted her free papers 
sent her, together with money enough to take her 
back to ^lemphis, where, she said, she could get posses- 
sion of the house and lot left by her husband, and 
could also get a situation with white folks at $!'> a 
month, or else go back to her old mistress and the 
Christmas family ! Her Blinneapolis friends were dis- 
gusted at this letter, refused to send her money, and 
gave her up for lost ! It was afterwards reported 
.just before the Civil War broke out she voluntarily 
returned to Mrs. Christmas' and presumably to 

There were quite a nund)er of other slaves at .Min- 
neapolis at the time of Eliza Winston's deliverance, 
but they loyally remained with their masters, and the 
abolitionists had no heart to try to effect their free- 
dom. Eliza Winston sufficed them. (See Bench and 
Bar of Minn., Vol. 1. p. 32 et seq.) 







As the two communities at the Palls passed through 
the year 1860 and entered upon 1861, every line of 
endeavor, everv element in the life of the people con- 
verged inevitably upon the one great overshadowing 
fact — the menace to the Union by the threatened 
secession of certain Southern States. It was a mo- 
mentous period for the young cities. They were just 
ciiici-ging from the disastrous times of the late years 
of tlie decade of 1850, with every energy bent upon 
development, yet every mind distracted by the moral 
and political condition of the nation. And when the 
tlame of civil war blazed up, nowhere were patriotic 
fires brighter than in the communities by the Falls. 
They were communities of 3'oung and earnest men, 
for they were pioneers, and as such included a larger 
proportion of single men than did the older popula- 
tions of Eastern States. They were men brave in 
their patriotism as in their pioneering, and it is 
doubtful if, all conditions considered, there existed 
anywhere in the North a community which gave so 
many of its youth to swell the armies of the Union. 

First and last, in the dozen regiments which Min- 
nesota gave to the nation, more than two thousand 
went from St. Anthony, Minneapolis, and Hennepin 
County. Whole companies there were, enlisted at the 
Falls and assigned to this regiment or that; and in 
every other military organization from Minnesota, 
there were young men from the two communities. As 
every regiment included them, so on nearly every 
prominent battlefield of the great war there fell men 
from ]\Iiiineapo]is, and so in the most valorous of the 
charges there were men whose desperate braveiy was 
the city's pride. 

As the two communities answered the war call of 
the nation, so .iust as courageously did they respond 
to the necessity for protecting and preserving the 
frontier settlements, and the State itself. When the 
Sioux laid waste the prairies and sought to wipe out 
a great portion of the white settlement, to the de- 
fens*' of the settlers sprang not only those young 
soldiei-s already enlisted for the war in the South, but 
others. And the roster of Miiniesota soldiery holds 
many a name of a Hennepin County man whose wliole 
military service was sriven in defense against the In- 


dians and in making certain the safety of the settle- 
ments against recurrence of the massacre. 


There is no more famous regiment in all the his- 
tory of the Civil War than the old First Minnesota. 
And it was the first in all the North to be offered in 
response to President Lincoln's first call for volun- 
teers. To this regiment each community at the Falls 
gave a full company ; and in other companies of the 
regiment there were men from Hennepin. It is well 
known of record how the regiment was raised ; how 
Governor Ramsey, happening to be in Washington 
when Fort Sumter was fired upon, promptly offered 
a regiment to the President ; and how, on the firet re- 
ceipt of the news to this effect from Washington, 
Ignatius Donnellv, Lieutenant Governer, issued the 

All the vigor and patriotism of the pioneers gave 
immediate response to the call. In St. Anthony, in 
^Minneapolis, as in all the towns, public meetings were 
held, partici])ated in by men of all political beliefs, 
all warm with the fervor of patriotism. St. Anthon;^ 
gave a company, later designated as Company D, and 
headed by Captain Henry R. Putnam; Minneapolis 
raised Company E. commandrd by Captain George N. 
I\Iorgan. For a week they drilled, and on April 29 
they marched to Fort Snelling. there to complete that 
day the nuistering of the regiment. 

It was a regiment far from military in a technical 
sense; there was no uniformity of arms or even simi- 
larity of clothing, except that the State supplied 
black slouch hats and black trousers and red flannel 
shirts. Within sixty days the regiment, drilled by its 
colonel, former Governor Willis A. Gorman, a Mexi- 
can war veteran, was ready for orders to the front; 
indeed, it had been ready in spirit for a long time be- 
fore orders came. So eager were the men for service 
that when the two Minneapolis and St. Anthony com- 
panies were assigned to duty on the northern border 
to relieve regular army troops ordered southward, 
they were bitterly disappointed, and setting out for 
their northern posts, they responded to orders counter- 
manding the assiginnent by marching all day and 
all night, lest they be late and be left behind when 
the First Jlinnesota set out for Washington. 

The regiment arrived at the National Capital June 





26, IStil. Thereafter its liistory merges with that 
of the l^nion Army, standing forth freqiiently when 
is recounted some deed of valor, and rising to the top- 
most pinnacle of martial glory in its immortal charge 
at Gettysburg, termed by historians unsurpassed in 
records of desperate daring. In this charge of 262 
men. Companies D and E, the companies from the 
Falls, wei"e participants, and gave, as did the others, 
to the awfnl toll of death. They were ^Minneapolis 
men, O'Brien and Irvine, who liore the regimental 
colors in the charge. To the end of the war men of 
the old First served in the armies in the East, and 
fought their way with the best of the soldiery that 
won the way to Appomatto.x. 

But though the First Minnesota won the greatest 
measure of fame in the war, it had no monopoly 
on brave deeds in battle. In the achievements of the 
armies in the West and in the Atlanta Campaign, 
as well as in the armies of the East, Minnesota and 
jMinneapolis soldiers were in the fore front of battle. 
Besides men in other regiments, there were entire 
companies or parts of companies, from Hennepin 
County as follows: Third regiment. Companies A 
and I : Sixth, B and D ; Ninth, Companies A and B : 
Tenth, Company K; and there were portions of com- 
panies in several of the semi-independent organiza- 
tions, such as Hatch's Battalion. The flower of the 
Union army was made up of such men as ^linneapolis 
and St. Anthony sent to the front. 


The Civil War had been waged for a year, and the 
State liad organized the Second, Third, Fourth, and 
Fifth Regiments of volunteers. It had begun to steel 
itself to the 'horrors of war news and the waiting in 
anxiety and in sorrow, when new horror appeared at 
home. The Sioux Indians rose in August, 1862, and 
within a few da.vs ]\Iinneapolis was receiving into its 
homes and giving shelter to scores and hundreds of 
fugitive settlers, whose alarm at the red menace was 
little greater than was that of some of the citizens 
of the two cities by the Falls. It was on August 17 
when the first outrage was committed by the Sioux, 
in the murders at Acton, Meeker County, and two 
days later news of the uprising reached jMinneapolis. 
Simultaneously, in the valley of the ^Minnesota, the 
Indians assailed the whites from Big Stone Lake to 
New Ulm. Ere the massacre ended, they had swept 
from Acton. 6.5 miles west of ^linneapolis, southward 
to the Iowa line : and laid hundreds of homes waste, 
and murdered hundreds of settlei-s.* 

The Sixth, Seventh. Eighth, and Ninth Regiments 
were just then organizing for service in the South : 
and several companies of the Fifth Regiment were on 
duty at frontier posts. So when word reached IMinne- 
apolis and St. Paul of the massacres, every available 
man of these regiments was recalled from fui-lough 
preceding final muster, and every man already at the 
rendezvous was ordered out to the defense of the 

* The whole number of whites killed in the outbreak of 
1862, was 737. See Heard's History of the Sioux War, p. 243; 
in 186.'!, about 2.'5 more were killed". R. I. H. 

countryside. To the southwest at once marched men 
under Flandrau. Buell. and others, to the relief of 
New Ulm : to the westward went the men from Hen- 
nepin County, one expedition to help relieve Fort 
Ridgely, another to the defense of the people of 
Hutchinson and Glencoe, not far from the scene of the 
Acton massacre. And it was on State initiative, 
coupled with the volunteer aid of citizens not yet en- 
listed, that the forces of soldiery and home guards 
set forth. ^Minneapolis and St. Anthony were aquiver 
with alarm ovei- the rumored approach of the In- 
dians, foi- the logic of the situation as developed by 
the whites coincided with that of the red men. They 
seemed determined to sweep the settlers from the 
State, beginning at the westward and carrying their 
red wave of murder from the frontier forts, like Fort 
Ridgely. through the settlements to and past the cities 
by and below the Falls. 

It was a warfare beyond the capabilities of the 
Sioux — yet it was conceived with all the warlike strat- 
egy- of the Indian. Even within Hennepin County the 
alann gripped the settlers. Excelsior, on Lake Minne- 
tonka. was almost depopulated one night, the inhab- 
itants of the countrvside joining them either in flight 
to ilinneapolis or by boat to Big Island, in the lake. 


The story of the quelling of the uprising is in part 
the story of JMinneapolis at the period, for it was 
Hennepin County men who did much to put down 
the Sioux. Public meetings in the cities by the Falls 
developed plans of offense and defense; and muster 
of available enlisted men was followed by volunteer- 
ing of men not yet 'in the Union service. 

The Acton murders, as stated, occurred on Sunday, 
August 17: by the following Saturday armed forces 
under Captain Anson Northrup were on the way 
toward Fort Ridgely. by way of Shakopee and St. 
Peter. By the next Tuesday. August 26, more soldiers 
and home guards, under command of Captain Rich- 
ard Strout. of Jliinieapolis, and including half the 
men of his Company B of the Ninth Minnesota, were 
on their way toward Hutchinson and Acton. By 
Wednesday, August 27, the Northrup forces had 
reached the fort : fortunately without conflict with the 
Indians. Within another w-eek the Strout expedition 
was engaged with the Indians, who attacked them at 
Kelly's Bluff, near the Acton woods. From the Bluff 
to Hutchinson the.v fought a running fight, losing 
three men killed and having 18 wounded. Next day 
the men joined in defense of Hutchinson, and beat oft' 
an Indian attack lasting two days. 


Gathering under the leadership of General H. H. 
Sibley, the men of Minnesota, campaigning over a 
great expanse of territory, from the ^Minnesota Valley 
to the Canadian border and the ]\Iissouri River, pa.ssed 
the next year in putting down the Sioux. ^lost of the 
members of Minneapolis companies, as did those of 
other companies, of the Fifth and later regiments up 



to and including the Tenth, did garrison and outpost 
duty on the Indian frontier during the winter of 
1862-3, and some of them continued such service until 
fall. After that, there were military organizations 
of volunteers from Hennepin and nearby counties, 
such as the ]\Iounted Rangers and the men of Ilatcli "s 
Cavalry Battalion, who saw service as late as 1865 
r.gainst the Indians, and indeed spent all their terms 
of enlistment in such campaigning, never going South 
to join the Union armies against the Confederates. 

The history of Indian fighting is a record which 
bears the names of many a Minneapolis family later 
prominent in eonuuercial and civic life. Such men 
were Anson Northrup, S. P. Snyder, J. W. Hale, 
James ilarshall, 0. C. Merriman, George A. Camp, 
and others. That the massacre was no more terrible, 
no more far-reaching in its effects, was due to the 
fact that such men as these and their fellow citizens 
rose promptly and bravely to the occasion, and placed 
their lives in jeopardy to defend the settlers. In that 
their deeds were built upon their characters, the 
achievements of Minneapolis and St. Anthony men in 
the Indian campaigns wei'c elements in the strengthen- 
ing of the communities ; however at the time the mas- 
sacre was a setback to progress in Minnesota and in 
its principal towns. 


The outbreak of the Civil ^Var had come just at a 
crucial time for the cities hy the Falls. The far- 
reaching fiasco of railroad building in 1859 had left 
the people of ^Minnesota without anything tangible 
in return for their efforts toward railroad construc- 
tion. That which had seemed for the moment the 
brightest possible pi'ospect of commercial growth 
through railway connection with the outside markets 
the year "round, instead of only through the river 
season, had been wiped away with the disaster 
to credit which marked the panic of 1857. And 
now War, it seemed, could but delay expansion 

In 1861 there was not a foot of railroad in ilinne- 
sola, though there were a good many miles of rail- 
road gi-ade. thrown up when the liond scheme was at 
its height. From St. Paul to Clear Lake, 62 miles, 
for instance, there was a grade all but ready for ties 
and rails. But there was no money to build, or would 
liave been none had it not been for the energy of a 
few men "with the seeing eye." 

They persevered, and in June. 1862, when the war 
had been in progress more than a year, they laid 
rails into St. Anthony and ran a train of the St. Paul 
& Pacific in from St. Paul. The terminus in the 
latter city was at the levee ; the terminu.s in St. 
Anthony was east of the campus of the State Univer- 
sity. And that tci miles of railroad was the leader 
not only of ^linneapolis's largest single aid in a trans- 
portation way for some years, but was tlu' beginning 
of the great system since expandeil liy -lames J. Hill 
into the Great Northern Railway. 

There is no doubt that credit for the first railroad 
connection of Minr.eapolis — or the communities by 

the Falls — is due to the late Edmund Rice, of St. 
Paul. He carried the enterprise to the point of th& 
bond forfeiture, and then had to relinciuish control. 
Followed then the contractors, and then the Liteh- 
lields of New York. But the main point is the fact 
Uiat the road was built, connecting St. Anthony and 
St. Paul. This accomplished, another railroad crisis 
arose, affecting the jMinneapolis of that time to no 
small degi-ee. A project was formed to abandon all 
the several lines of railroad planned under the land 
grant and bond scheme, and to validate State bonds 
and apply them to a trunk line of railroad to con- 
nect Sauk Rapids and LaCrosse, by way of St. 
Anthony and St. Paul. The project was taken into 
the Legislature of 1862, and only strenuous efforts 
on the part of adherents of old Jlinneapolis saved 
the day and pi'evented the shifting of tlu^ bonds and 

Instead, then, of transferring to a new railroad 
system and abandoning the old plans, the Legislature 
set about establishing a trust of citizens who would 
carry out. or have carried out, Ihe construction of 
the roads as originally planned. It was in this con- 
nection that the first railroad building was done by 
Minneapolis men. The ^Minneapolis & Cedar Valley 
Railroad — laid out to connect the Falls cities with 
Iowa and thus with the wheat fields and the lumlier 
consumers to the southward — was chartered, under 
the Legislature's trust plan, to citizens along the line, 
principal among whom were Franklin Steele, E, B. 
Ames. T. A. Harrison, and R. J. Baldwin, of Minne- 
apolis. They interested Alexander I\Iitchell, of 
^lilwaukee, and Russell Sage, of New York, already 
heavily represented in the present Chicago. ]\Iilvvau- 
kee & St. Paul Railway. They found a better wav 
of crossing the Minnesota River than htid been laid 
out. by building under the bluff at Fort Snelling and 
crassing the river on a low-level bridge instead of 
from the top of the bliiff west of the fort. They 
exacted a bond from the Eastern men, and they 
secured the construction of the line to Faribault by 
1865. The line was later extended into Iowa and 
became ]\Iinneapolis's first rail connection with the 

Here, then, was Minneapolis, with a railroad to the 
southward ; and here was St. Anthony, with a road 
to St. Paul and up-river toward St. Cloud. And 
here was the war. just ended by Lee's surrender at 
Appomattox. It is a picture before the mind's eye 
full of fancies! Here was a pioneer community, torn 
for four years, like all other comnumities of North 
and South, by the heart-rendings, the disasters, the 
defeats, and the victories of war. Not a circle of 
friends, however small, but had suffered its losses 
of vigorous, valorous young city-builders, whose sei-v- 
ices, could they have lived, could hardly be over- 
estimated. But they were gone; their families, their 
friends nnist carry the burdens they might have 
borne ; and the problems of living w'ere complicated 
as in almost no other period in that century. 

With these conditions existing, the story of the 
ten or fifteen years after the Civil War is perhaps the 
most astounding the world has r-vcr written. .\nd it 



is to the exaltation, the re-action from four years of 
stress, that Minneapolis and ilinnesota owe their 
marvelous progress in the sueeeediug years. 

The railroad history (as well as the history of 
settlement) of Minnesota is inseparably the history 
of Minneapolis and St. Anthony as well. For the 
metrojwlis of the State could not have developed had 
not the State gained producers and attracted workers 
wliose labor brought the wheat and the logs to the 
mills by the mighty waterpower of the Falls. To the 
new State came thousands of young men, soldiers 
only the day before, but homesteaders and workers 
now. their patriotic fervor turned into the channels of 
national development. With the leaders who had 
alread.v come they clasped hands, and took up their 

It was not until 1868 that the line of the St. Paul 
& Pacific was extended north of Central Avenue, in 
St. Anthony, and across the Mississippi River to 
Minneapolis. In these years also the road was con- 
structed past Lake ]\[inuetonka and northwest to 
Breckinridge, and it was in the same years that the 
line to Sauk Rapids was puslied on into the Red 
River Valley. These years likewise saw the construc- 
tion of the Chicago. Milwaukee & St. Paul's connec- 
tion of St. Paul an.d La Crosse, and its extension to 
Minneapolis by way of the Fort Snelling line to Iowa. 
In these two companies' operations in the cities by 
the Falls began their enormous acquisition of ter- 
minal properties, the Milwaukee road near the west 
bank of the river, in the heart of the city, and the 
other .system nearer the river on the west side, and 
farther north, eventually pressing westward. The 
same years witnessed the building of a railroad con- 
necting St. Paul and Duluth. but ignoring ilinne- 
apolis and its efforts to have the line built to St. 
Anthony, .so as to give the city direct communication 
with the Great Lakes. Construction of portions of 
the "Omaha" railroad was also under way, though 
not yet entering Minneapolis. So the year 1870 
opened with two railroads serving the two communities 
by the Falls — one known to-day as the Great North- 
ern, the other known now as the Milwaukee, and both 
mighty transcontinental systems. But whatever 
their greatness to-day, neither is relatively so impor- 
tant to any city on their lines as they were in those 
years when Minneapolis and St. Anthony, on the 
verge of union, were beginning their marvelous 
development and finding through the first railroads 
the beginnings of their markets for flour and lumber. 


While tlie citizens were putting forth their best 
efforts to Iniild up a city, .iust as elsewhere over the 
nation, the process of rehabilitation was character- 
izing the endeavor of the people in the years imme- 
diately after the close of the Civil War. the men and 
women of Minneapolis and St. Anthonv had by no 
means lost sight of the finer things of life which had 
engaged their attention in earlier years. The com- 
munity was still a new one. despite its nearlv two 
decades nf history, counting from the founding of 

St. Anthony. But its counnunity spirit had estab- 
lished public schools at an early date, and thovigh the 
war had been a damper on most manifestations of 
public spirit, its ending signalized an awakening that 
showed itself in movements on the East side of the 
river toward acquiring sites and building public 
schools. On the West side (the first, or Union, build- 
ing having burned in 1864, and buildings having 
been leased to serve the purpose of schoolhouses) 
the foundation of the new Union School was laid in 

By 1867 the Wesst side boasted two .schoolhouses, 
and by 1868 the school system on the West side 
required the services of twenty-seven teachers, where 
in 1865 there had been but fifteen. In 1869 the num- 
ber was thirty-five, and in 1870 it was forty-five. The 
leading citizens of each community were in charge of 
the schools: on the East side, history, lists as school 
tru-stees such men as the Chutes. Gilfillan. Wales, 
Merriman. A^an Cleve, Young, Annstrong, and 
McNair ; on the West side, Stevens, Cornell. Harrison, 
Barber, Washburn, Wolverton, Atwater, Grimshaw. 
]Mendenhall, Morrison, Sidle, and Gale. As for the 
active or executive heads of the two systems, there 
wei'e many changes in the years that led up to the 
union of the two cities in 1872. The first strong 
hand at the helm was that of 0. ~V. Tousley, who took 
charge in the year of the union of the cities. But the 
will for a good system of education had been hack 
of the schools from the first, and early made Minne- 
apolis foremost in a State famous for its schools. 


Among the private schools of the city is one of a 
somewhat uniqi;e character. This is the Blake 
School, which is here briefly sketched. 

In 1907 ilr. William McK. Blake, a graduate of 
De Pauw ITniversity, and a teacher of long experi- 
ence in the public schools of Indiana, opened a small 
boys' school in ]Minneapolis with about a dozen pupils. 
]\Ir. Blake's admirable personality and the need of 
.such a school caused it to grow steadily until it 
reached, in the fall of 1910, an average attendance 
of about 65 boys. Its quarters at 200 Ridgewood 
Avenue were, by this time, badly overcrowded, and 
the School was transferred, January. 1911, to a large 
brick mansion at 1803 Hennepin Avenue. 

The growth of the School proved a heavy tax on 
Mr. Blake, who was advanced in years, and whose 
teaching force was hardly adequate to the numbers 
and various ages of hoys enrolled. Several parents 
of the pupils became deeply interested in the evident 
possibility of a well equipped, well manned school in 
Minneapolis, which might help relieve the congestion 
of the public schools, and which might, by setting up 
scholastic standards equal to those of similar East(M-n 
institutions, make it possible to projiare boys for 
Eastern universities without a long period of board- 
ing-school life. Such a home institution, they f(>lt. 
would be a benefit not only to their own sons, but to 
the sons of many oth(>r Minneai)olis families. 

Accordingly, in the winter of 191 L steps were 



taken, under the leadership of Mr. Charles C. Bovey, 
to bring together a group of public-spirited men, and 
after careful consideration it was decided to incorpo- 
rate the Blake School under a board of fifteen 

The new corporation was legally created, under the 
laws of Minneisota. May 5, 1911. It was clearly stated 
in the articles of incorporation that there should be 
no capital stock in the corporation — the new Blake 
School was to be in the truest .sense a public service 
institution, self-supporting (its founders hoped, in 
due time.) but never an organization for personal 
profit. The original trustees named in the articles 
of incorporation were Charles C. Bovey. president ; 
Edward C. Gale, vice president; Olive T. Jaffray, 
treasurer: James F. Bell, Elbert L. Carpenter, 
Charles M. Case, Frederick W. Clifford, George B. 
Clifford, Franklin M. Crosby, John Crosby, William 
H. Dunwoody, Charles S. Pillsbury. David D. Ten- 
ney, Charles D. Velie, and Frederick B. "Wells. This 
body is self-perpetuating, electing three members 
each year as the time of office of three other members 

The newly-formed corporation at once took steps 
characteristic of the energy and forethought which 
have ever since characterized it. Arrangements were 
made to take over the school from Mr. Blake, and to 
give him a position of dignity in the new Blake 
School. A guaranty fund was raised, looking towanl 
a future building; and a new principal, Jlr. C. Ber- 
tram Newton, was chosen. Mr. Newton was of the 
Lawreneeville School, a man just reaching hi.s prime, 
and so eonjbining experience with energ;s' unabated 
by time. He was instructed to spare no effort in 
securing men of ability as teachers, the trustees guar- 
anteeing the current expenses of tlie Scliool for the 
first five years, so as to insure efficient instruction. 

The incorporated Blake School opened September 
21, 1911, at 1803 Hennepin Avenue, with a total 
enrollment of 85 pupils, 30 in the Junior Depart- 
ment, including the first four grades — the boys rang- 
ing in age from six to ten years — and 5.5 in the Senior 
Department, which included boys from ten to nin('- 
teen, and covered the upper grammar grades and the 
high school classes, although following a somewhat 
new method of classification. 

