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Published October iqo8 


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If this compend of Minnesota history shall be 
found a desirable addition to those already before 
the public, it will be due to the good fortune of 
the writer in reaching original sources of informa- 
tion not accessible to his predecessors. 

The most important of them are : the papers of 
Governor Alexander Ramsey, in the possession of 
his daughter, Mrs. Marion R. Furness ; the letter- 
books and papers of General H. H. Sibley, pre- 
served in the library of the Minnesota Historical 
Society ; some hundreds of letters saved by Colonel 
John H. Stevens, and deposited by him in the same 
library; the papers of Ignatius Donnelly, in the 
hands of his family ; the great collection of Green 
Bay and Prairie du Chien papers belonging to 
the Wisconsin Historical Society ; the remarkable 
group of early French documents owned by the 
Chicago Historical Society ; and finally, the price- 
less collection of Minnesota newspapers preserved 
by the Minnesota Historical Society. 

Grateful acknowledgments are offered to many 
citizens who have given information out of their 
own knowledge, or have directed the writer to other 
sources. Among "old Territorians" who have ren- 



dered invaluable aid must be named Simeon P. 
Folsom, John A. Ludden, Joseph W. Wheelock, 
Benjamin H. Randall, A. L. Larpenteur, A. W. 
Daniels, John Tapper, and William Pitt Murray. 
The last named has put me under the heaviest 

W. W. F. 

Untvebsitt of Minnesota, 
Minneapolis, Minn., June 1, 1908. 





The French Period .... 



The English Dominion . 



Minnesota West Annexed 

. 42 


Fort Snelling Established 



Explorations and Settlements 

. 70 


The Territory Organized . 



Territorial Development 

. 108 


Transition to Statehood 



The Struggle for Railroads 

. 159 


Arming for the Civil War 



The Outbreak of the Sioux . 

. 190 


The Sioux War .... 



Sequel to the Indian War . 

. 222 


Honors of War .... 




. 254 


Storm and Stress 



Clearing Up 

. 304 


Fair Weather .... 


1 XIX. 

A Chronicle of Recent Events 

. 340 






The word Minnesota was the Dakota name for that 
considerable tributary of the Mississippi which, issu- 
ing from Big Stone Lake, flows southeastward to 
Mankato, turns there at a right angle, and runs 
on to Fort Snelling, where it empties into the 
great river. It is a compound of " mini," water, 
and " sota," gray-blue or sky-colored. The name 
was given to the territory as established by act of 
Congress of March 3, 1849, and was retained by 
the state with her diminished area. 

If one should travel in the extension of the jog 
in the north boundary, west of the Lake of the 
Woods, due south, he could hardly miss Lake 
Itasca. If then he should embark and follow the 
great river to the Iowa line, his course would have 
divided the state into two portions, not very un- 
equal in extent. The political history of the two 
parts is sufficiently diverse to warrant a distinction 
between Minnesota East and Minnesota West. 


England never owned west of the river, Spain 
gained no footliold east of it. France, owning on 
both sides, yiehled Minnesota East to England in 
17G3, and sold Minnesota West to the United 
States in 1803. Up to the former date, the whole 
area was part of New France and had no separate 

Although the French dominion existed for more 
than two hundred years, it is not important for the 
present compendious work that an elaborate ac- 
count be made of their explorations and commerce. 
They made no permanent settlement on Minnesota 
soil. No institution, nor monument, nor tradition, 
even, has survived to determine or affect the life of 
the commonwealth. It will be sufficient to summa- 
rize from an abounding literature the successive 
stages of the French advance from the Atlantic to 
the Mississippi, their late and brief efforts to estab- 
lish trade and missions in the upper valley, and the 
circumstances which led to their expulsion from 
the American continent. 

It is now well knowTi that in the first decade of 
the sixteenth century Norman and Breton fisher- 
men were taking cod in Newfoundland waters, and 
it is reasonably surmised that they had been so en- 
gaged before the Cabots, under English colors, had 
coasted from Labrador towards Cape Cod in 1497. 
The French authorities, occupied with wars, foreign 
and domestic, were unable to participate with Spain, 
England, and Portugal in pioneer explorations be- 


yond seas. Itf was not till 1534 that Francis I, a 
brilliant and ambitious monarch, dispatched Jacques 
Cartier, a daring navigator, to explore lands and 
waters reported of by French fishermen, and, if 
possible, to discover the long-sought passage to 
Cathay. In the summer of that j^ear Cartier made 
the circuit of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and re- 
turned to France disappointed of his main purpose. 
His neglect to enter the great river flowing into 
the gulf is unexplained. At two convenient places 
he went ashore to set up ceremonial crosses and 
proclaim the dominion of his king. In the follow- 
ing year (1535), on a second expedition he ascended 
the St. Lawrence River to the Huron village Hoche- 
laga, on or near the site of Montreal. He wintered 
in a fort built near Quebec, where one fourth of 
his crew died of scurvy. In May, 1536, after set- 
ting up another cross with a Latin inscription de- 
claring the royal possession, he sailed away for 
home. Five years later (1541) Cartier participated 
in still another expedition, which, prosecuted into 
a third year, resulted disastrously. The king had 
spent much money, but the passage to China had 
not been found, no mines had been discovered, no 
colony had been planted, no heathen converted. 

Throughout the remainder of the sixteenth cen- 
tury the French kings were too much engrossed in 
great religious wars, fierce and bloody beyond be- 
lief but for existing proofs, to give thought or 
effort to extendinc: their dominion in the New 


World. The treaty of Vervins with Spain and the 
Edict of Nantes, both occurring in 1598, gave 
France an interval of peace within and without. 
Henry IV ("Henry of Navarje") at once turned 
his eyes to the coasts of America, on which as yet 
no Europeans had made any permanent settle- 
ments. His activity took the form of patronizing a 
series of trading voyages. On one of these, which 
sailed in 1603, he sent Samuel Champlain, then 
about thirty-five years of age, a gallant soldier 
and an experienced navigator. He had already 
visited the West Indies and the Isthmus of Darien, 
and in his journal of the voyage had foreshadowed 
the Panama Canal. He was now particularly 
charged with reporting on explorations and dis- 
coveries. On this voyage Champlain ascended the 
St. Lawrence to Montreal and vainly attempted to 
surmount the Lachine Rapids. On the return of 
the expedition in September of the same year, 
Champlain laid before the king a report and map. 
They gave such satisfaction as to lead to a similar 
appointment on an expedition sent out the follow- 
ing year. For three years Champlain was occupied 
in exploring and charting the coasts of Nova Scotia 
and New England, a thousand miles or thereabout. 
In 1608 he went out in the capacity of lieutenant- 
governor of New France, a post occupied for the 
remaining twenty-seven years of his life, with the 
exception of a brief interval. On July 3 he staked 
out the first plat of Quebec. His trifling official 


eno-agements left him ample leisure to prosecute 
those explorations on which his heart was set ; chief 
of them the road to China. 

In 1609, to gain assistance of the Indians in his 
neighborhood, he joined them in a war-party to the 
head of the lake to which he then gave his name. 
A single volley from the muskets of himself and 
two other Frenchmen put the Iroquois, as yet un- 
provided with firearms, to headlong rout. Six years 
later he led a large force of Hurons from their 
homes in upper Canada between Lake Simcoe and 
Georgian Bay, across Lake Ontario, to be defeated 
by the well-fortified Iroquois. The notes of his 
expedition added the Ottawa River, Lake, Nipis- 
sing, the French River, Lake Huron, and Lake 
Ontario to his map. Could Champlain have fore- 
seen the disasters to follow for New France and the 
Huron nation, he would not have made the Iroquois 
his and their implacable enemy. He made no fur- 
ther journeys westward in person, but adopted a 
plan of sending out young men, whom he had put 
to school among native tribes, to learn their lan- 
guages and gather their traditions and surmises as 
to regions yet unvisited. One of them, Etienne 
Brule, who had been his interpreter on the second 
expedition against the Iroquois, and detached be- 
fore the battle on an embassy to an Indian tribe, 
did not return till after three years of extensive 
wanderings. He showed a chunk of copper which he 
declared he had brought from the shore of a great 

6 minnp:sota 

lake far to the west, nine days' journey in length, 
which discharged over a waterfall into Lake Huron. 

In 1634 another of Chainj)lain's api)rentices, Jean 
Nicollet by name, passed through the Straits of 
Mackinaw and penetrated to the head of Green Bay 
and possibly farther. He may have been at the 
Sault Sainte Marie. So confident was he of reach- 
ing China that he took with him a gorgeous manda- 
rin's robe of damask to wear at his court reception. 
Attired in it he addressed the gaping Winnebagoes, 
putting a climax on his peroration by firing his 
pistols. Champlain's map of 1632 showed his con- 
jectured Lake Michigan north of Lake Huron. 
Nicollet gave it its proper location. 

Champlain's stormy career closed at Christmas, 
1635. The honorable title of "Father of New 
France" rightly belongs to him, in spite of the fact 
that in none of his great plans had he achieved 
success. He had not found the road to the Indies, 
the savages remained in the power of the devil, and 
no self-supporting settlement had been planted, 
Quebec's population did not exceed two hundred, 
soldiers, priests, fur-traders and their dependents. 
There was but one settler cultivating the soil. 

Exploration languished after Champlain's death, 
and for a generation was only incidentally prose- 
cuted by missionaries and traders. In 1641 two 
Jesuit fathers, Jogues and Raymbault, traveled to 
the Sault Sainte Marie, and gave the first reliable 
account of the ffreat lake. 


From the earliest lodgments of white men on the 
St. Lawrence the fur-trade assumed an importance 
far greater than the primitive fisheries. In the sev- 
enteenth century the fashion of fur-wearing spread 
widely among the wealthier people of Europe. The 
beaver hat had superseded the Milan bonnet. No 
furs were in greater request than those gathered in 
the Canadian forests. A chief reason for the long 
delay of cultivation in the French settlements was 
the profit to be won by ranging for furs. Montreal, 
founded in 1642 as a mission station, not long after 
became, by reason of its location at the mouth of 
the Ottawa, the entrepot of the western trade. The 
business took on a simple and effective organiza- 
tion. Responsible merchants provided the outfit, a 
canoe, guns, powder and lead, hulled corn and tal- 
low for subsistence, and an assortment of cheap 
and tawdry merchandise. Late in the summer the 
" coureurs des bois " set out for the wilderness. 
Those bound for the west traveled by the Ottawa 
route in lai-ge companies, for better defense against 
skulking Iroquois. On reaching Lake Huron, they 
broke up, each crew departing to its favorite haunts. 

The chances for large profits naturally attracted 
to this primitive commerce some men of talent and 
ambition. In 1656 two such came down to IMont- 
real piloting a flotilla of fifty Ottawa canoes deeply 
laden with precious furs. They had been absent 
for two years, had traveled five hundred leagues 
from home, and hatl heard of various nations. 


amonj; thom tlic " Nadouesiouek." The author of 
the Jesuit Jielation for the year speaks of them as 
" two young Frenchmen, full of courage," and as 
the " two young pilgrims," hut suppresses their 
names. Again, in IGGO two Frenchmen reach Mont- 
real from the upper countries, with three hundred 
Algonquins in sixty canoes loaded with furs worth 
$40,000. The Journal of the Jesuit fathers gives 
the name of one of them as of a person of conse- 
quence, Des Groseilliers ; and says of him, "Des 
Grosillers wintered with the nation of the Ox . . . 
they are sedentery Nadwesseronons." 

The two Frenchmen of 1660 are now believed 
to have been Medard Chouart, Sieur des Groseil- 
liers, and Pierre d'Esprit, Sieur de- Radisson, both 
best known by their titles. The latter was the 
younger man, and brother to Groseilliers' second 
wife. In 1885 the Prince Society of Boston printed 
250 copies of the " Voyages of Peter Esprit Eadis- 
son," written by liim in English. The manuscript 
had lain in the Bodleian Library of Oxford Uni- 
versity for nearly two hundred years. No doubt 
has been raised as to its authenticity. While the 
accounts of the different voyages are not free from 
exaggerations, not to say outright fabrications, the 
reader will be satisfied that tlie writer in the main 
told a true story of the wanderings and transactions 
of himself and comrade. These two men a few 
years later went over to the English and became 
the promoters of the Hudson's Bay Company. 


If Radisson's story be true, he and Groseilliers 
were the first white men to tread the soil of Minne- 
sota. A s he tells it, the two left Montreal in the 
month of August (1G58), and after much trouble 
with the "Iroquoits" along the Ottawa, reached 
the Sault Sainte Marie, where they " made good 
cheare " of whitefish. Embarking late in the same 
season, they went along " the most delightful and 
wonderous coasts " of Lake Superior, passed the 
Pictured Rocks, portaged over Keweenaw Point, 
and made their way to the head of Chequamegon 
Bay. Here the}'^ built a " fort " of stakes in two 
days, which was much admired by the wild men. 
Having cached a part of their goods, they pro- 
ceeded inland to a Huron village on a lake believed 
to be Lake Courte Oreille, in Sawyer County, Wis- 
consin, where they were received with great cere- 
mony. At the first snowfall the people departed 
for their winter hunt, and appointed a rendezvous 
after two months and a half. Before leaving the 
village the Frenchmen sent messengers " to all 
manner of persons and nations," inviting them to 
a feast at which presents would be distributed. The 
best guess locates this rendezvous on or near Knife 
Lake, in Kanabec County, Minnesota. That was 
then Sioux country, and the people thereabout 
were long after known as Isantis or Knife Sioux, 
probably because they got their first steel knives 
from these Frenchmen. While at their rendez- 
vous ei<rht " ambassadors from the nation of the 


Beef e " (i. e. Buffalo, of course) came to give 
notice that a great number of their people would 
assemble for the coming feast. They brought a cal- 
umet " of red stone as big as a fist and as long as 
a hand." Each ambassador was attended by two 
wives carrying wild rice and Indian corn as a pre- 
sent. For the feast a great concourse of Algonquin 
tribes gathered and prepared a " fort " six hundred 
paces square, obviously a mere corral of poles and 
brush. A " foreguard " of thirty young Sioux, 
" all proper men," heralded the coming of the eld- 
ers of their village, who arrived next day "with 
incredible pomp." Grand councils were held, fol- 
lowed by feasting, dancing, mimic battles, and 
games of many sorts, including the greased pole. 
As described, this was no casual assemblage, but 
a great and extraordinary convocation. It lasted a 

The two Frenchmen now made seven small jour- 
neys "to return the visit of the Sioux, and found 
themselves in a town of great cabins covered with 
skins and mats, in a country without wood and 
where corn was grown." The account of this six 
weeks' trip is brief and indefinite. The conjecture 
that Groseilliers and Radisson traveled a hundred 
and fifty miles, more or less, into the prairie region 
west of the Mississippi, either by way of the Minne- 
sota or the Crow Wing rivers, has slight support. 
The account may have been invented from infor- 
mation obtained of the Sioux at the convocation. 


In the early spring of 1660 the two adventurers 
returned to Chequamegon Bay, whence they con- 
tinued to Montreal without notable incident. In 
his narrative Radisson injects after the return from 
the nation of the Beefe a story of an excursion to 
Hudson's Bay, occupying a year, which is probably 
fictitious. The time occupied by the whole journey 
is well known and could not have included a trip 
to the " Bay of the North." Still, it is reasonably 
certain that Groseilliers and Radisson were in 
Minnesota twenty years before Duluth. 

The reader will have already inquired whether 
the two young Frenchmen of 1G54-5G, unnamed, 
might not have been the same with these of 1658— 
60. This inquiry was frequently made before the 
discovery of Radisson's narrative. The question 
was settled by that document. Radisson gives a 
separate and circumstantial account of a three 
years' journey of trade and exploration to the west 
taken by himself and his brother-in-law in 1654. 
Leaving Montreal in the summer of that year, 
Groseilliers and Radisson, as the story runs, taking 
the usual Ottawa River route, reached the Straits 
of Mackinaw in the early fall. They passed the 
winter about Green Bay, Wisconsin. The follow- 
ing summer they coasted Lake ]\Iichigan and pro- 
ceeded southward through a country "incomparable, 
though mighty hot," to the shores of a great sea. 
They found " a barril broken, as they use in 
Spaine." They passed the summer on " the shore 


of the Great sea." Returning to the north, they 
spent a winter with the Ottawas on the upper 
Michigan peninsula. As the excursion to Hudson's 
Bay already mentioned was a fiction, so is this to 
the Gulf of Mexico. The traders could not have 
been absent from the French settlement more than 
two yeai's. It is in the early spring of 1655, there- 
fore, that we find them setting out from their 
winter quarters to countries more remote. The 
essence of Radisson's text is as follows: "We . . . 
thwarted a land of all most fifty leagues. . . . We 
arrived, some 150 of us men and women, to a 
river-side, where we stayed 3 weeks making boats. 
. . . We went up ye river 8 days till we came to a 
nation called . . . the Scratchers. There we gott 
some Indian meale and corne . . . which lasted 
us till we came to the first landing Isle. There we 
weare well received againe." 

Upon this indefinite passage has been put the 
following interpretation. The land journey of fifty 
leagues (about one hundred and forty miles) took 
the traders to the east bank of the Mississippi near 
the southeast corner of Minnesota, where they 
built boats; the nation who furnished provisions 
resided about the site of Winona, and the " first 
landing Isle " was Prairie Island, between Red 
Wing and Hastings. If this interpretation shall 
at length be confirmed, Groseilliers and Radisson 
were in Minnesota twenty-four years before Du- 
luth. Subsequent passages of the narrative lend it 
some support. 


These able and enterprising characters deserve, 
however, not the least degree of credit as explorers. 
If they saw the Mississippi and in the later voyage 
penetrated beyond the Big Woods, they studiously 
concealed their knowledge. They left no maps, and 
for no assignable reason suppressed a discovery 
which would have given them a world-wide fame. 

When Cardinal Mazarin died, in 1661, Louis 
XIV, then twenty-two years of age, stepped on to 
the stage, "every inch a king." He willingly lis- 
tened to the suggestion of Colbert, his new min- 
ister, that it was time for France to follow English 
example and establish a colonial system for profit 
and glory. The Company of New France, pro- 
moted by Richelieu, which for nearly forty years 
had governed Canada, were quite content to sur- 
render their franchises. In 1663 the colony was 
made a royal province. Associated with the gov- 
ernor a so-called " intendant of justice and finance" 
was provided in the new administration. The first 
incumbent was Jean Baptiste Talon, a man of 
brains, energy, and ambition. lie was no sooner 
on the ground than he began to conceive great 
projects for extending the French dominion, ex- 
panding connnerce, and fostering settlements. 
Colbert, although he sympathized, was obliged to 
restrain him and suggest that " the King would 
never depopulate France to people Canada." 

Kumors were multiplying of great openings for 


trade and missions along and beyond the great 
lakes. Talon was keen to follow up and verify them. 
In 1GG5 the Jesuit Father Claude Allouez estab- 
lished a mission at La Pointe on Chequamegon 
Bay. Upon an excursion to the head of the lake 
(Superior) he saw some of the Nadouessiouek 
(Sioux) Indians, dwellers toward the great liiver 
Mississippi, in a country of prairies. They gave 
him some " marsh rye," as he called their wild rice. 
Four years later Father Jacques Marquette 
succeeded Allouez in that mission. He also heard 
stories of a great river flowing to a sea, on which 
canoes with wings might be seen. The Jesuit Rela- 
tion of 1670-71 gives reports from Indians of a 
great river which " for more than three hundred 
leagues from its mouth is wider than the St. Law- 
rence at Quebec ; " and people dwelling near its 
mouth "have houses on the water and cut down 
trees with large knives." In the summer of 1669, 
Louis Joliet, whom Talon had sent to Lake Su- 
perior to search for copper, returned, and it was 
then, probably on his suggestion, that Talon re- 
solved that it was time for the French to plant a 
military station at the Sault Sainte Marie, a point 
of notable strategic importance. He determined 
also to make an impression of French power on the 
Indians of the West. In the following year he dis- 
patched Nicholas Perrot, of whom we are to hear 
later, to summon the Pottawattamies, the Winne- 
bagoes, and other accessible nations to a grand 


convocation at the Sault Sainte Marie in the spring 
of 1671. To represent the government, Simon 
Francois Daumont, Sieur de St. Lusson, was com- 
missioned and took his journey in October, 1670. 

On the 14th of June, 1671, the appointed day, 
the council was held. Fourteen Indian nations were 
represented. Among the French present were Joliet, 
Father Allouez, and Perrot. The central act was 
the proclamation by St. Lusson of King Louis's do- 
minion over " lakes Huron and Superior, ... all 
countries, rivers, lakes and streams, contiguous and 
adjacent thereto, with those that have been dis- 
covered, and those which may be discovered here- 
after, . . . bounded by the seas of the north, west, 
and south." This modest claim covered perhaps 
nine tenths of North America. As usual, a big 
wooden cross was erected and blest. A metallic 
plate bearing the king's arms was nailed up, and a 
" proces- verbal " drawn and signed. In that day 
such a proclamation gave title to barbarian lands 
until annulled in battle by land or sea. Father 
Allouez made a speech, which has been preserved, 
describing the power and glory of the French king 
in extravagant terms. 

Talon could not rest. He was on fire to unlock 
the secret of the srreat river and extend the French 
dominion to the unknown sea into which it might 
empty. In 1672, with the approval of Colbert, he 
planned an expedition to penetrate the region in 
which it was supposed to flow. Joliet was chosen 


to lead, and at the end of the year he was at 
Mackinaw. It was j)i-obably no accident that Pere 
Marquette had just been transferred from La 
Pointe to that station. But the enthusiastic intend- 
ant was to ch)se his Canadian career. In the very 
same year Count Frontenac, the greatest figure in 
Canadian history, came over to be governor. He 
was already past fifty, had seen many campaigns, 
and had wasted his fortune at court. He, too, had 
ideas, and an ambition to do great things for Canada 
and France. There was not room enough in the 
province for two such men as Talon and he. The 
intendant obtained his recall, and disappeared from 
the scene. 

Frontenac at once adopted Talon's scheme, and 
gave Joliet leave to go. Accompanied by Marquette 
he struck the great river at Prairie du Chien, June 
17, 1673, and then followed its flow far enough to 
satisfy himself that it ran to the Mexican gulf. 
Joliet's great map has a truly modern aspect. The 
importance of this discovery of the Mississippi 
for the present purpose is, that it was by way of 
the great river that the French, with a notable ex- 
ception, pushed their way into Minnesota. 

A company of Canadian merchants resolved to 
attempt an opening of trade about and beyond the 
head of Lake Superior, and selected as their agent 
Daniel Greyloson, the Sieur Duluth, a man of 
ability and enterprise. He evidently received some 
kind of public character from Frontenac, whose 


enemies insinuated that he was to be a sharer in 
profits. In the spring of 1679 Duluth penetrated 
to the shores of Mille Lacs, and in a great Sioux 
village which he understood to be called "Kathio," 
on July 2 he planted the king's arms and took pos- 
session in the royal name. Duluth, therefore, was 
the first white man in Minnesota not ashamed to 
report and record the fact. In the same season he 
retraced his steps to the head of the lake, and 
passed down the north shore to Pigeon River, which 
forms part of the Canadian boundary. There, 
on the left bank of that river, he built a trading 
post, on the site afterwards occupied by Fort 

The next dash into the territory of the North 
Star State was directed by one who has been called 
the most picturesque figure in American history, 
Il6n6 Robert Cavalier, Sieur de la Salle. At the 
age of twenty -three he broke away from the Jesuits 
with whom he was in training, and set sail for 
Canada with four hundred francs in his pocket, in 
the year 1663. When Frontenac came, nine years 
later, he found in young La Salle a man after his 
own heart, and sent him to France in 1674 to secure 
royal support for further explorations. Such sup- 
poi't, then withheld, was vouchsafed four years 
later, when La Salle was again in Paris on the 
same errand. By a royal patent signed May 12, 
1678, La Salle was authorized to extend the scope 
of Joliet's exploration to the Gulf of Mexico and 


to pay his expenses by trade, provided he kept off 
the preserves of the Montreal traders. 

With the king's patent in hand, it was easy to at- 
tract capital and enlist volunteers. Early in the fall 
of the same year, La Salle was back in Canada with 
his men and outfit, and soon set out for the west. 
After battling with a series of delays and discourage- 
ments which need not be narrated, the undaunted 
leader established himself in a fort built on the east 
bank of the Illinois River, near Peoria, Illinois, in 
the winter of 1680. There is no record that La Salle 
had been authorized to explore the upper Missis- 
sippi, but he was not the man to lose a good op- 
portunity for lack of technical instructions. To 
lead an exploring party up that stream he chose 
Michael Accault, an experienced voyageur, " pru- 
dent, bi-ave, and cool," and gave him two associates: 
Antoine Auguelle, called the Picard du Gay, was 
one ; the other was the now famous Father Louis 
Hennepin, a Franciscan friar of the Recollet branch, 
who came over in the same ship with La Salle in 
1678. He had wandered in many lands, knew some 
Indian dialects, and shared La Salle's passion for 

In a bark canoe laden with their arms, personal 
belongings, and some packs of merchandise which 
served for money between whites and Indians, the 
little party set out, after priestly benediction, on 
February 28, 1680. They dropped down the Illinois 
to its mouth, and took their toilsome way against 


the current of the Mississippi. On April 11, when 
near the southern line of Minnesota, they encoun- 
tered a fleet of thirty-three canoes carrying a war- 
party intent on mischief to certain Illinois tribes. 
The savages frightened but did not harm the 
Frenchmen. Accault was able to inform them that 
the Illinois Indians had crossed the river to hunt. 
They therefore turned homewards, taking the ex- 
plorers with them. At the end of the month the 
flotilla rounded up, as is believed, at the mouth of 
Phalen's Creek, at St. Paul. Here they abandoned 
their canoes and set out overland by a trail which 
would naturally follow the divide between the waters 
of the Mississippi and the St. Croix, for their vil- 
lages on Mille Lacs. On May 5 they arrived, and 
the Frenchmen, compelled to sell their effects to 
their captors, were sent to separate villages. The 
friar lost his portable altar and brocade vestments ; 
otherwise they were not unkindly treated. Some 
weeks passed, when Hennepin and Auguelle were 
allowed to take a canoe antl start for the mouth of 
the Wisconsin, where La Salle promised to send 
supplies. Accault preferred to join a great hunting 
party that was about setting out. Hennepin and 
his comrade left the hunters at the mouth of Kum 
River, and paddling with the current soon found 
themselves at the falls called by the Dakotas 
Mi-ni-i-ha-ha, the rusliing water, then first seen 
by white men, to which he gave the name of his 
patron saint, Anthony of Padua. His description 


of the cataract and surroundings is reasonably ac- 
curate, althougli he greatly exaggerated its height. 
No rival has claimed the credit of their discovery. 
Passing on down the river, they met an Indian who 
informed them that the hunting party was not far 
away, on some tributary. They abandoned their 
lonesome journey and joined the hunters, who, the 
hunt over, were about returning to their villages. 

We left Duluth in his fort at the mouth of 
Pigeon River in the fall of 1679. He wintered 
there, and, as he relates, dissatisfied with his dis- 
coveries of the previous summer, resolved on a new 
adventure. When the season of 1680 opened he set 
out with four Frenchmen and two Indian guides, 
ascended the Bois Brule River, portaged over to 
the head of the St. Croix, and followed that down 
to Point Douglass, where he doubtless recognized 
the great river. Here he learned that but a short 
time before two Frenchmen had passed down in a 
canoe. He instantly followed, and after forty- 
eight hours of lively paddling met the Sioux hunt- 
ers and with them Accault, Auguelle, and Henne- 
pin. All the French now traveled with the Indians 
to their villages on Mille Lacs, this time uj) the 
Mississippi and Rum rivers. The season was now 
far advanced and Duluth was obliged to give up 
his project of a journey to " the ocean of the west," 
which he believed to be not more than twenty days' 
march distant. Furnished with a rude but truthful 
map sketched by one of the Sioux chiefs, and pro- 


mising the Indians to return to trade, the eight 
white men took their departure for home by Prai- 
rie du Chien and Green Bay. Hennepin returned 
to France and in 1682 published his " Description 
of Louisiana." He knew how to tell an interesting 
story, and stuck as close to the truth as most annal- 
ists of his day. He assumed to have been the leader 
of the exploring party. Fifteen years later there 
was published in Holland a book under the title of 
" A New Discovery of a Great Country." It con- 
tained all the matter of Hennepin's " Description," 
and some one hundred and fifty pages more. These 
interpolated into the original story a journey of 
more than three thousand miles in thirty days, from 
the mouth of the Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico and 
back, before ascending the Mississippi. If Henne- 
pin himself wrote the injected pages, he was the 
shameless liar which he has been frequently de- 
clared to be. There is room, however, for the 
, suggestion that the added pages were the work of 
some literary hack employed by dishonest publish- 
ers to give the book the appearance of a new one ; 
but a good degree of charity is necessary to enter- 
tain this theory, as there is no record of any dis- 
avowal by Hennepin. Granting Hennepin to have 
been the leader, it must be remembered he was an 
agent of La Salle. La Salle's foresight and enter- 
prise sent him to the land of the Dakotas and to 
the Falls of St. Anthony. 

It was not till the winter of 1682 that La Salle 


was able to embark from his fort at Peoria. Sixty 
days of easy canoe navigation brought him to one of 
the islands at tlie mouth of the Mississippi. There 
in the month of April, under his royal patent, he set 
up a cross and proclaimed the sovereignty of Louis 
le Grand over the whole valley of the great river 
and all its tributaries. On the " procfes-verbal " of 
that transaction rests every land title in Minnesota. 
Duluth and La Salle by means of Accault's re- 
ports revealed to Count Frontenac the magnificence 
of the upper Mississippi region, and Father Henne- 
pin's book, dedicated to the king, seems to have 
inspired Louis XIV with a desire to occupy and 
possess that goodly land. In 1686 the able and 
experienced Nicholas Perrot, who had been ap- 
pointed commandant of the west with orders to 
make an establishment there, built a fort on the 
east bank of Lake Pepin, and called it Fort St. 
Antoine. The site has been clearly identified about 
two miles below the " Burlington " railroad station 
of Stockholm, Pepin County, "Wisconsin. Sum- 
moned the following year to lead a contingent of 
voyageurs and savages in the campaign against 
the Iroquois in the Genesee valley of western New 
York, he did not return to Fort St. Antoine till 
late in 1688. To satisfy any lingering doubts about 
the legitimate sovereignty of those parts, he made 
formal proclamation of his king's lordship over all 
the countries and rivers he had seen and would see. 
Perrot was too useful a man to be left in the wil- 


derness, and was presently ordered on other ser- 
vice and liis fort left empty. 

Another attempt at settlement on the upper 
Mississippi was made by a Canadian, Pierre Le 
Sueur, an associate of Perrot, who in 1694 estab- 
lished a trading post on Prairie Island in the Mis- 
sissippi, about nine miles below Hastings, the same 
on which Groseilliers and Radisson are imagined to 
have camped in 1655. Le Sueur stayed over one 
winter in the west, and returned to Montreal to 
discover to Frontenac a new project. lie had lo- 
cated a copper mine. He hastened to Paris to ob- 
tain the king's license, then necessary for mining 
operations. After a struggle of two years he got his 
permit and started for Canada. The English caught 
him and held him a prisoner for some months. 
Returning to France, he found his license canceled, 
because of a resolution of the government to aban- 
don all trade west of Mackinaw. At length Le 
Sueur was excepted from the rule and his license 
renewed. In 1699 he sailed with the expedition of 
D'lberville, which was to make and did make the 
first settlement out of which New Orleans grew. 

In the midsummer following he made his way 
with a sailboat and two canoes up the Mississippi, 
reaching Fort Snelling September 19. He doubt- 
less knew where he was going, for without delay he 
turned into the Minnesota River, which he followed 
to the mouth of the Mah-ka-to or Blue Earth. A 
short distance above, the latter stream receives 


the Le Sneiir. At their junction he built a fort to 
which he gave the name of a treasury official of 
Paris who had supported him, "Fort L'lluillier." 
The spot has been identified by a local archaeolo- 
gist. He was obliged to pacify with presents the 
Sioux who were displeased because he did not 
build at the mouth of the Minnesota. His company 
passed a comfortable winter, but before it was over 
they had to come down to buffalo beef without 
salt. Some of them could put away six pounds 
along with four bowls of broth daily. In the spring 
Le Sueur departed for Biloxi, with his shallop 
loaded with bluish green earth taken from a bluff 
near his fort. He never saw Minnesota again, and 
no later explorer has rediscovered his mine. The 
state geologist has not found the least trace of 
copper in the region. 

The last decade of the seventeenth century was 
one of discouragement for old France and new. 
Louis XIV, decrepit and bankrupt, dominated by 
Madame Maintenon and a group of ecclesiastics, 
had, by revoking the Edict of Nantes in 1685, 
driven three hundred thousand and more of the 
most industrious and skillful artisans and trades- 
men of France into exile. The dragonades, counte- 
nanced even by such men as Fenelon and Bossuet, 
had spread ruin throughout whole provinces. 
Foreign wars along with domestic convulsions had 
almost beggared the kingdom. 

Frontenac had died in office in 1689, and Cana- 


dian affairs, fallen into less capable hands, were 
languishing. There was lack of men and money to 
protect the northwest trade. It needed protection. 
The English, holding the Iroquois in alliance, had 
pushed their trade into the Ohio valley and the 
lower peninsula of Michigan. The Sacs and Foxes 
of the Illinois country, old allies of the French, had 
broken away, and closed all the roads from the 
lakes to the Mississippi unless that of the St. Croix. 
For these reasons the Canadian government had 
in 1699 withdrawn the garrison from Mackinaw, 
abandoned all ports farther west, and ordered the 
concentration of Indian trade at Montreal. It was 
not till after the war of the Spanish Succession 
was closed by the treaty of Utrecht, in 1713, that 
any thought could be taken for the revival of trade 
and missions in the Mississippi valley. England 
might at that time have stripped France of all her 
transatlantic holdings, but contented herself with 
Newfoundland and the posts on Hudson's Bay. 

In 1714 the French garrison was reestablished at 
Mackinaw, which remained the headquarters of 
trade with the Algonquins of the northwest till far 
into the nineteenth century. Three years later Du- 
luth's old fort on Pigeon River was reoccupied, to 
become a great entrepot of trade with the inland 
natives ; a year later still La Pointe received a 
small garrison. 

Ten years passed before the effort to plant 
French trade and missions was renewed on the 


upper Mississippi. Charlevoix, the historian of New 
France, was over in 1720 and traveled by way of 
Mackinaw and Green Bay to New Orleans. By his 
advice the French government resolved to plant an 
establishment in the country of the Sioux, as a 
centre of trade and mission work, and as a point 
of departure for expeditions to gain the shores of 
the western sea. The hostile Sacs and Foxes having 
been placated, an expedition was planned with all 
the care which long experience could suggest. For 
leader was chosen Ji6n6 Boucher, Sieur de la Per- 
riere, the same who in 1708 had headed the raiding 
party which descended on Haverhill, thirty-two 
miles north of Boston, where his Indians butchered 
thirty or forty of the English. Two Jesuit fathers, 
Guinas and De Gonor, attached themselves to the 
expedition, and asked for a supply of astronomical 
instruments. In June, 1727, the expedition set 
out from Montreal and took the then main trav- 
eled road by way of Mackinaw and Green Bay. A 
letter of De Gonor, which has been preserved, 
gives an interesting account of the journey. 

On September 17, 1727, at noon, La Perriere 
beached his canoes on a low point of land on the 
west shore of Lake Pepin, near the steamboat 
landing at Frontenac. Putting his men to work 
with axes, he had them all comfortably housed by 
the end of October. There were three log build- 
ings, each 16 feet wide; one 30, a second 38, and 
the third 25 feet long. Surrounding them was a 


stockade of three trunks 12 feet out of ground, 100 
feet square, " with two good bastions." The fort 
was named " Beauharnois " after the governor-gen- 
eral of Canada. To the first mission on ISIinne- 
sota soil the priests gave the title, "Mission of 
St. Michael the Archangel." On November 4 the 
company celebrated the birthday of the governor, 
but were obliged by the state of the weather to 
postpone to the night of the 14th the crowning 
event of their programme. They then set off " some 
very fine rockets." When the visiting Indians saw 
the stars falling from heaven, the women and chil- 
dren took to the woods, while the men begged for 
an end of such marvelous medicine. The Sioux were 
not disposed to be hospitable, and the good beha- 
vior of the Sacs and Foxes could not be counted on. 
In the following season La Perriere departed with 
the Jesuits and eight other Frenchmen for Mont- 
real. The post was held, and occupied off and on 
for twenty years or more. No settlement was made 
about it, no permanent mission work was estab- 
lished, and no expedition towards the Pacific was 
undertaken. The Indians were unreliable, the 
French had other interests to attend to, and, con- 
trary to expectation, game was scarce in the region. 
One of the successors of La Perriere in command 
of Fort Beauharnois was Captain Legardeur Saint 
Pierre, the same officer who in 1753 at his post on 
French Creek, not far from Pittsburg, was waited 
on by young Mr. Washington, bearing Governor 


Dinwiddle's invitation to the French to get out of 
Virginian territory. 

Another French adventure, although of slight 
import to Minnesota, deserves mention. The Sieur 
de la Verendrye, commanding the French post on 
Lake Nipigon, fell in with the Jesuit Guinas, who 
went out with La Perriere in 1727, and was in- 
flamed by him with a desire to find the western 
ocean. At his own post he had found an Indian, 
Ochaga by name, who sketched for him an almost 
continuous water route thither ; another offered to 
be his guide. He hastened to Montreal, secured 
the assent of the governor-general, Beauharnois, 
and in 1731 dispatched his advance party. It 
reached the foot of Rainy Lake that year, and 
there built a fort on the Canadian side. The next 
year the expedition made its way to the southwest 
margin of the Lake of the Woods and there built 
Fort Charles, giving it the Christian name of the 
governor-general. Whether this fort was on Min- 
nesota soil is undecided. 

So ardent was Verendrye's passion for the glory 
of discovering the way to the western sea that, 
encouraged by the Canadian authorities, he kept 
up the quest for more than ten years longer. On 
January 12, 1743, the Chevalier Verendrye, as re- 
lated, climbed one of the foothills of the Shiniug 
or Rocky Mountains, and gave it over. Sixty years 
later Lewis and Clark passed that barrier and won 
their way to the Pacific. 



If the French failed to establish any permanent 
settlement in Minnesota, it was not wholly because 
their passion for trade discouraged home-building 
and cultivation ; they had interests elsewhere in 
America more important than those of the north- 
west. La Salle's proclamation of 1G82 asserted 
dominion of the whole region drained by the Mis- 
sissippi and its tributaries. For a time the Ohio 
was regarded as the main river and the upper 
Mississippi as an affluent. Before the close of the 
seventeenth century both French and English were 
awake to the beauty and richness of the Ohio valley 
and the Illinois country. The building of a fort by 
Cadillac at Detroit in 1701 was the first act on the 
part_o£_the French to maintain their claim of sov- 
ereignty. In the treaty of Utrecht, 1713, the Eng- 
lish, with a long look ahead, secured the concession 
that the Iroquois were the " subjects " of England. 
In a series of negotiations culminating in a treaty 
at Lancaster, Pa., the Iroquois ceded to the Eng- 
lish all their lands west of the Alleghanies and 
south of the great lakes. On this cession the English 
put the liberal construction that the Iroquois were 


owners of all territory over which they had ex- 
tended their victorious forays, and which they had 
"•cod right to convey. In 1748 the Ohio Company, 
formed in Virginia, sent Christopher Gist to ex- 
plore the Ohio valley. The next year a governor of 
Canada sent an expedition down the Ohio to con- 
ciliate the Indians and to bury leaden plates at 
chosen points, asserting the dominion of France. 
A line of fortified posts was stretched by the French 
from Quebec to Fort Charles below St. Louis, on 
the Mississippi. 

When in 1754 a French battalion drove off the 
party of English backwoodsmen who had begun 
the erection of a fort at the forks of the Ohio, and 
proceeded to build Fort Duquesne, the French 
and Indian War began. The course of this strug- 
gle, exceeding by far in point of magnitude the 
war of the Revolution, cannot here be followed. 
At the close of the campaign of 1757 the French 
seemed triumphant. In the year following they lost 
Fort Duquesne, in 1759 Quebec, and in 1760 
Montreal. The power of the French in North 
America was broken. Historians of Canada still 
name the epoch that of " the Conquest." 

The diplomatic settlement of this contest awaited 
the outcome of a great war raging in Europe, the 
so-called Seven Years' War of Frederick the Great 
against Austria, Russia, and France. England was 
early dr^wn into the support of the Prussian mon- 
arch, and supplied his military chest and sent an 


army to the continent. France presumptuously 
aspired to wrest the empire of the seas from Brit- 
ain, with the result that her navies were sunk or 
battered to useless wrecks. In a separate treaty 
signed at Paris, February 10, 1763, France sur- 
rendered to England all her possessions and claims 
east of the Mississippi except the city of New 
Orleans and the island embracing it. The British 
government, however, was none too desirous to ac- 
cept this cession. It was a matter of lively debate 
in the ministry whether it would not be the better 
policy to leave Canada to the French and strip her 
of her West Indian possessions. That course might 
have been adopted, but for the influence exerted by 
Benjamin Franklin's famous "Canada Pamphlet," 
which is still " interesting reading." Franklin was 
in England while the question was pending, and 
published his views in answer to " Remarks " 
ascribed to Edmund Burke. 

It may be well to note here that in the year 
preceding the treaty of Paris (1762) France had 
taken the precaution to assign to Spain, by a secret 
treaty, all her North American possessions west of 
the ISIississippi, and thus put them out of the reach 
of England. 

It was the 8th of September, 1760, when the 
capitulation of Montreal was signed, turning all 
Canada over to the British. Five days later 
Amherst, the victorious commander, dispatched 
Major Robert Hayes with two hundred rangers to 


take possession of the western posts. Expected 
opposition at Detroit was not offered, and that 
important strategic point was occupied on Novem- 
ber 29. The season was then too late for further 
movements, and more than a year passed before 
garrisons were established at Mackinaw and Green 
Bay. The British were none too welcome among the 
savages, long accustomed to French dealings and 
alliances. But French influence was not what it had 
formerly been. During the long struggle for the 
mastery of the continent the Indian trade had lan- 
guished, and in remoter regions the savages had 
reverted to their ancient ways and standards of 
living. The trade revived, however, under British 
rule, which brought peace and protection. In 1762 
the British commandant gave a permit to a French- 
man named Pinchon to trade on the Minnesota 
Kiver, then in Spanish territory. Four years later 
the old post on Pigeon River was revived and 
trade was reopened in northern Minnesota. Prairie 
du Chien became in the course of a decade a vil- 
lage of some three hundred families, mostly French 
half-breeds, and remained a supply station for the 
Indian trade of southern and central Minnesota 
till far into the nineteenth century. 

The British authorities in Canada indulged no 
romantic passion to discover the south or western 
sea, and were indifferent for a time to the develop- 
ment and protection of trade in the northwest. 
This fact lends brilliance to the adventures of a 


single American born subject who in 1766 set out 
alone for the wilderness, resolved to cross the 
Rocky Mountains, descend to the western ocean, 
and cross the Straits of Anion to Cathay. Such 
was the bold enterprise of Jonathan Carver of 
Canterbury, Connecticut, at thirty-four years of 
age. He was not unlettered, for he had studied 
medicine; and he was not inexperienced, for he 
had served with some distinction as a line officer 
in a colonial regiment in the French and Indian 
War. Departing from Boston in June (1766), he 
traveled the usual way by the lakes to Mackinaw, 
where he found that versatile Irish gentleman, 
Major Robert Rogers, his comrade in arms, in 
command. There is a tradition, needing confirma- 
tion, that this officer " grub-staked " Carver for 
trade with the Sioux and possible operations in 
land. However, he left Mackinaw in September 
supplied with credits on traders for the goods 
serving for money with Indians, and taking the 
Fox- Wisconsin route, found himself at the Fulls of 
St. Anthony on the 17th of November. Although 
EeTestimated the descent of the cataract at thirty 
feet, it impressed him only as the striking feature 
of a beautiful landscape. "On the whole," says 
he, " when the Falls are included, ... a more 
pleasing and picturesque view, I believe, cannot 
be found throughout the universe.*' After a short 
excursion above the falls, Carver took his way up 
the Minnesota, as he estimated, two hundred miles. 


lie passed the winter with a band of Sioux Indiana 
which he fails to name, and in a place he does not 
describe, and in the spring came down to St. Paul 
with a party of three hundred, bringing the remains 
of their dead to be deposited in the well-known 
" Indian mounds " on Dayton's Bluff. The cave in 
the white sand rock entered by him on his upward 
journey, and which bore his name till obliterated 
by railroad cuttings, was nearly beneath the In- 
dian mounds. His report of a funeral oration de- 
livered here by one of the chiefs so impressed the 
German poet Schiller that he wrote his " Song of 
the Nadowessee Chief," which Goethe praised as 
one of his best. Two very distinguished English- 
men, Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton and Sir John 
Herschel, made metrical translations of this poem 
in the fashion of their time. 

This journey was but a preliminary one to find 
and explore the Minnesota valley and acquaint 
Carver with the tribes dwelling there and their 
lans^uages. He had conceived that a short march 
from the head of that river would take him to the 
Missouri, This he would ascend to its sources in 
the mountains, and ci'ossing over these he would 
float down tlie Oregon to the ocean. Major Kogers, 
as he relates, had engaged to send him supplies to 
the Falls of St. Anthony. Receiving none, Car- 
* ver hastened down to Prairie du Chieu, to be again 

Resolved on prosecuting his great adventure, he 


decided to apply to the traders at Pigeon River for 
the necessary merchandise. Paddling back up the 
Mississippi, he took the St. Croix route to Lake 
Superior, and coasted along the north shore to that 
post, only to find, after many hundred miles of 
laborious travel, that the traders had no goods to 
spare him. lie could do nothing but return to his 
home. In 1768 he went to England, hoping to in- 
terest the government in his project, and in the 
following year published his book of travels. It 
is now known that little if any of it was his own 
composition. His account of the customs of the 
Indians was pieced together from Charlevoix and 
Lahontan. But the work of his editor, a certain 
Dr. Littsom, was so well done that " Carver's 
Travels " have been more widely read than the 
original works drawn upon. 

There is very doubtful testimony to the effect 
that in 1774 the king made Carver a present of 
X1373 13s. 8d., and ordered the dispatch of a pub- 
lic vessel to carry him and a party of one hundred 
and fifty men by way of New Orleans to the upper 
Mississippi, to take possession of certain lands. 
The Revolutionary War breaking out, the expedi- 
tion was abandoned. 

Carver died in poverty in England in 1780, and 
might be dismissed but for a sequel which lingers 
in Minnesota to the present time. After his death 
there was brought to day a deed purporting to 
have been signed by two Indian chiefs, " at the 


great cave," May 1, 1767, conveying to their "good 
brother Jonathan " a tract of land lying on the 
east side of the Mississippi one hundred miles wide, 
running from tlie Falls of St. Anthony down to 
the mouth of the Chippeway, embracing nearly 
two million acres. A married daughter, by his 
English wife, and her husband bargained their 
alleged interest to a London company for ten per 
cent, of the realized profits, but that company 
soon abandoned their venture. Carver left be- 
hind him an American family, a widow, two 
sons, and five daughters. In 1806 one Samuel 
Peters, an Episcopal clergyman of Vermont, repre- 
sented in a petition to Congress that he had 
acquired the rights of these heirs to the Car- 
ver purchase, and prayed to have it confirmed to 
him. This Peters claim was kept before Congress 
for seventeen years. In 1822 the Mississippi Land 
Company was organized in New York to prosecute 
it. They seem to have been taken seriously, for in 
the next year a Senate committee, in a report of 
January 23, advised the rejection of the claim as 
utterly without merit. But it has been repeatedly 
renewed, and doubtless at the present time there 
are worthy people dreaming of pleasures and pal- 
aces when they come into their rights. 

For the first three years following the Conquest 
all Canada remained under military rule. In 1763 
George III by proclamation established four pro- 
vinces with separate governments, but the great 


northwest region was included in none of these. 
That remained as crown land, reserved for the use 
of the Indians under royal protection. All squat- 
ters were ordered to depart and all persons were 
forbidden to attempt purchases of land from the 
Indians. This prohibition alone was fatal to Car- 
ver's claim. The United States could not possibly 
confirm a purchase impossible under English law. 
It was the express design of the British government 
to prevent the thirteen colonies from gaining ground 
to the west, and " leave the savages to enjoy their 
deserts in quiet." 

In 1774, about the time when Parliament was 
extending its novel sway over the American colo- 
nies, the "Quebec act" was passed. This act ex- 
tended the Province of Quebec to the Mississippi 
and gave to Minnesota East its first written con- 
stitution. This provided for a government by a 
governor and an appointed legislative council, but 
it was never actually effective west of Lake Mich- 

Under the definitive treaty of peace between 
Great Britain and the United States, the dominion 
of the former over Minnesota East ceased, but that 
of the United States government did not immedi- 
ately supervene. Virginia under her charter of 1609 
had claimed the whole Northwest, and her army, 
commanded by General George Rogers Clark, had 
in 1779 established her power in the Illinois coun- 
try. Three years later the couuty of Illinois was 


created and an executive appointed by Governor 
Patrick Henry. The act of Congress of March 1, 
1784, accepting the cession of her northwestern 
lands, amounting to a concession of colorable title, 
ended Virginia's technical government in Minne- 
sota East. From that date to the passage of tlie 
Ordinance of 1787 (July 13) this region remained 
unorganized Indian country. This great ordinance 
made it part of " the Northwest Territory " and 
gave it a written constitution. But this was nuga- 
tory for the reason that although Great Britain 
had in form surrendered the territory in the treaty 
of 1783, she continued her occupation for thirteen 
years longer. Her pretext for maintaining her gar- 
risons at Detroit, Mackinaw, Green Bay, and else- 
where was the failure of the United States to 
prevent the states from confiscating the estates of 
loyalists and hindering English creditors from col- 
lecting their debts in full sterling value, as pro- 
vided in the treaty. The actual reason was an 
expectation, or hope, that affairs would take such a 
turn that the whole or the greater part of the Ohio- 
Illinois country might revert to England. A new 
British fort was built on the Maumee Kiver in 
northwestern Ohio in 1794. The surrender of this 
to General Anthony Wayne after the battle of 
Fallen Timbers, in August of that year, has been 
regarded as the last act in the war of the Revolution. 
By the Jay treaty it was agreed that the western 
posts should be given up to the United States, and 


on or about the 12th of July, 1796, the British 
commanders hauled down their flags and marched 
out their garrisons. 

There was a powerful interest which had encour- 
aged the British authorities to hold their grip on the 
Northwest. The revival of the fur-trade after the 
Conquest was tardy, but soon after Carver's time 
a notable development took place. Another Con- 
necticut Yankee, Peter Pond by name, in 1774 
established a trading post at Traverse des Sioux 
on the Minnesota. On a map left by him it is 
marked "Fort Pond," The trade west of the lakes, 
however, early fell into the hands of adventurous 
Scotchmen of Montreal, among whom competition 
became so sharp as to lead to what would have 
been called, a hundi-ed years later, a " trust " or 
"combine." An informal agreement between the 
principal traders at Montreal ripened, in 1787, 
into "The Northwest Company," with headquar- 
ters in that city. This company promptly and 
effectually organized the northwestern fur-trade. 
It established a hierarchy of posts and stations, 
and introduced a quasi-military administration of 
the employees. It wisely took into its service the 
old French and half-breed " engages and voya- 
geurs," and rewarded them so liberally as to win 
them from illicit traffic. For forty years the North- 
west Company was the ruling power west of the 
lakes, although it had not, as had the Hudson's 
Bay Company, its model, any authorized political 


functions. Its policy and discipline served in place 
of laws and police. 

The greater distributing and collecting ports 
were Detroit, Mackinaw, and Fort William ; and 
next in importance were such places as La Pointe, 
Fond du Lac, and Prairie du Chien, from which 
the trade of the upper Mississippi was managed. 
Fond du Lac, near the mouth of the St. Louis 
River, at the head of Lake Superior, was the gate- 
way to an immense region abounding in the finest 
peltries and occupied by a large Chippeway popu- 
lation, eager to buy the white man's guns and am- 
munition, knives, kettles, tobacco, and, most dearly 
prized of all, his deadly fire-water. From Fond du 
Lac there was a canoe route to the lakes which are 
the proximate sources of the great river. It led up 
the St. Louis River to the mouth of the East Sa- 
vanna near the Flood wood railroad station. From 
the head of the East Savanna a short portage led 
to the West Savanna, an affluent of Prairie River 
which empties into Sandy Lake, near the south- 
west corner of Aitkin County. That water covers 
near half a township and discharges by a short 
outlet into the Mississippi, some twenty-five miles 
above the village and railroad station of Aitkin. 
Here in 1794 the Sandy Lake post of the North- 
west Company was built. There was a stockade 
one hundred feet square, of hewn logs one foot 
square, and thirteen feet out of ground. Within 
were the necessary buildings, and without, fenced 


in, a considerable garden. From Sandy Lake radi- 
ated numerous " jackknife posts," where the bush- 
rangers wintered and swapped gewgaws for pelts. 
For many years Sandy Lake was the most impor- 
tant point in Minnesota, the chief factor there the 
big man of the Chippeway country. 



The reader is asked to recall the cession by France, 
in 1762, of her American territory west of the Mis- 
sissippi to Spain. The French population of Lou- 
isiana, resenting this arbitrary transfer, drove out 
the Spanish governor who came in 1766, and organ- 
ized for a free state under French protection. In 
1769 a Spanish fleet of twenty-four sail, bringing an 
army of twenty-six hundred men and fifty cannon, 
under the command of a forceful captain-general, 
securely established the power of Spain. The laws 
of Castile, derived from the civil code of Rome, 
were put in force, and they continue in force to 
the present day. By a line about on the latitude of 
Memphis a province of Upper Louisiana was set 
apart and placed under the control of a lieutenant- 
governor residing at St. Louis. Minnesota West 
was of course a part of this jurisdiction. 

In the last years of the eighteenth century Na- 
poleon Bonaparte was absolute in France, although 
not yet crowned emperor. Among the schemes with 
which his imagination was busied was one to estab- 
lish another new France on the western continent. 
Louisiana had been a costly dependency for Spain, 


and it was only by a reluctant but timely conces- 
sion of the right of navigation and deposit that an 
armed descent of Americans from the Ohio valley 
on New Orleans had been averted. That would 
have put an end to Spanish rule. Spain willingly 
retroceded to France for a nominal consideration, 
by the secret treaty of San Ildefonso, March 13, 
1801. Already Napoleon had formed a definite 
plan and begun preparations to send 25,000 vet- 
eran soldiers to Louisiana, under convoy of a pow- 
erful fleet. His secret could not be kept, and 
England made ready to attack the expedition at 
sea. Napoleon had reason to expect that she would 
descend on New Orleans herself, and take posses- 
sion of the province. While he was in this frame 
of mind the American minister, under instructions, 
expressed the desire of his government to buy the 
city and island of New Orleans and thus make the 
Mississippi the international boundary to its mouth. 
To his surprise Napoleon offered to sell the whole 
province, spite of his agreement with Spain never 
to cede to any other power. The Louisiana pur- 
chase was consummated by treaty April 30, 1803. 
Meantime the province had remained in the posses- 
sion of Spain, and it was not till November 80 
that she turned New Orleans over to the French. 
Twenty days later the United States came into 
possession. The upper province of Louisiana was 
held but one day by a French commissary, who on 
March 10, 1804, at St. Louis, conveyed it to the 


United States. The cost to the government was 
three and six tenths cents per acre. 

The actual surrender of Upper Louisiana in 
1804 added geographically Minnesota West, in- 
cluded in that province, to Minnesota East, then 
part of Crawford County, Indiana. The whole re- 
gion was still occupied by aborigines, and a genera- 
tion was to pass before any of it became white man's 
country. Two great nations divided the territory, 
the Chippeways, of Algonquin stock, occupying the 
north and east ; the Sioux or Dakotas the south 
and west. Both were immigrant from early eastern 
habitats, the Chippeways moving north of the lakes 
(Lake Superior split the stream), the Sioux south 
of the same. When first seen by white men, the 
latter held the country about the sources of the 
Mississippi, the head of Lake Superior, and to 
the St. Croix. The Chippeways were first to obtain 
guns from the white man, and began at once to 
push the Sioux before them. In Hennepin's time 
(1680) the principal villages of the Sioux were in 
the Mille Lacs region. By the close of the Revolu- 
tionary War the Chippeways had driven them south 
of the Crow Wing and west of the Mississippi, 
leaving them only a precarious hold on the mar- 
gin of their old hunting grounds. From their earli- 
est encounters the two nations had been unremitting 
foes. But for occasional truces they were always at 
war ; and this perennial feud did not cease till the 
government in 1863 moved the Sioux beyond the 


Missouri, out of the reach of the Chippeways. 
The two nations possessed in common the well- 
known characteristics of the red man, physical, 
mental, and social, but a difference of environ- 
ment had established marked .peculiarities. The 
Chippeways were men of the forest and stream ; 
their women gathered wild rice, excellent for food. 
The Sioux, men of the prairie, were the taller and 
more agile, but the Chippeways outmatched them 
for strength and endurance. 

Both peoples had already been profoundly affected 
by contact with white men. If the missionary had 
not broken the power of the medicine-man and con- 
verted them to the true faith, the trader had revo- 
lutionized their whole manner of life. He had jrivea 
the Indian the gun for his bow and arrows, axes 
and knives of steel for those of stone, and the iron 
kettle for the earthen pot. The Mackinaw blanket 
and the trader's strouds had replaced garments 
made from skins, and ornaments of shell and 
feathers had given way to those of metal and 

Before the trader the Indian had hunted for sub- 
sistence, content when he had supplied his family 
and dependents with food and clothing. The trader 
made him a pot-hunter, killing mostly for the skins 
alone. Game animals became scarce about the vil- 
lages, and hunting expeditions had to be made to 
distant grounds, where the enemies' parties would 
be met and foug-ht. The Indian had become a vassal 


to the trader, who outfitted him for the hunt, and 
at its end took his furs in payment at rates little 
understood by the man who did not know that the 
white metal was worth more than the red. If any- 
thing remained from the Indian's pack it was very 
likely to be forthwith spent for the highly diluted 
whiskey of the trader. The Indian's fondness for 
spirits and their effects was at least equal to the 
white man's, and he had not become immune from 
immemorial indulgence. The resulting crime and 
misery are beyond description, — conception, al- 
most. And the trader's excuse was that the Indians 
would not trade if whiskey was not furnished, and 
that it was absurd for one to refuse it when all 
the rest were selling. Along with the white man 
came his epidemic diseases. Smallpox and measles 
depopulated villages and almost extinguished tribes. 
A nameless contagion was only less deadly. Un- 
bridled commerce with the women multiplied half- 
breeds, possessing frequently all of the vices and 
few of the virtues of both races. The half-breed 
was always a misfit, because he could assume by 
turns the character of white or red, according to 
convenience and profit. 

All the Minnesota Indians were clients of the 
Northwest Company, unless where along the north- 
ern border the agents of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany were drawing off the trade by abundant 
whiskey. This competition at length brought the 
two companies to open war. 


Long before he became president, Jefferson was 
curious to unlock the secret of the unknown west 
and learn the road to the Pacific. It was not till 
the early winter of 1803, however, that he was able 
to persuade Congress to make a small appropria- 
tion for a military expedition of discovery, and then 
under color of "extending the external commerce 
of the United States." And more than a year passed 
before the expedition of Lewis and Clark set out 
from St. Louis May 4, 1804. 

A similar expedition on a smaller scale left St. 
Louis September 21, 1805, to discover the source 
of the Mississippi. It was led by First Lieutenant 
Zebulon Montgomery Pike of the First Infantry, 
a native of New Jersey, then twenty-six years of 
ago. " He was five feet eight inches tall ; eyes blue ; 
hair light ; abstemious, temperate, and unremitting 
in duty." If there could have been doubt of his 
fitness for the enterprise, the sequel fully justified 
his selection. His instructions were carefully drawn 
to keep him and his errand within constitutional 
limits. The first entry of his journal reads, "Sailed 
from my encampment, near St. Louis, at 4 o'clock, 
p. M., on Friday the 9th of August, 1805 : with one 
sergeant, two corporals, and seventeen privates, in 
a keel boat, 70 feet long, provisioned for four 
months." On the 21st of September Pike reached 
the mouth of the Minnesota, and "encamped on 
the northeast point of the big island," which still 
bears his name. The next day Little Crow, grand- 


father of tlie chief of the same name who led the 
outbreak of 1862, came with his band of one hun- 
dred and fifty warriors. On the third day a council 
was held under the shelter of the sails, on the 
beach. In his speech Pike let the Indians know 
that their Great Father no longer lived beyond the 
great salt water, and that the Canadian traders 
who tried to keep them in ignorance of American 
independence were " bad birds " ; that traders were 
forbidden to sell rum, and the Indians ought to 
cooperate in preventing them ; and that the Sioux 
and Chippeways ought to live in peace together. 
In particular he asked that they allow the United 
States to select two tracts of land, one at the mouth 
of the St. Croix, the other above the mouth of the 
Minnesota. On these the Great Father would estab- 
lish military posts, and public trading factories, 
where Indians could get goods cheaper than from 
the traders. 

The well-advised officer had already crossed the 
hands of the two head chiefs. He closed his speech 
with a reference to their "father's tobacco and some 
other trifling things " as evidence of good will, and 
promised some liquor " to clear their throats." The 
chiefs saw no need of their signing any paper, but 
did it to please the generous orator. The " treaty " 
is a curiosity in diplomacy. The first article grants, 
what the United States already possessed, '' full 
sovereignty and power " over two tracts of land : 
one of nine miles square at the mouth of the St. 


Croix ; the other " from below the confluence of the 
Mississippi and St. Peter's (Minnesota) up the 
Mississippi to include the Falls of St. Anthony, 
extending nine miles on each side of the river." 
Pike estimated the area of the latter grant to be 
about one hundred thousand acres and the value to 
be S200,000. The second article provides that " the 
United States shall pay . . . dollars." The final 
article permits the Sioux to retain the only right 
they could legally convey, that of occupancy for 
hunting and their other accustomed uses. 

