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Full text of "Minnesota history"

MINNESOTA 
HISTORY BULLETIN 



EDITED BY 



SOLON J. BUCK 



SUPERINTENDENT OF THE MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY 
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF HISTORY IN THB UNIVERSITY OK MINNESOTA 




MINNESOTA 
HISTORY .BULLETINi 



VOLUME I 
1915-1916 




X 

x 



PUBLISHED QUARTERLY BY THE 

MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

SAINT PAUL 



T 
601 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME I 

NUMBER 1. FEBRUARY, 1915 

THE RELATION OF THE STATE TO HISTORICAL WORK 

Clarence W. Alvord 3 
MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 26 

NUMBER 2. MAY, 1915 

THE MINNESOTA STATE ARCHIVES; THEIR CHARACTER, 
CONDITION, AND HISTORICAL VALUE 

Herbert A. Kellar 37 

DOCUMENTS 54 

REVIEWS OF BOOKS 59 

MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 63 

NEWS AND COMMENT 69 

NUMBER 3. AUGUST, 1915 

TRIBAL DANCE OF THE OJIBWAY INDIANS 

William E. Culkin 83 
RECENT ACTIVITIES OF THE WISCONSIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Solon J. Buck 94 

DOCUMENTS 

Selections from the Murray Papers 109 

REVIEWS OF BOOKS 126 

MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 133 

NEWS AND COMMENT 138 

NUMBER 4. NOVEMBER, 1915 

JAMES WICKES TAYLOR: A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 

Theodore C. Blegen 153 

REVIEWS OF BOOKS 220 

MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 225 

NEWS AND COMMENT 231 



V! 



CONTENTS 



NUMBER 5. FEBRUARY, 1916 

THE SOCIAL MEMORY George E. Vincent 249 

LLOYD BARBER Charles C. Willson 260 

GENESIS OF THE TYPEWRITER William G. Le Due 264 
REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

NEWS AND COMMENT 289 

NUMBER 6. MAY, 1916 

THE MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY BUILDING 

Stirling Horner 303 

REVIEWS OF BOOKS 317 

MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 323 

NEWS AND COMMENT 331 

NUMBER 7. AUGUST, 1916 

MINNESOTA AT THE CRYSTAL PALACE EXHIBITION, NEW 

YORK, 1853 William G. Le Due 351 

THE NEILL PAPERS IN THE MANUSCRIPT COLLECTION OF 
THE MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Franklin F. Holbrook 369 

REVIEWS OF BOOKS 378 

MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 397 

NEWS AND COMMENT 401 

NUMBER 8. NOVEMBER, 1916 

RECOLLECTIONS OF MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 

Theodore E. Potter 419 

REVIEWS OF BOOKS 522 

MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 533 

NEWS AND COMMENT 539 

INDEX TO VOLUME 1 551 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY BUILDING 303 

PLAN OF FIRST FLOOR 306 

PLAN OF SECOND FLOOR 308 

PLAN OF THIRD FLOOR 310 

PLAN OF GROUND FLOOR 312 

PLAN OF FIRST FLOOR AND GROUNDS 314 

PHOTOGRAPH OF CAPTAIN THEODORE E. POTTER 419 



vli 



MI> 



INNESOTA HISTORY BULLETIN 

EDITED BY 

SOLON J. BUCK 

SUPERINTENDENT OF THE MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY 
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF HISTORY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA 



CONTENTS 

The Relation of the State to Historical Work 

CLARENCE W. ALVORD 3 

Minnesota Historical Society Notes 26 



VOL. 1, No. 1 
FEBRUARY, 1915 



VOLKfZEITUNG PRINTING CO. 
ST. PAUL, MINN. 



THE RELATION OF THE STATE TO 
HISTORICAL WORK 1 






BY CLARENCE WALWORTH ALVORD 



From those far-off ages, when heroic poems were pre- 
served by memory in gilds of bards rather than by written 
manuscript, there has come down to us the following tale con- 
cerning the preservation of the great heroic epic of Ireland,, 
the Cattle Raid of Cooley. Shortly after Senchan Torpeist 
was elected to the headship of Irish bards, he called an assembly 
of the poets of Ireland to discover if the whole of that famous 
poem was held in memory, but found that only scattered parts 
of it were known. Unwilling that this record of heroic deeds 
should be lost, Senchan inquired of his students if any would 
go to the land of Letha to learn the epic. Two followers, one 
of whom was Senchan's own son, Muirgein, volunteered. 
Enthusiastically the young men started on their quest and 
finally came to the kingdom of Connacht and visited the grave 
of that great hero of mythical Ireland, Fergus mac Roig, who, 
had been one of the principal participants in the cattle raid. 
Here Muirgein lingered behind while his companion went for- 
ward to search for lodging. 

The legend relates that Muirgein addressed to the grave- 
stone a song as if he were singing to the hero Fergus himself. 
It was an incantation. Immediately there arose a great mist 
which separated Muirgein from his companion for three days 
and three nights, during which time Fergus, dressed in a mag- 
nificent costume of by-gone days, rose from the grave and sang 
to the eager young poet the epic from beginning to end. Thus 
by the intervention of supernatural power was the greatest 
monument of Irish literature preserved for posterity. 

J Read at the annual meeting of the Minnesota Historical Society^. 
St. Paul, January 18, 1915. 



4 C. W. ALVORD 

This story, which comes to us from the distant past, handed 
down by word of mouth for generations before it was tran- 
scribed for preservation, has its roots in a fundamental prin- 
ciple of human society. The desire to preserve the memory of 
the deeds of ancestors is common to men of all places and all 
times, wherever they are gathered in communities. The 
American Indians in council or war dance solemnly chanted the 
record of the deeds their ancestors wrought against their life- 
long enemy in order that their children might be incited to 
deeds of like daring; the early Greeks found pleasure in the 
measured cadences of Homer, preserving for them the remem- 
brance of those far-off days when the heroic figures of 
Agamemnon and Achilles led the forces of their fatherland 
against Priam's sons. 

Coming down through the ages we find that every gener- 
ation developed its own means of preserving the memory of 
the past, and that finally this almost unconscious longing for 
information is metamorphosed into a conscious effort to inter- 
pret scientifically the by-gone ages in order that the present 
day conditions may be better understood. The bard of old 
becomes the historian, and the man of greater culture turns 
his pages no less eagerly than the half -barbarous Indian or 
Greek listened to the ancient songs. The latest stage in this 
development is reached when a people becomes conscious of its 
own unity and realizes that its past is the warp and woof of 
its own consciousness, and by means of official encouragement 
seeks to preserve those records from which alone the story of 
its own material and spiritual growth may be woven. 

It is natural that this feeling of state personality which 
leads to the preservation of national records should develop 
earliest in states with a long history. States such as England, 
France, Germany, and Italy have regarded the care of their 
records and their publications as a state duty for many gen- 
erations, whereas younger states such as our own United States 
have just begun to consider the question seriously. For the 
same reason it was natural that our sister states to the east of 



. 1 A 11 



THE STATE AND HISTORY 



the Alleghanies should make a start in this direction long 
before the states of the West should reach a consciousness of 
an historic past; but, because of this earlier development of a 
consciousness in the East, the form of activity has, generally 
speaking, differed from that of the later development in the 
West. Before that stage of development in the eastern states 
was reached when official support to the work of historians 
would naturally be given, there had grown up strong historical 
societies, privately endowed, to which the eastern states have 
left for the most part the performance of this sacred duty. 
Thus it is to the Massachusetts Historical Society that the old 
Bay State really leaves the collection of sources and the writing 
of its history, and a similar situation exists in Pennsylvania and 
most of the other states; and state support has been only 
supplementary to such private efforts. In New York, for 
instance, besides the state historical society, we find that the 
state itself very early entered the field of history and through 
the office of state historian performed some excellent work; 
and such efforts, supplementary in character, have been com- 
mon in other states. In the southern states, particularly North 
Carolina, the most important publication of historic documents 
has been the result of state aid. 

In the West there are a few rather wealthy private his- 
torical societies, notably those at Chicago and St. Louis and 
the Ohio Philosophical and Historical Society; but we do not 
think of these when there is called to our mind the thought of 
the real creative work in western history, for the most important 
work in our section has not been accomplished by such pri- 
vately endowed institutions but through the medium of state 
supported historical organizations. Two distinct forms of 
state supported organizations are to be found in the Mississippi 
Valley. The first is the state supported historical society, the 
most eminent example of which is the Wisconsin Historical 
Society. During the early period of its existence, while still 
under the guidance of Dr. Draper, this remained a private 
society ; but with the appointment of the late Dr. Reuben Gold 



6 C. IV. ALVORD 

Thwaites as secretary it changed its character completely. That 
genius saw the future possibilities in the state endowed institu- 
tion, tapped the stream of state appropriations, and made of 
the society the leader in the whole West. The example of 
Wisconsin has been followed very generally in the other states 
of the Mississippi Valley; and although there has not resulted 
in every case so wise an expenditure of the state's money as 
in Wisconsin, still there are today many strong institutions 
in this territory which are putting forth publications that will 
rival, if not excel, any similar work in the East. % 

The second form of state supported organization for his- 
torical work is that in which the expenditure of the appropri- 
ations has been placed in the hands of duly appointed state 
officials whose responsibility may be easily maintained. In 
these cases there has been established an historical commission 
as in Illinois and more recently in Michigan or else there has 
been appointed an individual known as state archivist or his- 
torian to perform this duty. The best instances of this are 
found in Alabama and Mississippi, whose example has been 
followed by several other southern states. Although such com- 
missions or archivists may be subject to the vagaries of 
politics, this form of organization escapes the charge of irre- 
sponsibility sometimes made against the state supported his- 
torical societies. 

That the state should appropriate money for the preserva- 
tion of the sources of its history and for the encouragement of 
historical research seems almost like one of those axioms 
which we call self-evident truths, and that the states of the 
Mississippi Valley have proved their almost universal accept- 
ance of this duty by the appropriation of money for this pur- 
pose is most encouraging. Unfortunately there has not 
developed among the public a consciousness of the seriousness 
of this duty nor of the correct method of performing it. We 
here in America have been slow to learn that training is essen- 
tial for the performance of public business. The self-confidence 
of Americans, the doctrine of equality among men, the pre- 




i 



THE STATE AND HISTORY 7 

dominance of the spoils system in politics have made us distrust 
the specialist. We are gradually emerging, however, from this 
provincial viewpoint. Most of us now prefer to call a phy- 
sician when we are sick, to employ a lawyer when we go to 
court, and to hire a stenographer when we wish to dictate a 
letter. Unfortunately the public is not yet awakened to the 
need of seeking out a well-trained historian when there is 
demand that history be written. The truth of this statement is 
proved by the large yearly sale of worthless books of so-called 
history, by the assigning of history teaching to any member of 
the high school faculty who has a convenient hour vacant, and 
by the employment by our states of the untrained to expend 
the money appropriated for historical activities. Almost inex- 
plicable is that heedlessness that is exhibited by our historical 
societies and institutions when they make appointments for 
historical work. The profession of historian requires greater, 
more careful, and more varied training than that of the lawyer 
or physician. The methods of the historical science are the 
result of a long development and comprise a body of learning 
that can be acquired only after laborious efforts. No one is 
fitted to write on any field without some knowledge of many 
other fields. American history cannot be divorced from its 
European background. Here in Minnesota the history of the 
state has many connections with Europe. In the period of dis- 
covery you touch hands with the French and later with the 
English; and this later connection lasted long after this terri- 
tory had become a part of the United States. In your later 
history many of the principal forces of your civilization must be 
traced back to the Scandinavian and other states. 

Besides the equipment in historical knowledge, the historian 
must be trained in economics and political science, should be 
familiar with literature and philosophy and with the most 
recent trend of thought in the natural sciences. To these 
should be added a thorough equipment in language, for the 
modern-day historian finds indispensable a working knowledge 
of at least two languages, German and French. 



8 C. W. ALVORD 

It has often been said to me that such a man as I have here 
depicted is too academic, and for that reason will not reach the 
ear of the people. The criticism is based upon a wrong inter- 
pretation of the duty of the men who are to have charge of the 
historical work of the state. Theirs is not the duty of writing 
history for popular consumption. They should not set up as 
Francis Parkmans. Their duty is no less important, although 
much more humble. It is the collection of the sources of 
knowledge and their publication. They are the drudges of the 
historical fraternity, for they prepare the material which the 
would-be Francis Parkmans will use; but in order that the 
future historians may do their work correctly, these drudges 
must prepare for them the materials in a careful, orderly, and 
scientific manner. Surely a state cannot afford to do work of 
this character in such a way that it must all be done over again 
because unskilled laborers have been employed. Yet that is 
what is being done in too many states in these United States 
of ours. Work is being turned out at the expense of the state 
which adds almost nothing to our knowledge and is of such 
poor quality that it increases rather than lightens the his- 
torian's labor. 

The work of those men who are employed by the state to 
care for its historical activities falls under three headings: 
first, the collection of data; second, its care; and third, its 
publication. The collection of the data for the history of the 
state is one of the first and primary duties that the state owes 
to its past. We shall find when we come to the discussion of 
the preservation of the same, that the state has in its archives 
a very large mass of archival material that needs no collection, 
and requires only care ; but no historical society or institution 
can remain satisfied with the mere official papers that have 
emanated from or come into the various departments of govern- 
ment. These form no doubt the bones of the skeletons of his- 
tory and their careful preservation is essential, but if history 
is to be written as it should be, there is needed far greater 
knowledge of the life of the people than can be found in gov- 






THE STATE AND HISTORY 



ernors' messages, letters of the secretary of state, treasury 
accounts, or census returns. 

The story of a state's past is so varied that material of all 
kinds which illustrates the various activities of its citizens 
must be collected. Much of the materials which historians use 
may seem to the layman to be of little value, but they are the 
sources from which are depicted the life of the people. The 
late Dr. Reuben Gold Thwaites of the Wisconsin Historical 
Society used to delight to quote in the missionary history ser- 
mons which he preached up and down the Mississippi Valley 
sermons which led many an historical society to give greater 
heed to its collection of sources the following sentence : 
"The literary rubbish of one generation is the priceless 
treasure of the next." And he used to tell as illustrative of this 
remark a story drawn from his own wide experience. One 
day there came to him a former school superintendent who 
informed him that he had found lying away forgotten in a 
box in his attic a large collection of the text-books that were 
formerly used in the state of Wisconsin. They dated from the 
very earliest time of the school system in the state down close 
to the present era. The owner informed Dr. Thwaites that he 
was intending to destroy them when he thought that the Wis- 
consin Historical Society might find them of some use. 
Naturally Dr. Thwaites, who had preached the doctrine of sav- 
ing so long and so loud, said "Yes." Here were old arith- 
metics, spelling books, and grammars, the rubbish of the school- 
rooms such things as our school children buy and cast aside 
without a thought. Who could find any use for such things ? 

Scarcely had Thwaites arranged the collection upon the 
shelves of the historical society, when a student from the 
department of education of the University of Wisconsin came 
to him to ask if the Wisconsin Historical Society had any 
material to assist in writing a doctor's thesis on the develop- 
ment of public education in the state of Wisconsin. "Did it 
have? Of course it had material on all phases of the state's 
history/' said Dr. Thwaites and he proudly led this seeker after 



10 C. W. ALVORD 

knowledge to those shelves that had so recently been filled with 
what proved to be the best collection of school text-books in 
the state. 

There are many similar stories that might be told coming 
to us from all parts of the world, stories of how collections of 
letters, invitations, menus, programs, street ballads, and such 
ephemeral literature have been saved and proved a store house 
for later historians. The advertisements of the older news- 
papers of this country that part of the newspaper which we 
today so carelessly cast aside furnish our historians most 
reliable information on the life of our ancestors. 

From another viewpoint the necessity of collecting all the 
material bearing upon a subject may be illustrated. Our his- 
torians have frequently trusted too readily to the printed 
material that was so easily accessible, thinking that from this 
they could draw their story. They have forgotten that the 
sources of information which are printed are but a very small 
portion of the material which the historian must use in order 
to tell a complete story. An interesting tale of error that was 
due to the failure to find all the material has come under my 
observation. Some thirty-five years ago Mr. E. G. Mason of 
the Chicago Historical Society went into southern Illinois 
seeking for the old Kaskaskia manuscripts. As you know, Kas- 
kaskia was one of those early French villages of Illinois 
founded at the beginning of the eighteenth century and the 
chief settlement in these far western lands for over a hundred 
years. So far as we know there had been no persistent effort 
made to find these records before the secretary of the Chicago 
Historical Society made his famous journey. 

He reported incorrectly that all the documents were lost, 
but he did return with one record book which had been kept by 
John Todd, county lieutenant of the county of Illinois which 
was created by an act of the Virginia legislature after George 
Rogers Clark occupied the country during the Revolutionary 
War. In this record book Mr. Mason discovered copies of two 
documents issued by John Todd in the year 1779: an order 



THE STATE AND HISTORY 11 

for a guard to accompany a condemned slave named Moreau 
to Cahokia and a warrant for the execution of another slave 
named Manuel. The latter was to be burned at the stake on 
the bank of the Mississippi River near Kaskaskia. Mr. Mason 
suggested that the two negroes were put to death for the prac- 
tice of voodooism or witchcraft, since he connected these 
documents with a story of a witchcraft fear that had been 
handed down by another historian, who was almost contem- 
porary with these events. Mr. Mason also drew the attention 
of his readers to the fact that the death warrant issued against 
Manuel had been crossed out in the record book and suggested 
that John Todd, county lieutenant of the county of Illinois, was 
ashamed of the act that he had done. 1 

Thus far we have Mr. Mason's story, but that is not the 
end of this tradition. A man whose name may possibly be 
known in other connections to some of you, Theodore Roose- 
velt, at an early period in his career wrote a history which he 
called The Winning of the West, in which he repeated the 
story of the death of Manuel. Mr. Roosevelt's account is as 
follows : 2 

"Yet there are two entries in the proceedings of the Creole 
courts for the summer of 1779, as preserved in Todd's 'Record 
Book,' which are of startling significance. To understand them 
it must be remembered that the Creoles were very ignorant and 
superstitious, and that they one and all, including, apparently, 
even their priests, firmly believed in witchcraft and sorcery. 
Some of their negro slaves had been born in Africa, the others 
had come from the Lower Mississippi or the West Indies ; 
they practised the strange rites of voodooism, and a few were 
adepts in the art of poisoning. Accordingly the French were 

x Edward G. Mason, "Col. John Todd's Record-Book" in Fergus 
Historical Series, 12 : 49-68, reprinted in his Chapters from Illinois History, 
250-279. The record book itself is printed in Early Chicago and Illinois, 
289-316 (Chicago Historical Collections, 5). See also John Reynolds.. 
Pioneer History of Illinois (1852 ed.), 143. 

2 Roosevelt, Winning of the West, 2 : 174. 



12 C.W. ALVORD 

always on the look-out lest their slaves should, by spell or 
poison, take their lives. It must also be kept in mind that the 
pardoning power of the commandant did not extend to cases of 
treason or murder a witchcraft trial being generally one for 
murder, and that he was expressly forbidden to interfere with 
the customs and laws, or go counter to the prejudices, of the 
inhabitants. 

"At this time the Creoles were smitten by a sudden epidemic 
of fear that their negro slaves were trying to bewitch and 
poison them. Several of the negroes were seized and tried, 
and in June two were condemned to death. One, named 
Moreau, was sentenced to be hung outside Cahokia. The other, 
a Kaskaskian slave named Manuel, suffered a worse fate. He 
was sentenced 'to be chained to a post at the water-side, and 
there to be burnt alive and his ashes scattered.' These two 
sentences, and the directions for their immediate execution, 
reveal a dark chapter in the early history of Illinois. It seems 
a strange thing that, in the United States, three years after the 
declaration of independence, men should have been burnt and 
hung for witchcraft, in accordance with the laws, and with the 
decision of the proper court. The fact that the victim, before 
being burned, was forced to make 'honorable fine' at the door 
of the Catholic church, shows that the priest at least acquiesced 
in the decision. The blame justly resting on the Puritans of 
seventeenth-century New England must likewise fall on the 
Catholic French of eighteenth-century Illinois." 

Unfortunately for Mr. Roosevelt's description of the burn- 
ing of a witch in Catholic Illinois, the minutes of the courts 
that tried the said negroes have been discovered, and from 
these we find that the two negroes were tried for poisoning 
their master and mistress. Their guilt was proved ; the sentence 
of the Kaskaskia court was that Manuel should be burned at 
the stake, a sentence that was in strict accordance with the 
ruling law of Virginia which demanded such a penalty in the 
case of the murder of a master by his slave. Contrary to Mr. 




THE STATE AND HISTORY 13 

Roosevelt's statement, the custom of Catholic Illinois was not 
even taken into consideration. 1 

We now come to the crossing out in the record book of the 
warrant which, as you probably remember, Mr. Mason 
explained as due to the conscience of John Todd, county lieuten- 
ant. The explanation of this peculiar act was simple when 
there was found another warrant issued later, by the terms of 
which the sentence against Manuel was changed from burning 
at the stake to death by hanging. Of course Todd crossed out 
the warrant which was no longer to be executed. With the 
full evidence before us what shall we say of Mr. Roosevelt's 
judgment concerning "the blame" that "must likewise fall on 
the Catholic French of eighteenth-century Illinois" ? 

The story illustrates an error in historical criticism that 
has frequently been committed. It is so easy to draw conclu- 
sions from too meager information. That this error may be 
avoided, it is the duty of the state to make it possible for 
historians to know all that may be known. For that purpose 
the state should send emissaries up and down its territory to 
enter every attic in every town and village in the state, if 
necessary, in search for that historically illuminating material, 
which may become at any moment material for another kind of 
illumination whenever the tidy housekeeper determines that 
house-cleaning time has come. 

It is very remarkable how intelligent people fail to realize 
the value of manuscripts that might be expected to appeal to 
them as of some importance. An illustration that comes from 
my own family, which on the whole has been made up of rather 
intelligent men and women, will show how lightly the house- 
wife throws important historical documents into the fire. My 
father was a western Massachusetts man and was active in the 
anti-slavery agitation of the ante-bellum days, and his activity 
brought him into correspondence with some of the important 

iAlvord, Cahokia Records, 12-21 (Illinois Historical Collections, 2) ; 
John G. Shea, Life and Times of the Most Rev. John Carroll, 190 (History 
of the Catholic Church in the United States, 2). 



14 C. W. ALVORD 

leaders of that movement. He was also a diary-keeping man, 
entering on the page each day an account of his experiences 
or of his thoughts. This practice he kept up for years. When 
he died my mother had all his letters destroyed except a few 
examples of the penmanship of such men as Garrison, Sumner, 
and others of similar fame. The diaries passed into the posses- 
sion of my half-brother and were preserved by him until his 
death. In the course of time both diaries and letters were 
inherited by an older brother of mine who stored them in his 
attic. One day my sister-in-law, who is of the New England 
type of housekeeper, determined to clean out that particular 
corner and into the fire went every letter and diary except those 
two diaries which happen to contain the record of the birth of 
her husband and your humble servant. So of my father's 
diaries which he kept through a generation, there are but two 
left, and of his correspondence practically nothing. You may 
say that this material was not of very great importance to the 
history of the United States ; but in speaking of collections of 
historical material we are not considering only the writing of 
the history of the nation or even the writing of the history of 
the state, for the state, if it does its duty, must strive to pre- 
serve the papers and records which will serve in writing the 
family histories of its citizens. The loss of those diaries was, 
for the history of the Alvord family, irreparable. 

The destruction of such family records, which is taking 
place all over this land, may actually result in a most serious, 
although unconscious, loss. From some of these families 
and it may be yours or mine there may be born in a genera- 
tion or two a great world figure like William Shakespeare or 
Napoleon Bonaparte, about whom posterity will wish to know 
everything. Such a man can never be understood except 
through a study of his ancestry, and every scrap of paper con- 
cerning him, his father and mother, and all his ancestors will 
assume a priceless value as an historical document. Those of 
you who have followed the studies upon the life of Dante will 
remember how the biographers of that great poet have searched 



THE STATE AND HISTORY 15 

every available nook for information concerning his ancestry 
and have succeeded in reaching back only to the third genera- 
tion. What wouldn't they give for family records that would 
make possible the true explanation of his genius ? 

Besides the numerous collections of family, business, and 
semi-official papers scattered through the cities, towns, and 
villages, there is a very large mass of source material for the 
history of any state which must be sought outside of its 
confines both in other states of the Union and in Europe. For 
instance, there must be very many letters and public documents 
illustrating the history of Minnesota in the Scandinavian 
states. Means should be taken to secure copies of these as 
rapidly as possible. Provided a regular sum of money is set 
aside each year for this purpose and care is exercised in the 
selection of documents to be copied or reproduced by the 
photostat, any historical society will find itself very shortly 
becoming an attractive center for students who quickly dis- 
cover those depositories that furnish the best facilities for 
research. For a number of years now the University of Illinois 
has pursued this policy with most gratifying results. 

While upon this subject of the collection of historical docu- 
ments allow me to interpose a word of warning. We of the 
West must cease to cling to the prevalent idea that those 
events alone are history that have passed from the memory of 
man. Too great attention in our historical societies and in 
our historical institutions has been paid to that far away past 
over which the passage of time has shed a glamour. The time 
of the gay French voyageur, the British red-coat, and the fur- 
trader is very romantic, but the real history of the West does 
not belong to these days of long ago. Much more important 
for us are the days when the actual settlers carrying their farm 
utensils on flatboats or in their covered wagons were seeking 
the fertile lands of the West to make homes for themselves and 
their followers. History is not confined even to those days of the 
pioneer, for many an historical problem of utmost importance 
may be found in the civilization that is almost contemporary. 



16 C. W. ALVORD 

Here in Minnesota is the problem of the melting-pot. Your 
population has been drawn from many states in Europe. Men 
with foreign language and foreign customs have settled here 
in your midst and are gradually becoming assimilated with the 
American people. One of the most interesting problems that 
can be conceived concerns itself with this process of assimila- 
tion. How is the descendant of the Vikings being turned into 
an American ? 

The second of the duties to be discharged by the state is 
the preservation of the sources of its history. These sources 
are generally divided by historians and archivists into two 
classes: first, historical manuscripts; and second, public 
archives. This division has, on the whole, a certain justifica- 
tion. The historical manuscripts are such papers and docu- 
ments as have come from private sources, the importance of 
which has been already described in sufficient detail. The public 
archives comprise those manuscripts that have been brought into 
being by the business of the state and are preserved, in the first 
place, for purposes of administration. Naturally there are 
numbered among these not only the archives belonging to the 
offices of the state capitol but also all those papers that contain 
a record of the business of county, township, etc. in other 
words, both the records of the central and those of the local 
governments. 

The United States and the various states of the Union have 
lagged far behind European states in the preservation of their 
public archives. In Europe there has been developed the science 
of archive economy and men are regularly instructed in the 
various universities to perform this very important duty to 
the state. In most of the countries the archivist is required to 
have received the degree of doctor of philosophy or doctor of 
laws and to have pursued certain definite courses in history, 
law, and archive economy that will best fit him for performing 
his duties. In almost all the states of Europe the archives are 
kept in buildings used for no other purpose. Sometimes, it is 
true, the building is old and very crowded, but the custodians 



THE STATE AND HISTORY 17 

and all those who are entrusted with its care are trained men 
who carefully watch over the interests of the state. In many 
of the countries new buildings have been erected particularly 
for the purpose of housing the archives, and in others plans for 
such buildings were already made before the outbreak of the 
present war. In each one of these archives buildings a special 
room is set aside for those who wish to use the archives and 
adequate catalogues or inventories of the documents have been 
prepared. 

What has the United States done for the preservation of 
our valuable national archives? The answer must be "Noth- 
ing." If we were to test the degree of civilization that has 
been reached by the citizens of the United States according to 
a principle that was laid down by a writer on the archives of 
Russia, namely, "the care which a nation devotes to the preser- 
vation of the manuscripts of its past may serve as a true meas- 
ure of the degree of civilization to which it has attained," the 
United States would have to be assigned a position not far 
above the tribes of darkest Africa. It is true that no govern- 
ment has expended larger sums of money for the purchase of 
historical papers than the United States or for the publication 
of the same; but "no government," as Mr. Waldo Leland has 
said in a very interesting paper on our national archives, 1 
"has more signally failed in the fundamental and far more 
important duty of preserving and rendering accessible to the 
student the first and foremost sources of the nation's history, 
the national archives." 

The great accumulation of documents in Washington has 
completely outgrown the storage room that has been set aside 
for them with the result that the government is paying thou- 
sands of dollars for the renting of buildings that are little more 
than fire traps, for the preservation of what some of the officials 
regard as useless paper, but which must be considered by an 
intelligent public as documents of the utmost value. These 

1 American Historical Review, 18:1. 



18 C. W. ALVORD 

documents, stored in cellars and sub-cellars, under terraces and 
in attics, piled heap upon heap, subject to the danger of fire and 
to the corroding influence of dampness, are rapidly disinte- 
grating under conditions that no civilized government should 
allow to exist. 

The conditions in the states are not dissimilar to those that 
are to be found in Washington. In very few of the states do 
we have anything like an archives building. In almost all 
cases the public archives are deposited in the capitol building 
under conditions very similar to those that have been described 
in Washington. These buildings are by no means fireproof, 
and every now and then such disastrous fires as that which 
destroyed the capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri, only a short 
time ago, bring to our attention the dangers that are besetting 
these priceless treasures. It seemed as though conditions were 
not so bad in the capitol building in Albany, New York, where 
a presumably fireproof structure had been erected; but over- 
crowding, the impossibility of making conditions right in a 
building that was not primarily planned as an archival deposi- 
tory, and the fact that politics placed in the positions of 
janitors and fire-wardens men who were particularly unfit to 
perform their duties, made possible that disastrous fire on 
March 29, 1911, which shocked the whole United States. There 
were destroyed countless treasures which the world can never 
recover. The loss to the history of the West is inestimable. 
Throughout the period of British domination in the West, from 
the close of the French and Indian War to the outbreak of the 
Revolutionary War, the most important figure in western 
history was the superintendent of Indians in the northern dis- 
trict, Sir William Johnston of the colony of New York. He 
wrote to his agents constantly concerning the Indian troubles of 
the Old Northwest. He was receiving reports from his depu- 
ties and his commissaries. Traders interested in the fur-trade 
and land speculators were continually asking for his assistance. 
Sir William Johnston was a methodical man and kept all his 
correspondence, even copies of the letters that he sent. The 






THE STATE AND HISTORY 19 

twenty-six folio volumes of this collection formed one of the 
treasures of the Albany capitol. Some of the most important of 
these volumes were completely destroyed, many of them were 
so burned as to make their contents illegible, and a few only 
escaped entirely safe. It is but one of the many losses that 
were suffered in that terrible disaster. 

How long it will take the United States Congress to realize 
the need of a public archives building, it is impossible to 
prophesy; but the prospect in the various states is more hopeful 
at the present time than has been the case in the past. In 
several of our states there have been built proper buildings for 
the preservation of the material of the historical societies and 
in some few for the preservation of public archives. In a few 
states, such as Alabama, Mississippi, and Iowa, archivists or 
commissioners have been appointed to supervise the public 
archives of the state. In my own state at the present time plans 
are under way for the erection of a building to house various 
institutions, among them the historical library and the public 
archives ; but such isolated cases do not make an ideal situation. 
The time must come when there shall be a public official in every 
state in the Union known as an archivist who shall have had 
special training for the performance of his duty and who shall 
be the custodian of all the archives except those in current use. 
The documents will be preserved in a building carefully 
designed for that purpose ; they will be mended when needed, 
labeled and catalogued so that any individual, whether he is an 
historian, public official, or individual interested in a private 
lawsuit or in public affairs, may go and with the least loss of 
time find that which he is seeking. Our northern neighbor, the 
Dominion of Canada, is far ahead of us in this respect. There 
such a special archives building has been constructed and the 
archivist holds the important title of deputy minister. 

So far we have been considering the danger to archives 
that may come from lack of proper protection against fire, 
moisture, heat, etc., but great losses have resulted from the 
carelessness and ignorance of officials. Autograph collectors 



20 C. IV. ALVORD 

have stolen almost every signature of Abraham Lincoln from 
the documents in the various depositories of the state of Illinois. 
The national archives at Washington have suffered terribly 
from similar vandalism. Borrowers, who promise faithfully 
to return the documents, and thieves have been the cause of 
great loss. But on the whole wanton destruction at the hands 
of ignorant officials has resulted in the worst disasters. 

A friend recently told me a story of the temporary loss and 
final preservation of the Santa Fe Manuscripts. For years 
these manuscripts, about twenty thousand dating from the 
seventeenth and following centuries, had been stored in the 
adobe house which was both the dwelling house of the governor 
and the executive offices. There was no system of filing in use 
in far-off New Mexico and the manuscripts were piled on the 
floor of a room. One of the American governors, who was sent 
there after New Mexico was made a territory, desired more 
room and ordered a clerk or some other employee to destroy the 
"manuscript rubbish." Fortunately the clerk was a thrifty soul 
and preferred to sell the paper to the merchants of the town as 
they might need it. He found it easy to dispose of, and the 
Santa Fe Manuscripts were sent around to the householders as 
wrapping for their groceries, nails, and other household pur- 
chases. Finally one purchaser noticed that the wrapping of 
one of his bundles was an old deed to a valuable strip of land, 
and he started an investigation which resulted in a public agita- 
tion. The papers were returned and finally sent to Washington 
where they are now to be found. 

The necessity of housing the public archives of the capitol 
seems to be a subject that has already become a matter of 
serious public discussion. Only three or four states, however, 
have taken thought so far of the archives that are to be found 
in our counties and towns. Some of these records are of the 
utmost importance for an understanding of the history of the 
state. If one is to study the population intensively he must go 
to the archives of the county clerk, where are kept marriage 
records, birth records, and census records. We are no longer 



THE STATE AND HISTORY 



21 



in the habit of thinking that history includes only the acts and 
succession of governors, nor do we weave our story around the 
activities of congressmen and senators ; but we write today the 
history of the people. We must understand how the men and 
women of the past have entered our territory, how they have 
lived, how they gradually formed themselves into self-governing 
communities, how civilization has advanced by leaps and 
bounds until the magnificent states of the present day have 
been developed. This story is one of the most magnificent that 
has ever been chronicled. Greater than the deeds of Rome are 
the deeds of those pioneer ancestors of ours who won a con- 
tinent. Much of the necessary sources for such a history may 
be found in the little offices of the county and circuit clerks, but 
only a few states in the Union are paying close and careful 
attention to the preservation of these records or have made 
any effort to find out under what conditions they are kept. 

In Massachusetts and one or two other eastern states sur- 
veys have been made, and officers have been appointed who 
have control of the local archives and see to it that the clerks 
make their entries correctly and are using paper that will last 
and ink that will not fade. Outside of these few eastern states 
no attempt similar to this has been made. My own state, 
Illinois, has been a leader in another development. During the 
last few years there has been made by the State Historical 
Library a complete survey of the local archives, and there is 
now in the press a report based upon the results of the survey. 
On the whole the conditions that have been found in Illinois 
are not very satisfactory. Many of the archives are housed in 
buildings that are far from fireproof and there have been 
within the last few years many disastrous fires that have swept 
out of existence all the local records. 

One or two stories concerning conditions that have been 
found will be of interest to you in order to show what the 
attitude of the average public official is toward his records. 
In Belleville, Illinois, there had come down from the eighteenth 
century large masses of documents that told the story of the 



22 C. W. ALVORD 

French settlement at Cahokia. About twenty years ago it was 
decided to remodel the courthouse, and the circuit clerk decided 
that he would have a house cleaning. He came upon bundles 
of these old French records and ordered his janitor to take 
them out in the alley behind the courthouse and burn them. 
This was actually done with the result that from Cahokia, 
which was almost as important as Kaskaskia in the early his- 
tory of Illinois, there have been preserved only a few docu- 
ments. This happened in enlightened Illinois twenty years ago. 

Another story of similar character comes from one of the 
men who made the survey of the Illinois county records. He 
was ushered by a young man of sixteen years to an attic in a 
certain county courthouse in order that he might see what was 
there. A few bookcases had been set up and the books were 
stored away in a careful manner, but his youthful guide 
proudly informed him that this orderliness was only of very 
recent date. A few months before this the floor of the attic had 
been covered knee-deep with old papers and books, and this 
young man of sixteen had been ordered by his superior to pick 
out the stuff that was valuable and destroy the rest and this 
he had done. A boy without a high school education was 
chosen to pass judgment on the value of these documents. One 
can only say that this system was better than the wholesale 
destruction at Belleville. 

The third function which the state should perform for the 
preservation of its history is that of the publication of the 
sources of information ; and I mean by that contemporary docu- 
ments. The first principle which I wish to lay down on this 
subject is that publication should be the result of careful 
planning. 

In too many historical societies throughout the United States 
and Europe the method of selection of matter to be printed 
appears to have been haphazard. In my mind's eye I can 
picture a meeting of the executive committee in a typical 
historical society of America. Around a mahogany table there 
are seated several men whose real business in life is far removed 



THE STATE AND HISTORY 23 

from the haunts of scholars, but who have been elected or 
appointed to office for social, financial, or political reasons. 
The president informs the company that there is a thousand 
dollars in the treasury and really they should print something. 
What should it be ? A member answers this call of duty with 
the remark: "Well, there is Jones. He has a manuscript all 
ready. Why not publish that?" Without thought whether 
Jones's paper is particularly good or particularly valuable or 
whether it has any connection with their previous publications, 
they rush to the press, having performed their duty to the 
society by satisfying the mania for getting into print. Such a 
procedure and the picture is not a caricature must be 
severely condemned. Plans for the publication of series of 
volumes through successive years should be carefully worked 
out. There is no reason why there cannot be formulated today 
plans under which historical institutions will be publishing a 
hundred years from now. That is what the historians of 
Germany, England, Italy, and other states of Europe are doing. 
Such a plan is now in operation in Illinois, and I hope that in 
no far distant time such a plan will be in operation here in 
Minnesota. The men in charge of the work in Illinois have 
divided the history of the state into various periods or phases, 
devoting to each a series of volumes. Thus a series may be 
completed at any time in the future. The volumes are printed 
when they are ready. We have in process of making at the 
present time volumes belonging to six different series stretching 
over a period of almost two hundred years. There is no 
thought of including in such volumes literary productions. 
That is far from our purpose. We propose only to make public 
the sources of the history of Illinois. 

For the production of such volumes skillful assistants are 
needed. You cannot depend upon one man to do all the work. 
He must be aided by skilled editors, by copyists, by index 
makers, and proofreaders people who are in sympathy with 
the high ideals of scientific scholarship. Each volume should 
be an example of the best scientific editing. 



24 C. W. ALVORD 

One more topic and I shall have finished. Is it the duty of 
the state to provide for research in these sources in order to 
find out what their meaning is ? In other words, is it the duty 
of the state to promote the production of historical monographs 
or histories of the state? If this be done, each state in our 
Union has an organ wherein such studies may best be pro- 
moted I mean the state universities. In the department of 
history we have men who are devoting themselves to such 
research. We have gathered there graduate students who are 
hoping in the course of time to become trained historians. If 
the production of historical studies is a duty of the state and 
I think it is no better place for the conduct of it can be found 
than in the seminaries of these universities. Let such students 
have the freest use of the manuscripts in the historical societies 
or institutions. The employees of these should give them all the 
required help and advice, and every encouragement should be 
given to secure their success. In this way, without extra ex- 
pense to the state, there can be secured that scholarly research 
which is the finest flower of our public educational system. 

At the beginning of this address the story of the preserva- 
tion of the great Irish epic was told. By means of incantation 
a miracle was wrought, a man arose from the dead and repeated 
the lost poem for the edification of the living. The days of 
miracles have long passed away and those of gross materialism 
are upon us. No magic powers of an Irish bard will bring 
back to us the countless records of the pioneer days that have 
been lost to us through the carelessness and ignorance of custo- 
dians. To preserve what remains we must have recourse to 
those means that have been summed up in that phrase heralded 
throughout our land, "Safety first." That must become the 
motto of every state. "Safety first" means archives building 
for the capital and fireproof buildings for the county records. 

But I have failed in my duty if this is the only thought 
I leave with you tonight. It is a difficult task to teach a 
democratic state like ours the necessity of a scientific oversight 
of its historical records, of the need of specially trained officials 




THE STATE AND HISTORY 25 

to collect, preserve, and publish the sources of history ; but we 
of the West are learning that lesson. We are, I believe, going 
to prove the falsity of those charges so often made against 
democracies, that they never care for the higher needs of 
society, that they neglect the intellectual side of the state's 
duties. Here and there we find signs that there is budding a 
real sense of the state's duty to its history. In some of the 
states of the Union state-supported historical work of a high 
character is being done, and the example of these few is acting 
as a leaven upon the rest. The future is indeed bright, and I 
look forward to the time when every state in the West will be 
performing its duty to its past in a better manner than is done 
by any state today. Democracy may carry with it a tendency 
to level down, but in an educated democracy like ours the level 
must be high and always rising higher, and this makes possible 
the wide diffusion of an appreciation of all that is best. Among 
those best things which the state should do is the fulfilment of 
this duty to its past that its future children may be able to 
understand the lives of their forebears, from whose activities 
alone can they learn the true interpretation of those vital forces 
that make up their own social psychic life. 



MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

MEETINGS 

The executive council, at a meeting on November 10, 191 4^ 
appointed Warren Upham, who has served the society faith- 
fully as secretary since 1895, to the position of archeologist to 
succeed the late Professor N. H. Winchell. At the same meet- 
ing, Solon J. Buck, assistant professor of history in the Uni- 
versity of Minnesota, was appointed to the position of super- 
intendent of the society. 

The annual meeting of the Minnesota Historical Society was 
held in the Capitol at St. Paul, January 18, 1915. The business 
session convened at 7:30 P.M. in the reading room of the 
society's library. The superintendent presented a report on 
the operations of the society during the year 1914. As the 
information in this report will be included in the Eighteenth 
Biennial Report of the society, soon to be issued, it is not neces- 
sary to recapitulate it here. 

The society, by a unanimous vote, adopted the following 
resolution : 

Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed by the pres- 
ident to revise and consolidate the by-laws of the society and of 
the executive council; and said by-laws, when adopted by said 
council, to forthwith become effective and so remain until other- 
wise ordered by the society. 

The triennial election of members of the council resulted in 
the reelection of all the former members. The society then 
adjourned to the Senate Chamber, where Professor Clarence 
W. Alvord, of the University of Illinois and the Illinois State 
Historical Library, delivered the annual address on "The Rela- 
tion of the State to Historical Work." This part of the meet- 
ing was open to the public and an audience of about eighty 
comfortably filled the Senate Chamber. 



PUBLICATION PLANS 27 

At the meeting of the executive council on February 8, offi- 
cers for the triennium 1915-1918 were elected as follows: 
Charles P. Noyes, president; Gideon S. Ives, first vice-presi- 
dent ; Frederic A. Fogg, second vice-president ; Solon J. Buck, 
secretary ; and Everett H. Bailey, treasurer. 

The committee on revision of the by-laws, Messrs. Sanborn, 
Ingersoll, and Buck, appointed by President Lightner in accord- 
ance with the resolution adopted by the society at the annual 
meeting, reported a draft of a new set of by-laws. This was 
read and, in accordance with the provision for amendment in 
the old by-laws, was laid over for one month. The new by- 
laws, if adopted at the March meeting of the council, will be 
printed in the Biennial Report. 

A paper on "The Minnesota State Archives, their Character, 
Condition, and Historical Value" by Herbert A. Kellar, in- 
structor in history in the University of Minnesota, will be read 
at the meeting of the council on April 12. This will be an 
open meeting and all members of the society and others inter- 
ested are invited to attend in the reading room of the society's 
library at 8 130 P.M. 

PUBLICATION PLANS 

The MINNESOTA HISTORY BULLETIN has been established 
primarily for the purpose of keeping the members, and others 
who may be interested, in touch with the work of the Minne- 
sota Historical Society. It is believed that the timely publica- 
tion of papers read at the meetings or contributed will have 
considerable advantages over the method of accumulating such 
material for a series of years and then publishing it in a bulky 
volume of Collections. Besides such papers the BULLETIN will 
contain reviews of books pertinent to Minnesota history, notes 
on the activities of the society, perhaps occasional documents 
or reprints, and miscellaneous matter of various sorts. No 
attempt will be made to have a uniform number of pages in 
each issue ; thus the temptation to publish articles of slight value 
in order to fill up space will be avoided. The issues and pages 



28 HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

will be numbered consecutively and when about five hundred' 
pages have been printed, a title page and an index will be 
issued for the first volume and the second begun. 

The publication of the miscellaneous material in the BUL- 
LETIN will make possible the reservation of the Collections for 
more unified and extensive works, the greater part of which 
will be documentary in character. Plans are being developed 
for various series in the Collections, each of which will have 
to do with a period or phase of Minnesota history and will 
contain all the documentary material available on the subject,, 
and not elsewhere readily accessible in print and well edited. 
Work has been started on a series which will contain the mes- 
sages and proclamations of the governors of Minnesota and 
on a bibliographical series. One volume of the latter will prob- 
ably consist of a list, with descriptions and references to files, 
of Minnesota newspapers and periodicals, and another will be 
a bibliography of the works of Minnesota authors. 

Volume 15 of the Collections, which has been edited by Mr. 
Upham, will be distributed in a few weeks. It contains papers 
read at meetings of the society and the executive council, and 
obituaries of deceased members from 1908 to 1914 inclusive. 
Mr. Upham has plans for extensive archeological work which, 
it is hoped, will result in time in the completion of volume 16, 
the first part of which, the work of Professor N. H. Winchell r 
was published in 1913. 

Professor William W. Folwell, first president of the Univer- 
sity of Minnesota and the author of Minnesota, the North Star 
State in the American Commonwealths series, has practically 
completed the manuscript of a new history of Minnesota. This 
history, which will probably consist of three volumes, will be 
published by the society. 

THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY BUILDING 

For many years the work of the society has been hampered 
by the inadequacy of its quarters in the basement of the Capi- 



HISTORICAL SOCIETY BUILDING 29 

tol. Thousands of books and numberless pictures and museum 
articles have had to be stored in boxes in the sub-basement or 
left in the Old Capitol where they are in constant danger of 
destruction by fire, while members of the staff have had to 
work in all sorts of cubby-holes and dark corners. Finally, 
after much earnest effort on the part of members of the society 
and of others who believe in the preservation of the materials 
for the history of the state, the legislature of 1913 appropri- 
ated five hundred thousand dollars for the construction of a 
building for the society and the Supreme Court. 

In accordance with the terms of this bill a site was purchased 
and paid for with money from the private funds of the society, 
turned over to the state for that purpose. An architect was 
selected who, with members of the Supreme Court and the 
secretary of the society, visited buildings of a similar char- 
acter in the neighboring states for the purpose of ascertaining 
what was necessary in the construction of the proposed build- 
ing. After this and other investigations, it was found, from 
estimates made by the architect, that a building suitable and 
adequate for both the society and the Supreme Court could not 
be constructed within the limits of the appropriation. The 
Supreme Court, in view of this situation and also of the protest 
of the State Bar Association against its removal from the Capi- 
tol, finally reached the conclusion that it preferred to remain 
in its present quarters, particularly if, by the removal of the 
historical society from the Capitol, it could secure added space 
there. 

As a result of this situation it was decided to apply to the 
legislature for an amendment to the act of 1913, eliminating 
the Supreme Court, providing for the care and preservation 
of the state archives in the proposed building, and also pro- 
viding that any part of the building not in use or actually 
needed for the purposes of the society, might be used for other 
state purposes under the direction of the governor. A bill to 
this effect has been introduced in both houses of the legislature. 
Another bill, however, providing for the repeal in to to of the 



30 HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

act of 1913 has been introduced into the House, and both of 
these measures will come up for consideration by that body in 
the near future. 

STATE AND LOCAL ARCHIVES 

The American people are slowly awakening to the necessity 
of giving some attention to the care and preservation of the 
national, state, and local archives. As a result of the work 
of the Public Archives Commission established by the American 
Historical Association some fifteen years ago, the archives of 
about thirty of the American states have been examined and 
reported upon by competent men. These reports, containing 
more or less complete inventories of the material found, have 
been published in the Annual Reports of the American His- 
torical Association. 

The commission has made several attempts to secure such a 
report for Minnesota, but nothing was done until a few months 
ago when the Minnesota Historical Society agreed to cooperate 
with the commission in forwarding the work. The assistance 
of Mr. Herbert A. Kellar, instructor in history in the Univer- 
sity of Minnesota, was secured and considerable progress has 
already been made. Most of the offices, vaults, and storerooms 
in the New Capitol and some in the Old Capitol have been 
examined and preliminary lists of the material found have been 
made. 

As this work progresses, it becomes more and more evident 
that the present system of caring for the files of state records 
not in current use is inefficient, unscientific, and wasteful of 
space and of the time of public officials and employees. In the 
early days when the population of the state was small and its 
activities few, the quantity of records or archives was not great 
and it made little difference how they were cared for. Today, 
however, with the increased population and functions of the 
state, the care of these records has become a problem, the 
seriousness of which is not always fully realized. 

For a variety of reasons the existing non-current records 



STATE AND LOCAL ARCHIVES 31 

and many current ones are in considerable confusion. Many 
documents or files of value not only for history but also for 
record purposes appear to be missing or incomplete, and the 
finding of specific documents often involves days of search. 
This situation is not so much the fault of the officials in charge 
as of the system. No one has been especially interested in the 
older records and frequent changes in personnel have resulted 
in ignorance of previous arrangements and in changes in 
methods of filing. Records little used have been packed away 
in vaults or storerooms, often unprotected from dirt and damp, 
and if they were arranged at first in some semblance of order, 
that condition has not lasted long. Fortunately the records in 
the New Capitol are not in danger of destruction by fire, unless, 
as has happened in other states, some of them should be con- 
signed to the flames by officials ignorant of their value. Many 
documents, however, are rapidly disintegrating as a result of 
exposure to dirt and damp, while the archives which have been 
left in the Old Capitol are constantly in danger of destruction 
by a conflagration. 

The remedy for this condition is to be sought in the experi- 
ence of European countries and the older states of the Union 
Practically all the states of Europe maintain archives bureaus 
where non-current records are classified and cared for by 
experts, and some American states notably our neighbor, 
Iowa have done the same with excellent results. Just as 
the state has an auditor who keeps the accounts for all depart- 
ments, and a treasurer to handle the funds for all departments, 
so it should make provision for some agency whose business 
it would be to look after the records of all departments. 

As the non-current records are likely to be consulted most 
by investigators into the history of the state, although it not 
infrequently happens that they have a more immediately prac- 
tical use, it is quite fitting that the Minnesota Historical Society, 
an institution which has been collecting and caring for materials 
relating to the history of Minnesota ever since the organiza- 
tion of the territory, should be established as a State Depart- 



32 HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

ment of Archives and History and put in charge of this work. 
The society would, if given the requisite authority and funds, 
establish a separate archives department under the direction of 
a competent archivist and in the course of time the old records 
of the state would be cleaned, arranged, filed, and made acces- 
sible not only to historical students but to the public officials 
themselves. 

The officers of the society, believing that a beginning should 
be made at once in this important work, have drawn up the 
following bill (House File no. 564) which was introduced by 
Hon. Charles A. Gilman, and is now in the hands of the House 
committee on state and other libraries. 

A bill for an Act to Establish the Minnesota Historical Society as 
a State Department of Archives and History and to Provide for 
the Collection and Administration of Archives, Public Rec- 
ords, and Historical Material. 
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Minnesota : 

Section 1. The Minnesota Historical Society is hereby estab- 
lished as a Department of Archives and History of the State of 
Minnesota, and is authorized to hold property in trust for the 
state. 

Section 2. The said society is authorized to receive and is 
hereby made the custodian of such records, files, documents, books, 
and papers as may be turned over to it from any of the public 
offices of the state, including state, county, city, village, and town- 
ship offices. It shall provide for their preservation, classification, 
arranging, and indexing, so that they may be made available for 
the use of the public. Copies of all such papers, documents, files, 
and records, when made out and certified to by the superintendent 
of said society, shall be admitted as evidence in all courts, with the 
same effect as if certified to by the original custodian thereof. 

Section 3. All public officials are hereby authorized to turn over 
to the said society such records, files, documents, books, and papers 
in their custody as are not in current use. 

Section 4. The said society shall, so far as practicable, cause an 
inspection to be made of the current records of the public offices 
in the state, including state, county, city, village, and township 



STATE AND LOCAL ARCHIVES 33 

offices; shall investigate the practices in other states with refer- 
ence to the making and preservation of records and the inspection 
thereof ; and shall include in its next biennial report recommenda- 
tions for such legislation as it may deem necessary to secure the 
proper making and preservation of state and local records. 

Section 5. The said society shall make a biennial report in Jan- 
uary of each odd year to the governor of the state, which report 
shall treat of the historical and archival interests of the state and 
set forth the character and extent of the work of the society 
during the preceding biennium. 

Section 6. All acts and parts of acts inconsistent with this act 
are hereby repealed. 

Section 7. This act shall take effect and be in force from and 
after its passage. 

It will be noted that the bill relates not only to state but also 
to local archives. The situation in many of the courthouses 
of the state is probably as bad as, if not worse than, that in 
the Capitol. ' In the state of Illinois an extensive investigation 
carried on during the last three years by the Illinois State His- 
torical Library showed clearly the need of action on the part 
of the state along the line of supervision of the making and 
preservation of county records. It is doubtful if the situation 
is much better in Minnesota, and certainly it should be looked 
into, for these local records are of vital importance to the people 
of the state. 

Another point to be noted is that there is nothing mandatory 
about the proposed measure; officials are not required to turn 
over anything which they deem it desirable to retain in their 
offices, but they are authorized to transfer to the society, as 
the archives department of the state, the non-current records 
which, in most cases, are only a burden to them. Nor is the 
society required to take over at once whatever may be offered. 
Obviously the transfer should be made only so rapidly as the 
material received can be classified and arranged. In Iowa some 
officials were unwilling to turn over material at first, but they 
soon discovered the convenience of having the records cared 



34 HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

for by experts and now the archivist has difficulty in restrain- 
ing them from transferring the material more rapidly than he 
can care for it. 

Attention should be given also to the making of current rec- 
ords, for the present and future must be considered as well as 
the past. Much time and space could doubtless be saved and 
more valuable results achieved by improved methods and sys- 
tems of making both state and local records. Still more im- 
portant is the matter of the permanence of the materials used. 
Because of the inferior quality of paper, ink, or typewriter 
ribbons, many public records of importance are rapidly becom- 
ing illegible and much money has been spent in making copies. 
The proposed law would pave the way for an investigation of 
this whole subject and perhaps result in saving to the people 
of the state not only considerable sums of money but also im- 
portant records, which no amount of money can replace once 
they are gone. 

Business men and corporations provide carefully for the 
making, classification, and care of their records, in order that 
they may be reaclily accessible and that their preservation may 
be insured. Intelligent men everywhere carefully preserve files 
of their correspondence and other documents not only for prac- 
tical purposes but for their personal, biographical, or historical 
value. The state and its subdivisions spend large sums of 
money in making records and it would seem to be but a policy 
of enlightened self-interest to give careful consideration to their 
preservation and accessibility. 



MINNESOTA HISTORY BULLETIN 



EDITED BY 

SOLON J. BUCK 

SUPERINTENDENT OF THE MINNESOTA HISTORICAL, SOCIETY 
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF HISTORY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA 



VOL. 1, No. 2 
MAY, 1915 




THE MINNESOTA STATE ARCHIVES 

THEIR CHARACTER, CONDITION 

AND HISTORICAL VALUE 1 

Archives are public records. Broadly speaking, they are 
those documents which reflect the official life of a community. 
Defined more specifically, they are the books, papers, or plans, 
either written or printed, which are used in the official business 
of any public office and are the property of the state or com- 
munity. 2 The archives of Minnesota may be classified as state 
(including territorial) and local. It is with the territorial and 
state records that this paper is concerned. 

The archives of a territory or state are usually kept at the 
seat of government. In Minnesota numerous changes in the 
location of the territorial headquarters during the first few 
years resulted in a constant shifting of the records. Governor 
Ramsey, who took up his official residence in St. Paul, June 
25, 1849, kept the executive office, for a time, in his house on 
Third Street between Robert and Jackson. Rooms were 
secured for the other territorial officers and for the first legis- 
lature, which convened September 3, 1849, m a little two-story 
log building on Bench Street, "The Central House" a far 
cry from the magnificent capitol of the present time. The 
three succeeding legislatures had little better quarters. In 
January, 1851, the second assembly met in a brick building on 
St. Anthony Street between Washington and Franklin, on the 
spot where the well-known Metropolitan Hotel later stood. 
The third legislature came together in 1852 in the Goodrich 
Building on Third Street just below Robert. The fourth 
assembly met the next year in the Chouteau Building, a two- 

1 Read at the stated meeting of the executive council of the Minne- 
sota Historical Society, St. Paul, April 12, 1915. 

2 Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Records, The Laws Relating 
to the Public Records and Public Documents, sec. 5 (Boston, 1913). 

37 



38 H. A. KELLAR 

story brick structure situated on the corner of Third and 
Minnesota. 1 

These first legislatures were greatly interested in the ques- 
tion of a suitable building wherein to house permanently the 
new government. One of the difficulties, the securing of a 
site, was solved by the gift of a tract of land by Charles Bazille 
to the territory on June 27, 185 1. 2 Building operations were 
begun within a month, but the structure was not completed 
until i853. 3 The transferring of archives to the new building 
dates from July of that year when some of the offices moved 
in. The fifth legislature met there January 4, i854. 4 For 
twenty-seven years this capitol housed a slowly accumulating 
pile of records : documents telling the official story of the 
development of territory and state. In 1881, on the eve of 
the dissolution of the legislature, fire suddenly broke out in 
capitol and in a short time the building was practically 
destroyed. Fortunately most of the records were saved. There 
were those who thought that the fire was incendiary in origin, 
a supposition never proved. The citizens of St. Paul, fearing 
that the fire might mean the reopening of the old question of 
the location of the state capitol, equipped the barely completed 
Market Hall in a night. This Market Hall served as the 
seat of government pending the reconstruction of the old 
capitol. 5 It was July of 1883 before the last office returned to 
the rebuilt structure and the archives had a central resting 
place again. 6 The increase in the business of the state soon 
made these quarters inadequate and in 1893 a capitol commis- 
sion was appointed by the legislature to plan, build, and furnish 

1 J. Fletcher Williams, History of the City of Saint Paul and County of 
Ramsey, Minnesota, 224, 227, 235, 284, 321, 333 (Minnesota Historical Col- 
lections, 4) ; St. Paul Pioneer Press, July 27, 1898, p. 3. 

2 Ibid.; Williams, History of St. Paul 144 291 
*Ibid., 308. 

4 St. Paul Pioneer Press, July 27, 1898, p. 3. 

5 Ibid.; William Watts Folwell, Minnesota, the North Star State, 325 
(American Commonwealths series). 

6 St. Paul Pioneer Press, July 27, 1898, p. 5. 






MINNESOTA STATE ARCHIVES 39 

a new building. As a result of its activities, the corner-stone 
of the present capitol was laid July 27, 1898, and in 1905 the 
new building was occupied. 1 Most, if not all, of the official 
records of the state were removed to the new capitol, but as 
new departments were established, it became necessary to 
reoccupy the old building. Thus, at the present time, the 
archives of the state are to be found in the old and new 
capitals, with the exception of those of the state highway com- 
mission, which has its office in the down-town district. 

The public archives commission of the American Historical 
Association has been conducting investigations for some years 
with a view to ascertaining just what public records exist in 
each state, and has been publishing reports of the progress 
made. Minnesota is one of the few remaining states where, 
until recently, no such work has been done. 2 The commission, 
acting in cooperation with the Minnesota Historical Society, is 
now engaged in making such a survey of the Minnesota 
archives. Since the printed material is readily accessible and 
fairly well known, the present preliminary investigation has 
been confined to a survey of the manuscript records. 

One who has not gone from office to office and from room 
to room can have little appreciation of the aggregate bulk of 
valuable material which the state has accumulated since its 
early days. The mass has constantly increased in volume, and 
its proper care and supervision is a problem which administra- 
tive officials are facing to-day. The archives thus far covered 
by the present survey include, in the new capitol, those of the 
governor, the secretary of state, the auditor, the attorney-gen- 
eral, the insurance commissioner, the dairy and food commis- 
sioner, the game and fish commission, the superintendent of 
education, and the clerk of the supreme court; in the old cap- 
itol, those of the department of labor and industries, the de- 
partment of weights and measures, the drainage commission, 
and the live stock sanitary board. For the purpose of showing 

*St. Paul Pioneer Press, July 27, 1898, p. 5; Folwell, Minnesota, 343. 
2 American Historical Association, Annual Report, 1912, p. 241. 



40 H. A. KELLAR 

the character of the existing documents, some of the more 
interesting records in the offices of the secretary of state, the 
governor, and the clerk of the supreme court will be considered 
in this paper. 

The secretary of state is the recording officer of the state 
and, as such, is the official custodian of many documents. He 
is aided in his general duties by an assistant secretary and 
eight clerks. 1 The archives are kept in an office, an office 
vault, a document room with two vaults, a shipping room, and 
two sub-basement vaults. They may be classified as legislative, 
election, census, executive, corporation, bond, and land records, 
correspondence, and miscellaneous documents. 

Among the legislative records are the original and engrossed 
bills which later became law, dating from 1849 to t* 16 present 
time, the bills which did not become law, the enrolled laws 
from 1858 to date, and the journals of the house and senate 
from 1849 to d ate - It will be noted that the enrolled laws 
for the territorial period are lacking. The file of bills which 
did not become law is also incomplete. The election records 
are not so extensive as the legislative. The returns for federal, 
state, and county officers are broken files, the last being the 
most complete. Other interesting election records are returns 
of primary elections and papers connected with election con- 
tests. Both of these files are of comparatively recent date. In 
this office are to be found the original records of the decen- 
nial censuses taken by the state since 1865, and, in addition, 
copies of the United States schedules for Minnesota for the 
years 1850, 1860, and 1870. Financial accounts connected 
with the census appear to have been preserved for the 1905 
census only. The executive archives in this department con- 
tain a complete record of civil appointments made by the 
executive department from 1849 to the present date and also 
registers of other official acts of the governor, such as 
proclamations. 

1 Legislative Manual of the State of Minnesota, 1915, p. 233. 



... 



MINNESOTA STATE ARCHIVES 41 



It is the duty of the secretary of state to keep a record of 
the various kinds of corporations, domestic and foreign, which 
do business in Minnesota. Files of these corporation records 
date from 1857 to the present time; the railroad companies, 
however, because of their importance, have received a separate 
classification. Other interesting documents are the affidavits 
of the publication of official notices by newspapers, the records 
of the incorporation of churches, registers of trade-marks, and 
correspondence. Bond records include the oaths of territorial 
and state officials, bonds of county officials and notaries public, 
the records of the board of commissioners of the Minnesota 
railroad bonds, and peddlers' bonds. The documents relating 
to the county officials are not so complete as the others. 

Valuable land records in the custody of the secretary of 
state are the original United States government field notes of 
surveys, which have been turned over to the state. These 
amount to several hundred volumes. A portion of the field 
notes have been copied by the state, but the copies are said to 
contain numerous errors. There are also a large number of 
plats relative to land grants, dating mostly from 1860. The 
correspondence archives are largely in files, arranged according 
to subjects. Under the heading miscellaneous may be included 
reports and papers of the printing commission, the shipping 
department, and various other departments, and papers relative 
to the Vicksburg and Shiloh monuments. 

The governor is the chief officer of the executive depart- 
ment of the state and is aided by a secretary and such other 
assistants as are necessary for the carrying-out of the duties of 
the office. 1 The archives of the department are kept in two 
vaults adjoining the reception room and in a third vault in 
the sub-basement. They may be classified as constitutional, 
election, executive, and legislative records, records of notaries 
public, extradition and pardon records, official reports and 
communications to the governor, correspondence, and mis- 

1 Legislative Manual, 1915, p. 233. 



42 H. A. KELLAR 

cellaneous papers. An interesting constitutional document is 
the original constitution of the state with signatures. Among 
the election records are the certificates of election to the consti- 
tutional convention of 1857, petitions for establishing election 
precincts in 1851, and the schedule of votes on the constitu- 
tional amendment of 1872. In the executive archives is found 
a complete register of important acts of the governor, such as 
proclamations, important letters, notices of appointments, and 
messages of the governor to the legislature during the territorial 
period. The legislative records contain numerous bills vetoed 
by the governor and letters relating to laws exchanged with 
executives of other states during the territorial period. The 
notarial records contain numerous letters concerning appoint- 
ments. The extradition and pardon records include testimony 
given in trials, applications for pardon and for restoration to 
citizenship, and papers concerning the execution of criminals. 
The official reports and communications to 1 the governor include 
reports of various offices and departments extending over a 
long period. These files are incomplete. The largest series of 
documents in the governor's office is the correspondence, 
arranged in general and special files. This mass of material 
has to do with a variety of subjects, such as application for 
office, military affairs, taxation, relief, relations with the gov- 
ernment at Washington, changes of county seats, world's fairs 
and expositions, internal improvements, and exchange of 
documents with other states. Among the miscellaneous records 
are those pertaining to financial accounts, papers of the 
attorney-general, press clippings, and the Minnesota register 
from the centennial exposition at Philadelphia in 1876. 

The supreme court dates from territorial times. Originally 
it was presided over by three justices. This number was later 
raised to five and, in 1913, two commissioners were added. 
The court has both original and appellate jurisdiction and 
meets twice a year, in April and October, in the new capitol. 1 

1 Legislative Manual, 1915, p. 258. 




I 



MINNESOTA STATE ARCHIVES 43 

The records of the supreme court, in the custody of the clerk, 
are housed in three offices and an adjoining vault and are 
quite complete. They consist, in general, of rolls of attorneys, 
files of papers concerning cases, judgment books, registers of 
actions, order books, minutes of the court, naturalization 
records, correspondence, and miscellaneous papers. 

The roll of attorneys contains the signatures of lawyers 
acting as attorneys and counselors of the court, affixed to an 
oath faithfully to perform their duties as such. The original 
ledger, dating from 1858, is still in use. The files of papers 
concerning cases contain the records of over nineteen thousand 
cases which have been brought before the court. The triplicate 
records of the court, showing the legal progress and deposition 
by the court of each trial, are in so-called judgment books, 
registers of actions, and order books, ranging from territorial 
times to the present. The naturalization archives contain a 
variety of papers concerned with naturalization matters, which 
formerly were under the jurisdiction of the supreme court, but 
which are now handled by the district courts. A few boxes 
of correspondence, mainly recent, were found. The miscel- 
laneous records consist of fee accounts in connection with the 
court, exhibits in trials, and papers concerning the records of 
cases in the lower courts. The latter, upon the handing-down 
of a decision by the supreme court, are returned to the courts 
from which they were appealed. 

In discussing the condition of the archives of the state, the 
preservation of the records will be considered first and then 
the manner in which they are arranged and classified. The 
question as to what records have been preserved can not be 
accurately answered in a preliminary survey of this sort. 
Nevertheless, an intimate acquaintance of several months with 
the documents themselves enables one to draw certain conclu- 
sions in the matter. A survey by departments discloses varying 
conditions; for the duration of the office in question, the 
character of its duties, the amount and nature of the space 
available, and the attitude of the officials are only part of the 



44 H. A. KELLAR 

determining influences in the drama of the preservation of any 
document after its current life is over. A close examination 
of the archives shows gaps existing in various files, but some of 
these are due to changes in method of classification, and the 
records still exist. For example, under one official, separate 
files of correspondence on certain topics will be kept ; later, all 
correspondence will be thrown into a general file and the use 
of separate files discontinued; later still, perhaps, the corre- 
spondence will again be arranged in files by subjects. 

Actual losses of documents have occurred, however. These 
have been due to fire, to the attitude of officials, and to the 
use of poor materials in the original making of the records. 
Though some minor conflagrations have taken place in the 
buildings where the daily history of the state has been kept, 
the only fire causing a loss of records concerning which 
definite information is available was that which partially 
destroyed the state capital on March I, 1881. The fire broke 
out a few minutes after nine in the evening, at a time when 
both houses were in session, and spread so rapidly that in a 
short time the building was untenantable. "Nevertheless, in 
the time given, the work of rescuing the records, archives and 
numberless documents stored in the various rooms was carried 
forward with lightning-like rapidity. There were hundreds 
of helping hands and from every room and passage, a busy 
crowd kept going, laden with bundles of written matter, books, 
furniture, pictures, carpets, lamps, desks and office fixtures 
and, in short, any and every thing portable and in the least 
valuable." Some civil war records from the adjutant-general's 
office, a few legislative bills lying on the table in the governor's 
office, some cases from the desk of the office of the clerk of 
the supreme court, three fourths of the books in the library, 
and some books from the rooms of the superintendent of public 
instruction and from the offices of the railroad commission 
were burned. A more serious loss, however, occurred in the 
document room of the secretary of state. This room was 
forgotten in the confusion, and a mass of general and special 



N 



MINNESOTA STATE ARCHIVES 45 

laws, of executive documents, and journals was entirely con- 
sumed. 1 The fireproof vaults of the building contained 
numerous other archives which were found intact after the fire. 
A serious problem which has had a bearing on the attitude 
of officials towards the preservation of records has been the 
lack of proper accommodations for them. In territorial times 
the bulk of the records was so small that there was no difficulty 
about housing them. But as the state grew older, as its busi- 
ness increased, and as its activities widened, the lack of 
adequate space in which to keep the archives became more and 
more of a problem and is now a constant complaint met with 
in the rounds of the departments. The enlarging of rooms, 
the building of vaults within offices, and the taking-over of 
spare areas in the sub-basement of the capitol have only par- 
tially relieved the situation. Some officials, in their efforts to 
solve the problem temporarily, have destroyed those papers 
which seemed to them no longer necessary for administrative 
purposes. The correspondence files have suffered rather 
severely from this method of solution. The removal of the 
state offices to the new capitol seems to have been an occasion 
for the destruction of some documents. A valuable series of 
letter copies going back to the early days of the state and con- 
taining material which can never be replaced, appears to 
have disappeared at that time. Ignorance of the value of 
original records has also played its part in the loss of archives. 
The destruction of various original inspection documents is 
an example. In some cases, where printed reports were made, 
the preservation of these was deemed sufficient and the 
originals were destroyed. The failure of officials to preserve 
records admits of defense, perhaps, where it can be shown that 
they are of little or no value, but too often, apparently, the 

1 St. Paul Pioneer Press, March 3, 1881, p. 5. The document clerk in 
the office of the secretary of state contradicts the statement of the Pioneer 
Press. He says that hardly any papers were lost from his office. Such 
important files, however, as the enrolled laws of the territory appear to 
be missing and were probably destroyed at that time. 



46 H. A. KELLAR 

decision as to the worth of a document has been left to those 
who were not qualified to judge. 

Another important factor in the preservation of records is 
the character of the paper and ink used in their construction. 
A failure to provide for some uniformly efficient practice in 
this respect has caused some documents to deteriorate through 
the mere passage of time. Fading ink and disintegrating 
paper tell the story. Correspondence of which a copy was 
desirable was everywhere kept, previous to the day of the type- 
writer, in copy and letter-press books. In Illinois and other 
states, where the archives are older, a great deal of money has 
been spent in copying old records in order to preserve them. 
Generally speaking, the letter-press copies of Minnesota pre- 
vious to 1880 and, in some cases, so far down as 1890, are 
illegible; as a result valuable material on matters of interest 
is lost to posterity. 

Thus far the causes of the actual loss of records have been 
considered. Attention should be called to the fact that those 
which remain are not altogether safe from destruction. Many 
of the archives are kept in vaults, the presumption being that 
in this way they are protected from dampness and from fire; 
but whether they are so safeguarded depends in each case on 
the vault in question. The office vaults in the new capitol are 
safe, but this is not true of those in the sub-basement. Certain 
vaults there are formed by the shutting-off of spaces, enclosed 
on three sides by walls, on the fourth by a wooden lattice. 
These vaults serve for ordinary purposes, but do not protect 
their contents against fire or against flooding by water. In 
one instance a large storeroom in the sub-basement is utilized 
as a vault; until it was repaired two or three months ago, the 
ceiling was leaky and the floor had rotted away in places. A 
few vaults have barred windows opening on the corridors; 
these would not keep out fire and water. Instead of being 
equipped with double doors, which offer the best protection 
against fire and water, the majority of the vaults in the sub- 
basement have only single steel doors. In the old capitol, as 



MINNESOTA STATE ARCHIVES 47 

may be easily learned from an inspection of the building, the 
records in the offices and many of those in the vaults are in 
constant danger from fire. Some of the vaults in the base- 
ment are reasonably fireproof. The Minnesota Historical 
Society has three so-called vaults there, only one of which is 
properly designated. The existence of two windows, protected 
only by iron shutters, and plaster falling from the ceiling are 
among the undesirable features of this vault. The remaining 
two are simply rooms with wooden doors. In some of the 
basement vaults in both the old and new capitols, doors are 
left unlocked or ajar for the sake of convenience. Documents 
housed in such vaults are not properly protected. 

Still another menace to the archives is their exposure to dust 
and dirt. Even in one of the best of the vaults a clerk claims 
to have raised a crop of potatoes in the dust every spring. 
Some records are lying on shelves with no protective covering 
and a few documents are already in bad shape for this reason. 
In two offices the older documents are placed in galvanized 
tin boxes, a practice which has much to commend it. Else- 
where, heavy paper and pasteboard boxes are used; these 
perishable coverings gradually fall apart; the dust and dirt, 
sifting in on the manuscripts, makes the writing illegible, and, 
after a time, the documents are valueless. One vault was found 
with no lock to the door; the records in it, an extensive series 
of correspondence, were piled against one wall in letter boxes, 
many of which were in a bad state of decay; the rest of the 
room was filled with a debris of wooden boxes and books. 
Vaults in so bad a condition as this are, fortunately, rare. 

The manner in which archives are arranged and classified 
determines in a large degree their value for historical or 
administrative purposes. A study of the Minnesota archives 
discloses many systems of filing. As far as current records 
are concerned, each department, for its own purposes, has its 
documents well arranged and accessible. The older archives 
show varying conditions, ranging from admirable systems of 
classification to none at all. Two self-evident reasons for this 



48 H. A. KELLAR 

state of affairs are the great bulk of the documents and the 
lack of room wherein to arrange them properly. Other impor- 
tant reasons are errors in classification, the lack of indexes, the 
misplacing of documents, the physical inaccessibility of files, 
and the unfamiliarity of officials with their older records. 

One vault was found in which no attempt to classify the 
records had been made. The floor was heaped waist-high with 
printed reports. Among them was a series of manila folders, 
some of which were broken open, containing original reports, 
correspondence, and other matters relating to the department. 
These records, irrespective of the conditions in which they 
were found, were in themselves filed according to no recog- 
nizable system. In some cases, records had been classified 
originally, but the work was poorly done. In other cases, the 
original arrangement may have been satisfactory, but, with a 
change in officials, new methods of filing were instituted. 
Where this has happened several times, the records are in a 
confused state. Again, the system of classification may be 
clear, but there may be an omission of dates, making the 
chronology of documents difficult. Titles, or any indication 
other than internal evidence as to the character of a record, 
are often lacking. Pasted labels have frequently dropped off. 
Actual mislabeling is met with often enough to be annoying. 
This is usually due to the practice of dumping out old files and 
using the boxes which contained them for new material with- 
out changing the original titles. 

The work in some of the offices is occasionally hampered 
by the lack of proper classification of the archives. It is said 
that a clerk in a certain department spent, on one occasion, as 
much as a week in looking for a document among the older 
records, and then failed to find it. If the archives in question 
had been properly arranged and classified, it would have been 
a comparatively simple matter to have found the document or 
to have ascertained its non-existence. Aside from the annoy- 
ance and trouble caused by the failure to find older documents, 
the amount of time wasted in searching is worthy of considera- 



I 



MINNESOTA STATE ARCHIVES 49 

lion. There are indexes for single vaults in a number of 
departments, but there ought to be indexes for every room or 
vault where archives are kept in any amount. 

Even when a proper system of classification has been adopted, 
it takes constant care and watching to keep it up. It is a com- 
mon story among officials that persons desiring to examine cer- 
tain documents have removed them from the files and either 
have failed to return them or have put them away in the wrong 
places. In such cases, the library principle that a book mis- 
placed on the shelves is a book lost holds good. On the occa- 
sion of the erection of the new capitol, the question came up as 
to whether the old capitol site had not been a conditional gift 
and would not revert to the heirs of Charles Bazille if the 
capitol should be removed. It was important, therefore, to 
find the original deed. A search was instituted, but it could 
not be found. It was hoped in 1897, when an inventory was 
taken of the documents in the treasurer's office, that the deed 
would come to light. Eventually it was discovered by acci- 
dent in the office of the secretary of state, where it had been 
misplaced in a file. 1 Outside interference occurs sometimes in 
other ways. Thus, when surprise was expressed at the use of 
two gunny sacks as containers for a large number of territorial 
records, the explanation was offered that a janitor had probably 
needed the boxes in which they had previously been stored. 

The practice of keeping supplies and records in the same 
vault is productive of confusion and, at times, makes the 
records difficult of access. In one office vault a flooring of 
boards, supported by the tops of two steel filing cases, has been 
made. Piled on these boards as high up as the ceiling and 
extending back about five feet was found a valuable series of 
correspondence records ; to get at them, the writer was obliged 
to balance on the top of a stepladder, his head between two 
boards, and move the boxes aside one by one. The official in 
charge should not be criticized for such conditions; rather 

1 St. Paul Pioneer Press, July 27, 1898, p. 3. 



50 H. A. KELLAR 

should he be commended for displaying such ingenuity in filing 
his records. He had no other place for them. Another 
department, because of the lack of space in its quarters, uses a 
legislative committee room for the storing of a considerable 
portion of its records. When the legislature is in session, 
the lock to this room is changed, and the records are tem- 
porarily inaccessible. Another official said that there was a 
vault containing some of his older archives in the sub-base- 
ment, but that the key to it had been lost. 

The character and the amount of the state archives, the 
conditions under which they exist, and the extent to which 
they have been classified have been considered. There remains 
the question of the value of this material. Records are useful 
both in an administrative and in an historical sense. The ad- 
ministrative value often passes with time, but the historical 
value, depending rather on the content of the documents than 
on their use, is more permanent. Age, in fact, often increases 
their historical importance because of the destruction of other 
materials from which the same information might otherwise 
have been gained. It is with the historical value of archives 
that this paper is concerned. 

Students of history are interested to-day not only in the lives 
and deeds of great men, but also in the actions of the majority, 
in what the average man thinks and feels. The content of 
the state archives is valuable for the writing of history from 
both of these points of view, and, it must be remembered, is 
practically untouched for these purposes. If this material could 
be made available, valuable and interesting information along 
political, economic, social, military, legal, and many other lines 
could be gained. 

Take, for instance, such a topic as the political influence 
of the Scandinavians in Minnesota. In the census schedules 
appear the actual names and locations of the Scandinavians in 
the various portions of the state. The naturalization records 
in the office of the clerk of the supreme court tell what propor- 
tion of the Scandinavians became citizens from year to year. 



MINNESOTA STATE ARCHIVES 51 

From election statistics could be determined how many of them 
ran for office, how many were elected, and, to some extent, 
the parties with which they were affiliated. The journals of 
the house and senate would show how many Scandinavians 
were in the legislature, and which of them were members of 
important committees, in short, would tell the story of their 
general activity in legislative affairs. The original and en- 
grossed bills would disclose what bills introduced by Scandi- 
navians became law and in what types of legislation they were 
interested. From the applications for civil appointments and 
from the registers of executive acts could be told what propor- 
tion of the Scandinavians have held civil office. The corre- 
spondence files of the various departments would throw further 
light on the subject. 

A study of the Minnesota railroad bonds would furnish 
an interesting subject of research for the student of economics. 
He would find information in the correspondence, the vouchers, 
warrants, and land records of the auditor's office ; in the bond 
records of the treasurer's office; in the election, legislative, 
bond, and correspondence records of the secretary's office ; and 
in the papers of the attorney-general. The case records in 
the office of the clerk of the supreme court and the correspond- 
ence of the governor's office would be additional sources of 
information. 

A valuable monograph in social history could be written 
concerning the various relief projects of the state. In the gov- 
ernor's archives are a large number of manuscripts pertaining 
to the grasshopper devastations, consisting of applications for 
relief, offers of contributions, reports of conditions from county 
auditors, orders for relief, and papers relating to the furnishing 
of grain to the settlers. Information on the subject could also 
be gained from the vouchers and warrants in the auditor's 
office, from the original and engrossed bills, from the bills which 
did not pass, and from the journals of the house and senate in 
the office of the secretary of state. 

Considerable material could be gathered on the subject of 



52 H. A. KELLAR 

the relation of the people of Minnesota to the Indians from 
the reports of Indian depredations by army officers, from peti- 
tions for protection, and from miscellaneous correspondence 
received by the governor. 1 These sources of information could 
be supplemented by the Indian pension records in the adjutant- 
general's office consisting of applications for pensions and by 
lists of pensions allowed. Legislative records in the secretary 
of state's office would also furnish information on this topic. 

Interesting legal studies on the relations of the state with 
the various corporations could be made from the records of 
the attorney-general and from the cases of the supreme court. 
Other studies for which information exists are the develop- 
ment of the railroads, the rise of the lumber industry, the 
settlement of government and state lands, conditions in various 
factories and industries, the educational development of the 
state, and the reclamation of swamp lands. 

In conclusion, it should be pointed out that, although valuable 
material for the history of the state is contained in the archives, 
such material, under present conditions, is not readily available 
for use. The problem, then, is, what disposition shall be made 
of the archives so that they may be accessible both to officials 
and to students of history. The same problem has been met 
elsewhere in various ways. One plan is to place the older 
records in the charge of a commission and to erect a suitable 
building where they can be housed and afterward classified and 
catalogued as rapidly as possible. Another plan is to place the 
records in the charge of the historical society or state librarian. 
Much has been accomplished along these lines in the eastern 
and southern states and especially in Iowa. The experience 
of these states as well as that of foreign countries, where the 
problem is much older, demonstrates that the essential element 
in its solution is the concentration of non-current archives under 
the jurisdiction of an official or institution specifically charged 

1 As an illustration of the value of the material which is available 
in the archives of the governor's office, a letter found among the 
miscellaneous correspondence is given below, page 54. 






MINNESOTA STATE ARCHIVES 53 

with the duty of caring for them and making them accessible. 
In Minnesota the most feasible procedure would seem to be for 
the legislature, upon the completion of the building for the 
Minnesota Historical Society, to empower the society to take 
over, classify, and catalogue such of the older archives as are 
no longer useful in an administrative sense. This would mean, 
for officials, the placing of their records where they would be 
under the constant care of trained attendants and where any 
document would be instantly available. For students it would 
mean the throwing-open for use of a vast amount of valuable 
material for history, relating not only to the state but also to 
wider fields. 



HERBERT A. KELLAR 



UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA 
MINNEAPOLIS 



DOCUMENTS 

A TYPICAL LETTER FROM THE STATE ARCHIVES 

Mr. Kellar, in his article in this issue of the BULLETIN, calls 
attention to the historical value of the material in the state 
archives. The letter given below, taken from the files of mis- 
cellaneous correspondence in the office of the governor, will 
serve to illustrate his point. This is but one of thousands of 
documents of the utmost value for the study of nearly every con- 
ceivable subject in Minnesota history which have never been 
used by historical students and can not be used by them to any 
considerable extent until some better provision is made for the 
care and classification of the state archives. The letter throws 
light on conditions which prevailed among the refugees after 
the Sioux massacre of 1862. This memorable outbreak, com- 
ing suddenly after years of friendly intercourse and at a time 
when the state was doing its utmost to send its quota of volun- 
teers to reinforce the federal armies, found the garrisons sta- 
tioned on the borders of the Indian reservations reduced in 
numbers and ill prepared to check the first raids of the Indians. 
Terror-stricken, the surviving inhabitants of the outlying settle- 
ments fled to New Ulm, Mankato, St. Peter, and other river 
towns. The problem of housing and feeding these refugees 
became a most serious one, and an appeal was finally made to 
the state authorities for assistance. 

SAINT PETER Aug 29 1862 
HON ALEX RAMSEY Governor, 

DEAR SIR: 

Messrs Hezlep and Ketchum of this place are sent to urge 
upon you prompt measures for providing food and other neces- 
saries of life for the thousands of refugees now gathered here 
and at other points in this vicinity. 

Many of them have lost all they had in the world, and almost 

54 



CONSCRIPTION IN ENGLAND 55 

all of them must be supplied with clothing and provisions. 
Messrs H. & K. will inform you fully how this has been and 
is being done. We think every possible measure has been taken 
to secure promptness and economy in relieving want. 

But there is a limit to the means of our citizens, farmers and 
merchants, and some government, either State or National, should 
immediately come to our help, or we shall all, an impoverished 
and starving people be in St. Paul Knocking at your doors. I 
cannot command language to paint to you the necessities of the 
emergency for prompt and efficient action. 

The food and clothing, fuel and bedding is being taken from 
our houses, the goods from our stores, the grain and vegetables 
from our fields, to feed and supply this immense crowd of home- 
less, starving, naked people, some of them, I am almost inclined 
to say to you, made so by want of proper energy in sending relief ; 
or rather in going to their relief, for no one can find any fault 
with the action of the State Administration in sending. 

The suggestions made in the letter of Gov Donelly dated "Tues- 
day 10 A. M." at this place, meet with our entire approbation. 

If Capt Saunders will not, as U. S. Quartermaster, provide for 
these people we urge you to appoint a State Quartermaster who 
will do it, and see that our citizens are remunerated for necessary 
expenditures already incurred. Any other plan, however, that 
is more in accordance with your judgment and will answer the 
same End, will be equally acceptable to us. 

Begging however that your action in the premises be immediate, 
I am most respectfully your obt servant 

HENRY A SwiFT 1 

[Endorsed:] Henry A. Swift Aug 29, 1862 report of the 
condition of things at St Peter 

CONSCRIPTION IN ENGLAND DURING THE NAPOLEONIC WAR 

The suggestion that England might possibly resort to con- 
scription in the present war lends especial interest to the fol- 
lowing document, which is one of several presented to the Min- 

1 Henry A. Swift was at this time state senator from the nineteenth 
district. The following year he was elected president pro tempore of 
the senate and became lieutenant governor on the resignation of 
Ignatius Donnelly; when Governor Ramsey resigned to take his seat 
in the United States Senate, Mr. Swift succeeded him as governor, 
serving from July 10, 1863 to January 11, 1864. 



56 DOCUMENTS 

nesota Historical Society by John Bo we. 1 It will be noted that 
the names of two members of the Bowe family appear among 
the signatures to the document. The marks preceding the 
names are not to be taken as an indication that the signers were 
unable to write. Each signature is in a different handwriting, 
and the mark was probably used to add formality to the docu- 
ment. 

Minutes of an Agreement entered into by the several sub- 
scribers to these Presents being Inhabitants or propriators of 
Lands or Ocupyors of Lands Tenements or hereditaments in 
the Township of Benaldeth of the one Part and Thomas Westray 
of Benaldeth of the other part Wittnesseth that Whereas the said 
Thomas Westray is Balloted to serve in the Militia or Army of 
reserve and must either serve himselfe hire a Substitute or pay 
his fine and whereas he the said Thomas Westray was entered 
into a Club which depossided a small sum of Money towards 
hireing a substitute which said Money is very far short for the 
said purpose and in order to Incourage and Assist him to hire a 
Substitute unmarry'd or one with only a very small family that 
is one whose family is not likely to be chargable to our said 
hamelet in consideration of which we whose Names are hereunto 
Subscribed or marks made Do hereby severally agree to give the 
sum set opposit our respective Names to the said Thomas Wes- 
tray or order If he hires and gets sworn in a Young Man un- 
marryd as is abovementioned a Substitute to serve in the Malitia 
or Army of Reserve, And It is further agreed by the said parties 
to these presents that If the Law Compels or can Compell the 
said hamelet or township to pay any part of the said Money for 
hireing a Substitute as is abovementioned, All such as have or 
hereafter may Subscribe any Money to this agreement shall have 
such money considered as part of payment to the Rate that we 
may be compeled to pay by the said Law as is abovementioned 
In Wittness whereof the said parties to these presents have 
hereunto set their hands this 10 th Day of August in Year of 
our Lord 1803. 

S D 

X Mungo Simpson 1 1 

X John Pingney J r 22 

1 See page 65 below. 



FUNERAL EXPENSE ACCOUNTS 57 

S D 

X Willil Rowlandie [ ?] 10 6 

X W m Bowe 1 1 

X W m Greenhow 1 1 

X John Swinburn 1 1 

X John Pingney 10 6 

X William Bowe Junior 10 6 

FUNERAL EXPENSES IN ENGLAND A CENTURY AGO 

The following document, also from the Bowe papers, pre- 
sents an interesting- side light on funeral customs a hundred 
years ago. The information about prices of various commod- 
ities is also of considerable interest. It is noteworthy that the 
smallest item in each list is the payment to the parson. The 
document is here published primarily to illustrate the fact that 
so apparently worthless a paper as an old statement of accounts 
may become with the lapse of time a valuable source for social 
and economic history. 

Money laid out By John Bowe for the Funeral of John Dryden 

S D 

A Coffin Plaite 050 

Shroude 086 

Makeing Shroude 026 

Half a pound of Tobacco and pipes 2 10 
20% pounds of Chease at 8 pence a pound 13 6 

4 pounds of White Suggar 054 

half a stone of Brown suggar at 9 D 5 3 

A Quarter of a Stone of sugar at 10 D 2 10 

Thre pounds of Candels 027 

peper 004 

A Stone of Barley 040 

half a pound of Black tea 040 

half a pound of Green tea 060 

A Gallon of Rum 16 

A Gallon of Gin 14 

A Quarter Cask of Ale 17 6 

Parson one Shilling and Clark 050 

Bread 1 7 



58 DOCUMENTS 



Coffin 1 2 

A Quarter Cask of Ale for the sale 13 

A Quarter of a stone of sugar 
Nutmeg and paper 

9 1 ~T 

December 13, 1816 
Money laid out by John Bowe for the Funeral of Sarah Dryden 

S D 

A Coffin 1 2 

Coffin Plaite 043 

Shroude 084 

Makeing Shroude 6 

Bread 1 

A Quarter Cask of Ale 12 6 

A Gallon of Rum 16 

A Gallon of Gin 14 
Sixteen pounds of Chease at 8 D per pound 10 8 

Eight pounds of Butter at 9^ D 6 4 
Paid John Fisher Grosser for sugar 

Candels Tobacco & 18 8 

Tea 049 

A Stone of Barley 040 

Parson 010 

Clark 040 

A Quarten of More Tea 020 

A Stone of Flower 6 4 

Bread 3 

A pound Butter 10 

Ten Pounds of butter at 10^4 8 9 

8 9 11 

9 1 1 

17 11 



I 



REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

Surface Formations and Agricultural Conditions of Northwest- 
ern Minnesota (Minnesota Geological Survey, Bulletin, no. 
12). By FRANK LEVERETT. With a chapter on Climatic 
Conditions of Minnesota by U. G. PURSSELL. (Minneapolis, 
The University of Minnesota, 1915. vi, 78 p., maps, plates, 
diagrams) 

This report, describing in much detail the surface formations 
and soils of the northwest quarter of Minnesota, is based on field 
work covering a period of eight years, conducted by Mr. Frank 
Leverett, United States geologist, in cooperation with Professor 
F. W. Sardeson and other specialists connected with the work 
of the Minnesota Geological Survey. Two additional reports of 
similar scope, treating of the northeastern quarter and the south- 
ern half of the state, are expected to be ready for publication 
within a year. 

Accompanying the report is a large folded map, drawn to the 
scale of eight miles to an inch, showing the areas of the various 
formations, comprising the glacial and modified drift, lacustrine 
and alluvial deposits, and great swamps. Exceptional features 
noted are the beach ridges of gravel and sand marking the shore 
lines of the glacial Lake Agassiz, a broad tract of alluvial silt 
along the Red River, and very extensive areas of swamp adjoin- 
ing Red Lake and stretching northward, with slight interruptions, 
to the Rainy River and the Lake of the Woods, and thence west to 
the Roseau lake and river. The only noteworthy hilly tracts 
are the complex series of marginal moraines, usually bearing 
many boulders, amassed at the border of the waning continental 
ice sheet, where its melting was slackened so that the border was 
for several or many years nearly stationary or sometimes re- 
advanced. Associated with these moraines are many large and 
small areas of outwashed gravel and sand plains. Esker ridges 
of gravel are mapped in only two places, one being about two 
miles south and the other about seven to twelve miles east of 
Perham. 

59 



60 . REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

Rock outcrops are shown only at one place on the Rainy River, 
near Manitou, and at a few places on the Minnesota part of the 
shores and islands of the Lake of the Woods. This quarter of 
the state, indeed, has the fewest rock exposures ; its eastern limit 
is about thirty miles west of International Falls, and its southeast 
corner is near the center of Crow Wing County. 

It would be of great aid to those who can not conveniently 
consult other maps and descriptions giving details of the altitude 
and contour of this region, had there been inserted on this map 
figures indicating the height in feet above the sea level of lakes, 
rivers, and railway stations. Such notation would show, for in- 
stance, the height of Red Lake to be 1,176 feet; of the water 
divide in the vast swamp about six to eight miles north of the 
lake, about 1,195 feet; and of the Lake of the Woods, 1,061 feet, 
A somewhat elevated tract, named Beltrami Island, having an area 
of 1,167 square miles above the contour line of 1,200 feet, lies 
northwest of Red Lake, above which its highest part rises 135 
feet. Instead of a sense of altitude, however, the traveler, accus- 
tomed elsewhere to see hills and mountains, receives in nearly 
all of this region an impression of a country quite monotonously 
low and flat. 

For what Minnesota lacks in scenery she has adequate compen- 
sation in her fertility of soil, in her wealth of forest and iron ores, 
and in her salubrity of climate. Within the area covered by this 
report lies the most notable agricultural district of the state, the 
wide and very flat Red River Valley, where wheat and all crops 
adapted to this latitude yield in unsurpassed abundance, while 
no climatic conditions of occasional and exceptional droughts, or 
of too heavy rains, or of frosts in the growing season, have ever 
caused a general failure of crops. 

For the determination of the various factors in immigration, 
agriculture, manufactures, commerce, and every phase of indus- 
trial, educational, and moral advancement, probably the weather, 
all that we call climate, exercises more important guidance and 
control than even the topographic features of a country, the geo- 
logic conditions of underlying rocks, and the chemical composi- 
tion of soils. The history of any land is influenced in largest 
degree by the climate, and secondarily by the geologic structure. 
Therefore the historian may very advantageously study the care- 



TRABERT: ENGLISH LUTHERANISM 61 

fully compiled climatic records of Minnesota graphically shown 
by a series of nine small page maps of the state and by ten tables 
of weather statistics presented in the second chapter of this 
report by Mr. Purssell, the United States weather observer in 
Minneapolis. 

Another interesting page map shows the diverse sheets of the 
glacial drift, the loess-covered driftless area, and the bed of Lake 
Agassiz ; and the last of the series delineates the areas of forest 
and prairie, the latter occupying the southern and western third 
of this state. 

WARREN UPHAM 

English Lutheranism in the Northwest. By Rev. GEORGE HENRY 
TRABERT, D.D. With an introduction by Rev. G. H. GER- 
BERDING, D.D. (Philadelphia, General Council Publication 
House, 1914. xiii, 184 p.) 

This book is an account of the beginning and growth of the 
English Lutheran Church work in the northwestern states. Since 
immigration from the northern European countries began to 
decrease, the great problem of the Lutheran Church has been to 
adjust itself to the conditions created by the rapid Americaniza- 
tion of its young people. The transition among immigrants and 
their descendants from a foreign language to English necessitated 
the organization of English congregations if these people were 
not to be lost to the Lutheran faith. As early as 1856 Rev. Wil- 
liam A. Passavant of Pittsburgh visited Minnesota and made 
plans for establishing English Lutheran churches. Definite action 
was deferred, however. The great stream of immigration as well 
as the Civil War diverted attention from the English work. In 
1881 Dr. Passavant, as chairman of the home mission committee 
of the General Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in 
North America, made two visits to Minnesota and secured a 
location in Minneapolis for an English church. The result was 
that the home mission committee called Rev. George H. Trabert 
of Salem Church, Lebanon, Pennsylvania, to go as a missionary 
to Minneapolis. His report to the general council of a prelim- 
inary trip in April, 1882, is here reprinted in full. 

The work was begun in the spring of 1883. Rev. Trabert has 
been a pastor in Minneapolis since that time and has taken a 



62 REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

prominent part in the expansion of the English Lutheran work. 
The present volume is largely a personal narrative of his experi- 
ences. Considerable progress has been made, and at present the 
general council has two English synods in the Northwest. These 
are the English Synod of the Northwest and the Pacific Synod. 
Scandinavian and German pastors have not supported the English 
movement with much enthusiasm. In late years, however, the 
Scandinavians especially have been pushing forward rapidly, and 
it is to be regretted that Rev. Trabert does not deal more fully 
with the progress of English work in the Scandinavian synods. 
The annual reports of these church bodies contain valuable data 
on the subject. 

Rev. Trabert's book is an important contribution to the history 
of the Lutheran element in the Northwest. It is especially valu- 
able in connection with the problem of the transition from the 
foreign to the English language in its relations to Lutheranism. 
"While much more should have been done," says Rev. Trabert, 
"it must be borne in mind that it was pioneer work, inasmuch 
as it was begun practically at the beginning of the transition of 
the several foreign languages into the English" (p. 158). Rev. 
Trabert believes that the "differences of nationality and of lan- 
guage will soon step into the background" and that the Lutheran 
Church in America, one in language and faith, has a great future. 

A few errors are noticeable. Rev. Trabert has no authority 
for claiming that his was the first English Lutheran congregation 
northwest of Chicago. An English Lutheran mission was started 
by the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in 
the United States of America in Portland in 1869. The name 
"Sverdrop" (p. 36 and repeated on p. 37) should be Sverdrup. 
The index to the book is very inadequate. 

T. C. BLEGEN 



II 



MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

MEETINGS 

The principal business at the meeting of the executive council 
on March 8, 1915, was the consideration of the proposed new 
by-laws. The draft reported by the committee on revision at the 
February meeting was taken up in detail by the council in com- 
mittee of the whole and a number of amendments were incor- 
porated, after which the new by-laws were formally adopted by 
the council. The charter and amendments and the by-laws have 
been printed in pamphlet form and distributed to all members of 
the society. They are included also in the appendix to the Eight- 
eenth Biennial Report. 

No formal business was transacted at the stated meeting of the 
council on April 12, because of the lack of a quorum. The meet- 
ing was thrown open to the public, and an audience of about 
thirty listened to the paper by Mr. Kellar which is printed in this 
number of the BULLETIN. 

At a called meeting of the executive council, held on April 29, 
three resolutions were adopted. The first of these authorized and 
directed the executive committee to purchase and convey to the 
state the "Lamprey property, being known as lot number 3 in 
block number 1 of Central Park addition to the city of St. Paul, 
at a price not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars cash, or 
securities satisfactory to the owner in an equivalent amount, to 
be used as a site for the building to be erected for this society." 
The second resolution authorized and directed the executive com- 
mittee "to represent and act for the society and the executive 
council before the board of control, governor of the state, and 
other state authorities, and in all other respects and matters per- 
taining to the construction and erection of the building for the 
society, its equipment and furnishing and plans and specifications 
therefor." Still another resolution adopted at this meeting de- 
fined in a comprehensive way the duties and powers of the execu- 
tive committee under the new by-laws. 



63 



64 HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

BUILDING PROGRESS 

On April 16, 1915, the Governor signed an act amending the 
"historical society building act of 1913, which removed all diffi- 
culties in the way of prompt construction of a building for the 
.society. The original act with the amendments effected by this 
act incorporated is printed in the appendix to the Eighteenth Bi- 
ennial Report. The essential changes are: (1) the elimination 
of the supreme court from the building and the provision for the 
care of the state archives therein; (2) the crediting of the thirty- 
five thousand dollars paid by the society for the Merriam site 
toward its donation of seventy-five thousand dollars and a pro- 
vision allowing the society to select and purchase another site and 
receive credit for the amount so expended toward the donation. 

Too much credit can not be given to the legislative committee 
and especially to Messrs. Ives (chairman), Sanborn, and Ingersoll 
for securing the passage of the measure. Valuable assistance 
was rendered also by members and friends of the society through- 
out the state. Hon. F. A. Duxbury of Houston piloted the bill 
through the senate, the vote being 47 to 2. In the house, a place 
on a special order was secured through the courtesy of Hon. 
Elmer E. Adams of Ottertail; the purpose of the bill was ex- 
plained briefly by Hon. J. B. Sanborn of Ramsey; and it passed 
by a vote of 78 to 30. 

As soon as possible after the bill was approved by the Gov- 
ernor, the executive committee of the society held a joint session 
with the board of control to consider the question of procedure 
tinder the act. Mr. Clarence Johnston, the architect of the board, 
having reached the conclusion that the so-called Lamprey site 
would be large enough for the proposed building, the society pur- 
chased the site and caused it to be conveyed to the state. This 
ensures an excellent location on Cedar Street facing the lawn in 
front of the Capitol and in conformity with the original plan for 
the development of the capitol approaches. After several confer- 
ences between the architect and the executive committee tenta- 
tive plans were agreed upon, and the architect is now at work 
upon detailed plans and specifications. 



GIFTS 65 

GIFTS 

Many books, pamphlets, circulars, manuscripts, pictures, and 
museum articles are donated to the society by its members and 
friends, who realize that they can thus ensure the permanent 
preservation of the material. Only a few of the more interest- 
ing and valuable gifts received during the first four months of 
1915 can be noted here. 

John Bowe of Canby, Minnesota, presented to the society 
twenty-two old books, manuscripts, and curios. One of the books 
is printed in the Coptic language and one in Chinese. Another is a 
small geography in Spanish, printed at Barcelona in 1889 and 
used in the schools at Columpit, Philippine Islands, at the begin- 
ning of American occupation. Most of the manuscripts are old 
English documents and several of them are written on parch- 
ment. The oldest bears the date of February 15, 1698. Two of 
the more interesting of the manuscripts are printed elsewhere in 
this number. Among the curios are a petrified book taken from 
St. Pierre near Mount Pelee; a piece of featherweight wood 
from Porto Rico; a piece of white rock from King Solomon's 
mines, said to be the same material as that used in the Temple 
of Solomon; alabaster from the mosque of Mohammed AH at 
Cairo, and a carved stone from the Dead Sea. Especially inter- 
esting is a copy of the issue for July 4, 1899, of Freedom, an 
American newspaper published in Manila. This contains several 
articles by American soldiers describing experiences in the Philip- 
pines, and a playlet entitled "Such is Life in Manila." 

Mr. Fred A. Bill of Minneapolis, president of the Read's Land- 
ing Association of the Twin Cities, presented to the society 
thirty-five reproductions on postcards of old pictures of Read's 
Landing and vicinity; also a copy of a manuscript written for 
the North Dakota Historical Society on "Steamboating on the 
Red River of the North." Mrs. Bill presented a copy of the 
initial number of the Waumadee Herald published at Read's 
Landing with the date of May 9, 1857. The editors of this paper, 
Joseph and William McMaster, were brothers of Mrs. Bill. The 
number was not actually issued until May 12 and on the after- 
noon of that day Joseph McMaster and another brother, Thomas, 



66 HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

were drowned while sailing on the Mississippi. The second num- 
ber of the paper was issued by Norman E. Stevens, August 15, 
1857. This information is gleaned from a manuscript account of 
the paper and its editors written by Mrs. Bill to accompany the 
copy presented to the society. 

General C. C. Andrews, an honored member of the society, 
from whom it has received many donations, presented eleven 
bound volumes of manuscript reports and communications from 
town fire wardens, rangers, and others, made to the forestry com- 
missioner of Minnesota during the year 1910. He had previously 
presented a similar set of reports for the years 1895 and 1896 in 
ten volumes. General Andrews was forest commissioner and 
chief fire warden from 1895 to 1911 ; in 1911 he was appointed 
secretary of the newly organized state forestry board, a position 
which he still holds. 

Seven sacks of government documents were received from 
Hon. Frederick C. Stevens, member of Congress from 1897 to 
1915. Such of these as prove upon examination to be duplicates 
of volumes already in the library will be turned over to the St. 
Paul Public Library. 

Through the kindness of Adjutant-General Fred B. Wood, the 
society received from Dr. Brewer Mattocks of Pittsburgh, Penn- 
sylvania, a collection of swords, badges, and medals used or col- 
lected by him during the Civil War. Dr. Mattocks was hospital 
steward of the Second Minnesota Volunteers from June 27, 1861 
to June 30, 1863, and assistant surgeon of the Seventh Minnesota 
Volunteers from June 30, 1863 to August 16, 1865. 

The society has received from the Minnesota House of Repre- 
sentatives an engrossed copy, handsomely bound in full leather, 
of the resolutions adopted by that body, March 10, 1915, on the 
death of Mrs. Chester G. Higbee. Mrs. Higbee was suddenly 
stricken in the Capitol on the evening of March 4 at the close of 
a stirring appeal before the house prison committee, urging the 
establishment of a woman's reformatory in Minnesota, a project 
for which she worked earnestly for many years. It was peculiar- 
ly fitting that the body before whom Mrs. Higbee had so often 



GIFTS 67 

appeared in behalf of delinquent girls and women should author- 
ize the preparation of this memorial volume, "a permanent rec- 
ord of her gentle life and splendid achievements." 

Through the courtesy of the Librarian of Congress the society 
has secured a copy of a very rare pamphlet entitled Rural 
Sketches of Minnesota, the El Dorado of the Northwest; Con- 
taining Full Descriptions of the Country its Productions, Vil- 
lages, State of Society, &c.; Together with a Series of Letters 
upon Northern Wisconsin, its Appearance, Improvements, &c.; 
with a Table of Distances, by H. W. Hamilton (Milan, Ohio, C 
Waggoner, printer, Tribune office, 1850. 40 p.). The society 
already possessed a manuscript copy of portions of this book 
made by former secretary J. Fletcher Williams from a copy bor- 
rowed from the Wisconsin Historical Society for that purpose. 
When it was discovered a short time ago that there were two 
copies of the pamphlet in the Library of Congress, a request was 
made for one of them, and the librarian was kind enough to au- 
thorize its transfer on exchange account. The Rural Sketches 
consists of letters written by a young Ohioan who traveled 
through the region described in August and September of 1850. 
They tell of the trip from Chicago to Minnesota and contain ac- 
counts of St. Paul, St. Anthony Falls, Stillwater, and other vil- 
lages in the territory. The return trip was made by way of the 
Mississippi, Wisconsin, and Fox rivers, and the villages along the 
route are described. Intimate details of social conditions and 
comments on individuals add spice to the narrative. 

Another pamphlet of a similar character, of which a manu- 
script copy was made by Mr. Williams, is entitled Minnesota, a 
Description of the Natural, Political, Mechanical, and Agricultural 
State of the Country, Presenting Prospects for an Immediate Or- 
ganisation into a New Territorial Government, by Rev. J. W. 
Putnam (Galena, W. C. E. Thomas, printer, 1849. 27 p.). Un- 
fortunately the Wisconsin Historical Society copy which was used 
for this purpose is incomplete, four pages being lacking, and so 
far no complete copy has been located. The New York State Li- 
brary had a copy which was destroyed in the fire of 1911. Infor- 
mation which would lead to the location of another copy of this 
pamphlet would be greatly appreciated. The society should have 



68 HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

a copy in its library, but if one can not be secured, the next best 
thing would be a complete transcript or photographic reproduction 
of a copy in some other library. 



NEWS AND COMMENT 

Illinois, Minnesota, and Missouri vie with each other in hon- 
oring the memory of General James Shields. A statue of Gen- 
eral Shields was unveiled in the Minnesota state capitol last 
November, and recently another was erected on the courthouse 
square in Carrollton, Missouri. The Missouri legislature in 1913 
appropriated ten thousand dollars for this purpose and wisely 
provided in the law that the commissioners in charge of the work 
should keep a record of their proceedings and deposit it with the 
State Historical Society of Missouri. This record, according to 
the April, 1915 number of the Missouri Historical Review, shows 
that the statue is of bronze, mounted upon a base of Missouri red 
granite, the whole standing nineteen feet high. It is the work of 
Frederick C. Hibbard of Chicago. A photograph of the monu- 
ment and a biography of General Shields by Captain Henry A. 
Castle, doubtless similar to the sketch just published in volume 15 
of the Minnesota Historical Collections, are embodied in the rec- 
ord. The inscriptions on the monument are : 

Front 

"General James Shields. Born in County Tyrone, Ireland, 
May 10, 1810. Died at Ottumwa, Iowa, June 1, 1879. Erected 
by the State of Missouri in recognition of his distinguished 
public service and exemplary private virtues." 