Interest and faith in the Scliool grew, and the 
trustees determined to delay no further in taking 
steps toward securing a suitable site and building. 
After careful consideration, it was decided to adopt 
the "country day-school" idea, the success of which 
in several cities had been observed by Mr. Newton. 
This idea simply means the locating of the school in 
the outskirts of the citv. and providing for the work 
iind play of the pupils from morning till evening 
(about 8:30 A. M. to 6 P. M.). returning them to 
their homes for their evenings, Saturdays and Sun- 

With the "country day-school" idea in mind, a 
careful canvass of possible locations near the city was 
made, convenient transportation and healthful sur- 
roundings being of course prime requisites. A puit- 
able site between the Interlaehen Club and Hopkins, 

on the Minnetonka trolley line, was secured, and 
early in the spring of 1912 work was commenced on 
the first .section of a beautiful and well arranged 
building designed by Edwin H. Hewitt, of Hewitt & 
Brown, Minneapolis. The second year of the Blake 
School began September 25, 1912. in its beautiful new 
home. Through the untiring efforts of Mr. Charles 
C. Bovey, seconded by Mr. F. M. Crosby and the 
rest of the board of trustees, the School was now in 
a commodious, fire-proof building of its own, on a 
charming section of land forty acres in extent. The 
building, equipment, and grounds represented an out- 
lay of about $90,000, all given outright by the trus- 
tees and by a number of patrons and friends of the 

Xor was the "human equipment" of the school 
neglected in this material expansion of its possibili- 
ties. Its force of teachers was enlarged to a staff 
of ten men of ability and experience, and provisions 
were made for supervising and directing the boys' 
play and exercise. 

The community responded cordially to this munifi- 
cent provision for its boys. The Senior Department 
in the new country day-school doubled its members, 
far surpassing the head master's estimates. It had 
an enrollment of 112, and the capacity of the build- 
ing was taxed from the day of opening. The Junior 
Department was continued at 1803 Hennepin Ave- 
nue, as it was felt that very small boys from six to 
nine should not spend the day away from home. 
This department had two excellent women teachers 
and 25 pupils. 

Gratified by this practical expression of the city's 
appreciation of the new School, the tru.stees decided 
to add another section of the building as planned, 
during the summer of 1913. Accordingly the central 
portion was constructed, and an extensive additional 
playing field, together with tennis courts, was graded. 
Five acres were added, as a protection, on the west. 
This involved a further expense, which brings the 
present outlay (Januarv, 1914) to a grand total of 
between $130,000 and ' $140,000, nearly the entire 
sum being subscribed or pledged. 

This addition to the Blake building provides a gym- 
nasium, which will become the school chapel when tlie 
entire building is completed: a large "fun-room" 
in the basement, locker and shower rooms, and a 
lara'e readine: room. 

The school opened in the fall of 1913 with 130 
l>npils and 16 applicants were obliged to wait or to 
be turned away. Tlie teaching staff has grown to 
twelve men, including a physical director. 

The Blake School, as has been already indicated, 
makes no profit. Its tuition of $250 a year and its 
luncheon cliarge of 35 cents a meal enabled it to 
cover expenses in its second year, and no more. Every 
parent who has a boy in the school gets not only his 
money's worth, but the value of the grounds, building 
and equipoKMit, which form a splendid donation to 
the assets of Minneapolis. 

Of the eighteen schools of this type now in exist- 
ence in the TTuited States, only one surpasses Blake 
in extent of grounds, and this school is fifteen years 



old. The Blake Sehool is, already, in its third year, 
third in size and in value of grounds and buildings, 
and first in the number and generosity of its gifts, 
among all similar schools in the country, — surely a 
record Minneapolis may be proud of! 

The School is democratic. Its boys are not allowed 
to go to school in automobiles. Teachers and boys 
take the trolley cars together. Every boy stands, 
with the teachers and with his fellows, on his own 
merits. The School teaches by precept and example 
that wealth meajis responsibility rather than privi- 
lege. In its course of stiuly Blake School aims at 
simplicity and thoroughness. Only the tested essen- 
tials and fundamentals are taught. It prepares a 
boy for any TTniversity. It is unique in beginning 
its courses in Latin. French, and German early so 
as to gain a start in these subjects at the period from 
ten to thirteen, when a boy memorizes easily, and to 
prevent overcrowding and consequent "smattering" 
work. Above all, through and in its work and play, 
it aims for a high standard of thoroughiWss, honesty, 
loyalty, and fair play. It tries to furnish discipline 
tempered with wholesome fun, hard work buttressed 
by healthy recreation, justice administered with con- 
sideration and sympathy. 


The same years which saw the real beginnings of 
the public school system of the twin communities like- 
wise witnes.sed the real founding of the University 
of Minnesota on the older portion of the present 
campus. Financial panic and war's distractions had 
held back or rendered abortive all efforts wliich had 
early been directed toward establishing such an insti- 
tution, so that about all that existed toward a univer- 
sity was an extensive land grant. At last, in 1867. 
a special commission, consisting of John S. Pills- 
bury. O. C. Merriman, and John Nicols. brought 
things to the point of finding assets on which to make 
a beginning of what is now a great seat of education. 
Rev. W. W. Washburn was made principal, and the 
preparatory' department was opened in the old build- 
ing where years before a similar effort had been 
made, only to fail. And by 1869 the Board of 
Regents had made such progress that it felt war- 
ranted in establishing a college course. William W. 
Folwell was elected President and was inaugurated 
December 22. 1869. It was not until that time — so 
many had been the demands upon the creative facul- 
ties of the citizens of Minneapolis and Minnesota — 
that the University of Minnesota as it exists today 
may be said to have become a real entity in the educa- 
tional .system of the city and State. 


Some of the same men and women who had now 
found it possible to busy them-selves in creating and 

building up the public and governmental institutions 
of the communities, — the institutions first represented 
by public schools,- — had by the close of the war 
brought the Atheneum, the city's nearest approach to 
a public library, up to the point of the erection of a 
liuilding to house its books and readers. The library 
of the Atheneum. founded in 1859, vdth a total of 
sixty-eight volumes, had increased to 1,300 volumes 
in 1865. Its affairs were in the hands of S. C. Gale as 
president and Thomas Hale Williams as librarian. 
By 1870 the number of volumes was 2,300, and Dr. 
Kirby Spencer's will had enriched the library society 
by his bequest of property that has since come to be 
worth $1,000,000. And by 1872, the year of the con- 
solidation of Minneapolis and St. Anthony, Atheneum 
property was valued at .$40,000. 


The history of Minneapolis schools and that of its 
Public Library may be taken as the largest indication 
of the city's cultural sensibilities. But the history 
of the park system, though it may be traced back 
almost as far, fails to reveal general appreciation of 
the needs of a nninicipality in this particular. To be 
sure, as early as 1858, at a lianquet in the new Nicol- 
let House, the subject of a park was brought up and 
the banqueters inspired to talk loudly of taking up a 
subscription and buying, for $500, a considerable 
tract between Washington Avenue and the river, in- 
eluding all of what is now known as Gateway Park. 
But the zeal of the citizens cooled next day, and there 
is no early-day narrative which includes further men- 
tion of parks until 1865, when there was a movement 
on the part of some of the residents of the West .side 
to acquire Nicollet Island for park purposes. The 
next year saw the proposition — to buy the entire isl- 
and for $28,000 — votecl upon by the people of Minne- 
apolis — voted upon, and voted down. In 1868 George 
A. Brackett bought forty acres of land, which in- 
cluded the site of Fair Oaks and the Morrison man- 
sions of a later day — the site of the Art Museum 
liegun in 1912 — and vainly for several years tried to 
induce the city to take the land over for a public park 
at a cost of $16,000. licss than half a century later 
Jlr. Brackett saw the purchase of Gateway Park for 
$635,000, and the purchase of Fair Oaks for $275.- 
000, to add to the park site of the Art IMuseum, 
valued at $200,000 by its donor, Clinton Morrison. 
Both tracts, that at the Gat(>way and the other at the 
Art JIuseum, the city had rejected, only to pay many 
times their first price, in later years. 

Thus the consolidated cities of Minneapolis and St. 
Anthony in 1872 possessed no park system. It had 
the nucleus of one in Murphy Square, set aside as a 
public park by Edward JIui'phy. when he platted his 
Addition to the towm of ^linneapolis, in 1b(> early 
sixties. But it was too young to have a park spirit. 












It is a remarkable fact- that the liistory of ^iliniie- 
apolis a.s a single muiiicipality, inclusive of the old 
City of St. Anthony and the original ^linneapolis of 
the west side of the river, did not have its beginni'ig 
until 1872, twenty-four years after the older cf its 
two component parts had been platted, and seventeen 
years after St. Anthony had been incorporated as a 
city. St. Anthony, undisturbed by problems of title. 
had passed normally from village government to city 
incorporation in 185.5 and was definitely divided into 
wards, with a city council and a mayor. But ]\Iinne- 
apolis, on the west side, was too busy, too often in the 
dark as to title to its lots, or too seriously disturbed 
by financial panic or by war's stress, to pay much 
atte-tion to its form of government. 

And so, chiefly because their first years on the 
lands west of the Falls were somewhat different years 
from the first years of the older settlement, the people 
of the West side were content with a town form of 
government for a considerable number of years. 
Tlicy had their county government : for as early as 
^>^rtf) the courthouse of Hennepin County was estab- 
lished at what is now Fourth Street and Eighth 
Avenue South : and for fifteen years from the nam- 
ing of the settlement its people went forward, con- 
scious of no hampering factor in their remaining 
under a town government. 

On the east side of the river was council govern- 
ment, with aldermen and a mayor, and on the west 
side, town govei'nment at first, with a board of 
trustees headed by a president whose powers were 
about like those of the mayor's on the east side. 
The city on the east side, as stated, formed its govern- 
ment in 185,5. with Henry T. "Welles as Mayor-, and 
three years later, when the town of ^Minneapolis or- 
ganized its first government. Henry T. 'Welles had 
moved across the river and he was elected head of 
the board of trustees. Isaac I. Lewis. Chailes Hoag, 

namer of the city, William Garland, and Edward 
Hedderly were the first trustees, 


For four years ^Minneapolis held to town govern- 
ment ; then joined with the township government as 
by merger, and continued in this loose governmental 
organization until 1867. Then, the Legislature hav- 
ing granted a charter, for the first time the people 
came to the dignity of city government. Dorilus 
ilorrison was the first Mayor and F. R. E. Cornell 
was President of the Council. Across the river, 0. 
C. Merriman was ^layor, and a comnuinity a.s like 
to that on the west side as it is possible to be was 
carrying on a government of the same kind. Sep- 
arate fire departments, separate police departments 
were necessary ; they were separate conununities as 
truly as if they had been miles apart instead of on 
opposite banks of the river. And by the latter part 
of the decade of 1860 both communities were seeing 
the need of sy.stems of watenvorks and fire protec- 
tion, as well as other conveniences of a city having 
each a population of several thousands, rapidly in- 
creasing in numbers. Need of sewage systems was 
also apparent. 


Conunon needs and common interests were discuss*^! 
0" both sides of the river. But it was not until 
1872 that the rival communities, each with its city 
government, could arrive at a common state of mind, 
agreeing on compromises and concessions, and vote 
to consolidate their governments as the city of ]\[inne- 
apolis. Not the least of the compromises was.^the 
elimination of the name of the older community of 
St. Anthony. 

The consolidated city was divided ;it first into ten 
wards. Twentv-sixtli .\venue North was the north- 




ern boundary, and Franklin Avenue approximately 
tlie southern. April 9, 1872, was the date of organi- 
zation of the new City Council and of the municipal 
government of the greater city. The first ilayor was 
Eugene M. Wilson ; the first President of the Coun- 
cil was A. M. Reid, and the other Aldermen were 
Richard Fewer, M. W. Glenn, G. T. Townsend, Bald- 
win Brown, Captain John Vander Horck, T. J. Tut- 
tle. W. P. Ankeny, Peter Rouen. C. :M. Hardenburgh, 
Samuel C. Gale. O. A. Pray, Leonard Day, Edward 
:\Iurphy. N. B. Hill, Isaac Atwater, John" Orth, and 
Joel B. Bassett. Thomas Hale Williams was the first 
clerk. Thus it ma.v be seen that the greater city had 
auspicious beginnings, for its officials were for the 
most part men who were leaders in all the commer- 
cial, social, and other affairs of the city. Not more 
than two of the men named survived at the time this 
history of their first Council was written. 


The year 1872, marked by the municipal union of 
Jlinneapolis and St. Anthony, was about the mid- 
dle year in a period of astonishing State develop- 
ment : but, though the population of ilinneapolis. 
which was about 22,000 in the year of con- 
solidation, more than doubled in a decade, the 
population of the agricultural districts of the 
Northwest also increased rapidl.y and in proportion. 
It was a time of great migration and settlement, and 
the forward strides of ilinnesota in this period wen^ 
but those which believers in the workings of Provi- 
dence a.ssociate with the purposes expressed in the 
upbuilding of the flour and lumber industries at the 
Falls of St. Anthony. Here was a great manufactur- 
ing opportunity with its water power ; here was a 
State rich in soil and fitting in climate to the needs 
of the agriculturist ; and here was the influx of great 
migration in the years following the Civil War, in- 
terrupted at times and nevertheless enhanced by 
financial panic which itself drove other thou.sands to 
the soil. It was natural that the farm development 
far outstripped the city's growth; and it was natural, 
too, that the forward-looking men of the cit.v, their 
interests united at last, went out into the Northwest 
to help in its development. 

By 1872 Minnesota had come to have railroad mile- 
age of nearly 2,000 miles, much of which linked the 
wheat producer with the milling facilities and the 
wheat market of Minneapolis. The wheat production 
of the State was nearly twenty million bushels — the 
product of the greatest wheat State in the Union. 
]\Iinneapolis men, led by H. T. Welles, W. D. 
burn. J. S. Pillsbuiy, and others of that group of men 
foremost in most big affaire in this cit.v at that time, 
had begun the enterprise which construct(>d direct 
rail connection with Lake Superior and later laid the 
rails of the IMinneapolis & St. Louis Railway south- 
ward and westward without a land grant. The Pa- 
cific roads had reached the Red River Valley and the 
Northern border. The lines of advancement were far 
fiunir. and ]Minneai)olis was the gateway to a great 
and growing empire. 


Within its borders, its own institutions were going 
ahead evenly and surely. Since 1867 the city had 
read the daily newspaper, the Tribune, built on 
a consolidation of "Bill" King's State Atlas and 
Col. Stevens's Chronicle. Since 1867 the city had 
possessed a full-fledged theater, the Peliee Opera 
House, destined for many years to be a factor in 
the amusements of the people. In 1871 the Academy 
of Music was built and took place higher than the 
Pence. Since 1870 the people who could afford to 
pay for it had the convenience of illuminating gas, 
furnished by a company promoted by men still active 
in the same business. For seven years the city had 
been in tclegi-aphic connection with the outside world, 
though for a long time a single telegraph wire had 
sufficed to carry the business. The city's schools were 
growing in educational leadership, the city's other 
elements of culture were gaining vigor. And in the 
important item of commercial union the foundation 
had been laid for organized, concerted effort which 
still endures (though under another name), with the 
same purposes as that Board ofTrade which was in- 
corporated in 1867 when it was twelve years old. and 
which for a quarter of a century more promoted the 
interests of the community and of the State, and then 
gave way only to a re-organization and strengthen- 
ing of the same component parts. This old Board of 
Trade had as its leaders such men as Dorilus Mor- 
rison, W. D. Washburn, S. C. Gale, C. M. Loring, J. S. 
Pillsbury. E. J. Phelps, J. T. Wyman, and B. F. Nel- 
son, and its entei-prises were so well carried forward 
as to make the organization a model for business 
interests of other cities. 


In the history of Minneapolis may be found a series 
of remarkably interesting coincidences of success and 
disaster, of the survival of coinmimity spirit above 
appalling discouragement. This was the case in 18-35 
to I860, when the appreciation of great opportunity 
preceded by onlj- a year or two the financial panic 
of 1857. It came again in the first half of the '(iOs, 
when recovery from panic times met with the terrible 
effect of war upon the progress of the nation. And — 
when the municipalities had been knit into one and 
the whole prospect was bright with promise, there fell 
upon the nation another financial disaster, tiie panic 
of 1873 — the strong men and women of Miinieajiolis 
were obliged to prove again the stuff' of which their 
city was made. It is a singular circumstance that 
the men who pulled the city thronsi'h the other diffi- 
culties were among the leaders in this other sui-vival. 
Xew blood had been added since the war, but the cap- 
tains of the earlier time were still the custodians of 
the city's fate, and all throngh the story of the first 
fift.v years these names recur again and again. They 
•were the men who built the mills, who laid the rail- 
roads, who founded the commercial, civic, and cul- 
tural institutions of ]\Iinneapolis. Willi rare excep- 
tions they were builders of permanence; hardly "a 



name among the leaders of the first quarter centun' 
of the community by the Falls is linked with flotation 
that was impermanent, or cloudy, or disgi-aceful. The 
men who laid the foundations of Mmueapolis, as the 
Twentieth Century knows it, were doers, were build- 
ers, were partners of Opportimity in its best sense. 

Coincidence followed coincidence in the period be- 
tween 1870 and 1880. As the panic of 1857 had its 
reaction of confidence and its succeeding disaster of 
war, so the panic of 1873 had its later period of re- 
covery which was shattered in a way by disaster. For 
in 1875 there came upon the State the grasshopper 
plague, which smote with poverty great areas of wheat- 
producing farms and for three years clogged the 
advancement of Minnesota and the growth and pros- 
perity of Minneapolis. 

Yet through all these years the people went for- 
ward, alarmed at times but never surrendering in 
their purpose to raise up a city by the Falls. It was 
"never say die" with the builders. Proof of this 
may be found in the history of the beginnings of a 
street railway system in ^Minneapolis. And that his- 
tory begins in one of the darkest times known to the 


Prior to 1870 an effort had been made by Dorilus 
]\[orrison. W. S. King, and others to construct a street 
railway line. They had gone so far as to lay rails 
down Second Street South from Nicollet to Cedar 
Avenue, and to buy a steam locomotive. But that is 
as far as the enterprise got ; no car was ever run, and 
all except Morrison and Colonel King dropped the 
idea for a time. But in 1873 the splendid optimism, 
which was undaunted bv panic in finance, revived the 
traction idea, and a company was incoi'porated by 
Messrs. ilorrison. King. W. D. "Washburn, R. J. ]\len- 
denhall, W. P. Westfall. J. C. Oswald. Paris Gibsion. 
W. W. Eastman, W. W. McNair, and R. B. Langdon 
— the same group of men who may be found in other 
transportation enterprises of the time. Philo Osgood, 
an Eastern capitalist, was interested, and became 
principal stockholder, and the financing went for- 
ward. Mr. Osgood was the first president, with 
Mr. King as seeretar.y. 

By 1875 the promotion had gone ahead to such a 
point that tlie construction was begun, and early 
in the fall a horse-car line was put in operation. This 
first car line started at the old station of the St. Paul 
& Pacific Railway, near Washington and Fourth 
Avenues North, and extended down Washington to 
Hennepin, down Hennepin and across the suspension 
bridge, up Central Avenue to Foiirth Street, and down 
Fonrtli Street Southeast to Fourteenth Avenue, It 
linked the principal railway terminal with the State 
TTniversity district and pa.ssed through the heart of 
the city. Its rails were of strap-iron laid on wooden 
stringers, its motive power mostlv mule, its cars di 
miinitive, its facilities meagre. But it was a street' 

Into its directorate and list of officers had come a 
man who was to play a leading part in the develop- 

ment of a great city. For Thomas Lowry, seeing 
the opportunities of citj' expansion bj' means of ex- 
tending its traction facilities, had become interested 
in the street railway company, and had been elected 
its vice president. It was an event of great moment 
to the city, although the circumstance went hardly 
noticed at the time. But there entered the man who was 
to put his whole energj' into creating a street railway 
sj-stem, and who was to become perhaps the best loved 
man among all the builders of the city. That first 
year of the horse cai-s, on the first single line, dailj'- 
receipts averaged about $40. Service began at 5 a. m. 
and ended at 11 p. m. The fare was 5 cents. 

Within a year after the first line had been opened, 
another had been constructed, down Washington from 
Plymouth Avenue to Twelfth Avenue South. And 
every year thereafter saw extension of the system. 
And every extension and improvement absorbed divi- 
dends. By 1878 ]\Ir. Lowry had become president 
of the company, and the policy of expansion had been 
definitely adopted, to the end 'that, according to offi- 
cials of the present eompan.y, not a single dividend 
was declared from 1875 until 1899, every cent of 
profit, when there was any, going into ])etterments. 

With the construction of a street railway system, 
Minneapolis began to dream dreams. Betterment of 
transportation facilities gave reason for a larger sense 
of metropolitan importance. 


In 1874 a city hall had been erected on Bridge 
Square, and the following year a new suspension 
bridge had replaced that which had been constructed 
twenty years previously, linking the East and West 
Divisions, as the two portions of the city were called. 
Shortly afterwards other bridges, one at Plymouth 
Avenue on the north and one at Tenth Avenue on 
the south, had been built across the river. By 1878 
the Federal Government completed its work of mak- 
ing permanent the apron and retaining wall of St. 
Anthony Falls, saved from destruction ten years be- 
fore only by streniious effort of the citizens when the 
limestone ledge had been undermined by the water, 
because of ill-advised tunneling operations. By 1879 
the city reached the dignity of having a paid fire 
department to succeed the volunteer organization 
which had endeavored since 1867 to safeguard against 
fire. And there was a good beginning toward a 
waterworks system, though most of the mains were 
crude wooden pipes until shortly before 1880. 


Thus, when ^Minneapolis entered the decade begin- 
ning with the year 1880, recovered from the financial 
setbacks of panic and grasshopper times and began 
takinar on metropolitan wavs. it followed ^tbat busi- 
ness expansion must go side by side witli the asrri- 
culturnl advancement which had at last beLiin. The 
population of the citv in 1870 had been 18.000; now 
it had reached 46,887, Manufactures had begun to 



include other iudustries than Hour and sawmills. The 
city was the gateway to a great and prosperous farm- 
ing territory, which was being brought iiij closer 
touch by means of railroad extension. 

And so Minneapolis and its people began to dream 
dreams which they mistook for visions of immediate 
and enormous growth. And out of tiiose dreams came 
the boom times which made and unmade thousands. By 
1885 real estate activity became seemingly the chief 
factor of daily life; valuations were inflated astound- 
ingly when viewed in a calmer age. Additions wei-e 
platted far out from the city's center, and the prices of 
lots leaped to tignres which even the growth of a quar- 
ter of a century since would not justify at the present 
time. The period of real estate inflation is almost 
coincident with the limits of the decade, from 1880 
to 1890. It ended in disaster for many individuals, 
in depression for the entire city for a time. But in 
some ways it was worth all it cost, in that it led to 
an era of sanity made more wholesome by the lessons 
taught. And while it was a boom time, it was like- 
wise a time of manufacturing development on whicli 
was laid the foundation for much of the present in- 
dustrial leadership. And as the people dreamed large 
dreams, they absorbed larger tendencies, conducing 
to the improvement of the city as a whole. 