Five days were passed at the Falls of St. An- 
thony, partly because of the sickness of some of the 
men. Pike took measurements and made a map. 
He found the depth of the fall to be sixteen and a 
half feet. The portage on the east bank was two 
hundred and sixty rods. The navigation of the river 
above proved so difficult that it was not till the 
16 th of October that the party reached the mouth 
of the Swan River. It was the expectation of his 
general and of Pike himself that the march to the 
source of the Mississippi and back would certainly 
be finished before the close of the season. By the 
time he was ready to leave the falls, September 
30, it was evident that the journey could not be 
accomplished in any such period. Resolved to pro- 
secute it, and not go back defeated, he formed the 
plan to push on to the mouth of the Crow Wing, 
put his stores and part of his men under cover, 
and go forward on foot to his destination. On the 


way up river he had a foretaste of the hardships 
which awaited liim. As he says, he " literally per- 
formed the duties of astronomer, surveyor, com- 
manding officer, clerk, spy, and guide." Finding it 
impossible to force his boats through the rapids 
below Little Falls, he selected a favorable site be- 
low the junction of the Swan with the Mississippi 
(the spot has been clearly identified), where he 
built, in the course of a week, two blockhouses, and 
in them bestowed his baggage and provisions. Here 
he remained till December 10, occupied with hunt- 
ing, chopping out " peroques," and building bob- 
sleds. It took thirty-four days to reach Sandy Lake, 
where the party met with generous hospitality at 
the post of the Northwest Company. A week was 
passed here in which the men replaced their sleds 
with the traineaux de glace, or toboggans, used by 
the voyageurs. On February 1 the leader, marching 
in advance, reached the establishment of the North- 
west Company on the western margin of Leech 
Lake, and highly relished a "good dish of coffee, 
biscuit, butter, and cheese for supper." Pike had 
now accomplished his voyage by reaching the main 
source of the Mississippi. Seventeen days were 
passed here, including three devoted to an excur- 
sion on snowshoes to Cass Lake, then known as 
Upper Red Cedar Lake. He now believed himself 
to have reached the " upper source of the jNIissis- 
sippi," but wasted not a word of rhetoric on the 
achievement. While restinjr at Leech Lake Lieu- 


tenant Pike wrote out for the eye of Mr. Hugh 
McGillis, director of the Fond du Lac department 
of the Northwest Company, there present, a formal 
demand that he should smuggle no more British 
goods into the country, haul down the British flag 
at all his posts, give no more flags or medals to 
Indians, and hold no political intercourse with 
them. Mr. McGillis in a communication equally 
formal promised to do all those things. Pike esti- 
mated that the government was losing some 826,000 
a year of unpaid customs. The two functionaries 
parted with mutual expressions of regard, and the 
genial lieutenant started off home with a cariole 
and dog team worth $200 presented by the gracious 
factor. Before his departure, however, he had his 
riflemen shoot down the English jack flying over 
the post. The return journey, ending April 30, 
1806, cannot be followed. On the 10th of the month 
the expedition passed around the Falls of St. An- 
thony, and the journal records, " The appearance 
of the Falls was much more tremendous than when 
we ascended." The ice was floating all day. The 
leader congratulated himself on having accom- 
plished every wish, without the loss of a man. 
" Ours was the first canoe," he says, " that ever 
crossed this portage." In that belief he was con- 
tent. Pike's journal was not published till 1810, 
and it included his accoimt of an expedition to the 
sources of the Arkansas, and an enforced tour in 
New Spain. It had but slight effect on the author- 


ities at Washington, and still less on the public. 
The War of 1812 was brewing and there was little 
concern about this remote wilderness. The effect 
of Pike's dramatic incursion, and his fine speeches 
to the Sioux and Chippeways soon wore off, the 
British flag went up over the old trading posts of 
Minnesota and Wisconsin, and the Northwest Com- 
pany resumed its accustomed control over the In- 
dians. It is not likely that many of their goods 
paid the duties at Mackinaw. When the war broke 
out the British- American authorities used all need- 
ful means in the way of presents and promises to 
hold the attachment of the nations. Some of the 
principal agents of the Northwest Company were 
actually commissioned in the British service and 
collected considerable bodies of Indians and half- 
breeds for the western operations. The news of the 
end of the war was slow in reaching these allies, 
and it was not till May 24, 1815, that the British 
captain commanding at Prairie du Chien, having 
received his orders, hauled down his flag and 
marched away with his garrison for Green Bay 
and Montreal. The treaty of Ghent had been con- 
cluded eight months and some days before. A 
serious proposition made by the British plenipoten- 
tiaries for negotiating that treaty proves that the 
British had cherished the hope that they might re- 
tain the great Northwest under their virtual domin- 
ion. The proposition was that the two powers 
should agree that the territory north and west of 


the " Greenville line of 1796," roughly a zigzag 
from Cleveland to Cincinnati, should remain as a 
permanent barrier between their boundaries. Both 
parties were to be prohibited from buying land of 
the Indians, who were thus to be left in actual oc- 
cupation. The British would continue to control 
their trade and hold their accustomed allejjiance. 
The American commissioners refused of course to 
entertain the proposal. 



Readers of Irving's " Astoria " know how a young 
German, coming to America in the last year of the 
Revolution, by accident learned of the possible 
profits to be won in the fur-trade, and how he pre- 
sently embarked in it. In the course of twenty-five 
years he made a million dollars, a colossal private 
foi'tune for that day. In 1809 he obtained from the 
New York legislature a charter, and organized 
the American Fur Company. The war suspended 
the development of its plans. In 1816 Mr. John 
Jacob Astor had little difficulty in securing an act 
of Congress restricting Indian trade to American 
citizens. This patriotic statute was intended to put 
the Northwest Company out of business on Amer- 
ican territory. It did, and that company sold out 
to Mr. Astor all its posts and outfits south of the 
Canadian boundary at prices satisfactory to the 
purchaser. In 1821 the Northwest Company was 
merged into the Hudson's Bay Company. 

The American Fur Company adopted the policy 
of filling its leading positions with young Amer- 
icans of good education and enterprise, and taking 
over the old engages and voyageurs, inured to the 


service and useless for any other. These old cam- 
paigners easily won over the Indians to the new 
company and taught them to look to a Great Fa- 
ther at Washington. The chief western stations for 
the trade of the upper Mississippi were Mackinaw 
and Prairie du Chien. There was now an " inter- 
est " which desired the development of the upper 
country ; and it lost no time in moving on the gov- 
ernment. In the year last mentioned (1816) four 
companies of United States infantry were sent 
to Prairie du Chien, where they at once built Fort 
Crawford. In the next year, Pike's reports having 
apparently been forgotten, Major Stephen H. Long 
of the Engineers traveled to Fort Snelling and in 
his report gave a conditional approval to Pike's 
selection of a site for a fort ; but it was not till the 
winter of 1819 that the government was moved to 
establish a military post at the junction of the St. 
Peter's with the Mississippi. Lieutenant-Colonel 
Henry Leavenworth was ordered February 10 to 
proceed from Detroit, Michigan, to that point with 
a detachment of the Fifth Infantry. 

Taking the Fox-Wisconsin route, his party of 
eighty-two persons reached Prairie du Chien July 
1. " Scarcely an hour " after his arrival this num- 
ber was increased by the birth of Charlotte Ouis- 
consin (Clarke) Van Cleve, long known to all 
Minnesotians, whose life was not ended till 1907. 

The command arrived at Mendota Aucust 23 
and was at once put to building the log houses of 


a cantonment. The site was near the present ferry 
and the hamlet of Mendota, where a sharp eye may 
still note traces of foundations. In Septeml)er a 
reinforcement of one hundred and twenty arrived. 
In the spring of 1820 the companies were put into 
camp above the fort, near the great spring known 
to all early settlers. It was named Camp Coldwa- 
ter. In July the command passed to Colonel Jo- 
seph Snelling, who held it till near the time of his 
death in 1828. A daughter born in his family a 
short time after their arrival was the first white 
child born in Minnesota. 

Colonel Snelling at once began the erection of a 
fort, which, however, was not ready for occupation 
till October, 1822. It was a wooden construction, 
for which the logs were cut on the Rum River. In 
1821 a rude sawmill was built at "the Falls" 
which converted the logs into lumber. This was of 
course the first sawmill in Minnesota. Two years 
later a " run of buhrs " was put in, and a first flour 
mill established. Colonel Snelling named his work 
" Fort Saint Anthony," but in 1824, upon recom- 
mendation of Major-General Winfield Scott, after 
a visit to the place, that name was changed to 
"Fort Snelling," in recognition of the enterprise 
and efficiency of its builder. 

The reader must not be allowed to fear that 
the government was trespassing on Indian ground 
when building Fort Snelling. Pike had bargained 
for the site in 1805, but the government for four- 


teen years neither took possession nor tendered 
payment. The Senate on ratifying the treaty filled 
the blank in article II by inserting •'i!2000, and 
Congress in 1819 made an appropriation of that 
amount. In anticipation of the dispatch of a de- 
tachment of troops, Major Forsyth was ordered to 
transport 12000 worth of goods to tlie Sioux coun- 
try and deliver them in payment for the lands 
ceded to Pike. It chanced that his boats arrived 
at Prairie du Chien in time to make the further 
ascent of the river in company with the command 
of Colonel Leavenworth. The payment was happily 
managed. On his way up river Major Forsyth 
called at the villages of Wabashaw, Ked Wing, 
and Little Crow, and gave each of those chiefs a 
present of blankets, tobacco, powder, or other 
goods. On arrival at destination similar presents 
were made to five other chiefs, whose villages were 
not distant. In each case the major records that 
he had to give a little whiskey. The United States 
could afford such generosity. 

A period of thirty years intervened between the 
arrival of Colonel Leavenworth's battalion at Fort 
Snelling in 1819, and the establishment of the 
Territory of Minnesota. The events of the period 
are too slightly related to the subsequent history 
of the state to call for minute narration in the way 
of annals, and may preferably be grouped under a 
few heads for compendious treatment. 

When Colonel Leavenworth was starting from 


Detroit, Michigan, he was intrusted by the gov- 
ernor of the Territory of Michigan with blank 
commissions for appointive county officers for ' 
Crawford County, included in that territory. This 
duty was performed at Prairie du Chien, and jus- 
tice was established in Minnesota East. That re- 
gion had previously been successively within the 
jurisdiction of the Northwest, Indiana, Michigan, 
and Illinois territories. Minnesota West at the 
same time was part of Missouri Territory, and pre- 
vious to 1812 had been in the Territory of Louisi- 
ana. There was, however, slight occasion for the 
exercise of civil or judicial functions in the upper 
Mississippi country. 

The American Fur Company had succeeded not 
merely to the business of the "old Northwest Com- 
pany," but to its quasi-political control. The chief 
factor at Mendota, and his subordinate traders at 
the more important trading places, exercised a 
control over the Indians and half-breeds which 
government officials, civil and military, vainly en- 
deavored to win from them. The few whites in the 
region, aside from the garrison of the fort, were 
at the first traders' employees; later a handful of 
missionaries acceded, and still later an advance 
guard of settlers, mostly lumbermen and Selkirk 
refugees. The dominance of the fur company and 
its principal agents was in great part due, as al- 
ready suggested, to a policy inherited from the 
Northwest Company of retaining in service the old 


French and half-breed voyageurs, and filling the 
clerical and managing places with young Ameri- 
cans of ability and enterprise. Such men would 
have been leaders anywhere. The chief factor at 
Mendota was the great man of the Sioux country ; 
his colleague at Fond du Lac held a like relation 
in the country of the Chippeways. They furnished 
their licensed traders with their outfits, assigned 
them their respective districts, served as their 
bankers, and exercised over them an interested 
supervision. The fidelity of these subordinates was 
such as to form them into an effective combina- 
tion, which after a few futile attempts at competi- 
tion gave the American Fur Company a complete 

The one name to be brought forward as repre- 
sentative of the American Fur Company, and what 
was good in it, is that of Henry Hastings Sibley, 
who came to Mendota in November, 1834, as part- 
ner and chief factor. He had been preceded by 
other traders of inferior rank and consideration. 
Although but twenty-three years of age, he had 
already served an apprenticeship of five years at 
Mackinaw, the western headquarters of the Fur 
Company. He was born in Detroit, Michigan, 
where his parents, having removed from Sutton, 
Massachusetts, liad settled before the close of the 
eighteenth century. The father. Judge Solomon 
Sibley, was a notable character in Michigan for a 
long lifetime. The boy received a good " academy" 


education, had two years of classical language 
study under private tuition, and pursued the study 
of law. This early training equipped him with a 
correct and graceful English style of expression, 
which in later life he was fond of practicing in 
manuscript of singular beauty. The boy's heart 
was in the wilderness and on the wave. Tall, hand- 
some of face, and lithe of limb, he early became 
expert with the rifle, the bridle, and the oar. So 
fleet and tireless was he on foot that the Sioux 
named him Wa-zi-o-ma-ni, Walker-in-the-pines. 
His grave and ceremonious manner was well cal- 
culated to gain the respect of the Indians, fond as 
they were of etiquette. Within two years after his 
arrival at his post he built and occupied a large 
stone house at Mendota, in which, especially after 
his marriage a few years later, he maintained a 
generous and elegant hospitality. The building 
still stands in a dilapidated condition. For many 
years Mr. Sibley, as justice of the peace, exercised 
jurisdiction over a territory of imperial extent, and 
was believed by his simple-minded clients, the 
voyageurs, to hold the power of life and death. 
As the trusted adviser of the Indian agent and the 
military commander, he steered them past many a 
difficult emergency. 

With the extension of the Indian trade under 
the protection of a military garrison, it was to be 
expected that an Indian agency would be estab- 
lished at a point so prominent and convenient as 


Fort Snelling. As the first agent, Lieutenant 
Lawrence Taliaferro, of the Third United States 
Infantry, was personally selected by President 
Monroe. He was a member of a well-known Vir- 
ginia family of Italian extraction, and had given 
evidence in the service of capacity and enterprise. 
His appointment was dated March 27, 1819. His 
age was twenty-five. For twenty years he held his 
position, at times against powerful opjjosition, ever 
a true friend of the Indian, a terror to illicit 
whiskey sellers, and never the tool of the Ameri- 
can Fur Company. 

It was the desire of the government to put an 
end to the ancient warfare between the two great 
tribes of Minnesota Indians. Pike in 1806 had 
induced some of their chiefs to smoke the calumet. 
In 1820 Governor Cass repeated the operation 
with the result of burning much good tobacco. 
Agent Taliaferro conceived a plan for keeping 
the peace between the Sioux and the Chippeways, 
which was to survey and stake out a partition line 
between their countries. In 1824, by permission of 
President Monroe, he took a delegation of Sioux, 
Chippeways, and Menominees to Washington, 
where an arrangement was made for a " grand 
convocation " of all the northwestern nations, to 
be held in the summer of 1825 at Prairie du Chien. 
That convocation was held, with many spectacular 
incidents, and a variety of adjustments were con- 
summated, lu particular it was agreed between 


the Sioux and Chippeway nations that their lands 
should be separated by a line to be drawn and 
marked by the white man's science. That line, 
when tardily staked out ten years later, started 
from a point in the Red River of the North near 
Georgetown, passed east of Fergus Falls and west 
of Alexandria, crossed the Mississippi between St. 
Cloud and Sauk Rapids, and went on in a general 
southeast direction to the St. Croix, which it struck 
not far from Marine. The savages paid little re- 
spect to this air line, but went on with their accus- 
tomed raids. Within a year there was a bloody 
encounter in sight of the agent's office. A single 
example of these savage frays may be given to 
illustrate their recurrence in series. 

In April, 1838, a party of Sioux hunting in the 
valley of the Chippeway River (of Minnesota) left 
a party of three lodges in camp near Benson, Swift 
County. Hole-in-the-day, the Chippeway chief from 
Gull River, with nine followers, came upon this 
camp, and professing himself peaceable was hospit- 
ably treated. In the night following he and his 
men rose silently, and upon a given signal shot 
eleven of the Sioux to death. One woman and a 
wounded boy escaped. 

In August of the same year Hole-in-the-day, 
with a small party, was at Fort Snelling. His ar- 
rival becoming known to neighboring Sioux, two 
or three relatives of the victims of the- April 
slaughter waylaid him near the Baker trading- 


house, and opened fire. Hole-in-the-day escaped, 
but the warrior with whom he had changed clothes 
was killed. 

In June of the following year a large party of 
Chippeways from the upper Mississippi, from Mille 
Lacs and the St. Croix valley, assembled at Fort 
Snelling. For some days they were feasted and 
entertained by the resident Sioux, and agent Talia- 
ferro got them started homewards. Two Chippeway 
warriors, related to the tribesmen killed by the 
Sioux the previous summer, remained behind, and 
went into hiding near the large Sioux village on 
Lake Calhoun. At daybreak, Nika (the badger), a 
warrior much respected, was shot in his tracks as 
he was going out to hunt, and the assassins made 
their escape. As the Sioux could easily surmise 
that they belonged to Hole-in-the-day's band, they 
decided not to retaliate on it, because they would 
be watched for. Two war-parties were immediately 
formed, the one to follow the Mille Lacs band, the 
other that from the St. Croix. It was lawful to re- 
taliate on any Chippeways. The Mille Lacs Indians 
were overtaken in their bivouacs on the Rum River 
at daylight on July 4. Waiting until the hunters 
had gone forward, the Sioux fired on the women, 
children, and old men, and harvested some seventy 
scalps, but they lost more warriors in the action 
than the Chippeways. The war-dance of the exult- 
ing Sioux went on for a month on the site of Lake- 
wood Cemetery in Minneapolis. Little Crow and 


his Kaposia band gave their attention to the St. 
Croix Chippeways, who returned, as they had come, 
by canoe down the Mississippi and up the St. Croix. 
Little Crow marched overland and got into posi- 
tion at Stillwater, where he lay in ambush for the 
retreating foe, who he knew would bivouac on the 
low ground near the site of the Minnesota state 
prison. A daybreak assault killed twenty-five of the 
Chippeways, but they made so good a defense that 
the Sioux were glad to retire. The mortality in the 
so-called " battles " of Rum River and Stillwater 
was exceptionally great. 

In the middle of the period now in view, a new 
influence, not heartily welcomed by the traders, 
came over the Minnesota Indians, — that of the 
missionaries, mostly Protestant. The first efforts 
at evangelization were made for the Chippeways 
and probably at the instance of Robert Stuart, the 
principal agent of the American Fur Company at 
Mackinaw, an ardent Scotch Presbyterian. In 1823 
a boarding-school was opened at that place and 
flourished for some years. In 1830 a mission was 
opened at La Pointe, Wisconsin, on the spot occu- 
pied by the Jesuit fathers one hundred and fifty 
years before. From this place as a centre mission 
work was extended into Minnesota. In 1833 the 
Rev. W. T. Boutwell proceeded to Leech Lake, 
built a log cabin, and began work. The Rev. Fred- 
erick Ayer opened a school at Yellow Lake, on the 
Wisconsin side of the St. Croix, and the Rev. E. E. 


Ely began teaching at Sandy Lake. Three years 
later all of these were removed for more concen- 
trated, cooperative effort to Lake Pokegama in Pine 
County. This mission was carried on with much 
promise for five years, when it was interrupted by 
a descent of a large war-party of Sioux led by 
Little Crow. Among the killed were two young 
girls, pupils of the mission school. The Chippeways 
abandoned the place for homes farther from the 
danger line, and this mission came to an end. The 
Chippeways had their revenge a year later (1842), 
when they came down to the near neighborhood of 
St. Paul and got in the so-called battle of Kaposia 
the scalps of thirteen Sioux warriors, two women, 
and a child. 

The missions to the Sioux were begun in the 
spring of 1834 by two young laymen from Con- 
necticut, who appeared at Fort Snelling without 
credentials from any synod or conference, but 
with abundant faith and zeal. They were brothers, 
Samuel William and Godwin Hollister Pond, then 
twenty-six and twenty-four years of age respect- 
ively. Although they had entered the Indian coun- 
try without leave or license, they secured at once 
the confidence of Agent Taliaferro and Major 
Bliss, commander of Fort Snelling. With their 
own hands they built a log cabin on the east shore 
of Lake Calhoun, on the edge of Cloudman's vil- 
lage. That chief selected the site. Established In 
this " comfortable home," they devoted themselves 


to learning tlie Dakota language. Within a few 
weeks they adapted the Koman letters to that 
language with such skill that the "Pond alphabet" 
has with slight modification been ever since used 
in writing and printing it. A Dakota child can be- 
gin to read as soon as it has " learned its letters." 
The zealous brothers made the first collections for 
the dictionary, later enlarged by others, prepared 
a spelling-book, and formulated a rude grammar. 
Mr. Sibley, who came in the fall of the same year, 
became a warm friend of the Ponds. 

The next missionary effort was by appointees of 
the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign 
Missions, best known by the short title "American 
Board." These were the Rev. Thomas S. William- 
son, missionary and physician ; the Rev. Jedediah 
D. Stevens,missIonary; Alexander Hugglns, farmer; 
their wives, and two lady teachers. These arrived 
at Fort Snelling in May, 1835. Mr. Stevens, who 
had made a tour of exploration in the country six 
years before, at once established himself on the 
northwest margin of Lake Harriet, now in the 
city of Minneapolis. He built two considerable log 
houses near the site of the street railroad station, 
in one of which he opened a school. The nucleus 
was a number of half-breed daughters of traders 
and military men, some of whom became highly 
respected Minnesota women. This school, however, 
was not the first in Minnesota, if the collection of 
Indian boys and men gathered by Major Taliaferro 


on the east bank of Lake Calhoun in 1829, and 
put to learning the art and mystery of agriculture, 
may be called a school. Philander Prescott was the 
teacher, and his pupils numbered twelve; the next 
year he had one hundred and twenty-five "different 
scholars." Within a few days after the arrival of 
these missionaries a Presbyterian church was organ- 
ized at Fort Snelling, June 11, the first in Minne- 
sota, with the Rev. Mr. Stevens in charge. 

The American Fur Company had an important 
stockaded post on Lac qui Parle in Chippeway 
County. The trader there was Joseph Kenville, 
who had been captain in the British frontier ser- 
vice in the War of 1812. He had married a woman 
of the Sioux by Christian rite, and had a large 
family growing up. Although Catholic by birth 
and education, he invited Dr. Williamson to come 
and establish his mission near him, so that his 
children might be taught. The mission at Lac qui 
Parle was thus promptly opened. Dr. Williamson 
has recorded that this school, begun in his house 
in July, was the first in Minnesota outside of Fort 
Snelling. It was continued for many years by his 
sister, Miss Jane Williamson, who perhaps ren- 
dered more lasting service than any of the noble 
band to which she belonged. After some two years' 
study of the Dakota language Dr. Williamson set 
about what became his life work, the translation of 
the Holy Scriptures into that tongue. The Rev. 
Stephen Return Riggs joined the Luc qui Parle 


mission in 1837, after having studied the Dakota 
under Samuel Pond. He soon became expert, pre- 
pared text-books for the schools, and later edited 
the Dakota dictionary and granmiar, to which all 
the Sioux missionaries contributed. Mission work 
begun in 1837 at Kaposia (now Sodth St. Paul) 
by Methodist preachers, and at Red Wing in 1839 
by Swiss Presbyterian evangelists, however praise- 
worthy for intention, was too early abandoned to 
have permanent results. Equally transient was the 
ministration of the Catholic father Ravoux, at Lac 
qui Parle and Chaska, in 1842. The missions 
of the American Board to the Minnesota Sioux 
were maintained until that nation was removed to 
the Missouri in 1863. The results were sufficient 
to encourage persistence, in hope of future success, 
but the great body of the Indians was not affected. 
For a time this was due to suspicion on the part 
of the Indians of the sincerity of the missionaries. 
They could understand the soldier and the trader, 
but the missionary was a puzzle. He had nothing 
to sell, he asked no pay for teaching the children, 
caring for the sick, or preaching the word. Why 
he should teach a religion of brotherhood, and still 
keep to himself his household stuff, his little store 
of food, and his domestic animals, was beyond 
the comprehension of savages accustomed to com- 
munistic life. A greater obstacle lay in the fact 
that the missionary had first to break down faith 
in an ancient religion, and the dominance of a body 


of medicine -men who maintained their cult by 
a ceremonial interwoven with the whole life and 
habits of the people. Not less obstructive was the 
example of most white men known to the Indians, 
— greedy, dissolute, and licentious. 



To discover the true source of any of the great 
rivers of the world, that is, that one of all sources 
which measured along the axis of its channel is 
farthest from its mouth, has ever been an allur- 
ing problem to the exploring geographer. David 
Thompson, geographer of the Northwest Company, 
in the course of a journey of exploration lasting a 
year and extending to the Missouri River, on April 
23, 1798, reached Turtle Lake, four miles north 
of Lake Bemidji, and believed himself the discov- 
erer of the true source of the Mississippi. Lieu- 
tenant Pike was confident that when on the 12th 
day of February, 1806, he reached the upper Red 
Cedar (Cass) Lake he was at the " upper source 
of the Mississippi." These claims were either not 
known or not trusted, and a series of expeditions 
to reach the " true source " of the Mississippi was 
begun, soon after the military occupation in 1819. 
Lewis Cass, known best in American history by 
his national employments as senator, cabinet ofifi- 
cer, and foreign minister, had cut such a figure as 
colonel of an Ohio regiment and brigadier-general 
in the War of 1812 that the President made him 


governor of the Territory of Michigan ; an office 
which he held for seventeen years. That territory 
in 1819 was extended to the Mississippi River. Its 
governor was naturally curious to see something of 
this immense addition to his jurisdiction and the 
great river forming its western bound. He sought 
and obtained leave to conduct an expedition. An 
engineer officer, Captain Douglass, was ordered 
to join it, and Governor Cass employed Henry 
R. Schoolcraft, of whom we are to hear later, as 
mineralogist at one dollar and a half a day. Leav- 
ing Detroit late in May, 1820, with ten Indians 
and seven soldiers, in three birch -bark canoes, 
Cass was at the American Fur Company's post at 
Fond du Lac (of Superior) on the 6th of July. 
He ascended the St. Louis River and took the 
Savanna portage to Sandy Lake. With a reduced 
party he pushed up stream through Lake Winne- 
bigoshish to that upper Red Cedar Lake which 
Pike had seen fourteen years before. Assured that 
this was the true source of the Mississippi, he 
ended his journey. Mr. Schoolcraft doubted, but 
he was too polite to differ openly with his chief. 
Captain Douglass on his map gave the lake the 
name " Cassina," which, shorn of two superfluous 
syllables, has remained in use. Mr. Schoolcraft 
wrote a narrative of the expedition which is very 
pleasant reading. The l-eturn journey, beginning 
July 22, was down the Mississippi to Prairie du 
Chien and thence to Green Bay by the Fox-Wis- 


consin portage. At Fort Snelling the party were 
feasted with fresh vegetables from the post garden. 
At the Sioux agency, then on the Mendota side of 
the Minnesota, some chiefs of the Sioux and Chip- 
peways were got together in council and a reluc- 
tant consent was obtained to cease from troubling 
one another. The high contracting parties were 
content to gratify the white man, but they under- 
stood the farcical nature of the convention. Gov- 
ernor Cass reported the cost of the expedition at 

It seems proper to interpolate here some account 
of the expedition conducted by Major Stephen H. 
Long of the topographical engineers of the army, 
in 1823, to the valleys of the Minnesota and Red 
rivers. Six years before, that officer had made an 
uneventful journey to St. Anthony's Falls, of which 
he left a graphic and appreciative description. His 
party, escorted by a detail of soldiers, left Fort 
Snelling on July 9 with Joseph Renville as inter- 
preter and guide. At Traverse des Sioux, Long 
abandoned his canoes and set out overland by the 
well-worn trail for Lake Traverse, where he was 
welcomed at the headquarters of the Columbia 
Fur Company. On August 2 Long reached Pem- 
bina, where he established a monument to mark 
a point astronomically determined in the interna- 
tional boundary. His instructions had been to 
strike east from Pembina and trace the boundary 
to the Lake of the Woods. This he found to be 


impracticable. Putting his people into bark canoes, 
he descended the Red Kiver past Fort Garry to 
Lake Winnipeg, traversed the south arm of that 
water, and ascended the Winnipeg liiver to Kat 
Portage on the Lake of the Woods. 

The homeward journey by the old Dawson route 
to Lake Superior, along the north shore to the 
Sault Sainte Marie and thence by the lower lakes 
and the Erie Canal, was rapidly made without nota- 
ble incident. Professor William H. Keating of the 
University of Pennsylvania, who was geologist of 
the expedition, published a narrative abounding in 
varied and interesting knowledfje. It will ever re- 
main indispensable to the historian of the period 
and region. 

Major Long had been accompanied from Fort 
Snelling to Pembina by an Italian gentleman of a 
romantic and enterprising nature, Giacomo Con- 
stantino Beltrami by name. Little is known of his 
early life beyond the facts that he had held mili- 
tary and civil appointments, and had, for reasons 
not revealed, found it desirable to absent himself 
from Italy. lie came to America full of zeal to be 
the discoverer of the true source of the Mississippi, 
and thus place himself in the company of great 
Italian explorers. Agent Taliaferro came upon 
him in Pittsburg and offered to further his am- 
bition. They reached Fort Snelling on the 10th 
of May, 1823, by the steamboat Virginia, the first 
steam vessel to reach that post. The crowd of won- 


dering Indians gathered on the levee were suffi- 
ciently impressed by the bulk of the white man's 
fire canoe ; but the scream of her steam whistle, 
opportunely let out, sent them scampering far off 
on the prairie. 

When Beltrami at Pembina found Major Long 
pointing his canoes down the Red River, he de- 
tached himself, and with a slender outfit and uncer- 
tain guides struck out to the southeast, where he 
expected to find the object of his journey. After a 
few days of hardship he reached the south shore 
of Red Lake, and there he found a " bois-brule " 
who guided him up a tributary then called Bloody 
River. It is marked " Mud Creek " on modern 
maps. A short portage brought him to a small, 
heart-shaped lake, to which he gave the name 
"Lake Julia," in memory of a deceased friend. 
Here on the 28th of August he reports himself as 
resting at the most southern source of the Red 
River and the most northern source of the Missis- 
sippi. He found no visible outlet to his lakelet and 
fancied that its seepage was indifferently the true 
source of the two rivers. His dream fulfilled and 
his ambition satisfied, he made all possible haste 
to Fort Snelling. He proceeded to New Orleans 
and in the next year (1824) published in French 
his " Discovery of the Sources of the Mississippi." 
An English version appeared under the title " A 
Pilgrimage in Europe and America." Lake Julia 
is still on the map, lying some two miles north of 


Turtle Lake, which David Thompson had charted 
twenty-five years before. The Minnesota geologists 
found no connection between it and Mississippi 
waters. It is noteworty that Beltrami placed on 
his map a " Lac la Biche " as the " western source 
of the Mississippi," which later explorers identified 
as approximately the true source. This knowledge 
he may have obtained from the intelligent guide, 
whom he praises highly, but whose name he neg- 
lected to report. 

It has been mentioned that Henry R. School- 
craft, mineralogist of Cass's expedition in 1820, 
was by no means satisfied that Cass Lake was the 
true source of the great river. Appointed Indian 
agent of the Chippeways, he resided for many 
years at the Sault Sainte Marie, longing for 
another plunge into the wilderness of the upper 
Mississippi. It was not until 1832 that the War 
Department, deferring to Governor Cass, was con- 
tent to give him leave, and then by indirection 
only. The instructions given Mr. Schoolcraft were 
to proceed to the country at the head of the Mis- 
sissippi, to visit as many Indians as circumstances 
might permit, to establish permanent peace among 
them, to look after the Indian trade and in particu- 
lar the trespasses of Hudson's Bay traders, to vac- 
cinate Indians as many as possible, and to gather 
statistics. He had no commission to explore. An 
officer of the army, Lieutenant James Allen, with 
a small detachment of soldiers, was ordered to be 


his escort. Traveling by way of Fond du Lac and 
the Savanna portage, Schoolcraft's party was at 
Cass Lake on July 10. The same day his guide 
Ozawindib (the Yellovvhead) collected five small 
canoes and made all needful preparations for the 
further journey, which began the morning after. 
The Yellowhead led the party up to and across 
Lake Bemidji, and from its southern limb up an 
east fork now mapped as the Yellowhead River, to 
a lakelet at its head. A six-mile portage to the 
west brought Schoolcraft, about two o'clock P. M., 
on the 13th of July, to a body of transparent water, 
which his guide assured him was the true source. 
In expectation of that moment the ardent explorer 
had cogitated on a suitable name. The missionary 
Boutwell, already mentioned, was a member of his 
party, having joined it to spy out the land for 
evangelical work. When asked by Mr. Schoolcraft 
the Latin for " true source," the reverend gentle- 
man could only remember that the Latin for truth 
was Veritas, and for head cajnit ; and he obligingly 
wrote the two words on a slip of paper. The leader 
cut off the head of the former and the tail of the 
latter, and joining the remaining syllables made 
the word " Itasca," as beautiful an Indian name 
as could be desired. On the island, bearing still 
his name, Mr. Schoolcraft erected a flagstaff, and 
flew the American colors. Lieutenant Allen in his 
report uses the French name Lac la Biche, the 
same communicated to Beltrami. How much atten- 


tion the explorer gave to gathering statistics, vac- 
cinating Indians, pacifying the Indians, and the 
like, may be inferred from the promptness with 
which he set out for home the very same day, and 
the speed of his journey. Taking an unused canoe 
route via Leech Lake and the headwaters of the 
Crow Wing, he was at Fort Suelling on the 24th 
of July. Leaving his escort, without a guide he 
hastened with all possible celerity by the St. Croix- 
Brule route to " the Sault." In his report to the 
War Department, dated December 3, 1832, he 
makes not the slightest reference to his excursion 
from Cass Lake to Itasca. His published narrative, 
however, shows no such gap. He had no orders to 
discover anything. 

What fortune or misfortune brought the French 
astronomer, Jos. N. Nicollet, to this country early 
in the thirties is not well known. Like Beltrami, 
he had the fever for exploration and discovery. In 
the midsummer of 183G this gentleman went from 
Fort Snelling up to Leech Lake, where he was 
sheltered by the missionary Boutwell. Here he 
found guides who took him by a new route out of 
the west arm of Leech Lake to Lake Itasca at the 
point reached by Schoolcraft. He made camp on 
Schoolcraft's Island and proceeded to take its lati- 
tude, longitude, and height above sea. So far he 
was merely confirming the work of Schoolcraft 
and Allen. Selecting the largest of three tributary 
inlets, he traced it three miles through two lakelets 


to a third, from wliich he found " the infant Missis- 
sippi flowing with a breadth of a foot and a half, 
and a depth of one foot." In the years 1889 and 
1891 J. V. Brower, commissioned by the Minne- 
sota Historical Society and the governor of Min- 
nesota, devoted many months to a careful examina- 
tion of the region above (south of) Itasca Lake. 
The result was the confirmation of Nicollet's work, 
with a further discovery of an " ultimate bowl " in 
the highlands (Hauteurs des Terres) from which 
Nicollet's lakes were fed. And then the long quest 
came to an end. 

The first white settlers in Minnesota, or rather 
squatters, for the region was not open to settle- 
ment for nearly twenty years after the military 
occupation, came from an unexpected quarter, A 
Scotch nobleman, the Earl of Selkirk, of a romantic 
turn, formed a scheme for relieving congested Eu- 
ropean districts by planting colonies abroad, and 
in Canada preferably to the United States. He 
bought of the Hudson's Bay Company a tract of 
something over 100,000 square miles, south and west 
of Lake Winnipeg, and in 1812 sent over a small 
party of Highlanders and a few Irish. Later addi- 
tions were made to the colony, among them two hun- 
dred Scotch in 1815. What with the persecutions 
of the bois-brul^s, of the Northwest Company, the 
destruction of crops by rats, grasshoppers, early 
frosts, and high water, the colonists led a stormy 


and precarious life for some years ; but they sur- 
vived. In 1821 came a party of one hundred and 
fifty or more Swiss clockmakers, wiled from their 
homes by the seductive allurements of an ingenious 

When the deluded people reached Fort Doug- 
lass and Pembina they found things far different 
from their expectations. Five families at once took 
the trail for the American fort. Two years later 
thirteen more families followed. In 1826, after a 
devouring flood in the Red River, two hundred and 
forty-three persons, Swiss and others, left Pembina 
for the south. In following years the migration 
continued, and by 183G nearly five hundred had 
come over the border. The greater number of them 
journeyed on to the French settlements down the 
river in Illinois and Missouri, but many preferred to 
tarry on the Fort Snelling reservation. The mili- 
tary gave them protection, allowed them \o pasture 
their cattle and cut grass on the bottoms, and to 
fence in and cultivate considerable farms. 

The reports of the military, the open secrets of 
the American Fur Company, the revelations of ex- 
plorers, and later the correspondence of mission- 
aries, at length made the upper Mississippi valley 
known as a land of promise. Travelers from Fort 
Snelling to " the head of the lake " by the old St. 
Croix canoe route had disclosed the existence of 
magnificent bodies of pine timber. A market for 
pine lumber had been opened about the Galena 


and Dubuque lead mines and the prairie regions 
abutting on the river. The voracious lumbermen 
of Wisconsin, mostly emigrants from Maine, were 
fierce to get their axes into this pine. As early as 
1822 a sawmill had been built on the Chippeway 
River near Menominee, and the stumpage bought 
of Wabashaw, chief of the lower Sioux, for one 
thousand dollars a year in goods. But there was 
no white man's country in Minnesota, except the 
Fort Snelling tract bought by Pike in 1805 and 
paid for in 1819, and that was not open to settle- 
ment, unless by tolerance of the military. The time 
came for extending the area of settlement and cul- 
tivation, and that was effected by two Indian trea- 
ties made in 1837. By a treaty with the lower Sioux 
the United States acquired all their lands east of 
the Mississippi up to the Sioux-Chippeway parti- 
tion line of 1825. The consideration was a half 
million dollars; but two hundred thousand dollars 
went to the traders and half-breeds in nearly equal 
sums. That was the price paid by the government 
for the use of their influence with the Indians. The 
Chippeways sold east of the Mississippi from the 
partition line up to the line running a little north 
of east from the mouth of the Crow Wing River. 
The delta between the Mississippi and the St. 
Croix up to the Crow Wing line was thus opened 
to settlement on the ratification of the treaties, on 
June 15, 1838. When the tidings of the ratifica- 
tion reached Fort Snelling a month later, the grass 


did not grow under the feet of waiting citizens, 
who had made notes of good locations. A claim 
abutting on the Falls of St. Anthony, on the east 
bank, was staked out before daylight of the follow- 
ing morning, and the falls of the St. Croix were pre- 
empted before sunset, all in accordance with law 
and custom. 

The first collection of people in Minnesota, aside 
from the garrison of Fort Snelling, was the little 
handet of Mendota, inhabited by French, half- 
breeds, and their Indian wives and children. At 
times its numbers were swelled by traders from out- 
posts coming in to headquarters to bring their furs 
and obtain supplies. Mendota is a French hamlet 
to-day. The first American settlement was made at 
Marine, on the St. Croix, early in 1839, where a saw- 
mill was put into operation August 24. In the year 
following, on a claim previously made, Joseph R. 
Brown laid out the town site of Dakotah on land 
now forming a part of Stillwater. This city was 
not laid out till 1843, when settlement was begun 
in full confidence that Stillwater was to be the great 
city of the region. Its progress for a few years 
seemed to justify that expectation. Later many of 
its people migrated to the new towns on the Mis- 
sissippi. In the year of the treaties (1837) the 
officer commanding at Fort Snelling had a survey 
made, to carve out of the Pike tract of nine by 
eighteen miles the land to be held by the govern- 
ment for military use. The bounds included prac- 


tically all of Reserve Township of Ramsay County, 
the east line passing through the "Seven Corners " 
of St. Paul. Because of growing scarcity of tim- 
ber, and alleged trespasses of the squatters, Major 
Plympton in the spring of 1838 ordered all those 
settled on the main reserve west of the Missis- 
sippi to move over to the east side. A very few had 
sufficient foresight to place themselves beyond the 
military lines, — among them one Pierre Parrant, 
a Canadian voyageur, who, not waiting for the 
ratification, built a whiskey shanty near the issue 
of the streamlet from Fountain Cave, in upper 
St. Paul, thus becoming the first inhabitant of that 
city. The evicted Swiss mostly settled on ground 
within easy reach of the fort, and there built their 
cabins anew. They were, however, not long allowed 
that indulgence. Their number was reinforced by 
a few voyageurs, discharged soldiers, and perhaps 
some other whites. Among the whites were a few 
who opened grog-shops at which the custom of the 
soldiers was very welcome. These places became so 
intolerable that the commandant begged the War 
Department to require all squatters to get off the 
reservation. His recommendation was adopted, and 
on the 6th of May, 1840, a deputy United States 
marshal, supported by a detachment of soldiers, 
drove them all over the lines and destroyed their 
cabins. What did they do but reestablish them- 
selves just beyond the line, about Parrant's claim ? 
French fashion, they grouped their cabins and 


formed a little French village, the nucleus of the 
capital city of Minnesota. A memorial of the evicted 
Swiss to Congress for indemnity for loss of im- 
provements on land they had been suffered to 
occupy and cultivate, and for the destruction of 
their shelters, was ignored. 

At all the trading stations of the American Fur 
Company there was a group of employees and 
hangers-on. At Mendota, the headquarters, the 
number was greater tlian elsewhere. In 1837 there 
were twenty-five such. When in July, 1839, Bishop 
Loras of Dubuque made a visitation there, he 
found one hundred and eighty-five Catholics gath- 
ered in to approach the sacraments of the church. 
In May of the following year the Rev. Lucius Gal- 
tier, sent up on an hour's notice from Dubuque, 
reached Mendota to begin a mission there. He 
naturally took under his care the Catholic families 
just then getting themselves under cover on the 
hillsides nearly opposite. November 1, 1841, he 
blessed a little log chapel the people had built 
under his direction, and dedicated "the new basil- 
ica" to St. Paul, "the apostle of the nations." The 
name " St. Paul's landing," for a time used, gave 
way to the more convenient St. Paul's and, later, 
to " St. Paul." Pere Galtier, however, remained at 
the more considerable Mendota till called to other 
duty in 1844. Father Ravoux, succeeding him, 
divided his time between the two hamlets till 1849. 

Up to 1845 St. Paul was a straggling French 


village of some thirty families, a floating popula- 
tion of voyageurs and workmen, to which two or 
three independent traders had joined themselves. 
In the next years Americans arrived in increasing 
numbers. In 1846 a post-office was established, 
and in the year after a regular line of steamboats 
began to ply down river in the season. 

The city at the falls was later in getting its start. 
The lucky citizen who preempted the land abreast 
of the falls on the left bank of the Mississippi did 
not lay out his town site of St. Anthony's Falls 
till late in 1847. A sawmill built that year went 
into operation the next, and the manufacture of 
lumber has since remained a leading industry. At 
Pembina, in the extreme northwest corner of Min- 
nesota, was an aggregation of French half-breeds 
of some hundreds. The rural population of the 
whole region well into the fifties was very sparse. 
A few farms had been opened along the St. Croix 
in Washington County. The principal part of the 
subsistence for man and beast was brought up from 
below in steamboats. 

When Iowa Territory was organized in 1838, 
Wisconsin Territory was restricted on the west to 
the line of the Mississippi. Minnesota East then 
formed part of Crawford County of the latter terri- 
tory. In the same year the governor of Wisconsin 
appointed as justice of the peace for that county 
a man who was to play a conspicuous part in 
Minnesota affairs. Joseph Renshaw Brown came 


to Minnesota as a drummer-boy of fourteen with 
the Fifth Infantry in 1819. Honorably discharged 
from that command some six or seven years later, 
he went into the Indian trade at different posts, at 
some of which he opened farms. He appreciated, as 
perhaps no other man in the region did so clearly, 
the possibilities of the future, and was fitted by 
nature, education, and experience to lead. In 1840 
he was elected a member of the Wisconsin teri'i- 
torial legislature from St. Croix County, a new 
jurisdiction separated from Crawford County by 
a meridian through the mouth of the Porcupine 
River, a small affluent of Lake Pepin. The county 
seat was of course Mr. Brown's town of Dakotah, 
already mentioned. There is reason to surmise a 
disappointed expectation that this to^\'n might be- 
come the capital of a state. In 1836 Congress 
passed an enabling act in the usual form for the 
promotion of Wisconsin to statehood. About the 
same time the Wisconsin delegate introduced a 
bill to establish the Territory of Minnesota. It was 
understood that Mr. Sibley would be the first gov- 
ernor and that Mr. Brown would not be neglected. 
The bill passed the House and reached its third 
reading in the Senate, when it was tabled on the 
suggestion of an eastern senator that the popula- 
tion was far too scanty to warrant a territorial 



On May 29, 1848, Wisconsin was admitted to the 
Union as a state, with her western boundary fixed 
where it has since remained, on the St. Croix River 
line. Congress having refused to extend "Wiscon- 
sin's area to the Rum River line. The delta between 
the St. Croix and the Mississippi was politically left 
in the air. In the earlier correspondence and per- 
sonal conferences of Minnesotians the only thought 
was of obtaining from Congress the establishment 
of a new territory. On August 4 a call signed by 
eighteen prominent residents of the wished-f or ter- 
ritory was issued, for a convention to be held at 
Stillwater on the 26th. Sixty -one delegates ap- 
peared and took part in what has since been known 
as "the Stillwater Convention " of 1848. The pro- 
ceedings resulted in two memorials, one to the Presi- 
dent, the other to Congress, both praying for the 
organization of a new territory ; in corresponding 
resolutions ; in the raising of a committee to prose- 
cute the purposes of the convention ; and in the elec- 
tion of Henry H. Sibley as a " delegate " to pro- 
ceed to Washington and urge immediate action. 
The late governor of Wisconsin Territory, Hon. 


Henry Dodge, had been elected United States sen- 
ator. The secretary of the territory had been Mr. 
John Catlin. A letter written by him August 22 
was read before the Stillwater convention. It em- 
bodied the suggestion that the Territory of Wis- 
consin might be considered as surviving in the 
excluded area. He transmitted a letter from James 
Buchanan, Secretary of State, expressing the opin- 
ion that the laws of Wisconsin Territory were still 
in force therein, and that judges of probate, sheriffs, 
justices of the peace, and constables might lawfully 
exercise their offices. Such being the case, what 
was there to hinder him, Mr. Catlin, from assuming 
the position of acting-governor of Wisconsin Ter- 
ritory, and performing the proper duties ? In par- 
ticular, why might he not appoint an election for 
the choice of a delegate to Congress in a regular 
manner, if a vacancy should occur? His judgment 
was that a delegate elected " under color of law " 
would not be denied a seat. This scheme, which 
seems to have made no impression on the Stillwater 
convention, was rapidly incubated after its disper- 
sion. Mr. Catlin took up a constructive residence 
at Stillwater. John H. Tweedy, delegate from 
Wisconsin Territory to the Thirtieth Congress, 
obligingly put in his resignation. Thereupon Act- 
ing-Governor Catlin issued a call for an election of 
a delegate to be held on the 30th of October. The 
result was the choice of Mr. Sibley against a slight 
and ineffective opposition. 


The delegate-elect presented himself at the door 
of the national House of Representatives at the 
opening of the second session of the Thirtieth Con- 
gress. His credentials had the usual reference to 
the committee on elections. Mr. Sibley's argument 
was ingenious and exhaustive, and it proved effect- 
ive, for the committee absorbed its substance into 
their favorable report. On January 15, 1849, the 
House by a vote of 124 to 62 accorded Mr. Sibley 
his seat as delegate from Wisconsin. The same 
House refused, however, to make any appropriation 
for the expenses of a territory existing by virtue of 
mere geographical exclusion. A bill for the estab- 
lishment of the Territory of Minnesota had been 
introduced into the Senate in the previous session. 
It was identical with that which had been strangled 
on the last day of the Twenty-ninth Congress. Mr. 
Sibley properly devoted himself to advancing the 
progress of the bill. It was promptly passed by the 
Senate, but it lagged in the House. The Whig ma- 
jority had no consuming desire to favor a beginning 
likely to result in a Democratic delegation from a 
new state. They therefore clapped on an amend- 
ment, to which the Senate could not possiblj' agree, 
that the act shoidd take effect March 10, six days 
after the expiry of President Polk's term of office. 
The end of the session was but four days away. A 
House bill for the establishment of a Department 
of the Interior was still pending in the Senate. It 
provided for a goodly number of officials to be 


named by the incoming Whig President. Senator 
Douglas, acting foi* colleagues, authorized Mr. Sib- 
ley to give out to his Whig opponents that the 
Senate would be better disposed to passing their 
interior department measure if they should find it 
ajrreeable to recede from their offensive amend- 
ment to the Minnesota bill. On the last day of the 
session Mr. Sibley had the pleasure of seeing his 
bill pass, under suspension of the rules, without 
opposition. No one was so much surprised at the 
outcome as Mr. Sibley himself. It took thirty-seven 
days for the good news to reach St. Paul by the 
first steamer of the season from below. The bound- 
aries of the new territory were those of the state 
later admitted, except that the west line was pushed 
out to the Missouri River, thus including an area 
of some 166,000 square miles. The governorship 
fell to Alexander Ramsey of Pennsylvania, then 
thirty-four years of age, who deserved well of his 
party in its late campaign and had done some ex- 
cellent service as a member of the Twenty-eighth 
and Twenty-ninth Congresses. lie had been well 
educated in the best school, that of a life of indus- 
try and aspiration. Clear-headed, cautious, patient, 
he knew how to anticipate the courses of things 
and to plan for the probabilities of the future. He 
identified himself from the first with his new terri- 
tory, and remained to the end of his long life, in 
1903, a steadfast, loyal IMinnesotian. 

On May 27, in a small bedroom in Bass's log 


tavern on the site of the Merchant's Hotel in St. 
Paul, Mr. Ramsey wrote out on a little unpainted 
washstand his i^roclamation declaring the territory 
duly established. On June 11 he announced the 
division of his immense jurisdiction into three pro- 
visional counties, assigning to each one of the three 
judges, Goodrich, Sherburne, and Meeker, who had 
been appointed by the President. At the same 
time he directed the sheriff of St. Croix County to 
make a census of the population. The reported 
total did not measure up to the conjectures of 
hopeful citizens. After counting the 317 soldiers 
at " the Fort," all the attaches of the trading posts, 
637 dwellers at Pembina and QQ on the Missouri 
River, the footing stood at 4780 souls. 

Pursuant to the organic act Governor Ramsey 
by proclamation of July 7 divided the territory into 
seven council districts, and ordered an election for 
August 1. The first territorial legislature that day 
elected, consisting of nine councilors and eighteen 
representatives, met at St. Paul, September 4. The 
organic act having provided that the laws in force 
in the late Territory of Wisconsin should remain 
in operation until altered or repealed by the Min- 
nesota territorial legislature, this inexperienced 
body was not heavily burdened. The most notable 
enactment was that for the establishment of a sys- 
tem of free schools for all children and youth of 
the territor}', introduced by Martin McLeod, but 
probably drawn up by the Rev. Edward Duffield 


Neill, the well-known historian of Minnesota. A 
bill passed October 20, incorporating the Min- 
nesota Historical Society, was doubtless from the 
same hand. Governor Ramsey's message of 1849 
was much extended by an account of the Indian 
tribes of the territory, prepared for him by Dr. 
Thomas Foster. 

There was no legislative session in 1850. The 
statutes of 1851 embrace but few of notable impor- 
tance. After a long and bitter struggle the capital, 
temporarily placed by the organic act at St. Paul, 
was permanently located in that town. To secure 
the majority vote it was necessary to concede to 
Stillwater the state prison and to St. Anthony 
the university. The evidence of a formal " tripar- 
tite agreement " to this arrangement is lacking, 
but it is probable that an understanding or ex- 
pectation influenced the voting. The diligence with 
which a body composed largely of fur-traders and 
lumbermen overhauled a revision of the territorial 
laws, prepared by a committee of lawyers, bears 
testimony to a zeal for duty. The result was the 
well-known " Code of 1851." It embodied substan- 
tially the New York code of procedure. The gen- 
eral incorporation law did not include railroad 
corporations. An act of 1852 ])rohibiting the 
manufactui'e and sale of intoxicating liquors was 
submitted to a vote of the electors and ratified by 
a vote of 853 to 662. Before the year was out the 
supreme court of the territory, on an appeal from 


below, ruled the act to be unconstitutional on the 
ground that the organic law having vested all legis- 
lative power in the legislative bodies, the referen- 
dum was inoperative. In 1853 equity procedure 
was conformed to that of civil actions. 

The dominating feature of Governor Ramsey's 
territorial governorship was the extinguishment of 
the Indian title of occupancy to all the lands of 
the Sioux in Minnesota, except the small reserva- 
tions. No time was lost by interested parties in 
impressing on Mr. Ramsey the importance of in- 
creasing the area of settlement in his territory. 
Land speculators and lumbermen desired an en- 
largement of their spheres of operation. The Indian 
traders, who in previous years would have opposed 
a treaty of cession, were at this time, under changed 
circumstances, eager. The hunting of wild animals 
for their pelts had greatly reduced their numbers, 
so that the trade had dwindled. The prospect of 
profits in land speculation appeared likely to ex- 
ceed those of Indian trading. The traders also were 
of opinion that it was about time for a substantial 
liquidation of Indian debts due them. The half- 
breeds and squaw men had, as we shall see, a strong 
desire for a treaty. Moved by what seemed a gen- 
eral demand. Governor Ramsay recommended to 
the first territorial legislature that they memorialize 
Congress to provide for a treaty of cession with the 
Sioux. That body promptly complied. The com- 


missioner of Indian affairs had meantime been in- 
terested to such a degree that he arranged for a 
treaty, and to pay the expenses out of funds already 
at his disposal. He appointed as commissioners to 
conduct the negotiation Governor Ramsey, being 
already superintendent ex-officio of Indian affairs 
in his territory, and the Hon. John Chambers of 
Iowa, and furnished them a body of instructions, 
which served more than the immediate purpose. 
He restricted their expenditure for presents to 
($6000. The Sioux were summoned by runners to 
come in to council in October. The commissioner 
of Indian affairs was precipitate. The traders were 
not quite ready, and there were prominent citizens 
in St. Paul who feared that a big cession of Indian 
lands west of the river might give Mendota a dan- 
gerous precedence. But few of the Sioux came in, 
and they were unwilling to treat. The effort aborted. 
Its success might have secured for Governor Ram- 
sey political rewards for which he had to wait. The 
Indian appropriation bill of 1850, carrying il5,000 
for the expenses of treating, was not approved till 
September 30. The season was too late for the 
assemblage of the Indians, widely scattered on 
their fall hunts. Then ensued a contention, last- 
ing many months, over the appointment of a col- 
league to Governor Ramsey for the negotiation of 
the treaty. At one time it appeared that a trading 
interest adverse to the American Fur Company 
had virtually succeeded in securing the appoint- 


ment of a gentleman from Indiana on whom it could 
depend. To dispose of this and other aspirants, 
an amendment was tacked on to the proper para- 
graph of the Indian appropriation hill of the ses- 
sion, providing that commissioners making Indian 
treaties should thereafter be selected from officials 
of the Indian Bureau, to serve without extra com- 
pensation. The contemplated treaty with the Sioux 
involving a cession of many millions of acres and 
large disbursements for a long time, the commis- 
sioner of Indian affairs, the Hon. Luke Lea of 
Mississippi, resolved to act in person. 

The Minnesota Sioux comprised four of the seven 
tribes of the nation, and were themselves geogra- 
phically divided into "upper" and "lower" Sioux. 
The two upper tribes were the Sissetons and Wah- 
p^tons. The former had their villages on lakes Big 
Stone and Traverse, the latter on the upper reaches 
of the Minnesota River, with some sandwiching of 
bands. The lower Sioux were the Medawakantons 
and the Wah-pe-ku-tes : the villages of the former 
were strung along the west bank of the Mississippi 
from Winona to Fort Snelling and on up the ISIin- 
nesota to Belle Plaine. The Wah-p^-ku-tes dwelt 
on the headwaters of the Cannon River, in what 
Nicollet called his " Undine region." As they were 
averse, like all barbarians, to having their numbers 
counted, the Indian Bureau up to the time when 
all became " annuity Indians " could only guess at 
the population. Eight thousand was the general 


estimate at the middle of the century. Each tribe 
was subdivided into bands of unequal numbers, 
each under its own chief. The bands of each tribe 
recognized one of the older and most capable chiefs 
as their head chief. Wabashaw was head chief of 
the Medawakantons. The instructions of 1849, al- 
ready mentioned, charged the commissioners to 
make but one treaty, advised them to promise no 
money payments, and forbade them to provide for 
debts due by Indians to the traders. The reader 
can surmise why no Indians came to treat. 

The new commissioner of Indian affairs did not 
of course have to instruct himself, and he appears 
to have relaxed the conditions imposed by his pre- 
decessor. At any rate, he soon found out that if 
he wished to make a treaty it would be necessary 
for him to pay some money, and to arrange for the 
payment of traders' claims. Because of a diversity 
of these claims against the upper and the lower 
Sioux it was desired that separate treaties be made. 
This was conceded. Because the upper tribes were 
thought to be less opposed to a treaty and a cession, 
it was decided to begin with them ; and those In- 
dians were summoned to council on July 1 at Tra- 
verse des Sioux. The commissioners and their party 
found on their arrival none but those there resident. 
It was not till the 18th that enough of the upper 
bands had come in to warrant negotiation. Mean- 
time the disinclination of the Indians had been 
mitigated by the rations of pork, beef, and flour 


dispensed by the commissary, and presents to re- 
luctant chiefs. On July 23 the treaty was signed 
in duplicate. As the chiefs left the table they were 
" pulled by the blanket " and steered to another, 
where they touched the pen to a third document, 
which later became notorious under the name of 
" the traders' paper." The upper Sioux by this 
treaty sold to the United States all their lands in 
Minnesota for $1,665,000, except a reservation 
twenty miles wide straddling the Minnesota River, 
from Lake Traverse down to the Yellow Medicine 
River. The principal consideration was an annual 
payment of $68,000 for fifty years, of which $40,000 
was to be cash. The United States also engaged to 
expend $30,000 for schools, mills, blacksmith shops, 
and like beneficial purposes, to remove the Indians 
to their new homes, and to provide them with sub- 
sistence for one year. A residue of $210,000 was 
to be paid to the chiefs in such manner as they 
should thereafter in open council request, to en- 
able them " to settle their afPairs and comply with 
their present engagements " ; in plain English, to 
pay the claims of the traders. The traders' paper 
amounted to an assignment in blank of this whole 
sum. The schedule of claims was not attached to the 
paper till the next day. On the question whether 
the chiefs who signed knew what they were doing, 
the evidence is conflicting. On August 5 a second 
treaty, ceding the same lands, was signed at Men- 
dota. The reservation for the lower bands was also 


on the Minnesota River, extending from the upper 
reserve down to the neighborhood of New Ulm. 
Each of the two tribes agreed to pay traders' 
claims to the amount of i|90,000. The lower Sioux 
were encouraged to conclude the bargain by a 
promise that 130,000 out of a 150,000 "educa- 
tion " fund provided for in the treaty of 1837 and 
never paid, but allowed to accumulate, should be 
distributed, so soon as the treaty should be signed. 
The money was paid, and within a week it was in 
the hands of St. Paul merchants and whiskey sell- 
ers ; $10,000 or thereabout went for horses. The 
commissioners congratulated themselves and the 
country on this magnificent purchase of a region 
larger than New York, at a cost of the " sum paid 
in hand." The annual payments promised would, 
they figured, be equaled by the interest from the 

The treaties awaited the action of the Senate. 
Before that body convened in the December follow- 
ing, representations were made to the authorities 
at Washington that a " stupendous fraud " had 
been practiced on the Sioux. The upper Sioux, in- 
spired by a trader attached to an interest adverse 
to the American Fur Company, which had not ob- 
tained recognition for its claims, were much excited. 
In December twenty-one chiefs resorted to St. 
Paul, where they represented to Agent McLean 
and Governor Ramsey that their signatures to the 
traders' paper were obtained by fraud and deceit. 


They declared that their bands owed no such sums 
of money, but were willing to pay what sums a fair 
examination of the claims might prove to be just. 
The agent promised to report their protest and de- 
mands to his superiors, which he did. Governor 
Kamsey had only to assure the chiefs that as ti-eaty 
commissioner he had nothing to do with traders' 
claims. The money would be paid to their chiefs 
and braves, and it was for them to dispose of it as 
they thought proper. When the treaties were laid 
before the Senate in February, 1852, opposition to 
ratification at once sprang up, and long delay en- 
sued. It was not any allegations of fraud and 
deceit which formed the ground of this opposition. 
It came from Southern senators not willing to ex- 
tend the area of settlement to the north, on which 
to build another free state. It was not till June 23 
that ratification was voted by a slender majority, 
and that not till after amendments were made, 
which opponents believed the Sioux would never 
agree to. In particular the senators cut out the 
paragraphs providing for the two reservations, and 
substituted a provision that the President should 
select new homes for the Minnesota Sioux outside 
the ceded territory. 