Back 

"Soldier, Statesman, Jurist. Cerro Gordo, Chapultepec. Brig- 
adier General Mexican and Civil Wars. Winchester, Port Re- 
public. United States Senator from Illinois, Minnesota, Mis- 
souri; Governor Oregon Territory; Commissioner U. S. Land 
Office ; Justice Supreme Court of Illinois. Act Missouri General 
Assembly, 1913. Senator Wm. G. Busby, Author. Edward A. 
Dickson, Harry C. Brown, Hiram J. Wilcoxson, Commissioners." 

The November, 1914 issue of the Winona Normal Bulletin con- 
tains the report of the committee of five appointed by the history 
round table of the Minnesota Educational Association, Professor 



70 NEWS AND COMMENT 

O. M. Dickerson, Winona State Normal School, chairman, on 
"Library Equipment for Teaching History in Minnesota High 
Schools." The data collected by the committee show that only 
about one half of the students in attendance at the high schools 
of the state are studying any history and only a little over six 
per cent are enrolled in courses in American history. With due 
allowance for the fact that many who enter high school do not 
finish, these figures would indicate that at least one half of those 
who graduate have no work in American history, while of those 
who fail to finish the course the proportion is much greater. It is 
difficult to see any good reason why the courses should be so 
arranged that twenty per cent of the students enrolled take ancient 
history; ten per cent, European history; and only six per cent, 
American history, in a given year. 

The report shows a need for better equipment if library work 
in history of value is to be done by the high schools, and advo- 
cates a standardizing of such equipment. Selected topics, with 
references for library work, are presented for ancient and Euro- 
pean history. Another committee of the history round table, with 
Dr. A. C. Krey of the University of Minnesota as chairman, is 
now engaged in the preparation of a working syllabus for the 
history teachers of the state. 

The thirteenth Year Book of the Carnegie Institution of Wash- 
ington for 1914 (Washington, 1915. 399 p.) contains the re- 
port of the director of the department of historical research, J. 
Franklin Jameson, for the period from November 1, 1913 to 
October 1, 1914 (pp. 158-68). Separates of these pages have 
also been issued. Students of the history of the Northwest will 
be especially interested in the statement in the report that Mr. 
Leland's work in Paris on the guide to the materials for Amer- 
ican history in French archives was almost completed when the 
war put a stop to further operations. The investigations which 
have been or are being carried on in the archives of England, 
Scotland, and Switzerland will be of value to those interested 
in emigration from these countries to America. Progress is re- 
ported upon the atlas of the historical geography of the United 
States which is being prepared under the direction of Dr. Charles 
O. Paullin. 



NEWS AND COMMENT 71 

The Catholic Historical Review is the title of a new quarterly 
published by the Catholic University of America at Washington. 
If the promise of the first number (April, 1915) is fulfilled, this 
magazine will take rank with the American Historical Review and 
the Mississippi Valley Historical Review as one of the most im- 
portant and scholarly periodicals in the historical field in America. 
The first issue contains a number of articles followed by sec- 
tions entitled Miscellany, Documents, Book Reviews, Notes and 
Comments, Bibliography, and Books Received. One of the arti- 
cles begun in this number is "Flemish Franciscan Missionaries 
in North America (1674-1738)," by Right Rev. Camillus P. Maes, 
in which the early career of Father Hennepin is recounted. The 
Miscellany contains the beginning of a calendar compiled by Rev. 
Raymond Payne of the very rare and little known Berichte der 
Leopoldinen-Stiftung im Kaiserthume Oesterreich, which was 
published annually from 1829 to 1860 and contains a large amount 
of correspondence between Catholic missionaries in the United 
States and officials of the association. The first installment lists 
letters from various parts of the Northwest, which appears to 
have been the principal field of work in the early years at least. 
The compiler had access to the nearly complete set of the Berichte 
owned by Rev. A. I. Rezek of Houghton, Michigan, and he has 
given numerous illustrative extracts in the footnotes. In the sec- 
tion devoted to Bibliography a plan for a comprehensive bibli- 
ography of American Catholic history is outlined. 

The Champlain Society has recently issued two volumes of its 
Publications. Volume 9 (Toronto, 1914. 617 p.), edited by 
Arthur G. Doughty, is a reprint of the second volume of Captain 
John Knox's Historical Journal of the Campaigns in North Amer- 
ica for the Years 1757, 1758, 1759, and 1760 (London, 1769). 
Volume 10 is reserved for the third volume of this Journal and 
volume 11 (Toronto, 1914. 555 p.) is the third and concluding 
volume of Marc Lescarbot's History of New France, reprinted 
from the third edition (Paris, 1617), together with an English 
translation and notes by W. L. Grant. Both of these volumes 
measure up to the high standards set by the society for its publi- 
cations not only in editorial work, but also in the format. 

The North Carolina History Commission has issued its Fifth 



72 NEWS AND COMMENT 

Biennial Report for the two years ending November 30, 1914. 
The commission has recently moved its quarters from the Capitol 
to a new fireproof building constructed by the state. One of its 
most important functions is the care and classification of the pub- 
lic archives. The correspondence of the governors since 1776, 
containing about twenty-three thousand manuscripts, has been 
classified and partly arranged in 158 boxes. This, the secretary 
reports, "is a mere beginning upon the immense collections which 
make up the body of the State's archives." 

"The Activities of the State Historical Society of Iowa" are 
described at length in a paper by Professor Louis B. Schmidt, of 
the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, in the 
March number of the History Teacher's Magazine. The article 
brings out clearly the emphasis which this institution has placed 
upon research and the publication of monographic studies in Iowa 
history and political science. 

The Saturday Evening Post of Burlington, Iowa, is publishing 
in installments a very interesting and valuable work entitled 
"Steamboats and Steamboatmen of the Upper Mississippi, de- 
scriptive, personal, and historical," by Captain George B. Merrick 
of Madison, Wisconsin. The publication began with the issue 
of September 20, 1913, and is expected to continue about five 
years. Accompanying each installment is a section entitled 
"The Old Boats Additional Information from Men Who 
Know . . . Supplementary to Captain Merrick's Narrative." 

A "History of the Democratic Party Organization in the North- 
west, 1824-1840," by Homer J. Webster of the University of 
Pittsburgh, is published as the January number of the Ohio 
Archaeological and Historical Quarterly (120 p.). While not 
bearing directly on Minnesota history, the subject belongs to the 
background of the political history of the state, for a knowledge 
of the machinery of politics in Indiana, Illinois, and the other 
states of the Northwest before 1840 is essential to an understand- 
ing of Minnesota politics during the fifties. It is to be regretted 
that Dr. Webster confined himself so closely to the newspapers 
when there is a wealth of correspondence, both manuscript and 
printed, bearing on the subject. 



NEWS AND COMMENT 73 

The Great Northern Railway Company, through its agricultural 
extension department, F. R. Crane, agent, has recently published 
an interesting pamphlet entitled How to Make the Farm Pay ( St. 
Paul, [1915]. 26 p.). A brief account of the company's cam- 
paign for improved methods of agriculture in the Northwest is 
followed by statistics of demonstration work on a large number 
of farms and by suggestions for improvement of conditions, 
methods, and results. 

The folly of not providing fireproof buildings for valuable 
books and manuscripts was strikingly illustrated by the fire which 
destroyed the St. Paul Public Library on the night of April 27, 
1915. Although the flames were discovered shortly after they 
broke out and the fire department put forth every eflort to check 
them, yet the building and its contents were almost entirely de- 
stroyed. Of the one hundred and twenty-five thousand volumes 
in the building at the time practically all were consumed or ren- 
dered useless. About thirty-three thousand volumes were in 
circulation or at stations, and, very fortunately, two small lots 
of books had recently been stored in fireproof places outside the 
building. One of these consisted of about five hundred rare and 
out-of-print books, and the other was a collection of about four 
hundred volumes of St. Paul newspapers. The preservation of 
these newspaper files, which supplement those in the library of the 
Minnesota Historical Society, is a matter of congratulation to 
historical students. A serious loss of material of historical inter- 
est was the destruction of an extensive collection of St. Paul and 
Ramsey County documents. 

The insurance on the contents of the building, about one hun- 
dred and forty thousand dollars, is considerably less than the 
value of the books lost, but this amount will provide a nucleus 
for the purchase of a new collection. Many of the books, pam- 
phlets, records, and papers, however, can never be replaced with 
any amount of money. This is especially true of the manu- 
scripts of two books dealing with the history of the Library of 
Congress and with the administration of university libraries, 
which Dr. Johnston, the librarian, had written and which were 
nearly ready for publication. 

The burned building was one of the old landmarks of St. Paul. 



74 NEWS AND COMMENT 

It was erected more than sixty years ago, and has had a long 
and varied history, having served as public market, town hall, 
theater, temporary state capitol, forum, courthouse, and prize- 
fight arena. The library was reopened on Friday, April 30, in the 
old House of Hope Presbyterian Church on the corner of Fifth 
and Exchange streets, where it will have temporary quarters 
until the new fireproof library building, which has been under 
construction for some time, is finished. 

The value of historical pageants as a means of arousing popular 
interest in history, particularly local history, is being more and 
more recognized. Those interested in the subject will welcome 
Ralph Davol's Handbook of American Pageantry (Taunton, 
Massachusetts, Davol Publishing Company, c. 1914. 236 p.). 
The first part of the book deals with the nature, purposes, and 
possibilities of pageantry ; while the second part takes up various 
practical problems involved. Extracts from a few librettos and 
many photographs of pageant scenes are included. 

An interesting old diary which recently came to light among 
the archives of the state prison at Stillwater, Minnesota, records 
that in 1852 a certain prisoner, on his refusal to work, was 
promptly and without argument shot and killed by the guard, 
whose act was later pronounced justifiable by the courts. 

MINNESOTA PUBLICATIONS 

The Fourth Annual Report to the Minnesota Forestry Board 
by the state forester, William T. Cox ([St. Paul], 1914. 99 p.), 
is an interesting and valuable resume of the work of the forest 
service. Numerous illustrations, maps, and diagrams add to the 
value of the report. 

The Eighth Annual Report of the state fire marshal, Charles 
E. Keller (St. Paul, [1915]. 52 p.), contains statistics on the 
losses due to fire in the state during the year 1914, together with 
sections devoted to the causes of fires, fire prevention, and detec- 
tion and punishment of incendiarism. 

The state department of banking has issued a Report by Albert 
H. Turrittin, superintendent of banks, for the biennium ending 



NEWS AND COMMENT 75 

July 31, 1914 (1914. 357 p.). The document deals with "the 
condition of the banks of discount and deposit, savings banks, 
trust companies, building and loan associations and other financial 
institutions." 

The Eighth Biennial Report of the Minnesota Public Library 
Commission (St. Paul, [1915]. 48 p.) covers the two years end- 
ing July 31, 1914. The three parts of the report deal with field 
work, traveling libraries, and progress in Minnesota libraries. 
Two valuable maps illustrate the location of public and traveling 
libraries and the number of books in such libraries per hundred 
of population in each county. Statistics of public, free associa- 
tion, subscription, institutional, college, school, and special libra- 
ries are presented in tabular form. The secretary of the Minne- 
sota Historical Society is, ex-ofjicio, a member of the commission. 

The Thirtieth Annual Report of the state railroad and ware- 
house commission (1915. 858 p.) covers the year ending No- 
vember 30, 1914. Three quarters of the book is devoted to sta- 
tistics which will be of great value to the future historian of 
transportation in the state. 

The Fourth Biennial Report of the Minnesota Tax Commis- 
sion (1914. 435 p.) contains discussions and statistics of pres- 
ent value to the economist and of future value to the economic 
historian. Neither the title page nor the letter of transmittal indi- 
cates when the biennium covered by the report began or ended. 

The Report of the state highway commission for 1914 (1915. 
242 p.) consists of a report of the state engineer describing the 
work of road construction in the state during the year. The 
folding map "showing state roads and state rural highways" 
which accompanies the report is not very well executed. 

The state drainage commission has issued a Report (St. Paul, 
[1915]. 66 p.) describing the work done under its direction 
during the years 1913 and 1914. The pamphlet is illustrated 
with photographs and contains a number of valuable folding maps 
and charts. 

George J. Ries, county auditor of Ramsey County, Minnesota, 
has had printed a Financial Statement for the fiscal year ending 



76 NEWS AND COMMENT 

December 31, 1914, showing receipts and disbursements of state, 
county, village, town, and school funds in the county during the 
period covered. 

The Report of the department of assessor of the city of St. Paul 
and the county of Ramsey for the year 1914, by Frank L. Powers, 
assessor ([St. Paul, 1915]. 19 p.), contains information of value 
to city officials and property owners. 

The Thirty-third Annual Report of the board of water com- 
missioners of St. Paul (St. Paul, 1915. 36 p.) covers the year 
1914. Besides extensive statistics the report contains a chart 
illustrative of the organization of the water bureau under the new 
charter. 

The Fifteenth Biennial Report of the board of managers and 
the superintendent of the Minnesota State Public School at Owa- 
tonna (Minneapolis, 1915. pp. 333-72) sets forth the work of 
the institution during the biennium ending July 31, 1914. 

In the Eighteenth Biennial Report of the board of directors 
and the superintendent of the Minnesota School for the Blind 
(Faribault, 1915. 59 p.) is presented a survey of the work of the 
school for the two years ending July 31, 1914. Of especial inter- 
est is the account of the Field and Employment Agency for the 
Blind, authorized by the legislature of 1913. The agency secre- 
tary has been traveling through the state, looking up the blind, 
ascertaining "their personal condition, means of support, degree 
of dependence, and general status in the community of which 
they form a part" the first step taken by the agency in the solu- 
tion of the problem of assisting the adult blind to be self-support- 
ing. 

Number 3 of volume 11 of the Carleton College Bulletin is the 
annual Catalogue Number (Northfield, March, 1915. 136 p.). 

Volume 17, number 2 of the Bulletin of the University of Min- 
nesota comprises The Annual Register for the year 1913-14 
(Minneapolis, 1915. 202 p.). Besides general information 
about the university, it contains lists of the faculty and officers of 
administration, of students, and of degrees granted in 1913. 



NEWS AND COMMENT 77 

In the Twenty-second Annual Report of the agricultural ex- 
periment station of the University of Minnesota for the year 
ending June 30, 1914 (University Farm, St. Paul, 1915. 72 p.) 
the director, Dean Albert F. Woods, reviews at some length the 
progress made in the experimental and research projects of the 
various divisions of the station. 

The St. Mary's Hospital of Rochester, conducted by the Sisters 
of St. Francis, has issued its Twenty-fifth Annual Report for the 
year 1914 (Rochester, 1915. 43 p.). 

The League of Minnesota Municipalities held its second annual 
convention at Mankato, October 21 and 22, 1914. The Proceed- 
ings ([Minneapolis, 1914]. 160 p.) was prepared by Professor 
G. A. Gesell, head of the municipal reference bureau of the Uni- 
versity of Minnesota, and contains important papers, reports, 
and discussions. 

The Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of the state of Min- 
nesota has published the Proceedings of its fifty-third annual 
convocation, held in St. Paul, October 13, 1914 (St. Paul, 1914. 
56 p.). 

The Proceedings of the Masonic Veteran Association of Min- 
nesota at its twenty-third annual reunion in St. Paul, January 19 
and 20, 1915 (vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 535-80) contains biographical 
sketches of thirty-six recently deceased members. 

The Third Minnesota Infantry Association has published the 
Proceedings of the thirtieth reunion of its members held in St. 
Anthony Park, September 9, 1914 (10 p.). 

The Minneapolis branch of the Woman's Foreign Missionary 
Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church has issued its Thirty- 
first Annual Report for the year ending October 1, 1914 ([Min- 
neapolis, 1914]. 97 p.). In addition to the official minutes of 
the annual meeting held at Detroit, October 1 to 5, 1914, reports 
of the officers concerned with the various activities of the society 
and the articles of incorporation and by-laws of the Minneapolis 
branch are included. 

The Guild of Catholic Women of St. Paul, Minnesota, has pre- 



78 NEWS AND COMMENT 

sented a survey of the work of the society in its Eighth Annual 
Report for the year 1914-15 (32 p.). 

The Minutes of the thirty-eighth annual meeting of the 
Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Minnesota, held at Red 
Wing, September 22-25, 1914 (Minneapolis, 1914. 149 p.), be- 
sides minutes of the convention, contains reports of officers, ad- 
dresses, reports of branches and department work, and a directory 
of district and local unions and allied organizations in the state 
by districts and counties. 

The Annual Report of the Minnesota Federation of Women's 
Clubs for the year 1914-15 (Minneapolis, [1915]. 133 p.) in- 
cludes, in addition to reports of officers and committees, a direc- 
tory of affiliated clubs arranged alphabetically by towns, with 
courses of study, number of members, and names of officers ; 
state organizations ; data on district and county organizations ; and 
the constitution and by-laws of the federation. 

Studies in the Marketing of Farm Products, issued as number 
4 of the Studies in the Social Sciences of the University of Min- 
nesota (Minneapolis, 1915. 113 p.), contains three papers by 
Professor L. D. H. Weld and five by students in agricultural eco- 
nomics. Most of the papers deal with conditions in Minnesota. 

Secondary Stresses and Other Problems in Rigid Frames: A 
New Method of Solution, by George Alfred Maney, instructor in 
structural engineering, University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, 
1915. 17 p.), is the first number of a series entitled Studies in 
Engineering, issued by the University of Minnesota. 

Minnesota Public Utility Rates, Gas Electric Water (Uni- 
versity of Minnesota, Current Problems, no. 3), by Gerhard A. 
Gesell, assistant professor of economics, University of Minnesota 
(Minneapolis, 1914. 254 p.), is the second of a series of studies 
which are being conducted by the municipal reference bureau of 
the general extension division of the university. 

Community Centers, by Raymond V. Phelan, instructor in eco- 
nomics, University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, 1915. 15 p.), is 
a recent publication. of the general extension division of the Uni- 
versity of Minnesota, issued as number 25 of the General Series 
of the university's Bulletin. 






NEWS AND COMMENT 79 

The Minnesota school of mines experiment station of the Uni- 
versity of Minnesota has issued as its Bulletin, no. 3, Preliminary 
Concentration Tests on Cuyuna Ores by William R. Appleby and 
Edmund Newton (Minneapolis, 1915. 66 p.). 

The Source of the Father of Waters, by William T. Cox, state 
forester (St. Paul, 1914. 22 p.), issued as Minnesota Forest 
Service, Bulletin, no. 3, is a sketch of the exploration of the head- 
waters of the Mississippi River; there is added a description of 
Itasca State Park and information about its management. 

The Medical School of the University of Minnesota and the 
Mayo Foundation for the Promotion of Medical Education and 
Research ([Minneapolis, 1915]. 14 p.) is a pamphlet issued by 
a university committee and presents arguments in favor of the 
affiliation of the university with the foundation. 

Saint Paul, Minnesota, a pageant of history, by Elizabeth Clay 
Rogers Magoffin, was presented at the Y. W. C. A. Auditorium in 
St. Paul on the evening of May 22, 1914. The poem has been 
privately printed by the author in an edition of one hundred copies 
(1914. 14 p.). 

The Men and Products of Saint Paul, "The Star City of the 
North Star State," together with the jrd Annual Saint Paul 
Almanack for 1915 (St. Paul, [Corning Advertising Agency], 
1915. 64 p.) contains, in addition to the usual medley of more or 
less amusing quips and quirks, cuts, with biographical data, of 
about a score of prominent St. Paul business and professional 
men. It is issued as a premium for subscribers to the Razoo. 

The Directory of the Minneapolis public schools for the year 
1914-15 ([Minneapolis, 1914]. 86 p.) contains lists of officials 
and teachers ; several pages are devoted to matters of general 
information. A similar Directory for the St. Paul public schools 
has also been issued (St. Paul, 1914. 55 p.). 

In the Yale Law Journal, November, 1914, pages 12 to 33, 
appeared an article by Rome G. Brown, of Minneapolis, on "The 
Water-Power Problem in the United States." The article has 
been reprinted in pamphlet form. 

The Scope of Charity, by Rev. James Donahoe (2d ed., St. 



80 NEWS AND COMMENT 

Paul, 1914. 339 p.), presents a treatise on charity from a 
Catholic point of view. A Minnesota man, the author makes use 
of Minnesota examples and discusses conditions and endeavors in 
the state. Some of the subjects treated are mothers' pensions, 
the minimum wage, social settlement work, the liquor problem, 
and state charitable institutions. 

The following articles of interest on economic subjects by John 
H. Gray, professor of economics in the University of Minne- 
sota, have been reprinted as separates : The Public View of the 
Railroads' Need for an Increase of Rates from the Journal of 
Political Economy, 23:105-27 (February, 1915) ; Public Admin- 
istration and Practical Training for Public Service (11 p.) from 
the Proceedings of the First National Conference on Universities 
and Public Service, New York, May 12 and 13, 1914; Economics 
and the Law (23 p.) from the Supplement to the American Eco- 
nomic Review, volume 5, number 1 (March, 1915). Another 
article by Dr. Gray, entitled "The Control of Public Utilities with 
Special Reference to Current Theories of Valuation," appeared 
in volume 1, number 3 of the Discussions of the Economic Club of 
San Francisco (pp. 3-38). 

A "Memoir of Newton Horace Winchell" by Warren Upham 
is published in volume 26 of the Bulletin of the Geological Society 
of America (1915. pp. 27-46). It concludes with an elaborate 
bibliography of Winchell's writings arranged according to dates 
of publication from 1861 to 1914 and containing 270 items. A 
few separates have been issued. 

The Album by Frank Wing (c. 1914. 96 p.) consists of 
pictures "shown to the new neighbor by Rebecca Sparks Peters, 
aged eleven." It is a reproduction of a series of clever cartoons 
which appeared in the Minneapolis Journal. "Turn Over" is the 
suggestive cover title. 



s 



MINNESOTA HISTORY BULLETIN 



EDITED BY 

SOLON J. BUCK 

SUPERINTENDENT OF THE MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY 
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF HISTORY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA 



VOL. 1, No. 3 
AUGUST, 1915 




TRIBAL DANCE OF THE OJIBWAY INDIANS 



In July, 1911, at the Bois Fort Indian Reservation in north- 
ern Minnesota, I was a spectator of the tribal dance of the Bois 
Fort Ojibways. I call these Indians Ojibways because that is 
their true name, acknowledged by them and understood in his- 
tory. The name "Chippewa," by which they are known locally, 
is merely a corrupt form of the word "Ojibway." "Bois 
Fort," freely translated, means "thick woods," so that the 
term "Bois Fort Ojibways" means "Ojibways of the thick 
woods." It may be added that this is their ancient Indian 
name. They were known as "wood Indians," and were, in 
this way, distinguished from Ojibways of the river, the plain, 
or the lake. 

The dance took place at night, beginning at about nine 
o'clock. Although during all the preceding day a large num- 
ber of the Indians had participated in a pagan religious cere- 
mony, beginning before sunrise and ending at sunset, march- 
ing, dancing, singing, and invoking, yet nearly all of them 
appeared at the tribal dance apparently fresh and unwearied. 

The scene of the festivities was within a round, coliseum- 
like building. The structure contained little sawed lumber. 
Its uprights and walls were of split cedar. The floor was 
formed of pounded clay, and, no matter how active the dancers 
were, little dust was raised. The great chamber, fifty feet in 
diameter, was illuminated by large, old-fashioned lanterns. A 
bench was nailed around the wall for spectators and partici- 
pants. But it seems that white spectators, who were entirely 
free to enter and look on, and even to dance, if they chose, 
were expected to sit on the west side, near the entrance. No 
one noticed or intruded upon the spectators. It was their 
privilege to see and be silent. The first familiarity, if any was 
indulged in, had to come from the whites. 

In front of this bench, which extended around the hall, was 



84 WILLIAM E. CULKIN 

the circular track, eight or ten feet in width, of beaten clay and 
very smooth, on which the dancers traveled. In the very center 
of the room was a great drum, the tom-tom, whose "boom- 
boom-boom" could be heard a mile. This sweet-sounding drum 
was of Indian manufacture, and during the dance it was beaten 
by four or five drummers striking the great diapason in unison 
with sticks padded on the striking end. The drummers sat on 
benches around the drum ; and back of and around them sat a 
score of vocalists who, during the dance, sang in a high, clear, 
smooth treble, harmonizing with the drum. The booming 
drum and chorus of Indian voices made stirring dance music. 
Behind the singers, all around, most of the women, girls, and 
children sat, gossiping, laughing, listening, and watching. 

About nine o'clock the people came straggling in, stately 
warriors, lissome girls, fat dames, raw-boned youths, and 
groups of lads and lassies. All glanced at me, a white man, 
where I sat with the reservation doctor, but that was all. They 
were neither curt nor courteous; they ignored my companion 
and myself with Indian taciturnity. 

The drummers took their places around the drum, the chor- 
isters behind them. Then some singer broke out in a wailing, 
monotonous treble, the drum joining in. But the dance did 
not then begin very actively. A few boys circled around, a 
group of the elders tried their paces a little and subsided. Most 
of the women who came in carried bundles containing bead 
headdresses and sashes for their husbands, lunches, and gifts. 
In general, the women donned no ornaments. They wore, in 
truth, their best gowns, but it remained for the warriors to 
gleam and glisten in bead and feather, in bright sashes, head- 
dresses, leggings, and moccasins. Some wore the footwear 
of the white man, as being better to dance in. 

Let us now acquaint ourselves with some of the participants. 
Chief Moses Day ( Day-bway-wain-dung, which, freely ren- 
dered, is "One-who-can-be-heard-from-afar") was there. He 
is over seventy summers old, but is erect and active. I saw 
him at sunrise that day; he had been for sixteen hours par- 



OJIBWAY TRIBAL DANCE 85 

ticipating in the Medawe religious dances, had made many 
speeches, had eaten a man's share, and yet here he was ready 
to dance and frolic until another sunrise. What white man of 
seven decades could do as much ? During the day ceremonies 
he was attired in solemn black; his coat was of that cut worn 
years ago by professional men ; his hat, a high-crowned derby ; 
on either cheek he had daubed a small, modest splash of ver- 
milion. At the tribal dance at night he wore the same garb, 
supplemented, however, by a headdress of feathers, very mod- 
erate and becoming, a beaded sash, and a few other bright- 
colored trappings. He was a very Chesterfield in courtesy, a 
Washington in urbane dignity. No wonder he was admired 
by the women and honored by the men. He is a fine old Indian 
politician, chief of the tribe, that is, the civil chief. He had 
10 hereditary right, but had succeeded in pushing aside No- 
be-day-ke-shig-o-kay, the heir to the throne, son of Farmer 
John. It seems that among the Ojibways heirship is in the 
male line, as at common law ; not in the female line, as among 
the Iroquois. This old warrior likes white men very well. I 
am certain that old Moses was that sort of Indian who, in 
ancient times, raised his voice for mercy when others shouted 
for death by fire at the stake. 

May-jish-kung, John Johnson, was in attendance, in full 
regalia. His name signifies "One-equal-to-an-emergency," or 
"One-who-does-things." This Indian was the chief medium, 
sorcerer, invoker. He claims knowledge of the occult and 
the future, and is the high priest of the Me-da-we-win, that is 
to say, the man among them who knows the future, can invoke 
spirits, and advise wisely. He is clearly a deceiver, but I think 
an honest one; on the whole, auto-deceived, he deceives the 
others. He did not dance at all ; perhaps he felt that it would 
lower his dignity. May-jish-kung is an old-time conservative, 
a veritable standpatter. He stands for the past, for all things 
Indian, and bitterly resents innovations, while he sees them 
coming on all sides. 

We have often read of that chief who, in the woodland 



86 WILLIAM E. CULKIN 

council, always stood for war, for death and the stake, for the 
forest life as against that of the whites. This old medium is 
of that temper, that is, he lives and will die a hostile, although, 
to be sure, he is no lawbreaker now. Of all the company, he 
sat apart alone, erect, his brown eyes blazing, dreaming of the 
days of old when his clan was known and honored from the 
salt sea west to the Mississippi, in all that region where now 
an alien and hated race holds sway. 

All informants said that Kay-ke-way-aush was over eighty 
years old. His English name is O. M. Johnson ; I missed get- 
ting the translation of his Indian name. It should be said that 
these English names have been merely tacked on to these people 
for convenience, sometimes by a logger for whom they have 
worked, or by the United States authorities. They answer 
to the English name in English-speaking company and to the 
Indian name their real name among their own people. 

Kay-ke-way-aush was a fine old sprite. Merry and urbane 
like Moses Day, he lacked the latter' s ability and ambition. 
He was one of those who, in days gone by, would have merrily 
applauded a burning at the stake, or as cheerfully acclaimed the 
release of the intended victim. He would be happy under any 
and all conditions, whether it rained or the sun shone ; whether 
there was wild rice and moose meat in the tepee, or nothing 
but old skins to chew on. Nothing really mattered to him. 
There are millions like him who are not Indians. 

Ne-be-day-ke-shig-o-key, a good-looking hunter and guide 
of fifty years, was at the dance. His name, translated literally, 
signifies " Sound-traveling- from-cloud-to-cloud"; more freely 
rendered, it becomes "Rolling Thunder." He is known to 
the white world and on the government records as George 
Farmer, and is one of the few Bois Fort people who speak 
English. 

His younger brother is A-win-e-be-nais, Charley Farmer, a 
clever boat-builder. His Indian name means "Bird-that flies- 
in-fog." Perhaps its figurative significance is Sharp-Eye, or 
Hawkeye, as a bird which flies in fog must see clearly, but I 



OJIBWAY TRIBAL DANCE 87. 

am not sure about that. He speaks very little English, but 
one is led to suspect that he knows more of the hated tongue 
than he admits. 

These two are the sons of old Pe-ta-wah-na-qua-be-nais, 
Farmer John, who died three years since. They said that he 
was then one hundred years of age. He was the acknowledged 
chief, and his own memory went back to the early days of the 
nineteenth century. Their mother still lives. Her name is 
Ta-tah-guash-eke, meaning "Cold-winter-storms," or some- 
thing like that. George Farmer is a capable guide, a good 
hunter, and a man well esteemed. He usually holds some small 
post under the government in the tribal service. Charley 
Farmer is an able mechanic. His boats, built of half-inch 
cedar, sell readily and are well known. Both of these respect- 
able men are pagans and stand for the ancient Indian beliefs. 
They were present all day at the Me-da-we-win ceremonies 
carried on under the direction of the four high priests of the 
Medawe lodge, and they and their families were at this tribal 
dance at night, well dressed, as village business men might be, 
but, in addition, decorated with little crowns of feathers, bead 
sashes, and leggings. They circled in the dance actively. Both 
of these men have enough knowledge of reading and writing 
to be able to conduct their simple affairs. They are Indians 
through and through, the younger brother being a real fanatic 
in red patriotism ; the elder is no less patriotic but has probably 
grown colder with years, and is, perhaps, conscious, from long 
observation, of the hopeless inferiority and incapacity of his 
race, but he adheres to his people. 

The grand leader of the dance, the master of the most intri- 
cate gyrations, he who was the cynosure of all eyes, was a 
lithe veteran of seventy years, Ah-mah-kah-me-ke-mting, or, 
as he is known to white people, Andy Fields. His dance cos- 
tume was gorgeous. Over his ordinary dress he wore large 
sashes, breech clouts, aprons and leggings of black velvet deco- 
rated with thousands of beads of various colors. On his feet 
were moccasins of the whitest moose skin, highly ornamented. 



88 WILLIAM E. CULKIN 

He wore a headdress of bright feathers, fastened in a band 
of beaded skin. He carried in his hand a tomahawk gaily 
trimmed with bright ribbons. When Andy circled the dance 
path, leading a special group of dancers, swinging his toma- 
hawk and shouting his dance cry, carrying his seventy years 
as though they were but twenty, there was no one, squaw or 
warrior, who saw him who could refrain from feeling admira- 
tion and expressing approval. His dancing was so far superior 
to that of any of the others, his activity and skill were so much 
greater, the grace of his movements was so surpassing, that no 
one challenged his leadership. He was, indeed, the belle of the 
ball. 

At Indian dances it is the men who shine in splendor of 
dress and color. The women, like the female birds in the 
woods, are content with quiet apparel. They are less forward 
than the men and less prominent, like, for instance, white men 
at a civilized function. They admire the dress and personal 
beauty of the warriors in the same way that white men at a 
ball admire the dress and bask in the charm of white women. 

At this tribal dance few of the women stood out from the 
mass, but Sah-kah-me-quay-beake, wife of Chief Moses Day, 
was noticeable. She was a fine, capacious dame, weighing 
easily two hundred pounds, with bright eyes and broad brow, 
and wearing ever on her fine face a pleasant look. She had 
wound about her a great coil of green ribbon, and when she 
moved in the dance, the ends and loops trailed after her. Pos- 
sibly the success of Moses Day in tribal politics was in a meas- 
ure based on the advice of this capable squaw. 

There were present about thirty warriors or adult males, the 
same number of married women, thirty or forty young men 
and women, as many boys and girls, and at least a score of 
children under ten years, not counting the babes in arms. The 
mass of the men were ordinary persons, very much alike in 
appearance. The married squaws as a rule were corpulent. 
The young men were raw-boned and active. Several of them 
bound strings of round sleigh bells about their knees and added 



OJIBWAY TRIBAL DANCE 89 

this jingling melody of the bells to that of the Indian orches- 
tra, but they did not go in strong for bead work and feathers. 
The young women were plain and retiring. The children under 
ten years danced with the others, and it was pleasant to see 
the tiny lads and lasses participating side by side with their 
grandfathers in the festivities. The dancing of some of the 
clean-limbed lads was delightful to look at. They were easy, 
graceful, and tireless. 

I have told how the old Indians took part in this tribal cele- 
bration. It should be added that their age was no bar at all 
to their full participation. The aged led the dance and were 
honored at all times. This seems a little contradictory to what 
has been said about the Indians abandoning their aged and 
suffering them to die without care. That this has been done 
is unfortunately true, but the fact is that a person was never 
abandoned because of years, but because of helplessness, in- 
capacity to keep upon the march, or inability to hunt. No one 
was abandoned who could bear a fair share of the burdens of 
life. 

At intervals during the tribal dance it is customary to have 
short orations. These are given by anyone who wishes to 
speak, and all who take part, however unpopular they may be, 
are listened to with respect. If the sentiments expressed are 
disapproved of, they are heard in silence. If they meet with 
approval, words of satisfaction are heard here and there 
through the assembly. There is no set program ; the speakers 
arise during the intervals between the dances and speak im- 
promptu. These orations at the tribal dance are usually devoid 
of religious significance. They deal with the business of the 
tribe, its affairs with the agent, its land questions, and its 
litigation. Occasionally someone will be moved to tell a story, 
or will try to "get the laugh" on a friend by exposing some 
blunder he has committed, but all is done in the best of humor. 
In fact, it is remarkable how contentedly these Ojibways live 
together, how affectionate they are to one another, how tender 
of one another's feelings and rights. I have heard it said that 



90 WILLIAM E. CULKIN 

one can not be profane in Ojibway, and that when a warrior 
for any cause is angry to the swearing- point, he expresses his 
ire in the vile English lingo he has picked up in the lumber 
camps of the region. The speeches, however, are delivered 
with calm urbanity. No one beats the air, rages, and thunders. 
The voices are well modulated, the talks short, and it seems as 
though each speaker had something important to say or some 
humorous tale to relate. 

The task of describing the dance itself is not an easy one. 
Some fancy steps are indulged in by the more distinguished 
beaux and young men, but these consist, on the whole, of a 
side-stepping of the feet, always close to the ground, with back 
to the outside wall, and face to the music in the center, the 
movement keeping time to the Manitou drum and the singers. 
Aside from the special dances, which are only occasional, there 
is only the grand tribal dance on this occasion. Those who 
take part all circle, facing the music, without joining hands. A 
few will start, and then others will join them, until perhaps 
practically all the natives are in the circle, calmly dancing, danc- 
ing, dancing, in a sort of dreamy hypnotism. Elderly women 
consort together and so do the children and warriors, but there 
is no fixed rule. Mr. Winchell thus describes this tribal 
dance step : "The steps were a uniform double-treading, with 
the forward part of the foot, first on one foot and then on the 
other, the knees but little flexed and the body bent slightly for- 
ward, keeping time with the drum beats/' 1 

It is not really an elaborate dance, but one in which all, from 
the toddling babe to the venerable patriarch, can and do partici- 
pate. This makes the dance what it is, the tribal prayer. Con- 
ceive a band of these aborigines in the dim light of the coliseum, 
circling to the boom of the tom-tom and the high notes of the 
singers, feeling a glowing spirit of natural companionship, for- 
getful of all else in the world but themselves. The dance is a 

1 Newton H. Winchell, The Aborigines of Minnesota, 612 (St. Paul, 
Minnesota Historical Society, 1911). 



OJIBWAY TRIBAL DANCE 91 

sort of inarticulate speech arising from the crowd, which says : 
"We are the people, the original people, the An-ish-in-aub-ag. 
We are the spontaneous ones, and this world is ours. We 
know and love the land and water, the sky, the sun and moon 
and sparkling stars. We love the birds and beasts and fishes, 
and we are a part of everything. We have always been here 
dancing. We own everything and we will possess everything 
when we die. What do we care for anything, we, the spon- 
taneous ones." 

When they dance, all worry seems to pass from them. The 
nation is in motion, and that begets a fine, general sympathy, 
each for all and all for each. Rancor melts, and affection takes 
its place. In the tribal dance the pagan Indians express a 
national prayer to their gods. As the dance proceeds, every- 
thing seems small to them, except kindness, mercy, good nature, 
and mutual affection. Forgotten are cold, hunger, weariness, 
and trouble ; forgotten the long vigil of the chase, the injustice 
of the white man, the wrongs of the Indian. 

Let it be remembered that this Indian dance has been prac- 
ticed by these people for untold ages. They danced before 
ever a Spaniard found his way across the sea. In various 
parts of this country there are many civilized Indians, many to 
whom the culture of the whites is an open book. They have 
discarded everything of savage life, except a love for the wilds 
and a love for the tribal dance. This love persists and will con- 
tinue to persist as long as Indian blood flows, and, where three 
or more possessing this love do meet, they will dance. Many 
Indian children of both sexes have gone out from their native 
homes, and the boys have become cultured men, and the girls 
refined and civilized women. Such as these have come to love 
civilization and even to think in its language. To them the sor- 
did lodge in the wilderness is repulsive ; the smoke of the wig- 
wam chokes them ; the half-cooked flesh fills them with disgust. 
Yet when they are brought into contact with the tribal dance, all 
else is forgotten, and they feel, at least for the time, that they 



92 WILLIAM E. CULKIN 

need not be ashamed of their race, that it has its roots deep in 
the past, and that its place is secure in the hereafter. 

The dance, beginning at sundown, lasts indefinitely into the 
night. There is little feasting, but occasionally a young war- 
rior circulates among the company and distributes a little food, 
consisting of cooked wild rice, a few crackers, cakes of maple 
sugar, pinches of tobacco. I saw also the circulation of the 
calumet, or peace pipe, well filled and lighted. Each person 
puffed once or twice. The pipe-bearer, holding it in his hand 
by the bowl, proceeded from one to another. This refreshing 
puff was tendered even to the small boys; and, while no one 
could fail to admire the friendly spirit in which the big pipe 
was carried about, it seemed to me that no more certain method 
of circulating disease could be contrived. But these Ojibways 
have no knowledge of germ theories and contagion, and it can 
not be said that they would be more healthy if they had. They 
eat, drink, and smoke as our grandfathers did. 

As the night advanced and the people warmed up in the 
dance, their hearts grew soft towards each other and an 
exchange of gifts began. This gift-giving is very character- 
istic of all Indians. At the religious and ceremonial dances 
which took place during the preceding day, the sick woman, 
May-nin-way-bun-dun-oke, had given away to her guests cloth- 
ing, utensils, and provisions, worth at least one hundred 
dollars. These gifts represented the family savings of many 
months, but all were freely given. We often read how the 
redskins of the Pacific Coast give away at their potlatches the 
savings of a lifetime. The Indian agent at Bois Fort reports 
that his charges at their dances had, on occasion, impoverished 
and disarmed themselves by their impulsive gifts to Canadian 
Indians, who were guests in their village, presenting them with 
their clothing, their rifles, their ponies. 

A proud Ojibway at a public dance will not rest content to 
be the recipient of a gift. Forthwith he cancels the obligation 
by a reciprocal offering. Hence at times this exchange of gifts 



OJIBWAY TRIBAL DANCE 93 

seems sordid and from this circumstance has been derived the 
expression, "Indian giving." A generous redskin impulsively 
gives his coat to his friend ; that friend, overwhelmed with grat- 
itude, forthwith shows his appreciation by giving in return his 
rifle, his pony, his blankets, or something else of value. 

WILLIAM E. CULKIN 

DULUTH, MINNESOTA 



RECENT ACTIVITIES OF THE WISCONSIN 
HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

The state historical societies of Wisconsin and Minnesota 
began their careers in the same year, 1849, one vear after Wis- 
consin became a state and while Minnesota was just entering the 
territorial status with nine years to wait before it should be 
admitted to the Union. During the threescore odd years of 
its existence the State Historical Society of Wisconsin has con- 
stantly held the lead among similar institutions of the West, 
serving the people not only of the state but of the whole coun- 
try by gathering and preserving an invaluable collection of man- 
uscripts, by building up a great library and an excellent 
museum, by extensive and scholarly research and publication, 
and by stimulating an interest in history throughout the West. 
Various factors have entered into this success, not the least 
important of which is the liberal financial support which the 
society has received from the state, especially since the construc- 
tion, fifteen years ago, of the magnificent building in which it 
is now housed. Equally important, and in part an explanation 
of this liberal support, is the fact that the destinies of the soci- 
ety have been guided during the greater part of its career by two 
remarkably able men, Lyman Copeland Draper and Reuben 
Gold Thwaites. The death of Dr. Thwaites in October, 1913, 
was followed by the appointment of Dr. Milo M. Quaife as 
superintendent, and the volume before us 1 gives every indica- 
tion that the services of the society will be not only continued 
but extended under his direction. To the members and friends 
of the Minnesota Historical Society, which is soon to be housed 
in a new building and, it is hoped, to enter on a career of 
increased usefulness, a. review of the present condition and activ- 

1 Proceedings of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin at its 
sixty-second annual meeting held October 22, 1914 (Madison, 1915. 
286 p.). 

94 



WISCONSIN HISTORICAL ACTIVITIES 95 

ities of its twin sister in an adjoining state, as set forth in the 
latest volume of Proceedings, ought to offer encouragement 
and valuable suggestions. 

The staff of the Wisconsin Historical Society consists of the 
superintendent, an assistant superintendent, eight heads of re- 
search, order, catalogue, reference, newspaper, manuscript, pub- 
lic document, and museum divisions, and fifteen assistants 
twenty-five in all besides sixteen caretakers under state civil 
service control. So large a staff naturally calls for a consid- 
erable maintenance fund, and for the year 191314 the society 
received from the state $70,948. Of this sum $12,209 was 
returned to the insurance fund of the state, so that the amount 
actually available for the maintenance of the society and its 
building was $58,739, an increase of $11,239 over the amount 
available during the preceding year. The actual expenditure 
for the year, exclusive of the insurance items, was $50,331, of 
which $36,936 was for salaries and other services; $5,978 for 
books, periodicals, furniture, and museum exhibits; and $1,790 
for printing and illustration. In the spring of 1914 a new wing 
of the society's building was completed at a cost of $162,000. 
The total cost of the building as it now stands has been 
$782,000, and it is doubtful if it could be constructed to-day for 
less than a million dollars. 

In addition to state appropriations the society has private 
funds amounting to $85,970, divided into a general and bind- 
ing fund of $38,283, an antiquarian fund of $18,468, and seven 
other funds devoted to special purposes. The receipts for mem- 
bership fees and the sale of duplicates are divided between the 
first two of these funds. Part of the income of the different 
funds is regularly used for the specified purposes, and the bal- 
ances at the end of each year are added to the funds. Among 
recent bequests to the society are about $12,000 from Mrs. 
Kittie E. V. Hollister, and $10,000 from Dr. Thwaites. 

The estimated strength of the society's library is 375,000 
titles, nearly equally divided between books and pamphlets. 
Accessions during the year ending September 30, 1914, were 



96 SOLON J. BUCK 

5,084 books, 5,588 pamphlets, and 262 engravings, photographs, 
and maps, a total of 10,934. Seventy-three per cent of the 
accessions were gifts, and the remainder, purchases and ex- 
changes. The large proportion of gifts is due in part to the 
activity of the society in collecting documents of states, munici- 
palities, and organizations, as well as the publications of the 
United States and foreign countries. The document and news- 
paper divisions of the library are growing so rapidly that, not- 
withstanding the recent construction of the new wing, it is esti- 
mated that all the space available for these departments will be 
filled in three or four years. 

The great collection of Draper Manuscripts is well known 
to historical scholars, but this is by no means the only important 
manuscript material possessed by the society. Collections of 
papers of men of prominence in the building of the West, 
diaries, sometimes in the original and sometimes copies, and 
miscellaneous documents of all sorts are constantly coming in. 
All of these are carefully arranged, filed, catalogued, and thus 
made accessible to students ; unless, as occasionally happens, the 
donor request that they be withheld from the public for a certain 
period. The most notable recent addition of manuscripts con- 
sists of the Civil War papers of the governor's office. In 
accordance with the general authority conferred by an act of 
1913 Governor McGovern turned over these papers several 
thousand in number to the society, thus relieving his office of 
the care and housing of the material and, at the same time, 
making it accessible to historical investigators. Another 
important collection secured by the society comprises the papers 
of the late Luman H. Weller of Iowa. Congressman Weller 
was actively identified with the Greenback and Populist parties 
and the labor movement, and his papers, together with the Don- 
nelly Papers, recently acquired by the Minnesota Historical 
Society, offer a wealth of material to some historian of radi- 
calism in the Northwest. 

The newspaper division of the library receives regularly 
about three hundred papers published in the state and two hun- 



WISCONSIN HISTORICAL ACTIVITIES 97 

dred from outside. Especially important for the student of 
economic history is its large and growing collection of trade 
journals and labor papers. In addition to these current acces- 
sions about one hundred volumes of old files were acquired by 
gift, exchange, or purchase during the year. Of especial inter- 
est among these are complete files of two papers published in 
Nashville, Tennessee, as the organs of the two parties during 
the exciting presidential campaign of 1840. Illustrative of the 
value, other than historical, of preserving newspaper files is the 
fact that papers from the society's collection were twice used in 
important lawsuits during the year. One of these was a case 
before a United States court in a far-western state, and the 
society's file of the paper needed was the only one which could 
be located. 

It is a truism to those familiar with large libraries that they 
are of little value unless carefully and scientifically classified and 
catalogued, but it is difficult for a layman to realize the amount 
of labor involved in this work. The cataloguing staff of the 
Wisconsin Historical Society numbers five trained workers, but 
the force is said to be inadequate to the task in hand. The 
growth of the general catalogue necessitated the purchase of an 
additional case of 312 trays, making 936 now in use, each with 
a capacity of a thousand cards. Special catalogues of docu- 
ments, genealogies, labor union material, and maps, manu- 
scripts, and illustrations are kept up. This division has charge, 
also, of "a Wisconsin biography catalogue, listing biographies, 
obituaries, and portraits of prominent Wisconsin men," which 
is frequently consulted by newspaper men. 

The main product of the research and publication division is 
the monumental set of Wisconsin Historical Collections, num- 
bering twenty volumes. For many years these have consisted 
entirely of original material, while papers read at meetings and 
contributed have been published in the annual volume of Pro- 
ceedings. A comprehensive analytical index to the Collections 
has been in preparation for a number of years and will soon be 
published. This will be followed in the course of time by 



98 SOLON J. BUCK 

another volume which will complete a series on the fur-trade in 
Wisconsin. Much of the material for this series comes from 
the archives of the United States government, and the society 
has for some time had an agent at work in Washington search- 
ing for Wisconsin material. Thousands of documents selected 
have been transcribed or reproduced by means of the photostat. 
This work is not confined to fur-trade material, but a clean 
sweep is being made of documents in the government archives 
of value for the history of the state. Copies have also been 
secured of much Wisconsin material in the Canadian archives, 
either for publication or for preservation in the society's manu- 
script collection. 

Custodians of large collections of historical manuscripts are 
coming more and more to recognize the importance of calen- 
daring the papers, and the Wisconsin Historical Society has set 
an excellent example by issuing a calendar volume of part of the 
Draper Manuscripts. 1 This volume has been in preparation 
for several years and another is now under way. Part of the 
documents in this collection dealing with the West during the 
Revolutionary period are being published in the Draper Series, 
of which three volumes have been issued and a fourth is in 
preparation. The expense of this publication is borne by the 
Wisconsin Society, Sons of the American Revolution. 

Another field in which there has been considerable publishing 
activity during the last decade is that of Wisconsin Civil War 
history. Some time ago the legislature created a separate Wis- 
consin Historical Commission to exploit this field, but this com- 
mission has always been in practice an adjunct of the society, 
and the legislature of 1913 terminated its existence and 
devolved its functions upon the society. The last publication 
of the commission was An Artilleryman's Diary by Jenkins 
Lloyd Jones (Madison, 1914. 395 p.), a work of great histori- 
cal value. A social and economic history of the state during 
the war by Frederick Merk of the society's research staff, a 

1 Preston and Virginia Papers (Wisconsin Historical Society, Publica- 
tions, Calendar Series, 1. Madison, 1915). 



WISCONSIN HISTORICAL ACTIVITIES 99 

study which was started for the commission, is now nearing 
completion and will be published by the society. 

An innovation on the part of the new superintendent is the 
publication of a monthly editor's news letter "designed to dis- 
seminate correct and timely information on matters of interest 
to the Society, and on historical subjects generally." This is 
sent to over three hundred papers, many of which use it, in part 
at least, for copy. The society supplies, also, each month to 
the press editor of the University of Wisconsin an historical 
article of almost a thousand words, copies of which are dis- 
tributed to forty-two metropolitan papers throughout the coun- 
try for publication in their Sunday issues. The superintendent 
believes "that this work constitutes a real, although modest, 
educational service to the state and the public generally. This 
will seem true especially to those who, like the writer, have 
frequently groaned in spirit over the amazing capacity of the 
typical metropolitan reporter for disseminating misinformation 
when he chances to deal with historical subjects." 

The work of the research and publication division will un- 
doubtedly be facilitated by the rearrangement of the building, 
made possible by the construction of the new wing. The 
museum floor of this wing is now available for an auditorium 
when one is needed, and the old auditorium, which was never 
adequate as such, has been cut up into a suite of rooms for the 
research workers. Five members of the staff devote a part or 
all of their time to this division, and it is expected that one or 
two additional research assistants will be appointed in the near 
future. 

The leading position of the museum of the Wisconsin Histor- 
ical Society is widely recognized, and it is frequently visited by 
curators of similar institutions in other states in search of sug- 
gestions. The construction of the new wing furnished addi- 
tional space for exhibits and made possible the construction of 
an adequate museum office. Many new exhibition cases were 
installed during the year, and the collection was largely re- 
arranged. Of especial interest and educational value are the 



100 SOLON J. BUCK 

New England kitchen and the pioneer drug store. Consider- 
able emphasis is laid on special exhibits, thirty of which were 
held during the year. These were along such diverse lines as 
old-fashioned Christmas gifts and material illustrative of 
Christmas customs in foreign lands; Civil War material for a 
Grand Army encampment; Ainu, Chinese, and Japanese ob- 
jects; bookplates and bookmarks; American agricultural ma- 
chinery, 1840-60; postage stamps; and Japanese wood-block 
prints. Four successful exhibitions were held in the museum 
rooms by the Madison Art Association, one of them consisting 
of a collection of oil paintings illustrative of upper Mississippi 
River scenery by Frederick G. Sylvester. These special 
exhibits regularly attract large numbers of visitors to the 
museum and add greatly to its value. 

The educational possibilities of a well-arranged museum are 
coming to be recognized by school-teachers, and forty-two- 
classes, with a total of almost a thousand pupils, visited the 
rooms during five months. Nearly one half of these came from 
twenty cities and villages outside of Madison. All of the 
classes are accompanied by their teachers and are guided by 
members of the staff. Considerable use is made of the museum, 
also, by classes in the university, and the curator occasionally 
conducts excursions to sites of historical and archeological inter- 
est. One of these was composed of about one hundred teach- 
ers from all over the state, who were in attendance at the 
university summer school. 

The concluding section of the report of the executive com- 
mittee, which is practically the superintendent's report, is en- 
titled "A Proposal for an Archives and Library Building/' and 
deals with a problem which will soon be a pressing one in each 
of the American states : Shall the rapidly accumulating mass 
of newspaper files, documentary publications, and manuscript 
archives or public records be preserved, and, if so, how shall this 
be accomplished? Throughout the civilized world except in 
America the first part of the question has been answered in the 
affirmative, and buildings have been constructed or set aside 



WISCONSIN HISTORICAL ACTIVITIES 101 

for the purpose of housing the national and local archives. 
The printed documents and newspaper files are usually cared 
for in the regular libraries. In America little attention has 
been paid to the preservation of newspaper files; few of the 
states have complete collections of their own published docu- 
ments, to say nothing of the documents published by counties 
and cities, other states, the federal government, and foreign 
nations ; while nearly every governmental office, national, state, 
or local, is burdened with a mass of old records and papers 
which receive little care and are likely to be destroyed to make 
room for more current material. 

While the problem of storage space need not be a pressing 
one in Minnesota for a number of years after the construction 
of the building for the historical society, it will inevitably re- 
appear in time, and Dr. Quaife's proposal is worthy of consid- 
eration. "The present Library building," he writes, "is a splen- 
did structure necessarily, therefore, it is an expensive struc- 
ture. It would be possible to construct a plain, yet dignified 
and equally roomy building at much less cost than the present 
one. These observations are made with no view to disparaging 
the wisdom of the men responsible for the present building ; in 
common with all other Wisconsin citizens the writer is 
immensely proud of it. In no other way could Wisconsin have 
advertised herself to the world more favorably or profitably 
than by the construction and maintenance of this magnificent 
temple of intellectual endeavor. Fully recognizing this, the 
question still presents itself, is the state willing to spend the 
money necessary for providing with equal liberality for the 
future growth of the Library? If willing, is it wise and neces- 
sary that it should do so ?" 

The original plan of the building of the Wisconsin Histori- 
cal Society contemplated still another addition across the back 
which would make it a hollow square. Instead of the con- 
struction of this addition, when more space is needed, it is pro- 
posed "to make provision for the growth of the Library by 
removing the public document and the newspaper and periodi- 



102 SOLON J. BUCK 

cal divisions, which are of especially lusty growth, from the 
present building and housing them in an adjoining and more 
economical structure. At an expenditure equal to the sum 
which the Park Street addition will cost such a structure could 
be erected as would meet the needs of the situation from the 
Library point of view for a full generation yet to come. Fur- 
ther than this, if situated and planned, as it should be, to admit 
of future additions, provision would "be afforded for indefinite 
growth. 

"Thus far the situation has been considered from the view 
point of the Library alone. That the State will refuse to pro- 
vide reasonably for its future growth is inconceivable. How 
such provision may be made to the best advantage is the only 
point to be considered. The suggestion already advanced finds 
its strongest reinforcement in the consideration of another and, 
probably, more important problem of State administration." 

"The new State Capitol is a much more splendid building 
than the Library, and eight times as costly. Unlike the 
Library building, its design admits of no additions to provide 
space for future needs of government. Ten years ago the State 
of Minnesota erected a similar building, regarded by the citi- 
zens of the State with pride similar to that which we manifest 
concerning our own splendid seat of government. Long since 
the building has proved inadequate to house the various 
branches of the State government. A recent legislature pro- 
vided for the construction of a building adjacent to the Capitol 
at a cost of $450,000, to house certain of these branches. 1 In 
our own case, if popular report can be credited, our new Capitol 
building is becoming overcrowded even before its completion. 
It scarcely requires statement that before a decade has elapsed 
Wisconsin will be brought face to face with the same embarrass- 

1 Dr. Quaife evidently had in mind the act of 1913, appropriating 
not $450,000, but $500,000 for a building for the Minnesota Historical 
Society and the Supreme Court. As amended by the last general 
assembly, the act now provides for a "building for and adapted to the 
use of the Minnesota historical society and for the care, preservation 
and protection of the state archives." 



m*>n 



WISCONSIN HISTORICAL ACTIVITIES 103 



ment from lack of space in the Capitol to house the various 
departments of government, which our neighboring state has 
already experienced. 

"One method of postponing this embarrassment, and the 
consequent necessity of removing branches of the State govern- 
ment to other buildings, would be to relieve the Capitol of the 
great masses of state records that have accumulated during the 
eighty years since Wisconsin became a separate political entity. 
Their removal to an archives building would redound to the 
advantage of all the various interests concerned. The over- 
crowded vaults and filing cases of the various offices, relieved of 
the masses of material whose usefulness from the view point of 
current administration has ceased, would provide ample accom- 
modation for the more recent State records and those which are 
needed in the daily administration of the government. 

"Leaving out of account the important consideration of 
economizing space in the Capitol building, a positive admin- 
istrative gain would result from such a disposition of the State 
records. Wisconsin's records are fairly complete. They have 
suffered much less than have the records of most of the states 
from such agencies of destruction as fires, removals, improper 
housing, and indifference on the part of their custodians. 
While this is true, their system of arrangement conspicuous 
in many cases for lack of system is bad. From the view 
point of administrative efficiency and economy a decided 
improvement would follow upon their collection and orderly 
arrangement and indexing in a suitable archives building. 

"Assuming the desirability of this, it is obvious that both 
administrative and scholarly considerations demand that the 
building be erected in proximity to the Historical Library and 
be administered by the Library staff. Wisconsin is conspicu- 
ous among the sisterhood of states for the care with which her 
historical interests are conserved and cultivated. Nor is this 
a recent development, for the State Historical Society is but one 
year younger than the State itself. There is no good reason 
whv the professional training and knowledge of the Historical 



104 SOLON J. BUCK 

Society staff should not be utilized to the utmost by the State. 
In the nature of things this professional training qualifies the 
staff to administer the State records better than can possibly be 
done by the ever-changing procession of State officials, who not 
only lack continuity of tenure and professional training, but 
whose time and interests are devoted to other and quite different 
problems. Another consideration worth noting is that by en- 
trusting the State records to the care of the Historical Society 
centralization of system and housing will succeed the present 
multiplicity of systems and diversity of storage places. 

"From the view point of the scholarly and historical interests 
involved such a combination of the State archives with the His- 
torical Library would be wholly admirable. Archival materials 
are as the potter's clay to students of government, economics, 
history, sociology, and the allied branches. At the present 
time, although the State's archives are less than a mile away 
from our great University, they might almost as well be non- 
existent so far as any use of them by scholars is concerned. In 
a recent conversation the senior professor of American history 
in the University stated that it was practically useless to send 
any of his students to the Capitol to consult them. Nor is this 
intended as a reflection upon the attitude of the officials in 
charge of the various branches of the State government. How- 
ever willing they may be and they are, as a rule, an uncom- 
monly courteous group of men they are practically helpless to 
assist the student in his quest. A concrete illustration may be 
afforded by the recent experience of the writer. With the Gov- 
ernor's permission to remove certain Civil War documents from 
the executive office to the Historical Library he repaired, with 
one assistant, to the Capitol to do the work of selecting them. 
The obliging attendant succeeded in finding one chair, and 
clearing half of one small table for the use of the two workers, 
and with such accommodations the work of sorting was done. 
Were the State records housed in proximity to the Historical 
Library and made accessible to students the change would con- 






WISCONSIN HISTORICAL ACTIVITIES 105 



stitute an advantage to the scholarly interests of the State, 
whose importance can scarcely be overestimated. 

'That such a plan of administering the State archives is by 
no means novel, appears from an examination of the practice 
pursued in other states. To mention only a few, Iowa has a 
Memorial Building which houses the State Historical collec- 
tions and library and the archives, both under the custody of 
the curator of the State Historical Society. 1 South Dakota 
has a department of history and archives, a branch of the State 
government, housed in the Capitol. Alabama has also a depart- 
ment of history and archives. In some states the natural proc- 
ess of local evolution has brought forth a different arrange- 
ment, while in still others the care of the records and the 
preservation of materials for State and local history have been 
left largely to chance. In Wisconsin, considerations alike of 
administrative efficiency, of economy, of scholarly interest, and 
of local evolution all unite to favor such a solution of the 
archives and Historical Library problems as has been sug- 
gested." 

The extended influence which a vigorous state historical 
society can exert is illustrated by the existence in Wisconsin of 
a number of active local historical societies affiliated with and 
reporting to the state society. Reports from six of these are 
published in the volume of Proceedings before us and indicate 
possible lines of work for such institutions. Thus, the Green 
Bay Historical Society held a meeting to commemorate the 
centennial of the writing of "The Star Spangled Banner." It 
has a committee investigating the origin of the names of streets 
in the city and is building up a collection of books, maps, and 
original documents relating to the locality. The La Fayette 
County society has a small library, a museum, and a manuscript 
collection. A most important line of work which local histori- 

1 This should read "the curator of the Historical Department." 
The State Historical Society of Iowa is an entirely distinct institution, 
devoted mainly to research, but with a good working library housed in 
one of the university buildings at Iowa City. 



106 SOLON J. BUCK 

cal societies could take up is indicated by a statement in the 
report of this institution that "a store room; in the courthouse 
contains a mass of old documents and records that should be 
classified." The Sauk County society held three meetings dur- 
ing the year at which papers in local history were read, besides 
a winter picnic and an annual outing or historical excursion. 
The society also erected a bronze tablet on the site of the first 
church in Baraboo. The Walworth County society has been 
gathering the personal recollections of pioneers and searching 
the back files of local newspapers for "data relating to early 
settlers, their family connections, their business enterprises, and 
their usefulness." The Waukesha County society has been 
instrumental in securing the erection of a monument to the 
three Cushing brothers, Civil War heroes, and is now working 
for a Cushing Memorial Park. 

The Wisconsin Historical Society holds regularly but one 
meeting a year in October. At this meeting it is customary 
to have an address by some distinguished historical scholar, 
usually from outside the state, after which a number of his- 
torical papers are read by title only. These, together with the 
address, are then published in the annual volume of Proceed- 
ings. In 1914 the address was by Worthington C. Ford, editor 
in the Massachusetts Historical Society, on the subject "The 
Treaty of Ghent and After." Mr. Ford has been engaged 
for some time in editing the papers of John Quincy Adams and, 
using this material, he brings out many interesting points and 
throws some new light on the negotiations which brought the 
War of 1812 to a close. 

Among the papers, one by Dr. Eben D. Pierce is of almost as 
much interest for Minnesota as for Wisconsin history. It is 
entitled "James Allen Reed : First Permanent Settler in Trem- 
pealeau County and Founder of Trempealeau." Reed was a 
Kentuckian who came to the upper-Mississippi region about 
1815. For a time he was a soldier in the regular army and was 
stationed at Fort Crawford (Prairie du Chien). Then he 
became an employee of the American Fur Company and later 






WISCONSIN HISTORICAL ACTIVITIES 107 



tavern keeper. From 1842 to 1848 he served as government 
farmer for Wapasha's band of Sioux Indians on the site of 
Winona, Minnesota. His second wife was a relative of Wapa- 
sha, and he acquired considerable prestige with the tribe. 
Many of the incidents recounted in the paper are based on 
recollections which may or may not be reliable, but the paper 
furnishes an outline at least of an interesting career and a val- 
uable picture of frontier conditions. 

Another paper, of considerable length, on "The Taverns and 
Stages of Early Wisconsin," by J. H. A. Lacher, presents a 
mass of detailed information upon important phases of eco- 
nomic and social history. While the treatment is confined to 
Wisconsin, it is certain that somewhat similar conditions pre- 
vailed in Minnesota during the corresponding periods. Numer- 
ous excellent illustrations and extracts from original docu- 
ments enhance the value of the paper. It is a fine thing that a 
man should be willing to devote himself to collecting and work- 
ing up the mass of materials on which this paper is based, and 
every encouragement should be offered to induce others who are 
competent to undertake similar tasks. 

Frederick Merk has a paper in the volume on "The Labor 
Movement in Wisconsin during the Civil War," which is a 
careful study based on documentary material. This is fol- 
lowed by "A Semi-historical Account of the War of the Winne- 
bago and the Foxes," a legend in the Winnebago language as 
told by Joseph Blowsnake in 1908, with translation and notes 
by Paul Radin. The volume closes with a very important doc- 
ument for the history of the Northwest during the post-Revo- 
lutionary period : Henry Hay's "Journal from Detroit to the 
Miami River." This is edited with introduction and notes by 
Dr. Quaife under the title "A Narrative of Life on the Old 
Frontier." This journal, the original of which is in the Detroit 
Public Library, has been known to scholars for some time, but 
its publication is a distinct service. 

In contemplating the extensive and successful work of the 
Wisconsin Historical Society, the institutions in the other west- 



108 SOLON J. BUCK 

ern states, many of which have had to contend with poverty 
and lack of interest, should not be discouraged. What has 
been done in Wisconsin can be done elsewhere, perhaps in a 
somewhat different way. While the Wisconsin society serves 
in a measure the historical interests of the whole West, it can 
not and does not desire to preempt the field. Each society has 
the history of its own state as a special field, but each should 
also specialize in certain phases of national or western history, 
for the history of all the individual states does not make up a 
history of the nation or of the West. The field is large, and 
there is work in plenty for all the individuals and institutions 
which can be enlisted. With cordial cooperation and consistent 
effort on the part of all, the foundations will finally be laid upon 
which will rest the future interpretation of the history of the 
great Mississippi Valley. 

SOLON J. BUCK 

MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY 
ST. PAUL 



DOCUMENTS 

SELECTIONS FROM THE MURRAY PAPERS 

The papers of William Pitt Murray in the possession of the 
Minnesota Historical Society were received from his daughter, 
Mrs. Winifred Murray Milne, last November. They number 
about two hundred letters, commissions, and documents of 
various sorts, dating from 1842 to 1911. With these papers 
were received a number of pamphlets, some of considerable 
value, about twenty maps, and a few newspaper clippings. 
Most of the letters are addressed to Murray, although there 
are a few written by him and a few of which he was neither 
the writer nor the addressee. To those who are familiar with 
the career of Murray the value of the collection for the history 
of Minnesota will be obvious. Born in Ohio in 1825, he grad- 
uated in law at Indiana University in 1849 and came to the 
incipient territory of Minnesota the same year. He immedi- 
ately took an active part in politics, serving in both houses of 
the territorial legislature, in the constitutional convention of 
1857, an d as a representative and senator in the state legislature. 
He also played a prominent part in the government of St. 
Paul, being a member of the city council most of the time from 
1 86 1 to 1879 and city attorney from 1876 to I889- 1 Besides 
these and other political activities the papers reflect Murray's 
interests in transportation problems, fraternal orders, religion, 
education, and charity. Thus they are of value for nearly all 
phases of the history of Minnesota, and some of them throw 
light on social, economic, and political conditions in other 
states and even in foreign countries. 

The documents here printed are selected primarily for the 
purpose of illustrating the character of the material in the col- 
lection. At some future time it is hoped that a calendar of 

1 Upham and Dunlap, Minnesota Biographies, 535 (M. H. C., 14). 



110 DOCUMENTS 

the whole collection may be published. The first letter deals 
with a subject that has been and still is of perennial interest 
the utilization of the Fort Snelling Reservation. Those who 
are now advocating the establishment of a western military 
academy on the reservation will find the letter a storehouse of 
arguments, many of which are as applicable to-day as they 
were in 1849. Following this is a letter relating to an early 
project for solving the problem of transportation between St. 
Paul and St. Anthony. Judge Nelson's letter shows that 
"deserving Democrats" had to be taken care of in Washington 
even in 1853. The letter from Kansas, which follows, fore- 
casts the coming storm in that territory and indicates that 
there was considerable emigration from Minnesota to Kansas. 
W. W. McNair's letter is of interest for the information which 
it contains about the Liberal Republican movement in Minne- 
sota, while the last letter throws light on commercial relations 
between the United States and Hungary and on political con- 
ditions in the latter country. 

C. K. SMITH TO THOMAS CORWIN, SEPTEMBER 1, 1849 1 

[Murray Papers Printed Letter] 
A MILITARY ACADEMY IN THE NORTH-WEST. 

To THE HON. THOMAS CORWIN, OF OHIO : 

SIR: Nature and education have given you an unlimited 
command over the most beautiful figures of speech. Your tal- 
ents, eloquence, and honesty have placed you prominently before 
the American people as one of her most gifted and able states- 
men. You occupy an elevated position in the affections of your 
countrymen, and in the councils of the nation. Your bold, truth- 
ful, and independent course in the Senate of the United States, 
is admired and approbated by many, very many of your fellow- 

1 Charles Kilgore Smith had been in the territory less than two 
months on the date under which this letter was printed. Born in 
Cincinnati in 1799, he was admitted to the bar in 1840 and was 
serving as a judge when President Taylor appointed him secretary 
of Minnesota Territory. On his arrival at St. Paul early in July, 
1849, he appears to have taken a leading part in all sorts of move- 



MURRA Y PAPERS 1 1 1 

citizens. Your position would seem to give authority to address 
you on any subject, which may be considered in anywise inter- 
esting to the public. 

I therefore, without any further apology, proceed to remark, 

lat peace is at all times desirable, war always to be deprecated ; 
it seems a law inherent in human nature, that we cannot always 

ive the one or avoid the other. In all the preceding ages, nations 

ive occasionally been involved in sanguinary strife. The future 
>romises no well-grounded hope of an exemption from this dire 

ilamity. The Gospel, and all well-meant and philanthropic 
efforts of peace associations, will fail to avert it. No human 

leans seem adequate to secure the blessings of perpetual peace. 
[t is true, that wars are not so frequent now as in the earlier 

jes. A reference to the chronicles of mankind would lead one 
believe that the business of the human race, in its earlier ages, 
fas mainly to kill and be killed. In the first wars, the only arms 
ised were perhaps those given by nature ; in the progress of ages, 

tents. He is credited with having been the founder and organizer 
>f the first Masonic lodge in the territory, a charter member of the 
first lodge of Odd Fellows in St. Paul, the prime mover in the estab- 
lishment of the Minnesota Historical Society and its first secretary, 
a leader in the foundation of two of St. Paul's churches, the originator 
of the public school system of the state, and a member of the first 
board of regents of the university. All of this was accomplished 
m less than two years, for Smith made many enemies and, presumably 
because of the bitter antagonism towards him, he returned to Ohio 
in 1851, where he died in 1866. Minnesota Historical Collections, 8:495; 
12:108; 14:714. 

Thomas Corwin, one of Ohio's most brilliant and distinguished 
statesmen, was a Whig leader in the United States Senate at this 
time. Murray is authority for the statement that Smith was a rela- 
tive of Corwin's and owed his appointment as secretary of the terri- 
tory to his influence. W. P. Murray, "Recollections of Territorial 
Days and Legislation" in ibid., 12: 108. 

Smith included this letter in full in his "First Annual Report" 
as secretary of the Minnesota Historical Society, printed in the Annals 
of the society "for the Year A. D., 1850-1" (St. Paul, 1851). This 
report was omitted, however, from the reprint of the Annals issued 
in 1872 as the first volume of the Collections and again reprinted in 
1902. The document is there introduced as follows: "Public atten- 
tion has also been called to the propriety of establishing the Western 
Armory at St. Paul, and a Military Academy at Fort Snelling. The 
reasons for the latter institution at that point, are fully set forth in 
the following letter." 



112 DOCUMENTS 

other arms were invented, and new means of injury and destruc- 
tion used. As the implements of war increased, in the same 
ratio wars decreased ; and were it possible to have the art of war 
so improved, that death would be the certain portion of all who 
engaged in battle, it would, in our opinion, put a period to wars. 
While fists and clubs were the only arms employed, men rushed 
into hostilities with much less hesitation than they now do. 

Hence we conclude, that the more destructive wars become, the 
less likely will they be engaged in. This being true, a thorough 
military education, given to any people, is likely to prove a very 
effectual means of preserving peace. When a nation is known to 
be thus prepared, the belligerent powers are more likely to 
respect her rights, and to use every means of avoiding a conflict. 
It is, however, wholly impossible, that all should be thoroughly 
educated in military science. Nor is it necessary; it is quite 
sufficient that a number large enough to guide and direct all 
military operations, should have received such a training. 
Accordingly, in the earliest history of our Republic, it became 
our policy to establish a military academy. We had passed 
through the war of our independence, and in that war, the want 
of men who had received a military education was apparent ; and 
the advantages of it were strongly evidenced by the efficient aid 
rendered us by foreigners who came among us. It is not easy to 
estimate the benefits which resulted from the military skill of 
Steuben, and the discipline which he established at Valley Forge, 
during the time our army was in winter quarters at that place. 
General Washington felt the advantages of military science so 
strongly, that in his eighth annual message, he recommended the 
establishment of a military academy in these words : 

"In proportion as the observance of pacific measures might 
exempt a nation from practising the rules of the military art, 
ought to be its care in preserving and transmitting by proper 
establishments, the knowledge of that art. Whatever argument 
may be drawn from particular examples, superficially viewed, a 
thorough examination of the subject will evince, that the art of 
war is at once comprehensive and complicated ; that it demands 
much previous study, and that the possession of it in its most 
improved and perfect state, is always of great moment to the 
security of a nation. This, therefore, ought to be a serious care 
of every government ; and for this purpose an academy where a 
regular course of instruction is given, is an obvious expedient 
which different nations have successfully employed." 



MURRA Y PAPERS 1 1.3 

Five years after this recommendation, Congress, by law, estab- 

shed a military academy at West Point, where it still remains, 
'his was by the "Act fixing the military peace establishment of 
the United States," approved March 16, 1802. However, "An 
act to authorize the purchase of a tract of land for the use of the 
United States," approved July 5th, 1790, was the first law on the 
subject of West Point. But the academy did not do much for 
a number of years. It lingered along until the war of 1812, 
which taught its advantages anew. Soon after that war, new 
energy was given to it ; and it went into active and efficient oper- 
ation. Many acts of Congress have, from time to time, been 
passed, regulating this institution. Formidable opposition has 
arisen at various periods. It has, however, at length won its way 
to general favor as an institution of great benefit. If there were 
any lingering doubts remaining, the late war with Mexico must 
have dissipated them. The incalculable services rendered by 
those who had been educated at West Point, in that struggle, must 
satisfy every one of its vast utility. Whatever may be the opin- 
ions of the bravery of our soldiery who were engaged in Mexico, 
it cannot be denied, that our long list of brilliant military achieve- 
ments is mainly owing to the science taught at West Point. It 
is no part of the object of the writer to labor an eulogy upon our 
military academy. The names of Ringgold, Swift, M'Kee, and 
Clay, who fell in the Mexican war, together with a host of others 
who escaped their fate, attest the advantages of the institution; 
and as long as the brilliant victories obtained by our arms in 
Mexico, from Palo Alto to the city of Mexico, live on the pages 
of history, that long will the vast utility of the military science 
taught at West Point be remembered. 

But it is not alone in the military art that "West Pointers" 
have distinguished themselves. In every department of life in 
the tented field at the bar in our seminaries in authorship 
aye, even in the pulpit, West Point can boast its stars. No insti- 
tution in our country gives a more practical and useful education 
than West Point. 

Taking it for granted, that all will admit its utility, and that 
its benefits and favors should be well and equally diffused, 
throughout our country, we would inquire, Does the institution 
at West Point answer our purposes in its present condition ? Is 
that place sufficient to educate all whom it is desirable should be 
thoroughly instructed in those solid branches which are essential 
to a good military education? Does it satisfy the wants and 



114 DOCUMENTS 

avoid the prejudices, which grow with the growth and strengthen 
with the strength of the country? By an act of Congress, 
approved July 7th, 1838, the number of Cadets is limited to two 
hundred and fifty. The rule of admission is, that one Cadet 
shall be admitted from each Congressional district. Since this 
rule was established, the ratio of representation has been increased 
from 47,700 to 73,000. Thus the number of Cadets does not 
increase in proportion as our population increases. The popula- 
tion of the United States then was about 13,000,000. It is now 
supposed to be over 20,000,000. Our borders are continually and 
rapidly extending; and if the spirit of war remains as rife as in 
former times, the danger of being involved in hostilities will 
greatly increase; and we will consequently require a greater 
number of men educated in military science. 

If this reasoning be correct, our circumstances demand an 
increase in the number of Cadets ; and if the number be enlarged, 
the establishment at West Point is wholly inadequate for their 
accommodation. In fact, it is not sufficient, under its present 
organization, to satisfy the country, nor accommodate the pres- 
ent number authorized by law. Although the number which may 
be admitted is two hundred and fifty, yet, from some unaccount- 
able reason, the ordinary number in the institution is about two 
hundred. For various reasons, many of them are dismissed; 
doubtless most of them for good cause, AND PERHAPS ALL. The 
number of graduates since its organization, we cannot state. 
We have no data at hand to enable us to determine with certainty ; 
but it does not exceed twelve hundred, which is twenty-five grad- 
uates for each year since the organization of the institution. 
Quite a small number indeed, in comparison with our present 
immense population of 20,000,000. As before stated, we believe 
the number of Cadets should be increased so as to be commensu- 
rate to the increased population and wants of our growing and 
widely extended country. This will require a similar or auxil- 
iary institution elsewhere. The new institution should be in the 
West, to meet the wants of the country. It is but just, that the 
convenience and interest of the great West should be accom- 
modated in this matter. Millions of money from the public 
Treasury are disbursed in the East, while to the West it is dealt 
out with a parsimonious hand. It is justice to the West to have 
some public favor in this way. She has long complained of 
injustice in this matter; and the time is fast approaching, when 



MURRA Y PAPERS 115 

she can enforce, by her numerical representation, this equitable 
demand. 

But it is not in this view that we urge the erection of a military 
academy in the West. It is mainly in regard to the necessity and 
convenience of the matter that it is urged. If it be a good thing, 
its benefits should be equally diffused. In looking for a particu- 
lar location for this auxiliary institution, there are three important 
considerations which should influence its locality. The health 
of Cadets being a matter of paramount importance, that should 
be the first consideration. The second should be the convenience 
of access to the place ; and the third should be the economy of the 
matter in a pecuniary point of view. The place which combines 
these advantages in the greatest degree should be selected. 

In casting about, we can name no place which seems to com- 
bine them in so great a degree as FORT SNELLING. Viewing all 
things, this strikes us as being the very place for such an estab- 
lishment. It is more like West Point for scenery, health, and 
many other particulars, than any place on the American continent. 
Its buildings, arrangement, and whole conformation are very 
similar. It will so impress any person upon inspection. It is 
a military post, established in 1819. The march of our popula- 
tion westward, now renders it of little use for military defence. 
At all events, it could be sufficiently manned by Cadets for all 
practicable purposes ; and the expense of keeping it up would not 
be more than the present expenditure, so that the Government 
would not have to lay out one additional cent by converting it into 
an academy. 

It will be seen, however, by the act making appropriations for 
the support of the military academy for the year ending the 30th 
of June, 1850, that the sum of $171,394 61 was appropriated, 
which is taken as the average sum appropriated yearly since the 
organization, to keep up and sustain the institution. It has been 
in existence forty-seven years, which multiplied by the appropria- 
tion of $171,394 61 will produce the sum of eight millions fifty- 
five thousand five hundred and eighteen dollars ; which, divided 
by twelve hundred, will leave an expenditure for each student of 
six thousand seven hundred and thirteen dollars. WE STATE THE 

FACTS WITHOUT NOTE OR COMMENT. 

FORT SNELLING is in a place which is, beyond all question, 
one of the most healthy in the United States; in fact it is pro- 
verbially healthy. It is useless to extend our remarks on this 
point, for it can have no rival as to health. 



116 DOCUMENTS 



Next of its convenience. It is situated on the Mississippi river, 
at the confluence of that and the Minnesota or St. Peters river 
easily arrived at by means of steamboats at all times, except when 
blocked up by ice. By reference to the map, it will be seen that 
Cadets from Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, 
Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, 
Wisconsin, and Iowa, will find it of easy access much more so 
than West Point. These and the States that will spring up in 
the North- West, will, before many years, have one half of the 
population of the United States. Thus it is seen that Fort Snell- 
ing commends itself to favor from considerations of convenience. 

We come lastly to notice it with reference to public economy. 
The fort is large and capacious well built with stone and has 
ample room, admirably adapted for the accommodation of three 
hundred Cadets. It has all the necessary buildings, out buildings, 
&c., and appears as if built purposely for an academy ; so that no 
expense need be incurred for buildings. Connected with it is a 
military reservation of twelve miles square ; that part of the reser- 
vation immediately surrounding the fort is well suited for parade 
ground. It is understood that the Government has authorized 
the preliminaries to a treaty with the Sioux Indians, which, it is 
presumed, will be consummated ere long. Thus we shall acquire 
a tract of country extending from the fort, west, between the 
Mississippi and Minnesota rivers; so that any number of acres 
may be appropriated and set apart for the use of the academy. 
Perhaps no other suitable place in the country could be selected, 
which would have this and so many other arguments in its favor, 
but Fort Snelling. These facts show, that on the score of economy 
it is a very desirable location for a military academy ; and thus we 
find it combines all the advantages which should commend a 
place as a site for such an institution. 

The scenery around this point is by no means inferior to that at 
West Point. The place is, as before stated, at the confluence 
of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers the former, a beautiful 
stream, which winds its way from the south-west until it unites 
with the Mississippi, which comes from the north-west. On the 
point upon an elevated piece of ground, stands Fort Snelling 
a place strong by nature, and rendered almost impregnable by 
the military works. It looks as though the dogs of war might 
bark at it until they split their brazen throats, and it would laugh 
in scorn at the power of battle. Far away to the north-west 
stretches a beautiful plain, smooth as a meadow. Turn your eyes 






MURRAY PAPERS 117 



around, and for beauty and sublimity of scenery from the bold 
precipice to the smooth, beautiful lawn clumps of treees oak 
openings, which look like an' old orchard in short, all that can 
please and charm the eye is here presented. South of the Fort, 
in full view, is Mendota, the station of the American Fur Com- 
pany. Back of this the country rises in beautiful grandeur, and 
spreads to the eye a delightful landscape. Whatever advantages 
which pleasing scenery, bold or beautiful, may have upon the mind, 
is here to be realized. Taking it all in all, it seems that Congress 
should look to this matter, and proceed to organize at this place, 
at an early day, a military academy, on principles similar to West 
Point. In every point of view, the establishment of an auxiliary 
institution seems the best policy, and Fort Snelling the place. 

S. 
ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA TERRITORY, September 1st, 1849. 

(Chron. & Reg. Print, St. Paul.) 
[Endorsed:] C. K. Smith Letter Mil. Academy. 

S. B. ELLIOT TO MURRAY, November 15, 1852 
[Murray Papers A. L. S.] 

CINCINNATI Nov 15 1852 
W P MURRAY Esq 
DR SIR 

I have received two letters from you of late which ought to 
have been answered before but a multiplicity of engagements has 
prevented. 

Enclosed please find the form for a charter which I hope you 
will succeed in getting through. I doubt not it can be made 
useful. I keep pretty well posted on Minnesota Improvements 
and I cannot think of any project that will take so well as a 
Plank or Rail Road from St. Paul to St. Anthony with the privi- 
ledge of extending it to Sauk Rappids or Crow Wing. Or if a 
Rail Road is prefered perhaps it would be better to get a priv- 
iledge to extend from St. Anthony to some point towards Fon du 
Lac. Perhaps a charter for a Rail or Plank Road from St 
Paul to Stillwater would be worth something if you can get them 
both t[h] rough. 

Please let me hear from you often and I shall have plenty of 
time in a few days to answer all your letters pro[m]ptly. 

160 acre Land Warrants are now worth $150.00. 

Yours truly 

S B ELLIOT 



118 DOCUMENTS 

R. R. NELSON 1 TO MURRAY, March 3, 1853 
[Murray Papers A. L. S.] 

WASHINGTON March 3/53 
FRIEND MURRAY 

Your favor enclosing papers &c was handed me a few days ago 
by Mr Sibley. 2 I will present them personally to the President 
as soon as the inauguration is over. I know of no applicant but 
yourself for that office and your chances are good. 

The Democratic party must succeed in preventing those indi- 
viduals who opposed us last fall from being rewarded for their 
treachery, and I am pretty sure that Mr Pierce will do the fair 
thing. 

Minnesota is well represented here Olmstead, 3 Col R, Lowry, 4 
Hollinshead, 5 Steele 6 &c are all on hand. 

1 Rensselaer Russell Nelson was born in New York in 1826, was 
admitted to the bar in 1849, and came to St. Paul the following year. 
In 1857 President Buchanan appointed him a territorial judge, and 
on the admission of Minnesota to the Union he was made a United 
States district judge. He resigned in 1896 and died in St. Paul in 
1904. Upham and Dunlap, Minnesota Biographies, 543 (M. H. C., 14). 

2 Henry H. Sibley was the delegate from Minnesota Territory in 
Congress at this time. Ibid., 702. 

3 Probably David Olmsted, who located a trading post at Long 
Prairie in 1848, moved to St. Paul in 1853, and became editor of the 
Minnesota Democrat. He was prominent in territorial politics, serving 
as president of the council in the first legislature, 1849, and as mayor 
of St. Paul in 1854. In 1855 he was a candidate for the position of 
delegate but was not elected. The reference may be to S. Baldwin 
Olmstead of Belle Prairie, who was president of the council in 1854 
and 1855. The spelling of the name in the document would indicate 
the latter, but the former was the more prominent in politics. Ibid., 
565. 

4 Probably Sylvanus B. Lowry, who had been associated with Rice 
and Sibley in the Indian trade. He was a member of the Democratic 
party and served in the council in 1852 and 1853. Governor Gorman 
appointed him adjutant general in 1853, but he was removed from 
office soon afterwards as a result of political quarrels. W. H. C. 
Folsom, Fifty Years in the Northwest, 439 (St. Paul, 1888); William 
B. Mitchell, History of Stearns County, 2: 1080 (Chicago, 1915). 

5 William Hollinshead came to St. Paul in 1850 and formed a part- 
nership for the practice of law with Edmund Rice and George L. 
Becker. Upham and Dunlap, Minnesota Biographies, 338 (M. H. C., 14). 

6 Doubtless Franklin Steele, who played a prominent part in the 
early history of Minneapolis. Ibid., 738. 



MURRAY PAPERS 119 

There is no doubt but what true & firm Democrats will receive 
the appointments most of them I hope in the Territory, but that is 
perhaps doubtful. The ultimate success of the party is the great 
object, and we must attain that if possible. 
Remember me to Williams 1 & all others 

Yours truly 

R. R. NELSON 

AARON FOSTER 2 TO A. L. WiLLiAMS, 1 February 26, 1855 
[Murray Papers A. L. S.] 
LEAVENWORTH CITY KANSAS Feb 26 th 1855 
FRIEND WILLIAMS 

I promised you before leaving St Paul, that I would write to 
you and give you a description of the country, we are all in 
good health, and hope this may find you, and yours the same. 
we arived here on the 9 th of November, one month from the time 
we left St Paul, we were all unwell at the time, but have enjoyed 
excellent health since. I am inclined to think this is a very 
healthy section of country. I am much pleased with the climate, 
the coldest day this winter, the thermometer was only five degrees 
below zero, the River has not closed this winter at this point, 
the last Boat left here on the 9 th of December, but a Boat might 
have come up any time during the winter, we are looking for one 
up every day, they Telegraphed from St Louis to Weston, that 
a Boat would leave on the 20 th this month, you will understand 
from that, that we are not out of the way of the lightning, as it 
strikes within five or six miles of us. this Town, or City as it 
is called, is situated two and half miles below Fort Leavenworth 
on the Missouri River, and is a most delightful situation, there 
are about fifty buildings including all kinds and sizes, and the 

1 Doubtless Amzy L. Williams, who was a law partner of Murray's 
in 1853, as evidenced by a letter from Williams to G. W. Featherston- 
haugh, February 17, 1853, in the Murray Papers. The existence of 
such a partnership is confirmed by Murray's daughter, Mrs. Winifred 
Murray Milne. According to C. E. Flandreau, Williams came to St. 
Paul in 1851. "Bench and Bar of Ramsey County" in Magazine of 
Western History, 8:63. 

2 Aaron Foster, born in Pennsylvania in 1817, settled in Stillwater 
in 1846 and moved to St. Paul the following year. He was a car- 
penter by trade and served as a justice of the peace for a number of 
years. He enlisted in the army in 1864, but died before entering the 
service. J. Fletcher Williams, History of the City of St. Paul, 168 (M. 
H. C., 4); T. M. Newson, Pen Pictures of St. Paul, 70 (St. Paul, 1886). 



120 DOCUMENTS 

inhabitants number 2123 and consist of the following clases, one 
hundred men, twenty three women, one hundred children, one 
thousand dogs, and nineteen hundred woolves, and we look for 
a large adition to our present population when spring opens, of a 
few thousand rattle snakes, fifty of the male population, are 
Lawyers and the rest you might swear was Carpenters, the 
great difficulty with this place, is that there cannot be a good title 
given, as this Town is situated on the Deleware Reserve, and the 
Lotts are Surveyed off only 25 feet front by 110 deep, I do not 
think this will be the seat of government, it is a strong Pro 
Slavery hole, and a great portion of the Lotts are owned by 
Missourians, and our Governor is free Soiler all over, they 
elected a strong pro slavery man to represent us in Congress, yet 
I do not think this will be a slave state, although the Missourians 
help us very generously at the Elections. I think we will come 
the Paddy over them this spring Election, we have Organized a 
sosiety eaquel to the H. Ns. I suppose you understand that. I 
am affraid some of our St Paul Boys are strongly tinctured with 
the Pro. speaking of the St Paul Boys there are in this place 
Sellers, 1 Dr Day, 2 James Kirkpatrick 3 Mr Russell and myself. 
A J Whitney 4 is here at times St Paul is well represented here. 
Kirkpatrick is very feeble, he will not be able to stand it long. I 
do not like liveing in this Country as well as I do in Minnesota, 
yet I like the climate much better I have my health much 
better here. I have not had a cold since I came to the Territory 
and have stoped Coughing entirely, we all live in Buildings with- 
out plastering, and no person sick in the Country, there are five 
Companys of Soldiers at this Fort, and none of them sick, there 
is no timber in this Country, and Lumber is very dear, matched 

1 Benjamin L. Sellers was in St. Paul as early as 1849 and served 
as sergeant-at-arms of the second territorial council, 1851. Minnesota 
Pioneer, January 9, 1851; Williams, St. Paul, 215, 266 (M. H. C., 4); 
Minnesota Historical Society, Annals, 1850-51, p. 64 (St. Paul, 1851). 

2 Probably Dr. David Day, who practiced medicine in St. Paul from 
1849 to 1854. If so, he must have soon returned from Kansas, as he 
was a partner with J. R. Jenks in the drug business in St. Paul in 
1856. Newson, Pen Pictures, 109; St. Paul City Directory, 1856-57, p. 85; 
Upham and Dunlap, Minnesota Biographies, 167 (M. H. C., 14). 

3 James Kirkpatrick was a resident of St. Paul in 1850. Williams, 
St. Paul, 268 (M. H. C., 4). 

4 Andrew J. Whitney came to St. Paul in 1853 and was appointed 
clerk of the supreme court the same year. He was city clerk of St 
Paul in 1858. Ibid., 340, 410, 462; Newson, Pen Pictures, 394. 



MURRAY PAPERS 121 

pine flooring $65.00 per thousand feet, Green Cotton Wood 
boards 30.00 per thousand, Lathes are 8.00 per thousand. Dry 
goods, Grocerries, and provisions are cheaper here than St Paul, 
they have been ploughing on the Government Farm all winter ex- 
cept January, we have had no rain but once since last June, we 
have had three snow storms but it only stops a few days with us, 
but it blows the hair off of a mans head a perfect hurricane. I 
wish you would do me a small favour if you can that is call on 
Mr Morrison 1 and tell him we are all well and that I will write 
to him after I get leisure, and he owes me some six or seven 
dollars ask him how much it is and get it, and pay Mr. Terry 2 
the amount of my postage since I left, and pay yourself for 
trouble, and if any left send it to me, when you write. Send me 
a paper at times, and I will do the same excuse this letter, or me 
as I have four more to write this evening. I am airraid you will 
not be able to get much information out of my scriblings, but you 
are a Lawyer and ought not only to be able to read bad writing, 
but make out what a man realy ment, if he only had sence 
enough to express himself. Give my respects to all the folks 
in St Paul and accept the same yourself 

Respectfully Yours 

AARON FOSTER 

N B write soon and direct your letters to Fort Leavenworth 
Kansas we have no post office here yet 

W. W. McNAiR 3 TO MURRAY, July 31, 1872 
[Murray Papers A. L. S.] 

MINNEAPOLIS July 31 st 1872 
HON W. P. MURRAY 
DR SIR 

I have gone to St Paul twice since the day our committee met 
to see you but failed to find you either time 

Upon consultation with Democrats since the action of the 
State Com te & the liberal Com te in determining to have sep- 

1 Probably Wilson C. Morrison, who settled in St. Paul in 1848 and 
died there in 1892. Newson, Pen Pictures, 87; Williams, St. Paul, 198, 
200, 269; St. Paul City Directory, 1893, p. 998. 

2 John Carlos Terry was assistant postmaster in St. Paul from 1853 
to 1871. Upham and Dunlap, Minnesota Biographies, 773 (M. H. C., 14). 

3 William Woodbridge McNair, born in New York in 1836, settled 
in St. Anthony in 1857 and was admitted to the bar the same year. 



122 DOCUMENTS 

arate Conventions I find them almost unanimously of opinion 
that it would have been better to have had but one Convention, 
but that since the calls have been issued & the resolution rec- 
omending that in all other conventions & primary meetings the 
Democrats & liberal Republicans co-operate it would be better to 
do so, I therefore assent to this plan should you think best to 
adopt it. 

Permit me also to suggest that in the call we adopt some dis- 
tinct party name as for instance "Democratic Republican Con- 
vention for the 3 d Congressional District of Minnesota" or some 
other equally good name, and then invite all who are willing to 
join in endeavoring to secure the election of Greely & Brown & 
the local tickets placed in nomination by the "Democratic Repub- 
lican party" in the several counties in this District of the State, 
& who favor the adoption by the people of the Principles enunci- 
ated in the Platforms adopted at Cincinnati & Balt r to join 
with us. 

As to the representation it will, in case a convention of Dem- 
ocrats & Liberals is called have to be based upon the entire vote 
& I would suggest that we take the vote for Governor last cast 
and allow to every Three hundred voters or a majority fraction 
thereof one delegate except in the counties in which the entire 
vote does not exceed Three Hundred when we would allow one 
delegate as heretofore. I have made a compilation of the vote cast 
at the last gubernatorial election, in the several co[u]nties now 
comprising the 3 d Dist & enclose it as it will save you some time & 
trouble, should you think best to base the representation upon the 
entire vote of the district. The first column of figures is the 
N of votes cast for Mr Austin in the respective Counties, the 
second the number cast for Mr Young the third the aggregate 
for each county the fourth the N of Delegates allowed by the 
call for the last State Convention upon the basis of One Delegate 
to every one Hundred and fifty votes, the fifth the N of dele- 
gates allowed to each County upon a basis of one to every Three 

He served as county attorney of Hennepin County from 1859 to 1863 
and as mayor of St. Anthony from 1869 to 1872. He was a candidate 
for Congress in 1876, running on the Democratic ticket, and in 1883 
was offered the nomination for governor. His death occurred in 1885. 
In 1872 McNair and Murray were selected as members of the Demo- 
cratic campaign committee for the third congressional district. Isaac 
Atwater, History of Minneapolis, 1:453 (New York, 1893); St. Paul 
Pioneer, June 20, 1872. 



MURRA Y PAPERS 123 

Hundred voters in the county which I think would be about right, 
except in the case of Stearns County where the Democratic vote 
has been much larger than the Republican so that in changing the 
basis of representation from 150 Democratic to 300 of both 
parties the representation for Stearns is reduced from 11 to 8. 
how would it do in fixing the apportionment to give them the usual 
number eleven (11) & say nothing about it. I would also sug- 
gest that I think a good time for the convention would be the day 
before the state convention at 2 P. M. if a hall can be determined 
& St. Paul the place. 1 On Monday when in St Paul I saw Mr 
Staples 2 & I conclude from what he said the foregoing suggestions 
would meet his views if satisfactory to the other members of the 
Committee. It is no doubt time the call was issued 

Respectfully yours 

W. W. McNAiR 

JOSEPH FUCHS TO MURRAY, July 2, 1875 3 
[Murray Papers A. L. S.] 

TABAKGASSE N r 1 COMPTOIR BEI RUDOLF HERZOG 

PEST, UNGARN July 2 /75 
WM. P. MURRAY Esqu. ST. PAUL 
DEAR SIR 

I make free to inform you that through various reasons the 
negotiations with the I Hung. Transp. C were not concluded; 
a brother in law of mine who was instrumental in founding it, 
thought to see good reasons why he should withdraw his funds 
first, and laterly even his countenance from the institution. On 
my arrival (the 31 st May) they showed willingness to have me 

1 The St. Paul Pioneer of August 4, 1872, contains the call, signed by 
the members of both the Liberal Republican and Democratic com- 
mittees. Stearns County was allowed eleven delegates, as suggested 
by McNair. 

2 Isaac Staples, a prominent lumberman of Stillwater, was another 
member of the Democratic committee for the third congressional 
district. A branch of his business was located in St. Paul. St. Paul 
Pioneer, June 20, August 4, 1872; Upham and Dunlap, Minnesota Biog- 
raphies, 734 (M. H. C., 14). 

3 The printed heading to the sheet on which this letter is written 
is of some interest. It begins "Joseph Fuchs, Commission-Merchant," 
and is continued by the following at the left of the sheet with a 
German version at the right: "offers his services for the purchase 
and sale of raw products as well as other merchandise on Commis- 



124 DOCUMENTS 

unite with them, even though they had fallen out with my friends ; 
since a large share of needed funds were withdrawn they confine 
their business only to forwarding, leaving Commission etc., alone. 
Under such circumstances it required no deep insight to perceive 
that the I Hung. Transp. C o1 were not the parties best suited to 
further my views, & do justice to the manufacturers I am to 
represent. 

I discontinued therefore the negotiations, that were hardly com- 
menced, and after some search in another direction, it is now my 
pleasant duty to inform you that I have been able to induce Mr. 
Rudolf Herzog to lend his influence and become an associate in 
the agr. implement business to which I shall wholly devote myself. 
(Unless indeed the government of the U. S. should see fit to 
appoint me its representative, in place of Mr Kauser who has 
resigned through stress of business). Mr. R. Herzog is an old 
businessman and landowner, besides being the founder of the 
first factory in Hungary for the manufacture of bone meal & 
of animal coal; his factory has lately become the property of a 
stock C but he has a large interest there yet & remains the lead- 
ing & counseling director of the enterprise. Mr Herzog is one 
of our well known businessmen and any of our banks will on 
proper application give his financial standing. The business will 
for the present be conducted from the office of Rud. Herzog 
Tabakgasse N r 1 under the firm & name of Joseph Fuchs which 
I alone will sign as below. 

The letter of introduction which you were so kind as to give 
me, to the american minister Mr. Orth I have not yet delivered ;. 
I was in vienna, but could not take the time to call on him. 

I hope that Mrs Murray & the children are well; now that I 
am so far away, I would give something to sit on your front stoop 
in the shade & read the St. Paul Press or the Pioneer for that 
matter. 

The Hungarians elected their legislators yesterday. Those who 
pay taxes to the amount of abt $5 pr year & that promptly 
paid, have the franchise ; the right to choose their representatives 
was granted only a few years ago, & our people consider it a great 

sion. Represents home and foreign producers and American & 
European manufacturers of agricultural machinery and implements. 
The highest references at Home and Abroad. Sole representative 
of the celebrated Japanese Paper Ware which will not leak, break,, 
shrink, or fall to pieces." 

1 Imperial Hungarian Transportation Company. 



MURRA Y PAPERS 125 

boon, show also that they apreciate it by displaying of national 
(red, white & green) banners with the name of the favorite candi- 
date; The Sundays are used for processions in honor to the 
candidate, he holds his programme speeches, & is conducted to 
his house by his adherents who deafen each other with cries of : 
filjen. (cheer.) The franchise is considered by too many as yet 
as a plaything a toy and without considerable noise they consider 
it has no value, with the greatest respect I am yours obedient 
servant 

JOSEPH FUCHS 



REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

Federal Land Grants to the States with Special Reference to 
Minnesota (The University of Minnesota, Studies in the 
Social Sciences, no. 2). By MATTHIAS NORDBERG ORFIFLD, 
LL.B., PH.D., sometime instructor in political science in the 
University of Minnesota. (Minneapolis, The University of 
Minnesota, 1915. 275 p.) 

The material for a comprehensive study of the American public 
domain is so vast and scattered that any contribution, however 
restricted and detailed, will be welcomed by scholars as a step 
toward a more thorough understanding of this important influ- 
ence in American life. It is strange, considering its importance, 
that the public domain has received so little attention from 
students. Fortunately, however, there are indications that inves- 
tigators in history, political science, and economics are entering 
this fruitful field in increasing numbers. 

Mr. Orfield's study deals with an important phase of the sub- 
ject the history of land grants to states for all purposes, includ- 
ing, among others, support of elementary and secondary educa- 
tion, support of the ministry, development of industries, military 
defense, internal improvements, and public buildings. The 
author purposes to show how there came to be a federal land 
grant policy, how that policy developed into its present form, and 
how the states have administered their heritage. The work, then, 
naturally divides into three parts. The first part deals briefly 
with the colonial precedents. In the second part the general sub- 
ject of land grants to the states and territories is discussed. In 
the last division Minnesota is chosen as a typical state for a more 
detailed study of the administration of the public lands. Under 
each general division the different kinds of land grants are treated 
separately. While such a topical division may be convenient, it 
is unfortunate that the material is not woven into a closer texture. 
With so complicated a subject such a task is exceedingly difficult, 
but nevertheless possible, of attainment. 

Most of the material on which the study is based has been 

126 



ORFIELD: FEDERAL LAND GRANTS 12? 

found in the libraries of the University of Minnesota and the 
Minnesota Historical Society, in the Minnesota State Library, 
and in the office of the state auditor. It consists almost entirely 
of public documents, comprising colonial records, the Con- 
gressional Debates and Globe, Senate and House Documents, 
journals of legislatures, reports of committees, governors' mes- 
sages, state and federal statutes, decisions of the courts, and the 
like. What Mr. Orfield has written, therefore, is a legislative 
and constitutional history of land grants to the states. It is to 
be regretted, however, that he did not explore the extensive news- 
paper material and make more use of the correspondence of pub- 
lic men. A better background for the laws and the debates in 
Congress and in the legislatures would thus have been secured. It 
is impossible to understand what happened in Congress during the 
important years 1852 and 1854, for example, unless we have 
in mind the conflicting interests of those who favored land grants 
to railways, canals, and institutions, military bounties, homestead 
legislation, graduation of the prices of public lands, distribution 
of the proceeds of the sales of public lands, and the relinquish- 
ment of the lands to the states in which they were situated. 
What, for instance, was the attitude of those who favored land 
grants to soldiers and railways towards the homestead proposi- 
tion? The disturbing element of slavery, especially the Kansas- 
Nebraska bill, also profoundly affected the public land question. 
Votes in Congress are often misleading because of log-rolling, and 
land bills offered splendid opportunities for this practice. A 
study of the newspapers and the correspondence of public men 
would enable the student to get behind the scenes and check up 
the votes of representatives and senators. To quote Professor 
Frederick J. Turner : "We cannot understand the land question 
without seeing its relations to the struggle of sections and classes 
bidding against each other and finding in the public domain a 
most important topic of political bargaining." 

Notwithstanding this defect, every chapter reveals the pains- 
taking work of the author. At the cost of great effort he has 
searched out new information amply fortified by footnote refer- 
ences, and has compiled valuable tables. He has not only studied 
the grants for all the various purposes, but he has also pursued 



128 REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

his investigation into the states and has thrown much light on 
the constitutional and legal aspects of the question. 

The West has always been dissatisfied with the land policy of 
the federal government, believing this policy to be dictated by 
men who had little interest in that section of the country or 
else were unable to understand its needs. The cause of public 
education in the United States has suffered because of the un- 
satisfactory adjustment of federal and state authority in the 
matter of lands reserved for schools. "Up to 1845," according to 
Mr. Orfield, "the school lands were generally granted 'to the state 
for the use of the inhabitants' of each 'township for the use of 
schools/ But in the case of Indiana and Alabama the grant was 
directly to the 'inhabitants' of the various townships. The results 
were equally disastrous, for in either case it meant local control 
over the proceeds of the lands. . . . The legislatures of the 
new states have not always been discreet and far-sighted in the 
management of the school lands. The spectacle of state after 
state throwing away the heritage of its common schools by cen- 
tury-long leases, premature sales at inadequate prices, or invest- 
ment of the proceeds in doubtful securities served more and more 
to impress upon Congress the importance of taking some action 
to safeguard the inheritance of the schools" (pp. 48, 49). It is 
apparent to Mr. Orfield that progress has been made in the direc- 
tion of greater national control over school lands, although Con- 
gress has done little or nothing to assert its authority when states 
have diverted the proceeds of their lands from the purpose 
specified. 

In the section devoted to the discussion of the administration 
of public lands in Minnesota the reader will find much to praise 
and much to censure in the conduct of the state government and 
its officials. Minnesota came into the Union at a time when her 
citizens could profit by the unfortunate experiences of her sister 
states. The state constitution, fortunately, imposed a healthy 
check upon the sale of the school lands and the first governor, 
Alexander Ramsey, was impressed with the importance of a care- 
ful stewardship of lands belonging to the state. Later in her 
history, however, the state suffered much loss through the incom- 
petency and corruption of those in charge of the administration 






ORFIELD: FEDERAL LAND GRANTS 129 

of her lands. She possessed forests of fabulous value, but "it 
is only within the last decade and a half that the state and national 
governments have come to think seriously of practical forestry." 
For this reason most of the state timber has been sold. Mr. 
Orfield relates how this wonderful resource has fallen into the 
hands of individuals, many of whom obtained titles to large tracts 
by unfair or unscrupulous methods. The resultant losses to the 
state and the measures employed to remedy them are described 
in considerable detail. There are also chapters devoted to a dis- 
cussion of the mineral lands, which have brought so much wealth 
to the state. 

Mr. Orfield has produced, on the whole, a valuable treatise. 
Some errors, however, have crept into the text. In his account 
of the land legislation in Congress in the thirties and forties he 
makes the statement that at the time of Clay's famous report in 
1832 "there were two questions before the committee, the reduc- 
tion in the price of the public lands and the distribution of the 
lands to the new states" (pp. 98-100). The fact is that there 
were at least three distinct propositions : preemption, graduation, 
and the distribution of the proceeds of the sales of the public 
lands among the states. Further, in discussing the distribution- 
preemption law of 1841 (p. 100), he says merely that "the Senate 
signified its approval" of the House bill, whereas two important 
amendments were added, which became exceedingly important at 
the next session. 

The bibliography appended leaves much to be desired. It is 
very full for the colonial period, which occupies relatively and 
properly little space in the text, but for the remainder of the book 
it is rather disappointing. This is particularly true of the second- 
ary material. Why such titles as Treat's National Land System, 
Benton's Thirty Years' View, Calhoun's and Clay's Works, Bal- 
lagh's papers in the Reports of the American Historical Associa- 
tion for 1897 and 1899, George W. Julian's writings and speeches, 
to mention only a few, are omitted is not clear. The Life, Jour- 
nals, and Correspondence of Manasseh Cutler is not listed, 
although referred to in the footnotes. 

G. M. STEPHENSON 



130 REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

Norsk lutherske pr ester i Amerika, 1843-1913. By O. M. 

NORLIE, in collaboration with K. SEEHUUS, M. O. WEE, A. 

M. ARNTZEN, A. L. WIEK, and L. LILLEHEI. (Minneapolis, 

Augsburg Publishing House, 1914. 624 p.) 
Den norsk lutherske kirkes historie i Amerika. By REV. JOHAN 

A. BERGH. (Minneapolis, 1914. 528 p.) 
Den forenede norsk lutherske kirke i Amerika. By REV. O. M. 

NORLIE, PH.D., PD.D. (Minneapolis, Augsburg Publishing 

House, 1914. 104 p.) 