Thus it was of the expansion of Minneapolis that 
the park systeni was born. There had been efforts 
toward a "city beautiful" in the earlier attempt to 
ac(iuii'e Nicollet Island for a jiark, and in other pro- 
motion of the park idea which had only resulted in 
failure. But now the city regarded itself in a more 
exalted, if a more grandiose, light, and some expres- 
sion of a desire for municipal beautification was in- 
evitable. True, there had been healthy agitation 
toward the creation of a park system, in the proceed- 
ings of the Board of Trade. And the enabling act of 
the Legislature, which authorized the creation of a 
park commission, was passed in 1883. before the boom 
had gone far along. But it was on the boom that the 
park idea sailed to realization, and so ilinncapolis 
may thank the boom for her parks, almost as much 
as she may express appreciation of C. M. Loring's 
efforts by christening him "Father of the Park Sys- 
tem." ilr. Loring was the first president of the park 
commission, A. A. Ames was vice president, and R. J. 
Baldwin was secretary. Among other commissioners 
were E. M. Wilson. J. S. Pillsbury, Dorilus Morrison. 
S. II. Chute. George Brackett, W. W. Eastman, and 
Judson N. Cross. The commission engaged* Professor 
H. W. S. Cleveland, a landscape architect of long 
experience, and he laid out the park svstem which was 
the nucleus of the present parks and boulevards. 

It was the fostering of the park sentiment wliicli 
made possible the inclusion of Minnehaha Falls, of 
the Missis-sippi River banks, and the lakes within the 
eit.v limits as factors in the park system. Tliroe 
squares, gifts to the city, formed the beginnings of 
the system, and shortly after power of condemnation 
of land had been conferred, Loring Park was 

acquired. Upon these as a foundation has been built 
a series of parks and parkways totaling nearly 4,000 
acres iu area. 


By 1885, also, the city began to aspire to something 
more than a semi-privately o^\^led library. The 
Atheneum was serving most purposes, but it was 
deemed wise to create a Library Board, representative 
of the people, and to establish a library that would 
be absolutely free to all. The Atheneum directors 
joined in this nuniicipal enterprise, and the private 
and pulilic libraries were consolidated, iu effect; the 
Atheneum, however, maintained its identity while 
still a component part of the Public Library. Erec- 
tion of a library building was at once decided upon, 
and the Libi-ary Board, under the Presidency of T. B. 
Walker, began the woi-k. The Library Building, at 
Tenth Street and Hennepin Avenue, was completed 
and occupied in 1889, with Herbert Putnam as 



There are many residents of Minneapolis who refe^ 
almost apologetically to the boom period of the city's 
history, but it was in that period, nevertheless, that 
some of the finest advances in culture, refinement, and 
educational progress were made. It was in 1884 that 
Dr. Cyrus Northrop, coming from Yale to become 
President of the University of Minnesota, to succeed 
Dr. Folwell when that builder chose to step down to 
less responsible duties in the institution, gave 
markedly increased impetus to the growth and 
strength of the University and of the entire educa- 
tional .system of Minnesota. Dr. Folwell had founded 
the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts and had been 
interested in the advancement of the Public Library ; 
Dr. Northrop early became identified with the same 
institutions and with kindred elements in the city's 
growth in culture. So he continued until succeeded 
as president of the University by Dr. George E. Vin- 
cent, in 1911. 

In 1890 the Philharmonics, who later became the 
Philharmonic Club, was organized and at once be- 
came the principal single musical organization in 
Minnesota ; out of this union of musical leaders was 
to come later the Symphony Orchestra of Minneapolis. 

In 1891 Dr. Charles ]\I. Jordan became Superin- 
tendent of the Public Schools, a post which he was 
to hold for twenty-three years, in which time he was 
to be no inconsiderable factor in shaping the cul- 
tural progress of the people of the city. When he 
became superintendent the school enrollment of the 
citv was aliout 21.000, the teaching force numbered 
525, and the city schools were housed in forty-seven 

Cultural growth was paralleled by Jiotable church 
expansion, or by ready meeting of demands upon 
church people for facilities for relisfious teaching and 
services. The principal denominations represented 



in iMiimeapolis by church organizatious became active 
in erecting large, handsome houses of worship. 
Among the editices constructed and occupied in tlie 
period between 1880 and 1893 were those of the 
Westminster Presbyterian, the Gethsemane Episcopal, 
the Central Baptist, the Immanuel Baptist, the Swed- 
ish ]\Iission tabernacle, the First Baptist, the First 
Unitarian, the First Congregational, the Holy Rosary 
Catholic, the First Presbyterian, the Park Avenue 
Congregational, the Oliver Presbyterian, the Church 
of the Redeemer, Universalist, the Andrew Presby- 
terian, the ^Vesley Methodist, St. Stephen's Catholic, 
and the Portland Avenue Church of Christ. The 
Scandinavian people, also, were especially active iu 
church construction at this time. Early in the '80s 
the Presbyterian General Assembly was held in Min- 
neapolis; and in 1891 the national convention of the 
Young People's Societies of Christian Endeavor was 
held here. It was in this year that the Young "Wom- 
en's Christian Association was formed. In the next 
year, 1892, the national council of the Congregational 
Churches met here; in 1895 the general convention 
of the Episcopal Church. 

Progi'ess in every line went to make the town a 
city. Hustle locked arms with refinement, even, and 
invention joined with art to make life more truly 
worth living, however it became more complex. Cities 
everywhere began to enjoy more conveniences. The 
year 1883 gave to Miimeapolis the electric light. The 
"telephone came into more general business use, al- 
though it was not until nearly or after 1890 that it 
became a household appurtenance. As early as 1878 
the Northwestern Telephone Company was in the 
field, and for twenty years it had that field to itself; 
then the Tri-State Company, at fii-st known as the 
Mississippi Valley, became a competitor. Gas as a 
distributed commodity for light and cooking was 
available before electricity came, but its use was not 
general until after 1890. 

G.WNS 118,000 IN POPULATION FROM 1880 TO 1890. 

If it were not for the fact that the decade from 
1880 to 1890 was a period of astounding achievement, 
the manners and customs of the people would be re- 
garded with mixed emotions. Grandiloquence marked 
the common speech of the time ; when Minneapolis and 
its prospects were the themes, grandiloquence was 
the keynote of endeavor. But out of the exaltation 
of the time grew the city that had been an overgrown 
village ; out of the mushroom-like creation of boom- 
times at least one incontrovertible fact stood forth. 
The pop\ilation of the city had mounted from 47.000 
to 165,000 in ten years. Whatever may have been 
the transitory character of man-made institutions and 
boom-made land valuations, the people were here. 
With every reason in the scheme of things justifying 
a great city at this maiuifacturing gateway to the 
Northwestern empire, the greater portioij of these 
people nnist inevitably unite for carrying forward 
the institutions and the indu.stries. Men talked large. 
l>ut they likewise did largely. New needs and 
new solutions were promptly found to meet the prob- 

lems. Speculation ran riot, but out of the fantasy 
was born the Minneapolis spirit, and that spirit 
breathed life into which in any other 
time would have theiiiselves seemed fantasies. 


It was in 1883 when the Northern Pacific Railway 
was completed to the Pacific Coast, and the golden 
spike driven to celebrate the opening of a vast terri- 
tory to which Minneapolis was the gateway. It was 
about the same time when Minneapolis business men 
— some of the same who had figured in many another 
similar operation for the upbuilding of the city — 
recognized the fact that Minneapolis needed an out- 
let l)y rail to the East, independent of Chicago. Of 
this recognition came the Soo Line, the railroad which 
connected Minneapolis with the Atlantic seaboard by 
way of Sault Ste. jMarie, and with the Canadian 
Northwest by way of the Canadian Pacific alliance. 
Late in the decade of 1880 this new system had been 

James J. Hill's dream of conquest of other por- 
tions of the Northwest was taking material .shape in 
his Great Northern Railway, as yet. however, knowni 
as the St. Paul, ilinneapolis & ilanitoba Railway. 
Passenger and freight terminals adequate to the time 
were being constructed, giving the city a union pas- 
senger station which was to serve — or finally fail to 
serve — for twenty-five years. Manufacturing enter- 
prises outside of and beyond the flour and lumber 
industries began to engage the attention of the city- 
builders. Retail merchants liegan to realize the op- 
portunities afforded by the phenomenally rapid 
increase in population, not only within but without 
and around the city's borders. And wholesale trade 
began to attract the attention of a few men of fore- 
sight, although this braiich of merchandising was 
slower tlian all others in taking root in Minneapolis; 
her rival. St. Paul, maintained for some years the 
leadership as a jobbing center. 


One of the characteristic manifestations of the ]\Iin- 
neapolis spirit is found in the ^Minneapolis Exposi- 
tion, an institution which grew out of rivalry with 
St. Paul and its acquirement of the State Fair in 
1885. and the Midway District annexation, as well as 
out of a desire to emulate the example of older cities 
in the East, where expositions had become a fairly 
common demonstration of city advertising. 

In 1885^tradition says in Regan's restaurant, a 
democratic eating house which flourished then — a few 
men who were most active among the energetic cit- 
izens broached the idea, and the project culminated 
in n public mass meeting at which the first few thou- 
sands of a big public subscription were otTcred. A 
building costing !|!325,000 was the most kingible re- 
sult, and in this annually for six years a big display 
of the products of industry, art and enterprise at- 
tracted thousands. The Exposition was a product of 
the period : it has since had no counterpart, nor has 




First surveyor of tlii' town site of St. 
Anthony; General in the Civil War; 
Governor of Jlinnesota, etc. (From 

paintini; in 1875.) 



there been similar demaml for exprcssiou of the city "s 
spii'it. But ill its day it served as the stimulus for 
much of the achievement and effort which finally gave 
permanence and prominence to the city. Whatever 
remains of such a need is expressed amply in the State 
Fair which now has the united support of ^linueapolis 
as well as St. Paul. 


Dreams that were mistaken for visions lured city- 
builders out into the country al)out the young city. 
Additions were platted, sidewalk laid, water-mains 
extended, ambitious structures planned, and prom- 
ises made which (though many were broken when 
the boom collapsed), found realization in more in- 
stances than the cautious might have admitted pos- 
sible. And through all the inflation of local values, 
trade grew, manufactured output increased. By 
188.5-86 the population was about 75,000, the annual 
manufactured output valued at more than $60,000,000, 
and the assessed valuation was appraised at $115,- 
000.000. And amid the fantasies of the real estate 
boomers, real institutions and industries were rising. 
A big steel plant was estalilished ; a huge office struc- 
ture, the Guaranty Loan Building, was planned and 
construction begun before the decade closed. A Fed- 
eral Court and postoffice building, the finest then in 
the Northwest, was erected and occupied. And finally, 
keeping pace with the expansion of the city, the 
traction lines were extended and improved, the end 
of the decade being marked by a remarkable achieve- 
ment in street railway construction. 

of promoters, made a definite proposal to experiment 
with, and if successful utilize, electricity as motive 
power for its lines. The Fourth Avenue South line 
was electrified, and the experiment was successful. 
And thereupon, the Street Railway Company set out 
to electrify its entire system — to tlisearil the horse 
ears and -to substitute, on entirely rebuilt trackage, 
electric cars. It is one of the notable facts in the won- 
derful history of IMinneapolis that this was accom- 
plished in three years, and carried on by the same men 
whose foresight had given a traction system to the city 
in times that were marked in history by enormous risk. 
By 1892 the entire Street Railway System was elec- 
trified, and in the same period Jlinneapolis and St. 
Paul were connected by trolley line. It was a time 
of remarkable achievement; and its annals bear the 
names of Colonel William McCrory, builder of the 
Motor line : Anderson & Douglas, Thomas Lowry, 
C. Gr. Cxoodrich, and many another exponent of the 
jMinneapolis spirit, but none so eternally written as 
is the name of "Tom" Lowry. 

Here, then, was the repetition of history come into 
its own as usual. Here was closing a period of boom, 
of inflation, and yet of successful enterprise. Min- 
neapolis and St. Anthony had seen such a time, in 
lesser degree, in their early years; had seen such a 
time twenty years later, and now history was to re- 
peat itself. For the period of riding on the high 
wave was to be succeeded by descent into the trough 
of a sea of depression. The financial disasters of 
1893, into which the whole country ])lunged. were 
at hand. 



The first half of the ten years after 1880 had seen 
the construction of a steam traction line into the 
suburbs and to the watering places of what are I'ow 
park lakes, as well as to Lake ^linnetonka. The rival 
— in a sense — of the old horse-car lines was known as 
the "i\Iotor" line, its cars being hauled by an enclosed 
steam engine. Trains were operated, with vai'ving 
degrees of efficiency, out First Avenue South and 
Nicollet Avenue to the neighborhood of Lake Street 
and thence westward to Lake Calhoun and to Lake 
Minnetonka, as well as eastward to Minnehaha Falls. 
By 1886 changes in ownersliin of this line led to its 
absorption by the Street Railway Company and its 
abandonment as a suburban line to ^linnetonka. 

Meanwhile other traction enterprises were pro- 
.iected, culminating in bitter rivalrv over franchise 
rights within the city. Out of this contest of en- 
trenched and assaulting promoters came the harness- 
in£r. locally, of a traction force then new to the world 
— electricitv. The late years of the 1880 decade saw 
experimenting with cable lines, and expenditure of 
a srreat deal of money in trying to improve the means 
of transportation by improving the motive power. 


Finally the Street Railway Comnany. combating 
the propositions of the Anderson & Douglas company 

It is possible that the unparalleled advancement 
made by Minneapolis between 1880 and 1890 may be 
traced to the fact that the nation was having its long- 
est period of prosperity unmarked by financial panic 
or disaster. It was a time of commercial conscious- 
ness, whether it be termed a time of civic awakening 
or not. All through the years of astounding growth 
records of community action may be found. One of 
the flashes of this community spirit was the Villard 
celebration in 1883, in token of the completion of the 
Northern Pacific Railway. Another was the Minne- 
apolis Exposition of 1886 to 1891. Still another was 
the Hai'\'est Festival of 1891, when the city celebrated 
the garnering of a mighty crop, the day being sig- 
nalized by an elaborate parade and by exercises in 
which that monarch of optimism. Col. "Bill" King, 
was the conductor. 

These, however, were transitory tokens of commu- 
nity effort. IMore tangible evidences of Minneapolis 
enterprise were the public undertakings which 
brought forth the $3,000,000 Court House ami City 
Hall, commenced in 1889 and occupied after 1890; the 
first postoffice and Federal building, constructed be- 
tween 1882 and 1889; the Public Library Building, 
occupied in 1889; the Central High School at Fourth 
Avenue South and Grant Street, built not long after 
1880; the Masonic Temple, erected in 1885-6; the 
Young Men's Christian Association Building, com- 
menced in 1889; the Northwestern Hospital, buHt in 



1887 ; the Stevens Avenue Home for Children and 
Aged Women, built in 1886 ; the Washburn Memorial 
Home for Orphans, opened in 1886; St. Mary's Hos- 
pital, opened in 1886 ; Maternity Hospital, opened in 
the same year; and the City Hospital, established in 

In addition to these public ana semi-public enter- 
prises the period was marked by the erection of such 
structures as the Guaranty Loan Building, completed 
in 1890; the New York Life Insurance Company's 
building, completed the same year; the Lumber Ex- 
change Building, which ante-dated the tirst two 
named by a year or two : and the earlier structures 
of the Chamber of Commerce, erected in 1883 ; the 
Syndicate Block and Grand Opera House, erected in 
1883 ; Temple Court, 18SG ; the West Hotel, in its .lay 
the pride of the city and of the West, erected in 
1884; the Hennepin Avenue Theater, afterwards 
known successively as the Harris, the Lyceum, and 
finally the Lyric, erected in 1887, and opened by 
Booth and Barrett: the Bijou Opera House, com- 
pleted in 1887 ; the Boston Block, the Bank of Com- 
merce Building, the ^Minnesota Loan and Trust Com- 
pany Building, the Kasota Block, and others since 
become lesser structures by comparison liut which 
were important units in the expansion of Minneapolis 
in its days of greatest growth. 


Thus it may be seen that the boomers were likewise 
the builders; that while the city was forging ahead 
with a population increase of 2.51 percent in the ten 
years between 1880 and 1890. and while the most 
varying elements were represented in tlie life of the 
times, nevertheless the sum total of it all was the per- 
manent advancement of Minneapolis. Here were 
a people who could be seen founding the Minneapolis 
Society of Fine Arts in 1883 — the same people, if we 
consider them as a whole, who within a few years 
were to plat additions and sell lots far out from any 
thing like a real city. Here were the shoestringers and 
the Imrrowers from the future, destined for collapse 
when the boom burst soon after 1890, figuring solidly 
in constructive work, turning from real estate boom- 
ing to city advertisement in such community enter- 
prise as that which brought, in 18^4, the national en- 
campment of the Grand Army of the Republic, chiefly 
for the advertising it might give. Here were men 
j-uthlessly, or far-sightedly, building a city, engaged 
in laying mile after mile of sewers, curli-and-guttcr. 
watermains, and looking to the paving of the business 
centers. Here were men so earnest in their belief 
in future, so strong in their sensitiveness to civi" 
duty, that they had by 1887 increased the total park 
area to 120 acres, with a score of miles of parkways 
— and this in a city whose park commission was not 
created until 1883. These were days of visions, of 
dreams that were made to come true. 


Illustrative of the varying elements in city build- 
ing was the census war of 1890 between Minneapolis 

and St. Paul. Some of the solidest citizens of Minne- 
apolis were involved in that conflict ; some of the re- 
sults of their enterprise included invasion and coun- 
ter-invasion : and linked with forcible seizure of cen- 
sus schedules by St. Paul was the expedition of ]\lin- 
neapolis men wliicli culmiiuited in recovery of the 
kidnaped enumerators and stolen schedules after one 
of their niimber, he asserted, had been "kicked six- 
teen feet." It was inevitable that a recount by the 
Government followed, and the conclusion which the 
inspector of the census drew was that Minneapolis 
and St. Paul had each been the scene of a conspiracy 
of over-zealous citizens to "pad" the returns. Jlin- 
neapolis, it was asserted, had listed 20,000 too many 
inhabitants, and St. Paul had shown enterprise in 
proportion to its relative population total. Out of 
the warfare sprang uj) intensify of feeling which en- 
dured for numy years; which for a decade made united 
action by the two cities impossible, and which still 
flares up occasionally, Init quite too frequeutly, in 
inter-eity contention. 


The early '90s saw ^linneapolis beginning to 
see there must be reaction from the real estate value 
inflation — that there must come a time of reckoning. 
Some of the largest achievements of the time were 
those of these yeai-s, and some of the finest examples 
of the community spirit were manifested, as for in- 
stance the bringing of the Republican national con- 
vention to meet in Minneapolis in 1892 — the first 
departure from long established precedent which 
called such conventions hitherto only to the largest 
cities. But now the approach of business depression 
which was to settle over the whole country was show- 
ing in the slowing up of investment and the stopping 
of speculation. And in 1893 the speculative bubble 
burst — but Minneapolis nobly withstood the explo- 
sion and the shock. 


One of the noteworthy facts in the history of ^lin- 
neapolis is its survival of the business depression of 
the m'iddle '90s after a ]ieriod of inflation. There 
is no greater proof of the soliditv and stability of its 
foundations, than max be found in consideration of 
some of the lai-gest industries. Contributing to this 
fact was the coincidence of changing conditions which 
marked the later years of the boom development. 
Electricity was one of these factors : for it was be- 
tween 1885 and 189.5 when factories began to har- 
ness electricity, and it was during the same years 
that the developnuMit of the telephone and electric 
light opened new avenues to manufacturei"s. A pe- 
riod of increased capitalization, a tim.e of manufac- 
turing adventure was beginning, and those influences 
which impelled men to make larger hazards of for- 
tune moved ^Minneapolis ahead in the list of cities 
that were becoming centers of wholesaling and manu- 
facturing. Of course the impetus was felt in flour 
milling and in lumliering, but more than ever before 



it liegan to sliow in other productive industries, some 
related and others unrelated to what were then the 
two chief manufacturing institutions. 


And SO it came about that some of the largest man 
ufaeturers of to-day laid their foundations then. Ex- 
amples may be found in the Minneapolis Steel Ma- 
chinery Company, the Northwestern Knitting Com- 
pany, the Minneapolis Threshing ^Machine Company, 
the Minneapolis Furniture Company, the ^linneapolis 
Bedding Company, the Andrews Heating Company, 
the linseed oil works, in which a score of companies 
are engaged, and various other lines of manufacture. 
Some of these lines had been represented for many 
3'ears, but it was during the period mentioned when 
the.y began to expand, and it was then, also, that their 
title to enduring place was tested by the storms of 
business depression. The same measure may be ap- 
plied to or found in other lines of business — the retail 
trade, for example. And in this connection it is in- 
teresting to enumerate some of the old retail firms 
which still endure, even though the name of the con- 
cern may have been changed. 


Most of the large retail stores of today had their 
origin after 1880. One, however, that of John AV. 
Thomas & Company, traces back to 1867, when G. AV. 
Hale & Company established a store on Washington 
Avenue South : G. W. and J. M. Hale later were 
associated, and eventually the firm became Hale, 
Thomas & Company, then J. AV. Thomas & Company. 
Its history is likewise the history of the progress of 
retail trade from AA'ashington Avenue to and up 
Nicollet Avenue. Other big retail firms of the decade 
of 1880 were Goodfellow & Eastman, now become the 
Da^'ton Company ; AVilliam Donaldson, founder of 
the present huge department store enterprise ; In- 
gram, Oleson & Compan.v, predecessors of the present 
Powers Department Store Company ; Dale, Barnes, 
Morse & Company, later Dale, Barnes, Hengerer & 
Company, predecessors (with AA^aketield & Plant and 
Folds & Griffith), of the present Jlinneapolis Dry 
Goods' Company ; and the New England Furniture 
& Carpet Company, established in 188.5 by the pres- 
ent head of the company, AV. L. Harris. 


For the most part, the wholesale trade has devel- 
oped since the later years of the nineteenth century, 
for the .iobbing houses which were prominent in Alin- 
neapolis prior to 1890 were engaged in handling 
groceries, drugs, dry goods, and farm implements, 
^linneapolis in those days .stood second to St. Paul as 
the .jobbing headquarters of the Northwest. In 1880 
]\Iinneapolis's wholesale trade amounted to about $24,- 
000,000. Its growth was steady in the next ten years, 
the decade of boom development, and by 1800 it had 

reached an annual volume of $135,000,000. Its chief 
factors were the .jobbing houses which are today the 
leaders in the city's jobbing trade — which is reiter- 
ated proof of the city's fine weathering of the busi- 
ness depression of 18!)3 and the five years thereafter. 


Perhaps the best single index to the business con- 
ditions of the decade from 1880 to 1890, and of the 
years just before and during the business depression, 
is to be found in the banking business. During the 
ten years mentioned, men were just as enthusiastic 
about founding new banks as they were al)out launch- 
ing other concerns. But that dcHation followed infla- 
tion is shown by this notable fact: Of all the banks 
established in that decade, only one remains, retain- 
ing its identity, the German American bank. To be 
sure, all the principal banks in Minneapolis were in 
existence then, but they had been established prior 
to that time, and some of tliem represent, through ab- 
sorption, several other banks which then existed or 
were founded during that period. 

Another index is to be found in the bank clearings. 
In 1881 the total bank clearings of Alinneapolis were 
$19,487.6r)0. By 1890 they had mounted to .$303,913,- 
022, and in 1892 they were $438,053,526. Then came 
the business slump, and nothing is more significant of 
this fact than the bank clearings for the year 1893 — 
they totaled $332,243,860. And it was not until 
1898 when the bank clearings passed those for 1892, 
and indicated, by their total of $460,222,572, that 
business had recovered. 