In August Governor Ramsey was authorized to 
obtain the consent of the Indians to the amend- 
ments. This was effected through persons influ- 
ential among them and without calling general 
councils of the tribes. The consent of the upper 


Sioux, however, was not secured till after the exe- 
cution of a power of attorney to Governor Ramsey, 
which they were allowed to believe " broke " all 
former papers, that of the traders in particular. 
The money appropriated for the immediate pay- 
ments became available so soon as the Sioux chiefs 
had signed their ratifications, and Governor Ram- 
sey was designated as disbursing agent and given 
a credit on the treasury for $593,000. The pay- 
ments did not begin till November, and then with 
the lower Sioux. The Wah-pd-ku-te chiefs gave no 
trouble, but signed their joint receipt for $90,000 
of " hand money," and a power of attorney to Mr. 
Sibley to receive the money and distribute it to 
their licensed traders. The seven Medawakanton 
chiefs would not sign receipts till after they had 
been encouraged by the distribution of -120,000 in 
equal sums, deducted from the amount of traders' 
claims. Some minor enticements contributed. At 
" The Traverse," a fortnight later, " a very evil 
and turbulent spirit " was manifest. The chiefs 
demanded the money " for settling their affairs " 
to be paid to them. They would then decide " in 
open council " how it should be distributed. Mr. 
Ramsey was firm, and held them to the terms of 
the traders' paper, which he considered an irrevo- 
cable contract. The local Sissetons were so riotous 
that a company of troops had to be summoned from 
Fort Snelling to keep them in order. After much 
delay and no little effort he was able to obtain 


twelve signatures to a receipt for the money to go 
to traders, but only two of the names were those 
of old and well-recognized chiefs, and only one that 
of a signer of the treaty of 1851. The moneys thus 
secured to the traders, and some moderate gratifica- 
tions to the half-breeds, were, with the exception 
of the 190,000 paid the Wah-pd-ku-tes, delivered 
by Governor Ramsey to one Hugh Tyler, a citizen 
of Pennsylvania holding powers of attorney. This 
gentleman distributed according to the schedules 
of the traders' papers, retaining by their consent 
the sum of $55,250, about thirteen and one half 
per cent., as compensation for his services in secur- 
ing the ratification of the treaties and for other 

Political enemies of Governor Ramsey, and par- 
ties dissatisfied with the distribution of moneys 
under the treaties, laid formal charges and specifi- 
cations against him before the Senate at the next 
session, in 1853. Upon the request of that body 
the President undertook an investigation and ap- 
pointed two Democratic commissioners. Their re- 
port, covering, with testimony and exhibits, 431 
octavo pages, was submitted to the Senate in 1854. 
It was on the whole moderate and even charitable 
in tone, but conveyed a censure for allowing the 
Indians to deceive themselves, for not paying 
strictly in accordance with the terms of the trea- 
ties, for use of oppressive measures in securing 
the receipts of the chiefs, and for allowing Hugh 


Tyler a percentage not " necessary for any reason- 
able or legitimate purpose." The testimony dis- 
closed that some amount of this money had been 
used as a " secret service fund " to expedite the 
business. As to the use of money to influence offi- 
cials, the principal witness for the defense declared 
that none had gone or would go into the hands of 
Governor Ramsey, but that as to other officers, he 
declined to answer. The labored argument of his 
lawyers served only to darken counsel, when com- 
pared with Governor Ramsey's clear and frank 
explanation, filed before the investigation was 

The report went to the Senate committee on 
Indian affairs, a Democratic committee of a Demo- 
cratic Senate. On February 24, 1854, they reported 
that after a careful examination of all the testimony 
the conduct of Governor Ramsey was not only free 
from blame, but highly commendable and meri- 
torious. Thereupon the committee was discharged 
from further consideration. 

The gist of the matter is, that a treaty of cession 
was much desired by the people of the territory, 
and intensely by politicians and speculators. It 
could not have been long delayed. No treaty could 
be made with these Indians without the active aid 
and intervention of the traders and half-breeds. 
Such aid could be had only by paying for it. The 
device of allowing Indians to stipulate in treaties 
for the payment to traders of debts due them from 


individual Indians, as if they were tribal obliga- 
tions, had long been practiced. But for the machi- 
nations of disgruntled parties desirous of being 
taken into the happy circle of beneficiaries, the 
scheme might have been worked as quietly and 
comfortably as usual. An old interpreter says of 
these treaties that " they were fair as any Indian 
treaties." Having undertaken to see that the traders 
and half-breeds should not go unrewarded for their 
indispensable services, Governor Ramsey stood by 
them to the end. The sums paid them were no 
robbery of the Indians. But for the fact that the 
treaties of 1851 were the beginning of troubles to 
be later treated of, they need not have taken so 
much of the reader's time. 

A few days after Governor Ramsey took up his 
residence in St. Paul, another citizen established 
himself in that city of promise. His ambition was 
not confined to sharing in the unearned increment 
of a rapidly growing capital city; he wished also 
to take a part in public affairs. Henry M. Rice, 
born in 1816 in Vermont, emigrated to Michigan 
at the age of nineteen, equipped with an academy 
education and two years of law studies. He came on 
to Minnesota in 1839, and was employed presently 
by the Chouteaus of St. Louis, who took over the 
business of the American Fur Company, to manage 
their Winnebago and Chippeway trade from Prairie 
du Chien. In 1847 he became a partner in the 


business and removed to Mendota, a place much 
too strait for two such men as himself and Mr. 
Sibley. Established in St. Paul, Mr. liice threw 
himself into every movement and enterprise pro- 
jected for the development of the town. He 
generously shared his gains with the public. His 
personal qualities were such that he could not help 
desiring public employment and obtaining great 
success in it. His manners were so gracious and 
yet not patronizing, that he made friends with all 
sorts and conditions of men. He divined with an 
unerring instinct the motives of men and parties, 
and knew when and how by appropriate suggestion 
to let them apparently move themselves towards 
his desired ends. An early example of Mr. Rice's 
influence and success may be found in a contract 
which he obtained in 1850 for collecting vajjrant 
Winnebagoes and returning them to their reserva- 
tions. The Winnebagoes were a powerful Wiscon- 
sin tribe when the white man came, and long after. 
The government persuaded them to vacate first 
their mineral lands and later all their lands in 
Wisconsin, and move to the so-called " neutral 
ground " in Iowa. This was a strip of territory 
some twenty miles wide, starting from the north- 
east corner of Iowa and running south of west to 
the Des Moines River. The generous presents and 
annuities required to effect the sale and removal 
were the ruin of the Winnebagoes. They became 
idle, dissolute, mischievous. The white settlers 


could not endure them, and the Indians themselves 
tired of their confinement to a narrow area. Accord- 
ingly in 184G a treaty was effected for the exchange 
of the neutral ground for a reservation of eight 
hundred thousand acres in Northern Minnesota. A 
tract lying between the Watab and Long Prairie 
rivers, west of the Mississippi, was obtained from 
the Chippeways for this purpose. 

In the summer of 1848, with the help of traders 
and the military, the Winnebagoes, by this time sick 
of their bargain, were put on the road for their 
new home. Some did not start, others fell out by 
the way, but a majority of the twenty-five hundred 
souls were landed at Long Prairie. They liked the 
new home even less than they expected, and soon 
began to desert and scatter ; some to encamp along 
the upper Mississippi, some to the neutral ground, 
others to their ancient country in Wisconsin ; and 
a few are said to have wandered off to the Mis- 
souri. Wherever they went they were unwelcome, 
and the Indian office was flooded with complaints 
of their depredations and trespasses. Mr. Rice had 
traded with the Winnebagoes and had so attached 
them to himself that they had made him their sole 
commissioner to choose their new Minnesota home. 
His aid had been called in to persuade them to 
move. To him now the Whig commissioner of In- 
dian affairs resorted to round up the vagrant In- 
dians and corral them on their proper reservation. 
He agreed to pay Mr. Rice seventy dollars per 


head for the service. Meantime Governor Ramsey 
and Agent Fletcher were occupied with collecting 
the Indians below, and preparing to transport or 
march them northward without material expense 
to the government. Delegate Sibley was supposed 
to be the proper territorial organ at the seat of 
government. The feelings of these gentlemen may 
be imagined when they learned that the " infamous 
Rice contract," of which they had not had the least 
knowledge or suspicion, had been concluded, and 
Mr. Rice's agents were on the road. In vain did 
Governor Ramsey inform the commissioner that he 
had several hundred ready to march; in vain was 
Delegate Sibley's " official protest " against a secret, 
unconscionable, insulting proceeding. A House 
committee of investigation exonerated the commis- 
sioner, but he took early occasion to resign his 
office. The point of interest to the Minnesota cit- 
izen was not the alleged excessive cost to the gov- 
ernment, or the comfort of the Winnebagoes. He 
was concerned to know who had the greatest pull at 
Washington, and it appeared to him at the close that 
a certain private citizen of St, Paul, a Democrat, 
and not the Whio; ofovernor nor the Democratic 
delegate, was the man to " swing things " there. 

In the fall of the same year (1850) came the 
regular election for delegate to succeed Mr. Sibley 
upon the expiration of his term. Mr. Rice, who 
had contested Mr. Sibley's election in 1848 as dele- 
gate from Wisconsin, — with little vigor, however. 


— was too prudent to come out against one who 
had brought home the organic act, and made no 
oi)position to Mr. Sibley's unanimous election as 
delegate to the Thirty-first Congress, although he 
organized the democracy of the territory as if for 
a candidacy. Nor did he personally aspire to the 
office when Mr. Sibley's first term was to expire. 
To defeat that gentleman he virtually dictated the 
Whig nominee, who had been useful in securing 
the Winnebago contract, and persuaded the regular 
Democratic nominee to retire on the eve of election 
in favor of the Whig candidate. 

Mr. Sibley, although a Jeffersonian Democrat 
dyed in the wool, ran as a people's candidate. The 
total vote was 1208 ; a transfer of 46 votes would 
have elected the Whig candidate. The account of 
historians, surviving citizens, and the newspapers 
of the day concur in pronouncing this political cam- 
paign the bitterest and most intensely personal 
ever known in Minnesota. Mr. Sibley's opponents 
attacked him as the representative and tool of the 
American Fur Company, an ancient, shameless, in- 
tolerable monopoly. Party lines broke down, and 
the issue became " Fur versus Anti-Fur." 

Mr. Sibley served through the Thirty -first and 
Thirty-second Congresses with admirable efficiency. 
At one time objection was made against his active 
participation in general legislation, and the sug- 
gestion made that a delegate should confine him- 
self to matters concerning his territory. Mr. Sibley 


replied that Minnesota was part of the United 
States, and that whatever concerned them concerned 
her, and claimed for her delegate the right to be 
heard, and all the more because he had no vote. 
The matter was dropped. lie had little difficulty 
in obtaining for Minnesota the needful appropria- 
tions for her government expenses, roads, and pub- 
lic buildings, and the reservation in 1851 of two 
sections in each township for common schools, and 
of two townships of land for the endowment of a 
university. His most conspicuous act, in the highest 
degree creditable to him, although barren of results, 
was his effort to secure the passage of his bill to 
extend the laws of the land over the Indians. His 
speech of August 2, 1850, in which he denounced 
the rascality of the white man's dealings with the 
natives, the absurdity of treating with them as 
separate nations, and their need of the protection 
of the law, is a splendid testimony to the intelli- 
gence and wisdom of the man who doubtless knew 
more about Indian affairs than any other man on 
the floor. He spoke to deaf ears. The government 
went on sowing to the wind, to reap the whirlwind. 
Mr. Sibley was permitted to return to private 
life at the close of his second term and devote him- 
self to closing up his relations with the American 
Fur Company, of which he had remained the head. 
Mr. Rice was selected to succeed him by a three 
fourths majority vote over Alexander Wilkin, his 
Whig opponent. 



The triumph of the Democratic party in the elec- 
tions of 1852 was notice to all the appointive ter- 
ritorial officers of Minnesota that their days were 
numbered. On May 15, 1853, Governor Ramsey 
gave place to the Hon. Willis A. Gorman, and the 
Whig judges were succeeded by Messrs. William 
H. Welch, Andrew G. Chatfield, and Moses G. 

The appointment of governor was a disappoint- 
ment to the friends of Mr. Sibley, who felt that he 
had good right to aspire to the office. His connec- 
tion with the now discredited fur company, and his 
failure to ally himself with the Democratic machine 
in Minnesota, left the President free to bestow the 
appointment on some one who had done loyal ser- 
vice in the late campaign. In this regard few were 
more deserving than Colonel Gorman of Indiana. 
Born in 1816, he was admitted to the bar at the 
age of twenty, and three years later became a 
member of the legislature. At the outbreak of the 
Mexican War he raised and commanded a battalion 
of riflemen and later a regiment of infantry. After 
that war he served two years in Congress, and de- 


served well of his party. His power upon the stump 
was enhanced by a graceful personality and a voice 
of great melody and strength. The affairs of the 
territory had already been organized and had fallen 
into an orderly routine, so that Governor Gorman's 
administration of four years was not marked by 
notable executive acts. His messages abound in 
eloquent passages, generally commendatory of 
worthy enterprises and objects. The exigencies of 
politics and business presently put him and Mr. 
Sibley into the same bed, and affiliated Mr. Ram- 
sey to some degree with Mr. Rice. 

Legislative action was devoted mainly to pro- 
visions for the needs of a rapidly swelling popula- 
tion and expanding settlements. New counties were 
organized from year to year, and towns, cities, and 
villages were incorporated in astonishing numbers. 
College and university charters were distributed 
with liberal hand to aspiring municipalities. The 
disposition of the government appropriation for 
territorial roads occupied much time of the houses. 
The commissioners and surveyors employed in 
laying out the roads, and the contractors who un- 
dertook the construction, saw to it that no idle 
surpluses were left over. Plank-road charters were 
numerous, but none were ever built. Railroad in- 
corporations occupy great space in the journals 
and statutes, perhaps because they had been ex- 
cepted out of the general law of 1851 for the crea- 


tion of corporations. Ferry privileges were much 
sought for. 

The same conditions governed the activity of 
Mr. Rice, who took his seat as delegate in Congress 
in December, 1853. Industrious, persuasive, and 
soon influential, he promoted in many ways the 
intei'ests of the territory and his constituents, and 
by so doing obtained a popularity hardly equaled 
in Minnesota history. He was diligent in laboring 
for the extension of the land surveys and the estab- 
lishment of land offices. He secured the opening 
of post-offices in the new villages. His influence 
contributed to the extension of the preemption 
system to unsurveyed lands, a change which vir- 
tually opened all lands not Indian to settlement. 
Mr. Rice's own personal qualities were such as to 
give him wide acquaintance and influence, and 
these were extended in no small degree by those 
of the charming Virginian lady whom he had taken 
to wife. Standing for reelection in the fall of 1855, 
he won by a handsome plurality over his Republi- 
can opponent, William R. Marshall, and another 
Democratic candidate, David Olmstead, supported 
by the friends of Mr. Sibley. 

As the administration of Mr. Ramsey had been 
signalized by the opening of many millions of acres 
of Indian lands to white men's occupation in south- 
ern Minnesota, so in Governor Gorman's day great 
areas were opened in the Chippeway country of 
northern Minnesota. It is probable that ]\Ir. Rice, 


more familiar with the Chippeways than any other 
public man, was most influential of all in procuring 
the cessions. 

The earliest explorers to the shores of Lake Su- 
perior had brought away specimens of native copper 
and Indian reports of hidden metallic treasure. In 
1826 Governor Lewis Cass obtained, by a treaty 
made at Fond du Lac with the Chippeways, the 
right of the whites to search for metals and min- 
erals in any part of their vast country. Although 
no mining development took place, the belief per- 
sisted that there was great metallic wealth in the 
upper lake region. The first cession in the north- 
west was that of the Chippeways of Lake Superior 
in September, 1854, of the "triangle " north of the 
lake, extending westward to the line of the St. 
Louis and Vermilion rivers, embracing nearly three 
million acres. This great cession was followed by 
another still greater, early in 1855. Nearly four 
hundred townships in the north central part of the 
state were freed from Indian incumbrance. The 
two cessions cover nearly one half of the area of 
the state. It was the lumber interest which desired 
the acquisition of 1855. On the area liberated 
stood large bodies of the finest pine forests of 
America. The current belief was tliat they could 
never be exhausted. Of Chippeway country there 
remained a trapezoidal block in the extreme north- 
west corner of the state, which was acquired by 
treaty in 18G3. 


In 1851, immediately after the conclusion of the 
Sioux treaties of Traverse des Sioux and Mendota, 
Governor Ramsey made the long journey from St. 
Paul to Pembina, and there made a treaty with 
the local Chippeways for the cession of a great 
tract. This treaty went in with the Sioux treaties 
for confirmation and had to be " sacrificed " to 
secure favorable action by the Senate on them. 
What " interest " desired the extinction of Indian 
titles upon such a remote and disconnected area 
is not well known. Mr. Norman W. Kittson had 
operated there since 1843, for the American Fur 
Company. The ratified treaties mentioned left the 
Chippeways, some ten thousand in number, concen- 
trated on reservations of moderate extent set apart 
in the ceded territory. These they still occupy, gen- 
erally in peace, depending largely on their annui- 
ties for subsistence. Their progress in civilization 
and Christianity has been sufficient to keep the 
missionaries and teachers from giving up in despair. 
No body of ecclesiastics ever had a more complete 
rule over a people than the medicine-men of the 
Chippeway Indians. 

An incident of the Chippeway treaty of 1854 
must here have mention, at the risk of tedium. As 
was usual, the half-breeds had to be conciliated 
by a benefaction to prevent them from dissuading 
the Indians. It was given them in the shape of 
an eighty-acre tract in fee simple to each head of 


a family or single person over twenty-one years 
of aere, of the mixed bloods. This distribution was 
made and all beneficiaries, three hundred and 
twelve in number, were satisfied, within two years. 
Ten years after the negotiation of the treaty an 
accommodating commissioner of Indian affairs, 
upon application through Delegate Rice, issued two 
certificates for eighty-acre tracts to two members 
of a prominent Minnesota family, mixed bloods of 
the Chippeways of Lake Superior, who had never 
lived with those Indians. He also ruled that the 
grant extended to Chippeway mixed bloods of any 
tribe wherever resident. To prevent the oversight 
of any worthy beneficiaries under these rulings, in- 
dustrious gentlemen at once employed themselves 
iu searching them out and revealing their unsus- 
pected good fortune. "Factories " were established 
at La Pointe, Wisconsin, Washington, D. C, St. 
Paul, and in the Red River country, and nearly 
twelve hundred were discovered. Later examina- 
tions of the lists showed that in some cases both 
man and wife had been reckoned as heads of fami- 
lies ; and that the names of some minors, of some 
Chippeway families with too little white blood to 
fairly count as " breeds," and of a few deceased 
persons had been enrolled. The motive for this 
extraordinary diligence lay in the fact that the 
certificates or '* scrip " could be used for the loca- 
tion of pine on unsurveyed lands, giving the holder 
the opportunity of ranging the woods and select- 


ing the most valuable. These certificates the half- 
breeds were commonly willing to alienate for a 
small consideration. That they were on their face 
absolutely unassignable, and so good only in the 
hands of the beneficiary himself, was no serious ob- 
stacle to the ingenious operators. Two powers of at- 
torney, one to locate, the other to sell, served as a 
virtual conveyance to the speculating lumberman. 
James Harlan, Secretary of the Interior in Lin- 
coln's second administration, put a stop to this 
pretty game. But his successor, O. H. Browning, 
yielded to the persuasions of interested parties, 
and on Jiily 11, 1868, reopened the doors to them. 
Within a few weeks a prominent citizen filed 315 
applications and received 310 pieces of scrip. An 
investigating committee expressed the opinion that 
" probably not one of these was valid." They were 
good for 24,800 acres of pine. The liberal secretary 
ruled that they might be located on any lands ceded 
by the Chippeways by any treaty, and need not be 
selected on those ceded at La Pointe in 1854. Appli- 
cations continued to come in. In the following year, 
1869, Colonel Ely F. Parker, by birth a Seneca 
Indian, was made commissioner of Indian affairs. 
Taking up the applications, he rejected them all 
and gave notice that no more scrip would issue 
under the treaty of 1854. Holders of certificates 
obtained in the manner described were discouraged, 
but not cast down. They prevailed on the Secretary 
of the Interior in 1870 to appoint a gentleman of 


Minnesota a special agent to examine claims. Re- 
porting progress in March, 1871, that agent had 
found 135 persons entitled to scrip. 

Columbus Delano was Secretary of the Interior 
in the year last mentioned. Assured that the sub- 
ject of Chippeway half-breed scrip would bear scru- 
tinizing, he appointed the Neal commission. The 
report of that commission brought the facts above 
related to the surface. Of the 135 claims reported 
valid by the late special agent they found two legit- 
imate. They approved eleven out of 495 others 
presented. The commission also examined 116 "per- 
sonal applications," filed in the St. Cloud land office, 
and these without exception were fraudulent. That 
number of persons, belonging to a Red River train 
bivouacked at St. Cloud, had been taken into the 
land office and steered through the motions of ap- 
plying for scrip. For this accommodating service 
they were paid from fifteen to forty dollars apiece. 
The commission recommended that no more Chip- 
peway half-breed scrip under the treaty of 1854 
should be issued, unless by order of Congress, and 
that the persons who had been guilty of suborna- 
tion of perjury, forgery, and embezzlement should 
be prosecuted. 

Tiiis did not conclude the long drawn out matter. 
Pieces of scrip accompanied with powers of attorney 
in blank had been freely bought and sold for use in 
locating pine. These vouchers fell into the hands 
of bankers, and represented considerable invest- 


ments. It seemed a hardship that these holders 
should suffer loss. On June 8, 1872, Congress 
passed a bill with the innocent title " An act to 
quiet certain land titles." It provided that " inno- 
cent parties " holding Chippeway half-breed scrip 
in good faith, for value, might purchase the corre- 
sponding lands at a price to be fixed by the Secre- 
tary of the Interior, not less than one dollar and a 
quarter an acre. 

The Jones commission, appointed to ascertain 
the innocent holders, reported thirteen individuals 
and firms entitled to the benefits of the act, and 
approved 216 entries conveying 17,280 acres of the 
best pine in Minnesota, worth eight to ten dollars 
an acre. As to the price to be paid, the commis- 
sioners advised the department that it would be 
useless to ask more than two dollars and a half an 
acre, for if put up at auction, combinations of bid- 
ders would hold bids to that figure. The commis- 
sion vindicated the claimants from any participation 
in the original frauds, but found that they had been 
much too careless in their investments, and so had 
become victims of persons who had "got up a 
scheme with wonderful prudence and caution." 
These victims, thus resorting to Congress for relief, 
were the sharpest pine land operators ever known 
in IMinnesota. 

This recital may teach how and why liberal grati- 
fications were always desired for mixed bloods, when 
Indian treaties were negotiated. 


A contemporaneous operation, similar in its re- 
sults, took place with the half-breeds of the Sioux 
nation. Account has already been made of a gift 
of land which the Sioux were permitted to bestow 
on their half-breeds in the treaty at Prairie du 
Chien in 1830. The tract designated, roughly rec- 
tangular, long known as the " Wabashaw reserva- 
tion," lay on the Mississippi, running down river 
from Red Wing thirty-two miles, and back into the 
country fifteen miles. The treaty provided that the 
President might in his discretion grant title to par- 
cels of one section in fee simple to individual breeds ; 
and it was the expectation of the able men who 
were working the scheme that they would soon be 
in possession of extensive properties at slight outlay. 
Agent Taliaferro, the incorruptible Sioux agent, 
revealed the plan in so forceful a way that neither 
President Jackson nor any successor would grant 
title to individuals. Failure to get possession of land 
was followed by efforts to get money. The half- 
breeds had no desire to settle on the reservation. In 
1841 the unratified " Doty treaty" with the Sioux 
included a sum of S200,000 to be paid the breeds 
for the reservation, which they were to surrender. 
Again in 1849, when Commissioners Ramsey and 
Chambers attempted to obtain a treaty of cession 
of the Sioux, they only succeeded in securing an 
agreement of the half-breeds to accept some such 
sum. The Senate refused to ratify. A similar arti- 
cle was injected into the treaties of 1851, and this 


was rejected by the Senate, to the disappointment 
of patient waiters. 

The matter awaited the intervention of Delegate 
Rice, whose knowledge and skill in Indian affairs 
had obtained him influence in Congress. On July 
17, 1854, a bill which had been introduced by him, 
providing for the survey of the Wabashaw reserva- 
tion in Minnesota, " and for other purposes," was 
approved. The " other purpose " was to give the 
President authority to issue certificates or scrip 
to individual Sioux half-breeds, under a jiro rata 
division of the tract. These certificates might be 
located on any lands of the United States, not 
reserved, unsurveyed lands included. In express 
terms the law forbade the transfer or conveyance 
of the scrip. The tract was surveyed, and in the 
course of two years 640 individual breeds were 
assigned 480 acres each. Later 37 persons obtained 
each 360 acres ; in all 320,880 acres were disposed 
of. Very few of the beneficiaries settled on the 
reservation. In many cases the scrip went to ])ay 
traders' debts, and in many others the beneficiaries 
got " dogs and cats " for it. White men who had 
taken half-breed wives profited most. The size of 
some families is remarkable. 

The provision of law that no scrip could be 
transferred was evaded by the same means as those 
employed in handling Chippeway half-breed scrip. 
Two powers of attorney with the necessary affi- 
davits worked a transfer, which the courts sus- 


tained. Sioux half-breed scrip which could be 
located on unsurveyed lands was soon in request, 
and served the purposes of the well-informed. A 
batch of it went to California to be located on 
forest and mineral lands. A moiety was used for 
the acquisition of town sites in Minnesota in ad- 
vance of surveys. Another use involving some 
elasticity of conscience was the acquisition of pine 
timber without the inconvenience of taking the 
lands with it. A plan of " floating " scrip was 
worked out and prosecuted so habitually by men 
of good report that no dishonor attached to it. 
The holder of scrip under power of attorney would 
locate a piece, cut off the pine, and then discover 
that he had not dealt wisely for his half-breed 
principal. He would then obtain a cancellation of 
his location, place his scrip on another piece, and 
repeat the process until the surveys were made. As 
late as 1872 the commissioner of public lands issued 
a circular condemning this practice in vigorous 

Soon after the unexampled development of the 
iron mines in the " triangle " in the middle of the 
eighties, Sioux half-breed scrip was used to obtain 
title to lands still unsurveyed in that region, likely 
to be found iron-bearing. Mr. Vilas, Secretary of 
the Interior, and his successor decided, in cases 
referred to them, that this scrip could not pass 
title, the powers of attorney being but a means to 
evade the law declaring the scrip to be non-trans- 


ferable. A long series of litigations followed, con- 
cluded by the Supreme Court decision of 1902 
(183 U. S. 619), holding those powers of attorney 
to work a valid conveyance. The title to many mil- 
lions worth of mining property was thus quieted. 

It may here be noted that in 1855 the Wiune- 
bajjoes, discontented with their homes in the Lon^ 
Prairie reservation, were glad to exchange it for 
one of eighteen miles square, south and east of 
Mankato, whither they removed in the same year. 
The new reservation being less than one fourth the 
area of the old, a large addition was made to white 
man's country. 

Of all the developments in the time of Governor 
Gorman none equaled in importance the phenom- 
enal increase of popidation. The census of 1850 
showed a total of 6077 souls in the nine counties 
of the territory, 4577 of them in three counties. 
Pending the negotiation, amendment, and ratifica- 
tion of the Sioux treaties of 1851 the accessions 
were small. 

It was late in the season of 1853 when the bands 
of the upper and lower Sioux were established on 
their reservations on the upper Minnesota. Some 
adventurous prospectors had not waited for them 
to abandon their villages on the IMississippi, but 
had staked out claims in their corn and bean 
patches. There may have been 10,000 whites when 
the Indians had departed. 


In the early summer of 1854 the Rock Island 
and Pacific Railroad was built through to the Mis- 
sissippi. The event was celebrated by a grand ex- 
cursion from Chicago to St. Paul and Fort Snelling. 
Five steamers carried the party from Rock Island 
up the river. Among the guests were statesmen, 
divines, college professors, and eminent men of 
affairs. At the reception in St. Paul addresses 
were made by ex-President Fillmore and George 
Bancroft the historian. This excursion, widely her- 
alded, gave notice that Minnesota was in steam 
communication for half the year. That year saw 
the arrival of the advance guard of the host to 
follow. The season of 1855 saw 50,000 people in 
the territory ; that number was doubled in 1856. 
The sales of public lands, which in 1854 had 
been but 314,715 acres, rose to 1,132,672 in the 
next year, and to 2,334,000 in 1856. These figures 
indicate that the people came to stay and cultivate 
the soil. The Middle States sent the largest contin- 
gent, next the Northwestern States, and then New 
England. The prairie lands, if broken early, would 
yield a crop of sod corn the same year, and in any 
case returned a bounteous harvest in the second year. 

In a time incredibly short these pioneers, rudely 
housed and their animals sheltered, were surrounded 
by all solid comforts. They lost no time in starting 
their schools, churches, and other associations. 
Minnesota was hardly ever missionary ground for 
white people. 


The establishment of steam communication for the 
summer season made the " territorians " of Minne- 
sota feel the more keenly the isolation in the long 
winters. Governor Gorman in his first message 
(January 11, 1854) said: "To get out from here 
during the winter ... is far above and beyond 
any other consideration to the people of Minnesota. 
To accomplish this you must concentrate all the 
energies of the people on one or two roads, and NO 
MORE for the present. I have but little doubt that 
Congress will grant us land sufficient to unlock our 
ice-bound home, if we confine our request to one 
point." This wise counsel had its effect on the legis- 
lature. On February 20 Joseph R. Brown intro- 
duced into the council a bill to incorporate the 
" Minnesota and Northwestern Railroad Company," 
which was presently passed by that body, but by 
no large majority. In the house lively opposition 
sprung up, and dilatory proceedings delayed pas- 
sage till the last night of the session (March 3). 
Governor Gorman gave it a reluctant approval be- 
cause he had been allowed but sixty-five minutes 
before the expiration of the session to examine its 
provisions. It is quite remarkable that a bill of 
such importance, the talk of the town, had escaped 
his notice. The act authorized the chartered com- 
pany to build and operate a railroad from the head 
of Lake Superior via St. Paul to Dubuque, Iowa, 
within a specified term of years. The franchise was 
to be void unless the first board of directors should 


be organized on or before the first day of July fol- 

The real ground of opposition in the legislature, 
and of Governor Gorman's reluctance, lay in a 
provision, "that any lands granted to the said ter- 
ritory to aid in the construction of said railroad 
shall be and the same are hereby granted in fee 
simple, absolute, without further act or deed," to 
said company. There was ambiguity in the para- 
graph relating to the northern terminus, leaving it 
in doubt whether that might not be located outside 
of Minnesota. It was suspected that the intention 
was to place it at Bayfield, Wisconsin, where influ- 
ential persons had made purchases of real estate. It 
remained to secure from Congress the much needed 
and hoped for land grant. A bill to grant even 
number sections of public lands for six sections in 
width on both sides of the proposed railroad line, 
so drawn as to allow the grant to pass to the com- 
pany chartered by the Minnesota territorial legis- 
lature, was introduced in the House on March 7. 
The Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis, warmly 
recommended its passage because of the service the 
road would render in transporting troops, muni- 
tions of war, and mail. 

The proposition to grant a million acres and 
more to so remote and thinly settled a territory at 
once aroused inquiry and opposition. The policy of 
granting public lands for building railroads was 
still novel ; there were but three precedents, that 


of the Illinois Central grant of 1850 being the old- 
est. The measure, however, had its friends, and 
the opponents were driven to the device of killing 
the bill by amendments. And they succeeded. 
Presently came a revulsion. Members from the 
South and West regretted that the railroad land 
grant policy had received so rude a backset. There 
was no little sympathy for Minnesota, struggling 
for an open road and a market. Another effort 
was resolved upon. Mr. Sibley, then in Washing- 
ton, drew a new bill identical in the main with that 
which had been put to sleep, but so changed as to 
vest the grant in the territory and leave its dispo- 
sition to the next or a later legislature. This bill 
was passed and approved on June 29. 

The incorporators named in the Minnesota act 
creatine: the Minnesota and Northwestern Railroad 
Company met in New York on July 1, on one 
day's notice, and "organized" by the election of a 
board of directors. The bpard immediately elected 
the necessary officers and took the proper resolu- 
tions for beginning their enterprise. On the 24th 
of July it was charged on the floor of the House of 
Representatives at Washington that the " Minne- 
sota bill " had been mutilated after its passage by 
the House, so that the Senate had really passed a 
differing bill. The effect of the change (simply the 
word "and" written over an erasure of the word 
"or") had the effect to vest the lands granted in 
the Minnesota corporation ; just what Congress had 


intended not to do. An abortive investigation fol- 
lowed, and the mutilated bill was repealed by a 
section added to a private bill to increase a certain 
pension, pending in the Senate, and awaiting third 
reading. This action was of course disappointing to 
the railroad company and those friendly to it. Dele- 
gate Rice was of opinion that the alteration of " or" 
to " and " was purely verbal and immaterial, and 
eminent attorneys advised the company that a 
grant having been made for sufficient consider- 
ations, it had become an irrevocable contract. The 
pretended repeal, therefore, was void. To test this 
question a case entitled The United States vs. The 
Minnesota and Northwestern Railroad Company 
was brought before the district court of Goodhue 
County, asking the award of damages for certain 
oak trees felled on land belonging to the govern- 
ment. The defense contended that no damages were 
done, because it had cut the trees on land granted 
by Congress by the act of June 24, 1854. The 
issue was, of course, the constitutionality of the 
repealing act. The court held the act void, and the 
Supreme Court of the territory sustained that judg- 
ment before the end of the year. This was very 
encouraging to the company, but their joy was pre- 
sently changed to sorrow. When the Attorney- 
General of the United States learned from the 
newspapers of this litigation, and of a suit brought 
in behalf of the United States without his know- 
ledge or authority, he removed the accommodating 


district attorney from office (December 30, 1854), 
and later discontinued the suit. 

When the legislature of 1855 convened, on Janu- 
ary 3, the company, sustained by the Supreme 
Court of the territory, was in a position to approach 
that body with confidence. Its affairs now entered 
more fully than ever into territorial politics, and it 
is only on this account that further notice of them 
is taken. Mr. Rice, sujiported by Mr. Ramsey, a 
director of the company, championed the railroad 
cause. Governor Gorman and Mr. Sibley led the 
opposition forces. The former in his message de- 
nounced the " or " and " and " jugglery, and the 
latter, as chairman of the judiciary committee of 
the lower house, framed a damaging report which 
called for a memorial to Congress to annul the 
charter of the company granted by the Minnesota 
legislature March 3, 1857. The memorial was not 
voted, but the national House of Representatives 
by resolution of January 29 decided, for its part, 
to annul. The Senate did not concur, and Delegate 
Rice was comforted. "When the news reached St. 
Paul on March 24 the whole town was illuminated. 

The charter of the company provided that unless 
fifty miles of road should be completed within one 
year the franchise should be forfeited. An exten- 
sion of time and certain modifications were neces- 
sary. A bill granting these was passed by sufficient 
majorities. Governor Gorman vetoed it in a mes- 
sage of great sharpness, closing with au insinuation 


that the "money-king" had had more than his 
share of influence. The houses by exact two thirds 
votes passed the bill over the executive veto. Mr. 
Sibley and his friends had to content themselves 
with a personal memorial to Congress, which his 
biographer declares to be unequaled " for fearless 
and burning exposure of wrong and perfidy, in the 
annals of any territory or state." The coni})any had 
been let to live, but it was obliged to apply to the 
next legislature (1856) for a further lease of life. 
This was accorded by good majorities in both 
houses. Again Governor Gorman interposed his ob- 
jections, declaring it futile to extend the life of the 
corporation. A new bill, drawn in such manner as 
to obviate the executive criticisms, was passed by 
a close vote at the end of the session. The bill 
received the reluctant approval of the governor. 
Three successive legislatures having sustained the 
company's charters, he acquiesced, with slight con- 
fidence, however, in its professions. 

The company now made a second resort to the 
courts to establish its claim to the grant of June 
29, 1854. One of its directors, having bought of the 
United States a piece of land in Dakota County, 
brought suit against the railroad conipan}'^ for tres- 
pass. The district and supreme courts of the terri- 
tory gave judgment for tlie defendant company, 
holding that it had good title to the land grant and 
therefore was not guilty of the alleged trespass. 
Before entry of judgment, however, in the latter 


court, the case was removed to the United States 
District Court ; and this tribunal also found for the 
defendant. The Supreme Court of the United 
States, on writ of error from below, in December, 
1861, disposed of the case by deciding (two justices 
dissenting) that the act of Congress of June 29, 
1854, vested in the Territory of Minnesota no more 
than a naked trust or power, which could be and 
was revoked by the repealing act. The territorial 
legislature had exceeded its power in attempting to 
vest title in fee simple in the railroad company. 

It was in the period now in view that Minneapo- / 
lis, which has become the largest Minnesota city, 
had its beginning. The military reservation of Fort 
Snelling as delimited by jSIajor Plympton in 1839 
comprised, as was guessed, about 50,000 acres. The 
surveys made in later times show nearly 35,000 
acres. So soon as it became known that a treaty of 
cession would be exacted from the Sioux, it was 
believed by the neighboring residents that Fort 
Snelling would be abandoned and the reservation 
opened for settlement. In 1849, when the first at- 
tempt was made on the Sioux, Robert Smith of 
Alton, Illinois, a member of Congress, having a 
" pull " at Washington, got leave of the War De- 
partment to lease the government mill at the Falls 
of St. Anthony on the west side. Later this con- 
cession ripened into a purchase of a quarter section 
abutting on the cataract. In the next year John H. 


Stevens, acting for himself and another, had sim- 
ilar leave granted to occupy the river front above 
the Smith claim, on condition of operating a ferry, 
free to government, at the falls. In the next year, 
1851, a number of citizens of St. Anthony, already 
a thriving village of some six hundred people, 
thought it would be well to establish inchoate 
claims on some of the beautiful terraces which lay 
in view from their homes, beyond the river. They 
accordingly crossed over, staked out quarter sec- 
tions as well as possible in the absence of surveys, 
built claim shanties, and had some plowing done. 
Still another year later, 1852, when in midsum- 
mer the Sioux treaties and amendments had been 
ratified and it was evident that the Sioux must soon 
move towards the sunset, and that the military 
reservation would be given up and opened to settle- 
ment, there took place a wild rush of St. Anthony 
men across the stream to seize on the coveted lands. 
It was not long till the whole terrain of Minneapolis 
was covered with claims. The action of Congress 
ordering a survey of the reserve expedited these 
irregular preemptions. 

The expectations of the squatters were so far met 
that on August 26, 1852, Congress authorized the 
"reduction" of the reserve, and the survey and 
sale of the excluded area. Two years passed before 
the surveys were completed and the lands adver- 
tised for sale. It was not desired that haste be 
made. Ou the completion of the surveyor's work. 


the squatters formed a so-called " Equal Rights 
and Impartial Protection Claim Association of 
Hennepin County, M. T.," the prime object of 
which was to adjust the numerous tracts of claim- 
ants to the lines of survey. This was effected by 
the action of an executive committee allowed to 
use discretion and guaranteed support. There was 
a second use for this organization. There was a con- 
siderable area east of the Mississippi left outside 
the boundary of the reduced reserve. This had been 
offered for sale in the usual subdivisions in Sep- 
tember, 1854, at public auction. There was but 
one bidder, and he was surrounded by interested 
citizens who would have made it uncomfortable for 
any other person who might thoughtlessly inject a 
superfluous bid and mar the harmony of the occa- 
sion. The government got $1.25, the minimum 
price for wild lands, for property worth easily ten 
times that sum, and nobody's conscience was 
strained. In anticipation of a public sale of the 
main portion of the reserved lands on which Min- 
neapolis has been built, the claim association men- 
tioned was prepared, by similar proceedings, to 
prevent any speculators (others than themselves) 
from depriving them of their rights by offering to 
pay value for the lands. But the plats were by some 
unknown influence held back in Washington and 
the sale was postponed. When Congress assembled 
in December, 1854, a strong delegation of claim- 
ants appeared in Washington and secured further 


postponement of the public sale. Delegate Rice 
took up their cause with vigor and presently ob- 
tained the passage of an act granting preemption 
right to all who might comply with preemption 
conditions. In the spring of 1855 the fortunate 
claimants proved up, and the government received 
124,688.37 for 19,733.87 acres of land worth 
more than §200,000. There is a tradition, lacking 
support by particular facts, that military officers 
in the neighborhood profited by arrangements with 
squatters, who agreed to divide spoils in considera- 
tion of being left undisturbed on their claims. 
Citizens not having such arrangements were dis- 
couraged, and in some cases driven off by force. 

The nucleus of Minneapolis was well crystallized 
in 1855. The United States land office was estab- 
lished, the first bridge over the Mississippi in all 
its length was built, the first town plat surveyed, 
and one hundred houses built. (In 1854 there were 
but twelve scattered claim shanties.) Seventeen 
stores and artisans' shops in many lines sprang up. 
There was a hotel, a newspaper, and four organ- 
ized churches. Minneapolis existed under town 
government till 18G7, and in 1872 was united with 
St. Anthony, the latter city losing its historic 
name. The name Minneapolis is a variant on 
Min-ne-ha-polis, proposed by Charles Iloag. After 
this "reduction" of the Snelling reservation, its 
area covered 7916 acres, as shown by later surveys. 

The story of the clandestine sale of the whole 


by Buchanan's secretary of war in the spring of 
1857, while abounding in incident, was too slight 
in its results to call for complete narration. It is 
probably not true that this sale was part of a 
scheme attributed to Floyd, to squander the mili- 
tary resources of the North in anticipation of a 
rebellion of the South. H. M. Rice interested him- 
self in getting the necessary legislation and orders 
for the sale. The whole tract was sold for $90,000, 
of which one third was paid down. The purchaser 
defaulted on the remainder, and the government 
resumed possession at the outbreak of the Civil 
War. In 1872 the claims of the purchaser for his 
equity and rentals were adjusted by a board of 
military officers, which awarded him 6,394.80 acres, 
the government retaining 1,521.20 acres. It has 
been found necessary to repurchase some of the 
alienated land for the uses of the garrison. 

In the winter of 1857 a bill to move the capital 
to St. Peter was passed in both houses of the legis- 
lature. Joseph Rolette of Pembina, chairman of 
the council committee on enrollment, absented him- 
self with the bill till after the close of the session. 
The speaker signed a substituted copy, but the pre- 
sident of the council refused. Governor Gorman 
approved, but the Supreme Court held that no law 
had been passed. 



In his message of January, 1853, Governor Ram- 
sey had prophesied a population of more than half 
a million in ten years. Governor Gorman, in a 
message three years later, figuring on an increase 
of 114 per cent, in the previous year, advised the 
legislature that they might expect a population of 
343,000 in two years, and 750,000 one year later. 

In the course of that year the newspapers began 
to discuss the question of statehood, and when the 
legislature of 1857 assembled. Governor Gorman's 
proposition to call a convention without awaiting 
the initiative of Congress received early considera- 
tion. A bill to provide for a census and a constitu- 
tional convention was passed by large majorities in 
both houses, but seems to have been lost by the 
enrolling committee of the council, and was not 
presented for executive approval. Pending action 
on this bill the houses passed a memorial to Con- 
gress praying for an enabling act. Delegate Rice, 
much too enterprising a politician to neglect his 
duty to constituents desirous of statehood, early in 
the session of 1857 had introduced a bill to enable 
the people of Minnesota to organize as a state and 


come into tlie Union. Besides a little pleasantry 
about the formation of a sixth state in part out of 
the old Northwest Territory, while the ordinance 
of 1787 had provided for five only, there was no 
opposition to the bill in the House. It found, how- 
ever, a hard road to travel in the Senate. The 
ostensible ground of opposition was that the bill 
allowed white inhabitants of the territory, aliens 
and all, to vote for delegates to the convention. An 
amendment to confine the suffrage to citizens of 
the United States prevailed by a close vote on a 
late day in February. In this amendment it was 
known the House would not concur, and the oppo- 
sition were content. A reconsideration was obtained, 
however, by the friends of the bill, and a long de- 
bate followed, in the course of which the actual 
gi-ound of opposition was revealed. The "equi- 
librium of the Senate " was threatened, and might 
be destroyed by the senators the new state should 
elect. Regret was expressed that Iowa and Wis- 
consin had been admitted as states, and one senator 
revived a letter of Gouverneur Morris in which that 
statesman denied the right of Congress to admit 
new states on territory acquired after the adoption 
of the constitution. 

The alien suffrage amendment, however, was 
rescinded, and the bill as it came from the House 
passed by a vote of 31 to 22 ; every negative vote 
came from south of Mason and Dixon's line. It 
may be conjectured that the object of the Minne- 


sota legislature in nursing along its bill to form a 
state government without an enabling act of Con- 
gress was to let Congress kuow that its action was 
not indispensable. 

The enabling act as passed February 26, 1857, 
was in the form which had become traditional, and 
embodied the usual grants of public lands for 
schools, a university, and public buildings. The 
boundaries of the proposed state were those of 
the territory except that on the west, which was 
drawn in from the Missouri River to the line of 
the Red, thus reducing the area about one half. 
Revised computations give Minnesota 84,287 square 
miles, or about 54,000,000 acres. 

The act provided for an election of delegates to 
a convention on the first Monday in June, under 
the existing election laws of the territory. An am- 
biguous clause authorizing the election of " two 
delegates for each representative," according to the 
apportionment for representatives to the territorial 
legislature, ignoring councilors as such, became 
the occasion of trouble. The Minnesota legislature, 
in an act of May 23, appropriating |!30,000 for the 
expenses of the convention, provided that each 
council district should have two delegates, and each 
representative district also two. The number of 
delegates was thus fixed at 108, instead of G8. 

Governor Gorman on April 27 called a special 
session of the legislature to take any necessary 
action regarding the coming convention, and to 


dispose of a railroad land grant which Congress 
had made. This will engage attention later. Gov- 
ernor Gorman, however, did not officially survive 
to cooperate in the making of the state constitu- 
tion. Mr. Rice, warmly attached to President Bu- 
chanan, who had come into office in March, would, 
it was well known, secure Governor Gorman's early 
retirement to private life. They had not been of 
much comfort to one another in railroad and other 
matters. Governor Gorman resigned, and was suc- 
ceeded by the Hon. Samuel Medary of Ohio, who 
had done good party service through his newspaper 
and otherwise. He was a gentleman of excellent 
character, but remained in Minnesota too short a 
time to identify or even acquaint himself with her 
people and interests. 

The Whigs had never been strong in the terri- 
tory, nor well organized. The " Moccasin Demo- 
cracy" had become habituated to control, and 
expected indefinite enjoyment of official emolu- 
ments. The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill 
by Congress on May 26, 1854, rudely disturbed this 
pleasant dream. A new party of protest against the 
introduction and maintenance of African slaveiy 
in the territories, under active national protection, 
sprang into being. A Republican convention met 
in St. Paul, July 28, 1855, adopted a platform, and 
nominated candidates for territorial offices. It also 
nominated the leader of the movement, William 
R. Marshall, to succeed Mr. Rice as delegate to 


Congress. Mr. Rice had too many electors person- 
ally attached to himself to be beaten. It has been 
thought, however, that Marshall might have won 
but for a " prohibition " plank in the platform, 
which lost him the German vote. At the election of 
1856 the Republicans obtained a working majority 
in the lower house of the legislature to meet in the 
following winter. As the day dx'ew on for the election 
of delegates to the convention both parties were 
anxious about the result. The Democrats held on 
to the hope of recovering control; the Republicans 
were none too confident that they could hold their 
slight balance of power. The issue was declared by 
the leading Democratic newspaper to be " White 
Supremacy ■versus Nigger Equality." The vote was 
unexpectedly light, and the results were not clearly 
decisive. In a few districts " councilor " delegates 
had been distinguished on the ballots from " repre- 
sentative " delegates ; in most cases they had not. 
In the St. Anthony district the canvassing officer 
gave certificates of election to Republican candi- 
dates who had received fewer votes than the Dem- 
ocratic, on the ground that the Democratic ballots 
had not distinguished the nominees for councilor 
and representative delegates. 

The control of the convention would, it was 
maintained, depend on the action of the committee 
on credentials to be appointed by the presiding offi- 
cer. To capture the " organization " became the 
object of each of the nearly balanced parties. It 


chanced that the enabling act had not specified the 
houi- for the assembhige of the convention. The ex- 
cited and suspicious leaders were unable to agree 
informally. To make sure of being on hand the 
liepublican delegates repaired to the capitol late 
on the Sunday night preceding the first Monday 
in June, and remained there, as one of them 
phrased it, "to watch and pray for the Democratic 
brethren." These did not ajipear till a few moments 
before twelve o'clock noon of the appointed day. 
Immediately upon their entrance in a body into 
the representatives' hall Charles R. Chase, secre- 
tary of the territory and a delegate, proceeded to 
the speaker's desk and called to order. At the same 
moment John W. North, a Republican delegate, 
designated by his colleagues, called to order. A 
motion to adjourn was made by Colonel Gorman, 
and the question was taken by Chase, who declared 
it carried. The Democrats left the hall to the Re- 
publicans, who proceeded to organize the conven- 
tion. Fifty-six delegates presented credentials in 
proper form and took their oaths to support the 
constitution of the United States. 

At noon of Tuesday the Democratic delegates 
assembled about the door of the hall, and, finding 
it occupied by citizens who refused to give them 
place, met in the adjacent council chamber and 
proceeded to organize the convention. Henry II. 
Sibley was made chairman, on motion of Joseph 
R. Brown, and later became president of the body. 


From that day till the close of their labors, August 
28, the two conventions sat apart. St. Anthony 
was represented by six delegates in each, so that 
the whole number participating was one hundred 
and fourteen. Their proceedings, published in 
separate volumes, show a commendable diligence 
in business. An undue amount of time was giv^en 
to oratory in defense of the legitimacy of the re- 
spective moieties. 

As the delegates had for examples the constitu- 
tions of all the states carved out of the Northwest 
Territory, and in particular of the very recent ones 
of Wisconsin and Iowa, the task of framing the 
various articles was not burdensome. Most of thera 
were adopted, with little or no debate, as reported 
from the standing committees. The Republicans 
refused by a two-thirds vote to tolerate negro suf- 
frage. A proposition to submit to Congress the 
division of the existing territory by an east and 
west line on the latitude of 45° 15' or 45° 30' was 
much discussed in both bodies. It was so much 
favored by the Republicans that a change of three 
votes would have given it a majority. The Demo- 
crats, attached to St. Paul and strong in the north- 
ern counties, gave the scheme slight support. 

The absurdity of the situation was ap})arent, but 
pride restrained both bodies from taking a first 
move towards coalescence. At length on the 8th 
of August Judge Sherburne, a member of the 
Democratic convention, highly respected by Re- 


publicans as well, proposed the appointment of 
conferees to report a plan of union. The venerable 
jurist saw his resolution indefinitely postponed, 
after a debate abounding in heroic rhetoric. Two 
days after, the Republicans passed a preamble and 
resolutions in the exact terms of those of Judge 
Sherburne and sent them to President Sibley. A 
select committee, headed by Gorman, advised that 
no communication could be entertained which ques- 
tioned the legal status of the Democratic body. 
The report was unanimously adopted. 

By this time the Republican delegates had found 
themselves at a certain disadvantage, from which 
relief was to many very desirable. The Democratic 
treasurer of the territory had refused to honor their 
pay accounts, and they were serving the public at 
their own expense. Doubtless from extraneous 
overtures made by them, the two bodies on the 
morning of August 18 adopted resolutions to ap- 
point conferees. These were immediately named and 
began their duties. By this time all the necessary 
articles had been drafted, and as both bodies had 
drawn from the same sources the conference com- 
mittee had an easy task. Those wrought out by the 
Democratic delegates, who were the older and 
more experienced men, were chiefly adopted. A\"hen 
Judge Sherburne on August 27 laid before the 
Democratic convention the report of the conferees, 
with the comforting assurance that it was composed 
of the Democratic material "almost altogether," 


the chair was obliged to exercise no little firmness 
to restrain a turbulent opposition. A test vote 
showed a majority of more than three fourths for 
adoption. The fiual vote went over. 

The next morning, August 28, both bodies agreed 
to the report without amendment. There was some 
resistance in the Republican end, but it gave way 
when a leader assured the dissentients that they 
had a dose to swallow, and they might as well shut 
their eyes and open their mouths and take it. Two 
copies were made of the one constitution thus 
agreed to, one of which was signed by the officers 
and members of each body resjiectively. The lie- 
publican manuscript remains in the state archives. 
Joseph R. Brown expressed the opinion that the 
split into two bodies had been economical. Had 
the convention met in one body, the orators by 
their revilings and vituperations would have pro- 
longed the session till the end of the year and the 
expenses would have been doubled. Spite of the 
generous endeavor of this delegate, the Democrats 
refused to agree that the Republicans should draw 
their pay. A subsequent legislatui-e provided for 
them. Both parties were quite content with the 
constitution ; the Democrats for what they had con- 
served, the Republicans for germs of future devel- 

The boom period which culminated in 1857 was 
nowhere more exuberant than in Minnesota. The 


swelling tide of population of the previous two 
years had brought in a body of speculators who 
presently gorged themselves with the unearned 
increments of land and town lot values. The whole 
population caught the fever and bought for the 
expected rise. The country people found ready sale 
for produce in the growing towns, and the mer- 
chants profited by their prosperity. The resulting 
elation and extravagance were at no time more 
abounding than in the closing days of the consti- 
tutional convention. 

It was the 24th of August when the failure of 
the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Company of 
New York precipitated the liquidation of incredibly 
multiplied credits in the East. A week later the 
tardy mails brought the news to St. Paul, and 
nowhere in the country did the panic strike with 
greater violence. The little money, real and pro- 
missory, sank out of sight. Deposits ceasing, the 
banks suspended. Eastern exchange rose to ten 
per cent. Assignments, foreclosures, attachments, 
and executions made law practice the only profit- 
able pursuit. The horde of speculators who had 
infested the towns and villages abandoned tlieir 
holdings and made their escape. According to 
J. Fletcher Williams, the lamented historian of St. 
Paul, that city lost fifty per cent, of its population. 
From the crest of a high wave of fancied opulence, 
the new state was thus suddenly plunged into a 
deep trough of adversity and despondence ; and it 


was a long day till she rose to the level of normal 

The keenest of all disappointments was the post- 
ponement of railroad building. A score or more 
of chartered companies could not borrow enough 
ready cash to pay for their surveys. A generous 
congressional act of 1857, engineered by Delegate 
Rice, had made the Minnesotians of all classes 
joyous. That act bestowed on the territory and 
expectant state a grant of public lands equal to 
nearly a ninth of its whole area, to aid in the 
building of railroads. It is probable that this bene- 
faction was all the more willingly bestowed because 
the territory had three years before been deprived 
of a noble grant by no fault of her own. The act 
did not convey the lands to the state, but made the 
state a trustee for four different railroad " inter- 
ests " aspiring each to build its portion of a system 
of roads coextensive with the state. 

The legislature of 1857, in the extra session 
already mentioned, accepted the trust created by 
the congressional grant, recognized the four com- 
panies to construct each its part of the system, and 
pledged to each its allotted lands as they should be 
earned by the completion of successive twenty-mile 
stretches of road. With a bird in the bush the 
Minnesota people were childishly happy. They 
saw a thousand miles of railway as good as built, 
spreading population far and wide and carrying 
the produce of an empire to waiting markets. 


It was a good fortune for the territory that the 
organic law gave it no power to run in debt. It 
was equally unfortunate that a corporation created 
by it could and did run in debt. In the same Feb- 
ruary of 1851 in which Delegate Sibley secured 
from Congress the reservation of the two town- 
ships of land to endow a university, the Minnesota 
legislature created the University of Minnesota, to 
be located at or near St. Anthony's Falls. The act 
provided for a board of twelve regents to be 
elected by the legislature in joint session, in classes 
for six-year terms. The gentlemen immediately 
elected, among them Sibley, Kamsey, Rice, North, 
and Marshall, commanded, as they deserved, the 
confidence of the people. The board organized on 
the last day of May, 1851, and resolved to open a 
preparatory department as soon as possible. One 
of their number, Franklin Steele, gave a bunch of 
lots in St. Anthony's Falls near the site of the 
well-known Winslow Hotel, later occupied by 
the Northwestern Industrial Exposition building ; 
others subscribed money ; and a few books were 
thrown in to be the nucleus of the library. In a 
wooden building 30 by 50 feet, two stories and a 
basement, the preparatory school was opened on 
November 26. It continued a useful existence till 
the close of 1854. By this time the regents, among 
whom there had been changes of personnel, became 
desirous to open the " university proper." In that 
year they had located through competent experts 


several thousand acres of the lands reserved by 
Congress on the best pine in the StiUwater dis- 
trict. The lands they could not sell, but they 
did despoil them by selling the " stumpage," and 
used the money as collected for university pur- 
poses. They bought the heart of the present cam- 
pus, twenty-five acres, more or less, for '$6000, 
paying cash SIOOO and giving their notes for the 
remainder. The stumpage receipts were too small 
and came in too slowly to warrant large expendi- 
tures for development. On February 28, 1856, 
the legislature authorized the regents to borrow 
f 15,000 on twelve per cent, bonds secured by mort- 
gage on the campus ; fSOOO to pay the balance 
due on the campus, $10,000 for a building. In 
August of the same year the board, much deterio- 
rated by a late election, voted by a majority of one 
to close a contract for a building to cost $49,000, 
to be completed within eighteen months. When a 
year later, almost to a day, the panic struck, the 
building was nearly complete and large sums were 
due the contractors. The sales of pine stopped and 
collections for previous sales ceased. The concern 
was bankrupt and so remained for nearly a decade. 
A paragraph of the state constitution, retained 
against no sliglit opposition, confirmed the location 
of the university and devolved all university lands 
and endowments then existing or to be thereafter 
granted on the " University of Minnesota." 


The closing year of Minnesota's territorial ex- 
istence was diversified by an Indian butchery, 
horrible indeed in its immediate incidents, but es- 
pecially noteworthy for its contribution to later 
atrocities. For many years a renegade band of the 
Wah-pd-ku-te tribe of the Sioux had wandered 
in the Missouri valley under the leading of one 
Inkpaduta (Scarlet Point). In the spring of 1857 
these Indians were hunting in northwestern Iowa, 
and on March 6 or 7 fell upon the little settlement 
of Spirit Lake in Henderson County, murdered 
some forty persons, as estimated, and carried four 
women into captivity. Marching on the little ham- 
let of Springfield, some fifteen miles to the north, 
in Martin County, Minnesota, they found but few 
victims, because a refugee from Spirit Lake had 
arrived before them. The news of these outrages 
did not reach Agent Flandrau at the Lower Sioux 
agency till the 18th. Upon his requisition, Captain 
Alexander Bee, commanding the little garrison at 
Fort Ridgely, with his company of infantry, led a 
lively but fruitless pursuit of Inkpaduta, who had 
gone off to the Missouri. It was well understood 
that so long as the miscreant held the four women, 
no punishment could be inflicted on him. In May 
two young annuity Sioux, who had been hunting 
westward, brought one of the women (Mrs. Markle) 
into the agency. They had bought her with their 
horses and guns, and asked ^'SOO each as reward, 
which Agent Flandrau and Missionary Eiggs paid, 


half in cash and half in a promissory bond of ex- 
traordinary character which the traders cashed. 
This generosity had its intended effect to call out 
volunteers for the rescue of the other captives. 
Two capable Christian Sioux were selected, fur- 
nished with transportation and plenty of Indian 
goods and sent out. After six days' march they 
came upon the dead body of one of the women, 
and presently learned that another had been put 
to death. In a camp of Yauktons they found the 
fourth, Miss Gardiner, and bought her for two 
horses, seven blankets, two kegs of powder, a box 
of tobacco, and some trinkets. Only one half of 
the $10,000 appropriated by the Minnesota legis- 
lature was needed to cover the cost of these rescues. 
The Indian authorities, local and national, now 
resolved to visit Inkpaduta with just punishment, 
and decided upon the plan of enlisting volunteers 
among the annuity Sioux to pursue and capture 
the scoundrel and his band. Few or none offered 
themselves. Summer came on and 5000 Indians 
had gathered about the agencies for the annual 
payment. A number of councils were held, in the 
course of which the agent threatened to withhold 
the payments until Inkpaduta had been brought 
in. This threat had some effect, but presents of 
blankets and provisions had more. At length, on 
the 22d of July, an expedition of 106 Indians and 
four half-breeds was started for the James River 
country. It returned August 3, bringing two women 


and a child as prisoners, but no Inkpaduta. In vain 
did Major Cullen, superintendent of Indian affairs 
for the territory, who had come to the Sioux agen- 
cies, insist that Inkpaduta should be brought in, 
and by the Indians themselves, and declare that 
there would be no payment of money, goods, or pro- 
visions till the murderers should be in his hands. 
The Sioux, although by this time on the verge of 
starvation, would not stir. They were sullen and 
defiant. A special agent sent from Washington 
advised the supei"intendent to make believe that 
the Indians had done all they could, and might 
therefore be paid off. It was late in September 
when the Indians got their money and goods and 
marched off to their fall hunts. They had had their 
way with the agents of the Great Father, and sus- 
pected that he was not so powerful as they had been 
told he was. He had not been able to run down 
Inkpaduta and his little band. AVhat could he do 
against the great Sioux nation of many thousands ? 

The new constitution of Minnesota closed with a 
supplementary "schedule" of provisions temporary 
in nature. All territorial rights, actions, laws, prose- 
cutions, and judgments were to remain in force until 
proper action under state authority. All territorial 
officers were to continue their duties until super- 
seded by state authority. A referendum of the con- 
stitution was ordered for October 13 (1857), at 
which time all the officers designated by the con- 


stitution were to be elected under the existing terri- 
torial election law. Every free white male inhabitant 
of full age, who should have resided in the state for 
ten days before the election, was authorized to vote. 
Section four of the enabling act required the United 
States marshal, so soon as the convention should 
have decided in favor of statehood and admission, 
to take a census of the population. This was not 
completed during tlie life (forty-two days) of the 
convention. It being, therefore, impracticable to 
divide the state into congressional districts, it was 
made a single district. In the belief that the popu- 
lation must be near 250,000, provision was made 
for electing three representatives in Congress. The 
completed census yielded the disappointingly small 
total of 150,037. Governor Medary and two dele- 
gates were made a canvassing board. 

While the constitution was acceptable to all, the 
two parties put forth all possible effort to capture 
the ofiices. The canvass showed the vote on the 
ratification of the constitution to be : Yeas, 36,240 ; 
nays, 700. The Democrats obtained a majority of 
the legislators and nearly all the state and national 
officers. The candidates for the governorship were 
Sibley and Kamsey, the former winning by the 
slender majority of 240 in a total of 35,340. The 
claim was made that this majority was obtained by 
irregularities in making the returns, but there was 
no contest. 