Fra ungdomsaar: An oversigt over den forenede norsk luther- 
ske kirkes historie og fremskridt i de svundne femogtyve aar. 

Edited by N. C. BRUN. (Minneapolis, Augsburg Publishing 

House, 1915. 371 p.) 

As a part of a very considerable output of books in the Nor- 
wegian language by the Augsburg Publishing House of Minne- 
apolis, there are four recent publications dealing with the history 
of the Norwegian Lutheran Church in the United States. These 
books constitute a positive contribution to the history of the 
Norwegian element in the United States, for the church has 
exercised a deep influence upon the life of the Scandinavians in 
this country, and its history is intimately related to the history of 
this immigrant force. The economic contributions of immigrants 
to the United States are not difficult to estimate. On the other 
hand, the social results of their settlement and amalgamation with 
American life are more undefmable. But fundamental to an 
understanding of the contribution of the Scandinavians to Amer- 
ican character and institutions is a true interpretation of the spir- 
itual forces at work among them. 

The first of these volumes contains brief biographies of 1,826 
Norwegian Lutheran pastors and theological professors who have 
been active in the United States during the seven decades from 
1843 to 1913. As an introduction to the biographical section 
there is a carefully prepared history of Norwegian immigration 
from 1825 to 1913, and of the organization and progress of the 
work of the Lutheran Church among the Norwegian immigrants. 
A brief survey of the fourteen synods which have been organized 
during this period is included. A number of charts greatly 
increase the value of these sections. One of the most valuable 



NORWEGIAN LUTHERAN CHURCH 131 

features of the book is the summary of the literary activity of the 
pastors and professors whose biographies are included. There 
is added a list of newspapers and periodicals published by Nor- 
wegian-Americans, with dates of publication and names of editors. 
A complete index of names concludes the book. The volume 
was prepared by trained scholars, and should prove as valuable as 
it is reliable and complete. 

The second title may be translated "History of the Norwegian 
Lutheran Church in America." The author, a graduate of Augs- 
burg Seminary in Minneapolis, was ordained as a minister in 
1871, and since 1890 has been a member of the United Norwegian 
Lutheran Church. He has thus been both a spectator and a 
participant of a considerable portion of the development which he 
describes. The inclusion of many original documents and cita- 
tions of sources increases the value of a work which is not particu- 
larly critical. The theological strifes in the Norwegian Lutheran 
Church have been extremely bitter, and the accounts of these 
struggles consume no small portion of the work. The author 
writes from the standpoint of a pastor of the United Church. 
Recently there has been a strong movement for a union of three 
large Norwegian synods, and this movement is elaborately dis- 
cussed. While the author makes no attempt to analyze the 
religious contribution of the Norwegian Lutherans to American 
life, he does recognize Americanization as inevitable and urges 
the church to keep abreast of the movement of transition by 
adopting the English language in its services wherever there is 
a need for it. The figures presented by Rev. Mr. Bergh of the 
progress of the church are significant. The work was begun in 
1843 in Muskego, Wisconsin, with one congregation, 69 members, 
and two ministers. Seventy years later there were 1,354 ministers 
and professors, 3,398 congregations with about 500,000 members 
in six synods, with rive theological seminaries, two normal schools, 
nine colleges, and twenty-seven academies. 

The last two volumes relate to the largest synod among the 
Norwegian-Lutherans the United Norwegian Lutheran Church. 
Rev. Dr. Norlie's book particularly is a scholarly account of the 
organization and activity of that synod. The last work, edited by 
Rev. N. C. Brun, was published in connection with the twenty- 
fifth anniversary of that church body. It is a popular, illustrated 



132 REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

book, in thirty chapters, and reveals the virtues as well as the 
shortcomings of collaboration. From the American standpoint 
the chapter dealing with the work done by the church in the 
English language is of special interest. The figures there given 
indicate that the foreign language is steadily giving way to the 
English, and that the church, realizing this, is taking steps to 
meet the resultant problems. 

T. C. BLEGEN 

Voyages of the Norsemen to America (Scandinavian Mono- 
graphs, 1 ) . By WILLIAM HOVGAARD, late commander in the 
royal Danish navy and professor of naval design and con- 
struction in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 
(New York, The American- Scandinavian Foundation, 1914. 
xxi, 304 p.) 

The American-Scandinavian Foundation is to be congratu- 
lated on the attractive appearance and scholarly character of the 
first volume of its Scandinavian Monographs. Professor Hov- 
gaard's interest in the subject began with a study of the "means 
and methods of navigation possessed by the Norsemen, and of 
the bearing of these features on the question of the discovery of 
America." From this the work gradually developed into an 
orderly presentation and critical discussion of all the available 
evidence, whether historical, geographical, ethnological, or botan- 
ical. The conclusions reached are that the early explorations of 
the Norsemen probably reached the coast of Massachusetts, but 
that the later expedition for purposes of settlement did not get 
south of Newfoundland and failed of its purpose because of 
attacks by the Indians and internal strife. 

A passage of especial interest to the people of Minnesota 
occurs on page 116 under the heading "Ruins and Inscriptions 
found in America." It reads as follows: "The so-called Ken- 
sington Stone, found in Minnesota, bears a runic inscription, but 
it has been conclusively shown by Professor G. T. Flom to be a 
recent forgery." 

A large number of excellent illustrations and several folding 
maps add to the value of the work. The bibliography, though 
not critical, is useful, but the index is inadequate. 

S. J. B. 



MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

CLASSIFICATION OP MANUSCRIPTS 

Considerable progress has been made during the last few 
months in the work of arranging and filing the society's valuable 
collections of manuscripts. Such material when received is 
usually without logical arrangement ; the papers are almost always 
folded, often badly wrinkled, and sometimes coated with dirt. To 
ensure their preservation and to render them accessible, the 
papers are unfolded and smoothed out, carefully cleaned, and 
filed flat in manila folders placed in specially constructed dust- 
proof and light-proof filing boxes. Often the documents are so 
badly creased and wrinkled that they have to be dampened and 
pressed between blotters before they can be filed, and many of 
them ought to be repaired and strengthened by being covered with 
mousseline, a transparent fabric used for that purpose. This 
latter is a slow and delicate process, and it has seemed best to 
arrange and file the collections first and then take up the repair- 
ing of the papers which need it. 

In filing, the chronological arrangement is used in accordance 
with the modern practice in practically all large depositories of 
manuscripts. A subject classification offers insuperable difficul- 
ties and requires an elaborate index; an alphabetical arrange- 
ment is of value only to one who is looking for a specific letter 
by a known writer ; while the chronological arrangement enables 
a student interested in an event or a period to read his sources 
in the order in which they were written. In the course of time 
calendars of the documents in the various collections should be 
compiled and published. These would not only facilitate the 
work of the investigator but would tend to preserve the papers 
themselves by decreasing the amount of handling necessary to find 
desired material. 

The largest single lot of manuscripts which has been filed 
consists of the Donnelly Papers. These were estimated at thirty 
thousand, but after being arranged they are found to number 
nearly fifty thousand and fill sixty-four filing boxes. Supple- 

133 



134 HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

menting these papers, which consist mainly of letters received, 
are six letter-press books containing copies of letters written by 
Donnelly, and eighteen scrapbooks compiled by him. The career 
of Ignatius Donnelly as author, editor, and radical political leader 
is so well known that the great value of this collection, covering 
as it does nearly half a century from 1856 to 1900, and containing 
letters on nearly every conceivable subject and from all sorts of 
people, prominent and otherwise, will be quite obvious. 

Several months ago Mr. Kellar, while searching for archival 
material in the Old Capitol, discovered in one of the basement 
rooms used by the historical society a trunk containing the papers 
of James W. Taylor. None of the staff of the society knew of 
the existence of these papers, but it later developed that they came 
into its possession shortly after Taylor's death in 1893, during an 
interim in the secretaryship of the society, and that they have lain 
untouched in its storeroom ever since. The trunk was immedi- 
ately moved to one of the society's vaults in the New Capitol, and 
during the summer the papers have been carefully arranged and 
filed by Mr. Theodore Blegen, a graduate student in history in the 
University of Minnesota. 

James W. Taylor was born in New York in 1819, engaged in 
journalism in Ohio in the forties, and served as a member of the 
constitutional convention of 1849-50 and as state librarian from 
1852 to 1856. In the latter year he removed to Minnesota and 
immediately became interested in the promotion of railroad enter- 
prises. In 1859 he was appointed special agent of the treasury 
department to investigate reciprocal relations of trade and trans- 
portation between the United States and Canada, a position 
which he held for nine years. From 1870 until his death he was 
United States consul at Winnipeg. Taylor's official positions and 
his wide interests make his papers a veritable mine of material 
for the history of the West both in the United States and Canada, 
and for the relations between the two countries. They consist 
of approximately seventeen hundred letters and documents dating 
from 1859 to 1893 ; some twenty letter books containing copies of 
about the same number of letters ; drafts of about forty speeches, 
essays, or newspaper articles ; two large scrapbooks of newspaper 
clippings, besides many loose clippings and papers ; three ledgers ; 
twenty-one maps, some of which are original drawings; and a 



SCANDINAVIAN-AMERICAN COLLECTION 135 

number of pictures. With the collection were four bound books 
and thirty-three pamphlets, which will be catalogued and placed 
in the library. 

Using this material as a basis, Mr. Blegen has written a sketch 
of Taylor's life which will be published in a later number of the 
BULLETIN. In connection with the preparation of this paper he 
made a trip to Winnipeg to consult the files of newspapers in the 
provincial library and to talk with some of Taylor's associates 
who are still living there. Mr. Blegen has also compiled a bibli- 
ography of Taylor's published writings which runs to over thirty 
items, and he is working on an extended description of the 
papers. 

Early in July Mr. Kellar completed his work in the archives, 
and his report, which amounts practically to an inventory of the 
archives of the state and territory, so far as they are still in exist- 
ence, was dispatched to the chairman of the public archives com- 
mission of the American Historical Association for inclusion in 
the 1914 Report. Mr. Kellar then took up the work of classi- 
fying, filing, and calendaring the Murray Papers. A brief descrip- 
tion of this collection, together with a few selected letters, will be 
found in the section of this issue devoted to documents. 

A SCANDINAVIAN-AMERICAN COLLECTION 

The increased attention paid in recent years to the non-political 
aspects of American history has resulted in a recognition of the 
important part which various foreign elements have played in 
the development of the country. Of these elements the Scandi- 
navian has been especially prominent in the Northwest, and the 
history of the region can not be understood without a knowledge 
of its contribution. Somewhere there should be built up a com- 
prehensive collection of material for Scandinavian-American his- 
tory, and, as Minnesota has a larger number of Scandinavians in 
her population than any other state, the Minnesota Historical 
Society is the logical institution to do this work. Prominent 
representatives of these races to whom the proposition has been 
broached have become enthusiastic over it, and, with their cooper- 
ation assured, rapid progress can be made. 

It is intended that not only books and pamphlets of a formal 
historical character but also much original source material shall 



136 HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

be secured. Files of Scandinavian-American papers and maga- 
zines, reports of religious organizations and educational institu- 
tions, and especially diaries and collections of letters are desired. 
To get the project under way, Mr. Blegen, whose knowledge of the 
Scandinavian languages and of the literature of the subject has 
been of great value, prepared a want-list of books and pamphlets, 
which was sent to several leading publishing houses and dealers 
in such material. Exceptionally large discounts were secured, 
and many of the books are already on the shelves. To pick up 
the older out-of-print books and files of newspapers and period- 
icals will require much more time and extensive search. 

Sometime ago the University of Minnesota began to collect 
Scandinavian material, and a division of the field between the two 
institutions seems desirable. A tentative agreement has been 
reached to the eft'ect that the university will collect material relat- 
ing to the Scandinavian countries themselves and to the languages 
and literatures, while the gathering of material relating to these 
elements in America will be left to the society. In accordance 
with this division negotiations have been begun for the transfer 
to the society's library of some material already collected at the 
university. 

GIFTS 

Mr. Cyrus H. McCormick of Chicago has presented to the 
society number 37 of the Illinois-W abash Land Company Manu- 
script (1915. 22, 40 p.). The volume consists of a photographic 
facsimile of the manuscript and an introductory account of "The 
Illinois-Wabash Land Company" by Professor Clarence W. 
Alvord of the University of Illinois. The documents reproduced 
throw light on the attempt of William Murray and his associates 
to obtain possession of large tracts of land in the West by pur- 
chase from the Indians during the period of British control. 
After the Revolution the claims of this company were pressed 
before Congress for many years but without success. Professor 
Alvord's introduction is an excellent account of the operations of 
the company during the British period and the Revolution. 

A box of scrapbooks, letters, and documents has been received 
from Mr. Hanford L. Gordon, a life member of the society, who- 



GIFTS 



137 



now resides in Los Angeles. Mr. Gordon is well known to Minne- 
sotans as the author of several books of poems relating largely 
to the Northwest. Born in New York in 1846, he settled in 
Clearwater in 1857. Later he practiced law in St. Cloud and 
served as register of the United States land office located there. 
He was a member of the state senate in 1867-68 and resided in 
Minneapolis from 1878 to 1888. 1 While the material in the box 
is given to the society without reserve, Mr. Gordon requests that 
it be withheld from consultation by any except officials of the 
society during his lifetime. This request will be scrupulously 
complied with. 

1 Upham and Dunlap, Minnesota Biographies, 266 (M. H. C., 14). 



NEWS AND COMMENT 

The work of the department of Indiana history and archives 
is summarized in the Thirtieth Biennial Report of the librarian 
of the Indiana State Library for the period ending September 
30, 1914 (Indianapolis, 1914. 107 p.). The department, which 
\vas formally established by an act of March 6, 1913, has "the 
care and custody of official archives which come into the posses- 
sion of the state library" and is authorized to examine and classify 
"documents and records not of present day use to their respective 
departments." Among its purposes and duties are also "the 
cnllection of materials bearing upon the history of the state and of 
the territory included therein ; the diffusion of knowledge with 
reference to the history of the state; the encouragement of his- 
torical work and research." Dr. Harlow Lindley, professor of 
history in Earlham College, is the director of the department. 

Another forward step was taken in Indiana when the last legis- 
lature established the Indiana Historical Commission to consist 
of the governor, the director of the Indiana historical survey of 
Indiana University, the head of the department of archives and 
history of the state library, and five others to be appointed by 
the governor. The functions of the commission are twofold: to 
make arrangements for the celebration in 1916 of the centennial 
of the admission of the state to the Union, and to edit and publish 
documentary material relating to the history of the state. Twen- 
ty-five thousand dollars has been appropriated for the work of 
the commission and of this amount five thousand dollars has been 
set aside for the second phase of its activities. The commission 
has an article in the June Bulletin of the state library setting forth 
some of its plans and asking for cooperation in carrying them 
out. 

The State Historical Society of Missouri has issued its Seventh 
Biennial Report for the two years ending December 31, 1914 
(Jefferson City, [1915]. 47 p.). The law governing the society, 
which is printed in this Report, establishes it as trustee of the 
state and directs that it shall "hold all its present and future col- 

138 



NEWS AND COMMENT 



139 



lections and property for the state." The same statute provides 
that "sixty bound copies of each of the several publications of 
the state, and of its societies and institutions" shall be given to 
the society to be used in exchange with other societies and insti- 
tutions. A large fireproof building, now in course of construction 
in Columbia, will house both. the historical society and the library 
of the University of Missouri. 

The board of directors of the Kansas State Historical Society 
has issued its Nineteenth Biennial Report for the period ending 
June 30, 1914 (Topeka, 1915. 175 p.). The society has just 
moved its library and museum and the state archives, of which 
it has charge, into a Memorial Building constructed by the state 
at a cost of about half a million dollars. Inasmuch as the soci- 
ety's collections number 237,686 books and pamphlets, 149,851 
archival documents, 44,628 other manuscripts, 9,127 pictures, 
7,616 maps, atlases, and charts, and 9,809 relics, it will readily 
be seen that the moving was no small task. The work appears 
to have been sadly hampered by lack of funds and by lack of 
equipment in the new building. William E. Connelly is now 
secretary of the society, succeeding George W. Martin, who 
died March 27, 1914. 

The Twenty-seventh Report of the commissioner of public 
records of Massachusetts (Boston, 1915. 9 p.) is for the year 
1914. The commissioner, Henry E. Woods, inspected the con- 
dition of public records in one hundred and fifty towns during 
the year and made many recommendations for their better care 
and protection against fire. Acting upon his orders, a number of 
towns and counties had records repaired, renovated, and bound 
by the Emery Record Preserving Company. The report contains 
a list of approved typewriter ribbons and stamping pads. The 
use of any other ribbons or pads in the making of public records, 
either state or local, is forbidden by law. 

Ten years ago representatives of twelve historical societies in 
Pennsylvania met in Harrisburg and organized the Pennsylvania 
Federation of Historical Societies. The Acts and Proceedings 
of the tenth annual meeting of this federation, held January 21, 
1915 (Harrisburg, 1915. 85 p.), shows that it now has a mem- 



140 NEWS AND COMMENT 

bership of forty-one societies, many of which were called into 
being as a result of the activities of the federation. The president, 
in his address, complained that the part played by Pennsylvania 
did not secure adequate consideration in histories of the nation 
because of the lack of local historical work in the state as com- 
pared with New England. If this be true of Pennsylvania, what 
shall be said of the western states in which active and effective 
local historical societies, apart from the state institutions, are 
almost non-existent ? 

An especially valuable section of the pamphlet contains the 
reports of the constituent institutions for the year ending January 
21, 1915. This contains the names and addresses of officers, 
number of members, number of meetings held, titles of publica- 
tions issued and papers read, and statements of special work done. 
Another section contains lists of publications in the fields of 
Pennsylvania history, genealogy, and biography, and of books by 
Pennsylvanians issued during the year a valuable contribution 
to the bibliography of the state. 

The federation is supported by dues of two dollars a year from 
each constituent society and by a small appropriation from the 
the state. It is endeavoring to secure the passage of an act pro- 
viding for the appointment, in the division of public records of 
the state library, of a supervisor of public records, "whose duty 
it shall be to examine into the condition of the records in the 
several public offices of the counties, cities and boroughs of the 
Commonwealth"; to recommend such action "as shall be neces- 
sary to secure their safety and preservation" ; and to "cause all 
laws relating to public records to be enforced." 

From the Report of the state librarian of Pennsylvania for 1914 
(Harrisburg, 1915. 41 p.) it appears that the staff of the division 
of public records, which has charge of classifying and indexing 
the state archives and such county archives as are transferred to 
its care, consists of a custodian, eleven assistants, and a messenger. 

The State Historical Society of Missouri is making a special 
effort to collect the published minutes of various church organiza- 
tions in the state and now has several thousand of them. The 
fact that few of the organizations possess complete files of their 



NEWS AND COMMENT 141 

own minutes emphasizes the importance of sending copies of such 
publications to the state historical society where they are certain 
to be preserved and where they will be available for future refer- 
ence. 

The June issue of the Mississippi Valley Historical Review is 
devoted largely to the history of the Northwest. Frederic L. 
Paxson writes of "A Constitution of Democracy Wisconsin, 
1847" ; George N. Fuller, of the "Settlement of Michigan Terri- 
tory" ; and Archer B. Hulbert, of "The Methods and Operations 
of the Scioto Group of Speculators" ; "Historical Activities in the 
Old Northwest, 1914-1915" are described by Solon J. Buck. The 
department of "Notes and Documents" contains an account of 
"Some New-found Records of the Lewis and Clark Expedition" 
by Milo M. Quaif e ; a letter relating to "Detroit during the Revo- 
lution," contributed by C. M. Burton ; and a letter relating to "The 
French Settlers at Gallipolis," written by Joseph Gilman, a mem- 
ber of the Ohio Company, at Marietta in 1793. This last docu- 
ment was contributed by Mrs. Charles P. Noyes of St. Paul. 

The Iowa Journal of History and Politics for July contains a 
number of articles of considerable interest to students of Minne- 
sota history. Two of these entitled "The Neutral Ground" and 
"The Black Hawk War and the Treaty of 1832," both by Jacob 
Van der Zee, deal with Indian affairs in the upper Mississippi Val- 
ley during the thirties and forties. "The Grasshopper Plagues in 
Iowa," by John E. Briggs, tells of the various visitations, the 
resultant losses and privations, the relief measures, the attempts 
to destroy the pests, and the effect on settlement and agriculture. 
Minnesota and other western states, as well as Iowa, suffered 
severely from these visitations, and the article necessarily throws 
light on the whole subject, which is one of considerable impor- 
tance in the economic history of the Northwest. The archives of 
the state of Minnesota, especially the miscellaneous files in the 
governor's office, contain much valuable material on the subject, 
and presumably similar documents could be found in the archives 
of the other states involved. Mr. Briggs does not appear to have 
used any such material, although he has consulted the newspapers 
and printed documents. 



142 NEWS AND COMMENT 

The April issue of the Annals of Iowa is a "Public Archives 
Number." The first article is a valuable paper by Ethel B. 
Virtue of the Historical Department of Iowa on "Principles of 
Classification of Archives." This paper was originally prepared 
for the conference of archivists held in Chicago, December 31, 
1914, in connection with the meeting of the American Historical 
Association. It is illustrated with photographs of the rooms and 
filing devices of the public archives division of the Historical 
Department of Iowa. C. C. Stiles, who has charge of archival 
work in Iowa, presents a detailed schedule of the classification 
adopted for the documents from the auditor's office. Similar 
schedules for the offices of governor and secretary of state were 
published in the Annals for October, 1911, and January-April, 
1912. 

The Tennessee Historical Society has published two numbers, 
March and June, 1915, of its new quarterly, the Tennessee His- 
torical Magazine. Professor St. George L. Sioussat of Vander- 
bilt University is the editor. Each number contains scholarly 
historical articles, well-edited documents, and a department of 
news and notes. In the March issue is printed a bill for the 
establishment of a state department of archives and history which 
was introduced in the last legislature. Such a department or 
commission, charged with the care of archives and historical 
materials, has been created in nearly every other southern state. 

The Historical Department of Iowa has published a pamphlet 
entitled Iowa Authors and Their Works, a Contribution toward a 
Bibliography, by Alice Marple, assistant curator (Des Moines, 
1914. 151 p.). The department has a large collection of the 
books listed, and much information was secured by circularizing 
the writers themselves. Biographical data were also collected, 
although not used in the present work, which is put forward as 
"tentative." 

The South Dakota Department of History has recently issued 
a pamphlet descriptive of its work (n. d. 32 p.). The depart- 
ment is by law under the management of the state historical 
society and has charge not only of the state's historical interests 
but also of the state library, including legislative, reference, and 






NEWS AND COMMENT 143 

traveling libraries, the state census, vital statistics, and the prepa- 
xation and publication of an annual review of the progress of the 
state. Seven volumes of Historical Collections have been pub- 
lished by the department. 

The Texas History Teachers' Bulletin, which is edited by the 
history staff of the University of Texas, began in the May num- 
ber a department of "Source Readings in Texas History" intended 
for the use of teachers in the grades. The first installment con- 
tains two contemporary accounts of life in Texas in the thirties. 

Mr. Victor H. Paltsits, keeper of manuscripts in the New York 
Public Library, has edited from the original manuscript in the 
collection over which he has charge, the journal of Mrs. Lodisa 
Frizell of a trip Across the Plains to California in 1852 (New 
York, 1915. 30 p.). This is a valuable account of the experi- 
ences of a small party which traveled overland from the Little 
Wabash River in Illinois, via St. Louis, St. Joseph, Fort Kearney, 
Fort Laramie, and the South Pass. The pamphlet is reprinted 
from the Bulletin of the New York Public Library for April, 
1915. 

An article on "The Preservation of Historical Records in Hol- 
land," by Henry A. Sharp in the Library World (London) for 
January, 1914, is summarized as follows in the American Library 
Annual for 1914-15 (p. 218) : "Each of the eleven states of 
Holland has a provincial depot for the preservation and docu- 
mentation of local records, that at The Hague being at once the 
central repository for the whole country, as well as the depot for 
a specific province. Each depot is in charge of an archivist 
whose duty it is to collect and index all records in his district, and 
to make an annual report to the chief archivist. Registers of 
births, baptisms, betrothals, marriages, deaths, removals, and 
property are kept. The Amsterdam repository is also collecting 
material of all kinds relating to the city and the citizens maga- 
zine articles, photographs of buildings, playbills, and portraits." 

Dr. W. Dawson Johnston of the St. Paul Public Library has 
an article on "The Library and History Teaching, with Special 
Reference to the Teaching of Local History" in School and 
Society for July 3, 1915. Dr. Johnston advocates the extensive 



144 NEWS AND COMMENT 

collection of material for local history by libraries, together with 
a stimulation of interest in the subject by means of lectures and 
excursions. The Chicago history lectures for children, given 
weekly under the auspices of the Chicago Historical Society, and 
the activities of the City History Club of New York in promoting 
lectures, excursions, and individual study are described. The 
latter organization has published an Historical Guide to the City 
of New York, compiled by Frank B. Kelley from original observa- 
tions and contributions made by members and friends of the club 
(rev. ed., New York, 1913. 421 p.), which is an excellent 
example of the sort of work that ought to be done in other com- 
munities. 

"The Evolution of America," by President Frank L. McVey, 
in the Quarterly Journal of the University of North Dakota for 
July, 1915, is an historical address delivered at the University of 
Christiania in 1912. The same issue contains an article by Pro- 
fessor William G. Bek, "Some Facts concerning the Germans 
of North Dakota," which points out "opportunities for cultural 
historical studies." 

An article entitled "Following Leif Erickson," by Bjorn B. Jons- 
son in the American- Scandinavian Review for March-April, deals 
with the settlement of Icelanders in Wisconsin, Minnesota, the 
Dakotas, and western Canada. A number of representatives of 
the race who have achieved prominence in politics or business 
are referred to. Among them is Hon. G. B. Bjornson of Minne- 
ota, Minnesota, whose picture accompanies the article. 

The St. Paul Pioneer Press for Sunday, July 11, contains a 
feature story on early steamboating on the Mississippi. It opens 
with an account of an interview with Captain Fred A. Bill of 
Minneapolis, who was formerly connected with the Diamond Jo 
Line and who has made an extensive collection of pictures of 
steamboats and river scenes. Then follow extracts from a paper 
dealing with early steamboat days read at the recent meeting 
of the Minnesota Old Settlers' Association by Mrs. Jeanette 
Lamprey, a daughter of Captain Louis Robert. The article ends 
with a brief sketch of Captain Robert's career by R. I. Holcombe. 
Captain Robert was a prominent riverman before the Civil War 



NEWS AND COMMENT 145 

and played an important part in the early history of St. Paul and 
Minnesota. Mrs. Lamprey's paper was printed in full in the 
Burlington (Iowa) Saturday Evening Post of June 26 and re- 
printed in the issue of July 17. 

A "History of Navigation on the Red River of the North, 
185&-1915," by Frank M. Painter of St. Paul, has been published 
in the issues of the Saturday Evening Post of Burlington, Iowa, 
for June 12 and 19 and July 3 and 10, 1915. Another article 
entitled "Steamboating on the Red River of the North," by Fred 
A. Bill of Minneapolis, appeared in the July 31 and August 7 
issues of the same paper. A manuscript copy of this article, 
which was written for the North Dakota Historical Society, was 
presented to the Minnesota Historical Society by Mr. Bill several 
months ago. 

The bureau of navigation of the navy department has issued a 
Course in History, Geography, Arithmetic, etc., for the Use of 
Enlisted Men (Washington, 1915. 91 p.). The pamphlet con- 
sists entirely of brief questions and answers, of which the follow- 
ing are typical: "Q. How did the Indians spend their time? 
A. They hunted with bows and arrows and fished." "Q. What 
did Lincoln do about a month after he became President?" "Q. 
What catastrophe occurred on the Pacific coast of the United 
States in 1906?" Apparently the pedagogical methods of the 
early nineteenth century have not entirely disappeared from the 
land. It might be well for the officials in charge of this work in 
the navy to consult with some of the experts in the bureau of 
education. 

In the Nation for May 20 appeared an interesting editorial 
entitled "Our States and Their History," in which attention is 
called to the work being done by some of the state and local his- 
torical societies. The writer points out the value of this work 
and argues for increased attention to the history of the separate 
states. Many of the ideas in the editorial and most of the illus- 
trative anecdotes appear to have been derived, either directly or 
indirectly, from Professor Alvord's paper in the first number 
of the MINNESOTA HISTORY BULLETIN, although the paper itself 
is not mentioned. Still more surprising is the reference to a 
"wealthy . . . Minneapolis Historical Society." 



146 NEWS AND COMMENT 

Attention should be called to an error on page 74 of the last 
issue of the BULLETIN. It appears that the recently destroyed St. 
Paul Public Library building was not the old market house which 
was built in 1853, but another building constructed in 1881 on the 
same site and for similar purposes. 

MINNESOTA PUBLICATIONS 

Results of Spirit Leveling in Minnesota, 1897 to 1914, Inclusive, 
by R. B. Marshall, chief geographer of the United States Geologi- 
cal Survey, has been issued by the survey as Bulletin 560 (Wash- 
ington, 1915. 190 p.). From 1909 to 1914, inclusive, the work 
upon which the publication is based was carried on in cooperation 
with the state of Minnesota. 

An Investigation of the Concrete Road+Making Properties of 
Minnesota Stone and Gravel, by Charles Franklin Shoop, assistant 
professor of experimental engineering, University of Minnesota 
(Minneapolis, 1915. 46 p.), is number 2 of Studies in Engineer- 
ing published by the University of Minnesota. 

The Northwestern Miller has issued the seventh annual edition 
of the Miller's Almanack and Year Book of the Trade for the 
year 1915-16 (Minneapolis, May 1915. 240 p.). The volume 
contains general information and statistical data of value to the 
grain and milling industries, gathered from authoritative sources. 
Although compiled primarily for the industries concerned, this 
series of publications will be of great service to the future 
economic historian. 

Through the Mill by "4342" a Prison Story That's Different 
(St. Paul, G. L. Bartlett, c. 1915. 139 p.) is a well-written 
and reliable account of the Minnesota state prison at Stillwater, 
based on the experiences of an intelligent ex-convict. The routine 
of the prison is carefully described, several sets of rules are 
printed in full, and a number of chapters are devoted to an 
arraignment of the "Indeterminate Sentence." 

"A Few Facts Relating to the Minnesota State Board of 
Health," by Dr. H. M. Bracken ; "A Letter on the Criticisms of 
the Minnesota State Board of Health," by Oscar C. Pierson ; and 
an editorial on "The Ethical Side of the State Board of Health," 



MINNESO TA P UBLICA TIONS 147 

by Dr. W. A. Jones, have been reprinted from the Journal- 
Lancet of August 1, 1915, in the form of a pamphlet (23 p.). 

An editorial on "The University of Minnesota and the Mayo 
Foundation" is reprinted from the Journal of the American Med- 
ical Association in School and Society for July 3, 1915. 

The superintendent of education, C. G. Schulz, has brought out 
the Eighteenth Biennial Report of his department, in which sta- 
tistics of teachers, pupils, property, appropriations, etc., both 
general and by counties, are given for the school years ending 
in 1913 and 1914 (1915. 117 p.). A report of the state normal 
school board is included. 

The Seventh Biennial Report of the state board of control 
(1915. 448 p.) covers the period ending July 31, 1914. The 
book contains a large amount of information, including much 
statistical material of interest to sociologists and of value to the 
future student of social history. Reports of the executives of the 
many institutions under the control of the board are included. 

The Fifth Biennial Report of the state board of health (1915. 
294 p.) covers the work of the board and of its various depart- 
ments during 1913 and 1914 and contains vital statistics for 1912 
<md 1913. 

The board of education of Minneapolis has published a Report 
covering the school and fiscal years ending June 30, 1912, June 
30, 1913, and June 30, 1914 ( [Minneapolis, 1915]. 223 p.). The 
volume furnishes an interesting and valuable chapter in the educa- 
tional history of Minneapolis. Superintendent Jordan in his 
report to the board for this period, besides giving the usual sta- 
tistics of enrollment and equipment, makes special mention of 
social center work; of the establishment of the Thomas Arnold 
School as a disciplinary and opportunity school and of open air 
schools and schools for the mentally defective; of the school 
savings department ; and of the teachers' retirement fund associa- 
tion. Supplementing the report of the superintendent are reports 
of the supervisors of various special departments. Of particular 
interest will be the one covering evening school work, the state- 
ment of the work of the summer schools, the report of the 1913 



148 NEWS AND COMMENT 

school census, and the statistics furnished by the truant officer. 
The book contains numerous half-tone illustrations. 

The Twenty-fifth Annual Report of the Minneapolis Public 
Library (Minneapolis, [1915]. 48 p.) covers the year 1914 and 
deals not only with the central library and its branches, but also 
with the Minneapolis Athenaeum, which is affiliated with the 
library. 

The Thirty-second Annual Report of the board of park com- 
missioners (Minneapolis, [1915]. 157 p.) records the activities 
of the board during the year and contains a large amount of inter- 
esting information about the parks and playgrounds of the city. 
The Report is attractively printed and contains numerous illustra- 
tions, maps, and diagrams. 

Number 3 of volume 3, new series, of the Macalester College 
Bulletin is the Catalog Number for the year 191415, containing 
calendar and curricula announcements for the year 1915-16 (St. 
Paul, April, 1915. 124 p.). 

The St. Cloud State Normal School has issued its Annual Cat- 
alog for the school year ending June 9, 1915, with the announce- 
ments for the year 1915-16 ([St. Cloud, 1915]. 43 p.). 

The Thirteenth Annual Catalogue of the Duluth State Normal 
School ([Duluth, 1915]. 40 p.) contains announcements of 
courses of study for the year 1915-16. 

In its Catalogue for the year 1915-16 the Red Wing Seminary 
and College outlines the courses offered in the various depart- 
ments: theological, collegiate, academic, and commercial (Red 
Wing, May, 1915. 42 p.). 

A series of articles reminiscent of early days in Winona by 
Orrin Fruit Smith appeared in the issues of the Winona Republi- 
can-Herald for June 26, July 3 and 10, 1915. 

In the July 22, 1915 issue of the Battle Lake Review appeared 
an interesting sketch by Henry Way of Audubon of the early-day 
trials of the first settlers of Battle Lake. 

In a letter to the St. James Plain-dealer, July 31, 1915, I. H. 



MINNESOTA PUBLICATIONS 



149 



Mather gives some personal recollections of early days in Minne- 
sota, describing in particular the early schools with their lack of 
good books and equipment. 

The July 14, 1915 issue of the Mankato Daily Review contains 
an interesting account of an auto trip taken by a party of pioneer 
residents of Blue Earth County to points of old-time interest 
along the Watonwan River and in the country thereabout. 

The Morgan Messenger announces in its issue of July 29, 1915, 
the publication in the coming fall of a history of Redwood County 
by H. C. Cooper Jr. and Company of Chicago. The early history 
of this county is of especial interest, since the first outbreak of 
the Sioux War of 1862 occurred at the Lower Sioux Agency, 
which was located in the northwestern quarter of the present 
township of Sherman. 

A full account of the sixth annual reunion of the old settlers 
of Marshall County, at which over one thousand persons were in 
attendance, is given in the July 30, 1915 issue of the Stephen 
Leader. The principal speaker on the afternoon program was 
Congressman Steenerson, who, after giving an account of his 
experiences in pioneer days, made some comparison between the 
commercial business of that early time and the present-day 
"trusts." 

Captain Henry A. Castle has an article in the July number of 
the North American Review on "The Post Office and Socialism." 
Captain Castle was postmaster of St. Paul, 1892-96 and auditor 
of the United States Post Office Department, 1897-1903. 

The H. W. Wilson Company, formerly of Minneapolis and now 
of White Plains, New York, has issued an Index to Short Stories, 
compiled by Ina Ten Eyck Firkins, reference librarian at the Uni- 
versity of Minnesota (1915. 374 p.). 

Dr. W. Dawson Johnston of the St. Paul Public Library is the 
author of an article on "Public Libraries and the Drama" in the 
Bulletin of Bibliography for July. 

Radisson, the Voyageur (New York, Holt, 1914. 115 p.) is 
the title of "a verse drama in four acts" by Lily A. Long of St. 



150 NEWS AND COMMENT 

Paul. The experiences of Radisson and Groseilliers, the first 
white men who are known to have penetrated the region beyond 
Lake Superior, furnish the historical background for a love 
adventure between the hero and an Indian maiden, all told in 
excellent verse. An historical note is appended, and directions 
are given as to costuming and mounting for amateur production. 

Rev. Edward Schuch, pastor of the Swedish Lutheran Bethle- 
hem Church of Minneapolis, is the author of an interesting book 
on Castles and Abbeys of England in Poetic and Romantic Lore 
(Minneapolis, Augsburg Publishing House, c. 1915. 320 p.). 

Mr. Warren Upham, archeologist of the Minnesota Historical 
Society, has an article entitled "Geologic and Archaeologic Time" 
in Bibliotheca Sacra for July. A number of separates have been 
issued. 



MINNESOTA HISTORY BULLETIN 

EDITED BY 

SOLON J. BUCK 

SUPERINTENDENT OP THE MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETT 
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF HISTORY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA 



VOL. 1, NO. 4 

NOVEMBER, 1915 



JAMES WICKES TAYLOR: A BIOGRAPHICAL 
SKETCH 1 

A recent monograph on the Canadian annexation movement 
of 1849-50 declares in its opening paragraph that although a 
most important influence on the course of Canadian history 
has been exercised by the United States, yet the mutual rela- 
tions of the two countries have received but little attention from 
historians and political scientists. 2 In the rapid development 
of the Northwest during the latter half of the last century, 
the mutual relations and influences of Canada and the United 
States have been of vital significance. In commerce, immigra- 
tion, and railroad expansion particularly, the interrelations of 
the two countries have been of far-reaching importance. But 
there are many other aspects political, economic, and social 
that have received but scant attention from historians. 3 

To no small degree the study of these interrelations is bound 
up in the activity of the men who took the initiative in making 
known the vast resources of the Northwest and in vigorously 
forwarding their development. The making of the Northwest 
was a task that demanded men of action builders, drivers, 

1 Read in part at the stated meeting of the executive council of the 
Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, October 11, 1915. The sketch 
is based largely on hitherto unknown material the Taylor Papers 
in the possession of the society. All manuscript material referred to 
will be found in this collection. The newspaper items cited can be 
found in the files of the Minnesota Historical Society, with the excep- 
tion of the Winnipeg papers from 1889 to 1893, which were consulted 
at the provincial library in Winnipeg. Ed. 

2 Cephas D. Allin and George M. Jones, Annexation, Preferential 
Trade, and Reciprocity, preface, v (Toronto, n.d.). 

3 A summary of diplomatic and political relations is to be found in 
Sir John G. Bourinot, Canada under British Rule, 1760-1900, ch. 10 (Cam- 
bridge Historical Series Cambridge, 1900). See also the monumental 
Canada and Its Provinces: A History of the Canadian People and Their 
Institutions, edited by Adam Shortt and Arthur G. Doughty (Toronto, 
1914). 

153 



154 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

executives. Yet of almost equal importance was the work of 
writers and investigators. In a biography of a pioneer editor, 
Mr. F. F. Stephens writes : "It is recorded of American news- 
paper editors that in the Westward Movement they were always 
in the vanguard, setting up their presses and issuing their 
sheets before the forests had been cleared or the sod turned." 1 
One can hardly overestimate the influence of the far-seeing 
pioneers who labored with the pen to advance the interests of 
the Northwest. The career of James Wickes Taylor illustrates 
strikingly the importance of that phase of "empire-building," 
although his activities were by no means limited to that phase. 
In the history of Minnesota and the American and Canadian 
Northwest, the labors of Taylor and men like Taylor were of 
considerable consequence. Taylor was one of those figures 
who, looking back on the history of the Northwest for half 
a century, with its amazing growth and development, might 
well have paraphrased the famous exclamation of Aeneas and 
said, "All of this I have seen ; part of it I am/' 2 

NEW YORK AND OHIO, 1819-56 

James Wickes Taylor was born on the sixth of November, 
1819, in Starkey, Yates County, New York. His father James 
Taylor was the son of an Englishman who had served in the 
army of Burgoyne, and Ruth Chappel, a native of Connecticut. 
The life of this James Taylor possesses great interest. As a 
youth he went to the lumber districts of Canada, working with 
lumber enterprises, and teaching school. He narrowly avoided 
the Canadian draft in the War of 1812, and returned to the 
United States. Taking up his residence in New York, he 
engaged in school-teaching and the study of law. In 1816 
he was admitted to practice in the court of common pleas of 
Seneca County, New York. In 1823 he was admitted as an 

1 Missouri Historical Review, 9: 139 (April, 1915). 

2 Taylor delighted in quoting this phrase, an incorrect rendering 
of the well-known line: "Quaeque ipse miserrima vidi, et quorum 
pars magna fui." Vergil, Aeneid, book 2, verse 5. 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 155 

attorney of the supreme court of the state, and nine years later 
to the court of chancery and the United States courts. For 
several terms subsequent to 1829 he was district attorney of 
Yates County, and often held commissions as master and ex- 
aminer in chancery. At one time he was candidate for justice 
of the supreme court of New York, but failed of election. 
James Taylor married Miss Maria Wickes, January 19, I8I9, 1 
and of their five children, James Wickes Taylor was the oldest. 2 

James Taylor determined to give his son a good education, 
and he was, accordingly, sent to Hamilton College, Clinton, 
New York, entering as a freshman from Penn Yan, New York, 
and graduating in 1838. He took a prominent part in college 
activities and was a member of the Alpha Delta Phi and Phi 
Beta Kappa fraternities. 3 Two years after graduation, upon 
the death of a prominent classmate, Taylor was chosen to 
deliver a funeral oration. This address, given before the 
Hamilton Chapter of the Alpha Delta Phi Society, was later 
printed at the request of the chapter. 4 It is of considerable 
power, and reveals those decided gifts as a writer and speaker 
which Taylor possessed even then, though he was but twenty- 
one years old. 

After leaving college, Taylor became interested in journal- 
ism, and, on his arrival in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1842, he com- 
bined the study of law (in which he was associated with Salmon 

1 Maria Wickes was the daughter of Captain Silas Wickes, one of 
the first settlers of Steuben County, New York. 

2 These facts are taken from an undated manuscript, in the Taylor 
Papers, written by his son James W. Taylor. See also Lewis C. 
Aldrich, ed., History of Yates County, N. Y., 173 (Syracuse, 1892), for 
an account of James Taylor, in which his integrity, his ability as a 
lawyer, and his gentlemanly deportment are highly commended. 
According to this account Taylor was district attorney of Yates 
County four years. 

3 Personal letter to the writer from President Stryker of Hamilton 
College, July 15, 1915. 

4 Address on the Life and Character of George Langford Jr. (Utica, 
1840). 



156 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

P. Chase, 1 afterwards secretary of the treasury under Lincoln) 
with the practice of journalism. 2 He soon attracted attention 
by his terse, vigorous articles on current topics, and by his 
eloquence and fluency as a speaker. A Cincinnati newspaper 
man, in his recollections of Taylor, refers to him as a "well 
educated young lawyer of fine talents, and possessing an ex- 
ceedingly philosophic and inquiring mind." 3 As a Democrat 
he gave for a time voluntary assistance to Eliphale Case, the 
editor of the Enquirer. In 1845 Taylor married Chloe Sweet- 
ing Langford, a sister of the well-known Nathaniel P. Lang- 
ford of St. Paul, Minnesota. 4 The following year he estab- 
lished a newspaper of his own, the Cincinnati Morning Signal, 
and through its columns began to take an active part in political 
affairs. His editorials attracted considerable attention. The 
paper was opposed to the extension of slavery, but was other- 
wise orthodox Democratic. 5 In 1847, through the editorial 
columns of the Signal, Taylor nominated General Zachary 
Taylor as an independent candidate for the presidency. In 
referring to this later, he declares that he did so 

mainly on the ground that although a Southern slaveholder, he 

1 Albert B. Hart, writing of Chase, says: ''From about 1834, when 
Chase had gained a reputation as a lawyer, he always had in his office 
one or more law students. . . . Nothing more plainly speaks the 
real sanity and strength of Chase's character than the later suc- 
cess of many of these men in law and in public life." Salmon Port- 
land Chase, 24 (American Statesmen series Boston and New York, 
1899). 

2 Taylor to Rev. P. C. Hastings, June 8, 1888. In this letter to a 
Hamilton College classmate Taylor very briefly tells of his career 
after graduation. See also St. Paul Pioneer Press, April 29, 1893, and 
"Old Times of the Press" in Cincinnati Commercial, June 27, 1881. The 
latter article is signed "J. P. O., Taylor's Falls, Minn., June 15, 1881." 
The writer was probably John Phillips Owens, a journalist who came 
to Minnesota from Ohio in 1849, edited the Minnesota Register, and 
later the Minnesotian, served as register of the United States land 
office at Taylor's Falls, and died there September 11, 1884. Upham 
and Dunlap, Minnesota Biographies, 572 (M. H. C., vol. 14). 

3 Cincinnati Commercial, June 27, 1881. 

4 Upham and Dunlap, Minnesota Biographies, 421 (M. H. C., vol. 14). 

5 Cincinnati Commercial, June 27, 1881. 






SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 157 

[General Taylor] would still withhold the veto of a congressional 
prohibition of slavery in the territories. My language was "The 
extension of the Ordinance of 1787 over our Pacific Empire 
present and future is an object too high and permanent to be 
bafHed by Presidential vetoes," and the expression of his decided 
approval of the sentiments of the Signal editorial, nominating 
him as a candidate independent of existing parties made him for 
nearly a year the favorite of the anti-slavery democracy of New 
York and elsewhere. 1 

President Taylor's letter the so-called "Signal letter" at- 
tracted widespread attention. 2 Later, when General Taylor 
accepted the nomination of the Whigs, James W. Taylor, un- 
willing to ally himself with that party, gave his support to the 
Buffalo ticket of Van Buren and Adams, and the Free Soil 
Party. The Cincinnati Morning Signal ceased to exist. 3 

During this same period Taylor was giving serious attention 
to literary work, and in 1847 published his first book entitled 
The Victim of Intrigue. This had first appeared serially in 
the columns of his newspaper, and was a work of fiction deal- 
ing with the conspiracy of Aaron Burr. It was written, how- 
ever, with a political and historical purpose, namely, "to vindi- 
cate the reputation of John Smith, the first Senator from Ohio, 
from the charge that he was implicated in Burr's Conspiracy." 4 

Taylor had acquired prominence in political circles, and 
recognition of this came in his election, as a representative of 
Erie County, to the state constitutional convention of 1849- 
50. 5 He took an important part in its proceedings. It was 

1 Taylor to Hastings, June 8, 1888. 

2 President Taylor's letter may be found in Niles' National Register, 
72:288 (July 3, 1847); also in John R. Irelan, History of the Life, Ad- 
ministration, and Times of Zachary Taylor, 433 (The Republic, vol. 12 
Chicago, 1888). 

3 Cincinnati Commercial, June 27, 1881; also Taylor to Hastings, June 
8, 1888. Because of his agitations in connection with the Cincinnati 
Morning Signal Taylor received the soubriquet of "Signal Taylor." 

4 Preface. See also Peter G. Thomson, Bibliography of the State 
of Ohio, 338 (Cincinnati, 1880). 

5 Taylor to Rutherford B. Hayes, February 21, 1877; Taylor to 
Hastings, June 8, 1888; St. Paul Pioneer Press, April 29, 1893. 



158 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

he who moved a provision for a commission to simplify and 
reform judicial procedure, a proposition that received strong 
support. Such a commission was established, and Taylor him- 
self served as its secretary. Its report, advocating 1 revision of 
the judicial code of Ohio, was substantially the Dudley Field 
code of New York, Ohio being the first state to follow New 
York in its adoption. 1 

Not long after the suspension of the Cincinnati Morning 
Signal Taylor removed to Sandusky, Ohio, where he edited 
a newspaper for a time. 2 In 1852 he was made state librarian 
(probably through the influence of Salmon P. Chase), a posi- 
tion which he held until his departure for Minnesota in i856. 3 
While in this position he began to take an interest in, and 
acquire a knowledge of, the northwest territories, first of the 
United States and then of Canada. Through the discussions 

1 Taylor to Hastings, June 8, 1888. For an account of the con- 
vention, see Emilius O. Randall and Daniel J. Ryan, History of 
Ohio, 4: 103-16 (New York, 1912). The constitution as adopted 
is to be found in Wilbur H. Siebert, Government of Ohio, 252-68 
(Handbooks of American Government series New York, 1904). 

It is interesting to note that another prominent early citizen of 
Minnesota was a member of this convention. Colonel D. A. Rob- 
ertson represented Lancaster County in the first session and attracted 
considerable attention by his advocacy of the abolition of the state 
senate. Before the convention had completed its labors, he resigned 
and moved to St. Paul. See his papers, recently presented to the Min- 
nesota Historical Society by his son Victor Robertson; also J. Fletcher 
Williams, History of St. Paul, 283 (M. H. C., vol. 4). Ed. 

2 "Chase had a keen sense of the influence of newspaper editors and 
of their inside knowledge of the currents of public opinion. Dozens 
of them corresponded with him, among them J. W. Taylor of the 'San- 
dusky Register,' one of Chase's former law students." Hart, Salmon 
P. Chase, 62. See also St. Paul Pioneer Press, April 29, 1893. 

A collection of some of the more important Chase papers was pub- 
lished by the public archives commission of the American Historical 
Association in its Annual Report for 1902, volume 2. While there 
appeared in this published collection no mention of letters from Tay- 
lor to Chase, it is probable that many such letters are to be found in 
the Chase collection, which is now in the possession of the Library of 
Congress. 

s Taylor to Hastings, June 8, 1888. 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 159 

in the constitutional convention he had gained some knowledge 
of the resources of the Northwest, and now, with good library 
facilities at his disposal, he began a thorough study of the 
subject Writing of his activity, he later said, "In 1854 I 
was State Librarian of Ohio (Columbus) and collected every 
thing then in print upon the Northwest." 1 He spent much of 
Tiis time in research. At the request of the governor he made 
a trip to Harrisburg to search the Pennsylvania archives for 
historical data regarding the boundaries of the two states. 2 
With very full sources on Ohio history at his disposal, he pre- 
pared and published in 1854 a History of the State of Ohio, 
First Period, 1650-1787, which was intended as a textbook 
for schools and had a large circulation throughout the state. 
Mr. Thomson characterizes it as "a very judicious and inter- 
esting collection of material already printed in one form or 
another." 3 An examination of the book shows, however, that 
Taylor has woven his sources into his narrative; that is, it is 
not purely a source-book, but a history with full and copious 
illustrative extracts from original sources, and is, on the whole, 
a scholarly piece of work. 4 In its preparation his information 
regarding the Northwest naturally broadened. The titles of 
the last two chapters of his history are of interest as indicating 
the foundations that were being laid for his future work: 
"Colonial Claims to Western Lands, and Their Cession to the 
United States" and "The Settlement of the North Western 
Territory Ordinance of 1787." 

At the suggestion of the commissioner of common schools 
in Ohio, Taylor prepared and published in 1857 a Manual of 
.the Ohio School System. In the constitutional convention of 

1 Taylor to R. B. Angus, December 13, 1880. 

2 St. Paul Pioneer Press, April 29, 1893. 

3 Bibliography of Ohio, 338. 

4 Among the original narratives from which extracts are included 
are those of Christopher Gist, Major Robert Rogers, Colonel John 
Bradstreet, Colonel William Crawford, Colonel Bouquet, Colonel 
George Rogers Clark, and many others. A great deal of valuable illus- 
trative material is contained in the appendix of the book. 



160 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

1850-51 he had served upon the standing committee on educa- 
tion and through the report of that committee was instrumental 
in the forming of article six of the constitution, which relates 
to education. 1 The History of Ohio had been written for 
school use; Taylor had appeared before the teachers' associa- 
tion as a lecturer; and for a short time had been secretary of 
the state administration of schools. He was deeply interested 
in the development of the schools, and the Manual is a very 
complete historical study of the Ohio school system. 

In the meantime, however, Taylor found himself becoming 
more and more absorbed in the investigation of the resources 
of the northwest territories of the United States and Canada. 
To questions relating to the climate and agricultural possibili- 
ties of the northwest region, particularly of the land northwest 
of Minnesota and west and northwest of the Selkirk settle- 
ment, he gave close study. During the winter of 1855-56 he 
delivered a series of lectures on the subject before the General 
Assembly of Ohio, in the hall of the house of representatives. 
The substance of these lectures was published in the form of 
a letter under the title "Geographical Memoir of a District of 
North America, Extending from Latitude 43 deg. 30 min. to 
54 deg., and between Lakes Superior and Winnipeg and the 
Pacific Ocean." It is addressed to William R. Marshall, at 
that time chairman of the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce. 
The article is an able and interesting geographical analysis, 
and in it Taylor arrives at the conclusion that, while ultimately 
a railway must push through from Lake Superior to Puget 
Sound, yet it must accompany systematic settlement along the 
route, and tributary to that enterprise and to the river and lake 
transportation of the United States is the 

extensive and hitherto unexplored Saskatchewen plain an area 
ample for four large States with a soil of extraordinary fertility, 
and summers long enough to mature all the hardy cereals and 
fruits thronged by fur-bearing animals . . . skirted and per- 
haps traversed by coal deposits, compensating for any possible 

1 Manual of the Ohio School System, 211-15, 393. 



SKETCH OF JAMES IV. TAYLOR 161 

deficiency of forests in short, a region of health and physical 
development, which we are not at liberty to doom to steril[i]ty 
and solitude with the analogies of European geography and his- 
tory so clearly indicating a hardy and populous settlement of 
this American Scand[in]avia at no distant period of time. 1 

During the same year an important article by Taylor was pub- 
lished with the title "The Southwestern or Neosho Route of 
a Pacific Railway The Expediency of Legislation in Its Favor 
by the Cherokee, Creek and Choctaw Nations." This is in 
the form of a letter addressed to George W. Manypenny, com- 
missioner of Indian affairs, and in it Taylor analyzes the geo- 
graphical situation and argues for an extension of the south- 
west branch of the Missouri Pacific Railroad to the road 
following the parallel of thirty-two degrees in Texas, then 
uniting with the Texas Western and coming to the Pacific at 
San Diego. 2 

MINNESOTA, 1856-60 

In 1856 Taylor's parents, himself and his family removed 
to the West. 3 Taylor established himself in a law office in 
St. Paul, Minnesota, and continued to study the resources of 
the Northwest, occasionally contributing articles to the press. 
He prepared a series of papers dealing with the Minnesota 
boundary question, going thoroughly into the matter, par- 
ticularly from the geographical point of view. In January, 

1 Cincinnati Railroad Record Supplement, April 14, 1856. Commenting 
editorially, the Record says: "The map with which these lectures were 
illustrated, divides up the territories into twenty-nine new embryo 
states, which, in course of time, would make our Union consist of sixty 
States. . . . The names selected for the various divisions or states, 
are all derived from the aborigines, and are appropriate, mellow, and 
full of historic interest." The article appears under the caption "Opin- 
ions of the Press. From the Ohio State Journal of January 9." 

2 Ibid., March 3, 1856, reprinted from the Ohio Statesman. The letter 
is dated Columbus, Ohio, February 16, 1856. 

3 Manuscript article on James Taylor by his son James W. Taylor. 
After one year's residence in St. Paul, his parents removed to Fort 
Leavenworth, where they later resided. St. Paul Pioneer Press, April 
29, 1893; Taylor to Hastings, June 8, 1888. 



162 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

1857, the first of these studies appeared in a St. Paul paper 
under the title "State Boundary Question Description of the 
Country between Red River and Lake Superior." This was 
followed by an article on the "Valleys of the James and Sioux 
Rivers The Missouri Slope of Minnesota," and later by one 
entitled "State Boundary Question The Value of the North 
and South Line to Southern Minnesota." 1 Taylor's views, 
based largely upon the topographical features of the country, 
were, briefly, that the north and south line formed a natural 
division of the territory, and that the Coteau des Prairies, 
which made commercial communication between the Missouri 
and the Mississippi impracticable, should mark the line of 
political separation. He was strongly opposed, therefore, to 
the inclusion of the James River and the Missouri Valley in 
substitution for the Red River, Ottertail, and Rainy Lake 
region. In his opinion the advantages of being connected with 
the Red River Valley, the sources of the Mississippi, and the 
western extremity of Lake Superior, on the north, far out- 
weighed those which would be gained by a union with the 
valleys of the Sioux and James, with a boundary upon the 
Missouri, to the west. 2 Taylor proved himself something of 
a prophet, especially in his discussions of the territory north 
of the international boundary. His statement in regard to 
Saskatchewan was particularly significant: "Ten years will 
not elapse before the beautiful valley of the Saskatchewan 
will be the scene of British and European colonization, instead 
of, as now, a preserve for a hunting and trapping monopoly; 
and the geography of the continent indicates, that Lake Su- 
perior in one direction, the channel of the Mississippi at a lesser 

1 St. Paul Advertiser, January 31, February 21 and 28, 1857. In intro- 
ducing the first article, the editor wrote: "Mr. Taylor brings to the 
discussion of the subject a more intimate acquaintance, perhaps, with 
the Physical and Political Geography of the country than any other 
man, and a candor and ability in the treatment of the conflicting opin- 
ions of others, which entitle his own to profound respect." 

2 Editorial "The Coteau des Prairies A Natural Division Line" in 
ibid,, April 4, 1857. See also ibid., February 28, 1857. 



i 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 163 

angle, and a direct railway extension through Southern Min- 
nesota to Chicago, will be the eager contestants for the route 
of this immense and fertile area to the markets of the World." 1 

The discussion of the boundary question led him naturally 
to the problem of Northwest British America, and an elaborate 
discussion of the "Region of North America, Tributary to the 
Navigation of the Red River of the North, and to the Com- 
merce of Minnesota" appeared in April, 1857. Special atten- 
tion is given in this article to the capacity of the basin of the 
Saskatchewan for agricultural development. 2 It was about 
this time that Taylor was given the soubriquet of "Saskatch- 
ewan/' an indication of how far he had been instrumental in 
"familiarizing the public mind with the resources of the valley 
from which this geographical soubriquet is derived." 3 

In the spring of 1857 Taylor was appointed secretary of 
the Minnesota and Pacific Railroad Company. 4 The company 
was organized by the legislature of Minnesota, and received 
a portion of the congressional land grant. This was given to 
aid in the construction of a main line to the Red River at 
Breckenridge from Stillwater by way of St. Paul and St. An- 
thony, with a branch to the international boundary line which 
was to be built from St. Anthony by way of Anoka, St. Cloud, 
and Crow Wing to a point later fixed at St. Vincent. The 
prospects for the road, which was later to expand into a trans- 
continental railway, were not bright at that time. Taylor's 
services were needed in spreading information about the region 
which the proposed line would reach. There was consider- 
able misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the territory, 

1 St. Paul Advertiser, Februar)' 28, 1857. Taylor had a broad view 
of the resources of the Northwest. Speaking of its development, he 
said: "Here is an object, which removes our destiny from the insig- 
nificance of a frontier State, making our rivers and railroads the 
through fares to and from regions . . . destined to be an Empire in 
population and resources before the termination of the century." 

2 /&/., April 11, 1857. 

5 Ibid., March 20, 1858; St. Paul Pioneer Press, April 29, 1893. 

4 St. Paul Advertiser, April 25, 1857, where the railroad is wrongly 
called the Northern Pacific. 



164 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

and emigration was largely directed toward the far West. 
Taylor sought to convince the capitalists, he wrote later, "that 
the great trunk line of Northern Minnesota reached a country 
containing an arable district as large as European Russia and 
richly endowed with the bounties of Providence." He labored 
vigorously to direct the interests both of capitalists and settlers 
to the Northwest. 

Great distress was occasioned in the West, and particularly 
to the Minnesota railroad companies, by the panic which came 
in the summer of 1857. The Minnesota and Pacific, like the 
other roads, found it impossible to secure money. The expedi- 
ent of the "Five Million Loan" was devised. 1 Among the 
men who vigorously urged the passage of the legislation neces- 
sary to effect this loan was James W. Taylor. The St. Paid 
Advertiser of February 20, 1858, gives a full account of a 
speech delivered by him at a mass meeting on February 15, 
in which he ably discussed the need of the loan. A newspaper 
writer later declared that to Taylor's pen "was due the most 
impressive of the appeals to the public in behalf of the famous 
five million loan amendment of the constitution." 2 

During this period Taylor was active in local political affairs. 
He was especially interested in questions relating to the forma- 
tion of the constitution of the state of Minnesota. The elec- 
tion of delegates to the constitutional convention was set for 
June i, 1857. It was preceded by an exciting canvass, in which 
Taylor took an active part, though not from a partisan stand- 
point. "He has no other motive," declared a newspaper editor 
of the time, "than to advance the cause of Constitutional Re- 
form." 3 The ideas advanced by Taylor are of considerable 
interest. In a speech delivered on May 22, 1857, he stated 
his chief constitutional theories. These were summed up by 
the same editorial writer as follows : 

1 William W. Folwell, "The Five Million Loan" in Minnesota Histor- 
ical Collections, 15: 189-214. 

2 St. Paul Pioneer Press, April 29, 1893. 

3 St. Paul Advertiser, May 30, 1857. 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 165 

He argued in favor of the following restraints upon the law- 
making power, however constituted; that no bill should pass 
unless a majority of all the members, not merely of the quorum 
in attendance, recorded their names in its favor; that the whole 
system of special incorporations should be abandoned, these 
associations whenever authorized, to be organizations under gen- 
eral laws ; that no banking system should ever be established 
without the fullest guaranties for perpetual specie payments ; that 
free schools should be a permanent policy, and all school funds 
made irreducible, but with no attempt in the Constitution to with- 
hold the school lands from sale; that legislative sessions should 
be annual, but limited in duration; that the Constitution should 
contain a perpetual prohibition of public debt in all forms, and 
that great facility for future amendments should be engrafted 
upon the instrument. 

Taylor advocated a concentration of power in the executive, 
making him auditor of the state, as well as governor, for a 
term of four years, with a provision that the legislature "might 
pass a vote declaring their want of confidence in the execu- 
tive, the effect of which should be to submit the question at 
the next general election, whether he should longer be Gover- 
nor" a form of the recall for which Taylor could not get much 
support. The same writer in the Advertiser, in speaking of 
Taylor's address, said, "We are informed that Mr. Taylor, 
in the intervals of business engagements, will address the 
citizens at the prominent points of the Territory prior to and 
during the session of the Constitutional Convention." 1 

1 St. Paul Advertiser, May 30, 1857. There is also an editorial of two 
columns on "Mr. Taylor's 'Constitutional Scheme" in the St. Paul 
Daily Pioneer and Democrat, May 24, 1857. Special stress was also 
placed by Taylor "upon the duty of retaining the present generous 
policy of Minnesota towards European emigration." 

Taylor took an active part in the canvass of 1858 for the election 
of Governor Sibley (Taylor to Kelly, July 6, 1885). At the state con- 
vention of Breckinridge Democrats, held in St. Paul, September 13, 
1860, Taylor was appointed permanent secretary, and received, along 
with Judge A. J. Edgerton of Dodge County, the nomination for Con- 
gress (St. Paul Daily Times, September 14, 1860). In the subsequent 
election he received only 768 out of a total of 70,346 votes cast (Min- 
nesota, Secretary of State, Annual Reports, 1861, p. 13). It is evident 



166 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

While prospects for the railway line to the international 
boundary were discouraging, suddenly and most fortunately 
"gold broke out" on Frazer River, near the interlocking sources 
of the North Saskatchewan. Quick results followed. Most 
important was the announcement by Bulwer-Lytton of the 
policy of continuous colonies from Lake Superior to the Pacific, 
and the suggestion of a road across British America as "the 
most direct route from London to Pekin or Jeddo." In the 
Northwest this discovery of gold gave impetus to the movement 
for a railway to Selkirk and Saskatchewan. 

On December 7, 1858, the common council of the city of 
St. Paul adopted a resolution requesting James W. Taylor to 
present a report to them upon the settlement of areas northwest 
of Minnesota, and the extension of steam, railroad, and tele- 
graph communications westward from the navigable waters of 
the Mississippi and St. Lawrence, with the relations of Minne- 
sota to the American and Asiatic coasts of the Pacific Ocean. 
The resolution pointed out that communications with the North 
Pacific between north latitudes forty-five and fifty-five must 
inevitably draw the trade of China, Japan, and Asiatic Russia 
along the line of the Great Lakes to the centers of European 

that his political position during this period was changing and in- 
definite. The editorials which he published in the St. Paul Daily Press 
in 1861 (see below p. 184) show complete agreement with the atti- 
tude of the Republican administration toward slavery; and he retained 
his position as special agent of the treasury department under this 
administration. One writer says, indeed, "At the outbreak of the 
war in 1861 he naturally drifted into the Republican party" (Cincinnati 
Commercial, June 27, 1881). Taylor himself wrote in 1885: "I have 
never regarded myself as other than a Democrat of the school of 
New York. ... As a war Democrat in 1861 and subsequently, my 
political position was somewhat indefinite, but on the questions of 
currency and trade I adhere to the traditions of Jackson Democracy" 
(Taylor to Kelly, July 6, 1885). It is perhaps only fair to add that 
this letter was written acknowledging Mr. Kelly's support in urging 
Taylor's retention in the Winnipeg consulate at the beginning of the 
Cleveland administration. The truth of the matter, however, appears 
to be that Taylor's interest in northwest development and railroad- 
building completely overshadowed his interest in political issues. 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 167 

commerce, a movement that would contribute materially to the 
growth of Minnesota. Mr. Taylor was urged to accompany 
his report with "such statistics and description of Minnesota 
and its resources as will encourage emigration to this state." 1 
The geographical phases of the subject had already been thor- 
oughly discussed, especially at a meeting on January 3, 1859, 
held in St. Paul, to consider an overland mail route to Puget 
Sound, 2 and in the proceedings of the St. Paul Chamber of 
Commerce to promote steamboat navigation on the Red River 
of the North. 3 Therefore Taylor omitted that phase, and, in 
his report to the council, presented on March 31, 1859, dealt 
rather with the legislative and other aspects of the railroad 
system of the state. 4 The following topics were discussed: 
organization and progress of the territory of Minnesota; the 
railroad land grant to the territory and future state of Minne- 
sota ; the land grant railroad routes and the action of the Min- 
nesota legislature in relation thereto; the extent of the land 
grant; the right to sell railroad lands; loan of state credit to 
railroads by the state of Minnesota; forfeitures; the pledge 
of net profits to the state; the conveyance to the state of two 

1 St. Paul Common Council, Proceedings, 1858-59, p. 157. 

2 The St. Paul Daily Pioneer and Democrat, January 5, 1859, prints a 
memorial to Congress which was drafted by James W. Taylor, peti- 
tioning for an overland mail route from St. Paul to Puget Sound. 
The memorial and resolutions were adopted at the meeting of January 
3. In the spring of 1859 Taylor was made resident secretary of the 
Nobles' expedition for the exploration of the overland route from 
Minnesota to British Columbia. A geographical report by him on 
routes between the channels of the Red River of Minnesota and the 
Frazer River of British Columbia was published in the St. Paul Daily 
Times for April 24, 1859. In the same paper, May 17, 1859, he had an 
article on "Exploration of Central British America." 

3 See William R. Marshall's introduction to Railroad System of the 
State of Minnesota with Its Railroad, Telegraphic, and Postal Connections, 
3 (St. Paul, Pioneer Printing Company, 1859). 

4 Railroad System of the State of Minnesota with Its Connections (St. 
Paul, George W. Moore, Minnesotian office, 1859). Taylor's report was 
also published as an appendix to St. Paul Common Council, Proceed- 
ings, 1858-59, and it appeared in the St. Paul Daily Times, April 3, 5, 6, 
and 7, 1859, and in the St. Paul Daily Pioneer and Democrat, April 5, 1859. 



168 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

hundred and forty sections of land ; the transfer of first mort- 
gage bonds; further regulations for the payment of interest; 
general topics ; the external relations of the Minnesota railroad 
system. Taylor also prepared an elaborate map, upon which 
he designated two proposed transcontinental routes: one 
through British Columbia and the valley of the South Sas- 
katchewan to Pembina, there connecting with the branch line 
of the Minnesota and Pacific Railroad ; and the other, on Amer- 
ican territory, to Breckenridge, the western terminus of the 
main line of the Minnesota and Pacific. 1 

The interest in the Frazer River continued. The recon- 
struction and launching of the "Anson Northup" occurred in 
the spring of 1859. The steamer had been transported up the 
Crow Wing River by Mr. Northup, there taken to pieces and 
drawn by horses and oxen to Ottertail Lake, and thence west- 
ward to the point on the Red River opposite the mouth of the 
Cheyenne. In reconstructing the boat, Mr. Northup received 
aid from the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce. A journalist, 
writing in Harper's Magazine, said : "The success of the boat 
works a revolution in the Company's business. 2 Hereafter the 
annual outfit and returns will pass through the United States, 
instead of by the difficult and circuitous passage of Hudson's 
Bay, to York and Moose Factories." 3 With the extension of 
a stage line from St. Cloud to Abercrombie, connections with 
St. Paul were made. For the people of Selkirk this was an 
important event. In one of his reports Taylor wrote : "The 
people of Selkirk fully appreciate the advantages of communi- 
cation with the Mississippi River and Lake Superior through 
the State of Minnesota. They are anxious for the utmost 
facilities of trade and intercourse. The navigation of the Red 

1 Railroad System of the State of Minnesota, sec. 13. 

2 Hudson's Bay Company. 

3 Manton Marble, "To Red River and Beyond," in Harper's Maga- 
zine, 21: 307 (August, 1860). An account of the "Anson Northup" is 
also to be found in Alvin H. Wilcox, Pioneer History of Becker County, 
Minnesota (St. Paul, 1907). The account (p. 218) is written by R. M. 
Probsfield. 






SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 169 

River by a steamboat during the summer of 1859, was univer- 
sally recognized as marking a new era in their annals. This 
public sentiment was pithily expressed by the remark : 'In 1851, 
the Governor of Minnesota visited us; in 1859 comes a Steam- 
boat, and ten years more will bring the Railroad !' )J1 

In this connection it is of considerable interest to note a state- 
ment by Thomas D'Arcy McGee, a prominent member of the 
Canadian parliament. Referring to the Red River settlement, 
he said: 

No American community has ever undergone a sterner appren- 
ticeship to fortune, or been so unwisely underrated by imperial 
and Canadian statesmen. The greater part, if not all that region 
was an integral part of Canada at the conquest, and to Canada 
the people of the Selkirk settlement most naturally looked for 
protection against the monopolizing policy of the Hudson Bay 
Company. It is not creditable to us to be forced to admit that 
hitherto they have looked this way in vain. No Canadian can 
have read with satisfaction the latest intelligence from that kin- 
dred community ; no Canadian can learn with satisfaction that it 
was left for the infant State of Minnesota, with a census not 
exceeding altogether this little island of Montreal, to do for them 
what they naturally expected from us ; that while we were inter- 
rogating our ministers as to their policy on the Hudson Bay ques- 
tion the Americans from St. Paul were steaming down to Fort 
Garry. It is not the first time that we have received a lesson in 
enterprise from our republican neighbors. To be our leaders on 
our own soil, though creditable to them, is surely not in this case 
particularly honorable to us. 2 

On June 18, 1859, Governor Sibley of Minnesota requested 
Taylor, in the course of a visit to Selkirk settlement, to obtain 
"reliable information relative to the physical aspects and other 
facts connected with the British possessions on the line of the 
Overland Route from Pembina tna the Red River Settlement 

1 Northwest British America and Its Relations to the State of Minnesota, 
5 (St. Paul, 1860). 

2 Quoted in a letter from Taylor to Secretary of the Treasury Sal- 
mon P. Chase, July 10, 1861. 37 Congress, 2 session, House Executive 
Documents, vol. 10, no. 146, p. 19 (serial 1138). 



170 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

and the Saskatchewan valley to Frazer's River," and to present 
it to the governor in a form suitable for submission to the legis- 
lature. He was also commissioned to convey congratulations 
to William McTavish, the Hudson's Bay Company's governor 
at Fort Garry. 1 The trip was made, and on March 2, 1860, the 
successor of Governor Sibley, Alexander Ramsey, communi- 
cated to the house of representatives a report by Taylor on 
Northwest British America and Its Relations to the State of 
Minnesota. In presenting this report, Governor Ramsey 
wrote: "The accompanying report relates to matters which 
are not merely a subject of interesting enquiry to all, but which 
concern, in a great degree, the future growth and development 
of our State, and to which the attention of Statesmen, both of 
this country and of England, is already considerably directed." 2 
The report pointed out the agricultural possibilities of the terri- 
tory west and northwest of the Red River, and, discussing polit- 
ical matters, urged, as an accompaniment to the then imminent 
extension of the British colonial system, the extension of the 
reciprocity treaty to the Pacific Ocean, renewed for a long 
period of years and enlarged in its provisions. Taylor urged 
in connection with this renewal of reciprocity relations that "all 
laws discriminating between American and foreign built vessels 
should be abolished, establishing freedom of navigation on aH 
the intermediate rivers and lakes of the respective Territories." 
He argued that such a policy of free trade and navigation 
would give to the United States all the commercial advantages, 
without the political embarrassments, of annexation. "Who 
can doubt," he says, "that it would speedily be followed by over- 
land mails and the telegraph on the Pembina and Saskatchewan 
route, and a Continental railroad, as advocated by Maury, 
which England would recognize as essential to her interests in 
Northwest America and the Pacific coasts?" 3 As a general 

1 Northwest British America, 5; Winnipeg Daily Tribune, December 20, 
1890. 

2 Letter of transmittal in Northwest British America, 3. See also Min- 
nesota, House Journal, 1859-60, p. 644, and appendix, p. 2. 

3 Northwest British America, 8. 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 171 

statement of Taylor's views, the last sentence in his report is 
significant. He says: "Believing firmly that the prosperity 
and development of this State is intimately associated with the 
destiny of Northwest British America, I am gratified to record 
the rapid concurrence of events which indicate that the frontier, 
hitherto resting upon the sources of the Saint Lawrence and the 
Mississippi, is soon to be pushed far beyond the International 
frontier by the march of Anglo-Saxon civilization." 1 

SPECIAL AGENT OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, 1859-69 

In the spring and summer of 1859 Taylor, with the strong 
endorsement of Senator Rice, petitioned the president for an 
appointment as an agent of the government. His object was to 
proceed to the unorganized territory between Canada and Brit- 
ish Columbia, and direct his efforts toward preventing any col- 
lision between the Hudson's Bay Company and American par- 
ties navigating the Red River or emigrating from Minnesota 
to the gold districts on Frazer and Thompson rivers ; likewise, 
to investigate, with a view to a report, the revenue and mail 
service of the United States on or near the frontier between 
Lake Superior and Puget Sound. Senator Rice pointed out 
that such an appointment was desirable because of the contin- 
uous steamboat navigation which connected the region north 
of the boundary and east of the Rockies with Minnesota; 
because an American steamboat would shortly pass into British 
territory, greatly stimulating trade with Selkirk; and because 

1 The appendices which accompany the report are of considerable 
interest: Central British America by J. W. Taylor (Atlantic Monthly, 
5: 103-8 January, 1860); Geographical Memoir of the Red River and 
Saskatchewan District of British America (extract from a report of 
a committee of the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, January 22, 1859, 
written by Taylor) ; Exploration of the Rocky Mountains in British 
America by Captain Palliser (extract from the address of Sir Roderick 
I. Murchison at the anniversary meeting of the Royal Geographical 
Society, May 23, 1859) ; Itineraries of Routes from St. Paul to Pembina, 
Fort Garry, Fort Ellice, and Edmonton House (letter to Taylor from 
Alfred J. Hill, March 1, 1860); Increased Production joi. Cultivated 
Plants near the Northernmost Limit of Their Growth (extracts from an 



172 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

many American emigrants to the Frazer River mines had passed 
the border. Furthermore, he felt that "the anomalous relations 
of the Hudson Bay Company to the vast country between Lake 
Winnipeg and the Mountains rendered it eminently necessary 
that the Government should be fully advised .upon whatever is 
there transpiring." 1 Taylor was accordingly appointed a 
special agent of the treasury department by the Buchanan 
administration, being particularly charged with the investiga- 
tion of reciprocal relations of trade and transportation between 
the United States and Canada. 2 With the beginning of the 
Lincoln administration Taylor's friend, Salmon P. Chase, be- 
came secretary of the treasury, and Taylor retained his appoint- 
ment as special agent until 1869. His activity during a con- 
siderable portion of this period was transferred to Washington. 
There was in progress at this time a considerable movement 
for the abrogation of the treaty which had been negotiated with 
Great Britain, June 5, 1854, commonly known as the reciprocity 
treaty. Taylor was occupied largely in an investigation of the 
practical operation of this treaty. On May 2, 1860, he com- 
municated statistics and observations upon that subject to the 
treasury department. This report, together with that of Israel 
T. Hatch, was transmitted by the secretary of the treasury to 

article upon the "Acclimating Principle of Plants" in the Monthly Amer- 
ican Journal of Geology) ; Professor M. F. Maury and Pacific Railroads 
The Physical, Commercial, and Military Necessity of Two Railroads, 
One North and One South (extracts from a letter to D. A. Robertson 
of St. Paul from M. F. Maury, superintendent of the Observatory at 
Washington, January 4, 1859, read at a special meeting of the St. Paul 
Chamber of Commerce, January 22, 1859) ; British Columbia (from the 
correspondence of the London Times, dated Victoria, Vancouver's 
Island, December 9, 1859); Pacific Ocean Telegraph between North- 
ern Asia and America (from an article in the Atlantic Monthly, 5: 
290-97 March, 1860, upon the "Progress of the Electric Telegraph"; 
also from the New York Herald, February 20, 1860). 

1 Taylor to Buchanan, June 13, 1859. He sums up a communication 
sent to the president by Senator Rice on May 25, 1859. 

2 Taylor to Hastings, June 8, 1888; Taylor to H. B. Payne, April 24, 
1885. While Taylor's appointment was made in 1859, his services did 
not actually begin until 1860. 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 173 

the House of Representatives on June 16, i860. 1 Hatch de- 
clared his conviction that all the benefits of the treaty inured 
to Canada, and that it was greatly injurious to the United 
States. He asserted that not only was the treaty unequal and 
unjust in its operations, containing no element of reciprocity, 
but that it had actually been violated by Canada. Hatch did, 
however, endorse the principle of reciprocal free trade as a 
basis for the international relations of the United States and 
Canada. Taylor in his report, on the other hand, attempted to 
vindicate the treaty of 1854 by furnishing a statistical examina- 
tion into its operations. He believed that the treaty conferred 
reciprocal benefits on both countries, and that it had not been 
violated. The general conclusion of Taylor may be put in his 
own words: "The records of the country, particularly the 
reports of the Treasury Department, are, without exception, a 
complete vindication of the treaty of June 5, 1854." "For the 
present I can safely aver that there is but one sentiment west 
of Buffalo on the line of the great lakes, and that is hostility to 
the abrogation of the reciprocity treaty. If any change is 
demanded it is in a different direction in favor of its terri- 
torial extension to the new province soon to be organized north- 
west of Minnesota and British Columbia, and of its enlarge- 
ment, as soon as practicable, so as to merit the designation of a 
zollverein or customs union." 2 

1 36 Congress, 1 session, House Executive Documents, vol. 13, no. 96 
(serial 1057). Taylor's report occupies pages 48-60. 

2 Ibid., 47, 60. 

In 1860 the Oswego Board of Trade published an interesting pam- 
phlet entitled Reciprocity with British North America Vindicated, a copy 
of which was found among the pamphlets accompanying the Taylor 
Papers. A committee had been appointed to investigate the reci- 
procity treaty, and the pamphlet, which is a report of their examina- 
tion, is devoted to a refutation of the arguments brought forward by 
Hatch in the treasury department publication. It says (p. 4) : "Your 
Committee concur in opinion with Mr. Taylor, and hope by a brief, 
but careful examination of the provisions and working of the Treaty, 
to establish the fact that its benefits are reciprocal and universal, so 
far as their operations extend." 



174 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

Taylor's report of 1860 was preliminary to an elaborate study 
of Relations between the United States and Northivest British 
America, which was published by order of Congress in 1862. 
On May 20, 1862, the House of Representatives requested Sec- 
retary Chase to communicate information upon this subject, 
with particular reference to the central district of the Red River 
of the North and the Saskatchewan. Relations between Eng- 
land and the United States were strained. The Civil War 
had come, with British sympathy on the side of the South ; and 
it was a grave period in American relations with British North 
America. The reply of Secretary Chase to the congressional 
resolution is a compendium of communications from Special 
Agent Taylor covering the period from July 10, 1861 to June 
12, 1862. 1 On July 10, 1861, Taylor wrote to the department 
(from St. Paul) : 

Having reason to believe that what is known to the English 
and Canadian people as the "Red River and Saskatchewan dis- 
tricts of British America" will be speedily organized, with the 
powerful co-operation of the Hudson Bay Company, as a crown 
colony of England, and that active measures for its colonization 
in the interest of a continental confederation of the provinces, and 
a railroad from Lake Superior to the Pacific, north of our bound- 
ary, will promptly follow, I am solicitous to present to the Amer- 
ican government and people a full and satisfactory compilation 
of the natural resources, present civil and commercial organiza- 
tions, and future relations of the interesting region in question, 
with which circumstances have made me familiar. In this con- 
nexion, I shall urge that no unnecessary restrictions shall be 
imposed upon the intercourse, already very considerable in extent, 
between the States of the northwest and this rising dominion of 
England upon the waters of Lake Winnipeg. 2 

Included in his report was a compendium of the revenue 
laws of Assiniboia, passed March 14, 1861 ; and some account 
of the operation of the Canadian reciprocity treaty, emphasizing 

1 Relations between the United States and Northwest British America (37 
Congress, 2 session, House Executive Documents, vol. 10, no. 146 serial 
1138). 

2 Ibid., 18. 






SKETCH OF JAMES IV. TAYLOR 175 



the value and extent of the Canadian market for all forms of 
American industry, especially manufactures and agriculture. 
On December 17, 1861, he communicated a dispatch to the 
department in which he dealt with the "dissatisfaction of the 
Assiniboians with British inadequacy." How serious this 
movement was, in Taylor's opinion, is indicated by this state- 
ment: "The Americanization of this important section of 
British America is rapidly progressing. Unless the British 
Parliament acts promptly for instance, during the session soon 
to transpire I shall confidently expect a popular movement 
looking to independence or annexation to the United States." 1 
The relations with England had darkened, and it seemed as 
though war might not be avoided, a prospect that led Taylor to 
declare to the department the competency of Minnesota to 
"hold, occupy, and possess" the Red River to Lake Winnipeg. 2 
Yet in the same communication Taylor wrote: "The tele- 
grams of this date surprise me in the midst of labors, the object 
of which was to demonstrate how much the United States and 
the British districts northwest of Minnesota are identified in 
geographical situation and material interests of all kinds. To 
the advancement of the latter I had not deemed annexation 
essential. By treaty stipulations and . concurrent legislation it 
seemed possible to work out the mutual destiny of the Amer- 
ican States and British provinces of the northwest." On June 
12, 1862, he again wrote of the general dissatisfaction in the 
Red River settlement at the neglect of the home government, 
and indicated, writing of a customs union of British America 

1 Relations between the United States and Northwest British America, 
43-45. 

2 Taylor's argument was summarized as follows (ibid., 5) : 

1. The defenceless condition of the valley: 

a. No British troops at Fort Garry; 

b. Indians depredate with impunity; 

c. The "Nor'wester" confesses weakness, demanding a "change" 

as "absolutely necessary." 

2. Hardihood of the lumbermen and laborers of Minnesota. 

3. Facilities for military operations: 

a. Accessibility by way of the Minnesota and Pacific railroad 
route commonly known as the "Wood Road." 



176 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

and the United States, that the demand for reciprocity was 
continental. The British Colonist (of Victoria) declared on 
April 15, 1862: "Any scheme of reciprocity ought to include 
the whole British territory of the Pacific even British 
Siberia." 1 

The tide was running against the reciprocity treaty, however. 
Taylor continued earnestly to advocate it, urging that enlarged 
and extended territorially, it should become a permanent con- 
tinental policy. 2 In 1862 the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce 
submitted to Congress a memorial, drawn up by Taylor, 
"remonstrating against any action at the present session of Con- 
gress suspending the treaty between the United States and 
Great Britain of June 5, 1854, commonly known as the Reci- 
procity Treaty." 3 In this memorial it was admitted that a 
revision might become necessary, but it was urged that such 
revision, if unavoidable, should be in the direction of further 

1 Relations between the United States and Northwest British America, 
43-45. The greater part of this document is devoted to a "Geographi- 
cal Memoir of Northwest British America, and Its Relations to the 
Revenue and Commerce of the United States." The closing para- 
graphs of the memoir are of interest: 

It would be an instance of well-directed legislation for the Congress 
of the United States and the Parliament of England to unite in a lib- 
eral subsidy, say of $200,000 by each government, for the transmission 
of a weekly mail from the limits of navigation on the Mississippi 
river and the British coast of Lake Superior by an international route 
to the centres of the gold districts of British Columbia and Washing- 
ton Territory. 

Similar reciprocity of action has led to unity of interests and senti- 
ments on the opposite coasts of the St. Lawrence and the great lakes, 
itself an effective bond of peace. Why not disarm the whole frontier 
of the north by constant multiplication of such ties and guarantees of 
international concord? The preceding exhibit of what nature has 
proposed in Northwest America is submitted with the hope and con- 
fidence that man will dispose of the future relations of adjacent and 
homogeneous communities upon a firm and lasting basis of mutual 
interest and good will. 

The printed document read "natural interest"; in his copy, found in 
the Taylor Papers, Taylor has crossed out the word "natural" and 
inserted "mutual'' in the margin. 

2 Taylor to C. J. Brydges, February 2, 1864. 

3 Memorial of the Chamber of Commerce, St. Paul, Minnesota (37 Con- 
gress, 2 session, Senate Miscellaneous Documents, ho. 26 serial 1124). 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 177 

freedom of commercial intercourse, not of additional restric- 
tions. It is significant that this memorial was reprinted in the 
report of the Canadian minister of finance on the reciprocity 
treaty, a report which also discusses the United States govern- 
ment reports of Hatch and Taylor. 1 Taylor was also in com- 
munication with many Canadians on the subject at this time, 
particularly with the managing director of the Grand Trunk 
Railway of Canada, Mr. C. J. Brydges. 2 

A great commercial convention was held in Detroit in July, 
1865. To this gathering came representatives from boards of 
trade and chambers of commerce of the United States and the 
British North American provinces. The purpose of the con- 
ference was to consider such subjects as commerce, finance, 
communications of transit from the West to the seaboard, and 
reciprocal trade between the United States and the provinces. 
James W. Taylor was present at this convention as the repre- 
sentative of the St. Paul Board of Trade. He was made a mem- 
ber of the committee on reciprocity, and a resolution drafted 
by him was adopted by the committee and presented to the 
convention. Though approving the notice of termination of 
the treaty of 1854, it requested that negotiations for a new, 
enlarged reciprocal commercial intercourse, including British 
Columbia, the Selkirk settlement, and Vancouver's Island, 
should be entered upon, asking also for the free navigation of 
the St. Lawrence and other rivers of British North America, 
and suggesting that improvements of rivers and canals be 
undertaken adequate to the needs of the West in communicating 
with the ocean. The resolution precipitated an unusually sharp 
debate on the question of reciprocity, chief among those oppos- 
ing it being Hannibal Hamblin. Toward the end of the debate, 
however, a powerful speech in its favor was delivered by Joseph 

1 Canada, Minister of Finance, Report on the Reciprocity Treaty with 
the United States; also The Memorial of the Chamber of Commerce of St. 
Paul, Minnesota, and Report of Congress, U. S. thereon, 29-32, 38-40 (Que- 
bec, 1-862). 

2 See the correspondence of 1864 in the Taylor Papers. 



178 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

Howe of Nova Scotia, who later became Canadian secretary of 
state, and the resolution was unanimously adopted. 1 

The House of Representatives passed a resolution on March 
28, 1866, requesting an extensive report on the subject of com- 
mercial relations with British America, and James W. Taylor 
was asked by the secretary of the treasury, now Hugh Mc- 
Culloch, to prepare it. One feature of this report, which 
was presented by the secretary on June 12, i866, 2 attracted 
widespread attention and drew upon Taylor's head not a little 
censure. Taylor believed that the destiny of British America 
was involved in "the extension of an ocean coast to the western 
limits of the great lakes, and a railway from Halifax to the 
capital of the confederation, and thence exclusively on the soil 
of the confederation to the North Pacific coast." Feeling cer- 
tain that England would assume no material portion of the obli- 
gations which such an undertaking would entail (he estimated 
improvements of the St. Lawrence and Welland canals at 
twenty million dollars and a St. Lawrence and Pacific railway 
at a hundred million in addition to liberal land grants), and 
believing that the federal government of the provinces would 
"doubtless regard the promised communication between Hal- 
ifax and Quebec as the utmost possible limit of its railway 

1 Proceedings of the Commercial Convention Held in Detroit July nth, 
J2th, isth, and itfh, 1865, 8, 31, 98-195 (Detroit, 1865); Winnipeg Daily 
Tribune, December 20, 1890. The account in the Tribune of Taylor's 
participation in the convention is included in a short sketch of his 
career, which he had probably revised. 

2 Commercial Relations with British America (39 Congress, 1 session, 
House Executive Documents, no. 128 serial 1263). 

An idea of the comprehensiveness of this report may be gained from 
Taylor's own summary of the subjects treated (p. 2): 

1. "The trade of the provinces of British North America, especially 
Canada, in 1854 and 1865, respectively, the values being estimated in 

old, and specifying what proportion of said trade was with the United 
tates, and what articles, if any, were exclusively exported to the 
United States." 

2. A summary of tariff legislation in Canada since 1854. 

3. American commerce on the canals of Canada and by the route 
of the St. Lawrence river. 

4. General information in regard to the commercial relations 
between the United States and British America. 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 179 

liability, at least for this century," Taylor drew up and pre- 
sented a proposal for a union of the United States and British 
America. This proposal was formulated as a bill entitled "An 
Act for the admission of the States of Nova Scotia, New Bruns- 
wick, Canada East, and Canada West, and for the organization 
of the Territories of Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia." 
The bill was, to use Taylor's own words, "analagous to the 
Resolution admitting Texas as a state and rested upon the con- 
stitutional authority of Congress to admit new states." 1 The 
conditions of the admission of the Canadian states were set 
forth in twelve articles, which were very complete in their 
details. Provision was made for territorial divisions, repre- 
sentation, the public debts, and the form of government. The 
most interesting articles, however, were those providing for the 
immediate construction of an international railway, and making 
liberal allowances for the improvement of watercourses. Arti- 
cle 1 1 proposed a payment by the United States of ten million 
dollars to the Hudson's Bay Company "in full discharge of all 
claims to territory or jurisdiction in North America." The 
concluding statement of the report is of considerable interest : 

I will not extend this paper by any presentation of what I 
regard as the great preponderance of benefit to the people of the 
provinces. I only reiterate that they have a right to demand of 
their present rulers two great objects, a Mediterranean to Su- 
perior, and a railway to the Pacific ocean, and these before 1880 ; 
and I cannot believe these objects will be assured to this genera- 
tion by a provincial confederation, or by the intervention of Eng- 
land. The United States may interpose, with the requisite guar- 
antees ; and if so, why shall we not combine to extend an American 
Union to the Arctic circle? 

The chairman of the committee upon foreign relations in the 
House of Representatives, General N. P. Banks, made the prop- 
osition his own, and submitted it to the House. Because of 
demonstrations against the measure in Canada, it was thought 
expedient, after consultation with the secretary of state and 

1 Taylor to the Speaker of the House, n.d. (after January 12, 1871). 



180 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

members of Congress, not to press the consideration of the bilL 
Reverting to the nature of the proposition in a speech before 
the National Board of Trade at Richmond in 1869, Taylor 
characterized it as "not the annexation of Canada to the United 
States, the term is offensive, but such a free and voluntary 
union between these people of the Northland of the continent 
and ourselves, as we entered into with the Republic of Texas, 
or as was effected in 1787 between the Independent Colonies 
which now compose the United States." 1 A writer in a Win- 
nipeg newspaper said of the proposal, that "although unaccept- 
able to Canada even more than to England, yet it proved a 
powerful motor in advancing Confederation and assuring the 
marvellous achievement of a Canadian inter-oceanic communi- 
cation." 2 As an indication of the shaping of sentiment at 
Washington, it is not unlikely that the proposal, coming shortly 
after the abrogation of the treaty of 1854, had some influ- 
ence. 3 Taylor did not soon give up his idea. On November 
23, 1867, he wrote a long letter to Mr. Edward Cooper, urging 
the proposition. In this letter he declared that he had sug- 
gested to President Johnson the advisability of calling the atten- 
tion of Congress to the measure in his message, believing that 

1 National Board of Trade, Proceedings, 1869, p. 139. The bill was 
introduced in the House by General Banks on July 2, 1866. 39 Con- 
gress, 1 session, House Journal, 945 (serial 1243). 

2 Winnipeg Daily Tribune, December 20, 1890. 

3 The treaty came to an end in April, 1866. See statement in Bour- 
inot, Canada under British Rule, 303. For an extremely violent com- 
mentary on the introduction of this bill in Congress, see Sir Edward 
W. Watkin, Canada and the States: Recollections, 1851 to 1866, 227-47 
(London, 1887). The author prints Taylor's bill in full, introducing 
it in the following gentle manner: "Here is this insulting document 
printed verbatim. I challenge the quotation of any similar outrage on 
the part of any civilized nation at peace with the Empire attacked" 
(p. 228). Had a similar bill, as applied to the Southern States, been 
introduced in the British House of Commons, Sir Edward declares 
that the United States ambassador to the court of St. James would 
have been promptly recalled (p. 227). He prints the bill as an illus- 
tration of the "consequences of vacillation and delay in the vigorous 
government of the Hudson's Bay territory, and in all distant parts of 
the Empire" (p. 227). 




SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 

such an action would give an impulse to the movement "which 
might mark an epoch in our manifest continental destiny." 1 

A request of Congress in July, 1866, for the collection, by 
the secretary of the treasury, of "reliable statistical information 
concerning the gold and silver mines of the western States and 
Territories" was referred by Mr. McCulloch to J. Ross Browne, 
for the districts west of the Rocky Mountains, and to James W. 
Taylor, for the districts east of the Rockies. 2 The services 
rendered by Taylor in the course of this investigation were 
important, particularly in connection with the framing of the 
Mineral Land Act. In a private letter Taylor wrote : 

Near the close of the war there was a proposition to raise rev- 
enue from a sale of the mineral lands especially in the gold dis- 
tricts of the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Coast. For sev- 
enteen years the gold and silver mines, with towns, cities, and 
ranches, had been developed on government lands absolutely a 
trespass. Public sales were proposed on elaborate bills from the 
Finance Committees by John Sherman in the Senate and George 
W. Julian in the House. Great excitement ensued in the mining 
states and territories. Mr. Chase placed me in communication 
with the Congressional representatives from the Pacific Coast and 
my draft of a "Mineral Lands Preemption Act" reconciled all 
interests. It was finally passed in 1866, and is the basis of title 
and occupation in all the mining districts of the country. 3 

Writing of the results of this act, he said, in his report to the 
secretary of the treasury : 

By that act, freedom of exploration, free occupation of gov- 
ernment lands for placer mining, a right to pre-empt quartz lodes 
previously held and improved according to local customs or codes 
of mining, the right of way for aqueducts or canals, not less essen- 
tial to agriculture than to mining, and the extension of the home- 
stead and other beneficient provisions of the public land system 
in favor of settlers upon agricultural lands in mineral districts, 

iSee below, p. 196. 

2 J. Ross Browne and James W. Taylor, Reports upon the Mineral 
Resources of the United States, 3, 323 (Washington, 1867). 

3 Taylor to A. B. Nettleton, April 15, 1883; also Taylor to Alexan- 
der Ramsey, June 14, 1869. 



182 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

have been established as most important elements for the attrac- 
tion of population and the encouragement of mining enterprises. 1 

The report prepared by Taylor was submitted to the secre- 
tary on February 8, 1867 (from St. Paul). It included infor- 
mation in regard to the production of gold and silver in the 
territories of New Mexico, Colorado, and Montana, in the Ver- 
million district of Minnesota, and upon the eastern slope of the 
Alleghany range in the states of Georgia, South Carolina, 
North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. It also referred to 
discoveries of gold in New Hampshire, Nova Scotia, and 
Canada. The second and third parts of the report are char- 
acteristic of Taylor's chief interest. They present a general 
review of the production of gold and silver in other portions 
of the world for the purpose of showing relatively the commer- 
cial and social importance of the treasure product of the United 
States; and a summary of the domestic commerce from the 
Missouri River westward to the interior or mining districts, 
with prospects of railway communication with the Rocky 
Mountains and the Pacific Coast. "There are two indispen- 
sable requisites to the development of the western mines/' said 
Taylor, "security from Indian hostilities, and the establishment 
of railway communication to the Pacific coast on the parallels 
of 35, 40, and 4 5." 2 

1 Browne and Taylor, Mineral Resources of the United States, 350. 

2 Ibid., 324-50. Taylor's report was also printed separately as Gold 
Mines East of the Rocky Mountains (39 Congress, 2 session, House Execu- 
tive Documents, no. 92 serial 1293). 

The following year, 1868, Taylor's report, considerably expanded in 
form, and changed in name to The Mineral Resources of the United States 
East of the Rocky Mountains, was submitted again to the secretary of the 
treasury and to the House of Representatives (40 Congress, 2 session, 
House Executive Documents, no. 273 serial 1343). Browne's report was 
likewise expanded and printed as 40 Congress, 2 session, House Execu- 
tive Documents, no. 202 (serial 1342). The two reports, with separate 
title pages and pagination, were also published in one volume as 
Reports on the Mineral Resources of the United States (Washington, 1868). 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 183 

MISCELLANEOUS ACTIVITIES, 1860-69 

During the period 186069 Taylor engaged in a number of 
activities outside the sphere of his duties as special agent of the 
treasury department. He was a frequent contributor of articles 
to newspapers, being for a time officially connected with the St. 
Paul Daily Press. 1 In October, 1862, he contributed a series 
of papers to the Press, which were reprinted as a pamphlet 
entitled The Sioux War: What shall We Do with Iff The 
Sioux Indians: What shall We Do with Them? He urged 
a vigorous offensive movement against the Sioux Indians, 
especially demanding the total expulsion of the Sioux and Win- 
nebagoes from the state. Answering his second question, he 
proposed that Isle Royale, in Lake Superior, be made a penal 
Indian colony for the "confinement of all the Indian remnants 
of the States of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, and of 
the entire Sioux nation, wherever scattered in the Territory of 
Dakota." 2 Another pamphlet by Taylor relating to the Indian 
question, entitled The Sioux War; What has been Done by the 
Minnesota Campaign of 1863; What should be Done during a 
Dakota Campaign of 1864, was published in 1863. It was a 
reprint of papers contributed to the Press during August and 
September of that year. At the conclusion of this pamphlet 
he submitted a memorial to the national authorities, executive 
and legislative, in which the policies he advocated were em- 
bodied. These policies, which are of considerable interest and 
significance, may be stated briefly as follows : a vigorous prose- 
cution of the campaign in the territory between Minnesota and 

1 "Soon after the civil war broke out he [Taylor] was employed for 
a short time as editor of the St. Paul Press. . . . His editorials were 
marked by an earnest patriotism, which was in accord with the public 
feeling." St. Paul Pioneer Press, April 29, 1893. 

2 The divisions of the pamphlet form an outline of his argument. 
They are as follows: Is the war ended? The numbers and situation 
of the enemy; General Warren's views of a Sioux campaign; the 
removal of the Indians from the state; where shall the Minnesota 
Indians go? Isle Royale, in Lake Superior, as a penal Indian colony; 
the attractions of Isle Royale; a petition to the general government; 
an appeal to the Christian public. 



184 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

the Rocky Mountains; the negotiation of a treaty with the 
Sioux Indians opening the Black Hills to the people of Dakota ; 
the extension of Noble's wagon road from Fort Pierre west- 
ward to connect with Mullen's military road from Fort Benton 
to Walla Walla; the passage of Senator Doolittle's North 
Pacific railroad bill ; the division of the territory of Idaho, the 
part east of the mountains to be known as Upsaroka ; the estab- 
lishment of a military post at the head of steamboat navigation 
on the Yellowstone River; and military colonization of the 
mountain districts by the soldiery on the termination of the 
Civil War. 

Another series of Press articles, contributed during the month 
ending December 15, 1861, were gathered together and pub- 
lished in pamphlet form in 1862 under the title Alleghania: A 
Geographical and Statistical Memoir Exhibiting the Strength of 
the Union, and the Weakness of Slavery, in the Mountain Dis- 
tricts of the South. In them Taylor urged "immediate and 
effective support by a powerful military demonstration similar 
to Sherman's celebrated march to the sea in the latter stages of 
hostilities." 1 He believed that the key to the speedy and perma- 
nent restoration of the Republic was "counter-revolution" and 
he sought, by a careful geographical and statistical study, to 
show that the nation held 

within the limits of the insurgent States, very important elements 
and instruments for a Counter Revolution of those States. The 
"Back Country," or Alleghany Districts of the States East of the 
Mississippi, the French and Creole population of Louisiana, and 
the German or grazing counties of Western Texas, will pronounce 
for the Union whenever the Army and Navy of the United States 
shall afford the protection against insurrection and the guaranty 
of Republican institutions which the Constitution enjoins upon 
the General Government. In those localities and in the disposi- 
tions of the inhabitants, the Rebellion has no firm foundation. 
On the contrary, they are ripe and ready to follow the instructive 
precedent established in West Virginia. 2 

1 Winnipeg Daily Tribune, December 20, 1890. 

2 Alleghania, vi. 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 185 

Taylor had been interested in schools in Ohio to a consider- 
able extent. In Minnesota he served on the board of directors 
of the state normal school at the organization of that work and 
for several years subsequently. At a meeting of the normal 
board, August 16, 1859, Taylor was appointed one of a com- 
mittee of three to attend the next meeting of the legislature and 
"secure such legislative aid as may be necessary to establish 
successfully this State Normal School." 1 The reports for the 
first few years following show that Taylor took a prominent 
part in the work of the normal directors. On June 28, 1861, 
at a meeting of the board in Winona, it was resolved, upon 
motion by James W. Taylor, that "the Prudential Committee 
is hereby authorized and directed to negotiate with the city 
authorities of Winona, and if by a disbursement of $5,000, in 
connection with city aid, a suitable building for the use of the 
normal school, and a city model school can be constructed, then 
to proceed immediately with the construction of the same ; and 
the sum of $5,000 is hereby appropriated for the purposes afore- 
said." 2 Taylor was present at the opening of the normal 
school at Winona in 1860, and made an address at a meeting 
which came together to consider the organization of a teachers' 
institute. "He went into a general review of the Teachers' 
Institutes, to show their importance as a means of awakening 
public interest and directing it toward the school system. He 
alluded to their success in the older States, and in Ohio, espe- 
cially." His advocacy brought out considerable criticism, one 
gentleman, Mr. Burt, of the prudential committee, urging that 
Taylor made institutes too prominent a feature. Mr. Burt 
argued that a normal school would "remove the necessity of a 
Teachers' Institute." 3 

Taylor was interested in the work of the Minnesota Historical 
Society, having become an active member on May 6, 1858. 

1 Minnesota, State Normal School, First Annual Report of the Board 
of Directors, 4 (St. Paul, 1860). 

2 Minnesota, State Normal Board, Annual Reports, 1862, p. 17. 

3 Addresses Delivered at the Opening of the State Normal School, Winona, 
Minnesota, 45 (St. Paul, 1860). 



186 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

He served as a vice-president of the society 1860-64, was a 
member of the executive council 1870-73, and was a corre- 
sponding member from 1885 until his death in 1893. * In this 
connection it is interesting to note that in 1860, on the occasion 
of Governor W. H. Seward's visit to St. Paul, an interview be- 
tween him and the Bishop of Rupert's Land, Reverend David 
Anderson, at the rooms of the historical society, was arranged 
by Taylor. 2 The speeches of the two men, especially that of the 
bishop, attracted considerable notice. Describing this interview, 
a writer in a Winnipeg paper later said that the speeches were 

read, marked and inwardly digested by the press and politicians 
of Canada. Bishop Anderson and a large majority of the Sel- 
kirk settlers memorialized for a crown colony like British Colum- 
bia, and the astute statesmen at Toronto and Quebec ( Parliament 
meeting concurrently at these capitals) and business men of Mon- 
treal, Toronto, and Hamilton determined that Canada must 
assume a vigorous continental policy, securing a West of "illim- 
itable possibilities" and that every necessary concession must be 
made to break up the alliance of the Hudson's Bay Company with 
Minnesota projectors, or at least, by political and commercial 
co-operation to bring Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia into 
combinations equally close with the Eastern Provinces. 3 

About 1867 the name of Taylor was presented to the direct- 
ors of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company for the office 
of secretary. Although he was well supported in this applica- 
tion, he failed to obtain the appointment. He did, however, 
secure a connection with the Northern Pacific by which he 
represented its interests at commercial conventions held in Bos- 
ton, Portland, and Cincinnati. 4 

1 Minnesota Historical Society Manuscript Records, 1850-66, May 
6, 1858, March 5, 1860, February 19, 1864; 1870-73, pp. 5, 231-35; Minne- 
sota Historical Society, Annual Reports, 1869, p. 2; 1870, p. 2; 1871, p. 2; 
Minnesota Historical Collections, 5: 513. 

2 A complete account of this interview appeared in the St. Paul 
Daily Press, January 30, 1862, which, though unsigned, was undoubtedly 
written by Taylor. See Minnesota Historical Collections, 8: 57. 

3 Winnipeg Daily Tribune, December 20, 1890. 

4 Taylor to William Windom, July 20, 1869. 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 187 

It was Taylor's desire, after his relations with the treasury 
department had been severed, to draw up a final report embody- 
ing all the subjects which he had investigated, and particularly 
the relations of the revenue service to Northwest British Amer- 
ica, and the situation on the northern Minnesota frontier in 
connection with the transfer of the Hudson's Bay Territory to 
Canada. 1 The matter was taken up by Alexander Ramsey, 
but no appointment was forthcoming at the time. 

The year 1869 was one of great activity for Taylor. No 
longer connected with the treasury department at Washington, 
he felt free to have his services employed in connection with 
western railway enterprises. In the spring of 1869 he was in 
communication with Jay Cooke, the financier, and in June of 
that year, on the recommendation of the latter, he was ap- 
pointed an agent of the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad 
Company, under agreement to devote one fourth of his time to 
that organization. About the same time he entered into a 
similar engagement with the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad 
Company. His duties were to contribute articles to the press 
of the United States and Canada, and to aid, in so far as he 
was able, in connection with bills before Congress. The main 
topics on which he wrote were the Pacific lines of railroad, 
western immigration, and relations with British America. 
Taylor had become an authority on these questions, and as 
he wrote for papers of large circulation and influence, it is 
reasonable to believe that he exerted considerable influence 
on public sentiment. He commenced with a series of publica- 
tions in the Chicago Tribune, the Toronto Globe, and the New 
York Tribune. The list was soon extended to include the 
Philadelphia Press and the New York Times, besides the St. 
Paul papers, the Winnipeg Tribune, and other western papers. 
His articles were widely copied in America and England. 2 

In December, 1869, Taylor represented the St. Paul Cham- 

1 Taylor to Ramsey, June 14, 1869. 

2 Taylor to W. B. Ogden, June 12, 1869; to Horace White, Septem- 
ber 18, 1869; to F. H. Clarke, January 12, 1871. 



188 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

her of Commerce at the second annual meeting of the National 
Board of Trade, held at Richmond, and was elected a vice- 
president and member of the executive council of that body for 
1 87O. 1 He took a prominent part in its proceedings, serving 
on several important committees, 2 and delivering several 
addresses, particularly one on internal improvements. 3 

THE RED RIVER REBELLION OF 1869-70 

On June 14, 1869, Taylor, having learned of the form of the 
provisional government which Canada proposed for the Selkirk 
and Saskatchewan districts, and feeling certain that it would 
prove unsatisfactory to the people of the districts, wrote to 
Alexander Ramsey asking him to use his influence in securing 
a commission from the state department for Taylor by which 
his services could be used in connection with the Northwest 
question. 4 In the latter part of 1869 a series of events oc- 
curred which culminated in the first so-called "Riel Rebellion," 
and which incidentally led to the appointment of James W. 
Taylor as a secret agent of the state department at Washington. 