It is no reproach to Alinneapolis to declare that the 
years that followed the first break in business ad- 
vancement were singularly barren years, as regards 
large events. Business was fighting merely to hold 
its "own from 1893 to 1898, and it was not to ])e ex- 
pected that any achievement that went beyond the 
normal for the times would be recorded. It was 
perhaps fortunate that the middle of this period of 
depres.sion was enlivened by the jiolitical upheavals 
of the national campaign of 1896. when the two great 
parties made a political issue of the proper road to 
be taken to get back to prosperity. All IMinneapolis. 
like most cities, became a great forum of political 
discu.ssion, and the outcome of the campaign and elec- 
tion, carrying reassurance of the business world as 
its psychological effect, helped to put Alinneapolis 
back on its feet. 

Thus the year of the war with Spain saw IMinne- 
apolis rejuvenated — sobered, perhaps, by the adversi- 
ties of fiepression yeai-s, but better grounded than 
ever before in city building. It was from Alinneapolis^ 
largely, that theThirtenth Regiment went, which, of 
all four Minnesota regiments of infantry that the 
State sent, saw most service in the war ; and not only 
to the Thirteenth, but to the Twelfth, the Fourteenth, 
and the Fifteenth Regiments the city gave numbers 
of its best young men. To the Thirteenth Regiment, 



ou its returu from the Philippines jn 1899, Minne- 
apolis gave glorious welcome with a great parade, — 
perhaps the most stirring in the eit.y's history, — 
which was reviewed hy President McKinley. 


The sobering years of the middle '9()s led up 
to another phase of development. They prompted 
the first recognition of civic duty as it l)ore upon 
municipal government — that is, the first in a decade 
whicli perforce had been given over to booming. And 
in 181)8 came the first effort toward change in tlie 
charter since its adoption in the early "80s. 
There had been amendments galore— but no attempt 
at complete change to the extent of adopting a "home- 
rule" charter. The attempt failed — and it is per- 
haps legitimate to insert at this point in a chronology 
recognition of the fact tliat similar attempts made in 
19(HI, 1904, 1906. and 1913 were likewise failures, the 
charter remaining in 1914 amended, if at all, by an 
act of the State Legislature. 

Efforts in 1898 toward charter changes by vote of 
the whole people did not necessarily indicate tliat 
civic consciousness and civic conscience were synony- 
mous terms. For shortly after the city entered upon 
the Twentieth Century, it passed through the experi- 
ence of a municipal scandal, involving its government 
in disgrace. It was a scandal preceded by two or 
three lesser ones a few years previously, involving 
officials lower in the governmental scale than those 
caught in the meshes of the larger scandal. There is 
no little measure of satisfaction to ^linneapolis peo- 
ple to know that this was not the only city disturbed 
and disgraced for the moment in such a manner, and 
to feel that the years since have for the most part, 
softened consideration of the man in whose adminis- 
tration, during 1900 ancf 1901, the municipal shame 

It is a notable fact that for the most part the nnini- 
cipal government has run along with little change 
all tlirough the first years of the present century. 
The mayors in the six two-year terms beginning in 
1900 have been, in the order named. Dr. A. A. Ames. 
James C. Haynes, David P. Jones, then James C. 
Haynes for three tenns ending in 1911. and then "Wal- 
lace G. Nye. Generally speaking, improvement that 
was continuous and successive and began to char- 
acterize the government, in executive offices and in 
the council itself, dates from the last few j'ears of 
the Nineteenth Century. 


It was the year 1898 that really signalized return 
of confidence in the future, on the part of all the peo- 
ple. The faithful city builders who had pass?d 
through similar periods of depression before — some 
of them as eai'ly as 1857 — were for the most part 
still foremost in public affairs, and they had been 
hanging on through thick and thin. The rest of the 
people became iiisjiircd by their exfimple. Everyone 
by the time the War with Spain closed had his shoul- 

der to the wheel again. Building activity revived, 
and the spread of the population began to justify 
imi^rovement of the traction system. 


In 1898 the Street Railway Company constructed 
a second Interurban Line, the Como-Harriet, between 
the two cities. By 1900 the company had twice im- 
proved its power sources. And by 190.5 it had re- 
sumed extension of its lines in several important par- 
ticulars. It built its Lake Street Cross-Town Line 
and connected it with a St. Paul line for a third In- 
terurban Line. It built its line to Fort Snelling, 
extending it from ]\linnehaha Falls. And it built its 
double-track line to Lake ]Minnetonka, whei-e it took 
over at the same time, or soon afterwards, most of the 
water transportation system. 


^liiuieapolis swung into the Twentieth Century 
with a population, according to the Federal census 
of 1900. of 202.718, an increase of nearly 40.000 in 
ten years. Its business stability was re-established ; 
its bank clearings had mounted to $580,000,000, and 
its flour production passed 15,000,000 barrels. Its 
lumber cut had begun to fall off; the turning point 
in output of the sawmills of the city in 1901 reached 
559.000.000 feet, but the big lumbermen were already 
moving westward with their nulls, and r^Iinneapoiis 
was becoming headquarters for the financial end of 
the business, instead of the manufacturing end. 

According to United States census figures. Minne- 
apolis in 1899 had 789 industrial establishments, 
whose total output was valued at .^95.000.000 and 
whose employes numbered 20,000. The next manufac- 
turing census, taken five years later, showed 21,000 em- 
ployes, and an output of more than $121,000,000. 


The several periods of commercial progress in ;\Iiti- 
neapolis have had their simultaneous periods of 
growth of the city's soul, of its civic consciousness, 
of its culture and refinement. There are more and 
more tokens of this city sense, in consideration of in- 
stitutions that have come into being. And 'one of 
these is the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, 
founded in 1903 as an outgrowth of efforts by the 
Philharmonics and their supporters. It was in 1901 
that Emil J. Oberhoffer became leader of that organ- 
ization, and musical development in two years led 
to the establishing of the Orchestra, and to its incor- 
poration as an underwritten by some of 
the public-spirited men and women. In a few years 
it ventured forth 1o other cities, gradually making 
the name of Jlinneapolis known for culture and art, 
as well as for flour and lumber and hustle. And by 
1914 it had earned a place among the first three such 
organizations in America, and had appeared before 
large audiences in the largest cities of the country. 
It has become the largest single factor in the musical 



education of the public and has attracted to its con- 
certs weekly during the season great numbers of dis- 
criminating people whose musical taste has con- 
stantly grown and as constantly demanded and ap- 
preciated better nuisic. 

Simultaneous with the establishment of the orches- 
tra in 1901 was the creation of a nuiniciiial art com- 
mission, in response to a recognition of the need for 
competent direction as it came to be possible to acquire 
works of art and to build for artistic excellence. 

"Within a few years, also, far-seeing business men 
established a civic commission, which sought by ar- 
tistic planning to lay out the streets and avenui-s and 
to .select sites so as to ])uild intelligently, after the 
manner of the nation's capital, under the guiding 
hand of a competent architect for the whole city, in- 
stead of under the hit-or-miss direction of a multi- 
tude of builders without a city sense. 

It was natural then that the people's ambitions 
would turn toward an art museum. Fostered by the 
spirit that had established the Society of Fine Arts, 
and building around that body, the nucleus of an art 
institute became a tangible reality through the gener- 
osity of a few wealthy men. The ^Morrison residence 
property — oddly enough part of a tract of land which 
more than a quarter of a century before had vainly 
been offered as a park — was presented to the city as 
a site for a museum, and big men, who either knew 
the art impulse or appreciated its worth, set about 
raising an endowment to support a great museum. 
To this the city added more land by aequisitiou of 
Fair Oaks, the residence property of W. D. Wash- 
burn, and in 1911 the corner stone of the museum 
was laid with appropriate ceremony. Here was the 
creation of an institution figured in dollars at half a 
million, and even before its completion it was to 
have a bequest of twice that value from one of the 
men who had been chief among its original pro- 

Linked with such activities as the establishing of 
the Orchestra and promoting the cause of art came 
the building of the Auditorium, a structure which 
could house the Orchestra and serve, until something 
better could be erected, as the meeting place for large 
gatherings and for conventions. The city had taken 
on ways increasingly metropolitan as one after an- 
other the theater facilities had lieen increased, first 
with the building of the ]\Ietropolitan Opera House 
— at first known as the People's — in 1894, Ten years 
later the Auditorium was opened, and in the same 
year vaudeville came to town, to have its first lodg- 
ment in the Orpheum Theater. Within five years 
four other vaudeville houses were added. 


When Minneapolis entered the Twentieth Century, 
its chief exponents in the way of publicity consisted 
of four daily newspapers: The Tribune, established 
in 1867; the Journal, founded in 1878: the Times, 
founded in 1889 ; and the Tidende, a Scandinavian 
newspaper. The city had seen many a newspaper 
enterprise flourish, then languish. It had passed 

through a bitter combat with St. Paul, in which pos- 
session of a daily newspaper figured lai'gely. and in 
which an attempt to carry on a newspaper as a Twin 
City enterprise had failed. By 1903 another daily 
paper, the New's, was founded ; and by another year 
the Times, a morning paper, had gone out of exist- 
ence. The Tribune, with which had been connected 
such men as "Bill" and "Tom"' King, Gen. A. B. 
Nettleton, Albert Shaw, Alden J. Bletheu, had been 
acquired by W. J. Murphy. The Times had been the 
means by which W. E. Haskell had identified himself 
with Minneapolis. The Journal had been published 
for more than twenty j'ears by Lucian Swift, J. S. 
ilcLain, and their associates when it came, in 1908, 
under the control of H. V. Jones, a. former reporter 
on the same paper. The News had introduced a new 
form of newspaper, as well' as the chain system of 
newspaper ownership. 

In class or trade .journalism Minneapolis was by 
this time the home of the principal flour-milling ]>ub- 
lication in America, the Northwestern Miller, and 
of an aspiring literary publication, the Bellman. It 
had seen other weekly and monthly i)ublications, but 
most of them had passed on. 

These newspapers had played thi'ir part all through 
the advancement of the city. They had fought its 
battles, had chronicled its achievements and its scan- 
dals. And in most of the events — brought about 
through the eiforts of the leaders in politics, industry 
and the finer things of life — the daily newspapers had 
figured as important factors. They themselves had 
been subject to many changes, both as regards their 
own existence and as hinged upon their relation to 
the public. As institutions they endured side by side 
with the variously named but alwa.ys principal com- 
mercial organization, which had its beginning in 
1855 under the name of the Union Board of Trade, 
and was succeeded from time to time by this or that 
other similar association with the same object in view, 
and now represented by the Minneapolis Civic and 
Commerce Association. 


The story of organized effort in behalf of the whole 
cit.v is interesting, especiall.v as it is a chronicle of 
changes, of fluctuations in the civic and commercial 
spirit as a unit. Thus the business men's organiza- 
tion in the late 'f)0s was the Union Board of Trade, 
just then incorporated. By 1881 the Chamber of 
Connnerce had been established and represented for 
the time the leading commercial liod.v, although it 
was primarily and essentially a grain and Hour ex- 
change. In 1884 the Jobbers' Association took its 
place, though its interests were centered in the whole- 
sale trade. Six years later the Business Union took 
up the burden of promoting the city's inlercsts as a 
whole. And in 1892 the Conunercial Club was 
formed, uniting most of the other business elements. 
For nearly twenty years the Commercial Club was 
behind nearly every big movement, although at times 
a specialized organization, like the Jobbers' and 
Jlanufacturers' Association, went about things pecu- 



liar to its membership. In 1901 the Club oeeupied 
fine elub-rooms in the Andriis Building, then new ; 
by 1!)09 it had outgrown these quarters and had, in 
promoting the building of a fine big hotel, arranged 
for quarters for itself in the Hotel Radisson. Two 
yeai's later the Club's commercial and civic interests 
were tal^en over bj- a new organization, formed on 
broader lines to meet the needs of the time, known 
as the Civic and Commerce Association. Two years 
more, and the Minneapolis Athletic Club, with a new 
building under way, merged with the Commercial 
Club, the older name being dropped. 

Other chibs had meanwhile been organized, to repre- 
sent various interests in the city's life. The chief 
social body, the ilinneapolis Club, was established 
in 1886, occupying at first a rented house at Sixth 
Street and First Avenue North. Later it built its 
own home two blocks down Sixth Street, and in 1908 
moved again to a handsome club-house at Eighth 
Street and Second Avenue South. Other social clubs. 
formed later, include the ilinikahda Club, in 1898; 
the Odin Clixb, in 1899 ; and the University Club in 
1909. About this time district commercial clubs lie- 
gan to be organized. 

In the early years of the Twentieth Century, also, 
came organized efforts at city betterment in another 
form — the establishment of settlement houses. These. 
by 1910, came to number several which have become 
important factors, among them being Wells ilemo- 
rial and Pillsbury Settlement Houses. Unity House, 
and, though dift'erent in form and not at all a settle- 
ment liouse in its plan of operation, the Citizens' 
Club, on Riverside Avenue, a work made possible 
among the people of the club by the generosity of 
George 11. Christian, builder of the club-house. 


Achievements in the public's behalf took on other 
forms in tlie first years of the century. In 1911. for 
instance, a celebration of the city's growth in beauty 
covered an entire week and included pageantry and 
parades as well as a ceremony of linking Lake Cal- 
houn and Lake of the Isles 1)y canal. In 1913 the 
construction of a high dam in the ^Mississippi River 
near the Soldiers' Home was begun, by the Federal 
Government, to make Minneapolis the head of navi- 
gation and at the same time to provide power for 
use by the municipality and the State University. 
The same year marked the completion of the filtra- 
tion plant and the pumping of pure wafer into the 
homes. Civil service regulations were introduced into 
the city offices tlie same year. In 1913, also, citizens 
w^ho appreciated "Tom" Lowry's deeds for the puli- 
lic goocl united in erecting a memorial statue to him 
at the junction of Lyndale and Hennepin Avenues, 
near his late home. 

Simultaneously the city was becoming more beau- 
tiful, l)y the efforts of the Park Poard. The parkway 
system was being worked out. to girdle ]\Iinneapolis. 
The ])ublic school facilities were being increased, a 
notalile addition being the new Central High School, 
at Thirly-fourfh Street and Fourth .\venue South. 

Similarly the same year saw the establishment of the 
lilake School for Boys, a private educational institu- 
tion, newly located now on ample grounds west of 
Lake Harriet, near the Lake Minnetonka car line. 

It was about 1905 that another in develop- 
ment opened, in the construction of the Dan Patch 
Electric Railway southward from ^linneapolis, tap- 
ping a rich country theretofore tributary largely to 
St. Paul because of railroad operation and influence. 
And by 1911 construction of another similar line, the 
Luce Line westward to Lake Minnetonka and beyond, 
gave the city another suburban line such as had for 
some years figured largely in railway development in 
Ohio. Indiana, and Illinois. Such a railway was also 
built to Anoka, on the east side of the river. 

The city continued to grow. Larger and more mod- 
ern bu.siness stiiietures were ei"ected, among them the 
Plymouth Building, in its first year the largest re-en- 
forced concrete building in America ; the ilcKnight, 
the Security Bank Building, tiie Donaldson office 
building, the huge structures in the district given 
over chiefly to wholesale trade, the Dyckman Hotel, 
the handsome retail structures on Upper Nicollet. 
Beautiful houses of wor.ship, like Plymouth Congre- 
gational Church, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, and 
the Catholic Pro-Cafhedi-al were built. The business 
men in the Commercial Club — which became the Civic 
and Commerce Association — had exerted strenuous 
efforts toward obtaining a Union Passenger Station, 
had failed, and while seeking authorization for con- 
struction of a municipal terminal had seen James J. 
Hill construct a hanclsome station to serve the same 
roads formerly running into the old Union Station. 
Business interests, working through the Civic and 
Commerce Association, had attracted new industries. 
Interest in better living conditions led to the making 
of a health survey. Recognition of recreational needs 
led to the creation of extensive public baths at Lake 
Calhoun, as well as lesser such facilities in a munici- 
pal bath house on Rivei'side Avenue, and public 
baths at Camden and on Hall's Lsland, and in the 
Mississippi in North ^Minneapolis. Playground facili- 
ties likewise were largelv augmented in the five 
years after 1909. 

Commercially the city forged steadily forward. 
There was an interval of depression in 1907, reflected 
from the East, but the city soon got back on its feet 
again. Municipal government controversies arose 
occasionally in these early Twentiefh Century years, 
to give zest to everyday life. Bitter rivalry over the 
.selection of a site for a new postoffice building that 
was to be inadequate to its purpose even before it was 
completed, brought out heated advocacy of a building 
place on Bridge Square or on Third Avenue South 
facing the ililwaukee Railway Station, the latter win- 
ning out. Similarly hot discussion preceded the de- 
cision of the Council to erect a new bridge across the 
river at Third Avenue South, as well as Nineteenth 
Avenue South. 

In consideration of governmental aft'aii's connected 
with regulation and control of public utilities, issues between the public and the Gas. the Electric, 
and the Street Railway Companies, involving tjie 



right to regulate rates or to fix the price of trans- 
portation. Each controversy led into court review 
of the situation, and even as late as 1914 no settle- 
ment has been reached in some of the suits. Fran- 
chise duration and terms were also in controversy. 
Tht> Street Railway Company's dispute was over the 
ris'ht of the City Council to require it to sell six 
rides for 25 cents, and the courts decided in favor 
of the Company. The Electric Company and the city 
fell out over rates, and their dispute has not come to 
any definite decision, although rates have since been 
reduced by the Company to points below the schedule 
fixed by the City Council. The Gas Company's first 
difference with the municipality had to clo with the 
terms of a renewal of its franchise, and five years 
later, with the effort of the City Council to reduce 
the price of gas — an effort which opened a long road 
of litigation hinging largely upon the proper valua- 
tion of the company property as a basis for fixing 
rates so as to give the company just returns on its 

It was in the first decade of the new century, also, 
that the city took in hand the problem of grade cross- 
ings on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway 's 
tracks. Twenty years or more before, tliere had been 
a separation of grades on the Great Northern and the 
I\Iinneapolis & St. Louis Railway's tracks westward 
from the river on Fourth Avenue North, and a drag 
on the development of the North Side had been re- 
moved. Council action, tested in the courts, led in 
1911 to the commencement of track depression on the 
Hastings & Dakota tracks of the Milwaukee road, 
across the city from Cedar Avenue. And in 1013 
efforts toward lowering or elevating the main line 
tracks of the same company began. Late in the same 
year residents of the East Side began similar efforts 
for a separation of grades on railroads, particularly 
those in Southeast Minneapolis and through the Uni- 
versity campus. 


The sixty-seventh year of ^Minneapolis — counting 
time from the first permanent settlement of St. An- 
thony — saw a city with a population of at least 325,- 
000; with its flour mills, the milling capital of the 
world : with its Art IMuseum, the art center of the 
nation west of Chicago: with its parks and boule- 
vards, file beauty center of Western muni(dpalities : 
with its new Government high dam almost completed, 
the potential head of navigation of the Mississippi 
River; with its wholesale houses and manufactories,- 
tlie supj)ly base for the great empire of the North- 

west ; witli its steam and electric railways, the trans- 
portation center of that same empire of wlieat and 
corn and the products of diversified farming; with 
its linseed plants, the chief center of industries which 
are linked with that form of enterprise ; with its huge 
volume of trade peculiar to tlie products of the soil 
of the Northwest, the banking capital of this ti'ade 
empire. Jlore than most other American cities M'm- 
neapolis has grown in culture at a rate at least equal 
to the rapidity of its commercial progi-ess. 

So it is possible to point to commercial progress as 
an index to growth in the finer tilings of the brain 
and the spirit and tlie temperament. It is a measure 
of advancement to show that in this cit.y of more than 
325,000, the bank deposits at the " end of 1913 
amounted to more than $101,000,000; that in that 
year the flour production of ]\linneapolis mills was 
more than 19,000,000 barrels, the greatest in the his- 
tory of the milling industry ; that the bank clearings 
were $1,312,000,000; that ':\Iinneapolis daily loaded 
and shipped 1,001 cars of freight, and received 1,159 
cars; that nearly $13,000,000 worth of buildings were 
erected; that the corporate property of the city of 
Minneapolis was valued at $48,000,000, against less 
than $23,000,000 in 1900; that these items of coi-po- 
rafe property included 185 miles of paved streets. 325 
miles of sewers, nearly $15,000,000 invested in schools, 
parks, and parkways; that the public school popula- 
tion was 48,000 pupils ; and that the conveniences and 
privileges of urban life through avaliability of edu- 
cational, recreational, transportation, and other ad- 
vantages were unsurpassed by those of any other city 
in America. 

Just at the beginning of the year 1914 an index to 
the state of progress of IMinneapolis as a whole was 
supplied in the form of remarkable munificence at the 
hands of a man who, dying, left mostly to the people 
the millions he had made chiefly in the industry 
around which the city has been built up. Thus it is 
pos.sible to indicate the city's acquired power to ap- 
preciate, by chronicling the gifts by "William H. Dun- 
woody, miller, of $1,000,000 to the stocking of the art 
museum; of $1,000,000 to $3,000,000 to establish an 
industrial school or institute for the youth ; and of 
smaller sums to educational and cultural institutions. 
These gifts were provided ])y Mr. Dnnwoody, in his 
will, for the peo|)le of a city which sprang in 1847, 
and the years following, from a wilderness ; but which 
liecause it was peopled in the beginning by men and 
women of culture, of refinement, of moral strength, 
and of high ideals, became a municipality with a city 
sense, a community with a common purpose, a unit of 
society with appreciation of its duty toward the com- 
mon good. 






The articles on Minneapolis history here given are 
both interesting and valuable. They have been pre- 
pared by citizens who had the opportunity to make 
much of the city's eai'l.v and important history and 
were gifted with the abilit.y and capacity to write 
about it. "What the.v have said, therefore, may be re- 
garded as fairly authoritative. Of the history they 
have set down it may be said that all of it they saw 
and a great part of it they were. 

There may be a few errors of statement but they 
cannot be many or serious. The writers have told 
their stories well and generations for many years to 
come will profit by and en.ioy reading them. They 
were written with the idea that other articles might 
be prepared and derived from them, but, with only 
one exception, it was considered best to present them 
in their original form. Upon the whole it was be- 
lieved to be unnecessary, if not impossible, to try to 
better them. 


Rufus P. Upton, who was among the earliest pio- 
neers of St. Anthony, wrote, some years ago, a few 
notes of certain incidents connected with the early 
history of St. Anthony and Minneapolis. These notes 
have been kindly furnished for use in this history by 
Mr. E. K. Upton, a son of the pioneer, and the suc- 
ceeding paragraphs have been derived from them. 

"I arrived in St. Anthony in the month of June, 
A, D. 18.50," writes Mr. Upton, "from the good old 
State of Elaine. I spent the first summer and fall in 
tcacliing school in the little old school house but re- 
cently seen on University Avenue," Of his succeed- 
ing experiences the old pioneer writes: 

"The following spring found me on the first steam- 
boat on my way to Davenport, Iowa, where I made an 
arrangement with a nurseryman for a quantity of 
fruit and ornamental trees, shrubbery, and flowers, 
and also purchased a variety of poultry. The nur- 
sery was planted and the poultry yard located on the 
lower part of Nicollet Island, where is now the long 
stone building of the Island Power Company. They 
were hauled to tlie Island from the east side, fording 
the river. Ttiis was the first nursery in the State, 
The most of the fruit trees died and the remainder, 

after a few years, was removed and was the beginning 
of Ford's Nurserj', half waj'^ between this city and St. 

"The same year — in June, I think — I succeeded J. 
]M. and Wm. R. Mai'shall in the grocery business, 
which was carried on in a little store near Captain 
Joliii Rollins 's old house, on Main Street, E, I),: I 
lived in the rear end of the building, I renuiined in 
this building lietween one and two years, when I re- 
moved to King's Iniilding, near the site of the Pills- 
bury 'A' Mill, and branched out into a general store 
of dry goods, clothing, boots and shoes, iron, steel, 
nails, glass, and blacksmitli's tools. 