The schedule had fixed the early date of Decem- 


ber 3 for the assemblage of the legislature, in the 
expectation shared by all that within a few days 
thereafter Congress would admit the new state to 
the Union, and her senators and representatives 
elect to their seats. A half year, however, was to 
run by during which Minnesota, as described by 
Governor Sibley, hung like the coffin of the prophet 
of Islam between the heavens and the earth. The 
legislature met, December 2, 1857, and in joint 
convention, by the close vote of 59 to 49, decided 
to recognize Mr. Medary as " governor." In his 
message he recognized the body as a state legisla- 
ture. Still there was doubt about the legal status 
of the houses, and there was little desire to under- 
take business which might turn out to be illegiti- 
mate. The Republican members entered formal 
protests against any legislation. There was, how- 
ever, one bit of business which the Democratic 
majority felt could not be postponed ; and that was 
the election of two United States senators. That 
was virtually settled in caucus. Henry IVI. Kice, as 
everybody expected, was nominated without oppo- 
sition. The second place, for the short term, went, 
after several ballotings, to General James Shields, 
who was a newcomer and little known in Minne- 
sota. He had served with distinction in the Mexi- 
can War, filled many offices in his former state of 
Illinois, and served a term in the Senate of the 
United States. It was a bitter pill for such Demo- 
cratic wheel-horses as Sibley, Brown, and Gorman 


to swallow. Franklin Steele never forgave Rice for 
failing, as he claimed, to throw the election to him. 
Shields was everybody's second choice, and the ex- 
pectation was that his personal influence in Wash- 
ington would procure many good things for the 

President Buchanan, for reasons not apparent, 
did not transmit the Minnesota constitution — the 
Democratic version — to the Senate till near the 
middle of January, 1858. A fortnight later the bill 
to admit was reported from the committee on terri- 
tories. The same kind of opposition now broke out 
as had impeded the progress of the Minnesota en- 
abling act a twelvemonth before. Southern sena- 
tors were loath to see a new Northern state come 
in, even with a Democratic delegation awaiting 
admission to both houses. They were also technical 
and persistent about holding to the traditional cus- 
tom of admitting states alternately slave and free. 
It was the turn for a slave state to come in, and 
Kansas with her infamous "Lecompton" slave con- 
stitution was knocking at the door. To give the 
right of way to the " English bill " admitting Kan- 
sas, dilatory measures were successfully resorted 
to. A debate covering twenty-three pages of the 
" Congressional Globe " took place on the question 
whether the Senate would consider the Minnesota 
bill. That havinfr been aj^reed to on the 24th of 
March, days of tedious wrangling followed upon 


objections raised by opponents. The election, it 
was argued, was void for frauds committed ; aliens 
had been allowed to vote ; the still incompleted 
census was farcical ; some assistant marshals had 
destroyed the returns they should have given in ; 
in some instances there was not one tenth as many 
people found in precincts as had voted. The right 
of the state to three, two, or even any representa- 
tive in Congress was questioned. Minnesota was 
still a territory, and territories had no right to 
representation in the Senate or in the House, except 
by a delegate having no vote. There had been no 
legal convention, it was said, and no legitimate 
constitution had been adopted by the people. The 
debate went on till April 8, when, the English bill 
admitting Kansas having been put through the 
Senate, the opposition ceased and the Minnesota 
bill passed with but three dissenting votes out of 
fifty-two. The palaver occupies nearly one hundred 
pages of the " Globe." The bill now went to the 
House, and there the English bill stood in its way 
till the 4th of May. The pro-slavery opposition at 
once showed itself under cover of the same objec- 
tions which had been so tediously debated in the 
Senate. There had been no proper convention, the 
election was void for frauds, the territorial legisla- 
ture in session was presuming to act as a state 
legislature, and the like. In the course of a wrangle 
on the matter of alien voting, a Missouri member 
in a heated moment revealed the actual ground of 


the opposition. He said, " I warn gentlemen of the 
South of the consequences. , . . The whole terri- 
tories of the Union are rapidly filling up with 
foreigners. The great body of them are opposed 
to slavery. Mark my words ; if you do it, another 
slave state will never be formed out of the terri- 
tories of this Union." There was also an attack on 
the bill from an unexpected quarter. John Sher- 
man of Ohio introduced a substitute, annulling all 
proceedings so far had, and providing for a new 
convention in Minnesota. In his speech he declared 
there had been no convention, but only two mobs. 
The number of delegates had been unlawfully 
raised from 68 to 108. All proceedings under the 
enabling act, including the election of October 13, 
were void. A printed letter was circulated among 
Republican senators and representatives from which 
Mr. Sherman had evidently derived his allegations. 
This document came from a Minnesota Republican 
source and evidenced the desire for an entire new 
deal. There was ground for hope that in new elec- 
tions the Republican party might overcome the 
slight Democratic pluralities. This move on the 
political chessboard had the effect to rally Demo- 
cratic support to the pending bill for admission 
of Minnesota with her waiting delegation. A new 
election might change its complexion. On May 11 
the bill was passed by the vote of 157 to 38. The 
next day it received the ])residential approval, and 
Messrs. Rice and Shields, who had been living 


since December at their own charges, were sworn 
as senators. 

The Senate bill, concurred in by the House, 
allowed Minnesota but two representatives. Three 
had been elected and had been waiting for five 
months to be seated. To eliminate one of these, 
lots were drawn, and George L. Becker, the best 
man of the three, was thrown out. The two who 
had drawn the long straws filed their credentials, 
and the House committee on elections informed 
the House that they had no knowledge of a third 
representative-elect from Minnesota. Two days of 
ineffective contention over the legitimacy of the 
elections of the lucky two, Messrs. William W. 
Phelps and James M. Cavanaugh, followed. The 
vote to admit stood 127 to 63. The records of de- 
bates and proceedings cover 225 columns of the 
"Globe," of 1000 words each or thereabout. 

During the months the Minnesota representa- 
tives had been on the anxious bench, the delegate, 
W. W. Kingsbury, who had been elected on Mr. 
Rice's promotion to the Senate, had been comfort- 
ably occupying his seat in the House. When 
Messrs. Phelps and Cavanaugh were sworn in, Mr. 
Kingsbury did not vacate his seat, but claimed the 
right to represent that part of the Territory of 
Minnesota west of the Red River line excluded 
from the state. The Democratic majority of the 
committee on elections strongly recommended that 
the claim be allowed, the Republicans dissenting. 


The House decided that the portion of Minnesota 
excluded from the state was a district without gov- 
ernment, and not entitled to representation in Con- 
gress. The admission of Minnesota wrought the 
dissolution of the territory, a decision exactly in 
the teeth of that by which Mr. Sibley had been 
recognized as a delegate from the rump of Wis- 
consin Territory in 1848. 

So soon as Governor Medary had approved the 
bill for the election of senators he took his de- 
parture and devolved the executive upon Charles 
L. Chase, the secretary of the territory. Till the 
middle of winter the legislative bodies of 1857-58 
were so uncertain about their legal status that they 
were chary of multiplying statutes. Then there was 
a change of opinion, and the members were encour- 
aged to believe themselves true state legislators. 
Their confidence so stiffened that on the 1st of 
March they voted to submit to the electors an 
amendment to the constitution authorizing the 
state officers-elect to qualify on May 1, whether 
Congress should have admitted the state or not ; 
and appointed April 15 proximo as the day for the 
election. It is probably true that railroad interests 
had to do with this change of heart. As already 
related, the four companies to which the great con- 
gressional land grant had been made over by the 
previous legislature had not been able to borrow a 
dollar by hypothecation of their inchoate proper- 


ties. There were examples of state assistance in 
railroad building under like circumstances, by way 
of lending state credit. The Minnesota companies 
now asked the legislature £or like aid. That body 
was willing enough, but there stood in the consti- 
tution adojited, but yet awaiting approval by Con- 
gress, a section forbidding in terms the loan of the 
credit of the state in aid of any individual, associa- 
tion, or corporation. But the constitution was still 
in the green tree ; why not amend it for so worthy 
a purpose ? Accordingly, the accommodating houses 
presently submitted a second amendment to the 
electors, to be voted on at the same time as the 
former. This amendment added to the section for- 
bidding the loan of the state's credit an exception, 
allowing such loan for the purpose of facilitating 
railroad construction, to the amount of five million 
dollars. Such was the beginning of the " five mil- 
lion loan " transaction, which was not closed till 
near the end of the century, and then in a manner 
not clearly honorable to the state. The two amend- 
ments were passed upon by the electors on the day 
appointed (April 15). That authorizing the state 
officers elect to enter upon their duties on ISIay 1 
received an " imposing majority," the figures of 
which have not been found. The officers elect, 
however, wisely took no advantage of this provi- 
sion, but awaited the admission of the state. The 
"five million loan" amendment was carried by 
the overwhelming majority of 25,023 to 6733. It 


was only, as alleged, a "loan of credit." In no 
conceivable event, the people were assured, could 
they be taxed to pay in cash the debt nominated 
in the bonds to be issued. 

On May 13 the mail or a private hand brought 
from La Crosse, Wisconsin, the telegraphic news 
of the admission of the state to the Union on the 
previous day. The documentary evidence came 
some days later, and on the 24th the state officers 
elected in October, 1857, took their oaths and pro- 
ceeded to their duties. It lacked one week of nine 
years since Governor Ramsey proclaimed the be- 
ginning of the territorial government. 

Three days after the state officers took up their 
duties there took place within an easy day s drive 
of the capital the last serious encounter of the 
Sioux and Chippeways on Minnesota soil. The 
lower Sioux, who late in 1853 reluctantly retired 
to their reservations on the upper Minnesota, were 
wont to return in summer weather in straggling 
companies to their old homes. They were generally 
harmless, and the merchants got a little profit on 
their trade. Shakopee and his band of one hundred 
and fifty had early in the summer of 1858 come 
down and gone into camp near the town which 
bears his name. One of his braves, fishing in the 
river (the Minnesota) at an early hour, was fired 
upon. Shakopee's men instantly recognized the 
sound as coming from a Chippeway gun. They 
gathered at Murpliy's Ferry and, presuming that 


the hostile shot came from one of some very small 
party, they let their women put thirty or forty of 
them across. They did not suspect that back on 
the timbered bluff a mile distant there lay in hid- 
ing one hundred and fifty or more Chippeway 
warriors who had sneaked down from Mille Lacs 
through the big woods east of Minnetonka. They 
were wary, however, and placed themselves in 
ambush in a narrow space between two lakelets. 
The Chippeways, out for scalps, with a boldness 
unusual among Indians, charged down from the 
bluff twice or more, without dislodging the Sioux. 
The day was not old when they gave up the effort 
and departed in haste for their homes, carrying 
their wounded and perhaps some dead. Four of 
their corpses were left to the cruel mercies of the 
Sioux, who scalped, beheaded, and otherwise muti- 
lated them. Such was the so-called " Battle of 
Shakopee," May 27, 1858. 



On the 2d of June, 1858, the legislature, which 
had adjourned March 25, reassembled and listened 
to Governor Sibley's inaugural address. He chal- 
lenged investigation into the legality of his election, 
declaring that he would scorn to hold the position 
for a single hour if not legally chosen. He com- 
mended the schools and the university to the 
special care of the legislature, exhorting them to 
regard the donations of public lands to them as 
sacred. He advised the organization of the militia 
to the end that the state might protect herself from 
possible Indian outrages like that of Inkpaduta the 
year before. Pie warned the legislature to be care- 
ful in their action in regard to banks, which he 
declared to be a " necessary evil." He deprecate4 
the undue extension of federal interference in the 
affairs of the states, and, as might be expected from 
a friend and admirer of Mr. Douglas, pronounced 
in favor of squatter sovereignty in the territories. 
He took occasion to record his objection to frequent 
and trivial amendments to the state constitution, 
which should "ever remain beyond the reach of 
temporary and feverish excitement." In no doubt- 


ful terms did the new executive give notice to the 
land grant railroad companies that he should hold 
them to a strict but reasonable conformity with 
their obligations. In this adjourned session the 
legislative bodies had no doubt about their true 
character as state organs. The senate had its con- 
stitutional president in the lieutenant-governor, 
William Holcombe, and there was a state governor 
to approve the acts of the houses. In the session, 
which lasted till August 12, a large body of stat- 
utes were enacted, many of them amendatory of 
territorial laws to suit new conditions. This legis- 
lature deserves praise for its diligence and appre- 
ciation of the needs of a growing state. Responding 
to the counsel of Governor Sibley, an elaborate 
militia law was passed. A provision for the organ- 
ization of volunteer companies proved three years 
later to have been wisely planned. The cautions of 
the executive led the legislature to replace a bank- 
ing act of many sections, passed by the same body 
in the previous March, by another more carefully 
drawn. Educational objects were not neglected. 
An agricultural college was established at Glencoe, 
a normal school at Winona, and the unlucky board 
of regents of the university were authorized to 
borrow $40,000 on twelve per cent, bonds. As if 
distrusting either the good faith or the ability of 
the four land grant railroad companies, the legis- 
lature placed on the statute book a stringent act 
instructing the governor how to proceed in case of 


default by any of them. The hopes of the people 
of Minnesota in this summer were centred on these 
land grant railroads. The panic of the previous 
year had impoverished many of the well-to-do, and 
left laborers and artisans without employment. 
Fortunately there was no lack of bread and meat 
at low prices, because they could not be got to out- 
side markets. Money was scarce and " business " 
sluggish in the extreme. But there was hope. The 
building of the railroads would scatter large sums 
of money, immigrants would flow in, and the good 
times of '56 would return. 

The act of the Minnesota legislature of May 22, 
1857, accepting the congressional land grant of 
March 5, provided, as anticipated by Congress, 
for the distribution of the lands to these four cor- 
porations : — 

First, the Minnesota and Pacific Railroad 
Company, for building a main line from Still- 
water through St. Anthony to Breckenridge and a 
" branch " from St. Anthony to St. Vincent. 

Second, the Transit Railroad Company, to build 
from Winona by way of St. Peter to the Big Sioux 
River north of 45 degrees north latitude. 

Third, the Root River and Southern Minnesota 
Railroad Company, for two lines; one from La 
Crescent to a junction with the Transit at Roches- 
ter ; the other from St. Paul and St. Anthony via 
Minneapolis, up the Minnesota River, to Mankato 
and on to the mouth of the Bifr Sioux. 


Fourth, the Minneapolis and Cedar Valley Rail- 
road Company, for a line from Minneapolis by way 
of Mendota and Faribault to a point on the south 
line of the state, west of range 13. 

The lands were to inure to the companies in 
installments of 120 sections, upon the completion 
of twenty-mile stretches of road for the running of 
regular trains. The constitutional amendment of 
April 15, 1858, had for a particular object the en- 
abling of the companies to get each its first twenty 
miles built and receive its 120 sections (76,800 
acres). The sale or hypothecation of this land 
would build an additional stretch, and so on. To 
make it the easier for the companies so to build, 
the amendment provided that when any ten-mile 
stretch should have been graded and made ready 
for ties and track, the company should receive 
$100,000 in the seven per cent, special Minnesota 
state railroad bonds authorized ; and, when any ten- 
mile stretch so graded should be complete with 
rails and rolling stock, an additional like sum in 
bonds. Now these bonds were by no means a bonus ; 
they were to be a "loan of credit," according to 
the favorite phrase of the day. The companies on 
receiving them were obligated to pay the interest 
as it should accrue, and to redeem the principal 
when due. The most rigorous provisions were made 
in the amendment itself to secure these liquidations. 
The companies were required to pledge the net 
earnings of their several lines, to convey to the state 


by deed of trust the first 240 acres of land earned 
by construction, and to transfer to the state an 
amount of their own company bonds equal to that 
of the special state bonds delivered. These com- 
pany bonds were to be secured by mortgages on 
all the properties and franchises of the companies. 
Human ingenuity, it was fancied, could exact no 
sounder guarantees. While the legislature was still 
in session in the midsummer of 1858, the companies 
let their contracts, and the dirt began to fly in a 
manner very cheering to citizens living along the 
surveyed lines, who boarded the hands and fur- 
nished forage, timber, and other supplies. 

But there was trouble with the finances from 
the start. On August 4 Governor Sibley gave 
warning (why should it have been needed?) to the 
companies that he should hold them to a strict 
compliance with the obligations they had assumed. 
In particular he demanded that when they came to 
exchange their company bonds for the special state 
bonds they must secure to the state a prior lien on 
their properties and franchises. The companies 
balked at this, and by their attorneys applied to 
the supreme court of the state for a mandamus 
requiring the governor to issue them bonds without 
such priority. To obtain a construction of the law 
Governor Sibley waived objection to being governed 
by the court in a matter within his own official 
discretion. Tlie mandamus issued. The text of the 
amendment of April 15 showed no requirement of 


priority, and the legislative journals show that 
efforts to inject such requirement had been vain. 
The state railroad bonds, issued to the companies 
as they severally completed their ten-mile stretches 
of grading, when placed upon the market did not 
go off like hot cakes. In form they were bonds of 
Minnesota acknowledging to owe and promising 
to pay dollars, signed, countersigned, and sealed 
like other bonds. The faith and credit of the state 
were pledged in the constitutional amendment to 
the payment of the interest and redemption of the 
principal. But the people understood that all this 
was mere form ; the railroad companies, not the 
state, were to pay. The newspapers industriously 
circulated this idea. Sixty-seven members of the 
legislature who had voted for the issue of the bonds 
signed a published declaration that none of them 
would ever vote for a tax to pay them. When 
offered in the New York market they were not 
wanted, unless by speculative operators at a fig- 
ure warranting risk. Governor Sibley's personal 
representations in Wall Street did not increase con- 
fidence. He attributed his failure to factious inter- 
ference of citizens and Republican newspapers. 

Construction was resumed with the season of 
1859 by contractors willing and able to take bonds 
in pay, but by midsummer this plan ceased to work. 
One firm in July was obliged to put up $30,000 
to raise 88000 in cash. Railroad building ceased, 
and Minnesota sat in ashes. The surprise and ex- 


asperation of the people can easily be imagined. 
The companies had not followed the course expected 
of them to complete and put in operation succes- 
sive ten-mile stretches, but preferred to push the 
grading for many such stretches and postpone 
track-laying and other work of completion. This 
aroused a suspicion that they did not intend to 
complete any sections, but to secure their $10,000 
per mile, a sum far in excess of the actual cost, 
and quit. This suspicion was intensified by rumors 
that the grading had been confined to discontin- 
uous earthwork alone, on the level prairie where it 
could be cheaply done. These rumors had but slight 
foundation, but they were accepted as true and to 
this day there are those who believe them. When 
the legislature of 1860 met (there was no session 
in 1859), Governor Sibley in his retiring mes- 
sage informed that body that the four companies 
had graded 239.36 miles, and had received 2275 
one thousand-dollar special state bonds in exchange 
for an equal amount of company bonds. 

The legislature of 1858 has enough to answer for 
in proposing to the people the consummate folly 
of offering to sell bonds which they never meant to 
pay. Of the final act of their session (August 12) 
it cannot be charitably recorded that it was one of 
mere folly. As the end of their labors drew nigh 
in the dog days, it became known that there would 
be a residue of some '^10,000 of money appropriated 
by Congress for territorial expenses. It seemed a 


pity not to keep that money in Minnesota. After 
a variety of proposals consuming much time had 
failed to receive concurrence, the two houses agreed 
to a compromise by which 86000 was appropriated 
for stationery and 'f 3500 for postage, the members 
to share equally. Governor Sibley was obliged to 
give his official sanction to this division, because 
it was impossible in the last hour of the session 
to veto the general appropriation bill in which 
these items had place, but he took occasion to say 
that he gave a most reluctant consent to the grab. 
The banking act passed by the legislature of 
1858, on July 26, provided for the issue of circu- 
lating notes secured by deposits of public stocks of 
the United States, or of any state, up to ninety per 
cent, of the average value of such stock for six 
months in the New York market. On one of the 
last days of the session an amending act was passed 
injecting into the proper section of the bank act 
the words " or the State of Minnesota at their cur- 
rent value." The intended operation of the clause 
was that bank-notes might be issued on the security 
of the special railroad bonds. To obtain a favorable 
rating by the state auditor a clique of operators 
traded among themselves in the bonds, in New York 
city, until they felt warranted in submitting affida- 
vits that their value as ascertained in that market 
was ninety-five cents on the dollar. The auditor of 
the state thereupon issued some #600,000 in notes 
to fifteen banks depositing the special railroad 


bonds. On January 1, 1861, be was obliged to 
report that seven of them had failed, and that he 
had sold their bonds. In one ease he got seventy 
cents ; in six others, prices ranging from thirty- 
five cents down to sixteen and a quarter cents. 

The Sioux chiefs were so much excited with the 
money elements of their treaties of 1851 that they 
probably did not know what they were about when, 
in the summer of 1852, they assented to that amend- 
ment proposed by the Senate canceling the reserva- 
tion of homes for the tribes on the upper Minnesota 
and authorizing the President to remove them from 
the ceded territory. It was, however, deemed best 
to move the people on to the designated areas, and 
they were so moved in the season of 1853. It soon 
came to their knowledge that they were only tem- 
porarily encamped there, and must presently move 
on to some unknown country. Their sorrow and 
exasperation were intense, and did not abate until 
they were assured in the following summer that the 
Great Father, as authorized by Congress, would 
permit them to remain where they were. They did 
remain in the sense of maintaining their principal 
villages on the reserve, but they constantly wan- 
dered in bands either toward their old homes or 
out on the prairies to the west, where buffalo still 
fed in countless herds. Their agents were much 
occupied in recalling these vagrants and in chasing 
the white whiskey sellers who infested the bounda- 


ries of the reserve. In 1857 Joseph R. Brown, that 
notable character whose career intersects the line 
of our narrative at many points, was appointed 
Sioux agent. As he was the father of many chil- 
dren born of his Sisseton wife, and had lived and 
traded among the Sioux for many years, he pos- 
sessed an influence and a knowledge of Indian 
character equaled by few. He had no belief that 
the Indian could be transformed by religion or 
education in the twinkling of an eye into a fully 
civilized man, but he knew that he could be induced 
to take on the beginnings of civilization. His sim- 
ple plan was to get the savages to live in houses, 
adopt white man's dress, and do a little planting. 
In two years he had two hundred men, mostly heads 
of families, located on eighty-acre farms. They had 
disused the blanket, put on white man's clothes, 
and, most notable of all, had had their hair cut short. 
His " farmer Indians " numbered seven hundred. 
This was not a large proportion of the seven thou- 
sand " annuity Sioux," but the northern superin- 
tendent of Indian affairs prophesied that in three 
years the " farmer Indians " would outnumber the 
" blanket Indians." The farmers, he reported, had 
given up their feasts and dances and were living as 
a " law-abiding, quiet, and sober people." In this 
reform Agent Brown was assisted by the mission- 
aries, under the leadership of Drs. Williamson and 
Riggs, who had followed the Sioux to their reserva- 
tions. The former had organized a society of ambi- 


tious young Sioux, under the title of the " Hazlewood 
republic," the object of which was to encourage 
respect for law and to teach the art of government. 
On the accession of the Kepublicans to power at 
the seat of government in 18G1, Agent Brown's 
place was needed to reward a laborer in the Repub- 
lican vineyard, utterly inexperienced in the duties. 
It is perfectly safe to say that had Brown been left 
alone there would have been no " Sioux outbreak." 
When the treaties of cession were negotiated in 
1851, the proposed reservations seemed very far 
away and very ample. The Sioux had hardly got 
settled before the white man appeared with his 
whiskey jug and began taking up preemptions on 
the neighboring lands. It did not take these adven- 
turers long to discover that the Indians had more 
land than they needed. Moved by their representa- 
tions the Minnesota legislature of 1858 adopted a 
joint resolution instructing her delegation in Con- 
gress to secure the reduction of the reservation and 
the opening of the excluded areas to settlement. In 
the summer of that year delegations of chiefs of the 
upper and lower tribes were taken to Washington, 
where they were induced to consent, in separate 
treaties, to the sale to the government of all their 
lands (some eight hundred thousand acres) on the 
left (northeast^ side of the Minnesota River. 

At the close of the state campaign of 1859 Alex- 
ander Ramsey came to his own. He was elected 


governor by a majority which no one could ques- 
tion. At the same time the office of lieutenant- 
governor fell to Ignatius Donnelly, who for forty 
years was to be a conspicuous figure in Minnesota 
politics. This young gentleman had come to Min- 
nesota from his home in Philadelphia in 185G, at 
the age of twenty-four. He had won no little ap- 
plause in his native city by some public addresses, 
a volume of juvenile poems not without promise, 
and a number of published essays. Breaking out 
of the Democratic fold along with very many 
young men of the day, he threw himself heart and 
soul into the Republican cause. There was no man 
of his time, certainly not in Minnesota, who could 
more completely enchain an audience of citizens 
than Ignatius Donnelly. A speech in the Republi- 
can convention of 1859 won him an unexpected 
nomination, and his election followed. The inau- 
gural message of Governor Ramsey to the Republi- 
can legislature which came in with him is a notable 
document. The persistence of hai'd times moved 
him to cut his own salary from '$2500 to $1500 and 
to recommend corresponding reductions in those 
of state officials. By these and other retrenchments 
adopted by the legislature, the expenses of the state 
government were reduced by 49.3 per cent. Re- 
minding the houses of the fact that the general 
government had already bestowed twelve millions 
of acres of public land and more (an area equal to 
that of Holland or Belgium), he exhorted them to 


the greatest diligence and fidelity in execution of 
their trust. In particular he urged that the school 
lands be safeguarded against premature sale, and 
that all purchase-money coming in from these 
should be paid into the state treasury to form a 
perpetual endowment. While his particular scheme 
was not adopted in detail, his principle was. A sur- 
viving contemporary opposed to him in politics has 
declared that had not Governor Ramsey stood like 
a rock against multifarious schemes for dissipating 
the school lands, Minnesota would not have a dol- 
lar of school fund to-day. That fund now amounts 
to nearly -120,000,000 and will be greatly increased 
in the future. For this great service the name of 
Alexander Ramsey should be remembered in Min- 
nesota as long as the state survives. 

The incoming legislature had for its most excit- 
ing duty that of electing a United States senator 
in the room of General James Shields, who had 
two years before drawn the short term. The choice 
fell on Morton S. Wilkinson of Stillwater, the 
pioneer attorney of that place. He had cooperated 
in organizing Republicanism in the territory and 
had attracted the attention of leaders outside, 
among them Seward and Lincoln. 

This election disposed of, the houses addressed 
themselves to railroad matters. The state had 
turned out 12,275,000 of her " special " bonds, and 
had for them not a mile of railroad, but only some 


two hundred and forty miles of rather slovenly 
graded road-bed. Governor Ramsey, with the 
strong common sense which never failed him, urged 
the legislature to settle the business at once. 
Though he had a favorite plan, his concern was 
not for his own plan, but for any kind of a settle- 
ment. He warned the legislature that if the vexed 
question were not settled it would confuse politics 
and invite corruption. The bonds would be bought 
up for a song by speculators who would subsidize 
newspapers, shout repudiation, and pound on the 
doors of the legislature till that 1body would be 
forced by their sheer importunity to satisfy them. 
But that legislature had come from an exasperated 
people who believed in their hearts that the rail- 
road companies, and politicians in league with 
them, had deceived and cheated them. They had 
never promised, in fact, to pay those bonds, and 
the takers of them knew that, and were estopped 
from demanding redemption out of the pockets of 
the people. The houses appointed a joint commit- 
tee of sixteen on railroad grants and bonds. Six 
different reports came in from detachments of this 
committee. One member. Senator Mackubin of St. 
Paul, alone proposed the full payment of the bonds. 
The legislative bodies were as much divided as 
were their committeemen. All they could agree to 
after days of discussion was to hang the whole pro- 
ceeding up by means of two constitutional amend- 
ments to be submitted to the electors. One of 


these was to expunge from the state constitution 
the amendment of April 15, 1858, authorizing the 
"five million loan"; the other, providing for a 
referendum to the electors of any law for paying 
off the outstanding special railroad bonds. The 
vote on the expunging amendment, on Novem- 
ber 6, 1860, was : Yes, 19,308 ; no, 710. The vote 
on the other amendment differed but little. The 
ostrich had buried his head and eyes in the sand. 
The land grant companies having completely de- 
faulted in all their engagements, there remained 
for the governor to proceed as required by law to 
recover to the state the public lands conditionally 
made over to them. Foreclosure proceedings cul- 
minated in the sale to the state of all the franchises, 
rights of way, property, and privileges of each com- 
pany for the sum of one thousand dollars. As the 
electors had by a constitutional amendment de- 
clared that the special railroad bonds were no 
obligations of the state, she was apparently the 
gainer by the rights of way and the grading done 
by the companies, but in fact the state was never 
more than a trustee of the lands. The loss of their 
properties did not, of course, work a dissolution of 
the railroad charters, and the companies, or their 
ghosts, still existed. When the legislature of 1861 
was in session they had sufficient influence to per- 
suade that body to give them another lease of life. 
They had gone down in the common ruin after 
brave efforts to execute their contracts. By sepa- 


rate acts passed March 4, the state released and 
restored to the four companies severally all their 
forfeited properties and assets, free from all claims 
and liens by the state, — this on certain conditions 
which did not seem hard. Each company was obli- 
gated to deposit a guarantee fund of ten thousand 
dollars, to begin building immediately, and to have 
ten miles of road in full operation by the end of the 
calendar year, and certain stipulated mileages in 
years following. In these Kalends of March there was 
no expectation that before the grass should be green 
on the Minnesota prairies a war cloud would have 
settled over them. It was no time to build railroads 
on borrowed money. One of the companies, the 
Minnesota and Pacific (germ of the Great North- 
ern Kailway), made its cash deposit and began 
work. Late in the season it ran the single locomo- 
tive, the William Crooks, which it had purchased, 
over the fourteen hundred feet of track laid from 
the St. Paul levee to a storage shed. Its ten thou- 
sand dollars were forfeit. All the companies having 
defaulted, the lands, rights of way, and properties 
reverted to the state. 

The desire of the people for railroads did not 
and could not abate, and there were still adven- 
turous persons willing to risk money for the great 
prizes lying in the land grants. In the winter of 
1862 four new companies were organized, and to 
them the legislature turned over the grants and 
rights of way on liberal conditions. The St. Paul 


and Pacific Company succeeding to the Minnesota 
and Pacific, built from St. Paul to St. Anthony, 
and on October 14 advertised for regular business. 
In 1863 two companies built forty-six and one half 
miles, and in 1864 three built forty-three and one 
half miles. Meantime the special railroad bonds 
remained in the limbo to which the constitutional 
amendments of 1860 had relegated them. 

Other acts of the legislature of 1860 of less im- 
portance, but still notable, were : One changing 
the existing system of county government by 
boards of supervisors, elected from the towns, to 
one of county commissioners, to be elected from 
districts; another providing for the registration 
of voters in all precincts ; a third replacing the 
elective board of twelve regents created by terri- 
torial law with one of five to be appointed by the 
governor and confirmed by the senate. The new 
board succeeded to a melancholy task. 

The people of Minnesota had moderated their 
expectations of an abounding population, but they 
were still greatly disappointed wlien the census of 
1860 footed up but 170,023 inhal)itants, including 
2369 Indians. The native born were 113,295, the 
foreign born 68,278. The great Scandinavian in- 
flux had hardly l)egun. Of the whole number of 
persons engaged in gainful occupations, 53,426, the 
farmers were 27,921, dwelling mostly in the river 
counties and those immediately in the rear. With 


her population so widely spread out on the land 
and that in its virgin fertility, Minnesota was not 
really poor, in spite of business stagnation, of a high 
interest i-ate (two per cent a month), and of iso- 
lation from outside markets for half the year. This 
isolation was, however, mitigated by the comple- 
tion of a line of telegraph to the cities at the head 
of navigation, so that " through " dispatches were 
regularly received in October, 1862. The office in 
St. Anthony was closed after a few months, and 
the business men of Minneapolis were obliged to 
subsidize that of their city. 

The conflict in national politics in 1860 was a 
hot and lively one, not merely between the two 
great parties, but within the separate ranks. The 
Democrats had not been so long out of power as 
to despair of a return. The Republicans had just 
begun to taste the sweets of office and its emolu- 
ments, and were fierce for more. The aspirants 
were inconveniently numerous and eager. In the 
caucuses and conventions they competed with al- 
most brutal ardor for nominations, equivalent, in 
their happy anticipations, to elections. No sooner 
had the October elections resulted in a Republican 
triumph than aspirants for federal employment 
began weaving the combinations which should cap- 
ture the Minnesota appointments. The friends of 
Governor Ramsey formed into one camp ; the 
"land office clique " into another. The latter gained 
a temporary advantage, but did not succeed in their 


ultimate purpose of placing one of their number in 
the United States Senate when the next vacancy 
occurred. They also failed to get Governor Kam- 
sey, his own logical successor, out of the way by a 
promotion to the headship of the Interior Depart- 

The Minnesota Democracy had been steadfast 
adherents to Senator Douglas, who had earned 
their support. The delegation to the Charleston 
convention of 1860, though not instructed, was 
presumed to be solid for the Illinois statesman. 
When Senator Rice and another separated and 
stood by Breckinridge, there were accusations of 
treason, bribery, and all the crimes in the political 
calendar. It ought to have been foreseen that Mr. 
Rice by temperament and interest would be at- 
tached to the conservative wing of the Democracy. 

As the time for the state election of 1861 drew 
on, it was so apparent that Messrs. Ramsey and 
Donnelly would succeed themselves as governor 
and lieutenant-governor that only the slightest ac- 
tivity was manifested in the campaign. The total 
vote for governor on October 8 was 8048, of which 
Ramsey received 6997. 



Governor Alexander Ramsey was in Washing- 
ton on April 14, 1861, the day the Confederate 
colors were flown over the ruins of Fort Sumter in 
Charleston harbor. The attack on that work was 
an avowed act of war. Early that Sunday morn- 
ing he hastened to the War Department to make 
a tender of one thousand Minnesota men for the 
national cause. The offer was put in writing at 
the request of Secretary Cameron, who was on the 
point of waiting on the President. Minnesota's ten- 
der of a regiment was doubtless the first recorded. 
It was so promptly accepted that on the next day 
Governor Ramsey could so telegraph to St. Paul. 
On the 16th Lieutenant-Governor Donnelly issued 
the executive proclamation calling for volunteers 
to form a regiment of infantry to serve for three 
months. The principal effect of Governor Sibley's 
ambitious militia organization already mentioned 
had been to stimulate the organization of inde- 
pendent volunteer companies in the larger towns 
and cities. These companies were the convenient 
nuclei of those which filled up the regiment. The 
arms of those independent companies were some- 


■what irregularly appropriated. Thirteen days after 
the proclamation, on April 29, ten companies nearly 
full were mustered into the service of the United 
States at Fort Snelling. Governor Ramsey, who 
was present at the muster, announced his appoint- 
ments of field officers. Willis A. Gorman, former 
territorial governor, a regimental officer in the 
Mexican AVar, he placed in command. The vigor 
with which this experienced colonel established and 
enforced military routine was a surprise to his raw 
soldiery. They learned later the value of his (lis- 
cipline, which at the first they were disposed to be 
restive under. Early in May the state furnished 
black felt hats and black trousers. These, with the 
red shirts previously supplied, constituted their 
uniform. Drilling went vigorously on, diversified 
with sword and flag presentations and some feast- 
ing: in the neig^hborino' cities. 

Some days after the muster, the War Depart- 
ment decided to accept no more regiments for three 
months, and gave to the men of the First Minne- 
sota the option of enlisting for three years or taking 
their discharges. A considerable number, many of 
whom had been more patriotic than judicious, chose 
the latter alternative, but their places were inmie- 
diately supplied, and a full regiment was mus- 
tered in for three years. 

In the early morning of June 22 the regiment 
was paraded for the last time at Fort Snelling. 
Ciiaplain Edward D. Neill offered prayer, made an 


address, and gave the Hebrew benediction, "The 
Lord bless you and keep you," etc. This over, the 
command embarked for Prairie du Chien, whence 
it proceeded by rail to Washington. On July 3 it 
was put into camp near Alexandria and attached 
to Franklin's brigade of Heintzelman's division of 
McDowell's army. At the battle of Bull Run the 
First Minnesota was sent forward alone in support 
of llickett's battery to attack the position held by 
Jackson's brigade without a single skirmisher in 
advance. The battery had barely unlimbered when 
all its horses were killed and cannoneers dis- 
persed. The First Minnesota held its ground until 
forty-two men were killed and one hundred and 
eight wounded, the heaviest loss suffered by any 
regiment on the Union side. Thirty were miss- 
ing, mostly prisoners, among whom were Surgeon 
Stewart and his assistant, Le Boutillier, who re- 
mained on the field attending the wounded. The 
regiment did not leave the field till ordered off, and 
marched " in perfect order " to Centreville. From 
that point to Alexandria its ranks were broken by 
the rabble of men and vehicles which thronged the 
road. In a compendious work it is impossible to 
follow in detail the career of this splendid regi- 
ment and those later sent out from Minnesota. It 
shared honorably in the operations of the Army of 
the Potomac in the season of 1862. At Antietam, 
holding its ground after both flanks had been un- 
covered, the First lost one hundred and forty-seven 


in killed and wounded. The company of Minnesota 
sharpshooters (the Second), added to the regiment 
after the battle of Fair Oaks, had twenty out of 
its forty-two men present shot down in that action. 

After the organization of the First Regiment out 
of existing state militia, other militia companies 
remained over, equally desirous for a part in the 
war for the Union. When Governor Ramsey called 
for a second regiment on the 14th of June, 1861, 
the response was immediate. Before the end of 
July the Second Minnesota Infantry had been mus- 
tered in at Fort Snelling, uniformed and supplied. 
It received as commander Colonel Horatio P. Van 
Cleve, a graduate of the United States Military 
Academy, who had resigned from the regular army 
after some years of service. On October 14 the 
regiment left Fort Snelling, without patriotic ex- 
ercises, for Louisville, Kentucky, where it joined 
Buell's army. At Mill Springs it behaved with 
coolness and gallantry, suffering a loss of twelve 
killed and thirty-three wounded. The whole re- 
maining season of 1862 was occupied with labo- 
rious marches between the Ohio and Tennessee 
rivers, with occasional minor engagements. It was 
present at Shiloh, Corinth, and Perrysville, where 
its losses were nominal. 

The Third Minnesota Infantry was called for 
on September 18, before the Second had gone to 
the front. The companies were promptly recruited 
by aspirants to commissions, and the organization 


was complete by the middle of November. For its 
colonel Governor Ramsey selected Heury A. Lester 
of Winona, who had made a creditable record as a 
captain in the First Regiment. In a few months he 
brought the command to a high state of discipline, 
and by his personal qualities gained the complete 
confidence of officers and men. In April, 1862, 
the regiment was sent to Murf reesboro', Tennessee, 
a point of some strategic importance, thirty miles 
southeast of Nashville, and was there in July when 
the Confederate cavalry leader Forrest was raiding 
thereabout to delay the movements of Buell. The 
covering force was a small brigade in two separate 
encampments. A Michigan infantry battalion of 
five companies and two cavalry troops were sta- 
tioned to the east of the town, the Third Minne- 
sota about a mile and a half northwest on the 
Nashville pike. No intrenchments seem to have 
been constructed. At an early hour of July 13 
Forrest's advance brushed away the cavalry out- 
posts, captured the brigade commander in his 
quarters in the village, and fiercely attacked the 
Michigan men. It was not till noon, however, that 
he was able with his main force of more than one 
thousand men to compel their surrender. At the 
sound of the firing, Colonel Lester got his com- 
mand under arms and placed them in a good posi- 
tion for defense not far from his camp, and there 
he held his men while the forenoon wore away 
with the sound of battle in his ears and the smoke 


rising from the burning warehouses in the town. 
The barest show of attack was made on his front, 
but Forrest in person led a considerable party 
around his flank to attack his camp, defended by 
Corporal Charles H. Green with twenty teamsters, 
convalescents, and cooks. It took three charges, 
Forrest leading the last, to rout and capture the 
little band. The gallant corporal died the same 
day, of his wounds. Soon after one o'clock P. M. 
the adjutant of the Michigan battalion came out 
from the town under flag of truce and safeguard 
to summon Colonel Lester to the presence of his 
colonel. In the interview which succeeded, the sur- 
render of the Minnesota regiment was recommended. 
Returning to his command, Lester summoned his 
officers to a council. On an open vote the majority 
was for fighting. Two company commanders then 
left the council. The colonel, not content with the 
open vote, proposed a ballot. The result was five 
to surrender, three to fight. In the minority were 
Lieutenant-Colonel Griggs and Captain C. C. An- 
drews, both of whom became regimental command- 
ers. It may be said in mitigation of the action of 
some of the company commanders voting for sur- 
render, that as they held their offices by election 
they felt bound to act in a representative capacity 
and not according to their own judgment. The 
end of it was the unconditional surrender of the 
Third Minnesota without having been seriously 
attacked. The enlisted men were paroled and sent 


to Benton Barracks, St. Louis. The officers were 
paroled at Kichmond after three months. On 
December 1 President Lincoln discharged dishon- 
orably all those who had voted for the surrender. 

The Fourth Minnesota regiment was called at 
the same time as the Third, but for service on the 
Indian frontier. The muster began October 2, and 
was complete before the close of the year. For 
colonel Governor Ramsey chose John A. Sanborn, 
his adjutant-general, as yet inexperienced in war- 
fare, but his appointment was later abundantly jus- 
tified. Two companies were sent to Fort Ridgely 
and two to Abercrombie to overawe the restive 
Sioux. A fifth company went to Fort Eipley 
to insure the good behavior of the Chippeways. 
The remaining five companies spent the winter of 
1862 at Fort Snelling, where they were thoroughly 
instructed. On April 20, 1862, the Fourth Regi- 
ment, its absent companies having been recalled to 
Fort Snelling, embarked for the South. It reached 
Halleck's army in May in front of Corinth, Missis- 
sippi, in time to partake in the siege which the 
enemy terminated by a timely evacuation. After 
some months of inaction, during which one third 
of its men got into the hospital, the regiment par- 
ticipated gallantly in the affair at luka on Septem- 
ber 18, losing three killed and forty-four wounded. 
At the battle of Corinth, October 3 and 4, the 
Fourth was actively engaged, with the surprisingly 
small loss of two killed and ten wounded. 


The muster of the Fifth Minnesota began De- 
cember 19, 1861, and was completed on the 29th 
of March following. Three companies were sent to 
the frontier forts to relieve companies of the 
Fourth called in. To encourage recruiting Gov- 
ernor Ramsey proposed to appoint to the field and 
staff positions such gentlemen as the line officers 
should nominate to him. For colonel their choice 
fell on a gentleman, German born, who had seen 
service in the Prussian army. The experience of a 
few months proved to him and his friends that a 
mistake had been made. Lieutenant-Colonel Lu- 
cius F. Hubbard, afterwards governor of Minne- 
sota, succeeded and held command until assigned 
to a brigade. Leaving behind the three companies 
on duty in the frontier forts, the regiment went 
south in May, 1862, in time to participate in the 
operations which resulted in the occupation of 
Corinth, Mississippi. The summer was passed in 
quiet, diversified by the affairs at Farmington and 
luka. When Price and Van Dorn undertook, on 
October 3, to dislodge Rosecrans from his in- 
trenched position at Corinth, it fell to the Fifth 
Minnesota to take a most honorable part in their 
repulse. Recalled late that night from outpost 
duty, the men bivouacked in a street of the town. 
In the forenoon of the 4th, after a furious bom- 
bardment, the Confederates assaulted and pushed 
a column of attack through the Union line near its 
right. Colonel Hubbard saw the impending danger, 


and without waiting for orders threw his regiment 
on the flank of the Confederate column, broke it 
into fragments, and drove it back in complete dis- 
order. The batteries temporarily lost to the enemy 
he retook, and restored the shattered battle line. 
Such is the willing testimony of Rosecrans him- 
self. Survivors of the Fifth delight to recall the 
gallant and fearless behavior of their young Catho- 
lic chaplain on that field. He is now the JNIost 
Reverend John Ireland, Archbishop of St. Paul, 
known everywhere for splendid services in church 
and state. 

In addition to the five infantry regiments re- 
cruited under the calls of 1862, five minor organ- 
izations were formed, one of which, the Second 
Company of Minnesota sharpshooters, has been 
mentioned. The First Sharpshooters were mustered 
in at Fort Snelling, October 5, 1861, and sent to 
Washington to become Company A of the Second 
Regiment of United States Sharpshooters. That 
command participated in the battles of second Bull 
Run, Antietam, and Fredericksburg, doing effective 
work with its Sharps rifles. The Minnesota com- 
pany had ten wounded at Antietam. 

Brackett's Cavalry Battalion of three companies, 
to which a fourth was added January 1, 1864, was 
recruited in the fall months of 1861, and remained 
in service till May, 1866. The command, by ser- 
vices appropriate to its arm, contributed not a lit- 
tle to the victories of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, and 


Corinth. It accompanied Sully's Indian expedition 
to the upper Missouri in 18G4, and took part in 
the battle of Killdeer Mountain. Stationed on the 
right of the line, the battalion cheeked a fierce flank 
attack, which it followed with a gallant counter- 
charge, inflicting heavy loss on the savages. 

The First Battery of Light Artillery was mus- 
tered in at Fort Snelling, November 21, 1861, and 
sent south in midwinter to join Sherman's division 
at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee. In the battle of 
Shiloh, April 6, 18G2, this battery, forced back 
with Prentiss's routed division, united in the heroic 
stand at the point known as " the hornet's nest," 
which held back the enemy's advance till Grant's 
disordered regiments could be formed for final and 
effective defense. Captain Emil Munch had his 
horse shot under him and was severely wounded. 
The Second Light Battery was not accepted till 
March 21, 1862. Its commander, Captain William 
A. Hotchkiss, had seen service as an artilleryman 
in the Mexican War. At Perrysville and Stone 
River this command played a gallant part, fortu- 
nately with small loss. 

The passage of the enrollment act of April 16, 
1862, indicated an expectation that to reestablish 
the authority of the government over all its terri- 
tory, an increase of the army would be necessary, 
and that the raising of new troops might not be left 
to the pleasure or convenience of the states. On 
the day of McClellan's escape to the James River 


(July 2) President Lincoln called for 300,000 
volunteers. Minnesota's quota was 6362. On 
August 4 this call was followed by an order for 
drafting 300,000 men from the loyal states. Volun- 
teering, which for some months had gone but 
languidly forward, revived. Public meetings were 
held in all the towns ; bounties were offered by 
citizens and municipal bodies ; splendid examples 
of patriotic sacrifices were set by men who could 
ill afford them, and could ill be spared by the com- 
munities. The actual recruiting was mainly done 
by gentlemen who were promised commissions in 
consideration of their services. The distribution of 
the quotas to counties and towns really set the 
whole people at work, with the result that before 
the harvest was over five new regiments, the Sixth, 
Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth, were substan- 
tially filled. However, it was not till November 19 
that the announcement could be made that every 
local quota had been filled and that all danger of 
the draft, from time to time deferred, was averted. 
The immediate employment of all these regiments 
was, as we are to see, far different from the expec- 
tations of the recruits. The appointments to the 
field and staff' positions were no easy task for Gov- 
ernor Ramsey. It was well known that he would de- 
sire the legislature of 1863 to elect him to succeed 
the Hon. Henry M. Rice as United States senator, 
and that another aspirant was at least equally de- 
sirous. His personal admirers urged him to distrib- 


ute the military "plums" in a way helpful to his 
political success. His political opponents were pro- 
phesying that he would certainly do so, and charged 
him with selfishness, heartlessness, and disregard 
of experience. To the head of one regiment he ap- 
pointed William Crooks, an experienced civil engi- 
neer, who had been two years at West Point and 
was his political opponent. For three other regi- 
ments he took Lieutenant-Colonels Miller, Wilkin, 
and Thomas from the First, Second, and Fourth 
Minnesota regiments respectively. 



While the whole people of Minnesota were striv- 
ing night and day to fill up the new regiments with 
volunteers to reinforce the national armies, there 
was trouble brewing within their own boundaries. 
The reader will have observed that small garrisons 
had been and were still maintained on the Indian 
frontiers. There was one at Fort Ripley, below 
Crow Wing, to protect the Chippeway agency ; 
there were two on the borders of the Sioux reserva- 
tions. Of these one occupied Fort Ridgely, situated 
on the north bank of the Minnesota River in the 
extreme northwest corner of Nicollet County. It 
was begun in 1853 when the lower Sioux were 
arriving on their reservation. The garrison had for 
its purpose the support of the authority of the gov- 
ernment agents thereon. Another post had pre- 
viously been established on the west bank of the 
Red River, some fifteen miles north of Breeken- 
ridge, chiefly for the purpose of protecting the Red 
River trade, carried in hundreds of single ox carts, 
from depredations of both Sioux and Chippeways, 
whose hunting parties waylaid not only one an- 
other, but the white man's caravans. Fort Aber- 


crombie, although at some distance from the upper 
reserve, was near enough to keep the upper Sioux 
aware of the Great Father's power. Although called 
forts, no one of the three was in any sense a strong 
place. Each consisted of a group of detached build- 
ings standing on the open prairie. The lapse of 
years in quiet seemed to justify the assumption that 
it would be a useless thing to form a proper inclosure 
and fortify it. 

The Minnesota Sioux betook themselves to the 
reserves designated in the treaties of 1851 in no 
comfortable frame of mind. They believed that 
they had been obliged to abandon their ancient 
homes for an inadequate compensation, and that 
government agents had conspired with the traders 
and half-breeds to cheat them of money promised to 
be paid to their chiefs. Two years passed before they 
were assured by act of Congress that tliey would 
be allowed to remain in Minnesota and not sent to 
some far-off unknown country. The treaty commis- 
sioners of 1851 congratulated the government on 
the establishment of a policy of " concentration," 
under which the Indian would be induced to aban- 
don the chase and get his living from the soil. The 
Pond brothers, foreseeing that this policy was pre- 
mature, decided not to follow the tribes among 
whom they had labored to the reservations. Con- 
centration of wild Indians averse to cultivation 
only gave opportunity for unceasing grumbling in 
council over the general rascality of the white man, 


the tyranny of the agent, the immorality of his 
employees, the extortions of the traders, and the 
imbecility of the missionaries, who worked for 

In the buffalo season these Sioux swarmed out 
into the Missouri valley to make boot upon the still 
countless herds. At times some wandered back to 
theiroldhomes below. The reservations, while ample 
in area for eight thousand Indians, were in shape 
ridiculously ill-adapted for concentration. Origi- 
nally they formed a " shoestring " one hundred and 
fifty miles long and twenty miles wide. That width 
had been reduced by the treaties of 1858 to ten 
miles. There was no privacy for the Indian. An 
easy morning walk took him to the boundary, where 
the accommodating white man met him with a keg 
of illicit whiskey. This opportunity for "business" 
doubtless had no little effect in attracting settlers 
to the lands fronting on the reservations. The citi- 
zens of Brown County in 1859 publicly denounced 
the criminal practice, and the county commissioners 
offered a reward of twenty-five dollars for evidence 
leading to conviction in any prosecution. While 
generally harmless, the Indians annoyed the set- 
tlers by untimely visits for food, and occasional 
thefts of horses and cattle. 

The treaties of 1858, already mentioned, ceding 
those parts of the two reservations lying north of 
the Minnesota River, were negotiated with a few 
selected chiefs carried to Washington so that they 


might not be restrained by the discussions of the 
braves in council. This was a source of suspicion, 
which turned out to be well grounded. The consid- 
eration for the ceded lands was in part additions to 
annuities, in part moneys to be paid as the chiefs 
in open council should direct. There was long delay 
in securing the ratification of the treaties by the 
Senate, and necessary ancillary legislation from 
Congress. Three years passed before the final pay- 
ments. The lower Sioux found but $880. 58 com- 
ing to them from their "hand money," instead of 
$40,000. The consent of the chiefs to this division 
of moneys to traders and others was obtained in a 
surreptitious, not to say dishonest, manner. The 
upper Sioux were sufficiently, but not so exten- 
sively, plundered. From the time of their removal 
to the reservations up to the opening of the Civil 
War, the annuity Sioux were nursing their wrath 
against the deceitful and greedy white man. At 
the same time they were becoming distrustful of 
the power of which he boasted. When the Great 
Father had no cavalry to chase Inkpaduta, but was 
obliged to hire Indians to make that fruitless pur- 
suit, the Sioux inferred that while he had a great 
multitude of people he could not make soldiers of 
them. A veteran missionary recorded the opinion 
that the failure of the government to pursue and 
capture Inkpaduta was the " primary cause " of the 
uprising which came five years later. 

The exchange of the garrisons of regular troops 


at the forts for raw volunteers was to the Sioux a 
sign that the Great Father was in trouble, and the 
dispatch of raw men to help defend his country 
confirmed this view. Through the traders and half- 
breeds the Indians were kept informed of the 
repulses suffered by his warriors at Bull Run, 
Ball's Bluff, and elsewhere. Nowhere could gossip 
spread more speedily than in an Indian village, 
where gossip was the business of the braves when 
in camp. It is in evidence that the strong "Copper- 
head " element among the traders and half-breeds 
did not conceal their satisfaction over the defeat 
of loyal troops and their belief that the Great 
Father was going to be " cleaned out." 

The winter of 1861-62 was unusually severe. 
When spring opened food was scarce in all the 
villages. The Sissetons had eaten all their horses 
and dogs. The farmer Indians had in the previous 
summer been so badgered by the unregenerate of 
their own bands, and by the visiting Yanktonnais 
of the plains, that their industry had relaxed, and 
they had but little food to spare. The " payment " 
was accordingly looked to with unusual eagerness. 
According to custom it should come as soon as the 
grass of the prairies should be fit for pasture. 
Spring ripened into summer, but the agents' run- 
ners did not bring the welcome summons to the 
villages. The upper Sioux, tired of waiting, came 
in to the agency at Yellow Medicine in the middle 
of July to the number of four thousand, and with 


tliem came one thousand Yanktonnais, literally on 
the eilge of starvation. The agent supplied some 
flour, pork, lard, and sugar and told them to go 
liome. He would call them when he was ready. 
But the savages did not depart. In a fortnight 
they had consumed the rations and were again 
hungry. The agent declining to furnish more, an 
armed mob of several hundred warriors surrounded 
the government storehouse, surprised the little 
guard of infantry, broke the locks and bolts, and 
carried off one hundred sacks of flour. Making a 
virtue of necessity, the agent, after a talk in coun- 
cil, agreed to issue all the provisions and annuity 
goods, on condition that the Indians would depart 
and stay away till called. Trouble with the upper 
Sioux was thus tided over, but their respect for the 
Great Father's power was not increased by the 
forced compliance of his agent. 

There was less want of food in the villages of 
the lower Sioux, but there was enough to cause 
distress and desire for an early payment. The 
agent had no advices. He could give no reasons for 
the delay of the money. The traders assumed to 
know more than he, and with a -fatal blindness, 
teased the Indians with suggestions that the Great 
Father had spent all his money and had none left 
for his red children. As the Indians were heavily 
in debt to them, they began refusing further credits. 
Among the rumored reasons for the delay of the 
money, the one most accepted was that the govern- 


ment officials were allowing friends to use it in 
speculations on supply contracts. The fact was that 
the Indian appropriation of 18G2 was not passed 
in Congress till July 5. The gold was drawn from 
the treasury on August 11, and was at once dis- 
patched to the west. It was brought to Fort Ridgely 
at noon on August 18. 

The lower Sioux did not assemble and raid the 
warehouses, but resorted to a less riotous proced- 
ure. On the warpath or the hunt it was Indian law 
that a kind of provost guard composed of active 
warriors should maintain order on the march and 
in bivouac. It was called the Ti-yo-ti-pi, or "Sol- 
diers' lodge," had a large discretion, and exacted 
instant obedience. A modified soldiers' lodge was 
now set up (June, 1862) on the lower agency, 
attended by one hundred and fifty warriors. In its 
frequent councils all the grievances of the past and 
present were rehearsed, and schemes for redress 
broached and discussed. Evidence is wanting to 
support the assertions of contemporaries that in 
this soldiers' lodge there was concocted a definite 
scheme of murder and pillage to be carried out 
later. Possibly some braves, more patriotic than 
judicious, pictured the consequences to the cowardly 
white man if the great Sioux nation should launch 
its hosts ajjainst his undefended farms and villarres. 
But the oratory of the lodge fed fat the ancient 
grudge of the red men and added to their chronic 
exasperation. The dog days drew on, but there was 


no outward sign of insurrection. Although he felt 
that the Indians were in an evil aild turbulent 
state, Agent Galbraith did not think it injudicious 
for him to leave his people in charge of his assist- 
ants and go off to New Ulm with a batch of forty- 
nine volunteers for the army on the afternoon of 
August 15. The same day he had passed through 
some of the villages and had conferred with Little 
Crow about the brick house he was to build for 
that chief. Two days after that, Crow attended 
morning services in the Episcopal mission chapel, 
and gave no sign of excitement or enmity. 

But for an unforeseen incident the peace might 
have lasted another day, and lasting that other day, 
on which the annuity gold arrived, might not have 
been broken by the bloodiest Indian war of the 
American continent. On Sunday, August 17, 18G2, 
a party of Sioux from Rice Creek were hunting in 
Meeker County for deer, and, if chance should 
offer, for Chippeway scalps. Early in the afternoon, 
in Acton Township, Meeker County, a detachment 
of these hunters, four or more in number, coming to 
a settler's cabin, where three families were assem- 
bled, wantonly murdered five out of eleven persons. 
The motive for this crime is not easy to conjecture. 
The houses were not plundered nor fired. The evi- 
dence that the savages were drunk has not been 
found. There may be some value in the story that 
the first shot was fired by a young man who, having 
been twitted by his companions with cowardice, 


wished to show them that he dared shoot a white 

Seizing a team and wagon of a neighboring 
farmer, the scoundrels drove furiously to Shakopee's 
village, some ten miles above the lower agency. 
Upon their arrival late at night a council of war- 
riors was called. The high connections of the 
murderers did not relish the idea of turning them 
over to white man's justice to suffer a death signally 
ig-nominious to Indians. There was but one alter- 
native, to treat the killing of the afternoon as an 
act of war, and call the nation to arms. After an 
outburst of patriotic eloquence this course was 
resolved on, and as soon as the braves could arm 
and mount, they moved toward the agency under 
the lead of Shakopee, who was no lover of the 
whites. The party arrived at Little Crow's village, 
two miles above the lower agency, at daybreak, and 
arousing that chief from sleep, explained the situa- 

Little Crow was the fifth Medawakanton chief 
who had borne that name, given in French (Le 
Petit Corbeau) to an ancestor who wore on his 
shoulders the skin and feathers of a crow. Although 
in temporary disgrace for connivance in the extor- 
tions of the traders under the treaties of 1858, 
he was still the most experienced, virile, and elo- 
quent of the chiefs. White men who knew him still 
praise his good sense and kindness of heart in 
ordinary relations. It seems to be true that in the 


soldiers' lodge he had counseled against anything 
like wai' on the white man, whose resources his 
journeys to Washington had revealed to him. But 
Little Crow was a heathen Indian. The dogs of war 
were loose, and the leadership was his if he would 
have it. He could recover his lost prestige, and 
show his people that he was as brave in war as he 
was eloquent in council. Vanity and ambition tri- 
umphed. "It must come," he said. "Now is as good 
a time as any. I am with you. Let us kill the traders 
and divide their goods." By seven o'clock Little 
Crow had possibly two hundred warriors, armed 
and painted, surrounding the agency, with small 
parties distributed about the warehouses and dwell- 
ings. Upon signal, fire was opened on all the whites 
in sight. Five fell dead and many others were 
wounded. Fortunately the eagerness of the savages 
to loot the stores distracted them from killing, and 
gave opportunity for the survivors to gain the cover 
of the thickets in the river-bottom. So soon as the 
plunder of the traders' goods was done, small parties 
of warriors were detached to raid the neighboring 
farms and settlements. These, on that day and the 
next, spread themselves over the parts of Brown 
and Nicollet counties next to the river. The white 
men encountered were mostly killed, and the wo- 
men taken captive with their children ; but some of 
these were butchered when they delayed the march. 
The dwellings and grain stacks were fired, tlie farm 
wagons seized and loaded with plunder were driven 


into Little Crow's village. By ten o'clock in the 
forenoon refugees from the lower agency had 
reached Fort Ridgely. That work was garrisoned by 
Company B of the Fifth Minnesota Infantry, com- 
manded by Captain John S. Marsh, who had been 
promoted out of a Wisconsin regiment which he had 
joined because too late to be enlisted in the First 
Minnesota. His first act was to send a mounted 
man to overtake and recall Lieutenant Timothy I. 
Sheehan, who had at an earlier hour marched for 
Fort Ripley with a detachment of C Company of 
the same regiment. Putting forty-six of his men 
in wagons, mounting himself and his interpreter, 
Peter Quinn, he took the road to the agency. Six 
miles out from the fort he came to burning houses 
and mutilated corpses by the roadside. Refugees 
wai-ned him that there was trouble ahead. Pushing 
on, he reached the ferry abreast of the agency, and 
formed his men in line in readiness to cross. A 
signal shot rang out and a volley of bullets laid 
several of the soldiers low. A moment later another 
volley came from Indians concealed on the right of 
the road by which the detachment had arrived. 
After a brief contest, in which half of his men had 
fallen, Marsh led the remnant to the cover of the 
thicket on his left. Observing a body of Indians 
moving to intercept his party, he decided to cross 
the river, supposing it to be fordable at that point. 
Wading into deep water he was drowned, in spite 
of the efforts of three brave men to rescue him. 


This was the " Battle of Redwood Ferry." Twenty- 
three soldiers were killed and five wounded. Cap- 
tain Marsh had been drowned, and Interpreter 
Quinn's body had been riddled with bullets at the 
first fire. The survivors straggled into Fort Kidgely 
in the course of the following night. 

Tuesday the 19th was occupied by the savages 
in other and more distant raids for robbery and 
slaughter. In the afternoon a demonstration by a 
body of one hundred and fifty Indians, more or 
less, was made on New Ulm. This was successfully 
resisted by the organized townsmen commanded by 
Captain Jacob Nix. One young woman was killed 
by a random shot, and a few other persons, includ- 
ing Captain Nix, were wounded. A few buildings 
were fired. Later in the afternoon, in the evening, 
and in the night, help came from St. Peter, Mau- 
kato, and other towns. 

The " outbreak " was begun and mainly carried 
on by the lower tribes, the Medawakantons and 
Wah-pe-ku-tes, in spite of the fact that the Acton 
murders were done by members of an upper band. 
It was late in the afternoon of Monday the 18th 
when the upper Indians, the Sissetons and Wahpe- 
tons, hearing of the news, went into council on a 
hill near the Yellow Medicine agency, twenty-five 
miles distant northwest of the scene of the morning 
carnage. John Other Day, a Christian Indian, and 
Joseph La Framboise, a half-breed, informed the 
white people resident at and about the agency, 


already wondering over the ray.sterious council, of 
the outbreak below and collected them, to the num- 
ber of sixty-two, in the government stone ware- 

There they passed an anxious night. After mid- 
night a trader's employee came in mortally wounded. 
At daylight a bookkeeper of another was killed and 
a clerk painfully wounded. The upper Indians were 
keener for plunder than for blood. Collecting wag- 
ons for the women and children and the wounded, 
the party left their shelter, forded the river, and 
under the faithful guidance of Other Day made 
their way across country to Hutchinson. Friendly 
warning given late on Monday to the missionaries, 
Williamson and Risfss residins: a few miles above 
the agency, enabled them to escape with their fami- 
lies and assistants, forty-five in number, to safe 
hiding in the river-bottom, from which they began 
the next day their journey to Henderson. 