The Hudson's Bay Company, by an agreement made in 1 868 
with a Canadian delegation consisting of Sir George Cartier 
and William McDougall, had agreed to give over their domain 
to the Canadian government upon the payment of three hun- 
dred thousand pounds, and the reservation of certain lands and 
rights for the company. The Canadian parliament gave its 
assent to these terms in 1869, and made provisions for the tem- 
porary government of Rupert's Land and the Northwest Terri- 
tory when it should be transferred to Canada. In the fall of 
that year William McDougall was made lieutenant-governor 

1 National Board of Trade, Proceedings, 1869, p. xiii (Boston, 1870). 

2 Committee on trade statistics and reports (ibid., 19) ; committee to 
wait on the governor of Virginia (ibid., 49) ; committee on uniform 
conveyances of land (ibid.,}. He served also as a member of the com- 
mittee upon water communications between the Mississippi Valley 
and the Atlantic Coast (Taylor to J. J. Porter, October 26, 1869). 

n National Board of Trade, Proceedings, 1869, pp. 87-91. 
4 Taylor to Ramsey, June 14, 1869. 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 189 

with the understanding that he was to assume his official posi- 
tion on the legal transfer of the territory. 1 The population of 
the district comprising the province of Manitoba consisted at 
this time of from twelve to fourteen thousand inhabitants. 
Oscar Malmros, consul of the United States at Winnipeg, in a 
letter to the secretary of state at Washington declared that of 
this number one half were French half-breeds, belonging to the 
Catholic Church, and the other half were descendants of Scotch- 
men, English half-breeds, and a few Americans. 2 These 
people had been living under the government of the Hudson's 
Bay Company, at the head of whose governing body, the 
Council of Assiniboia, was William McTavish. 3 In Septem- 
ber, 1869, McDougall left for Fort Garry. 4 On September n 
Mr. Malmros wrote to the state department: "The mass of 
the settlers are strongly inclined, however, to get up a riot to 
expel the new governor on his arrival here about the I5th of 
October." 5 The causes of the discontent were complex, and 
can not be discussed fully in this biography. Sir John G. 
Bourinot writes : 

The cause of the troubles is to be traced not simply to the 
apathy of the Hudson's Bay Company's officials, who took no 
steps to prepare the settlers for the change of government, nor 
to the fact that the Canadian authorities neglected to consult the 
wishes of the inhabitants, but chiefly to the belief that prevailed 
among the ignorant French half-breeds that it was proposed to 
take their lands from them. Sir John Macdonald admitted, at a 
later time, that much of the trouble arose "from a lack of concilia- 

1 Bourinot, Canada under British Rule, 227. See John Lewis, "The 
New Dominion" in Shortt and Doughty, Canada and Its Provinces, 6: 
31-45, for an account of the Red River Rebellion. 

2 Malmros to J. C. B. Davis, acting secretary of state, September 
11, 1869, in 41 Congress, 2 session, Senate Executive Documents, no. 33, 
p. 2 (serial 1405). See also Lewis in Canada and Its Provinces, 6: 32; 
Bourinot, Canada under British Rule, 228; Taylor to Hamilton Fish, 
January 20, 1870, in 41 Congress, 2 session, Senate Executive Documents, 
no. 33, p. 19. 

3 Lewis in Canada and Its Provinces, 6: 32. 

4 Bourinot, Canada under British Rule, 227. 

5 41 Congress, 2 session, Senate Executive Documents, no. 33, p. 3. 



190 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

tion, tact and prudence shown by the surveyors during the sum- 
mer of 1869." Mr. Macdougall also appears to have disobeyed 
his instructions, for he attempted to set up his government by a 
coup-de-main on the 1st December, though he had no official 
information of the transfer of the country to Canada, and was 
not legally entitled to perform a single official act. 1 

Another historian writes : 

The British North America Act provided means for the admis- 
sion into the union of Rupert's Land and the North- West Terri- 
tory, and in the first session of the new parliament resolutions 
were adopted asking that the power should be exercised. In 
view of the difficulty which afterwards arose, it should be noted 
that these resolutions evinced an inclination to deal fairly with the 
people of the West. They were to have political institutions 
bearing analogy, as far as circumstances would admit, to those 
which existed in the provinces of the Dominion. Similar good 
intentions were shown in the agreement with the Hudson's Bay 
Company, which provided that the rights of Indians and half- 
breeds should be respected, and in the instructions given by Howe 
as secretary of state to William M c Dougall, when the latter was 
appointed lieutenant-governor of the new country. 2 

Yet a little later, the same writer declares, in speaking- of the 
negotiations with the Hudson's Bay Company : 

The prime mistake was that while these negotiations were being 
carried on with the company in England, no one was treating 
with the inhabitants of the country. Their consent to the 
momentous change was taken for granted. Again, an act for the 
temporary government of the country, passed by the parliament 
of Canada in 1869, was criticized because it did not recognize the 
political rights of the people and their right to a voice in the 
formation of the government. That this charge was well founded 
was afterwards admitted by William M c Dougall, one of the chief 
actors in the drama. 3 

An interesting point for investigation is the part played in 
Xonnection with these disturbances by American influence. So 

1 Canada under British Rule, 227. 

2 Lewis in Canada and Its Provinces, 6: 31. 

3 Ibid., 32. 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 191 

early as March 6, 1868, the legislature of the state of Minne- 
sota, in a memorial to the president and Congress of the United 
States, declared : 

We regret to be informed of a purpose to transfer the terri- 
tories between Minnesota and Alaska to the Dominion of Canada, 
by an order in council at London, without a vote of the people 
of Selkirk and the settlers upon the sources of the Saskatchewan 
River, who largely consist of emigrants from the United States ; 
and we would respectfully urge that the President and Congress * 

of the United States shall represent to the government of Great 
Britain that such action will be an unwarrantable interference 
with the principle of self-government, and cannot be regarded 
with indifference by the people of the United States. 1 

A declaration by the New York Times is of interest : 

A mistake will be committed if, in considering the causes and 
scope of the insurrection, some allowance be not made for the 
variety and strength of the American influences which have long 
been in operation in the Red River region. Separated from 
Canada by a vast wilderness of rock and swamp, the inhabitants 
of the Territory have no communication with the outer world, 
save through the United States. They have been accustomed to 
carry their products to St. Paul for sale, and have derived thence 
their supplies. Their country was all but inaccessible until Min- 
nesota enterprise established the means of communication. Min- 
nesotians gave them stage coaches and a steamboat, with their 
attendant mail and commercial facilities; 2 and the marvelous 
progress of the Minnesota railroad system holds out to them 
prospects of cheap and rapid intercourse with the market on 
which they mainly depend. All these are powerful agencies in 
Americanizing the people. They know Canada only as a far-off 

1 Quoted in a letter from Taylor to Fish, January 20, 1870, included 
in President Grant's message to the Senate, February 2, 1870, in 41 
Congress, 2 session, Senate Executive Documents, no. 33, p. 24. Taylor 
discusses the relations of Minnesota and the United States to the 
whole situation. 

2 In 1864 a United States government report estimated the imports 
of Central British America, for the use of the Hudson's Bay Company 
and the Selkirk settlers, at a value of five hundred thousand dollars 
annually, and the average annual exports at not less than one million 
dollars. Ibid., 23. 



192 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

country, which has never done anything for their benefit, and 
which proposes to make a purchase of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany's possessions a pretext for inflicting upon them an authority 
having no sympathy with their wants or wishes. On the other 
hand, they know Americans as their neighbors and friends, as 
their co-workers and customers, with whom they are identified 
in all that relates to the future of the Northwest. 1 

The general outlines of the story of the rebellion are well 
known. McDougall, traveling to assume his governing duties, 
went by way of St. Paul, and on the route from St. Paul to 
Pembina was told of hostile actions by the Metis. At Pembina 
a half-breed gave the governor formal notice not to enter the 
territory. McDougall ignored this warning and continued on 
to the Hudson's Bay post, two miles from the American border. 
On November 2 a body of insurgents, armed and mounted, sur- 
rounded Fort Pembina, and ordered McDougall to recross the 
boundary. Having no adequate means of resistance, he was 
forced to return. On the same day the insurgents took Fort 
Garry. When Sir John Macdonald learned of the situation on 
the Red River he 

determined not to accept from the Hudson's Bay Company the 
territory in its disturbed state, held back the payment of the 
money due to the company, notified the British authorities of 
what he proposed, and w r arned McDougall not to try to force his 
way into the country, nor to assume the functions of government 
prematurely. Such an assumption, he said, would put an end 
to the authority of the Hudson's Bay Company. Then, if Mc- 
Dougall were not admitted, there would be no legal government, 
and anarchy must follow. . . . The warning was given too 
late. The letter was written nearly a month after Riel 2 was 
in possession of Fort Garry and only a few days before Decem- 
ber 1, when M c Dougall supposed that the transfer would take 
effect. 3 

The story of the government set up by Louis Riel, the young 
leader of the insurrection, can not be detailed here. Suffice it 

1 41 Congress, 2 session, Senate Executive Documents, no. 33, p. 41. 

2 The leader and most interesting personality of the rebellion. 

3 Lewis in Canada and Its Provinces, 6: 35. 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 193 

to say that a provisional government was established, a popular 
convention was summoned, the authority of Governor McTav- 
ish broken down, and a formal declaration of independence of 
Canada was made. On the first of December McDougall 
issued two proclamations, one giving notice of his assumption 
of the office of lieutenant-governor of the northwest territories, 
the other conferring upon his lieutenant, John Dennis, author- 
ity "to raise, organize, arm, equip, and provision a sufficient 
force within the said Territories, and with the said force to 
attack, arrest, disarm, or disperse" the insurgents. Extremely 
arbitrary powers were given him to enable him to carry out 
these instructions. The campaign failed signally, the Cana- 
dians in Winnipeg were captured, Dennis was forced to flee 
to Pembina, Louis Riel and his associates received almost com- 
plete support in their government, and, after lingering until 
the eighteenth of December, the would-be governor, McDou- 
gall, gave up and left for Canada. 1 

The American state department was watching the situation S 
with keen interest. On December 30, 1869, a secret commis- ' 
sion, signed by Hamilton Fish, secretary of state, was issued 
to James W. Taylor, appointing him special agent of the state 
department for a period of six months, with instructions to 
investigate and report upon the following subjects : 

1. Full details of the revolt of the inhabitants of Selkirk settle- 
ment against the Canadian Confederation and the expulsion of 
Honorable William McDougall on his way to assume the office 
of governor. 

2. The geographical features and commercial affinities of the 
Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia districts. 

3. The character and disposition of the population. 

4. Existing routes of communication from Canada and the 
United States, and what changes or improvements in this respect 
are proposed. 

5. The political relations of the several British possessions 
between Minnesota and Alaska. 

1 Ibid., 35-37; Taylor to Fish in 41 Congress, 2 session, Senate 
Jl.rccutive Documents, no. 33, pp. 18, 26-29. 



194 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

6. The general question of commercial and political relations 
between the United States and Canada. 

7. The political relations between the Dominion of Canada 
and the several states and provinces composing it. 1 

Taylor accepted the commission and made an investigation 
of the situation north of the boundary. As a part of his 
services in this connection he was at Ottawa during the dis- 
cussions which preceded the organization of the province of 
Manitoba in i87O, 2 and informed the state department fully of 
events connected therewith. 3 On December 8, 1869, the Sen- 
ate of the United States had passed a resolution requesting the 
president to communicate information to them "relating to the 
presence of honorable William McDougall at Pembina, in 
Dakota Territory, and the opposition by the inhabitants of Sel- 
kirk settlement to his assumption of the office of governor of the 
Northwest Territory." On February 2, 1870, President Grant, 
in compliance with this resolution, submitted a message dealing 
with the matter, the main part of which was a comprehensive 
letter from James W. Taylor to the secretary of state, dated 
January 20, 1870, with a large number of inclosures consisting 
of documents relating to the insurrection. 4 All of these official 
actions are significant of the attitude of mind at Washington. 

In connection with Taylor's services as agent there is arr 
interesting point brought out with reference to Louis Riel. 
The delegates sent by Riel to Ottawa were treated as author- 
ized representatives of the people of the Northwest. In the 
recently published Canada and Its Provinces, John Lewis-, 
writes : "Richot and Scott [the delegates] afterwards claimed 

iFish to Taylor, December 30, 1869. 

2 Taylor to James D. Porter, assistant secretary of state, November 
3, 1885. 

3 Taylor to Jay Cooke, November 22, 1871. 

4 41 Congress, 2 session, Senate Executive Documents, no. 33. This 
document is an exceedingly valuable source of information on the 
Red River Rebellion. Taylor's appointment was for six months, but 
his communications after January 20 (which were many) have never 
been published. 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 195 

that ... an amnesty was promised to Riel, but this was denied 
by Macdonald and Cartier. The government took the ground 
that they had no power to grant an amnesty, or to deal with the 
crime at all, 1 because it had been committed in a territory which 
was not then part of Canada/' 2 In 1885, at the time of the 
second Riel Rebellion, Taylor wrote to the state department at 
Washington : 

I held a commission as Special Agent of the State Department 
to report upon all the circumstances connected with the Red 
River insurrection of 1869-70. I was at Ottawa during the 
discussions which preceded the organization of the Province of 
Manitoba. There was present a delegation from Red River, 
appointed by a Convention of the people called with the concur- 
rence of all parties especially the English and Canadian govern- 
ments and both to them and to Archbishop Tache, a pledge 
of unqualified amnesty, distinctly including Louis Riel was given 
and communicated to the Provisional Government at Fort Garry. 3 

Conditions in the Red River settlement were soon altered. 
Donald Smith (afterwards Lord Strathcona) was sent out as 
one of three commissioners ; Scott was executed ; Bishop Tache, 
at the request of the Canadian government, agreed to act as 
peacemaker ; Colonel Wolseley, with a force of twelve hundred 
men, was sent out to restore order ; Riel fled over the frontier ; 
peace was restored, and the Canadian parliament of 1870 pro- 
vided for the government of the new province of Manitoba. 4 

UNITED STATES CONSUL AT WINNIPEG, 1870-93 

In September, 1870, James W. Taylor was appointed consul 
of the United States at Winnipeg. His commission was signed 
September 21, and, having been confirmed by the Senate, was 

1 Referring to the execution of Thomas Scott, an Ontario man, by 
order of Louis Riel, whom he had defied. See Bourinot, Canada 
under British Rule, 229. 

2 Canada and Its Provinces, 6: 42. 

3 Taylor to James D. Porter, November 3, 1885. 

4 Bourinot, Canada under British Rule, 228-30. There is considerable 
information about the Red River Rebellion in Reminiscences of the Red 
River Rebellion of 1869, by G. T. D. (Toronto, 1873). 



196 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

forwarded to him on December 22. l His name had been 
brought forward for the position by Alexander Ramsey. In 
addition to his interest in the Canadian Northwest and his very 
great knowledge of its resources, no less than his long period 
of service in connection with northwest affairs, there were cer- 
tain special reasons which influenced Taylor in accepting the 
consulate. He was identified with northwestern railway inter- 
ests, and was urged to accept the Winnipeg position by Jay 
Cooke, who had undertaken to build the Northern Pacific; 
indeed, his services were financially acknowledged by Cooke. 2 
Later, as an inducement to retain the consulate, he was paid an 
allowance by Sir Donald A. Smith, Norman W. Kittson, and 
others representing the Red River Navigation Company ; and 
when the railway superseded steamboat navigation, this allow- 
ance was continued by the Canadian Pacific Railway. 3 His in- 
terest in the subject of union, commercial and possibly political, 
with British North America was another incentive. On No- 
vember 24, 1870, he wrote to General Banks from Winnipeg: 
"I have accepted the Winnipeg Consulate, believing that I can 
advance the Annexation policy with which you are identified 
more effectively here than elsewhere." On December 17, 1870, 
Banks replied : "I shall be glad to renew the proposition for 
the admission of the British Provinces to the Union, which you 
propose, and do not doubt that it may produce a good effect 
upon the public mind, both in the Provinces and in this coun- 
try." 4 

During the first part of his consulate Taylor was occupied in 
"obtaining reliable information for the State Department of the 
situation in Manitoba, and the Saskatchewan and Mackenzie 

ipish to Ramsey, September 21, 1870; Department of State to- 
Taylor, December 22, 1870. 

2 Taylor to Sir George Stephen, July 24, 1889. 

^ Ibid.; see also Taylor to J. J. Hill, September 15, 1891. 

4 See also Taylor to W. K. Rogers, May 14, 1877. In 1885 fifteen 
years later Taylor still clung to his belief in the practicability of 
a union of the United States and Canada. Taylor to Henry H. Sibley r 
April 23, 1885; to H. B. Payne, April 24, 1885. 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 197 

districts to the Northwest," 1 and in addition to the routine 
duties of the office, corresponded widely in regard to railway 
matters, particularly with Jay Cooke and Company on ques- 
tions relating to the Northern Pacific Railway. 2 He was also 
in communication with Lieutenant-Governor Archibald of Man- 
itoba, who suggested that the Northern Pacific should deflect 
to the north and pass westward through British territory. 
Archibald was also interested in the subject of an international 
railroad from Montreal to Sault Ste. Marie, and thence by way 
of Duluth to Manitoba and the valley of the Saskatchewan 
River. 3 

Taylor remained United States consul at Winnipeg from 
1870 until his death in 1893. During this period of twenty- 
three years he was occupied in the discharge of the routine con- 
sular duties, in continuing his investigations of the resources 
of the Northwest, and in publishing largely in the form of 
newspaper articles the fruits of his researches. His consular 
reports deal largely with the commercial relations of the two 
countries, but cover also, of course, all phases of Canadian 
Northwest development that were of significance to this gov- 
ernment. A considerable number of these reports are to be 
found in the congressional series of government publications in 
the volumes entitled Commercial Relations of the United States. 
They were confined in their scope to Manitoba, and the com- 
plete series constitutes a valuable summary of the development 
of that province during the period of Taylor's consulate. 4 

1 Taylor to Banks, November 24, 1870. 

2 Correspondence of 1870 and 1871. 

3 Archibald to Taylor, January 3, 1871. This letter with Taylor's 
reply of February 8 was published, probably with the title International 
System of Railways, at Ottawa for private circulation (Taylor to Archi- 
bald, April 24, 1871). See also Taylor to F. H. Clarke, president of 
the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad Company, January 12, 
1871, in which he writes of his relations with Archibald. 

4 The reports of Consul Taylor are to be found in manuscript in 

his letter-books. The printed reports are in the congressional series ^X 
as follows: 42 Congress, 2 session, House Executive Documents, vol. 18, 
pp. 649-57 (serial 1523) ; 43 Congress, 1 session, House Executive Docu- 



198 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

Taylor succeeded in identifying himself thoroughly with the 
business and social life of the Canadian Northwest, and of 
Winnipeg more especially. The newspapers of that period 
contain the record of his intimate relations with Canadians. 
Always enthusiastic in his faith in the Northwest, but ever tem- 
perate and judicious in his utterances, he was much in demand 
as a speaker at Canadian public gatherings, and his views, 
through the medium of the newspapers, were widely circulated 
and discussed. On matters relating to railway expansion and 
the geographical features of the West, as well as upon all 
phases of Canadian-American relations, he was a recognized 
authority. The Report of the minister of agriculture of the 
province of Manitoba for the year 1880 contained as an appen- 
dix: "Central British America Its Physical and Natural 
Resources. Extracts from the Publications of Mr. J. W. Tay- 

ments, vol. 13, pp. 581-84 (serial 1611); 44 Congress, 1 session, House 
Executive Documents, vol. 15, pp. 953-60 (serial 1692); 44 Congress, 2 
session, House Executive Documents, vol. 12, pp. 580-90 (serial 1759) ; 45 
Congress, 2 session, House Executive Documents, vol. 22, pp. 515-24 (serial 
1814); 45 Congress, 3 session, House Executive Documents, vol. 18, pp. 
649_55 (serial 1860) ; 46 Congress, 2 session, House Executive Documents, 
vol. 25, pp. 400-408 (serial 1926) ; 46 Congress, 3 session, House Execu- 
tive Documents, vol. 30, pp. 485-91 (serial 1980) ; 49 Congress, 1 session, 
House Executive Documents, vol. 34, pp. 620-28 (serial 2402); 49 Congress, 
2 session, House Executive Documents, vol. 26, pp. 862-66 (serial 2485) ; 
50 Congress, 1 session, House Executive Documents, vol. 31, pp. 533-36 
(serial 2563); 51 Congress, 1 session, House Executive Documents, vol. 
44, pp. 26-29 (serial 2759) ; 51 Congress, 2 session, House Executive Docu- 
ments, vol. 29, pp. 289-93 (serial 2859); 52 Congress, 1 session, House 
Executive Documents, vol. 37, no. 204, p. 301 (serial 2957). The nature 
of Taylor's brief consular reports may be indicated, for example, 
by the topics treated in the report for 1877-78 (serial 1814): com- 
merce with the United States, exports, imports, navigation, govern- 
ment expenditures, population and settlements, and the outlook (in 
which he treats of prospects of Manitoba development). Usually 
there is also a summary of railway development for the year covered 
by the report. 

In United States Consular Reports, 30: 199 (May-August, 1889 Wash- 
ington, 1889), there is an article by Consul Taylor on "American 
Agricultural Implements in Manitoba." 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 199 

lor, United States Consul at Winnipeg." 1 In August, 1882, 
Taylor read an elaborate paper on "Forest and Fruit Culture 
in Manitoba" before the board of agriculture of that province. 
This paper, reprinted "from the Report of the Department of 
Agriculture and Statistics for Manitoba," was published in 
pamphlet form. 2 

In 1879 the government authorities of Manitoba tendered a 
reception to Mr. Reade and Mr. Pell, two members of the Brit- 
ish Parliament on commission to investigate the resources of 
western Canada with reference to the future supply of bread 
and meat for the English market. At this banquet Consul 
Taylor made a speech widely reported in the press of the two 
countries, which not only evoked considerable criticism, but also 
endangered his relations with the state department. Discuss- 
ing the theory of three great zones of production on this con- 
tinent, particularly in its central district cotton, maize, and 
wheat he asserted that three fourths of the wheat belt, or the 
districts where wheat is destined to be the leading staple of agri- 
cultural products, is north of the international boundary of 
forty-nine degrees, and "within the same area there would be 
a similar appreciation in the profitable production of domestic 
animals, in accordance with the climatic law that the perfection ^ 
in quantity and quality of plants and animals is found near the 
most northern limit of their successful growth." 3 Taylor's 
position was attacked in influential quarters. One attack, in 
the St. Paul Pioneer Press, 4 he replied to in its own columns, 
finding confirmation of his views in the editor's own writings 

1 Appendix B, 94-111 (Winnipeg, 1881). 

2 American Journal of Forestry, p. 95 (November, 1882). At the request 
of the Manitoba minister of agriculture this paper was published also 
in the proceedings of the first annual meeting of the American For- 
estry Congress held in Montreal, August 21-23, 1882; the proceedings 
appeared in two special numbers of the Montreal Herald (ibid., 64). The 
special number containing Taylor's article is one of the newspapers 
accompanying the Taylor Papers. 

3 Winnipeg Daily Tribune, December 20, 1890; Taylor to Ingersoll* 
February 7, 1888. 

4 St. Paul Pioneer Press, October 11, 1879. 



200 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

of i860. 1 The matter, however, was taken to the authorities 
at Washington. Mr. Hind of Nova Scotia, who had formerly 
been connected with G. M. Dawson in an exploration of the Red 
River and Assiniboine districts, attacked Consul Taylor's 
reports and speeches, and urged that he should be censured or 
discharged. The state department forwarded the communica- 
tions of Mr. Hind to Taylor without comment, giving him an 
opportunity to defend his position. Taylor made an elaborate 
statement of his case in a letter to Assistant Secretary of State 
Davis, and the whole correspondence was referred to Spencer 
F. Baird of the Smithsonian Institution. This authority sus- 
tained Taylor fully against Mr. Hind, and the matter was there- 
upon dropped. 2 

There are a number of outstanding services which Taylor 
rendered to Canada and the United States during his consulate 
that proved to be of considerable significance. Early in Sep- 
tember, 1871, he learned that a Fenian attack or raid from the 
United States upon Manitoba was being planned. He at once 
informed Lieutenant-Governor Archibald and his cabinet, and 
was assured that the Manitoba and Canadian government would 
have no objection if the United States, in suppressing the 
Fenian movement, should send troops across the boundary. 
On September n Taylor communicated the facts of the matter 
to the state department, and eight days later Brevet Colonel 
Loyd Wheaton of the Twentieth United States Infantry, the 
commandant at Fort Pembina, was ordered by Washington to 
arrest the Fenians, even though it involved crossing the fron- 
tier. Steps were at once taken by Colonel Wheaton to check 
the movement, and "General" O'Neill and some thirty of his 
followers were captured at the Hudson's Bay post of Fort Pem- 

1 Taylor to Sir George Stephen, July 24, 1889. 

2 Hind to Elaine (copy), December 12, 1881; Taylor to Davis, 
January 23, 1882; to Sir George Stephen, July 24, 1889. Taylor's 
defense was not published, except a portion of it which was incor- 
porated in a paper on the "Resources of the Great Mackenzie Basin," 
in Appendices to the Twenty-second Volume of the Journals of the Senate 
of Canada, 150-55 (Ottawa, 1888). 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 201 

bina. On the fifth of October Colonel Wheaton sent the fol- 
lowing communication to Consul Taylor : "I have captured 
and now hold 'General' J. O'Neill, 'General' Thomas Curley 
and 'Colonel' J. J. Donelly. I think further anxiety regarding 
a Fenian invasion of Manitoba unnecessary." 1 The prompt 
action of the American government in the matter led the Eng- 
lish government, through Sir Edward Thornton, to express its 
thanks to Colonel Wheaton and Consul Taylor for their action 
in the case. 2 In discussing the Fenian raid before the Histori- 
cal and Scientific Society of Manitoba, May n, 1888, Consul 
Taylor declared : "An additional circumstance, relating to the 
personal intervention of Gen. Grant . . . was his transmission 
of a despatch to Lord Lisgar, Governor-General of Canada, 
permitting the movement of British troops if necessary through 
American territory." 3 

Political complications of a more serious nature came on in 
1885, in connection with which Taylor rendered valuable serv- 
ice. In March of 1885 the half-breeds of the Saskatchewan 
district in the Northwest were in rebellion against the Dominion 
government. The causes and circumstances of this rebellion 
can not be detailed in this paper. 4 Suffice it to say that Riel 
was again the leading spirit of the revolt, having returned to 
Canada in 1884 from the United States, where he had fled 

1 Gilbert McMicken, The Abortive Fenian Raid of Manitoba (Historical 
and Scientific Society of Manitoba, Transactions, no. 32 Winnipeg, 
1888). Consul Taylor was present at the reading of this paper before 
the society, May 11, 1888, and took an active part in the discussion 
which followed. A report of his remarks is given on pages 10 and 
11. The Taylor Papers are incomplete for the fall of 1871, and his 
communications to Washington are missing. On this outbreak, see 
also Lewis in Canada and Its Provinces, 6:43. 

2 W. Hunter, second assistant secretary of state, to Taylor, January 
9, 1872. 

3 McMicken, The Abortive Fenian Raid of Manitoba, 10. See also 
Taylor to Ramsey, May 3, 1872; to President Grant, May 6, 1872. 

4 See Lewis, "Canada under Macdonald, 1878-1891," in Canada and 
Its Provinces, 6:99-106, for an account of the causes which led to this 
uprising and its progress; also Bourinot, Canada under British Rule, 
249-55. 



202 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

after the first rebellion. Kiel declared the troubles in Saskatch- 
ewan to be but a continuation of the uprising of 1 869-70. l 
The revolt lasted three months, and cost Canada about five 
million dollars, besides a large number of casualties. Riel him- 
self was arrested, tried at Regina, sentenced to death, and, 
despite strenuous efforts by the French-Canadians to secure his 
reprieve, was executed on the sixteenth of November. Canada 
was deeply stirred. "For some time after his [Kiel's] death," 
writes Sir John G. Bourinot, "attempts were made to keep up 
the excitement which had so long existed in the province of 
Quebec on the question. The Dominion government was cer- 
tainly weakened for a time in Quebec by its action in this 
matter." 2 

While the rebellion was in progress, the preservation of 
neutrality along the border between the United States and 
Canada, and the prevention of the participation against the 
Canadian government of American Indians, more particularly 
of the Blackfeet and the Metis of Montana, among whom Riel 
had lived for some years, were serious problems. As a result 
of the strong representations of Consul Taylor, the frontier 
from Pembina to the Rocky Mountains was under surveillance 
in the spring of 1885, by a mounted patrol in the service of the 
United States government, "involving a large expenditure, but 
effectual for the repression of any hostile movement in aid of 
the Saskatchewan insurgents by the Indians of Dakota and 
Montana." So long as the situation remained critical, Consul 
Taylor, by authority of the state department, was placed in 
direct communication with the military and other officials near 
the frontier. 3 

The whole rebellion was the subject of many and voluminous 
reports to the state department at Washington, and Consul 
Taylor himself had a considerable correspondence with Louis 

1 Louis Riel to Taylor, n.d. (after August 1, 1885), in 51 Con- 
gress, special Senate session, Senate Executive Documents, no. 1, p. 4 
(serial 2613). 

2 Canada under British Rule, 255. 

3 Winnipeg Daily Tribune, December 20, 1890. 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 203 

Kiel. 1 Kiel claimed to have been made an American citizen 
"about the i6th day of March, 1883, at Helena, Lewis and 
Clark County, Montana," a circumstance that complicated the 
situation. 2 Riel himself applied to Consul Taylor on July 21, 
1885, an d again in the first part of August, and finally prepared 
and submitted, through Consul Taylor, a petition to President 
Cleveland, asking for diplomatic intervention by the govern- 
ment of the United States to prevent the execution of the 
sentence pronounced upon him by the Canadian court. In the 
United States, too, there were movements in his favor. On 
August 1 6, 1885, 410 citizens of Lawrence, Massachusetts, 
petitioned the president to take action in Kiel's behalf. On 
August 1 8, 65 citizens of Wayland, Massachusetts, did likewise, 
asserting that Riel had been denied rights to which he was 
entitled as an American citizen. On August 29, 69 citizens 
of Rochester, New York, petitioned in his behalf, declaring 
that at his trial "under the then existing political excitement in 
Canada, resulting in a measure from questions bearing upon 
the rights of the people for whom he was contending, he was 
deprived of the means of making his best defense, and that his 
trial was unfair, partial, and unjust." 3 The petition of Louis 
Riel to the president is a curious document. After recounting 
in much detail the causes of the revolts and the incidents con- 
nected with them, making a special point of the promise of 
amnesty, he declares that the British government has forfeited 
all right to the "state and government of the Northwest," and 
that they are his "as they were intrusted to me by the people's 
voice, at Fort Garry, the nth of February, 1870, and such 
as recognized to me by the four commissioners of the Crown 
who have invited me to treat, and by the Crown itself, which 

1 See the letter-books and correspondence for 1885. 

2 Petition of Louis Riel to President Cleveland in 51 Congress, 
special Senate session, Senate Executive Documents, no. 1, p. 6. Kiel's 
claim to citizenship was fully substantiated, the naturalization certifi- 
cate having been made out March 16, 1883 (ibid., 11). 

3 Kiel's application to President Cleveland and the petitions pre- 
sented by various bodies of citizens were published in ibid., 6-11. 



204 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

has treated with my delegates through the Vice-King of Can- 
ada." He then petitions for protection, and requests "that the 
international line between the United States and the Northwest 
be blotted out from Lake Superior to the Pacific Ocean, that 
the Hon. James W. Taylor, United States consul at Winnipeg, 
be appointed governor-general of those vast territories," and 
that he, Louis Riel, be made "first minister and secretary of 
the Northwest under Hon. James W. Taylor." 

On February u, 1889, more than three years after the death 
of Louis Riel, the Senate of the United States passed a resolu- 
tion requesting the president "to communicate to the Senate 
such knowledge or information as may be in his possession or 
under his control relating to the case of one Louis Riel, other- 
wise Louis David Riel, with copies of all documents, papers, 
correspondence, and evidence bearing on the subject." A mes- 
sage was transmitted by President Harrison on March n, 
1889, m response to this resolution. The message contained 
considerable material communicated by Consul Taylor, together 
with other documents bearing on the case. 1 At the time of the 
presentation of the petitions of Riel and his sympathizers the 
attitude of the United States was, briefly, that United States 
citizenship did not give Riel immunity from Canadian laws for 
offenses committed within their jurisdiction and that it had been 
definitely certified to the state department that the offense of 
Riel was committed wholly within British jurisdiction. 2 

Consul Taylor retained his consulate during several admin- 
istrations. When Cleveland became president, Taylor expected 
removal, but citizens of both parties urged his retention ; mem- 
bers of the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce even petitioned the 
president to retain him, and no successor was appointed. 3 
Again, in 1889 the governor and state officers of Minnesota, 
Senators Davis and Washburn, Secretary Windom, and ex- 

1 51 Congress, special Senate session, Senate Executive Documents, 
no. 1. 

2 Letter of T. F. Bayard, secretary of state, to the president, ibid., 2. 

3 Taylor to P. H. Kelly, July 6, 1885. 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 205 

Governors Ramsey and Marshall united in urging his retention 
as consul. 

Taylor's interest in railway expansion continued during his 
later years, and he devoted much attention to schemes for fur- 
ther railway development after the transcontinental northwest 
lines were accomplished facts. On February 14, 1889 a man 
almost seventy years of age he presented in a lecture at Win- 
nipeg an elaborate plan of railway expansion which was com- 
mented on extensively by the press of the United States and 
Canada. It was nothing less than a proposal to construct a 
railway to Norton's Sound, on Bering Strait, through British 
Columbia and Alaska, contemporaneously with the extension 
of the Russia-Siberia line, and a "traverse of the straits sepa- 
rating the continents of America and Asia by ferry or tunnel of 
thirty miles." 1 A writer in a Canadian newspaper, discussing 
the details of the proposition, says : 

Mr. Taylor favored a line from the frontier in Kootenay 
Valley near Spokane, in Washington, along the western flank 
of the Rocky Mountains, from valley to valley of rivers, con- 
curring to afford favorable roadbed to the navigable channel 

1 Manitoba Daily Free Press, February 16, 1889. Among other papers 
the lecture was reproduced in the Inland Sentinel (Kamloops, B. C.), 
March 2, 1889. It is discussed in the Winnipeg Tribune, December 20, 
1890. The lecture was later expanded into an article, "International 
Railway to Alaska," a manuscript copy of which is to be found in 
Taylor's letter-book, undated, following a letter dated November 28, 
1889. It was published in the Vancouver World between November 28 
and January 21, 1890, probably on December 25, 1889 (Taylor to 
W. F. Wharton, January 21, 1890; to J. T. Baker, January 24, 1890). 
On March 12, 1889, the Montreal Herald and Daily Commercial Gazette, 
in an editorial entitled "A Great Scheme" discussed Taylor's plan. 
The editorial concludes as follows: "Time has shown that the pre- 
dictions and theories of Consul Taylor on questions affecting that 
portion of the continent have been well thought out and singularly 
correct, and his enthusiasm for the development of civilization in 
barren places, and his entire disinterestedness in the scheme which he 
foreshadows give great weight to, and command serious attention for, 
his opinions on all that affects the northwestern portion of the Amer- 
ican continent." See also an editorial entitled "A Railroad of the 
Future" in the Utica Morning Herald, March 15, 1889. 



206 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

of the mighty Yukon, and thence to the Pacific Ocean. The 
land subsidies by the governments of British Columbia and the 
United States supplemented by a guarantee of 4% by the United 
States upon $50,000 per mile for a period of 25 years ; and the 
commerce and railway dividends sure to result from opening to 
the world 1,500 miles of continuous gold fields, consisting of 
the districts successively of Kootenay, Cariboo, Omineca, Cassiar, 
and Yukon, were claimed to be an ample warrant for the feasi- 
bility of the scheme in question with the great advantage that 
the southern terminus of the proposed line would be as con- 
venient of access from Portland and San Francisco as from 
Chicago. 1 

Taylor was now an old man. Although he suffered consid- 
erable inconvenience in the last two years of his life from "an 
affliction incidental to his advanced age," he was unwilling to 
give up his work ; 2 his letter-books are well kept up to the sum- 
mer of 1892. On April 18, 1893, Taylor was stricken with 
partial paralysis ; he died on the afternoon of April 28, almost 
seventy- four years old. 3 Fitting honors were paid to the dead 
consul, officially, and by great numbers of friends and admirers ; 
flags on Dominion government buildings flew at half-mast dur- 
ing his funeral services as a token of the respect and mourning 
of Canada. The remains of Taylor were removed to Utica, 
New York, where they were interred beside the graves of Mrs. 
Taylor and two daughters. 4 The East that is East and the 
West that is West had met in the life and services and death of 
James W. Taylor. 

1 Winnipeg Daily Tribune, December 20, 1890. 

2 An article of Taylor's on the "Wheat Area of Central Canada'' 
appeared in the New York Sun in the summer of 1891. Erastus Wiman, 
discussing this article in Harper's Weekly, 36: 174 (February 20, 1892), 
refers to Taylor as a man "whose knowledge of the great Northwest 
has been for many years a national possession." See Taylor to 
Wiman, May 20 and June 13, 1891; to C. A. Dana, June 13, 1891; to 
J. J. Hill, September 15, 1891. 

"'Manitoba Daily Free Press, April 29, 1893; St. Paul Pioneer Press, 
April 29, 1893; Taylor to Hastings, June 8, 1888. 

4 Mrs. Taylor died in 1882; one daughter, Harriet Taylor, died in 
1880. and another, Alice (Mrs. Charles L. Monfort), in 1887. Taylor 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 207 

CHARACTER AND PERSONALITY 

Taylor was preeminently a speaker, a writer, a scholar. Of 
a. judicious temperament, with a love for research and with 
great skill with the pen, he was a man whose writings carried 
weight. He did things thoroughly and conscientiously. Pos- 
sessed of a striking personality, Taylor was a gentleman of 
great charm and magnetism. In all the tributes that were paid 
him after his death, the emphasis was invariably upon the 
attractiveness and kindliness of his personality, and upon his 
uniform courtesy and gentleness. The tribute of Archbishop 
Fortin was representative of scores of appreciations. He said 
of Taylor : 

He was in a strange land, but not long a stranger among us, 
for the geniality of his disposition, the urbanity of his manner, 
the broad, generous catholic spirit which always guided his words 
and actions soon gathered around him a large number of friends 
and admirers. There was about him a charm, an attractiveness, 
a magnetism which no one could resist. I think I am safe in 
saying he had not a single enemy; all respected him and very 
many loved him. A man of first rate abilities, of keen observa- 
tion, of wide reading, he had gathered vast stores of useful and 
practical knowledge. Few will fail to recollect the delight of 
his conversation, which was always instructive and elevating. 
His knowledge of modern history was astonishing. There was 
not a fact connected with the settlement of this country or the 
development of the great American Republic with which he was 
not perfectly familiar, and the cheerfulness with which he would 
entertain his friends by his recital of his early experience en- 
deared him to them all. He was always the polished gentleman. 
There was in him a grace and ease of manner, a winning courtesy 
of deportment, a natural superiority altogether befitting a prince 
among men. 1 

The praise of Taylor is echoed in all the comments that his 
death drew forth. A St. Paul paper said of him : 

was survived by two daughters, Mrs. Charles L. Alden, of Troy, New 
York, and Elizabeth Taylor, who was studying art in Paris. 5V. Paul 
Pioneer Press, April 29, 1893. 

1 Manitoba Daily Free Press, May 1, 1893. 



208 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

His unalterable gentleness and courtesy in all his business and 
social intercourse with strangers or his neighbors made him a 
popular favorite at Winnipeg, as it had won the affection of his 
friends in every community where he had lived. Above all things 
he was at all times and in all respects a gentleman ; a gentleman 
not in demeanor only, but in thought and speech and feeling and 
taste; a kind-hearted, courteous, modest gentleman every inch 
of him and every day and hour of his life. 1 

In personal appearance Taylor bore a resemblance to Stephen 
A. Douglas. A large portrait of him, painted by V. A. Long* 
in 1893, was placed in the city hall of Winnipeg by the city 

council. The portrait is of Taylor as he appeared in his later 
years : with gray hair, a smooth-shaven face, blue eyes, a broad, 
intellectual forehead, fine features withal a kindly, attractive, 
powerful face. 

Taylor was a true nature-lover, fond of wandering on field 
and road, having, indeed, something of a roving, almost a vag- 
abond, spirit. 2 He was particularly fond of flowers, and took 
great delight in picking prairie flowers, especially early in the 
spring. It afforded him greater pleasure to share his flowers 
with others ; he was often seen on the streets of Winnipeg with 

+ a great basket filled with nosegays carried unconventionally 
upon his arm, distributing them among his delighted friends. 
To what extent this custom of Taylor's endeared him to the 
people of Winnipeg may be seen from an incident described by 
Charles E. Flandrau, writing in 1899: 

Having spoken of my dear old friend James W. Taylor I 
cannot omit to mention a most touching tribute paid to his 
memory by the people of Winnipeg. The municipality has placed 
upon the walls of its City Hall a fine portrait of the faithful 
consul, under which hangs a basket for the reception of flowers. 
Every spring each farmer entering the city plucks a wild flower, 
and puts it in the basket. The great love of a people could not 

1 St. Paul Pioneer Press, April 29, 1893. 

2 Personal interview of the writer, July 26, 1915, with Mr. C. N. 
Bell of Winnipeg, a gentleman who knew Taylor as a friend. 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 209 

be expressed in a more beautiful and pathetic manner, and no 
man was more worthy of it than Consul Taylor. 1 

Absolutely unconventional, and of unassuming nature, Tay- 
lor was content in his position as United States consul. An 
editorial writer declared of him that "he had the qualities which 
would have rendered him conspicuously successful in politics, 
law or in any career he had chosen, if he had not lacked the 
stimulus of ambition. Of this he was so utterly destitute that 
he was more than content with small employments which grati- 
fied his fondness for research and literary activity while with- 
drawing him from the harsh strifes and bitter struggles of par- 
ties and the greedy competitions of business ambition." 2 The 
fine unselfishness of his nature and the broad generosity of his 
spirit are revealed in almost all the records of his activity, but 
more especially in his letters. 

Perhaps the most striking of all Taylor's characteristics was 
his unconquerable faith in the West, and it is largely by this 
faith and enthusiasm, and by the work which he did in advanc- 
ing the interests of the West, that he must be judged. A 
writer in a Canadian newspaper said of him at his death : 
"Many years may yet pass before the full meaning of what he 
said and wrote will be realized." 3 Another said : "So closely 
. . . had Consul Taylor been identified with the history and 
development of our country, and so earnest a friend did he 
prove himself of it, that he attracted to himself an amount of 
respect and genuine love on the part of the public which few 
men ever accumulate even in their own land." 4 The Manitoba 
Free Press declared that there was no parallel of a citizen of 
one country laboring by tongue and pen so long, so disinterest- 
edly, so enthusiastically and persistently for the welfare and de- 
velopment of another and, in some sense, a rival country. "In 
thus loving the Canadian Northwest," the editor writes, "Con- 

1 St. Paul Globe, October 8, 1899. 

2 St. Paul Pioneer Press, April 29, 1893. 

3 Manitoba Daily Free Press, April 29, 1893. 

4 Winnipeg Daily Tribune, April 29, 1893. 



210 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

sul Taylor did not love his own country the less. He realized 
that the prosperity of this country and that of his own were 
inseparably connected, or that the American Northwest would 
share along with Canada the results of anything that he might 
do with tongue or pen to cause the latter to be appreciated and 
developed in a worthy manner." 1 

An account of the life of James Wickes Taylor and of his 
writings and their influence is the true summary of his contribu- 
tions to the development of the Northwest. It is certain that 
his part, if inconspicuous, was of no little importance in the 
westward movement; that he was one of that band of pioneers 
to whose clear vision, steadfast purpose, and fearless faith the 
wonderful Northwest owes its progress. 

WRITINGS OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 

So large a part of Taylor's work was done with the pen that 
it seems desirable to append to the sketch of his career a bibli- 
ography designed to include all books and pamphlets written 
by him and some of his more important newspaper articles. 
The list contains thirty-three items arranged in chronological 
order, copies of most of which are to be found in the library of 
the Minnesota Historical Society. A few additional items were 
located in the Manitoba Provincial Library at Winnipeg and 
one in the Library of Congress, while a few are known to the 
compiler by reference only. All such cases are indicated in 
the notes. 

Address delivered before the Hamilton Chapter of the Alpha 
Delta Phi Society, in the college chapel, Clinton, October 22, 
1840, on the life and character of George Langford Jr. Utica, 
Bush, pr., 1840. 11 p. 

The victim of intrigue ; a tale of Burr's conspiracy. Cincinnati, 
Robinson & Jones, 1847. xvi, 120 p. 

Thomson, Bibliography of Ohio, 338. Copy in the Library of Con- 
gress. 

1 Manitoba Daily Free Press. April 29, 1893. 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 211 

History of the state of Ohio, first period, 1650-1787. Cincinnati, 
Derby, 1854. 557 p. 

Thomson, Bibliography of Ohio, 338. 

The southwestern or Neosho route of a Pacific railway the ex- 
pediency of legislation in its favor by the Cherokee, Creek, and 
Choctaw nations. Cincinnati Railroad Record Supplement, 
March 3, 1856. 

Geographical memoir of a district of North America, extending 
from latitude 43 deg. 30 min. to 54 deg. and between Lakes 
Superior and Winnipeg and the Pacific Ocean. Cincinnati 
Railroad Record Supplement, April 14, 1856. 

A manual of the Ohio school system; consisting of an historical 
view of its progress, and a republication of the school laws in 
force. Cincinnati, Derby, 1857. 413 p. 

State boundary question description of the country between Red 
River and Lake Superior. St. Paul Advertiser, January 31, 
1857. 

The greater portion of this article is found also as appendix 3 
of Minnesota, Report from a Select Committee of the House of Repre- 
sentatives on the Overland Emigration Route from Minnesota to British 
Oregon, 47-53 (St. Paul, Goodrich, pr., 1858). 

The valleys of the James and Sioux rivers the Missouri slope of 
Minnesota. St. Paul Advertiser, February 21, 1857. 

State boundary question the value of the north and south line to 
southern Minnesota. St. Paul Advertiser, February 28, 1857. 

Region of North America, tributary to the navigation of the Red 
River of the North, and to the commerce of Minnesota. St. 
Paul Advertiser, April 11, 1857. 

[Report on an overland route from Minnesota to British Oregon.] 
St. Paul Daily Pioneer and Democrat, July 10, 1858. 

Mr. Taylor's report forms a part of the proceedings of a meet- 
ing of citizens held in St. Paul, July 7, 1858, appearing under the 
heading "Frazer River Gold Mine! Overland Route through Minne- 
sota and the Saskatchewan Valley." Also in Minnesota, Report 
from a Select Committee of the House of Representatives on the Over- 
land Route from Minnesota to British Oregon, 9-21 (St. Paul, Goodrich, 
pr., 1858) ; and in appendix to Minnesota, House Journal, 1858-59, pp. 
7-19, and appendix to Minnesota, Senate Journal, 1858-59, pp. 7-19. 



212 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

The railroad system of the stale of Minnesota with its connec- 
tions ; reported to the common council of the city of St. Paul, 
March 31, 1859, in pursuance of a resolution of the city coun- 
cil. St. Paul, Moore, pr., 1859. 22 p. 

Also as appendix to St. Paul Common Council, Proceedings, 1858- 
59 (St. Paul, Daily Minnesotian official print, 1858). Also in St. 
Paul Daily Times, April 3, 5-7, 1859, and in St. Paul Daily Pioneer 
and Democrat, April 5, 1859. Reissued with the addition of an 
introduction by W. R. Marshall as The Railroad System of the State 
of Minnesota with Its Railroad, Telegraphic, and Postal Connections. St. 
Paul, Pioneer Printing Company, pr., 1859. 24 p. 

Communication to Messrs. W. H. Nobles and S. B. Olmstead. 
St. Paul Daily Pioneer and Democrat, April 24, 1859. 

One of the documents accompanying the communication from 
Nobles and Olmstead to the city council of St. Paul, appearing 
under the heading "Exploration of the Northwest." Also in St. 
Paul Daily Times, April 24, 1859, under the heading "Exploration 
of the Valleys and Sources of the South Saskatchewan and Colum- 
bia Rivers." Also in St. Paul Common Council, Proceedings, 1858- 
59, pp. 223-26. 

Taylor's communication deals with "routes between the chan- 
nels of the Red River of Minnesota and Frazer River of British 
America." 

Northwest British America and its relations to the state of Minne- 
sota ; a report communicated to the legislature of Minnesota by 
Governor Ramsey, March 2d, and ordered to be printed. St. 
Paul, Newson, etc., pr., 1860. 42 p., map. 

Also, with the exception of appendices B and H, in the Daily 
Minnesotian and Times, March 11, 15, 16, 21-24, 1860. Another edi- 
tion "Printed as a Supplement to the Journal of the House of Rep- 
resentatives, Session of 1859-60." St. Paul, Newson, etc., 1860. 
54 p. On appendix A, see the following item. Appendix B, entitled 
"Geographical Memoir of the Red River and Saskatchewan District 
of British America," is also by Taylor. 

Central British America. Atlantic Monthly, 5 : 103-8 (January, 
1860). 

Evidence as to Taylor's authorship of this article can be found 
in the index volume, pp. 10, 100. It appears also as appendix A 
to the preceding item. 

Canadian reciprocity treaty some considerations in its favor. 
36 Congress, 1 session, House Executive Documents, vol. 13, 
no. 96, pp. 47-60 (serial 1057. [Washington, I860]). 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 213 

The document as a whole is a letter from the secretary of the 
treasury, dated June 16, 1860, communicating reports of Messrs. 
Hatch and Taylor, in reference to the operations of the reciprocity 
treaty. 

The Sioux war : What shall we do with it ? The Sioux Indians : 
What shall we do with them? St. Paul, Press Printing Com- 
pany, pr., 1862. 16 p. 

A reprint of articles appearing in the St. Paul Daily Press, Octo- 
ber 21-25, 1862. 

Alleghania ; a geographical and statistical memoir, exhibiting the 
strength of the Union, and the weakness of slavery, in the 
mountain districts of the South. St. Paul, James Davenport, 
1862. viii, 24 p. 

A reprint of a series of papers communicated to the St. Paul 
Daily Press, November 23, 24, 27, 28, December 3-5, 11, 12, 1861, with 
the addition of a dedicatory note and preface. 

Relations between the United States and Northwest British Amer- 
ica. [Washington, 1862.] 85 p., map, diagram. (37 Con- 
gress, 2 session, House Executive Documents, vol. 10, no. 146 
serial 1138.) 

Accompanied by a letter of transmittal from the secretary of 
the treasury, dated June 20, 1862. The document consists of letters 
from Taylor to Secretary Chase from July 10, 1861 to June 12, 1862, 
with accompanying inclosures, and a communication (also Taylor's), 
dated May 1, 1862, entitled "Geographical Memoir of Northwest 
British America, and Its Relations to the Revenue and Commerce 
of the United States" (pp. 45-85). The letters are preceded by 
an outline summary of their contents (pp. 2-18). 

Saint Paul letters, numbers 1-5. St. Paul Daily Press, January 
26-March 16, 1862. 

Mrs. Swisshelm, January 26; Minnesota Historical Society In- 
cidents of September 18, 1860 The Red River Bishop and the 
New York Senator Seward on the "Transverse Axis," January 
30; Stanton and Chase A Reminiscence of Ohio Politics, February 
8; The Saskatchewan Gold Fields, February 16; The Alleghany 
Campaign of General Fremont, March 16. The letters were un- 
signed, but Taylor, through his undoubted authorship of the second 
letter, may be credited with the entire series. See Minnesota His- 
torical Collections, 8: 57. 



214 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

The goldfields of the Northwest; to the Cariboo and Saskatche- 
wan mines through Minnesota and Selkirk. St. Paul Daily 
Press, April 10, 1862. 

The Sioux War ; what has been done by the Minnesota campaign 
of 1863 ; what should be done by a Dakota campaign of 1864 ; 
with some general remarks upon the Indian policy, past and 
future, of the United States. St. Paul, Press Printing Com- 
pany, pr., 1863. 16 p. 

A reprint of papers communicated to the St. Paul Daily Press 
of August 29, September 2, 9, and 12, 1863. 

Commercial relations with British America. [Washington, 1866.] 
36 p. (39 Congress, 1 session, House Executive Documents. 
no. 128 serial 1263.) 

Accompanied by a letter of transmittal from the secretary of 
the treasury, dated June 12, 1866. 

Gold mines east of the Rocky Mountains. [Washington, 1867.] 
28 p. (39 Congress, 2 session, House Executive Documents , 
no. 92 serial 1293.) 

Accompanied by a letter of transmittal from the secretary of 
the treasury, dated February 13, 1867. The document is also to 
be found in J. Ross Browne and James W. Taylor, Reports upon 
the Mineral Resources of the United States, 323-50 (Washington, 1867). 

Mineral resources east of the Rocky Mountains. [Washington, 
1868.] 72 p. (40 Congress, 2 session, House Executive Docu- 
ments, no. 273 serial 1343.) 

Accompanied by a letter of transmittal from the secretary of 
the treasury, dated May 2, 1868. Also as Report on the Mineral 
Resources of the United States East of the Rocky Mountains. Wash- 
ington, 1868. 72 p. This is bound with J. Ross Browne, Report on 
the Mineral Resources of the States and Territories West of the Rocky 
Mountains (Washington, 1868. 674 p.) in a volume entitled Reports 
on the Mineral Resources of the United States. 

[Two letters and supplementary papers relating to affairs on the 
Red River.] 41 Congress, 2 session, Senate Executive Docu- 
ments, no. 33, pp. 7, 17-52 (serial 1405. [Washington, 1870] ) . 
The document as a whole consists of "information relating to 
the presence of the Honorable William McDougall at Pembina, in 
Dakota Territory, and the opposition by the inhabitants of Selkirk 
settlement to his assumption of the office of governor of the North- 
west Territory," communicated by the president, February 2, 1870. 



r SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 215 

bnsular reports, 1871-92.] 
These reports to the state department are included in the House 
executive document entitled Commercial Relations of the United States 
for the sessions of Congress during the period covered by Taylor's 
consulate at Winnipeg, and in United States Consular Reports issued 
by the state department. For a more complete statement of these 
citations, see note 4, page 197. 

Central British America its physical and natural resources ; ex- 
tracts from the publications of Mr. J. W. Taylor, U. S. consul 
at Winnipeg. Manitoba, Minister of Agriculture, Reports, 
1880, appendix B, pp. 94-111 (Winnipeg, 1881). 
Copy in the provincial library, Winnipeg. 

Forest and fruit culture in Manitoba. Winnipeg, 1882. 19 p 

According to the American Journal of Forestry, p. 95 (November, 
1882), a reprint "from the Report of the Department of Agriculture 
and Statistics for Manitoba." A careful search in the library at 
Winnipeg failed to locate this report. The article was printed 
also in the proceedings of the first annual meeting of the American 
Forestry Congress, Montreal, August 21-23, 1882, published in two 
special numbers of the Montreal Herald; see the American Journal of 
Forestry, p. 64. 

Resources of the great Mackenzie basin. Canada, Report of the 
Select Committee of the Senate Appointed to Enquire into the 
Resources of the Great Mackenzie Basin, 150-55 (Ottawa, 
Chamberlin, pr., 1888. 310 p., maps). 

The report forms number 1 of the Appendices to the Twenty-second 
Volume of the Journals of the Senate of Canada. Copy in Minnesota 
State Library. 

[Three letters and supplementary papers relating to Louis Riel.] 
51 Congress, special Senate session, Senate Executive Docu- 
ments, no. 1, pp. 2, 3-5, 6-9 (serial 2613. [Washington, 
1889]). 

The document as a whole is a "report of the Secretary of State, 
with accompanying papers, in regard to the case of Louis Riel," 
communicated by the president, March 11, 1889. 

An international railway to Alaska. Vancouver World, 1889. 

A manuscript copy of this article is to be found in Taylor's let- 
ter-book, undated, following a letter bearing the date of November 
28, 1889. That the article appeared in the Vancouver World between 
that date and January 21, 1890, probably on December 25, is con- 



216 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

firmed by letters from Taylor to W. F. Wharton, January 21, 1890; 
to J. T. Baker, January 24, 1890. A file of the World was not acces- 
sible. 

Wheat area of central Canada. New York Sun, 1891. 

That this article appeared in the New York Sun during the sum- 
mer of 1891 is confirmed by letters from Taylor to Erastus Wiman, 
May 20 and June 13, 1891; to C. A. Dana, June 13, 1891; and to 
J. J. Hill, September 15, 1891. It has not been possible to consult 
a file of the Sun for the exact date of its appearance. 

THE TAYLOR PAPERS 

Shortly after the death of James W. Taylor in 1893, a trunk 
containing his papers, together with a number of books, 
pamphlets, newspapers, maps, and pictures, was deposited with 
the Minnesota Historical Society. This trunk remained un- 
touched in a storeroom until the spring of 1915, when it was 
discovered by Mr. Kellar, who was investigating the condition 
of the state archives in the Old Capitol. A hasty examination 
of the material soon disclosed its value, and the trunk was 
removed at once to the vaults of the society in the New Capitol. 
The books and pamphlets have been catalogued and placed in 
the society's library; the newspapers, not including clippings, 
have been turned over to the newspaper department, and the 
printed maps and pictures have been filed with the society's col- 
lections of similar material. The remaining material in the 
trunk, consisting of letters received by Taylor, letter-books, 
manuscripts of articles, speeches, etc., scrapbooks, and news- 
paper clippings, has been arranged and filed as the "Taylor 
Papers" in the society's manuscript collection. 1 

The value of these Taylor Papers lies largely in the original 
material which they contain on various phases of the history of 
the American and Canadian Northwest. Light is thrown upon 
the commercial and political relations of the United States and 
Canada, many of the documents in the collection dealing with 
such subjects as the settlement of the Northwest, imports and 

1 See ante, 134. Two ledgers also were found in the trunk, but they 
are not Taylor's and seem to be of little importance. 



SKETCH OF JAMES W. TAYLOR 217 

exports, annexation, reciprocity, railroad building, the Red 
River rebellion of 1869-70, the Fenian disturbance, and the 
Saskatchewan rebellion of 1885. Other documents relate to 
the internal political affairs of Minnesota, the United States, 
and Canada. Geography, exploration, and the agricultural 
capacity and development of the American and Canadian 
Northwest are dealt with extensively, and there is much valu- 
able material on the subject of railway development in the 
West, particularly on the Minnesota, Canadian, and trans- 
continental routes. The collection contains also valuable mate- 
rial upon the affairs of the province of Manitoba and upon the 
routine of the American consulate in Winnipeg. 

The letters to Taylor number approximately seventeen hun- 
dred, and date from 1859 to I ^93 although for the first ten 
years of this period they are not very numerous. 1 These letters 
came, in the main, from the state, treasury, and war depart- 
ments at Washington; from governors and other officials of 
Minnesota, Manitoba, and Canada; from railway officials, 
among whom may be noted Jay Cooke, George L. Becker, 
C. J. Brydges, and Donald Smith (Lord Strathcona) ; from 
congressmen; from persons who had business dealings with 
the Winnipeg consulate ; from newspaper men ; and from per- 
sonal friends. 

The letter-books date from 1869 to August, 1892. Down to 
1885 they are m the form of scratch tablets of a poor quality 
of paper upon which the letters were written with lead pencil, 
and in the earlier of these, many of the pages are badly torn, 
and some are missing entirely. What is left, however, can 
usually be deciphered. After 1885 bound notebooks were 
used, and from 1890 on the copies were written in ink in sep- 
arate books for official and unofficial correspondence. There 
are ten of these bound notebooks, and ten tablets, in all twenty 

1 Some of the early letters are very valuable, however; for example, 
two letters from Donald Gunn to Taylor, the one probably written 
in 1859, the other March 26, 1860, which describe in considerable detail 
the Red River settlement and country. 



218 THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

letter-books containing copies of about sixteen hundred letters. 
These deal with practically every phase of American-Canadian 
relations during the period covered', and are the fruits of care- 
ful investigation and observation. Taylor was particularly 
well informed on questions relating to railway development, 
commercial relations, the natural resources of the Canadian 
Northwest, and the political relations of the two countries. 
What he wrote on these subjects is authoritative. In addition 
to his numerous letters and reports to Washington 1 and his 
correspondence as consul, there are letters to such men as Pres- 
ident Buchanan, Edward Cooper, Hugh McCulloch, Thomas 
McGee, Joseph Howe, C. J. Brydges, Jay Cooke, Norman W. 
Kittson, Alexander Ramsey, William Windom, W. B. Ogden, 
Horace White, George L. Becker, James J. Porter, Hamilton 
Fish, J. Gregory Smith, Nathaniel P. Banks, A. B. Nettleton, 
F. H. Clarke, President Grant, J. C. Bancroft Davis, Donald 
Smith, James J. Hill, Governor Archibald of Manitoba, and 
John Jay Knox, to mention only a few. These letter-books 
are a valuable source for the history of the Northwest during 
the period which they represent, and on the whole they form 
the most important part of the Taylor Papers. 

There are over fifty manuscripts of speeches, essays, news- 
paper articles, and fragments in the collection, in all about four 
hundred and sixty manuscript pages. 2 Their value may be 
indicated by a few representative titles : Selkirk, The Cana- 
dian Northwest, Minnesota, Northwest Affairs, Central British 
America, Union with Canada, Inward Transportation from 
Bayfield to the Mississippi Valley, Western Railroads and the 
Navigation of the Red River, The Northern Pacific Railroad, 
Railroads and Immigration, Agriculture and Population, The 
Northern Boundary of Minnesota, The Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany, A Road from the Mouth of the Montreal to the Mouth 

1 Some of these reports have been published, but many of the most 
valuable ones have not. The rebellion of 1885 is reported in elaborate 
detail, contemporaneously with the events of that uprising. 

2 Many of these were published in newspapers or pamphlets. 



SKETCH OF JAMES W, TAYLOR 219 

of the Yellowstone, The Reciprocity Treaty, Public Lands, 
Fruits of the Northwest, The Overland Route to the Pacific, 
Indian Affairs, The Manitoba Railway. 1 Of the several manu- 
script maps in the collection, the most interesting is a sketch 
drawn in 1888 of the proposed location of the Alaska, British 
Columbia, and California International Railway. 

Two large scrapbooks of newspaper clippings cover the 
period from 1856 to 1870, and there is also a considerable 
number of loose clippings, many of which are gathered together 
in envelopes under a general subject heading. These clippings 
are mainly from papers published in the western part of the 
United States and Canada, 2 and the greater number of them 
fall between the years 1858 and 1863. Besides Taylor's own 
newspaper articles they contain a mass of material dealing with 
the Hudson's Bay Company, Selkirk and Saskatchewan, rail- 
ways, the Northwest, exploration, the Canadian and English 
parliaments, an overland mail route, and Minnesota politics. 

THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN 

1 A manuscript of seven pages on his father James W. Taylor 
contains valuable biographical material. 

2 There are some southern and New York clippings on the slavery 
question. 



REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

County Archives of the State of Illinois (Illinois State Historical 
Library, Collections, vol. 12, Bibliographical Series, vol. 3). 
By THEODORE CALVIN PEASE, University of Illinois. (Spring- 
field, Illinois State Historical Library, 1915. cxli, 730 p.) 

The liberal appropriations for research and publication made 
by the state of Illinois to its historical library are fully justified 
by the appearance of this valuable inventory of the public records 
in its county courthouses. Other states have in recent years 
recognized the importance of such records by providing for com- 
missioners to supervise their making and preservation, but Illinois 
alone has had the foresight to institute a comprehensive survey of 
the situation and to make the results of that survey available by 
publication. The amount of labor involved in such an enterprise 
is by no means inconsiderable, as can be seen from the fact that 
the work has been under way in Illinois since 1911. The expendi- 
ture of so much money and labor will never be regretted, however, 
for there is now available in print for the use not only of historical 
students but of all who are concerned with public records and 
who is not ? a detailed descriptive statement of just what records 
are to be found in each of the county depositories. 

While the bulk of the volume is of interest only to the people 
of Illinois, the introduction of one hundred and forty pages has 
a wide application. It is the only comprehensive study that has 
ever been made of American local records and sets forth clearly 
the character and content of such records, their historical value, 
and the necessity for revision and supervision of the methods by 
which they are made and cared for. The development of each 
recording office and of each class of records is traced from the 
beginning with constant reference to the controlling statutes. 
The frequency with which the laws of the state have been 
ignored or set at naught by the officials is surprising, but still 
more startling are the conclusions as to the safety of the existing 
records. Despite the fact that practically all the records of 
several counties have been destroyed by fire, entailing great incon- 

sta 



PEASE: ILLINOIS COUNTY ARCHIVES 221 

venience and financial loss to the community, as well as making 
impossible an adequate knowledge of its history, nearly half of 
the counties of the state are still without fireproof courthouses. 
Some counties have the more important records in supposedly 
fireproof vaults, but it is asserted that "in nearly one-fifth of the 
counties of Illinois, the records are in immediate danger of whole- 
sale destruction by fire." Nor is fire the only source of danger, 
for there are numerous instances of the wanton destruction of 
records by officials ignorant of their value. It is greatly to be 
hoped that the publication of this volume will arouse in officials 
and in the general public a greater sense of responsibility in 
archive matters, and that the excellent recommendations set forth 
will be made effective by legislation. 

In the body of the book the counties are taken up in alphabetical 
order, with the exception of Cook which is treated first. In each 
case an introductory note describes the courthouse and indicates 
the provisions for the care of the archives. Then follow itemized 
inventories, classified usually under such headings as county 
commissioners' and supervisors' records, county court records, 
taxation records, records of vital statistics, probate court records, 
records of wills, bonds, and letters, circuit court records, and 
recorders' records. For each item inclusive dates and the number 
of volumes or filing boxes are given, and generally the present 
location of the material is indicated. Too often serious gaps in 
the records are disclosed. 

The successful completion of this monumental work ought to 
stimulate other states to undertake a similar survey of their 
county archives. That the local records of Illinois have not been 
and are not being properly cared for is now definitely established. 
Is there any good reason for thinking that the situation is much 

better in the other states of the Northwest? err. 

b. J. B. 

Pioneer Laymen of North America. By the REV. T. J. 
CAMPBELL, S. J. Volume 1. (New York, The America 
Press, 1915. xvii, 287 p.) 

This is the first of two volumes designed as companion books 
to the author's Pioneer Priests of North America (New York, 
1908-11. 3 v.). It contains "condensed and somewhat rapid 



222 REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

narrations of the lives of" Cartier, Menendez, Champlain, 
Maisonneuve, Charles le Moyne, and Radisson. The Catholic 
point of view is apparent throughout, and the didactic and con- 
troversial character of the work can be inferred from a sentence 
of the introduction : "From all [of the characters treated] , how- 
ever, lessons of conduct may be learned, and, here and there, in 
the course of a narrative, it is possible to correct certain false 
appreciations of facts and motives which a class of biased 
writers have fastened on American history." Students of Minne- 
sota history will be most interested in the sketch of Radisson. 
Father Campbell assumes that the "two courageous young 
Frenchmen" who went into the interior in 1654 and returned in 
1656 were Radisson and Groseilliers, but he gives no details 
about their first western expedition. The expedition of 1658-60 
to Lake Superior and Minnesota is recounted briefly, and the 
alleged discovery of the Mississippi is discussed. The author 
apparently does not believe that Radisson saw the great river. 

The volume is illustrated with a number of portraits and con- 
tains a list of books consulted. There are no footnote references, 
and the index is quite inadequate. A number of misprints are 
corrected on an errata slip, but others may be noted, as "on" for 
"one" (p. 238). The "war-whoop" of the United States at the 
time of the Oregon controversy was not "Forty-four fifty" but 
"Fifty-four forty or fight" (p. 283). 

Minnesota, Its Story and Biography. By HENRY A. CASTLE and 
board of advisory editors. (Chicago and New York, The 
Lewis Publishing Company, 1915. 3 v.) 

In their origin and root meanings story and history are alike. 
The former word is used in the title of this work, apparently as 
a mere synonym of history ; but perhaps it is intended to carry a 
distinct significance, that the theme is treated in the style of the 
news reporter and editor. Twenty years in Minnesota journalism, 
between fifty and thirty years ago, gave to Captain Castle the 
skill and temperament which are discernible throughout volume 1, 
imparting enjoyable spice and flavor. Volumes 2 and 3 comprise 
about 1,760 biographical sketches of Minnesota people, mostly 






CASTLE: HISTORY OF MINNESOTA 223 

now living, who have been prominent in the activities of state 
building and development. 

Description and history of Minnesota, forming the first volume, 
are arranged in forty chapters. The first five relate chiefly to 
the physical geography, climate, early explorations, the Indian 
tribes and missions, and the fur-trade. Next are five chapters 
on the composite character of the immigration, from the older 
states and from foreign countries, by which this state has been 
settled, on early social conditions, on the boundaries of counties 
and the origin of their names, and on political history. Chapters 
11 and 15 comprise treaties and wars with the red men, records 
and incidents in the war for the Union and in the Spanish- Ameri- 
can War, and a concise cyclopedia of Minnesota chronology from 
1362 to 1915. Chapters 16 to 20 relate to the capitol and the 
state government, to the common school system and colleges and 
universities, to agricultural education and the state and county 
fairs, and to Minnesota art schools and collections. The next 
five chapters treat of the activities and influence of women, of 
the state correctional and benevolent institutions, of the Minnesota 
National Guard and patriotic societies and institutions, of mail, 
telegraph, and telephone service, and of Minnesota journalism, 
literature, and libraries. Chapters 26 to 30 take up the railway 
system, banking and commerce and the great industries, religious 
organizations, and the natural resources and state parks. Another 
group of five chapters treats of the mainly grain-raising parts of 
the state, of its dairy and live-stock regions, of its products of 
fruits and vegetables, and of its timbered and mineral regions. 
Finally, five chapters are devoted to historical and descriptive 
notices of the large towns and cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul 
having each about twenty pages. 

In covering so many subjects, of so diverse and wide range, 
some desirable parts of the narrative are scantily presented or 
even omitted ; and a judicial review of motives, and of the moral 
or even the prudential quality of the chief actors in the history 
of the state, is not usually attempted. A complete and critical 
history of Minnesota waits yet to be published ; but we are cer- 
tainly much indebted to the author of this work for his collection 
of abundant and very interesting parts of this history, written 
always in an attractive and instructive manner. 



224 REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

The index, which fills twenty double-column pages, is suffi- 
ciently reliable for its citations of biographies ; but it would be 
more convenient if some mark, as an asterisk, were to indicate 
such as are accompanied with portraits. In respect to other 
references the index is deficient of some which may be often 
sought by historical readers. For example, in a perusal of the 
first fifteen chapters the following references, besides many 
others, are found needful to be added : Adams, Rev. Moses N., 
61 ; Andrews, Gen. C. C, 122, 185 ; Baker, Gen. James H., 40, 131 ; 
Bemidji, Ojibway chief, 165-66; Brower, Hon. J. V., 2; Carver, 
Jonathan, 31, 75, 150, 216; Castle, Henry A., 12, 148, 202-8; 
Donnelly, Ignatius, 120-22; Du Luth, explorer, 26, 37, 215; 
Flandrau, Charles E., 59, 94, 95 ; Fort Snelling, 40-46 ; Gear, Rev. 
E. G., 57; Graham, Duncan, 39; Groseilliers, 23, 32-36, 215; 
Hammond, Gov. Winfield S., 132; Hennepin, explorer, 26, 37, 38; 
Hubbard, Gov. L. F., 120-22, 185; Ireland, Archbishop, 12, 15; 
Kemper, Bishop Jackson, 58 ; Le Sueur, explorer, 23, 24, 37, 38, 
149, 215; Long, Major Stephen H., 74; McMillan, Samuel J. R., 
125, 126; Nelson, Knute, 123 ; Ordinance of 1787, 75-79; Perrot, 
explorer, 23, 28 ; Pike, Zebulon M., 24, 75, 216 ; Pond, Samuel W., 
and Gideon H., 60, 61; Radisson, 23, 32-36, 215; Ramsey, 
Alexander, 125, 130, 131, 174; Renville, Gabriel, 177-82; Ren- 
ville, Joseph, 66; Rice, Henry M., 117, 122; Seward, William H., 
110; Sibley, Henry H., 70, 117, 122, 130, 175; Taliaferro, Law- 
rence, 153; Verendrye, 23; Williamson, Rev. T. S., 60, 61; 
Winchell, Prof. Newton H., 2, 3, 8, 9; Windom, William, 123, 129. 

For the biographies in this work, and in others sold like it by 
a canvass for subscribers, accuracy is generally attained as to 
dates, events, and names, because the details for the editor's use 
are supplied by the persons who are so commemorated, or, in the 
case of those who are deceased, by their kindred and friends. 
Much editorial care is also given to them, that they may receive 
the approval of subscribers who appear in the biographic list. 

WARREN UPHAM 



MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

At the stated meeting of the executive council on October 11 
a paper by Theodore C. Blegen on "J ames W. Taylor and Ameri- 
can-Canadian Relations, 1859-93" was read by the secretary in 
the absence of Mr. Blegen. This paper consisted of several sec- 
tions of the article by Mr. Blegen printed in this issue of the 
BULLETIN. At the December meeting of the council no papers 
will be read, but a report of the executive committee on the 
progress of the building will be presented, and an opportunity 
will be given for the members to examine the plans and specifica- 
tions. A plaster model of the building, which has been installed 
in the society's museum, also will be on exhibition. The annual 
meeting of the society will take place on Monday evening, January 
10, 1916. After a short business meeting in the rooms of the 
society, the annual address will be delivered in the senate chamber 
by President George E. Vincent of the University of Minnesota. 
His subject will be "The Social Memory." 

Reviews or notices, generally commendatory in character, of 
volume 15 of the Collections have been noted as follows : Ameri- 
can Review of Reviews, November (p. 636) ; Midland of Iowa 
City, August (p. 279) ; The Nation, September 23 (p. 388) : 
Iowa Journal of History and Politics, October (p. 582) ; Indiana 
Magazine of History, September (p. 276) ; St. Paul Pioneer 
Press, August 22 ; and Duluth Herald, August 7. The report of 
the museum committee on the Kensington Runestone, although 
originally published in separate form several years ago, appears to 
have attracted more attention than anything else in the volume. 
Identical notices of this report were published in the Battle Lake 
Review, July 29, and the North field Norzvegian American, July 
30. Other parts of the volume were reviewed in the Minneapolis 
Journal, August 15; West St. Paul Times, August 7; and North 
St. Paul Sentinel, August 27. The St. Paul Pioneer Press of 
September 5 printed a summary, with many quotations, of Mrs. 
Cathcart's "Sheaf of Remembrances"; and Dr. William E. 
Leonard's "Early Days in Minneapolis" was reprinted in full in 

225 



226 HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

the Minneapolis Journal under the heading "How a Boy Watched 
a Great City Grow." 

Mr. Warren Upham, who now holds the position of archeologist 
on the staff of the society, is engaged in the compilation of a 
work on "Minnesota Geographic Names." Including counties, 
townships, villages, cities, post offices, railroad stations, rivers, 
creeks, and lakes, there are some five thousand geographic names 
of historical significance in Minnesota. Mr. Upham is ascer- 
taining, by means of county histories and other publications, 
records in the county auditors' offices, and interviews with old 
settlers, the origin and significance of as many as possible of these 
names, and the results will be published as one of the volumes of 
the Collections. The necessary field work in twenty-two counties 
in the northern part of the state was done a number of years ago, 
and the compiler expects to visit the remaining counties during 
the summer of 1916. It is hoped that local antiquarians will 
render him as much assistance as possible. 

At a "book symposium," held by the Minnesota Library Asso- 
ciation, September 17, as part of one of the sessions of its annual 
meeting, the superintendent of the Minnesota Historical Society 
discussed the opportunities of local libraries for "Collecting Local 
History Material." On October 28 he spoke before a joint session 
of the history and civics and economics divisions of the Minnesota 
Educational Association on "What can be Done with Local, 
State, and Western History." 

Ungdommens Ven, a Norwegian magazine published in Minne- 
apolis, contains in the issue of July 15 an article on "The Minne- 
sota Historical Society Why of Particular Interest to Scandi- 
navians ?" by Theodore Blegen. The article is printed in English. 

BUILDING PROGRESS 

An unavoidable delay in sending this issue of the BULLETIN 
to the press makes possible an announcement of the actual 
beginning of work on the construction of the building for the 
society. The plans as originally drawn made provision in the 
building for the society, the state archives, and the public library 
commission. Later, however, in view of the crowded condition 



BUILDING PROGRESS 227 



of the capitol, it was decided to assign quarters in the building 
temporarily to the department of education as well, and this 
necessitated a revision of the plans and a giving-up by the society 
of its auditorium and other rooms. It is believed that the state 
will, in the near future, construct an office building to house its 
rapidly increasing activities, and when that time comes the space 
now assigned to the department of education will probably be 
restored to the society and the state archives. 

The plans having been accepted by all parties concerned, the 
architect advertised for bids October 22, 1915, November 16 being 
fixed as the date for the opening of the bids. Separate bids were 
called for on general construction, heating, plumbing, electrical 
work, and elevators. When the bids were opened on November 
16, the figures of the lowest bidders were so high as to make it 
appear that the building could not be constructed within the 
appropriation. The bid sheets, however, provided for various 
alternatives of material and types of construction and by taking 
advantage of these alternatives, it was possible to cut down very 
materially the amount of the figures. Certain changes were then 
made in the specifications for the building, the most important 
being the omission of the book stack equipment from the ground 
floor of the main stack room, and changes in the cutting and 
arrangement of the stone. No changes were made, however, 
which would seriously affect the first-class character of the 
building throughout. New bid sheets were drawn up providing 
for bids on the revised specifications, and the two lowest of the 
original bidders on general construction were invited to submit 
new bids. These were opened on November 29 and after a 
careful consideration of the various alternatives, the general con- 
struction contract was awarded on the following day to the 
George J. Grant Construction Company of St. Paul. The con- 
tracts for mechanical equipment were let December 3 on the basis 
of the original bids and alternatives as follows : heating, to 
George M. McGeary and Son of St. Paul; plumbing, to M. J. 
O'Neill of St. Paul; electrical equipment, to the Electrical Con- 
struction Company of St. Paul; elevators, to the Otis Elevator 
Company of Chicago. 

The wrecking of the house on the site and the work of excava- 
tion was begun by the contractor December 7, and it is expected 



228 HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

that the excavation will be completed and the tunnel to the heating 
plant constructed during the winter. The contract calls for the 
completion of the building on or before October 1, 1917, and if 
no unexpected obstacles are encountered it will probably be com- 
pleted several months before that date. A description of the 
building as it is now planned will be published in a future issue 
of the BULLETIN. 

GIFTS 

Mr. Victor Robertson has presented to the society a collection 
of papers, notes, and miscellanies of his father Colonel D. A. 
Robertson ; also a number of photographs of Minnesota pioneers ; 
two early publications on the city of Superior, Wisconsin; a 
Chinese book ; a work entitled The Jews at K'ai-Fung-Foo, pub- 
lished at Shanghai in 1851 ; and several other pamphlets. Mr. 
Robertson has also been instrumental in securing gifts for the 
society from others and has taken steps which, it is hoped, will 
lead to the future acquisition of several important collections of 
papers. 

Hon. Julius A. Schmahl has presented a manuscript copy of a 
"History of the Newspapers of Redwood County, Minnesota," 
which he has just completed. Mr. Schmahl was editor of the 
Redwood Falls Gazette from 1892 to 1906, when he was elected 
secretary of state. It is expected that some arrangement will be 
made for the publication of the paper. From Mr. Schmahl has 
also been received a copy of the Redwood Falls Patriot for May 
4, 1869. This was the first paper published in the county, and no 
other issue is known to be in existence. The editor of the 
Patriot was Colonel Samuel McPhail. ' 

Mr. W. A. Marin of Crookston has presented a typewritten 
copy of an interview on October 1, 1914, with Benjamin Dalbec, 
also of Crookston, containing the latter 's recollections of the 
treaty negotiated by Governor Ramsey with the Ojibways at the 
Old Crossing of the Red Lake River, October 2, 1863. 

From the Read's Landing Association of the Twin Cities 
through its president, Mr. Fred A. Bill, an interesting relic has 
been received in the shape of a large United States flag made by 









GIFTS 229 

the ladies of Read's Landing, Minnesota, in 1862. The flag was 
accompanied by a letter of presentation from the officers of the 
association which contains a detailed account of its history. From 
this it appears that the raising of a Confederate flag in the village 
by a party of southern sympathizers in the summer of 1862 called 
attention to the fact that the Republican Club had no flag, and so 
the ladies proceeded to make one from such materials as could 
be secured in the local stores. A flag pole one hundred and ten 
feet high was prepared by the club, and the "raising" was quite 
an event. The speaker engaged to come down from St. Paul 
failed to appear, so "the address of the day was delivered by 
Judge William Cady, a resident of the village with more than a 
local reputation." After the war the flag became the property of 
Henry Burkhardt who took it to Crookston, and in July, 1915, his 
son Otto Burkhardt presented it to the association. 

From Mr. J. T. Gerould, librarian of the University of Minne- 
sota, the society has received a number of copies of old news- 
papers. Of especial interest among them are the Richmond 
(Virginia) Enquirer, April 22, 1863, February 27 and November 
9, 1864, the Richmond Examiner, June 5, 1863, the Sentinel of 
Richmond, March 23, 1864, Brownlow's Knoxville Whig and 
Rebel Vindicator, January 9, 1864, and the Savannah Republican, 
June 3, 1865. These will be welcome additions to the collection 
of miscellaneous newspapers. 

A number of scrapbooks and papers of Rev. E. D. Neill, an 
early secretary of the society and historical writer, together with 
annotated copies of some of his books, have been received from 
his daughter Miss Minnesota Neill of Helena, Montana. 

From Mr. Robert L. Schofield of Tacoma, Washington, have 
been received a number of museum articles including a pair of 
skates purchased in Red Wing in 1856, and an old trunk covered 
with calfskin which belonged to his grandfather Simeon Dibble of 
New York and was brought to Northfield in 1854. 

The firm of C. J. Hibbard and Company, commercial and view 
photographers of Minneapolis, has presented a number of nega- 
tives made on the occasion of the laying of the corner stone of 
Capitol and others of the completed building made in 1908. 



230 HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

The firm of Lee Brothers, photographers of Minneapolis, has 
undertaken to furnish the society with a collection of fine large 
photographs of prominent people of Minnesota. Lists have been 
compiled from Who's Who in America and other sources, and 
each individual whose name appears in the lists will be invited to 
have a picture taken without expense to himself or to the society.. 
It is hoped that all will respond promptly to the invitation, as 
such a collection, if it can be made reasonably complete, will be 
of great value, and this value will increase as time passes and 
new generations come on the stage. 

Mrs. John Farrington of St. Paul has presented a number of 
photographs of pioneer men and women of St. Paul, including 
those of Mrs. Henry M. Rice, Mrs. William Hollinshead, Miss 
Eliza Ann Gill, and Colonel Alexander Wilkin. Mr. Charles 
Borup presented framed pictures of his father Theodore C. Borup 
and of his grandfather Dr. Charles W. Borup. Both of these 
donations were secured for the society by Mr. Victor Robertson. 

From Miss Delia E. Chaney of St. Paul has been received a 
collection of books and papers of her father Josiah B. Chaney ,, 
who had charge of the society's newspaper department from 1887 
to 1908. These include two record books of the St. Paul Academy 
of Natural Sciences, 1870-83. 

A large framed "View of St. Anthony, Minneapolis and St. 
Anthony's Falls (from Cheever's Tower) drawn from nature 
by E. Whitefield" and published at St. Anthony in 1857 has been 
presented by Miss K. E. Hart of St. Paul. The picture is number 
39 of "Whitefield's Original Views of North American Cities" 
and only two or three other copies are known to be in existence. 

From Mr. O. G. Hinkleman of Watertown, South Dakota, has 
been received a souvenir badge of the Philadelphia centennial. 



NEWS AND COMMENT 

The rapidly growing set of Illinois Historical Collections has 
recently been increased by the publication of two volumes, one 
of which is reviewed elsewhere in this number. Volume 10 of the 
set, which is the first volume of the British Series, is entitled The 
Critical Period, 1763-1765, and is edited by Clarence W. Alvord 
and Clarence E. Carter (Springfield, 1915. Ivii, 597 p.). It con- 
tains a very complete collection of documents gathered from all 
parts of the United States, France, England, and Canada, illustra- 
tive of conditions in the Illinois country during these years, of the 
attempts of the British to occupy the country, and of the plans 
for the organization and government of the interior. Many of 
these documents are necessarily of significance for the history of 
the whole northwestern region. A second volume of the series 
is in press, and three or four others which are to follow in rapid 
succession will carry the story to the end of the British period 
in 1778. 

The New York Historical Association has recently published 
as volume 13 of its Proceedings (1914. 476 p.) the papers read 
at its fifteenth annual meeting held at Oswego, September 29 to 
October 2, 1913. One of these papers, by Hon. James A. Holden, 
the state historian, is of general interest. Under the title "How 
the State and the Historical Association may be of Mutual 
Assistance," Mr. Holden sketches the historical work done under 
the auspices of the state in the past and outlines plans for the 
future. The recent combination of the work of the state library, 
the state archivist, the supervisor of records, and the state his- 
torian, under the education department, is dwelt upon, and a 
valuable survey is presented of the organization and activities of 
state historical societies and departments throughout the country 
and especially of their relations to, and support by, the state gov- 
ernments. This survey is based upon twenty-five replies to a 
questionnaire which was sent to all the states of the Union. 

A California Historical Survey Commission was established by 
the last legislature for the purpose of making "a survey of the 

231 



232 NEWS AND COMMENT 

material on local history within the State of California by inves- 
tigating documents in local depositories and in the possession of 
private individuals and other sources of original information on 
the early history of the State of California and to compile and 
keep a record of such sources of information." The act estab- 
lishing the commission, which went into effect August 11, appar- 
ently contemplates a permanent organization. The three mem- 
bers, who serve without pay, are to be appointed by the governor, 
two of them, however, upon nomination by the regents of the 
University of California and the officers of the Native Sons of 
the Golden West, respectively. Ten thousand dollars was appro- 
priated for the expenses of the work, which, it is understood, will 
be carried on under the direction of the commission by Mr. Owen 
C. Coy. 

The following information about the situation with reference 
to public archives in various states of the Union is gleaned from 
the report of the public archives committee of the National Asso- 
ciation of State Libraries, published in the Bulletin of the Ameri- 
can Library Association for July, 1915. The last California 
legislature appropriated thirty-five hundred dollars for the pur- 
chase and installation of equipment to be used for the filing and 
preservation of documents in the state archives (Statutes, 1915, 
ch. 354) . About one third of the probate districts of Connecticut 
have deposited their files in the state library, and a part of these, 
numbering three hundred and fifty thousand manuscripts, have 
been repaired and classified so that they are now easily accessible. 
Legislation has been secured to enforce the use of permanent inks 
and papers for the making of records throughout the state. The 
regular appropriation for archives work has been' increased from 
fifty-five hundred to sixty-five hundred dollars. In Iowa an index 
in the form of an inventory has been prepared for nearly all of 
the seventy thousand boxes and bound volumes of manuscript 
material which have been classified and filed by the archives 
department. A more detailed index of the papers of the territorial 
assembly is in course of preparation. The secretary of the State 
Historical Society of Nebraska reports that the society is charged 
with the care of the archives of the state, but has accomplished 
nothing as yet because of lack of space. In New York several 



NEWS AND COMMENT 233 

towns have recently sent their older records to the division of 
public records of the state library for permanent preservation. 
Many counties, cities, towns, and villages have been forced by 
state law to purchase safes or otherwise to make provision for 
the preservation of their records. Similarly in Rhode Island the 
state record commissioner has induced a number of towns to 
purchase fireproof receptacles for their records. In general the 
report shows that the importance of state and local archives is 
coming more and more to be recognized, but there is still a 
deplorable lack of attention to the subject in a number of states. 

At the fifteenth annual meeting of the State Literary and His- 
torical Association of North Carolina in December, 1914, one of 
the sessions was devoted to a conference on local history at which 
such subjects as the classes of material to be used, the importance 
of economic and social factors, and ways and means of securing 
the preparation of the right sort of county histories were dis- 
cussed in a very practical way. The papers read at the conference 
are included in the Proceedings of the association published by the 
North Carolina Historical Commission as number 18 of its 
Bulletins (Raleigh, 1915. 150 p.). 

The semi-centennial of the admission of Nebraska to the Union 
occurs in 1917, and the state historical society has appointed a 
large committee of citizens to arrange for the celebration of the 
event. In Indiana and Illinois elaborate plans are being developed 
for centennial celebrations in 1916 and 1918 respectively. 

The Pennsylvania Historical Society has recently acquired a 
large collection of papers of Jay Cooke. In view of his connec- 
tions with Minnesota railroad enterprises these papers ought to 
contain much material of value for the history of Minnesota. 

Under the title "Preserving the Records of the West" in the 
Manitoba Free Press of October 16, Isaac Cowie reviews the 
work of the State Historical Society of North Dakota, including 
the four volumes of Collections which it has published. Atten- 
tion is then called to the comatose state of the Historical and 
Scientific Society of Manitoba, and it is pointed out that the 
newer prairie provinces are more progressive than Manitoba in 
caring for their historical and archival interests. Mr. Cowie is 



234 NEWS AND COMMENT 

doubtless also to be credited with the article signed "I. C." in the 
issue of the same paper for October 9. This is entitled "When the 
First Railway Locomotive Reached Manitoba Thirty-eight Years 
Ago" and tells, by means of extracts from contemporary papers, 
the story of the transportation of the old "Countess of Dufferin" 
down the Red River from Fisher's Landing in Minnesota to 
Winnipeg in 1877. The engine and several cars were loaded on 
barges and towed by the steamer "Selkirk." 

Minnesota people will be interested in the articles in volume 
15 (just out) of the New International Encyclopedia on Minne- 
apolis, Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, Minnehaha, Minnesota, 
University of Minnesota, and Minnesota River. The historical 
sections of the articles on Minnesota and Minneapolis contain a 
number of inaccurate statements. 

Forty Years in Canada by Colonel S. B. Steele (New York, 
1915. xv, 428 p.) contains "reminiscences of the great North- 
West with some account of his service in South Africa." Colonel 
Steele was for many years connected with the Northwest Mounted 
Police, and his book throws light on the development of the 
western provinces, the history of which has many points of con- 
tact with that of Minnesota. 

The Diplomacy of the War of 1812 by Frank A. Updyke (Bal- 
timore, 1915. x, 494 p.) has been issued by Johns Hopkins Univer- 
sity in its series of Albert Shaw Lectures on Diplomatic History. 
Among the subjects dealt with which have a special bearing on 
Minnesota history are the proposition for the establishment of a 
buffer Indian territory between the United States and Canada 
and the controversy over the boundary from Lake Huron to the 
Lake of the Woods. 

The last section of Professor Knut Gjerset's History of the 
Norwegian People (New York, Macmillan, 1915. 2 v.) deals 
with Norwegian emigration to America and the Norwegians in 
the United States. 

Volume 21 of the Collections of the Wisconsin Historical 
Society (Madison, 1915. 573 p.) consists of a comprehensive 
analytical index to the preceding twenty volumes of this set. 



NEWS AND COMMENT 235 

All workers in the field of western history will find this volume 
an indispensable key to a well-known storehouse of valuable 
material. 

In the October number of the Annals of Iowa Mr. Stiles con- 
tinues his outline of the classification of the state archives, dealing 
in this issue with the office of the state treasurer. The number 
contains also a suggestive editorial on "The Custody and Use of 
Historical Materials." 

"Political Parties in the United States, 1800-1914" is the title 
of a valuable bibliography by Alta Claflin in the Bulletin of the 
New York Public Library for September. 

Students interested in the history of the Lutheran element in 
the Northwest will find some valuable information in the recently 
issued Minutes of the twenty-fifth annual convention of the Eng- 
lish Evangelical Lutheran Synod of the Northwest, held in Min- 
neapolis, Minnesota, June 1-4, 1915 (Milwaukee, [1915]. 95 p.). 

The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company has brought out Iowa, 
Its History and Its Foremost Citizens by Johnson Brigham, state 
librarian (Chicago, 1915. 3 v.). The first volume is a narrative 
history with sections devoted to "Historical Biographies." The 
second and third volumes are entirely biographical. 

Five account-books of the American Fur Company at Michili- 
mackinac, 1817-34, have recently been acquired by the Public 
Archives of Canada. These doubtless throw light on the fur- 
trade in Minnesota during that period. 

Famous Living Americans, edited by Mary and Edna Webb 
(Greencastle, Indiana, 1915. 594 p.), contains brief biographies 
of forty-three men and women of prominence. The only repre- 
sentative of Minnesota in the list is James J. Hill, whose career 
is sketched appreciatively by Andrew T. Weaver of Northwestern 
University. 

"James H. Shields: An Appreciation" is the title of a brief 
article by General John B. O'Meara in volume 14 of the Jour- 
nal of the American Irish Historical Society (New York, 1915. 
393 p.). It is illustrated with a photograph of the statue of 
General Shields recently erected at Carrollton, Missouri. 



236 NEWS AND COMMENT 

Teachers who are looking for material on Minnesota history 
suitable for use by children should know of The Story of Minne- 
sota by Hubert M. Skinner (1913. 32 p.). It is number 521 of 
the Instructor Literature Series published by Hall and McCreary 
of Chicago and can be obtained for the small sum of five cents. 
On the whole the booklet is well written and accurate. 

Under the heading "A Great American Churchman" the Nation 
of September 2 contains an appreciative sketch of the career of 
Archbishop John Ireland. The article is in the "Notes from the 
Capital" by "Vieillard." 

The firms which prepare and publish histories of the com- 
mercial type appear to be unusually active in Minnesota at the 
present time. Besides the Lewis Publishing Company of Chi- 
cago, which produced Captain Castle's History of Minnesota, 
reviewed elsewhere in this number, at least three firms are oper- 
ating in the state. Works have been issued recently on Carver 
and Hennepin counties (together) by Henry Taylor and Com- 
pany of Chicago; on Stearns County by H. C. Cooper Jr. and 
Company of Chicago; and on Morrison and Todd counties (to- 
gether) by B. F. Bowen and Company of Indianapolis. These 
will be reviewed later in the BULLETIN. Similar histories are 
announced as in preparation on Renville, Redwood, and McLeod 
counties by Cooper, and on Ottertail, Grant and Douglas, Nicollet 
and Le Sueur, and Brown by Bowen. 

On August 26 and 27 in the open-air stadium of Anoka was 
staged an elaborate historical pageant, reproducing in fifteen 
tableaux representative scenes of the town's history from the 
earliest times. The pageant was written by Roe G. Chase of the 
Anoka Herald, and the task of presenting it was undertaken by 
fifteen clubs and organizations of Anoka. Over three hundred 
persons took part in the different tableaux. An idea of the 
character of the production may be gained from the subjects of the 
scenes represented: the mound-builders; the coming of the In- 
dians ; the coming of the white man, 1659 ; the coming of Father 
Hennepin, 1680; Captain Jonathan Carver, 1766; the new town 
started, 1852; the first Fourth of July celebration, 1855; the 
first volunteer, April 15, 1861 ; Company A, Eighth Minnesota 



NEWS AND COMMENT 237 

Infantry, 1862 ; during the war, 1863 ; the heroes return, 1865 ; 
the town burns, 1884; and the pioneers. 

The Old Trails Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolu- 
tion, has placed upon the walls of the historic round tower at 
Fort Snelling a bronze tablet in memory of Colonel Henry Leav- 
enworth and his command of one hundred men, who, in 1819, 
were the first soldiers to occupy the reservation. The unveiling 
of the tablet took place on September 11, 1915, in the presence 
of several hundred people. Mrs. Richard Chute, a member of 
the chapter and a resident of the state since territorial days, pre- 
sented the tablet to the United States and to the state of Min- 
nesota. Major John F. Madden, commandant at the post, made 
the speech of acceptance on behalf of the United States, and 
Governor W. S. Hammond, on behalf of the state. In the prin- 
cipal address Mrs. James T. Morris, regent of the Old Trails 
Chapter, sketched the history of the Fort Snelling reservation ; 
former Governor S. R. Van Sant spoke on "What the Mississippi 
has Meant to Our Country," and Levi Longfellow, on "Minne- 
sota's Part in the Civil War." One of the most interesting fea- 
tures of the occasion was the placing of sixty wreaths of white 
roses about the tablet in memory of the sixty unknown soldiers 
of Colonel Leavenworth's command who died during the winter 
of 1819-20, by a band of children, most of whom were descend- 
ants of Minnesota pioneers. 

The November 3 issue of the Manitoba Free Press gives an 
account of the Indian Treaty Memorial which was to be unveiled 
on November 9 at Fort Qu'Appelle. The monument was erected 
by the Saskatchewan branch of the Western Art Association and 
commemorates the signing of the first treaty between the gov- 
ernment of Great Britain and the Indians of the Northwest ter- 
ritories, September 15, 1874, by which territory comprising the 
greater part of the present province of Saskatchewan was sur- 
rendered by the Indians. 

To commemorate the sixty-seventh anniversary of the Still- 
water convention of August 26, 1848, which drew up and pre- 
sented to Congress a memorial asking the organization of the 
territory of Minnesota, the Minnesota Territorial Pioneers' Asso- 



238 NEWS AND COMMENT 

ciation planned an old-time river-men's excursion down the Mis- 
sissippi from St. Paul to Stillwater, August 25, 1915. Nearly 
three hundred persons made the trip, among them about one hun- 
dred and fifty of the "real territorials, including most of the old 
captains." Among those on board was Auguste L. Larpenteur 
of St. Paul, the sole surviving delegate to the 1848 convention. 
Incidents of the trip and bits of talk reminiscent of early days 
are interestingly reported by the Minneapolis Journal of August 
26 under the heading "Three Pioneers Tell about Beginning of 
Minnesota." 

The nineteenth annual convention and reunion of the Nor- 
wegian Pioneers' Association of America was held at Red Wing, 
October 7 and 8, 1915. Many of the early Norwegian settlers 
of Goodhue, Pierce, and Wabasha counties attended the meet- 
ings. The convention closed with a banquet, attended by some 
one hundred persons, at which a number of interesting reminis- 
cent and patriotic speeches were given by notable men of Nor- 
wegian nationality. 

The forty-first annual convention of the St. Croix Valley Old 
Settlers' Association was held in Stillwater, September 15, 1915. 
An invitation was extended to all territorial pioneers who came 
to Washington County prior to 1850 to attend the meeting. Six- 
teen persons were present. 

Special services were held in Fergus Falls, October 30 and 31, 
1915, to commemorate the forty-fifth anniversary of the found- 
ing of the Swedish Baptist Church of that city. The October 
30 issue of the Fergus Falls Journal contains a brief historical 
sketch of the church and of the part it has played in the social 
and religious life of the community. 

The Minneapolis Journal of September 22 announced the exca- 
vation near Minnehaha Falls of a large stone slab with what 
afterwards proved to be the Spanish coat of arms carved upon 
it. Considerable interest was aroused by the "find," and it was 
exploited at length in the newspapers with elaborate speculations 
as to its origin. Theories connecting it with the expeditions of 
Coronado, De Soto, and Cabeza de Vaca became untenable when 
it was pointed out that the fleur-de-lis which appears on a small 



NEWS AND COMMENT 239 

medallion in the center of the carving was not a part of the 
Spanish coat of arms until after the accession of the Bourbon- 
Angevin line to the Spanish throne in 1701. An enterprising 
newspaper writer then put forth the theory that the stone was 
set up by survivors of a "lost expedition" from Santa Fe in 
1720. The "mystery" was cleared up about a month later, when 
a police officer in Minneapolis, who had been a private in the 
United States army in the Philippines, announced that the stone 
was brought from the Philippines to Fort Snelling by an officer 
of the Twenty-first United States Infantry in 1902. Later it was 
discarded, and two privates carried it off and hid it in the bushes. 
From other evidence it appears that a resident of the neighbor- 
hood took possession of the stone about nine years ago and used 
it as a doorstep to his house for a number of years. When the 
house was demolished, the stone doubtless fell into the cellar, 
whence it was "excavated." 

The letter from Aaron Foster published in the "Selections 
from the Murray Papers" in the last issue of the BULLETIN con- 
tains a reference to a Dr. Day among the "St. Paul Boys" in 
Leavenworth and a footnote states that this was "probably Dr. 
David Day." To Dr. John M. Armstrong of St. Paul, who has 
a wealth of lore about Minnesota medical history at his command, 
we are indebted for the following information. The Dr. Day 
referred to was Dr. John Harvey Day, a brother of Dr. David 
Day. The former was born in Virginia in 1816. He arrived in 
St. Paul in 1851 after a brief residence in Stillwater, probably 
to take up the practice of his brother who went to Long Prairie 
to serve as physician to the Winnebago Indians. Dr. J. H. Day 
served in the territorial legislature in 1854 and in September of 
that year moved to Leavenworth. Later he removed to Walla 
Walla, Washington, where he died in 1897. Dr. Armstrong gives 
as reference the Minnesota Pioneer, October 16, 1851, May 2 
and August 19, 1854. 

MINNESOTA PUBLICATIONS 

The Yearbook of the Minnesota State Federation of Labor 
(1915. 79 p.) contains a "History of the Labor Movement of 
Minnesota" compiled by W. E. M'Ewen, historian of the federa- 



240 NEWS AND COMMENT 

tion and formerly state commissioner of labor. This is an ex- 
pansion of a briefer sketch published in the preceding Yearbook,. 
the additional matter relating principally to the activities of the 
St. Paul Trades and Labor Assembly from 1882 to 1893. The 
work is a collection of data and documentary materials rather 
than a history, but it will be useful to students of the subject. 
It is worthy of note that the early records of many important 
organizations, including the state federation itself, are reported 
as lost. The only way to insure the preservation of such material 
is to deposit it in the library of the Minnesota Historical Society 
or some other institution equipped with the facilities for caring 
for it. The compiler found in the society's library copies of the 
charter of the second trade union organized in Minnesota, in 
1859, and of the constitution and by-laws of a local union of the 
Working Men's Association of the United States, organized in 
1873. These are important documents, and it is doubtful if other 
copies are in existence. Besides the Yearbook the federation 
has published the Proceedings of its thirty-third convention held 
at Winona, July 19-21, 1915 (144 p.). 

A Bulletin for Teachers of History, by Dr. August C. Krey,. 
has been issued by the University of Minnesota as number 7 of 
its Current Problems series (Minneapolis, 1915. 20 p.). It treats 
critically of such important topics as the teacher's preparation, 
materials for the history course, and methods of teaching. The 
many practical suggestions are accompanied by concrete biblio- 
graphical references. The importance of local history as a field 
for advanced work on the part of high-school teachers and 
students is indicated, and it is pointed out that the cultivation 
of this field brings the teacher and the community into direct 
contact. Attention is called to the work of the Minnesota His- 
torical Society and especially to the MINNESOTA HISTORY BUL- 
LETIN. 

A very useful Bibliography of Minnesota Mining and Geology, 
by Winifred Gregory, has been issued by the Minnesota School 
of Mines Experiment Station as number 4 of its Bulletins (Min- 
neapolis, University of Minnesota, 1915. 157 p.). It contains 
nearly a thousand items, many with annotations, and covers not 
only books but articles in periodicals and collections of various- 



NEWS AND COMMENT 241 

sorts. A comprehensive index adds materially to the value of 
the work. 

Barley Investigations, by C. P. Bull of the division of agronomy 
and farm management of the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment 
Station, has been issued by the station as Bulletin 148 (Univer- 
sity Farm, St. Paul, 1915. 47 p.). Mr. Bull is also the author 
of Bulletin 149, entitled Corn, part 1 of which deals with the 
relation of cultivation to the yield and character of the crop, and 
part 2 with the relation of the number of stalks per hill to the 
yield (University Farm, St. Paul, 1915. 23 p.). In Bulletin 150 
on Tobacco-Growing in Minnesota (University Farm, St. Paul, 
1915. 47 p.) Mr. Bull gives the results of the investigations 
which have been conducted in the state since 1910 with a view 
to stimulating the production of tobacco for market; the grades 
best suited to the soil and climate of Minnesota are described, 
and directions for the care and cultivation of the growing crop 
and for the harvesting, curing, and marketing of the matured 
plants are given in detail. 

The Lawyers' Cooperative Publishing Company has issued vol- 
ume 129 of Minnesota Reports (St. Paul, 1915. xx, 644 p.) cov- 
ering cases argued and determined in the supreme court from 
March 5 to June 4, 1915. Henry Burleigh Wenzell is the reporter. 

A book which will be most useful to those visiting St. Paul and 
to its own citizens, as well as of value to its future historians, is 
The City of Saint Paul and Vicinity, issued by George F. C. Paul 
(St. Paul, c. 1915. 173 p.). The topics treated are arranged 
alphabetically, and the volume contains maps and numerous illus- 
trations. 

Wheat and Flour Primer, an attractive booklet issued by the 
Washburn-Crosby Company of Minneapolis (20 p.), is written, 
as its title indicates, for children ; in simple words the history of 
a grain of wheat is traced from the time of its sowing until, after 
passing through the various stages of the milling process, it 
leaves the mill, in the form of flour. 

The Irish Standard published in September its thirtieth anniver- 
sary number (Minneapolis, 1915. 184 p.). Besides papers and 
editorial comments of especial interest to Irish-Americans and 



242 NEWS AND COMMENT 

communicants of the Roman Catholic Church, the volume con- 
tains descriptive articles, including brief historical statements, on 
one hundred and twenty-seven leading cities and towns of Min- 
nesota and North Dakota. Portraits of prominent Catholic 
churchmen and numerous other illustrations contribute to the 
value of the publication. 

The Seventh Y ear-Book of the St. Paul Institute (St. Paul, 
1915. vi, 204 p.) records the progress made during the year end- 
ing May 31, 1915, along the various lines of institute activity: 
literary, scientific, artistic, musical, and educational. Some 
account is given also of the origin of the institute and what it was 
able to accomplish in its early years from 1908 to 1913, including 
a description of its museum and art gallery and of its evening 
schools. 

The Twenty-sixth Annual Report of the Great Northern Rail- 
way Company is a complete and valuable statement of the 
resources, earnings, and cost of maintenance of the Great North- 
ern system for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1915 (49 p.). 

The Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Minnesota has 
issued the Minutes of its thirty-ninth annual meeting held at Fair- 
mont, August 24-27, 1915 (Minneapolis, 1915. 154 p.). The vol- 
ume contains a detailed report of the various activities of this 
organization. 

The commissioner of insurance, S. D. Works, has transmitted 
to the governor of the state the Forty-fourth Annual Report of 
the insurance department covering the year ending June 1, 1915 
(Minneapolis, 1915. 230 p.). 

The St. Paul Seminary has issued its Register for 1915, con- 
taining announcements of its courses of study for the year 1915- 
16 ([St. Paul, 1915.] 108 p.). 

Number 8 of volume 3 of Ah La Ha Sa, a publication issued 
monthly during the school year by the students of Albert Lea 
High School, is the Annual for 1915. 

Dr. Daniel Avery Langworthy of Minneapolis, who was a cap- 
tain in the Eighty-fifth New York Volunteers during the Civil 
War, has written a most interesting account of his experiences in 



NEWS AND COMMENT 243 

the war under the title Reminiscences of a Prisoner of War and 
His Escape (Minneapolis, 1915. 74 p.). 

Plays of the Pioneers, a Book of Historical Pageant-Plays by 
Constance D'Arcy Mackay (New York, 1915. 175 p.) contains, 
besides the six plays, directions for costuming and producing out- 
door pageants. Of the plays, "The Passing of Hiawatha" has a 
special interest for Minnesota people, but "The Pioneers," which 
brings out in allegory the struggles and achievements of those who 
conquered the American wilderness, would be appropriate for 
production in any American community. 

"The Women and Children of Fort St. Anthony, Later Named 
Fort Snelling" is the title of an article by Warren Upham in the 
July issue of the Magazine of History. Attention is called to a 
map drawn in 1823 or 1824 by one of the officers of the fort and 
found among the papers of General Sibley. On this map seven 
of the lakes and an island bear the Christian names of pioneer 
women. The article attempts to identify each of the women thus 
commemorated and presents considerable biographical and gene- 
alogical data about the families residing at the fort. 