"In the fall of 1853 I leased from Col. J. H. 
Stevens a store located near where the Pauly House 
now stands, and stocked it with goods. Thomas 
Chambers had been clerking for me for some time 
and I gave him an interest in and full charge of this 
store, thus constituting the firm of I'pton & Chambers. 
This was: ihc first store in Minneapolis, on the ircst 
side. The next spring (1854) the store building 
Inirned, and I sold the stock of goods remaining after 
the fire to Mr. Chambers 'on time.' Soon after he 
formed a partnership with Edwin Iledderly and the 
business became a success. Isaac I. Lewis had the 
second for third) store on the west side, near the site 
of Harlow Cale's City Market; I sold him his stock 
of goods amounting to .'|;2,000. 

"In the spring of 1854 Capt. John Rollins, Judge 
Isaac Atwater, Franklin Steele, and I went to Dr. 
Kingsle.v's liouse, on Hennepin Island, The doctor 
I'lainied the entii-i' Island he had .iumped ilr. 
Steele's claim to it, and there was a controversy be- 
tween them over the property which we went to settle. 
•We succeeded in effecting a compromise between the 
parties. Dr. Kingsley took the southwest part of the 
Island, commencing neai- the Falls, where is now the 
East Side City Wati'r Works, and Mr. Steele took the 
remainder of the Island. At the same time Capt. 
Rollins. John W. Eastman, M. P, Upton, and myself 
obtained from i\Ir. Steele a lease for a flouring mill site 
and water to run a mill on the east side of the I.sland, 
The rate of rent agreed upon for the first twenty 
years (T think) was $200 per year, 

"The lessees at once proceeded to build a flouring 
mill. W. W. Eastman came soon after, took half of 




his l)rother's interest, aud acted as agent at a salary 
of $800 a year; M. P. Upton and I acted as treasurers 
without salary. The establishment was called the 
Minnesota ilills. It was -40 by 50 feet in size, and was 
of wood on a stone foundation. The millstones were 
three French buhrs, four and one-half feet in diam- 
eter, and two of them were for grinding wheat and 
the other for corn and feed. This was the first incr- 
clmni mill in the State. At first all the wheat ground 
in it was brought up the river from Illinois. Iowa, and 
Wisconsin. At that date it was not thought practi- 
cable to raise wheat with complete success in Minne- 
sota ; attempts at Fort Snelling and elsewhere had 
been largely total failures. The largest stock we ever 
liad on hand for a winter's run was 20,000 bushels. 
The market for all our prodiicts was readily found 
at home. Our wheat and our goods all had to be 
hauled from St. Paul by teams, at an expense of from 
$2 to $3 a ton, and besides the warehouse charges in 
St. Paul were not small items. These and other con- 
siderations had often set the business men of the 
young city to discussing the practicability of navigat- 
ing the Mississippi to the Falls by steamboats during 
the periods of very high water. 

■'In July, 1850, the steamer Dr. Franklin No. 2, 
Capt. D. S. Harris, came up to where the Tenth 
Avenue Iron Bridge now is, and turned in the swift 
current and went back to St. Paul. But the boat 
was handicapped; the captain was said to be 'pretty 
full,' the boat carried a head of steam of 120 pounds, 
aiid the river was the highest I ever saw it. The 
Anthony Wayne. Capt. Dan Able, had preceded the 
Franklin to near the Falls, and the Lamartine fol- 
lowed the Franklin in a few days. After 1850 a long 
time elapsed before we saw another steamboat at 

"In the spring of 1855 I purchased in Pittsburg 
100 tons of iron, steel, nails, etc., and ordered the stock 
shipped to JMinneapolis. The bill of lading was to 
'St. Paul or St. Anthony' and the rate of freight 90 
cents to St. Paul and $1 to St. Anthony. Knowing 
that without help the goods would not get above St. 
Paul, I drove down there to meet them. Before leav- 
ing home I met Judge ileeker, who knew my business, 
and he handed me a $100 check to hand to the pilot 
of the steamboat as a 'persuader' — to induce him to 
agree to steer his boat up the dangerous channel to 
Minneapolis. The steamer did not arrive until the 
evening of my second trip to St. Paul. 

"I innnediately went on board and was followed 
by numerous citizens of St. Paul, who knew my Inisi- 
ness, and they put more obstructions and dangers in 
the river than belonged there. They told the captain 
that he would surely lose his boat if he attempted to 
mak(> the trip. (They wanted the ,iob of hauling the 
goods with teams.) Finall.v the captain put the re- 
sponsibility upon the pilot and left it to him to de- 
cide whether the boat should go or not. I then 
showed the pilot the $100 'persuader,' and he decided 
to make the trip ! But the captain said it was late, 
and that he would not be ready to start until morn- 
ing: so I returned home and the next morning hur- 
ried back to St. Paul. When I arrived I found that 

some of our friends at 'the head of na\igation' had 
got the pilot senselessly drunk and laid him away ! 
Then I negotiated with the second pilot, gave him the 
check, went into the pilot house with him, and he 
took the wheel, and we came up to St. Anthony with- 
out difficult.v. Before noon we landed on the tlat just 
below the University, the place being known as 
Cheever's Landing. 

"This incident incited other boats to follow and 
helloed to awaken an interest in the subject of steam- 
boat navigation. Drawing up a paper, I proceeded 
to get subscriptions to a fund to bring about in some 
way the running of boats to the Falls. By heading it 
with a libei'al sum myself, I succeeded in getting a 
subscription of $5,000, about half of which was paid 
up. With this subscription paper I went down to 
Dubuque, where a line of boats running to St. Paul 
was owned. I went to J. P. Farley, who was then 
extensively engaged in trade, had stock in the steam- 
boat company, and controlled the steamer Lamartine. 
He took kindly to the proposition I made him, talked 
with his associates, and called a meeting of prominent 
business men to whom I made a proposition to form a 
transportation company which should be mutually 
beneficial. They fell in with the proposition, and we 
formed a new company with which the ^linneapolis 
interest was merged. The Dubuque parties had two- 
thirds of the stock and the ^Minneapolis men had one- 

"Mr. Farley and I then went to St. Louis and 
bought the steamer Hindoo, which I partly loaded 
with goods for St. Anthony. We both came up on 
her, but by this time the summer was well advanced 
and the river was very low. On the rocks and rapids 
below Cheever's Landing the boat stuck; she was a 
heavy side-wheeler and drew too much water for our 
trade. After several ineffectual attempts to reach 
Cheever's, the Hindoo was compelled to drop back and 
finally landed uiy goods at what came to be called 
Meeker's Landing, just above the eastern end of the 
Short Line Bridge. The citizens turned out aud 
graded a road up the bank, which subsequently was 
quite useful. After this, during the proper season, 
the Lamartine and the Hindoo ran on the river below. 
R. W. Cummings was chief clerk of the Hindoo and 
represented our interests in both boats. The follow- 
ing winter (1S55-5G) they were sold; the river proved 
to be not suited to the navigation conditions whicli 
we needed. The company then dissolved with a small 
profit to its credit. 

"In the fall of 1850 the Minneapolis Board of 
Trade took hold of the matter of improving the river. 
About $5,000 was raised and a committee appointed 
to carry out the improvement. Edward ]\Iuri)hy aud 
I were members of this committee; I do not remem- 
ber who the other members were. By the following 
spring (1857) we had removed all interfering rocks 
and buoyed out a channel 70 feet wide. Pureuant to 
an arrangement a line of boats ran that season from 
Fulton City, 111., to Cheever's Landing, bringing up 
all our freight and many passengers. We also put a 
cai)stan on the lower end of the levee, and with a three- . 
inch cable, more llian half a mile long, helped the 



weak boats over the rapids with a span of horses. At 
Cheever's Landing were erected several houses, one 
of which was quite large and roomy. Not a vestige of 
any of them now remains. 

"Then came the destructive financial distresses of 
1857-58, which 'knocked on the head' so many West- 
ern interests. We had scarcely recovered from this 
period of hard times when the War of the Rebellion 
came and for some time interfered with all our enter- 
prises. Not long after its close the railroads came 
and well nigh pTit the steamboats out of business." 

Although Mr. Upton must be regarded as among 
the very highest authorities on Minneapolis history, 
other ai;thorities differ from him. As to early steam- 
boat histoiy, Hudson (p. 463) says: 

"At last, in 1854, the citizens of Minneapolis and 
St. Anthony organized a stock company, with .'};30,0()U 
capital, and suljseqnently put a boat called the Falls 
City regularly in tlie Minneapolis and lower river 
trade. Capt. J. C. Reno, an Ohio River steamboat- 
man, came to IMinneapolis in 1856, and in 1857 be- 
came interested in the development of river traffic 
here, and through his exertions four boats were put 
regulai'ly in the trade. During 1857 there were 52 
arrivals of steamboats at Minneapolis and 10,000 tons 
of freight were discharged on the landings below the 
present Wa.shington Avenue Bridge." 

Jlr. Upton says the firet local steamboat company 
was not organized until in 1855 and then with a cap- 
ital of but $5,000, instead of $30,000, and that the 
boat put in was the Hindoo. He does not mention the 
Falls City or Capt. R«no. There are other disagree- 
ments between the authorities. 




It was an unfortunate experience that when the 
settlement of Minneapolis began, the present site of 
the city on the west side of the river was a Govern- 
ment military reservation held for no particular pur- 
pose whatever, but preventing the settlement and 
building of what would probably have been the first 
settlement and first city and the most important on 
the Mississippi River above St. Louis. 

The settlement in St. Paul began in 1838. Jack- 
son's store and trading house was established in what 
is now St. Paul in 1841. In 1842 and 1843 a number 
of other settlers came, and in 1844 Louis Robert estab- 
lished a store in St. Paul and trading posts among 
the Indians and continued trading with them for 
many years. The first deed recorded in St. Pavil was 
a quitclaim made April 23, 1844. 

In 1838, Franklin Steele made the first land claim 
by permit of the Government. He built a claim 
shanty and hired a Frenchman to occupy it. Steele 
secured the claim interests of certain officers at Fort 
Stielling, and in 1848 secured a title from the United 
States. His claims covered the whole east side water 
power from above Nicollet Island to a point below 
the Falls. Soon after, there was undertaken the con- 
struction of a sawmill on the east side water power. 

Ard Godfrey was sent for from Maine to construct 
the mill, which was built and ready for operation in 

1849. This was the beginning of the lumber business 
in Minneapolis. In connection with the building of 
the mill projected by Frank Steele, Caleb Dorr 
and Ard Godfrey, a millwright, both from ]\Iaine, 
were engaged to build the log dam across the east 
channel of the river at the head of Hennepin Island. 
This work was partially finished in 1848 and some 
sawing was done in the mill. This original mill had 
one old-fashioned sash saw that was run by water 
power of only ten or fifteen feet head. Calvin Tuttle 
was associated with Ard Godfrey in the building of 
the mill and R. P. Russell backed up the enterprise 
by furnishing supplies in the way of groceries, pro- 
visions, etc. 

Caleb Dorr brought from ilaine in 1850 a shingle 
mill which he intended to install on the Falls, but for 
some reason sold it to the Government and it was 
taken up to Fort Ripley aad operated by mule power 
for making shingles to cover the roofs of the Fort 
buildings. The output of Mr. Steele's mill in 1849 
was something less than three-quarters of a million 
feet of lumber of rather inferior grade and rather 
poorly sawed, being cut by an upright muley saw 
that ran about as fast as one could climb up and 
down stairs. In 1849 two additional mills were built 
next to Jlr. Steele's mill, making three in all. In 

1850, Sumner W. Farnum leased the power com- 
pany's three mills and operated them for about two 
years. In 1853 Henry T. Welles invested a consider- 
able sum of money in increasing the mills until the 
aggregate was eight, which he controlled for a couple 
of years and then, in 1857, sold them to Dorilus 
^Morrison, who for that year operated all of the eight 
mills, each having one saw. 

The Territorial Government was organized in 1849 
and Judge Meeker held the first court in the old Gov- 
ernment ]\Iill on the west side. Franklin Steele being 
foreman of the Grand Jury. During this year school 
was opened in a log cabin which later in the year was 
replaced by a frame schoolhouse, in which Rev. E. D. 
Neill, a Presbyterian minister of St. Paul, preached 
every alternate Sunday afternoon. The townsite of 
Minneapolis was laid out to the extent of one hun- 
dred acres, including what is now Bridge Square, by 
Col. John H. Stevens. He gave away many quarter- 
acre lots to people who would build homes and soon 
a little village was started. In 1858 the town was 

•In the latter part of 1856, the ^linneapolis ^lill 
Company was organized and bought the claims of 
Edwin Iledderly and Anson Northrup and began the 
construction of a dam for utilizing the water jjower 
on the west side. In 1857 W. D. Washburn, then a 
young man of 26, came from the old home of the nu- 
merous family of distinguished brothers in ]\Iaine, and 
arrived in Minneapolis on the fii-st of May, and 
opened a law office. Soon after, ilr. Wa.shburn was 
appointed secretary and agent of the mill company, 
and began the construction of the dam from the cen- 
ter of the river to the west bank; the work was car- 
ried on during the panicky days of 1857. The Com- 



pany completed the dam and was ready for leasing 
sites and power during 1857, although burdened with 
debts and obligations which the panic made it im- 
practicable to pay. 

The mills built on the west side of the river were 
leased to Eastman, Bovey & Co. ; Leonard, Day & 
Sons; Ankeny, Robinson & Pettit, and Cole & Ilaui- 
mond. Mr. Eastman retired from the firm of East- 
man, Bovey & Co., and H. D. Eastman and H. JI. 
DeLaittre became- members of the firm. Later this 
firm purchased one of the mill-sites on the east side 
dam and built a mill and operated it until in 1887, 
when the east side mills burned and the Bovey- 
DeLaittre Lumber Company, with John DeLaittre, 
president, II. JI. DeLaittre. vice president, and C. A. 
Bovey, seci'etary and treasurer, purchased a site near 
the mouth of Shingle Creek and bought the Camp & 
Walker sawmill, which was located on the river bank 
at the foot of First Avenue North, and moved it to 
the new site, and remodeled and enlarged it. 

The first mills on the west side marketed their lum- 
ber by rafting below the Falls, over which the lumber 
was carried in sluiceways down to the quiet waters, 
where the lumber was put in rafts containing one 
million or two million feet. The rafts were taken 
down the river sometimes by steam tugs and some- 
times being floated with the current and steered with 
very large rear oars that kept them in tlie channel. 
This piloting required very careful work and experi- 
enced men to avoid breaking the rafts on the curved 
banks of the river and on the bars and shallows. 

This rafting was the only way of getting to market 
the surplus lumber aside from that required to sup- 
ply the demand in St. Anthony and later in ]\Iinne- 
apolis and in St. Paul, although at rather an 
early date Prince's mill was built on the flats 
at St. Paul, just east of where the Union 
Depot now stands, which supplied the local mar- 
ket in large part. This method of handling the 
lumber was to ]iut it into rafts of from three-quarters 
to one million feet in a raft. On the top of this was 
sometimes quite large quantities of shingles, and often 
Major Bassett, who had a tub and pail factory at 
the West Side Falls, put large numbers of his tubs 
and pails on the top of the rafts from his lumber 
mill connected with the factory, and in that way 
marketed a considerable part of his stock. 

This method continued for several years, when tlie 
construction of railroads and the settlement of the 
nearby tributary lands made more of a home market. 
This market was opened in 1874 bv the extension oi 
the St. Paul & Pacific road from' St. Paul through 
Minjieapolis and out as far as Willmar. Tlie St. 
Paul & Sioux City road was built from St. Paul 
through Sioux City and dOwn to Omaha in the dec- 
ade of 1870. The i\lilwaukee road, which had been 
in operation for a number of yeai-s from ^Milwaukee 
to La Crosse, was extended through to St. Paul and 
Minneapolis in the '7fls. The St. Cloud branch of 
the St. Paul & Pacific was built up to Elk River, and 
extended on through to St. Cloud and on out to Crook- 
ston in the '80s, and the Willmar main line was car- 
ried on through to Moorhead in the same decade. 

The Chicago & Milwaukee, from ^Minneapolis through 
Northfield and on through Iowa, connecting with Chi- 
cago, and the Minneapolis & St. Louis, from ^Minne- 
apolis to Albert Lea, were also built in the '80s ; the 
]\I. & St. L. was constnieted by [Minneapolis men. 
These, with their extensions and some other roads (in- 
cluding the St. Paul & Duluth, the Northwestern 
through Wisconsin to St. Paul and Minneapolis, and 
the Northern Pacific through Minnesota and on to the 
Pacific Coast, with its branch a little later from Min- 
neapolis and St. Paul, and the Sault Ste. ilarie 
road), with their developments, furnished abundant 
outlet for all the lumber manufactured in Minne- 
apolis after their construction. 

In these days of rafting, in 1862, the writer of tliis 
article was a traveling salesman. The time was dur- 
ing the discouraging years of the Civil War, when 
trade was stagnant and it was expected that the bot- 
tom would fall out of everything. I extended my 
travels out to McGregor, Iowa, on the west side of 
the Mississippi, opposite Prairie du Chien. After 
canvassing that very thrifty town, into which the 
farmers were coming from 75 to 100 miles distant to 
market their grain and purchase supplies, and while 
I was sitting in front of the little frame hotel, a ilin- 
neapolis lumberman, Mr. J. M. Robinson, joined me. 
He was then a salesman member of the firm of An- 
keny, Robinson & Pettit, and volunteered an account 
of his occupation as salesman for lumber in rafts, 
which were coming down the river. He was waiting 
for the first raft to come in in order to market and 
deliver the lumber, of which certain portions were 
to be purchased by the people of McGregor. Being 
very friendly, as well as a loyal citizen of the little 
town of Minneapolis, he gave me quite a glowing ac- 
count of the prospects of the great city to be built 
by the great water power of St. Anthony Falls, to 
which was tributary a vast empire of the richest 
agricultural land, great forests of splendid white pine 
timber that would be brought to Minneapolis and 
manufactured and thence distriliuted over Illinois, 
Iowa, southern Minnesota. Kansas, and Nebraska. 
The Dakotas, to the west of us, were then regarded as 
arid regions unfit for cultivation or settlpinent, prac- 
tically valueless, though comprising millions of acres, 
or thousands of square miles of territory. 

General W. B. Hazen, of the T'. S. army, located at 
Fort Bnford, N. D., reported officially to the govern- 
ment, that the territory west of the valley of the Ked 
River of the North was an arid alkali country, with- 
out rain or means of irrigation, and without drink- 
ing water, as the underground supply was alkali 
and unfit for use for either stock or people. In view 
of this report, Mr. George B. Wright, a prominent 
government surveyor, in talking with me about the 
country between the Red River of the North and the 
Missouri, said that he w-ould not survey this country 
if the whole tract were given to him for his work, 
which would amount to about two cents an acre. 
This sentiment prevailed to large extent until the 
time when James J. Hill undertook the extensions of 
the old St. Paul & Pacific road through as far weijt 
as settlements were extended, but presumably not far- 



ther than to the western side of the Red River VaUey, 
or ten or twenty miles west of that river. As late as 
1880 or 1885, I was offered a tract of land in the val- 
ley, containing about 40,000 acres, for forty cents 
per acre, title complete. 

While I was finding out from Mr. Robinson these 
wonderful facts concerning this part of the Northwest, 
T learned of a government surveying party going on 
the frontier, within two or three mouths, to survey 
a large area of the public lands. Having also learned 
that there was a tine line of boats running 
ilcGregor to St. Paul, within two hours of the time 
that I began to talk with Mr. Robinson I was very 
comfortably located on the largest of the Diamond 
Joe line of steamers, bound for St. Paul. I arrived 
in St. Paul and remained there one day, and then 
came on the only piece of railroad line existing in 
Minnesota, running ten miles up to, but not through, 
St. Anthony, now East ^Minneapolis. I landed at the 
depot on the east side and whereas I could walk across 
the suspension bridge for five cents and it would cost 
twenty-five to ride in the omnibus I preferred to 
exercise myself a little and walk and save the twenty 
cents, although the distance was aliout a mile. After 
arranging to go on the government surveys with the 
chief surveyor, Geo. B. Wright, liefore mentioned, in 
about two months (it was then June), I returned to 
Michigan and completed the sale of some grind-stones 
and then came Ijack, landing in Minneapolis again 
about the 16th of August. 

On the 20th of August I started with the surveying 
party of sixteen men for the northern part of the 
State, or the pine regions above Crow Wing, which 
was then the last town on the Mississippi above 
Minneapolis. We did not reach our destination on 
account of the outbreak of the Sioux Indians, which 
took place while we were traveling from St. Cloud to 
Ft. Rijiley. The savage massacres of inhabitants by 
the Sioux, and the apprehension that the Sioux were 
moving up to get the Chippewas to join them, delayed 
our trip to Ft. Ripley, where we remained for several 
weeks and then found much danger to be apprehended 
in an effort to get into the Chippewa country. 

The trip was abandoned and we returned to Min- 
neapolis. I reniained there until winter and then, 
upon my solicitation. Mr. Geo. B. AVright, the gov- 
ernment surveyor, took a small party of us to survey 
some of the townshijis. As all the work was located 
in the timlier, the corners were to be established by 
means of bearing trees, -and the work could be done 
satisfactorily in winter: whereas, on the prairies, 
where mounds were to be built for corners, it was 
utterly impracticable to do the work. In getting 
Mr. Wright to sro into the woods. I had arranged 
with ]\Ir. W. S. Chapnuui to secure Indian land scrip 
with which to locate pine timber which T would hunt 
up in the surveying of the government land. This 
Sioux scrip was locatable on unsurveyed or surveyed 
lands Ijcfore they wei-e offered for general entry, and 
had be(>n issued to the Sioux half-breeds, pursuant to 
the treaties of 1851. 

We started the 12th of December with ox teams, 
which was the usual means of transportation on these 

surveying trips, and landed at Crow Wing about the 
20th, when the thermometer was 24 degi-ees below 
zero. We surveyed about two months and then the 
ugly attittide of the Chippewa Indians made it seem 
prudent for us to leave and we came out, having com- 
pleted the surveys of two townships and some work 
in another. 

While I was in the woods, Mr. W. S. Chapman, 
who was to join me in starting a timber deal, was 
induced to go to California, where the timber lands — 
he had heard — were much more valualile than in 
ilinnesota ; so he went there, having urged me 
by several letters to go with him and carry out the 
project there that we had talked of here. I did not 
accept the offer and he went to California and 
remained there quite a number of years and became 
very wealthy, and then througli speculations with 
Friedlander, in the grain business, lost $3,500,000, to 
raise which he had to •sacrifice practically all of his 
property to cover the debt.> 

Joel Bassett, who afterwards came to be "ilajor" 
Bassett, through his position as Indian agent, came 
to Minneapolis in 1850. In 1851 he started a lumber 
yard in St. Paul. He obtained his lumber from the 
St. Anthony mills and hauled it to St. Paul, there 
being no mills on the west side prior to 1856, except- 
ing the Government Jlill tliat did not furnish lumber 
for the market. In 1856 Major Bassett built a steam 
saw mill on the west side of the Falls, at the mouth 
of the creek that was afterward named Bassett Creek, 
and that comes into the river through North Minne- 
apolis. He ran this mill during 1856 and 1857. He 
lived on the river bank just above the mill, at the 
foot of Eighth Avenue. This mill contained a circu- 
lar and a muley or saw, and was the first circular 
mill in operation in Minneapolis. It burned down 
in 1858, and in 1850, in connection with Isaac (411- 
patrick, he built the Pioneer Mill, the first of the 
block of West-Side platform water-power mills. It 
was under construction when Bassett bought it and 
he put in the first gang mill built at the Falls before 
mentioned. In 1850, as previously stated, S. W. Far- 
num leased the water power company's three east 
side mills and operated them until his mill at the 
foot of Hennepin Island was completed. This mill 
was afterwards enlarged and became one of the most 
prominent mills on the Falls by having a gang and 
circular mill added, and which was operated for 
many years by Faruiim & Love joy. This firm became 
one of the most prominent, next to Dorilus ]\Iorrison, 
as operators in Minneapolis, although they were not 
finally a success in handling the lumber business and 
trade, and met with final disappointment. 