Sporadic killing, plunder, and devastation in the 
regions adjacent to the agencies mostly ceased by 
Tuesday night. Small parties of savages, however, 
escaping from the control of the chiefs, spread 
themselves to distant settlements to revel in car- 
nage and fire. Within a week there were murder 
and pillage in Meeker County, forty miles to the 
northwest of the agencies, in Murray County, fifty 
miles to the southwest. Two persons were killed at 
Sioux Falls, one hundred miles away, and four near 
Breckenridge, one hundred and sixty miles as the 


crow flies. Fort Riclgely, Hutchinson, Forest City, 
Glencoe, and even St. Peter were threatened, but 
not attacked. 

These forays had their natural and intended 
effect. As the tidings of Indian butchery spread, 
the settlers loaded what furniture and provisions 
they could in their wagons, and driving their stock 
before them, made their way to the " river towns." 
An area two hundred miles long from north to south 
and fifty miles in breadth was de])opulated, while 
the harvest awaited the reapers. Their flight was 
all the more precipitate because of rumors tiiat the 
Winnebagoes had broken out along with the Sioux, 
and that the Chippeways were to close in from the 
north. No small number of persons went back to 
their former homes in other states. The occasional 
appearance of small parties of Indians out for cat- 
tle-stealing and other robberies for a month after 
the outbreak justified all the fears of the fugitives. 
On September 22 two children were killed within 
fifteen miles of St. Cloud, and the little village of 
Paynesville was fired. A small number of persons 
ignorant of the country, and not way-wise, wandered 
about for weeks before finding settlements. Hun- 
dreds of settlers in the Missouri valley went to 
Sioux City and other towns. 

To what extent the upper Indians participated 
in these raids and in. the several battles it is diffi- 
cult to determine. They were quite as much exas- 
perated and were more turbulent than the lower 


bands. That some of their leading chiefs and braves 
sympathized is known to be a fact, and it cannot 
be doubted that many individual members partici- 
pated in the murders and the war which ensued. 



It was not till Wednesday the 20tli that Little 
Crow could muster and bold together a body of 
warriors sufficient to undertake regular warfare 
and carry out a well-laid plan to capture Fort 
liidgely. He was aware, of course, that its little 
garrison had lost its commander and fully half of 
its men. lie probably did not know of the arrival 
of two reinforcements : one, Sheehan's detachment 
recalled by Captain Marsh before beginning his 
fatal march ; the other, the party of recruits, en- 
listed at the agencies and taken by Agent Galbraith 
as far as St. Peter. They took and kept the name 
of " Renville Rangers." The information brought 
to Agent Galbraith at St. Peter on the evening of 
the outbreak indicated Fort Ridgely as the point 
where his recruits would be most needed. He had 
therefore led them thither at daylight of Tuesday, 
armed with some Harper's Ferry muskets belonging 
to a local militia company. He had to give bonds 
to the exacting custodian. What with these troops 
and with male refugees from the agencies and the 
surrounding farms, Lieutenant Sheehan, the rank- 
ing officer, had not more than one hundred and 


eighty combatants. Upon the withdrawal of the 
regular garrison the year before, six pieces of artil- 
lery of various patterns had been left behind with 
Ordnance-Sergeant John Jones in charge. Of this 
the Indians may not have been informed. The so- 
called fort consisted of buildings grouped on the 
sides of a square of three hundred feet, one of them 
of stone. Outside were small log houses for civilian 
employees, stables, and stacks of hay and grain. 
The site was on the bluff separated from the river 
(Minnesota) by a bottom a half mile in width. 
Kavines of erosion cut the hillside into excellent 
})laces of approach and cover. 

Without warning, at one o'clock on Wednesday 
afternoon a volley was poured into the central in- 
closure. Two soldiers fell, one dead, the other badly 
wounded. One citizen was killed soon after. The 
fire was returned from such points of advantage as 
the structures afforded. Sergeant Jones had already 
made up three gun detachments, partly from citi- 
zens who had seen service and partly from soldiers 
whom he had instructed. It was not long before he 
had his guns in action, to the great surprise of Little 
Crow, who presently drew off his men. Thursday 
was a day of rain, and seems to have been spent by 
the Sioux chiefs in consultation and in preparing 
for a stronger assault. The time was well spent by 
the besieged in fitting ammunition, building barri- 
cades of cordwood, covering roofs with earth, and 
other practicable strengtheniug of defenses. 


At one o'clock p. M. of Friday, Little Crow de- 
livered his main attack, with a force largely in- 
creased, on the south and west of the post. From 
Ihe cover of ravines he kept up a lively fire till late 
in the day. His last move, unusual in Indian war- 
fare, was that of massing a body of warriors in a 
ravine running up toward the southwest angle of 
the inclosure, for a charge on the garrison. Ser- 
geant Jones thereupon had his twenty-four pound 
cannon pointed down that "coolie," and landed a 
single shell which sent Crow's warriors flying off 
the field. In the two half days' fighting there had 
been three persons killed and thirteen wounded 
within the post. 

As refugees, many wounded, came pouring in to 
New Ulm on Monday, the need of outside help was 
felt and no second thought was necessary to suggest 
the one man to whom the townsmen should appeal. 
Charles Eugene Flandrau, for many years resident 
at old Traverse des Sioux, who had been Sioux 
agent, member of the constitutional convention, 
and a judge of the state supreme court, was the 
best known man all up and down the Minnesota 
valley. His name was a household word. At four 
o'clock on Tuesday morning a messenger brought 
him the summons of the people of New Ulm. Rid- 
ing into St. Peter he foimd the citizens awake and 
alert, but without organization. In a public meet- 
ing in the courthouse he was elected captain of the 
relieving party to be formed. About noon a de- 


tachment of eighteen mounted men was put upon 
the road, which arrived in New Ulm in time to 
reassure the citizens after their repulse of the In- 
dians. Early in the afternoon Flandrau's company 
marched and was swelled to one hundred and 
twenty-five men by acccessions along the route. 
It was late in the evening when he arrived. Early 
on Wednesday morning Captain Bierbauer arrived 
from Mankato with one hundred men, and other 
squads came in that day. 

In a public meeting Captain Flandrau was pro- 
moted to colonel, and proceeded with dispatch and 
excellent judgment to form a staff, to organize the 
fighting force, and to fortify a central stronghold 
for non-combatants. Choosing three blocks of the 
main street, he threw up barricades across the ends 
and connected the rear walls of abutting buildings 
with bullet-proof constructions, and loopholed the 
walls of the brick buildings. On Thursday parties 
were sent out to the neighboring hamlets and farms 
to bury the dead and bring in the wounded. 

No Indians appeared on that day or the next. 
Early on Saturday (August 23) the smoke of 
scattered fires was seen off to the northeast be- 
yond the Minnesota. Had Little Crow captured 
the fort, and were his warriors burning the farm- 
steads? To ascertain. Colonel Flandrau sent over 
a detachment of seventy-five men, which soon en- 
countered a fire from its left front and was obliged 
to retreat to the southeast to meet reinforcements 


expected from that quarter. Crow's real attack 
came from the northwest, over the terraced plain 
stretching along the river above the town. Flan- 
drau had left some three hundred and fifty men, 
ill-armed and undisciplined. When aware of the 
approach of the Indians, he moved them out and 
posted them upon the slope of one of the terraces, 
with a line of skirmishers to the front. At eight 
o'clock Crow's warriors in a long line with flanks 
curved forward moved on in silence till within 
about a half mile of the line of defenders. Then 
raising such a shout as only savages can, they 
broke into a run, firing as they ran. The skirmish- 
ers fell back in alarm, and the whole line, spite of 
the exhortations, polite and other, of Flandrau and 
his officers, retreated to the barricades. The Sioux 
did not follow in, but stopped and sought cover in 
the emptied outer buildings of the town. 

The fire returned from the barricades discour- 
aged the Sioux from attempting an assault. Late 
in the afternoon a demonstration was made be- 
low the town by a party, some of which wore 
white men's clothes. Thus misled, the brave Cap- 
tain Dodd, second in command, unduly exposed 
himself and was shot to death. Other weak at- 
tempts were made by the persistent Indian leader, 
which came to naught. Ten of the defenders were 
killed and fifty wounded. Flandrau estimated the 
attacking force to be six hundred and fifty in num- 
ber. Expecting a renewal of the fight on the fol- 


lowing morning, Colonel Flandrau ordered the 
destruction of all buildings outside his fortifica- 
tion. Including those burned by the Indians, one 
hundred and ninety were destroyed. Indians rarely 
fight by night ; and on Sunday morning they sent 
in a few long range shots, and the " Battle of New 
Ulm " was over. 

Nearly two thousand people had been confined 
in the narrow fortified space. The women and 
children had been huddled in the cellars. Food 
was failing and sickness breaking: out. Their homes 
destroyed, it was resolved to move the whole popu- 
lation to Maukato, thirty miles distant. On Mon- 
day morning they took the road; the women, chil- 
dren, and wounded on wheels, the men and boys 
on foot, escorted by the extemporized army. The 
column reached its destination late at night, and 
the refugees met with a generous reception. The 
next day, August 26, Colonel Flandrau's force 

Little Crow had staked everything on his attack 
on New Ulm. Had he captured the place, and dis- 
persed its defenders, Mankato, St. Peter, Le Sueur, 
and all the towns in the valley would have been 
abandoned, and the Sioux would have resumed pos- 
session of the fairest part of their ancient country. 
The Indian commander understood that after this 
failure there was little hope of success in any 
offensive movement unless better supported by the 
upper bands. He therefore broke up his camp be- 


low the Redwood and reestablished it behind the 
Yellow Medicine. His men burned the buildiuirs 
at the upper agency, and the mission houses. 

The Minnesota legislature in the extra session 
of 1862 authorized an official count of the victims 
of the Sioux massacre, but as no citizens could be 
induced to undertake the service for a per diem of 
three dollars in paper money, no such reckoning 
was made. The estimates vary from 500 to 1500. 
That of Agent Galbraith, made with deliberation, 
may be accepted : In Renville County, 221 ; in 
Brown, 204 ; in other Minnesota counties, 187 ; in 
Dakota Territory, 42 ; total, 654. His estimate of 
government property losses is: On the upper re- 
serve, $425,000 ; on the lower reserve, 1500,000. 

When Governor Ramsey got the tidings of the 
outbreak of the Sioux in the afternoon of Tuesday, 
August 19, his knowledge of Indians made it unne- 
cessary to deliberate upon the measures that must 
be taken, or upon the choice of a proper person 
to have the command. For that duty he instantly 
selected his old political opponent, Henry Hastings 
Sibley, whom he commissioned as colonel and com- 
mander of the Indian expedition. Mr. Sibley had 
maintained his robust and athletic constitution ; he 
knew the whole region of operations, spoke Frencli 
and Dakota, understood Indian nature, and was 
acquainted with all the leading men of the Sioux 


Early the next morning Colonel Sibley left Fort 
Snelling by steamer, with four companies of the 
Sixth Minnesota Infantry. At Shakopee he was 
obliged to disembark. It was not till late on Friday, 
August 22, that he reached St. Peter, which was 
to be his base of operation. Here Jack Frazer, who 
had escaped from Fort Ridgely, brought him the 
information that the whole body of Sioux chiefs and 
braves, probably two thousand in number, were on 
the warpath. His four hundred raw infantry men 
would be no match for them, the more because the 
Austrian rifles furnished them at Fort Snelling 
were unfit for use. Sending down to Governor 
Ramsay for reinforcements, with suitable arms 
and ammunition, Colonel Sibley devoted himself 
to impressing teams, provisions, and forage, and 
making other preparations for his campaign. Gov- 
ernor Ramsay in a proclamation issued on the 21st 
called on the militia of the Minnesota valley and 
frontier counties to arm and mount and join Sib- 
ley's expedition with a few days' subsistence. Com- 
panies from the valley towns, from Minneapolis, 
Faribault, and elsewhere reported. The remaining 
companies of the Sixth came up with Springfield 
rifles. On the morning of the 26 th the expedition 
inarched for Fort Ridgely. An advance party of 
mounted men reached the post on the following 
day, to the joy and relief of the long imprisoned 
garrison. The main body came up on the 28th and 
made an intrenched camp outside the fort. To 


protect the column from rear attack around its 
left flank, Govei-nor Ramsey appointed Judge 
Flandrau colonel, and authorized him to collect 
and dispose the militia companies coming in from 
the southeastern counties, lie presently formed a 
line of posts from New Ulm and Mankato up the 
valley of the Blue Earth and on to the Iowa line. 
Yielding to the j^rayers of refugees in Fort 
Ridgely, whose relatives were lying unburied about 
the ruins of their homes or along the roadsides, 
Colonel Sibley decided to send out a burial party 
which should also serve as a corps of observation. 
It marched on the morning of August 31 under the 
direction of Major Joseph R. Brown, whom Colonel 
Sibley had attached to his staff. His party was 
made up of Captain H. P. Grant's company of the 
Sixth Infantry, fifty mounted men under Captain 
Joseph Anderson, a fatigue detail of twenty, and 
seventeen teamsters. The column moved slowly, 
halting to bury sixteen bodies on the agency road, 
and at nightfall bivouacked on the bottom near the 
Redwood Ferry. In the morning Major Brown with 
the mounted men crossed the Minnesota and scouted 
through the villages above the agency, to find them 
deserted. The infantry force buried some twenty 
bodies of Captain Marsh's men, moved up the north 
side, struck across the prairie to the head of Birch 
Coulie, and went into camp on a singularly ill- 
chosen spot, at which Major Brown arrived at sun- 
set. The wagons were packed in open order, and 


the animals were tied to picket ropes stretched be- 
tween them. Within the circle so formed the party 
went early to sleep, some in Sibley tents, but most 
under the open sky. At daybreak they were awak- 
ened by a blood-curdling yell and a volley of bullets 
apparently from all quarters and at short range. 
Captain Anderson, who had seen service in the 
Mexican War, ordered his men to lie low and fire 
at will. The infantry commander, after a vain effort 
to form his men in line, gave a like judicious order. 
The savages maintained a murderous fire for an 
hour, at the end of which ten of Brown's men were 
killed and forty more wounded, himself included. 
Desultory firing continued throughout the day, in 
the lulls of which possible arrangements for de- 
fense were made. The bodies of over ninety horses 
were strung along, and earth, dug up with three 
spades and one shovel, and with sabres, bayonets, 
pocket-knives, and tin plates, was heaped over them. 
The pits thus formed served as good cover for the 
men who were prudent. At two in the afternoon 
the boom of a cannon from the eastward gave notice 
of approaching relief, but night fell and it did not 
come. The sound of the morning's battle was heard 
at Sibley's outposts, fifteen miles away. With all 
possible dispatch he sent a relieving party consist- 
ing of three companies of the Sixth Infantry, fifty 
mounted "Rangers," and a section of artillery, and 
gave the command to Colonel Samuel McPhail of 
Houston County. The party crossed the east branch 


of Birch Coulie and came within sight of Brown's 
camp, but the prudent commander did not think it 
wise to risk his men in a battle. He therefore re- 
crossed the branch, took up a safe position for the 
night, and sent Lieutenant Sheehan back to Sibley 
for reinforcements. Pie reached the fort unharmed, 
but his horse fell dead soon after from gunshot 
wounds. By daylight Colonel Sibley reached Mc- 
Phail's bivouac with the remaining companies of 
the Sixth and five companies of the Seventh, which 
had arrived the day before. The Sioux, seeing them- 
selves outnumbered, made but feeble resistance to 
his advance and rapidly left the neighborhood. 
When Colonel Sibley rode into the impounded 
camp thirteen men lay dead, three more were soon 
to die, forty-five were severely wounded, and others 
had received abrasions. For more than twenty-four 
hours the men had lain without water, and they 
were worn with their ceaseless watch. The "Battle 
of Birch Coulie " has been commemorated by a 
monument erected at the expense of the state, in 
regard to which an unfortunate controversy has 
raged. Through misinformation the commissioners 
accredited the command of the expedition to an- 
other than Major Joseph R. Brown. To one looking 
back after the lapse of a generation it would seem 
that no one would care to be credited with the 
leadership of the disastrous affair. Colonel Sibley 
had given the most precise and emphatic directions 
to guard against surprise and ambush. 


Colonel Sibley now had a double problem before 
him. He must overtake and destroy the Indian 
forces, and that without giving their commander 
occasion to slaughter the three hundred prisoners in 
his possession. It was rumored, probably by Little 
Crow's instigation, that if attacked he would put 
these prisoners between his men and the whites. A 
policy of caution and delay was therefore desirable. 
It was also necessary for the reason that the com- 
mand at Fort Ridgely was in no way prepared for 
war. The men were not yet clothed, the supply of 
food was insufficient and precarious, and ammu- 
nition had not yet been provided in sufficient 

The mounted citizens who had rallied so promptly 
on Governor Ramsey's call began to disappear as 
soon as there was "a pi-ospect of meeting the red- 
skins." In the middle of the month (September 14) 
Sibley reported to Governor Ramsey that he had 
but twenty-eight of that " description of force," and 
would not be surprised at a stampede among them. 
Elsewhere he speaks of it as "base desertion." 
These men returning to their homes were able to 
correct a widespread feeling of dissatisfaction with 
Colonel Sibley for needless delay in chasing Little 
Crow to his lair. Some newspapers threw out the 
vile insinuation that he did not pursue and destroy 
the Indians because he had so many friends among 

On the Birch Coulic battlefield Colonel Sibley 


left in a split stick this writing for Little Crow : 
" If Little Crow has any proj)osition to make, let 
him send a half-breed to rae, and he shall be pro- 
tected in and out of camp." To this the chief re- 
plied in a diplomatic note in which he complained 
of the agent and the traders, and asked to have 
Governor Ramsay informed of their ill-doings. He 
closed it with an adroit reference to the great many 
prisoners, women and children, in his hands, as if 
to suggest that Colonel Sibley might desire to 
make him a proposition. Sibley sent back the 
curt message : " Keturn me the prisoners, and I 
will talk with you like a man." On September 12 
Little Crow sent in another letter, in which he 
harped upon his prisoners, covertly intimating that 
he would surrender them on guaranty of immunity 
for himself and associates. lie appealed to Colonel 
Sibley as an old friend to suggest a way to make 

The messenger who brought this letter brought 
also, unknown to Crow, another from Wabashaw, 
head chief of the lower Sioux, to say that, if Colo- 
nel Sibley would appoint a safe and jiroper place, 
he and his friends opposed to Little Crow and the 
war would come in and bring as many of the pris- 
oners as they could assemble. With tliis leaven 
working in the Lulian camp, Colonel Sibley could 
well afford to wait for reinforcements, subsistence, 
and ammunition, his troops in the mean time being 
drilled by their officers. Despite the insufficiency 


of all these, he issi^ed his order for an advance into 
the Indian country on September 14. A violent 
rainstorm set in that day, and it was not till the 
19th that he was able to ferry his little army across 
the Minnesota. It had been reinforced by two 
hundred and seventy enlisted men of the Third 
Minnesota, paroled after the surrender of Mur- 
freesboro' and sent home to assist in the Indian 
war. The cavalry force consisted of twenty-five 
troopers. Three days of easy marching brought the 
command to a point on the government road be- 
tween the agencies about three miles south of the 
Yellow Medicine, where it went into camp behind 
a small lake and a stream issuing from it, which 
curving southward emptied into the Minnesota. 
Little Crow's camp had been opposite the mouth of 
the Chippewa River since the 10th of September. 
In the councils there held the leader made the best 
use of his oratorical gift. He flattered, he implored, 
he bullied ; at length he got the chiefs to consent to 
a stand against the white man's army. How many 
of the upper chiefs and their men he prevailed 
upon to join him is a matter of dispute, but it is 
certain that some of both did. 

In the afternoon of the 22d Crow's army of 
some seven hundred and fifty warriors left their 
camps and marched down to the Yellow Medicine. 
In the following night they were arranged prin- 
cipally in a line on the east of the road, between 
the river and Sibley's camp. A party was placed in 


the ravine through which flowed the outlet of the 
little lake mentioned, and still another west of the 
road, behind a hillock on the prairie. On that Lit- 
tle Crow took his stand. Day dawned, and not an 
Indian was in sight ; all were hid in the timber or 
tall grass of the prairie. It was Crow's expectation 
that Sibley would take the road, and that he would 
not have flankers far out from his column. Wlien 
his advance should be near the Yellow Medicine 
and abreast of the Indian right it was to be attacked 
in flank, the party concealed in the coolie would 
close in on the rear, and that beiiind the hillock 
would give the finishing blow. All that might 
have happened, but for an accident. Some men 
of the Third Minnesota left the camp with teams 
to bring in potatoes from the gardens about the 
upper agency. They passed so near the Indian 
line that the warriors could not be restrained from 
firing. One man was killed and others wounded. 
Major Welch, commanding the Third, got his men 
into line, and without orders took them forward on 
the double-quick and precipitated the fight. Al- 
though forced to retire from an advanced position, 
he held the centre firmly. Lieutenant-Colonel Wil- 
liam R. Marshall led the companies of the Seventh 
into the ravine and cleared it. A detachment of the 
Sixth dispersed a party attempting to turn its left. 
The battery of Captain Hendricks, advantageously 
posted, swept the field generally. After two hours 
of desultory firing the Sioux warriors disappeared 


behind the Yellow Medicine, and the "Battle of 
Wood Lake " was over. Only four white soldiers 
were killed outright, and thirty-three severely 
wounded. The Sioux left sixteen dead on the field, 
all of whom were scalped by savages under white 
skins. Colonel Sibley, in an order published the 
following day, expressed his extreme mortification, 
and threatened severe punishment for any repeti- 
tion of the brutality. Colonel Sibley's advices from 
the Indian camps were such as to convince him 
that a precipitate march on them might bring on 
a slaughter of the white prisoners. To give time for 
the friendly element to obtain possession of them he 
tarried a day below the Yellow Medicine, and took 
two days of easy marching to reach those camps 
opposite the mouth of the Chippewa River. His 
judgment was fully justified. Little Crow returned 
from the battle, upbraided his chiefs for cowardice 
and stupidity, took his family and a small body of 
adherents and departed for the distant northwest. 
Other hostile chiefs followed his example. There 
were others still who had been engaged in the mur- 
ders and battles who thought it best to go over to 
the friendly camp and take their chances of being 
treated as prisoners of war. Colonel Sibley had 
found a camp of 150 lodges which the friendlies 
had fortified against the hostiles, who on their dis- 
persion had sent over to it the greater number of 
their captives ; 91 whites and 150 breeds were 
turned over to him on the afternoon of September 


26. The total number was presently increased to 
269, 107 whites and 162 mixed bloods. A few had 
been humanely treated through the interposition 
of Christian Indians, but the experiences of many 
may be left to the imagination of the reader 



A WEEK after the Wood Lake affair the President 
appointed Colonel Sibley a brigadier-general. His 
confirmation by the Senate was long delayed, but 
he exercised the command of that rank from the 
date of appointment. Up to the time of leaving 
Fort Ridgely for the upper country Colonel Sibley 
had been carrying on a state war. On the 6th of 
September Governor Ramsey sent this peremptory 
telegram to the President : " These Indian outrages 
continue. . . . This is not our war. It is a national 
war. Answer me at once. More than five hundred 
whites have been murdered." That very day the 
Secretary of War ordered Major-General John 
Pope to take command of the Department of the 
Northwest. That officer had seen service in the In- 
dian country and was at the time not otherwise 
employed. His first order to Colonel Sibley was 
received September 19, the day of his departure 
from Fort Ridgely. It made no change in the dis- 
positions of the subordinate commander, but urged 
him to push forward, and promised all the support 
he could control. General Pope, persuaded that 
Sibley had some twenty-six hundred Sioux warriors 


in his front, made requisitions for troops and sup- 
plies on a scale which called out a rebuke from the 
secretary. His demand for mounted troops rather 
than infantry was reasonable. His stay in the de- 
partment was brief, and at its close Brigadier-Gen- 
eral Sibley was put in command of a distinct dis- 
trict of Minnesota, That Sibley was thus promoted 
and assigned was possibly due to a remonstrance 
addressed by Pope to Halleck against the appoint- 
ment of Senator Henry M. Kice as major-general 
to be assigned to the department. It is remarkable 
that Sibley, writing to his wife, expressed his pre- 
ference for Rice, if any stranger was to be placed 
over him. It was not till after the close of the cam- 
paign that the Sixth and Seventh regiments were 
mustered into the service of the United States. 

The line of forts maintained by Colonel Flandrau 
from the big bend of the Minnesota southward 
effectively protected Sibley's left; and it restrained 
the Winnebagoes from breaking out of their re- 
serve, if they had any such intention, which was 
very doubtful, although so believed at the time. The 
right flank of the expedition was not for some time 
protected. Here were two dangers. Fort Aber- 
crombie had been occupied since spring by Com- 
pany D of the Fifth Minnesota, under command of 
Captain John Van der Horck. A newspaper clip- 
ping received on August 20 gave him warning of 
the outbreak of the lower Sioux. He immediately 
called In his outpost and the few settlers of the Red 


Kiver valley, proceeded to surround the separate 
buildings which formed the post with breastworks, 
and placed three howitzers in the salients. On the 
last day of the month but one a party of Indians 
stampeded a herd of stock which had been sent out 
in anticipation of a treaty with the Red Lake and 
Pembina Chippeways. On September 3 an Indian 
force, considerable in number, appeared about the 
post and maintained a desultory fire for some hours. 
On the 6th a still larger force made a determined 
but vain attack, charging with boldness unusual for 
Indians, first one quarter of the inclosure and then 
another. The command suffered a loss of two killed 
and three wounded in the two days' actions. The 
Indians were not driven from the neighborhood till 
September 23, when Captain Emil Burger arrived 
from below with a relieving force of five hundred 
men. The mooted question whether these attacks 
at Abercrombie were made by upper Sioux, lower 
Sioux, Yanktonnais, or by a mixture of all these, 
has not been conclusively answered. The capture 
of this post would have exposed a wide territory 
to Indian slaughter and depredation. 

A disturbance of the habitual quiet of the Chippe- 
ways of northern Minnesota gave countenance to a 
rumor which spread throughout the state, that those 
Indians were about making common cause with 
their ancient foes against the white man, equally 
hated. On the very day of the Sioux outbreak the 
Pillagers seized seven whites, mostly traders, at 


Leech Lake, and the Gull Lake Chippeways drove 
some horses and cattle from the agency on the 
Crow Wing River. The acts and threats made 
against his safety so alarmed the agent, Lucius C. 
Walker, that he fled the Indian country for his 
home, and, probably in a state of temporary insan- 
ity, took his life, by means of a loaded pistol, near 
Monticello. Hole-in -the-day, the head chief of the 
Chippeways of the Mississippi, called an assemblage 
of braves, and a few hundred gathered. A trust- 
worthy person, the missionary Emmegabowgh, re- 
ported that this chief had declared in council that 
a league had been made with the Sioux. The 
Chippeway braves, however, had no desire to take 
the warpath, and dispersed to their homes. These 
transactions, reported in the St. Paul newspapers, 
naturally excited alarm. Three companies of in- 
fantry were sent to Fort Ripley, martial law was 
declared at that i^ost, and the settlers were notified 
to come in for protection. When the legislature as- 
sembled in extra session on September 9, Governor 
Ramsey called their attention to the Chippeway 
ruction. Uuconcerned about constitutional restric- 
tions, that body appointed a board of commissioners 
to proceed to the Indian country to adjust the dif- 
ficulties. Although the Cliippeways had dispersed 
and the excitement had disappeared, the plenipo- 
tentiaries had the chiefs assembled in council, and 
negotiated with them a treaty which was solemnly 
signed and sealed. This aiireement bound the lii;:li 


contracting powers to eternal peace, to an arbitra- 
tion of all existing differences, and exempted the 
Chippeways from payment of damages for the ex- 
penses they had put the government to by their late 
misbehavior. The legislature memorialized the Pre- 
sident to carry out these provisions. In evidence of 
full restoration of peace fifty Chippeway chiefs and 
braves came down to St. Paul to offer their services 
in punishing the Sioux. It would have given them 
great pleasure to take Sioux scalps in so lawful a 

Had it been possible to furnish General Sibley 
with a sufficient cavalry force, it would have been 
feasible for him, after the battle of Wood Lake, 
to overtake and impound the greater number of 
Indians concerned in their disastrous campaign. 
Infantry expeditions sent out to Lac qui Parle, to 
Goose Nest Lake, and elsewhere, brought in a few 
hundred people. More came in response to a pro- 
clamation distributed by runners. Bands which had 
squandered their plunder and wasted their food 
had no other resource. In the course of a few days 
nearly two thousand Indians were under guard, 
the greater part being women and children. Some 
five thousand or more were at large. The disposi- 
tion of those in hand now occupied the attention 
of the authorities. Major-General Pope in a dis- 
patch of September 28 probably voiced the senti- 
ment of the great majority of the white people of 


the Northwest. "Make no treaty with the In- 
dians," he wrote Sibley ; " the horrible massacre 
and outrages call for punishment beyond human 
power to inflict. It is my purpose to exterminate 
the Sioux, if I have the power to do so." General 
Sibley was too humane and judicious to give serious 
regard to so insane a proi)osal. lie had already 
appointed a committee of inquiry to ascertain what 
Indians under his guard had probably been guilty 
of murder and outrage. The Rev. Dr. Riggs, who 
held the place of chaplain on the staff of Sibley, 
gave such valuable assistance that Heard, the con- 
temporary historian, declares him to have been a 
virtual grand jury. Sixteen Indians were at once 
picked out by the sifting committee and duly 
arraigned before a military commission of five 
ojSicers. Additional arrests were made from day to 
day, and by October 7 General Sibley was able to 
report that he had twenty under sentence of death, 
and that he should probably approve the sentences 
and hang the villains, despite some doubt as to the 
extent of his powers and the formal correctness of 
the trials. This moderate number of convictions 
evidently did not satisfy the superior authority, 
which called for arrests and trials on a greater 
scale. On the night of October 11 Sibley placed 
81 warriors in irons at Camp Release and ordered 
a similar " purging " at Yellow Medicine, where 
he had sent 1250 of his prisoners to subsist on the 
corn and potatoes of the Indian gardens. By a 


" piece of justifiable strategy " 236 men were 
" fixed " in the same way. The military commis- 
sion now had abundance of material and applied 
themselves diligently to duty. They completed it on 
November 5, having tried 425 prisoners, of whom 
they found 321 guilty and sentenced 303 of them 
to death. The proceedings of the military commis- 
sion, approved by General Sibley, were forwarded 
to the department commander. That' officer in- 
formed Governor Ramsey with unconcealed satis- 
faction that the sentences would all be executed 
unless forbidden by the President. The trials com- 
pleted. General Sibley sent the principal body of 
his Indian prisoners, 1648 in number, under guard 
to Fort Snelling. The interpreter accompanying 
the column relates that as it passed through Hen- 
derson the prisoners were assaulted with arms 
and missiles. One infant died from its injuries 
and was "buried" Indian fashion in the crotch 
of a roadside tree. On November 9 the troops 
with the convicted prisoners were marched to 
South Bend, a western suburb of Mankato. As 
the column was passing through New Ulm a crowd 
of exasperated citizens of both sexes showered 
brickbats and other missiles on the prisoners in 
such profusion that a bayonet charge was necessary 
to restrain them. Fifteen or twenty men were ar- 
rested, but after a march of twelve miles were 
reprimanded and allowed to take a walk to their 
homes. General Sibley turned over the command 


to Colonel Miller of the Seventh Infantry and pro- 
ceeded to St. Paul, to take up his duty as district 

The action of the military commission met with 
general approval throughout the state. Citizens of 
St. Paul in public meeting demanded that the gov- 
ernment authorities, as the chosen instruments of 
divine vengeance, should so execute their duty that 
the friends and relatives of the victims should not 
be compelled to take vengeance into their own 
hands. General Pope advised President Lincoln 
that unless all the executions were made, an indis- 
criminate massacre of all the Indian prisoners, 
innocent and guilty, would take place. Governor 
Ramsey also expressed the same opinion to the 
President. The Minnesota delegation in Congress, 
Senator Rice not signing, protested against the 
convicts being considered prisoners of war, and 
declared that the outraged citizens of Minnesota 
would dispose of the wretches without law, if they 
should not be executed according to law. On the 
other hand, there went to the President appeals 
and protests against a horrible wholesale execution, 
from members of the Friends Society and various 
humanitarian organizations. So far as known there 
was but one public man in Minnesota whose judg- 
ment was not subjugated by the passion of the hour. 
He was Henry Benjamin Whip])le, bishop of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church, who three years be- 


fore the Sioux outbreak had come to the state. 
Immediately after his arrival his attention was 
called to the red men of his diocese, and it was 
not long before he had fathomed the iniquities of 
the traditional Indian system. In March, 1862, 
he addressed an open letter to President Lincoln, 
summarizing those iniquities, and insisting on giv- 
ing the Indian a government of law, administered 
by agents chosen for fitness and not for political 
service. A calm and clear statement of the policy 
and the train of events which had led to the out- 
break of the Sioux, published in the St. Paul news- 
papers, brought about the bishop a whirlwind of 
denunciation which would have taken an ordinary 
man off his feet. Bishop Whipple never budged 
an inch. His personal representations to the Pre- 
sident no doubt had their effect in the action which 
followed. On the day when General Pope was 
hopefully awaiting the President's permission to 
execute the whole batch of the condemned, he re- 
ceived a telegraphic order from Lincoln to send 
him the record of the trials. This the President 
put into the hands of two men on whom he relied. 
They reported that forty of the convicts only had 
committed murders of unarmed citizens. Of this 
number, two only were guilty of outrages on women. 
On December 6, 1862, President Lincoln wrote out 
and signed with his own hand his order for the 
execution of thirty-eight, directing the remainder 
to be safely held, subject to further orders. One 


of the forty bad been allowed a commutation to 
ten years' imprisonment, anotber a reprieve. Tbe 
condemned were separated from their comrades 
and closely confined in irons in a stone buildinjj 
on tbe main street of IMankato. All but two were 
baptized, thirty two by the Catholic father Ravoux. 
On December 2G, 1862, the execution took place in 
presence of a great crowd. Some years after, the 
Rev. Mr. Riggs publicly stated that mistakes were 
made in the separation of the condemned from the 
body of convicts, 'but not intentionally.' The 
bodies were buried, but not to stay underground. 
Many, if not all, were distributed among members 
of the medical profession, to be used in the cause 
of science. The excitement of the people soon 
abated, and the opinion at length prevailed that 
the crimes of the Indians had been sufficiently 
atoned. Some of the survivors might have pre- 
ferred the fate of those who suffered at Mankato. 

The announcement that the War Department 
would withdraw some of the Minnesota regiments 
after the close of Sibley's campaign met with such 
loud and repeated protests that the order, if issued, 
was revoked. The three companies of the Fifth, 
however, joined their regiment in the South at the 
close of the year, and the Third followed in Janu- 
ary, 1863. The remaining infantry regiments, Sev- 
enth, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and the regiment of 
twelve companies of IMonnted Rangers raised in 
the fall of 1862, were so disposed as to form a sure 


cordon of defense against possible raids by hostile 
Indians on the settlements. 

When Congress assembled in December, 1862, 
there was little opposition to drastic propositions 
regarding the Sioux Indians. Acts were passed for 
abrogating all treaties, forfeiting all lands, annull- 
ing all annuities ; for the immediate relief of citi- 
zens of Minnesota from Indian ravages to be paid 
out of moneys of the Sioux ; for reimbursing Min- 
nesota for the costs of the campaign against the 
Sioux up to the time (September 5) when the War 
Department assumed charge ; for the removal from 
Minnesota of all the Winnebagoes and Sioux; and 
for the survey and sale of their reservations. All 
these provisions were rigorously executed. The 
state's Indian war expenses were ascertained to 
be $250,507.06, and that sum was allowed in a 
settlement of accounts. The commissioners ap- 
pointed to award relief and damages reported that 
out of 8200,000 allowed for immediate relief they 
had paid $184,392 to 1380 claimants. As damages 
they awarded $1,170,374 to 2635 claimants. Their 
awards were liberal, and attorneys for beneficiaries 
were well compensated. 

The removal of the Indians from Minnesota be- 
gan in April, 1863, with the transportation of the 
convicts to Fort McClellan in East Davenport, 
Iowa. They had been kept under guard at South 
Bend during the winter, where a remarkable work 
of grace took place among them under the minis- 


tration of the veteran missionary Williamson and 
his devoted sister " Aunt Jane." On February 1, 
18G3, three hundred were baptized by that evan- 
gelist aided by the Rev. Gideon H, Pond. The 
conduct of these convicts in prison at Davenport 
was in all respects praiseworthy. They were or- 
derly, and for Indians industrious, and took much 
comfort in their religious meetings. Dr. Williamson 
remained with them two years. In 18G4 President 
Lincoln pardoned seventy-five and sent them west 
to their people. Two years later the two hun- 
dred and forty-seven survivors were liberated. One 
third of the whole number committed died in 

The uncondemned Sioux prisoners marched to 
Fort Snelling in November, 1862, were kept in a 
guarded camp till May, when they were transported 
to a chosen reservation on Crow Creek on the Mis- 
souri, some sixty miles below Pierre. The land was 
80 barren and the seasons so unfavorable that the 
government was obliged to feed them for three 
years, when they were moved to the Niobrara re- 
servation in Nebraska, where they have remained. 
A small remnant of some twenty-five families of 
friendlies, many of them Christians, were suffered 
to remain in Minnesota, because they could not 
safely live among the heathen people. A small 
donation of $7500 was made to them by Congress 
in 1865, the distribution being intrusted to General 
Sibley and Bishop Whipple. A handful still sur- 


vivo. The Sisseton and Wahpeton Sioux, who had 
removed themselves from Minnesota after the bat- 
tle of Wood Lake, had no fixed home till 1867, 
when Congress settled them on two reservations 
in Dakota Territory : one west of and adjoining 
Lake Traverse, the other around Devil's Lake. 

As for the Sioux who had escaped from Sibley 
after Wood Lake, and others living on the Mis- 
souri regarded as dangerous, there was no other 
thought than that they must be followed, and, if 
not exterminated, so punished and scattered that 
they could never again lift a finger against their 
beneficent guardian, the white man. General Pope 
at Milwaukee still commanding the department 
of the Northwest, early in the winter of 1863 de- 
vised a plan for a campaign which was to have 
such results. Two columns were to penetrate the 
Indian country between the Minnesota line and 
the Missouri : one, of cavalry, to move from Fort 
Randall directly up the Missouri ; the other, from 
the upper Minnesota, under the command of Brig- 
adier-General Sibley ; both to move so soon as 
the buffalo grass should be high enough for pas- 
ture. Sibley's expedition rendezvoused at Camp 
Pope in the angle of the Minnesota and Redwood 
rivers. He had 3200 infantry, including the Sixth, 
Seventh, and Tenth Minnesota, the Minnesota 
Mounted Rangers 500 strong, 120 artillerj^men, 
170 scouts headed by Major Joseph R. Brown ; in 


all some 4200 men. Leaving Camp Pope June 16, 
the expedition marched up the Minnesota to and 
past Big Stone Lake, and then struck across to the 
valley of the Cheyenne, which it followed to within 
two or three days' march of Devil's Lake. Here 
Sibley got word of a body of Indians off to his left. 
Leaving one third of his force in a fortified camp, 
he turned to the southwest, crossed the James 
River, and in Burleigh County, North Dakota, on 
July 24, came upon a body of Indians, perhaps 
two thousand in number. 

A colloquy between outposts was taking place, 
to which Dr. Josiah S. Weiser, surgeon of the 
First Mounted Rangers, rode up. A young savage, 
after a show of friendship, treacherously shot him 
dead. This was the signal for attack. The Sioux, 
not being on the warpath, were not prepared for 
battle. Their warriors made the best rear-guard 
defense they could, to gain time for their women 
and children to escape. The pursuit by the cavalry 
lasted till nearly dark. A great quantity of buffalo 
skins, dried meat and tallow, and camp furniture 
was gathered and burned. In this " Battle of Big 
Mound " three of Sibley's men were wounded. 
Of the eighty Sioux killed and wounded, twenty- 
one were scalped. Two days later a similar engage- 
ment, called the " Battle of Dead Buffalo Lake," 
took place, with a similar result. The nine Indians 
killed were scalped, to the disgust of the com- 
mander. On July 28 still another affair of the same 


character occurred, in which the Indians made a 
more spirited but unsuccessful resistance to gain 
time for their people to set themselves across the 
Missouri, near the banks of which the fight was 
going on. They lost ten killed, the whites none. 

The escape of the Sioux beyond the Missouri was 
due to the failure of the column sent up that river to 
cooperate in their capture. General Alfred Sully's 
cavalry did not arrive, and having no tidings of 
it, Sibley began his homeward march on August 3. 
The expedition returned to Fort Snelling on Sep- 
tember 13, having marched 1039| miles. On the 
outward journey the commander suffered a severe 
injury from the fall of his horse, and, far worse, 
received news of the death of two young chil- 
dren. His diary reflects his deep and natural 

The movement of General Sully resulted in over- 
taking the Sioux who had recrossed the Missouri 
and were hunting in Dickey County, North Da- 
kota. His attack upon them at White Stone Hill, 
resulting in considerable slaughter and destruction 
of immense booty, cannot be here related. The 
results of the operation of 1863 against the Sioux 
were negative. Nor were those of the following 
year much more effective. In this campaign Gen- 
eral Sully led an expedition from Fort Rice on the 
Missouri to Fort Union on the Yellowstone, the 
whole march covering 1625 miles. His column in- 
cluded a Minnesota brigade made up of six com- 


paniea of the Eighth mounted on Indian ponies, 
the Second Minnesota cavalry, a new regiment 
recruited to take the place of the First Mounted 
Rangers, two sections of the Third Minnesota Bat- 
tery of Light Artillery, and a company of scouts. 
Brackett's battalion of three companies of Minne- 
sota cavalry was attached to another brigade. On 
July 28 the considerable battle of Killdeer Moun- 
tain on the Little Missouri River took place. Count- 
less herds of buffalo were met with on this march. 
As long as these survived, and the Indians could 
supply themselves with horses and ammunition, 
no white man's army could surround and destroy 

To disabuse the reader of the possible impression 
that the people of Minnesota were more frightened 
than they had reason to be, he is asked to recur to 
the season of 1863. To guard the frontier from at- 
tacks of marauding parties of Indians, General Sib- 
ley left in the state the Eighth Infantry, which had 
already been distributed in a line of posts to cover 
the settlements. Despite its vigilant patrols, parties 
of savages broke through at various points. In April 
there were three murders in Watonwan County, 
household goods and provisions were seized, and 
cattle and horses run off. In .Tune a squad of Com- 
pany A of the Eighth chased a horse-stealing gang 
out of Meeker County, one of whom shot Captain 
John S. Cody, causing instant death. In the course 
of the summer the Eiirhth Minnesota lost more men 


killed and wounded than Sibley's troops in all his 
battles. On the 29th of June the most atrocious 
murder of the season was committed within thirty 
miles of Minneapolis, near Watertown, Carver 
County. Amos Dustin, traveling by wagon with 
his family, was waylaid, and he and his aged mo- 
ther instantly shot to death by arrows. His wife 
and one child were fearfully wounded. A girl of 
six, hiding under a seat, was not discovered. Her 
clothing was soaked with her father's blood. To aid 
the troops in protecting life and property. Governor 
Swift organized a company of volunteer scouts and 
put them under the command of Captain James 
Sturgis of Wright County. In addition to their 
promised pay, the sum of one hundred dollars was 
offered to any scout bringing in a Sioux scalp. This 
command scouted the big woods from Sauk Center 
to the .Minnesota River so effectively that people 
who had abandoned their homes and farms took 
heart and ventured back. 

On the 3d of July, 1863, a citizen of Hutchinson, 
Nathan Sampson, was hunting some five miles to 
the north of that village, accompanied by his son 
Chauncey. Espying an Indian picking berries, he 
fired. Though wounded, the Indian returned the 
fire, and hit Mr. Sampson in the left shoulder. 
A shot from the young man's rifle proved fatal to 
the savage. That Indian was believed to be Little 
Crow, and a certain deformity of the wrists from 
a gunshot in early life was probably sufficient evi- 


dence of his identity. A half-starved Indian boy 
was picked up by a detachment of Sibley's army in 
North Dakota on July 28, who gave his name as 
Wo-i-non-pa ; he said that he was a son of Little 
Crow, and that he was with his father when he was 
killed. The errand of tlie chief, according to the 
boy, was to capture horses enough to mount the 
small remnant of his warriors and ride away to 

The Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth regiments were 
dispatched to the South in the fall of 18G3 ; the 
Sixth and Eighth being held till the following sea- 
son to keep watch and ward against possible and 
much-feared savage forays. 



The reader who desires to follow the marches and 
battles of the Minnesota regiments and battalions 
is advised to resort to the two large octavos pub- 
lished by the state in 1891. It would, however, be 
unjust to him and to Minnesota not to give some 
account, even in a compend of her history, of cer- 
tain splendid passages in the careers of some of 
them favored above others in opportunity. 

Marching with Gibbon's Division of the Second 
(Hancock's) Army Corps, the First Minnesota ar- 
rived on the field of Gettysburg early in the morn- 
ing of July 2, 1863, and was placed in reserve near 
general headquarters. Company L (sharpshooters) 
was sent to support a battery and did not rejoin 
till after the battle. In the afternoon a staff officer 
came and led the command off to the south, along 
the well-known crest on which Sickles's men had 
formed and from which they had made their ill- 
advised advance. On a salient of the ridge near 
the middle of Sickles's original formation the regi- 
ment was placed in support of a regular battery. 
Company F was sent out to skirmish toward the 
left front, and Company C was absent on provost 


guard duty. Eight companies were in line, with 
two hundred and sixty-two officers and men. From 
their position they watched at leisure the vain 
struggles of Sickles's brigades, exposed to enfilad- 
ing: fires. Near sundown the shattered battalions 
straggled to the rear, passing through the ranks 
of the Minnesota regiment. They were followed 
by Anderson's division of A. P. Hill's Confederate 
corps, moving with rapid pace to what seemed cer- 
tain victory. Sickles was severely wounded and 
Hancock had command. 

He had ordered reserve troops to man the unde- 
fended crest, but they did not arrive. The Confed- 
erate line was striding on, and in ten minutes 
would swarm over the ridge. It was not more than 
four hundred yards away when Hancock espied the 
little bunch of men in blue near the battery. 
Hiding up to Colonel William Colville at his post 
near the centre, he asked, " What regiment is 
this?" "The First Minnesota," was the reply. 
" Charge those lines," ordered the corps com- 
mander, pointing to the rebel front. Without delay 
Colville put his line in motion, down the slope of 
an old pasture field at the bottom of which was a 
dried up ditch or " run." It moved at the double- 
quick till near the foot of the slope, when Colville 
ordered, " Charge bayonets ! " On a full run, the 
Minnesota men struck the Confederates as they 
were reforminfr on the hither side of the run. The 
shock halted them and the fire poured in gave them 


good reason for no further acquaintance with the 
men in blue. They sought cover behind an accom- 
modatinir swell of land and retired from the field. 
Brigadier-General Wilcox of the Confederate army 
in his report says : " A line of infantry descended 
the slope in our front at double-quick. Without 
support my men were withdrawn to prevent their 
entire destruction or capture." 

Of the men who joined in that fatal but neces- 
sary charge but forty-seven answered to roll-call at 
retreat ; two hundred and fifteen lay dead, dying, 
or wounded. A high authority declares this to be 
the heaviest loss known in the records of modern 
war. But that charge saved Cemetery Eidge, and 
in all probability the Gettysburg field. 

" The Second Minnesota Veteran Volunteer In- 
fantry occupied this position, Sunday, September 
26, 1863, from 2 : 30 p. m. to 7 : 30 p. M." Such is 
the inscription on the monument of bronze and 
granite erected at the state's expense on the " Snod- 
grass ridge " in the National Park at Chickamauga, 
Tennessee. It marks the spot occupied by that regi- 
ment as part of the force with which Thomas, 
" The Rock of Chickamauga," held at bay Long- 
street's elated divisions, while Rosecrans's army, 
broken and shattered, was in disorderly retreat on 
Chattanooga. The Second lost 35 killed and 113 
wounded out of a total for duty of 384 ; not a 
sincfle man was missing:. 

Under a new commander the Union armies con- 


centrated at Chattanooga were soon to recover the 
ground and prestige lost by his brave but unfortu- 
nate predecessor. Grant, sending Hooker to occupy 
Lookout Mountain on his right and Sherman to 
the left to double up Bragg's extended line, placed 
the army of the Cumberland in his centre under 
Thomas. A rumor spread up and down the lines of 
that army that it was merely paraded to amuse the 
enemy while Hooker and Sherman should show 
it how to fight. At three o'clock in the afternoon 
of November 2-1 the centre moved forward to the 
base of Missionary Ridge. After a short pause here 
the whole line, as it is told, without orders, broke 
out and swarmed up the hillside and over the ene- 
my's intrenchments in the face of a galling fire 
of artillery and musketry. 

The Second Minnesota, led by Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel (afterwards Brigadier-General) J. \V. Bishop, 
deployed as skirmishers, led its brigade to the foot 
of the ridge, where it joined in the scramble for 
the crest. It lost eight men killed and thirty-one 
wounded. Six out of seven members of the color 
guard fell. 

The Third Minnesota, after participating in the 
" Arkansas Expedition " which resulted in the oc- 
cupation of Little Rock, remained thereabout till 
the close of its term. Among the numerous affairs 
in which it was engaged was one which is rightly 
dignified as " the battle of Fitzhugh's woods." The 
commander, Colonel (afterwards Biigadier-Gen- 


eral) C. C. Andrews here displayed a tactical 
ability worthy of a wider field. The regiment suf- 
fered greatly from malarial disease. 

It was not the fortune of the Fourth Minnesota to 
be decimated in any one engagement. Its heaviest 
loss, thirteen killed and thirty-one wounded, was in 
its participation in the heroic defense of the post 
at Altoona, Georgia, when a force numbering less 
than two thousand stood off repeated charges of a 
Confederate division of seven thousand. Several 
men of the Fourth whose term of enlistment had 
expired shared in the battle, and of them some were 
numbered with the dead. 

The gallant behavior of the men of the Fifth 
Minnesota and Colonel Hubbard's instant percep- 
tion of the proper line of action at Corinth on Oc- 
tober 4, 1862, have already been related. It was the 
fortune of this command, together with the Seventh, 
Ninth, and Tenth Minnesota Infantry regiments, 
to share in the glory of the battle which destroyed 
the Confederate power in the Mississippi valley. 

Thomas, commanding at Nashville, Tennessee, 
on December 15, 1803, delivered a blow on Hood's 
left wing which caused that commander to retire 
to a position on a range of hills two miles to the 
south, admirably chosen, and capable of effective 
intrenchment. The attempt made soon after noon 
of the 16th to crush the right of Hood's army 
on Overton Hill had no result but the loss of many 
brave men. McArthur's division was then ordered 


to assault the Confederate left, strongly posted be- 
hind a breastwork revetted by a stone wall. The 
first brigade was put in motion as if to make the 
principal charge. The Minnesota regiments were 
in the front line of the second and third brigades, 
commanded respectively by Hubbard and Marshall. 
Observing the movement, these commanders at once 
ordered their brigades forward, and away they went 
over a muddy cornfield, up a slope covered with 
boulders and obstructed by stone walls, ditches, 
and rail fences. Without halt or interruption, under 
a heavy front and cross fire, the lines pressed on, 
and stormed over the enemy's intrenchment, captur- 
ing the defenders, with guns and colors. A general 
charge of the whole line now put the entire Con- 
federate army to rout and ended the war in the 

The Minnesota regiments suffered a loss of three 
hundred in the charge. Jennison, lieutenant-colonel 
commanding the Tenth, received a severe wound, as 
he led his battalion over the works. Hubbard had 
three horses shot under him, and was wounded. 
The colors of the Fifth were three times shot down. 
Captain Sheehan (hero of Fort Kidgely) picked 
them up and saw them planted on the stone wall. 
Marshall and Hubbard were both bre vetted as 
brigadiers, and both afterwards became governors 
of Minnesota. 

The Sixth Minnesota, occupied in the Indian 
war, was not sent south till July, 18G4, when it took 


station at Helena, Arkansas. Here malarial poison, 
far more fatal than the gun-fire of the enemy, 
attacked officers and men. During the four and one 
half months of its service here, six hundred men of 
this regiment were sent to the Northern hospitals. 
On August 7 there were but seven officers and one 
hundred and seventy-eight men for duty. By the 
time the sick had recovered, the war was substan- 
tially over. But their division commander at the 
capture of Fort Blakely, April 9, 18G5, thanked in 
orders the brave officers and men for their gallantry 
in the daring charge to which the fall of the fort 
was due. 

The First Minnesota w-as the only one which 
served its whole term east of the Alleghanies. The 
Fourth and Eighth reached salt water in the last 
months of the war. All the other Minnesota troops 
remained in the West. 

It was not easy for Minnesota to respond to the 
calls of the nation for recruits in the last years 
of the war. Some 2700 volunteers were sent to fill 
the ranks of the old regiments, but these were not 
enough. The draft enforced in May and September, 
1864, was, as elsewhere, a farce: 14,274 names 
were listed ; the exemptions left 2768 liable for 
service ; 2497 failed to report, and two deserted. 
The remaining number of 269, increased by 282 
substitutes, in all 651, were mustered into service. 
There remained the resource of raising additional 
regiments not likely to be exposed in deadly battle. 


By promises of commissions to gentlemen who should 
recruit the companies, two strong regiments were 
raised : the Eleventh Infantry, 1000 strong, and 
the First Minnesota Heavy Artillery, 1760 officers 
and men. These commands were sent to Tennessee 
late in 18G4, where they relieved veteran troops for 
active service. 

By the month of September, 18G5, all the Min- 
nesota troops had been mustered out except one 
battery and three cavalry battalions engaged on the 
Indian frontier. The whole number of men fur- 
nished by Minnesota was 22,01G. Only the people 
who lived through that war period can fully appre- 
ciate the sacrifices and privations undergone. 

The two conflicts, — the Civil AYar and the In- 
dian war, — occupying the minds of the pe()])le of 
Minnesota for four years, naturally overshadowed 
all other interests. The Democratic party long in 
control of her public affairs, depleted by the de- 
sertion of thousands of young men to the ranks 
of the more obtrusively ])atriotic Republican or- 
ganization, was left so reduced in numbers as to be 
powerless in state and national politics. The re- 
election of Governor Ramsey in the fall of 1801 
was a foregone conclusion. If the Republicans were 
relieved from competition with a powerful opposi- 
tion they found plenty of it between the factions 
which arose in their own camp. At the first, how- 
ever, they were none too sure of carrying a suffi- 


cient number of election precincts and therefore felt 
justified in resorting to a procedure never antici- 
pated by the framers of the state constitution. The 
legislature in the special session of September, 

1862, by a statute duly approved, provided against 
the disfranchisement of those citizens who at the 
time of election should be absent in the military 
service. The plan adopted was that of sending com- 
missioners to the camps to open polls and receive 
the ballots of soldiers who were, or claimed to be, 
qualified electors. These ballots they sealed up 
and transmitted by mail to the judges of election 
at the respective residences of the absentee voters. 
The scheme was carried out with the expected re- 
sult of sufficient Republican majorities. William 
Windom was easily reelected representative in the 
first congressional district, and Ignatius Donnelly, 
the lieutenant-governor, got his first election in the 
second. The state was not yet entitled to more than 
two representatives. Much greater interest, how- 
ever, centred in the election of a legislature for 

1863, which would have before it the choice of a 
United States senator to succeed Henry M. Rice, 
whose term was to expire. Governor Ramsey was 
the losrical candidate, and he did not affect indif- 
ference to the promotion. The other principal aspi- 
rant was Cyrus Aldrich of Minneapolis, who had 
been representing the second district in Congress 
in a very acceptable manner. Mr. Aldrich's legis- 
lative experience in Minnesota and another state 


warranted his friends in promoting his candidacy. 
These formed a body which in a later day would 
have been designated as "stalwart" Republicans; 
they were dissatisfied with the alleged inertia of 
Lincoln's administration, and desired the libera- 
tion of the Southern slaves and the prosecution of 
the war with greater energy. JVIr. Ramsey, by his 
nature conservative, stood by the administration. 

The first trial of strength came ofif in the Repub- 
lican legislative caucus held immediately after 
organization, early in January, 1863. The number 
of votes was forty-six, and twenty-four votes were 
necessary to the choice. On the first balloting Mr. 
Ramsey received but nineteen votes, and then 
twenty votes for nineteen successive ballotiugs. 
Fortunately " the field "was rigidly divided. On 
the twenty-fourth balloting, twenty-three votes were 
cast for Ramsey, and the caucus adjourned with 
little expectation of further changes. A final trial, 
however, gave twenty-six votes and assured the elec- 
tion of Governor Ramsey by the houses in joint 
convention on January 14. 

Although his senatorial term began March 4, 1863, 
Governor Ramsey remained in office till July, when 
he retired to attend an extra session (of the Senate). 
Lieutenant-Governor Donnelly had resigned at the 
close of the legislative session of 1863, and the state 
senate had elected as their president pro tc77ij)ore, 
the Hon. Henry A. Swift of St. Peter. Under con- 
stitutional provision Mr. Swift became lieutenant- 


governor in room of Mr. Donnelly, and on July 10 
(1863) governor, in the place of Mr. Kamsey. 
Governor Swift held the office for the remaining 
six months of Ramsey's term, making no effort to 
succeed himself. Contemporaries speak of him as 
a man of singularly amiable character, prefer- 
ring a quiet life among his neighbors to the excite- 
ments of the capital. He was succeeded in office by 
General Stephen Miller, a native of Pennsylvania, 
who came to the state in 1858 and made his home 
in St. Cloud. He had been an ardent supporter of 
Mr. Ramsey, who was not indifferent to his claims 
upon him. Upon the organization of the First Min- 
nesota Infantry Mr. Miller received the appoint- 
ment of lieutenant-colonel. He devoted himself 
with such fidelity to military studies and exercises 
that he soon became sufficiently expert, and at Bull 
Run, Fair Oaks, and other engagements proved 
beyond question his personal courage. Such was 
his modesty, however, that when the colonelcy of 
the First became vacant, a first, second, and even 
third time he preferred to have it filled by experi- 
enced regular officers. After the Seventh Regi- 
ment was formed Governor Ramsey was pleased 
to make him its colonel. When General Sibley 
in the late fall of 1862 left the front to assume 
command of his district he devolved immediate 
command on Colonel Miller. During the general's 
absence in the campaign to the Missouri in 1863 
Colonel Miller remained at St. Paul In command 


of the district. Nominated and elected as governor 
in the fall of that year and honored with the brevet 
rank of brigadier-general, Colonel Miller resigned 
to take up his civil duties. In the first year of his 
service he was chiefly employed in filling up the 
state's quota in the armies of the Union ; and he 
was so much grieved and disgusted with the be- 
havior of those drafted men who did not report for 
duty that he seriously recommended that the con- 
stitution be so amended as to visit any such " base 
and cowardly conduct " in the future with disfran- 
chisement and confiscation. 

While the governorship of Minnesota has from 
the beginning been regarded as a most honorable 
position, the chief prize to be won in her political 
battles has been the United States senatorship. 
Around this the successive contests have been hot 
and fierce. One of these occurred in the winter of 
1865. Senator Morton A. Wilkinson had cut no 
inconsiderable figure at the seat of government, 
and had so won the confidence of President Lincoln 
that he wrote an open letter recommending a re- 
election. Mr. Wilkinson, however, had not retained 
to a sufficient degree the allegiance of Republican 
leaders at home. It was alleged that he had allowed 
his colleague. Senator liiee, to obtain an undue 
share of good things. Whether true or not, this 
was an unpardonable offense, and Mr. Wilkinson's 
friends found themselves, after many ballotings in 
caucus, in a hopeless minority. In the field against 


him was Mr. Rice, and there is a tradition that the 
nomination might have fallen to him had he been 
willing to exchange the colors of War Democrat 
for those of Kepublican. He had been loyal and 
ardent in support of the Union cause. 

As the result of repeated ballotings, and a com- 
bination difficult of analysis, the nomination fell 
to Daniel A. Norton of Winona, who had gained 
some distinction as a member of the state senate. 
When President Andrew Johnson went over to the 
opposition fold, Mr. Norton followed him. His 
career was necessarily obscure, and he died in office 
in 1870. 

In spite of the absence of a large proportion of 
her men of working age and capacity in the armies ; 
in spite of the Indian ravages of 1862 and the fears 
of others which happily did not come ; in spite of 
the tardy extension of railroads, the war period was 
one of advance for Minnesota. Her population of 
172,023 in 1860 arose, according to the state cen- 
sus of 1865, to 250,099, an increase of forty-five 
per cent. The accessions were greatest in the river 
counties, and next in those lying immediately be- 
yond. High prices for farm produce in paper 
money enabled the farmers to wipe out their debts 
and improve their homes. 

The homestead act of 1862 contributed not a 
little to the extension of settlements in the state. 
The original bill for that act, passed in 1860 after 
bitter opposition from Southern senators and repre- 


sentatives, had been vetoed by President Buchanan 
on the ground that the government had no power 
under the constitution to give away property of the 
people held by it in trust. Cyrus Aldrich, one of 
Minnesota's members, introduced and actively sup- 
ported the later bill, which became law on February 
28, 1862, and took effect January 8, 18G3. In the 
three years following, 9529 homestead entries were 
made in Minnesota, thirty-six per cent, of the whole 
number. There can be no question that the opera- 
tion of the homestead act was beneficial so long as 
confined to arable lands. The use made of its pro- 
visions in later years to obtain possession of timber 
and mineral lands by processes morally, if not tech- 
nically, criminal, depriving the nation and states of 
untold millions of value, gives room for regret that 
President Buchanan's judgment had not governed 
his successor. 