An article by Dr. J. S. Young of the political science depart- 
ment of the University of Minnesota, entitled "Administrative 
Reorganization in Minnesota," appeared in the American Political 
Science Review, 9: 273 (May, 1915). Dr. Young's paper is a 
study of the work of the efficiency and economy commission. A 
few separates have been issued. 

The Minnesotan is the title of a new Minnesota periodical, the 
first issue of which appeared in July, 1915. It is the official pub- 
lication of the Minnesota State Art Commission and will be issued 
monthly. The Minnesotan will serve the people of the state by 
offering suggestions in regard to home building, home furnishing, 
landscape gardening, community development, and the industrial 
and commercial arts. 

The Minnesota State Normal Board has begun the publication 
of a Quarterly Journal, the first number appearing in October, 
1915. It is edited by the presidents of the normal schools and is 
devoted to the interests of elementary education. 



244 NEWS AND COMMENT 

The week of October 10 to 16 was observed throughout the 
state as "Minnesota newspaper week," the papers very generally 
issuing special editions devoted to setting forth the resources and 
advantages of Minnesota and of their respective localities. The 
addition of brief county and town histories and of reminiscent 
articles by early settlers contributed to make these editions of 
value to the student of Minnesota history. Among the more 
important of the articles containing historical data may be noted : 
"The First Settlers, a Pioneer's Story of the Settlement of Stev- 
ens County" in the Morris Sun, October 14; "Reminiscent," an 
article setting forth in chronological order the leading facts in the 
history of Brown County, in the Springfield Advance, October 14 ; 
"Hardships and Trials of the Early Settlers have Gone," a his- 
tory of Jackson County taken from a souvenir edition of the Jack- 
son Republic of March 1, 1895, reprinted in the Lakefield Stand- 
ard, October 14; "A Brief Sketch of the Early History of Rock 
County" and "A Brief Sketch of the Early History of Hills," 
extracts from A. P. Rose's History of Rock and Pipestone Coun- 
ties (Luverne, 1911), in the Hills Crescent, October 14; "Pioneer 
Days," an account of early days in Nobles County, in the Adrian 
Democrat, October 15; "From the Days of the Flail and Hand 
Corn Planter to Progressive Farming," describing primitive agri- 
cultural conditions in Renville County, in the Morton Enterprise, 
October 14; "How Fairfax Received Its Name," in the Fairfax 
Standard, October 14; "Early History of Rush City," a compo- 
site paper prepared, it is interesting to note, by the high-school 
class in American government, in the Rush City Post, October 15 ; 
"City of Le Sueur, Its Early History" in the Le Sueur News, 
October 14; "Description of Cannon Falls Twenty-nine Years 
Ago," a reprint from the Cannon Falls Beacon of April 9, 1886, 
in the Beacon, October 15 ; "An Historical Glimpse of the Village 
of Elgin" and "Founders of Elgin" in the Elgin Monitor, October 
15 ; "How Slayton Came to Be" and an account of the settlement 
of the village of Avoca in the Murray County Herald, October 
15 ; and a history of Murray County and of its towns and villages 
in the Slayton Gazette, October 14. 

Among other articles which have appeared in recent issues of 
the newspapers of the state, describing incidents of early local 
history or recalling early experiences of state- wide significance 



NEWS AND COMMENT 245 

may be noted the following: "Austin in Ye Olden Times," by 
"An Old Timer," in the Mower County Transcript-Republican, 
October 20; "History of Eden Lake Township" in the Eden Val- 
ley Journal, October 28; "Melrose First Settled in 1856," in the 
Melrose Beacon, August 19 ; "The Big Blizzard of 1880," in the 
Minneota Mascot, October 15 ; "Early Resident Tells of Raid by 
Indians," by George C. Canfield in the North field Norwegian 
American, July 30; "Visits Scenes after Fifty Years," an ac- 
count of the overland journey of Company H, Sixth Minnesota 
Infantry, from Fort Snelling to Fort Ripley in 1862 and of the 
building of a stockade at the latter post, in the Brainerd Dispatch, 
September 24; "Files of Old Newspapers Tell of Hanging of 
Three Indians," by John Coates of St. Cloud, who clears up 
some points of dispute in regard to this event which occurred 
near Little Falls, August 19., 1857, in the St. Cloud Journal- 
Press, September 4; "Early Minnesota Mothers Knew," by 
C. M. B. Hatch of Minneapolis, a member of Hatch's Battalion 
organized in 1863 to round up and capture renegade Indian 
bands along the Minnesota border in the Red River country, 
in the Minneapolis Daily Tribune, August 22 ; "A Survivor of 
the Little Crow Massacre," by John A. Humphrey of St. Paul, 
an account of the events of the memorable week of August 19-26, 
1862, which he, a boy of twelve, passed within the walls of Fort 
Ridgely, in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, September 12. 

The Northfield Independent's issue of September 16 was an 
elaborate number of forty pages, the home trade edition. In its 
leading article, entitled "The Old and the New," are gathered 
reminiscences of several of Northfield's pioneer citizens, and 
throughout the paper are personal sketches of many of its early 
settlers. In the Minnesota week edition of October 14 Mrs. M. 
W. Skinner "Writes of Early Days of Minnesota," and in the 
October 21 issue of the Independent appeared a short sketch of 
W. G. Campbell, a well-known Northfield pioneer. 

In a communication to the Martin County Independent of Sep- 
tember 18, A. N. Fancher describes the locust scourge which in 
1873 almost wholly destroyed the crops in several of the counties 
of southwestern Minnesota. Accompanying Mr. Fancher's ac- 
count is a copy of an article by L. F. Brainerd, a Martin County 



246 NEWS AND COMMENT 

pioneer, which appeared in the Janesville Argus, August 25, 1874,, 
the original manuscript of which is now in the possession of J. 
Mapson of Center Creek. Another article by Mr. Fancher, with 
the suggestive title "Primitive were Gospel Methods in Pioneer 
Days," appeared in the Fairmont Sentinel of September 29. 

The important part played by Young America in early terri- 
torial days as a trading and stopping post in the trail from Men- 
dota by way of Lac qui Parle, Big Stone, and Red River to Sel- 
kirk is told by J. F. Rosen wald in a letter published in the Young 
America Eagle, August 20, and reprinted in the Madison Western 
Guard, September 3. This trail was more used than any other 
in the Northwest, and was one of the most important agencies 
in the development of this entire region. 

The September 15 issue of the Martin County Independent con- 
tains an account of an early fort built at Fairmont in 1862 as a 
protection against hostile Indian attacks. The article closes with 
an extract from Judge Lorin Cray's "Experiences in South- 
eastern Minnesota, 1859 to 1867," published in volume 15 of the 
Minnesota Historical Collections. Judge Cray was a member of 
Company D of the Ninth Minnesota Infantry which was stationed 
at Fairmont in the summer of 1863. In the August 21 issue of 
the Mankato Free Press Judge Cray tells of the construction of 
a sod fort at Judson by his company in the spring of the same 
year. 

The Old Settlers' Association of Ottertail County through its 
county historian L. R. Adley, some time ago sent out circular 
letters to the pioneer settlers of the county, asking them to send 
in accounts of their personal recollections of early days. Some 
of the replies have been appearing in the columns of the Fergus 
Falls Weekly Journal: in the July 1 issue under the title "Days 
of Long Ago" County Commissioner Andrew Johnson relates his 
experiences in the county in 1873; and in the August 12 issue 
A. J. Pierce in "Early Experiences" tells of the settlement of 
the town of Paddock. 

Colonel J. A. Everett of Fairmont completed in the September 
18 issue of the Martin County Independent a series of articles 
entitled "Reminiscences from the Civil War" which have been 
appearing at weekly intervals beginning with the June 12 issue. 



MINNESOTA HISTORY BULLETIN 



EDITED BY 

SOLON J. BUCK 



SUPERINTENDENT OF THE MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY 
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF HISTORY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA 



VOL. 1, No. 5 
FEBRUARY, 1916 






THE SOCIAL MEMORY 1 

The social function of a society like that under whose 
auspices we meet this evening is coming to be more consciously 
defined. An organizing and directing purpose, a conviction of 
opportunity and obligation are as necessary in this as in other 
undertakings. The collecting of books and other records, the 
pursuit of genealogies, the gathering of personal reminiscences 
may easily become desultory and aimless unless all is done in 
accordance with a recognized duty, a well-considered program, 
and a consistent plan. Let us consider briefly the place and 
duty of an historical society in our social order. 

We are tempted when we seek to give meaning to any kind 
of activity to resort to metaphor and analogy. Thus human 
speech is full of fossil poetry. The simile-making habits of 
mankind have dealt with societies and nations. Polybius 
asserted that a whole people passes from youth, through man- 
hood, to old age and death. Hobbes saw in society a huge 
creature made up of a multitude of men. Spencer traced in 
minute detail the analogy between an animal body and the 
social organism. Washington has given us a mechanical figure. 
"A Federal Government," he said, "is the main-spring which 
keeps the clock of the States going." Of late, philosophers have 
pushed the likeness into the psychic field. Such phrases as "the 
public mind," "the popular will," suggest a parallel between 
society and personality. Thus a society becomes a vast ongoing 
common life with habits, memories, character, and purpose. 

A state or nation, looked at in this way, has a tradition, a 
history which may be likened to the memory of the individual. 
Nor is the parallel wholly fanciful. A group of people is bound 
together by consciousness of a common past experience. Initia- 
tion is admission to a share in this memory. By ceremonials, 

1 Abstract of an address given at the annual meeting of the Minne- 
sota Historical Society, St. Paul, January 10, 1916. 



250 GEORGE E. VINCENT 

festivals, celebration of anniversaries a society refreshes its 
recollection of the past and renews its loyalty, hope, and pur- 
pose. We shall for a little time seek suggestions from this 
likeness between national or state history and the personal 
memory. 

Without memory there can be no personality ; without history 
no real nation or state. The loss of individual memory is an 
actual destruction of the self. No event in personal life has 
meaning until it is explained by past experience. So it is with 
a society; only a knowledge of its history gives a clue to its 
character. The United States can have no real significance to a 
mind that knows naught of Washington, of Marshall, of Lin- 
coln, and of the things for which they stand. Minnesota is to 
us only a name unless it conjures up a procession of red men, 
voyageurs, missionaries, pioneers of settlement, organizers of 
institutions, immigrants, leaders of men, gradually creating a 
commonwealth. We can not realize ourselves as a group unless, 
in imagination, we can picture the onward sweep of events, the 
pageant of the past which has made us what we are. 

A vague or fallacious memory weakens personality and 
impairs efficiency. In the same way, if citizens have a frag- 
mentary and false picture of their country's history, the nation 
will lack true unity and fail to respond wisely to new issues. A 
people and its leaders may be ignorant of the past or misinter- 
pret it, and so lack stability and strength of group character. 
The misinterpretation of the past may lead to a dangerous self- 
satisfaction and an intolerable priggishness in an individual. 
So a people, by refusing to face frankly its mistakes, may suffer 
from arrogance and fall into a fool's paradise. 

Memory fosters pride, which is a condition of achievement. 
The man who brings things to pass gains courage from the 
memory of his successes, just as he attains humility by frank 
recollection of his failures. Sound national or state pride is a 
spur to effort and a means of progress. It is well to distinguish 
between vanity and pride. The former is mere anxiety to win 
admiration; the latter springs from obligation to be true to 



THE SOCIAL MEMORY 251 

character, loyal to the past. Vain boasting is a different thing 
from self-reliant pride which stirs sentiment, releases power, 
and spurs to action. True state pride values the character, 
standards, ideals, solid achievements of its citizenship. State 
vanity is likely to think of numbers, natural resources, or spec- 
tacular and ephemeral notoriety. Vanity has a roving eye for 
the praise of others; pride looks within for purpose and 
courage. 

Memory selects and preserves vivid and vital experiences ; it 
forgets the trivial and unimportant. So the national history 
perpetuates essential things. Heroes in due time become types ; 
their virtues are exalted ; their weaknesses ignored. Governor 
Ramsey doubtless had his weaknesses and shortcomings, but 
his fearless stand for the conservation of school lands makes 
him an inspiring type of the citizen who has a keen sense of 
public interest and welfare as opposed to private selfishness and 
desire to exploit the common domain. 

Memory is preserved and deepened by symbols, by repeti- 
tions, by conscious thought. A society that would perpetuate 
its history must be ever vigilant and resourceful. Flags, pic- 
tures, monuments play a vital part. Anniversaries, memorial 
days, festivals, historic pageants vivify the social memory. 
These celebrations must not be permitted to become mere 
unconscious routine; they must not degenerate into holidays 
for pleasure and recreation. Just as the individual can not 
safely allow his memory to grow dim, to lose its power over 
his imagination, its influence upon his character, so the nation 
or state can not with impunity neglect the means for keeping 
the sense of the past vivid in the minds of all its citizens. 

Memory can not serve the future until imagination has trans- 
lated the past into new ideals and purposes. Historical con- 
ditions never repeat themselves. Every new situation is in 
some sense unique. Old heroism has to be translated into new 
courage. The valor of war must be turned into the virtues of 
peace. War is drastic. It rushes on to climax and decision. 



252 GEORGE E. VINCENT 

It has moments of great achievement. It culminates in victory 
or defeat. 

The new civic heroism works under other conditions. These 
too often seem commonplace. They make little appeal to the 
romantic imagination. There is doubtless some likeness 
between the battle of arms and the struggle for safer sanitary 
conditions, better housing, and the protection of women and 
children, for public recreation, for political reform, for justice, 
tolerance, and good will. It requires, however, a resourceful 
imagination to hold this likeness steadily before the mind and 
to turn fancy into conduct. Yet the past must be pressed into 
the service of the present and the future. We hope to escape 
the woe of war, but we ought not to want to shirk the discipline 
and sacrifice which war requires. As we read the past, we must 
be convinced that it is our duty to discover and practice what 
James called "the moral equivalent of war." 

Memory is a deposit of countless details, a few of them 
salient and conspicuous, but most of them merged into general 
impressions and lost sight of as separate items. Thus the social 
memory exalts a few famous individuals, but at the same 
time it carries on a mass of personal influences, potent though 
anonymous. It is a noble service to contribute inspiring ideas 
and deeds which live in the national memory. Few, if any of 
us, can hope to have our names carried down by the traditions 
of the community. Our influence must be merged in the vast 
ongoing common life. 

But I fear that you grow weary of an analogy which may 
be easily pressed too far. This play of the imagination may, 
however, make a little more clear these truths: The social 
tradition is a vital factor of collective life ; agencies for keeping 
this memory accurate, vivid, and widely diffused in public 
consciousness must be maintained ; an historical society gets its 
meaning and has its task defined in relation to this social func- 
tion. The work of such an association must be directed toward 
supplying the data from which careful historical scholarship 
can derive trustworthy conclusions, and also toward impressing 



THE SOCIAL MEMORY 253 

the popular imagination with the true significance of the past, 
a lively sense of the evolution of the state as a social unity. 

Certain obvious limitations suggest themselves in connection 
with a state historical society. Minnesota, for example, is not 
a self-sufficient community, set off from the social fabric of 
which it forms a part. Our state lines are, in a sense, artificial 
and arbitrary limits for administrative convenience. Commerce, 
industry, intercourse, common interests largely ignore these 
boundaries. Minnesota, from one point of view, seems more 
a center of a great northwestern province than a distinguishable 
commonwealth. Furthermore, the Northwest is only a part of 
the Mississippi Valley; that, in turn, a constituent area of the 
United States. The nation is commonly deemed the true unit. 
Local loyalty is, nevertheless, the school of larger patriotism. 
The life of a politically organized commonwealth does separate 
itself to a degree from the surrounding area and become a 
center of memory and purpose for its citizens. The Minnesota 
Historical Society has, therefore, a specific opportunity and a 
definite duty. 

The function of gathering data for the use of historical 
scholarship is so well recognized as to require only brief notice 
at this time. The state archives are so fundamental in this field 
that it seems expedient and wise to put these in the custody of 
the historical society. In the filing of newspapers this associa- 
tion has done notable and essential work. The press of a 
people, when this press is carefully interpreted by experienced 
scholars, is an invaluable source of information. Pamphlets, 
posters, broadsheets, announcements of all kinds are worth 
preserving. Illustrations, maps, graphic material of many 
sorts yield indispensable aid. The collecting of printed volumes, 
reports, biographies, family histories, and the like is an obvious 
duty. To gather, in manuscript form, from the memories of 
early settlers a mass of personal experience which each year 
grows less available, is one of the things that should not be 
neglected. The discovery and classification of old letters, busi- 
ness documents, old ledgers, etc., is very important. In short, 



254 GEORGE E. VINCENT 

the society, in fulfilling its function as an agency of the social 
memory, should examine, sift, and preserve all available records 
of every phase of life in Minnesota and in the adjacent area 
which forms a part of the larger society to which Minnesota 
essentially belongs. All of these things your society is already 
doing or planning to undertake. You need no exhortation. It 
is to be hoped that ample funds will be at your disposal. Much 
of the work can be done now very economically ; some of it, if 
too long postponed, can never be accomplished at all. 

The task of popularizing the social memory requires the 
cooperation of many agencies: the family, the school, the 
library, the press, public ceremonies, anniversaries, pageants, 
the museum. It is not the aim of this paper to propose a 
definite division of labor among these agencies. In all cases 
the historical society ought to be a fundamental reliance. We 
may well consider, however, certain undertakings which are 
essential to the success of a plan for impressing the imagination 
of young and old with a vivid sense of the past in its various 
aspects industrial, educational, political, social a kind of 
mental panorama or pageant. 

Of late two inventions have added enormously to the record- 
ing resources of mankind. Photographs and reproductions of 
all kinds, printed music, stereopticon slides are familiar enough 
as library and museum material. The moving picture, the 
phonograph, and the piano player have opened up fascinating 
vistas for historical collections. The hard rubber record, or at 
least the original mold from which it is cast, ought to insure, 
under safe conditions of storage, practical indestructibility. 
The perforated record rolls are not important. Printed music 
can easily be reproduced. The endurance of the gelatin film 
for moving pictures has yet to be tested over a long period, but, 
if necessary, devices for transferring originals to glass and 
using these prints for reproducing future copies, ought to be 
easily worked out. Records, both auditory and visual, are now 
being regularly made and stored by scientific societies and 
museums. The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, for 



THE SOCIAL MEMORY 255 

example, has made a large number of records of Indian speech, 
songs, dances, and other ceremonials. The voices of noted 
men and women are being recorded and preserved. How much 
it would mean to us if we had moving pictures taken by 
Hennepin, Radisson, Du Lhut, Carver, Pike, Leavenworth, and 
Cass, of what they saw in Minnesota, and could listen to the 
voices of these men describing the scenes depicted. It is ob- 
viously necessary to recognize these new devices for recording 
scenes and sounds, and to adopt a well-thought-out, systematic 
policy with respect to the making and filing of the records. 
Public ceremonies of many kinds, important events, prominent 
personalities, the introduction of new industrial processes, 
activities which are disappearing all form subject matter for 
record. It would seem to be the duty of the state historical 
society to assume the task of enriching and strengthening the 
social memory by the use of these new recording agencies. 

There is another important device for preserving the social 
tradition, namely the historical museum. Wealth of material 
representing centuries of development has created in Europe 
many institutions of this character. The National Museum 
of Zurich is a notable example of collection, classification, and 
exhibition. The life of Switzerland is portrayed from the times 
of the lake dwellers up to the present day. By reproductions, 
models, actual originals, all arranged in an evolutional series, a 
remarkable effect is produced. Weapons, tools and utensils, 
furniture, textiles, house interiors, costumes, armor, horse 
trappings, sledges, carts, carriages, art products in enormous 
variety, are so grouped that the visitor passes from period to 
period, gaining a vivid idea of the life of the Swiss people. It 
is easy to understand why classes from the schools not only of 
Zurich but of all German Switzerland spend much time with 
their teachers in the halls and suites of rooms in the Landes 
Museum, this marvelously illustrated textbook of Swiss history. 

There are many other museums of the same general char- 
acter. The Bavarian National Museum in Munich, the Ger- 
manic National Museum in Nuremberg, the Historical Museum 



256 GEORGE E. VINCENT 

in Berlin, the Willet-Holthuysen Museum in Amsterdam, the 
Maison Cluny in Paris, the Victoria and Albert Museum in 
London are well-known examples of notable historic collections. 
The Musee Carnavalet of Paris is the finest civic museum in 
existence. Many continental and English towns and cities 
maintain museums of local civic history. Scandinavia has made 
suggestive contributions to the museum idea. The Danish 
National Museum in Copenhagen is of the more conventional 
type, but in both Christiania and Stockholm a distinctive 
feature has been added. The National Museum of Christiania 
has an open-air annex in which are to be found original old 
buildings and reproductions of characteristic Norwegian struc- 
tures of historic interest. There is also a collection of agricul- 
tural implements. Stockholm has attained distinction for sev- 
eral of its institutions. The Northern Museum is one of the 
city's greatest achievements. This remarkable collection of 
ornaments, implements, furniture, and costumes owes its origin 
to the imagination and untiring zeal of one man, Dr. Arthur 
Hazelius, who foresaw that the older objects would be super- 
seded by modern products, and rescued a great number of 
articles which otherwise would have disappeared. Thanks to 
Dr. Hazelius no country can equal Sweden in presenting a 
picture of early and medieval culture. An open-air annex of 
seventy acres, known as Skansen, illustrates the national history 
and ethnography of Sweden. All the flora and most of the 
fauna are to be found here. One may visit a Lap village, a 
cottage of the sixteenth century, a Swedish coal mine, a char- 
coal-burners' camp, a medieval farm and dairy, and old 
churches. In an hour's walk the visitor passes through cen- 
turies and touches every quarter of the land. On Sundays and 
holidays all the attendants appear in costumes which represent 
all parts of Sweden. For Skansen, too, we are indebted to the 
tireless Dr. Hazelius. 

How soon will Minnesota discover a man or group of men 
with the vision and zeal of this Swedish museum-maker? It 
is none too soon to plan for a Minnesota state historical museum 



THE SOCIAL MEMORY 257 

of the European type. A mere miscellaneous collection of 
curios and souvenirs will not do. Fancy the fate of a library 
that trusted to haphazard begging or to desultory, planless buy- 
ing of books. Imagine the calamity of following a similar 
policy for a gallery of art. An historical museum must work 
out a general plan of periods, of types of material, of the clas- 
sification and arrangement of objects, and then actively pro- 
ceed to carry out its policy. This work can not be begun in 
Minnesota too soon. Objects can be had now which in a few 
years will be lost. An immediate canvass of the state would 
yield rich returns. Citizens would gladly give significant things 
if they could be assured that these articles would be preserved. 

A complete historical museum for Minnesota would include 
the ethnology of the region. The Smithsonian Institution and 
the Field Columbian Museum have shown what can be done 
with lay figures, costumes, implements, etc., in depicting 
striking scenes of Indian life. The French explorations afford 
another topic for graphic representation. Domestic architecture 
would play an interesting part. Log cabins, sod houses, set- 
tlers' shanties, early cottages, etc., with their furniture and 
equipment, would form a significant section. Models would 
be used chiefly, but suites of interiors could be arranged as 
in the best European museums. Costume collections would 
prove extremely instructive. Nor need one go for the eccentric 
in this field to a remote past. The "bustles" of the eighties 
and the balloon sleeves of the nineties would seem sufficiently 
grotesque to give the costume section an air of antiquity. 

Transportation is always an important fundamental social 
function. A collection of vehicles in models or originals, Indian 
tepee poles dragging behind a pony, snowshoes, sledges, stone 
boats, Red River carts, Concord stages, early locomotives, 
primitive city horse cars, would be as fascinating as the cor- 
responding series of birch-bark canoes, dugouts, bateaux, flat- 
boats, canal boats, and perhaps a stateroom and pilot house, 
taken from an old-time Mississippi steamer. Weapons of 
the chase, traps, hunting and fishing scenes would play a char- 



258 GEORGE E. VINCENT 

acteristic part in the attempt to depict Minnesota life. A col- 
lection of agricultural implements from the earliest and most 
primitive of Indian times to recent days would be an essential 
feature of the industrial section. The development of lumber- 
ing, milling, brick-making, textiles, and other forms of produc- 
tion would be set forth. The evolution of the schoolhouse 
and its equipment of furniture, books, and apparatus would be 
material for representation. 

Our museum might possibly contain divisions in which the 
chief elements of immigration could be represented. It would 
probably be wiser, however, to distribute the objects brought 
from foreign lands, and have such articles appear under their 
respective classifications. The lace-making industry of New 
Ulm, for example, would be classified under household indus- 
tries rather than in a German division. This would be more in 
harmony with our American ideals and would more truly sym- 
bolize the merging into Minnesota life of many different ele- 
ments from many different sources. 

This brief sketch of a possible state historical museum has 
not dealt with the question of division of labor and administra- 
tive responsibility. A number of interests would be directly 
involved. The department of anthropology of the University 
of Minnesota would be anxious to have direct relation to the 
ethnological section ; the college of agriculture to the collection 
of farming implements. The lumber and milling interests 
would want to have a part in the exhibits concerned with their 
industries. Questions of unification, location, responsibility, 
leadership would arise. It is to be hoped that the sole deter- 
mining factor would be the best interests of the state as a 
whole, for in order to be completely successful the museum 
ought to be a Minnesota state museum. 

How far-reaching the influence of such a museum might 
be made! Not only would thousands of citizens resort to the 
museum itself, but by photographs, slides, illustrated catalogues, 
special bulletins, traveling loan collections sent to schools, the 
museum would be taken to the people. An open-air annex 



THE SOCIAL MEMORY 259 

possibly on the state fair grounds might be established, and 
models, reproductions, and actual buildings of historic interest 
assembled there, as has been done so successfully in Christiania 
and Stockholm. 

The Minnesota Historical Society, by virtue of its own his- 
tory and its place in the state, is the natural leader in a move- 
ment for a state historical museum. The cooperation of many 
agencies will be necessary. The formulation of a plan, the 
imagination, the enthusiasm, the persistence to execute it, should 
come from that organization in Minnesota to which is intrusted 
the task of helping to keep the social memory accurate and 
vivid, a guide and inspiration to the people of the common- 
wealth. For without memory there can be no personality, with- 
out an ever-alert sense of the past and its significance, a people 
can not maintain its solidarity and translate the experiences 
of yesterday into the purposes of to-morrow. 

GEORGE E. VINCENT 

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA 
MINNEAPOLIS 



LLOYD BARBER 1 

May it please the court to listen to a few words from me 
in appreciation of our departed jurist, the Honorable Lloyd 
Barber. 

I saw him for the first time in June, 1858, at Rochester, 
Minnesota, where he had just opened a law office. He was 
then about thirty years of age, a man in vigorous health and 
in high expectation of a useful and distinguished professional 
career. The country round about the town of Rochester was 
then being settled and preempted. Its limpid streams, its fer- 
tile soil, and its healthful skies beckoned the industrious to its 
borders, there to acquire competence and content. A number 

1 Memorial address delivered June 1, 1915, in the district court at 
Winona, Minnesota. 

Lloyd Barber was born in Bath, Steuben County, New York, 
January 11, 1826. He visited Minnesota for the first time in 1852, 
spending some time in St. Paul; but as a favorable business oppor- 
tunity did not present itself, he returned to New York, where he 
remained for the succeeding six years, devoting himself to the study 
of law. He was admitted to the bar in 1857. The following year 
found him again in the West, and he at length began the practice 
of his profession in Rochester, Minnesota. In 1862 he was elected 
county attorney of Olmsted County. In 1874 he removed to Winona 
and opened a law office which he maintained for nearly thirty-four 
years. In his earlier years Judge Barber was one of the most promi- 
nent men of the bar in the Northwest, and his decisions as judge 
were widely quoted. He was one of the incorporators of the Winona 
Bar Association, January 2, 1889, being named as vice-president. 
From the time of his coming to Minnesota Judge Barber was actively 
interested in agriculture. On his removal to Winona, he disposed of 
his two farms near Rochester, and in 1880 purchased a large tract ot 
fourteen hundred acres in Richmond township, Winona County, which 
he eventually developed into a stock farm. Mr. Barber was married 
in 1862 to Mary J. De Bow of Almond, New York, who died in 
January, 1867. In the following year (February, 1868) he married 
Lucy Storrs of Long Meadow, Massachusetts. His death occurred 
at Winona, May 8, 1915. Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, History of Winona 
County, 1:273, 288 (Chicago, 1913); Winona Independent, May 9, 1915. 
Ed. 

260 



LLOYD BARBER 261 

of lawyers, among others Stiles P. Jones, Colonel James 
George, Judge Elza A. McMahon, and John W. Remine, had 
already preceded him. They were all trained in the old com- 
mon law practice and held in contempt the new code in which 
law and equity were merged, but Judge Barber had studied and 
practiced the Field code in New York where it originated and 
whence it came through Wisconsin into Minnesota upon the 
organization of the latter as a territory. His familiarity with 
this new practice gave him a decided advantage over old prac- 
titioners. He was also a man who spent all his spare time in 
study and, as a result, he was able to speak with precision and 
authority upon doubtful questions. Courts listened to him 
with marked attention, and his clients were inspired with con- 
fidence. He became the leader of the Olmsted County bar, 
and his name was honored at the bank. 

On July 6, 1864, Thomas Wilson of Winona, first judge of 
the third judicial district, was appointed by Governor Stephen 
Miller as a justice of the supreme court. A Republican judicial 
convention for the third district was then called by D. Sinclair, 
chairman, for September 7, 1864, at Winona, to nominate a 
candidate for judge at the approaching November election. 
Delegates were apportioned as follows : to Winona and Olm- 
sted counties eight each, to Wabasha and Houston five each, 
and to Fillmore nine. The convention met and nominated 
Judge Barber; thereupon Governor Miller appointed him on 
September 12 to serve out the unexpired three and a half 
months of Judge Wilson's term. There was much talk at the 
time of giving the nomination to Chauncey N. Waterman of 
Winona, inasmuch as he was considered equally well qualified 
and as Winona could be more conveniently reached by the 
lawyers of the district. But Winona already had Daniel S. 
Norton as a candidate for United States senator, William Win- 
dom as representative in Congress, and Thomas Wilson as a 
justice of the supreme court, and these sagacious statesmen 
deemed it unwise to take everything in sight for Winona. The 
Democrats of the district, however, nominated Waterman, 



262 CHARLES C. WILLSON 

although he was a Republican, but at the election in November 
Barber received the greater number of votes, and served out 
his term of seven years with credit to himself and with satis- 
faction to the district. 

The next convention for the third judicial district was held 
September 27, 1871, at Winona. Norton had been, in the 
meantime, elected United States senator and had served from 
March 4, 1865, until his death July 13, 1870; Wilson had 
resigned the office of chief justice July 14, 1869; and Windom 
had been chosen United States senator for the six-year term 
beginning March 4, 1871. Wabasha, Winona, and Houston 
counties now for the sake of convenience preferred Waterman 
for judge and he was nominated by the vote of these three 
counties. He was elected without opposition, and on January 
i, 1872, Judge Barber's judicial career came to an end. 

Soon afterwards Judge Barber removed from Rochester to 
Winona and opened a law office for general practice. But 
business did not come to him in satisfactory volume. A jurist 
retired from the bench rarely returns to the conflict and strug- 
gles of the bar with that confident air and with that aggressive, 
partisan vigor usually exhibited by the practitioner and so 
satisfying to the militant and often revengeful feeling of his 
client. In his years of service on the bench he acquires a calm, 
meditative, and judicial attitude. He does not fight his adver- 
sary with that desperate valor of the soldier who has burned 
his ships behind him, and he usually fails as a general practi- 
tioner. He must secure permanent employment as general 
counsel for some railroad or other large corporation, or be 
driven out of remunerative practice by younger and more 
aggressive members of the profession. He learns too late the 
wisdom of the maxim that a lawyer should first acquire a 
fortune by industry, inheritance, or marriage before accepting 
judicial honors. 

Judge Barber was born and grew to manhood on a farm 
in Steuben County, New York, in the midst of a lofty and 
broken country, whose waters in part flow southward to Dela- 






LLOYD BARBER 263 

ware Bay and in part northward to Lake Ontario and the Gulf 
of St. Lawrence. The hills lift their heads up to the higher 
currents of the sky, and the decaying mold, which trickles down 
their abruptly sloping sides, fertilizes the green valleys in be- 
tween. Fortune was to the boy a stern and rugged nurse. Clad 
in homespun, he toiled early and late, in heat and cold. But 
dwellers amid such broken and lofty scenes acquire a love 
of home, a patriotic devotion to their firesides and green fields 
unknown to those who inhabit the dull, unchanging plains. 
Barber felt that love of his rugged home in all its magnetic 
force. He left Steuben the third time before he grew content 
to live elsewhere. 

When his law business failed to be remunerative, he sold 
his level prairie farm six miles northeast of Rochester and pur- 
chased some acres along the lofty bluffs eleven miles southeast 
of Winona, There among the towering hills he felt again that 
unspeakable satisfaction of his boyhood days, when in the 
old red schoolhouse he recited Sir Walter Scott's tale of that 
McGregor who would give his highland roof to the flames 
and his flesh to the eagles before he'd bow the head or bend 
the knee to the lowland lords of the plain below. He retained 
his residence and law office in Winona, but in later years the 
office was nearly always locked, and in 1908 he closed it and 
returned the key to his lessor. 

His life was pure, his purpose noble, his conduct worthy of 
admiration. The Olmsted County bar in a body followed his 
remains to their last resting place in Oakwood Cemetery in 
Rochester, indulging a reasonable expectation that he, once 
their temporal judge, would find favor with the Judge Eternal. 

CHARLES C. WILLSON 
ROCHESTER, MINNESOTA 



GENESIS OF THE TYPEWRITER 1 

In the winter of 1849-50 William K. Rogers of Ohio (after- 
wards private secretary of President Hayes), Richard Ander- 
son (afterwards a lawyer of note in Cincinnati), and myself, 
three Kenyon College graduates, intimate friends, were in 
Boston, where, as students of law, we obtained seats in the 
courtroom during the trial of Professor Webster for the murder 
of Dr. Parkman. This famous trial, ending in the conviction 
of Webster, was long drawn out, and we had a good deal of 
time, when the court was not in session, in which to become 
acquainted with the city. One day I visited the shop of an 
ingenious mechanic named Chamberlin, situated on one of the 
short thoroughfares leading from the Common to Washington 
Street, either Summer or Winter Street. I had been working 
on a new device for a sewing machine in which the fabric was 
pierced through and through by means of a double-pointed 
needle with an eye in the center, and which was to be operated 
by the aid of electricity. I asked this Mr. Chamberlin to con- 
struct for me a model of what I had in mind. He, however, 
advised me, before I proceeded further with my invention, to 
go to a certain number on Washington Street and examine 
some machines which he had recently installed there. I visited 
the place and saw six of the machines in operation. They were 
being used in the making of clothing and were doing work 
which was apparently satisfactory. The device employed was 
a complete surprise to me : a shuttle revolving under the cloth 
plate by means of which a loop stitch was formed. A careful 
examination of the machines convinced me that they were 
much simpler in construction and could be manufactured at 
much less cost than my own. I returned to Mr. Chamberlin 
and told him that I should not do anything further with my 

1 Read at the stated meeting of the executive council of the Min- 
nesota Historical Society, St. Paul, December 13, 1915. 

264 






GENESIS OF THE TYPEWRITER 265 

model and gave him my reasons. "Your decision is a wise 
one," he replied, "for it would take a long time and a con- 
siderable fortune to teach people how to manage the electrical 
attachment on your machine. There are some men in 

Street, for whom I have done work recently, who 

can tell you how difficult it is to educate people in the use of 
electrical contrivances. You had better go to see them if you 
are interested in such things." 

In accordance with his suggestion I searched out the place 
and found the men working on a chemical telegraph propo- 
sition. While I stood examining the apparatus they were using, 
there came to me the idea of a writing or printing machine 
by means of which characters could be produced by striking 
paper through an inked ribbon with steel types attached to 
levers so hung that when moved they met at a common center, 
the paper being fastened to a carriage which automatically 
moved forward a space after each depression of the levers. The 
idea was a fascinating one and became so forceably impressed 
on my mind that I was never able wholly to rid myself of it. 
I went back to Chamberlin's to talk it over with him and to 
consider the advisability of constructing such a machine. Be- 
fore anything was determined, however, I left Boston, and 
did not return for many years. 

In July, 1850, I took up my residence in St. Paul, Minne- 
sota. At first, the activities of frontier life fully engaged my 
attention and left me no time for making a model of my type- 
writer, although the idea was constantly present in my mind. 
Later, on the outbreak of the Civil War, I volunteered for 
service in the Union army. I served as chief quartermaster 
with General Thomas in the campaign against General Hood. 
After Hood was defeated and driven out of Tennessee, we 
were stationed for a time at Nashville. I had very little to 
do and, happening upon a German in the ranks who was a 
clever mechanic, I engaged his services and began looking 
up material for a wooden model of my writing machine. But 
the work was interrupted again on my receiving orders requir- 



266 WILLIAM G. LE DUG 

ing me to rejoin my own command in Virginia with General 
Sherman. 

At the end of the war I resigned from the service and 
returned to Minnesota. Immediately I became interested in 
projecting, obtaining land grants for, and building the Hastings 
and Dakota Railroad. In the course of the construction work 
it became necessary to make some flat cars, and I went to Mil- 
waukee to purchase wheels and other material. The exact date 
of this trip can not be stated with certainty without reference 
to the books of the Hastings and Dakota Company, which are at 
the present time probably in the possession of the Chicago, Mil- 
waukee, and St. Paul Railway Company. One day when I was 
in the offices of the latter company, Superintendent Merrill said 
to me, "General, you are fond of mechanical contrivances ; come 
with me over to Director Glidden's room and look at a new 
machine for paging books." A few moments later we were in 
Mr. Glidden's office where I was introduced to a Mr. C. L. 
Sholes, the maker of the paging machine, who explained briefly 
its mechanism and operation. "Well, General, what do you 
think of it?" asked Mr. Glidden. "It is a very ingenious and 
well-made machine," I replied; "but its use will, I think, be 
limited, and the demand for it so inconsiderable as to be quite 
insufficient to meet the cost of manufacturing it. I have had in 
mind for many years a machine not more difficult to make than 
this one, a machine which, when properly made and introduced, 
will come to be universally used not only in our own country 
but in foreign lands. The idea came to me one day in Boston 
at the time of the great trial of Webster for the murder of 
Parkman, and impressed itself on my mind as one which ought 
to be worked out. Up to this time my attention has been so 
fully occupied that I have not been able to give the matter any 
thought. At present these railroad affairs are absorbing all my 
time. It is my belief that ideas like this are inspirations to us 
from the unknown ; that on receiving them, we become in a way 
trustees and that our trusteeship imposes on us an obligation : 
we are bound to see these inspirations brought to completion. 



GENESIS OF THE TYPEWRITER 267 

Now I am going to relieve myself of any responsibility for this 
idea of mine by passing it on to Mr. Sholes, provided he will 
promise to make the machine." Seating myself at a near-by 
table, I drew a rough sketch of what I called a typewriter. I 
explained how the type-bars were to hang so that the type would 
strike the paper at a common center through an inked ribbon, 
and how, at the instant of striking, the paper carriage moved 
forward one space. "Yes, yes, I understand ; I think I can make 
such a machine," said Sholes. "Very well, I will give you the 
idea on condition that you make a machine, take out patents on 
it, and start a factory. You will find customers for all the 
machines that you and many others are able to make." I hur- 
riedly left the offices with Mr. Merrill, went on about my rail- 
road business, and gave the matter no further thought. 

Mr. Sholes, at this time collector of the port of Milwaukee, 
Mr. Glidden, a director of the Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway 
Company and himself an inventor, and a Mr. Soule, an editor 
and printer, were the men who were back of the paging machine, 
and who, at my suggestion, now agreed to take up the matter 
of the typewriter. The task of constructing the machine was 
intrusted to Mathias Schwalbach, a German clock-maker em- 
ployed by Sholes at three dollars a day. As the work pro- 
gressed, Schwalbach suggested some changes, among others the 
banking of the keys in three rows. The machine was at length 
completed, and in 1868 Sholes and Glidden applied for 
patents. 1 A later model with improvements was patented by 

1 Previous to this date the following patents had been granted for 
typewriters, or machines similar in character and purpose: In 1714 
a British patent was granted to Henry Mill; in America a patent for 
a "typographer" was obtained by William A. Burt in 1829; the "typo- 
graphic machine or pen" on the type-bar principle was patented by 
' X. Pogrin of Marseilles in 1833; between 1847 and 1856 Alfred E. 
Beach in America, and between 1855 and 1860 Sir Charles Wheatstone 
in England, made several typewriters; in 1857 Dr. S. W. Francis of 
New York made one with a pianoforte keyboard and type-bars 
arranged in a circle; and in 1866 John Pratt, an American living in 
London, patented a machine with types mounted in three rows on a 
wheel, the rotation of which brought the required character opposite 
the printing point. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 27:501 (1911 edition). 



268 WILLIAM G. LE DUG 

Sholes and Schwartz in 1871. It is probable that Edison was 
consulted at or before this time, since in an article in System 
( 10 : 230 September, 1906) he says : "I helped build the first 
typewriter that came out. At that time I had a shop in Newark 
and a man from Milwaukee a Mr. Sholes came to me with a 
wooden model, which we finally got into working shape." 

In order to bring the typewriter to the attention of the public, 
Sholes sent typed letters out through the country. One of these 
fell into the hands of James Densmore of New York. He went 
to Milwaukee to examine the machine personally, and as a 
result of his visit the organization of the typewriter company of 
Densmore, Sholes, and Schwalbach was brought about. The 
new company began immediately the work of manufacturing 
the machines. Densmore, who had put all his money, six hun- 
dred dollars, into the venture, took the first one that was 
completed to New York. The next few months were serious 
ones for him ; reduced to the extremity of sleeping in a garret 
and of living for the most part on apples, he went from door 
to door in fruitless attempts to interest some one in the machine. 
Finally he made a deal with the Western Union Telegraph 
Company, by which he received ten thousand dollars. Dens- 
more then returned to Milwaukee and bought out his partners, 
paying Schwalbach three hundred and fifty dollars besides 
turning over to him the shop and its contents. Later (about 
1875) he was able to interest the firm of E. Remington and 
Sons, gun-makers, of Ilion, New York, in the proposition and 
placed the manufacture of the machines in their hands. 1 

And so it came about that when I was in charge of the 
department of agriculture under the Hayes administration, one 
day the respectable colored man, "old Uncle John," who did 
duty as doorkeeper, informed me that a man wished to see me 

1 Densmore's royalties, so I am informed, have amounted to over 
a million dollars. Sholes is reported to have said that he realized 
from his interest in the machine only about twelve thousand dollars. 
A serious illness of long duration soon exhausted this sum and he 
died in poverty. Glidden has also died. Schwalbach is, I believe, 
still engaged in the clock business. 



GENESIS OF THE TYPEWRITER 269 

for a few moments. I directed my assistant Mr. O. D. La Dow 
to ascertain whether the man's business was of enough impor- 
tance to warrant an interruption of my work. On his return he 
said, "It was only a man who wished to show you a machine. I 
have sent him away." "What kind of machine was it?" I 
asked. "He said it was a typewriter," was the reply. "Type- 
writer! Typewriter! Call him back! I have a special interest 
in typewriters !" I exclaimed. On being shown into the room, 
the man exhibited a typewriter, my typewriter, a Remington 
model, writing only capital letters. I was much interested in 
the machine and submitted it to Mr. La Dow for trial and 
approval. The machine was purchased, being the first, so the 
salesman reported, to be installed in a public office. Improved 
models were soon afterwards made in which the type-bars each 
carried two characters, a small letter and capital. The skillful 
operation of the machines by my assistants soon made them 
popular, and their use gradually extended to other offices not- 
withstanding the ridicule attending the introduction of "new 
methods of economy in the department of agriculture." 

My prophecy that the use of the typewriter would become 
universal in both our own and other countries has been in these 
later years more than fulfilled. Indeed, the conduct of present- 
day business enterprises is possible only through its aid. 

WILLIAM G. LE Due 

HASTINGS, MINNESOTA 



REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

The Scandinavian Element in the United States (University of 
Illinois, Studies in the Social Sciences, vol. 3, no. 3). By 
KENDRIC CHARLES BABCOCK, dean of the college of liberal 
arts and sciences, University of Illinois; sometime fellow, 
University of Minnesota and Harvard University. (Urbana, 
University of Illinois, 1914. 223 p.) 1 

Mr. Babcock has long been a student of the Scandinavian 
element in this country. Since 1892 he has been a contributor to 
periodicals of articles dealing with phases of the subject, and 
from these earlier studies has grown the present elaborate mono- 
graph on the Scandinavian element. In its preparation the author 
has utilized extensive materials and authorities. Besides printed 
sources of all sorts, in English, Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish, 
he has secured "much matter relating to the subject gathered 
by means of personal interviews, correspondence, and observa- 
tions extending over a series of years." 

He is deeply interested in the problem of the alien, and believes 
in the careful investigation of the characteristics of each "cohort 
in the national forces," an intensive study of each immigrant 
group. Thus can their contributions to American life and char- 
acter be appraised. For the Germans the monumental study by 
A. B. Faust constitutes such a work. Recently similar works 
have appeared for the Scotch-Irish, for the Jewish immigration 
from 1881 to 1910, and for emigration from the United Kingdom. 
Mr. Babcock has undertaken the study of one great group, the 
Scandinavians, who in at least six states of the Northwest have 
been "among the chief contributors to State-building." He points 
out significantly that among the twenty-four million immigrants 
who came to the United States during the eighty years ending in 
June, 1906, the Scandinavians numbered more than one million 
and seven hundred thousand. 

The author begins with an analysis of the Scandinavian char- 

1 Reprinted by permission from the Mississippi Valley Historical 
Review, 2:440-43 (December, 1915). 

270 



BABCOCK: THE SCANDINAVIAN ELEMENT 271 

acter. Norwegians, Swedes, and Danes have many characteris- 
tics in common, such as patience, persistence, thrift, love of 
adventure, courage in facing the possibilities of the future, hatred 
of slavery, clear, high ideas of personal and political freedom. 
No less striking is their adaptability to changes of clime, condi- 
tions, and circumstances. Yet there are striking temperamental 
differences between the three. Mr. Babcock's contrast of the 
Swedes and Norwegians is discriminative and significant. The 
Swede is aristocratic, polite, vivacious, fond of dignities, assertive, 
often brilliant, yet a persistent worker, and capable of energy 
and endurance. The most striking quality of the Norwegian is 
his democracy. He is "simple, serious, intense, severe even to 
bluntness, often radical and visionary, and with a tendency to 
disputatiousness." He has fire and imagination, and is a stren- 
uous, almost turbulent, worker, but, in Mr. Babcock's opinion, he 
has rarely developed the qualities of great leadership. 

Immigrants to the United States are to be judged by "the 
character and preparation which best fit men to contribute to the 
permanent progress of a self-governing people." What is the 
status of the Scandinavians upon this basis? Mr. Babcock 
believes they are to be rated high their character, their literacy, 
their history confirming him in this belief. One feels that he 
might well have dealt more fully with the latter phase, the history 
of the Scandinavians in Europe as a background. The Nor- 
wegian constitution of 1814, for example, and the political and 
literary movements in that country during the nineteenth century 
undoubtedly exerted vast, though intangible, influence upon the 
thought of the Norwegian element in America. 

In a series of four chapters Mr. Babcock considers the causes 
for the great movement of Scandinavians in response to the call 
of the American West, and tells briefly and concisely the fasci- 
nating story of the westward wave of Scandinavian immigration. 
The chapters on Norwegian immigration deal with a subject that 
has been covered in a thorough and scholarly manner by George 
T. Flom in his monograph A History of Norwegian Immigration 
. . . to the Year 1848. Mr. Babcock adds a compact chapter 
dealing with the expansion and distribution of the Scandinavian 
immigrants during the years 1850-1900, tracing the stream of 
immigration as it flows out "over the wilderness of the upper 



272 REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

Mississippi Valley and west of the Great Lakes." He points out 
that seventy per cent of the total Scandinavian immigration came 
into the Northwest. 

The greater and more significant portion of the monograph is 
in the nature of an interpretation of the contribution of the 
Scandinavians to America from economic, religious, intellectual, 
social, and political standpoints. The section on "Economic 
Forces at Work" is impressive in the mass of facts and statistics 
which it presents. Of particular importance is the history of 
the relation of Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish immigrants to 
the land policy and the development of railway transportation in 
the West. The value of a particular group of immigrants in the 
building and development of a region is difficult to estimate 
because so many angles must be considered. Even economically 
a purely statistical study must be at best incomplete, for, as Mr. 
Babcock himself points out, industry, frugality, and intelligence 
are prime factors. Yet his estimate on the basis of money value 
is of considerable interest. He values an immigrant over four- 
teen and under forty-five at one thousand dollars. Then, esti- 
mating that eighty per cent of the foreign-born enumerated in 
the census of 1900 reached this country between those ages, the 
total capital represented by the Scandinavians on that basis was 
eight hundred and fifty million dollars. Immigration in the next 
five years added two hundred and thirty million dollars to this. 
The total represented "just so much given by the gods of plenty 
to accelerate the development of the West" (p. 93). 

Mr. Babcock's figures frequently do not come down to date. 
The money estimates referred to above reach the year 1905. On 
page 102 he speaks of the department store of "S. E. Olson & 
Co." in Minneapolis, as "one of the largest department stores 
west of Chicago, and probably the greatest Scandinavian business 
house in the country . . . which does a yearly business of about 
$2,000,000, and in the height of the season employs more than 
700 persons." However S. E. Olson and Company went out of 
business fourteen years ago. On page 122 in his paragraph on 
church services in the Lutheran church, figures for 1905 are 
used. Those for 1913 were available, and show a great advance 
in the transition from Norwegian to English. One page 121, also, 
the statistics of the United church are for 1905. Other similar 



BABCOCK: THE SCANDINAVIAN ELEMENT 273 

indications show that considerable portions of the book were 
written at least eight or nine years ago, and not thoroughly 
revised before publication. 

In discussing the Scandinavian element from the religious and 
intellectual standpoint, Mr. Babcock points out their almost per- 
fect literacy ; their record in acquiring the use of English ; their 
establishment of church schools and denominational colleges, as 
well as their loyalty to the American public school. In his 
account of churches and religion among the Scandinavians, he 
confines himself largely to statistics. The literature of the Scan- 
dinavian Lutheran church, the annual reports of the church 
synods, and other valuable sources on the religious life of the 
Scandinavians seem not to have been utilized. This is unfor- 
tunate when one considers how vital the church has been for a 
large proportion of the immigrants from the northern peninsula. 
It is likewise to be regretted that, while a good estimate of the 
Scandinavian press is given, no mention is made of the literary 
activity of the Danes, Norwegians, and Swedes in this country, 
which has been neither inconsiderable in quantity nor insignificant 
in quality. One fails to find in Mr. Babcock's book the names 
of the influential literary leaders among the Scandinavian-Amer- 
icans. Such a discriminative anthology as Norsk-amerikanske 
digte, for example, is not mentioned. One could wish that less 
attention had been given to the political, and more to the literary, 
musical, and artistic labors of the Scandinavians. 

After a brief statistical examination of their social relations 
and characteristics, Mr. Babcock makes a careful study of the 
Scandinavian influence in local and state politics, and of party 
preferences and political leadership. In the states of the North- 
west the Norse have been extremely active in all branches of 
local politics, no less than in the legislative, administrative, and 
executive departments of state government. Not a few have 
risen to high political distinction in both nation and state. With 
the spread of the spirit of independent voting, the old staunch 
republicanism of the Scandinavians seems to be undergoing a 
change. Mr. Babcock criticizes severely, and with good cause, 
the tendency toward voting and political recognition on a racial 
basis. 



274 REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

By thus surveying one important element in its development, 
Mr. Babcock has made a valuable contribution to American 
history and particularly to the history of the West. His conclu- 
sions, after so long and thorough a study, are significant. "In 
temperament, early training, and ideals," he declares, "the Scan- 
dinavians more nearly approach the American type than any other 
class of immigrants, except those from Great Britain. . . . The 
Scandinavians, knowing the price of American citizenship, have 
paid it ungrudgingly, and are proud of the possession of the high 
prerogatives and privileges conferred. They fit readily into 
places among the best and most serviceable of the nation's citi- 
zens; without long hammering or costly chiseling they give 
strength and stability, if not beauty and the delicate refinements 
of culture, to the social and economic structure of the United 
States" (page 181). 

A critical essay on materials and authorities, an appendix of 
statistical tables, and the index conclude the volume. In arrange- 
ment and classification, as well as inclusiveness, the bibliography 
is the best in its field. The section on documentary sources is 
particularly good. On the religious life and activity of the 
Scandinavians it is not so satisfactory. It is difficult to under- 
stand why such mines of information as the annual church 
reports should be omitted. Also, both for the Norwegians and 
Swedes, not a few congregational histories have been written, 
many of them of considerable historical interest, which are not 
included. Hjalmar R. Holand's De norske settlementers historic 
(Ephraim, Wisconsin, 1908. 603 p.), though to a certain degree 
uncritical, should not, at any rate, have been omitted from the 
bibliography. THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

The Scandinavian- American. By ALFRED O. FONKALSRUD, PH.D., 
with the collaboration of BEATRICE STEVENSON, M.A. 
(Minneapolis, K. C. Holter Publishing Company, 1915. 
167 p.) 

Lacking the comprehensiveness and careful workmanship of 
Mr. Babcock's monograph The Scandinavian Element in the 
United States, this thesis by Dr. Fonkalsrud, the result of a 
doctoral dissertation at New York University, is in some respects 



FULLER: MORRISON AND TODD COUNTIES 275 

a more philosophical interpretation of the Scandinavian element 
than the former. The historical European background, the 
significance of the religious activity of the Scandinavians in the 
United States, their literary and artistic achievements are phases 
which are treated inadequately or not at all by Mr. Babcock. 
Dr. Fonkalsrud devotes almost four of his nine chapters to these 
subjects. On the other hand, he gives only the general outlines 
of the history of the immigration to this country from the three 
Scandinavian countries, and barely touches upon the movement 
of expansion so thoroughly analyzed by Mr. Babcock. Himself 
a Norwegian-American, Dr. Fonkalsrud perhaps lacks the per- 
spective of Mr. Babcock, but his work is a philosophical study of 
his own people. He believes that the Scandinavians become 
Americanized too rapidly, and he deplores the rapid transition 
from the foreign to the English language. One feels that he is 
not altogether convincing, however, in the .position which he 
takes in this respect, nor in his thesis that the most permanent 
and valuable contribution of the Scandinavians to American char- 
acter and life must come from them as a unified group. 

The book is written in an awkward and, at times, somewhat 
stilted style. Footnotes, bibliography, and index are omitted, 
and a large number of annoying typographical errors mar the 
text. Despite these obvious shortcomings, however, the disser- 
tation has considerable value as a supplement to the monograph 
by Mr. Babcock. 

History of Morrison and Todd Counties, Minnesota; Their 
People, Industries, and Institutions; with Biographical 
Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Rec- 
ords of Many of the Old Families. By CLARA K. FULLER. 
In two volumes. (Indianapolis, B. F. Bowen and Company, 
1915. 302, 406 p. Illustrated) 

To a Minnesota man no better- field for worth-while, intensive 
work in history offers itself than the settlement and development 
of one of the counties of the state. The names of the first 
settlers, the travel routes, the most striking incidents of pioneer 
days, the organization of local government all this material is 
worthy of being recorded in permanent form. But there are 



276 REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

other things of much greater significance. We want to know 
where the settlers came from; by what routes and with what 
stops they arrived at their destination; what induced them to 
come. We want to know what economic problems they had to 
struggle with, and to what extent pioneer conditions influenced 
their political, religious, and social life. If these questions were 
answered fully and accurately for even one county, we should 
have a far clearer insight into Minnesota history than we have 
at the present time. 

The History of Morrison and Todd Counties is the work of a 
newspaper writer, and, quite naturally, is journalistic in style. 
As a whole, the material seems to have been put together rather 
hurriedly, and it is not well organized. The resulting volumes 
are not so much a history as a compilation. The writer has 
gathered together what has been already written and has incor- 
porated it without much rewriting into her own book. She has 
not searched for or brought out any new material. 

For an account of the early days of Morrison County the 
author has evidently relied mainly on Nathan Richardson's 
"History of Morrison County," which appeared serially in the 
Little Falls Transcript from February 6 to December 29, 1880. 
One could wish that she had made more use of the characteristic 
passages of this history. Richardson was a sturdy old pioneer 
a man of strong character and of marked likes and dislikes. His 
history expresses the pioneer point of view and is therefore 
valuable not only for what he says but for the way in which he 
says it. Occasional sentences in it give us glimpses of pioneer 
life which we can get in no other way ; for instance, speaking of 
the younger Hole-in-the-Day, he says : "He had the pleasure of 
taking off many of their [the Sioux's] scalps with his own hand, 
and a very good job he made of it. Some specimens that I saw 
him bring up at one time included not only the whole scalp, but 
a pair of ears besides, which, from their appearance, were not 
accustomed to the use of soap." 

The biographies which make up the second volume are based 
on the statements of the subjects of the sketches, and are, pre- 
sumably, accurate. They should prove for this reason a mine of 
information for later workers in this field. It seems unfortunate 



ROBINSON: AGRICULTURE IN MINNESOTA 277 

that the volume is confined to sketches of living people, and does 
not include biographies of the pioneers who have passed away. 
If the reader is looking for a detailed, connected account of 
the settlement and development of these two counties, he will be 
disappointed. If he expects to find a county history of the 
familiar commercial type, he will be satisfied. In typography, 
binding, and general make-up the volumes are superior to the 
general run of works of this character. 

CHARLES B. KUHLMANN 

Early Economic Conditions and the Development of Agriculture 
in Minnesota (The University of Minnesota, Studies in the 
Social Sciences, no. 3). By EDWARD VAN DYKE ROBINSON, 
PH.D., professor of economics in the University of Minne- 
sota. (Minneapolis, The University of Minnesota, 1915. 
v, 306 p.) 

Some years ago Professor Robinson, with the assistance of 
some of his students in the University of Minnesota, began the 
preparation of a statistical atlas designed to illustrate the develop- 
ment of agriculture in Minnesota. As the work progressed, 
however, it seemed desirable to include an interpretation of the 
facts thus presented in graphic form, and the result is an excel- 
lent monograph with a profusion of valuable maps, charts, and 
tables, and a statistical appendix. 

The first chapter, which presents the physiographic back- 
ground, and the second, dealing with explorations and the be- 
ginnings of trade and transportation, are of general interest. 
These chapters are illustrated by a valuable series of maps show- 
ing drainage basins, elevations, forest areas, weather conditions, 
water routes, military roads, and early railroads. The remainder 
of the work traces the agricultural development of the state 
through the periods of pioneer agriculture, 1836-60, specialized 
wheat farming, 1860-80, and diversified farming, 1880-1900, 
with a final chapter on recent tendencies. The principal reliance 
throughout is upon statistics, and the returns of the United 
States census are carefully analyzed for each decennial period. 
The figures themselves are given in detail either in text tables or 
in the appendix, and their significance is brought out graphically 



278 REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

by means of the diagrams and maps. Thus for each census date 
there are maps depicting, by the dot system, the distribution of 
population, of the production of different crops, of the various 
kinds of farm animals, and of the total value of farm products. 
In each of these maps the county is the unit, and the preface 
indicates that some difficulty was experienced in determining 
just what were the county boundaries at the given dates. Taken 
as a whole, the maps present a moving picture of the progress of 
population and agricultural development in Minnesota. 

Sources of information are clearly indicated in footnotes, and 
there is a "Bibliographic Note" listing about two hundred items 
and intended to serve "merely as a guide to some of the more 
important and readily accessible materials bearing on the eco- 
nomic development of the State." The usefulness of this bibliog- 
raphy would have been greatly enhanced by annotations indicating 
the character and value of the different works. Unfortunately 
no index is provided, an omission which is only slightly com- 
pensated for by the very elaborate analytical contents table. 

A comparison of some of the maps discloses discrepancies 
which a careful checking of the work should have eliminated. 
Thus the population maps on pages 46 and 47 would indicate that 
a number of counties, notably Pembina, had a larger "country" 
than "rural" population in 1860, although the latter includes the 
former, and the inhabitants of villages with less than 2,500 popu- 
lation as well. Again, on one of these two maps, the dots for 
Brown County are all grouped at the eastern end of the county, 
probably to indicate the part which was settled, while on the 
other map they are scattered over the whole area. The same 
system should have been used in both maps. The format of the 
book is unfortunate. Doubtless the oversize pages are necessary 
for clearness in the maps, but the text should have been arranged 
in double columns, for the long lines of ten-point print make 
very difficult reading. All these are minor matters, however, 
and students of Minnesota history and economics have cause to 
be grateful to Professor Robinson, whose career was recently 
closed by death, to his assistants, and to the graduate school of 
the University of Minnesota, which supplied the funds for the 
prosecution of the work and for its publication. 

SOLON J. BUCK 



COMMUNITY SURVEYS 279 

Social and Economic Survey of a Community in the Red River 
Valley (The University of Minnesota, Current Problems, 
no. 4). By Louis DWIGHT HARVELL WELD, PH.D., assistant 
professor of economics, chief of the division of research in 
agricultural economics. (Minneapolis, The University of 
Minnesota, 1915. vi, 86 p.) 

Social and Economic Survey of a Community in Northeastern 
Minnesota (The University of Minnesota, Current Problems, 
no. 5). By GUSTAV P. WARBER, M.A., sometime assistant 
in agricultural economics in the University of Minnesota. 
(Minneapolis, The University of Minnesota, 1915. viii, 
115 p.) 

There has been much discussion in recent years, both in the 
magazines and newspapers, of the rural life problem. As a 
result of investigations carried on by agricultural colleges and 
the United States department of agriculture, and with the more 
extensive use of modern farm machinery, a great advance has 
been made during the last fifty years in agricultural methods. 
Along with this advance is coming the realization that there is 
an insistent need of bettering the social, economic, and educa- 
tional conditions existing in rural communities. Recognizing 
that no constructive program of rural betterment can carry 
weight that is not based on an intimate knowledge of the pres- 
ent-day life of an average individual in a typical community, 
the division of research in agricultural economics of the Univer- 
sity of Minnesota three years ago began a series of intensive 
studies of several rural communities typical of different sections 
of Minnesota. The same general plan of procedure has been 
followed in all the studies. Members of the staff of the division 
visited personally the farms and homes of the territory under 
investigation, and first-hand data as to the economic, social, edu- 
cational, and religious activities of the people were obtained. 
From these field notes the statistical results have been worked 
out in the form of tables, diagrams, and textual comment. The 
first study by Mr. C. W. Thompson, published in 1913, is a sur- 
vey of a farming community in southeastern Minnesota "repre- 
sentative of those regions where diversified farming and dairy- 
ing have reached a fairly high state of development." Of the 



280 REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

two succeeding studies, the first, by Mr. Weld, is a survey of a 
community in the "large-farm, grain-growing section" of the 
state, in the Red River Valley ; the second, by Mr. Warber, of a 
community in the cut-over section of eastern Minnesota, "where 
potato-growing and dairying are the principal sources of agricul- 
tural income, and where the farms are comparatively small." 
In these volumes both a farming and a village community are 
studied, not so much for the purpose of comparing conditions in 
the two groups as to show the economic dependence of the one 
on the other. 

In the first chapter of his Red River Valley survey, Mr. Weld 
treats of general agricultural conditions. The leading facts 
brought out are the dependence of the farming population on the 
growing of grain crops, particularly of wheat, as a source of 
income ; the impending exhaustion of the soil due to the reluc- 
tance of the farmers to introduce a system of crop rotation 
whereby the fertility of the soil is increased, but from which the 
immediate financial returns are less ; and the increase in tenancy 
with the resulting lowering of standards of living and agricultural 
methods. The second chapter tells how the farming community 
lives. The large farms, separating their owners by long dis- 
tances, the mingling of different nationalities and religions, the 
large number of rented farms, with tenants coming and going, 
the cold winters, the long hours of labor, and the scarcity of 
"hired help" are responsible for the noticeable lack of social 
intercourse among the farmers and of interest in economic, civic, 
and educational activities. The marketing of farm products is 
treated in chapter 3. The facilities open to the farmer for dis- 
posing of his commodities are adequate, but attention is called to 
the fact that higher prices might be obtained were the farmers 
better organized economically. Very few cooperative associations 
exist. In chapter 4 the stores and industries of the village are 
described, and the economic dependence of the village on the 
rural community immediately tributary to it is noted. In the 
last chapter we learn how the village people live; the various 
occupations of the heads of families, the comforts and conven- 
iences found in the homes, the recreations and social organiza- 
tions are described. 



COMMUNITY SURVEYS 281 

In the survey of Braham township in northeastern Minnesota 
Mr. Warber has grouped his material in accordance with the same 
general plan as was noted in Mr. Weld's study. However, the 
agricultural conditions met with in this community differ greatly 
from those in the Red River Valley. The community is located 
in the cut-over region where the land must be cleared of stumps 
before it can be used for agricultural purposes. As a result the 
farms are small, most of them being only slightly over one hun- 
dred acres in extent. They are best adapted for dairy farm- 
ing ; little attention is paid to the raising of small grains, and the 
potato crop is practically the only cash crop. Economic condi- 
tions are hard, for only by careful scientific management can these 
farms be made to pay a reasonable return for the labor and 
capital invested. The farmers of this community, however, have 
learned the value of cooperation, and cooperative associations of 
various kinds are noted. There is more social intercourse be- 
tween families and between members of the farming community 
and the village. The statistics relating to the social, civic, edu- 
cational, and religious activities are given in more detail than in 
Mr. Weld's study. Mr. Warber has added interest and vividness 
to his narrative by introducing comments of the persons inter- 
viewed, showing their own attitude toward the conditions and 
institutions in their midst. 

These studies do not attempt to offer any definite schemes for 
improving the social and economic conditions obtaining in rural 
communities, but the series, when completed, will furnish com- 
parative data collected from representative sections of the state 
which will be of invaluable assistance to those who to-day are 
trying to solve the rural problem. By a careful study of these 
data "certain fundamental facts will gradually unfold, with the 
result that sane and definite methods of procedure may be 
evolved." But it is not alone to the present-day economist or 
sociologist that these studies are valuable; of equal worth will 
they be to that scholar who at some future time is to write a 
history of the people of Minnesota, for he will rank them among 
the most important of his source material on the life of Minne- 
sota's rural population in the opening decade of the twentieth 
century. 

FRANC M. POTTER 



MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

ANNUAL MEETING 

The annual meeting of the Minnesota Historical Society was 
held in the Capitol at St. Paul on the evening of January 10, 1916. 
The principal business was the presentation of the reports of the 
superintendent and treasurer on the operations and finances of 
the society during the year 1915. Mr. Ford spoke briefly on the 
need of a national archives building and presented the following 
resolutions, which were unanimously adopted : 

"Whereas the records and papers of the United States govern- 
ment contain an inexhaustible and priceless body of information 
for the statesman, the administrator, the historian, and the read- 
ing public ; and, 

"Whereas many of these papers, such as the fundamental land 
records, military, Indian, and territorial records, are also of great 
importance to the state of Minnesota both from the administrative 
and historical points of view; and, 

"Whereas these papers are now scattered through many reposi- 
tories in Washington, housed often at great expense for rental in 
unsafe and unsuitable buildings, exposed to danger from fire, and 
difficult of access ; and, 

"Whereas the only true remedy lies in the construction of a 
suitable national archives building, in which these papers and 
records can be arranged systematically, found with rapidity, and 
consulted with ease ; 

"Resolved that we, the members of the Minnesota Historical 
Society in annual meeting assembled, respectfully request the 
representatives and senators from Minnesota in Congress to do 
all in their power to further the passage by Congress of appropri- 
ations for the speedy construction of a suitable building in which 
to concentrate and properly care for the muniments of the Ameri- 
can people." 1 

1 Copies of these resolutions were sent, as directed, to each of 
the senators and representatives from Minnesota in Congress, and 
replies have been received at this writing from Senators Nelson 
and Clapp, and Representatives Miller, Davis, Smith, Steenerson, 



MEMBERSHIP 283 

At the close of the business session the society adjourned from 
its reading room to the Senate Chamber, where, despite the 
inclement weather, a good-sized audience was gathered to hear 
the annual address by President Vincent of the University of 
Minnesota on "The Social Memory." 

MEMBERSHIP 

The total number of members on the rolls of the society on 
January 1, 1916, was 435, of whom 21 were honorary, 79 corre- 
sponding, and 335 active members. The active members are fur- 
ther classified as 269 life, 51 sustaining, and 15 annual members. 
There were 38 new members enrolled during the year, 37 being 
active and 1 corresponding. There were 27 members dropped 
for non-payment of dues and 15 died during the year, making 
a total loss of 42. Of these, 38 belonged to the class of active 
members, 3 were corresponding members, and 1 was an honorary 
member. It will be seen, therefore, that there has been a nom- 
inal decrease of 1 in the active membership, and 4 in the total 
membership. In reality, however, the 27 members who were 
dropped from the rolls^ for non-payment of dues should not have 
been counted as members a year ago, in which case the increase 
in active membership would have appeared as 26. It should be 
stated that several opportunities were given to delinquents to pay 
up their back dues, and some did so. The names of the remain- 
der were then stricken from the rolls. The Minnesota Historical 
Society should have a much larger membership, for certainly 
there are many more people in the state who are interested in its 
history, and who would wish to be connected with the society if 
the matter were brought to their attention effectively. 

The following active members were enrolled during 1915: 
John M. Bradford, E. L. Shepley, Rev. Arthur W. Farnum, 
Harry T. Drake, George B. Ware, Professor Thomas Shaw, 
Homer P. Clark, Amanda Sundean, Mrs. Mary E. McGill, C. J. 
McConville, Professor Henry M. Funk, James D. Armstrong, 

Van Dyke, and Anderson. Most of those who replied expressed their 
hearty approval of the movement, but some doubted the possibility 
of securing an appropriation for the building at the present session 
of Congress. Members of the society whose representatives' names 
do not appear in the list would do well to write to them urging their 
support of the measure. 



284 HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

Frances H. Relf, and Victor Robertson of St. Paul; James T. 
Gerould, Professor Wallace Notestein, Mrs. James T. Morris, 
Anson S. Brooks, Professor Albert B. White, N. N. Ronning, 
Mrs. George E. Tuttle, Professor A. C. Krey, and Wilson P. 
Shortridge of Minneapolis; Earl W. La Gow, Sleepy Eye; Dr. 
Howard M. Hamblin, Washington, D. C. ; George M. Palmer, 
Mankato; Henry S. Welcome, London, England; Theodore C. 
Blegen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Dr. H. M. Blegen, Oslo; F. 
Curtiss-Wedge, Winona ; Mary V. Carney, Hibbing ; Rev. T. A. 
Stafford, Litchfield; and James M. George, Winona. 

The present whereabouts of three of the life members of the 
society are unknown, letters having been returned undelivered 
from the addresses on the records. They are Rev. William 
Gannett, formerly of Rochester, Minnesota; Thomas H. Kirk, 
formerly of San Bernardino, California ; and Charles Eliot Pike, 
formerly of Los Angeles, California. It is possible that some of 
these are no longer living, but no records of their deaths have 
been received in the office. Information about them will be 
greatly appreciated. 

GROWTH OF THE LIBRARY 

The total number of accessions recorded during the year 1915 
was 2,232, of which 1,870 were bound volumes, and 362 were 
pamphlets placed in pamphlet binders. Of these accessions, 956 
items were purchased, 123 were received as exchanges, 366 are 
gifts, not including 156 United States government documents 
received on deposit, and 371 are volumes of newspapers donated 
by the publishers, but bound by the society. The remaining 260 
items represent material, mostly pamphlets, which has been in the 
possession of the society for some time, but was not accessioned 
until the past year. The total number of accessions on January 1, 
1916, was 78,854, of which 78,492 are bound volumes and 362 
are pamphlets in binders. The unaccessioned material in the 
library is estimated at 41,000, making a total estimated strength 
of almost 120,000 books and pamphlets. Most of the unacces- 
sioned material is in the form of pamphlets, many of which are 
of great value ; all except those of an ephemeral character will be 
put in pamphlet binders and accessioned as rapidly as possible. 



AN APPEAL TO THE MEMBERS 28S 

In view of the crowded condition of the library, it does not 
seem feasible to make extensive purchases of books at the pres- 
ent time. Much of the energy of the library staff, therefore, is 
directed to the filling-in of the many gaps in the various sets con- 
tained in the library. Considerable progress has been made along 
these lines, and it is believed that the value of the library as an 
historical workshop will be thereby greatly increased. 

A COOPERATIVE VENTURE 

The most important materials for the history of Minnesota, 
outside the state, are to be found in the archives of the United 
States government at Washington. Unfortunately the conditions 
in the various archive depositories make the use of these materials 
very difficult, and in some cases their permanent preservation is 
doubtful unless the government speedily constructs a national 
archives building. For some years a number of historical institu- 
tions in the Northwest have been searching in various of these 
depositories for material relating to their respective fields, and 
have been securing photographic copies of what seemed to be of 
value. During the past year, however, the historical societies and 
departments of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, and 
Minnesota got together and agreed to cooperate in a search of the 
files of the state department. The services of an expert were 
secured, and he is now engaged in calendaring all material in these 
files bearing on the history of the cooperating states. By means 
of this calendar each institution can select such documents as it 
desires to have photographed for its library. In the course of 
time, therefore, it is expected that the Minnesota Historical Soci- 
ety will secure a collection of material of great importance, espe- 
cially for the territorial period, at a cost which will be small 
compared to what it would cost to do this without the cooperation 
of the other institutions. 

AN APPEAL TO THE MEMBERS 

Occasionally members are at a loss to know just how they can 
be of assistance to the society, and a few suggestions may be in 
order. No phase of the society's work is more important than 
the gathering-in of manuscript papers and records, old news- 



286 HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOT$ 

paper files, and fugitive publications, for, once destroyed, such 
material can seldom be restored. There is hardly a member but 
knows of or can locate material of this sort and can secure its 
deposit with the society if he will make the effort. One difficulty 
seems to be a failure on the part of many to realize that the 
breadth of historical interests to-day gives value to almost every 
scrap of paper with writing on it and every printed folder or 
handbill. In case of doubt whether material would or would not 
be desirable for preservation by the society, it is always best to 
send it in and let us see if we can't find some point of view from 
which it might be of value. Probably every member of the 
society belongs to other societies, clubs, and institutions in the 
state which issue regular or occasional publications. Yearbooks, 
reports, even programs and announcements of such organizations 
should be preserved in the library, and members can help in this 
by sending in their own copies or having the society put on the 
mailing list. 

Perhaps one of the most important services which a member 
can render to the society is to impress upon the people of the 
state and especially upon the members of the legislature the fact 
that the society is in effect a state institution ; that the work which 
it is performing is properly a function of the state and should 
be supported by it; that the appropriations for the maintenance 
of the society are not in the nature of gifts to a private institution, 
but comprise rather funds set aside for the state's historical activ- 
ities and administered by the society. If historical work in Min- 
nesota is to compare favorably with that of neighboring states, 
a considerable increase in the annual appropriation will soon be 
needed. The present staff is not large enough to care properly 
for a rapidly growing library of 120,000 volumes, to say nothing 
of field work, research, and editorial work. If, as is expected, 
provision is made for the transfer of state archives to the new 
building, appropriations will be needed for their administration. 
The possibilities of historical work are very great at this time in 
Minnesota, where the pioneers are now passing off the stage. 
Fifty years hence much of the material existing to-day will be 
destroyed, and no amount of expenditure in the future can make 
up for the failure of the present generation to preserve the 
records of the past and the passing ages. 



GIFTS 287 

GIFTS 

An ornamented hammer presented by Mr. W. E. Mowrey, 
through the courtesy of the treasurer of the society, Mr. E. H. 
Bailey, is an interesting memento. It is accompanied by a neatly 
lettered card containing the following explanation : 

"This hammer was used on the occasion of driving 'the last 
spike' connecting the eastern and western sections of the main 
line of the Northern Pacific Railroad, at a point 2y 2 miles west 
of Garrison, Montana. President Henry Villard of the Railroad 
Co. had invited a large party of distinguished men from a number 
of foreign countries, as well as our own, for an excursion over 
the road, conveyed by four sections of a special train, starting 
from St. Paul on Monday, Sept. 3rd, 1883, after elaborate cele- 
brations at St. Paul and Minneapolis, and reaching the point of 
connection on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 8th. After speeches by 
Mr. Villard, Hon. Wm. M. Evarts (chief orator), Secretary 
Teller, Ex President of the R. R. Co. Mr. Frederick Billings, Sir 
James Hannon, the German Minister Von Eisendecker, and Gen- 
eral U. S. Grant, at 6:13 P. M., Central time, the last spike was 
driven by Mr. Villard and Mr. Henry C. Davis, who, it was 
claimed, had driven the first spike at Northern Pacific Junction 
(now Carleton), Minn. The Telegraph Dept. of the Company 
had connected one end of the telegraph wire to the hammer, and 
the other end to the spike, so that a signal would be sent simul- 
taneously to St. Paul and Portland on each stroke. At St. Paul 
it was so arranged that a cannon was automatically fired in Smith 
Park by the first stroke of the hammer. At the conclusion of 
the ceremonies, the excursion trains proceeded to Spokane, Port- 
land, Tacoma and Seattle, where enthusiastic receptions were 
given the party." 

From Mr. John H. La Vaque of Duluth has been received a 
copy of The First Minnesota, a paper published at Berryville, 
Virginia, March 11, 1862, "by a detachment of the typographical 
fraternity of the First Minnesota Regiment," consisting of "Ed. 
A. Stevens, Thos. H. Pressnell, O. Nelson, Chas. S. Drake, 
Frank J. Mead, Julian J. Kendall, Henry W. Lindergreen." 
When the Union troops took possession of Berryville, March 10, 
the editor of the Berryville Conservator fled, and these men, 



288 HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

being familiar with the art of printing, took possession of the 
plant and issued a four-page sheet. About one page of new 
matter, intended for the entertainment of the Union soldiers, 
was set up, and the remainder of the paper was filled out with 
advertisements and a report already in type for the Conservator. 

A large framed roster of "Officers of the United States Army 
and Navy, Prisoners of War, Libby Prison, Richmond, Va." has 
been presented by Mrs. Martha A. Gordon of St. Paul in memory 
of her husband Lieutenant E. Gordon, of the Eighty-first Indiana 
Regiment, whose name appears thereon. 

Fifteen original photographs of Civil War scenes, printed about 
1890 from the plates made by M. B. Brady and Alexander Gard- 
ner, "authorized government photographers," have been presented 
by Mr. Wilbur L. Booth of St. Paul, through the courtesy of Mr. 
Charles Humason of the adjutant general's office. 



NEWS AND COMMENT 

The first attempt of the French to establish a trading post and 
mission station on Minnesota soil was in 1727, when Rene 
Boucher, Sieur de la Perriere, constructed Fort Beauharnois on 
the west shore of Lake Pepin, near the site of Frontenac. In the 
following summer La Perriere returned to Montreal, leaving the 
establishment, apparently, in the charge of Pierre Boucher, Sieur 
de Boucherville. Because of the hostility of the Foxes and the 
doubtful attitude of the Sioux, De Boucherville decided, in Sep- 
tember, 1728, to abandon the post. His relation of his experi- 
ences on the return journey, including a captivity among the 
Kickapoo, together with observations on the manners and customs 
of the Sioux, was published by Michel Bibaud in volume 3 of 
La Bibliotheque Canadienne (Montreal, 1826), apparently from 
the original manuscript. A translation of this printed transcript 
was included by Thwaites in volume 17 of the Wisconsin Histori- 
cal Collections, and this translation is now reprinted in the Janu- 
ary number of the Iowa Journal of History and Politics under the 
title "Captivity of a Party of Frenchmen among Indians in the 
Iowa Country, 1728-1729." The reprint is edited by Jacob Van 
der Zee, who has supplied some new notes. Part of Thwaites's 
notes are quoted, part are paraphrased, but others are omitted 
entirely. The last two pages of the document, as printed in the 
Wisconsin Historical Collections, containing the "Observations 
on the Scioux," are omitted also. Nowhere in the reprint is 
there a reference to the original publication in French. 

Some years ago a manuscript map entitled "A Topographic 
View of the Site of Fort S 4 Anthony at the Confluence of the 
Mississippi and S* Peters Rivers" was found among the papers 
of General Sibley. This was reproduced by Edward A. Bromley 
in 1904, and Mr. Upham called attention to it in his paper on 
"The Women and Children of Fort St. Anthony" in the Maga- 
zine of History for July (see ante p. 243). Recently another 
manuscript map of the same region entitled "Part of the Michigan 
& Missouri Territories at the Confluence of Mississippi & S* 

289 



290 NEWS AND COMMENT 

Peters Rivers, 1821," which was "Presented to Tho. Forsyth by 
his friend Major Marston 5 th Infantry," has been located in the 
Forsyth Papers in the possession of the Wisconsin Historical 
Society. The two maps are so much alike in general features 
that it would appear that one was copied from the other, and they 
are probably the work of the same draughtsman, but each con- 
tains some features not to be found on the other. The Sibley 
map has no date, but has been assigned by Mr. Bromley to 1823. 
A photographic reproduction of the Forsyth map has been secured 
for the Minnesota Historical Society. 

The Third Census of the State of South Dakota Taken in the 
Year 1915 (1168 p.) was compiled under the direction of the 
state department of history of which Doane Robinson is secretary 
and superintendent, the actual work of enumeration being per- 
formed by the local assessors. Every inhabitant was entered in 
a population register and also on a card containing blanks for 
much useful information. As a result of this system "the state 
possesses a complete card index of all of her people." An 
unusual feature of this census was the attempt to secure data as 
to "ancestry," which would appear to have been fairly successful. 
There has been a tendency of late toward the abandoning of state 
censuses, due doubtless to the fact that their value has seemed 
disproportionate to the cost. South Dakota, however, by the 
application of methods of "economy and efficiency" has secured, 
for an expenditure of a little over five thousand dollars, a body of 
valuable population and agricultural statistics. To future stu- 
dents of history, sociology, genealogy, and agricultural economics, 
the data thus collected will be a veritable mine. The department of 
history has also issued a Fifteenth Annual Review of the Progress 
of South Dakota, /p/5 (11 p.). 

The Tiventy-eighth Report of the commissioner of public rec- 
ords of Massachusetts (8 p.) states that during 1915 the officer 
made "inspection of the care, custody, and protection against fire 
of public records of departments and offices of the Common- 
wealth, counties, cities, and towns" in 163 places. One town was 
forced by court proceedings to procure a safe for its records, and 
four counties and fourteen towns had part of their records 
"repaired, renovated or bound during the year ... in most 



NEWS AND COMMENT 291 

instances by order of the commissioner." The use of typewriter 
ribbons or stamping pads other than those approved by the com- 
missioner, of which a list is given in the Report, is a violation of 
law. The time may come when the western states will be awak- 
ened to the importance of looking after the preservation of their 
records. 

The Indiana Magazine of History for December contains an 
account of "The Indiana Historical Commission and Plans for 
the Centennial" by Professor James A. Woodburn. In addition 
to fostering the various centennial celebrations, the commission 
expects to publish four volumes of historical material: two con- 
taining messages of the governors to 1851, prepared by the 
Indiana historical survey of Indiana University under the edi- 
torial direction of Professor Samuel B. Harding; one on early 
travel in Indiana, edited by Professor Harlow Lindley of the 
archives department of the state library; and one on the history 
of constitution-making in Indiana by Charles B. Kettleborough 
of the state legislative reference bureau. 

A valuable study of "The Indian Agent in the United States 
before 1850" by Ruth A. Gallaher is published in the January 
issue of the Iowa Journal of History and Politics. This is 
announced as "the first of a series of four articles dealing with 
one phase of the history of Indian affairs in the United States 
with special reference to Iowa." 

The December issue of the Mississippi Valley Historical 
Review contains the annual summary of "Historical Activities 
in the Trans-Mississippi Northwest" by Dan E. Clark of the 
State Historical Society of Iowa. 

The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company has issued a five-volume 
work (Chicago, 1915) consisting of a History of Dakota Terri- 
tory by George W. Kingsbury, in two volumes, South Dakota, 
Its History and Its People, edited by George Martin Smith, one 
volume, and two volumes devoted to biographical sketches of 
South Dakota people. The volumes on the territory contain a 
considerable amount of documentary material of value, much of 
which is pertinent to the history of Minnesota as well as of 
Dakota. 



292 NEWS AND COMMENT 

A "Report on the preparation of teachers for teaching local 
and Nebraska history as presented at the State Normal at 
Kearney" was read by Professor C. N. Anderson of that institu- 
tion before the Nebraska History Teachers' Association last May, 
and has been published by the Nebraska Legislative Reference 
Bureau in its Nebraska History and Political Science Series 
(1915. 15 p.). The report deals first with the reasons for teach- 
ing state and local history and then discusses materials and 
methods with many practical suggestions. 

A useful series of bibliographies of foreign elements in the 
United States, compiled by Ina Ten Eyck Firkins of the Univer- 
sity of Minnesota library, is appearing in the Bulletin of Bibliog- 
raphy. Italians, Scandinavians, Slavs, and Irish have been dealt 
with in the January, April, October, 1915, and January, 1916 
issues, respectively. 

The Indiana State Library has issued as number 4 of its 
Reference Circulars a List of Books on Pageants (8 p.). While 
confined to material in the library, including books, pamphlets, 
and periodical articles, it would be a useful bibliography for any 
one interested in the subject. 

A pamphlet entitled The New Library Building (29 p.) con- 
tains descriptions and illustrations of the building erected at 
Columbia for the libraries of the University of Missouri and the 
State Historical Society of Missouri. The central portion of the 
building was recently completed at a cost of two hundred thou- 
sand dollars and was formally opened on January 6. 

The January number of the Wisconsin Alumni Magazine con- 
tains a popular description of "The State Historical Museum" 
maintained by the Wisconsin Historical Society in its building at 
Madison. The article is by Charles E. Brown, curator of the 
museum. 

Under the title "Indian Eloquence in a Judicial Forum" in the 
Central Law Journal for January (St. Louis), Judge John W. 
Willis of St. Paul presents a dramatic speech delivered by an 
Ojibway chief at the conclusion of a trial in which white men 
were convicted of murdering Indians. The trial took place in 
Brainerd in 1881. 



NEWS AND COMMENT 293 

Five graduate students in the University of Minnesota are 
engaged in research work in Minnesota history: Franklin H. 
Holbrook is working on the political career of Ignatius Donnelly ; 
Charles B. Kuhlmann, on the settlement of Morrison County; 
Jeannette Rutledge, on the history of the liquor question in Min- 
nesota ; William R. Fieldhouse, on the history of the flour-milling 
industry in Minneapolis; and Wilson P. Shortridge, on the 
organization and the changes in boundaries of Minnesota's coun- 
ties. It is expected that the results of the work of the first four 
will be presented as theses for the master's degree in the depart- 
ment of history. 

The Hennepin County Territorial Pioneers' Association held 
its semi-annual meeting at the old Godfrey house, Richard Chute 
Square, Minneapolis, January 8, 1916. The presentation to the 
association of a pair of snowshoes which formerly were the 
property of Pierre Bottineau led to the relation by those present 
of many interesting incidents in the life of this once famous 
guide. 

On the invitation of Captain Fred A. Bill and ex-Governor 
S. R. Van Sant a number of old-time rivermen gathered at the 
Hotel Leamington in Minneapolis on the evening of November 
11, 1915, and organized the Pioneer Rivermen's Association. The 
object of the association is to keep alive memories of steamboat 
days on the Mississippi River; to this end it will collect and 
preserve historical data about its members. 

The Old Settlers' Association of the Head of the Lakes and 
the Old Settlers' Benefit Association held their annual banquet 
at Hotel Euclid, Superior, December 8, 1915. About two hun- 
dred persons were present. The principal address of the after- 
noon was given by Colonel Hiram Hayes, for sixty-one years a 
resident of Superior, who spoke on the settlement of the head of 
the lakes by white men. A. R. Merritt paid tribute to "The 
Fathers and Mothers of the Old Settlers" for the courage with 
which they endured the hardships of pioneer days. In an address 
"In Memoriam" J. P. Johnson gave some account of the deeds 
of the pioneers. 



294 NEWS AND COMMENT 

MINNESOTA PUBLICATIONS 

As number 151 of its series of Bulletins the Agricultural 
Experiment Station of the University of Minnesota has issued 
Quack Grass Eradication, by A. C. Arny of the division of agron- 
omy and farm management (University Farm, St. Paul, 1915. 
82 p.). Bulletin 152, entitled Farmers' Elevators in Minnesota, 
by L. D. H. Weld of the division of research in agricultural 
economics, is a valuable contribution to the economic history of 
the state (24 p.). A brief historical sketch of the farmers' 
elevator movement is followed by a description of its present 
status and of methods of organization and management. 

"Swamp Land Drainage with Special Reference to Minnesota" 
by Ben Palmer (1915. 138 p.) is number 5 of the University of 
Minnesota Studies in the Social Sciences. Special attention has 
been given to the legal aspects of the subject, and two chapters 
are devoted to the history of drainage legislation and swamp land 
reclamation in Minnesota. 

Further Observations on Minnesota Birds; Their Economic 
Relations to the Agriculturist (24 p.) has recently been issued 
as number 35 of the Circulars of the state entomologist, F. L. 
Washburn. 

The Farmer, a journal of agriculture published weekly by the 
Webb Publishing Company of St. Paul, issued on January 1, 
1916, an Automobile Census of Minnesota (40 p.), based on the 
registration of automobiles in the office of the secretary of state 
up to November 1, 1915. 

Laws of Minnesota Relating to the Public School System, 
Including the State Normal Schools and the University of Minne- 
sota is the title of a pamphlet prepared under the direction of 
C. G. Schulz, superintendent of education, by W. H. Williams 
of the St. Paul bar (1915. 135 p.). The compilation is based 
on the General Statutes, 1913, and the later laws and amend- 
ments, and contains all the general laws relating to the public 
schools which are of practical use and application, arranged by 
subjects. 



MINNESOTA PUBLICATIONS 295 

Summary of Conditions in the Minnesota Institutions under 
the Direction of the State Board of Control is the title of a 
pamphlet recently issued by the board for the fiscal year ending 
July 31, 1915, which should prove of interest to students of 
sociology (18 p.). 

Volume 130 of Minnesota Reports, covering all cases argued 
and determined in the supreme court of the state from June 11 
to September 10, 1915, has been issued under the direction of 
Henry Burleigh Wenzell, reporter (xx, 652 p.). 

The state high school board has issued the Twenty-second 
Annual Report of the inspector of state high schools (80 p.), 
and the Twentieth Annual Report of the inspector of state 
graded schools (45 p.), each for the school year ending July 31, 
1915. 

The Synod of Minnesota of the Presbyterian Church has 
published the Minutes of its fifty-seventh annual meeting, which 
was held at the First Presbyterian Church, Minneapolis, October 
12-15, 1915 (119 p.). The volume contains as an appendix an 
interesting account of the exercises conducted on the evening of 
October 13 by the First Presbyterian Church in commemoration 
of the eightieth anniversary of its organization. This church 
through many changes in name and location traces its develop- 
ment back to the First Presbyterian Church at St. Peters, Upper 
Mississippi, organized at Fort Snelling on June 11, 1835, by Rev. 
Thomas S. Williamson the first Protestant church in Minne- 
sota. 

The Minneapolis branch of the Woman's Foreign Missionary 
Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church has published its 
Thirty-second Annual Report for the year ending October 1, 
1915 (113 p,). 

The General Congregational Conference of Minnesota has 
issued the Minutes of its sixtieth annual meeting, held at Waseca, 
October 5-7, 1915 (104 p.). 

The board of directors of the Northwestern Hospital in Minne- 
apolis has issued its Thirty-third Annual Report covering the 
year ending November 1, 1915 (72 p.). 



296 NEWS AND COMMENT 

The Proceedings of the forty-sixth annual assembly of the 
Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Minnesota, held at 
St. Paul, October 11, 1915, has appeared (64 p.). 

The Minnesota Legislature of 1915 by C. J. Buell (112 p.) 
is a detailed examination of the work of the last general 
assembly, similar in character to his book on the legislature of 
1913 and to the books by Lynn Haines on the legislatures of 1909 
and 1911. 

Axel Hayford Reed of Glencoe, Minnesota, is the compiler of 
a Genealogical Record of the Reads, Reeds, the Bisbees, the 
Bradfords of the United States, recently published (164 p.). 
About sixty pages are devoted to extracts from a diary kept by 
the author while serving in Company K of the Second Minnesota 
Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. 

A Minnesota Christmas and Other Verses is the title of a 
small book of poems by May Stanley (Duluth, c. 1914. 59 p.). 
The volume is dedicated to the pioneers of northern Minnesota, 
for whom the author has embodied in verse possessing some 
charm the beauties of the woods and waters of the north land. 

The Irving Sketch Book (December, 1915. 60 p.) is an attrac- 
tive booklet containing stories, poems, descriptions, and composi- 
tions selected from the "regular class work of the children of the 
Irving School, Minneapolis." 

The students of the William Hood Dunwoody Industrial 
Institute of Minneapolis have begun the publication of a school 
monthly entitled The Artisan. The first number is dated Decem- 
ber, 1915. 

A series of thirteen articles by Louis L. Collins under the 
general title "Story of the Wards," which is appearing in the 
Sunday issues of the Minneapolis Journal, forms a rather unique 
and valuable addition to Minneapolis bibliography. The story 
of the historical and industrial development peculiar to each 
ward is related in a succession of episodes, of incidents in the 
lives of the men and women prominently connected with the 
ward, and of glimpses into its economic, political, and social life 
throughout its history. The series began with an article on the 



MINNESOTA PUBLICATIONS 297 

first ward in the issue of January 9, and the other wards are 
being covered, one each week, in numerical order. 

Questions connected with the killing of Chief Little Crow and 
the present location of his skull received considerable attention 
from Minnesota papers recently. Any one interested in the 
subject is referred to articles in the Lit ch field Independent, Sep- 
tember 15 and November 3, the St. Paul Daily News, November 
7, the Eden Valley Journal, November 11, the Silver Lake 
Leader, November 13, the Minneapolis Journal, November 14, 
the Brown County Journal of New Ulm, December 18, the New 
Ulm Review, December 22, and the Minneapolis Tribune, Decem- 
ber 26. The fifty-third anniversary of the execution of the 
Sioux Indians at Mankato called forth in the Mankato Review 
of December 27 an interview with Thomas Hughes of that city 
giving an account of the event. 

The Aitkin Independent Age published in its issues of Decem- 
ber 25, 1915, and January 1 and 8, 1916, under the title "Old 
Timer Tells of Early Days," a manuscript written by Cleveland 
Stafford, a pioneer of Aitkin, who died December 15, 1915. Staf- 
ford's account is full of valuable data concerning the early history 
of northwestern Minnesota, his descriptions of early travel 
routes being of especial interest. He was engaged in the fur 
trade in early territorial days, and collected furs from the Indians 
of the northern part of the territory, making trips from Fond 
du Lac to Leech Lake as well as to Crow Wing and down the 
Mississippi to St. Anthony Falls. Later he hauled freight by 
team from Superior to Fort Ripley. He lived for a time in 
Minneapolis and knew many of the men prominent in its early 
history. In the latter part of the manuscript many incidents 
connected with the early history of Aitkin and the surrounding 
northern country are given. 

The recent demolition of the first brick building erected in St. 
Paul the former residence of Captain Louis Robert to make 
room for a modern business structure, furnished the occasion for 
an interesting article by Captain Robert's daughter, Mrs. Jean- 
nette Lamprey, entitled "Belle of Robert Street Tells about Early 
Days," which appeared in the St. Paul Daily News, November 25, 
1915. 



298 NEWS AND COMMENT 

John H. McGary of Independence township, Hennepin County, 
has been contributing to the Wayzata Reporter a series of 
articles of historical value entitled "History in This Vicinity," in 
which the name and location of some of the early settlers of the 
western part of the county are given. The first article appeared 
October 28, 1915. 

The Osseo Review devoted considerable space in its special 
edition of December 15, 1915, to "Osseo History in Pictures," 
an article describing the platting of the village on Pierre Bot- 
tineau prairie in 1856, and containing sketches of some of its 
pioneer citizens. In the same issue Mayor Albert P. Hechtman 
writes at some length on the "Origin of the word 'Osseo.' " 

Under the title "Things You Should Know about the Early 
History of Martin County" the Martin County Sentinel has been 
publishing from time to time beginning with its issue of October 
26, 1915, extracts from William H. Budd's History of Martin 
County (Fairmont, Minnesota, 1897. 124 p.). 

A decision has been finally reached in the controversy which 
has been carried on in the newspapers of Yellow Medicine 
County for some weeks as to who was the first white child born 
in the county. It now appears from an article entitled "First 
White Child Again" in the Granite Falls Journal, November 11, 
1915, that the honor belongs to Robert B. Riggs, professor of 
chemistry, Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, who was born 
May 22, 1855, at Hazlewood mission, located south of Granite 
Falls, founded by his father, Rev. Stephen R. Riggs, one of the 
early Presbyterian missionaries. 

Among other articles containing items of historical interest 
which have appeared in recent issues of Minnesota newspapers 
may be noted the following : "Proctor Man Tells Romantic Story 
of Rainy Lake City" by C. A. Moore, the story of a munici- 
pality which sprang up quickly on the discovery of gold in the 
Rainy Lake district and was as quickly abandoned upon the 
failure of the mines to produce great wealth, in the Duluth 
Herald, November 13, 1915 ; "Indian Scare in Pioneer Days" by 
Harry Kemper of Perham, in the Battle Lake Review, November 
25, 1915; "Old Indian Tells of Trip over Snow in 1870 with 



MINNESOTA PUBLICATIONS 299 

J. J. Hill" by Joe Perrault of the White Earth Reservation, in 
the Minneapolis Tribune, November 28, 1915; "Experience of 
One Residing in Benton County for Fifty Years" by Mrs. Mary 
Skeate, in the Sank Rapids Sentinel, December 9, 1915 ; "Was 
Missionary in Early Days of Minnesota" by Rev. Thomas 
Scotton, in the Virginia Daily Enterprise, January 12, 1916; 
"Recalls Old Days," an interesting letter from George W. Bus- 
well, a former Winona resident, in the Winona Herald, January 
16, 1916; "Pioneer Tells of Early Days" by W. B. Whitney of 
Birch Lake, in the Melrose Beacon, January 19, 1916; "Christ- 
mas in 1868," in which an old settler tells of his first Christmas 
spent in Stevens County, in the Morris Sun, December 23, 1915 ; 
"Was Real Pioneer," containing incidents in the life of J. H. 
Bliler, one of the first school teachers in Stearns County, in the St. 
Cloud Journal-Press, November 22, 1915, reprinted from the 
Osakis Review; the great blizzard of 1873 is recalled in the fol- 
lowing articles : "Anniversary of Memorable Minnesota Bliz- 
zard of 1873" in the Wells Mirror, January 15, 1916; "Early 
Blizzards are Recalled by W. C. Gamble" in the Martin County 
Sentinel, January 14, 1916 ; "Lasted for Fifty-two Hours" in the 
Albert Lea Tribune, January 7, 1916. 



MINNESOTA HISTORY BULLETIN 



EDITED BY 



SOLON J. BUCK 



SITERINTENDENT OF THE MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY 
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF HISTORY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA 



VOL. 1, No. 6 
MAY, 1916 



THE MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY 
BUILDING 

For many years the work of the Minnesota Historical Society 
has been hampered by the inadequacy of its quarters in the base- 
ment of the Capitol. Thousands of books and numberless 
pictures and museum articles have had to be stored in boxes in 
the sub-basement or left in the Old Capitol where they are in 
constant danger of destruction by fire, while members of the 
staff have had to work in all sorts of cubby-holes and dark 
corners. Finally, after much earnest effort on the part of 
members of the society and of others who believe in the preser- 
vation of the materials for the history of the state, the legisla- 
ture of 1913 passed an act appropriating five hundred thousand 
dollars for the construction by the state board of control of a 
building for the society and the supreme court. This act pro- 
vided for the acceptance by the state of a donation of seventy- 
five thousand dollars from the private funds of the society to 
be used in purchasing a site for the building and in equipping 
the part of it to be occupied by the society. The site selected 
had to have the approval of both the society and the board of 
control. Many members of the society favored the so-called 
Lamprey site southeast of the Capitol on the corner of Cedar 
Street and Central Avenue, where the building would overlook 
the plaza in front of the Capitol and would fit in with the plans 
worked out by Cass Gilbert for the development of capitol 
approaches. The board of control, however, selected the Mer- 
riam site, a large tract located directly northeast of the Capitol, 
and the executive council of the society finally approved of the 
selection and paid over the money for its purchase. 

In the meantime a still more serious difficulty arose. The 
architect selected, Mr. Clarence H. Johnston of St. Paul, to- 
gether with members of the supreme court and the secretary 

303 



304 STIRLING HORNER 

of the society., visited buildings of a similar character in the 
neighboring states for the purpose of ascertaining what was 
necessary in the construction of the proposed building. After 
this and other investigations, it was found, from estimates made 
by the architect, that a building suitable and adequate for both 
the society and the supreme court could not be constructed 
within the limits of the appropriation. The supreme court, in 
view of this situation and also of the protest of the state bar 
association against its removal from the Capitol, finally reached 
the conclusion that it preferred to remain in its present quarters, 
particularly if, by the removal of the historical society from the 
Capitol, it could secure added space there. 

As a result of this situation application was made to the 
legislature of 1915 for an amendment to the act of 1913, elim- 
inating the supreme court, providing for the care and preserva- 
tion of the state archives in the proposed building, and stipu- 
lating that any part of the building not in use or actually needed 
for the purposes of the society, might be used for other state 
purposes under the direction of the governor. The amend- 
ment, which became a law, credited the society with the amount 
paid for the Merriam site as a part of its donation, but allowed 
it to select and purchase another site if it so desired and to 
receive credit for the amount so expended. As soon as possible 
after the passage of this amendment, the society purchased the 
Lamprey site and caused it to be conveyed to the state ; and 
the architect, in consultation with the executive committee of 
the society, commenced work on the plans of the building. 
These as originally drawn made provision for housing the 
society, the state archives, and the public library commission. 
Later, however, in view of the crowded condition of the Capitol, 
it was decided to assign quarters temporarily to the department 
of education as well, and this necessitated a revision of the 
plans and a giving-up by the society of its auditorium and other 
rooms. It is believed that the state will, in the near future, 
construct an office building to care for its rapidly increasing 
activities, and when that time comes the space now assigned to 






HISTORICAL SOCIETY BUILDING 305 



the department of education will probably be restored to the 
society and the state archives. 

The site finally chosen for the new home of the society is 
ideal. Flanking the Capitol on the right, it occupies an impor- 
tant eminence, from which a commanding view may be obtained 
of the city and its environs. The building may be seen to best 
advantage by the visitor who approaches it from the capitol 
mall. The Roman Renaissance style has in this instance been 
reduced to its simplest elements. The strength of the principal 
fagade, the west, resides in the simple, clear, and thoroughly 
monumental articulation of all its parts. The central motive, 
an Ionic colonnade, has a just degree of projection, and the 
recessed loggia with its entrance portals and windows has been 
so designed as to line and mass that, while sufficiently subor- 
dinated to the colonnade, it is also sufficiently emphasized for 
its own sake. So, likewise, the end pavilions with their breadth 
of unbroken stonework have the proper accent but do not unduly 
assert themselves. It might be called a long, low edifice, but 
the attic, looming up above the main cornice with just a sugges- 
tion of the variegated tile and immense skylight which roof the 
building, and the balustraded terraces flanking the main fagade, 
provide the needed corrective. Outside the building as within, 
grave dignity rules, ornament being sparsely used, the little of 
it that is introduced being handled with severe taste. The 
warmth of the stone itself, the note of color delicately struck 
in the bronze doors of the main portal, in the window casings, 
and in the roof, and the vivid tints of nature in the fore- 
ground all these will make more intimate, more humanly 
interesting the appeal of this imposing edifice. 

The architect may indeed be congratulated upon the structure 
which is being wrought under his guidance. It will stand not 
alone as a monument to the pioneers of Minnesota and of the 
great Northwest and to its designer, but to the materials used 
in its construction. It is in truth a Minnesota building. The 
warm gray granite of which the exterior walls are being built 
is from large quarries at Sauk Rapids. The marble of the main 



D I D D 

C70 

n nrn n n 







HISTORICAL SOCIETY BUILDING 307 

staircase and of the floors of the corridors and stack rooms 
is being quarried at Kasota. Brick and clay fireproofing tile 
are produced at Chaska and Minneapolis respectively. The 
stone for the walls of the vestibule and entrance hall on the 
first floor is being quarried from deposits at Frontenac. 

An ideal plan is one in which utility and effect are both 
accounted for in such manner that the point at which the archi- 
tect has changed his viewpoint from the one phase of his subject 
to the other is not apparent. It is on the virtue of such a 
scheme that the new home of the Minnesota Historical Society 
rests. This can be demonstrated in a few words. Let the 
layman who has little, if any, acquaintance with architectural 
plans as they are drawn upon paper imagine himself making a 
swift tour of the building from the entrance colonnade on Cedar 
Street to the galleries and museums which occupy the top floor. 
The portal itself with its colonnaded loggia is simple and stately 
and of majestic scale, but the actual entrance doorway is com- 
paratively small. This central motive of the main fagade is 
sufficiently emphasized with its simply carved stone doorway 
and beautifully modeled bronze doors, and a note of spacious- 
ness, which would befit only some great exposition building or 
place of public entertainment, has been avoided. The entrance, 
in other words, is precisely the key to an institution of learning. 

The quality of restraint thus encountered on the very thresh- 
old is felt throughout the building. Passing through the vesti- 
bule ( 103), we enter directly the vaulted entrance hall (104) 
the main artery of the building. In the center, on the east 
side, a generous marble staircase, with a decorative bronze rail, 
gives access to the stories above and below. On either side of 
the stairway are large light courts which extend from the 
ground floor to the glass roof of the attic space, serving to light 
the interior rooms. The north doorway opens into the main 
reading room (101), a room depending largely upon carefully 
studied proportion and simple, unbroken wall spaces for its 
effectiveness. The monotony is relieved by bookshelves of oak 
which form a dado around the room, and by a splendid ceiling 



HISTORICAL SOCIETY BUILDING 



309 



of decorative plaster, in which color is so disposed as to give 
beautiful play of light and shade. The delivery desk and 
ample card cases for the card catalogue of the library occupy 
the east end of the room, convenient to readers and having 
direct communication with the bookstacks. The room is to be 
furnished with carefully designed, harmonious furniture. Cork 
flooring will minimize the noise of moving occupants. Adjoin- 
ing the main reading room at the front of the building and 
accessible from it as well as from the corridor is the newspaper 
reading room (102), which is connected by a stairway and an 
automatic booklift with the newspaper stacks directly below. 
The south pavilion, in which the auditorium was to have been 
located, as well as the Cedar Street front at the left of the 
entrance, including rooms 105-112 and 114, is, for the present, 
assigned to the executive offices of the state board of education. 
On the second floor in the center of the Cedar Street front is 
located the manuscript room (209). Adjacent to it is the 
superintendent's private office (208), which communicates 
directly with the general office (206). At the north end of 
the main corridor is a small waiting room (204) for those 
wishing to transact business with the administrative officers of 
the society. Another office adjoining the general office on the 
north will be available for an assistant superintendent or libra- 
rian and adjacent to it on the north front is a small room (202) 
given over to the use of typists employed in cataloguing work. 
The cataloguing room (201) occupies the northeast corner. 
It has direct access to the stacks and is connected with the 
shipping and receiving room on the ground floor by an auto- 
matic electric booklift. By the same means new books, after 
being catalogued and classified, may be conveyed to the proper 
stack floor. The cataloguing room is accessible from the main 
corridor through the waiting room and is directly connected 
with the general office and typists room through a passage 
(203). The south pavilion and several rooms on the front, 
including rooms 211-217 and 219, are given over to various 
bureaus affiliated with the state department of education. 