In 1850 John W. Day, known as "Wes, " or Wesley 
Day, came to ]\Iinneapolis.' In 1851 his father, Leon- 
ard Day, came and two years later two of his broth- 
ers came, one of them well-known as "Ilass" Day and 
the other as "Lou" Day. For a few years Leonai'd 
Day operated the old Government saw mill on the 
Falls West Side, which he i-ebuilt and put in some 
new machinery. He took logs from the river at the 
mouth of Ba.ssett's Creek and hauled Ihem to this old 
mill. In 1854 L. D. and J. W. Day began lumbering 



on Rum River. In 1856 the firm of Leonard Day & 
Sons was formed. In 1859 they built a mill adjoining 
the old Pioneer ilill on the platform. The firm con- 
tinued as Leonard Day & Sons until in 1885, when 
the name was changed to J. W. Day & Co. In 1859 
or 1860 Jonathan Chase, in company with Ed Jones, 
operated one of the East Side mills, hut .iust before 
the war. Chase sold out to Jones and went into the 
army. It was in 1861 w^hen Ed. Jones built a mill 
on the w-est side platform ad.ioining the Day Slill. 
In 1862 Jones built what was then a very fine large 
residence on Tenth Street, ^liinieapolis. West Side. 
in which the Keelev Institute is now located. He died 
in 180:!. In 1862 W. P. Ankeny, J. B. Roliinson. and 
C. H. Pettit built another mill adjoining this mill of 
Jones's. This made four mills in a row. In 1863 
Dorilus Morrison built a mill some distance further 
along on the platform than Ankeny, Robinson & 
Pettit's mill. This was equipped with two gangs and 
a circular saw. One of them was a round-log gang 
that sawed the logs without being slabbed, and the 
other using cants or slabbed logs from the circular 
saw to nni them more smoothly and evenly and make 
more and better lumber. In 1863 W. D. Washburn 
& Co. built a mill between the Ankeny, Robinson & 
Pettit and the Morrison mills, filling in the space. 
This firm 'was W. D. Wa.shburn and A. B. Stickney. 
Tliis was called the Lincoln Mill and completed the 
row of six mills. In 1862 I\Ir. Wolcott built a steam 
mill above where the Great Northern bridge crosses 
the river and below the mouth of Bassett's Creek. 
This site was afterward occupied by the Shevlin- 
Carpeuter Company. It contained a gang and a cir- 
cular. On the east side, above 20th Avenue, Albert 
Marr & Co. put up a steam mill in 1857, in which was 
a muley and a circular saw. This was the site of or 
part of the old Lamoreaux ]\Iill that was built or 
reconstructed about 1875. under the firm name of 
Crocker, Lamoreaux & Company. In 1867 JIajor 
Bassett sold the old Pioneer 'SUM, which he built 
on the Falls, and constructed another over on 
the river bank, just above the Falls, where the 
pumping station was afterward located. He built 
and operated this mill for a number of years and in 
1871 he sold the site and moved the machinery a 
little farther- up the river into an addition or recon- 
structed mill. Afterward this part of the mill was 
purchased by the city for an adctition to the pumping 


In the autumn of 1860 a party of some fifty persons 
left Chicago on an excursion to the far away Falls of 
St. Anthony, traveling by rail to Prairie du Cliien, 
and by steamboat to St. Paul, the head of navigation 
on the ^lississippi River. 

When the party reached the river a grand rush 
was made for its banks to view the wonderful stream 
that many of the excur.sionists had read of in their 
geographies, but had never expected to see. It was a 

greater wonder to them than the Yosemite, the Yellow- 
stone Park, or the Glacier Park is to the traveler of 
today. The voyage up the great river tilled them 
with astonishment and delight; many declared the 
scenery from La Crosse to St. Paul as grand and 
beautiful as that on the Rhine or the Hudson Rivers. 
The party strolled around the little frontier city of 
St. Paul and were entertained by the strange sights 
of Indians, half-lireed and French voyageurs with 
trains of two-wheeled carts, drawn by one ox or cow, 
loaded with furs from the Hudson's Bay Company's 
stations in tlie far Northwest. 

The journey to the Falls of St. Anthony, on an 
old-fashioned .stage coach, was a constant source of 
pleasure. The invigorating, balmy air of that Sep- 
tember morning, the beautiful quiet scenery from the 
road which skirted the river, the wide plateau on the 
opposite bank, covered with "burr-oak openings" 
whiidi resembled a vast apple orchard, the scattered 
village and then the grand falls, with a picturesque 
little suspension bridge hanging in the air above them, 
made a picture that will never be forgotten. The 
little city of St. Anthony was like a New England 
village, with its neat one- and two-story white houses, 
and the drive from it across the old bridge to the 
Island, which was densely forested with maple and 
elm trees clothed in their autumn foliage, was beauti- 
ful beyond description. At the suspension bridge a 
toll-keeper inspected and passed us up the steep hill 
to the business street, which was lined with small 
stores for two blocks. Just over the bridge on the 
left was a neat white cottage, enclosed by a paling 
fence, which we were told was the first house built 
on the west side of the river, and was occupied by 
Col. Stevens, its builder, who was the first settler. 

At what seemed quite n distance from the river we 
saw a large tn-ick building standing alone, which 
proved to be the Nicollet Hotel. It occupied the west 
cjuarter of a city block, looking very imposing and 
lonely. The quarter block on the east was occupied 
as a lumber yard with a small stock. Across the 
street on the west was, a pretty white cottage that 
looked as if it might have been moved from a New 
England village. 

We were met at the door of the hotel by a genial 
man whom everybody called "Mace," w-ho proved to 
be Mr. J. M. Eustis, one of the proprietors, and a 
better host was never born ; he made our stay so 
pleasant and I found the air so invigorating, that I 
decided to remain in ^linnesota a few weeks in the 
hope of recovering my health, which was much 

After the excursionists left, there were some twelve 
or fifteen guests that lived at the hotel ; among them 
was a young marrii>d couple named Fletcher, who were 
very kind to our small family, and especially to our 
two-year old boy. The weeks passed so rapidly, and 
we enjoyed the climate and people so much, that we 
stayed on till November. Everyone was cordial and 
the spirit of hospitality so generous that we were 
frequently invited to family dinners and soon came 
to know nearly all the citizens of the town. A recent 
writer in one of our daily papers stated that the town 



as late as the early "seventies"" was a village of 
''shacks boarded and battened." Nothing could be 
further from the truth, as most of the houses were 
neatly painted and some of them ((uite large. Awaj' 
out on the prairie, were three brothers, Asbury, Wil- 
liam, and Hugh Harrison, and their sister, ^Irs. Go- 
heen, who had moved from Illinois and built four large 
houses which are still standing; two on Nicollet Ave- 
nue, one on Seventh Street, and one on Second Avenue. 
Judge Atwater lived in a large brick house, surrounded 
by beautiful grounds, on the river bank : Dr. A. E. 
Ames had a tine large white house, with greenhouse 
and garden, on Eighth Avenue: J. B. Bassett had a 
large brick on North Washington Avenue; John 
Jackins occupied the block on which the Syndicate 
Block now stands; Charlie Iloag, the man who named 
]\Iinneapolis, had a fine house and stable on Fourth 
Street Norlli; a Mr. Babbitt lived in a large brick 
house, still standing, at tlie corner of Tenth and Park 
Avenue: "Sir. Crafts lived in a large brick house where 
the Tribune building now stands; ^Mr. Hidden, in a 
large brick house on the site on which the Minneapolis 
Club byiilding was erected ; Deacon Harmon erected on 
his claim, near the Parade, a fine large house, and 
thei'e wei'e a niunber of comfortable one- and two- 
storied houses scattered through the towai. Nearly 
all of these houses, with the exception of the Harri- 
sons', were built on the claims their owners had made 
on Government lands. These men were great opti- 
mists, and they believed that Jlinneapolis would grow 
to be a large city in a short time. It was surprising 
the things they did in the few years after the Reser- 
vation was opened for settlement. They laid out two 
centers, built a hotel in lower town in competition 
with the Nicollet, and built a ])ridge at about Eighth 
Avenue Soutli. The rivalry between the two sections 
was very great and had not the lower bridge been 
destroyed by a freshet, it is hard to predict where 
the business center would be to-day. 

There never was a town settler! by a more enter- 
prising, cultured, hospitable people than was Minne- 
apolis; but alas! they could not realize that they 
were a decade ahead of the agricultural development 
of the State when thej' mortgaged their claims to 
build fine houses. The effects of the panic of 1857 
came upon them like a cyclone, and wdth like effect, 
for their homes were swept away by the twelve to 
twenty-four percent mortgages, and w'hen I reached 
the town every one of the large houses I have men- 
tioned, except the four owned by the Harrisons, had 
fallen into the hands of the mortgagees and the places 
were for sale at a small percentage of the cost of tiie 
improvements. It may not be uninteresting if I quote 
a few of the prices placed upon property tliat was 
offered to me. The Jackins property, boundi'fl liy 
Nicollet and First Avenues. Fiftli and Sixth Streets, 
with a good two-story house, $8,000. The Crafts 
property, one acre on Fourth Street between First 
Avenue and Nicollet, with large brick house. $2,500. 
Large white on Nicollet, with one-fourth acre 
lot, $700. The two lots on which the Andrus block 
now stands, $500. and so on all through the town. 

Jolin Green preempted a claim and lived on it free 

from mortgage until his death, this property being 
now known as Green's Addition. J. S. Johnson also 
lived on his claim and platted it as John.son's Addi- 
tion. The home of Mrs. E. P. Wells, his daughter, 
and many other beautiful homes on Oak Grove Street 
and Clifton Avenue are on this original claim. Lor- 
ing Park and the site of St. jMark"s Church are also 
portions of it. The lake in Loring Park was long 
known as Johnson's Lake. From this lake quite a 
large stream flowed into Bassett 's Creek; it wa.s 
crossed by a bridge at Hennepin Avenue. The streets 
of the town were laid out as broad and the lots were, 
as large as was to be expected they would be by the 
large-hearted Col. Stevens and his associates, but the 
native trees and hazel-bushes grew in most of them 
and it was no easy matter to get from one section of 
the city to another. Parties were frequently lost in 
the winter in going to Pudge Atwater 's, who enter- 
tained frequently, as indeed did many other house- 
holders, and the houses were so scattered that the 
route to them was by a deviated course. The town 
was dead, very dead, but not the people. They were 
philosophical over their losses and were as cheerful 
and hospitable as if their dream of wealth had come 

There was but little money in circulation, and that 
w-as called "wildcat," and its value constantly fluc- 
tuated. If one took a bank note at night, it might be 
of little or no value in the morning. Trade was car- 
ried on very largely by "barter." It was said that 
shingles were a legal tender. The people had little 
or nothing to do, and they helped one another to do 
it. But provisions were very cheap and the farmers 
were always willing to take "store pay.'" Himl- 
quarters of beef were three cents a pound, eggs five 
and six cents a dozen, chickens three to five cents a 
pound, and maple wood from $2.00 to $2.50 a cord. 
I made an arrangement with the proprietor of the 
Nicollet to board my wife, two-year old boy, and my- 
self for six dollars a week for the three. This in- 
cluded laundry and fire. Fletcher had the best quar- 
ters in the house, and I the next. We were the only 
married people in the house, except occasiouall\' tran- 
sients who stayed a day or two. 

There were several young men boarders with whom 
we soon made acquaintance which lasted a life-time. 
We noticed that all the men we met were called by 
an abbreviated name. I did not hear one called 
"Mr." So and So, biit all were "Tom, Dick, and 
Harry." There was in one family *'Gene" Wilson, 
who became a noted lawyer and M. C; "Dave" Red- 
field, also a law;\-er of note; "^Fac," Hon. W. W. ^Ic- 
Nair, prominent in after years as a lawyer, business 
man. and politician; "Thompson," J. II. Thompson, 
who became a wealthy merchant, member of the City 
Council, etc.; "Fletch," Hon. Loren Fletcher, nu^r- 
ehant, political fighter for IMinneapolis, etc. Theie 
were a number of citizens who gathered at the hotel 
to learn if there was any news. Among them was 
"Jake" Sidel, who brought $20,000 in gold from 
Pennsylvania, and carried it about with him in a 
hand-bag several weeks before deciding to open a 
bank. He became, the first president of the First 


[i-Ji Ifillllillli; ijj 


i.MMixiS(, >iii III i)\ w A>iii\(,r(iN AM) iK(i\i iii:\\Kri\ in i> 



National Bank. A very iuteresting visitor was called 
"Bill" King, afterwards known as the Hon. W. S. 
King, M. C, the greatest "boomer" the eity ever 
had; no citizen did more than he toward laying the 
foundation of the present city. 

"Doril." ^lorrison became a wealthy lumberman 
and mill owner, and the first mayor of Minneapolis. 
He was engaged in lumbering when the "boom 
busted," and like the majority, owed a great many 
people, among them men who liad worked for him in 
the woods. One day a delegation waited on him and 
told him they were going to "lick"' him if he did 
not pay. He was a very dignified man. He faced 
the men and said; "All right, gentlemen; all right; 
if you can get any money out of my clothes, I wish 
you would. I have been trying to find some for two 
months." He did not get "licked" and the men did 
not get the money, as there was none, but he had a 
supply store and they took their pay in goods. Later, 
when the Northwestern Bank was organized, Mr. ]\Ior- 
rison was made its president ; business had improved, 
and there was more money in circulation, but his de- 
mands were larger than the supply and he constantly 
overdrew his account. The ca.shier said to him, "^Mr. 
Morrison, the directors think you ought not to give 
checks when your account is overdrawn." Mr. ^lor- 
risou replied: "Throw them out." The cashier re- 
plied : "It does not look well to throw out the checks 
of the president." "Pay 'em, then; pay 'em!" He 
lived to be able to own several banks. He was one 
of the most honorable men I ever knew, but he could 
"stave 'em off" when hard up. I once heard a gen- 
tleman who held a note of five thousand dollars 
against him say to Mr. ]\Iorrison, "Doril, you can 
never pay this note, give me a new note for fifty 
cents on the dollar and I will destroy this." Mr. 
Morrison replied, "If I can pay fifty cents you will 
still have a claim for twenty-five hundred dollars and 
I shall pay that, ' ' and he did within two years. 

There was a tall, muscular young fellow who 
seemed a favorite with every one. whom they called 
Braekett. There was great .iealousy between the citi- 
zens of St. Anthony and the "ujistart village" on 
the West Side, and occasionally when some of the 
"East Siders" celebrated, a number would come over 
the bridge with the avowed intention of "cleaning 
out" the ^Minneapolitans. Bridge Square was an 
open field on which there was many a skirmish be- 
tween the warriors of the two villages. George Braek- 
ett, his brother, and two Goff boys defended the honor 
of the younger city, and it was said they were al- 
ways victorious. George Braekett from that day to 
this has been fighting for Minneapolis, and as chief of 
the fire department, alderman, mayor and all around 
progressive citizen, has won every battle. 

A young, genteel gentleman who came to the hotel 
occasionally and was always in evidence on every 
public occasion, was called "Bill" Washburn. He 
was Surveyor General of Logs and agent of the JMin- 
neapolis Water Power Company. Tiiis company had 
built a dam and was ready for business, but there 
was no business. The first mill power that was util- 
ized was given to a man who established a small 

machine shop on the site. "Bill" Washburn was for 
many years known by his fellow citizens as the Hon. 
W. D. Washburn, legislator, member of Congress, U. 
S. Senator, railroad projector and builder, and lead- 
ing citizen. 

Isaac Atwater, who pre-empted a farm on the river 
bank and erected a house which for many years was 
the center of hospitalit.v, was a Justice of the Su- 
preme Court; "Bill" (W. W.) Eastman built the 
first paper mill and the first flour mill : E. S. Jones, 
one of the noblest of men, with J, E. Bell, organized 
the Farniin-s & IMechanics Savings Bank. J. E. and 
D. C. Bell had a small country store and they devoted 
much time to the up-building of the town. Frank 
Cornell, a young lawyer, became Justice of the Sn. 
preme Court. 

And so I might go on, naming so many good men I 
met in that winter of 1860-61, who in after life be- 
came prominent in political and commercial circles. 
It seems now that a large majority of the citizens of 
the village were men of rare abilit.v. Is it any won- 
der, that with such a start, ^Minneapolis became one of 
the most enterprising cities in the country? 

The business sect ion of the village was between the 
river and Second Street, and its buildings were cheap 
wooden structures, nearly all of one story with a 
scjuare front and as ordinary a lot as can be seen 
today in the smallest villages. 

During the winter, "Fletch," who had a small dry 
goods store near the bridge, proposed that I join him 
in business and purchase the largest building on 
Bridge Square, which proposition I accepted, and the 
firm of L. Fletcher & Company was organized. I had 
not been in business a great while before I found that 
my new' partner was a "sprinter." With "Gene" 
Wilson, "Dave" Redfield, "Pat" Kelly, and one or 
two others he would propose that we close the store 
and go out on the sf|uare and see the foot races. I 
.soon found that "Fletch" and "Gene" Wilson were 
the champions, with "Fletch" the favorite. Every- 
body closed their stores to go to the races. "Fletch" 
was so elated with his success on the square that he 
went into the race for a seat in the State Legislature 
and won, and for twelve years, two as Speaker, he 
fought for the interests of Minneapolis and his State. 
Then he made the race for Congress and, as iisual, 
won that, and for twelve years he worked as an ^I. 
C. for this city. State, and country, when he began 
to realize that younger men had aspirations for poli- 
tical powers, and he retired, after thirty years of 
valuable service. 

In the early part of the year 1860, a man from 
La Crosse named Winslow, conceived the idea of 
building a telegraiih line from his town to St. An- 
thony and Minneapolis. He solicited subscrii^tions 
from the to\\nis along the river and it was .said that 
he had quite a surplus left after he had finished. He 
sold the line to Simmons & Ha.skins, who owned a 
line from Jlilwaukee to La Crasse. The new owners 
visited Minneapolis and they decided to take down 
the wire between here and St. Paul, as the receipts 
were not enough to pa.v the salary of the operator. 
The merchants of JMinneapolis held a meeting and 



arranged with the owners of the telegi-aph line to 
leave the wire and they would make np the amount 
the receipts were short of paying the salary. All were 
anxious to receive President Lincoln's inaugural 
message, but the operator refused to take it unless he 
was paid extra, so a purse of forty dollars was sub- 
scribed, and a large number of citizens sat up nearly 
all night and heard the message read. The next 
morning the operator disappeared, and we were with- 
out telegraph news for several days. 

After having decided to become a citizen of ilin- 
neapolis I hired a house, on the outskirts of the town, 
which at that time was considered one of the best 
in the village and for which I paid but six dollars a 
month rent. It is still standing on the corner of 
Third Avenue and Sixth Street. There were not over 
five or six south of it and cattle were pastured 
on the prairie around it. 

At the breaking out of the War every yomig man 
who could do so enlisted and we saw the boys gather 
at Fort Snelling and embark on steamers for the 
South. Of the First Regiment but few returned. 
George Braekett went with them, and we lost his in- 
fluence for a time. The AYar caused a demand for 
flour and farm products; business improved and 
money became a familiar ob.iect again, but the Sioux 
Indian outbreak, in 1862, caused a panic among the 
residents of the village, and several sold their holdings 
for anything they could -get and left the State. It 
was predicted that it would be years before ]\Iinne- 
sota would recover from the eft'ects of the great In- 
dian Massacre. Day after day crowds of refugees 
swarmed into the city and had to be provided for. 
I saw two children whose wrists had been cut by the 
savages, and several men who were wounded. The 
Indians came within twenty miles of the village after 
their attack on Hutchinson, where a spirited little 
battle was fought. Our citizens prepared for the de- 
fense of Minneapolis, but fortunately the Indians 
turned westward and the danger was over. 

When the Government began paying bounties for 
soldiers money became quiie plentiful, and it was ex- 
pended with great prodigality. Women whose bus- 
hands had received the bounty and gone to the War, 
came in from the farms and purchased everj'thing 
that .struck their fancy. It .seemed as if they thought 
the first few hundred dollars they ever possessed 
would last forever. Business improved and the town 
began to grow. New people came into the village 
and upon the farms, but it was not until 1865 that 
there was much building. However, it did not take 
much to excite the enthusiasm of Minneapolitans. 

On Saturday evenings a number of the prominent 
business men of the town met at the office of McNair 
& Wilson to play "old sledge," or some other game, 
and incidentally talk over village affairs. This was 
really the first civic association in Minneapolis. One 
evening one of the club remarked that the town was 
growing and cited several men who had come with 
money to invest, and the talk became general. About 
this time "Jimmie" Cyphers, who had the only 
restaurant in town, a snuiH room 10x20 feet, served 
the usual Saturday evening refreshments to the Club. 

As the meal progressed some of the members became 
more and more enthusiastic about the growth of the 
town and rashly .stated that thej^ believed that some 
day th^re would be fifty thousand people in ]\Iinne- 
apolis. Another member said if that were to be so 
it was time to be looking out ground for a park. 
W. W. McNair said that one of his Eastern clients 
had twenty acres of land that he would sell for six 
thousand dollars and take certificates drawing 7 per 
cent in payment. It was decided then and there that 
a town meeting should be called for the purpose of 
considering this proposition. 

The meeting was held in a building on the corner 
of Washington Avenue and Second Street, owned by 
I\Ir. Dorilus Morrison, and was quite largely attended. 
There was a long discussion, in which one prominent 
citizen stated that there would never be a house south 
of Tenth Street, and that the whole coiuitry was a 
park; then, with vehemence, he declared that the 
young fellows who favored tlie purchase would ruin 
the town with their extravagant ideas. When the 
vote was taken the "young fellows" were in the ma- 
.jority, and the resolution to make the purchase was 
carried. The supervisors were instructed to issue the 
certificates, but they were opposed to the project and 
allowed the matter to go by default. This property 
is now bounded by Grant and Fifteenth Streets, and 
First and Fourth Avenues South. 

About this time Mr. H. G. Harrison built the stone 
building on the corner of Nicollet and Washington 
Avenues ; in the third story he provided a hall where 
for many years all the entertainments were held. 
One of the store-rooms in this building was taken by 
J. E. and D. C. Bell, and into it they moved their 
drj^ goods stock from Bridge Square. Nearly everj'one 
predicted their failure through getting so far away 
from the center of trade which was between First 
and Second Streets. But the young men who 
had participated in but survived the battles 
of the Soutla were returning, and their influence 
in building up the town was soon felt and 
business improved. The fame of the prosperous 
young frontier city reached the business centere of 
the country, and cultured young men came from the 
Eastern States to as.sist in making ^Minneapolis the 
Queen City of the West. 