It was to be expected that, upon the anticipated 
retirement of Governor Miller, the most prominent 
among the founders of the Republican party in 
Minnesota, General William R. Marshall, who 
had added a highly honorable military career to his 
civil record, would be called to succeed. And he 
was ; but not without opposition from other gentle- 
men who had also distinguished themselves in both 
civil and military duties. It took twenty-two ballot- 
ings in the Republican convention to secure his 
nomination. At the polls he met that veteran of 
Democracy, the Hon. Henry M. Rice, whose popu- 
larity, especially among " old Territorians," was so 
great as to reduce his majority to less than 3500 in 
a total of 31,000 votes. He took office in January, 
1866, and so commended himself by a judicious 
practical administration that his reelection in the 
fall of the following year was but formally con- 
tested. Mr. Rice closed his political career with 
the campaign of 1865, which he survived for a 
quarter of a century. 

Marshall's double term was a period of recovery 
and repair after the exhaustion of the wars ; and 


it was something more. Neither the people severally 
nor the state were heavily burdened with debt, and 
there was work for all and good prices for produce. 
Railroad building was continued on a scale of a few 
more than one hundred miles a year. In 1867 the 
line now known as the Iowa and jSIinnesota Divi- 
sion of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Rail- 
road, begun at both ends, was completed, and trains 
were put on from the Falls of St. Anthony to 
Prairie du Chien, whence rail connection eastward 
already existed. Minnesota was now in the great 
world all the year round. No important terminals 
were reached by additions to other lines, although 
seven hundred and sixty-six miles had been con- 
structed by the close of the decade. 

The development of the common schools of iMin- 
nesota was tardy. The act of 1851, providing for 
a state system, created the office of superintendent 
of public instruction, but attached only a nominal 
salary to it. Four persons were appointed in as 
many years, whose duties seem to have been con- 
fined to making formal annual reports. From 185G 
to 18G0 the office was virtually, if not technicall3% 
vacant. The legislature of 1860 devolved the duties 
upon the titular chancellor of the university, the 
Rev. Edward Duffield Neill, who held it till April 
29, 1861, when he resigned to take the chaplaincy 
of the First Minnesota Infantry, leaving the office 
to a competitor for that position. In the legislative 
session of 1862 the school laws were revised and 


the secretary of state was made ex-officio state su- 
perintendent. This absurd arrangement continued 
for five years, against the advice of the two gentle- 
men who hekl the double office. 

Governor Marshall informed the legislature of 
18G7 that the children of school age in the state 
were over a hundred thousand, and that the school 
fund had grown to nearly a million and a half. 
Upon his earnest recommendation the office of state 
superintendent was reestablished, with a salary 
more than nominal, but inadequate. He appointed 
Mark H. Dunnell of Owatonna, a young lawyer 
who had been successful as a teacher in his native 
state of Maine. 

Mr. Dunnell threw himself into his duties with 
great enthusiasm and industry. He gathered the 
teachers into " institutes " for pedagogical instruc- 
tion and raised the standard of qualification for 
certificates. A state teachers' association was or- 
ganized to stimulate pride in the teaching profes- 
sion and provide for interchange of ideas and ex- 
periences. It is notable that Mr. Dunnell as late 
as 1869 thought it necessary to argue in behalf of 
a public school system free from religious dogma 
or discipline. The organization of high schools in 
the leading towns had already discouraged the 
proprietors of numerous denominational academies 
and seminaries desirous of holding the secondary 

In 1858 a bill had been worked through the first 


state legislature to establish three normal schools, 
one at Winona as soon as practicable after pas- 
sage, the others at times to be later determined. 
This bill was fathered by Dr. John W. Ford of 
Winona, an enthusiast in the cause of professional 
education for teachers. So little was known in the 
longitude of Minnesota of what a " normal school " 
might be, that it is not strange that the friends of 
the bill got more credit in the newspapers and 
among the people for securing a state institution 
for each of three towns than for zeal in the cause 
of education. Six years passed before a beginning 
was made in the first state normal school at Winona, 
under the charge of William F. Phelps, an Oswego 
graduate. No man less confident of the righteous- 
ness of his cause, nor less willing to fight a bitter 
opposition, could have built up a school for teach- 
ers which has served as model for many othei's in 
Minnesota and other states. The second state nor- 
mal school was opened in Mankato in 1868 ; the 
third in St. Cloud in the next year. 

The " wing and extension " of tlie great building 
planned for the territorial regents of the university 
in 1856, and built in that year and the next, stood 
empty for ten years, except that at different times 
private teachers were allowed to hold their classes 
in some of the rooms. The legislature of 1858 au- 
thorized the regents to borrow '$40,000 and issue 
ten per cent, bonds in evidence of debt. These se- 
curities were negotiated in New York after great 


effort and at a ruinous discount. The claim was 
later made that they could not have been disposed 
of at all had they not been improperly represented 
to be virtually bonds of the state. The proceeds 
released the regents from obligations which they 
had personally assumed and satisfied a portion of 
the creditors. 

The Republican legislature of 1860 thought it 
time to oust the " old Democratic board " and in- 
stall a new administration. The new " state board," 
consisting of three members ex-qfficiis and five ap- 
pointed, had nothing to report to the next session 
but a debt of $93,500, including 18000 of over- 
due interest. Their recommendation was that the 
land grant be turned over to the creditors, the 
campus and building being retained. An act of 
Congress of March 2, 1861, donating to the state 
the university lands " reserved " for the territorial 
university, rendered such action feasible. 

Governor Ramsey could make no other sugges- 
tion to the legislature of 1862, and that body con- 
ferred the desired authority. In 1862 wild lands 
were a drug in the market. " Pine " would not go 
at four dollars an acre. The regents reported to 
the legislature of 1863 that the creditors were not 
disposed to accept " equitable terms." That legis- 
lature did not formally dissolve the corporation, 
but ordered the regents to turn over to the state 
auditor, as state land commissioner, all the lands, 
buildings, and appurtenances. This was accord- 


ingly done, and the University of Minnesota ex- 
isted only in supposition. 

After the midsummer of 1863 matters were 
looking up in Minnesota. The victories of Vicks- 
burg and Gettysburg gave hope of an early return 
of peace. Money was plentiful and prices were 
rising. Notwithstanding tlie homestead law, there 
was a market for well-situated public land. John 
S. Pillsbury of St. Anthony had been appointed 
to a vacancy in the board of regents in November 
of that year, and immediately applied his remark- 
able business talent to the university affairs. His 
conclusions were embodied in a bill introduced 
into the state senate of 1864, of which he was a 
member. Enacted into law March 4, the bill cre- 
ated a special board of three regents : John S. 
Pillsbury, Orlando C. Merriman, a lawyer of St. 
Anthony, and John Nicols, a merchant of St. Paul, 
also a state senator. i^This board was authorized to 
sell land to the amount of twelve thousand acres 
and use the proceeds in "extricating" the institu- 
tion. Taking advantage of a time of general liqui- 
dation and scaling down, they bought in claims of 
many creditors at thirty-three per cent, of their 
face. The bondholders, satisfied at length that they 
had no recourse upon the state, moderated their 
demands and consented to "equitable terms" of 
adjustment. In this way a " great state " redeemed 
the bonds it had authorized by law, and canceled 
a body of debts proiiouuccd by the regents of 1860 
to be "honestly due." J 


It took two years to accomplish this " extrica- 
tion," so that the legislature of 18G7 was ready to 
make a small appropriation to renovate the Lulld- 
ing and open " a grammar and normal depart- 
ment." It was not until October 7 of that year 
that the doors were opened, and thirty-one boys 
and girls were enrolled in the first term. The 
school being of academy grade, no objection was 
made to the admission of girls, bixt there was no 
intention to settle then the question of coeducation 
in the university. It was, however, thus settled. 

The special board, having accomplished its pur- 
poses to the satisfaction of all concerned, recom- 
mended to the legislature of 1868 the transfer of 
control to a permanent board of regents. The act 
of February 18, 1868, passed in pursuance of this 
counsel, is the charter of the university, and has 
not been materially modified. The new board ap- 
pointed by the governor with the consent of the 
senate properly contained the names of Pillsbury, 
Nicols, and Merriman. At the close of the school 
year of 1869 the regents resolved to open the 
"College of Science, Literature, and the Arts," 
as the statute ambitiously named the academic 
department. Although there were but fourteen 
provisional freshmen and a hundred and fifty pre- 
paratory students, a president, eight professors, 
and one instructor were elected. The faculty thus 
constituted organized in September, and took up 
the work before them, mostly that of a fitting 


The title of the charter of February 18, 1868, 
contained the clause, " and to establish an agrieul- 
tural college therein." The original act of 1851 
creating the university named as one of its five 
departments that of agriculture, but on March 10, 
1858, a separate " state agricultural college " was 
established and located at Glencoe in McLcod 
County. Minnesota's share of the so-called Morrill 
land grant of 1862 for the benefit of colleges of 
agriculture and the mechanic arts was 120,000 
acres. By an act approved March 2, 1865, the 
proceeds of this grant were applied and appropri- 
ated to the said agricultural college of Minnesota. 
AVhat influences or interests prevailed to induce 
the people of McLeod County to consent to the 
merger of their institution with the university are 
not well known, but the legislature of 1868 decided 
on that policy, and inviolably appropriated the 
income of the Morrill land grant to the united 
institutions. The friends of the university were, of 
course, gratified over the return to the scheme of 
the original creative act of 1851 and the concen- 
tration of the state's resources for the higher edu- 
cation. Governor ^lurshall had the satisfaction of 
seeing the University of iSIinnesota, in which he 
had been deeply interested from its statutory crea- 
tion, at length fairly laiuiched on a career of pro- 
mise which he lived to see fulfilled. lie had also 
the gratification of seeing the color line removed 
from the state constitution by the adoption, at the 


election of 18G8, of an amendment expunging the 
word " white " out of the article on the elective 
franchise. A much needed revision of the laws of 
the state went into effect about the same time. 

Ignatius Donnelly, who had been elected to Con- 
gress in 1862, had been accorded two reelections. 
His diligence in business and readiness in debate 
had gained him influence in the House, and his 
campaign speeches had increased his popularity at 
home. To all appearance he was certain of a third 
reelection in the fall of 1868, and among his ad- 
mirers were those who suggested that the state 
and country would profit by his promotion to the 
Senate. Such propositions were not relished by 
the friends of Senator Ramsey, whose first term 
would be expiring in the following winter. Elim- 
ination of Mr. Donnelly thereupon became to them 
a desirable political object. It might not have been 
attained but for an error of Mr. Donnelly himself 
in a moment of perhaps excusable exasperation. 

In the winter of 1868, in a letter to a constitu- 
ent explaining why he had not pushed a certain 
railroad land grant bill, Mr. Donnelly stated that 
E. B. Washburne, member of Congress from Illinois, 
had repeatedly hindered his efforts to secure legis- 
lation for his state. Mr. Washburne replied through 
a St. Paul newspaper, April 10, 1868, attacking Mr. 
Donnelly's personal character, and declaring him 
cowardly and mendacious. He represented him also 


as " whining like a schoolboy" over his disappoint- 
ments. Thus assailed, Mr. Donnelly, on May 2, 
made on the floor of the House a consummate dis- 
play of those powers of ridicule and invective of 
which he was master. Tolerated by the House be- 
cause of its enjoyment of the play of rhetorical 
lightning, and perhaps because of a feeling that 
the speaker's indignation had some just ground, 
the Minnesota member descended into an utterly 
indefensible tirade. It has ever since been tradi- 
tional in Minnesota that that speech " cooked Don- 
nelly's goose." 

Washburne could only say in wrath that he 
would "make no reply to a member covered all 
over with crime and infamy, a man whose record is 
stained with every fraud, a man who has proved 
false alike to his friends, his constituents, his coun- 
try, his religion, and his God." Both gentlemen 
apologized for using unparliamentary language, and 
the special committee of the House reported that 
as neither had made charges affecting the action of 
the other as a representative, they might be left to 
settle personal difficulties outside; On his return 
to Minnesota after the close of the session, Mr. 
Donnelly gave expression to his sentiments towards 
the Washburn family in a series of speeches in 
which his peculiar gifts were displa3'ed in the high- 
est degree. 

The friends of Senator Ramsey selected for their 
support, as successor to Mr. Donnelly, William D. 


Washburn, a younger brother of the represent- 
ative from Illinois just mentioned, who had won 
for himself a place in their esteem for ability and 
character. When the hour for the convention came, 
Mr. Donnelly's supporters " bolted," and in a sep- 
arate body put their idol in nomination. Seeing 
the regular convention so largely depleted, Mr. 
Washburn withdrew after the first ballot. Gen- 
eral Lucius F. Hubbard also declined the honor of 
a candidacy ; and it was only after assurances of 
active and substantial support that General C. C. 
Andrews was persuaded to enter the lists. The 
Democrats saw their opportunity in this split in 
the Republican ranks, and put in nomination and 
elected Eugene M. Wilson of Minneapolis, a gen- 
tleman whose character and services entitled him 
to their support. He served to the general satisfac- 
tion in the Forty-first Congress. 

Mr. Donnelly now came out openly as a candi- 
date for the senatorship, and he had reason to 
expect an election. On the eve of the Republican 
caucus, however, his muster roll contained but 
twenty-six names of those who could be depended 
on. Twenty-eight votes were necessary to nominate. 
Failing to secure absolute pledges of the two lack- 
ing votes, Mr. Donnelly advised his friends to give 
their support to Morton S. Wilkinson, who was 
willing: to serve another term in the Senate. His 
hope was to give Mr. Ramsey a rest from senatorial 
labors. In that he was disappointed. Mr. Ramsey's 


friends secured the adoption of a resolution to dis- 
pense with informal balloting, thus revealing theii" 
strength, but they were only able to give him the 
exact number of votes (twenty-eight) necessary to 
a choice. The election followed as a matter of 
course, and Mr. Ramsey continued in a senatorial 
career creditable to himself and serviceable to the 
state and nation. Mr. Donnelly did not at once re- 
nounce the colors of the Republican party, but he 
was ever after a free lance in politics, lie was 
repeatedly elected to the state legislature. 

In the fall of 1869 an effort was made to give 
Mr. Donnellv the regular nomination for the jrov- 
ernorship. This was not opposed by the Ramsay 
leaders, who were willing to bring back into the 
fold so dangerous a rival. That effort, however, 
had but slight recojjnition in the nominating: con- 
vention, which chose for the party candidate a 
gentleman as yet not widely known in state poli- 
tics, the lion. Horace Austin of St. Peter. 

The removal of the state capital from St. Paul, 
which would have been accomplished in 1857 but 
for the high-handed exploit of Councilor Rolette, 
though frequently broached informally, was not 
seriously taken up by any legislature till 1809. A 
bill for removal to Kandiyohi County, on to land 
belonging to the state, was passed through both 
houses so easily and rapidly as to invite the surmise 
that the necessary votes had been secured in ad- 
vance. Superfluous debate was shut out by the 


operation of the previous question. The vote in 
the house was 39 to 7, that in the senate 12 to 10 ; 
but the house could not muster enough votes to 
pass the bill over Governor Marshall's veto. The 
veto message was moderate in tone ; suggesting that 
it would be wise to hear from the people on the 
question, that there should be no haste about a final 
location of the capital, and that it was no time to 
expend a great sum of money on buildings. 

Two years later a final proposal to remove the 
capital from St. Paul to the imagined city of Stan- 
ton met with a prompt indefinite postponement. 



Horace Austin was inaugurated governor Janu- 
ary 9,1870. A native of Connecticut, who had lived 
and married in Maine, he had come to ^linnesota 
in 1855 at the age of twenty-five and settled at St. 
Peter. He had studied law and taught school, but 
had taken no college course. In the campaign of 
1863 against the Sioux he commanded a company 
of Minnesota ^Mounted Rangers and gave a good 
account of himself on the march and battlefield. 
His neighbors had elected him a district judge and 
were more than content with his wise and fearless 
conduct on the bench. It was a piece of good for- 
tune for the state that the warring Ramsey and 
Donnelly factions of the Republican party in the 
convention of 1869 compromised upon a candidate 
unobjectionable to both, but no especial favorite 
with either. His majority was less than two thou- 
sand over the popular candidate of the Democrats, 
George L. Otis. Ingenious, hopeful, independent, 
Mr. Austin in successive messages showered upon 
the legislatures projects of reform and develop- 
ment. In many of them he was doomed to disap- 
pointment because he relied entirely on the merit 


of propositions, and was not politician enough to 
understand that it is only by timely and happy 
combination of interests that measures can be car-, 
ried in legislative bodies. Among tliese abortive 
recommendations may be mentioned the one in 
his second message, urging a revision of the state 
constitution, which he declared to be a motley of 
inconsistencies. His desire was that a revised con- 
stitution should contain such provisions as these : 
(1) Restriction of special legislation ; (2) prohibi- 
tion of exclusive franchises ; (3) limitation of local 
taxation ; (4) restriction of municipal debts ; (5) 
ample power to regulate railroads ; and (6) aboli- 
tion of the grand jury. Neither the legislature to 
which the recommendation was addressed nor any 
subsequent one has been willing to propose to the 
people a revision of the constitution. Casual amend- 
ments have been frequent, but a late amendment to 
the amending article, requiring an affirmative vote 
of a majority of all the electors to adopt a proposed 
amendment, will certainly render it difficult, and it 
may be impossible, to make further casual changes 
in the state's organic law. A happy illustration of 
Mr. Austin's independence may be found in his 
action on the disposition of the so-called " internal 
impi-ovement lands " of the state. An almost for- 
gotten statute of the United States, passed in 1841, 
authorized the gift to any new state of five hundred 
thousand acres of public lands for " internal im- 
provements." The claim of Minnesota to this grant 


had been tardily conceded by the Secretary of the 
Interior. In his inaugural address Governor Austin 
recommended that the disposition of the lands should 
be submitted to popular vote. The legislature then 
opening (1870) was of a diiferent mind, and listened 
to suggestions that the end of the law would be 
served if the lands should be bestowed on certain 
railroad corporations willing to accept them. When 
the legislature of 1871 convened that proposition 
seemed much in favor, and a bill to divide the whole 
grant, then possibly worth ten millions of dollars, 
in eleven parcels among seven corporations was 
passed in so summary a manner as to suggest a 
careful rehearsal for the purely formal proceedings. 
The support of the bill was so evenly derived from 
the two political parties that neither of them could 
claim the greater credit for guarding tlie public 

The veto message of Governor Austin will long 
remain a landmark in the political history of the 
state. In the plainest of English he told the legis- 
lators that they had been either cajoled or bullied 
into passing a measure they dared not submit to 
the people, that the minute parceling of the lands 
would be ridiculously ineffective, that they had no 
power to divide the lands, but only the proceeds 
thereof, and that they had voted to divert the na- 
tional gift from its intended object. From this 
date tliore was no question of a reelection, shouhl 
he desire it. In the following year an aiueudmont 


providing that no disposition should be made of 
those lands until after the ratification of any pro- 
posed measure by vote of the electors was submitted 
and, at the election, adopted. The use to wliich they 
were put ten years later will be related in its place. 

For Minnesota as for the country at large, the 
early seventies belong to one of the most notable 
" boom " periods in our economic history. The 
census of 1870 verified the hopes of enthusiastic 
promotors in many lines. The total population 
footed up 439,706. The native born in round num- 
bers were 279,000, of whom 126,000 had been born 
in the state. The foreign born were 161,000, of 
whom the Scandinavian kingdoms had sent 59,000 
and Germany 41,000. The English-speaking immi- 
grants numbered 47,000. The swelling number of 
inhabitants was inspiring and the high quality of the 
population was equally satisfactory. One hundred 
and thirty-one thousand coming from the north 
Atlantic and north central states had bronght with 
them American traditions and culture, capital, 
brains, and ambition for an enlarged career in a 
land of opportunity. The foreign accessions were 
Christians, willing workers, and many of them 
passionate lovers of free government. 

The rapid extension of railroads was both a 
cause and a consequence of this increase of people ; 
of their distribution, their productive power, and 
their demands for the comforts and luxuries of 
other skies. Rail connection eastward by way of the 


head of Lake Michigan, established in 1867, had 
given quicker mails and shortened the passenger 
journey to the seaboard. No produce save that of 
highest value in smallest bulk could stand trans- 
portation charges to New York. The completion 
of the railroad from St. Paul to the head of Lake 
Superior in 1870 brought that city almost as near 
salt water as Chicago, and opened the great water- 
way of the lakes for Minnesota's grain and lumber, 
and returning coal and merchandise. Later her 
annual millions of tons of iron ore have passed 
down through " The Soo " to Lake Erie ports. 

The year following (1871) was abundant in 
railroad extension. The main line of the Great 
Northern was extended to Breckenridge on the 
Red River of the North ; the River division of 
the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul, prolonged 
to Winona, shortened the journey to Chicago by 
many hours ; and the Northern Pacific had reached 
the Red River at Moorhead. Meantime the South- 
ern Minnesota had been pushed out to the Blue 
Earth, and the Winona and St. Peter to the Minne- 
sota. The 350 miles built in 1872, though reaching 
no important terminals, brought the total mileage 
at the close of the year up to an even 1900. 

In those years of plentiful money and multiply- 
ing fortunes, railroad building was rapid and easy 
in Minnesota. Investors were keen for bonds se- 
cured by land grants of enormous extent, and bear- 
ing a liberal interest, especially when offered at a 


seductive discount. The controlling spirits of the 
companies found some profit in financing construc- 
tion companies, but more in town lot and land 
speculations. Railroad building out on the open 
prairie far in advance of settlement was a novelty 
then. The gentlemen whose privilege it was to de- 
termine the lines and locate the stations were in 
position to make profitable selections of lots and 
lands, and to let their friends "in on the ground 
floor " for a consideration. Around the selected 
stations considerable villages would arise in a single 
season. In some cases the town would be built 
before the track had reached it. There were in- 
stances in which settlements were made on mis- 
taken calculations of actual location, and then the 
houses and shops were literally put on wheels and 
hauled over to the chosen spots. 

The lands adjacent to the railroad lines, espe- 
cially within a few miles of the stations, were, of 
course, in great demand and rose rapidly in price. 
Cultivation was no longer confined to the river 
counties, but spread rapidly inland. It did not 
take a generation of the hardest labor to make a 
farm on the Minnesota prairie. In the first season 
the newcomer conld win his subsistence, and in the 
second begin to build. The cultivated area of the 
state, which was 630,000 acres in the closing year 
of the Civil War, rose to 1,863,300 in 1870, and five 
years later fell not much short of 3,000,000. 

A larjre fraction of this area was devoted to a 


kind of cultivation novel to this country, but which 
remained profitable only so long as the virgin fer- 
tility of the soil survived, and that was rarely 
longer than ten years. " Bonanza farming," so 
called, was carried on by large proprietors or les- 
sees, owning or controlling many thousands of 
acres, employing machines and large gangs of men 
and animals. For these estates there were devel- 
oped out of the petty apparatus suitable to the 
little eastern farm, the sulky plow with its two 
mould-boards, the disk harrow, the twelve-foot 
seeder, the self-binding reaper, and the giant 
threshing-machine. There was but one principal 
crop, spring wheat, which was commonly threshed 
from the shock and immediately marketed. To 
handle the great quantities, grain " elevators " were 
built at the railroad stations, tall, ungainly struc- 
tures with conveniences for weighing in, lifting, 
weighing out, and spouting into waiting freight 
cars. At terminals were erected elevators for clean- 
ing and drying grain, as well as for storage for 
many thousands or millions of bushels. The coun- 
try elevator was also convenient for the small 
farmer, who was saved the cost of building a gran- 
ary of high-priced lumber from distant pineries. 

Early settlers in the Northwest had found spring 
wheat, with its power of rapid growth in the long 
sunshine of higli latitudes, a better crop than win- 
ter wheat, occu])ying the soil for two seasons and 
liable to winter kill. But the spring wheat berry, 


although of higher nutritive value than that of 
winter wheat, had a flinty envelope and yielded a 
flour too dark in color to suit the market. A revo- 
lution in the process of milling presently reversed 
the places of the two flours. Milling had already 
advanced so far beyond the primitive separation of 
flour from bran by hand sifting as to segregate a 
residuum of coarser granules, called " middlings," 
which, subjected to a second grinding, yielded a low 
grade flour. It had been discovered also that these 
middlings contained the more nutritive elements of 
the wheat berry, and it had been a problem how 
to recover them. French millers were in possession 
of a method for its partial solution. George H. 
Christian of Minneapolis had long studied on the 
problem, and in 1870 employed a French immi- 
grant named La Croix to construct a rude appa- 
ratus in his mill at Minneapolis. This was the 
germ of the '' middlings purifier," soon developed 
and installed in all mills using spring wheat. Re- 
ceiving middlings from the first grinding, the ma- 
chine by use of sieves and air currents separated 
out the pure wheat granules. These were reground 
and "bolted" into two or more grades of flour. 
The first grade was put on the market as " iNIinne- 
sota Patent," and for a time commanded a price of 
three dollars a barrel above any other. The same 
principles, refined upon, have resulted in the more 
modern process of " gradual reduction " by means 
of rollers, displacing the immemorial millstones. 


The rapid development of a great milling centre 
at the Falls of St. Anthony opened a market for 
the spring wheat, which could not otherwise have 
been grown. The Minnesota crop of fifteen million 
of bushels in 1870 was to be doubled in 1875. The 
patent milling process gave to Minneapolis an 
advantage soon apparent in the multiplication not 
only of flour mills, but of industries ancillary 
thereto. The manufacture of lumber out of logs 
from the pineries of the upper Mississippi and its 
tributaries, which had been her leading industry, 
now took a second but still important place. The 
city of Saint Anthony's Falls had suffered by the 
migration of many of her most capable men of 
affairs to "the west side," where Minneapolis 
sprang into being as by magic when the military 
reservation was reduced in the middle of the fifties. 
The new city soon outstripped the old in popula- 
tion, in manufacturing, and in merchandizing. At 
length it became apparent that there was no pro- 
priety in the maintenance of separate municipal 
organizations at the falls. By virtue of an act of 
the legislature, approved February 28, 1872, the 
older city lost its name and became the east divi- 
sion of Minneapolis. The regrets of some of her 
oldest citizens were mitigated by the suggestion 
that the jSIinneapolis thus enlarged might some 
day become the rival of ^linnesota's capital city 
in wealth and numbers, if not in political impor- 


The land grant railroads, rapidly extended after 
the Civil War, had occasioned the building of new 
towns, the opening of new farms, the production 
of more millions of bushels of wheat, to be passed 
through more elevators and carried in more freight 
cars to more mills, for conversion into more thou- 
sands of barrels of Minnesota Patent flour. All 
these called for more miles of railroad, and the 
revolving game went merrily on for some years. 
So obvious were the advantages of railroad trans- 
portation that every possible inducement was held 
out to invite construction. Rights of way and 
bonuses in the shape of town, county, and city 
bonds were willingly bestowed. State and munici- 
pal authorities were so indulgent and generous that 
railroad " interests " came to expect the fulfillment 
of any requisitions they should please to make. A 
crowning example of this confidence has been given 
in the so-called " land grab " of 1871, whose con- 
summation lacked only the approval of Governor 
Austin. But under this seeming of prosperity for 
the public and the people whose wealth was going 
into the railroads there was trouble brewing. 
Transportation did not come as cheap as the pub- 
lic was expecting from corporations, which had re- 
ceived from Congress public lands worth about 
$10,000 per mile at government prices, to aid 
them in building. Five cents per mile passenger 
fare seemed exorbitant, as did freight rates ran- 
ging from seven cents to sixty cents per ton mile. 


The immense loans made by sale of bonds were 
understood to be part of a policy of the corpora- 
tion managers to get their roads built on credit, 
and to hold the lands, released from the primary 
mortgages, for speculation. There were abundant 
innuendoes thrown out in political campaigns that 
public officials, especially members of legislative 
bodies, national, state, and municipal, had not been 
losers by the grants and indulgences showered on 
the corporations. It is improbable that many in- 
dividuals were thus persuaded or enriched by 
large benefactions. When the whole community 
were ready to grant everything a railroad com- 
pany could ask, there was little need for " graft." 
Chief, however, among all causes of exaspera- 
tion were the frequent and notorious discrimina- 
tions in favor of some individuals, industries, and 
places against others. By the connivance of one or 
more companies the fuel supply of a city was put 
into the hands of a single firm or clique. The big 
shipper generally was conceded a better rate than 
his small competitors. But it must be said that at 
terminal points and junctions, where shippers had 
the choice of two or more lines, they sometimes 
forced the hungry traffic managers to offer rates 
by no means agreeable or profitable. When the 
rate per hundred pounds on merchandise from 
New York by way of the lakes to St. Paul, includ- 
ing 15G miles of railroad haid, was 35 cents, that 
from St. Paul to Faribault, 56 miles, was 39 cents. 


The state constitution contained (and still contains) 
the provision that all common carriers enjoying 
right of way for public use shall carry the mineral, 
agricultural, and other productions of the state " on 
equal and reasonable terms." The farmers could 
not see that a rate on wheat from Owatonna to 
Winona of 2.6 cents, and one of 6 cents from 
Rochester, 40 miles on the road nearer Winona, 
were " equal " ; nor could the people of Faribault 
and vicinity see what justice there was in paying 
!|29.50 freight per carload of lumber from the 
falls, while residents of Owatonna, 15 miles farther 
on, should enjoy a rate of -f 18. 

As early as 1866, in his inaugural address to the 
legislature, Governor Marshall had advised that 
body to be looking out "for the interests of the 
people against possible oppression from these cor- 
porations, which will soon be a power in the land." 
In his message of 1867 he suggested that it was time 
to attach proper terms and conditions to railroad 
aid. He did not like the withdrawal of ten million 
acres of land from the operation of the homestead 

Governor Austin, in his inaugural address of 
1870, went no further than to ask the attention of 
the legislature to the complaints of railroad extor- 
tions and discriminations, and the use of the con- 
stitutional powers possessed by it for their abate- 
ment. His first annual message, delivered one year 
later, is a notable document in the literature of rail- 


road regulation. It may be questioned whether there 
was another state executive in the country ready at 
that time to nail any such array of theses on the 
doors of the capitol. His propositions, briefed out 
of his text, were : 1. All special railroad charters 
not put into operation within ten days after consum- 
mation, to be void. 2. Every railroad corporation 
doing business within the state to maintain a public 
office within the state, and keep therein records 
of the officials, capitalization, assets, and liabilities. 
3. No new road to be built parallel to an existing 
road, 4. All railroads in the state to be public high- 
ways free to all persons for transportation at reason- 
able charges. 5. No railroad company to issue any 
stocks and bonds except for money, labor, or pro- 
perty actually received and applied to the purposes 
of the corporation ; all fictitious stocks and bonds to 
be void, and no increase of either, unless in a man- 
ner prescribed by law. 6. The state's right of emi- 
nent domain to apply to railroad as to other pro- 
perty. 7. Adequate penalties, extending if deemed 
necessary to forfeiture of property and franchise, 
to be provided for unjust discrimination or extor- 
tion. 8. Finally, the creation of a national railroad 
commission for the regulation of commerce by rail 
and otherwise among the several states. 

It is remarkable that the same legislature which 
passed the 500,000 acre land grab also enacted one 
of the first and most stringent acts for railroad regu- 
lation. It is cha])tor 24 of the General Laws of 1871. 


It classified all freight and fixed a maximum rate 
for each of the five classes, according to distance. 
It determined a maximum passenger fare of five 
cents per mile. It declared all railroads in the state 
to be public highways, and fixed a penalty of $1000 
for every denial of the right of any person to travel or 
ship goods at the prescribed rates. The law finally 
declared the rates therein established to be " maxi- 
mum reasonable rates," and any corporation de- 
manding or receiving more should, on conviction, 
forfeit its charter. 

The same legislature (1871) provided for the 
appointment by the governor of a state railroad 
commissioner to observe the behavior of the corpo- 
rations under the new law. The first incumbent was 
General Alonzo J. Edgerton, who had given proof 
of ability by gallant military service and successful 
practice as an attorney. The three reports of this 
official are a pitiful record of the unequal struggle 
of the legislatures with their informally confederate 
creatures, the railroad corporations. To the regu- 
lative act of 1871 the corporations gave not the 
slightest heed, partly on the ground of their rights 
as quasi-persons, partly because in their territorial 
charters they had been authorized to make " rea- 
sonable charges " for services, and the legislature 
had not reserved the right to determine what charges 
were reasonable. If some of the roads somewhat 
abated their rates, it was not because of the legal 
mandate. Gross discriminations continued to be 


practiced. The evasion of taxes by the companies 
by various devices added to public exasperation. 
The commissioner was gratified to have exacted an 
increase of railroad taxes from S56,505.54 in 1871 
to -1106,870.35 in the year after, and regretted his 
inability to reach $250,000 more illegally withheld. 
One company, the Minnesota Central, sold its en- 
tire railroad property to the Milwaukee interest, 
retaining its unsold lands, and claimed to survive 
as a railroad company entitled to hold its lands free 
of taxation. For lack of authority to make personal 
inspections of company accounts and property the 
commissioner could not verify their reluctant re- 
ports, which, because not made on a prescribed uni- 
form plan, were of slight practical service. In his 
report for 1873 he reminded the legislature that the 
companies, which had by the beginning of that year 
constructed 1900 miles of road, had received from 
the nation, state, and municipalities, grants and 
gifts to the value of 151,000,000, being about 127,- 
000 per mile of completed road. The average neces- 
sary cost of construction and equipment, according 
to an expert computation, would have been a trifle 
over !|23,000 to the mile. In that year the bonded 
debt of the roads amounted to |>54,500,000. The 
aggregate of capital stock, $20,000,000, raised the 
"capitalization" of the roads to $74,500,000; nearly 
$48,000 per mile. Only nominal amounts of stock- 
proceeds had gone into construction and equipment, 
and there were wide marjrins between the face value 


of the bonds sold and the actual expenditures. In 
some instances, says the commissioner, not more 
than forty per cent, went into construction. In these 
years in which building was going on so swimmingly, 
operation was far from encouraging. The managers 
had been more concerned to increase mileage than 
to build substantially. Heavy grades, sharp curves, 
and slight construction were the result. The iron 
rails weighed for the most part but fifty pounds to 
the yard. Equipment corresponded, of course, with 
track and rail. The amount of business obtained 
at the fares and rates exacted was disappointingly 
small. After the grain crop was moved the amount 
of paying freight was meagre and backloading 
trifling in amount. Operating expenses rose to 
eighty per cent, of the gross earnings. The balance 
of earnings and expenses for the year 1873 was but 
$1,400,000 for all the Minnesota roads, a sum which 
must have seemed pitifully small in the eyes of the 
men whose money had built them. The reader need 
hardly be told that the Minnesota railroad corpora- 
tions went down in the crash which came upon the 
country in 1873. Three defaulted in their interest, 
two borrowed money to pay it, two went into re- 
ceivers' hands, and others attempted assessments 
on their stockholders. In the next four years but 
eighty-seven miles of new road were built. 

When the roads refused to conform to the law of 
1871 it became the duty of the attorney-general to 
bring suit for forfeiture of charters, the prescribed 


penalty for disobedience. John D. Blake and others 
sued the Winona and St. Peter Railroad Company 
in the district court of Olinstead County, alleging 
that said corporation had exacted for a certain ser- 
vice one dollar and ninety-nine cents, whereas the 
statute had determined the sum of fifty-seven cents 
to be the reasonable maximum charge. This court 
held, with the defending company, that the legis- 
lature had no power under the constitution to fix 
and determine railroad rates. The state intervened 
and the case was appealed to the Supreme Court of 
Minnesota, which reversed the decision of the court 
below, thus sustaining the validity of the act of 
1871. The case was then carried to the Supreme 
Court of the United States and was numbered 
among the well-known " granger cases," held under 
consideration for four years and disposed of ac- 
cording to the principles laid down by that court 
in the case of Munn vs. Illinois. In the "Blake 
case," decided in October, 1876, it was held that 
the legislature of Minnesota was within its con- 
stitutional powers in regulating and fixing railroad 
rates and charges and prescribing penalties for 
violations of her laws in that behalf. 

In this interval the prostrated and nearly bank- 
rupt corporations were in no condition to conduct 
themselves offensively. In 1874 a state board of 
three railroad commissioners was created. Mr, 
Edgerton was retained as a member, with Ex- 
Governor Marshall as one of his colleagues. Under 


their powers they made and published a complete 
schedule of reasonable maximum fares and rates 
according to distances, and reported at the close of 
the year a general and substantial compliance on the 
part of the companies. Their representatives showed 
such good nature and made such fair showing of 
their meagre profits that the commissioners found 
good reason to allow them all they could reason- 
ably claim. This led to the suggestion that the 
commissioners had been deluded or corrupted by 
the smart and able railroad men. The next legisla- 
ture (1875) accordingly replaced them with a sin- 
gle commissioner to be chosen by the electors, with 
such meagre powers as to justify a guess that some 
ingenious railroad attorney drafted the bill. Ex- 
Governor Marshall held the office for six years, 
discharging the duties with admirable discretion. 

As an example of the liberality, not to say crim- 
inal recklessness, with which railroad operators in 
the decade following the Civil War made use of 
other people's money, it will be well to follow the 
fortunes of one of the great land grant companies. 
The Minnesota and Pacific Railroad Company was 
one of the four corporations created by special act 
in 1857 to receive the colossal land grant made in 
that year to aid railroad building in Minnesota. 
This company was obligated to build from Still- 
water via St. Anthony to Breckenridge, and from 
St. Anthony to St. Vincent, a hamlet on the Red 
River near the crossing of the Canadian boundary. 


Along with the rest it defaulted, and in the summer 
of 1860 its property and franchises were sold to 
the state upon foreclosure. An effort to recover 
these by conforming to conditions imposed by the 
legislature as already stated, proved abortive. In 
1862, however, the franchises, rights of way, the 
land grant, and other property thus forfeited were 
bestowed upon a new corporation styled the St. 
Paul and Pacific Railroad Company, which built 
ten miles of road that year and oj^ened business 
between St. Paul and St. Anthony. The year after, 
seventeen and one half miles of track were added, 
and trains run to Anoka. This rate of progress did 
not satisfy the corporation nor the expectant people. 
Circumstances not now well known opened the way 
for borrowing money in Holland. To give the great 
enterprise a less tremendous aspect, it was resolved 
to separate it, so that the portions of road lying in 
districts already settling up might be immediately 
"financed," while those running to distant regions 
known only to hunters and Indian traders might 
be left to the future. Accordingly in 1864, under 
legislative authority, a new and separate corpora- 
tion was formed by the interests controlling the 
existing company, under the name and style of 
" The First Division of the St. Paid and Pacific 
Railroad Company." To this new company was 
transferred the " main line " from St. Paul to 
Breckenridge and the " branch " from St. Anthony 
to St. Cloud. The early building of these lines 


within the bounds of civilization would not, it was 
believed, appear a romantic undertaking to invest- 
ors. The scheme had its intended effect. Money 
poured in galore. When the " branch " was finished 
to St. Cloud in 1866 (76 miles), $7,000,000 of bonds 
had been sold. That amount of cash would have 
built 350 miles of road, as roads were then built in 
level regions. Five years later (1871) the " main 
line" reached the Red River at Breckenridge (217 
miles), and the bond issue had been swelled to 
$13,500,000. The two lines might have been built 
for much less than half as many dollars. Upon the 
completion of the main line and branch it was be- 
lieved to be feasible and judicious to go on with the 
construction of the remaining mileage retained by 
the original St. Paul and Pacific Company. This 
consisted of the so-called " extensions " : the " St. 
Vincent Extension," from St. Cloud to the Canada 
line on the Red River, and the trifling " Brainerd 
Extension," from St. Cloud to Crow Wing. To 
build these a loan of $15,000,000 was obtained in 
Holland. The bonds were placed at seventy-five 
cents on the dollar, and twenty-one per cent, of the 
proceeds were retained to meet three years' interest. 
These discounts left a little short of >!9,000,000 in 
available cash. This amount would have built and 
equipped both the extensions (about 470 miles) ac- 
cording to the building standards of the time. In 
November, 1872, the money was all gone and there 
had been built 140 miles of road, 100 miles having no 


connection with the existing portions of the system. 
Collections of rails, ties, and bridge material, not 
actually paid for, remained on hand, a useless asset. 
In his message to the legislature of 1873 Governor 
Austin characterized the finance of the companies 
by implication as injudicious and dishonest, and 
vaguely suggested that the just claims of the for- 
eigners should be consulted. The lawmakers, how- 
ever, were disposed to allow the foreign investors, 
who had placed their funds according to their own 
judgment, to use their own wits to recover their 
losses. It is difficult to see what relief the legislature 
could lawfully have rendered. 

That body had no sooner adjourned than in May 
(1873) the companies defaulted on their interest. 
Two corporations, parent and child, owned 433 
miles of railroad of light construction and equip- 
ment, on which rested 128,000,000 of bonded debt 
running at seven per cent., and the net earnings 
for the previous year had been $112,745.57. In 
August the United States District Court for Minne- 
sota put the mother corporation into the hands of 
a receiver, but left the stockholders and bondhold- 
ers of the "First Division" coHi])any to wrestle 
with the business under their legal and stipulated 
powers. The legislature had in separate acts au- 
thorized the bondholders of that company to vote 
for directors, who might be foreigners, any or all, 
and provided that meetings of directors might be 
held abroad. The fact that the Northern Pacific 


Eailroad " interest " had held the major number 
of shares in both of the Minnesota companies does 
not modify the foregoing account, but points to 
the quarter in which to seek for the residence of 
responsibility, in part at least, for a series of opera- 
tions hard to account for on presumptions of hon- 
esty and common sense. The reader may be curious 
to follow further, on a subsequent page, the story 
of the St. Paul and Pacific. 

The panic of 1873 was a typical example. An 
era of great prosperity had induced a fever of 
speculation which had spread through all social 
strata. Not railroads only but ships, mills, factories, 
mines, fisheries, farms had been built or bought 
with small sums of ready cash and large sums in 
mortgage notes. A huge cloud of debt rested over 
the land. Transactions were so rapid and enormous 
that bankers loaned out their swelling deposits 
with a reckless eagerness. One fine morning some 
conservative inocitution refused a new discount or 
declined to renew a customer's paper. That cus- 
tomer could not pay his creditors, and those could 
not pay theirs. By nightfall alarm had spread 
wherever the telegraph lines extended. The next 
day there were no bank deposits of cash, and credit 
transactions ceased. Securities offered on the mar- 
ket by hard pressed debtors began to drop, and 
presently all forms of property depreciated. In the 
general distrust which ensued, all kinds of Indus- 


tries and business languished, and months passed 
before even the more modest of credit operations 
were adventured. Years passed before the full tide 
of prosperity was again in flow. In a country still 
new, where capital was small and opportunities 
for credit operations great, the havoc wrought was 
extreme. Liquidation and recovery were corre- 
spondingly tardy. In Minnesota the panic was ac- 
companied by two disasters which added much to 
the general discouragement. 

The morning of January 7, 1873, opened clear 
and bright over the south half of Minnesota, with 
no signs of foul weather in the sky. The country 
people had left their homes on their usual errands 
to mill, to post-office, to town, to distant wood lots 
or fields, without thought of danger. Soon after 
midday those who were still on the road were over- 
taken by one of those terrible winter storms known 
to old voyageurs as " blizzards." The most learned 
authority in America on English usage has recently 
made the statement that the word "" blizzard " is 
not more than twenty-five years old. It was in 
common use in Minnesota in the fifties. In a true 
blizzard the air is so completely filled with a fine 
granular snow as to cause absolute darkness. It is, 
as on this occasion, frequently accompanied by a 
furious wind. The temperature may or may not be 
excessively low. The voyageur did not attempt to 
travel when a blizzard overtook him, but got beliind 
and beneath such shelter as he could find or make, 


and waited for it to blow over. These inexperi- 
enced Minnesota settlers pressed on, wandered 
from the unfenced roads, and if they found shelter 
it was by good fortune. Many perished in the ter- 
rible gusts which swept the prairie. The weather 
did not clear till the third day. The first accounts 
estimated the number of lives lost at many hun- 
dreds, but when the state statistician collated the 
local reports sent in he was happy to find that not 
more than seventy persons had perished. A much 
greater number, of course, were frost-bitten and 
maimed. There were cases in which farmers had 
been either injured or destroyed while attempting 
to reach their houses from their barns and fields. 
There has been no blizzard of any notable severity 
in Minnesota since this of 1873. 

In June of the same year a southwest wind 
brought over the western border, south of Big 
Stone Lake, swarms of the Rocky Mountain locust 
(^Melanoplus sjyretus), which soon spread them- 
selves over large parts of fourteen southwestern 
counties as well as a considerable area of north- 
western Iowa. Because not learned enough in. 
entomology to distinguish, the people supposed 
these locusts to be grasshoppers, and soon adopted 
the abbreviated form "hoppers." The growing crops 
were presently devoured. Settlers who had made 
their first plantings were impoverished and had to 
accept the generous aid of neighbors. The area 
visited was small compared with that of the state 


and its settled portions, and it was not conceived 
that grasshoppers could survive a Minnesota winter. 
The legislature of 1874 made an appropriation of 
$5000 to relieve cases of complete destitution, and 
another of $25,000 to be advanced to the farmers 
for the purchase of seed. 

In July of this year (1874), to the astonishment 
of ail, innumerable multitudes of "hojjpers" sud- 
denly appeared as if rising out of the ground ; and 
they did so rise. In the previous fall the female 
locusts had deposited in cylindrical wells about an 
inch deep and one fourth of an inch in diameter, 
hollowed out on high ground, clusters of eggs in- 
closed in protecting envelopes and covered with 
soil. The midsummer heat hatched these e^ffs, and 
the brood at once fell on the growing crops. In a 
few days not a spear was left over large areas, 
and the hoppers had grown wings. Taking wing 
as if by a common inspiration, they flew over into 
Blue Earth, Sibley, Nicollet, and Renville coun- 
ties, where they repeated the devastation of the 
previous season. But the counties thus abandoned 
.were again in many places infested by fresh swarms 
from the southwest. In all twenty-eight counties 
were visited in 1874. Upon an appeal from the 
governor a subscription was opened for the relief 
of stricken settlers. General Sibley, at his request, 
undertook the disbursement, and later accounted 
for il 9,000. Tlie legislature of the following winter 
set aside !|45,000 for immediate relief and $75,000 


for seed, the latter sura to be repaid along with 
taxes. The devastations of 1875 did not extend 
more widely and were somewhat less damaging, but 
they added not a little to the discouragement and 
gloom resulting from the panic. 

The Republican party was so completely in the 
ascendant in the seventies in ]Minnesota that the 
only political events of importance were those 
which occurred in its ranks. United States Senator 
Daniel S. Norton died July 13, 1870, and it fell 
to the legislature assembling in the January fol- 
lowinsr to elect his successor. It took but a sinfrle 
ballot in the Republican caucus to decide who 
should be Senator Ramsey's colleague. William 
WIndom had given such satisfaction by his five 
consecutive terms as representative in Congress 
from the first district that, Mr. Donnelly being 
out of the road, there was none to dispute his 
claim to the promotion. Mr. Windom's large ac- 
quaintance, his long legislative experience, his sound 
common sense and Quaker simplicity of manner at 
once fjave him a staudinq- at the other end of the 
capitol not easily accorded to new senators. 

President Grant in his message of 1872 advised 
the Congress to authorize a committee to investi- 
gate the various enterprises for the more direct 
and cheaper transportation of the products of the 
West and South to the seaboard. The Senate re- 
sponded by the appointment of a select committee 


on transportation routes to the seaboard, with am- 
ple powers for investigation. Senator Windom, as 
chairman of this committee, devoted many months 
to the analysis and interpretation of the great 
mass of information and counsel submitted, and to 
the preparation of the report in two octavo vol- 
umes, printed in the spring of 1874. Among the 
novel conclusions of this committee (and some of 
them are after the lapse of a generation not familiar 
to all) were : (1) that the power of Congress to 
regulate commerce among the several states in- 
cludes the power to aid and facilitate it by the 
improvement or creation of channels and ways of 
transportation ; Congress has the same right to build 
railroads as canals : hence, (2) the ownership or 
control of one or more double-track freight rail- 
ways ; (3) the impi-ovement of our great natural 
water ways and their connection by canals ; (4) par- 
ticularly the improvement of four great channels 
at national expense. These were the Mississippi 
River itself, a route from the upper Mississippi by 
way of the great lakes, a route from the same 
river by way of the Ohio and Kanawha, and, last, 
a route from the Mississippi via the Tennessee ; all 
to be pieced out either by canals or freight roads. 
At the present writing Congress is just warm- 
ing up to attack the first of these four great en- 

As might be supposed, the committee incident- 
ally suggested complete publicity of all interstate 


railroad classifications and rates, the prohibition of 
combinations with parallel or competing lines, the 
receipt for and delivery of grain by quantity, the 
making it unlawful for railroad officers to be inter- 
ested in car or freight line companies, and the 
absolute cessation of stock watering. The ])roposi- 
tion of a bureau of commerce to supervise all inter- 
state railroad operations bore fruit twelve years 
later in the interstate commerce commission. Sen- 
ator Hoar declared this report to be "the most 
valuable state paper of modern times." 

The Minnesota Republicans from the beginning 
had been divided. OjDposed to the old " Ramsay 
dynasty," which had controlled the distribution of 
government appointments, there was at all times 
an array of patriotic gentlemen quite willing to 
enter the public service, believing themselves as de- 
serving of party rewards as those on whom Fortune 
had smiled. The Civil War liberated from military 
service many ardent young Republicans desirous 
and capable of sharing in public affairs. Among 
these was a St. Paul attorney, Cushman Kellogg 
Davis, a native of Wisconsin, who had been grad- 
uated from the University of Michigan. He had 
done good service as a line officer in a Wisconsin 
regiment and as a staff officer under General Gor- 
man. His ability and diligence as a lawj^er soon 
gained him prominence at the bar, and his per- 
sonal qualities attached to him a circle of influen- 
tial friends. He was not greedy for minor offices, 


but served in the legislature in 1867 and was ap- 
pointed, a year after, United States district attor- 
ney, at the instance of Senator Ramsey. A lecture 
on "Modern Feudalism " first delivered in 1870, in 
which he portrayed the growing dominance of cor- 
porations, gave proof of powers of insight and 
analysis above the ordinary. When the Republican 
state convention met in St. Paul on July 10, 1873, 
the old dynasty had no other expectation than that 
the nomination for governor would fall on its 
worthy favorite, the Hon. William D. Washburn. 
Few expected that Mr. Davis, whose loudest support 
had come from an independent St. Paul newspaper, 
would receive more than a complimentary vote. On 
the informal ballot he did not, nor on the first for- 
mal ballot. Three more ballots followed, on the last 
of which the favorite of the " young Republicans " 
was nominated by a vote of 155 to 152, 154 being 
necessary to a choice. As Mr. Davis's nomination 
came by a slender majority, so also was his elec- 
tion secured by a majority of about one fourth of 
the nominal Republican strength. His friends had 
made no secret that the governorship was desired 
by them merely as a stepping-stone to a national 
senatorship. The old dynasty evidently did not ex- 
pend much money or labor on that election. 

Mr. Davis's governorsliip during the years 1874- 
75, a period of depression and discouragement, was 
not marked by notable events. His messages were 
admirable for literary style, and, while counseling 


economy in expenditure, advised liberality towards 
the schools and the university. His radical sugges- 
tion as to the unfinished St. Paul and Pacific Kail- 
road was that the bondholders in control should 
presently put up the money to complete the lines, 
or the state should have them turned over to 
responsible parties who would do so. 

Senator Ramsey's second term was expiring in 
March, 1875, and it was no secret that he desired and 
expected a reelection. Mr. Davis was an avowed 
aspirant, but there were other gentlemen who did 
not intend that the choice should fall to him in 
case of Mr. Ramsey's rejection. The Republican 
caucus met on January 14, 1875. Mr. Ramsey's 
friends were far in the lead, and on the last vote of 
the session lacked but two votes to nominate. Con- 
fident of success, they consented to an adjournment 
demanded by the "field." The field had but one de- 
sire in common, to get Senator Ramsey out of their 
daylight. On reassembling the following night one 
third of the members were absent or did not vote. 
The two votes lacking to Mr. Ramsey on the previous 
evening appeared, and he was formally nominated. 
But the vote did not compel the unanimous sup- 
port of the Republican members. On the separate 
voting in the two houses on January 19, Mr. Ram- 
sey had 60 votes, 74 being necessaiy to elect. On 
the 20th the houses met in joint convention and 
proceeded to ballot. Mr. Ramsey received 61 votes, 
his maximum. Davis received 24, and at no time 


any greater number. Mr. Donnelly, the nominee 
of the Democrats and " Greeleyized Republicans," 
had 51 votes. The balloting now proceeded from 
day to day, on most days but one being had. On 
the 27th Mr. Donnelly withdrew, alleging that 
Democratic members failed to give him the sup- 
port he was entitled to as a regular nominee. Hon. 
William Lochren, a Civil War veteran highly re- 
spected for personal character and legal ability, was 
put in his place and commanded the full strength 
of the opposition, sixty-four votes. On February 13, 
after seventeen ballots, Ramsey and Davis were 
withdrawn, but it was not till the 19th that the 
eighty-two Republican votes could be concentrated 
on the Hon. S. R. J. McMillan of Stillwater, a 
highly respected citizen and a judge of the district 
court. His career in the national Senate, by no 
means brilliant, was characterized by such dili- 
gence, good sense, and party fidelity that there was 
no notable opposition to his reelection six years 
later. Mr. Davis did not seek reelection as gov- 
ernor, but resumed his law practice, and not long 
after published an ingenious essay on " The Law 
in Shakespeare." 

The ambition of certain young men, who could 
well afford to wait, and who did wait for promo- 
tion, lost to the state and nation the services of a 
wise and experienced legislator. President Hayes 
called Mr. Ramsey into his cabinet as secretary of 
war, and temporarily devolved on him the duties 


of secretary of the navy. Retiring from public life, 
he continued for nearly a quarter of a century to 
enjoy the esteem and gratitude of citizens of all 
l^arties and persuasions. For many years he pre- 
sided over the Minnesota Historical Society and 
its executive council. He died April 22, 1902. 

The legislature of 18G0 in a spasm of retrench- 
ment fixed the salary of the state treasurer at -$1000 
a year, and it remained at that figure for a quarter 
of a century. The business and responsibility in- 
creased from year to year, but no addition was made 
to compensation. In the absence of express prohibi- 
tory legislation a custom grew up of depositing the 
state's money in banks which paid an interest to 
the treasurer, the bank proprietors becoming his 
sureties. No mischief resulted from this arrange- 
ment. But in one case, at least, that of Emil Munch, 
a treasurer did not content himself with merely 
depositing in banks, but in private enterprises em- 
ployed the state's money to a large amount. By 
contrivance or good fortune his brother-in-law, 
"William Seeger, succeeded him in office, rather 
than some stranger. This relative obligingly took 
the promissory notes of his predecessor and other 
"paper" and receipted for them as cash. 

The treasurer's report for 1872 showed a balance 
of cash in the treasury of $243,000. A newspaper 
editor in St. Paul, with no other motive than, in 
his own phrase, " to raise hell and sell papers," 
gave expression to the open secret that much of 


this money was not in fact in the treasury, as re- 
ported, and challenged the Republican legislature 
of 1873 to investigate the Kepublican treasurer. 
Nothing less could in decency be done, and the in- 
vestigation revealed a shortage of -f 180,000. The 
house of representatives passed a resolution of cen- 
sure and awaited the resignation of the unlucky 
official. No resignation appearing, the same body 
on March 4 made an "imperative demand" for 
one. Mr. Seeger replied in writing, admitting that 
he had found a deficit on taking office, but declaring 
that every dollar had been made good and the state 
would suffer no loss. His bondsmen had raised and 
paid in the money. The house, howevei-, could not 
content itself with restitution alone, and submitted 
articles of impeachment to the senate. After the 
trial had begun, Mr. Seeger offered his resigna- 
tion, which was accepted by Governor Austin. The 
impeachment proceedings, however, went on and 
resulted in a conviction. The legislature took the 
obvious lesson to heart, and raised the salary of the 
state treasurer to #4000. 

Public education made notable progress in Min- 
nesota during the half decade beginning with Gov- 
ernor Austin's administration. The services of 
Horace B. Wilson as superintendent of public in- 
struction during the period advanced the good work 
begun by his predecessor. Both felt obliged to argue 
the cause of public schools to be kept free from 


ecclesiastical meddling. It was not, however, till 
1877 that the amendment to the state constitution, 
forbidding the use of any public funds or property 
for the support of sectai'ian schools was adopted 
by the electors. Spite of much unreasoning preju- 
dice against the state normal schools, they pros- 
pered, but were inadequate to supply the demands 
of over three thousand common schools for trained 

The faculty of the University of Minnesota, who 
in September, 1869, enrolled a small handful of 
freshmen, saw that dwindling till but two survived 
at the end of the four-year course, to be graduated 
as bachelors in June, 1873. The time of the teachers 
was spent and well spent on the prepay:'atory stu- 
dents who were later to fill the college classes. The 
first commencement was celebrated with no little 
circumstance, and had its effect on a public not yet 
certain that the state had any concern with college 
education. That question was much debated in 
those years, and there were plentiful outpourings 
of orthodox denunciation of the state university as 
hopelessly and necessarily " infidel" and "godless." 
The regents were affected by this respectable oppo- 
sition, and unduly moderated their requisitions for 

^ Upon the advice of the president of the uni- 
versity (the author of this book), the regents in 
1870 prematurely adopted a novel plan of organ- 
ization. The underlying principle was the fact that 


the work of the first two 3'ears in American colleges 
is "secondary" in its nature, and according to 
any scientific arrangement should be performed in 
secondary institutions. They therefore merged the 
studies and exercises of the freshman and sopho- 
more years with those of the preparatory years into 
a so-called " Collegiate Department." The plan was 
approved by the highest educational authorities of 
the country, but the faculty, conservative and in- 
disposed to break away from tradition, could not 
give it a united support. There were but trifling 
difficulties of operation, but when a new adminis- 
tration came in, with its differing interests, the plan 
was allowed to lapse. The principle has since been 
recognized by two leading American universities. ^ 

Account has already been taken of the first con- 
gressional land grant, that of February 19, 1851, 
" reserving " for the support of a territorial uni- 
versity seventy-two sections of public lands. When 
the enabling act of 1857 was before the House of 
Representatives, Delegate Henry M. Rice secured 
a modification of the traditional tender of lands for 
university purposes. The enabling acts of Michigan, 
Wisconsin, and Iowa had provided that the lands 
previously reserved from sale for university sup- 
port should be granted and conveyed to the respect- 
ive states. Delegate Rice quickly saw to it that 
the corres])onding section of the Minnesota act 
should read, " that seventy-two sections of land 
shall be set apart and reserved for the use and sup- 


port of a STATE university to he selected by the 
governor of the state. . . ." Why no claim was 
presented for the additional university reservation, 
apparently authorized by the enabling act of 1857, 
till 1860 is not known, but when then made, it met 
with no hospitality. No secretary of the interior or 
commissioner of the general land office would con- 
strue the paragraph as having any other intent than 
to guarantee to the state the reservation of 1851 
made to the territory. The correspondence revealed 
the fact that the original reservation had not been 
"granted and conveyed" to the state. The mort- 
gages placed on the lands and the devastations 
permitted had therefore been illegal. It took an 
act of Congress, that of March 2, 1861, donating 
the lands reserved in 1851, to remedy this omis- 

Ten years ran by after the passage of the enabling 
act, and Minnesota's claim for a double portion of 
university lands had not been allowed. On Febru- 
ary 8, 1867, the legislature authorized the special 
board of regents to employ counsel to prosecute 
the claim on " a contingent compensation in land 
or money." The person employed rendered such 
effective aid to the member from the university 
district that Congress was moved to direct the 
commissioner of the general land office, by an act 
approved July 8, 1870, to ignore the reservation 
of 1851 and allow Minnesota to take the seventy- 
two sections mentioned in the enabling act of 1857. 


The successful counsel was voted by the regents a 
compensation of 1950 acres of land. As these acres 
were promptly located in the pine region of Itasca 
County it may be assumed that the remuneration 
was satisfactory. 

Upon the initiative of the president of the uni- 
versity the legislature of 1872 authorized a geolo- 
gical and natural history survey of the state, and 
placed the same in charge of the board of regents. 
In a later year the twelve sections of land donated 
by Congress in the enabling act of 1857 for the 
development of possible salt springs or deposits, 
less some deductions for fruitless exploitations, were 
turned over to defray the costs of the survey. Pro- 
fessor Newton H. Winchell was appointed state 
geologist, and remained in office for twenty-four 
years. The geological results of the operations con- 
ducted by himself and assistants may be found in 
twenty-four annual reports, ten bulletins, and a final 
report in seven quarto volumes. Two additional vol- 
umes of botany and one of zoology were published. 
Much remains to be done on the natural history 
branch, and important geological investigations of 
scientific interest were left incomplete when that 
work was suspended. The survey has been econom- 
ically worth to the state far more than it cost, and 
the reports will remain as a noble monument to 
their authors. 



When the Republican state convention assembled 
on July 28, 1875, its first informal ballot virtually 
selected the successor of Cushman K. Davis in the 
governorship. The distinction fell on John Sar- 
gent Pillsbury, who had proved his capacity for 
public affairs by ten years' service in the state sen- 
ate and on the board of regents of the university. A 
successful business career, a reputation for inflex- 
ible integrity, a power to select from varied propo- 
sitions the one which could be carried and worked, 
and a keen insight into human nature gave him an 
influence with legislatures and the people rarely 
equaled. Two reelections were accorded him as by 
common consent. The- varied events and incidents 
of his six years' service are so related that, while 
forming a whole, they may be thrown into con- 
venient groups. 