HISTORICAL SOCIETY BUILDING 



311 



The third floor will house the extensive historical and 
archeological museums of the society together with its large 
collection of portraits and paintings. As much of this material 
is not suitable for permanent exhibition, large storerooms are 
provided in which it can be so arranged as to be available for 
special exhibits and for examination at any time. The south 
museum room (308) will probably serve on occasion as an 
assembly room also until such time as space may be available 
for the installation of an assembly room on the main floor. 
The east room (314) will be used temporarily as a map room 
and a work room for the classification of the state archives, 
these departments having been crowded out of the second floor 
by the inclusion of the department of education. The small 
electric elevator in the corridor (317) gives direct communica- 
tion to the stack room below, in which the archives are to be 
stored. The small offices (312, 316) flanking this gallery will 
be available for members of the staff. The rooms on this floor 
are lighted by the immense skylight which forms the upper half 
of the roof. Ceiling lights of syenite glass, particularly de- 
signed to diffuse light, will eliminate all glare and shadow on 
the gallery walls. The artificial illumination of the galleries 
and museums merited careful study, and so cleverly has the 
architect solved this problem that the visitor to the gallery in 
late afternoon will be unaware of the transition from natural 
to artificial light. Electric reflectors disposed in the attic space 
above the ceiling lights may be switched on in units as they are 
needed until full strength is reached. 

The entire rear portion of the building is devoted to the 
main stack room, a space eighty-two feet by twenty-nine feet 
and extending through four full stories from basement floor to 
second-story ceiling, a total height of sixty-two feet. This 
immense room encloses an eight-tier, enameled steel, self-sup- 
porting bookstack which would hold, if the shelves were com- 
pletely filled, 383,500 volumes. A part of this stack, however, 
will be used for the storage of archives. The shelving and 



HISTORICAL SOCIETY BUILDING 



313 



floors for the lower four tiers are to be omitted under the pres- 
ent contract, the structural members, however, being placed so 
that shelving may be installed as needed. The stack as planned 
at present has a capacity of 192,000 volumes or approximately 
48,000 volumes a floor. An automatic booklift stopping at 
each stack floor will minimize the labor incidental to the trans- 
fer of volumes from stacks to delivery desk, cataloguing room, 
or shipping room as the case may be. A small push-button 
elevator for the use of stack attendants and the library staff 
extends from the basement to the third floor, making the entire 
stack room readily accessible from any floor of the building. 
At either end of each stack floor are small studies where the 
research student or others using the library for extensive study 
may withdraw from the confusion attendant upon the routine 
stack work. Several small table tops hinged to the stack ends 
in the window bays on each stack floor form convenient spots 
for casual inspection of volumes. 

The newspaper stack (5) occupies the central portion of the 
Cedar Street front in the basement and ground floors. It is 
similar in construction to the main bookstack, is four tiers in 
height, and has a capacity of 16,500 bound newspaper volumes. 
It is directly accessible from the newspaper reading room and 
from the basement and ground floor corridors. 

The north pavilion of the ground floor is given over to the 
receiving and shipping room ( I ) of the historical society and 
a staff room (3) with kitchenette and locker rooms adjoining. 
In the south pavilion is the work room (9) of the Minnesota 
Public Library Commission with a small private office (8) for 
the secretary of the commission. On the east side of the cor- 
ridor immediately below the light courts are the public toilets 
(n, 12), a small room for the use of janitors (10), and the 
photostat room (13), where direct photographic reproductions 
of manuscripts, pictures, and even rare printed material may be 
made. The small entrances to the right and left of the steps 
leading to the main entrance will be largely used by regular 



HISTORICAL SOCIETY BUILDING 315 

habitues of the building, the elevator and main staircase being 
but a few steps distant from either entrance. 

In the basement, immediately underneath the work room of 
the library commission and connected with it by stairway, is the 
shipping room of this department. A fortunate difference in 
the grades of Aurora Avenue and Central Boulevard enabled 
the architect so to design the service driveway in the rear of 
the building as to make the shipping rooms of the historical 
society and the library commission, though located on different 
floors, readily accessible for incoming or outgoing packages. 

The building is connected with the power plant of the Capitol 
by a concrete tunnel extending under Aurora Avenue, through 
which heat, light, and power will be conducted to the mechan- 
ical equipment room in the basement and thence will be dis- 
tributed to the various parts of the structure. Six large fans 
will furnish washed, fresh air to each room, being connected 
in such manner as to allow the various rooms to be heated 
to different temperatures as may be desired. The latest im- 
provements in ingenious mechanical devices are provided for 
the convenience of the public and the staff. These include a 
complete system of private telephones affording communica- 
tion between all departments of the society, automatic time 
clocks in the important rooms, and a powerful vacuum-cleaning 
plant to facilitate the work of the caretakers. 

The plans having been accepted by all parties concerned, the 
architect advertised for bids, and on November 30, 1915, the 
general construction contract was awarded to the George J. 
Grant Construction Company of St. Paul. The letting of the 
contracts for mechanical equipment followed soon after, and on 
December 7 the wrecking of the house on the site and the work 
of excavation were begun. This work was completed and the 
tunnel to the heating plant constructed during the winter, and 
at the present writing the foundation is nearing completion. 
The contracts call for the completion of the building on or 
before October i, 1917, and if no unexpected obstacles are 



316 STIRLING HORNER 

encountered, it may be finished several months before that 
date. Then for the first time the historical society will have a 
suitable home, adequate, for the present at least, for its library 
and other activities, and comparable to the buildings erected for 
similar purposes in the other states of the West. 

STIRLING HORNER 
ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA 



REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

History of Stearns County, Minnesota. By WILLIAM BELL 
MITCHELL. In two volumes. (Chicago, H. C. Cooper Jr. 
and Company, 1915. xv, xii, 1536 p. Illustrated) 

These two formidable-looking volumes, comprising some fif- 
teen hundred pages in all, are an important addition to the 
literature of Minnesota local history. The author is himself a 
pioneer. Coming to Minnesota in 1857, he worked as surveyor, 
teacher, and printer until such time as he was able to acquire the 
St. Cloud Democrat. He later changed the name of the paper to 
the St. Cloud Journal, and, after his purchase of the St. Cloud 
Press in 1876, consolidated the two under the name St. Cloud 
Journal-Press, of which he remained editor and owner until 
1892. During this period he found time also to discharge the 
duties of receiver of the United States land office at St. Cloud, 
and to serve as member of the state normal board. It would 
appear, then, that Mr. Mitchell, both by reason of his long resi- 
dence in Stearns County and of his editorial experience, was 
preeminently fitted for the task of writing the volumes under 
review. Moreover, he has had the assistance of many of the 
prominent men of the county in preparing the general chapters 
of the work. Among these may be noted chapters 2-6, dealing 
with the history of Minnesota as a whole during the pre-territorial 
period, by Dr. P. M. Magnusson, instructor in history and social 
science in the St. Cloud Normal ; a chapter on "The Newspaper 
Press" by Alvah Eastman of the St. Cloud Journal-Press; one on 
"Banks and Banking" by W. W. Smith of the First National 
Bank, St. Cloud ; one on "Bench and Bar" by J. E. Jenks, city 
attorney of St. Cloud ; and one on "Stearns County Schools" by 
County Superintendent W. A. Boerger. 

As a whole, the work has the familiar features of the general- 
ity of county histories. Such chapter headings as "County Gov- 
ernment," "Court House and Jail," "Political History," "Incidents 
and Events," "Physicians and Surgeons," "Tragic Events," "Fire 
Losses," and "Cyclone Disasters," indicate the similarity in 

317 



318 REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

character between this history and others of its kind. The 
biographies, on the other hand, are in five chapters, scattered 
through the two volumes instead of grouped together at the end 
or in a separate volume. The account of the Catholic Church in 
Stearns County and of the various institutions established by it 
is rather more extended than one would expect. The list of for- 
gotten names and places (chapter 12), the reminiscences of Gen- 
eral C. C. Andrews (chapter 14), the description of methods of 
early travel and transportation (chapter 26), and the historical 
sketch of early St. Cloud (chapter 52) these chapters should 
have more than a merely local interest. In them one comes into 
closest touch with the life of the pioneers. The following 
description of post-office facilities in the early days of St. Cloud 
affords an enlightening glimpse into the life of the past: "The 
building was of logs 16 x 24 feet in size. . . . The mail was kept 
in a small box under the counter and all persons helped them- 
selves. . . . The mail was carried from St. Paul in a two-horse 
hack and delivered semi-weekly. The hack did not cross the 
river at St. Cloud, but left the mail bag at a log hotel on the east 
bank of the river, and any person coming over brought the mail'* 
(p. 1427). 

No effort has been made to tell the story of the progress of 
settlement in this region. For the general reader such a narrative 
would have been of special interest because of the very large 
German element in its population. Thirty-two per cent of the 
people of Stearns County are of German descent. In 1860, if one 
may judge from an inspection of the biographies of the pioneers 
contained in the present work, the proportion of Germans in the 
population must have been even greater. The bulk of this immi- 
gration seems to have come in the fifties. At the same time there 
was a considerable influx of the New England element. Other 
racial elements followed later. 

The author states that "the aim of this work has been to gather 
facts, as full and reliable in their nature as possible, for perma- 
nent preservation." A more rigorous process of selection might 
have cut down the size of the book without omitting much of 
real value; indeed, it might have made the book more valuable 
in some respects. The reader misses the personal and intimate 
element which he would expect to find, especially in those matters 



JOURNAL OF GEOGRAPHY 319 

that the author was fitted by past experience to write about the 
St. Cloud Normal School, for instance, or the newspapers of the 
county. As a whole, however, the people of Stearns County 
should find this work both interesting and valuable. 

CHARLES B. KUHLMANN 

Journal of Geography. Volume 14, number 6. Minnesota 
Number. Under the editorial direction of PROFESSOR C. J. 
POSEY. (Madison, University of Wisconsin, February, 1916. 
Pp. 161-244) 

The influence of geography on history is now so well recog- 
nized that all interested in the history of Minnesota will welcome 
this valuable publication in which are presented a score of 
articles by specialists on various phases of the physical and com- 
mercial geography of the state. The first article, by A. Walfred 
Johnston of the University of Minnesota, a general survey of the 
physical features of the state, is the best condensed statement of 
the subject to be found in print. "The Climate of Minnesota" 
is treated in a separate article by Eugene Van Cleef of the Duluth 
Normal. The southeastern section of the state is dealt with in 
a paper by Charles C. Colby on "The Driftless Area of Minnesota 
a Geographic Unit," in which special attention is devoted to the 
influence of physiographic factors on the economic development 
of the region. Stephen S. Visher of the Moorhead Normal 
presents "Notes on the Geography of the Red River Valley," and 
other writers deal with "Minneapolis," "St. Paul," "Duluth and 
the Range Towns," and "The Lesser Cities." Other articles 
cover such subjects as water resources, iron ores, peat, clays, 
rock-quarrying, agriculture, soil maps, dairying, fruit-growing, 
and manufacturing. An article on "The Development of the 
Lumber Industry in Minnesota," by E. G. Cheyney of the uni- 
versity, is distinctly historical in treatment and indicates the 
important part which this industry has played in the development 
of the state. Another suggestive paper of special historical 
interest is "Geographic Influences in the Exploration and Early 
Development of Minnesota" by C. J. Posey, also of the university. 

The editors of the Journal are quite justified in describing this 
Minnesota number as "a valuable handbook of geographical 



320 REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

information." They and the special editor are to be congratulated 
on the high quality of the material presented, for the papers as a 
rule are not only accurate but interesting. A large edition has 
been prepared with the object of having copies available for 
Minnesota teachers and schools, and it is to be hoped that advan- 
tage will be taken of the opportunity. Single copies are sold at 
fifteen cents, six at seventy cents, and ten or more to a single 
address at ten cents each. 

S. J. B. 

Acta et Dicta: A Collection of Historical Data regarding the 
Origin and Growth of the Catholic Church in the Northwest. 
Volume 4, number 1. (St. Paul, Catholic Historical Society, 
July, 1915. 184 p.) 

The Catholic Historical Society of St. Paul has been in 
existence now for eleven years and has issued this publication 
annually since 1907 with the exceptions of 1912 and 1913. Each 
volume consists of two of these issues. The most valuable article 
in the 1915 issue is "The History of the Diocese of St. Paul" by 
Rev. Francis J. Schaefer. In this is sketched the early missionary 
activity of the French in the upper Mississippi Valley, followed 
by a more detailed account of the development of the diocese 
under its various bishops. Based largely on original material, the 
article is a real contribution to the history of Minnesota. Other 
articles included are: "Very Reverend Samuel Charles Mazzu- 
chelli, O. P.," an account and appreciation of the services of this 
pioneer priest in the Northwest by Archbishop Ireland, and "The 
Prophecy," an address by Bishop Thomas O'Gorman delivered 
before the South Dakota Historical Society in 1903. The latter 
is a superficial account of French explorations in the Minnesota 
and Dakota region, in which the remarkable statement is made 
that "from the day Spain occupied Mexico until the relinquish- 
ment to France, that is for about three hundred years, all of the 
land west of the [Mississippi] river was Spanish territory" 
(p. 25). Surely the bishop is aware that the French held 
Louisiana from 1699 to 1762, when the part west of the river, 
together with the island of New Orleans on the east side, was 






CARVER AND HENNEPIN CO UNTIES 321 

ceded to Spain. The transfer of this territory from Spain to 
France just before it was purchased by the United States, was, 
therefore, a retrocession. 

The "Chronicle of Current Events" occupies about half of 
this number and is devoted largely to matters connected with the 
dedication of the new cathedral in St. Paul. Of especial histori- 
cal interest are Archbishop Ireland's sermon preached at the final 
services in the old cathedral, and a "Brief History of the Cathe- 
dral Project." The accounts of various other dedications and 
jubilees contain some historical and biographical material, includ- 
ing brief histories of the parish of St. Mary at Lake City and of 
Bethlehem Academy at Faribault. The section devoted to necrol- 
ogy contains biographical sketches of several northwestern priests 
recently deceased, and the number closes with continuations from 
the previous issue of lists of the contents of the society's library 
and museum. 

The Catholics of the state have reason to be proud of their 
historical society and its publications. The time may come in 
Minnesota, as it appears to be coming in Indiana and some of the 
other states, when the various Protestant denominations will 
devote some attention to their history. Only when all of the 
strands are made available can the history of a community be 
properly woven. 

S. J. B. 

Compendium of History and Biography of Carver and Hennepin 
Counties, Minnesota. By MAJOR R. I. HOLCOMBE, historical 
editor, and WILLIAM H. BINGHAM, general editor. (Chi- 
cago, Henry Taylor and Company, 1915. viii, 342 p. 
Illustrated) 

The first 185 pages of this book are reprinted, page for page, 
from the historical part of the Compendium of History and 
Biography of Minneapolis and Hennepin County published in 
1914. The remainder of the work is devoted to Carver County 
and is divided about equally between history and biographies. 
The historical section opens with a description of the county and 
an account of the early explorers and fur-traders. The beginnings 
of settlement and county organization are then taken up, followed 



322 REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

by a chapter of miscellanies of early history. One chapter is 
devoted to transportation routes, three to historical sketches of 
the townships and villages, and the final chapter to the record of 
soldiers from the county in the Civil War. Had a larger number 
of the good people of Carver County subscribed for the volume, 
they would doubtless have received a more comprehensive, if not 
a more adequate, "history." 

S. J. B. 



MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

At the annual meeting of the executive council of the society 
on February 28, the superintendent read a paper on "Some 
Aspects of Lincoln's Career as a Whig Politician." The stated 
meeting of the council on April 10 was open to the public, and 
an audience of over a hundred, which filled the reading room to 
overflowing, assembled to hear "A Sketch of the Sioux Massacre 
of 1862," presented by Mr. Marion P. Satterlee of Minneapolis, 
who has given considerable attention to the collection of new 
material on this subject. The paper was illustrated with lantern 
slides. It is of interest to note that there were in the audience 
quite a number of people who played a part in the events of the 
outbreak. Among them were: George A. Brackett, quarter- 
master of General Sibley's expedition of 1863, who was with 
Lieutenant Ambrose Freemen when the latter was killed, and 
who hid from the Indians on the prairie for several days before 
regaining the command ; Charles S. Plummer, a member of the 
Sibley expedition of 1863; Oliver P. Button, who was in the 
United States secret service, and was present at the execution of 
the thirty-eight Indians at Mankato, December 26, 1862 ; Milton 
Stubbs, a member of Strout's Company, who took part in the 
engagement with the Indians at Acton, September 3, 1862 ; Mar- 
garet King Horan, a refugee at Fort Ridgely throughout the 
siege ; Mary E. Schwandt Schmidt, who was taken captive by the 
Indians and was among those liberated at Camp Release by 
General Sibley and his command; Amelia Busse Reynolds, who 
was captured at Middle Creek, August 18, 1862, and was among 
those held at Camp Release ; and Nathan Butler, a civil engineer, 
who built the cabin at Acton in which the first killing of the 
whites occurred. 

Through the United Press the society is furnishing to many of 
the evening papers of the state a series of daily items of from 
fifty to seventy-five words each on "Minnesota Geographic Names 
and Their Historical Significance." Most of the data for this 
series are supplied by Mr. Upham. The items are being used 



324 HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

by the following papers : Rochester Post and Record, Red Wing 
Republican, Mankato Free Press, Mankato Review, St. Cloud 
Journal-Press, St. Cloud Times, Minneapolis Journal, Minne- 
apolis Tidende, St. Paul News, Virginian (Virginia), Bemidji 
Pioneer, Crookston Times, Moorhead News, Fergus Falls Journal, 
Brainerd Dispatch, and possibly by others. The fifteen listed 
have a combined circulation of about half a million. Each item 
carries at the head a line giving credit to the Minnesota Histori- 
cal Society for the preparation of the material. It is believed 
that this enterprise will have two advantages: It will tend to 
promote an interest in Minnesota history, and it will bring the 
society to the attention of the people of the state. 

Attention has been already called to the plan of the society for 
developing a great collection of material relating to the Scan- 
dinavians in the United States. Recently an arrangement was 
made with the regents of the University of Minnesota by which 
the field of Scandinavian material was divided between the 
libraries of the university and of the Minnesota Historical 
Society. It is now understood that the university will confine 
its collection in this field to Scandinavian languages and litera- 
tures and materials relating to the history of the Scandinavian 
countries themselves, while the society will collect materials 
relating to these peoples in America. In accordance with this 
understanding the university library turned over to the society 
the extensive and valuable O. N. Nelson collection which it has 
possessed for a number of years. In exchange for this material 
the university will receive from the library of the society an 
equivalent from its duplicates and from material which is out- 
side its proper scope. 

THE TAYLOR PAPERS 

Mrs. Charles L. Alden, who was Mary Langford Taylor, a 
daughter of Consul James W. Taylor, was a recent visitor at the 
rooms of the society and told of the circumstances attending the 
deposit of the Taylor Papers with the society. It seems that 
after Taylor's death in April, 1893, all of his papers, which were 
very bulky because he saved everything, were shipped to Mrs. 
Alden at her home in Troy, New York. Governor William R. 



THE TAYLOR PAPERS 325 

Marshall was then acting as secretary of the Minnesota His- 
torical Society and suggested to Mrs. Alden that such of the 
papers as were of historical importance should be turned over to 
the society. For two or three months she spent several hours a 
day going through the mass of material and destroying what 
seemed to be too personal or inconsequential to make its preser- 
vation desirable. The remainder was packed in a trunk and 
shipped to the society and Governor Marshall receipted for it. 
Shortly afterwards he resigned his position as secretary and 
removed to California, and the trunk appears to have rested 
undisturbed in a storeroom in the Old Capitol until its discovery 
a little over a year ago. 

The publication of the sketch of Consul Taylor in the BULLETIN 
has attracted considerable attention both in Canada and the 
United States. The Manitoba Free Press of Winnipeg in its 
issue of February 26 contained a review of the article by Isaac 
Cowie, and a longer review, with extensive extracts, also by Mr. 
Cowie, appeared in the March issue of the Western Home 
Monthly, a magazine published in Winnipeg. The latter notice is 
accompanied by reproductions of pictures of Taylor, the steam- 
boat "Anson Northrup," Fort Pembina, and "Kiel at exercise in 
prison yard at Regina, 1885." 

Since the publication of the bibliography of Taylor's writings 
in the November issue of the BULLETIN, the following additional 
items have come to light: 

The October election ; how can a Democrat most effectually sup- 
port the government and the Union by his vote? [St. Paul, 
Press Printing Company, pr., 1861.] 7 p. 

A reprint of a series of communications signed "A Democrat," 
which appeared in the St. Paul Daily Press, September 14, 15, and 17, 
1861. Taylor's authorship of the series is established by the nota- 
tion "By J. W. Taylor of St. Paul" in his own hand below the title 
on the copy of the pamphlet in volume 31 of the Donnelly Pam- 
phlets. 

[Address on the relations of British America and the United 
States.] Proceedings of the International Commercial Con- 
vention . . . Portland, Me., August 4th and $th, 1868, 42-50. 
(Portland, B. Thurston & Company, pr., 1868. 160 p.) . 



326 HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

GIFTS 

General Charles H. Whipple of Los Angeles has presented the 
original draft of a report on the Indians and the causes of the 
Sioux War made to the board of missions of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church in 1868 by his father Bishop Whipple; also a 
volume containing fifteen pamphlets, mostly addresses of Bishop 
Whipple, and a set of the Memoirs of General William T. 
Sherman containing autographic inscriptions in each volume. 
The inscription in the first of these volumes reads: "To Maj. 
C. H. Whipple, son of my great and good Friend Bishop Whipple 
of Minnesota, with love and veneration for the father and 
earnest wishes for the honor and happiness of the son. W. T. 
Sherman, General. New York, Oct. 9, 1886." 

The society is receiving the issues of the Eau Claire (Wis- 
consin) Telegram containing a series of historical and reminis- 
cent articles relating to early lumbering activities in the 
Chippewa Valley. The articles are illustrated with old photo- 
graphs, and throw considerable light on the characteristics of 
this important pioneer industry not only in this region but in the 
entire Northwest. Mr. William Bartlett of Eau Claire is 
responsible for the articles and is assisting the society to secure 
a complete file. Mr. Bartlett recently acquired for the Wisconsin 
Historical Society several large and valuable collections of the 
papers of early lumbering companies. It is to be hoped that 
similar collections of some of the Minnesota companies and of 
individuals prominent in the industry may in time be received by 
the Minnesota Historical Society. 

Four manuscript books containing accounts and lists of 
members of the Skandinaviske Arbeiderforening, or Scandinavian 
Workingmen's Society, of Minneapolis, which appears to have 
flourished from 1885 to 1901, have been received from Mr. 
Thorwald E. Nelson of Minneapolis. Mr. Nelson has also pre- 
sented a manuscript copy of his speech at the unveiling of the 
monument to Rev. M. Falk Gjertsen in Lakewood Cemetery, 
Minneapolis, September 12, 1915, and a partial file of souvenir 
programs of various Scandinavian and Norwegian singers' asso- 
ciations. Additional issues of these programs have been received 




GIFTS 327 

from others, but the following are still lacking: United Scan- 
dinavian Singers' Association, first, second, fifth, and sixth; 
Northwestern Scandinavian Singers' Association, first to fifth 
inclusive ; Norwegian Singers' Association of America, thirteenth ; 
and Red River Valley Scandinavian Singers' Association, first. 
Persons having copies of any of these issues are urged to send 
them in for preservation in the society's library. 

The project of preparing a collection of photographs of 
prominent citizens of Minnesota for the society, which has been 
undertaken by Lee Brothers of Minneapolis, has made consid- 
erable progress, and fifty-six photographs have been received. 
These are very fine pictures, and each is accompanied by data 
of a biographical character supplied by the subject. Many more 
pictures have been taken for the collection but have not yet been 
completed and turned over to the society. Four of the pictures 
designed for the collection were reproduced in the rotogravure 
section of the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune of April 23. 

Learning that Mr. John R. Cummins of Minneapolis possessed 
a set of diaries which he had kept for about sixty years and 
which he might be willing to present to the society, the super- 
intendent visited Mr. Cummins and readily persuaded him to 
turn over the set, which begins in 1855 and continues to the 
present. Mr. Cummins came to Minnesota from Pennsylvania in 
1856 and located on a farm at Eden Prairie. Later he was a 
farmer for the O jib way Indians at Leech Lake for a time. 
While much of the material in the diaries relates to the weather 
and daily occupations, material by the way which is sometimes of 
considerable use, they contain also occasional items of especial 
importance, such as contemporary references to the constitutional 
convention in 1857 and to the battle of Shakopee between the 
O jib ways and Dakotas. 

From Hon. John R. Swann, mayor of Madison, Minnesota, 
has been received a letter written by Stephen R. Riggs of Lac qui 
Parle on November 19, 1850, to S. L. Babcock, Esq. It contains 
sketches of "the first settlement of Lac qui Parle," "Lac qui Parle 
mission station," and the "first corn mill in Minnesota." This 
letter had been sent to Mayor Swann by Mrs. Elisabeth von 



328 HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

Wedelstaedt Lambert of White Bear, Minnesota. In acknowl- 
edging the donation, the superintendent wrote to Mrs. Lambert 
as well as to Mayor Swann, and as a result of the correspondence 
thus opened, the society has received from Mrs. Lambert quite a 
number of other donations of interest and value, including three 
Mexican figurines, a Mexican sombrero, an African hat, a Dakota 
Indian bow and two arrows, and other museum items, some 
documents relating to Count Heinrich von Wedelstaedt of 
Indiana, a collection of election tickets, programs, and news- 
paper clippings, and a broadside entitled "St. Paul, Minnesota in 
its Infancy." 

In the last number of the BULLETIN announcement was made 
of the gift of a copy of The First Minnesota published "by a 
detachment of the typographical fraternity of the First Minne- 
sota Regiment" at Berryville, Virginia, March 11, 1862. This 
copy, it appears, is a facsimile made about 1895, but the society 
has since received from Mr. Edward A. Stevens of Minneapolis, 
who was one of the "detachment," his copies of the original of 
this issue and also of a second issue dated March 13. Mr. 
Stevens believes that there are only four or five originals of the 
first issue in existence, and that this copy of the second issue is 
unique. 

Some specimens of early eighteenth-century builders' hard- 
ware have been presented by Mr. Herbert C. Varney of St. Paul. 
They comprise nails, spikes, and hinges, all handmade, which 
"were taken from timbers forming the ell of the house built in 
Stratham, New Hampshire, about the year 1710, by 'Judge' 
Andrew Wiggin, grandson of Thomas Wiggin, first governor of 
the settlements on the Piscataqua River, now New Hampshire, 
and also a grandson of Anne Bradstreet, the first New England 
poetess. The main part of the house is still standing much in 
its original condition." 

From Mr. Cyrus R. Stone of St. Paul has been received a 
collection of letters and a diary written while he was serving as 
a soldier in the Sixteenth New York Volunteer Infantry during 
the Civil War ; also a manuscript narrative of his observations 
and experiences during the war based in part on the contemporary 



GIFTS 



329 



letters. Mr. Stone is about to move to Briar Hill, St. Lawrence 
County, New York. 

Three invoices of 1864, listing goods sold to "H. C. Smith & 
Co." by "J. L. Forepaugh & Co., Jobbers of Foreign and Domestic 
Dry Goods, Yankee Notions, &c.," by "Borup & Champlin, 
Wholesale Grocers, Forwarding and Commission Merchants," 
and by "Beaupre & Kelly, Wholesale Grocers, Forwarding & 
Commission Merchants," all of St. Paul, have been presented by 
Mr. J. P. Funk. They throw an interesting light on prices during 
the Civil War period. 

Mr. W. W. Cutler of St. Paul has presented a file of the 
Harvard Graduates' Magazine from its beginning in 1892 to the 
present date, twenty-four volumes, and has agreed to keep up 
the file in the future. The Harvard Graduates' Magazine is 
quite different from the usual alumni publication, and this file 
will be a valuable addition to the library. 

An interesting addition to the museum is a brilliant red mili- 
tary coat which was worn in the War of 1812 by Erastus Root, 
brigadier general of the New York militia and at one time 
lieutenant governor of New York. The coat is a gift from Mr. 
Asher Murray of Wadena, Minnesota. 

From Judge John W. Willis of St. Paul has been received a 
wall map of St. Anthony and Minneapolis in 1856, "compiled, 
drawn & published by Chapman & Curtis, Civil Engineers, 
Draughtsmen & Land Agents, St. Anthony Falls, Minnesota." 
The scale is five hundred feet to the inch. 

Governor Burnquist has turned over to the society the engrossed 
and duly authenticated copy of the concurrent resolution adopted 
by the United States Senate and House of Representatives on 
March 11, 1916, accepting from the state of Minnesota the statue 
of Henry Mower Rice to be placed in Statuary Hall. 

A foot muff of olden times, a photograph of Fifth Street, St. 
Paul, in 1866, and a large number of miscellaneous books and 
pamphlets have been presented by Mrs. George E. Tuttle of 
Minneapolis. 



330 HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

Mr. Frederick G. Ingersoll has presented a framed picture of 
the members of the Old Settlers' Association of Minnesota taken 
at the time of the annual meeting in 1885. 

From Miss Rhoda Emery of St. Paul has been received a col- 
lection of letters written by her grandfather, James George of 
Ohio, and recounting his experiences in the Mexican War. 



NEWS AND COMMENT 

The year 1919 will mark the one hundredth anniversary of 
American occupation of Minnesota. Although the part of the 
state east of the Mississippi was nominal American territory 
from 1783 and that west of the river from 1803, and although 
an American expedition under Lieutenant Pike visited the upper 
Mississippi in 1805-06, the United States exercised no regular 
jurisdiction over the region, and no American citizens resided in 
it until the arrival of the troops for the establishment of a mili- 
tary post at the mouth of the Minnesota River in 1819. A num- 
ber of states are now celebrating the centennial of their admission 
to the Union of their coming of age, as it were. Minnesota has 
an opportunity to celebrate in the near future the centennial of 
her birth as an American community to call attention to the 
fact that here a wilderness occupied only by Indians and occa- 
sional fur-traders owing allegiance to a foreign power has, in the 
course of a century, been transformed into a highly organized 
industrial and agricultural state. If such a celebration is to be 
undertaken, the plans should be worked out as soon as possible. 
In Illinois preparations for the centennial to take place in 1918 
began six years ago. 

The Mississippi Valley Historical Association held its ninth 
annual meeting at Nashville, Tennessee, April 27-29. The program 
provided for a large number of papers among which were two 
of special interest to Minnesota : "Some Verendrye Enigmas," 
by O. G. Libby of the University of North Dakota, and "An 
Historical Survey of the Region about the Mouth of the Wis- 
consin River," by Althea R. Sherman of National, Iowa. The 
latter was read by title only. One session of the association, held 
in connection with a subscription luncheon, was devoted to reports 
on state celebrations. Indiana is now celebrating her centennial, 
and Mississippi, Illinois, Alabama, and Missouri will follow in 
rapid succession, while Nebraska is planning a semi-centennial 
celebration. At the close of this session J. W. Oliver of the 



331 



332 NEWS AND COMMENT 

Indiana State Library read a suggestive paper on "The Position 
of the Historian in the Observance of Statehood Centennials." 

The social features of the meeting were especially pleasant, 
including a luncheon given by Vanderbilt University and the 
George Peabody College for Teachers, and receptions tendered 
by the Tennessee Historical Society and by the Centennial Club 
of Nashville. One forenoon was devoted to a very delightful 
trip by automobiles to the Hermitage, which is kept up by the 
Ladies' Hermitage Association as a memorial to President Jack- 
son and as a museum of Jackson relics. 

At the business session of the association Frederic L. Paxson 
of the University of Wisconsin was elected president for the 
ensuing year; Clarence S. Paine of the Nebraska Historical 
Society remains secretary-treasurer ; and the newly elected mem- 
bers of the executive committee are St. George L. Sioussat of 
Vanderbilt University, Edgar R. Harlan of the Historical 
Department of Iowa, Eugene M. Violette of the Kirksville Nor- 
mal, Missouri, Archer B. Hulbert of Marietta University, and 
Clarence W. Alvord of the University of Illinois. The new 
members of the board of editors, which now has charge of all of 
the publications of the association, including the Mississippi 
Valley Historical Review, as chosen by the executive committee, 
are Isaac J. Cox of Cincinnati University, St. George L. Sioussat 
of Vanderbilt University, Lawrence J. Burpee of Ottawa, Canada, 
and Solon J. Buck of the Minnesota Historical Society and the 
University of Minnesota. 

State Supported Library Activities in the United States, by 
Edna D. Bullock, issued as number 9 of the Bulletins of the 
Nebraska Legislative Reference Bureau (October, 1915. 71 p.), 
is a useful compilation of conditions, opinions, and statistics 
relative to "state libraries, state law libraries, state historical 
society libraries and museums, legislative reference bureaus, 
library extension and traveling libraries." The conclusion is 
reached that, so far as local conditions will permit, the concen- 
tration of the state's activities along these lines is desirable, and 
there appears to be a tendency in that direction. Particularly 
valuable and efficient work is done in New York and California, 
where there is complete concentration, but the work in Wisconsin 



NEWS AND COMMENT 333 

also is commended although managed by three distinct, though 
cooperating, agencies. From the statistics it would appear that 
only seven states have more books available in their state- 
supported libraries of the classes dealt with than has Minnesota. 
These are Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Penn- 
sylvania, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. Minnesota's annual 
appropriations for the work of these agencies are exceeded, 
however, by those of ten states : California, Connecticut, Illinois, 
Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, 
and Wisconsin. It will be noted that this list includes most of 
Minnesota's neighbors to the east and south. In four states, 
California, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, the appro- 
priations are over twice those of Minnesota. 

The following item clipped from London Tit-Bits shows the 
way in which England looks after the preservation of public 
records. To any one familiar with the condition of American 
state and national archives, the contrast is striking. 

"Unknown to the millions who pass through the city of London 
every week, a work of unparalleled magnitude at what is known 
as the public record office in Chancery lane, has been going on for 
a number of years. In this office there are 25 miles of shelves, 
all full of historical material, going back through the centuries 
as far as 'Domesday Book/ 

"It costs over 26,000 a year to keep up the record office, 
the keeper of the records being the master of the rolls. The 
office was established by the public records act in 1838, and the 
records were taken there from the tower, the chapter house, 
Westminster, the rolls chapel, and elsewhere. Ever since that 
time the office has been constantly receiving accretion from the 
law courts, the government departments, and from various other 
quarters. 

"All sorts of records are kept, legal, historical, genealogical, 
statistical and so varied are the contents of the office that 
antiquarian research of almost every kind can be made. There 
you will find the records of the star chamber and the old wards 
and liveries. State papers, domestic, colonial and foreign, 
formerly preserved in the state paper office in Whitehall, are 
also to be seen there. Usually 50 or 60 students are seen working 



334 NEWS AND COMMENT 

in the record office every day, and at any time there is the 
fascinating thought that one of them may make some interesting 
historical discovery." 

The Canadian Parliament Buildings in Ottawa were destroyed 
by fire on February 4. Fortunately the Parliament Library 
escaped with comparatively small losses, but many important 
records in the offices must have been burned. The bulk of the 
archives, however, which are of great historical value not only 
for Canada but also for the United States, were safe in the special 
building which the Canadian government has been foresighted 
enough to construct for their concentration and preservation. 

The Annual Report of the American Historical Association 
for 1913 (Washington, 1915. 2 v.) contains a suggestive paper 
by Worthington C. Ford on "Manuscripts and Historical 
Archives," in which the progress made in some of the eastern 
states toward adequate care of public records is pointed out and 
the problem discussed of what to save and what to destroy of the 
rapidly accumulating masses of records and manuscripts. 
Charles H. Hart's paper on "Frauds in Historical Portraiture, or 
Spurious Portraits of Historical Personages" illustrates the 
necessity for the constant maintenance of the critical attitude in 
historical work. Included in the Report are the proceedings of 
the tenth annual conference of historical societies and the fifth 
annual conference of archivists. The former contains a paper by 
Clarence W. Alvord on "Planning the Publication Work of 
Historical Agencies," and the latter includes a number of papers 
and discussions on problems of archive administration. The 
conference of archivists has in preparation a primer of archival 
economy, two chapters of which are included in tentative form 
in these proceedings. The second volume of the Report contains 
the "Papers of James A. Bayard, 1796-1815," edited by Elizabeth 
Donnan. 

Volume 4 of the Collections of the State Historical Society of 
North Dakota (944 p.) bears the imprint 1913, but the copyright 
date is 1915, in which year it actually appeared. The volume is 
edited by Professor O. G. Libby of the University of North 
Dakota, who is secretary of the society. The articles touching 



NEWS AND COMMENT 335 

Minnesota history are: "Location and Survey of the Northern 
International Boundary Line," by Ethel J. May, and "The Hudson 
Bay Company and the Red River Trade," by Hattie Listenfelt. 
The latter paper is accompanied by a documentary appendix of 
thirty pages. About half of the volume is devoted to documents, 
including the "Summary of Evidence in the Controversy between 
The Hudson's Bay Company and the North-West Company, 
Reprinted from Papers relating to the Red River Settlement, 
1815-19, Ordered by House of Commons to be printed July 12, 
1819" ; and "The Minutes of the Council of the Northern Depart- 
ment of Rupert's Land, 1830-1843," with an introduction by 
Isaac Cowie. It is to be regretted that valuable material of this 
sort should be printed on such miserably poor paper. 

The July, 1915, number of the Journal of the Illinois State 
Historical Society contains a "Biographical Sketch of David B. 
Sears, Pioneer in the Development and Utilization of the Water 
Power of the Mississippi and Its Tributaries Compiled Mainly 
from Data Supplied by His Son, David Sears, of Sears, Illinois." 
Mr. Sears began the development of water power at Moline, 
Illinois, in 1838. In 1852 he was the surveyor-general in charge 
of the running of the boundary line between Iowa and Minnesota, 
and in 1856 he bought an interest in the undeveloped water power 
of the Falls of St. Anthony on the west side of the river. Later 
he bought the site of Minnetonka City at the outlet of Lake 
Minnetonka, laid out a town, and erected a sawmill and furniture 
factory. He then returned to Moline, leaving the venture in the 
hands of partners, who made a failure of it. 

Volume 39 of the Michigan Historical Collections (1915. 
601 p.) contains, in addition to the report of the Michigan His- 
torical Commission for 1913 and papers and proceedings of the 
Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society, 1912-14, a "List of 
Subjects and Authors, Michigan Historical Collections, Volumes 
1 to 39." This will be welcomed by investigators who have occa- 
sion to use any of the voluminous material contained in the set, 
but it is to be hoped that the consolidated index, which is prom- 
ised, will be pushed forward as rapidly as possible. 

The work of the Minnesota State Art Commission is described 
as a model for other states and especially for North Carolina in 



336 NEWS AND COMMENT 

a paper by William C. A. Hammel on "A State Art Commis- 
sion," which was read at the sixteenth annual session of the 
State Literary and Historical Association of North Carolina last 
November. The association adopted a resolution urging the 
establishment of a similar commission in North Carolina and pro- 
vided for a committee to draft a bill to effect that end, which 
is to be submitted to the legislature at its next session. The paper 
referred to and others of considerable interest, notably "A 
Western View of Tradition," by Franklin K. Lane, can be found 
in the Proceedings of the association published by the North 
Carolina Historical Commission as number 20 of its Bulletins 
(1916. 120 p.). 

A Guidebook of the Western United States, in four parts, has 
been issued by the United States Geological Survey as numbers 
611-614 of its Bulletins (1915. 212, 244, 194, 142 p.). "The 
plan of the series is to present authoritative information that 
may enable the reader to realize adequately the scenic and 
material resources of the region he is traversing, to comprehend 
correctly the basis of its development, and above all to appreciate 
keenly the real value of the country he looks out upon. . . . 
Items of interest in civic development or references to significant 
epochs in the record of discovery and settlement may be inter- 
spersed with explanations of mountain and valley or statements 
of geologic history." Each part deals with the country along an 
important railway route, including: (A) the Northern Pacific 
from St. Paul to Seattle, with a side trip to Yellowstone Park ; 
(B) the Overland Route from Omaha to San Francisco, also with 
a side trip to Yellowstone Park; (C) the Santa Fe from Kansas 
City to Los Angeles, with a side trip to the Grand Canyon, and 
(D) the Shasta Route and Coast Line from Seattle to Los 
Angeles. Each part contains illustrations and 'a geologic and 
topographic map of the route in a number of sheets. The first 
thirty-five pages of part A, with sheets 1 to 4 of the map, cover 
the Northern Pacific route in Minnesota from St. Paul to 
Moorhead. 

The United States Geological Survey is publishing a series of 
reports on "Surface Water Supply of the United States," part v 
of which, issued as number 385 of its Water Supply Papers (1915. 



NEWS AND COMMENT 337 

247, xxix p.), deals with the "Hudson Bay and Upper Mississippi 
River Basins." This part was "prepared in cooperation with the 
States of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois." 

Quaint and Historic Forts of North America, by John Martin 
Hammond (Philadelphia, Lippincott, 1915. xiv, 309 p.), is a 
medley of history and description put out in attractive form and 
designed for popular consumption. It contains a four-page 
sketch of Fort Snelling, in which the early settlers on the reser- 
vation who were evicted by the military authorities are unjustly 
characterized as "refugees from civilization and disreputable 
hangers-on." 

Considerable scattered information about Minnesota in the 
1915 issue of The American Year Book, a Record of Events and 
Progress (1916. 862 p.) can be located by consulting the index. 
The work is edited by Francis G. Wickware and is now in its 
sixth issue. 

Volume 48 of the Proceedings of the United States National 
Museum (Washington, 1915. x, 672 p.) contains an article on 
"The Fisher, Polk County, Minnesota, Meteorite." 

The Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science for 1915 
(Des Moines. 407 p.) contains a catalogue of "The Flora of the 
Rainy River Region," by Harriette S. Kellogg. 

"How the Furs Came Down from the North Country," by L. 
A. Chase, in the History Teacher's Magazine for February, is a 
vivid picture of the fur trade in the Northwest in the early days. 

The Life and Ventures of the Original John Jacob Astor, by 
Elizabeth L. Gebhard (Hudson, New York, 1915. xix, 321 p.), 
will be disappointing to any one who expects to find in it any 
considerable amount of specific information about the organiza- 
tion and operations of Astor's American Fur Company in the 
upper Mississippi and Great Lakes region. 

"Les medailles decernees aux Indiens d'Amerique, etude his- 
torique et numismatique" is the title of a valuable article by 
Victor Morin in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, 
volume 9, series 3, section 1 (December, 1915). The article is 



338 NEWS AND COMMENT 

followed by forty-three figures depicting French, English, 
Spanish, and American medals designed for distribution among 
the Indians. 

Dr. John O. Evjen, professor of church history in Augsburg 
Seminary, Minneapolis, has written a book on Scandinavian 
Immigrants in New York, 1630-1674 (Minneapolis, K. C. Holter 
Publishing Company, 1916. xxiv, 438 p.). Dr. Evjen has col- 
lected from widely scattered records a large amount of informa- 
tion about these pioneers of Scandinavian immigration, which is 
presented in the form of biographies followed by a general dis- 
cussion entitled "Retrospect." Appendices deal with "Scandina- 
vians in Mexico and South America, 1532-1640; Scandinavians 
in Canada, 1619-1620 ; Some Scandinavians in New York in the 
Eighteenth Century; German Immigrants in New York, 1630- 
1674." The book is well illustrated with reproductions of old 
maps, cuts, portraits, and signatures, but unfortunately it has no 
index. 

The Norwegian Farmers in the United States, by T. A. Hover- 
stad, is a pamphlet issued by the Hans Jervell Publishing Com- 
pany of Fargo, North Dakota (c. 1915. 31 p.). The success of 
Norwegians as farmers in the Northwest is the subject of the 
brief text, which is supplemented by numerous illustrations of 
present-day farm homes of Norwegians, with a few "first houses" 
included for contrast. 

The Skavlem and Odegaarden Families, Being a Genealogical 
Record and Pioneer History of the Skavlem and Odegaarden 
Families from Their Emigration from Norway down to the 
Present, written and compiled by Halvor L. Skavlem (1915. 
245 p.), contains much material of value to any one interested in 
the history of the Norwegians in America. 

Recollections of a Long Life, 1829-1915, by Isaac Stephenson 
(Chicago, privately printed, 1915. 264 p.), depicts conditions in 
the lumbering industry in Maine, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The 
latter part of the book deals with the senator's political career 
and presents his side of the various contests and controversies in 
which he has been involved. 



NEWS AND COMMENT 339 

Anglo-American Isthmian Diplomacy, 1815-1915, by Mary 
Wilhelmine Williams (Washington, 1916. 356 p.), has just been 
issued by the American Historical Association in its series of 
prize essays. For the period prior to 1861 the author has made 
exhaustive use of manuscript materials in British and American 
archives with the result that new light is shed on many phases of 
the subject. 

It is understood that B. F. Bowen and Company of Indianapo- 
lis are compiling historical and biographical material in three 
counties of southwestern Minnesota: Brown, Cottonwood, and 
Watonwan. Doubtless the result will be one or more county 
histories. 

On February 21, 1916, Senator Kenyon of Iowa introduced in 
the United States Senate a bill to establish a national park, to 
be known as the Mississippi Valley National Park, near Prairie 
du Chien, Wisconsin, and McGregor, Iowa. This reservation 
would preserve in all its beauty of scene the spot where, on the 
fifteenth of June, 1673, Louis Joliet and Pere Marquette got their 
first glimpse of the Mississippi as, coming down the Wisconsin 
River, they turned their canoe into the course of the "great 
river." 

The statue of Henry Mower Rice, a gift from the state of 
Minnesota to the United States, was unveiled in Statuary Hall 
of the National Capitol on February 8, 1916, in the presence of 
some two hundred people, including many prominent men from 
the state and the entire Minnesota delegation in Congress. The 
exercises incident to the unveiling were presided over by Mr. F. 
G. Ingersoll of St. Paul, a member of the Rice Memorial Asso- 
ciation. The formal presentation address in behalf of the asso- 
ciation was made by Senator Nelson, who paid tribute to the 
man who, representing Minnesota as delegate and senator in 
Congress from 1853-63, rendered distinguished service to his 
constituents. The speech of acceptance was given by Vice-presi- 
dent Thomas F. Marshall. The introduction and passage of the 
concurrent resolution accepting the statue in the name of the 
United States and offering the thanks of Congress for the gift, 
was the occasion for commemorative exercises in the Senate on 



340 NEWS AND COMMENT 

February 19, when addresses were given by Senators Nelson and 
Clapp of Minnesota, Underwood of Alabama, Harding of Ohio, 
and Gallinger of New Hampshire; and in the House of Repre- 
sentatives on March 11, when the Minnesota members, Messrs. 
Davis, Steenerson, Miller, Volstead, Smith, Lindbergh, Van Dyke, 
Schall, Anderson, and Ellsworth, spoke briefly on the life and 
services of Mr. Rice. The addresses were all more or less 
historical in character, and the story of the rapid development of 
a commercial and industrial state in a region so recently the home 
of the Indians, voyageurs, and fur-traders, was listened to with 
interest. The address of Senator Nelson on February 8 appeared 
in the February 13 issue of the Minneapolis Journal, and the 
speeches delivered before the Senate and House were printed in 
the February 19 and March 11 issues of the Congressional Record. 

The Red River Valley Old Settlers' Association held a reunion 
at Crookston on February 29, 1916. Following the banquet in 
the evening, which was attended by about three hundred people, 
an entertaining program of toasts was given. Among those 
responding were well-known pioneer settlers who related inter- 
esting anecdotes about the early-day history of this region. One 
of the principal addresses was that of Mr. Elias Steenerson, who, 
in responding to the toast "Territorial Pioneers," "gave a most 
instructive and comprehensive talk on territorial Minnesota." 

The Anthony Wayne Chapter, Daughters of the American 
Revolution, of Mankato, Minnesota, are planning to present in 
Sibley Park on July 4 an historical pageant in which events in 
the early history of the city will be represented. The cooperation 
of the various clubs and organizations in arranging for the dif- 
ferent scenes, and the appointment of a committee from the city 
council and the Commercial Club to care for all business matters 
connected with the celebration, have been secured. The following 
scenes have been suggested for representation: the first 
inhabitants Indian life; the coming of the French Le Sueur; 
the founding of Mankato and the coming of the first white 
settlers, February 5, 1852 ; the arrival of the first Germans, May 
30, 1852; the first school in 1853; the arrival of the first Welsh 
settlers ; the departure of the volunteers, April 23, 1861 ; the 






MINNESO TA P UBLICA TIONS 341 

Sioux outbreak, August 23, 1862; the Scandinavian pioneers. 
Other features of the parade will be "Mankato to-day" and 
"Made in Mankato" scenes. 

MINNESOTA PUBLICATIONS 

The United States Bureau of Education has recently published 
"for distribution among those who are directly interested in the 
improvement of rural schools" a monograph entitled The Rural 
School System of Minnesota: A Study in School Efficiency by 
Harold W. Foght, specialist in rural school practice (Bulletin, 
1915, no. 20. 56 p.). The rural schools of Minnesota were 
selected for study and investigation because "perhaps no other 
State has been quite as successful ... in establishing a system 
of schools intended to meet the demands of modern rural life." 
Special consideration is given to problems of school maintenance, 
to the kinds of school organizations, including consolidated and 
associated schools, to agricultural and industrial education, and to 
rural teacher training departments in high schools. Maps, 
diagrams, half-tone illustrations, and statistical tables add to the 
value of the study. 

The St. Paul Dispatch and Pioneer Press Almanac and Y ear- 
Book for 1916 (640 p.) is the second annual edition. The first 
part of the book contains general matter of the usual yearbook 
sort, apparently from the same plates as the Chicago Daily News 
Almanac, but the last hundred pages are devoted specifically to 
Minnesota, St. Paul, and Minneapolis. The descriptive and 
statistical matter in these pages will be of use not only to the 
man of to-day who wants up-to-date information but also to the 
historical student of the future. It is to be hoped that the series 
will be continued with careful revisions from year to year. 

Minnesota Municipalities is the title of a new publication to be 
published bi-monthly at the University of Minnesota by the 
League of Minnesota Municipalities, the first number appearing 
in February, 1916. It is the intention of the league that the 
magazine shall contain the papers and discussions of the annual 
conventions hitherto published in a single volume under the title 
Proceedings. In addition, considerable space in each number will 



342 NEWS AND COMMENT 

be given to current municipal affairs and to the practical experi- 
ences of the villages and cities of the state in dealing with the 
problems of municipal administration. The April number con- 
tains a timely article on "The Need of a Constitutional Con- 
vention in Minnesota" by William A. Schaper, professor of polit- 
ical science in the University of Minnesota. After going briefly 
into the history of the constitutional convention of 1857, Mr. 
Schaper discusses the inadequacy of the present constitution to 
serve the needs of a "great developed state with complex social, 
industrial, municipal and state problems." The best solution of 
the problem lies, he believes, in a thorough and systematic revision 
of the constitution by a convention specially elected for this 
purpose. 

De Lestry's Western Magazine, of which six volumes were 
published in St. Paul and Minneapolis from 1897 to 1901, was 
revived last November as the Western Magazine. Edward L. 
De Lestry continues as editor, and many of the articles in the 
monthly issues are descriptive or historical in character. The 
Northwest, consisting of Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Montana, 
is the special field of the magazine. The April issue contains an 
article on Hastings entitled "Taking a New Look at an Old 
Town," by C. L. Llewellyn, and a brief sketch of early missions 
and the beginnings of religious organizations in Minnesota, in the 
department devoted to "Glimpses into Early Minnesota History." 

The March issue of the M. E. A. News-Letter is the Journal 
'of the Proceedings and Addresses (140 p.) of the fifty-third 
annual meeting of the Minnesota Educational Association held in 
Minneapolis, October 27-30, 1915. Among the papers read at 
the general sessions may be noted : "Sanity in Education," by 
Governor W. N. Ferris of Michigan, president of Ferris Institute, 
Big Rapids; "The Trap," by William L. Bryan, president of 
Indiana University; "The Social Ideal in Education," by Henry 
T. Bailey, editor of School Arts Magazine, Boston ; and "Train- 
ing for Leisure," by John H. Finley, New York commissioner of 
education, and president of the University of New York. 

The March-April issue of Minnesota Music, the official journal 
of the Minnesota Music Teachers' Association, contains an inter- 



MINNESOTA PUBLICATIONS 343 

esting article by the editor, Emily Grace Kay, entitled "Glimpses 
of the Musical Life of Minnesota in Her Early Days." Miss 
Kay was able to find much valuable material in the library of the 
Minnesota Historical Society, consulting especially the collection 
of old theatre and opera bills of St. Paul and the files of early 
newspapers. 

The Millers' Belgian Relief Movement, 1914-15 is an account, 
written by the director of the movement, Mr. William C. Edgar, 
of the organization and carrying-out of the undertaking inaug- 
urated by the Northwestern Miller to send flour from the United 
States to the destitute civil population of Belgium (Minneapolis, 
1915. 73 p.). 

The March issue of the Artisan, published by the students of 
the William Hood Dunwoody Institute, contains a biographical 
sketch and appreciation of Mr. Dunwoody. A history of print- 
ing in Minneapolis is promised for a later issue. 

The Winning of the Valley is the title of a novel by a Minne- 
sota author, Rev. David T. Robertson of Faribault. 

The Supreme Court of the United States as an International 
Tribunal, a commencement address given before the University 
of North Dakota, June 16, 1915, by William R. Vance, dean of 
the law school of the University of Minnesota, has appeared as 
number 23 of the Publications of the American Society for 
Judicial Settlement of International Disputes (Baltimore. Novem- 
ber, 1915. 24 p.). 

The Minnesota State Horticultural Society has issued in a 
single bound volume entitled Trees, Fruits, and Flowers of Min- 
nesota, 1^15, the twelve numbers of volume 43 of the Minnesota 
Horticulturist (528 p.). Included in the volume are the trans- 
actions of the society from December 1, 1914, to December 1, 
1915, a list of the books in the library of the society in December, 
1915, and the membership roll for 1915. 

Mr. Albert H. Turrittin, superintendent of banks, has submitted 
to the governor the Sixth Annual Report of the department of 
banking, giving in detail the "condition of the banks of discount 
and deposit, savings banks, trust companies, and building and loan 
associations" for the year ending July 31, 1915 (55 p.). 



344 NEWS AND COMMENT 

The Civil Service Bureau of St. Paul has submitted to the 
mayor its Second Annual Report for the year ending December 
31, 1915 (72 p.). Some interesting statistics in tabular and 
graphic form relative to the examinations conducted by the 
bureau, and to the cost of employment for the city from the 
years 1910 to 1915 are included in the report. Two other pam- 
phlets recently issued by the bureau are Civil Service Manual: 
Standards and Types of Examinations (September, 1915. 
100 p. ), and Rules and Regulations as Amended September 30, 
1915 (95, xxv p.). 

The Minneapolis board of park commissioners has issued its 
Thirty-third Annual Report, covering the year ending December 
31, 1915 (146 p.). The Report presents an account of the 
improvements made during the year as well as contemplated bet- 
terments in each unit of the city's system of parks and boulevards. 
The section on "General Recreation and Playgrounds" will be of 
especial interest to those who are concerned with the welfare of 
the city's children. The volume, with its maps and plans and 
numerous half-tone reproductions of exquisite bits of park scenes, 
presents a very attractive appearance, and will well repay even 
a most cursory examination. 

University Extension Lectures and the University Lyceum, 
issued as number 23 of volume 18 of the Bulletin of the Univer- 
sity of Minnesota, contains the announcements of the lecture and 
lyceum department of the general extension division for the year 
1916-17 (Minneapolis, 1915. 46 p.). 

Part 2 of the Course of Study for the Elementary School, by 
J. L. Stockton, principal of the Winona Normal elementary school, 
comprises the March number of the Winona Normal Bulletin 
(series 12, number 2). Part 1 appeared as number 1 of series 
12 in November, 1915. 

Annual catalogues containing announcements for the year 1916- 
17 have recently been issued by the following Minnesota colleges : 
St. Olaf (Northfield, 1916. 126 p.), Carleton (Northneld, 1916. 
136 p.), and Macalester (St. Paul, 1916. 119 p.). 

The Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts: An Account of Its 
Work, issued by the trustees of the society as a Supplement to 






MINNESOTA PUBLICATIONS 345 

the September, 1915, Bulletin of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts 
(21 p.), outlines briefly the value to the city of Minneapolis of 
two of the society's activities : the Art School and the Institute 
of Arts. Illustrations presenting interior views of the institute 
and examples of the work of the art students, and reproducing 
paintings, tapestries, and sculptures to be found in the art collec- 
tions, add to the attractiveness of the book. 

The Associated Charities of Minneapolis has issued a Report, 
called thirtieth and thirty-first (55 p.), which summarizes its 
work for the twenty-one months beginning January 1, 1914, and 
ending September 30, 1915. 

The Thirty-third Annual Report of the Minneapolis Chamber 
of Commerce, for the year ending December 31, 1915, is a valu- 
able and exhaustive compilation of data relating to the grain 
trade with special reference to the Minneapolis market (202 p.). 

The Minnesota Baptist Annual for 1915 (175 p.) contains the 
minutes of the fifty-sixth annual meeting of the Minnesota Bap- 
tist State Convention, convened at Temple Baptist Church, Min- 
neapolis, October 11-14, and of various associational meetings 
held throughout the state during the year, as well as reports of the 
work of organizations affiliated with the Baptist Church. 

The historical address delivered by Trevanion W. Hugo at 
the fiftieth annual conclave of the Grand Commandery of Knights 
Templar of Minnesota in Minneapolis, May 18 and 19, 1915, and 
printed in its Proceedings, 1915, has been published as a separate 
with the title Souvenir of the Semi-Centennial of the Grand Com- 
mandery Knights Templar of Minnesota, 1865-1915: An His- 
torical Address (93 p.). The accounts of the organization of 
pioneer Masonic lodges, chapters, and commanderies, with re- 
prints of their proceedings, are of interest to students of early 
Minnesota history. 

The Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of 
Minnesota has issued the Proceedings of its sixty-third annual 
communication held in St. Paul, January 19 and 20, 1916 (125, 
74 p.). Included in the volume are the Proceedings of the twen- 
ty-fourth annual reunion of the Masonic Veteran Association of 



346 NEWS AND COMMENT 

Minnesota held in St. Paul, January 18 and 19, 1916 (vol. 3, no. 
4, pp. 581-636), which contain memorial sketches of twenty-nine 
deceased members of the association. 

The Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Minnesota has 
published the Proceedings of its fifty-fourth annual convocation 
held in St. Paul, October 12, 1915 (56, 67 p.). 

St. Paul Year Book, 1916, is the title of the fourth yearly 
"almanack" issued by the Corning Advertising Agency (57 p.). 
In addition to the usual almanac features, the book contains por- 
traits and brief sketches of prominent St. Paul men. 

A series of historical and reminiscent articles of more than 
usual interest appeared in the Sunday issues of the Minneapolis 
Journal, March 12-April 30. The author, Mr. Andrew C. Dunn, 
of Winnebago, came to Minnesota in 1854 from New York, and 
was one of the first men admitted to the bar in the territory. In 
the first paper of the series he relates his experiences during his 
trip to Minnesota and his recollections of St. Paul as it appeared 
to him on his arrival. Since there seemed to be no favorable 
opening for a young lawyer there, Mr. Dunn decided to go to 
the mouth of the Sauk River where the United States government 
had just established a new land office. His trip thither by way of 
St. Anthony and up the Mississippi and his first view of Sauk 
Rapids form the subject matter of the second paper. In the third 
article Mr. Dunn draws for the reader a striking picture of the 
gathering of the Winnebago Indians at Watab prairie on "pay- 
ment day," and in the latter part tells of the founding of St. 
Cloud. The fourth paper contains an interesting account of a 
session of a territorial court held in Benton County in September, 
1854, and a description of the "annual pilgrimages" made by 
settlers from the Red River and Selkirk country in their Red 
River carts, laden with furs or other negotiable commodities, on 
their way to St. Paul to secure, through trade and bargaining, 
supplies for the next season. In the fifth and sixth papers Mr. 
Dunn discusses the political conditions obtaining in the United 
States and in the territory in the period just preceding the move- 
ment for statehood and tells of the struggle between the Repub- 
licans and Democrats over the organization of the constitutional 



MINNESO TA P UBLICA TIONS 347 

convention of 1857 and the adoption of the constitution. Mr. 
Dunn has been a keen and understanding observer of the social, 
economic, and political life of the people of Minnesota, and the 
present articles, in which are set down some of the results of his 
observations, form a valuable contribution to Minnesota history. 

"Early History of Mankato; Recollections of Pioneers" is the 
title of a paper by Florence K. Stubbs of Mankato, which was 
read before meetings of the Anthony Wayne Chapter, Daughters 
of the American Revolution, and later printed in the Mankato 
Daily Revieiv, April 1 and 3. The author has gathered together 
a good deal of interesting and useful information about the 
growth and development of Mankato and about the lives of its 
pioneer settlers during the ten years following the coming of 
the first white men in February, 1852. The organization and 
departure of the first company to enlist for service in the Civil 
War in 1861, the Sioux massacre of 1862, and the execution of 
the thirty-eight Indians in Mankato on December 26, 1862, are 
treated at some length. 

Louis L. Collins contributed an article to the February 20 issue 
of the Minneapolis Journal entitled "Six Hundred Minnesotans 
Owe Debt of Home to Wisconsin Man," in which he tells of the 
establishment in 1885 of the Washburn Memorial Orphan Asylum 
in accordance with the provisions of the will of Cadwallader C. 
Washburn, former governor of Wisconsin and brother of the 
late Senator W. D. Washburn of Minneapolis. Although Gover- 
nor Washburn never resided in Minnesota he had large business 
interests in the state, being especially concerned with the develop- 
ment of the water power at the falls and with the flour-milling 
industry. On account of the liberal endowment provided by its 
founder and through the wise management of its superintendent, 
C. E. Faulkner, the Washburn orphanage has been able to solve 
with a large degree of success the problem of preparing dependent 
children for early self-support. 

In the April 18 issue of the Mankato Daily Review there 
appeared under the title "Secret Society of the Early Days in 
Mankato," an interesting history of a society known as "The 
Knights of the Forest," organized in the winter of 1862, follow- 



348 NEWS AND COMMENT 

ing the Sioux outbreak. Other lodges were established in the 
same winter in several towns of southern Minnesota. The order 
is no longer in existence, though a few members are still living 
in Mankato, among them Mr. Charles A. Chapman, the author 
of the Review article. The object of the organization was to 
secure the permanent removal of all Indian tribes from Minne- 
sota, and Mr. Chapman thinks it very probable that the early 
removal of the Winnebagoes from the southern part of the state 
by the United States government was largely due to the efforts of 
the society. 

In recent issues of Minnesota newspapers there have appeared 
a number of short reminiscent articles containing material of 
value on early local history. Under the title "Writes about Mel- 
rose in 1867" in the Melrose Beacon, March 2, Mr. W. B. Whit- 
ney describes his trip on foot from Sauk Rapids up the Sauk 
Valley to Melrose, at that time only a stage station. In the 
March 11 issue of the Winona Republican-Herald Mr. J. T. Blair 
tells of the first agricultural fair held in Winona County in 1859. 
Valuable data about the early history of Hokah are to be found in 
"The Pioneer Days" in the Houston County Chief (Hokah), 
March 23 and 30. "Early Days in Faribault are Brought to 
Mind" in the Faribault Republican, April 7, by S. S. Nutting of 
Elgin, Illinois, a Faribault pioneer of the early fifties, continues 
his recollections of the early history of that city begun in the 
issue of March 3, 1915. An account of "the longest, coldest, most 
stormy winter" ever experienced in the state, gleaned from old 
newspapers files, appeared in the Murray County Herald (Slay- 
ton), April 14, under the title "Pipestone Star Tells of Winter of 
1880-81." The razing of old log houses dating back to the fifties 
was the occasion of the appearance of two brief historical 
sketches: "Tearing Down Relic of Early Day" in Mankato 
Daily Reviezv, March 14, and "To Dismantle Oldest Cabin Built 
of Logs over Sixty Years Ago" in Rochester Post and Record, 
February 25. 



MINNESOTA HISTORY BULLETIN 



SOLON J. BUCK 

SUPERINTENDENT OF THE MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY 
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF HISTORY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA 



VOL. 1, No. 7 
AUGUST, 1916 



MINNESOTA AT THE CRYSTAL PALACE 
EXHIBITION, NEW YORK, 1853 1 

In 1850 there were in the territory of Minnesota upwards 
of six thousand white people engaged in the lumber and fur- 
trade and associated industries, some two thousand of whom 
were gathered in the vicinity of the little log chapel called St. 
Paul by the missionary priest, Father Galtier. West of the 
Mississippi River the Indians were still in occupancy, the Sioux 
below the Falls of St. Anthony, the Chippewas above, although 
their lands had been sold to the government and they were 
soon to be dispossessed. These white settlements were the 
outposts of civilization; we were, so to speak, out on the 
skirmish line, and were all on the lookout for recruits to aid us 
in subduing the wilderness and in vanquishing that geographi- 
cal phantom, the great American desert. An active corre- 
spondence was kept up by letter-writers, and the mail service 
gradually expanded from a pony sled on the ice twice a month 
from Prairie du Chien to Burbank's four-horse covered coach 
or the Galena Packet Company's steamboats daily from Galena, 
Illinois. By 1855 the population of the territory had grown to 
about fifty-four thousand, a remarkable increase, the result of 
a most extraordinary immigration movement of the farmers of 
the eastern states toward the fertile prairies of Minnesota, the 
most desirable class of settlers that has pushed the frontier 
of a country two hundred miles to the westward. The 
inquisitive student naturally seeks to learn what were the under- 
lying influences which led to this sudden influx of settlers. To 
such an one the following incident of the days of 1853, in 
which the writer played a prominent role, and which was a real 
contributory cause, may be of interest. 

Prompted by the success of the international exhibition held, 

1 Based on a paper read at the monthly meeting of the executive 
council of the Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, October 10, 1898. 

351 



352 WILLIAM G. LE DUG 

at the suggestion of Prince Albert, in Hyde Park, London, in 
1851, Theodore Sedgwick and a party of public-spirited men 
of New York, including a number of prominent bankers, 
determined to organize a world's fair to be held in that city in 
the year 1853. They erected on the west half of Reservoir 
Square, then "away up town," that beautiful structure of iron 
and glass known as the Crystal Palace of New York. This 
building, while inferior to the rectangular edifice erected for 
the London exposition, was, in symmetrical proportions and 
architectural beauty, far superior to anything that had been 
constructed of iron and glass. Filled with the choicest produc- 
tions of industry and art from all parts of the world, the build- 
ing was at length formally opened to the public a dream of 
beauty and utility never to be forgotten by those fortunate 
enough to see it. 

Advertisements of the exhibition were widely circulated. In 
the winter of 1852-53 the once-a-week mail, carried up the 
river on the ice, brought one of these notices finally into my 
hands. At once I saw in the world's fair an opportunity to 
attract attention to our territory, then practically unknown, and 
to induce immigration to move in our direction. 

After consulting Governor Ramsey, I prepared and had 
introduced into the territorial legislature, then in session, a 
bill providing for the appointment by the governor of a com- 
missioner to the fair, and appropriating three hundred dollars 
for the preparation of an exhibit. The bill passed, and I was 
given the appointment. In the early spring I set about securing 
such an exhibit as would attract attention to Minnesota. At 
this time agriculture was practiced only in the gardens at the 
United States forts and on the farms of a small colony of 
Yankees who had settled on some fertile lands a few miles 
above the junction of the St. Croix with the Mississippi, called 
Cottage Grove. Here Joseph and Theodore Furber, James 
Norris, and Joseph Haskell were demonstrating the richness of 
the soil by raising with great success and profit large crops of 
all the small grains usually grown in northern latitudes : wheat, 



MINNESOTA AT THE CRYSTAL PALACE 353 

rye, oats, barley, and corn. The demands of the logging 
camps, of the Indian trading posts, and of the forts, however, 
largely exceeded the amount of cereals produced. I secured 
samples of all the varieties grown. 

My next visit was to the principal trading post of the 
American Fur Company, located at Mendota, which since 1834 
had been under the management of Henry H. Sibley. 1 He 
supplied me with specimens of the best furs in his possession, 
and gave me a letter to Ramsey Crooks, formerly president of 
the company, but at this time engaged in the fur commission 
business in New York, which was the means of placing at my 
disposal the finest furs in the world. 

At the suggestion of Henry M. Rice I accompanied his clerk 
E. A. C. Hatch on a trip to the trading posts on the upper 
Mississippi to get an Indian canoe and samples of wild rice, 
or manomin, as the Chippewas in their tongue called the 
Zizania aquatica, a plant bearing a grain of great food value to 
the Indians living among the marshy lakes of northern Minne- 
sota and Wisconsin, and to any peoples who shall in the future 
live in those regions. The rice as well as a birch-bark canoe of 
the best pattern and other articles of Indian make I obtained 
through the courtesy of Mr. Russell, the factor in charge of 
the trading post of Borup and Oakes, and M. Cunradie, a 
gentlemanly, well-educated, competent clerk whom I had 
known in St. Paul, and who had been banished to this frontier 
post by his employers because of his persistent indulgence in 
whiskey and convivial frolics. Cunradie was a native of 
Alsace or Lorraine, and was a foster brother of Louis Napo- 
leon, who had just carried out his successful coup d'etat in 
France. Cunradie sought my assistance in getting to New 
York, saying in his broken English : 

1 In 1842 the American Fur Company was obliged to make an assign- 
ment, and in the following year its interests in Minnesota territory were 
transferred to the firm of Pierre Chouteau and Company of St. Louis, 
to whom the name of the former corporation was afterwards often 
applied. Ed. 



354 WILLIAM G. LE DUG 

"Ah, my fren', eef I can only get back to France, my foster 
brother he will see I shall haf ze good place. I queet dese sacre 
bleu squaw camp an' come to Paree. I queet wat you call hell 
and get to heaven, ees it not so?" 

"But, Cunradie, I have no money to pay clerk hire; only 
three hundred dollars for the entire business." 

"Only t'ree hundred dollar for ze entire treep ! Mon Dieu, 
but zat ees too leet' for ze whiskey beel of ze commish'." 

As I was about to start on my return journey, Cunradie 
again appeared, and, taking me to a corral, said : "I show you 
wat will more attract ze peep' zan all canoe or fur or grain. 
You see zat fine buffalo bool ? You put heem in your show and 
everybody shall say, 'Meenesota ! Were ees zat ?' Zen shall ze 
peep' mak' some inquire. I geef you heem, an' eef you get 
more zan hees cost, you geef me to go to France, eh, ees it 
not so?" 

"Impossible, Cunradie, I could not tie him behind Mr. 
Hatch's buggy, and I can't drive him to St. Paul. Now if I 
had him at St. Paul when I start down the river, I might take 
him along and try to help you back to your beloved Paris, but 
you see that it is impossible." 

"May be not imposs' eef I can get heem to St. Paul before 
you go." 

I bade Cunradie good bye with no further thought of the 
matter. A week or ten days afterward, as I was sitting in my 
office in the building at the corner of Wabasha and Bench 
streets, over the post-office, in St. Paul, the door opened, and 
a softly moccasined footfall caused me to turn to the intruder, 
a solemn half-breed Chippewa, who announced in an under- 
tone, "Mr. Cunradie have send buffalo bull." 

"What! Buffalo bull! Oh, I hope not. Where is he?" 

"See," he said briefly, pointing out of the window which 
overlooked Bridge Square. And there to my utter surprise 
and dismay was Cunradie's young bison, an iron ring in his 
nose, a rope attached to the ring, and the rope in the hands of 
a second half-breed. By them Cunradie had sent a letter 




MINNESOTA AT THE CRYSTAL PALACE 355 

claiming the fulfillment of my rash promise : that if the buffalo 
were on the spot when I started, I would take him. 

And now my troubles began. The bull was hungry; the 
Indians were more hungry. After diligent inquiry I obtained 
the use of a stable belonging to Mr. Selby on St. Anthony Hill. 
In this building the bull was housed and properly fed, while the 
Indians were supplied with rations and given permission to 
sleep on the hay in the stable loft. There were not many chil- 
dren or young lads in St. Paul at that time, but what they 
lacked in numbers, they made up in activity of mind and body, 
and in curiosity. They visited the Selby stable in squads; 
and when the stolid half-breeds were absent or asleep, the chil- 
dren would tear the battens off or pry open the door in order to 
get a better view of the animal. They became so troublesome 
that at length I had the Indians take the bison out and lead him 
through the streets. 

He was really a very handsome beast, between three and 
four years old ; not so large through the shoulders as he would 
be later when his full growth was attained. His fine silky fur 
was jet black and glossy, though he was shaggy around the 
head, neck, and shoulders. His horns were short, sharp, black, 
and polished, and from out of the mass of shaggy locks adorn- 
ing the front of his head gleamed a pair of black, piercing eyes 
that were ever on the alert, flashing the warning noli me 
tangere, "no familiarity allowed." His motions were quick and 
graceful. While lying at rest, he could spring at a bound to 
his feet, lower his head to meet an attack or charge an enemy 
with the suppleness of a cat. The buffalo bull in his prime, when 
angered, is to be feared by any wild beast in America. Horses, 
unless they are trained to the hunt or are otherwise accustomed 
to his presence, invariably bolt at the sight or smell of him. 

Third Street was cleared of teams when the Indians led the 
bull down its length to the steamer "Ben Franklin," on the day 
of my departure. At the stern of the boat a place had been 
partitioned off with strong boards, and into this pen the animal 
was taken after much persuasion of various kinds. Here he 



356 WILLIAM G. LE DUG 

was free to eat, drink, and sleep, with sufficient room in which 
to turn around. But except in the night he had scanty oppor- 
tunity to rest. The roustabouts on the boat were men whose 
winters were spent in the woods in choppers' camps, where an 
opportunity to play practical jokes on each other, to tease any 
live creature, or to make a bet on anything or everything was 
never neglected. In similar fashion on this trip during their 
leisure time between landings, they were wont to amuse them- 
selves by startling the bull with thrusts of a pole and in laying 
wagers as to how many such thrusts would make him mad 
enough to charge the side of his pen. The result of this form 
of amusement was apparent before we reached Galena. The 
approach of a deck hand was the signal for a flashing of the 
black eyes, a towering of the pointed horns in so menacing a 
manner as to frighten any timid person away. It was clear to 
me that the sooner I parted company with Cunradie's buffalo, 
the better it would be for my peace of mind and for my limited 
appropriation. 

In the course of a conversation with the captain I learned 
that a certain man in Galena had once had one or more buffaloes 
on his farm, and that he might be induced to buy another. I 
decided to try to make the sale, and the captain on our arrival 
at Galena agreed to point out to me where this man could be 
found. We walked up the street together until we came in 
sight of a large brick store with a sign Harris Brothers over the 
door. "Go in there and inquire for Smike Harris," said the 
captain ; "at this time of day you will probably find him in the 
back room playing cards," and he passed on up the street with 
a quickened pace. I entered the store, put my question to a 
clerk, and was directed by him to a rear room, in which as the 
door swung back at my entrance were to be seen four men 
sitting around a table playing cards. 

"Is Mr. Smike Harris here?" 

"Yes, I'm Smike Harris," said a big, bronze-faced, ruffian- 
looking steamboat mate. "What do you want, young man?" 



MINNESOTA AT THE CRYSTAL PALACE 357 

"I wanted to see, Mr. Harris, if I could sell you a fine young 
buffalo bull." 

Harris sprang up from his seat as though the chair had been 
suddenly charged from an electric battery, and, coming toward 
me in a rage, shouted in the language of the lower deck, 

" , sir, don't you say buffalo bull to me, sir, or I'll knock 

the d head off'n you and use it for a football." 

"Well now, Mr. Harris, go slow. You seem excited about 
something I know nothing about. I came here on legitimate 
business. I have a very fine animal on the 'Ben Franklin', and 
he is for sale. I was told that you would probably purchase 
him, as you had been yourself the owner of a buff " 

"Don't you say buffalo bull to me, sir. Don't you do it. 
I've given notice that I'll mash the face of any fellow that says 

buffalo bull to me ; and by , I mean what I say. Who sent 

you here, sir?" 

"The captain of the 'Ben Franklin' !" 

"He did, did he? The captain of the 'Ben Franklin'? He 

did? D him, I'll settle this thing with him then. Where 

is he?" 

"I don't know, sir. He went on up the street after pointing 
out this store to me." 

"Up the street, did he? I'll show him he can't set it up on 
me in this way. I'll wipe up the street with him," hurrying off 
in search of the captain. I have no personal knowledge of the 
result of this meeting, if, indeed, it ever took place. But I 
heard afterwards that the captain, after a spell of sickness, 
removed to St. Paul, and that he has resided there ever since. 

My attempt to sell the buffalo having failed, I hastened to 
make arrangements to get my exhibits aboard a steamer whose 
insistent bell was serving notice that it was to start for St. 
Louis immediately. It did not leave until the next day, how- 
ever, and in the interval I learned the cause of Mr. Harris' 
extraordinary outburst. It appears that he had been at one 
time the owner of a buffalo bull for which he had paid quite a 
sum of money. The animal was taken to his farm, a few miles 



358 WILLIAM G. LE DUG 

from Galena, and confined in a field smaller in extent than 
suited the wishes of a well-fed buffalo. So occasionally he tore 
down the fence and indulged in a dust bath in the middle of 
the road, holding up all travel for the time being. One day he 
charged on a passing team, with serious results. Mr. Harris 
was obliged to shoot him, and was himself later the losing 
defendant in a suit brought to recover large damages. It can 
be easily imagined, therefore, that the mere mention of a buffalo 
was enough to put him in no amiable state of mind. 

After some difficulty the deck hands of both boats succeeded 
in transferring my buffalo to the down-river steamer, and I 
was on my way to St. Louis. The men employed on board 
were white men, the war not yet having turned the negro loose 
for work on steamboats, and they varied the monotony of their 
rough life by constant investigation as to the agility and other 
peculiarities of the buffalo when disturbed by clubs and chunks 
of coal, all of which only increased his suspicions and irrita- 
bility, and made the handling of him anything but a desirable 
task by the time the boat reached St. Louis. Fortunately we 
tied up alongside a steamer billed to start for Cincinnati within 
a few hours. I arranged for passage thereon and had my 
freight at once removed to the Ohio River boat, the usual provi- 
sion being made for the bull. The problem of getting the latter 
into his new quarters presented the usual difficulties, since he 
refused to let any one get near enough to fasten a rope through 
the iron ring in his nose. Through strategy this was at length 
accomplished, and the bull was started toward the bow of the 
boat and the gangplank. 

At this time the levee at St. Louis was paved with cobble- 
stones. The water was rising rapidly, and the draymen were 
hurriedly engaged in removing from the steep bank the 
immense lots of freight that were piled too close to the mount- 
ing floods. Much of it appeared to be hogsheads of sugar from 
New Orleans; and the Irish draymen and their negro helpers, 
the horses and mules, were all in a tangle of hurried confusion. 
When the buffalo came to the open gangway of the boat, he 






MINNESOTA AT THE CRYSTAL PALACE 359 



did not wait to go ashore dryshod on the gangplank, but 
jumped overboard into the muddy waters of the Missouri and 
swam off toward the bank, up which he clambered, blowing the 
water from his nostrils, shaking his shaggy head, and bellowing 
furiously. Horses and mules, dragging their empty or loaded 
drays, fled in a panic, with their drivers, no less frightened 
than themselves, shouting and urging them on. The animals 
attached to unloaded drays became unmanageable, and the 
wildest confusion reigned. Two negroes were rolling a sugar 
cask on to an Irishman's dray, when the horse started to run 
away, the Irishman after him, calling, "Whoa, whoa ! Stop, 
till it's meself is on the dray. Whoa, you devil's crab !" 

The negroes in the meantime were having their tussle with 
the sugar cask. "Chuck dis hogshead, Sam, chuck hit quick. 
I cain't hole hit." "Le's cut hit, Jule, dat's de bes' way, an' lay 
behin' an' see what's dis beast." Cut it they did, and so pre- 
vented its rolling into the river. Others were not so fortunate. 
The captain told me he saw two casks get away from frightened 
stevedores and go to sweeten the yellow Missouri soup for the 
fishes. When the buffalo was safely on board and we were 
fairly out in the stream, the captain congratulated me and him- 
self that we had gotten beyond the reach of legal processes 
which might have tied up his boat for a week. 

We arrived at Cincinnati in due time. I had written to an 
old Kenyon College classmate, then engaged in the practice of 
law in that city, advising him of the date of my arrival and 
asking him to have some one meet me who would not be afraid 
to lead a buffalo bull across the city to the Miami freight sta- 
tion. The stalwart butcher who appeared at the landing looked 
the bull over and declined the job with decided promptness. He 
was willing to take reasonable chances with any ordinary bull, 
but no money would tempt him to risk himself with this 
ferocious-looking animal. My friend and I held a conference. 

"He's not so wicked and dangerous as he looks, is he?" 

"No, I think not. I believe he was tractable enough at home. 
His owner used to hitch him to a sled and make him draw wood 



360 WILLIAM G. LE DUG 

and other things. But the treatment he has received at the 
hands of steamboat roustabouts has made him suspicious and 
unsociable, especially with strangers and in strange places." 

"But he is used to you by this time, and you are not afraid 
of him, are you ? I don't think I can find any one else to under- 
take the job." 

"No, I'm not afraid of the beast. But I am afraid of seeing 
some of my acquaintances on the street. I shouldn't care to 

meet Dick A or Dan B . And then the girls ! Besides 

I'll have to take the middle of the street." 

"Oh, never mind that! I'll walk up with you. I think it 
hardly likely that we shall meet any one we know at this time 
of day." 

I turned into a shop and purchased a good ash hoe 
handle and had a spring snap large enough to take in the bull's 
nose ring attached to it. Thus equipped, we started back to 
the levee. As we came in sight of the river, we saw the steamer 
on which I had just arrived in midstream under full head of 
steam, bound up-river. I was just congratulating myself that 
at last I was rid of Cunradie's bull, but my joy was premature 
and shortlived, for hitched to a steamboat ring half way up the 
levee was the buffalo, holding a reception for a respectful crowd 
of wharf rats. 

Arranging to have my goods sent to the Miami station, I 
hooked on to the buffalo with my hoe handle and started up 
Broadway. Approaching teams hastily turned into side streets 
and alleys; those following me declined to pass. The street 
was mine. My friend, after half a square, deserted me and 
betook himself to the sidewalk, where he attempted some 
witticisms at my expense with the passers-by. Fortunately I 
met no one who knew me. 

On arriving at the freight depot, I secured a car and saw my 
goods and livestock safely on board for Buffalo, whither I fol- 
lowed in a few hours. From Buffalo I was fortunately able to 
ship the car through without change to Albany. At Albany, 
however, it was necessary to have my freight hauled across the 









MINNESOTA AT THE CRYSTAL PALACE 361 



river, and, for the second time, I led the buffalo from: one sta- 
tion to another, a distance of half a mile or more. On the 
bridge I was joined by a prospecting Yankee, with whom I fell 
into conversation. 

"Coin' to the fair down to York with that there that it's 
a buffalo, ain't it?" 

"Yes, it is a buffalo, and a very fine specimen of its kind." 

"It is fur a fact, a derned cute-lookin' beast, slick as a mole, 
and spry as a cricket. Jeeminy, but he'd make a fine show! 
Side show,, you know. Coin' to show him ?" 

"No, he is a part of the exhibit from Minnesota." 

"Minnesoty! Where's that ?" 

"Up at the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Do you 
know where the Falls of St. Anthony are?" 

"Oh, yes, my old Morse jography tells that. It's away out in 
the middle of the continent. Injun country, ain't it?" 

"Yes, that is Minnesota territory now, and that is where this 
splendid specimen of the bison was caught and tamed." 

"Bison? Bison?" 

"Yes, that is the proper name for the animal, though it is 
commonly called buffalo." 

"Do you want to sell him ? I have a friend who is gettin' up 
a side show, and he would fit in like a bug in a rug. How much 
would you take fur him delivered down in York?" 

"Has your friend the money to buy so fine an animal ?" 

"Yes, he's pretty well heeled, an' if he takes a fancy to a 
thing, he pays cash down. If you'll tell me where you are goin' 
to put up down at the fair, we'll call on you fur a trade." 

We had by this time reached the freight station, where my 
obliging acquaintance assisted me in getting the buffalo safely 
stowed away in his car. As he bade me good bye, he remarked, 
"But you didn't say 'bout how much you thought him wuth ?" 

"Considering the rarity and beauty of the animal, and the 
expense and trouble of his capture and transportation, he ought 
to bring three thousand dollars." 



362 WILLIAM G. LE DUC 

"Three thousand dollars! Well, that's a purty high figure 
fur any cud-chewin' beast. But he might pay interest on it if 
well showed. We'll have to think it over." 

Arriving at New York on a Saturday afternoon, I engaged a 
room at the Astor House, and immediately set out to find a 

friend, Mr. S. A. R , a member of a well-known publishing 

firm. I explained to him the nature of my business in New 
York; told him of the expected arrival of my exhibit by the 
night freight, and invited him to join me the next morning 
(Sunday) about ten o'clock and inspect the cargo. At the 

appointed time R appeared, dressed in elegant Sunday 

attire, six feet two inches in height, faultless in figure the 
handsomest man in New York. We made our way to the 
freight depot on the river road, which was located on the west 
side near Canal Street. The car was standing in the yards, 
ready to be unloaded as soon as I could decide on what disposi- 
tion to make of its contents. It was Sunday. The directors of 
the Crystal Palace could not be seen. What was to be done 
with the buffalo? He could not remain in the freight yards. 

R suggested that I hire some one to take him over to the 

Bull's Head stables, where he could be cared for until I could 
see the directors and have other quarters provided for him. 
His suggestion was adopted, except as to hiring some one to 
lead the bull across the city. This task I was again obliged to 
take upon myself. Where the stables were I did not know, 

but R offered his services as pilot, and we started out. 

Conditions seemed favorable. The day was fine. There were 
no wagons or drays to avoid. The streets were practically 
deserted. Everything went smoothly until we were about to 
cross Fifth Avenue, when a trotting horse, which two young 
men were speeding up the avenue, caught sight of the buffalo 
crossing the street ahead of her. There was a dash toward the 
lamp post, a wrecked road wagon, and a badly frightened 
horse flying up the avenue at a more than two-forty gait. 

"Don't stop! Don't look around! Hurry up!" called R . 

"Turn down this side street, and let's push along as fast as 









MINNESOTA AT THE CRYSTAL PALACE 363 



possible." Push on we did until we had the buffalo safely 
locked up in a roomy stall, with plenty of water and fodder. 
The next morning we scanned the daily papers carefully and 
felt relieved when no mention of the accident we had witnessed 
was to be found. 

I called on the president and directors of the Crystal Palace 
to notify them of my arrival and to claim the space set aside 
for the Minnesota exhibit, including accommodation for a live 
buffalo. "A live buffalo!" exclaimed President Sedgwick in 
astonishment. "A live buffalo from the great plains of the 
West," he called out ; "the latest arrival !" His outcry brought 
in several of the directors who were much impressed with the 
history of the exhibit. They all agreed that it would be of 
great interest to foreign visitors, but said that as yet no provi- 
sion had been made for exhibiting live animals of any kind. 
They readily accepted my invitation to pay a visit to the stables 
to see the bison, and made arrangements to meet soon and 
decide what could be done about him. In the meantime I 
visited the Palace and attended to the placing of my exhibit 
in the space assigned me, which was somewhat larger than I 
could fill satisfactorily with the things I had on hand, unless 
the directors fixed a pen for the bison, a thing which I thought 
rather improbable. I arranged as attractively as possible the 
birch-bark canoe and other Indian curios, the furs, my small 
stock of farm products, and a number of interesting photo- 
graphs of Fort Snelling, the Falls of St. Anthony, and views 
of dog trains and Red River carts taken by Joel E. Whitney, 
St. Paul's first photographer, which were adjudged superior to 
most of the photographic work exhibited. Finding that I .still 
had considerable space at my command, I presented my letter 
from Mr. Sibley to Ramsey Crooks, who allowed me to select 
furs to any amount from the finest skins on the continent. I 
had noted the entire absence of any exhibit of agricultural 
products at the fair, so I called at Grant Thorburn's seed store 
and purchased seeds in quantities sufficient to supplement my 
rather meagre specimens from Minnesota. These seeds would 



364 WILLIAM G. LE DUG 

also serve as standards by which to compare the grains grown 
on the new and fertile soil of Minnesota and which carried 
labels giving the name of the grower and the locality. 

I had been an occasional correspondent for the New York 
Tribune for a few years, and I knew well the favorable reputa- 
tion which Mr. Greeley held among the farmers of the country. 
Accordingly, I took him to see my Minnesota exhibit and espe- 
cially invited a comparison of Minnesota grains with the best 
seed offered for sale by Grant Thorburn, then the leading seed 
man of the United States. I called his attention also to the 
fact that no other state or territory had an exhibit of agri- 
cultural products at the fair except Minnesota territory, which 
he had once derided as a barren and inhospitable region, unsuit- 
able for farming, fit only for logging operations. Mr. Greeley 
was completely surprised, and wrote a long editorial comment- 
ing on the evidences of fertility and adaptability of the soil of 
Minnesota for farming purposes as shown by the exhibit, and 
scoring the management for not securing from other states 
appropriate displays of their agricultural products. This notice 
in the Tribune started a tide of immigration to Minnesota 
which has continued in a steady stream ever since that day. 

But to return to our bison. At the time appointed Mr. 
Sedgwick and a number of the directors of the fair well- 
dressed, well-fed, jolly-countenanced men met me at Bull's 
Head stables, where the buffalo was confined in a box stall, the 
door of which was hung on grooved wheels running on a rail 
at the top. As we were gathered about the stall, the hostler 
with sudden violence shoved the door back. The buffalo, who 
was lying down, probably asleep, sprang upon his feet, lowered 
his head as if about to charge, and uttered a little bellow, which 
sent the aldermanic crowd scattering in all directions. "Don't 
be skeered, gents," said the hostler; "he is perfectly harmless. 
He's probably more afraid than you 'uns is." But no explana- 
tions or assurances were of any avail. The hoped-for oppor- 
tunity of unloading the buffalo on the Crystal Palace Company 
vanished with that scare. The directors had been obliged to 




MINNESOTA AT THE CRYSTAL PALACE 365 

hustle, to exert themselves violently immediately after lunch, 
and there would be tailors' bills to pay. They had seen enough 
of the buffalo. He was persona non grata to them. I wrote to 
Cunradie an account of our safe arrival in New York ; told him 
that the buffalo was eating his head off at Bull's Head stables, 
and that he must send me money with which to pay his board. 

The opening exercises of the fair at the Crystal Palace were 
inaugurated by a speech by President Pierce. A great dinner 
was given at the Metropolitan Hotel, at which was served a 
portion of the new cereal from Minnesota, manomin or wild 
rice, a source of food supply for thousands of people and 
destined to be an important agricultural product because of its 
ability to grow in places where no other vegetation flourishes, 
as in water-covered swamps and along the margins of lakes. 

The fair was progressing, and so were the expense bills, pay- 
able weekly, at Bull's Head stables. In the course of three or 
four weeks I received the following reply from Cunradie: 
"My dear fren', I haf ze poignant regret I haf not some money 
any more. I tak' wat some leet' money I haf wiz Borup an' 
Oakes, an' haf one dremendous spree wen I hear zat my bison 
haf got safe to New York, for I say my fren' ze commish' will 
soon now sell for much money zat beast, an' I may go to 
France, an' I want not some more money here, an' I gif ze poys 
a gran' blowout. An' now you can not heem sell, an' can not 
pay hees board bill. Sacre, an' wat shall you do? Ah, my 
fren', I tell you. Barnum once mak' ten strike wiz buffalo on 
Staten Island. Sell heem to Barnum. Mais eef he will not 
buy, put heem on ze first sheep to sail for Havre an' send wiz 
compliments of Cunradie his foster brother to 1'empereur for 
Jardin des Plantes. Eef zis plan shall fail, sell heem for hees 
board bills." 

Acting on Cunradie's suggestion, I went to Barnum's office 
and interviewed his man of business. As I outlined my propo- 
sition, a smile suggestive of pleasant reminiscences stole over 
his face. u Yes," he remarked, "we did have a ten strike out 
of that little shindy. But we couldn't do it again. There's no 



366 WILLIAM G. LE DUG 

use trying. It wouldn't win. No, I think we have no place for 
the buffalo." 

Then I looked up a list of sailing vessels and found two 
advertised to leave at an early day. At the shipping office of 
the first boat, on my inquiry as to the possibility of shipping a 
live buffalo to France to the Garden of Acclimation, I was 
referred to the captain. I turned to the square-built, ruddy- 
faced Scotch seaman and repeated my desire to send to the 
emperor of the French a buffalo bull captured in the great 
West. 

"Ah, hoo grat a value do you place on the animal ?" 

"That depends. Considered as a beast of burden, he is 
probably of no great value ; but as a specimen of his kind and a 
rare good one at that, to put in the Garden of Acclimation, he 
is worth considerable." 

"Hoo much do you think in puns starling? Five hundred 
like?" 

"The emperor might esteem him worth that or more, and as 
a present from his foster brother, who wishes me to arrange for 
the shipment, the animal would have large value, no doubt." 

"And suppose I should take him, how muckle freight would 
you be willing to pay for the carrying?" 

"The freight would be paid by the consignee." 

"And if the beast might dee on the way over, who would be 
responsible for the charge ? Noo then, I will take him on board 
for one hundred dollars down in hand and one hundred dollars 
when he is safely landed on French soil." 

As my cash in hand would not warrant this expenditure, I 
declined the proposal. 

The captain of the other vessel was French and evidently 
desired to do something to court the attention and possibly the 
favor of the emperor. He listened to my proposal and did not 
object to looking to the consignee for the freight. As my 
French was not much better than his English, he got no very 
definite idea of the sort of animal I wished to ship, so he went 
with me to the stables to see it for himself. The result was a 



MINNESOTA AT THE CRYSTAL PALACE 367 

flat refusal. "To haf so wicked an animal on my sheep ? No, 
no, sir ! C'est imposs'. Ze voyageur, ze man, he will fly wat 
you call desart. No, sir, it would be delight to serve I'empereur, 
but not wiz zis beast on my sheep. Bon soir, m'sieu'." 

My good friend R came to the rescue. Among the side 

shows encamped round about the Palace was one containing a 

cinnamon bear, a moose, and a horned frog or two. R 

persuaded the owner that it would be to his advantage to 
increase his stock, and sold him the buffalo bull for three hun- 
dred dollars, to be paid in weekly installments at R 's place 

of business. I took the first train out of New York for home. 

When R went to inquire why the first payment on the 

contract was not forthcoming, he found that the showman had 
departed for parts unknown, neglecting to leave any address. 

Long afterwards R wrote me that he had seen in a Maine 

newspaper an account of a man in that state of ice and pine 
lumber exhibiting a young buffalo bull, and he inquired if I 
had interest enough to look into the matter and, if possible, to 
identify the animal. 

Some years after the fair I was sitting in the lobby of the 
Astor House, when suddenly there came up the steps a rush of 
arrivals from an Aspinwall steamer. Amid the hailing and 
hand-shaking and inquiries about friends in California, sud- 
denly some one rushed up and shook a bronzed, cowboy-looking 
fellow by the hand, slapping him with friendly warmth on the 
shoulder. The returned Californian cried out: "Don't, Jim, 
don't you know that's my broken shoulder, the one that was all 
smashed up three years ago at fair time. I'd just like to come 
across the son-of-a-gun that led that beast across the avenue as 
I was speeding my mare that day. I'll be darned if I wouldn't 
give him something to remember me by." As I felt no desire 
for an introduction to any member of the rough-looking party 
and especially to the excitable individual who seemed to nourish 
an unforgiving recollection of Cunradie's bison, I passed quietly 
down the steps and wandered thoughtfully up Broadway, grati- 
fied to know that the young man had suffered only a broken 



368 WILLIAM G. LE DUC 

shoulder and two or three months under the surgeon's care. 
He might have been the principal in a funeral procession, as 
Cunradie was not long after his "glorious spree." 

The movement of immigration, begun in 1854 as a result of 
the exhibition of Minnesota products and of the editorial 
approval of Horace Greeley, has continued until the present 
day. A very large proportion of the immigrants were from the 
northern states. They were men and women educated in the 
common and high schools, speaking our language, familiar with 
our forms of government, exemplary in their morals, with 
sound minds in sound bodies. Such were the people who laid 
the foundations of the state of Minnesota upon the basis of 
freedom of political and religious belief, freedom of opinion 
and action. 

WILLIAM G. LE Due 

HASTINGS, MINNESOTA 



THE NEILL PAPERS IN THE MANUSCRIPT 

COLLECTION OF THE MINNESOTA 

HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

In the summer of 1909 Miss Minnesota Neill of Helena, 
Montana, sent to the Minnesota Historical Society three boxes 
of manuscript and printed material which had been left by her 
father Rev. E. D. Neill. About a year ago some scrapbooks 
and additional papers were received from the same donor, 1 and 
the whole collection of papers, comprising over three thousand 
documents and ranging in date from 1836 to 1893, has now 
been sorted and filed in convenient chronological arrangement. 
Letters received and drafts of letters written by Dr. Neill make 
up the bulk of the collection. The letters received form an 
apparently unbroken series, with the exception of family 
letters. They cover the entire period of Dr. Neill's career, 
increasing in volume from first to last in proportion to his 
growing reputation. Drafts of his own letters, on the other 
hand, are few and scattered. The remainder of the collection 
comprises articles by Neill, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, 
notes, and miscellany. 

Edward Duffield Neill was one of those men of vision, 
intellect, and energy, whose hearts and brains are inextricably 
interwoven in the fabric of Minnesota's history one of a 
limited number who in marked degree helped to determine the 
character of that history. He came to Minnesota in 1849, when 
the foundations of the new territory and state-to-be were being 
laid. While others were engaged primarily in the political 
organization and material development of the state, Dr. Neill, 
through his zeal in the establishment and building-up of 
religious and educational institutions, was enabled to quicken 
and direct its spiritual and intellectual life. A maker of his- 

1 See ante 229. 



370 FRANKLIN F. HOLE ROOK 

tory, he was also an historian and a promoter of historical 
activities. His services in these several directions continued 
unbroken, notwithstanding a protracted absence from the state, 
from his arrival in Minnesota until his death in 1893. He out- 
lived the day of beginnings; other leaders came to the front; 
but he remained throughout a determining influence in the 
religious, educational, and intellectual development of the state. 

As might be expected, the collection contains an abundance 
of material bearing upon the history of the various movements 
with which Dr. Neill was most prominently identified. All 
three fields of activity religious, educational, and historical 
are represented throughout, though, broadly speaking, each in 
turn predominates in the order named. This material consti- 
tutes the largest part of the papers, though it is not necessarily 
their most valuable contribution to history. 

Dr. Neill came to Illinois in 1847 as a Presbyterian home 
missionary, and for two years labored among the people of the 
lead-mining region near Galena. The pioneer spirit brought 
him in 1849 to St. Paul, at that time little more than a village. 
There, through his efforts, was erected a building which he 
claimed was the first Protestant church edifice for the white 
people in Minnesota. 1 In the same year he organized the First 
Presbyterian Church of St. Paul, and in the following year 
aided in forming the presbytery of Minnesota. In true home 
missionary fashion he often preached at a number of neighbor- 
ing points, notably St. Anthony and Fort Snelling. In 1855 he 
organized another church in St. Paul, the House of Hope, and 
in 1858 assisted in organizing the synod of Minnesota. He 
continued in the service of the Presbyterian Church as organ- 
izer, pastor, and preacher until 1874, when he became identified 
with the Reformed Episcopal Church, returning, however, to 
the Presbyterian Church in 1890. All this and much more is 
to be gleaned from the papers. Of especial interest are the 

*Hand Book for the Presbyterian Church in Minnesota, 8 (Philadel- 
phia, 1856) ; Early Days of the Presbyterian Branch of the Holy Catholic 
Church in the State of Minnesota, xviii (Minneapolis, 1873). 



NEILL PAPERS 371 

documents of home missionary days, accumulated when the 
field was new and the worker young. The various aspects of 
the life are well represented: the spiritual indifference of a 
frontier community, the hardships to be endured, the financial 
difficulties, the denominational rivalries, the friction between 
brother ministers, and, finally, the compensating satisfactions 
that attend the unselfish pursuit of a lofty purpose. But accom- 
panying this more commonplace sort of material are to be 
found also interesting facts and observations peculiar to the 
time, place, or observer, as the case may be. For example, a 
member of a neighboring church, writing to Neill in 1848, 
embodied no little of the religious, social, and political history 
of the West in a single sentence when he ascribed his pastor's 
unpopularity to "a worldly spirit of trade & speculation and an 
over anxiousness to make political abolitionists," continuing 
with the remark that "the church and the community are right 
on the subject of slavery they differ only as to the mode of 
getting rid of the evil &c." The writer, who was considering 
the possibility of extending a call to Neill, appended the fol- 
lowing interesting postscript : "When you write say if ... 
your Lady has labored with you in the Female Prayer Meeting 
and the Sunday School." Occasional letters from other pioneer 
workers in this field men, such as Rev. Gideon H. Pond, 
whose names are prominent in Minnesota history are of 
interest. Less intimate and significant in character is the 
material bearing upon later periods. Religious activities grad- 
ually became well-established, recognized factors in the life of 
the community and more and more matters of course, and Dr. 
Neill became increasingly occupied with pioneer work in other 
fields. Attention, however, may be called to a number of 
papers of the period from 1874 to 1890 which have a bearing 
upon the history of the movement that found expression in the 
Reformed Episcopal Church. 

Coincident with the beginning of his missionary labors in 
Minnesota was the commencement of Dr. Neill's life-long 
activity in behalf of education. As the first territorial super- 



372 FRANKLIN F. HOLBROOK 

intendent of public instruction, as chancellor of the university, 
1858-60, and as first state superintendent of instruction, he 
helped to lay the foundations of the present admirable system 
of free public schools in Minnesota. He was also a leader in 
private enterprises for the promotion of the cause of Christian 
education. With the aid of men of means he established the 
Baldwin School at St. Paul in 1853. The history of that institu- 
tion and of those which grew out of it the changes in organi- 
zation, name, and location, the long periods of suspended 
animation during which little beyond organization and name 
persisted is a long story. Suffice it to say that, thanks largely 
to Dr. Neill's efforts, the ultimate result was Macalester College, 
which opened its doors in September, 1885. With that institu- 
tion Dr. Neill was connected, first as president, and later as 
professor, during the remainder of his life. The material relat- 
ing to educational history contains, unfortunately, compara- 
tively little of value for the student of purely secular education 
and institutions. It is concerned for the most part with Mac- 
alester College and its predecessors, and is distributed with fair 
uniformity and variety throughout the years of Dr. Neill's 
connection with those institutions. From the mass of letters, 
charters, building specifications, accounts, circulars, and miscel- 
lany may be distinguished all the various phases of the organi- 
zation, financing, equipment, and conduct of the typical Chris- 
tian school and college. But a certain uniqueness attaches to 
the whole from the fact that in some important respects the 
history of Macalester differs from that of other institutions of 
its kind. Dr. Neill's ambition was to establish in the North- 
west a nonsectarian Christian college for men, on the model of 
eastern colleges like Yale, Princeton, and Amherst. A number 
of adverse circumstances prevented him from fully realizing 
his ideal, and the final result, in a word, was the taking-over 
of Macalester College, which was in need of support, by the 
Presbyterian Synod of Minnesota, which was in need of a col- 
lege. Letters from M. W. Baldwin, the locomotive manufac- 
turer, and Charles Macalester of Philadelphia, and James J. 



NEILL PAPERS 373 

Hill, all prominent benefactors of these institutions, form an 
interesting part of the collection. Occasional letters touch upon 
the life of other colleges in the Middle West, such as Albert 
Lea, Beloit, and Grinnell. Letters and papers of the years 
1885 to 1893, so far as they relate to educational matters, are 
largely illustrative of the struggles through which Macalester 
College passed before it became firmly established, and of Dr. 
Neill's part in them. 

Wherever he happened to be, and in whatever work engaged, 
Dr. Neill was an untiring delver into the records of the past, 
and he was the author of numerous books, pamphlets, articles, 
and addresses on historical subjects. From 1851 to 1861 he 
was secretary of the Minnesota Historical Society, and edited 
parts of volumes I and 2 of the society's Collections. The first 
history of Minnesota, published in 1858, and three times 
revised and extended, in 1873, 1878, and 1882, 1 is one of his 
many contributions to Minnesota and western history. A 
series of studies on American colonial history, with especial 
reference to Virginia and Maryland, was the outgrowth of 
researches carried on by him during the years 1861 to 1868 
while serving successively as a chaplain in the Army of the 
Potomac, as a hospital chaplain at Philadelphia, and as one of 
the secretaries of the president at Washington. While acting 
as United States consul at Dublin, 1868^71, he improved the 
opportunity to study and write about the English colonization 
of America. Apropos of this opportunity, J. Fletcher Williams 
wrote Neill : "I envy you 'mousing' in the libraries of Dublin, 
the old booksellers stands, with an occasional run to England, 
and dip into the British Museum, the State Paper & Record 
Commission office, &c. !" Dr. Neill's work in historical research 
and writing furnished the occasion for a large number of letters 
which will be of interest to the student of history and of his- 
toriography. A few of these came from men who were in a 

1 A so-called fifth edition was issued in 1883, which differs from the 
fourth edition only in the addition of a single page of biographical 
material. 



374 FRANKLIN F. HOLE ROOK 

position to know some of the facts of Minnesota history at 
first hand. For example, among the letters of 1863 and 1864 
are several from Major Taliaferro, the Indian agent, whose 
name is closely associated with the beginnings of American 
occupation. A much larger group of letters and papers abounds 
in material illustrative of the methods, aims, and progress of 
historical investigation the country over. A long-continued 
correspondence, for the most part relating to the sources and 
facts of colonial history, is represented by a series of letters 
from Alexander Brown of Norwood, Virginia, an authority on 
the subject. Typical of letters from numerous historical inves- 
tigators are those written by Lyman C. Draper and Reuben G. 
Thwaites, secretaries of the Wisconsin Historical Society. 
Letters from well-known historians, such as Froude, Parkman, 
Nicolay, Hay, and Winsor, are not lacking. With Nicolay and 
Hay, Neill was in close association as one of Lincoln's secre- 
taries ; with Winsor, he had a part in writing and editing the 
Narrative and Critical History of America. 

Scattered throughout the collection are letters written by 
men of prominence in Minnesota which furnish interesting side- 
lights upon various aspects of Minnesota history and upon the 
writers themselves. Of these perhaps the most important were 
received from Alexander Ramsey. The two men were thrown 
into close association in the early territorial days, and Ramsey 
always took a personal interest in Neill and a substantial 
interest in his enterprises. The most important of these letters 
fall within the period from 1861 to 1865. The intimate charac- 
ter of some of them is revealed in Ramsey's reply, on January 
20, 1862, to a rather desponding letter from Neill: "Do not 
say you will leave Minnesota, it must not be done. If I only 
consulted my own convenience I too would leave, and surely 
you are as much attached to the state as I am." As governor 
of Minnesota during the first two years of the Civil War, 
Ramsey had the appointing of officers for the Minnesota regi- 
ments. To Neill, then acting as chaplain of the First Minne- 
sota, he wrote fully of his policy in this connection. Other 



NEILL PAPERS 375 

letters from Ramsey, notably several relating to his contest 
with Aldrich in 1862-63 for a seat in the United States Senate, 
are of significance for political history. There are also a num- 
ber of letters scattered over a series of years from Henry M. 
Rice, at one time territorial delegate to Congress and later 
United States senator from Minnesota. These relate for the 
most part to Neill's personal affairs and to his religious and 
educational enterprises, in all of which Rice took a marked 
interest. Apart from their value in these connections, the letters 
contain suggestive indications of the personality of the writer. 
In the matter of building a church Rice advises Neill to "go 
the entire swine now" instead of going at it piecemeal. Else- 
where he expresses his aversion to the use of a motto in a 
foreign language on a state seal. Again, referring to men who 
could easily furnish much-needed aid to Neill's college, he 
remarks, "Rich men may go to heaven the very selfish ought 
not to." Among other prominent men who had occasion to 
address Neill more or less frequently were William R. Marshall, 
Thomas Foster, George L. Becker, Stephen Miller, John S. 
Pillsbury, Cushman K. Davis, and S. J. R. McMillan. 

In addition to this more or less unified body of material there 
is another group of letters and papers which may be distin- 
guished as having been accumulated under special circum- 
stances and as not being wholly in line with Neill's enduring 
interests. These fall within the period of his absence from 
Minnesota, 1861-72. As a chaplain in the army Neill wrote 
a series of letters describing the movements of the First Minne- 
sota and of the Army of the Potomac in 1861 and 1862. Not 
less significant are the glimpses of less dramatic and often 
neglected features of army life afforded by papers bearing 
upon the management of the post fund of the First Minnesota, 
of which Neill was treasurer. Methods by which dependents 
at home were cared for also are touched upon in papers relating 
to the assignment by the soldiers of a portion of their wages 
for the support of their families. A number of letters from 
officials of M. W. Baldwin and Company's Locomotive Works, 



376 FRANKLIN F. HOLE ROOK 

Philadelphia, have a bearing upon the government's operation 
of military railroads. 