In 1865 all the business buildings on the west side 
of Bridge Square were destroyed by fire, and in 1866 
all on the east side of the Square were destroyed. 
The rebuilding of these stores brought many to the 
city and it was at this time that the structures now 
facing the Gateway Pai*k were erected. The.v were 
considered palatial ; that erected by Fletcher and Lor- 
ing was long known as "the Masonic Building" as all 
of the ]\Iasonic lodges were housed in its third story. 
There has not been a building erected since that time 
that created more favorable comment by the press 
and the people. John S. Pillsbury built a stone build- 
ing ad.ioining the Masonic Block and moved his hard- 
ware stock from St. Anthony into it. This same year 
he opened the State Fniversity whose windows had 
been boarded up several years, and until his death he 
was the honored president of its Board of Regents. 



He was another son of New England, who as mer- 
chant, legislator, and Governor of the State, did noble 
work for the city of which he was so proud. 

It would not be possible to name all who have 
added renown and brought prosperity to our city, 
but I cannot refrain from mentioning a few who were 
most intimately connected with its development. 

The Regents of the University, in searching for a 
president, met iu the East a young Colonel of En- 
gineers who had served with distinction through the 
Civil War, and induced him to become the head of 
that educational institution which had been closed 
for several years. It was not a very tempting offer 
for an ambitious young scholar, but fortunately for 
the State, Dr. W. W. Folwell decided to assume the 
responsibility and began his work here under dis- 
couraging conditions, but these he overcame, and for 
nearly half a century he has been a power in the up- 
building of the city. 

Rev. Dr. James H. Tuttle, who came in 1866 as 
the pastor of the Church of the Redeemer, soon made 
his inlluence for good recognized. He served his 
clairch and worked for the interest of the city, and 
after twenty-tive yeai-s he resigned his pastorate and 
passed from this life in 1895. mourned and beloved 
by all who had ever met him. 

A tall, slim young man arrived in the city one day 
in 1867 and rented rooms over a store in a small 
wooden building situated on the corner of Second 
Street and Nicollet Avenue, and put up a modest sign, 
reading, "Thomas Lo^^Ty, Attorney at Law." As the 
rent of the rooms was rather beyond his means, he 
shared them with a young doctor, who came the same 
year, and whose sign read, "Dr. H. H. Kimball." 
Mr. Lowry became the president of the Twin City 
Electric Railway Company and president of the Min- 
neapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. ]\Iarie Railroad 
Company, and one of the most public-spirited, gener- 
ous, lovable of citizens. He passed to the other life 
in February, 1909. and the citizens are erecting a 
beautiful monument as a token of their love for his 
memory. Dr. Kimball is still practicing his profes- 

Among the young merchants of the early days were 
two brothers, "Pat" and Anthony Kelly, who had 
a small grocery store on the corner of Second and 
"Washington Avenues, and who became the first whole- 
sale merchants in Minneapolis and did much to de- 
velop the trade of the Northwest. They often told 
of their first wholesale customer who came to the 
little store for a chest of tea. Take all they had in 
slock, and it would not amount to a chest, so they 
took what thej' had, purchased what they could from 
other grocers, and filled the order. 

Among the young men who came to ^linneapnlis 
to take up life's work was Thomas B. Walker; ener- 
getic, honest, and with great natural abilit.y, he grad- 
ually climbed the ladder of prosperity until he be- 
came one of its foremost citizens. His great work as 
president of the Library Board and in the encourage- 
ment of art and civic improvements will long be re- 
membered by future generations, and the several 

large buildings he erected will stand as monuments 
to his enterprise. 

In 1867, R. J. Mendenhall built the two-story stone 
building on the corner of First Street and Hennepin 
Avenue for his bank, at a cost of ten thousand dollars. 
This was considered an act of extravagance, and 
was unfavorably commented on by the patrons of the 

This same year ]\[r. John W. Pence built, on the 
corner of Second Street and Hennepin Avenue, the 
brick building now .standing. The upper stories were 
finished as an auditorium and the building was called 
the Pence Opera House. The walls were of common 
white plaster and looked very cold and inhospitable.- 
An effort was made to have Mr. Pence decorate the 
walls, but he said the building had cost more than he 
had anticipated, and he could not afford to put in any 
more money. So a fund of .'fil,500 was rai.sed by 
subscription and the auditorium decorated, and we 
were very proud of our opera house. At the dedica- 
tion, Hon. W. D. "Washbuni delivered an address in 
which he congratulated the citizens upon having such 
a magnificent place of amusement, and upon the 
growth of the city. He predicted that, at the rate the 
city had grown in the past five years, it would not be 
long before it would contain 50,000 inhabitants. 

In 1872 the cities of Minneapolis and St. Anthony 
united as one municipality which began to grow with 
wondrous strides, and several young men were at- 
tracted to it and became active iu its development. 
From New York came George R. Newell, who en- 
gaged in business with H. G. Harrison, founding the 
wholesale grocery house now known as George R. 
Newell & Company, one of the largest in the North- 
west. Mr. Newell is one of the progressive citizens 
whose names may always be found among the list 
of workers for the improvement of the city. 

From Massachu.setts came John S. Bradstreet, who, 
more than any other, has led the citizens to higher 
ideals in the artistic embellishment of their homes. 
This influence in city building has been invaluable. 

ilr. E. J. Phelps joined Mr. Bradstreet. and for 
several years was a mem])er of the firm ; he retired to 
engage in banking and is now a prominent capitalist. 
He is a public-spirited citizen and, as president of the 
Board of Park Commissioners, is doing good service. 

Fresh from college came "Charle.y" Reeve, who 
engaged in banking business and soon became a gen- 
eral favorite as he still is, as General C. McC. Reeve, 
a title he earned and received during the War with 

"Jim" Gray, after graduating from the Univer- 
sity, took up newspaper work and was soon noted as 
a reporter who knew what he was writing about and 
he had the confidence of everyone. He is now the 
Hon. James Gray, ex-l\Iayor, near-Governor, and an 
interesting writer on the Journal. 

Wallace G. Nye, after learning the drug business in 
Wisconsin, heard that ^Minneai^olis was a thriving 
village, came to see if all the wonderful stories he had 
heard about it were true, aiul he saw and was con- 
quered, and started a drug store in North IMinHc- 
apolis. His neighbors soon learned the metal that- 



he was made of aiid elected him to various positions 
of trust, and now he is the progi-essive mayor of this 
progressive city. 

Then came William Henry Eustis, full of the 
breeze and energy he had imbibed from the ozone of 
St. Lawrence County, N. Y. He, too, became an ac- 
tive worker for the city of his adoption and wlieuever 
a strong man was needed to help in any project for 
the good of the community, the call was for Eustis. 
It was thought that he was needed as the head of the 
municipal government, and the people elected him to 
the office of i\Iayor. 

And now I am down to the year 1880, when the 
young fellows came in so rapidly and made places 
for themselves in the growing city that I could no 
longer keep track of them, and if I could, it would 
take a large volume to record the history of their 

But what of the pioneer women? It would be a 
pleasure to mention each individually and record the 
large part she played in the development of the city. 
First and foremost, the stranger was welcomed and 
made to feel at home, and one of my most grateful 
recollections is of their unbounded hospitality. As 
far as early conditions would permit they were en- 
gaged, too, in altruistic work of a public nature like 
women of the present day. There were manj' beauti- 
ful gardens in which flowers were growni, and as earl.y 
as 1866 a flower show was held in which nearly every 
lady took an active part. They organized church and 
social societies and entertainments for the young. x\ 
happier, more intelligent, and cheerful gi-oup of 
women never blessed a new country. The Minneapolis 
Improvement League, which is still doing active work, 
is the successor of one of these earlier organizations. 
Other improvement leagues and the Women's Ckib 
of today are the result of that spirit for civic better- 
ment which was born with the pioneer women. 

Nearly all of the pioneer workers have passed to 
the other shore, but those who have succeeded them 
imbibed their spirit and are continuing their work in 
such organizations as the fifty or more Improvement 
Leagues, the Commercial Club, the Civic and Com- 
merce Association, the Society of Fine Arts, and many 
other associations which have made Minneapolis what 
it is today, one of the most prosperous and beautiful 
of all the American cities. 

Was there ever another city with such a glorious 
past! The example that was set by the early settlers 
has been followed by those who came after them, and 
the future promises to be as bright as that of the 
past. The little village has growai to be a great city, 
and it is not so great a stretch of the imagination for 
the citizen of today to predict that, in a few yeai-s, 
llie population will exceed one million, as it was for 
those of 186.') to prophecy that some day there would 
l)e fifty thousand peoi)le in .Miinieapolis. 


The state of the art of milling wheat in 1870 in 
Great Britain was Ijchind tliat of Continental Europe. 
The English mill owner, inheriting his property, is 

apt to leave the mechanical conduct of his mill to 
suljordinates, who, .satisfled with following in the 
footsteps of their predecessors, are wont to set their 
faces steadily against new devices or machinery ; nor 
are liis common workmen the equal of the same class 
in America in the manipulation of machinery. The 
English public, too, were satisfled with their bread, 
ignorant of the better quality of the Continent. 

In 1870 the most important of the then new ma- 
chinery originated in France, and as it happened to 
be of a i)eculiarly difficult character to operate, re- 
quiring expei-t care, it was not adopted l)y tlie Eng- 
lish. In this country, knowledge of the art was de- 
rived from the British, and we were quite ignorant 
at that time of the progi'ess made upon the Continent. 

The hard spring wheat of ^linnesota was unflt for 
the old style milling: the greater force required to 
crush it ground up the bran to an important extent 
and darkened the flour. The improved method 
treated the wlieat l)y gradital reductions, and when 
in 1870 I was induced to try the French machinery 
and shortly after when I abandoned the traditional 
mill-stones, and adopted chilled iron rollers for re- 
ducing the wheat after the German method, I found 
the combination of the French and German improve- 
ments of peculiar advantage for ^Minnesota wheat. 
Meanwhile the New York and Boston markets had 
relegated the flour of the Northwest to a second or 
third place. They preferred the flour of the softer 
winter-wheat, some spring wheat millers even occa- 
sionally branding their flour as fi-om St. Louis, Mo., 
the headquarters of winter-wheat flour in those days 
of unregulated business ; Ijut after these improvements 
had been installed they preferred the Minneapolis 
flour, and its price, for the quality, at once sold at 
two to three dollars per barrel in advance. Tliis 
magic change was felt like an electric shock in iMin- 
nesota throiighout all kinds of Inisiness for wheat. 
The principal and almost sole agricultural product 
of the time, spring wheat, shared the advance of flour 
and the rapid development of the Northwest set in 
with ever increasing force. 

It was my fortune to be the first to inti-oduec this 
new process of milling in this country. It was done 
in the Wasli))urn ]Mills of Jlinneapolis, which I was 
operating under the firm name of George II. Chris- 
tian & Co.. and fi'om here its adojitioii spread over 
all the United States with wonderful rapidity, wliile 
the flood of improved flour from this country so filled 
England that the millers there were forced Xo take 
it up. 

Its use re(|uired a large reduction in the output of 
flour, rendering for several years the profits abnormal. 
This attracted the army of sharks wliicli haunt the 
patent office at Washington. They forthwitli pro- 
ceeded to take out patents for the machinery, easily 
finding a man who claimed to have invented if, and 
even patenting the very process of making flour from 
wheat. One cannot believe that .such patents shouhl 
liave been issued by the Patent Office, and can hardly 
believe that they were issued without nndue influence. 

All of file principal mills of the UnitiMl Stati's were 
sued for royaltv, and the Washburn r»Iills. in which 



these iinprovemeiits first saw the light in tliis coun- 
try, were enjoined by the courts from making flour 
by tliis machinery and forced to give bonds for .$250,- 
000. It cost several years of anxious effort and an 
expenditure of several hundred thousand dollars be- 
fore the mills of America were able to sliow the falsity 
and wickedness of these claims, but the patents were 
finallj' defeated. 

But resistance against such injustice was not the 
only trial which the flour manufacturer had to en- 
dure in those days. The law regulating interstate 
commerce had not then been framed, and railroad 
managers ran their roads as if they were their own 
personal property, and did not recognize the right 
of the public to complain of unjust preferences in mak- 
ing rates of freight. The general manager gave re- 
duced rates to favorites and to large shippers, and 
the scheduled rates were only applied to the unfortu- 
nates without influence or whose business was not 
large enough to attract favorable attention. When 
the general manager came to the city he was be- 
sieged by shippers of all classes asking for reduced 
rates that they might be in position to meet competi- 
tion or perhaps to crush it. Rebates were granted on 
every species of mei-chandise and not always for con- 
siderations of advantage to the railroad. No one 
knew what was the lowest rate, for all rebates were 
.SL'cret and paid at the headciuarters of the road. 

On one occasion the Chicago, ililwaukee & St. Paul 
Railroad which was the only railroad reaching from 
Minneapolis to Milwaukee or Chicago, put a wheat 
buyer on the streets of Minneapolis to buy of the 
farmers bringing their wheat by team to this mar- 
ket, erected a warehouse ^nd paid i)rices for wheat 
which were designed to destroy the milling business 
here. This was done because the millers sold me flour 
which I shipped at a period of high water by steamer 
from here via St. Louis and Pittsburg. The policy 
of that road was at that time distinctly hostile to 
i\linneapolis. It distributed agents along the ilinne- 
sota Valley Railroad (now the C. ^M.. St. P. & Omaha 
Ry. ). between Shakopee and JMankato, to buy wheat 
and ship it to Milwaukee at a time when wheat was 
exceedingly scarce and the millers could not get near 
enougli to supply their trade with flour. Their agents 
paid prices which made wheat cost the ilinneapolis 
inilli-rs. who bought in competition, ten to fifteen cents 
])er Imshel more than the ^lilwaid^ee price, (then the 
govei'ning wheat market) less the established rates 
of freight, while the millers were obliged to pay the 
freight to Milwaukee or Chicago, as high as eighty 
cents per barrel of flour, more than it often costs to 
ship to Liverpool, England, in these da.ys. 

The Minnesota Valley Railroad had its general 
ofYices in St. Paul and regarded itself as a St. Paul 
enterprise. It allied itself with the Milwaukee Road 
in the purchase of wheat, giving that road, without 
doubt, a large rebate from its scheduled tariff to 
]\rendota. where it joined the ^lilwaukee, while the 
^linneapolis millers had to pay its full tariff. Never- 
tlieless when I complained at a nu'ctiiig between 
its President, its General Freight Agent, and my- 
self of this discrimination, the General Freight 

Agent said, "Why do you Minneapolis millers buy 
wheat on our road? We don't want you!" Such 
was the hostility felt by St. Paul railroads towards 
Minneapolis merchants. This same road owned tliu 
grain elevators for receiving and storing wheat 
along its line. It gave to this man their manage- 
ment and agreed to let him have what he could 
make, he guaranteeing that the railroad should be 
at no loss. 

In those days no wheat was shipped to this city 
except it had been previously bought by the mill- 
ers, who bought direct of farmers' teams, placed 
the wheat in these elevators, and obtained a receipt 
for it. The wheat was mingled with other wheat of 
the same grade and when the miller had accumulated 
a car load it was shipped to i\Iinneapolis. When 
the wheat arrived here and was weighed out, it was 
generally short more than a normal amount, and 
in some cases as high as one hundred bushels per car 
of the quanfit.y the railroad agent (who was also the 
elevator agent) had billed as shipped. No reclam- 
ation for this shortage could be obtained. Without 
doubt when all wheat was shipped at the end of the 
season to the various millers and others, the elevator 
at each station was found what is technically called 
"over," or with a quantity of wheat accumulated 
by this rascally method, to the profit of the agent or 
some one else. 

There was a quantity of wheat in a St. Paul ele- 
vator one winter and I was anxious to buy it and 
bring it to Minneapolis to grind. There was no 
published tariff on wheat to ^Minneapolis from that 
city. I called upon the general manager of the St. 
Paul & Pacific Railroad, now the Great Northern, 
and asked for a rate. After much hesitation I was 
given a rate which evidently he thought prohibitive. 
I immediately accepted it, but before I could get 
out of the office I was informed by this St. Paul par- 
tisan, with a round oath or tM'o, that the rate was 
withdrawn and that the railroad would not carry 
wdieat from St. Paul to Minneapolis at any price. 
This wheat, be it remembered, lay at the eastern 
terminal of the road ; there was no mill in St. Paul 
to grind it, and the railroad manager could not ex- 
pect to earn further freight from it, for it must pass 
east by the only route, the river, at the opening of 
navigation. Hatred of IMinneapolis was paramount 
to his duty to his stockholders. 

I was asked by the general manager of the Lake 
Superior & Mississippi Railroad, now the St. Paul 
& Duluth, to go down to Lake City, Red Wing, and 
other points on the IMississipjii where there were 
grain warehouses, to buy the wheat stored there, 
Jiave it brought to Stillwater by boat, and from there 
he promised his road would bring it to Minneapolis, 
at a reasonable rate. This I did. The sclieilnled 
rate, a prohibitive one, was however collected, with 
an understanding that the freight department would 
refund me the difference. I sent in my account but 
could get no response. This road was leased hy tiie 
Northern Pacific. T began to hear ominous rumoi's 
of the financial condition of tlie Northern Pacific aHd 
urged my claims the harder, without efi'eet. The 



amount involved was large and at last, in despera- 
tion, I unloaded the last of my wheat on that road 
(it was a large quantity) at the end of the season of 
water navigation and refused to pay the freight. 
Suit was commenced against our firm, but in a short 
time the company concluded to carry out their agree- 
ment and the suit was withdrawn. Soon afterwards 
the road was in the hands of a receiver. The local 
freight agent of the same road received, through 
error of the bookkeeper, from me an over-payment, 
but nothing was said about it. nor did I discover it 
until an employe of the railroad agent was dis- 
charged who came to me saying. '"When rogues fall 
out honest men get their due," revealing the mis- 
take, when, of course, the money was returned. In 
those days free passes for travel were generally dis- 
tributed to whose good will was thought of 
advantage to the railroad. Judges of the court truv- 
eled on these passes. 

We relied upon the territoiy covered by the St. 
Paul & Pacific for the greater part of our wheat. 
That road owned in Minneapolis a grain elevator 
near the corner of Washington Avenue and their 
tracks. Tliis elevator received all the wheat con- 
signed to Minneapolis millers. It was weighed in, 
hut the railroad refused to weigh it out or be respon- 
sible for an equal weight delivered. A grain bin was 
a.s.signed to each consignee. The miller hauled the 
wheat as he needed it. On one occasion a carload 
of mine was carelessly dixmped by the railroad agent 
into my neighbor's bin. The railroad refused to re- 
fund or to call on my neighbor to refund, who foimd 
his wheat was over what I was short. It seemed a 
hopeless thing to sue the road as they held ray re- 
ceipt for the wheat, for they always required a re- 
ceipt liefore the wheat was touched. I therefore an- 
nounced I would receipt for no more wheat until I 
had verified the count upon hauling it out. The 
railroad company refused to let me have any more 
wheat unless receipted for before hauled. I let my 
wheat remain with the railroad company until the 
constantly arriving stream filled the elevator, and 
the unloaded cars covered all their tracks. They 
then notified me that double storage rates would b° 
charged on all my wheat to that time and I could 
have my wheat except a few thousand bushels which 
tliey would hold as a test. Wlieu I got ready to 
grind it I replevined it and sued for damages. The 
lower court decided that it was a reasonable regula- 
tion to make one sign even before an opportunity 
to verify could be had. The .judge added that if I 
did not like the regidation I need vnt &)(!/ wheat on 
the line of that road! I appealed to the Supreme 
Court, and of course the .iudgment of the lower court 
was reversed. I got my wheat and the railroad paid 
damages. This leads to the reflection, What a change 
in the attitude of railroad managers the Interstate 
Commerce law ha,s wrought and the decisions of the 
Supreme Court of the United States, to-wit : that 
railroads are the servants of the people and can be 
compelled to do their duty. Respected judges, 
schooled in the practice that railroads were an irre- 
sponsible power, could join with railroad managers 

in dictating to the troublesome public, either to ser- 
vilely submit to arbitrary injustice or cease to do 
business ! 

Indeed it was not uncommon for a railroad man- 
agement to attempt to destroj- a business or a city, 
as we have seen. A superintendent of the only rail- 
road reaching to the Lake ports told a firm of terri* 
fied Jlinneapolis millers that he would make grass 
grow in front of their mill door, because I shipped 
flour down the river by boat which I Imd bought of 
them. If one should make this threat now he would 
not be pleased with his treatment. I well remember 
with what misgivings the first enactment of the In- 
terstate Commerce law was received l)y the public 
in general. It was generally predicted that the reign 
of the mob had commenced and property was no 
longer sacred. As a matter of fact the regulation 
of railroads has been an inestimable blessing. ;\Ian 
when he is possessed of irresponsible power is a 
ratlier despicable creature. • 




The relationship of the pioneer woodsman to lum- 
bering in the Northwest can best be told l)y narration 
of events as they occur in his daily life. These, how- 
ever, are so varied, that only an excerpt of a more 
complete retrospection I have written on the subject, 
may here be given. 

In order that his unique duties may be fairly under- 
stood, I invite the reader aiong on the journe.v of the 
pioneer woodsman, from comfortable hearthstone, 
from family, friends, books, magazines, and daily 
papers, and to disappear with him from all evidences 
of civilization and from all human companionship 
save, ordinarily, that of one helper who not infre- 
quently is an Indian, and to live for weeks at a time 
in the unbroken forest, seldom sleeping more than a 
.single night in one place. 

The woodsman and his one companion must carry 
cooking utensils : axes, raw provisions of flour, meat, 
beans, coifee. sugar, rice, pepper, and salt ; maps, plats, 
l)Ooks for field notes : the simplest and lightest possible 
equipment of surveying implements; and, lastly, tent 
and blankets for shelter and covering at night to pro- 
tect them from storm and cold. 

Some incidents of daily life, as they occurred to me, 
will be shown to the reader in this condensed recital. 

In the summer of 1874, I went to the head waters of 
the Big Fork River with a party of hardy frontiers- 
men, in search of a section of country, which was as 
yet unsurveyed by the United States Government, and 
which should contain a valuable body of pine timber. 
Having found such a tract of land, we made arrange- 
ments through the Surveyor-General's office, then 
located in St. Paul, to have the land .surveyed. The 
contract for the survey was let bv the TTnited States 
Government to Mr. Fendall G. Winston, of Minne- 

I met Mr. Winston and his assistant survevors at 



Grand Rjipids about the middle of Au^ist. There 
were uo roads leading into the country that we were 
to survey, and, as our work would extend nearly 
through the winter, it was necessary to get our sup- 
plies in sufficient quantity to last for our entire cam- 
paign, and take them near to our work. This was 
accomplished by taking them in canoes and boats of 
various sorts. Our first water route took us up the 
Mississippi River, into Lake Winnibigoshish, and 
from that lake on its northea.sterly shore, we went into 
Cut-foot Sioux, or Keeskeesdaypon Lake. From this 
point we were obliged to make a four-mile portage 
into the Big Fork River, crossing the Winnibigoshish 
Indian Reservation. From an Indian encampment on 
this reservation, at the southwest shore of Bow String 
Lake, we hired some Indians to help pack our supplies 
across the four-mile portage. Before half of our sup- 
plies had been carried across the portage, the Indian 
chief sent word to us by one of his braves, that he 
wished to see us in council and forbade our moving 
any more of our supplies until we had counseled with 
him. Although the surveyors were the agents of the 
United States Government, for the sake of harmony, 
it was thought best to ascertain at once what was 
uppermost in the eluef's mind. 