After the harvest of 1875 Governor Davis ap- 
pointed a commission to investigate the locust 
devastations, and placed on it Allan Whitman of 
St. Paul, a man of science. The report, by giv- 
ing in simple language an account of the vermin, 
their manner of propagation, and the stages of 


their growth, suggested the principles upon which 
their ravages might be restricted, and, when new 
invasions did not take place, actually repressed. 
Early in the season of 1876 Governor Pillslmry 
issued a proclamation commending to the farmers 
of the infested districts the advice of the commis- 
sion to attack the " hoppers " immediately after 
hatching. By digging ditches around fields and 
gardens not infested, the vegetation could be pro- 
tected. For the rescue of crops somewhat grown 
he i-ecommended a simple apparatus which got the 
popular name of " hopperdozer." It consisted of a 
piece of sheet-iron twelve feet long or more, turned 
up on the back edge and ends. By means of ropes 
attached to the front edge, at or near the ends, it 
could be hauled by men or animals over the sur- 
face of the field. The upper surface of the pan, 
smeared with coal tar, imprisoned the insects till 
they could be scraped out at convenient intervals. 
By such simple devices considerable areas of crops 
were rescued from total destruction. They were of 
course useless after the appearance of wings on 
the creatures ; and the havoc of the previous sea- 
son was repeated, particularly in the southwestern 
counties. These Governor Pillsbury visited in per- 
son, and, after witnessing the ruin and distress 
going on, called for contributions in relief. The 
response was immediate and generous, and with 
the aid of liis wife the governor attended person- 
ally to the distribution. The damage extended iu 


this year to twenty-nine counties south of Otter 
Tail Lake and west of the watershed of the Missis- 
sippi. The worst of all was that at the close of the 
season these counties were " literally peppered " 
with locust eggs. The outlook for the coming season 
caused deep anxiety. The legislature of 1877 au- 
thorized a loan of -175,000 to be advanced to 
farmers for seed, and empowered county commis- 
sioners to levy a tax for the destruction of locusts 
and their eggs. In the spring the hatching began 
in alarming volume. Governor Pillsbury, in the 
expectation that the expense would be reimbursed, 
distributed 56,000 pounds of sheet iron and 3000 
barrels of coal tar for " dozers." Where these 
were diligently operated the damage to crops was 

On April 10, 1877, in response to an expressed 
desire of various religious bodies. Governor Pills- 
bury appointed the 26th of that month as a day of 
fasting, humiliation, and prayer : " In the shadow 
of the locust plague," said he, " whose impending 
renewal threatens the desolation of the land, let us 
humbly invoke for the efforts we make in our 
defense the guidance of that hand which alone is 
adequate to stay the pestilence." The day was 
observed in a goodly number of congregations, but 
there was no great and general humiliation of the 
people, and there was no immediate evidence of 
supernatural interference. The infernal brood grew 
winofs and beg;an their aerial excursions in various 


directions. In the last days of June the swarms 
began rising high in the air and taking flight on 
different bearings. In the course of sixty days all 
had so risen and flown out of the state to unknown 
destinations. Although they had wrought damage 
equal at least to that of any previous year of their 
residence in Minnesota, the state as a whole har- 
vested the greatest wheat crop in her history, — 
30,000,000 bushels, of sixty-three pounds to the 

In spite of the ruin wrought in so large a portion 
of her territory, and of minor and ordinary losses, 
the period in view was one of prosperity. The 
population, which had risen from 439,706 in 1870 
to 597,407 in 1875, increased to 780,773, accord- 
ing to the census of 1880. The wheat crop, which 
had been 30,000,000 bushels in 1875, touched 
40,000,000 in 1880. The most striking evidence 
of material development is seen in railroad build- 
ing. In the four years 1873-76 but 87 miles had 
been added to the 1900 miles of construction in 
the eleven years ending with 1872. This mileage was 
increased in the six years beginning with 1877 to 
3278 ; 446 were added to the St. Paul and Pacific 
(now Great Northern) system. 

How a corporation left in the panic year 1873 
in a condition of hopeless bankruptcy was resusci- 
tated and put into vigorous life is a story which 
the reader will be interested in. The " Division 


roads," the main line from St. Paul to Brecken- 
ridge and the branch to St. Cloud, had gone into 
a receiver's hands in August, 1873. The "Exten- 
sions" to St. Vincent and Brninerd, of which 140 
miles in detached portions had been built, remained 
in the control of the stockholders till October, 
1876, when they were turned over to trustees of 
the bondholders, according to the terms of the 
company's contract with them. These trustees em- 
ployed as their general manager the same gentle- 
man who for three years had been receiver of the 
Division roads. The stockholders having given 
over the task of completing the roads and retaining 
ownership, it remained for the bondholders to de- 
cide between putting in several more millions of 
dollars to complete and equip the roads, or giving 
up and letting the property go to sale under pend- 
ing foreclosure proceedings. Had they taken the 
former course and selected honest and capable 
agents, they would have not merely escaped great 
losses but realized large profits. The greater por- 
tion of the bonds of the system, over #17,000,000, 
were owned in Holland, and they had been placed 
by their holders in the hands of a syndicate of 
Dutch bankers to be controlled for the common 

The drift of affairs had been watched by three 
deeply interested persons. Donald A. Smith, re- 
siding at Winnipeg and representing that city in 
the Dominion parliament, was chief commissioner 


of the Hudson's Bay Company. That company had 
many millions of acres of land in Manitoba, and 
was desirous to obtain railroad connections throufrh 
Minnesota with the outside world. He particularly 
desired the completion of the St. Vincent Exten- 
sion. Another was Norman W. Kittson, an old 
associate of Sibley in the fur-trade and politics, 
still interested in the lied Kiver trade. The third 
was James J. Hill, who had come from Canada to 
Minnesota as a boy of eighteen in 1856. He had 
been in Mr. Kittson's employ in his Red Kiver 
business, had built up a rival line of steamboats 
and barges, and made it for Mr. Kittson's interest 
to take him into partnership. These three men had 
journeyed up and down the Red River till they 
knew every foot of the stream and the lands drained 
by it. Early in 1874 Mr. Smith asked Messrs. 
Kittson and Hill to collect for him all the informa- 
tion accessible in regard to the St. Paul and Pacific 
system, its lines completed or unfinished, its termi- 
nals, equipment, land grants, and in particular the 
stock and bonds. The consultations which followed 
were fruitless. " There seemed no way to get in." 

Two years later, when it became evident that the 
Dutch bondholders were bound to realize what 
they could and let the properties go, there appeared 
a way to get in. 1876 was one of the grasshopper 
years in Minnesota. The crop was light and prices 
were low. Rates and fares were so high as to dis- 
courajje railroad traffic. The net earninirs of 


$300,000 on the system were a drop in the bucket 
compared with the interest charges of nearly 
12,000,000. In March, 1876, Mr. Hill and Mr. 
Smith were again in consultation, and resolved on 
an effort to obtain control by buying all, or nearly 
all, the bonds held in Holland. Delays and dis- 
couragements postponed action. It was not till 
May, 1877, that Mr. George Stephen, president of 
the Bank of Montreal, was induced to consider 
taking a hand in the deal. In September, after a 
visit to Minnesota, he went to England in full ex- 
pectation of enlisting the necessary capital, the 
Dutch committee having accepted a conditional 
offer of cash for their holdings. To his surprise 
Mr. Stephen found no English capitalists willing 
to send good money where so much bad money 
had gone. To all appearance the project was a 
failure. The associates, however, learning that the 
Dutch were still fierce to sell, submitted to them 
in January, 1878, a proposition to buy their bonds 
at agreed prices and pay in the bonds of a new 
company to be formed, which should buy the pro- 
perties at the now impending foreclosure sales. As 
a " sweetener " they were willing to throw in f 250 
of six per cent, preferred stock with every $1000 
bond of the new company. 

In the articles of agreement signed March 13, 
1878, the Dutch committee agreed to this proposi- 
tion and consented to extend the time of payment 
for their bonds six months after the last of the six 


foreclosure sales. For their 17,212 one thousand 
dollar bonds, including coupons for unpaid interest, 
they accepted $3,743,150. The associates bought 
large amounts of " minority bonds " at similar 
figures. As they agreed to pay interest on the 
bonds of the new company at seven per cent., they 
were empowered to take immediate control and 
operation of the completed lines and to resume 
construction on the St. Vincent Extension, whose 
completion was greatly desired. On May 23, 1879, 
the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway 
Company was organized, and at the foreclosure 
sales in the following month bought all the fran- 
chises and assets of the expiring St. Paul and 
Pacific Railroad Company, including those of the 
Division lines. Mr. James J. Hill at once became 
the general manager of the roads, and began a 
career of railroad operation with few if any equals 
in the country. Better times had come, but it was 
mainly the vigor, economy, and discipline of the 
management which soon swelled the earnings into 

The great financial exploit of the " associates " 
was followed by tedious, exasperating, and costly 
litigation. About the time of the foreclosure sales 
in June, 1879, Jesse P. Farley, who had been 
receiver of the Extension roads and general man- 
ager of the Division lines, brought suit in the dis- 
trict court of Ramsay County against Messrs. 
Kittson and Hill to recover from them one third 


of all moneys, securities, and effects which were 
accruing to them from the operation. In his com- 
plaint Mr. Farley alleged that " in the summer of 
1876 " a parol agreement had been made by the 
defendants and himself to undertake jointly the 
purchase of the bonds of the two railroad compa- 
nies, the three to share equally in the net proceeds. 
In his testimony, he deposed that the two defend- 
ants had no knowledge of the great opportunity 
until revealed by him at the time mentioned. It 
was because of his intimate knowledge of the affairs 
of the companies, of his understanding of railroad 
finance, and his long experience as a railroad man- 
ager, that they were unwilling to make any adven- 
ture without his cooperation ; and, to induce him to 
enter into the contract, they agreed to consider his 
knowledge and skill equivalent to the money they 
would severally procure. This part of the bargain 
was to remain a secret. The defendants denied that 
any such contract had been made, or that any con- 
versation in relation to such an agreement had ever 
been had. They had been familiar with the condi- 
tion and finances of the companies long before the 
time of the alleged contract. The district court 
found in favor of the defendants, as also did the 
Supreme Court of Minnesota on appeal. The Su- 
preme Court, however, appears to have considered 
that there was a contract between the parties, but 
that it aborted when in the late fall of 1877 the 
" associates " were balked in the effort to borrow 


money in England with which to buy the bonds 
for cash. 

Encouraged by this recognition of a contract, 
Mr. Farley brought suit in the United States Dis- 
trict Court for Minnesota in December, 1881, set- 
ting up substantially the same allegations. Defeated 
here, he took an appeal to the Supreme Court of 
the United States, which in 1887 remanded the 
suit to the Circuit Court for a novation of proceed- 
ings. The printed pleadings, testimony, exhibits, 
and arguments fill more than five thousand octavo 
pages. The Circuit Court held with the defendants 
that no contract had been made, and that the 
plaintiff, standing in the relation of a trustee, could 
not honorably or legally have embarked in any such 

When Farley's appeal reached the Supreme 
Court of the United States, in October, 1893, that= 
tribunal sustained the decision of the Circuit Court 
so far as it denied the making: of the allejred con- 
tract. The plaintiff had not proven his allegations, 
and his story was inherently improbable. The court 
had no occasion to pass on the impropriety of an 
agreement never made. 

In liis inaugural address of 1870 Governor Aus- 
tin mentioned as a notorious fact tlie fre([uency 
with whicli county treasurers retired from office 
with much more wealth than they ])ossessed at the 
time of their elections. To secure this office, cau- 


cuses and conventions were packed and votes se- 
cured by methods little sHort of outright bribery. 
But there was no response from the legislature. It 
was not till Governor Pillsbury's second term that 
the legislature of 1878 yielded to his urgent recom- 
mendations and passed the act providing for a pub- 
lic examiner. It was made the duty of this officer 
to supervise the bookkeeping of all state banks 
and institutions and all state and county auditors 
and treasurers. He was authorized to prescribe 
correct and uniform methods of bookkeeping. He 
was required to visit all these institutions and offi- 
cials without previous warning, and verify and in- 
spect all the moneys, assets, and securities held by 
them respectively. His powers extended to railroad 
companies, so far as the exaction of gross-earnings 
taxes was concerned. The first appointee, Henry 
M. Knox, performed the duties with such intel- 
ligence and industry as to place the state under 
lasting obligations. In his last message (1881) 
Governor Pillsbury expressed his satisfaction over 
the operation of the law by saying : " No single act 
of legislation in this state has ever been produc- 
tive of more good in purifying the public service 
than the creation of the office of public examiner." 
The penalty for homicide in the first degree had, 
from the beginning of organized government in 
Minnesota, been death without alternative. An act 
of March 6, 1868, laid on the trial jury the duty of 
deciding whether the convicted murderer should 


suffer death or imprisonment for life. Governor 
Davis in two messages strongly denounced this 
leaving the penalty for murder to the caprice of 
juries, citing a case in which one of three con- 
victs equally guilty was put to death, while the 
others received a sentence of life imprisonment. A 
tragical incident brought the attention of a later 
legislature to the matter and caused a return to 
traditional policy. On September 6, 187G, eight 
men from Missouri, armed and mounted, rode 
into the village of Northfield in Rice County. Two 
of their number entered the bank and ordered 
Heywood, the cashier, to deliver the money. On 
his refusal they shot him dead and wounded his 
assistant. Securing a small amount of booty, the 
robbers passed out to find their companions en- 
gaged in a fusillade with citizens who had found 
arms and chosen points of vantage. One unarmed 
citizen had fallen, and two of the bandits had 
dropped dead from their horses. The survivors 
rode away with all possible speed, firing at citizens 
who showed themselves on the streets. After a pur- 
suit of some days, four of the bandits were sur- 
rounded in a swamp near Mankato. One was killed 
and three brothers named Younger were captured. 
Two had evaded pursuit and esca])ed from the state. 
Upon arraignment the three Youngers pleaded 
guilty, and, as there was no occasion for a jury, 
received sentences of life imprisonment. They wore 
model prisoners. One died in 1889, another com- 


mitted suicide in 1902, and the third was pardoned 
in 1903. 

The political campaign of 1878 in the third (the 
Minneapolis) district, was diversified by a personal 
contest of more than local interest. The Kepubli- 
can candidate for representative in Congress was 
William D. Washburn, who had been an aspirant 
in 1868, but declined the candidacy because of the 
great defection led by Ignatius Donnelly. The 
Democrats, doubtless according to an understand- 
ing, made no nomination, thus virtually throwing 
the party vote over to Mr. Donnelly, who had been 
named as the candidate of the Greenback Labor 
party. Ignoring national issues, Mr. Donnelly ap- 
peared as the champion of the Minnesota farmers 
oppressed by the railroads and the Minneapolis 
Millers' Association. It was charged and widely 
credited that this organization was fixing the 
prices of wheat at every railroad station in the 
state. This it was doing by direct dictation to buy- 
ers, and also indirectly through the making of 
grades. There was in use for inspection and grad- 
ing a small cylindrical vessel of brass with an at- 
tached scale beam, which the farmers were told 
could be so manipulated by a practiced hand that 
it would yield three grades of wheat from the same 
bag full. It was charged that the association buyers 
not only undergraded, but also reduced the prices 
for lower grades out of all just proportion. Mr. 


Donnelly never had a finer opportunity for the ex- 
ercise of his unequaled powers of ridicule and in- 
vective. He denounced his opponent as the willing 
tool of the corporations and the Millers' Associa- 
tion. He perambulated the district haranguing 
great crowds, whom he convulsed with scornful 
tirades upon " the swindling brass kittle." 

The "brass kittle campaign," however, resulted 
simply in reducing the normal Republican majority 
of the district from 10,000 to 3003 votes. But Mr. 
Donnelly obtained a majority of nearly 500 of the 
country vote. When Congress met in December, 
1879, Mr. Donnelly appeared as a contestant. He 
claimed that the count had gone against him by 
reason of illegal ballots, of bribery, and of the col- 
onization of voters. The House committee on elec- 
tions lingered long in their investigation, partly 
because it was diversified with an episode which 
for the time attracted more interest than the con- 
test itself. A letter addressed to the chairman of 
the committee, Springer of Illinois, made him an 
offer of $5000 to keep Washburn in his seat. The 
authorship was later fixed by a special committee 
of investigation on one Finley, a friend of Don- 
nelly. They did not find that Mr. Donnelly had 
inspired the letter or had known tliat it was to be 
written and sent. The alleged object, of course, 
was to so incense Springer against Mr. Washburn 
that he would immediately swing his committee 
for the innocent contestant. 


Still it was a Democratic House, willing, ac- 
cording to abundant precedent, to seat its partisan 
contestant if any plausible explanation could be 
invented. On the last day of the session two reports 
came in from the committee on elections, each 
signed by five members. The committee had ar- 
rived at no conclusion. The House ordered the re- 
ports printed and recommitted, and that was the 
last ever heard of the contest. Mr. Washburn 
served out the term with great satisfaction to his 
constituents, and was accorded two reelections by 
majorities which nobody had occasion to question. 

Ignatius Donnelly thus closed his career in na- 
tional politics. He appeared later in two or more 
state legislatures, and was editor of several short- 
lived weekly newspapers. In early life he had pub- 
lished a small volume of poems and some prose 
essays in which he gave assurance of literary ability. 
His occupation as statesman gone, he now turned 
to authorship. In the winter of 1880-81 he com- 
posed a geographical romance, entitled " Atlantis, 
the Lost Continent." He dressed the ancient clas- 
sical legend in such attractive garb as to interest a 
great body of readers, serious and other. Many 
editions have been published. This work was fol- 
lowed by another, similar in character, under the 
title of " Ragnarok." The author elaborated the 
ingenious theory that the mantle of drift covering 
large portions of the northern hemisphere had been 
landed where it lies, when the earth at some time 


crossed the orbit of some great meteor. This fasci- 
nating book was also widely read. Mr. Donnelly 
next took up the study of a question which had 
already been among his recreations, that of the 
authorship of the plays and poems of Shakespeare. 
His "Great Cryptogram" of a thousand octavo 
pages contains the results of "an incalculable labor, 
reaching through many weary years." In the first 
part of King Henry the Fourth, Mr. Donnelly pro- 
fessed to have discovered the key to an involved 
cipher showing that Francis Bacon, Nicholas Bacon's 
son, had a mysterious connection with that work, 
althouah makinjj no clear and direct claim to its 
authorship. There was a bewildering array of " root 
numbers " and " modifying numbers," beyond the 
understanding of the wayfaring man. No hidden 
secrets were revealed by the ingenious and compli- 
cated computations, and no additions to historical 
knowledge were obtained. But Mr. Donnelly only 
claimed to have made a small beginning of a great 
work left to future investigators. The book, however, 
excited great interest among people concerned with 
the Bacon-Shakespeare controversy, and formed a 
notable addition to that literature. In 1889 the 
indefatigable author brought out a novel under 
the title " Cajsar's Column," being a graphic and 
horrible picture of the fancied results of the sway 
of an unbridled plutocracy in America. Published 
at a happy moment, the book was sold by hundreds 
of thousands of copies, not only in America, but in 


translated versions in Europe. The first edition 
appeared under the name of Edmund Boisgill)ert, 
and the author had no little difficulty in finding a 
publisher. In another novel, " Dr. Iluguet," the 
author appealed for a humaner treatment of people 
of color, but the public did not respond by buying 
largely. Later ephemeral volumes and pamphlets 
added nothing to the repute of a Minnesota author 
known wherever the English tongue was spoken. 

The superintendent of public instruction during 
the Pillsbury administrations was the Rev. David 
Burt. Although his education was clerical and his 
educational experience brief, by a conscientious 
devotion to the novel duties he carried forward 
successfully the work of his predecessors. He did 
much to annul the chronic opposition to the normal 
schools, and justified the regents of the university 
in asking more liberal appropriations for buildings 
and appliances, in spite of the small numbers of its 
early graduating classes. He persuaded the legis- 
lature with no little persistence that the common 
school fund should be distributed to the districts 
according to the number of children attending, and 
not according to the census of those of school age. 

The legislature of 1877, acting under an amend- 
ment to the constitution adopted two years before, 
extended to women the right to vote on all measures 
relating to schools, including the choice of school 
officers ; and " to hold any office pertaining solely 


to the management of schools." A later constitu- 
tional change extended this privilege to library 
officers and measures. It has been effectively exer- 
cised in but few instances. 

In his annual message for 1874 Governor Austin 
advised the legislature that the text-books used in 
the common schools were sold to parents at exorbi- 
tant prices fixed by a convention of the publishing 
craft, but made no definite suggestion for relief. 
Ignatius Donnelly, who was in the state senate con- 
tinuously from 1874 to 1878, took the lead in an 
effort to emancipate the people from the tyranny 
of the school-book ring. His favorite plan was to 
have the state print books prepared by competent 
experts and distribute them free to the schools. 
Two bills for this purpose were passed by the senate 
and defeated in the house. In 1877 a well-known 
book dealer of St. Paul came forward with a pro- 
position to furnish text-books as good as those in 
use for half the prices exacted, provided he could 
have a fifteen-year contract. To this the legislature 
agreed, and the contract was made and executed. 
Mr. Donnelly's biographer claims that the saving 
to the state in that term was at least $2,839,765. 
There is no positive evidence of the allegations 
that large amounts of money were used to defeat 
the bill. 

In all the territories of the Northwest as they 
were successively carved out of the old Northwest 
Territory, provisions were made in their organic 


acts for universities, to be endowed by grants of 
land from the general government. That univer- 
sities could not in fact appear and exist until after 
the development of fitting schools did not trouble 
the pioneers, intent chiefly on getting the lands. 
The reliance of American colleges generally for 
the preparation of their students had been upon 
the excellent academies, controlled or countenanced 
by Christian denominations, which were the orna- 
ments of so many eastern villages. The academy 
did not multiply nor flourish in the West. Ambi- 
tious cities existing on highly colored lithographic 
maps could tolerate nothing less than a college 
or university. A score of them were chartered in 
Minnesota in the fifties. All the western colleges 
were obliged to open preparatory departments, 
and it may be said that they have never done more 
useful service than in thus setting patterns for 
the secondary education of the future. When the 
University of Minnesota began college work in 
1869 there were practically no efficient preparatory 
schools in the state. After a study of the situation 
the president of the university formed the opinion 
that it was to the budding high schools of the state 
that the university must look for its supply of 
students prepared for college work. At the state 
teachers' convention of 1872 that body was asked 
by a committee from the board of regents to join 
in an endeavor to bring about a vital organic con- 
nection between the high schools and the univer- 


sity. It was not proposed that these schools should 
be made over into mere " fitting schools," but that, 
while performing their great function as " people's 
colleges," they should accommodate those worthy 
and ambitious youth desirous to carry their school 
and professional educations still farther. The idea 
was not unwelcome, but it was not easy to work 
out a plan of vital, organic connection. Yet one 
was worked out, embodied in a bill drawn by the 
head of the university, and laid before the legis- 
lature of 1878. The law enacted provided for a 
money payment out of the state treasury to any 
high school which, having the proper faculty and 
equipment, would maintain preparatory courses of 
study, and admit thereto pupils of both sexes from 
any part of the state, free of tuition. The schools 
were obliged to submit to inspection and make 
reports to the "high school board." Tiie high 
schools of cities and villages were thus employed 
as the state's agencies for extending free second- 
ary education to all the youth of the state. A be- 
ginning was made under the law in the year of its 
passage, but owing to an omission in an appropria- 
tion bill it was not put into full and effective oper- 
ation till 1881. The results have fully equaled all 
reasonable expectations. The university, the high 
schools, and the common schools of Minnesota 
have been converted from a loose aggregation into 
a complete, harmonious, organized system. There 
is open to every child of the state a course of free 


school education from the kindergarten to the 
doctorate of philosophy. 

On May 2, 1878, soon after seven o'clock in the 
evening an explosion took place in the Washburn 
flour mill in Minneapolis. The report was heard 
at great distances, the windows in neighboring 
streets were shattered, and not one stone of the 
great building was left on another above the foun- 
dations. Two other mills of less capacity, standing 
near, blew up within a few seconds, and three 
others took fire and were completely destroyed. It 
was the hour for the change of shift of day to 
night crews, or many more than eighteen men 
would have lost their lives. The insurance com- 
panies, when called upon to pay their losses, de- 
murred, taking the ground that they had insured 
against fire only, and not against chemical explo- 
sion. Mr. Louis Peck, the instructor in physics in 
the University of Minnesota, attracted by the prob- 
lem, conducted an exhaustive course of experiments 
to ascertain the truth of the matter. Some of them 
were exhibited to the public. His conclusion was 
that the mills were destroyed by a true fire. He 
found that any carbonaceous dust, flour, starch, or 
even sawdust, diffused through the atmosphere, 
would take fire and burn with an incalculable 
rapidity from a spark or flame. His testimony 
compelled the payment of the insurances. The 
statement of a Minnesota historian that this excel- 


lent bit of scientific work was done by a professor 
in Berlin is erroneous. 

Even more disastrous was a fire which on No- 
vember 15, 1880, destroyed a wing of the hospital 
for the insane at St. Peter. Twenty-seven patients 
lost their lives. The state capitol, erected in 1853, 
took fire in the evening of March 1, 1881, while 
the senate was in session, and was completely de- 
stroyed. Fortunately no lives were lost, but the 
senators made their escape none too soon. The 
ceiling fell as the last of them reached the street. 

The Fourth of July, 1880, was the two hun- 
dredth anniversary of the discovery of the Falls of 
St. Anthony by Father Louis Hennepin. The event 
was commemorated by a celebration held on the 
university campus, under the management of the 
Minnesota Historical Society, General Sibley pre- 
siding. The principal address was delivered by 
Mr. Cushman K. Davis. Archbishop Ireland chari- 
tably defended the Franciscan father from charges 
of untruthfulness on the ground that unauthor- 
ized interpolations were made in his original book. 
General William T. Sherman was present, and was 
heard in some happy extemporaneous remarks. 

The reader already knows how the people of Min- 
nesota, believing themselves to have been tricked 
and swindled by a combination of corrupt politicians 
and greedy railroad operators, forbade in 1860, by 
a constitutional amendment, their legislature to 


make any provision for redeeming the special Min- 
nesota state railroad bonds without their affirma- 
tive vote. The holders of the bonds refrained from 
attempts to secure recognition of their claims till 
after the close of the Civil War. The legislature of 
18G6 yielded to their urgency so far as to appoint 
a commission to ascertain who were then holding 
the bonds and at what prices they had obtained 
them. The working members of the commission 
were John Nicols and General Lucius F. Hubbard. 
It was in this year that the discovery occurred of 
500,000 acres of public land coming to the state 
under the forgotten act of 1841. On Governor 
Marshall's recommendation the legislature of 1867, 
without waiting for the report of the Nicols com- 
mission, joyously devoted those acres to the redemp- 
tion of the bonds. Under the constitutional amend- 
ment of 1860 the act had to run the gauntlet of 
popular vote. The electors turned down the bill 
by a decisive majority. 

The Nicols commission reported to the legisla- 
ture of 1868 that they had found 1840 of the 2275 
bonds in the hands or control of 106 persons. The 
largest holder was Selah Chamberlain of Ohio, who 
had held the largest contracts for construction. He 
averred that his bonds had cost him " more than 
par " for work done and material furnished ; and 
claimed the whole amount with interest to date as 
justly due him. Other holders had obtained their 
bonds by purchase as low as seventeen and one 


half cents on the dollar. In response to allegations 
frequently repeated, that the grading done by Mr. 
Chamberlain for three of the four companies had 
never cost $9500 a mile, the commission employed 
an experienced engineer to examine the work and 
make an estimate of wliat it should reasonably have 
cost. His figure was i2843.42 per mile. The report 
of the Nicols commission did much to confirm the 
Minnesota people in the conviction that the men 
who had tricked and cheated them had no standing 
as honest creditors. Governor Marshall, however, 
believing tliat the innocent holders for value at 
least had just claims, urged the legislature to use 
the internal improvement lands to satisfy their 
claims. An absurd bill of 18G9 he felt obliged to 
disapprove. Another of 1870, passed in response 
to an appeal in his closing message, proposing to 
turn over the lands at a price which would pro- 
duce a sum sufficient to pay the bonds, became a 
law and was ratified by a large majority of the elec- 
tors voting thereon. The legislature had imposed 
the condition that the act should not be in efifect 
until at least 2000 bonds had been offered for 
redemption. But 1032 were turned in, and the act 
was futile. Governor Austin expressed his regret 
that the bondholders were unwilling to accept so 
"fair and equitable a compromise." The legislature 
of 1871 entertained a new proposition. The bill 
introduced provided for a commission whose first 
duty should be to ascertain and decide whether the 


bonds were a le<^al and equitable obligation against 
the state. If the decision should be affirmative, 
the commission was to award to each holder the 
amount due him on the basis of cost, and deliver 
to liim proper amount of new state bonds. The 
railroad taxes were to be devoted to the redemption 
of the new bonds. General Sibley had left his 
retirement and taken a seat in the house of repre- 
sentatives because of his desire to see the old bond 
matter settled. He had never wavered from his 
opinion that the state was a debtor to the full 
amount of the bonds issued. But for his influence 
the bill could not have passed. He would not be- 
lieve that Minnesota would not at some time pay 
what she had promised to pay. Could he so believe, 
he declared in his speech, he would emigrate to 
some community in which he would not suffer the 
" intolerable humiliation " of living in a " repudi- 
ating state frowned on by a just and righteous God 
and abhorred by man." Governor Austin, although 
he sympathized with the popular feeling, did not 
disapprove the bill, but let it go to be mercilessly 
slaughtered at the polls. The people would not pay 
mere paper obligations without right or equity be- 
hind them. Such they held the bonds to be. 

Having failed to obtain satisfaction from the 
political authorities, the claimants presently resorted 
to the courts. In 1873 Mr. Chamberlain, their repre- 
sentative, sued the St. Paul and Sioux City Rail- 
road Company to recover from that company as 


assignee of a portion of the land grant, which he 
claimed to be still subject to the* mortgages au- 
thorized by the " five million loan bill." The 
decision went against him in the Circuit Court of 
the United States, and he took an appeal to the 
Supreme Court, to be there finally defeated. Both 
of these courts, however, took opportunity to de- 
clare that the bonds were legal obligations, and 
that if the state of Minnesota were suable no court 
of justice could refuse to adjudge her to pay. "Jus- 
tice and honor alike " bound her to redeem her 
bonds. The state of Minnesota was thus branded 
by the highest judicial tribunals of the land as 
a defaulting, repudiating state, regardless of the 
claims of honor and justice. These opinions — they 
were not decrees — had little effect on the Minne- 
sota people, most of whom never heard of them, 
but they did affect the minds of many of her public 
men, who smarted under the reproaches they 
could not help but hear. Governor Davis in his 
retiring message urged the establishment of a 
commission to arbitrate between the bondholders 
and the state. Governor Pillsbury in his inaugural 
address urged the payment of the bonds in full, to 
redeem the reputation of the state. To these ap- 
peals the legislators gave no heed. To the legis- 
lature of 1877 Mr. Chamberlain for himself and 
others submitted an offer to cut their claims in 
two and accept new six per cent, bonds in pay- 
ment. To this the legislature promptly agreed, but 


the electors in the following November put their 
veto on the bill. They did the same thing to an act 
of 1878 providing for an exchange of internal 
improvement lands for the bonds, differing in par- 
ticulars from a previous act of the same general 

In his messages of 1879 and 1881 Governor 
Pillsbury, under the heading of " Dishonored 
Bonds," entreated and implored the legislatures to 
pay the honest debt of the state and clear her tar- 
nished honor. His earnest and impressive appeals 
had no effect on the former of the two, but the 
legislature of 1881 was moved to provide for a 
special tribunal, to be composed of judges of the 
supreme and district courts, to consider and decide 
whether the repudiating amendment of 1860 was 
binding on the legislature. If the tribunal should 
hold in the negative, then the old bonds were to 
be redeemed by new ones at fifty per cent, of the 
amount nominally due. Not one of the judges of 
the Supreme Court was willing to serve, and the 
tribunal was tardily made up of five district judges 
designated by the governor. The tribunal met and 
organized, and nothing more. An order from the 
Supreme Court required it to show cause w'hy a 
writ of prohibition should not issue, on the ground 
that the legislature had not the risht to establish 
such a tribunal. Tlie attorney-general at the same 
time protested against its competency, and had 
leave to protest further that the act was repugnant 


to the constitutional amendment of 18G0, which 
forbade payment of the bonds unless after an 
affirmative vote of the electors. This pleadinfj 
brought forward as the principal issue the validity 
of that amendment. The contentions were exhaus- 
tively argued in the Supreme Court by able coun- 
sel. The decision of the court was that the repudi- 
ating amendment of 18G0 was obnoxious to that 
provision of the constitution of the United States 
forbidding states from passing any law impairing 
the obligations of contracts. The writ of prohibi- 
tion issued and the tribunal dissolved. There was 
no appeal, and the Minnesota logislatui'e was free 
to dispose of the bond matter without a refer- 
endum. Governor Pillsbury called that body to 
meet on October 11. The bondholders were ready 
and anxious to accept fifty cents on the dollar. A 
bill to issue new 10-30 four and one half per cent 
" Minnesota state railroad adjustment bonds," to 
a sufficient amount, was passed after some conten- 
tion as to details. A companion bill devoting the 
proceeds of the 500,000 acres of internal im])rove- 
ment land was passed, and under constitutional 
requirement submitted to the electors in November, 
1884. The vote stood : Yes, 31,011 ; no, 13,589. 
The presidential vote of the state in 1880 was 150,- 
484. This vote, therefore, did not indicate so much 
a change of sentiment among the people as a will- 
ingness to have the old bond controversy quieted. 
The state's power to borrow at reasonable interest 


had never been affected. Good judges were of opin- 
ion that the bondholders fared very well and could 
afford the liberal expenditures made to secure the 
legislation. The amount of new bonds issued was 
$4,253,000, of which Mr. S. Chamberlain received 
11,992,053.70. Governor Pillsbury closed his third 
term by signing them, a duty he performed with 
great satisfaction. With this he retired from office, 
except that he served on the board of regents of 
the university till his death in 1902, the legislature 
having by special act created him an additional 
regent during his good pleasure. He had been on 
that board since 1863. 



Whether Governor Pillsbury could have been 
nominated for a fourth term may be questioned, 
but when he publicly declined a fortnight before 
the Republican convention, it was evident that 
among the aspirants to the succession the favorite 
was the gallant colonel of the Fifth Minnesota, 
General Lucius F. Hubbard. The nomination was 
his on the first ballot. He brought to the office a 
ripe experience in legislation and public affairs and 
a worthy ambition to promote the public welfare. 
He was easily accorded a reelection in 1882, and, 
by reason of a change made in the official year 
of the state, remained in office a fifth year. It was 
a period of marked prosperity, not greatly dimin- 
ished by the commercial depression of 1883-84. 
The population of the state rose from 780,773 in 
1880 to 1,117,798 in 1885, an increase of forty- 
three per cent. The urban communities had an 
excessive increase of nearly eighty per cent. ; Min- 
neapolis increased from 46,887 to 129,200. Twelve 
hundred and sixty-nine miles of railroad were 

Governor Hubbard's interest in organizations 


and institutions for promoting the public health, 
improving the administration of the penal and 
charitable institutions, and the relief of superan- 
nuated soldiers was deep and continuous. With 
his hearty approval the legislature of 1883 enlarged 
the powers of the state board of health, which had 
been in existence for ten years with powers and 
resources much too limited. The executive sec- 
retary of the board for nearly the first quarter 
century was Dr. Charles N. Hewitt, whose concep- 
tion of the state's interest and duty in preserving 
the health and increasing the physical efficiency of 
its members was in advance of his time. 

It had been the policy of the state to intrust the 
care of her penal and charitable institutions to 
separate boards of citizens serving without pay. 
To secure uniformity of administration and to 
enable these separate bodies to profit from one 
another's experiences, a state board of charities 
and corrections was authorized by law in 1883. To 
the working secretary of this board for fourteen 
years, Mr. Henry H. Hart, must be accorded high 
praise for such unstinted and intelligent devotion 
to his duties that Minnesota's institutions of chari- 
ties and corrections were accorded a place in the 
front rank. The state lost one of her most valu- 
able servants by his deserved promotion beyond 
her borders. 

Following Governor Hubbard's earnest advice, 
the legislature of 1885 established " The State 


Public School " for neglected children, which under 
wise tnauagement by different officials has rescued 
from lives of cx'ime or dependence many hundreds 
of homeless waifs. The reformatory for youthful 
delinquents and the Soldiers' Home, commended 
by him to the legislature, were established under 
the succeeding aduiinistration. His repeated recom- 
mendation that all moneys coming into county 
treasuries should be " covered in " through the 
county auditor's office fell on deaf ears, and that 
needed reform in our public accounting still re- 
mains to be wrought. 

The sanction of the granger laws by the Su- 
preme Court of the United States had established 
the principle that states have the constitutional 
right to regulate railroads; but Minnesota had not 
exercised the right in any vigorous or comprehen- 
sive way, partly because the companies had of their 
own motion moderated charges, improved their ad- 
ministration, and shown a disposition to treat the 
public with some respect. Still, complaints of ex- 
tortion, unjust discrimination, and insolence were 
frequent, and by many believed to be well founded. 
Governor Hubbard in his first two messages urged 
the legislatures to take np these complaints and 
endeavor to frame a comprehensive statute which 
should secure to the companies their just riglits and 
immunities, and at the same time protect the 
people in theirs. The result was the railroad law of 
1885, chapter 188 of the session laws of that year. 


This act, judiciously drawn, met the purpose of its 
framers so fully that amendment has been neces- 
sary only in points of detail. The historian at some 
far-off day will marvel that in the closing years of 
the nineteenth century it was necessary to compel 
common carriers by law not merely to serve the 
public at just and equal charges published in ad- 
vance, but to provide common decencies and accom- 
modations in the way of platforms, waiting-rooms, 
fire-extinguishers, and toilet-rooms. 

Another measure successfully pressed upon the 
legislature by Governor Hubbard was that of public 
state grain inspection. The precarious and con- 
flicting grades fixed by individual and associated 
buyers were the source of incessant dissatisfaction 
and complaint. Chapter 144 of the General Laws 
of Minnesota, 1885, established that system of 
inspection and grading since known and approved 
on both sides of the Atlantic. A warehouse re- 
ceipt for a certain quantity of grain of a certain 
Minnesota grade became a definite asset. Because 
grain inspection necessarily involved the regulation 
and control of elevators, which in turn were closely 
related to railroads, the law placed the control of 
the system in the hands of the Board of Railroad 
Commissioners. The title of the board was changed 
to Board of Railroad and Warehouse Commis- 
sioners, and its powers were much extended and 

Annual sessions of the legislature had ceased 


with that of 1879, but elections continued to be 
held annually till 1886, from which year all United 
States, state, and county officers have been elected 
in the even-numbered years. All state and county 
terms of office begin on January 1 ; the fiscal year 
begins August 1. 

Governor Hubbard called to the important office 
of state superintendent of public instruction David 
L. Kiehle, who, like his predecessor, had received 
a clerical education and had had slight experience 
in school work, but like that predecessor was able 
to throw himself unreservedly into the public 
school cause. During the seven terms (1881-93) 
he remained in office he labored with great fidelity 
and success to improve the schools of all grades. 
Institutes and summer training schools were pro- 
moted and a state tax of one mill was established to 
increase the efficiency of the common schools. By 
an act of 1885 school attendance was made com- 
pulsory for twelve weeks in each year. 

In September, 1884, Cyrus Northrop, resigning 
his professorship in Yale College, assumed the 
presidency of the state university, bringing to the 
office large knowledge, a ripe experience in educa- 
tion and public afi^airs, and a remarkable gift for 
gaining effective support for reasonable measures. 
The president of the university and the state super- 
intendent of schools being the two working mem- 
bers of the high school board, such effective operation 
was given to the "act for the encouragement of 


higher education " that high schools in large num- 
bers heartily took up the desired duty and presently 
began feeding the university with students fitted 
for college work. The university was thus enabled 
in 1890 to drop the last of its preparatory classes. 

Whatever may have been whispered in political 
circles, it was general public expectation that when 
the legislature of 1883 should come to the election 
of a United States senator it would do nothing 
else than reelect William Windom. He had re- 
signed from the Senate in 1881 to accept a seat in 
Garfield's cabinet, but had been reappointed by 
the governor after the death of that President. 
Mr. Windom felt so confident of his reelection that 
he remained at his post of duty in Washington and 
did not come to St. Paul until after the discovery 
by his friends of an indifPerence, not to say an 
opposition, needing his personal attention. The 
Republican caucus gave him a unanimous nomi- 
nation, but the absence of fifty members was 
ominous. The election went to the joint con- 
vention of the two houses. After sixteen days of 
balloting the choice went to another. The causes 
of this defeat of the best man of Minnesota for the 
place were various. An old political quarrel in the 
first congressional district was a cause of no lit- 
tle disaffection ; that Mr. Windom had built a 
costly house in Washington, impliedly asserting 
a permanent hold on the senatorship, furnished 


excuse to some ; the fact that he had been unwisely 
praised by admiring supporters alienated others. 
Intemperate censure of opponents by a leading 
newspaper favoring his reelection doubtless com- 
pacted the opposition. Mr. Windom was himself 
convinced that a liberal use of money was the 
effective means of his defeat. 

President Harrison called Mr. Windom into his 
cabinet as secretary of the treasury, for whose 
duties his industry, his large training in public 
affairs and matured judgment fitted him. I lis life 
was suddenly ended on January 29, 1890, by a 
paralytic stroke coming at the close of a speech at 
a banquet in New York city. 

On the evening of November 7, 1884, citizens of 
St. Paul gave a banquet in honor of General Henry 
Hastings Sibley, first state governor, celebrating 
his arrival at Mendota fifty years before. For the 
long series of honors and compliments bestowed on 
this first citizen of Minnesota the reader must re- 
sort to his biographer. In 1888 the trustees of 
Princeton College conferred upon him the honorary 
degree of Doctor of Laws, in consideration of "high 
personal character, scholarly attainments, and emi- 
nent public service, civil, military, and educational." 
General Sibley's death did not occur until Febru- 
ary 18, 1891. 



With the close of Governor Hubbard's adminis- 
tration, now twenty-one years ago, the connected 
story of Minnesota may properly end. Only after 
some lapse of years may the historian presume to 
view affairs with discrimination, selecting those of 
permanent significance from the trifling and tran- 
sitory. He may, however, as a mere annalist, record 
such facts and events as seem to have more than 
momentary importance. 

The governors of the state have been : — 




Andrew R. McGill . . 
William R. Merriam . 
Knute NelBon .... 
David M. Clough . . 
John Lind . . . 
Samuel R. Van Sant . 
John A. Johnson . . 








January 5, 1887, to January 9, 1889. 
January 9, 1889, to January 4, 1893. 
January 4, 1893, to January 31 , 1895. 
January 31, 1895, to January 2, 1899. 
January 2, 1899, to January?, 1901. 
January 7, 1901, to January 4, 1905. 
January 4, 1905, to 

Mr. Nelson was elected to the United States 
Senate in the first month of his second term as 
governor. Mr. Clough, lieutenant-governor, suc- 
ceeded him, and was elected governor for a second 


terra. Mr. Lind was the first Democratic governor 
after Governor Sibley, the first state executive. 
Both he and Mr. Johnson were elected in spite of 
the fact that Minnesota was and is overwhelmingly 

Four United States senators only have been 
elected, all Republican. Cushman K. Davis, who 
in 1875 had balked Mr. Ramsey of a third term, 
but failed to secure his owti election, went into re- 
tirement, devoting himself to his law practice, to 
literature, and to preparation for a public career 
to come in good time. He so commended himself to 
Republicans by his professional ability, his fine pub- 
lic addresses, and the moderation of his demands for 
advancement, that when the time came, in January, 
1887, to fill the vacancy of Senator McMilhm, 
about to occur, , there was but one opposing vote 
against him in the Republican caucus. Ignatius 
Donnelly, who had temporarily returned to the fold, 
made a rousing speech of approval. The election 
followed as of course. In 1893 Mr. Davis was 
elected for a second term, but by a close vote. In 
1899 he was accorded a third term with almost no 
opposition. lie had made a brilliant record as 
senator and chairman of the committee on foreign 
relations. He served as one of the commissioners 
to negotiate the treaty of peace at the close of the 
Spanish war of 1898. Mr. Davis died in office 
suddenly, November 27, 1900. 

William D. Wasliburn, who had retired from the 


House of Representatives, did not reach his ex- 
pected promotion to the Senate till 1889. At the 
close of his term he gave way to Governor Nelson, 
who has since been twice reelected. Moses E. Clapp 
was elected in 1901 to fill the vacancy caused by the 
death of Senator Davis. 

The Australian ballot system, established in 1889 
for cities of 10,000 inhabitants or more, extended 
to operate throughout the state in 1891, was re- 
codified in 1893. 

The legislature of 1899 passed a law providing 
for " primary elections " to replace nominations by 
party caucuses and conventions. The act is not op- 
erative in towns, villages, and small cities, and does 
not apply to state officers. The primary election 
takes place on the first of the registration days for 
the usual election, and is conducted by the same 
judges and clerks. Any person eligible to an office 
may, by payment of a prescribed fee and making a 
qualifying oath, have his name printed on the pri- 
mary ballot of his party. Every qualified voter may, 
after registration, receive and mark the ballot of the 
party he " generally supported at the last election 
and intends to support at the next ensuing." The 
general election laws apply, and the usual penalties 
attach to misconduct. The experiment is still too 
brief to warrant a final judgment. It has certainly 
weakened the machine, and stimulated aspiration to 
office in persons whose qualifications are more ap- 
parent to themselves than to others. That candi- 


dates for judicial positions are obliged to make a 
personal canvass is perhaps the feature most to be 

When the capitol building was burned in 1881 
the legislature, upon Governor Pillsbury's recom- 
mendation, immediately appropriated 875,000 for 
rebuilding, on the assumption that the walls were 
sufficiently sound. This assumption was found mis- 
taken, and additional sums were voted till more 
than four times the original amount was expended. 
But ten years had not passed before it was appar- 
ent that ampler accommodations were imperative 
for multiplying functionaries and expanding busi- 
ness. The legislature of 1893 accordingly author- 
ized the appointment of a commission to plan, build, 
and furnish a new and appropriate structure. The 
local influence was sufficiently effective to keep the 
location in the heart of St. Paul, on an elevated 
site of small area, rather than permit erection on 
a larger area in the "midway district," still in that 
city, but near Minneapolis. The corner-stone was 
laid on July 27, 1898, by Alexander Ramsey. Sen- 
ator C. K. Davis delivered the principal address. 
The legislature of 1905 was the first to convene 
in the completed building. The traditional pLan of 
a central body flanked by wings and surmounted 
by a dome was followed, with the variation that 
the house of representatives is housed in a rear ex- 
tension, leaving the wings to aocommodatc the 
senate and the supreme court. The exterior is of 


Georgia marble. The interior corridors are faced 
with polished Minnesota magnesian limestones of 
charming tints, relieved by panels of foreign mar- 
bles. The interior of the dome, the senate chamber, 
the supreme court room, and the governor's office 
are splendidly decorated with mural paintings by 
leading American artists. Over the fa(;ade of the 
central structure rests a quadriga in bronze, typify- 
ing the progress of Minnesota. The total cost was 
$4,428,539.72 ; and in this age the honorable coni- 
missioners need not resent as superfluous the record 
that there was absolutely no "■ graft " in the whole 
construction and furnishing. The architect, Mr. 
Cass Gilbert, a native of Minnesota, will be fortu- 
nate if he shall in his future career surpass the 
taste, skill, and nobility of conception displayed in 
this work. It is a splendid object lesson in civic 
architecture, not only to Minnesota but to neigh- 
boring commonwealths. 

The legislature of 1905 adopted a new codifica- 
tion of the general laws of the state, which had 
been prepared by a commission of which Daniel 
Fish, Esq., was the working member. It has been 
published in a single volume of 1380 pages. 

The penal and charitable institutions of Minne- 
sota under the supervision of the board of charities 
and corrections had attained to the first rank for 
economy of administration and beneficial results. 
Two neighboring states made the experiment of 
disbanding the separate boards of trustees or man- 


agers and placing all such institutions in the hands 
of a single " board of control." To be in the fashion 
the legislature of Minnesota in 1901 created a 
board of control of state institutions, and went so 
far as to include the university and normal schools 
in all their financial concerns. These, however, 
were in a later year exempted from the operation 
of the act and restored to their independence. It 
may be conceded that in point of finance the single 
boai'd has justified the change, in spite of the fact 
that its members have been appointed on political 
considerations. Persuaded that there was danger 
of neglect in a board so composed and fully occu- 
pied with the business management of tlie institu- 
tions, the legislature of 1907 provided for a board 
of visitors to exercise a humanitarian supervision 
over the patients and inmates. 

The people of ^linnesota have not yet desired a 
revision of their constitution, content to live under 
the original statute of 1857 and to amend it casu- 
ally from time to time. In the period now in view 
no fewer than seventeen amendments have been 
adopted, some of them of far-reaching importance. 
They may be enumerated : — 

1. 1883, an amendment fixing January 1 as 
the beginning of the official year of the state, 
on which day all officers chosen at the pre- 
vious election enter upon their duties. 

2. 1886, an amendment authorizing loans upon 
interest from the permanent school fund of 


the state to counties and school districts, to 
be used in the erection of county and school 
buildings. This provision, wisely guarded, 
has proved advantageous. 

3. Of the same year, an amendment forbidding 
the enactment of any special law in all cases 
where a general law can be made applicable, 
and specifically inhibiting special legislation 
in fifteen cases. Its operation has been bene- 
ficial, but there have been instances where 
special legislation has been had under mere 
color of general. 

4. 1888, an amendment limiting the sessions of 
the legislature to ninety legislative days, and 
forbidding the introduction of any new bill 
during the last twenty days, unless upon 
recommendation of the governor in a special 

6. Of the same year, an amendment declaring 
any combination to monopolize markets for 
food products, or to interfere with the free- 
dom of such markets, to be a criminal con- 
spiracy, punishable as the legislature may 
provide. No action has yet been had. 

6. 1890, an amendment authorizing the legisla- 
ture, to provide that an agreement of ten 
jurors in a civil action shall be a sufficient 
v^erdict. The legislature has not yet acted. 

7. 1896, an amendment creating a board of 
pardons, consisting of the governor, the at- 


torney-general, and the chief justice, with 
powers to be defined and regulated by law. 
The procedure of the board has been pre- 
scribed by statute. Its administration has 
been judicious, and the governor has been 
relieved of a duty exceedingly painful and 
difficult for any individual to discharge. 

8. 1896, an amendment to the elective fran- 
chise article, taking from declarants for 
naturalization the right to vote. 

9. In the year 1906 a so-called " wide open " 
tax amendment, repealing a large part of 
Article IX as formerly standing. It declares 
that " the power of taxation shall never 
be surrendered, suspended, nor contracted 
away." After exemptions of the ordinary 
kind, it leaves the legislature free to levy 
taxes according to its discretion, requiring 
only that they shall be uniform upon the 
same class of subjects. 

10. 1898, an amendment granting suffrage to 
women of full age in school and library 
measures absolutely, and not merely allowing 
the legislature to extend the privilege. 

11. In the same year, an amendment requiring 
a majority of all the votes cast at the elec- 
tion to ratify an amendment to the constitu- 
tion. Up to that year a majority of the 
electors voting on the particular amendment 
was sufiicient to ratify. 


12. In the same year, an amendment creating a 
state highway commission and a road and 
bridge fund and authorizing a special tax 

13. Also in 1898, an amendment authorizing 
cities and villages to adopt charters for their 
own government, to be drafted by a board 
of freeholders appointed by district judges ; 
commonly called a " home-rule " amendment. 
An affirmative vote of four sevenths of the 
electors is necessary to adopt. In Minneap- 
olis on four occasions, large majorities have 
favored " home rule," but the required four- 
sevenths vote has not been obtained. 

14. 1904, an amendment authorizing the invest- 
ment of the permanent school and university 
funds in the bonds of counties, towns, cities, 
villages, and school districts under prescribed 

What place the tornado, the hailstorm, the lo- 
cust, and such like destroyers have in the mundane 
economy ; whether they are providential disposi- 
tions for the punishment of particular communi- 
ties, or freaks of sheer diabolism, or resultants of 
powers imparted to nature playing under determin- 
ing conditions, is a question which must be left to 
casuists, reverend and other. Minnesota can claim 
no exemption from such visitations. On April 14, 
188G, a furious tornado struck the city of St. Cloud 


and its suburb, Sauk Rapids, cutting a swath of 
desolation and destroying some seventy persons. 
In 1891, on June 15, a series of tornadoes trav- 
ersed the counties of Martin, Faribault, Freeborn, 
Mower, and Fillmore, on a line nearly parallel with 
the Southern Minnesota division of the Milwaukee 
and St. Paul Railroad. Many farm buildings were 
wrecked and about fifty people killed. In previous 
years disastrous tornadoes had wrought havoc in 
New Ulm and Rochester. 

In the fall of 1886 there was a descent of what 
were supposed to be ordinary grasshoppers in Otter 
Tail County. When in the following spring " hop- 
pers " were appearing dangerously numerous. Gov- 
ernor McGill sent out the state entomologist. Dr. 
Otto Lugger of the university agricultural college, 
to investigate. lie saw at once that the genuine 
Rocky Mountain locust was to be dealt with, and 
proceeded to organize the farmers for warfare on 
them. So effective was the campaign that thirty- 
five thousand bushels of the insects were caught 
and destroyed, and half the crops on about one 
hundred square miles saved. 

On September 1, 1894, a fire broke out in the 
cut-over pine woods near Hinckley, in Pine County. 
A high wind prevailing, it spread and raged for 
many days. Eight villages, including Hinckley and 
Sandstone, and scores of farmsteads were com- 
pletely destroyed. Not less than three hundred and 
fifty square miles were devastated. Four hundred 


and eighteen persons lost their lives, and more than 
two thousand were left homeless. The property 
loss was not less than a million dollars. Governor 
Nelson appointed a relief committee of citizens, 
with Charles A. Pillsbury at its head. The esti- 
mated amount of relief furnished through this and 
the local committees was -1185,000. In the same 
year the chinch bug did much damage to growing 
crops in several southwestern counties. 

At the outbreak of the war with Sj^ain in April, 
1898, Minnesota was first of the states to respond 
to the call of the President for volunteers, as she had 
been in the Civil War. Before the close of the month 
three regiments, — Twelfth, Thirteenth, and Four- 
teenth, — mostly recruited from the national guard, 
were assembled at St. Paul. They were mustered into 
the United States service May 7 and 8. The Thir- 
teenth Regiment, commanded by Colonel Charles 
McCormick Reeve, was dispatched to the Philip- 
pine Islands and participated in the capture of 
Manila, August 13, 1898. It performed provost 
guard duty in that city till the spring of 1899, and 
formed part of Lawton's expedition to the interior. 
The regiment was mustered out in San Francisco 
in September, but was transported home in trains 
furnished by Minnesota cities, and on arrival in 
Minneapolis, October 12, 1899, was reviewed by 
President McKinley. 

The Twelfth and Fourteenth regiments were 
sent to the grand rendezvous at Camp Thomas, 


Chlckamaiiga Park, Georgia, detained thereabout 
through the summer, sent home late in September, 
fui'loughed for thirty days, and mustered out No- 
vember 18. 

The Fifteenth, recruited from the state at large, 
was mustered in July 18, detained at Fort Snell- 
ing till September 15, and then sent to Camp 
Meade, Pennsylvania. A month later it was or- 
dered to Camp Mackenzie, Georgia, where it re- 
mained till mustered out March 27, 1899. 

The Thirteenth alone suffered losses in action. 
Its roll of honor shows officers and men killed, 5 ; 
died of disease or accident, 37 ; wounded, 14. 

A detachment of the Fourteenth Minnesota saw 
some service, happily bloodless, in its own state. 
The Pillager band of Chippeway Indians on Leech 
Lake had long been complaining of injustice done 
them in the matter of the pine on their reservation, 
which they had been ])ersuadetl to sell. The prices 
paid them were ridiculously low, and the charges 
for appraisal and inspection as ridiculously high. 
Parties holding permits to cut "dead and down 
timber," cut live trees standing convenient. Ke- 
peated protests td the government had brought no 
redress. The deputy United States marshal, Shee- 
han (he of Fort Kidgely), undertook to arrest a 
chief who had given show of misbehavior. He re- 
sisted arrest, and a number of his braves rallied 
and stood off the marslial's posse. A company of 
sixty United States infantry was sent from Fort 


SnelUng, which was later reinforced by two hun- 
dred men commanded by Major M. C. Wilkinson 
and supervised by General Bacon. On October 5 
the troops were landed on the peninsula known as 
Sugar Point, and a sharp little conflict followed 
which cost the lives of Major Wilkinson, Sergeant 
William Butler, and two privates. Two companies 
of the Fourteenth were recalled from furlough and 
distributed to stations of the railroad running 
north of Leech Lake. After repeated councils, at 
which the United States commissioner of Indian 
affairs was present, eight chiefs surrendered to the 
marshal, and the war ended. Governor Clough, in 
his message to the legislature of 1899, charged the 
United States government with a " series of acts 
and neglects most wrongful to the Indians " and 
with a " blunder more criminal in its results than 
those neglects and acts," the performance being the 
" climax of a long course of folly and wrong." 

All branches of the public school system have 
been enlarged and improved. The common school 
endowment from the lands granted by Congress 
has increased to more than $11,000,000. Sales of 
pine timber ($3,500,000) and other items have 
swelled the fund to more than 116,000,000. The 
state still holds millions of acres unsold. The ex- 
cellent work of the normal schools, supplemented 
by that of the high schools, has greatly added to 
the number of qualified teachers. Opposition to 


the normal schools, now five in number, has long 
since ceased. 

Beginning with the year 1889, and the first 
graduations from the professional schools, the de- 
velopment of the university has surpassed all ex- 
pectations. The total attendance in that year was 
791, the number of degrees conferred, 52. In 1900 
those numbers were increased to 2866 and 449 
respectively. In 1907 they were 3955 and 507. 
It has been difficult to keep the buildings and 
equipment abreast of the needs of these develop- 
ments, especially as the original " main " build- 
ing has been once extensively damaged and later 
destroyed by fire. Despite inadequate compensa- 
tion, the professorships have been filled with able 
and earnest men and women, but no small number 
of teachers whom the state and the institution 
could ill afford to lose have been drawn away. 
The student body have secured high places in inter- 
collegiate athletics, oratorical and forensic contests, 
adding much to the repute of the university, already 
holding an honorable rank for scholarship and cul- 
ture. While the state university is the largest and 
best-equipped in the state, it possesses no mono- 
poly of the superior education. There are at least 
fifteen other degree-conferring institutions. More 
than half of the number are Lutheran colleges or 
seminaries, in which cxcelhMit instruction is given 
in the classical languages, history, and philosophy. 
The Koman Catholic colleges, also strong in the 


humanities, are St. John's University and the Col- 
lege of St. Thomas. The leading Protestant insti- 
tutions which have passed out of the experimental 
stage are Carleton College at Northfield,and Mac- 
alester College and Hamline University, both within 
the limits of St. Paul. All are open to women, 
maintain excellent preparatory departments, and 
do well the work they undertake to do. 

The notable development of the university Col- 
lege of Agriculture at St. Anthony Park cannot 
here have adequate room, but mention must be 
made of one of its auxiliaries, the so-called "School 
of Agriculture." From the year 1868, when the 
agricultui'al college lands were merged with those 
of the university, the regents and faculty of the 
university had exerted themselves in all good faith 
to gather students into the agricultural college 
which they had promptly organized on paper. The 
farmers' boys flocked to the university, but not to 
learn agriculture to practice it. Only occasionally 
could any be induced to enroll in that college. Up 
to 1888 not fifty had so done, and but one had 
completed the course and been graduated. The first 
president had declared that there was no proper 
work for an agricultural " college " to do, and that 
agricultural schools of secondary rank must be or- 
ganized. Professor Edward A. Porter of the univer- 
sity department of agriculture, after some years of 
experiment and reflection, became convinced that 
such a school should be undertaken, and that, not 


on the university campus, but on the experimental 
farm some two miles away. He brought the board 
of regents to his opinion through the influence of 
an "advisory board of farmers" which he induced 
them to appoint. State Superintendent D. L. 
Kiehle, a member of the board of regents ex-offlclo, 
worked out the pedagogical details, and early in 
1888 submitted the plan of a " school " of agricul- 
ture to receive students of fifteen and over, with 
a common-school training, for a term extending 
from November to April. His idea was to make 
the instruction practical in the branches immedi- 
ately related to agriculture, cultivating powers of 
observation and judgment, and arousing interest 
in and taste for country life. The school was opened 
October 18, 1888, with forty-seven students. Young 
women were admitted in 1897, and a second-year 
course has been added. The school expenses proper 
do not exceed eighty-five dollars a year. The en- 
rollment of students for 1908 was 581, and the 
whole number since 1888 is 4608. A notable fact 
is that this " school " has stimulated and fed the 
"college" of agriculture, 69 students having been 
graduated since the opening of the school. The 
franiors of the "Morrill bill " of 1857-62, granting 
public lands for the endowment and support of col- 
leges of agriculture and mechanic arts, could have 
had no expectation of any such use of the grant, 
and doubtless would have provided ngainst devot- 
ing it to elementary education. The industrial 


education had yet to be invented for this country. 
But this school of agriculture is far better for the 
practical farmer than any college could be. 

One department of the school of agriculture of 
the university has had no small part in working a 
great change in Minnesota agriculture. While the 
state as a whole will long retain a leading place 
as a wheat producer, all southern Minnesota has 
abandoned that cereal as a principal crop. Supplied 
from the department of dairy husbandry of the 
school of agriculture with expert operators of cream- 
eries and cheese factories, the farmers of many 
counties have turned to dairying. Minnesota butter, 
thanks to the science and practice taught in tbe 
school, commands a premium in the market, and 
its annual output has run up to near 100,000,000 
pounds. Minnesota has become the " Bread and 
Butter State." The total dairy product of Minnesota 
in 1S07 may be safely valued at -$40,000,000. 
Along with dairying has naturally grown up an 
extensive animal husbandry, profitably converting 
into marketable forms the forage crops of great 

At the experiment station conducted in the agri- 
cultural department of the university new varie- 
ties of grains, in particular wheat, have been de- 
veloped by careful breeding and selection, which 
promise much to Minnesota farmers. 