While acting as one of Lincoln's private secretaries in 1864 
and 1865, Neill shared in the work of handling the president's 
mail, and he preserved a number of interesting communications 
addressed to Lincoln. Among these are all sorts of requests 
and appeals. A colored soldier, disappointed in his efforts to 
secure a commission promised him by the war department, lays 
his case before the president. Clemency is asked for the 
"editor of a one horse concern of a Democratic Paper" in Ohio 
who has been convicted of discouraging enlistments, because, 
in the writer's opinion, the culprit is "more fool than knave." 
Several earnest appeals bring out mitigating circumstances in 
the case of a rebel spy condemned to be hanged. A Catholic 
bishop, about to make his decennial pilgrimage to Rome, asks 
for a safe conduct through the North from Richmond rather 
than undertake to run the blockade. Another correspondent 
suggests that the war be ended by the simple expedient of 
purchasing all the slaves. Lincoln probably never had the 
benefit of much of the shrewd observation and wise counsel as 
to the causes and conduct of the war which came to the execu- 
tive mansion. It is doubtful if he ever perused the sixty-eight- 
page "Letter on the Rebellion of the Southern States of North 
America" by one Philippe Gutbub, a teacher of languages at 
Philadelphia, or the communication from "Veritas" of Edin- 
burgh, Scotland. Another type of letter which Neill preserved 
was of the sort that came from the humble admirer of the great 
Lincoln, with its crude spelling, worshipful tone, and naive 
assumption of the president's interest in the writer's personal 
affairs. One such letter concludes as follows : "I am a right 
loyal frend of yours and hails from old kaintuck your humbl 
wel wisher Isral putnam Winchester." The hand of the 
"crank" is seen in the following extract from a note from 
"Walter of Greenburg" : "My dear friend Abraham Lincoln 
and Lady, peace be upon you, and do not be offended with me 
if I appear this day before the Executive Mansion, with my cart 



NEILL PAPERS 377 

which I draw through the country, and lodge in it, a faithful 
high way preacher and peace maker, without money scrip 
rations or pay, and always on duty." Neill evidently made it 
a point to collect and preserve autograph letters and notes of 
prominent men. Four of these were written by Lincoln, a 
number by Andrew Johnson, and others by Colfax, Welles, 
Stanton, and Seward. 

Neill's term of service as United States consul at Dublin, 
Ireland, 1868-71, has resulted in a few papers illustrative of 
the duties of that office, of the consul's relation to other diplo- 
matic officers and to the state department, and, to a slight 
degree, of the life of the time in Ireland. Two incidents alone 
appear worthy of special note: the generous contribution of 
the city of Dublin toward the relief of Chicago after the great 
fire, and Dr. Neill's defence of the University of Pennsylvania 
from the charge of selling its diplomas in London. 

A quantity of miscellaneous printed material which accom- 
panied the papers has been placed with similar material in other 
departments of the library. It consists mostly of pamphlets, 
circulars, broadsides, maps, photographs, and annotated copies 
of some of Dr. Neill's works. Of these, two rare leaflets 
attributed to Ramsey Crooks deserve special mention. They 
are entitled A Letter Addressed to Thomas L. M'Kenney, Esq., 
Superintendent of Indian Trade, March, 1820, in Reply to 
His Report of January, 1820, and On the Indian Trade, by 
a Backwoodsman (Washington, February, 1821). These, 
together with articles from the same pen in the form of 
clippings from the Washington Gazette, are a severe criticism 
of the superintendent, of his factors, and of the whole factory 
system. 

FRANKLIN F. HOLBROOK 

MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY 
ST. PAUL 



REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

History of Wright County, Minnesota. By FRANKLYN CURTISS- 
WEDGE. In two volumes. (Chicago, H. C. Cooper Jr. and 
Company, 1915. xvi, x, 1111 p. Illustrated) 

History of Renville County, Minnesota. Compiled by FRANKLYN 
CURTISS- WEDGE, assisted by a large corps of local contrib- 
utors under the direction and supervision of HON. DARWIN 
S. HALL, HON. DAVID BENSON, and COL. CHARLES H. HOP- 
KINS. In two volumes. (Chicago, H. C. Cooper Jr. and 
Company, 1916. xix, xiv, 1376 p. Illustrated) 

History of Otter Tail County, Minnesota; Its People, Industries, 
and Institutions. JOHN W. MASON, editor. In two volumes. 
(Indianapolis, B. F. Bowen and Company, 1916. 694, 1009 p. 
Illustrated) 

History of Nicollet and Le Sueur Counties, Minnesota; Their 
People, Industries, and Institutions. HON. WILLIAM G. 
GRESHAM, editor-in-chief. In two volumes. (Indianapolis, 
B. F. Bowen and Company, 1916. 544, 538 p. Illustrated) 

History of Brown County, Minnesota; Its People, Industries, and 
Institutions. L. A. FRITSCHE, M.D., editor. In two volumes. 
(Indianapolis, B. F. Bowen and Company, 1916. 519, 568 p. 
Illustrated) 

Compendium of History and Biography of Polk County, Minne- 
sota. By MAJ. R. I. HOLCOMBE, historical editor, and WIL- 
LIAM H. BINGHAM, general editor. With special articles by 
various writers. (Minneapolis, W. H. Bingham and Com- 
pany, 1916. 487 p. Illustrated) 

The writing of county history appears to be a profitable com- 
mercial enterprise. But the value of local history lies not merely 
in the fact that it may be made the basis of a business under- 
taking. The material with which it deals deserves to be preserved 
in a permanent and carefully prepared form; for it is nothing 
less than the whole fascinating story of life, of development, 
from pioneer days to the present time, restricted, to be sure, to a 
comparatively small section of the state. Every phase of that 
life economic, social, political, religious has its peculiar signifi- 

378 



MINNESOTA COUNTY HISTORIES 379 

cance for the history of the West and of Minnesota. To write 
the history of the state as a whole in this way is a stupendous task, 
for there are eighty-six counties in Minnesota. But what a mine 
of information a set of carefully prepared histories of all these 
counties would be ! 

The primary motive underlying the output of county histories 
of this sort is, of course, commercial. To make a business suc- 
cess of his venture is the main problem the publisher has to solve, 
and, as a consequence, many features more or less open to criti- 
cism are included in the books in order to make them sell well to 
the people of the county. But if the writers have an adequate 
conception of what constitutes history, if they have had some 
training in the methods of historical writing, and if they do their 
work thoroughly and conscientiously, the resulting histories may 
have considerable scientific value despite the motive underlying 
their publication. 

The present volumes give evidence of a better conception of 
what constitutes history, and show more care in preparation, than 
the average county history. "To perpetuate the story of these 
people [the pioneers] and to trace and record the social, religious, 
educational, political, and industrial progress of the community 
from its first inception, is the function of the local historian," 
declare B. F. Bowen and Company in their prefaces. To an 
unusual degree the History of Otter Tail County shows the care- 
ful use of documentary sources, many of them difficult of access. 
This can not be said, however, of the History of Brown County, 
just issued by this firm. H. C. Cooper Jr. and Company declare 
that the newspapers both of the county under study and of 
neighboring counties have been carefully perused, as well as 
county, township, village, city, and church records. In addition, 
the investigators have examined "hundreds of minute books" and 
"thousands of letters and original manuscripts." The value of 
this statement is lessened by the fact that it is a stereotyped 
phrase appearing in the forewords of several of the histories 
published by this company. In all fairness, however, one thing 
must be noted which undoubtedly makes the writing of county 
history difficult, and which has been responsible in part for the 
poor quality of the work done in this field, namely, the careless 



380 REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

and unsystematic way in which the local archives are kept. Clas- 
sification of records, accessibility, and possibly centralization, to 
a certain degree, would greatly aid the local historian in his 
research. 

The volumes under review contain 6,152 pages, of which 3,437, 
or considerably more than half, are devoted to biographical 
sketches. Some of these are similar in character to those found 
in county histories of the older type very eulogistic, and well 
calculated to appeal both to a man's vanity and to his purse. In 
the History of Polk County the men described all appear to be 
well known, prominent, successful, eminent, strong, able, enter- 
prising, progressive, frugal, and upright. In a somewhat less 
degree the inhabitants of Nicollet, Le Sueur, and Brown counties 
are showered with kindly adjectives. The estimates of the worth 
of the citizens of Otter Tail County are more conservative, 
though there is an occasional extravagant outburst. B. F. Bowen 
and Company disclaim responsibility for errors in this material, 
for "every biographical sketch in the work has been submitted 
to the party interested, for correction, and therefore any error 
of fact, if there be any, is solely due to the person for whom 
the sketch was prepared." In the Cooper histories the personal 
estimates are more moderate, and appear to have been written 
with discrimination. The editors have had the sketches revised 
and corrected by the subjects themselves, or by relatives or 
friends ; but "all personal estimates are the work of the editors 
and inserted in biographies only after consultation with the 
various members of the staff." Eulogistic expressions in county 
histories are part of the publisher's stock in trade, of course, and, 
realizing this, one can be less severely critical of their use. The 
writer of these biographies should aim at moderation and accu- 
racy, however, for these attributes add distinctly to their worth. 
In addition to making one familiar with a large number of resi- 
dents in the county, these sketches are, in certain respects, a 
real historical source, though a source to be used only with care 
and judgment. For a study of a large group of people, sketches 
of this sort are of value, even though they may, in individual 
cases, contain inaccuracies. In investigating the sectional ele- 
ments in population, in comparing immigration at various periods 
and in different aspects, and in other studies similar in character, 




MINNESOTA COUNTY HISTORIES 381 

they may prove invaluable, and may furnish much intimate infor- 
mation not to be found in census statistics. 

Of the six works under review, five are put out in two- volume 
form. Like most county histories, they are bulky. Those issued 
by the Bo wen Company present the best appearance. In the 
quality of paper stock and binding, in illustrations, type, and 
other external features, these volumes leave little to be desired. 
While the Cooper works are not quite so attractive, yet they are, 
on the whole, elaborate, and well put up. The History of Polk 
County, on the other hand, is inferior in general appearance to 
the other volumes. Little effort has been made in all six histories 
to secure illustrations of real historical worth. The pictures are 
mainly portraits, views of public buildings, or present-day scenes, 
and of course these are not without some value. The History 
of Polk County has, however, a number of pictures of more 
definite historical interest. One is a view of the old crossing of 
Red Lake River, near Fisher, in 1858, made by Manton Marble, 
and printed in Harper's Magazine for January, 1861. There is 
also an interesting picture of a claim shanty erected in 1872, the 
first building in Crookston, and there are some early views of 
that city. The History of Otter Tail County has a view of Otter 
Tail City in 1858, and some pictures of Fergus Falls in 1871. 
A most noticeable defect in these histories is their lack of maps. 
Surely it ought to be possible in each case to print a good map 
of the county, showing the townships, villages, and cities that 
are discussed in the text in so much detail. Then, too, a map 
of Minnesota would not be amiss for the purpose of showing 
the geographical relations of the county to other counties of the 
state. In some of the volumes early exploration and early travels 
are discussed ; such chapters, as well as those dealing with other 
phases of the history, might well be illustrated with maps. The 
publishers could increase the value of future histories by the 
inclusion of such recognized historical apparatus. All the books 
under review are equally deficient in this respect. 

The general arrangement of material in these six histories is 
topical. A chronological account is given up to a certain point, 
rarely extending beyond the period of settlement ; following this 
are separate chapters on such topics as military history, agricul- 
tual development, banks and banking, physicians and surgeons, 



382 REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

and the inevitable bench and bar. Were a chronological and 
connected history of a county to be given, the writer would have 
to exercise more discrimination as to what to include and what 
to omit. The Cooper histories differ from the others In the 
arrangement of the biographical material. The sketches, instead 
of being grouped together in one volume, are scattered about 
through both volumes in so-called "Biographical Reviews." The 
purpose of this arrangement is not apparent; the plan of giving 
a separate volume to the biographies, or of placing them at the 
end, is more logical than this hide-and-seek method. The Cooper 
histories have an index to portraits and another to biographies 
in the introductory pages of the first volumes. The same indexes 
are reprinted in the second volumes. There is no subject index. 
The Bowen histories contain fairly good historical and biograph- 
ical indexes preceding the text in the first volumes and reprinted 
in the second volumes. The History of Polk County has a list of 
illustrations and an index of portraits in the front of the book, 
and at the end a general index, which is merely biographical, 
however. None of these books has an adequate general name- 
and-subject index, and only one has its index in the normal place 
at the end. 

Much more attention is given to the period of exploration and 
to the early history of Minnesota in the histories published by 
the Cooper Company than in the Bowen group. In the latter, 
however, there is more compact information on the related history 
of the state. In the former histories appear lists of events during 
the period of exploration. The latter, on the other hand, contain 
a very curious chronology of Minnesota history, ranging from 
the expedition of Jean Nicollet to the recent discovery of dis- 
crepancies in the office of the state treasurer. 

The method of production employed differs. The history of 
Wright County is written by Mr. Curtiss- Wedge, while that of 
Renville County is compiled by Mr. Curtiss- Wedge, "assisted by 
a large corps of local contributors." The history of Polk County 
has an historical and a general editor, and a large number of 
writers of special articles. The Bowen histories are edited by 
prominent local men, though most of the work, of course, is 
done by agents of the publishing company. The credit for writing 



MINNESOTA COUNTY HISTORIES 383 

the History of Otter Tail County is given in Mr. Mason's fore- 
word to that work to Ernest V. Schockley, Ph.D. 

The chapters on geology in both the Otter Tail and Nicollet- 
Le Sueur histories are technical, and appear to be taken from or 
based upon the writings of a geologist. The account of the 
geology of Otter Tail County contains extracts from General 
Pope's report of 1850, in which a visit to the Otter Tail region 
is described. 

A valuable feature of the History of Otter Tail County is the 
chapter summarizing the various legislative acts bearing on the 
county. This chapter and others, as, for example, those on the 
census of 1860, transportation, and churches, bear evidence of 
considerable research. One of the most valuable features of the 
book is the section devoted to reminiscences (pp. 536-694). 
Besides being of real historical value, some of these are extremely 
entertaining, particularly those of John W. Mason, the editor. 

In the Nicollet-Le Sueur history a disproportionate amount 
of space is given to the Indian treaty of 1851. The account 
consists almost entirely of a compilation made by General Le 
Due for his Minnesota Year Book for 1852, of letters written 
at Traverse des Sioux during the conference and printed in 
various contemporary newspapers. This compilation, somewhat 
abridged, was published in the St. Peter Herald, June 14 July 3, 
1914, and later, with some additional material, was issued in 
pamphlet form by the St. Peter chapter of the Daughters of 
the American Revolution with the title A Brief Sketch and 
History of the Signing of the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux. 
The letters are interesting, but a concise statement of the mak- 
ing of the treaty, based upon this material and other available 
sources, might have been more satisfactory from an historical 
standpoint. The account of the early settlement of Nicollet 
County is based largely upon Stephen R. Riggs's Mary and I, and 
upon the St. Peter newspapers of the sixties. It seems as though 
more might have been made of this phase of the county's history, 
for example, of the trading post at Traverse des Sioux established 
by Louis Provencal, agent of the American Fur Company. The 
Little Crow uprising is discussed by Dr. Asa Daniels in a chapter 
which is reprinted from volume 15 of the Minnesota Historical 
Collections. Chapter 17, prepared by Dr. Conrad Peterson, deals 



384 REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

with the Swedish-American element in Nicollet and Le Sueur 
counties, though merely in a general fashion. An examination of 
the biographical sketches shows clearly that the population of 
these counties is very heterogeneous in character. Of the sub- 
jects of the first one hundred sketches, for example, twenty-nine 
are foreign-born, forty-eight are of foreign parentage, and 
twenty-three of native parentage, the countries represented being 
Germany, Sweden, Norway, Bohemia, England, Brazil, Canada, 
Wales, Switzerland, Ireland, Scotland, and France. A general 
discussion of all the foreign elements and their influence might, 
therefore, have been of considerable value. 

The History of Brown County falls far short of the standard 
set by its publishers in their History of Otter Tail County. 
Although the volume contains less than half as much material, 
they have been able, by the use of wide margins and large itype, 
to give it the conventional bulk of a county history. The first 
forty pages, for instance, are made up of the same material, word 
for word, that occupies the first twenty-three pages of the Otter 
Tail history. In general, the book appears to have been put 
together hurriedly, with as little expenditure of effort as possible. 
Little thorough investigation of documentary sources is apparent, 
the writers preferring to keep to the beaten path. The chapter 
on the Indian massacre of 1862, containing 138 pages, is almost 
entirely a compilation of reminiscences, most of which had been 
printed before. The narrative opens with an extensive account 
of the outbreak taken from the writings of Rev. Alexander Berg- 
hold. This is followed by the section on the Milford massacre 
by Christopher Spellbrink, and by Therese Henle's account. Next 
comes an extract from Daniel Buck's Indian Outbreaks, followed 
by Dr. Asa W. Daniels' reminiscences, so often utilized. The 
chapter closes with material reprinted from the Nicollet-Le Sueur 
volume. In such a compilation there is naturally considerable 
duplication. The most valuable material in the book is found in 
the chapters on pioneer settlement and township organization. 
One looks in vain for any satisfactory discussion of the German 
element, which forms so large a proportion of the population of 
this county. 

The opening sentences of the Wright and Renville histories 
illustrate a certain economy of effort that is apparent to a great 



MINNESOTA COUNTY HISTORIES 385 

extent in the first chapters of these works, and, indeed, in most 
similar publications. "On its splendid course from Itasca to the 
Gulf, the mighty Mississippi passes no fairer land than that which 
it touches in the central part of Minnesota, where, well tilled and 
populous, Wright county stretches away in sightly prospects." 
"On its splendid course through the mighty state to which it has 
given its noble name, the turgid Minnesota passes no fairer land 
than that which it touches from Hawk Creek to Camp, where, well 
tilled and populous, Renville county stretches away in sightly 
prospects." But this is giving away the secrets of the trade ! 
In both works are included chapters which give from the land 
office records the names of the original claimants of land in 
the various townships of the counties. An introduction to this 
list very properly points out its value and significance, speaking 
of it as "the roll of honor of those who dared the rigors of a 
pioneer country and started the first developments." In the first 
volume of the History of Renville County more than 120 pages 
are given to the Sioux outbreak, a considerable part of this 
material consisting of reminiscences already in print. Chapter 
23, volume 2, of the History of Wright County contains a mass 
of what appears to be valuable information in regard to the town- 
ships and villages. Special chapters are: "Pioneer Boyhood," 
which gives the experiences of John B. Walker ; "Swedish Influ- 
ence," prepared with the assistance of Rev. S. Johnson ; "The 
Catholic Church in Wright County," by Rev. Mathias Savs; 
"Dairying and Creameries," edited by E. G. Redman ; and 
"County Schools," by August A. Zech. In chapter 18 eleven 
pages are given over to "Wright County Murder Trials," in which 
many gory and hair-raising details are carefully elaborated. 
There is little significance in including this material, but naturally 
some thrills must be supplied. 

In the Compendium of History and Biography of Polk County 
there is an introductory chapter on its geography and geology by 
Warren Upham, fortunately not too technical. The following 
122 pages are devoted to the history of the county. The rest of 
the volume, 341 pages, is biography. Special chapters to be 
noted are : "History of Agriculture in Polk County," "The 
Northwest School of Agriculture and Experiment Station," and 



386 REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

"The Crookston School of Agriculture," all three written by Mr. 
C. G. Selvig; "The Newspapers of Polk County," by W. E. Mc- 
Kenzie ; "Crookston and Its Institutions," by James A. Cathcart ; 
"The Schools of Polk County," by N. A. Thorson ; and "The Rise 
and Fall of Columbia County," by Charles L. Conger. The series 
of historical chapters dealing with the early Indian inhabitants, 
the first white men in Polk County, the fur-traders, early Amer- 
ican explorations in the Red River Valley, and the chief historic 
features of early times, has been written with considerable care, 
and there are occasional concise references to the sources used. 
In connection with the discussion of the first white men in Polk 
County, the writer gives considerable attention to the Kensington 
rune stone. He inclines to a belief in its genuineness, and asserts 
that "this opinion is firmly held by a large majority of the experts 
that have examined it. Those who doubt its authenticity do so 
on seemingly insufficient grounds." Attention is called to the 
report on the subject in volume 15 of the Minnesota Historical 
Collections, but no mention is made of Professor Flom's investi- 
gation, the results of which have been published by the Illinois 
Historical Society. Mr. Flom, as the spokesman of a committee 
of seven university professors, each chosen because of his philo- 
logical knowledge of Old Norse, pronounced the inscription on 
the stone a forgery of recent manufacture. 

The manner of arrangement of the contents and the coopera- 
tive method of production of these histories make impossible any 
sustained excellence of style. Much of the writing is perfervid 
and journalistic, with little attention to nicety of distinction in 
word-meanings. The desire to please subscribers and to do full 
honor to the pioneers leads to a distressingly tumid kind of 
writing, and to a positive scourge of triteness. But there are 
indications of more thorough and serious research into available 
sources than has heretofore obtained in publications of this sort. 
If superficiality can thus be eliminated, faults of style may well 
be condoned. 

THEODORE C. BLEGEN 



HISTORY OF THE FIRST MINNESOTA 387 

History of the First Regiment Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, 
1861-1864. (Stillwater, Minnesota, Easton and Masterman, 
printers, 1916. 8, 508 p.) 

In its origin and general features this work conforms to the 
typical Civil War regimental history. It is a compilation made 
under the direction of a commission composed largely of mem- 
bers of the regiment. Its plan is chronological. It is never 
uncomplimentary. A roster of the regiment, a number of ad- 
dresses, and other addenda are included. But in its subject 
matter the book profits by the distinction which this regiment 
has long enjoyed. The First Minnesota was the body of men 
which made good the first tender of volunteer troops in the Civil 
War. It was the only Minnesota regiment in the Army of the 
Potomac. Its members were the heroes of a famous charge 
made at a critical moment in the battle of Gettysburg against 
overwhelming numbers and at the cost of eighty-two per cent 
of the men engaged. These and other facts about the regiment, 
notable and otherwise, are treated by the compiler, R. I. Hoi- 
combe, in the spirit and with the understanding possible only 
to one who himself participated in the great conflict. 

The narrative opens with an account of the stirring scenes 
attendant upon Governor Ramsey's tender of a thousand men 
to President Lincoln, of the call for volunteers, of the organiza- 
tion and mustering-in of the First Minnesota, of the work of 
drilling and equipping the men, and of their departure for Wash- 
ington in response to the call to service in the East. As the regi- 
ment soon joined the Army of the Potomac, with which almost 
its entire three years of service were spent, the greater part of 
the narrative is concerned with the campaigns and battles of 
that famous organization in the so-called eastern theatre of the 
war Virginia, Maryland, and southern Pennsylvania. The 
period of inactivity following the regiment's baptism of fire at 
Bull Run is described as a time of incessant drill, picket duty, 
and intermittent skirmishes with the enemy. Several chapters 
are devoted to the Peninsular campaign, in which the pioneers 
from Minnesota gained distinction by providing for the Union 
forces a much-needed passage over the Chickahominy by the 
construction of the so-called grapevine bridge over that stream. 



388 REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

At Antietam, Fredericksburg, and in minor engagements the 
Minnesotans acquitted themselves well, but the climax of the 
regiment's career was reached when, at Gettysburg, in the words 
of James J. Hill, Colonel Colvill "shouted the 'Charge' that sent 
the First Minnesota to death and glory where the Nation's future 
was wavering in the balance." After Gettysburg nothing of 
especial interest is recounted of the surviving remnant of the 
regiment, unless it be the description of the trip to New York 
City, whither it was sent to prevent a repetition of the draft riots 
of July, 1863. The story closes with an account of the regiment's 
return to Minnesota in 1864 at the end of its term of service, 
of the reception accorded it in Washington, and of the heroes' 
welcome it received at home. 

Although it was the avowed purpose of the compilers to include 
extended accounts of the operations of other troops only when 
needed "to properly frame the actions or services of the regi- 
ment," the amount of space devoted to such material is very 
considerable, and might well have been reduced by condensations 
and by the elimination of a few lengthy repetitions. The reader 
never entirely loses sight of the regiment, however, and the read- 
ableness of the narrative is enhanced by inspiriting passages, 
humorous incidents, information about names and places, and a 
style of writing in which there occasionally crop out colloquialisms 
of both ancient and modern vintage. 

In general, the book is reliable, though it is well to examine 
the grounds for particular assertions. For example, on page 2 
appears the statement that Governor Ramsey, after his tender 
of troops to Lincoln, "promptly telegraphed the acting Governor 
of Minnesota, Lieut-Gov. Ignatius Donnelly, instructing him to 
issue an immediate call for volunteers." This is evidently drawn 
from Lieutenant William Lochren's "Narrative of the First 
Regiment" in Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars (volume 
1, page 2). But on page 2 of the second volume of the same 
work appears a copy of a telegram from Ramsey to Adjutant 
General Acker directing him to issue a proclamation in his (Ram- 
sey's) name. Also, a letter in the Donnelly Papers leaves no 
doubt that Donnelly received no such order, and that he issued 
the proclamation on his own initiative as acting governor. 




WISCONSIN HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 389 

From the point of view of the student of history more com- 
plete references to authorities would have been desirable. The 
authority most frequently cited is referred to by the use of the 
author's name alone. Inasmuch as this work happens to be 
included in a volume with a number of others, it is not easily 
located. The book contains half-tone engravings of Governor 
Ramsey, of the four successive colonels of the regiment, of monu- 
ments and tablets commemorating the regiment's deeds, and of 
members of the commission in charge of the preparation of the 
history. There are four maps illustrative of the operations cen- 
tering at Gettysburg. The index is quite inadequate, and there 
is no list of maps and illustrations. 

FRANKLIN F. HOLBROOK 

Proceedings of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin at Its 
Sixty-third Annual Meeting, October 21, 1915. (Madison, 
the society, 1916. 231 p.) 

As is customary in the series to which it belongs, this volume 
contains the minutes of the annual meeting of the society, the 
report of the executive committee, reports of auxiliary societies, 
the annual address, and a number of historical papers, which 
were read by title only at the meeting. The report of the execu- 
tive committee is an admirable statement of the activities of the 
society for the year ending September 30, 1915, with suggestions 
for "future expansion." The society's disbursements for the 
year, exclusive of two large items for property repairs and insur- 
ance, amounted to about fifty-eight thousand dollars, of which 
nearly forty thousand dollars were for services and thirteen thou- 
sand for books, furniture, museum exhibits, and binding. 

Notable among the manuscript acquisitions reported is a set 
of the papers of the federal commission on industrial relations, 
consisting of the exhaustive reports of investigations and hearings 
which formed the basis of the published report of the commission. 
This is a duplicate of the set filed with the bureau of labor at 
Washington, and contains material of immense value for "econ- 
omists of the present day, as well as historians of the future." 
The extensive search which the society has carried on for a 
number of years in the United States archives at Washington has 



390 REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

resulted in the acquisition of photographic copies of ten thousand 
pages of manuscript from the House files and twenty-five thou- 
sand from the Indian office. In the former case the search 
extended to 1848, in the latter to 1860, and in both not only 
everything of importance relating to Wisconsin but much of value 
to the surrounding region has been secured. About eight hun- 
dred pages of manuscript relating to the fur trade in the North- 
west were copied from originals in the collections of the Missouri 
Historical Society at St. Louis, and sixteen hundred prints of 
documents in the Cuban archives were secured, "the contents of 
which pertain to the activities of the Spanish in the Mississippi 
Valley." The society has recently established a department for 
the repair and mounting of manuscripts, which is slowly putting 
its invaluable collections into condition for consultation and per- 
manent preservation. Among new projects planned or under 
way are an historical atlas of the state, a documentary history 
of Wisconsin's constitutions, and the publication of the state's 
executive records, which will run to many volumes. The sugges- 
tion which was put forward in the report for 1914 that attention 
should be given to the subject of the adequate housing and care 
of the state archives is renewed with vigor. The society re- 
sponded to the suggestion by appointing a special committee to 
take up the matter. 

The annual address, which is by Gaillard Hunt, chief of the 
division of manuscripts of the Library of Congress, is entitled 
"The President of the United States." Among the other papers 
in the volume are two of special interest to students of Minne- 
sota history: "British Policy on the Canadian Frontier, 1782- 
92 ; Mediation and an Indian Barrier State," by Orpha E. Leavitt ; 
and "Remains of a French Post near Trempealeau." The latter 
is a tripartite production consisting of an "Archeological 
Sketch," by Eben D. Pierce; "Additional Archeological Details," 
by George H. Squier; and an "Historical Sketch," by Louise 
Phelps Kellogg. The conclusion is reached that "Perrot's win- 
tering establishment, 1685-86" and "Linctot's post, probably 
1731-36" were at the same place "near Mount Trempealeau, and 
that there is much reason to think that the exact site has at length 
been discovered and explored." 



WISCONSIN HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS 391 

The volume closes with an important document, "Extracts from 
Capt. McKay's Journal and Others," edited by the superintend- 
ent, Dr. M. M. Quaife. The document, which appears to have 
been put together for the benefit of Lewis and Clark in the winter 
of 1803-4, opens with an account of the Grand Portage on Lake 
Superior and of the routes leading thence into the Canadian 
Northwest. This is followed by accounts of expeditions up the 
Missouri in 1795 and 1796 and by "Notes on the Above Jurnals 
Made by John Hay." These notes include a "Description of the 
Route from Makina to the Interior parts of the North West 
Country by the South Side of Lake Superior ; which Journey or 
Voyage was performed by John Hay and others in the Year 
1794" a narrative of special interest to the student of early 
Minnesota history. Hay made his way from Grand Portage up 
the St. Louis River and by way of Sandy Lake to the Missis- 
sippi, then down that stream to the Crow Wing, up the Crow 
Wing and Leaf rivers and by way of Otter Tail Lake to the 
Red River, down that stream and up the Assiniboine. Detailed 
information is given about directions, distances, and portages, 
and the journal throws considerable light on conditions of travel 
and transportation in northern Minnesota at the close of the 
eighteenth century. 

SOLON J. BUCK 

Strong and Woodman Manuscript Collections in the Wisconsin 
State Historical Library (State Historical Society of Wis- 
consin, Bulletins of Information, no. 78). (Madison, the 
society, November, 1915. 22 p.) 

The Keyes and the Civil War Manuscript Collections in the Wis- 
consin Historical Library (State Historical Society of Wis- 
consin, Bulletins of Information, no. 81). (Madison, the 
society, March, 1916. 20 p.) 

In these two pamphlets the Wisconsin Historical Society sup- 
plements its Descriptive List of Manuscript Collections with 
rather full accounts of four large collections of papers recently 
acquired. All these collections have a value that transcends the 
boundaries of Wisconsin, and two of them contain considerable 
material pertinent to Minnesota history. The Moses M. Strong 



392 REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

collection covers the years 1825 to 1894 and will, when the proc- 
ess of repairing and binding is completed, comprise over two 
hundred volumes. Strong located in Mineral Point in 1836, and 
from 1838 to 1841 was United States district attorney for Wis- 
consin territory, which included Minnesota east of the Mississippi 
River, He led an active life as a lawyer, politician, surveyor, 
land agent, land speculator, lumberman, miner, railroad promoter, 
and historian, and all these activities are reflected in the papers. 
His operations in land extended into Minnesota, and he was 
connected with various enterprises for the promotion of railroads 
from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi and elsewhere in Wis- 
consin and Minnesota. The papers in the collection relating to 
lumbering furnish a detailed picture of that industry as it was 
conducted in the pine woods of the upper Mississippi and its 
tributaries. The Cyrus Woodman collection is somewhat similar 
in character and of even more interest to Minnesota. It covers 
from 1832 to 1889, and fills 181 volumes. Woodman came to 
Wisconsin in 1844, and he, also, located at Mineral Point. For 
the first eleven years he was in partnership with C. C. Washburn 
in land operations in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and other western 
states. His interests included also lumbering, banking, mining, 
railroad promotion, and politics, and his papers, like those of 
Strong, contain a wealth of material for nearly all aspects of the 
history of the upper Mississippi Valley in the middle of the nine- 
teenth century. 

The papers of Elisha W. Keyes cover from about 1850 to 1910, 
and are of value primarily for the political history of Wisconsin, 
although they undoubtedly contain correspondence with Minne- 
sota politicians. The collection, which fills over a hundred manu- 
script boxes, is not accessible to the public as yet because of the 
confidential character of many of the papers. The Civil War 
collection is a part of the archives of the state, comprising all 
documents found in the governor's vault, "which in any way 
touched upon the activities of Wisconsin . . . during the Civil 
War." It contains about thirty thousand papers and twenty-eight 
bound volumes. This invaluable historical material, which was 
formerly practically inaccessible to students, was turned over to 
the society in 1914, and has been carefully classified and arranged. 
The bulk of it relates to the organization and administration of 



LIFE STORY OF RASMUS B. ANDERSON 393 

the army, to relief work, and to military affairs. One group, 
consisting of communications and papers exchanged with depart- 
ments of the federal government and executives of other states, 
doubtless contains Minnesota material. All these collections, and 
especially the first two, should be searched for documents bearing 
on Minnesota history, and a calendar, or better still, photostatic 
copies of such documents should be secured for the Minnesota 
Historical Society. 

S. J. B. 

Life Story of Rasmus B. Anderson. Written by himself with 
the assistance of ALBERT O. BARTON. (Madison, Wisconsin, 
1915. xix, 678 p.) 

The parents of Mr. Anderson were among the early Norwegian 
immigrants to America, coming to this country in 1836. Mr. 
Anderson was born ten years later. This life story, therefore, 
spans almost the whole period of Norwegian immigration. Its 
author has been for a long time a prominent figure among the 
Norwegians in this country, and has been connected in peculiar 
degree with many of the movements in this element. At present 
he is the editor of Amerika, a well-known Norwegian weekly 
newspaper, in the columns of which the present autobiography 
appeared. He has been professor of Scandinavian languages 
and literature at the University of Wisconsin, and from 1885 
to 1889 he served as United States minister to Denmark. Mr. 
Anderson has been particularly eminent as a writer. Appended 
to the present work is a bibliography of his writings which lists 
between forty and fifty items. The best-known of these are 
perhaps Norse Mythology, Viking Tales of the North, America 
not Discovered by Columbus, and The First Chapter of Nor- 
wegian Immigration. The latter deals with the period 1821-40, 
and, though somewhat verbose and in parts uncritical, is of much 
value. As a translator Mr. Anderson has turned into English 
some seven volumes of the writings of Bjornstjerne Bjornson, in 
addition to Winkel Horn's History of the Literature of the 
Scandinavian North, Rydberg's Teutonic Mythology, and other 
works. He is also the editor of the sumptuous Norrcena Library, 
in sixteen volumes, and the four-volume edition of the Helms- 



394 REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

kringla. His literary productions, especially his translations, have 
been extensive. Because of his activity in these directions, and 
the pioneer nature of this work, he has been called the father of 
Norwegian literature in America. 

Mr. Barton writes in his preface that Mr. Anderson's "auto- 
biography will be particularly interesting from two points of view, 
his accounts of the beginnings of Norwegian settlements in this 
country, and his recollections and estimates of notables he met 
not only during his five years* residence near the court of Den- 
mark, but also before and since." From the standpoint of immi- 
gration the book contributes little that is new. Some of the 
material can be found, in another form, in his First Chapter of 
Norwegian Immigration. On the other hand, there is interest and 
significance in his recollections of prominent men. Among these 
are to be noted especially a number of church leaders in the 
Norwegian Synod in the sixties, as well as later churchmen in the 
Northwest, such as Professors Sven Oftedal and Georg Sver- 
drup ; likewise men connected with the beginnings of educational 
work among the Scandinavians in the West; distinguished Nor- 
wegians, more especially the poet Bjornson, Henrik Ibsen, and 
Ole Bull, and a large number of prominent Danes and Swedes 
with whom Mr. Anderson associated while United States minister 
to Denmark; literary men like Longfellow, John Fiske, Bayard 
Taylor, Mark Twain, W. D. Howells, and others ; politicians and 
local leaders in Wisconsin and other northwestern states. Many 
interesting names occur in these pages, and frequently the accom- 
panying characterizations are shrewd, although occasionally the 
strong personal bias of the writer is apparent. 

Mr. Anderson is a controversialist of the first rank, and in 
his disputes he can be exceedingly obstinate, bitter, and persistent. 
Naturally he has made many enemies ; in fact, he feels that he 
has alienated the majority of his countrymen in the United States. 
In the accounts of these controversies much light is thrown upon 
the conditions that have obtained among Norsemen in this coun- 
try their religious, social, and educational activity. 

Like many autobiographies this is in some degree a defence. 
In connection with many of the affairs of which Mr. Anderson 
writes, bitter feeling and deadly animosity are still harbored. 



LIFE STORY OF RASMUS B. ANDERSON 395 

Parts of the book are therefore in themselves controversial, as, 
for example, the chapter dealing with the Norwegian Society, an 
organization the purpose of which was to promote Norwegian 
culture. Mr. Anderson had protested vigorously against the sort 
of literature produced by Ibsen, Bjornson, Brandes, and other 
prominent Norwegian writers, in their later years, and he found 
himself opposed by most of the Norwegian-American newspapers. 
He also carried on a spirited campaign for the purpose of purging 
the Norwegian newspapers of unclean and vicious advertisements. 
As one of the founders, he proposed that the Norwegian Society 
should be a Christian, and to all intents and purposes a Lutheran, 
organization. The admirers of the later works of Ibsen and 
Bjornson, he felt, would have "to take a back seat." A violent 
controversy ensued, and complete control of the Norwegian 
Society passed into the hands of Mr. Anderson's opponents. An- 
other chapter is devoted to R. M. La Follette. Unlike the major- 
ity of Norwegians in Wisconsin, Mr. Anderson has been a stern 
opponent of La Follette, and considerable space is used in an 
attempt to prove that the Wisconsin senator is the lago of Amer- 
ican politics. There are few matters in which Mr. Anderson 
has not been in the right, according to his story ;. but of course 
most controversies have two sides. The following is a typical 
sentence : "While I was defending decency, morality, and Chris- 
tianity my enemies made me the object of persecution, and most 
of those who ought to be my friends left me in the lurch" (p. 630) . 
As a source of information regarding the Norwegian element 
in this country, as well as an intimate study of Rasmus B. Ander- 
son, this life story is of considerable value, but it will have to 
be used with utmost care. Things are looked at from one point 
of view throughout, and the author is strictly partisan. More- 
over, an autobiographer is naturally the center of the story which 
he weaves, and .the perspective may, therefore, at times be greatly 
distorted. The role of a writer may not always have been what 
his own recital suggests. Careful study of evidence is necessary 
in order to determine just what his true position was. Through- 
out this volume the author relates in considerable detail the many 
honors that have been conferred upon him. In referring to his 
publications, he supplies copious extracts from favorable reviews, 



396 REVIEWS OF BOOKS 

and has much to say about the influence of his writings, and the 
effect of his speeches. 

Mr. Anderson has rendered a very worthy service by making 
America familiar with the great literary wealth of Scandinavia. 
For this alone he will occupy no insignificant place in the history 
of the Norwegian element in the United States, and his auto- 
biography will have permanent value. 

THEODORE C. BLEGEN 

By the Great Wall: Letters from China. Selected correspond- 
ence of ISABELLA RIGGS WILLIAMS, missionary of the Amer- 
ican Board to China, 1866-97. With an introduction by 
ARTHUR H. SMITH. (New York, etc., Fleming H. Revell 
Company, 1909. 400 p. Illustrated) 

The writer of the letters published in this volume was a daugh- 
ter of Stephen R. Riggs, the famous missionary to the Sioux 
Indians in Minnesota. The first chapter, entitled "A Goodly 
Heritage," deals with the life and experiences of the Riggs family 
in Minnesota. It opens with a few pages of memories of the 
early days in the mission home at Lac qui Parle by Anna Riggs 
Warner, another daughter, and continues with letters written by 
Isabella Riggs, mostly from Minnesota, during the years 1854 
to 1865. This chapter forms an interesting supplement to the 
classic account in Mary and I, or Forty Years with the Sioux, 
by the father of the family. 

In 1866 Isabella Riggs was married to Mark Williams, and in 
a few weeks the young couple started for China to devote their 
lives to missionary work. The remainder of the book, with the 
exception of the last chapter, consists of letters from China from 
1866 to the death of the writer in 1897, and presents a vivid 
picture of missionary activities and of Chinese life and condi- 
tions. The last chapter contains letters, mostly from China, by 
a daughter, Henrietta Williams, whose death followed shortly 
upon that of her mother. 

S. J. B. 



MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

Considerable progress has been made by the library staff, with 
the assistance for a few weeks of Mr. Theodore C. Blegen, in 
the work of checking, classifying, and cataloguing the Nelson 
collection of material relating to the Scandinavians in the United 
States. Several hundred of the pamphlets, including a number of 
very rare items, have been bound. The issue of Folkebladet 
(Minneapolis) for July 19 contains an article in English by Mr. 
Blegen entitled "The Minnesota Historical Society," which deals 
especially with the work and plans of the society in the field of 
Scandinavian-American history. It contains a brief description 
of the Nelson collection, with a list of some of the more important 
titles. The article is reprinted in the August 11 issue of Amerika, 
published by Rasmus B. Anderson at Madison, Wisconsin. 

The society has lost two members of the executive council by 
death recently: Mr. James J. Hill, who died May 29, and Mr. 
Edward C. Stringer of St. Paul, whose death occurred July 8. 
A memorial address in honor of Mr. Hill will be presented by 
Mr. J. G. Pyle at the annual meeting of the society in January. 
Mr. Pyle is writing a biography of Mr. Hill which will be pub- 
lished serially in World's Work, the first installment to appear in 
the October number. 

General Le Due's article on the "Genesis of the Typewriter" 
in the February number of the BULLETIN was reprinted in full in 
the March issue of the Magazine of History without any indica- 
tion that it had ever been published before. 

GIFTS 

Mr. Edward E. Ayer of Chicago has presented number 93 of 
a three-hundred edition of The Memorial of Fray Alonso de 
Benavides, 1630, translated by Mrs. Edward E. Ayer and anno- 
tated by Frederick Webb Hodge and Charles Fletcher Lummis 
(Chicago, privately printed, 1916. xiii, 309 p.). Copies of the 
original Spanish edition of this work, which was printed in 

397 



398 HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

Madrid in 1630, are extremely rare, the one from which the 
present translation was made being found in the remarkable col- 
lection of books and manuscripts relating to the American Indians 
which Mr. Ayer has gathered together and which he has given to 
the Newberry Library in Chicago. Father Benavides spent seven 
years traveling throughout the province of New Mexico as a 
missionary, and in his Memorial set down an account of the coun- 
try and of the Indian tribes dwelling therein invaluable source 
material for the student of the Southwest. Detailed and 
scholarly annotations add to the serviceableness of the work. 
The translation is accompanied by a facsimile reproduction, page 
for page, of the original Spanish text, and by forty photogravure 
plates giving views of old mission churches and other appropriate 
scenes. An excellent quality of paper, pleasing type, and an 
attractive binding contribute to the making of a volume which, in 
its format, leaves little to be desired. 

Two interesting additions to the society's collection of books 
in the Dakota language are Wowapi Wakan: the Holy Bible, 
Containing the Greater Part of the Old Testament and the New 
Testament in the Dakota Language, translated from the originals 
by T. S. Williamson and S. R. Riggs, missionaries (New York, 
American Bible Society, 1877) ; and Hymns in Dakota for Use 
in the Missionary Jurisdiction of Niobrara, published by the 
Indian Commission of the Protestant Episcopal Church. The 
volumes are gifts from Mr. E. A. Bromley. 

A copy of the Minnesota Advertiser, the first paper published 
in St. Cloud, for August 27, 1857 number 32 of volume 1 has 
been received from Hon. W. B. Mitchell of St. Cloud. It bears 
the names of George F. Brott as proprietor and James Mowatt as 
publisher, thus supplementing the information given by Daniel S. 
B. Johnston in his article on territorial journalism in the Minne- 
sota Historical Collections (vol. 10, part 1, p. 312). As was the 
case with so many of the early papers, the Advertiser appears to 
have been run primarily to promote the interests of the town site. 
The last page of this issue contains a sketch of "St. Cloud, Her 
Resources and Prospects," accompanied by a large "Map of 
Minnesota" showing all roads and railroads centering in the 
embryo city. 






GIFTS 399 

Mr. Marion P. Satterlee of Minneapolis has compiled a "List 
of Victims of the Sioux Indian Massacre of 1862, in Minnesota," 
a copy of which he has deposited with the society. After exten- 
sive research during a period of more than four years, Mr. 
Satterlee believes that he has succeeded in securing the names 
of practically all who were murdered, killed in battle, or died 
of starvation, as a result of the outbreak. The list contains the 
names of 391 settlers and 76 soldiers, making a total of 467. 

Through its secretary-treasurer, Mr. Benjamin Brack of St. 
Paul, the Eleventh Regiment Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Asso- 
ciation has presented to the society a valuable album containing 
photographs of the members of Company C, Eleventh Minnesota 
Volunteer Infantry. The pictures were taken at Fort Snelling, 
July, 1865, when the company was mustered out of the federal 
service. The album, which contains also photographs of most of 
the first sergeants, all the company officers, and the field and staff 
officers of the regiment, was presented to their captain, Theodore 
E. Potter, by the men of the company as an expression of their 
affection for him. 

Mr. H. T. Drake of St. Paul has procured from an English 
book dealer and presented to the society a set of the monumental 
and profusely illustrated work entitled The Old-Northern Runic 
Monuments of Scandinavia and England, now first collected and 
deciphered by Professor George Stephens, F.S.A., which was 
published in London in three parts dated 1866, 1868, and 1884. 

Some thirty large boxes of books from the library of Senator 
W. D. Washburn, mostly government documents, have been pre- 
sented by Hon. W. D. Washburn Jr. He has also presented to 
the state a marble bust of Senator Washburn and a large painting 
of Lincoln by George Peter Alexander Healy, dated 1887. The 
bust will be placed in the senate chamber of the Capitol, and the 
picture will hang in the hall of the house of representatives. 

Governor Burnquist has turned over to the society a curious 
pointed bullet received from Mr. Henry Buck of Le Sueur. It 
is a specimen of the balls used in the old Russian muskets which 
were supplied to settlers by Governor Ramsey in 1862 in order 
that they might protect themselves against the Indians. Mr. 



400 HISTORICAL SOCIETY NOTES 

Buck, who came to Minnesota in 1852, was one of the settlers 
thus equipped. 

An interesting addition to the society's exhibit of old firearms 
is a Colt pistol deposited by Mr. Charles H. Kilbourne of Minne- 
apolis, to whose father, Major L. S. Kilbourne of the Seventy- 
second Indiana Volunteers, it was surrendered in October, 1863, 
by Frank Gurley, the Confederate guerilla leader. Gurley stated 
that it was the weapon with which he had killed General Robert 
Latimer McCook of the Army of the Ohio on August 6, 1862. 

Through the courtesy of Mrs. Charles L. Alden of Troy, New 
York, the society has received a framed copy of a portrait of her 
father Consul James W. Taylor, a sketch of whose life appeared 
in the BULLETIN for November, 1915. The original painting, 
executed by V. A. Long in 1893, hangs in the city hall of Win- 
nipeg. 

Mr. E. A. Bromley has presented two blue-print plans for the 
reconstruction and enlargement of Fort Snelling, drawn in 1902 
and 1903. On the back of one of them is a penciled sketch of the 
plan of the fort in 1844. 

Miss Margaret M. Burdick of Minneapolis has presented a 
small oil painting, executed about 1854, of Fort Garry, located on 
the site of the present city of Winnipeg. The painting belonged 
to her father Mr. R. C. Burdick, who was for a number of years 
a member of the society. Mr. Burdick came to St. Paul in 1851 
and later lived for a time at Fort Garry. 

Mr. William R. Weide of St. Paul has presented a crayon 
portrait of his father Nicholas Bernard Weide, who came to St. 
Paul in 1853 and opened a grocery store on Third Street. 



NEWS AND COMMENT 

The Chicago Historical Society's Annual Report for the year 
ending October 31, 1915 (120 p.) announces the acquisition of 
"some 3000 manuscripts known as the Law Family Papers, pur- 
chased last summer. These papers cover the half century from 
1800-1850 and throw light upon the fur-trade of the entire 
Northwest." The account of the history lectures for school chil- 
dren given weekly in the society's building is suggestive of what 
might be done in other cities. 

The Third Annual Report for 1915 of the Michigan Historical 
Commission (1916. 16 p.) announces that "the Daughters of the 
American Revolution and the Michigan Federation of Women's 
Clubs have arranged a prize essay contest open to pupils in Michi- 
gan schools of the eighth grade in the high school or of corre- 
sponding grade in any other school. The subject of the essays 
is the settlement and development of the city or town in which 
the essay is being written." 

Various phases of general northwestern history are touched 
upon in "Episodes in the Early History of the Des Moines Val- 
ley," by Jacob Van der Zee in the July number of the Iowa 
Journal of History and Politics. The article covers from the 
beginning of explorations to the Black Hawk War, and is to be 
followed by another "dealing with the opening of the valley to 
settlement by the whites." The same issue contains the third of 
the series of articles by Ruth A. Gallaher on "Indian Agents in 
Iowa," this one dealing specifically with "Agents among the 
Sacs and Foxes." 

"Virginia and the West; an Interpretation," by Clarence W. 
Alvord, in the June number of the Mississippi Valley Historical 
Review, presents certain aspects of western history before and 
during the revolutionary period in quite a different light from 
that in which they usually appear. The same number contains a 
suggestive article by Louis B. Schmidt on "The Economic History 
of American Agriculture as a Field for Study" and a useful 

401 



402 NEWS AND COMMENT 

survey of "Historical Activities in the Old Northwest" during 
the past year by Arthur C. Cole. 

The excellent paper by Dr. John W. Oliver on "The Position of 
the Historian in Statehood Centennials," which was read at the 
meeting of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association in Nash- 
ville last April, has been printed in the June issue of the Bulletin 
of the Indiana State Library. 

Two biographies of Lord Strathcona, recently published, are of 
interest to students of Minnesota history, especially in connection 
with the beginnings of the Great Northern Railroad. They are 
The Life of Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal, by Beckles Will- 
son (Boston, 1915. 2 v.) and Strathcona and the Making of 
Canada, by W. T. R. Preston (New York, 1915. xi, 324 p.). 
Professor George M. Wrong of the University of Toronto thus 
characterizes the two works in an admirable review published in 
the July issue of the American Historical Re-view: "Following 
quickly upon the death of Lord Strathcona these two lives have 
appeared, Mr. Willson's a eulogy, Mr. Preston's the opposite. 
Mr. Willson thinks that Lord Strathcona was so great a factor 
in the life of Canada that his name was 'long synonymous 
throughout the British Empire with Canada itself ; Mr. Preston 
considers Lord Strathcona an opportunist, bent on creating a 
fortune, the servant of great financial interests, the corrupter 
of political morality in Canada by the lavish use of money in 
elections. Mr. Willson has had the advantage of access to Lord 
Starthcona's papers and is, of course, highly official in tone ; Mr. 
Preston writes as an outside critic who has lived through the 
events he describes. Mr. Willson is diffuse, in two volumes, Mr. 
Preston is brief and sometimes pungent." Another work on the 
same subject by Dr. George Bryce appeared serially in the Cana- 
dian Magazine from July, 1915, to March, 1916, under the title 
"The Real Strathcona." 

Memoirs, Historical and Edifying, of a Missionary Apostolic 
of the Order of Saint Dominic among Various Indian Tribes and 
among the Catholics and Protestants in the United States of 
America is the title of a book issued by Saint Clara College at 
Sinsinawa, Wisconsin (1915. xxv, 375 p.). The book is a trans- 



NEWS AND COMMENT 403 

lation by Sister Mary Benedicta Kennedy of Saint Clara Convent 
of the work of Samuel Charles Mazzuchelli, written in Italian 
and published in Milan in 1844. Father Mazzuchelli came to the 
Northwest as a missionary priest in 1830, and his narrative is a 
valuable source of information about religious activities and gen- 
eral development in the upper Mississippi Valley, particularly 
Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois, during the following years. The 
translation is preceded by an introduction by Archbishop Ireland, 
which is an account and appreciation of the work of Mazzuchelli. 
The volume contains a half-tone engraving of the copy of Mazzu- 
chelli's portrait in Saint Clara College and facsimile reproduc- 
tions of three maps and the frontispiece from the original work. 
A reproduction of the original title-page and a good index would 
have added to the value of the book. The so-called "Index" at 
the end is merely a table of contents and should have been placed 
at the beginning. 

In an article entitled "The Massacre of Seven Oaks" in the 
Manitoba Free Press of June 17, 1916, Isaac Cowie describes the 
tragedy which marked the culmination of the bitterly waged con- 
test between the Hudson's Bay Company and the Northwest Fur 
Company for the control of the fur trade of the Red River and 
Saskatchewan regions, the immediate occasion being the attempt 
of Lord Selkirk, backed by the Hudson's Bay Company, to plant 
an agricultural colony on the Red River. In the same issue of the 
Press is an account of the ceremony commemorating the one- 
hundredth anniversary of the Seven Oaks massacre to be held 
on June 19 at the monument erected in Winnipeg in 1891 to 
mark the spot where Governor Semple and twenty of his men 
from Fort Douglas, the colony headquarters, were killed. 

The passenger traffic department of the Great Northern Rail- 
way Company has recently published "an annotated time table" 
entitled See America First (1916. 168 p.), in which many inter- 
esting things, "scenic, geographic, agricultural, industrial, and 
historical" are told of each station which the traveler comes to 
along the various lines of this transcontinental road. Added inter- 
est and value are gained by the use of numerous maps and illus- 
trations. Pages 1-19, 31-37, and 135-148 contain the notes on 
Minnesota stations. 



404 NEWS AND COMMENT 

The office of judge-advocate-general of the United States army 
has issued a revised edition of United States Military Reserva- 
tions, National Cemeteries, and Military Parks (1916. 544 p.), 
a section of which deals with the title and rights of jurisdiction 
of the federal government in the St. Louis River military reserva- 
tion, the St. Paul quartermaster and commissary depot, and the 
Fort Snelling reservation. 

The American-Scandinavian Review for July-August, 1916, 
contains a brief sketch of Erik Norelius, president emeritus of 
the Swedish Augustana Synod, whose death occurred on March 
15. Dr. Norelius came to Minnesota in the fifties, and has been 
prominently identified with the religious and educational work of 
the state. 

There are signs that the states are waking up to the importance 
of taking proper care of their archives. The Virginia legislature 
recently appropriated four thousand dollars for the purchase of 
fire-proof filing cases for the manuscripts of the state department 
of archives and history. 

The cause of western history lost one of its most enthusiastic 
workers in the death, on June 14, of Mr. Clarence S. Paine, 
secretary of the Nebraska Historical Society. Mr. Paine was a 
leader in the organization and development of the Mississippi 
Valley Historical Association and served it as secretary-treasurer 
from its beginning until his death. 

The history faculty of the University of Minnesota will be 
increased this fall by two new appointments, Professor Carl 
Becker from Kansas University and Dr. Wayne E. Stevens from 
the University of Illinois. Professor Becker's special field of 
work is the eighteenth century in both Europe and America. Dr. 
Stevens has just completed his graduate work, his major subject 
being American history, and his thesis a study of the "Fur Trade 
in the Old Northwest, 1774-1796." An addition to the history 
faculty of Hamline University is Dr. J. D. Hicks, who received 
his degree from the University of Wisconsin last June. 



NEWS AND COMMENT 405 

The leading event of the home-coming celebration in Mankato 
July 1-4 was the production of the Mankato historical pageant, 
in which were portrayed some of the principal events in the his- 
tory and development of the city. The pageant was given on July 
4 in Sibley Park on ground where at least two of the incidents 
represented, the coming of Le Sueur and the sentencing of the 
thirty-eight Sioux Indians for participation in the outbreak of 
1862, actually took place. Although planned by the Anthony 
Wayne Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, the 
pageant was a community affair, over eight hundred persons tak- 
ing part in the production. It consisted of seven tableaux or 
episodes. In the first was pictured an Indian village of 1700, 
whither came Le Sueur and his company of French voyageurs 
and miners, searching for copper. The treaty of Traverse des 
Sioux, 1851, was the subject of the second, the gathering of the 
Indian tribes, the arrival of the United States commissioners, the 
speeches made on both sides, and the signing of the treaty being 
graphically reproduced. In the third episode the settlement of 
Mankato, 1852 was shown the arrival of the first English 
settlers and of the first German families, followed by the coming 
of the Welsh immigrants. The fourth episode the log school- 
house, 1855 consisted for the most part of processions and 
dances symbolic of what education means to an individual and to 
a community. The fifth episode the boys of '61 representing 
the first company of volunteers recruited for the Civil War and 
their departure for the front, was typical of a scene enacted in the 
village many times during the four-year conflict. In the sixth 
episode was unfolded the tragedy of the Sioux outbreak of 1862. 
The coming of the Scandinavian settlers after the Civil War and 
the part played by this important element in the life of the com- 
munity formed the subject of the seventh episode and was 
illustrated by the reproduction of Swedish folk dances and a 
Norwegian peasant wedding. Interludes in the form of appro- 
priate music and symbolic dances added to the beauty of the 
production. A twenty- four-page pamphlet containing a brief 
synopsis of each episode and the names of those taking part in 
it, together with historical and explanatory notes, was issued by 
the pageant committee in the form of a souvenir program. 



406 NEWS AND COMMENT 

One of the results of the interest aroused in local history by 
the production of the Mankato historical pageant was the organi- 
zation of the Blue Earth County Historical Society, incorporated 
May 30, 1916. The society will collect, preserve, and publish 
materials relating to the history and development of the county, 
will obtain biographic sketches and portraits of its pioneers and 
prominent citizens, and gather articles of historic interest and 
value for a museum. It will maintain also for the general public 
a library of books, pamphlets, and manuscripts relating to local 
and general history. Three members of the Minnesota Historical 
Society are among the charter members of the county society, 
Thomas Hughes, George M. Palmer, and Judge Lorin Cray, all 
of Mankato, the latter being chosen as president. 

"The Pageant of Lake Minnetonka" was presented at Excelsior 
Commons, Lake Minnetonka, on the evenings of July 27-29, 
1916, under the patronage of the Woman's Club of Lake Minne- 
tonka. The scenario of the pageant, comprising four acts, was 
written by Willard Dillman of Excelsior. It follows in its bare 
outlines the plan one is becoming accustomed to in Minnesota 
pageants. The first tableau opens with an Indian village scene 
and closes with the arrival of the French explorers, forerunners 
of the new civilization, exemplified in this case by Father Hen- 
nepin. The second act pictures the settlement of Excelsior in 
1853 with the resulting withdrawal of the Indians farther into the 
wilderness. The third act shows the village in 1861, the inhabi- 
tants surprised in the midst of a picnic by the president's call for 
volunteers ; a company of recruits forms and marches away. The 
final act represents Minnetonka at the present time the play- 
ground of Minnesota, with tableaux and dances personifying 
different sports and recreations. Musical numbers and pic- 
turesque dances formed interludes between the acts, and the 
whole pageant, well-costumed and staged, was an attractive and 
interesting spectacle. Its educational value would have been 
enhanced, however, by a little more attention to the truth of his- 
tory. The production abounded in anachronisms, historical per- 
sonages appeared in curious places and connections, and events 
were portrayed which were not merely imaginary but historically 
impossible. Unfortunately the program contained no historical 



NEWS AND COMMENT 407 

or explanatory notes which might have aided the observer in 
distinguishing between fact and fiction. A twenty-eight-page 
pamphlet containing the book of the pageant was printed as 
"advance proof for use in production." 

The fifty-ninth annual meeting of the Minnesota Old Settlers' 
Association, held at the Old Capitol, St. Paul, June 1, 1916, was 
attended by two of the four surviving members, John Daubney 
of Taylor's Falls and Auguste L. Larpenteur of St. Paul, also by 
one of the four honorary members, Warren Upham, and a num- 
ber of invited guests and friends. At the formal business meet- 
ing Mr. Upham read a memorial sketch of John D. Scofield, whose 
death occurred September 18, 1915, and Mrs. Winifred Murray 
Milne gave an interesting series of biographic and other notes 
upon a number of St. Paul pioneers of 1856 and 1857. Mr. 
George H. Hazzard, secretary of the Minnesota Territorial 
Pioneers, presided as toastmaster at the banquet following the 
business meeting, and an entertaining program of responses, gen- 
enerally reminiscent in character, was given. It was decided that, 
owing to the advanced age of the surviving members of the asso- 
ciation, only one more meeting would be held, on June 1, 1917, 
when the Territorial Pioneers of Minnesota will unite with the 
Old Settlers in the celebration of this anniversary day of the 
organization of the Minnesota territorial government. 

The Old Settlers' Association of Kandiyohi County held its 
annual meeting at New London, June 21, 1916. The principal 
event of the morning was a parade made up of several sections, 
each representing some phase of history, development, or indus- 
try, the most noteworthy being the one showing the evolution in 
the means of transportation. The afternoon exercises were 
marked by an address by Senator P. A. Gandrud of Sunburg, in 
which the methods of legislation of the early days were compared 
with those of the present time, and by the reading of a paper 
entitled "Sixty Years Ago," prepared by Victor E. Lawson of 
Willmar, which contained valuable contributions to the early 
history of Kandiyohi County gathered by Mr. Lawson from 
various sources. Of particular value were the data which he 
obtained from Mr. Wilfrid Whitefield of Sauk Center, son of 



408 NEWS AND COMMENT 

Edward Whitefield, who, as artist and press agent, accompanied 
an exploration party to the Kandiyohi lakes in 1856, and whose 
pictures of early scenes in Minnesota are well known. Among 
his papers, which are now in the possession of the son, are letters 
written during 1856-57 from Minnesota, and a manuscript entitled 
"Kandiyohi, Fourth Article," describing in detail the discovery 
of the Kandiyohi lakes and the location of the townships of 
Whitefield, Kandiyohi, and Swainson. The June 29 issue of the 
New London Times contained an account of the meeting, and 
Mr. Lawson's paper was printed in full in the Willmar Tribune 
of July 5, 1916. 

The annual meeting of the Territorial Pioneers' Association 
of Freeborn County was held in Albert Lea, May 11. Among 
the addresses given, that of Mrs. A. W. Massie on "Reminiscences 
of Pioneer Times" is deserving of mention. In 1859 Mrs. Massie, 
a girl of sixteen, accompanied her father's family in their journey 
overland in an emigrant wagon drawn by an ox team from Madi- 
son, Wisconsin to Carlston township, Freeborn County, where 
they settled on a squatters' claim. Her recollections of the 
difficulties attendant upon this primitive means of transportation, 
of economic and social conditions in the pioneer community, 
and of early schools and religious services were interestingly 
told. The address was printed in full in the May 15 issue of the 
Albert Lea Standard. 

The annual meeting of the Old Settlers' Association of Ren- 
ville County was held at Morton, June 14 and 15. Considerable 
interest had been aroused in this meeting because of the fact 
that Morton and its immediate vicinity are on historic ground, 
the battlefield of Birch Coolee lying to the northeast and the old 
stone house marking the site of the Lower Agency being directly 
across the Minnesota River. Stone monuments here and there 
commemorate incidents connected with the Indian outbreak of 
1862. Trips to these points were planned for the visitors. At the 
exercises addresses were made by Governor Burnquist, Julius A. 
Schmahl, Frank B. Kellogg, and S. G. Iverson. A brief notice 
of the meeting appeared in the Renville Star Farmer of June 
22, 1916. 



NEWS AND COMMENT 409 

On June 27, 1916, at Pipestone, occurred the thirty-sixth annual 
meeting of the Pipestone County Old Settlers' Historical Society. 
The morning session was devoted to the president's address and 
to the presentation of reports from the secretary-treasurer, his- 
torian, and township vice-presidents ; at the afternoon session an 
interesting program of addresses was given, including "The Boom 
Spirit of Pioneer Days," by Dr. W. J. Taylor; "Reminiscences 
of Medical Work in the Early Days of Pipestone County and 
Southwestern Minnesota," by Dr. H. D. Jenckes ; and "Incidents 
in My Twenty Years' Experience as a School Teacher in Pipe- 
stone County," by John Pierce. A full account of the exercises 
is to be found in the Pipestone County Star of June 27 and 30, 
1916. 

The fortieth annual reunion of the Old Settlers' Association 
of Dodge County was held in Kasson, June 27, 1916. At the 
formal exercises addresses were made by C. A. Severance and 
Samuel Lord, former residents of the county, now of St. Paul, 
followed by the reading of a paper "Some Pioneer Anniversaries 
of Dodge County" written by H. A. Smith, a pioneer editor of the 
county, now a resident of the state of Washington. The paper 
was printed in the Dodge County Republican, June 29, 1916, 
and reprinted in the People's Press (Owatonna), July 7. 

The Mapleton and Sterling Old Settlers' Association held its 
annual picnic at Mapleton, June 14, 1916, on the grounds where 
the Mapleton settlement of 1856 celebrated its first Fourth of 
July. Governor Burnquist was the principal speaker at the 
exercises following the picnic dinner, and William Mead of Ster- 
ling gave the memorial address for those members of the associa- 
tion who have died during the last year, which was printed in 
the June 16 issue of the Blue Earth County Enterprise. 

The annual meeting of the Hennepin County Territorial 
Pioneers' Association on June 3, 1916, was marked by exercises 
incident to the dedication of the memorial elm in Richard Chute 
Square, given to the pioneers by the Native Sons of Minnesota. 
A photograph taken of the members and their friends who were 
present at this meeting appeared in the June 25 issue of the 
Minneapolis Journal. 



410 NEWS AND COMMENT 

The January 9 issue of the Minneapolis Journal contained an 
account of a dinner given on January 8, 1916, at the Hotel Leam- 
ington in Minneapolis by Major George A. Brackett to fifteen 
pioneers of the village of St. Anthony. Judge J. B. Gilfillan 
presided as toastmaster, and each guest, as his name was called, 
responded by relating some incident of his early experiences. 
A reproduction of a photograph taken as the guests were seated 
accompanied the article. 

Mr. L. E. Moyer of Montevideo and former Senator O. G. 
Dale of Madison are gathering material for a history of Chippewa 
and Lac qui Parle counties which B. F. Bowen and Company are 
to bring out. A history of Douglas and Grant counties, by the 
same firm, is also in course of preparation under the direction of 
Mr. Constant Larson of Alexandria. 

Indian-White Amalgamation: an Anthropometric Study, by 
Professor Albert E. Jenks, is number 6 of the Studies in the 
Social Sciences of the University of Minnesota (1916. vi, 24 p.). 
The paper describes the methods used in an attempt at a scien- 
tific determination of "the blood status of certain persons whose 
ancestry is in question in the government suits" arising out of the 
sales of land in the White Earth Indian Reservation. Professor 
Jenks reached the conclusion that among the Ojibways of Minne- 
sota "the pure-blood Indian type was noticeable chiefly by its 
absence." A brief statement of "the historical foundation for 
such a condition" is included in the paper. 

The firm of Rand, McNally and Company of Chicago has 
recently issued a work without a title-page containing a "Land- 
owners' Directory, Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott 
and Washington Counties, Minnesota, as Compiled from the 
County Assessors' Records." This consists of ninety-six pages 
of photographic reproductions of typewritten lists of property 
owners, section by section, with detailed maps of each county. 
The remainder of the book is made up of pages 51 to 154 of the 
publishers' "New Ideal Atlas." Accompanying the work is a 
large folding "Map of East Central Minnesota," printed on cloth 
and covering a rectangle stretching south from Duluth to Red 
Wing and west from Wisconsin to Little Falls. Unfortunately 
neither the map nor the book is dated. 




NEWS AND COMMENT 411 

The United States Geological Survey has issued the "Minne- 
apolis-St. Paul Folio" of its Geologic Atlas of the United States 
(1916. 14 p.). This consists of a "Description of the Minne- 
apolis and St. Paul District" by Frederick W. Sardeson, maps of 
the topography and areal geology of the Minneapolis, St. Paul, 
Anoka, and White Bear quadrangles, and twenty-two illustra- 
tions from photographs. 

Minnesota Day, by W. F. Webster of Minneapolis, has been 
issued by the state department of education as number 60 of its 
Bulletins (1916. 24 p.). The book contains brief statements on 
the population, natural features, resources, and industries of 
Minnesota, and is offered to the teachers of the state as a guide 
to the sort of information to be presented at exercises incident to 
the observance of Minnesota Day. 

The Third Infantry Regiment Minnesota Volunteer Association 
has issued the Proceedings of its thirty-first annual reunion, held 
at Minneapolis, September 8, 1915 (11 p.). A group picture 
taken of the members of the association present is an interesting 
feature of the pamphlet. 

The Minnesotan for May contains a biographical sketch of 
Douglas Volk, director of the art school of the Minneapolis 
Society of Fine Arts from its beginning in 1886 to 1893, by 
William Watts Folwell. 

The Northwestern Miller has brought out the eighth annual 
issue, for 1916-17, of the Miller's Almanack and 'ear-Book of 
the Trade; a Compilation 'of Statistical and General Information 
of the Milling Industry and the Grain Trade (Minneapolis, 1916. 
240 p.). 

Vikv&ringen is the title of a new bi-monthly publication issued 
as the "official organ of Kristianialaget, an organization composed 
of Americans from Christiania and environs, Norway." The 
editor is G. N. Exstand, 3848 27th Avenue S., Minneapolis, and 
three numbers have appeared. 

The First National Bank of Owatonna, Minnesota, has re- 
cently issued an attractive souvenir pamphlet entitled Golden 
Anniversary to mark the fiftieth anniversary of its establishment 



412 NEWS AND COMMENT 

on June 1, 1866 (30 p.). A brief account of the earliest settle- 
ments in Steele County and of the beginnings of Owatonna, and 
a sketch of Mr. W. R. Kinyon, one of the founders of the bank, 
are interesting features of the book. 

In Minnesota Lakes, recently brought out by the Northern 
Pacific Railway Company (1916. 64 p.), are set forth for the 
benefit of the summer tourist the beauties and attractions of the 
many lakes situated in what is known as the Lake Park Region 
of central Minnesota, about the head waters of the Mississippi, 
and along the international boundary. Numerous illustrations 
reproduce for the reader scenes on some of the lakes described. 

The June number of Export American Industries contains an 
article by E. C. Hillweg, assistant secretary of the Minneapolis 
Civic and Commerce Association, on "Minneapolis," the second 
in a series entitled "Industrial Centers of the United States." 
Some interesting facts in connection with the city's industrial 
development are brought out, especial attention being given to its 
growing importance as a factor in export trade. The article is 
illustrated with a number of photographs of the city's principal 
industrial plants and other points of interest, while a beautiful 
view of the Institute of Arts forms an attractive front cover. 

"The Work of N. H. Winchell in Glacial Geology and Archae- 
ology" is the title of an article which appeared in the January 
issue of Economic Geology, by Warren Upham, archeologist 
of the Minnesota Historical Society (1916. pp. 63-72). A num- 
ber of separates have been issued. 

With its June 1 issue the Minneapolis Tribune began the daily 
publication of a series of sketches by Caryl B. Storrs entitled 
"Visitin' 'Round in Minnesota." Mr. Storrs's articles are not 
news articles. "He is just rambling around and writing his im- 
pressions and experiences." He takes part in the Memorial Day 
celebration at Winnebago, sees a real, old-time blacksmith forge 
at Blooming Prairie, attends an old settlers' meeting at Mapleton, 
is told "the true story of the death of Little Crow" at New Ulm, 
visits Jones' Ford on the Blue Earth, where he sees the site of 
Le Sueur's Fort L'Huillier, finds an old-fashioned Fourth of 



NEWS AND COMMENT 413 

July at Wabasha, visits an up-to-date farm at Granite Falls where 
farming is no longer "a job" but "a science" and is carried on by 
pressing a button or turning a switch, has interesting interviews 
with old pioneers from whom he learns many an old tale or legend 
or bit of valuable historical information all of which, with many 
more experiences, he reproduces in sketches distinctly readable 
and entertaining. The value of the series as a whole will lie 
especially in the picture it affords of the life of the people of the 
state, in the towns and in the countryside, both in these present 
days and those more remote. 

In Wheelock's Weekly (Fergus Falls), May 11-25, 1916, 
appeared a series of articles, by Major R. I. Holcombe of St. 
Paul, on the early explorations in Otter Tail County and the 
regions adjacent to it. Major Holcombe has given a detailed and 
interesting account of the expeditions of Joseph La France, David 
Thompson, the Henry's, Pike, Keating, and Beltrami, based on 
their own narratives, and has noted particularly the descriptions 
of the Otter Tail region as seen by the explorers or known to 
them only through hearsay. Lists of corrected Indian names 
with their English translations add to the value of the articles. 

Mr. E. S. Lambert of Fergus Falls is the author of "Some 
Personal Reminiscences" which appeared in the Fergus Falls 
Weekly Journal, May 11 and 18, 1916. Though he was but a 
young lad when his family settled on a homestead near Hutchin- 
son in 1859, Mr. Lambert's recollections of the hardships and 
the primitive methods of farming of his boyhood days are quite 
vivid. He describes also among other things the flight of his 
family to Mendota at the time of the Sioux outbreak of 1862, his 
life as a school boy at Mendota, Fort Snelling during the Civil 
War period, the building of the first railroad out of St. Paul to 
the East, and farming conditions in the state in the seventies. 

The seventh and concluding number of the series of historical 
articles by Mr. Andrew C. Dunn of Winnebago, of which men- 
tion was made in the May number of the BULLETIN, appeared in 
the July 9 issue of the Minneapolis Journal. In this number Mr. 
Dunn tells of the difficulties encountered in Congress over the 
admission of Minnesota into the Union, and describes the stirring 



414 NEWS AND COMMENT 

events of the session of the first state legislature, the inner political 
significance of which he, as secretary of the senate, was in a 
position to know. 

One of the episodes in the Mankato historical pageant described 
elsewhere in this BULLETIN contained a representation of the com- 
ing of the first Germans to the little settlement in 1854. In the 
July 4 issue of the Mankato Review, one of the surviving mem- 
bers of the party of five German families from St. Charles, 
Missouri, Mr. Phillip Hodapp, tells the story of their journey 
by boat from St. Louis to St. Paul, and thence overland by wagon 
to Mankato by way of Shakopee village, Le Sueur, the trading 
post of Traverse des Sioux, St. Peter, and Kasota. 

The Minneapolis Tribune of May 14, 1916, contained extracts 
from an old diary kept by John G. Macf arlane, keeper of the first 
city wharf and owner of the first warehouse in Minneapolis. 
Some interesting facts are brought to light about the Minne- 
apolis of sixty years ago, when the town was the head of naviga- 
tion on the Mississippi River. Among the illustrations accom- 
panying the article is one, taken in 1857, showing the steamer 
"Minneapolis" alongside the old wharf, situated just below the 
site of the present Washington Avenue bridge. 

Under the heading "Pioneer Woman Compiles History of 
Minneapolis in Clippings of Sixty Years" in the Minneapolis 
Journal of May 21, 1916, is given an account of a scrapbook 
belonging to Mrs. Hannah Howard Munson, who came to St. 
Anthony on July 4, 1848, and whose interest in public men and 
affairs and in the development of the little settlement beside the 
Falls into the "big Minneapolis" of to-day, led her to keep this 
"illustrated diary of a half century of first and important events." 

Some account of the fur-trading business and of the early 
travel routes of northern Minnesota was given in the Duluth 
Herald, July 12, 1916, by Joe Wakefield, in an article entitled 
"Aged Pioneer of Lake Region Recalls Scenes of Early Days." 
Wakefield came to Minnesota in the early fifties and made his 
way from St. Anthony up into the northern part of the territory, 
then practically unexplored, establishing himself as Indian trader 
near the site known later as Crow Wing. 



NEWS AND COMMENT 415 

The death of Colonel John S. Mosby, the noted Confederate 
cavalry leader, which occurred at Washington, May 30, 1916, 
brought back to many Civil War veterans memories of encoun- 
ters with the troop of raiders commanded by this daring officer. 
Some of these reminiscences appeared in the Minneapolis 
Tribune, May 31, 1916. 

"On the Minnesota River after Half a Century" is the title of 
an interesting sketch by Fred S. Bill in the Saturday Evening Post 
of Burlington, Iowa, for July 15. 

A number of brief articles containing material of interest and 
value for the early history of the state have appeared in recent 
issues of Minnesota newspapers. In the Todd County Argus 
(April 27, 1916), Dr. J. F. Locke, formerly of Long Prairie, 
now of Brookfield, Vermont, "Recalls the Pioneer Days" of the 
early seventies. An account of the settlement of the eastern part 
of Bigelow township in Nobles County in 1871 by a group of 
young men who had but recently come to the United States from 
Sweden is related by Hans Nystrom in "Tales of the Pioneer 
Days" in the Worthington Globe (May 25, 1916). The pro- 
ceedings of the first district court of Martin County, which was 
held in a small log cabin at Fairmont in October, 1861, and the 
obstacles to be overcome by the jurymen and other members of 
the court in their efforts to reach the meeting place in the days 
when transportation facilities were of the crudest, are graphically 
described in "Courting under Difficulties in Early Days" by 
A. R. Fancher in the Martin County Sentinel (May 26, 1916) ; 
the same article was reprinted in the Blue Earth Post (May 30, 
1916). Mr. M. J. Aldrich, a pioneer resident of Martin County, 
under the title "Pioneer Reminiscences" in the Martin County 
Independent (June 21, 1916), describes a remarkable group of 
mounds near Elm Creek, estimated to be from two to three 
thousand years old, which at one time were very definitely defined, 
but which, with the passage of time, have become almost obliter- 
ated. The Pipestone Leader (June 22, 1916) contained an in- 
teresting narrative by Mrs. J. M. Bull, wife of a pioneer teacher 
and minister of Pipestone County, now of Gentry, Arkansas, of 
the early history of the county, with some account of the first 
settlers. 



MINNESOTA HISTORY BULLETIN 



EDITED BY 

SOLON J. BUCK 



STJPEBINTENDENT OF THE MINNESOTA HISTOBICAL SOCIETY 
ASSISTANT PBOFESSOB OF HISTOBY IN THE UNIVBBSITY OF MINNESOTA 



VOL. 1, No. 8 
NOVEMBER, 1916 



Iff 



CAPTAIN POTTER'S RECOLLECTIONS OF 
MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES' 

111 1852, when twenty years of age, with others I went by 
the overland route, with ox teams, to California to dig gold. 
While there, in connection with many other stirring incidents 
in the mines, I joined a militia company to fight the Indians 

1 The document here printed was written by Captain Potter in 
1907, in response to a request from the secretary of the Minnesota 
Historical Society. While not always accurate in details, as is true of 
most narratives based largely on memory, it throws new light on 
some phases of the history of the state. Aside from the correction 
of a few obvious slips, no attempt has been made to revise the manu- 
script, but attention has been called in some instances to parallel 
accounts which would be useful in checking up the narrative. The 
notes have been prepared by Miss Franc M. Potter of the staff of the 
Minnesota Historical Society, with some assistance from Miss Dor- 
othy Heinemann and Miss Marjorie Carr of the University of Minne- 
sota. Ed. 

Very little has been learned of the life of Captain Theodore E. 
Potter in addition to what may be gained from the present narrative. 
His father, Linus Potter, a Pennsylvanian by birth, came to Michigan 
from Cayuga County, New York, in 1830, and settled in Saline, Wash- 
tenaw County. Here on March 10, 1832, his son Theodore E. was 
born. Financial reverses forced the father in 1844 to join a second 
time the ranks of pioneers, and with his family, consisting of his 
wife and seven children, he began life again on a 120-acrt tract of 
timber land in Eaton County, Michigan, which afterwards became 
the site of the present town of Potterville. He died in 1846. Six 
years later, his son Theodore, a young man of twenty, joined a com- 
pany bound for California, where he remained for several years; he 
was a member of General William Walker's filibustering expedition 
to Nicaragua and, on its unsuccessful termination, returned to his 
home in Michigan. A trip through the Minnesota and Blue Earth 
valleys in the early part of 1856 influenced him to make Minnesota his 
permanent home. Returning to the state in the following spring, he 
settled in Garden City, and at once took a leading position in the 
affairs of the village. On the organization of the town of Watonwan, 
May 11, 1858, he was elected collector; and in the town election of 
the following spring he was named chairman of supervisors, becoming 
ex officio a member of the board of county supervisors. Mr. Potter 

419 



420 THEODORE E. POTTER 

that became very troublesome in Mariposa and Merced coun- 
ties. This was the first chapter in my military experience. 1 

The second and briefer chapter followed not long after. 
With many others I was persuaded, under expectation of great 
gain, to join General Walker's Nicaraguan filibustering expedi- 
tion, which soon ended in our breaking up and hurrying out 
of that country to escape capture. Then, upon my retreat in 
February, 1856, I returned to my home in Michigan, accom- 
panied by three young men from Wisconsin who had shared 
many of these incidents with me. 

But in the spring of 1856 we decided to go back to Cali- 
fornia by way of New Orleans and Panama. We went to New 
York, Washington, Baltimore, Richmond, Charleston, Jackson- 
ville, Mobile, and New Orleans, where we learned that the 
steamer for Panama had given up going to Panama on account 
of the prevalence of cholera and yellow fever at that place. 
We then decided to go back north, and took a Mississippi River 
boat for St. Paul, Minnesota, at the head of navigation, two 
thousand miles away by river, reaching there in fourteen days. 

We were glad to get back on northern soil, as the slavery 

played a not unimportant role in the Indian and Civil wars. He was 
a member of several volunteer companies of citizens organized for 
defence against the Indians, and was enrolled as first lieutenant of 
Company B, First Regiment Mounted Rangers, which took part in 
General Sibley's expedition of 1863. The following year he received a 
commission as captain and recruited a company for service in the 
Civil War, which was mustered in as Company C, Eleventh Regiment 
Infantry Minnesota Volunteers. On his return from the South in 
1865 Captain Potter purchased a farm near Garden City, on which he 
lived until 1876, when he returned to Michigan. Thereafter for many 
years he was associated with two of his brothers in the hardwood 
lumber business in Potterville. About the year 1891, having secured 
an interest in the Potter Furniture Manufacturing Company of Lans- 
ing, he removed to that city, residing there until his death, which 
occurred in 1912. Samuel W. Durant, History of Ingham and Eaton 
Counties, Michigan, 421, 422 (Philadelphia, 1880); Thomas Hughes, 
History of Blue Earth County, Minnesota, 100, 248 (Chicago, 1909). 

1 In a letter accompanying this manuscript Captain Potter says 
that in 1854 he joined a company of the California state militia called 
the Sonora Grays and had ten days' actual service against the Indians. 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 421 

question down south was then boiling hot, and every northern 
man was watched as an abolitionist with extreme jealousy and 
suspicion, and during our three weeks' stay in southern terri- 
tory we witnessed many stirring examples of this suspicion 
and hatred, and learned best to keep quiet on that subject 
down there. 

At St. Paul, then with a population of about three thousand, 1 
we went to the fine Merchants' Hotel; visited St. Anthony's 
Falls ; examined the work going on to harness that great water 
power for service; 2 visited the present Minneapolis, only a 
small city, 3 and returned to St. Paul by way of Fort Snelling. 

The next day my three friends from Wisconsin concluded to 
go back down the river and make their way to California by 
some route during the summer. We parted at the wharf, 
bidding each other good-bye for the last time, and I have never 
heard a word from them since. 

The same day I took a boat for Mankato, which was loaded 
down with passengers looking for desirable locations to settle 
on the lands recently purchased by the government from the 
Sioux Indians. I spent a week looking over the Blue Earth 

1 According to the census of Minnesota Territory, taken in 1855, 
the population of St. Paul was 4,716. Weekly Minnesotian, August 11, 
1855. The census of 1857 increased this figure to 9,973. J. Fletcher 
Williams, A History of the City of St. Paul and of the County of 
Ramsey, Minnesota, 381 (Minnesota Historical Collections, vol. 4). 

2 For an account of the dam under construction during the summer 
of 1856 by the St. Anthony Falls Water Power Company and the 
Minneapolis Mill Company, see Isaac Atwater, History of the City of 
Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1: 33, 529, 534 (New York, 1893); W. H. 
Mitchell and J. H. Stevens, Geographical and Statistical History of the 
County of Hennepin, 116, 129 (Minneapolis, 1868); the beginning of 
the work is noted in the St. Anthony Express, July 5, 1856. 

3 The territorial census taken in the fall of 1857 gave Minneapolis 
a population of 4,123. Weekly Minnesotian, November 14, 1857. Com- 
pare, however, Atwater's statement that at the beginning of 1857 there 
were by actual count 198 buildings in Minneapolis, and "as many of 
these were stores and shops, it is evident . . . that there was shelter 
for less than 1,000," though he adds that 248 new buildings were 
erected during the year and that the population was rapidly growing. 
History of the City of Minneapolis, 1: 40. 



422 THEODORE E. POTTER 

and Minnesota river valleys south and west of Mankato; then 
took a boat at the German town of New Ulm and returned to 
Michigan, my native state, where my mother, brothers, and 
sisters all lived. 

Early in the spring of 1857 I concluded to go to Minnesota 
and make a permanent home for myself there. As soon as I 
could get ready, I started for St. Paul by way of Galena, 
Dubuque, La Crosse, and Winona, and got the first boat that 
broke the ice through to St. Paul that spring, 1 and then took 
passage on another boat, the "Time and Tide" which "waits 
for no man," for the Sioux agency, five hundred miles by boat 
up the Minnesota River 2 beyond the historic Indian town of 
Mendota 3 on the left hand, and Fort Snelling on the right on 

1 Compare with Atwater's account of his journey from Central New 
York to Minneapolis this same spring, May 7-18, in his History of 
the City of Minneapolis, 1 : 39. 

2 Interesting accounts of steamboating on the Minnesota and Mis- 
sissippi rivers are: Russell Blakeley, "History of the Discovery of 
the Mississippi River and the Advent of Commerce in Minnesota" 
in M. H. C. 8: 376-418, and Thomas Hughes, "History of Steamboating 
on the Minnesota River" in M. H. C. 10: 131-163 (part 1). Mr. 
Hughes relates how the captain of the "Time and Tide," Louis Robert, 
was wont to call out, as the boat was about to leave its dock, "All 
aboard! 'Time and Tide' waits for no man" (p. 143). 

3 Mendota is not, historically speaking, an Indian village. Neither 
Pike, Long, Forsyth, nor Keating in the narratives of their explor- 
atory expeditions on the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers makes any 
mention of an Indian village at this point; nor does Edward D. Neill 
in his enumeration of the villages of the bands of the Mdewakanton 
Sioux in 1853, in M. H. C. I: 263, nor Samuel W. Pond in his "The 
Dakotas or Sioux in Minnesota as They Were in 1834" in M. H. C. 
12: 320-330. The site was, however, selected by the early fur-traders 
as being a particularly suitable location for a trading post. Henry H. 
Sibley in his "Reminiscences: Historical and Personal" in M. H. C. 
1: 468, gives an account of Jean Baptiste Faribault's post at that place; 
and about the year 1824 Alexis Bailly was established there as agent 
of the American Fur Company, being superseded in 1834 by Sibley. 
M. H. C. 3: 319 n. 1; Wisconsin Historical Collections, 20: 197 n. 55. 
Sibley, in describing his arrival in Minnesota, says of Mendota, "There 
were a few log houses at St. Peters, occupied by persons employed in 
the fur trade." "Reminiscences of the Early Days of Minnesota" in 
M. H.C.Z: 245. 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 423 

a high rocky bluff near the junction of the Mississippi and 
Minnesota rivers, for many years the headquarters of the 
United States forces in the Northwest. 

Twenty-five miles above Fort Snelling the boat made its first 
landing at the stirring young town of Shakopee, named in 
honor of a celebrated Sioux chief, and five miles up the river 
was Shaska, an Indian village; 1 and then next Belle Plaine, a 
county seat of some importance, 2 where many left the boat look- 
ing for land, and many more came on board to go farther up 
the river to find better locations, as it was said that every 
piece of good land for two hundred miles above St. Paul on 
the river had been located and laid out into a village plot or 
townsite, and a hotel or store of some kind erected to start the 
place, with a saloon and blacksmith shop added where it was 
possible. All these enterprises had started within the few 
years since the land had been purchased from the Sioux 
Indians. The river formed the line between counties, and 
land speculators had located "county seats" on the river, 
accessible to land-seekers, to benefit them in the sale of lands 
on the reputation of the county-seat locations. Many of these 
county seats were afterwards changed by the people. We 
passed many new little towns made lively by the constant com- 
ing of new settlers from the eastern states and foreign 
countries. 

At Le Sueur, one hundred miles above St. Paul, two hundred 
passengers left the boat and about one hundred came on board, 

1 Shaska was the original spelling of Chaska, at this time a small 
hamlet containing some ten voters. There is no record of its being the 
site of an Indian village (see page 422, note 3). It was selected as 
a favorable location for a trading post in August, 1851, by Thomas A. 
Holmes, who afterwards disposed of his rights to the Fuller Brothers 
of St. Paul, proprietors of the townsite in 1857. R. I. Holcombe and 
William H. Bingham, Compendium of History and Biography of Carver 
and Hennepin Counties, Minnesota, 210, 211 (Chicago, 1915). 

2 Shakopee, and not Belle Plaine, was the county seat of Scott 
County in 1857, having been so designated by action of the board of 
county commissioners February 6, 1854. History of the Minnesota 
Valley, 290 (Minneapolis, North Star Publishing Company, 1882). 



424 THEODORE E. POTTER 

giving us, with the heavy load of freight for the Indian 
agencies farther up, a very heavy load for the river navigation 
so high up, rendering it at times very difficult for the stern- 
wheeler to make much progress in the swift current. So when 
we came in sight of Traverse des Sioux, Colonel Flandrau, the 
Indian agent on board, told some of us that, as it was ten 
miles by the river to St. Peter and only one mile on foot by a 
good road, he usually walked across, and if the others would 
do so, it would lighten the boat and give them a pleasant walk. 
Nearly all of us walked. On the arrival of the boat a large 
crowd was present, and the captain announced that no addi- 
tional passengers could be taken and that the boat would not 
leave until four o'clock the next morning. 

Morton S. Wilkinson, a young lawyer I had known at 
home, and who was now a member of the Minnesota territorial 
legislature and also a member of the constitutional convention 
soon to be held at St. Paul, was a passenger on our boat on his 
way to the Indian agencies with Agent Flandrau, and invited 
me to go to a hotel and stay overnight with him. Colonel 
Flandrau was a young western man and had been with the 
Sioux Indians for several years. He was dressed in a buck- 
skin suit, with his long, straight, light-colored hair hanging 
down to his shoulders, and he had a kind and pleasant word 
for everyone, making him a favorite for all on board the boat. 
While we were at the hotel, he became interested in my 
California history and desired to hear all he could of it. 
Wilkinson went to Minnesota the same year I went to Cali- 
fornia, and told Flandrau the reason he did not go to California 
with me was because he could not raise money enough to buy 
an ox team to go with. Before and during our Civil War 
Wilkinson was United States senator from Minnesota and 
[was] considered one of the ablest and most loyal men in the 
Senate. 1 

1 Captain Potter's account of Senator Wilkinson is not entirely free 
from errors. Mr. Wilkinson came to Stillwater, Minnesota, in 1847 
from Eaton Rapids, Eaton County, Michigan, where he had been 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 425 

After a good night's rest in a hotel bed we were early on 
the boat and on our way up the river again with one hundred 
less passengers than the day before. Our next stop was Man- 
kato, thirty miles by river and ten by land and six hours 
making it, on the way meeting the steamer "Favorite" for St. 
Paul with several hundred passengers on board. 1 Mankato 
was then the largest town on the river. Our stop was only 
long enough to let off some passengers, but [we] took none on. 
New Ulm, a Cincinnati German town, seventy-five miles by 
river, was the next stop, where over one hundred Germans left 
the boat. We took on about fifty who were going to visit the 
Indian agencies. Three miles above New Ulm we came to the 
lands still owned by the Sioux Indians lying on both sides of 
the river and extending north and west to Big Stone Lake at 
the head of the river and Dakota line. Soon after dark we 
reached Fort Ridgely, where a large quantity of government 
supplies were unloaded. We did not leave until daylight, and 
at noon were at the Lower [or] Redwood Agency, located on a 
beautiful prairie skirted with timber and about two hundred 

engaged in the practice of law since 1843. From 1850 to 1856 he 
resided in St. Paul, removing from that city in 1857 to Mankato. 
Wilkinson was elected to the first territorial legislature of 1849 from 
Washington County, and was state senator from Blue Earth County 
from 1874 to 1877; but he was not in the legislature of 1857, nor was 
he a member of either constitutional convention, though he was one 
of the commission appointed in 1851 to compile a revised code of laws 
for the territory. He served as United States senator from Minnesota, 
1859-65, and represented the first district in the lower house, 1869-71. 
Biographical Congressional Directory, 1111 (Washington, 1913); St. Paul 
Pioneer Press, February 5, 1894; St. Paul Globe, February 5, 1894; 
Minnesota, Revised Statutes, 1851, p. vii; Minnesota, Legislative Manual, 
1915, pp. 90, 91, 104, 116-118; Minnesota Constitutional Convention 
(Democratic), Debates and Proceedings, 676 (St. Paul, Goodrich, pr., 
1857); Minnesota Constitutional Convention (Republican), Debates and 
Proceedings, 6, 619 (St. Paul, Moore, pr., 1858). 

1 This steamboat is not listed in the "Annual Review of Steamboat 
Statistics" published in the Weekly Minnesotian, November 28, 1857. 
According to Hughes the "Favorite" was entered as a new boat in 
the spring of 1859. "History of Steamboating on the Minnesota 
River" in M. H. C. 10: 146 (part 1). 



426 THEODORE E. POTTER 

feet above the river. Colonel Flandrau and Mr. Wilkinson 
invited all the passengers to visit the agency eighty rods from 
the river, and take a look at the inside as well as the outside 
arrangements of a United States government Indian agency 
during the unloading of its government supplies, taking the 
remainder of the day. Several thousand Indians were gath- 
ered there from different parts of their own lands waiting for 
the distribution of the government supplies brought for them. 
Many of the Indians were at the landing-place to cordially 
greet and welcome their agent, Colonel Flandrau, who invited 
Wilkinson and myself to a good supper and lodging at the 
agency that night. 

The next day Wilkinson and myself took the boat for Yellow 
Medicine or Upper Indian Agency, one hundred miles by water, 
while Flandrau took his team of Indian ponies and drove forty 
miles across the country in time to meet us at the Upper 
Agency, which it took us two days to reach. The Upper 
Agency was two miles from our landing-place, and as it was 
late in the day and the boat was to lay there two nights before 
starting on the return trip, the passengers remained on board 
until the next morning, except Wilkinson, myself, and a few 
others, who walked up the narrow pleasant valley of Yellow 
Medicine River to the agency, located in a fine oak grove one 
hundred feet or more above the valley. 

The agency buildings were of brick, handmade by the 
Indians. Here we were again met by Colonel Flandrau and 
also Major Galbraith, another agent, who was sent with two 
other men not yet arrived to investigate the conditions and 
needs of the Indians who had sold their lands to the govern- 
ment for a small sum and were to receive their pay in goods at 
high rates. While here I found a man from Michigan, with 
his family, who had the contract for erecting the buildings of 
the agency, and stayed with them for two days. 

With three other men I then took passage on board an 
Indian pony to go across the country back to the Lower Agency, 
accompanied by an Indian guide who was to take back our four 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 427 

ponies. We were all day riding the forty miles over a beau- 
tiful prairie country dotted with growths of fine timber border- 
ing all the streams and lakes, and passing a number of small 
brick houses built by the government for Indian families who 
chose to adopt more civilized modes of life .and follow the 
business of farming, to whom were allotted eighty acres of 
land, a brick house sixteen by twenty-four feet, one and one- 
half stories high, agricultural implements, and a white man 
as instructor and overseer to assist them in learning their new 
mode of subsistence. So, on this ride from one agency to 
another, we would frequently see Indians, dressed like white 
men, at work in the fields, plowing with a yoke of oxen driven 
by a squaw or young Indian ; others at making bricks ; and we 
passed two well-built churches, all the result of a few years' 
change in the lives of these once wild savages. 

Reaching Redwood Agency, I obtained lodgings with one of 
the boss Indian farmers, living in good style in a nice new 
brick house. The next day was semiannual payment Indian 
day, the payments to be made partly in gold and the balance 
in provisions, blankets, and other goods needed for their com- 
fort and subsistence. A company of troops had been sent out 
from Fort Ridgely to keep order if necessary during the pay- 
ment, as Sioux with their families from as far north as the 
Canadian border and for two hundred miles west came to 
receive their government pay at these two agencies. Children 
[and those] aged and feeble and unable to walk came on con- 
veyances made of two long poles fastened at one end to each 
side of a pony, the other dragging on the ground and covered 
with skins, several hundreds of which, drawn for hundreds of 
miles, were in sight the first day. The system of payment was 
by number, each family having a registered number by which 
they were known, and when that number was called, the head of 
the family carrying it presented it himself for his allowance for 
the next six months, less the amount he had traded out in 
advance with the traders licensed by the government to sell to 
the Indians. Often at pay day the Indian found but very little 



428 THEODORE E. POTTER 

coming to him, leaving him very poor for the next six months, 
while the trader found himself rich from the great profits made 
on his goods, the Indians having no real estimate of the value 
of money or worth of the goods he wanted to buy. Such 
ignorance on his part and extravagant prices on the part of 
the trader have often caused a great deal of dissatisfaction and 
trouble, and probably violence and war. This Indian pay day 
was the only one I ever saw, and was very interesting as a 
lesson in future intercourse and knowledge of Indian habits 
and life. 

The following day four of us hired a man and double team 
to take us twelve miles across to Fort Ridgely on the opposite 
side of the river, which we crossed by ferry near the agency, 
and were soon riding over a beautiful unpopulated prairie on 
the north side of the river, reaching Fort Ridgely at ten 
o'clock in the forenoon, where we found five companies of 
United States troops and two batteries of light artillery. We 
stayed four hours, visiting the fort and taking dinner with the 
soldiers, for which we paid as at a hotel. 

Fort Ridgely is on a government reservation of several sec- 
tions of land selected at the time the treaty was made with the 
Indians and placed on the reservation. But a celebrated war 
chief, named Ink-pa-du-ta, and his band never consented to 
the sale of the Sioux lands, declared themselves independent, 
would have nothing to do with the white man only to get his 
scalp, took the warpath, and early in March, 1857, made an 
attack on the scattered settlers around Spirit Lake near the 
northern line of Iowa, one hundred miles southwest of Fort 
Ridgely, killing all the settlers near the lake and several fami- 
lies on the Des Moines River in Minnesota, except four women 
who were taken prisoners and held for a ransom. 1 The names 

1 Other accounts of the Inkpaduta massacre and of the measures 
taken to rescue the four woman captives differ in detail from that of 
the present writer. Miss Gardner's story of her experiences is given 
in L. P. Lee, History of the Spirit Lake Massacre, 8th March, 1857, and 
of Miss Abigail Gardiner's Three Months' Captivity among the Indians 
(New Britain, Connecticut, 1857. 47 p.). Jareb Palmer, a member of 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 429 

of the women were Mrs. Noble, Mrs. Thatcher, Mrs. Marble, 
and Miss Gardner. Mrs. Noble, being sick and easily wearied 
and a burden to them, was shortly killed by the Indians. For 
some cause they killed Mrs. Thatcher also. Mrs. Marble was 
bought from them by two friendly Indians, sent out for the 
purpose by two missionaries, Riggs and Williamson, who paid 
to ransom her all the horses and guns they had ; and the gov- 
ernor of the territory, Medary, paid the two friendly Indians 
twelve hundred dollars for their services and safe delivery of 
Mrs. Marble at Yellow Medicine Agency. It was learned 
that Miss Gardner had been sold to a Yankton Indian warrior, 
and in consideration of the twelve hundred dollars paid for 
the delivery of Mrs. Marble, many friendly Indians offered 
their services to undertake the rescue and return of Miss 
Gardner. Three Indians, prominent members of the Indian 
church, were selected for the work, one by the name of Other 
Day, who proved of great friendship and service to the whites 
at the time of the Sioux massacre in 1862 and was rewarded 
for it by the government. Horses, blankets, squaw cloth, 
ammunition, and many other articles which would please 
the Indians, valued at hundreds of dollars, were furnished this 
party of friendly Indians by the governor and Agent Flandrau, 

the Springfield settlement on the Des Moines River in 1857, describes 
the massacres in detail in an article entitled "Early Days and Indians" 
in the Plat Book of Jackson County, Minnesota, 10-12 (Philadelphia, 
Inter State Publishing Company, 1887). See also Charles E. Flan- 
drau, "Official Account of the Late Indian Difficulties," dated Sioux 
Agency, April 11, 1857, in United States Commissioner of Indian 
Affairs, Reports, 1857, pp. 69-71, and "The Ink-pa-du-ta Massacre of 
1857" in M. H. C. 3: 386-407; St. Paul Daily Pioneer and Democrat, 
April 17-19, 21, 23, 24, June 5, 23, 24, 1857; Thomas Hughes, "Causes 
and Results of the Inkpaduta Massacre" in M. H. C. 12: 263-282; Asa 
W. Daniels, "Reminiscences of Little Crow" in M. H. C. 12: 518-520; 
Stephen R. Riggs, Mary and I; Forty Years with the Sioux 1 , 138-144 
(Chicago, c. 1880). Henry H. Sibley, "Sketch of John Other Day" in 
M. H. C. 3: 99-102, and "Narrative of Paul Mazakootemane," trans- 
lated by Rev. S. R. Riggs, in M. H. C. 3: 83, contain interesting 
accounts of the part played by these two Indians in the rescue of 
Miss Gardner. 



430 THEODORE E, POTTER 

with which to ransom the captive, and in less than thirty days 
Miss Gardner was secured and brought safely into St. Paul. 
Ink-pa-du-ta's son was killed, but, as far as known, the old 
chief and his band of outlaws all died natural deaths, honored 
by his people as the best haters of the whites in all the Sioux 
nation. 1 

While I was on this trip little was generally known of the 
massacre at Spirit Lake and still less of the captive women to 
produce public excitement or a demand for complete revenge. 
The news came just as we were about to leave for New Ulm, 
brought by a livery man who had just come in and who took us 
to New Ulm. 

The ride was a lovely one through a new country, the most 
beautiful we had seen, reaching our destination just as the sun 
was casting its setting rays through the trees that were putting 
on their spring foliage. We put up at a German hotel with 
good accommodations. There was but one native American 
in this town of fifteen hundred people, and he was a very 
patriotic soldier of the Mexican War, owning the largest store 
in the place and kept in the only brick building yet erected, 
on which was a flag staff, from the top of which the stars and 
stripes floated every day, raised at the time the store was 
opened in the morning and lowered when it closed at night. 
He kept both German and Indian clerks to accommodate all 
classes and languages of customers in buying goods. There 
were two beer gardens in the town, one of them having an 
opera house connected with it, which we attended at night and 
witnessed a German play. The population of this place all 

1 The writer has apparently overlooked the punitive expedition sent 
out under the direction of W. J. Cullen, of the northern superin- 
tendency, consisting of about 125 Indians of the Upper and Lower 
Sioux under the command of Little Crow, which resulted in the killing 
of three members of the band, including another of Inkpaduta's sons, 
for an account of which see Cullen to John W. Denver, commissioner 
of Indian affairs, Lower Sioux Agency, July 26, 1857; K. Pritchette, 
special agent, to Denver, Sioux Agency, August 5, 1857; and the report 
of A. J. Campbell, United States interpreter with the expedition, in 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Reports, 1857, pp. 78-84, 86, 87-89. 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 431 

came from Cincinnati, two years previous, and with them 
more than five thousand others who settled on farms around 
New Ulm the first year the reservation was opened for settle- 
ment. 1 The Ink-pa-du-ta massacre at Spirit Lake alarmed 
these border settlers very much, and some of them had left 
their homes and taken their families into New Ulm for safety. 
Many of the leading men in town advised building a fort for 
their protection in case they were attacked by the Indians. A 
militia company was organized the night we were there, and a 
delegation took the first boat for St. Paul for the purpose of 
getting arms and ammunition for the new company. Settlers 
out on the Big Cottonwood River towards Spirit Lake, twenty 
miles from New Ulm, were daily coming in in large numbers 
to find refuge, adding greatly to the excitement and fears of 
another attack and possible repetition of the massacre of only 
six weeks previous. As a consequence we got little sleep that 
night, and next morning secured conveyance in a lumber wagon 
to Garden City, twenty-five miles southeast of New Ulm in 
Blue Earth Valley, where the men with me had friends and 
relatives living. 

We passed through a fine' prairie country, crossing the Big 
and Little Cottonwood rivers, passing several small lakes bor- 
dered with timber on the east side, where we invariably found 
a settler living in a log house, whose first inquiry was as to 
what we knew about the Spirit Lake massacre, and every one 
of them had gotten ready to move their families to some place 
of safety at a moment's notice. 

1 An account of the settlement of New Ulm through the efforts of 
two colonization societies, the Chicago Land Verein and the Coloniza- 
tion Society of North America of Cincinnati, is given in L. A. Fritsche, 
History of Brown County, Minnesota, 1: 124-138 (Indianapolis, 1916); 
Alexander Berghold, The Indians' Revenge; or, Days of Horror, 8-39 
(San Francisco, 1891). The writer's estimate of the population of New 
Ulm and the adjacent country is somewhat too large; the census of 1860 
gives Brown County a population of 2,339, and New Ulm, 635. United 
States Census, 1860, Population, 254, 255. Dr. Fritsche, however, con- 
sulting the files of the New Ulm Pioneer for 1858, gives the number of 
people in New Ulm in that year as 1,034, with 440 voters, the voters 
of the county being reported as 655. History of Brown County, 1 : 467. 



432 THEODORE E. POTTER 

We reached Garden City a little after noon and found the 
people at work building a log fort around a large, long board- 
ing house owned by a company which was building a large grist 
and saw mill on the river, employing a large number of men. 
My traveling companions found their relatives all at work on 
the fort, as many families had left their farms and homes and 
come into town for mutual protection and safety. The most 
of these people had come from Boston, Massachusetts, and 
knew very little of wild western life or how to handle an ax, 
the principal tool to use in building a log fort. After dinner 
I saw the situation, got a good ax, and went to work with 
them on the fort, and before night had gained such a reputa- 
tion for that kind of business that at evening I was chosen as 
one of the bosses on the job. In two days we had a half acre 
surrounded by defences of logs ten feet high. After it was 
finished and a number of families had tents inside, all the 
women and children felt much more secure. 

Reports kept coming in that the situation looked worse every 
hour. Some families had already started to leave the territory 
until the Indian question was settled. I told them that New 
Ulm people had organized a militia company and sent a com- 
mittee to the governor for arms and ammunition. The next 
day reliable news came direct from Fort Ridgely and the Indian 
agencies that Ink-pa-du-ta and his warriors had gone west- 
ward into Dakota. The man bringing this news had been sent 
out from Fort Ridgely and had letters with him from Agent 
Flandrau, Riggs and Williamson, the two missionaries, and 
also from the commander of the fort, advising all the settlers 
to return to their homes, as all danger had passed. During 
that week most of the settlers returned home and went to work 
again on their farms. 1 

1 The feeling of general alarm throughout the Minnesota Valley 
and the organization of volunteer militia companies as a means of 
protection are reported in a letter from Flandrau to Francis Huebsch- 
mann, superintendent of Indian affairs, Fort Ridgely, April 16, 1857, 
in Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Reports, 1857, p. 72. 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 433 

I was given a good job on one of the mills which was being 
built, and had worked on it for two weeks when a Norwegian 
settler, living on the south branch of the Watonwan River 
twenty miles southwest of us, came riding into the village with 
the information that the Indians were burning and robbing the 
homes of the settlers on that river, and the families were either 
fleeing from that country or collecting together and preparing 
to defend themselves. In less than two hours families which 
had left the fort two weeks before were returning to it again, 
and that night it sheltered more people than before ; and every 
report which came in was that the Indians were advancing 
down the river plundering the vacant homes or stealing all the 
stock which settlers had failed to drive off with them. No 
one had been reported killed, but every settler was on the run 
to save himself and family. Two days previous to this raid 
word had been received that Colonel Alexander's regiment had 
left Fort Ridgely by boat and gone to Fort Leavenworth to 
join the Mormon expedition, leaving no troops on the frontier 
for the protection of settlers except a sergeant and a few men 
to protect the fort. On account of the removal of the troops 
the settlers lost courage and felt that there was no hope or 
safety for them, and that they would be compelled to entirely 
abandon the country. Nothing gives a settler along a border of 
an Indian country greater confidence than knowing he is pro- 
tected by his government through the presence of United 
States troops in adequate forces, the only thing that outlawed 
savages fear to keep them from plundering and killing the 
scattered settlers in detail. The next best possible thing for 
them to do is to congregate and build a fort, or organize them- 
selves into military companies. 