That evening, a conference was held in the wigwam 
of the chief. First, the chief filled full of tobacco a 
large, verj' long stemmed pipe, and, having lighted it 
with a live coal from the fire, took the first Avhiff of 
smoke; then immediately passed it to the nearest one 
of our delegates to his right; and thus the pipe went 
round, until it came back to the chief, before anything 
had been said. The chief then began a long recital, 
telling us that the Great Father would protect them in 
their rights to the exclusive use of these lands. The 
chief said that he was averse neither to the white man 
using the trail of his people, nor to his using the 
waters of the rivers or lakes within the boundaries of 
the reservation, but. if he did so, he must pay tribute. 
In answer to his speech, the chief surveyor of our 
party, Feiidall G. Winston, replied that he and his 
men had been sent to survey the lands that belonged 
to the Great Father, and, that in order to reach those 
lands, it was necessary that his people should cross 
the reservation which the Great Father had granted to 
his tribe : nevertheless, that they felt friendly to the 
Indians: that if they were treated kindly by himself 
and his tribes-men, they should have an opportunity 
to give them eonsideralile work for many days, while 
they were getting their supplies across his country to 
that of the Great Father, where they were going to 
work during the fall and winter: and that they would 
also make him a present of a sack of flour, some pork, 
some tea, and some tobacco. He was told, too, that 
this was not necessary for the Great Father's men to 
do, but that they were willing to do it, provided that 
this should end all claims of every nature of the chief 
against any and all of the Great Father's white men, 
whom he had sent into that country to do his work. 
This having been sealed with the chief's emphatic. 
"Ugh," he again lighted the pipe, took the first whiff 
of smoke, and passed it around. Each, in token of 
friendship, did as the chief had already done. This 

ended the conference, and we were not again ques- 
tioned as to our rights to pass over this long portage 
trail, which we continued to use until our supplies 
were all in. 

As nearly as I can now recall, our force was made 
up of the following men: Fendall G. Winston, in 
■whose name the contract for the survej' was issued; 
Philip B. Winston, his brother: Hyde, a j'oung engi- 
neer from the University of Minnesota; Brown, civil 
engineer from Boston; Coe, from the Troy Poly- 
technic School of Engineering; Charlie, a half-breed 
Indian; Franklin, the cook; Jim Flemming, Frank 
Hoyt, Charlie Berg, Tom Jenkins, George Fenimore, 
Tom Laughlin, Joe Lyon, Will Braekett, Miller, and 

Flemming, poor fellow, was suffering with dysentery 
when he started on the trip. On reaching Grand 
Rapids, he was no better, and it was thought best not 
to take him along to the frontier, so he was allowed to 
go home. Miller was not of a peace loving disposition, 
and, having sho^vu this characteristic early, was also 
allowed to leave the party. It was best that all weak- 
lings and quarrelsome ones should be left behind, 
because it was easily foreseen that when winter closed 
in upon the band of frontiersmen, it would be difficult 
to reach the outer world, and it would be unpleasant to 
have any in the party that were not, in some sense, 

Considerable time was consumed in getting all of 
our supplies to headquarters camp, which consisted of 
a. log cabin. The first misfortune that befell any one 
of our party came to Frank Iloyt, who one day cut an 
ugly gash in the calf of his leg with a glancing blow 
of the ax. The cut required stitching, but there was 
no surgeon in the party. Will Braekett, the youngest 
of the party, a brother of George A. Braekett, and a 
student from the University, volunteered to sew up 
the wound. This he did with an ordinary needle and 
a piece of white thread. The patient submitted with 
fortitude creditable to an Indian. Some plastic salve 
was put on a cloth and placed over the wound, which 
resulted in its healing ton rapidly. Proud flesh 
appeared, and then the ■(^'isdom of the party was called 
into requisition, to learn what thing or things available 
could be applied to destroy it. Goose quill scrapings 
were suggested, there being a few quills in the posses- 
sion of the party. Braekett. however, suggested the 
use of some of the cook's baking powder, because, he 
argued, there was sufficient alum in it to remove the 
proud flesh from the wound. "Dr." Braekett was 
considered authority, and his prescription proved 
effectual. Hoyt was left to guard the provision camp 
against possible visits from the Indians, or from bears, 
which sometimes were known to break in and to carry 
away provisions. 

It is never necessaiy for surveyors M'hose work is 
in the timber, nor for timber hunters, to carry tent 
poles, because these are easily chosen from among the 
small trees : yet nine of our party, one time in 
October, with the rain falling fast and cold, found 
themselves, at the end of the four-mile Cut-foot Sioux 
Portase. on a point of land where there were no poles. 
All of the timber of every description had been cut 



down and used by the Indians. The Indian chief and 
several of his family relations lived on this point. 
They had built the house of poles and cedar bark, in 
the shape of a rectangle. Its dimensions on the ground 
were about twelve by twenty feet; its walls rose to a 
height of about five feet ; and it was covered by a hip 

Our party must either obtain shelter under this 
roof or must get into the canoes and paddle nearly 
two miles to tind a place where it could pitch its tents. 
At this juncture, the hospitality of the Indians was 
demonstrated. The chief sent out word that we should 
come into his dwelling and remain for the night. The 
proffer was gladly accepted. When we had all assem- 
bled, we found within, the chief and his squaw, his 
daughter and her husband; the hunter, his squaw, and 
two daughters, besides our party of nine, making a 
total of seventeen human beings within this small en- 
closure. A small fire occupied a place on the ground 
at the center of the structure^ an ample opening in the 
roof having been left for the escape of the smoke and 
live sparks. Indians can always teach their white 
brothers a lesson of economy in the use of fuel. They 
build only a small fire, around which, when inside their 
wigwams, they all gather with their usually naked feet 
to the fire. It is a physiological fact that when one's 
extremities are warm, one's bodily sufferings from 
cold are at their minimum. Our party boiled some 
rice and made a pail of coffee, without causing any 
especial inconvenience to our hosts, and, after having 
satisfied hunger and thirst, the usual camp fire smoke 
of pipes was indulged in, before planning for any 
sleep. Our party had l)eeu assigned a portion of the 
space around the open fire, and our blankets were 
brought in and spread upon the mats that lay upon 
the earth floor. 

The additional presence of nine Indian dogs had not 
previously been mentioned. Before morning, however, 
they were found to be live factoi-s, and should be 
counted as part of the dwellers within the walls of this 
single room. They seemed to be nocturnal in iuibit. 
and to take an especial delight in crossing and re- 
crossing our feet, or in trying to find especially cozy 
places between our feet and near to the fire, where Ihey 
might curl down for their own especial comfort. It 
was not for us, however, to complain, inasmuch as 
the hosintality that had been extended was sincere; 
and it was to be remembered b.v us that it was in no 
way any advantage to the Indians to have taken us in 
for the night. Therefore, we were truly thankful 
that our copiier-colored friends had once more demon- 
sti-ated their feelings of humanity toward their white 
lirothers. The.\' had been subjected to more or less 
inconvenience by our presence, but in no way did they 
make this fact manifest by their actions or by their 
words. The rain continued at intervals during the 
entire night, and it was with a feeling of real grati- 
tude, as we lay upon the ground, and listened to it, 
that we thought of the kindly treatment we were re- 
ceiving from these aborigines. In the morning we of- 
fered to pay them money for our accommodations, but 
this they declined. They did, however, accept some 
meat and some flour. 

The pine timber lying east of Bow String Lake, and 
included in the survey of 1874 and 1875, was all trib- 
utary to waters running north, into the Big Fork 
Eiver, which empties into the Rainy River. Levels 
were run across from Bow String Lake into Cut-foot 
Sioux River, and considerable fall was found. The 
distance, nearly all the way, was over a marsh. It was 
shown that a dam could easily be thrown across from 
bank to liank of the river at the outlet of Bow String 
Lake, and by thus slightly raising the water in the 
lake, plus a little work of cleaning out portions of 
the distance across the marsh, from Bow String Lake 
to Cut-foot Sioux, the timber could be driven across 
and into the waters of the ^Mississippi River. All of 
this engineering was before the advent of logging rail- 
roads. However, before the timber was needed for the 
ilinneapolis market, many logging railroads had been 
built in various localities in the northern woods, and 
their practical utility had been demonstrated. When 
the time came for cutting tliis timber, a logging rail- 
road was constructed to reach it. and over its tracks, 
the timber was brought out, thus obviating the neces- 
sity of empounding the waters of Bow String Lake. 

Our frail lurch canoes had been abandoned as cold 
weather approached', and we had settled down to the 
work of surveying. Sometimes, however, we came to 
lakes that must be crossed. This was accomplished by 
cutting some logs, and making rafts by t>'ing them to- 
gether with withes. Sometimes these rafts were found 
insufficiently buoyant to float above water all who 
got upon them, so that when they were pushed along 
there were no visible signs of anything that the men 
were standing on. When on a raft, Hyde was always 
afraid of falling off, and would invariably sit down 
upon it. This subjected him to greater discomfort 
Ihan other members, but as it was of his own choosing, 
no one raised any objection. 

On one occasion, when the raft sank muisually deep 
beneath the water, one of the party who had attended 
Sunday school in his youth and remembered nnicli of 
his Bible, said, ' ' I wonder if this is the way Christ 
walked on the water." 

One day, several of the party had gone to the supply 
camp to bring back some provisions which the cook had 
a.sked for. Returning, not by any trail, but directly 
through the unbroken forest, we fouiul ourselves in a 
wet tamarack and s])ruce swamp ; and, although we 
believed we were not far from the camp where we had 
left the cook in the Tuorning. wc were not certain of 
its exact location. Mr. F. G. Winston said he thought 
he could reach it in a very short time, and suggested 
that we renmin where we were. He started in what he 
liclit'ved to be the direction of the camp, saying that lie 
would return in a little while. We waited until the 
shades of night began to fall ; and yet he did not come. 
Preparations w'ere then made to stay in the swamp 
all night. The ground was wet all around us. nor 
could we see far enough to discern any dry land. We 
commenced cnttiuEr down the smaller trees that were 
like poles, and with these poles, constnicted a plat- 
form of sufificicnt dimensions to afford room for four 
men to lie down. Then another foundation of wet 
logs was made, on which a fire was kindled, and by the 



fire, we baked our bread and fried some bacon, which 
constituted our evening meal. A sack of flour was 
opened, a small place within it hollowed out, a little 
water poured in, and the flour mixed with the water 
until a dough was formed. Each man was told to pro- 
vide himself with a chip large enough on which to lay 
the piece of dough, which was rolled out by hand, made 
flat, and then, having been placed in a nearly upright 
position against the chip in front of the fire, was baked 
on one side ; then turned over and Iniked on the other. 
In the meantime, each man was told to provide him- 
self with a forked stick, which he should cut with his 
jack-knife, and on it to place his piece of bacon and 
cook it in front of the fire; thus each man became liis 
own cook and prepared his own meal. There was no 
baking powder or other ingredient to leaven the loaf — 
not even a pinch of salt to flavor it. But the owner 
of each piece of dough was hungry, and. by eating it 
immediately after it was baked and before it got cold, 
it was much better than going without any supper. 
The following morning the party resumed its journey, 
and met I\Ir. Winston coming out to find it. He had 
found the cook's camp, but at so late an hour that it 
was not possible for liim to return that night. 

After leaving Grand Rapids about the middle of 
August, we saw very few white men for many months 
following. In October, on our survey, local attraction 
was so strong on part of our work, that it was neces- 
sary to use a solar compass. This emergency had not 
been anticipated ; it, therefore, became necessary to 
go to ^Minneapolis to secure that special instrument. 
Philip B. AVinston, afterwards mayor of Minneapolis, 
and I started in a birch canoe, and in it made the 
whole distance from our camp on Bow String Lake 
to Aitkin, Minnesota, on the Mississippi, the nearest 
railroad station. We were in Minneapolis but two 
days, when we returned, catching the steamer at 
Aitkin, and going up the Mississippi to Grand Rapids, 
the head of navigation for steamboats. 

('a]itain John Martin, of Alinneapolis, the well- 
known lumberman and banker, wished to return with 
us for his final fishing trip in open water, for that 
season. He fished successfully for a number of days, 
and. at the end of each da,v. personally prepared and 
cooked as fine a fish chowder as anyone would ever 
wish to eat. On the da.v of his departure, I took thi' 
Captain in my canoe, and landed him on the four-mile 
portage with an Indian escort who was to take liim 
to Gi'and Rapids, whence he would return by steamer 
to Aitkin, a station on the line of the Northern Pacific 

I was left alone in my canoe and must return to 
camp, crossing the open water of Bow String Lake. 
On my arrival at the main lake, the wind had in- 
creased its velocit.y, and the white-caps were breaking. 
I hired an Indian, known as "the hunter.'' to help 
me paddle across the lake and up a rapid on a river 
flowing into Bow String, up and over which it was not 
possible for one man to push his canoe alone. 

The animal payment to the Indians by the United 
States Government was to occur a few days subse- 
quentl.v, at Leech Lake, and the Indians were 

getting i-eady to leave, to attend the payment. The 
hunter's people were to start that day, and he seemed 
to realize, when half way across the lake, that, owing 
to our slow progress, because of the heavy sea, he 
would be late in returning to his people at camp. He 
said so, and wished to turn back, but 1 told him that 
he must take me above the rapid, which was my prin- 
cipal object in hiring him. After sitting stoically in 
the bow of the canoe for a few moments, he suddenly 
turned about, and, drawing his long knife, said in 
Chippewa, that he must go back. I drew my revolver 
and told him to get down in the canoe and paddle, 
and tliat if he did not, he would get shot. There 
was no further threat by tlie Indian, and we made as 
rapid progress as possible over the rapid, landing my 
canoe — his own having been trailed to the foot of the 
rapid. Both stepped ashore. Then he said in Chip- 
pewa, "]\re bad Chippewa; white man all right;" and 
bidding me good-by, hurried off to his canoe at the 
foot of the rapid. 

Captain Martin was the last white man that any one 
of our party saw for four months. Winter closed in 
on us before the beginning of November. The snow 
became very deep, so that it was absolutely necessary 
to perfonn all of our work on snowshoes. The winter 
of 1874 and 1875 is shown to have been the coldest 
winter in Minnesota, of which there is any record, be- 
ginning with 1819 up to, and including, 1913. 

The party was mostly comnosed of men who had 
had years of experience on the frontier, and who were 
inured to hardship. With a few. however, the experi- 
ence was entirely new, and, except that they were 
looked after by the more hardy, they might have per- 
ished. As it was, however, not one man became seri- 
ously ill at any time during this severe winter's 

The compass-man's work that winter was rendered 
very laborious from the fact that his occupation made 
it necessary for him, from morning until night of every 
day, to break his own path through the untrodden 
snow, for it was he who was locating the line of the 
survey. I was all of the time running lines in the in- 
terior of the .sections, following the work of the sur- 
veyors, and choosing desirable pine timber that was 
found within each section. I had no companion in 
this work, and thus was separated most of each day 
from other members of the part.v. but returned to tlie 
same camp at night. 

In the morning, each man was furnished by t);e 
cook, with a cloth sack in which were placed one or 
two or more biscuits, containing within slices of fried 
bacon and sometimes .slices of corned beef. also, prv- 
haps, a doughnut or two. This he tied to the belt of 
his jacket on his back and carried until the lunch hour. 
Ordinarily a small fire was then kindled, and the 
luncheon, which generally was frozen, thawed out, and 
eaten. Under such mode of living, every one returned 
at night bringing an appetite of ample dimensions. 

One of the most acceptable of foods to such men at 
the supper hour was bean soup, of a kind and quality 
such as a cook on the frontier, alone, knows how to 
prepare. Plenty of good bread was always in abun- 
dance at such time. Usually there was also either 



eorued beef or boiled pork to be had by those who 
wished it; generally also boiled rice or apple duiiip- 
liugs, besides tea aud coffee. 

The work of the froiitiereiiian is more or less hazard- 
ous in its nature, and j-et bad accidents are rare. Oc- 
casionally a man is struck by a falling limb, or he may 
be cut by the glancing blow of an ax, though he learns 
to be very careful when using tools, well knowing that 
thei'c is no surgeon or hospital near at hand. Some- 
times in the early winter, men unaccompanied, yet 
obliged to travel alone, drop through the treacherous 
ice aud are drowned. Few winters pass in a lumber 
country where instances of this kind do not occur. 
One day, when alone, I came near enough to such an 
experience. I was obliged to cross a lake, known to 
have air holes probably caused by warm springs. The 
ice was covered by a heavy layer of snow, consequently 
I wore snowslioes, and before starting to cross, cut a 
long, stout pole. Taking this firmly in my hands, I 
macle my way out on the ice. All went well until 
I was near the opposite shore, when suddenly the bot- 
tom w-eut out from under me and I fell into the water, 
through an unseen air hole which the snow covered. 
The pole I carried was sufficient in length to reach the 
firm ice on either side, which alone enabled me, after 
much labor, impeded as I was by the cumbersome 
snowshoes, to gain the surface. The next ab.solutely 
necessary thing to do, was to make a fire as cpiickly as 
possible, before I should become benumbed by my 
wet garments. 

The survey went steadily on, the snow aud cold in- 
creased, and rarely was it possible to make an advance 
of more than four miles in a day. Frank Hoyt re- 
mained at the warehouse and watched the supplies 
whicli wore steadily diminishing. One day, Philip 
B. Winston, two men of the crew, and I, set out to the 
supply camp to bring some provisions to the cook's 
camp. The first day at nightfall, we reached an 
Indian wigwam that we knew of, situated in a gi-ove 
of liard wood timber, near the shore of a lake, directly 
on our route to the supply camp. Our little party 
stayed with the Indians and shared their hospitality. 
It was a large wigwam, covered principally with cedar 
})ark, and there was an additional smaller wigwam 
so close to it, that a passage way was made from one 
wigwam to the other. 

In the smaller wigwam, lived a young Indian, his 
s(|uaw, and the squaw's mother; in the larger wigwam 
lived the chief, his wife, his daughter, son-in-law, and 
the hunter, his wife, and two daughters, all of whom 
were present except the hunter. There was an air 
of expectancy noticeable a.s we sat on the mats around 
the fire in the wigwam, after having made some coffee 
and eaten our supptu- outside. Presently the chief 
informed us that an heir was looked for that evening 
in the adjoining tent. Before nine o'clock, it was an- 
nounced that a young warrior had made his appear- 
ance, and all were happy over his arrival. The large 
pipe w!is brought forth, filled with tobacco, and, after 
the chief had taken the first smoke, it was passed 
around to their guests, and all the men smoked, as 
well as the married women. 

The next morning, we continued our journey across 

the lake and on to Hoyfs camp, where, it is needless 
to say, he was glad to see some white men. Their 
visits were rare at his camp. Filling our packs with 
things the cook had ordered, we started on our return 
journey, arriving at the Indian camp at nightfall. As 
we left the ice to go up the banks of the lake to the 
wigwams, we met the mother of the young warrior 
who had made his first appearance the preceding 
night, going down to the lake with a pail in each hand 
to bring some water to her wigwam. The healthy 
yuung child was brought into the wigwam and shown 
to tile members of our party, who complimented the 
young mother and wished that he might grow to be 
a Brave, woi-thy to be chieftain of their tribe. 

That evening a feast had been prepared at the 
chief's wigwam, in honor of the birth of the child, 
to which our party was invited. The menu consisted 
principally of boiled rice, boiled muskrat, and boiled 
rabbit. The three principal foods, having been cooked 
in one kettle and at the same time, were served as 
one course, but the guests were invited to repeat the 
course as often as they desired. This invitation was 
accepted by some, while others seemed satisfied to 
take the course but once. I have always found the 
hospitality of the Chippew-a Indian unsurpassed, and 
more than once, in my frontier experiences, I have 
found that hospitality a godsend to me and to my 

It was in the month of February, 1875. when the 
surveying party completed its work east of Bow String 
Lake, and finished, one afternoon, closing its last lines 
on the Third Guide Meridian. At the camp, that 
afti'rnoon, preparations were being made for a gen- 
eral move of considerable distance. It is not always 
possible for the frontiersman to reach his goal on the 
day that he has planned to do so. An instance in point 
occurred next day, when our surveying party was 
moving out to Grand Rapids. The snow was deep 
and the weather intensely cold when we broke camp 
that morning, hoping before nightfall to reach one of 
Hill Lawrence's logging camps. Some Indians had 
been hired to help pack out our belongings. Our 
course lay directly through the unbroken forest, with- 
out trail or blazed line, and the right direction was 
kept only by the constant use of the compass. All 
were on snowshoes, and those of the party who could 
be depended upon to correctly use the compass, took 
turns in breaking road. Each compass-man woiild 
break the way through the snow for half an hour, then 
another would step in and break the way for another 
half hour, and he in turn would be succeeded by a 
third compass-man. This change of leadership was 
contiimed all the way during that day. 

About the middle of the afternoon, the Indians 
threw down their packs and left our party altogether, 
having become tired of their jobs. This necessitated 
dividing up the Indians' packs and each man suf- 
ficiently able-bodied taking a part of these abandoned 
loads in addition to his own pack; and thus we con- 
tinued the journey. 

Night was fast approaching, and the distance was 
too great to reach the Lawi-ence camp that night. 



Fortunately, there were some Indian wigwams not 
far in advance. These we reached after nightfall, 
and, as our part.v was vei-y tired and carried no pre- 
pared food, we asked for shelter during the night 
with the Indians. They soon made places wliori; our 
men could spread their blankets around the small Hre 
in the center of the wigwams. Then we asked if we 
could be served with something to eat. We received 
an affirmative "Ugh," and the squaws commenced 
preparing food, which consisted solely of a boiled 
rabbit stew with a little wild rice. It was once more 
demonstrated that hunger is a good cook. After hav- 
ing partaken of the unselfishly proffered food, and, 
after most of our party had smoked their pipes, all 
lay down about the fire, and fell asleep. Even the 
presence of Indian dogs, occasionally walking over 
us in the night, interfered hut little with our slumbers. 
The next morning our party started out without break- 
fast, and by ten o'clock reached the Lawrence camp, 
where the cook set out, in a few minutes time, a great 
variety of food, and an abundance of it, of which 
each man partook to his great satisfaction. 

From Lawrence camp we were able to secure the 
services of the tote team that was going out for sup- 
plies, which took our equipment through to Grand 
Rapids. From that point, we were able, also, to hire 
a team to take our supplies to the Swan River, crossinji 
which, we went north to survey two townships, which 
would complete the winter's contract. 

It has been stated that this winter of 187-4 and 1875 
was the coldest of which the "Weather Bureau for ilin- 
nesota furnishes an.v history. Besides the intense cold, 
there were heavy snows. Nevertheless, no serious in- 
jury or physical suffering of long duration befell any 
member of our band of hard.y woodsmen. Not one 
of our number was yet thirty years old, the youngest 
one being eighteen. Two only of the party were mar- 
ried, Fendall G. Winston and myself. On leaving 
Grand Rapids in August, we separated ourselves from 
all other white men. The party was as completely 
separated from the outside world as though it had been 
aboard a whaling vessel in the Northern Seas. No 
letters nor connnunications of any kind reached us 
after winter set in, until our arrival in Grand Rapids 
in the month of February following. Letters were 
occasionally written and kept in readiness to send out 
by any Indian who might be going to the nearest 
logging camp, whence they might bv chance be carried 
out to some post office. Whether these letters reached 
their destinations or not, could not lie known by the 
writers as long as they remained on their work, hidden 
in the forest. 

I had left my young wife and infant daughter, not 
yet a year old. in Minneapolis. Either, or both misht 
have died and been buried before any word coidd have 
reached me. It was not possible at all times to keep 
such thoughts out of my mind. Of course every day 
was a busy o