Adjoining the agricultural establishment of the 
university is the domain of two hundred acres and 


more on which the Minnesota State Agricultural 
Society, in a vast range of buildings and inclosures, 
holds its annual fair in September. Given this per- 
manent location in 1885, the society has developed 
a great industrial museum of high educational 

For many years after the white man built his 
sawmills on Minnesota rivers it was believed that 
the pine forests north and east of the Sioux-Chip- 
peway intertribal boundary of 1825 could never 
be exhausted. A generation ago that belief was 
given up, but exhaustion was thought to be so 
far away that people then living need not worry 
about it. There being no public control over pri- 
vate lumbering, the reckless, indiscriminate, ruin- 
ous methods of the pioneer operators were con- 
tinued. Young growing trees went down along 
with those old and ripe for the axe. Within a few 
years it has become apparent to all who concern 
themselves, that the days of Minnesota lumbering 
in the old piratical fashion are numbered. Had a 
reasonable forest policy been established fifty years 
ago, permitting only the annual cutting of ripe 
trees and leaving the young to grow, a harvest of 
lumber might have been reaped in perpetuity. 
There are millions of acres of land in tlie state 
which are fit only for forest growth and will some 
day be so devoted. An act of the legislature of 
1899 created a state forestry board, which has al- 


ready outlined a policy and begun the immense 
work of re-afforesting despoiled areas. Another act, 
that of 1905, provides for a forest commissioner, and 
to that office has been appointed General C. C. 
Andrews, who for many years has been the apostle 
of forest preservation and replanting in Minnesota. 

In 1878 the state geologist, Professor N. H. Win- 
chell, announced the existence of iron ore fit for 
steel production about Vermilion Lake in St. Louis 
County ; but neither the university nor the state 
authorities took sufficient interest to cause a proper 
examination of the region to be made. George 
C. Stone of Dnluth conducted explorations whose 
revelations led to the formation of the Minnesota 
Iron Company and the building of the Duluth and 
Iron Range Railroad in 1884. In that year 62,122 
tons of ore were shipped from the mine opened at 
Tower. Four years later the railroad was extended 
to Ely, and 54,612 tons were carried from the 
Chandler mine. The pro'duct of the Vermilion 
range increased with astonishing rapidity. It was 
near a half million tons in 1888, and double that 
figure four j'^ears later. 

Marvelous as had been the development of the 
Vei'milion range, it was eclipsed by that of another 
of which geologists had detected but faint indica- 
tions. In November 1890, an exploi-ing party of 
the Merritt Brothers of Duluth found iron ore at a 
point west of Virginia, near which the Great Moun- 
tain iron mine was later opened. A year after one 


of their explorers found ore turned up by the roots 
of a fallen tree. A shaft sunk on the spot struck 
the ore body of the Biwabik mine. From these be- 
ginnings date the developments of the Mesabi iron 
range, lying some twenty miles south of and par- 
allel with the Vermilion range, but extending much 
farther to the west. In 1892, 4245 tons of ore were 
shipped over the railroads which had been built out 
from Duluth to the Mesabi mines. Three years later 
the shipments were nearly three millions of gross 
tons ; in 1900 they had swelled to nearly eight mil- 
lions, and in 1907 they touched twenty-seven and a 
half millions. The shipment in the year last named 
from a certain single mine was 2,900,493 tons. The 
Mesabi ores are of the " soft " variety, lie near 
the surface, and are in large part mined by means 
of steam shovels dumping into cars ; these, in the 
shipping season, are at once dispatched to the lake 
ports, where the ore is transferred to vessels which 
carry it below. The output of the Vermilion range 
has remained under two millions a year, except in a 
single case. The ores of both ranjres are of the va- 
riety known as hematite, with great differences of 
physical structure. Mnch of them yield seventy per 
cent, of pure metal. Ore containing less than fifty- 
five per cent, of iron is not now considered market- 
able, and there are enormous masses of such low 
grade ore left untouched by the mine operators. 
At least 1,500,000,000 tons of ore marketable 
under present conditions have been located and 


measured. The state tax commission in 1907 raised 
the vahiation of 2116 ore properties, containing 
1,192,509,757 tons, from l|64,500,000 in 190G to 

An act of Congress of 1873 expressly excepted 
Minnesota from the operation of the mining laws 
of the United States, leaving all her mineral lands 
open to settlement or purchase in legal subdivisions, 
like agricultural or timbered lands, thus virtually 
giving to lucky speculators these priceless ore 
deposits. Up to 1889 the state pursued the same 
policy, selling her school and swamp lands contain- 
ing ore at the annual sales and getting the usual 
prices for arable lands. In 1889 the legislature 
provided for the leasing of ore properties for fifty 
years at a royalty of twenty-five cents per ton. At 
this rate, less than one third that obtained by pri- 
vate mine owners, the school fund will be splendidly 
enriched. The receipts from royalties and contracts 
in 1907 were 1273,433. 

At the close of the year 1907 the railroads of 
Minnesota had increased their mileage to 8023 
miles, having almost doubled it in twenty years. 
The Supreme Court of the United States in the 
Blake case, decided in 1876, had affirmed the right 
of the state of Minnesota to regulate raih'oad fares 
and rates, according to the pleasure of the legisla- 
ture. In 1890 came a decision from the same tri- 
bunal in another Minnesota case to the effect that 


any regulation, whether by statute or through a 
commission, must be subject to judicial review. The 
legislature could not deprive a railroad company of 
its property — rents, issues, and profits included — 
without due process of law, much less could a com- 
mission. This decision with others of the period 
materially moderated the effect of the "granger 
cases." Another litigation arising in the state was 
of national importance. A small clique of capital- 
ists who had bought control of the Great Northern 
and Northern Pacific railway systems, each of eight 
thousand miles and more, desiring to ojierate them 
as one property or interest, formed a third corpo- 
ration called the Northern Securities Company. It 
was chartei-ed in New Jersey, November 13, 1900, 
with an authorized capital stock of '$400,000,000. 
When duly organized this company proceeded to 
exchano:e its own stock for the stocks of the Great 
Northern and Northern Pacific, and absorbed more 
than three fourths of them. This consolidation, ef- 
fecting a monoi)oly of all traffic between the Missis- 
sippi and the Pacific coast for five degrees of lati- 
tude, caused the greatest alarm. Governor Van 
Sant used every means at his disposal to prevent 
its consummation. A suit, brought by the state in 
one of her district courts alleging violation of her 
statute forbidding the consolidation of parallel and 
competing roads, I'emoved to the Circuit Court of 
the United States, was there decided against the 
state on the jrround that the Northern Securities 


was not a railroad company, but a mere "holding 
company." An appeal was taken to the Supreme 
Court of the United States, but that court de- 
clined to review the action below because the case 
had been improperly removed from the Minnesota 
court. Without waiting for the result of this suit, 
the Attorney-General of the United States sued in 
the Circuit Court of the United States for Minne- 
sota, charging infraction of the " Sherman anti-trust 
law " of 1890. That court, after elaborate hearings, 
found the Northern Securities Company to be an 
unlawful combination in restraint of trade, and or- 
dered its dissolution. As was expected, an appeal 
was taken to the Supreme Court, where in March, 
1904, the decision below was affirmed, the chief 
justice and three associates dissenting. Under judi- 
cial direction the Northern Securities Comi^any 
proceeded to return the stocks taken in exchange, 
and at length went into dissolution. The same men 
own the two roads still. 

Early in the present year the Supreme Court of 
the United States considered that the Circuit Court 
for the District of Minnesota had the right to 
punish the attorney-general of Minnesota for at- 
tempting, in disobedience of its process, to enforce 
a state law regulating railroad rates, held to be 
obnoxious to the national constitution. 

Minnesota enjoys a great advantage in point of 
transportation to both oceans in the competition of 
Canadian roads, with branches penetrating to her 


principal cities. The water route eastward from 
Duluth has moderated costs of shipping out her 
staple products — grain, ore, and lumber — and 
given her favorable rates on returning merchandise. 

The new states of the Northwest have departed far 
from the conservative doctrine that governments 
exist merely for the protection of persons and pro- 
perty. Two examples of this departure in Minne- 
sota may be mentioned. In 1899 the legislature 
created the Minnesota Public Library Commission. 
Its duties are to maintain (1) a bureau of informa- 
tion on library matters, (2) a circulating library, 
and (3) a clearing-house for periodicals. From the 
circulating library, "traveling libraries" of twen- 
ty-five or fifty volumes are sent to small towns 
and rural communities on payment of a small fee. 
Home study and juvenile libraries are also sent 
out, and small collections in five different foreign 
languages. No provision for the general culture 
could be more popular. 

Equally acceptable have been the ministrations 
of the Minnesota State Art Society, organized under 
an act of 1903. This body manages periodical art 
exhibitions, offers and awards prizes for excellence 
in artistic work, and will ultimately form a perma- 
nent collection. The exhibitions, held in St. Cloud, 
ISIankato, and Winona have been of great educa- 
tional value. 

Minnesota lies between the latitudes of 43 degrees, 
80 minutes, and 49 degrees north, and the longitudes 


of 89 degrees, 29 minutes, and 97 degrees, 15 min- 
utes west. Her extreme dimensions are therefore 
about 380 miles from north to south and 350 miles 
from east to west. Her situation is not far from 
the geographical centre of the North xVmerican con- 
tinent, and the drainage from the Itascan plateau 
falls into Hudson's Bay, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, 
and the Gulf of Mexico. The lowest land is at the 
head of Lake Superior, whose surface is 602 feet 
above sea-level. The highest land a granite peak 
of the Misquah hills in Cook County, is 2230 feet 
above sea-level. The annual mean temperature is 
44 degrees Fahrenheit ; that of the summer months, 
70 degrees. The climate has proved favorable to 
health and industry . 

By the state census of 1905 the total population 
of Minnesota was 1,979,912, including 10,920 In- 
dians, 171 Chinese, and 50 Japanese. The native 
born were 1,424,333. Of the 537,041 foreign-born 
persons, 262. 417 came from the Scandinavian king- 
doms, 119,868 from Germany, 84,022 from English- 
speaking countries. The average yearly increase 
for the decade closing in 1905 was 40,529 ; for the 
five-year period, 22,852. The urban population was 
1,048,922, equal to 53 per cent, of the total. In 
the same decade the urban population had in- 
creased 38 per cent., while the rural population 
had augmented but 14.5 per cent. The most notable 
examples of urban development are in the "twin 
cities" of Miuneaj^olis and St. Paul, their aggregate 


population in 1905 being 458,997. If the suburban 
dwellers within easy "trolley" ride be added, that 
number rises to more than half a million. Although 
the two municipalities have long been coterminous, 
they may remain politically separate for many 
years, if not indefinitely. 



Federal Censcs. 







State Census. 








AccAULT leads expedition to up- 
per Mississippi, 18. 

Acton murders, 197. 

Agricultural college, established 
at Glencoe (1858), 160. 

Agricultural school at Lake Cal- 
houn, 67. 

Aldrich, Cyrus, M. C, and candi- 
date for U. S. senator, 248; cham- 
pions homestead act, 253. 

Allen, Lieut. James, commands 
Schoolcraft's escort, 75. 

AUouez, Pere, at La I'ointe (1665), 
14; at convocation of 1671, 15. 

American Fur Company, organ- 
ized, 54 ; policy of, 54; chief sta- 
tions, 55; control of Indians, 58; 
factors of, 59. 

Anderson, Capt. Joseph, in battle 
of Birch Coulie, 213. 

Andrews, C. C, votes against 
surrender of Third Minnesota, 
183; in command at Fitzhugh's 
Woods, 243 ; accepts nomination 
for M.C., 264; state forest com- 
missioner, 358. 

Astor, John Jacob, organizes the 
American Fur Co., 52. 

"Atlantis," written by Ignatius 
Donnelly, 318. 

Attorney-General of Minnesota 
enjoined by U. S. courts from 
enforcing state law, 3G2. 

Auguolle,associateof Accaultand 
Hennepin, 18. 

Austin, Horace, nominated, 265 ; 
inaugurated governor, 265; an- 
tecedents, 276 ; proposes consti- 
tutional amendments, 268; ve- 
toes bill to squander internal 
improvement lands, 268 ; re- 
commends regtilation of rail- 
roads, 279. 

Australian ballot system, 342. 

Bancroft, George, mentioned, 121. 

Banking, see liiiilroads. 

Banks issue notes on deposit of 

special state railroad bonds, 166. 
Battle of Big Mound, 235; Birch 

Coulie, 213; Dead Buffalo Lake, 

235 ; Kaposia, 65 ; Skakopee, 

157; Rum River, 63; Stillwater, 

63; Wood Lake, 218. 
Becker, George L., mentioned, 154. 
Bee, Capt. Alexander, pursues 

Inkpaduta, 146. 
Beltrami, Constantino Giacomo, 

aspires to discover the true 

source of the Mississippi, 73 ; 

starts out with Major Long, 73; 

at "Lake Julia," 74; publishes 

his " Discovery," 74; publishes 

his "Pilgrimage," 74; charts 

Lac la Biche, 75. 
Biennial sessions of legislature, 

336; elections, 337. 
Bierbauer, Capt. William, comes 

to relief of New Ulm, 208. 
Big Mound, battle of, 235. 
Birch Coulie, battle of, 213; dis- 
pute as to command, 215. 
Bishop, Gen. J. W., at Mission 

Ridge, 243. 
Blake case, the, 283; modified by 

later decision, 361. 
Blizzard, the, of 1873, 289. 
Board of Pardons; constitutional 

amendment, 346. 
Bonanza farming, 273. 
Boom of 1857, 141. 
Boucher, R(5n6, sec La Perrifere. 
Boundaries, 86, 98, 135. 
Boutwell, Rev. W. T., missionary, 

M; helps Schoolcraft with his 

Latin, 76. 
Brackctt's Cavalry Battalion, in 

Tennossco, isd'j; with .Sully at 

Killdeer Mountain, 187. 



r.rnss kettle campaign, the, 316. 

IJritish control lasts till 1815, 5"J. 

Dritish hold the Northwest, 38. 

Jiritish proposal in 1814, 52. 

lirower, J. V., discovers the '• ul- 
timate bowl " of Ulississippi, 78. 

Brown, Joseph R., drummer boy, 
arrives with troops (1819), 84; 
lays out town (1840), 81; J. P. 
of Crawford County, Wis., 84; 
in Wisconsin legislature, 85; fa- 
thers Minnesota Northwestern 
Railroad bill in legislature of 
1854, 122 ; member of consti- 
tutional convention, 138; ap- 
pointed Sioux agent, 168; plan 
to civilize the Sioux, 168; super- 
seded as Sioux agent, 169; com- 
mands detachment at Birch 
Coulie, 213; commands scouts 
in 1863, 234. 

Browning, O. H., permits further 
issues of Chippeway half-breed 
scrip, 114. 

Brul6, Etienne, report of Lake 
Superior, 5. 

Burger, Capt. Emil, mentioned, 

Burt, Rev. D., superintendent of 
public instruction, 320. 

Butler, Sergeant William, shot In 
Pillager outbreak, 352. 

Cadillac builds fort at Detroit 
(1701), 29. 

"Caesar's Column," by Ignatius 
Donnelly, 319. 

Camp Coldwater, 56. 

Cantonment at Mendota (1819), 

Capital of Minnesota, located in 
St. Paul, 91 ; attempt to remove 
(1857), 132; attempt to remove, 
(1869), 265. 

Capitol, old, burned, 325; rebuild- 
ing of, 343. 

Capitol, new, building of, 343; ac- 
count of. 344. 

Carleton College, mentioned, 354. 

Cartier, Jacques, two voyages, 3. 

Carver, Jonathan, expedition, 33; 
travels, 35; claim, 36. 

Cass, Gov. Lewis, exploring ex- 
pedition 71; induces Sioux and 
Chippeways to make a treaty at 
Fort Snelling, 72. 

Catlin, John, Secretary of Wis- 
consin Territory, calls an elec- 
tion in the rump, 87. 

Cavanaugh, James M., seated as 
representative from Minnesota, 

Chamberlain, Selah, holder of 
special state railroad bonds, 
32G; sues railroad company 
(1873), 328; offers to take half of 
face value of bonds (1887), .329. 

Chambers, Gov. John, commis- 
sioner for treaty with Sioux 
(1849), 93, 111. 

Champlain, Samuel, two explor- 
ing voyages, 3; founds Quebec, 
3; diseovers Lake Champlain, 4; 
defeated by Iroquois, 5; emis- 
saries of, 5; "Father of New 
France," 6. 

Charlevoix, on the Mississippi 
(1720), 26. 

Chase, Charles L.. territorial sec- 
retary and delegate to constitu- 
tional convention, 138; acting 
governor, 155. 

Chatfield, Andrew G., appointed 
territorial justice (1853), 108. 

Chippeway half-breed scrip, story 
of, 112. 

Chippeways, immigration of, 44; 
drive Sioux south and west, 44; 
characteristics, 45; still on re- 
serves, 112; disquiet of, 1S62, 224 

Chippeway treaties (1826, 1851, 
1854, 1855, 1863), 11. 

Christian, George H., pioneer 
in patent milling, 274. 

Church, first organized, 67. 

Civil War, First, Second, Third, 
Fourth, and Fifth Infantry regi- 
ments, 178; Sixth, Seventh, 
Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth regi- 
ments, raised, ISS ; batteries, 
sharpshooters, and cavalry bat- 
talion raised, 186; Eleventh In- 
fantry regiment raised, 247; 
First Heavy Artillery raised, 



247; whole number of Minne- 
sota volunteers, 247. 
Clapp, Moses E., elected U. S. 
senator, 342. 

Claim Association of Hennepin 
Co., 130. 

Clark, Gen. George Rogers, men- 
tioned, 37. 

Clough, David M., governor (1895- 
99), 340; his judgment on treat- 
ment of the Pillagers, 3.'52. 

Code of 1851, 91. 

Cody, Capt. John S., killed by 
Sioux, 237. 

Colbert, recommends a colonial 
system, 13. 

College of Agriculture of the Uni- 
versity of iMinnesota, slow de- 
velopment, 354. 

College of St. Thomas, mentioned, 

Colville, Col. 'William, commands 
First Minnesota in Gettysburg 
charge, 241. 

Compulsory school attendance, 

Conquest of Canada by British, 30. 

Constitution of state, framing of, 
139; adoi)te(l, 141; ratified, 148. 

Constitutional amendments : au- 
thorizing state orticers to act 
before admission to Union, 15<j; 
five million loan, 158; expung- 
ing amendment of 1858, 173; re- 
quiring referendum of special 
railroad bonds, 173; fixing offi- 
cial year, 345; loan of school 
fund, 345; forbidding special 
legislation, 346; ninety-day ses- 
sions, 346; forbidding mono- 
polies, 346; ten jurors to render 
verdict, 346; creating board of 
pardons, 346; declarants not to 
vote, 347; "wide open" tax 
power, 347; woman suffrage in 
school and library matters, 347; 
majority of whole vote to ratify 
amendment, 347; creating high- 
way commission, 348; home rule 
charters, :548; investment of 
school fund, 348. 

Constitutional convention, elec- 

tion for, la^ ; delegates, 135 ; re- 
sult of election, 137; the split, 
137; efforts to unite the two 
bodies, 139; conferees appointed 
139; report of conferees, 140. 

Convocation of 1041, 15; 18'25, 01. 

County government, change in, 

Crooks, William, appointed colo- 
nel of Sixth Minnesota, 189. 

Cullen, Major, Sioux agent, men- 
tioned, 148. 

Dairy industry, development of, 

Dakota Indians, see Sioux Indians. 

Daumont, see St. Lusson, 15. 

Davis, Cushman K., antecedents 
of, 294; secures governorship, 
295; balks Senator Ramsey of re- 
election, 296 ; fails to secure 
nomination for U. S. senator, 
297; address at celebration of 
two hundredth anniversary of 
discovery of fallsof St. Anthony, 
325; recommends arbitration of 
railroad bonds, 329 ; elected U. S. 
senator (1887), 341; reelected U. 
S. senator, 341; Spanish treaty 
commissioner (1898), 341 ; ad- 
dress at laying comer-stone of 
new capitol, 343 ; death, 341. 

Davis, Jefferson, mentioned, 123. 

Dead Buff^alo Lake, battle of, 235. 

Death penalty, changes in, 314. 

Declarants for naturalization de- 
prived of suffrage, 347. 

Delano, Columbus, investigates 
Chippeway half-breed scrip, 115. 

Detroit occujiied by British, 32. 

Dodd, Capt., killed in battle of 
New Ulm, 209. 

Dodge, Henry, mentioned, 87. 

Donnelly, Ignatius, antecedents, 
170 ; elected lieutenant-govern- 
or, 170 ; reelected lieutenant- 
governor, 177; elected to Con- 
gress (1802). 248; aspires to U. S. 
senatorship, 262; attack on Re- 
prcst-ntative E. B. Washbunie, 
262; fails to receive nomination 
for U. S. senator, 264; withdraws 



from senatorial contest, 297; 
nominee lor Congress (1878), 
31G; contests W. i). Washburn's 
election, 317; turns to author- 
ship, 318 ; champions free school- 
books, 321. 

Douglas, Stephen A., expedites 
Minnesota organic act, 89. 

Douglass, Capt. , engineer of Cass's 
expedition, 71. 

Draft, the, in Minnesota, 246. 

Duluth, on Lake Superior, 16; on 
Pigeon River, 17; onMilleLacs, 
(1679), 17; at Point Douglass 
(1680), 19; meets Accault's party, 

Dunnell. Mark H., superintendent 
of public instruction, 256. 

Dustin murders, 238. 

East and west line, 139. 

Edgerton, Gen. A. J., appointed 
state railroad commissioner, 280. 

Eleventh Minnesota Infantry, 
raised, 247. 

Emmegabowh, missionary, men- 
tioned, 225. 

Enabling act: opposition to, 134; 
passage of, 134 ; land grants of, 

Execution of Sioux convicts, 231. 

Expedition to upper Mississippi 
(1680), 18. 

Farley, J. P., sues associates, 311. 

Fifteenth Minnesota Volunteers, 
in Spanish War, 351. 

Fifth Minnesota Infantry, raised, 
185; leaves three companies in 
Indian forts, 185; at Corinth, 
185 ; at Nashville, 244. 

Fillmore, Ex-President, men- 
tioned, 121. 

First Battery of Minnesota Light 
Artillery at Shiloh, 187. 

First claim at St. Anthony's Falls, 

First Minnesota Heavy Artillery, 

First Minnesota Infantry, called, 
178; mustered, 179; enlists for 
three years, 179 ; leaves for the 

South, 180; at first P.ull Run, 
180; at Antietam, 180; charge at 
Gettysburg, 240. 

First Minnesota Sharpshooters, 
mustered, 186; merged into Sec- 
ond regiment of U. S. Sharp- 
shooters, 186. 

First white child in Minnesota, 

Fiscal year, 337. 

Fish, Daniel, reviser of laws, 344. 

Five million loan, story of, 156; 
expunged, 173 ; investigation of, 
325; efforts for settlement, 325; 
redeemed, 331. 

Flandrau, Charles Eugene, Sioux 
agent, causes pursuit of Inkpa- 
duta, 146 ; summoned by the 
people of XewUIm, 207; marches 
to their relief, 208; placed in 
command, 208, 209 ; appointed 
colonel, 213. 

Flour mill, first, in Minnesota, 56. 

Flour, patent, 274. 

Ford, John W., champions normal 
schools. 257. 

Forsyth, Major, pays lower Sioux 
for the land bought by Pike, 57. 

Fort Abercrombie, location, 190; 
attacked, 224. 

Fort Beauharnois, described, 26. 

Fort Ridgely, location, 190; de- 
scription, 205; first attack on, 
206; second attack on, 206; re- 
lieved, 212. 

Fort Ripley, garrisoned, 225. 

Fort St. Anthony, changed to Fort 
Snelling, 56. 

Fort St. Antoine, built by Perrof 
(1686), 22. 

Fort Snelling, occupied (1822), 56. 

Fort Snelling reservation, delim- 
ited, 128; reduced (1852), 129; 
occupied by squatters, 129 ; part 
east of Mississippi sold, 130 ; pre- 
emption right granted by Con- 
gress (1855), 131; clandestine 
sale, 132. 

Foster, Dr. Thomas, account of 
Indian tribes of Minnesota, 91. 

Franklin, Benjamin, his Canada 
pamphlet, 31. 



French, abandon western trade 
(1C9'J), 25; reestablish it (1714), 
25 ; fortify frontier, 30 ; build 
Fort Duquesne,30; lose Quebec 
(1759), 30 ; lose Fort Duquesne 
(1759), 30; lose Montreal (1760), 
30; cede to Spain territory west 
of the Mississippi (17G2). 31 ; cede 
to England territory east of the 
Mississippi (17G3), 31. 

French dominion, proclaimed at 
Sault, 15; proclaimed on upper 
Mississippi, 22; proclaimed at 
mouth of Mississippi by La Salle, 

French, early discoveries, 2. 

Frontenac, governor (1672), 16 ; 
commissions Duluth, 16; dis- 
patches Joliet, 16; death (1689), 

Frontier dangers, 1863, 237. 

Fourteenth Minnesota Volun- 
teers, in Spanish war, 350. 

Fourth Minnesota Infantry, re- 
cruited, 184; at Corinth and 
luka, 184 ; at Altoona, 244. 

Free school-books. 321. 

Fur-trade, organization of, 7; ex- 
pands in seventeenth century, 
7; revived under English, 32; 
effect on Indians, 45; effect of 
act of 1816, 54; in politics, 106. 
5ee American Fur Company, and 
Northwest Company. 

Fur-traders, two unknown (1656), 7. 

Galbraith, Thomas F., succeeds 
.J. R. lirown as Siou.x agent, 169; 
recruits volunteers, 197. 

Galtier, Rev. Lucius, missionary 
at Mendota (1840), 83; builds 
chapel of St. Paul, 83. 

Gardiner, Miss, rescued from Ink- 
paduta, 147. 

Geological survey, 303. 

Gilbert, Cass, architect of new 
cai^itol, 344. 

Goodrich, .Varon, first territorial 
chief justice, 90. 

Gorman, Willis A., antecedents, 
108; api)(>inted territorial gov- 
ernor, 108; recommends con- 

Btruction of one railroad; 122, 
approves charter of Minnesota 
and Northwestern R. R. Co. 
(1854), 122 ; vetoes Minnesota 
and Northwestern Railroad bill 
(1855), 126; denounces jugglery 
of the railroad company, I'.'O ; 
proposes formation of constitu- 
tion without enabling act, 133; 
calls special session of legisla- 
ture, 135; resigns. 136; appointed 
colonel of the First Minnesota, 

Conor, de, missionary, 26. 

Grain elevators, use of, 273. 

Grand convocationjof 1825, 61. 

Grant, Capt. H. P., in battle of 
Birch Coulie, 213. 

Grasshoppers, see Rocky Moun- 
tain locust. 

" Great Cryptogram, The," by Ig- 
natius Donnelly, 319. 

Green, Corporal, makes heroic de- 
fense, 183. 

Griggs, Lieut.-Col., votes against 
surrender of Third Minuebota, 

Groseilliers, first mentioned. 8. 

Groseilliers and Radisson. voy- 
ages, 8 ; first French in Minne- 
sota, 11. 

Guinas, missionary at Fort Beau- 
barnois, 26. 

Hamline University, mentioned, 

Harlan, James, forbids further is- 
sues of Chippeway half-breed 
scrip, 114. 

Hart, H. H., secretary of state 
board of charities and correc- 
tions, 334. 

Hazlewood republic, 169. 

Hendricks, Capt. Mark, handles 
battery at \\ood Lake, 219. 

Hennepin, Father Louis, member 
of expedition to upper Missis- 
sippi, 18; discovers falls of St. 
Anthony, 19; a subordinate to 
La .Salle, 21 ; his " Description of 
Louisiana," 21; his "New Dis- 
covery," 21. 



Hewitt, Dr. C. N., secretary of 
state board of health, 334. 

High Scliool Board, 322; effective- 
ness, 337. 

High schools, feed university, 321. 

Hill, J. J., an associate lor pur- 
chase of the St. Paul and Pacific, 
30'J; becomes general manager 
of St. Paul, Minneapolis and 
Manitoba R. R. 311. 

Hinckley forest lire (1894). 349. 

Hoag, Charles, proposes the name 
Min-ne-ha-po-lis, 131. 

Holcouib, William, first lieuten- 
ant-governor, KiO. 

Home rule for cities; constitu- 
tional amendment, 348. 

Homestead act, operation of, 252. 

Hopperdozers, described, 305. 

Hospital for insane at St. Peter, 
fire in 1880, 325. 

Hotchkiss, William A., captain of 
Second Light Battery, 187. 

Hubbard, Lucius Fairchild: in 
command of Fifth Minnesota, 
185; gallantry at Corinth, 185; 
■wounded at Nashville, 245; bre- 
vetted brigadier, 245; declines 
nomination for member of Con- 
gress, 264; member of special 
commission on special state rail- 
road bonds. 326; elected gov- 
ernor (1881), 333; fosters state 
institutions, 333; advises public 
school for neglected and de- 
pendent children, and reforma- 
tory for youthful convicts, 334; 
recommends " covering in " of 
moneys into county treasuries, 
335; recommends railroad law 
(1885), 335. 

Huggins, Alexander, mentioned, 

Indian forts, location and object, 

Indian treaties: commissioners to 
be appointed from Indian offi- 
cials, 94; price of, 101; with 
Chippeways (1837), 80; with 
Sioux (1837). 80; abortive with 
Sioux (1849), 92; with Sioux 

(1851). 95; with Chippeways 
(1854, etc.), Ill ; with Sioux (1858). 

Indian tribes of Minnesota, ac- 
count of. 94. 

Indians, how affected by traders. 

Indians, see Chippeways, Sioux, 

Inkpaduta: murders by, 146: res- 
cue of captives, 146; fruitless 
efforts to capture. 147; effect of 
failure to capture, 193. 

Interest, rate of (1860), 176. 

Internal improvement lands, de- 
voted to redemption of bonds, 

Ireland, Archbishop, chaplain of 
Fifth Minnesota, at Corinth, 186; 
speaks at celebration of two hun- 
dredth anniversary of discovery 
of falls of St. Anthony, 325. 

Iron ore of Minnesota: nature of, 
359; ranges, discovery and loca- 
tion, 358; marketable, amount 
of, 359; properties, valuation for 
taxation, 360; land of state, — 
royalties. 360 ; lands excepted 
from mineral laws of United 
States, 360. 

Iroquois, subjects of England, 29. 

Itasca, Lake, discovered, 76; mak- 
ing of the word, 76. 

Jefferson plans expeditions to 
west, 47. 

Jennison.Lieut.-Colonel, wounded 
at Nashville, 245. 

Johnson, John A., governor (1905), 

Joliet, on Lake Superior (1669), 14; 
at convocation (1671), 15; dis- 
covers the Mississippi (1673), 16. 

Jones commission, 116. 

Jones, John, sergeant, in charge 
of artillery at Fort Ridge ly. 205. 

Jogues, at Sault Ste Marie (1641), 

Keating, Prof William H., geolo- 
gist and historian of Long's ex- 
pedition, 7. 



Kiehle, David L., state stiperln- 
tendent of public instruction 
(1881-1893), 337; works out plan 
for school of a{;riculture, 355. 

Kingsburj', W. W., not recognized 
as delegate from the rump of 
Minnesota, 154. 

Kittson, N. W., trades at Pem- 
bina, 112; an associate for pur- 
chase of Saint Paul and Pacific, 

Knox, H. M., first public exam- 
iner, 314; his administration 
commended, 314. 

La Framboise, Joseph, rescues 
whites at upper agency, 201. 

Lampson, Nathan, kills Little 
Crow, 238. 

La Perrifere, Sieur de, builds Fort 
Beauharnois (1727), 26. 

La Salle, in Canada (1G63), 17; au- 
thorized to explore, 17; at Pe- 
oria. 111. (1680), 18; plans expe- 
dition to upper Mississippi, 18; 
at the mouth of the Mississippi 
(1682), 22. 

Lea, Luke, commissioner for 
Sioux treaties of 1851, W. 

Leavenworth, Lieutenant-Colonel 
Henry, leads troops to St. Pe- 
ter'.s, 55; appoints otticers of 
Crawford County, Mich., 58. 

Legislative sessions, limited by 
constitutional amendment, 346. 

Legislative steal of 18,58, 165. 

Legislature, first, doubtful status, 

Lester, Henry A., colonel of the 
Third Minnesota, 182; surren- 
ders, 182; dismissed, 184. 

Le Sueur, Pierre, on I'ralrie Is- 
land (1694), 23; gets leave to mine 
copper, 23; builds Fort I'Huil- 
lier (1700), 24; his copper mine, 

Lincoln, President, examines re- 
cord of Indian trials, 229; writes 
out order for execution of Sioux 
murderers, 2.30; recommends re- 
election of M. S. Wilkinson as 
U. S. senator, 251. 

Lind, John, governor (1899-lDOO), 

Little Crow: apparently peace- 
alile, 197; character. 198; as- 
sumes command of Sioux, 199< 
plans attack on Fort Ridgely. 
205; leads Indians in buttle of 
Kew Ulm, 209; retires behind 
the Yellow ^ledicine, 210; plans 
ambush for Sibley, 218; takes 
flight after battle, 220; killed, 

Lochren, William, candidate for 
U. S. senator, 297. 

Long, Major S. H., examines site 
for Fort Snelling (1817), 55; ex- 
pedition to Pembina, 72; marks 
international boundary, 72; see 

Loras, Hishop, visits Mendota, 83. 

Louisiana, under Spanish rule, 42; 
retroceded to France by Spain, 
43, bought of France, 43; de- 
livered to United States, 43. 

Lugger, Dr. Otto, investigates lo- 
custs, 349. 

Macalester College, mentioned, 

Mackinac, British garrison at, 32. 

Mackubin, C. N., state senator, ad- 
vises payment in full of the 
special state bonds, 172. 

McGill, Andrew R., governor 
(1887-89), 340. 

McGillis, Hugh, agrees to Pike's 
demands, 51. 

McLean, Nathaniel, mentioned, 

McLeod, Martin, bill for free 
schools, 90. 

McMillan, S. R. J., elected United 
States senator (1875), 297. 

Mcl'hail, Sanuicl, leader of reliev- 
ing party at Birch Coulie, 214. 

Maine Law, 137. 

Majority to amend constitution, 

Marine, first American settle- 
ment (1839). 81. 

Marklc, Mrs., taken prisoner and 
killed by Inkpaduta, 146. 



Marquette, at La Pointe, 14; to ac- 
company Juliet, IG. 

Marsh, Capt. .John S., marches to 
rescue of victims of Sioux mas- 

* sacre. 200; drowned after battle 
of Redwood Ferry, 200. 

Marshall. William R. : defeated by 
Rice (1S55), 110; Republican 
leader, 136; candidate for Con- 
press, 137; command.s Seventh 
Minnesota at Wood Lake, 219; 
commands brigade at Xashville, 
245; brevetted brigadier, 245; 
leads Seventh at capture of 
Fort Blakely, 246; elected gov- 
ernor (1865), 254; vetoes bill to 
remove state capital (18C9), 266; 
recommends oversight of corpo- 
rations, 279; elected state rail- 
road commissioner, 284; recom- 
mends use of internal improve- 
ment lands for redemption of 
bonds, 327. 

Medary, Samuel, appointed terri- 
torial governor, 136 ; leaves Min- 
nesota, 155. 

Medawakantons. country of, 96; 
see Sioux Indians. 

Meeker, B. B., appointed territo- 
rial justice, 90. 

Mendota, first settlement, mostly 
French, 81 ; treaty of, 96. 

Merriam, W^illiam R., governor 
(1889-93), 340. 

Merriman, O. C, member of spe- 
cial board of regents, 259. 

Merritt Brothers, explore for iron 

Mesabi iron range, mines of. 358. 

Militia companies form nucleus 
of First Minnesota, 178. 

Militia law of 1858, IGO. 

Mill explosion in Minneapolis 
(1878). 324. 

Miller, Stejihen, appointed colonel 
of Seventh Minnesota. 189; mili- 
tary career, 250; brevetted brig- 
adier, 251 ; elected governor. 251. 

Minneapolis and Cedar Valley 
Railroad Co. chartered, 162. 

Minneapolis, meaning of name, 
131; founded, 131; united with 

St. Anthony, 131; absorbs St. 
Anthony, 275; a milling centre, 
275 ; increase of population, 
1880-85, .333. 
Minneapolis Millers' Association, 

Minnesota, meaning of word, 1. 

Area east of the Mississippi 
("Minnesota East"): ceded by 
France to England (1763), 2. 31 ; 
effect of proclamation of George 
III (17G3), 36; operation of the 
Quebec act of 1774, 37; claim of 
Virginia. 37; becomes part of 
the Northwest Territory (1787). 
38; remains in control of the 
Northwest Company of Mont- 
real, 39 ; British control ends 
(1815), 52; part of successive ter- 
ritories, 58; excluded from the 
State of Wisconsin (1848), 86; 
treated by Congress as the Ter- 
ritory of Wisconsin, 86. 

Area west of the Mississippi 
(" Minnesota West "): ceded by 
France to Spain (1762), 31, 42; 
retroceded (1801), 43; bought of 
F'rance by the United States as 
part of the Louisiana Purchase, 

As Territory: bill to organize 
in 1846, defeated, 88 ; created 
(1849), 88; proclaimed, 89; bound- 
aries and area. 89 ; laws of 
Wisconsin remain in force, 90 ; 
provisional counties and judi- 
cial districts, 90; first census, 
election, and legislature, 91; 
capital located at St. Paul, 91; 
code of 1851, 91 ; population, 90, 
120, 149. 

As State: enabling act (1857), 
133; boundaries and area, 135; 
constitutional convention in 
two bodies, 137; they agree on 
one constitution, 141; ratified, 
148; opposition in Congress to 
admission to the Union, 151; 
admitted, 153 ; state officers 
qualified, 157; latitude and lon- 
gitude, 363; " Heart of the Con- 
tinent," 3G4; elevation and tern- 



perature, 364 ; population, 175, 
252, 270, 307, 333, 364. 

MinnesoU colleges, 353. 

Minnesota Historical Society in- 
corporated, 91. 

Minnesota River, course of, 1. 

Minnesota state railroad adjust- 
ment bonds, 331. See Five mil- 
lion loan. 

Minnesota troops, in Civil War. 
178, 186, 188, 247; in Spanish 
War. 350. 

Minnesotaand Northwestern Rail- 
road Company, incorporated 
(1854), 122; land praiit before 
Congress, 123 ; bill for land grant 
repealed, 125; act of 1854 held 
repealed by Supreme Court of 
United States, 127. 

Minnesota and Pacific Railroad 
Co., chartered, 161 ; superseded 
by the St. Paul and Pacific, 28.".. 

Missions, first, in aMinnesota, 27; 
beginning of Chippeway, 64; 
first to Sioux, 65; at Kaposia, 
68; Methodist, at Redwing, 68; 
Catholic, at Lac qui Parle and 
Ch;i.ska, 68; why unfruitful, 68. 

Mississippi, the, rumors of, 14; 
discovered (1673), 16. 

Monopoly of markets forbidden ; 
constitutional amendment, 346. 

Munch, Emil, Captain of First 
Light Hatterj', 187; wounded at 
Shiloh, 187; state treasurer, 298. 

Natural history survey, 303. 

Neal commission, 114. 

Neill, Rev. E. D., draws bill for 
free schools, 91; chaplain of | 
First .Minnesota, 179; superin- 
tendent of public instruction, 

Nelson, Knute, governor (1893-95), 
340; elected to United States 
Senate, 340. 

New France, a royal province 
(1663), 13. 

New Uhn, first attack on by Sioux, 
201 ; battle of, 209. 

NicoHet, Jean, ate; reen Bay (1634). 
6; locates Lake Michigan, 6. 

Xicollet, Joseph X., confirms work 
of Schoolcraft and Allen, 77, 
discovers the " infant Missis- 
sippi," 78. 

Nicol.s, John, member of special 
board of regents, 259; member 
of state commission on special 
state railroad bonds, 326. 

Ninth Minnesota Infantry, at 
Nashville, 244. 

Nix, Cai)t. Jacob, commands de- 
fense of New Ulm, first attack. 

Normal schools, establishment, 

Northern Securities Company, or- 
ganized, 361 ; dissolution of, 362. 

Northfield murders (1876), 315. 

Northrop, Cyrus, president of 
University of Minnesota, 337. 

Northwest Company, organiza- 
tion and policy, 39; posts of, 

Norton, Daniel A., elected United 
States senator, 252; death, 292. 

Official year fixed by constitu- 
tional amendment, 345. 

Olmsiead, David, mentioned. 110. 

Other Day, John, rescues whites 
at ujjper agency, 201. 

Otis, fleorge L., defeated by Aus- 
tin for governor, 267. 

Ozawindib, Schoolcraft's Chippe- 
way guide, 76. 

Panic of 1857, 142; of 1873, 288. 

Parker, Kly F., forbids issue of 
ChipiK'way half-breed scrip, 114. 

Parrant, Pierre, mentioned, 82. 

Peck, Louis, discovers cause of 
mill oxitlosion, .'524. 

Pembina, French and half breed 
town, 84; treaty of, 112. 

Perrot, Nicholas, at convocation 
of 1671, 15 ; buihls F'ort St. An- 
toine, 22; proclamation. 22. 

Phelps, William F., organizes 
Winona Normal School, 2">7. 

Phelps, Willi;uu W., seated as re- 
presentative from Minnesota, 



Picard du Oay, a title of Auguelle, 
companion of Accault, 18. 

Pinchon, trades on Minnesota 
River, 32. 

Pike, /fbiilon Montgomery, per- 
sonal appearance, 47; expedi- 
tion, 47; treaty with the Sioux, 
48; at upper sources of Missis- 
sippi, 50; asserts dominion of 
United States, 51. 

Pillager hand of Cliippeways, out- 
break of, 351; sud'er injustice, 

Pillsbury, C. A., heads relief com- 
mittee, 350. 

Pillsbury, John S. , becomes regent 
of university, 25'J; characteris- 
tics, 304; governor for three 
terms, 304 ; advises farmers how 
to tight "hoppers," 305; visits 
devastated counties, 305; ap- 
points day of fasting aud prayer 
for " hoppers," 306; praises 
operation of public examiner 
law, 314 ; urges paymCiit of " dis- 
honored bonds," 330; regent for 
life, 332; death, 332. 

Pine on the St. Croix, 79. 

Pine forests, exhaustion of, 357. 

Pine land operations, see Chippe- 
way half-breed scrip, Sioux 
half-breed scrip. 

Plympton, Major, mentioned, 128. 

Pokegama mission broken up, 65. 

Pond brothers, first missionaries 
to Sioux, 65; build on Lake Cal- 
houn, 65; invent the Pond al- 
phabet, G6. 

Pope, General John, takes com- 
mand of department of the 
northwest, 222; protests against 
the appointment of H. ^I. Rice 
as brigadier-general, 223; pro- 
poses to exterminate the Sioux, 

Population of Minnesota, in 1849, 
90; increase of, in Gorman's .ad- 
ministration, 120; in 1800, 175; 
in 18&5, 252; in 1870, 200; in 1875 
and 1880, 307 ; in 1880 and 1885, 
333 ; in 1905, 3f34 ; 1850 to 1905, 365 ; 
Of the Twin Cities, 1905, 3G4. 

Porter, Edward A., conceives 
school of agriculture, 354. 

Prairie du Chien supply station, 
32; garrisoned, .55. 

Presbyterian church at Fort Snell- 
ing, 67. 

Prescott, Philander, teaches in 
agricultural school at Lake Cal- 
houn (1839;, 67. 

Primary elections, 342. 

Prohibitory liquor law, 91. 

Public examiner, office created 
(1878), 314. 

Public lands, grants of, 135; grants 
for railroads, 143. 

Public Library Commission, 363. 

Quebec act, the, 37. 
Qumn, Peter, killed by Sioux, 

Radisson, see Groseilliers. 

Radisson manuscript discovered, 

" Ragnarok," by Ignatius Don- 
nelly, 318. 

Railroad excursion of 1854, 121. 

Railroads, land grant of 1857, 143; 
four companies chartered (1857), 
143; five million loan for, 155; 
the four land grant companies 
of 1S57, 101; loan of credit to 
the four companies, 162 ; special 
Minnesota state railroad bonds, 
162; work stops, 164; work of 
the four companies, 165; spe- 
cial bonds not regarded as state 
obligations, 164; banking on 
special bonds, 166; special bonds 
repudiated, 173; the four com- 
panies revived, 173; they de- 
fault, 173 ; they give up, 174 ; four 
new companies chartered, 174; 
mileage, 174, 175, 271, 307, 360; 
beginnings of construction. 175; 
extension in late '60's, 265; ex- 
tensions in '70's, 270; extend cul- 
tivation, 272; welcomed, 276; 
multiply new towns, 272; extor- 
tion and discrimination, 276; 
ignore legislation, 230; state 
commissioner appointed, 280; 



debts of 1873, 281 ; evade taxes, 
281; reports of slight service, 
281; slight construction, 282; 
finances in 1873, 282; failure of 
companies (1873), 28:i; litigate 
right to regulate, 282; state 
board of commissioners created 
(1874), 283; elective commis- 
sioner (1875), 284; grants and 
gifts, 291; law of 1885, 33.5; com- 
petition of Canadian, 3G2. 

Ramsey, Alexander: antecedents, 
8'J ; appointed territorial gov- 
ernor, 89 ; commissioner for 
Sioux treaties (1849), 93; inves- 
tigation of his conduct in Sioux 
treaties (1851), 100; exonerated 
by Senate, 101 ; protests against 
Rice's Winnebago contract, 105 ; 
superseded as territorial gov- 
ernor, 108; negotiates Pembina 
treaty, 112; director of Minne- 
sota and Northwestern Railroad 
Co., 126 ; elected governor of 
state, 170 ; inaugural address 
(18tMJ), 170; rescues the school 
lands, 171 ; recommends settling 
with holders of special state 
railroad bonds, 172 ; reelected 
governor (18()2), 177; in Wash- 
ington on day of attack on Fort 
Sumter, 178; tenders a regiment 
of infantry, 178; appoints colo- 
nels, 189 ; appoints Sibley to 
command the Indian expedition, 
211; elected United States sen- 
ator (1863), 249; recommends sale 
of university lands to pay debt. 
258; reelected senator, 26.". ; fails 
to secure nomination again, 297 ; 
secretary of war, 297; lays cor 
ner-stone of new capitol, 298; 
death, 298. 

Ravoux, Monsignor, Catholic mis- 
sionary, 68; succeeds Pere (Jal- 
tier, 83 ; baptizes thirty con- 
demned Sioux, 231. 

Raymbault, at Sault Ste. Mario 
(1G41), 6. 

Reeve, Col. C. McC, commands 
Thirternth Minnesota, 3.50. 

Registration of voters, 175. 

Renville, Joseph, trader at Lac 
qui Parle, invites Dr. William- 
son, 07; guide and interpreter 
for .Major I^mg, 72. 

Keuville Hangers, help defend 
Fort Uidgely, 205. 

Republican party, organized, 136. 

Revised laws of 1905, 344. 

Rice, Henry M., birth and educa- 
tion, 1(J2; in Indian trade, 102; 
personal qualities, 103; settles 
in St. Paul, 103; his Winnebago 
contract, 103; selects new homo 
for Winnebagoes, 103; elected 
delegate to Congress, 107; in 
Congress, 110; reelected dele- 
gate, 110; secures issue of ad- 
ditional Chippeway half-breed 
scrip, 113, 118; director of Min- 
nesota and Northwestern Rail- 
road Co., 126; assists in sale of 
Snelling reserve, 132; reelected 
delegate, 136; introduces bill for 
enabling act, 133; causes retire- 
ment of Governor Gorman, 136; 
elected United States senator, 
150; seated as senator, 1.53; de- 
clines to change politics, 252; 
defeated for governor by Mar- 
shall 1186,5), 2.54; plans double 
land grant for the university, 

Riggs, Rev. Stephen Return, joins 
Sioux mission, 67; edits Dakota 
grammar and dictionary, 6S; 
escape from upper Sioux, 202; 
chn])lain of Sibley's Indinii ex- 
pedition, 227; assists military 
commission, 227. 

Rocky Mountain locust, scourge 
of, 2;t0; devastations of (1876), 
305; suddenly vanish (1877), 307; 
appear In Otter Tail County 
(l.S,S6), 349. 

Rolette, ,Ioseph, absconds with 
capital removal bill, 132. 

Root Kiver and Southern Minne- 
sota Railroad Co. chartered, 161. 

St. Anthony's Falls, discovered, 
19; two hundredth anniversary 
celebrated, 325. 



St. Anthony's Falls, city of, laid 

out (1847), 84; united with Min- 
iic.'ipolis, 131. 

St. .I<jliir.s I'liiver.sity, mentioned, 

St. Lusson, at convocation of 
1671, 15. 

St. Michel the Archangel, mission 
of, 27. 

St. I'aul, Hennepin at site of 
(1680), 19; Carver visits site 
(1767), 34; first inhabitant, 82, 
settled by evicted Swiss, 82; 
how named, 83; a French village 
till 1845, 83 ; gets poSt-office (1846), 
84; capital of territory, 91; re- 
mains the capital, 1.32, 265. 

St. Paul and Pacific Railroad Co., 
financing of, 285; bankruptcy 
of, 308; sold to associates (1878), 
310; litigation following sale of, 

St. Paul, Minneapolis and Mani- 
toba Railroad Co. organized 
1879, 311. 

Saint Pierre, Capt. Legardeur, at 
Fort Beauharnois, 27. 

Sanborn, John A., appointed colo- 
nel of the Fourth Minnesota, 

Sandy Lake and post, 40. 

San Ildefonso, treaty of, 43. 

Savanna portage, 40. 

Sawmill, near Menominee. Wis., 
80; first in Minnesota, at Marine, 
81 ; first at falls of St. Anthony, 

School, agricultural, at Lake Cal- 
houn, 67. 

School-books, free, 321. 

Schoolcraft, Henry R., mineralo- 
gist of Cass's expedition, 71; 
narrative of same, 71; exjiedi- 
tion of 18.32, 75; at Lake Itasca, 
76; conceals discovery in report 
to War Department, 77; an- 
nounces discovery in published 
narrative, 77. 

School fund, increase of, 352; 
may be loaned for erection of 
school buildings, constitutional 
amendment, 346; may be in- 

vested in municipal bonds, 
constitutional amendment, 348. 

School of Agriculture of I'ni- 
vfTSity of Minnesota, evolution 
of, 354. 

School tax, 337. 

Schools, common, development of , 

Second Battery of Light Artillery, 

Second Minnesota Infantry, re- 
cruited, 181; at Mill Springs, 
181; gallant stand at Chicka- 
mauga, 242; at Mission Ridge, 

Second Minnesota Sharpshooters 
at Antietam, 181. 

Seeger, William, impeachment of, 

Selkirk, Earl of, plans colony, 78; 
plants settlements in Canada, 

Selkirk colonists migrate to the 
States, 78. 

Selkirk refugees, squat about 
Fort Snelling, 79; evicted from 
Fort Snelling reservation, 82; 
settle at St. Paul, 82. 

Seventh Minnesota Infantry, at 
Nashville, 244; at Wood Lake, 

Seven Years' War, effect of, 31. 

Sheehan, Timothy J., recalled to 
Fort Ridgely, 200; commands 
there, 205; gallantry at Nash- 
ville, 245; U. S. marshal, 351. 

Sherburne, Moses G., appointed 
territorial justice (1853), 108; 
presents plan of union of two 
factions of constitutional con- 
vention, 139; reports constitu- 
tion to democratic body, 140. 

Sherman, Gen. W. T., speaks at 
celebration of two hundredth 
anniversary of the discovery of 
the falls of" St. Anthony, 32;">. 

Sherman, John, opposes the ad- 
mission of Minnesota, 1.53. 

Shields, James, elected V. S. sen- 
ator, 150; seated as senator. 1.53. 

Sibley, Henry Hastings: birth and 
education, 59; arrives at Men- 



dota(18»l), 59; Dakota name, 60; 
chosen delegate by the Still- 
water convention, 86; delegate 
from Wisconsin Territory, 87; 
secures passage of act creating 
Minnesota Territory, 88; pro- 
tests against Rice's Winnebago 
contract, 105 ; elected delegate to 
Congress from Minnesota Ter- 
ritory, 10"); his notable Indian 
speech, August 2, 1860, 107; se- 
cures double land grants for 
common schools and for a uni- 
versity, 107; speech for reform 
of Indian policy, 107; retires 
from American Fur Company, 
197; drafts new bill for land 
grants to Minnesota railroads, 
124; in legislature of ia55, 126; 
frames report on Minnesota 
and Northwestern Railroad, 126; 
draws memorial to Congress 
praying for disapproval of Min- 
nesota and Northwestern Rail- 
road bill, 127; chairman and 
president of Democratic end of 
constitutional convention, 138; 
elected first state governor, 149; 
sworn in as governor, 157; inau- 
gural address, 159; notifies the 
four companies as to prior lien, 
163; apjiointed to command In- 
dian expedition, 211; corre- 
si)onds with Little Crow, 216; 
moves against the Sioux, 218; 
commands in battle of Wood 
Lake, 218; releases captives, 
220; promoted brigadier-gener- 
al, 222; appoints military com- 
mission, 227; commands Sioux 
expedition of 1863, 234; in legis- 
lature of 1871, favors payment of 
bonds of isr)8 in full, 328; honor- 
ary banquet to, 339 ; receives de- 
gree of LL. I)., 339 ; death, 339. 

Sioux and Chippeways exchange 
murders, 62. 

Sioux cami)aign of 1864, 236; ex- 
pedition of 1K63, 2.34. 

Sioux half-breed scrip, story of, 
117; placed on iron ore pro- 
perties, 119. 

Sioux Indians: first heard of, 7; 
seen by Allouez, 14; early habi- 
tat, 44 ; immigration of, 44 ; ch;ir- 
acteristics, 45; tribes and num- 
bers of, 94; move to reserves 
(1853), 120, 167; uneasy on re- 
serves, 167; become farmers, 
168; effect of concentration, 
191 ; character of reservations, 
l'.t2; prey of whiskey-sellers. 192; 
disturbances at upper agency, 
194; delay of payments, 195; sol- 
diers' lodge, 196; late arrival of 
gold, 196; murders at Acton, 197; 
council at upper agency, 201 ; 
depopulation, 203; losses in out- 
break, 211 ; removal from Jlinne- 
sota, 232. 

Sioux outbreak, 190. 

Sioux prisoners, trial of, by mili- 
tary commission, 227; dispo- 
sition of principal body of, 
228, 232; maltreated by whites, 
228; protests against leniency, 
229; Bishop Whipple's letter to 
President, 230; President Lin- 
coln's scrutiny, 230; executions, 
231; mistakes in identification, 
231; become Christians, 231, 232; 
disposition of convicts not ex- 
ecuted, 232. 

Sioux reservations: granted in 
treaties of 1851, 96 ; annulled by 
Senate, 1852, 98 ; ratified by In- 
dians, 1853, 98 ; nevertheless oc- 
cupied, 167; permitted by Con- 
gress to be held, 167 ; reduction, 
169, 192 ; forfeited, 232. 

Sioux treaties: abortive'treaty of 
1849,92; treaties of 1851.93, of 
1858, 169, 192; abrogation of, 

Sissetons, 94;^ country of, 96. 

Sixth Minnesota Infantry, deci- 
mated in Arkansas, by disease, 
246; at Wood Lake, 219; gallan- 
trj- at Fort HIakely, 246. 

Smith, Donald A., an associate for 
purchase of St. Paul and Pacific, 

Smith, Robert, gets lease at falls 
of St Anthony, 129. 



Snelling, Col. Joseph, takes com- 
mand, 56 ; builds Fort St. An- 
thony, 56. 

Soldiers' Home, 335. 

Source of rivers, the true, 70. 

Spain retrocedea Louisiana to 
France, 43. 

Special legislation forbidden, 
constitutional amendment, 346. 

Special state railroad bonds, au- 
thorized, 155; intended umploy- 
inent of, 1G4; discredit of, IIU; 
amount of issue, 165, legislative 
reports on, 172; tribunal for, 
330; redeemed (1881), 331. 

Sprmger, William, mentioned, 317. 

Spring wheat, adapted to Minne- 
sota, 273. 

State agricultural college, located 
at Olencoe, 261 ; merged with 
university, 261. 

State Agricultural Society, men- 
tioned, 356. 

State Art Society, 363. 

State Board of Charities and Cor- 
rections, 334; Board of Health, 
334; Board of Control, 344; Board 
of Visitors, 345. 

State capital, efforts to remove, 
132, 265. 

State capitol, burned (1881), 325; 
rebuilt, 343; new, built, 343. 

State Forestry Board, mentioned, 

State highway commission; con- 
stitutional amendment, 348. 

State Public School for neglected 
and dependent children, 335. 

State Reformatory, 335. 

Steele, Franklin, gives site for 
university preparatory school, 
144; defeated by Shields for 
U. S. senator, 151. 

Stephen, George, takes an interest 
in St. Paul and Pacific purchase, 

Stevens, Rev. J. D., missionarj', 
opens school at Lake Harriet, 
66; pastor of Snelling church, 

Stevens, J. H., gets lease at falls 
of St. Anthony, 130. 

Stillwater, laid out (1843), 81 ; con- 
vention, 86. 

Stone, George C, explores for 
iron ore, 358. 

Stuart, Robert, mentioned, 64. 

Sully, Gen. Alfred, commands ex- 
pedition, 1863, 23<j. 

Supreme Court of Minnesota holds 
" five million loan " amendment 
of 1860 unconstitutional, 331. 

Supreme Court of United States, 
validates Sioux half-breed scrip, 
120; in ol)iter dictum holds .Min- 
nesota responsible for railroad 
bonds, 329. 

Swift, Henry A., becomes gov- 
ernor for six months, 249. 

Taliaferro, Lawrence, first Sioux 
agent, 61 ; opposes issue of indi- 
vidual patents to Sioux half- 
breeds, 117. 

Talon, intendant of New France, 
13; orders post at the Sault, 14; 
plans expedition to the west, 
15; chooses Joliet to lead, 16. 

Taxation, system, changed by 
constitutional amendment, 347. 

Tenth Minnesota Infantry, at 
Nashville, 244. 

Terms of office, 337. 

Third Minnesota Infantry, re- 
cruited, 181; at Murfreesboro, 
182; at Wood Lake, 219; in bat- 
tle of Fitzhugh's Woods, 243. 

Thomas, M. T., appointed colonel 
of Eighth Minnesota, 189. 

Thompson, David, on Turtle Lake, 

Tornado, at St. Cloud (1886), 348; 
in southern counties (1891), 349. 

Traders' paper, 95. 

Transit Railroad Co., chartered, 

Transportation to seaboard, see 

Traverse des Sioux, treaty of, 95. 

Treaty, see Indian treaties. 

Tweedy, John H., mentioned, 87. 

Twelfth Minnesota Volunteers, in 
Spanish War, 350. 

Tyler, Hugh, attorney-in-fact, 100. 



University of Minnesota, created, 
144; land grant of I80I, 144; first 
board of regents, 144; prepara- 
tory school of 18r)l, 144; campus 
purchased on credit, 14"); re- 
gents borrowmoney, 145,100,257; 
erect building, 145; state board 
appointed, 175, 258; state board 
recommend sale of land, 258; 
Congress donates lands reserved 
in ia51, 258; properties turned 
over to state auditor, 258 ; special 
board appointed, 259; "extrica- 
tion " by same, 259; new char- 
ter, 2G0; preparatory and aca- 
demic departments opened, 260; 
novel plan of organization pro- 
posed by the first president, the 
author of this book, 300; first 
commencement, 300 ; double 
land grant, 302; fed by high 
schools, 338; late prosperity, 

Van Cleve, Horatio P., colonel of 
Second Minnesota, 181. 

Van Cleve, Mrs. Charlotte Ouia- 
consin, born, 55. 

Van der Horclc, Capt. John, com- 
mands at Fort Abercrombie. 223. 

Van Sant, Samuel R., governor 
(1901-05), 340; opposes railroad 
consolidation, 340. 

Verendrye, Sieur de la, explora- 
tions, 28. 

Vermilion Iron Range, 358. 

Vilas, William F., secretary of 
state, endeavors to prevent use 
of Sioux scrip, 119. 

Wabashaw sends letter to Sibley, 

Wabashaw reservation, 117. 

Wahpi^kutes, see Sioux Indians. 

Wahpt^tons, see Sioux Indians. 

Walker, Lucius C, Chippewa 
agent, mentioned, 225. 

Washburn, William P., declines 
nomination for Congress, 2CA 
becomes nominee in 1878, 310 
service as congressman, 318 
elected U. S. senator, 312. 

I Washbume, E. B., reply to Ig- 
j natius Donnelly, 263. 
I Weiser, Dr. J. S., shot by Sioux, 

Welch, Major A. E , gallantry at 
Wood Lake, 219. 

Welch, William H., appointed ter- 
ritorial chief justice, 1853, 108. 

Western fur-trade suspended, 

Wheat crops of 1875 and 1880, 307 ; 
grading and inspection, 336. 

Whipple, Henry Benjamin, pro- 
tests against wholesale execu- 
tions, 229. 

Whitman, Allen, report on lo- 
custs, 304. 

Wilkin, Alexander, defeated for 
delegate, 1855, by Rice, 107; ap- 
pointed colonel of Ninth Minne- 
sota, 189. 

Wilkinson, Major M. C., shot in 
Pillager outbreak, 352. 

Wilkinson, Morton S., elected 
U. S. senator, 171 ; defeated for 
Senate by D. S. Norton, 252. 

Williamson, Miss Jane, mission- 
ary work, 67, 233. 

Williamson, Thomas. Smith, mis- 
sionary of American Board 
(18a5), 66; translates Bible into 
Dakota, 67; organizes the Hazle- 
wood republic at Yellow Medi- 
cine, 169; escapes from upper 
Sioux, 202; ministers to Sioux 
convicts, 233. 

Wilson, Eugene M., elected M. C, 

Wilson, Horace B., state superin- 
tendent of public instruction, 

Winchell, N. H., state geologist, 
303; reports on iron ore find 
(1878), 358. 

Windom, William, reelected to 
Congress (18t?2), 248; elected V. S. 
senator, 2!»2; personal qualities, 
202; report of, on "transporta- 
tion routes to the seaboard," 292 ; 
defeated for rci>k'ction to V . S. 
Senate (1883), 338; Secretary of 
the Treasury, 339; death, 339. 



Winnebagops, cstal)lished on Long 
Prairie reservation, 104; stray 
from reserve, 104 ; Rice contract, 
104 ; moved to new reserve, near 
Mankato, 120; removed from 
Minnesota, 232. 

Woman suffrape on school 
library measures, 320, 347. 
Wood Lake, battle of, 218. 

Younger brothers, 315. 


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