That evening in our log fort sixty men volunteered to sign 
the roll and form a territorial militia company, and they elected 
me captain and a young man by the name of Pease lieutenant. 
Pease was a picturesque character among us. He never wore 
anything but a buckskin suit or one made of some kind of fur. 
At the same time one hundred dollars was raised among us 



434 THEODORE E. POTTER 

and turned over to me with instructions for Lieutenant Pease 
and myself to go at once to St. Paul and get arms and ammuni- 
tion for the company and return as soon as possible. A team 
took us twelve miles to Mankato that night and in the morning 
we took a steamer which landed us at St. Paul the next morning 
in time for us to visit Governor Medary at his house before he 
was out of bed. He invited us to breakfast with him and at 
once ordered a team to be in readiness to take us to Fort 
Snelling. We first drove to the residence of United States 
Senator H. M. Rice, and the four of us were in Fort Snelling 
at nine a.m. We got sixty Springfield rifles, cartridge boxes, 
and plenty of ammunition, [and] at noon were at the boat 
landing ready to take the first up-river boat. After dinner at 
the fort Senator Rice gave me his personal check for two 
hundred dollars, with instructions to use it the best way to make 
our new territorial militia company comfortable. At two p.m. 
we and our Indian war equipment were on board the steamer 
"Favorite," the best and fastest boat on the river, and the next 
day at ten a.m. we were at Mankato and met teams and 
wagons from Garden City, which took us to Garden City fort 
in time to have the Garden City Sharpshooters, as they named 
themselves, drilling that afternoon. The experience and 
knowledge I had gained with the Sonora Grays in California 
less than two years before became of value to me then. The 
boys all thought from the way I formed them into platoons and 
back into line and other primary tactics, I must have been in 
the regular service. 

For two weeks we kept up this drill daily and stayed close 
to our guns waiting for orders. Letters from the governor 
and Indian agents informed the settlers that no one had been 
killed during the last raid of the Indians; only one house 
burned, some cattle and horses stolen, several abandoned 
houses entered and goods carried off; that less than forty 
Indians had engaged in it, only for the purpose of theft and 
to frighten the settlers and make them leave the country ; also, 
that two companies of regular infantry had been ordered to 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 435 

Fort Ridgely to protect the settlers from further depredations. 
Ink-pa-du-ta and his followers had nothing to do with this 
raid. The citizens of Garden City and vicinity took a lively 
interest in this home company and raised four hundred dollars 
to build an armory on the public square in the center of the 
village to be used for a drill room and public meetings. This 
company was kept up until the Civil War broke out, and gave 
the settlers around there much confidence of security during the 
years previous to that war from 1857 to I86I. 1 Then the 
government ordered all our guns and military outfit sent back 
to Fort Snelling to use in arming the First Regiment of Minne- 
sota Volunteer Infantry, said to be the first volunteer regiment 
offered to the government in the War of the Rebellion. It 
also had the credit of losing the largest percentage of men 
during the four years' struggle for national life and liberty of 
any regiment. And I am informed by members of that 
regiment that the very guns the Minnesota militia had used 
were used in the first Bull Run battle by the First Minnesota 
Regiment of Volunteer Infantry. 

During the year 1857 the great financial crisis of that period 
came over the country, making it very hard for all the newly 
settled parts. Minnesota had experienced a great boom com- 
mon to new places and countries. New villages and cities had 
sprung up like mushrooms in nearly every county in the 
eastern half of the territory, in most cases built on borrowed 
capital at a rate of interest from one to three per cent per 
month, so that much of these new improvements by financial 
embarrassment became a dead loss to both borrower and lender. 
What little money I carried into the territory soon disappeared 
from my sight, so that in 1858 I easily figured that my six 
years of hard labor in the West had been a financial failure. 
I then decided not to try it any longer single-handed, and at 
once returned to Michigan and married Miss Diantha O. 

1 The reorganization of the Garden City Sharpshooters in 1859, 
under the captaincy of Mr. Potter, is noted in Hughes, History of Blue 
Earth County, 99. 



436 THEODORE E. POTTER 

DeGraff, to whom I had been engaged but a short time; and 
in November, 1858, returned with my wife to Garden City 
and commenced -housekeeping in part of the log fort I had 
helped to build the previous year. My wife, being an 
experienced school-teacher, started a private school in our 
room, and [this], though small, gave pleasant occupation for 
her during her first cold winter in a new northwest country. It 
also had the historical reputation of being the first private 
school ever opened in that part of the country. In the mean- 
time I ran the only grist mill in operation that winter. But 
about the first of January, 1859, it became so cold that the 
river froze nearly solid and the water wheels in the mill became 
a mass of solid ice and could not be started again until the 
following March, so that most of the people had to grind their 
corn and wheat for food in their hand coffee mills or pound it 
in a mortar for the next two months. As I lived in part of 
the house owned by the miller and worked for him, we man- 
aged to save out enough flour, meal, and buckwheat to last 
until the mill could be run again. 

During 1859 and 1860 the country filled up rapidly with 
new settlers. The government kept a good force of troops 
along the borders of the settlements to keep the hostile Indians 
quiet and on their reservations. But in 1861, soon after the 
Civil War began, the Sioux Indians became bold and defiant, 
leaving their reservations without permission, and scattered 
settlers on the frontier were losing horses and cattle, and in 
two instances white children were missing, all charged to the 
renegade tribe of Sioux Indians. 

In the spring and summer of 1862 Minnesota was called 
upon to furnish seven regiments of volunteers for the war. 
Two companies were enlisted from the Sioux reservations in 
the state. The Indian agents were nearly all openly opposed 
to the war and threw their hats in joy at any reverse to our 
arms. And the Indians soon learned that the North was 
divided, causing the hostile Indians to become more bold, 
running through the border settlements and causing an unusual 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 437 

feeling of uneasiness and alarm, from which many families 
fled from their homes to larger and older settlements for safety. 
An instance in my own family will illustrate one phase of 
Indian conduct to annoy and threaten us. One day, when my 
wife was alone with my little two-year-old daughter, two 
powerful six-foot Sioux came into the house without warning. 
One of them picked up the child as if to carry her off, while the 
other offered its mother a large new brass kettle for the child. 
She calmly and decidedly as possible rejected their offer and 
they left. After awhile they came again and brought two 
more Indians with them and the same brass kettle and a 
hogshead they had stolen in it, set it down heavily on the floor, 
and again offered it and the hogshead for the child, and, being 
again refused, went away apparently deeply disgusted, if not 
displeased, that their offer was not promptly accepted. The 
same day my wife was telling the incident to one of our neigh- 
bors, who warned her that unless she kept very close watch 
of the child they certainly would come in their sly way and 
steal her. They were thirty miles away from their reservation. 
Six months later these same Indians were massacring hun- 
dreds of settlers all the way from the Canada line south to the 
border of Iowa. In 1863, after the Sioux had been driven from 
Minnesota, it was learned that these bands of Indians had been 
sent out by Little Crow (the most warlike chief of the Sioux) 
for the purpose of locating all the settlements and spying out 
their situation and strength and learning where to strike most 
safely and successfully when they commenced war on the 
whites the following August. 1 And they planned to involve 

1 Charles S. Bryant, a lawyer of St. Peter, who prosecuted over one 
hundred claims for damages before the United States commissioners 
appointed to award relief to persons for losses sustained during the 
Sioux outbreak, in his History of the Great Massacre by the Sioux 
Indians in Minnesota (St. Peter, Minnesota, 1872, c. 1863), likewise 
expresses his belief that the massacres of 1862 were the result of 
"a deep-laid conspiracy, long cherished by Little Crow, taking form 
under the guise of the 'Soldiers' Lodge,' and matured in secret Indian 
councils. In all these secret movements Little Crow was the moving 
spirit. He was the counselor, orator, and acknowledged chief." Mr. 



438 THEODORE E. POTTER 

and associate the Winnebago tribe of Indians with them in the 
war on the whites and thus obtain over five hundred Winne- 
bago warriors to assist them in the slaughter of the Minnesota 
settlements. 

Before the Indians commenced their planned depredations, 
my wife and two small children left for Michigan, and I did 
not see them again until after all the hostile Indians had been 
driven westward out of Minnesota. 

The hostile feeling towards the settlers on the part of the 
Indians located a few miles west of us and on the Winnebago 
reservation bordering Garden City two miles east of it, with 
several hundred warriors ready to join with the Sioux as soon 
as the first gun was fired, taken together with the recruiting by 
the government of the best and most available of our young 
[men] for service in the War of the Rebellion and rushing 
them south as fast as they were formed into regiments, all 
contributed to make the situation very unsafe for the people 
of the border settlements. The United States troops had all 
been ordered south from Forts Ridgely, Ripley, and Aber- 
crombie, leaving only a sergeant with a few men to hold each 

Bryant presents some interesting facts and testimony in support of 
his assertions (pp. 54-60). See also Moses N. Adams, "The Sioux 
Outbreak in the Year 1862, with Notes of Missionary Work among 
the Sioux" in M. H. C. 9: 434; and depositions of Thomas J. Galbraith 
and Stephen R. Riggs before the United States Sioux commissioners 
in 1863, in Claims for Depredations by Sioux Indians, 6-8, 10-12 (38 
Congress, 1 session, House Executive Documents, vol. 9, no. 58 serial 
1189). Dr. Asa W. Daniels, however, in his "Reminiscences of Little 
Crow" in M. H. C. 12: 524-527, credits Little Crow with being opposed 
to the uprising and quotes at length from Samuel J. Brown (a son 
of the well-known fur-trader and pioneer, Joseph R. Brown), who 
was a prisoner among the Indians from the beginning of the massacre. 
The Indians' version of the events leading up to the war may be 
ascertained from "A Sioux Story of the War," as related by Chief 
Big Eagle to Major R. I. Holcombe in June, 1894, in M. H. C. 
6:382-400; and from Edward A. Bromley's article "The Story of the 
Sioux Outbreak, Told by Warriors Who Participated" in the Minne- 
apolis Times, August 15, 1897, in which Good Thunder, Chanta-Wanica, 
and Big Thunder, a brother of Little Crow, agree in asserting that 
Little Crow was not responsible for the outbreak. 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 439 

fort and protect its property. Every night for weeks the 
hostile Indians held councils for consultation and arrangements 
on their reservations before and up to the time Little Crow 
took the warpath. 

On the morning of the twentieth of August, 1862, two 
German citizens from New Ulm came riding into Garden City 
with the alarm that the Sioux were massacring the settlers near 
Redwood Agency and Fort Ridgely and were within a short 
distance of New Ulm ; that messengers had been sent to all the 
towns in the Minnesota River Valley east of New Ulm and up 
the Blue Earth Valley, warning them and appealing to them 
to hasten to the relief of New Ulm, as that was the largest and 
most important town in the Indian country west of Mankato. 
Within four hours from the time we received this news we 
had sixty men enlisted and mounted on farm horses, armed 
with all kinds of guns that could be had and I elected captain. 
In the meantime, during the excitement of preparation, the 
ladies of the village prepared a good dinner for us and plenty 
of rations to take with us, and about noon we formed into line 
with sixty as brave and determined men as could be found and 
started for New Ulm, twenty-five miles northwest of Garden 
City, the men and women clapping their hands and waving 
their handkerchiefs and cheering us bravely on even in their 
sadness at parting as we rode away. All the men of the place 
wanted to go with us, but there were not enough horses for 
all, so they had to content themselves by warning us not to 
lose our scalps on this first expedition. 1 

We followed the Mankato road three miles, where we struck 
a fresh Indian trail leading from the Winnebago agency 

1 A consideration of the progress of events as described in pages 
439-445 makes it clear that the writer is in error here, and that the 
Garden City men reached New Ulm on the evening of Tuesday the 
nineteenth. Hughes also in his History of Blue Earth County, 114, 
tells of the dispatching of a squad of men under the leadership of 
Captain Potter on Tuesday to the assistance of New Ulm. G. K. 
Cleveland, however, in a letter dated Mankato, August 23, 1862, in the 
St. Paul Daily Pioneer and Democrat, August 26, 1862, says that before 



440 THEODORE E. POTTER 

towards the Sioux agency, and were convinced that it was a 
party of Winnebagoes on their way the night before to join 
the Sioux. We followed this trail a short distance, then 
obliqued to the right to strike the Mankato and New Ulm 
wagon road, which ran on the south side of the Minnesota 
River, and reached it at the crossing of Butternut Creek, about 
ten miles from New Ulm. Here we found the first timber 

reaching New Ulm on Wednesday night he "overtook quite a com- 
pany of cavalry from Garden City, in company with Captains French 
and Potter." 

Captain Potter's story of the occurrences at New Ulm, August 
19-25, differs in many particulars from the accounts of others who 
were more or less concerned in them. Among these may be noted: 
Flandrau to Ramsey, New Ulm, August 20, 1862; to Sibley, New Ulm, 
August 22, 1862; to Ramsey, St. Peter, August 27, 1862, in Minnesota 
in the Civil and Indian Wars, 1861-1865, 2: 165, 197, 202 (St. Paul, 1899); 
Flandrau, "The Indian War of 1862-1864 and Following Campaigns 
in Minnesota" in Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars, 1: 731-733; 
"Judge Flandrau in the Defense of New Ulm during the Sioux Out- 
break of 1862" in M. H. C. 10: 783-818 (part 2), by Major Salmon A. 
Buell, a member of the advance guard sent out by Flandrau from St. 
Peter on the nineteenth, and appointed by Flandrau as provost 
marshal and chief of staff on the twentieth; Der Ausbruch der Sioux- 
Indianer in Minnesota im August 1862 (New Ulm, 1887), by Jacob Nix, 
who was captain of a volunteer company organized at New Ulm on 
the eighteenth and who was in command of the defenders during the 
battle on the nineteenth; "Reminiscences of the Little Crow Uprising" 
in M. H. C. 15: 323-336, by Dr. Asa W. Daniels, who accompanied 
Flandrau's command as surgeon; address delivered at the dedication 
of the monument erected by the state of Minnesota to the defenders 
of New Ulm, by Major E. C. Sanders, commander of the Le Sueur 
Tigers, in the St. Paul Daily Globe, August 23, 1891; Mankato Semi- 
weekly Record, August 23, 30, September 6, 1862; "The Sioux War" 
in the annual report of Adjutant General Malmros, in Minnesota, 
Executive Documents, 1862, pp. 421-429; Thomas J. Galbraith, agent 
for the Sioux of the Mississippi, to Clark W. Thompson, superin- 
tendent of Indian affairs, St. Paul, January 27, 1863, in Commissioner 
of Indian Affairs, Reports, 1863, pp. 266-298; "History of the Indian 
War," a report by Lieutenant Governor Donnelly to Ramsey, dated 
Fort Ridgely, August 29, 1862, in Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 
Reports, 1862, pp. 59-68; The Indians' Revenge; or, Days of Horror; 
Some Appalling Events in the History of the Sioux, 106-123, 130-141, 
by Alexander Berghold, who came to New Ulm in 1868 and organized 
the first Catholic church in Brown County. 






MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 441 

since leaving Garden City. Near Butternut Creek we met four 
families with teams and stock, fleeing for safety under great 
excitement, and they told us we would get killed if we did not 
go back, as the Indians in large numbers were massacring all 
they could find, and [they] begged us to return and escort them 
to Mankato. They, however, had not seen an Indian them- 
selves for a week, but it had the effect of alarming some of our 
boys for the safety of their families they had left at Garden 
City, who wanted to return and protect them. So four of our 
men decided to return home, but agreed to go with these four 
families and protect them six miles on their way, where they 
would leave the main road for Garden City. This left us with 
fifty-six men. 

After crossing the creek we came to the large log house of 
the oldest settler in the country by the name of Shaw, known 
to all people of that country. He was then over seventy years 
of age and for ten years his house had been a stopping-place 
for all who had traveled that road. We found him and three 
of his neighbors preparing his house for a siege against the 
Indians. Yet he thought the Indians would not harm him and 
his wife, as they knew many of the Indian leaders well, had 
treated them kindly, and were the oldest people living west of 
St. Paul in the Minnesota Valley. Just then a party of four 
land lookers with a double team drove up from Madelia, thirty 
miles southwest, to stop overnight with "Uncle Shaw." They 
had met and talked with the party of Winnebagoes, numbering 
about one hundred, most of them on ponies, young men and 
well armed, decorated for war, who said they were going to 
visit the Sioux. These land lookers had heard nothing of the 
Indian outbreak until we told them. They were young men 
from Wisconsin and [were] well armed with guns and 
revolvers. We invited them to go with us and they decided to 
do so, making our number good. 

From Butternut Creek we had five miles of open prairie 
before reaching Little Cottonwood River and no settlers on 
the road; then three miles to Big Cottonwood River, making 



442 THEODORE E. POTTER 

fast time, as it was getting late in the day, and we were anxious 
to reach New Ulm before dark. While making these three 
miles, we saw to our left, about two miles off, a party moving 
towards New Ulm. Our Wisconsin friends took a look at 
them through their field glasses and said they were white 
people with ox teams. When we reached the high bluff of the 
Big Cottonwood, we could look over the intervening timber 
and see the young German city of New Ulm nearly three 
miles away. Suddenly we were startled to see several buildings 
in the west part of the city on fire. It was a beautiful clear 
sky, and the sun was just disappearing from sight in the west. 
We at once concluded that the Indians were burning the town. 
We had a half mile of timber and willow brush to go through 
in reaching the open ground on the opposite side of the river, 
and many of our men thought it would be used as an ambush 
by the Indians and be sure death to us to try to go through 
while they were there burning the place. But I told them we 
had already passed two places fully as bad for ambush as this, 
and to go back we would have to pass them again, and it would 
be safer for us to go on to New Ulm from the east side while 
they were burning the west part than to go back, if the Indians 
knew we were making for home over the same road we came. 
I said the situation was a critical one and there was no time to 
lose, and what we did must be done at once; that they had 
elected me their commander less than eight hours before to 
lead them to New Ulm, and now we were in plain sight of 
where we knew they badly needed our help, and were we 
going to leave them to their fate? and [I] said, "I say to you as 
your commander that it will be a disgrace to us." Most of 
them gave me a cheer, and said, "Go ahead and we will follow 
you/' I ordered them to follow in single file and put their 
horses on the run until we struck the prairie on the other side 
of the river ; and, in less time than it takes to write this story, 
we were on the west bank of the river, formed into four ranks, 
and our horses on the gallop into the eastern part of the city, 
while the Indians were scalping men, women, and children in 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 443 

the western part of it. The city had a population of about 
fifteen hundred. 

As we reached the road running down the Minnesota River 
Valley on the north side, we met two companies of militia, one 
from St. Peter under command of Captain Dodd, the other 
from Le Sueur, commanded by Captain Sanders, one of the 
leading 1 ministers of the Minnesota Valley, both companies 
mounted and together making about one hundred men. Then, 
as we looked back over the road we had just come, we saw 
another company coming at full speed from Mankato under 
Captain Bierbauer, of about fifty men, giving us in all full two 
hundred men. Captain Sanders taking the lead, we at once 
swept through the main business street of the city, four 
abreast, as fast [as] our horses could carry us, and we were 
within half a mile of the Indians before they knew of our 
presence, taking them by surprise and causing every one of 
them instantly to drop his torch and scalping knife and to 
mount his pony in the utmost haste and scatter, each one for 
himself, in the direction of his reservation. There were about 
one hundred of them. They had burned two of the breweries 
and twenty-one residences, and, had not these military com- 
panies come just in time to prevent it, they no doubt would 
have burned the entire town and massacred the people that 
night, as they were having their own way and [there was] 
no armed force to check them. 

As we could not follow the Indians after they scattered 
and [as] it was getting dark, we returned to the city and took 
care of our horses as well as we could. Coffee was furnished 
us by the ladies, and with the rations brought from home we 
had a good campaign supper the first night out. 

Colonel Charles E. Flandrau, a former Indian agent, had 
arrived from St. Peter during the afternoon and been placed 
in command of the city. He had ordered it placed under 
martial law, placed guards on all roads leading out of the city 
with orders to allow every person to come in, but no one to pass 
out unless by a permit from him. 



444 THEODORE E. POTTER 

Nineteen dead bodies were brought in that evening, killed 
inside the city limits, all scalped and mutilated in other ways, 
mostly women and children. The bodies were laid in a row 
on the floor of a blacksmith shop, where every person could take 
a yiew of them, making- a scene such as none of us had ever 
witnessed before. And it made most of them who had left 
their families that day to rescue this city feel anxious to return 
to the protection of their own homes at once. In eight hours 
after leaving home, twenty-five miles away, they had met the 
Indians and driven them away, saw the destruction of property 
by fire, and looked upon a score of women and children who 
had been tomahawked and scalped by these savages, Many of 
my men asked for a pass that night to go home, but Colonel 
Flandrau refused them and said that if we all stayed and 
whipped the Indians there, they would not penetrate the more 
settled country east of us ; but if we abandoned New Ulm we 
might lose the entire state. However, the most of my men 
were determined to go home. Four of them left their horses 
that night, escaped through the guard on foot, and started for 
home. Two of them got lost and went in the wrong direction 
and nearly lost their lives before reaching home. The next 
morning all but fifteen signed a petition asking for a pass to 
return home that they might protect their own families, and 
the other companies did the same. Colonel Flandrau called 
all the captains together for consultation. They all agreed to 
stand by him, but we admitted that if these men were deter- 
mined to leave, they would be of little use in an emergency. 
My men had said to me that morning, "If our families were 
east like yours, we would gladly stay and fight it out here; 
but place yourself in our positions and then answer the question 
as to what you would do if your own family was within twenty- 
five miles of you and exposed to slaughter." I admitted that 
my first duty would be to protect them. 

The meeting of the officers resulted in a decision to give 
passes to men who had families to return home at once. Some 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 445 

of the men who had good rifles, upon leaving, exchanged them 
with those who had only shot guns, which were of little use in 
Indian warfare; and a few left their guns and ammunition 
also, as they felt sure that we had a fight on our hands. 

When all had left, I had fifteen out of my sixty men remain- 
ing. About the same was the case with the other companies. 
After these men had left, some were in favor of evacuating the 
town, but Colonel Flandrau and many others would not listen 
to that, as there were over two hundred recruits at Fort 
Snelling who could be armed and sent to our relief at once, 
and he believed they would be there within forty-eight hours. 
This was Wednesday, August 2Oth. The day before, Indians 
had been murdering people all along the western line of Minne- 
sota, and by Thursday night five or six hundred refugees, some 
of them wounded, had reached New Ulm for safety. Hospitals 
were extemporized for the sick and wounded, making a great 
demand for doctors and nurses. 

No Indians had been seen near New Ulm during the day, 
but four companies of militia arrived, one from Blue Earth 
City, one [from] Shelby ville, one from Waseca, and one from 
Henderson, in all about two hundred men, which greatly 
renewed our confidence. That night word was received from 
up the Big Cottonwood River, fifteen miles away, that one 
hundred settlers, men, women, and children, had taken refuge 
in a swamp near Leavenworth, which was surrounded by 
Indians. This information came to us by two men, one of 
them with an arm broken by a shot from an Indian. We at 
once organized a force of one hundred men to go to their 
relief, to start as soon as possible, still leaving a force of one 
hundred fifty well-armed men to protect the city. During the 
day we could hear the cannon booming at Fort Ridgely on the 
Sioux agency [reservation], eighteen miles up Minnesota 
River, which meant that the main body of the Sioux had at- 
tacked the fort. Before starting to relieve the people surround- 
ed in the swamp about ten miles south of Fort Ridgely, Colonel 



446 THEODORE E. POTTER 

Flandrau gave us orders that if the firing at Fort Ridgely 
ceased, to return at once to New Ulm. 

We started out mounted, and taking several wagons with us 
to bring in the sick and wounded. Before we were out of 
sight of the city we found dead bodies, and before reaching the 
besieged settlers we had found sixty-five slain by the Indians. 
During all of this time the firing at Fort Ridgely continued. 
Many scattered Indians were seen during our march, but they 
kept out of reach of our guns. We found the surrounded 
people we went to relieve to be all foreigners. Very few of 
them could speak a word of our language. They had been 
attacked by the Indians on Tuesday, the I9th, and had been in 
the swamp three days, during which time six had died and 
were still unburied, in which condition we were obliged to 
leave them. The wounded and women and children were put 
in the wagons and we started to return. We had only gotten 
fairly started when a man came riding towards us greatly 
excited and said that three families with their teams were sur- 
rounded by the Indians within two miles of us and would all 
be killed unless they had help at once. We halted our train 
and decided to send half of our force to their rescue. We soon 
found the wagons, but were too late to save the people. All 
had been murdered and scalped. 

After starting on our march we saw that Fort Ridgely was 
burning, the guns had ceased firing, and we concluded that 
the fort had been captured by the Indians. We knew that in 
that case New Ulm would be the next place to be attacked. It 
was now nearly night and we were fifteen miles from New Ulm 
by the shortest route ; and if we took that route, we would have 
to cross the Cottonwood River three times, exposing us to 
three bad places for the Indians to trap us in ambuscades. 
Scattering Indians were in sight watching our movements. 
We knew they were cowardly and would never make an attack 
on an armed force in the night. We therefore decided to take 
the river road, which was ten miles shorter than the prairie 
road we came over. So, as soon as it was dark, we started, 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 447 

meeting with no trouble and reaching* New Ulm before day- 
light on Saturday, August 23rd. 1 

The four Wisconsin men who joined us at Butternut Creek 
proved to be made of the right kind of stuff for fighting 
Indians, but one of them had been taken violently ill on Friday 
while on the Cottonwood trip, and on Saturday morning he 
desired to start for his home, and his companions promised 
him he should go. So Saturday these four men started for St. 
Peter, thirty miles down the river, where they had to cross by 
ferry. Soon after crossing, they were attacked by Indians that 
had been sent out from Fort Ridgely to destroy the ferry at 
New Ulm, and three of them were killed. The other one 
reached his home in Wisconsin. 

After destroying the two ferries at New Ulm to prevent 
escape by those routes, the entire force of Indians that had 
been besieging Fort Ridgely for three days appeared at nine 
o'clock on Saturday morning and made a desperate attack on 
the west side with a determined purpose to burn the city and 
murder all who were in it, and then strike Mankato and reach 
the Winnebago agency, where they were sure that from three 
to six hundred Winnebago warriors would join them in 
massacring the whites. 

The Indians were greatly disappointed in not cutting off our 
party the day before on the Cottonwood River as they had 
planned to do, but our night march and getting into New Ulm 
before daylight deceived them, and no doubt saved our lives, 
and was one of the causes of saving the city and people from 
destruction also. 

During their attack on New Ulm two men might be seen 
almost in front and a little to the right of the Indians at their 
work of death, entering the city on the run from a narrow 
skirt of timber on the west side of the bluff. They were from 
Lake Shetek, sixty-five miles west of New Ulm, where there 

1 Compare with the account by Major Buell in M. H. C. 10: 792 
(part 2), and with that of Dr. Daniels in M. H, C. 15: 327, both of 
whom were members of the relief expedition to Leavenworth. 



448 THEODORE E. POTTER 

was a settlement of about one hundred persons, the farthest 
west of any settlement of the state. On Monday, the i8th, the 
Indians had attacked them. They had defended themselves as 
long as possible. On Tuesday night these two men, named 
W. H. Dooley \W. /. Duly} and Henry W. Smith, with their 
wives who were sisters, and their six children, and one team, 
started for New Ulm. Early on Wednesday the Indians over- 
took them. They abandoned their wagon and concealed them- 
selves in the long grass, but during the day the Indians killed 
the six children, and captured the two women, who were held 
prisoners for eleven months until the government ransomed 
them for two thousand dollars in gold. The two men made 
their escape, and supposed their wives as well as the children 
were dead up to the time they were brought in after being 
redeemed. They had come into Minnesota as hunters and 
trappers long before it was a state, in advance of any regular 
settlers; had become well acquainted and were very friendly 
with the Indians and could speak their language readily. They 
had bravely fought the fifty Indians who attacked their homes 
for nearly two days, the Indians themselves admitting after- 
wards that these two men had killed five of them in that time 
before they decided to abandon it and seek safety in flight. 
As will be narrated hereafter, at the subsequent execution of 
thirty-eight Sioux chiefs for these murders, W. H. Dooley 
asked and was granted the privilege of cutting the rope that 
sent them from the scaffold to their imagined hunting grounds. 
These two men afterwards helped constitute the cavalry com- 
pany which I subsequently helped form as first lieutenant, 
Company B, Mounted Rangers, but before we were mustered 
into service, Dooley was made chief of scouts over seventy- 
five friendly and loyal Indians, with the rank of captain, and 
held that position until the close of the Indian war. H. W. 
Smith was a first-class soldier, and served in my company 
until the regiment was mustered out. Both men have now 
passed away, but the two sisters and wives, when I last heard 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 449 

from them, were still living together in Blue Earth County, 
Minnesota. 1 

Let us return now to the battle of New Ulm. This second 
attack was made mainly upon the west side of the city where 
the first one was, where buildings had already been burned 
and people murdered. As they came on with their ponies on 
the run, yelling and whooping and singing their war songs, 
painted in all colors, some nearly naked and others with 
blankets and feather headdresses flying, they made a bold dash 
to cut off Dooley and Smith and capture or kill them. This 
dash cost us two men and cost them the lives of several of 
their warriors. For three days our men had been busy throw- 
ing up breastworks at different points around the borders of 
the city, and between two and three hundred men were [sta- 
tioned] behind them, besides fifty or more men on horseback. 
The Indians had spread out before us like a great fan, riding 
back and forth, coming closer and closer, leaning on the 
opposite side of their ponies and firing at us from under their 
horses' necks, their yells and war whoops becoming more 
fierce as they came nearer. Suddenly a panic seized our men 
in the trenches and those on horseback, and together they made 
a wild rush for the center of the city, followed by the Indians 

1 Captain Potter seems to be quite alone in his belief that Mrs. 
Smith was taken captive by the Indians along with her sister Mrs. 
Duly and other women and children, and later ransomed. The most 
reliable reports agree in saying that Mrs. Smith was among those of 
the party of refugees who were killed on August 20. Compare Mrs. 
Eastlick's story of her experiences at the massacre of Lake Shetek, 
related in a pamphlet entitled Thrilling Incidents in the Indian War of 
1862; Being a Personal Narrative of the Outrages and Horrors Witnessed 
by Mrs. L. Eastlick in Minnesota (Minneapolis, 1864. 37 p.) ; Mankato 
Semi-weekly Record, August 30 and October 18, 1862, January 31, 1863; 
St. Paul Daily Pioneer and Democrat, September 3, 1862. See also 
James Starkey, Reminiscences of Indian Depredations, 21-24 (St. Paul, 
1891), in which is given an account of an expedition to Lake Shetek 
in October, 1863, for the purpose of interring the remains of those 
who were killed at that place. Captain Starkey's company acted as 
escort, and among the members of the party were Mr. Duly and Mr. 
Smith. 



450 THEODORE E. POTTER 

yelling and whooping louder and fiercer than ever. But when 
they came to the dwellings, they began to stop to plunder them 
and set fire to them. But this aided to stop the panic of our 
men, when they saw that they were not so fiercely pursued. 

In attempting to check the flight, Captain Sanders, the 
minister commanding the Le Sueur company, was seriously 
wounded and fell from his horse. My horse was shot and 
killed from under me either by the Indians or our own panic- 
stricken men firing as they retreated. Several men were thus 
injured while with me in the rear trying to check and rally the 
fugitives, some of whom on foot and others on horses never 
stopped until they reached their homes from ten to forty miles 
away. A few were killed by the Indian scouts sent out to 
guard the roads leading east from the city and prevent the 
escape of our men. The previous night Colonel Flandrau had 
ordered a barricade built through the main street to protect 
the refugees and their families who had come into the city for 
refuge, and also as a central rallying point for our men if 
driven in. It consisted of wagons in two lines, on each side 
of the street, each wagon a few feet apart and plank run 
between them. This was about forty rods long with a space 
of eight feet between the barricades. It was almost completed 
when the panic occurred, and most of our men took possession 
of it. This, with the Indians stopping to plunder and burn 
houses, gave them time to recover confidence and courage and 
to determine to give the Indians the best fight there was in us. 
That delay of an hour on the part of the Indians was our 
salvation. But by noon they were burning houses in nearly 
all directions on the outskirts of the town. 

Up to this time no help had come. We had learned that one 
hundred men under General Sibley were at St. Peter, armed 
but without ammunition, waiting to come to our relief as soon 
as ammunition could be obtained. A large body of men had 
appeared on the opposite side of the river near the lower ferry, 
which had been destroyed, and they left, not being able to 
cross. They were two companies of militia from Henderson 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 451 

and Shakopee, [who], when seeing the city on fire on all sides 
and the ferry destroyed, concluded to return to St. Peter. 
About two o'clock the wind began to blow strongly from the 
east, and the Indians decided to set fire on that side, thus driv- 
ing it into the business part of the city and burn us out com- 
pletely. For that purpose about five hundred of them, mounted, 
gathered on a hill on the Mankato road leading into the 
town and were approaching at a distance, when the report 
started that it was Sibley coming to our relief. Captain Dodd 
was so certain of it that he started out on his fine black horse 
to meet them. In vain we tried to stop him. He went on at 
full speed until the Indians fired a volley at him. He then 
turned back and fell dead before he reached us, pierced by many 
balls, and soon his horse also fell dead. 

As the Indians were making this desperate effort to burn 
us out, Colonel Flandrau saw that something must be done 
at once to prevent it, and called for volunteers to go and 
drive them out of a thick piece of oak brush running along 
the north side of the Mankato road, which they had 
taken possession of as a shelter and ambush to work from, 
covering some five acres of ground. I had just been struck 
by two buckshot in my left cheek, which momentarily 
stunned me. I fell and, seeing I was hit in the face, those with 
me thought I was dead and took my Sharp's rifle, Colt's 
revolver, and ammunition, and were about to leave me, when I 
recovered and was taken to the nearest hospital. Doctor 
McMahan examined my wounds, took the shot from my face, 
told me I was not badly injured, gave me a little stimulus, and 
I at once started as one of the volunteers in driving the Indians 
from their shelter in the brush. We had about one hundred of 
our best men, well armed, led by Colonel Flandrau, and [we] 
dashed into that brush with a rush and war whoop that made 
the Indians conclude we could fight and beat them at their own 
game. It was a bloody, close-range, desperate fight. A num- 
ber on both sides were killed. Colonel Flandrau's clothes 
were in many places pierced with bullets, and his gunstock 



452 THEODORE E. POTTER 

also. A fine-looking young man by my side was shot in the 
mouth, his tongue cut off, and he died the next day. But in 
fifteen minutes we had driven them away, and they made no 
attempt to burn us out again that day from that direction. 
But from their movements that afternoon, aside from the 
burning of some houses on the outskirts, we were sure that 
another attack would be made by them, as they expected to be 
reinforced. So when night came, they built fires south and 
west of us out of range of our guns, and held war dances all 
night long, preparing for the fight the next day. 

Colonel Flandrau called a council of all the officers and dis- 
cussed the situation in all its features. Some were for vacating 
the place that night, but others knew the Indians best and were 
certain that would result in death to us all. At last we decided 
on burning all the buildings that would stand in our way or 
afford shelter to the Indians in an attack upon our barricade or 
fortification on the main street. We burned about forty build- 
ings during the night, and those left were barricaded as much 
as possible and portholes made. Our best men and guns were 
put in these houses and [the men] instructed not to fire until 
the Indians were within close range. Ammunition was scarce, 
and every shot must count for the best. Some of the women 
engaged in casting bullets, others in preparing bandages and 
making coffee and carrying it around to the men. During the 
night the men kept busy strengthening our fortifications in 
every possible way. Some few, who felt sure we would all be 
massacred the next day, stole away and left for their homes. 
Some reached them, and some did not. When Sunday morning 
came, we all felt confident that the Indians could not conquer 
us. During the night some of the men had extemporized a 
cannon in appearance from stovepipe mounted on wheels, and 
placed one at each end of our barricade where the Indians 
could see them. They are superstitiously afraid of a cannon. 
Near these they placed blacksmiths' anvils to do the firing with 
in case they made an attack in a body. Soon after daylight 
we could see the Indians forming in large bodies on the east 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 453 

and south of the city. Soon about fifty appeared on the west 
for the purpose of drawing our men out of our barricades in 
that direction. They put on a bold front and came within rifle 
range and dared us to come out for a fair fight, but our men 
kept under cover and held their fire. In the meantime their 
main parties from the south and east were advancing in battle 
array, their leaders on ponies making a great display beating 
Indian drums and other instruments, mingled with war 
whoops to lead them on to victory and slaughter. As they 
came nearer, they all looked as if freshly painted for that 
Sunday morning's deadly work. It was clear from the large 
numbers in sight that they had received heavy reinforcements 
in the night. Occasionally a gun was fired by them, but not a 
gun had yet been fired by us. They were led by an Indian 
dressed in white men's clothes, [with] a tall silk hat on, and 
mounted on a fine American horse, all of which he had stolen. 
They halted within twenty rods of the east end of our barricade, 
when orders were given our men to fire, and such a volley as 
they had never experienced before poured into them from all 
the houses and the east part of the barricade. As soon as the 
smoke cleared away, we saw the fatal effect of the volley on 
their ranks, and most of them were hurrying away from us 
very much faster than they came. The fine horse, [which] the 
silk-hatted chief, Little Crow, [was] riding proudly a moment 
before, lay dead, with a number of his warriors. At the instant 
of firing the volley into their ranks, the stovepipe cannon, with 
the anvils to make the noise, were also let loose on them 
several times for the moral effect, and as we afterwards learned, 
they believed that during the night we had got some of the 
cannon from Fort Ridgely to use on them. 

The Indians now withdrew about two miles west onto the 
bluffs in plain sight and held a council and soon disappeared. 
As soon as we were sure they had left for good, we decided to 
evacuate the town at once, as we had about two thousand 
people to care for in less than thirty houses, eighty wounded 
and dying for want of proper care, and not provisions enough 



454 THEODORE E. POTTER 

to last twenty-four hours, with no prospect of relief from the 
towns below. Orders were at once given for all the teams to be 
gotten ready to take the sick and wounded to Mankato, and 
by noon we were ready to start. No sadder sight than we 
were about to leave could well be presented. For five days 
men, women, and children had lain dead in the little city, many 
others badly wounded without proper attention, the most of the 
city now a smouldering ruin, and every inhabitant a fleeing 
fugitive from his home; and if the Indians learned of our 
evacuation, they could massacre us all before reaching Man- 
kato. When [we were] ready to start, it was found that a num- 
ber of wagons were loaded with household stuff, which was 
ordered taken out, except bedding for the wounded. When [we 
were] nearing the Cottonwood River, Captain Cox with one 
hundred men was met coming to our relief. When informed 
of the situation, he countermarched his men to return with us. 
Reaching the bluff of the Big Cottonwood, Senator Swift 
(afterwards governor of Minnesota), in command of the rear 
guard, noticed that the stars and stripes had been left flying 
from the Fuller Block in New Ulm, the only brick building in 
the city, and he at once halted his two companies and said it 
should be taken down and saved, and called upon one of his 
companies to go back and save it. They hesitated and thought 
it unnecessary to spend the time and run the risk. I said 
to him, "If you will let me take your horse and [will] hold your 
companies here, I will bring you that flag in fifteen minutes." 
I took the horse, a good one, and returned safely with the flag, 
and received the hearty cheers of the two companies, mostly 
Germans, who thought the deed a dangerous one. In passing 
through the building to reach the flag, I had to step over two 
dead bodies on the second floor, which had been used for a 
hospital. 

We soon overtook the rear of our train, and reached Man- 
kato early on Monday morning, having kept on the march all 
night. It was stated that nine of the wounded had died on the 
way. With us on this retreat was a Swede woman, who had 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 455 

lost her husband and three children before reaching New Ulm 
for safety, and was herself wounded in her left arm. While 
on the way from New Ulm to Mankato she gave birth to a 
boy, and I have recently learned that at the present time this 
boy, now forty-five years old, is living in Montana. 

After we reached Mankato, we found that almost all the 
settlers in Minnesota were leaving for Wisconsin, bound to 
put the Mississippi River between them and the hostile Indians, 
this stampede being caused largely by the burning of New Ulm 
on [the] Saturday previous, and the report that all who had 
gone to our relief had been murdered by the Indians. Colonel 
Flandrau at once decided that something must be done at 
once to stop the stampede ; and he called for three men to take 
the best horses that could be had and take three different roads 
and let the people know that we had whipped the Indians, who 
had returned to their reservations. I volunteered to go for 
one of the three, and got a good horse of Daniel Tyner, the 
sheriff of Blue Earth County, which had been in the siege of 
New Ulm and which I had ridden some after my horse was 
killed. While the horse was being fed and gotten ready, I 
took breakfast with Mr. Piper and his wife from Garden City. 
My shirt and left side were still covered with blood from the 
wound in my face, and Mrs. Piper wanted me to put on some 
clean clothes, which I declined to do, as in going out to stop 
the people from leaving the country, my bloody clothing would 
be positive proof that I had been in the fight at New Ulm 
and had come to let them know that it was a fact that we had 
whipped the Indians. 

Before starting, Colonel Flandrau handed me an order read- 
ing about as follows : "I have ordered Captain Potter, who 
has been with me for five days in the siege of New Ulm, to 
inform all settlers who are leaving the state on account of the 
Sioux war that the Indians have been whipped at New Ulm 
and driven back onto their reservations ; and that he is author- 
ized to say to you that it will be safe for you to return to your 
homes. I have empowered him to place guards on all roads 



456 THEODORE E. POTTER 

and bridges to give all this information; and also empowered 
him to press any horse he needs into his service for these 
purposes. By order of Charles E. Flandrau, Commander-in- 
Chief of State Militia." 

As I mounted my horse to start on my mission, a stranger 
stepped up to me and handed me a new Colt's revolver, belt 
and ammunition, saying, "You may need this; keep it until 
I call for it." I strapped both on with one belt and bid the 
boys good-bye and rode rapidly away. The first twelve miles 
was through a timbered country, which I made in about 
seventy-five minutes, reaching the Winnebago Indian agency 
and giving the agent the first news he had received of the result 
of the fight at New Ulm. I also showed him my orders from 
Colonel Flandrau. Many of the Winnebagoes were present 
and much excited. He informed them of the situation through 
an interpreter and called on one of the boss farmers of the 
reservation to take six of his most reliable Indians and escort 
me to Wilton, twelve miles just east of the reservation line 
in Waseca County. We passed many settlers on the way with 
wagons loaded with their families, to whom we announced the 
defeat of the Indians and told them it would be safe for them 
to return to their homes. At Wilton we had to cross the Le 
Sueur River on a long wooden bridge, and at once obtained 
a guard for it, and gave them orders not to allow teams going 
east to pass, and also posted a copy of my orders on the bridge 
for all to read for themselves. Some became very angry and 
[were] disposed to force their way across. Among these were 
some of my well-known neighbors from Garden City, fleeing 
from the state. 

As an illustration of the intense panic of the people I will 
mention the case of John Thompson from six miles south of 
Garden City, where he owned and worked a large farm, who 
had left his home in the night with his family and two wagons 
of household goods, determined to cross the river, saying he 
could see Garden City on fire at the time he left ; and, though 
he knew I was in the fight at New Ulm, he believed I was only 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 457 

one of the few who escaped, and that within a week the entire 
state would be in the hands of the Sioux. And he told me if 
I had any hopes for the country, he would give me a deed 
for all his land if I would give him enough for it to get him- 
self and family across the Mississippi River. I told him that 
he would be back to his home within ten days, which proved 
true, and then left him to hurry on to Waseca, fifteen miles 
further east, accompanied by two other mounted men. On 
our way we met a company of sixty mounted men from Dodge 
County, to whom I showed my orders, and they returned 
with us to Waseca. 

As I had ridden my horse forty miles in six hours, he showed 
signs of giving out. I told the captain of this company that 
I wanted to go on to Owatonna that night, and must have the 
best horse to be gotten in Waseca, and wanted him to have 
Colonel Flandrau's orders copied and sent out on every road 
and stop people from leaving the state. While a horse was 
being provided me, this was done, and the orders carried out 
in every direction by the captain's command. By this time 
the buckshot wounds in my face had become very painful. 
I had a physician examine them, who told me that they should 
be attended to at once, as there was danger of blood poisoning 
setting in. I told him that I would attend to it as soon as I 
reached Owatonna. It was now nearly four o'clock, and 
twenty-five miles yet to ride. Two men of this militia lived in 
Owatonna and the captain had them accompany me. We 
passed many teams hurrying across the Mississippi River, all 
of whom we told it would now be safe for them at their homes. 
Among these were several men who knew me, and my bloody 
shirt and [the] wounds in my face and [the] revolvers in 
my belt convinced them that I had been in the fight and told 
them the truth about it. 

We reached Owatonna at seven o'clock and gave them their 
first information of the defeat of the Indians, which gave much 
joy. After having my horse cared for, I told the landlord 
I wanted a good surgeon to attend to my face, and in less than 



458 THEODORE E. POTTER 

five minutes I had two physicians attending the first wounded 
man in that town from the seat of the Indian war. In probing 
and cleaning out the wound, they found a sliver which had 
gotten into it by the shot first passing through the board of 
a fence near which I stood at the time for partial protection. 
I informed the doctors that I had not had my clothes off for 
six days and did not remember taking any sleep during all 
that time. They got me a clean shirt and a pair of pants in 
exchange for the bloody ones, but I told them I believed my 
bloody clothes and wounded face, with Colonel Flandrau's 
orders, had done more than anything else that day to stop 
hundreds of people and get them to return to their homes, 
and [that I] had better wear them. I washed my face, bor- 
rowed a night shirt, and went to bed, after ordering a good 
fresh horse or team to be ready for me to start at twelve 
o'clock that night for Albert Lea, forty miles south of Owa- 
tonna. A man with a good team was found to take the ride 
with me. Before going to bed, I told the doctors that, as I 
could do little myself that night, I wished they would see some 
of the citizens and have Colonel Flandrau's orders printed 
and distributed the next day in all directions. I then got four 
hours' sleep before being called up to take the night ride to 
Albert Lea, on which we started at one o'clock. 

During our six hours' ride we were halted four times by 
camp guards put out to watch against Indians. Being well 
supplied with extra copies of the paper containing Colonel 
Flandrau's order and the news from New Ulm, we distributed 
them in all the camps of settlers as well as those on the move 
during the night. By seven o'clock Tuesday morning we 
were at Albert Lea, and gave them also the first good news 
they had received from New Ulm. We found a greater crowd 
of settlers here rushing out of the state than we had found 
anywhere else, as nearly all south and west of Mankato had 
taken a southern route to avoid crossing the Winnebago reser- 
vation. At Albert Lea there were two roads leading east to 
the Mississippi River, one crossing at La Crosse and the other 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 459 

going into the northern part of Iowa and crossing the river 
at Prairie du Chien. Men were sent out at once on horses to 
notify those who had passed through town the day before or 
during the night of the needlessness of their going farther. 
So I concluded to stay there until noon, then ride to Wells, 
forty miles west in Faribault County. By this means I got 
another short sleep which I greatly needed, and a fresh poultice 
on my face. My bloody clothes still attracted much attention, 
and many wild and foolish questions were asked me by men 
who were so frightened as to be determined to get the great 
river between them and the Indians before feeling safe. 

After a good dinner I mounted a fresh horse, which took 
me into Wells in less than six hours. Here the news of the 
defeat of the Indians had reached them, and most of the 
refugees had gone into camp waiting for further information 
to confirm it before starting back to their homes. I found 
one camp where they were burying a woman who had died 
from fright; and another where one had died from overexpo- 
sure; and many incidents of this kind could be given to show 
the sufferings caused by this Indian outbreak. 

I stayed at Wells overnight, and found several men I knew, 
four of whom had gone with me to New Ulm and taken part 
in the first day's fight and then left to go and look after their 
families. Next day, the excitement at Wells having subsided 
and most of the families preparing to return to their homes, 
I made arrangements for a fresh horse to take me back to 
Mankato by the way of Minnesota Lake, Mapleton, and Garden 
City, a distance of fifty miles, meeting on the way but few 
teams or camps of refugees in comparison with the previous 
days, to whom the now-old story was told, some of whom had 
camped only to wait to have the good news confirmed. 

At Mapleton I found the most of our Garden City people 
in camp waiting to see me, as they had heard I was to return 
to Garden City that way. As I rode into their camp, they 
gave me three cheers, and the man in command of the camp 
was the one who gave me his horse to ride when I left for 



460 THEODORE E. POTTER 

New Ulm in command of our militia company. The first ques- 
tion he asked me was, what had become of his horse, and I 
told him that in our fight the Indians had taken his horse with 
them to their looked-for happy hunting grounds beyond the 
clouds where he would probably be well taken care of, as they 
knew he was a "brave" horse, killed right in the front line of 
battle, with a number of them, in his faithful discharge of duty, 
about ten o'clock that Saturday. He said it was a good horse, 
and that some one would have to pay for it. I assured him 
he should be paid for his horse, took dinner with them, and 
they told me they would all start back for Garden City next 
day, if no bad news came. 

I reached Garden City at sunset, not one of its people being 
willing to come with me, nor did I meet any one on all this 
fifteen miles' ride, the country seeming to have been wholly 
deserted. In this village of four hundred population the week 
before, not one was left. I put my horse in the same stable 
from which the one was taken that I rode and was killed ; then 
went to some of the business houses and found two open, and 
helped myself to coffee, crackers, cheese, and sardines. I went 
to my own home, made a fire, and got my supper ; washed up 
and exchanged my week-old, blood-stiff clothes for entire clean 
ones; went to the barn and took good care of my horse; then 
went to the Williams store and spread a bolt of cotton cloth 
on the floor, took a roll of cotton batting for a pillow, and 
lay down and slept soundly until daylight next morning. After 
breakfast I rode around town to different places and found the 
doors locked and everything undisturbed, and started for Man- 
kato, supposing I was the only person in town that night ; but 
I afterwards learned that a Polish doctor with his wife and 
six children, for whom there was no conveyance when all 
the others left, had stayed overnight in the log schoolhouse 
as the safest place they could find. They barricaded the doors 
and windows and stayed there for four days, until most of 
the people had come back to their homes. 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 461 

Before reaching Mankato, I met the two Williams brothers 
of Garden City, merchants, with two other men going back 
home, and I assured them the village was all right, as I slept 
in their store, but had come away and forgotten to make up 
my bed. They said the people believed the Indian war was 
over and had been looking for my return and report as to 
the condition of the country I had been through the past three 
days. I told them that Garden City people would return that 
day, and then rode on, and was soon in Mankato and at the 
headquarters of Colonel Flandrau, giving him a verbal report 
of my mission, he approving and complimenting the work I 
had done. 

The colonel told me he had been ordered to make his head- 
quarters at South Bend, three miles west of Mankato, and 
wanted me to act as one of his aides, with the rank of first 
lieutenant, to carry dispatches back and forth in the Indian 
country, and to take command of a number of men to be 
detailed to serve at headquarters. He also said I had been 
elected first lieutenant of a company raised the day before to 
be stationed at South Bend, and that he would give me all 
the work I would want to do for the next thirty days. That 
night we were quartered at South Bend in a large hotel, which 
made fine accommodations for the company of sixty men who 
were to be mounted on the best of horses and prepared for 
special duty. 

My first outside duty was to carry a dispatch to Fort 
Ridgely, to take twenty men with me and stay overnight ; and 
[we] were there to meet General Sibley with two thousand 
men, who were preparing to follow and chastise the Indians 
for the depredations and murders they had recently committed. 
While at the fort, I visited the hospital and saw ten wounded 
men who had escaped, of Captain Marsh's company, which 
was ambushed by the Indians at the ferry-crossing of Redwood 
Agency, and nearly all destroyed ; also several others wounded 
at the ambush, Birch Coolie. These [ambuscades], with the 



462 THEODORE E. POTTER 

one afterwards of General Custer's in Montana, were consid- 
ered the worst ever perpetrated by the Indians in this country. 

My next important dispatch duty took me not long after- 
wards to Fort Snelling, seventy-five miles, to carry there the 
news of General Sibley's victory over the Indians in his battle 
with them at Wood Lake, near the Yellow Medicine Agency, 
about thirty-five miles northwest of Fort Ridgely. In carrying 
this dispatch, I took only one man with me, as there was little 
or no danger, and made the ride in one day. After stopping 
over one day at Fort Snelling and St. Paul, I was ordered to 
take sixty mounted men, selected from different militia com- 
panies, and make a forced march to Madelia, twenty-five miles 
southwest of South Bend, where a party of Sioux had mas- 
sacred several families, and report to Captain Cox, who, with 
his company of thirty-day militia, had been stationed there 
for two weeks with orders to build a blockhouse or log fort 
for the protection of that extreme border settlement. We 
started about dark, taking the shortest route by way of Loon 
and Crystal lakes, over an unbroken prairie the most of the 
way, aided by the light of the moon until twelve o'clock, when 
we had to make the last five miles through a drenching rain 
and so dark we could only keep the road by having a man go 
on foot with a tallow-candle lantern to lead the way. It was 
nearly two o'clock in the morning when we reached our destina- 
tion and were halted by the guard at the blockhouse, which 
they had finished except the roof. Our coming was a great 
relief to them. Four persons had been killed by the Indians 
in sight of the village and their dead bodies brought in. 

At ten o'clock that night a Norwegian settler came in from 
eight miles southwest of Madelia on the south fork of the 
Watonwan River and reported that four members of his family 
had been killed and he alone escaped with a wounded arm, and 
that the Indians were making their way up the river towards 
where about twenty-five families had returned to their farms 
within a few days. They were all foreigners and lived in a 
beautiful valley nearly twenty miles from Madelia. I told 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 463 

Captain Cox that it meant sure death to those families unless 
we went to their protection. He said he could not leave his 
post without orders. I asked him if he were willing I should 
take my men and go to their rescue. He consented, but warned 
me that we might fall into an ambush and be destroyed as the 
St. Paul company had been at Birch Coolie only two weeks 
before. I saw that some of his men wanted to go with me, 
and asked him if he was willing they should, but he said he 
was there with his company to protect that post and could not 
consent to have any of his men leave him. We had our rations 
with us and the cooks of Cox's company made us coffee, and 
at four o'clock in the morning, after only two hours' rest, we 
were on our way to save these families. It was so dark I 
could not tell how many men I had. As soon as it was suffi- 
ciently light to see, I rode down the double line to ascertain, 
and found I had one hundred mounted men and three teams 
in the rear loaded with armed men. Occasionally a man would 
tell me he belonged to Cox's company, but was going with 
me. Those in the wagons were some of them. 

Suddenly a thick fog settled down upon us, so that a man 
could not be seen a rod away. I was riding at the head of 
the column with two pioneer guides showing us the road, when 
suddenly a man appeared in the road in our front, who proved 
to be one of those we were hastening to relieve. He could 
not speak a word of English, but a part of my men were Nor- 
wegians, and we soon learned his name. He had been shot 
in the breast just at dark the night before, and was holding 
his straw hat, which had been pierced by two balls, before 
the wound in his breast. He told us he was sure his wife 
and two boys had been killed. We learned that we were near 
the ford of the river where this man lived, and by crossing the 
river at this ford we could save eight miles in reaching the 
settlement. But some of the men thought it would be dan- 
gerous to go down into the bush at the river bottom where the 
Indians might be hiding in ambush. The fog had begun to 
raise, and I told the men that if we reached these families 



464 THEODORE E. POTTER 

ahead of the Indians, we would have to cross this ford, and 
to follow me and we would cross it safely. When we struck 
the river bottom the fog was still so dense that we could not 
see twenty feet ahead of us, but as soon as we reached the 
high bank on the other side and above the thick fog we could 
see quite clearly. Here we found the wife of the wounded 
Norwegian, herself badly wounded and hidden in a thick grove 
of plum trees near their log house, and told her that her hus- 
band was alive, and that they would at once be sent to Madelia. 
Leaving ten men to take care of them, we hurried on for 
the larger settlement, all the way over an open prairie. About 
eight o'clock we reached the first house in the valley and found 
it deserted. A kettle of potatoes was boiling over the fire 
and [there was] no evidence that the Indians had been there. 
It proved afterwards that they had seen us coming and, believ- 
ing us to be Indians, had fled and spread the alarm. So it was 
three hours before we found the entire settlement gathered at 
one house three miles up the river, badly frightened and expect- 
ing the savages upon them at any moment. It was one o'clock 
before we could get these people with their teams together and 
with a few household goods started for Madelia. There were 
twenty-seven wagons in line, and to avoid ambush we took 
the long route back over the open prairie, making twenty-eight 
miles, a long, slow march for those teams and people who 
had only just got back to their homes from the other stampede 
of over one hundred miles, as well as for the main part of 
the rest of us who had been in the saddle all night. Late in 
the afternoon we saw at our left on the opposite side of the 
river four mounted Indian scouts riding in the same direction 
with us, who fired their guns and rode out of sight in the 
timber. This incident gave us some anxiety, and I decided 
to send a dispatch to Captain Cox in regard to the situation 
and ask for immediate assistance. The two men with this 
dispatch returned and met us at nine o'clock that night, and 
said Captain Cox could not reinforce us as part of his men 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 465 

were with us and he was himself in danger of being attacked 
in the morning, and our best course would be to continue our 
march and reach Madelia about two o'clock in the morning, 
which plan was adopted and safely accomplished. 1 

At the trial and execution of the Indians the next December 
at Mankato for these murders, it was shown that twenty-five 
Indians took part in these raids and massacres around Madelia, 
killed seventeen settlers and wounded many more, captured two 
white women and took them fifty miles and then murdered 
them, as they had learned that General Sibley's forces were 
driving their warriors all out of the state and they were very 
angry. The chief of this party was one of the thirty-eight hung 
at Mankato on the twenty-sixth day of December, 1862. 

We remained at Madelia until we knew these Indians had 
gone out of the state. Then [we] returned to South Bend. 
Our thirty days' enlistment had now expired, and Colonel 
Flandrau had been notified that Colonel Montgomery with the 
Twenty-fifth Wisconsin Volunteer Regiment would be sta- 
tioned at South Bend, the militia mustered out, and from then 
on the Indians would be fought by United States troops under 
General Pope, with headquarters at Fort Snelling. 

About the same time the national government called for a 
regiment of cavalry to be raised in Minnesota to fight the 
Indians, and I received a commission to recruit one of the 
companies. So the next day after my thirty days' commission 
expired, I took seventy-five men to St. Peter to unite with 
twenty-five men which a man by the name of Horace Austin 
had recruited. Being anxious to get our muster rolls to head- 
quarters first of any company and become entitled to the posi- 
tion of company A in the regiment, I waived the position of 

1 For accounts of the Indian raids near Madelia and of conditions 
existing in the Watonwan Valley, see the Mankato Semi-weekly Record, 
September 27, 1862; St. Paul Daily Pioneer and Democrat, September 
27, 1862. See also Adjutant General Malmros' report on the organi- 
zation and disposition of Captain Bierbauer's company, of which 
Captain Potter was first lieutenant, in Minnesota, Executive Docu- 
ments, 1862, pp. 372, 503, 508. 



466 THEODORE E. POTTER 

captain, to which I was entitled by my number of men, in 
favor of Austin, who was anxious for it and [who was] a well- 
educated and brilliant lawyer; and in order not to have any 
delay, I took the office of first lieutenant. Austin had served 
as private in the militia, and was captain of our company until 
the regiment was mustered out ; [he was] then elected circuit 
judge for six years; [and was] afterwards governor of the 
state for two terms. Thomas F. West was elected second 
lieutenant. Austin and he have both died within the past three 
years. 

As soon as the company officers were elected, Captain Austin 
and I took the stage for St. Paul, reaching there the same day, 
and at once handed in our company muster roll and were told 
that ours was the first to be put on record. But by some kind 
of wirepulling and underhand work a Minneapolis company 
was given letter A, and we had to take up with B company. 
The horses for the regiment had arrived and were at Fort 
Snelling. Company A had the first choice of horses and select- 
ed bays, and we selected all grays for Company B. The captain 
returned to St. Peter to look after the men, and I remained to 
look after the horses, until arrangements could be made to get 
the horses and equipments to St. Peter. In less than a week 
we were mustered into the United States service, uniformed, 
armed, mounted, and ready for orders. 

By this time most of the hostile Indians had been driven out 
of the state into Dakota, and the season was getting too late to 
follow them up that fall. Many of the outlaws had been cap- 
tured and were being tried by court-martial at Camp Release, 
one hundred miles up the river from St. Peter. This court was 
in session nearly three weeks, and resulted in condemning to 
death three hundred twenty-one of the Indians implicated in the 
many murders of the unarmed and defenceless settlers in the 
state; and [they were] brought to Mankato, chained in twos, 
confined in the barracks, and guarded by our soldiers until the 
president could review the proceedings and pass upon the ver- 






MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 467 



diet. 1 But he was not hasty in coming to a decision, and a 
great majority in the state began to think that the condemned 
Indians would be set free, as many petitions were being sent to 
the president from the eastern states for their release, on 
account of which several attempts were made by the enraged 
settlers, who had suffered so severely in lives and property, to 
surprise and kill all of the guilty and condemned Indians. One 
attempt came near execution. One hundred fifty men, who 
had lost members of their families by these murders, banded 
together, were sworn in and armed with revolvers, and officered 
by some of the best and bravest men in Minnesota, the day and 
hour fixed for the deed, when one of their own men betrayed 
the secret to the colonel commanding the regiment guarding the 
prisoners, who was thus enabled to frustrate the attempt by 
disarming them and compelling their submission to the law. 2 
About the fifteenth of December President Lincoln's order 
came to execute thirty-nine of the Indians who were the chiefs 
and leaders of the parties that massacred the fifteen hundred 
white men, women, and children in Minnesota in August and 
September, 1862. The following is a copy of the order: 

1 The incidents of the court-martial begun the latter part of Sep- 
tember at Camp Release and continued at Camp Sibley, Lower 
Agency, by the military commission appointed by General Sibley, 
were reported in the St. Paul Daily Pioneer and Democrat, November 
15, 1862, by Isaac V. D. Heard, a prominent attorney of St. Paul, who 
had joined Sibley's expedition as a member of Captain Joseph Ander- 
son's company of the Cullen Guards and whom Sibley appointed as 
recorder of the commission. Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars, 
1: 747, 778. Mr. Heard in 1865 brought out his History of the Sioux War 
and Massacres of 1862 and 1863 (New York), based very largely on 
information gained during the trials. Pages 181-190, 231-271 are 
devoted to the history of the work of the commission. 

2 In a communication addressed to General Elliott, December 6, 
1862, General Sibley tells of an attempt on the part of a company of 
citizens to capture the Indian prisoners from the militia guarding 
them; two days later in a note to Elliott he expresses a fear that other 
similar attempts will be made. Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars, 
2: 290, 291. See also Sergeant Ramer's account of attempts to kill 
the prisoners on the march to Mankato in "Narrative of the Seventh 
Regiment" in Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars, 1 : 353. 



468 THEODORE E. POTTER 

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, December 6 th , 1862. 

BRIGADIER GENERAL H. H. SIBLEY 
S* Paul Minnesota. 

Ordered that of the Indians and Half-breeds sentenced to be 
hanged by the Military Commission, composed of Colonel Crooks, 
IA Colonel Marshall, Captain Grant, Captain Bailey, and Lieu- 
tenant Olin, and lately sitting in Minnesota, you cause to be 
executed on Friday the nineteenth day of December, instant, the 
following named, towit 

[Here follow the names of thirty-nine Indians] 
The other condemned prisoners you will hold subject to further 
orders, taking care that they neither escape, nor are subjected 
to any unlawful violence. 

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, 
President of the United States. * 

On the morning of December 26th our company was ordered 
to march to Mankato to act as guard at the execution of the 
Indians. We were in our saddles and on the way before day- 
light. The distance was twelve miles. The thermometer reg- 
istered thirty-five degrees below zero, and when we reached 
Mankato, many of the men had frozen ears and feet, and suf- 
fered severely from the intense cold. 

At Mankato we met for the first time several other compa- 
nies of our regiment, who had been ordered there to guard the 
Indian prisoners from violence while the thirty-nine were being 
executed. Hundreds of angry men from all over the state, 
who had suffered from the hands of these savages, were camped 
in sight of town, well armed and determined that the two hun- 
dred eighty-two Indians who were not to be executed that day 
by the law should suffer death by their hands. 

Colonel Miller, who was in command of the troops, had a 
force of [a] full thousand men, including one battery of artil- 

1 Corrected to conform with the original letter now in the manu- 
script collection of the Minnesota Historical Society. A telegraphic 
dispatch from President Lincoln, dated December 16, postponed the 
execution to the twenty-sixth of December. Minnesota in the Civil 
and Indian Wars, 2: 292. 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 469 

lery. The execution took place early in the afternoon. All of the 
thirty-nine Indians were ranged on one platform to be executed 
at the same moment in sight of a vast multitude of people, 
besides the two thousand troops. At the appointed time W. H. 
Dooley, the former chief of scouts, whose family had been killed 
by the Indians at Lake Shetek, stepped forward, and with an 
ax cut the two-inch rope that held the scaffolding suspended, 
and dropped the entire number in the tight grasp of death. 
Ten days before their death they had been taken from the bar- 
racks and put in a stone building near and in plain sight of 
where the gallows was being built. Missionaries who had for- 
merly been with them for years were permitted with them dur- 
ing these ten days. When the time came for them to go onto 
the gallows, they had asked to have the chains taken from their 
legs so they could go on in Indian style, single file. This they 
did, singing an Indian war song, joined in by all the other pris- 
oners. Then each Indian placed the rope around his own neck 
and sang while the caps were being drawn down over their 
eyes. For five minutes after the scaffold fell everything was 
as hushed and silent as death itself. Then the crowd began 
quietly to disperse. 1 

Many settlers, however, had formed into companies, pre- 
pared to make an attack on the barracks. Colonel Miller, how- 
ever, had his forces well disposed to repel any attack that might 
be made ; but with his disciplined force of well-armed men to 

1 For a full report of the execution and of the events immediately 
preceding, see the Mankato Weekly Record, Supplement, December 26, 
1862. The account as given in this supplement was reprinted in the 
Mankato Daily Review, December 26, 1896, and later, with additional 
material, was issued in pamphlet form under the title Execution of 
Thirty-eight Sioux Indians at Mankato, Minnesota, December 26, 1862 
(Mankato, 1896. 8 p.). Other accounts by eye witnesses are: Father 
A. Ravoux, Reminiscences, Memoirs, and Lectures, 78-81 (St. Paul, 
1890); Riggs, Mary and I, 179-185; Daniel Buck, Indian Outbreaks, 
251-271 (Mankato, 1904); St. Paul Daily Pioneer and Democrat, Decem- 
ber 28, 1862. Captain Potter in his account fails to note that, by 
an order of the president received on the evening of the 24th, the 
execution of Ta-tay-me-ma, one of the condemned prisoners, was 
postponed. Mankato Weekly Record, Supplement, December 26, 1862. 



470 THEODORE E. POTTER 

meet, the people and their leaders saw it would be a reckless 
attempt, and most of them left at once for their homes bitterly 
disappointed at the failure. As nearly all the soldiers present 
were Minnesota men, and many of them had had friends killed 
by the Indians, it was quite well understood among them that 
if an attack was made on the barracks and they were ordered to 
fire, they would do so, but so that none of the attacking party 
would get hurt. 

The Indians were ordered to be buried on an island in the 
river near where they were executed and all in one grave, and 
a strong guard was placed to protect their remains. That night 
our company was returned to St. Peter. On the way several 
sleighs passed us at different times with only two men in each 
sleigh. The surgeon of our regiment, Dr. Weiser, was with 
us, and said to me that it looked as if those sleighs might have 
dead Indians in them in spite of the guard at the grave. I 
replied by assuring him that if there were Indians in those 
sleighs and they were dead, there was no danger from them of 
his losing his scalp. After reaching St. Peter and having sup- 
per at the Nicolet Hotel, the doctor invited me upstairs to the 
third floor, saying he had some valuable Indian relics he would 
like to show me. On entering the rooms, there lay three of the 
Indians that had been buried that afternoon and placed under a 
strong guard of a full company of live Minnesota soldiers. 
And the great mystery was how these Indians got out of there 
under the very eyes and in spite of the watchfulness of those 
guards. And it was soon afterwards known that they had all 
escaped the guard and the grave and that some of them had 
gone to Europe. 1 And that was all the punishment the settlers 

1 According to a contemporary newspaper account physicians from 
different parts of the state were present at the execution with the 
avowed intention of procuring the bodies of the condemned prisoners 
for scientific purposes. Orders were even received from doctors out- 
side the state, a Chicago surgeon sending in a request for several, for 
which he agreed to pay ten dollars each. The writer of the article 
asserted that at the time of writing there remained in the grave very 
few, if any, of the bodies. Mankato Weekly Record, January 3, 1863. 
See also Buck, Indian Outbreaks, 370. 






MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 471 



of Minnesota got out of the Indians for the fifteen hundred 
lives lost and property destroyed, in any direct way by them- 
selves or the government. 

About the first of March, 1863, four companies of our 
regiment were ordered to Fort Ridgely and thoroughly drilled 
all that month in preparation for the expedition planned by 
General Pope to enter Dakota early in the spring to capture 
and punish the hostile Indians who had escaped there during 
the previous fall. The winter had been very severe on them, 
and many had died from cold and hunger. Yet during the 
month of April several war parties had returned to Minnesota 
and commenced their destructive work again, and our bat- 
talion had plenty to do to protect the settlements. One party of 
fifteen passed within three miles of Fort Ridgely and killed 
several people near New Ulm. Our entire battalion was 
ordered out by companies in different directions to capture 
them. Captain Austin having been ordered on court-martial 
duty, I was ordered to take the company and strike the Cot- 
ton wood River near Sleepy Lake. We soon saw the Indians 
on the opposite side of the river making west hurriedly, lead- 
ing horses they had stolen that morning from some of the 
settlers. They evidently had seen us, but we gained on them 
rapidly, and they abandoned their stolen horses and scattered 
in different directions, each by himself. We had with us four 
half-breed scouts besides W. H. Dooley and his brother-in-law, 
Smith, formerly especially mentioned in the siege of New 
Ulm, all of whom said that these Indians would make for a 
certain point where they could meet that night, and if we could 
make it before they did, we could stand some chance of captur- 
ing them. We decided to reach Walnut Grove that night, a 
distance of twenty miles, where we would find hay for our 
horses and some log houses in which we could [secure] shelter 
and rest for the night. We got there about midnight, fed our 
horses, and made coffee. Orders were given to be ready to 
start at daylight for Lake Shetek, fifteen miles away. Six 
miles brought us to the location where Dooley's and Smith's 



472 THEODORE E. POTTER 

families were overtaken and murdered the previous August. 
They had not been there since they made their escape. The 
ground was swampy and covered with water, making* it use- 
less to search for the bodies. At nine o'clock we came to 
Dqoley's and Smith's homes at the south end of the lake, and 
found their hay and grain had all been used by troops that 
had gone through there in the fall. Here we divided our 
force and sent twenty men under W. H. Dooley up the east 
side of the lake, seven miles to the Ireland farm at the north 
end of the lake, where they were to secrete themselves and 
watch for the Indians; while the rest of us returned to the 
south end of the lake [and] crossed the Des Moines River, then 
high and full of floating ice, where we came near losing three 
men and horses in the heavy current and floes of ice. After 
crossing, we found stacks of hay, and two log houses whose 
occupants had been killed by the Indians. We made fires and 
dried our clothes and fed our horses, then divided the company 
again, leaving ten men having the poorest horses to remain 
until five o'clock, then go up the west side of the lake ; while 
I took thirty men and went to the Great Oasis ten miles west 
near the Pipestone, a place of great resort for the Indians of 
the Northwest, where they obtained their soft red stone, out of 
which they made their pipes. Orders were to all meet at Ire- 
land's farm that night, where we all camped together. 

We were now over sixty miles from Fort Ridgely and con- 
cluded to return by way of Redwood River agency, a distance 
of eighty miles, but enabling us to obtain forage and rations 
at the agency and also find some game, the half-breeds told us, 
in the timber along the Redwood River. We started early, 
our route taking us over an open prairie. A few men were 
sent out as scouts on each flank with the double object of 
finding the trail of hostile Indians, if possible, or running onto 
some game that would be very welcome to the sixty men, who 
had been living two days on dry bread and coffee. All were 
to meet at Linn's crossing on the Redwood, twenty miles from 
our starting point. When nearing the Redwood, the party on 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 473 

the east flank saw five mounted Indians making north at a 
rapid pace, and at once gave chase. The Indians crossed the 
river at Linn's ford, and our main force came up just in time 
to see them pass out of sight on the opposite side of the river. 
Twenty of us with good horses crossed and followed them up 
rapidly until we came in sight of them, when they separated 
and scattered in different directions, and we returned to the 
ford, where the rest of the company had arrived. Our hunting 
parties had gotten quite a variety of game during the forenoon, 
such as prairie wolves, foxes, badgers, skunks, and wild geese, 
which was dressed and being cooked in various ways when our 
party got to camp, and afforded us a fine relish with our bread 
and coffee. 

By riding twenty miles that afternoon, we would be able to 
reach Fort Ridgely the next day. We went into camp on the 
south bank of the river under very unpleasant conditions. It 
was [a] cold, dark April night. We had but one full ration of 
bread and took our supper on a half ration with our coffee. 
The horses had only dry grass with a little corn. It was so 
cold the men could not sleep, and, sleepy and hungry, they 
were not in very good humor. It was twenty miles to Red- 
wood Falls, and on consultation it was unanimously decided to 
push on for that place during the night. We started on about 
midnight. As we were in a part of the country never settled 
by white men, there was nothing to guide us but narrow and 
almost indistinguishable Indian trails, and often our half-breed 
guides would have to dismount in the darkness and feel for 
the way on their hands and knees, making slow progress. Not 
even the glimmer of a single star broke the gloom of the night. 
We rode four abreast, many of the men asleep on their horses. 
One sick man, Sergeant Jones, fell from his horse twice and 
had to be helped back. But we made that twenty miles in 
eight hours. The place was deserted, but we found plenty of 
hay, and about five bushels of corn on the ear, and shelter, 
using the logs of some of the Indian camps for wood to warm 
and cook with. The corn was divided with the men and horses, 



474 THEODORE E. POTTER 

the men roasting theirs by the log fires and enjoying the eating 
of it. 

We stayed here until noon, then mounted, and reached Fort 
Ridgely at evening without capturing an Indian or losing a 
man. The other companies sent out at the same time in other 
directions returned the same night or next day, except one 
which was ordered up the Minnesota River to Big Stone Lake, 
taking six days' rations, returning the sixth day with one 
Indian, who claimed to be a friend of the whites and had 
voluntarily surrendered himself. Two days afterwards I was 
detailed to take this Indian to Fort Snelling and deliver him to 
General Pope, David Quinn, a half-breed government inter- 
preter, accompanying me. Quinn was quite certain that this 
Indian was one of the outlaws engaged in the last raid. We 
took him, shackled, in a two-horse wagon to St. Peter and 
placed him in the county jail overnight, and next day by stage 
to Fort Snelling. After delivering the prisoner to General 
Pope, we went on to St. Paul. The interpreter Quinn followed 
up an investigation of this Indian until he obtained positive 
evidence that he was engaged in the massacres. He was tried, 
proved guilty, and hung in the fall of 1863 at Fort Snelling. 

I was now expecting my wife and two small children back 
from Michigan as soon as navigation opened on the river. 
Boats had already come up as far as St. Paul, and the next 
one brought my family on their return to our home in Garden 
City. I went to General Sibley and obtained a furlough for 
one week to go with them and see them comfortably settled 
again in our former home. The next day after their arrival 
at St. Paul we took passage on one of the first boats up the 
Minnesota River that spring to Mankato, and obtained con- 
veyance from there to Garden City. We found that most of 
the people had returned to their homes. Two companies of 
troops had been stationed there early in the winter and had 
built good log barracks, which gave the citizens a feeling of 
confidence and safety. In four days I had everything com- 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 475 

fortably arranged for my family, returned to Mankato, and 
took a boat up the river, landing safely at Fort Ridgely. 

We then had a busy time getting ready for the summer cam- 
paign against the Indians in Dakota. A large amount of 
supplies were being shipped up the river by boat to Camp Pope, 
which was to be the rendezvous and starting-point of the 
expedition, the entire force of which was to be composed of 
Minnesota troops, consisting of three regiments of infantry, 
one of cavalry, two batteries of light artillery, two companies 
of half-breed scouts, and one company of pioneers, in all some 
over three thousand men. On account of the wild and unsettled 
country the expedition had to depend on its own supplies, and 
was accompanied by one hundred twenty-five six-mule wagons 
and a pontoon train of forty six-mule teams, to cross the Mis- 
souri and other rivers if necessary. 

This expedition moved from Camp Pope June i6th, I863. 1 
Our course was northwest, keeping in the valley of the Minne- 
sota River, crossing many small tributaries, and making from 
fifteen to twenty miles a day. The scouts were kept busy in 
advance and on both flanks, with orders to report at once if 

1 A diary of the movements of the expedition, written by Stephen 
R. Riggs, who accompanied General Sibley as interpreter, appeared at 
intervals in the St. Paul Daily Press, June 14-September 6, 1863; Col- 
onel William R. Marshall contributed an account of the battles of 
Big Mound, Buffalo Lake, and Stony Lake to the St. Paul Daily Press, 
August 15, 1863; and the official reports of General Sibley, Colonels 
Crooks and Baker, and Colonels Marshall and McPhail appeared in 
the same paper September 26, 27, and 30, 1863. Among other accounts, 
written by members of the expedition, may be noted the following: 
A Journal of Sibley's Indian Expedition during the Summer of 1863 and 
Record of the Troops Employed (Winona, Minnesota, 1864. 52 p.), by 
Arthur M. Daniels, of Company H, Sixth Infantry; The Expedition 
against the Sioux Indians in 1863 under Gen. Henry H. Sibley (St. Cloud, 
Minnesota, 1895. 22 p.), by Loren W. Collins, of Company F, Seventh 
Infantry; A Thrilling Narrative of the Minnesota Massacre and the 
Sioux War of 1862-63, pp. 199-255 (Chicago, c. 1896), by Alonzo P. Con- 
nolly, of Company A, Sixth Infantry; Recollections of the Sioux 
Massacre, together with a Historical Sketch of the Sibley Expedition of 
1863, pp. 237-282 (Lake City, Minnesota, 1909), by Oscar G. Wall, 
of Company F, First Regiment Mounted Rangers; History of 



476 THEODORE E. POTTER 

any hostile Indians should be seen within ten miles of us. The 
pioneers located our camps and constructed earthworks every 
night. Ten days brought us to Big Stone Lake near the east- 
ern line of Dakota, where we camped one day in Brown's 
Valley on the headwaters of the Minnesota River, flowing 
southeast into the Mississippi, and the Red River of the North, 
flowing north into the Hudson Bay, both rivers having their 
origin in two large lakes ; the valley, which is two miles wide 
and five miles long, running between the two lakes and shed- 
ding waters into each in opposite directions in the nature of a 
divide. From here our march continued northwest to reach 
the big bend of the Sheyenne River, over one hundred miles 
away. After marching about fifty miles, the scouts reported 
that the grasshoppers had destroyed all the grass in advance 
of us, compelling us to halt and go into camp for one day, while 
the extent of the destitution of grass was ascertained. It was 
discovered that it extended about twenty miles, and the next 
day we crossed that barren prairie where not a spear of grass 
was to be seen, reaching the big bend of the Sheyenne River on 
the third day of July, crossing that river and making our camp 
in a beautiful valley, where we remained until a detachment 
could be sent to Fort Abercrombie, sixty miles northeast on 
Red River, to get any news from General Pope and also the 
mail for our command. 

General Sibley's adjutant general came to me and said the 
general wanted to see me immediately. On going to his head- 
quarters, I was asked to take command of one hundred or 
more men he would detail to go to Fort Abercrombie and re- 
turn, giving three days for the trip, and [he] informed me that 

Company E of the Sixth Minnesota Regiment of Volunteer Infantry, 
18-21 (St. Paul, 1899), written by Alfred J. Hill in 1869; "Narrative 
of the Sixth Regiment" by Charles W. Johnson, of Company D, 
"Narrative of the Seventh Regiment" by James T. Ramer, of Com- 
pany B, "Narrative of the Tenth Regiment" by General James H. 
Baker, "Narrative of the First Regiment of Mounted Rangers" by 
Eugene M. Wilson, of Company A, in Minnesota in the Civil and Indian 
Wars, 1: 315, 352-355, 457-461. 520-523. 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 477 

he considered it a dangerous duty and would give me five 
hundred men if I wished them. I replied that if he would 
furnish me with sixty men from my own company, forty from 
any other company he might select, and fifty half-breed scouts 
under command of Captain Dooley, I would undertake the 
service. As the days were hot, he thought I had better start 
by twelve that night. I told him to make out his orders and 
detail, and I would be ready. I returned to my company, 
stated my orders to the captain, called the men into line, and 
asked if sixty of them would volunteer to go with me or should 
I make a detail. Every man offered to go. 

At midnight we were in our saddles ready for the start. The 
scouts told us we would find water halfway, but I told them 
we would halt the column as we crossed the river so that every 
one could fill his canteen, as we were to pass through an 
enemy's country and might get delayed before getting halfway 
and had better be prepared for it now. The night was warm 
and clear, the moon just rising, and we made good progress, 
and at daylight we were twenty miles from our camp. Before 
leaving, General Sibley's orders were read to us to keep scouts 
out in front and in [the] rear and on both flanks, and to kill no 
game coming or going. Two sutlers' wagons, drawn by ten 
mules each, accompanied us, to be loaded with supplies at the 
fort. When daylight came, a dense fog settled down upon us, 
which detained us over two hours. When it lifted, we saw 
within close gunshot of us six fine elk standing and looking 
directly at us. It was a severe test to the self-restraint and 
military discipline of our men and the authority of orders given 
by the commanding general, all of which they were powerfully 
tempted to disregard. Some of them looked at me as if to 
ask if I wanted elk for dinner. I simply shook my head and 
not a gun was fired, but how the spirit and appetite did rebel 
against the orders! 

The sun soon came out bright, and we were soon on our way 
again. It became very hot, but our scouts were all out watch- 
ing and looking for any fresh signs of Indians. Coming in 



478 THEODORE E. POTTER 

sight of some scattering timber just as we were entering a 
valley from the upland, where we were told water would be 
found, a herd of buffaloes that had been started up by the 
scouts came rushing down a ravine near the sutlers' wagons, 
which were in advance of us. The sutlers, who had probably 
not heard the orders read or did not think themselves under 
strict military discipline like the soldiers, fired into them, killing 
one and breaking the leg of another. And before we fairly 
knew what was up or could interfere, many of the men were 
in the chase of them. Corporal Dudley of my company, in his 
excitement after a large wounded bull that had turned on his 
enemies, in using his revolver shot his own horse in the top of 
the head and he fell as if dead. Seeing the danger of the fallen 
corporal from the enraged animal and being near at hand, to 
save his life I shot the buffalo in the head with my Sharp's 
carbine. The supposed dead horse recovered and proved to 
have received only a scalp wound, and he rode that same horse 
until mustered out. 

This episode and dressing the game detained us another 
hour, and when we reached the stream where we expected 
water, there was none there and none short of Wolfe Creek, 
twenty-five miles further on. The sun was very hot, and [the] 
men and horses [were] thirsty. The scouts reported finding a 
fresh Indian trail where they had camped the day before, and 
Captain Dooley of the scouts became very uneasy in view of 
the situation. About noon we crossed another Indian trail, 
both of which led north in the direction of the Canadian line. 
Later we learned that these Indians had started out for Minne- 
sota to renew their depredations on the settlers of that state, 
but on reaching Lake Traverse, a few miles north of Big Stone 
Lake, on the approach of General Sibley's expedition, they re- 
turned to near the Canadian line, where all the hostile Indians 
of Minnesota were then assembled, so that, if attacked by our 
forces and overpowered, they could take refuge in Canadian 
territory, where our forces would not be permitted to follow 






MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 479 



them. They also would obtain reinforcements from the several 
tribes located there. By making this trail north and then mov- 
ing to the northwest by way of Devil's Lake to the Missouri 
River, they thought to deceive General Sibley with the belief 
that they had escaped into Canada ; and by the time he found 
out his mistake in following them, as he supposed, to the 
border, the season would be too late for him to pursue them 
further. But their strategy did not succeed, as Sibley learned 
of their intentions and overtook them before reaching the 
Missouri. 

After we struck this trail we moved cautiously and about 
four o'clock reached Goose Creek Valley, and within another 
hour found abundance of water to relieve the sufferings of the 
men and animals, some of whom had parched and swollen 
tongues from thirst. 

Major Camp, in command of Fort Abercrombie, had been 
notified of our coming, and, as soon as he caught sight of us 
approaching, started at once with fifty cavalrymen to meet us 
and escort us to the fort, where we were well provided for 
after our sixty miles' ride during the extreme heat and thirst 
to celebrate the Fourth of July. 

We had brought with us a six-mule wagon for the purpose 
of taking back the mail received for the men of our expedition, 
which the major showed us all ready to be loaded. I informed 
him my orders were to stay one day at the fort and return the 
next. So on the fifth we rested. The horse doctor of the post 
informed me that five of our horses were unfit to return, and 
the post surgeon told me that three of our men would not be 
able to go back with us. 

On the morning of the sixth everything was ready for us 
to start on our return at two o'clock in the morning. Major 
Camp with one hundred men was to return with us. Without 
any incident of note we reached our camp the next evening 
just at dark, delivered the large mail at headquarters, made a 



480 THEODORE E. POTTER 

verbal report not including our buffalo hunt and [I] re- 
ceived the thanks of the general for the success of my service. 1 

The next morning the expedition again took up its line of 
march up the valley of the Sheyenne River, until the seven- 
teenth, when the general learned of the movement of the 
Indians from the border of Canada southwest towards the Mis- 
souri River, this move being confirmed on the twentieth of July 
by three hundred half-breed Chippewas visiting our camp, who 
were out on their summer hunt to get their winter's supply of 
buffalo meat and skins for clothing. 

This information necessitated a change in our plans. About 
fifty miles south of Devil's Lake General Sibley established a 
camp, had it fortified, and left there a large portion of his 
wagon train, all sick or broken-down men and animals, with 
a sufficient guard and twenty days' rations, and in light march- 
ing order took with him eighteen hundred infantry, six hun- 
dred cavalry, one hundred pioneers, one hundred scouts, [and] 
two batteries of artillery, and started on a rapid march to 
intercept the Indians before they reached the Missouri River. 
On the twenty-second we crossed the James River fifty miles 
west. On the twenty-fourth the scouts reported hostile Indians 
in large numbers near Big Mound, about sixty miles north of 
the Missouri River, and two celebrated chiefs, Red Plume and 
Standing Buffalo, with them. 

1 Mr. Daniels in his Journal says that a detachment under the com- 
mand of Colonel Averill, of which he was a member, was dispatched 
for supplies to Fort Abercrombie from the camp near Lakes Big 
Stone and Traverse on June 30, and that it left the fort on July 6, 
rejoining the main column on the Sheyenne River on the 9th (p. 6). 
The other authorities cited in note 1, page 475, agree substantially with 
Daniels. Neither they nor Daniels make any mention of the sending 
of another detachment to Fort Abercrombie from the camp on the 
Sheyenne, which, according to Captain Potter, must have set out 
while Colonel Averill's command was still at the fort. The two 
detachments left Fort Abercrombie on the same day (July 6), that 
under the command of Captain Potter arriving at the camp two days 
in advance of the other. Captain Potter says nothing of Averill's 
expedition. 






MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 481 



Positive orders had been issued that there must be no killing 
of game, but Lieutenant Freeman of my regiment and some of 
his friends found the temptation too great and, while outside 
our lines hunting buffalo, were ambushed, and he and three 
others killed. A sergeant escaped with two arrows in his body 
and his horse mortally wounded and reported to the general. 1 
In a short time the scouts reported that the main body of the 
Indians were within five miles of us. We went into camp near 
the east bank of a large lake just west of the Big Mound. 
Earthworks were thrown up while the Reverends Riggs and 
Williamson, missionaries to the Indians, were sent to treat with 
them. Large bodies of Indians appearing in plain sight near 
the top of Big Mound, Dr. Weiser, surgeon of our regiment, 
who had been with the Indians several years, mounted his 
horse and rode to where these painted warriors were. He 
greeted and shook hands with many he knew and returned. 
As he rode down our lines Colonel McPhail said to him, "Doc- 
tor, I expected to see you killed while you were up there." He 
replied, "They will not kill a medicine man. They are my best 
friends." He further said that there would be no fight that 
day as the Indians said they would surrender. 

Nine companies of our men had now been sitting for three 
hours on horses drawn up in the hot sun in the line of battle 
waiting for orders. Riggs and Williamson returned, bringing 
with them two white boys the Indians had taken in Minnesota 
the year before, and a request for General Sibley to meet them 
in council. Dr. Weiser was so confident of the peaceful inten- 
tions of the Indians that he again mounted his horse to visit 
them. He had no authority to do this, and our colonel and 
others tried to dissuade him, reminding him of their treachery 
and the possibility of his losing his scalp. But he would not 

1 Among those accompanying Lieutenant Freeman on his hunting 
excursion was George A. Brackett, whose report of their encounter 
with the Indians and of the death of Freeman appeared in the St. Paul 
Daily Press, August 13, 1863. He later wrote a narrative describing 
these experiences, which was published under the title A Winter 
Evening's Tale (New York, 1880. 31 p.). 



482 THEODORE E. POTTER 

listen to advice and off he went up the hill in full uniform and 
on a gallop; but before he reached them he was pierced with 
many balls and fell dead from his horse, which turned to come 
back, but also fell dead. His orderly, who was with him, 
returned unharmed. This started the battle immediately. 
With their war whoops and yells the Indians spread out and 
advanced, some on horses, others on foot. Colonel McPhail 
immediately ordered our nine companies of cavalry forward. 
Colonel Crooks, with the Sixth Minnesota Infantry, on the 
double quick, made for the left flank of the Indians to cut them 
off from their camp. Both batteries rapidly followed the in- 
fantry and cavalry. The Indians were seen on the run and we 
after them. On reaching the top of the hill, we found ourselves 
in the midst of a heavy thunderstorm in addition to the fight. 
As our regiment charged down the opposite side of Big Mound, 
with Indians firing at us from front and right flank, Private 
Murphy and his horse at my left fell dead. As Colonel 
McPhail, with his sword drawn, was urging and directing our 
men to cut these Indians we were fighting off from their main 
body on our right, his sword fell from his hand ; [at the same 
time] my horse fell to the ground but was soon on his feet 
again, staggered for a moment, and then went forward in the 
charge as if nothing had occurred, although I thought he was 
shot. But afterwards, when Murphy's body was found and 
examined, it was found that lightning had killed him and his 
horse, disarmed the colonel, and knocked down my horse. But 
on we went as fast as our horses could take us until we came to 
their camp, which we found abandoned, leaving several tons of 
buffalo meat and other heavy materials that in their hasty 
flight they could not take with them. Colonel Crooks's in- 
fantry and the batteries soon came up, the camp and materials 
[were] set on fire, and we followed their trail leading directly 
towards the Missouri River, soon overhauling them. It now 
became a running fight for the protection and safety of their 
families as well as themselves. One of Sibley's aides came to 
us with orders to return to headquarters, but our colonel did 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 483 

not understand it to return immediately, and we all pushed on 
after the Indians. They turned upon us again in their despera- 
tion and were quickly put to flight, and in the last five miles of 
the running fight, before darkness overtook us, they were forced 
to abandon nearly everything they had taken the summer 
previous from the Minnesota settlers, as well as the valuable 
furs and buffalo robes they had gotten since being driven from 
their reservations the previous fall. Many of our soldiers found 
mink, otter, and beaver skins, and it was reported that a sutler 
had a wagon-load of these furs when he got back to St. Paul. 

As it was getting dark another aide came up with an order 
for us to return to headquarters immediately. We were now 
eighteen miles from there and consequently, after the severe 
service and excitement of the day, we had a long and very 
trying march back that night, arriving at headquarters just at 
daylight, thoroughly worn out and feeling as if Sibley ought 
to have brought his headquarters to us with his whole force 
and camped with us near the Indians, rendering it possible for 
us to capture them before reaching the Missouri. The next 
day we laid over to bury our dead, two officers and seven men. 
The dead Indians numbered over one hundred. 

When we overtook them again, they were within twenty 
miles of the Missouri River, where they gave us battle again 
with increased numbers at a place called Stony Lake. The 
whole country in our front seemed filled with Indians on ponies. 
We halted, and in a few moments our artillery were sending 
shells bursting among them, soon putting them to flight again, 
as they can not stand before the fire of artillery and the bursting 
of shells beyond the reach of any fire from them. Consequently 
this fight did not last more than thirty minutes, and, occurring 
in the morning, by nine o'clock we reached a point where we 
could look over the broad valley of the upper Missouri River. 
It was a very beautiful day, the sun shining bright and clear, 
so that we could quite distinctly see on the opposite high ground 
across the river, fifteen miles away, bright flashes of light 
reflected to us, which at first were thought to be the glimmer 



484 THEODORE E. POTTER 

of the bright sabers of General Sully's command, which it had 
been planned to send up the south side of the Missouri as a part 
of the campaign to capture those Indians. But Sibley's scouts 
told him that those flashes of light were from small oval look- 
ing-glasses the Indian warriors were proud of wearing, both for 
ornament and to signal with, and could be seen favorably for 
twenty-five miles; and the signals we saw were from Indians 
who had crossed the river and were sending a defiant challenge 
for us to follow them to the other side if we dared. General 
Sibley had relied upon capturing the families of the Indians 
before they could cross the river, and believed that then the 
Indians would come and surrender. But his half-breed scouts 
told him that the Indians would quickly make rafts of willows 
overlaid with buffalo skins and take their women and children 
over and escape capture. Seeing a large body of Indians mak- 
ing for the timber which skirted the river, we marched rapidly 
to reach them. Just as we were entering the river bottom, 
the scouts brought in several Teton Sioux they had just cap- 
tured, who belonged on the other side of the river, and who 
said that a large body of their tribe had come to assist their 
brothers in crossing the river, and that they had seen nothing of 
General Sully's white soldiers. 

When we reached the river near the mouth of Apple Creek, 
five miles below the present city of Bismarck, the capital of 
North Dakota, the Indians had all passed into the timber out 
of our sight. The pioneers were ordered to cut a road as soon 
as possible for the artillery, which was hurried to the bank 
of the river. The Indians and their families could now be 
seen on the opposite side, and a few shells from the cannon 
quickly drove them from our sight again. Convinced that 
the families of the Indians had escaped him, General Sibley 
sent his favorite aide, Lieutenant Beaver, to order the artillery 
to return, but, before reaching them, he and his orderly were 
killed by Indians secreted in the timber. A second aide reached 
the battery and they returned, and we all went into camp about 
dark on a level elevation or mound, with Apple Creek on one 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 485 

side, lined with a thick growth of willow brush, and a heavy 
body of timber on another side, the mound from ten to twenty 
feet higher than the bottom which the creek willows grew 
on, with a steep bank, and covering several acres, with good 
grass for our animals. Strong earthworks were thrown up 
and a heavy guard placed. 

Just at daybreak several shots were fired from the timber 
into our camp, four of which passed through our company 
officers' tent, too high to do damage, and my horse was hit 
in one leg, disabling him for service for several weeks. A 
small party of Indians also made their appearance from the 
brush along Apple Creek, who tried to stampede our horses, 
but a few shells from our battery into the timber and brush 
stopped all that trouble. 

After the Indians had escaped us by crossing the river, and 
learning nothing of the whereabouts of Sully's army, Sibley 
sent his Indian scouts down the river to learn something about 
them, if possible. They returned the second day with the 
information that Sully's supply boats were grounded on a 
sandbar one hundred miles below. While the scouts were out 
on this duty, we buried Lieutenant Beaver and his orderly 
with military honors. Beaver was a young man of English 
birth, who had seen much experience in Africa hunting large 
game, and, with two other young Englishmen, had come to 
St. Paul for the purpose of spending one season hunting large 
game on the plains and in the mountains of this country, and 
had brought their fine hunting horses with them. But finding 
it would not be advisable or safe to carry out their plans while 
the Indians were at war with us, [they] offered their services 
to General Sibley for his expedition. They were given lieu- 
tenants' commissions and served on his staff as volunteer aides 
without pay. They were well educated and, it was under- 
stood, belonged to high-bred families. As Lieutenant Beaver 
was the oldest of the three, he claimed the honor of carrying 
dispatches in cases of the greatest danger ; and thus after three 
months' faithful and courageous service, [he] had laid down 



486 THEODORE E. POTTER 

his life on the banks of the upper Missouri River, at the hands 
of treacherous Indians, five hundred miles west of civilization 
at that day. His two friends sadly and keenly felt his loss 
and resolved to avenge his death by continuing to fight the 
Indians, and afterwards both of them lost their lives on our 
frontier before the Indian war closed. 

On the third day, cooperation in the campaign with General 
Sully having proved a failure, General Sibley ordered a return 
to Fort Snelling. It took us four days to reach Atchison, 
where we had left our supplies and a part of our force. On 
reaching there, we learned that our scouts, who had been left 
at Camp Atchison during our absence, had made an important 
capture in the person of a son of Little Crow, the malignant 
Sioux chief mainly responsible for bringing on this Indian war. 
His influence was so great that he persuaded the Indians to 
believe they could drive all of the settlers out of the country 
west of the Mississippi River before snowfall if they would 
follow him. Instead, within that time they found themselves, 
after hard fighting, driven away from their reservations and 
homes out of the state into the bleak plains of Dakota, where 
they suffered and many of them starved the next winter as 
the result of their following Little Crow into a war with the 
whites. Then Little Crow's followers turned against him, 
saying he had deceived them and he could lead them no longer 
nor live among them, and [it] would be safer [for him] to go 
and live in the white man's country than to stay among them. 
So he left them and took his son and returned to Minnesota, 
where he was seen by a settler who knew him, and was shot 
and killed about the first of July. His son escaped and fled 
into Dakota again, where he was captured by our scouts near 
Devil's Lake about the last of July while in search of his 
mother's family, who had been driven with the other Indians 
across the Missouri River. 1 The son was taken to General 

1 The death of Little Crow took place near Hutchinson. A letter 
from that place under date of July 6, 1863, and signed J. W. M., 
describing the killing in detail, appeared in the St. Paul Daily Press, 






MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 487 



Pope's headquarters at Fort Snelling, where valuable informa- 
tion was obtained from him, after which he was taken to 
Rock Island and imprisoned with the other Indians who had 
been condemned by the court-martial to be executed but [were] 
reprieved by the president, until they were all liberated and 
taken up the Missouri River and turned loose in Montana; 
and in June, 1876, the most of them were in the battle of Little 
Big Horn River, aiding in the massacre of the gallant Custer 
and his five companies of cavalry. It was believed then and 
[is] still believed by the old settlers in Minnesota that if those 
Indians, condemned to death by court-martial, had all been 
executed, the battle and massacre on the Little Big Horn would 
never have occurred, as their bitter enmity and spirit of revenge 
and influence would not have been brought to bear in causing 
it nor their assistance in aiding it. 

The day before we reached Camp Atchison an organization 
of men numbering one hundred, well mounted and well armed 
with two pieces of artillery under command of a Captain Fisk, 
camped there over night on their way to the new gold fields 
just discovered in Montana. Major Atchison in command of 
the camp and other officers tried to dissuade them from going 
on, as they would surely be attacked by the Indians and might 
all lose their lives. But they felt confident that there would 
be no trouble, as they were well mounted and armed and could 
protect themselves and their train of supplies and outfits until 
they reached Fort Benton at the great north bend of the Mis- 
souri River, where there was a small garrison of United States 
troops. So they moved on. However, when [they were] 
about fifty miles from Camp Atchison, early one morning the 
Indians attacked them before they had broken camp, killing 
four of them at their first fire, but with their artillery they kept 

July 10, 1863. The story of the capture of Little Crow's son is related 
in a dispatch from Major Cook to Colonel Miller, dated August 2, 1863, 
which appeared in the Press of August 13, 1863. Colonel Miller 
included in his report the son's account of his father's death. See 
also August 6 and 15 issues of the Press for further details. 



488 THEODORE E. POTTER 

the Indians off all day and at night sent two of their best men 
and horses with a most urgent dispatch back to Camp Atchison 
for assistance. These couriers reached the camp just at day- 
break, and General Sibley, who had reached there with our 
army only the day before, soon had a force of four hundred 
men and one battery on the way for their relief, which reached 
them at twelve o'clock at night. The next morning about two 
hundred Indians came in sight to reconnoitre and possibly 
make another attack. Before they fairly knew what was up, 
our four hundred mounted troops were after them and the 
battery was pouring shells among them. This quickly sent 
them scattering over the plains as fast as their ponies could 
carry them out of the reach of their morning surprise and hot 
reception. Our cavalry soon returned from the scattered chase 
and reported five Indians killed by the shells fired. Thus deliv- 
ered, Fisk and his men were willing to return with us, and 
acknowledged that but for the relief so promptly given them 
they would have all been slaughtered. Fisk and his men were 
soon leading the way back to our camp, and this expedition 
of fifty miles and back for their deliverance was accomplished 
within less than forty hours without the loss of a man. 1 

The next morning Camp Atchison was broken up. General 
Sibley with the infantry and one battery marched by way of 
the Sheyenne River and Fort Abercrombie; and Colonel Mc- 
Phail with six companies of cavalry and the other battery 

1 None of the accounts of the Sibley expedition cited in note 1, 
page 475, makes any mention of the dispatching of a detachment in 
answer to a call from Captain Fisk for assistance. This detachment, 
according to Captain Potter, was sent out on the day following the 
return of the main body of Sibley's command to Camp Atchison. Mr. 
Daniels, however, in the entry for that day, August 11, in his Journal, 
notes that "Capt. Fiske's expedition . . . passed here [Camp Atchi- 
son] while we were out towards the Missouri," which does not agree 
with Captain Potter's statement that Fisk and his party were encamped 
near Camp Atchison on August 9. Captain Fisk also in his report to 
Adjutant General Thomas, dated St. Paul, Minnesota, January 28, 
1864, entitled Expedition of Captain Fisk to the Rocky Mountains (38 
Congress, 1 session, House Executive Documents, vol. 9, no. 45 serial 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 489 

took an easterly route running south of Big Stone Lake to 
Fort Ridgely. No signs of Indians anywhere appeared. 

I had with my company of cavalry when it first started out 
a young man by the name of Moore. He was six feet two 
inches in height. His home was in Blue Earth Valley south 
of my home in Garden City. He was with us in our first 
fight at Big Mound, during which three Indians hid in a 
buffalo wallow on a hill at our right, from which they were 
firing down on us. Our colonel gave orders to Captain Austin 
to deploy to the right under protection of the hill and cut 
them off if possible and drive them from their position. Within 
two minutes we were in their rear. They fired at us and 
then ran to try to escape. Two of them were killed, and 
the other one threw down his gun and offered to surrender, 
but some of the men fired at him and wounded him. He 
instantly turned and ran for his gun and before any one could 
shoot him, he fired, the ball striking Andrew Moore in the 
bowels, who at once knew from the nature of his wound that 
he could not recover. We carried him in an ambulance with 
us to the Missouri River, but, being on the move and with 
no proper treatment, he died on the twenty-fifth. We buried 
him with military honors on the bank of a very beautiful lake, 
marked his grave by a large mound of stones piled over it, 
and gave the lake the name of Moore's Lake. The most 
pathetic feature of the case was that, while he knew he could 
not live, he hoped and longed to be able to reach his home 
and look his wife and two children once more in the face 
before he died. Ten years after that this valley was well 

1189), says that he camped near Camp Atchison July 21, that the 
officers at the camp expressed fears for the safety of his party on 
account of the Indians, but that he resumed his journey on July 23. 
He, too, makes no mention of having trouble or of sending back for 
assistance (p. 6). Writing to General Thomas from Camp Grant, near 
Head of Mouse River, July 31, 1863, he says: "We are almost through 
the hostile Sioux country, and I think there is now little to apprehend 
for the expedition (p. 9)." By August 11 the Fisk party was well out 
toward the Dakota-Montana line, only a short distance south of the 
international boundary (p. 15). 



490 THEODORE E. POTTER 

settled and a railroad ran along the bank of this lake, which 
up to that time had been known as Moore's Lake. 

Colonel McPhail was a Minnesota farmer and knew but 
little of military tactics or discipline, and, knowing he would 
meet no hostile Indians, gave us an easy time on our home 
march. Buffaloes were plenty, and hunting parties were sent 
out every day, bringing in an abundance of fresh meat for 
the entire command soon after we reached Minnesota. We 
arrived at Fort Ridgely about the tenth of September. Dur- 
ing our absence General Pope had two lines of stockades con- 
structed, reaching from the north line of Iowa to the border 
of Canada. They were from ten to twenty miles apart, depend- 
ing upon convenience to food and water, and constructed of 
prairie sod, with stables for horses as well as accommodations 
for men. The first line of stockades ran on a parallel with 
New Ulm, the other from ten to twenty miles west and parallel 
with it. A small force of cavalry was stationed at each of 
these stockades to cooperate in capturing or killing any bands 
of Indians that might come within these lines, practically cover- 
ing the entire settled portion of the state. This proved of 
great benefit, as the Indians soon learned that it would be 
capture or death for them to venture within range of these 
lines to devastate settlements. As our regiment by the terms 
and purposes of its enlistment could not be sent into service in 
the war with the South, and the Indian war being now prac- 
tically over, after two months we were ordered to Fort Snelling 
to be mustered out. 

It will be noticed that this Indian war on our northwest 
border, occurring during the intense interest, anxiety, and 
activity of our great Civil War, was of considerable magni- 
tude and importance and fairly successful, but [was] not 
noticed by the country at large, as it would otherwise have 
been, had not the almost entire attention of the people been 
absorbed in the changing scenes of the far greater and more 
important wants and interests of the war of the greater rebel- 
lion in the South. 



MINNESOTA EXPERIENCES 491 

After we were mustered out, many of the young- and un- 
married men enlisted in other regiments and went south. But 
I went home to my family in Garden City and spent the winter 
with them. In the spring war parties of hostile Indians again 
began to enter our lines and commit depredations and murders. 
A party of fifteen attacked a small settlement at Willow Creek, 
twelve miles southwest of Garden City, just at night, and 
killed several families and stole a number of horses. I learned 
of this at ten o'clock the same night, and immediately saddled 
my horse (my old war horse of the previous service, that 
had once been knocked down by lightning and once wounded 
in one leg) and started for the nearest stockade, twenty miles 
west, to notify the garrison. On the way I passed through 
Madelia and gave them information and warning, and hastened 
on to the stockade six miles farther west and gave the informa- 
tion there. They immediately dispatched a courier to the 
stockade on the line twenty miles west of them. They fur- 
nished me with a fresh horse, with which I rode twelve miles 
north to the next stockade, where my sudden and rapid coming 
in the night stampeded some of their horses. They at once 
sent out twenty-five men southwest to try to find the trail of 
the Indians. After breakfast I returned to where I changed 
horses, intending to return home by way of Willow Creek, 
but upon reaching the stockade and finding they had sent out 
all their force to the northwest and had not notified the 
stockade ten miles southwest of them, I mounted my own horse 
again and rode to the next stockade south and gave them 
also the first information of this Indian raid. Then I decided 
to go on south to still another stockade and from there return 
home by way of Willow Creek and see for myself how many 
had been killed there. When I reached my last stockade, they 
had just received the news and were in their saddles ready 
for a start. I gave them all the information I had and told 
them where I had been and what directions had been taken 
by the parties from the other stockades. 



492 THEODORE E. POTTER 

It was now ten o'clock in the morning and I had ridden 
full sixty-five miles and notified four stockades in twelve hours, 
and felt the need of a little rest. I remained there until after 
dinner and then started for Garden City, forty miles away, 
by the way