The first Europeans who trod its soil were two Huguenots, Sieur Groselliers and Sieur Radisson, who, in search of a northwest passage to China
, passed through this region in 1659.
Returning to Montreal
in 1660 with sixty canoes laden with skins, they excited others to go in search of peltries, and this was the beginning of the French
furtrade which afterwards interfered with the Hudson Bay Company.
To secure this trade, which the English
were grasping, Daniel Greysolon du Luth
, a native of Lyons
, left Quebec
in September, 1678, with twenty men, and entered Minnesota
The next year Father Hennepin
and two others, who were a part of La Salle
's expedition, penetrated the country far above the falls of St. Anthony
The territory was formally taken possession of in the name of the French
monarch, by Perrot
and his associates, in 1689.
They built a fort on the west shore of Lake Pepin
; and Le Seur built another fort, in 1695, on an island in the Mississippi
, just below the mouth of the St. Croix River
, after which the fur-traders flocked into that region.
In 1763, Jonathan Carver
and published a description of the country.
In 1800, a part of Minnesota
lying west of the Mississippi
was included in the Territory of Indiana
The purchase of Louisiana
, in 1803, gave the United States
possession of the whole country west of the Mississippi
, and in 1816 Congress passed a law excluding foreigners from the fur-trade in that region.
Fort Snelling was built and garrisoned in 1819, and active trade with
the Indians was carried on there.
In 1820 that region was explored by a party under Gen. Lewis Cass
, and by Major
Long in 1821. A third exploring party went there in 1832, led by Henry R. Schoolcraft
, who discovered the main source of the Mississippi River
In 1837, some lumbering operations began in Minnesota
, upon the St. Croix River
The town of St. Paul
was founded in 1842, and in 1849 the Territory of Minnesota
At that time one-half the lands ineluded in the Territory
belonged to the Indians, and the white population was less than 5,000.
Emigrants flocked in, and at the end of eight years (1857) the number was 150,000.
In 1851 the Sioux
ceded to the United States
all their lands in Minnesota
In 1857 application was made by the people for the admission of Minnesota
into the Union
as a State.
This was effected May 11, 1858. Minnesota
furnished to the National
army and navy during the Civil War
The population in 1890, a little more than fifty years after the first settlement, was 1,301,826; in 1900, 1,751,394.
The people of the State
were faithful to the old flag in 1861; so was the governor, Alexander Ramsey
The legislature that assembled Jan. 26 passed a series of loyal resolutions, in which secession was denounced as revolution, and the acts of the South Carolinians in Charleston Harbor
as treasonable; and said that the full strength of the national authority under the national flag should be put forth.
It gave assurance that the people of Minnesota
would never consent to the obstruction of the free navigation of the Mississippi River
“from its source to its mouth by any power hostile to the federal government.”
At midsummer, in 1862, Little Crow, a saintly looking savage in civilized costume, leader of Sioux
warriors, began war on the white people, and in August and
A Sioux massacre.|
September butchered inhabitants at three points in Minnesota
, and at posts beyond the boundary of the State
For nine days the Sioux
besieged Fort Ridgely. Fort Abercrombie
was also besieged, and twice assaulted; and in that region the Indians murdered about 500 white inhabitants, mostly defenceless women and children.
Gen. H. H. Sibley
was sent with a body of militia to crush the Indians.
He attacked a large force under Little Crow at Wood Lake
, and drove them into Dakota
, making 500 of their number prisoners.
Tried by court-martial, 300 of them were sentenced to be hanged.
The President interfered, and only thirty-seven of the worst offenders were executed, Feb. 28. 1863.
The “Sioux War” was not ended until the summer of 1863, when General Pope
took command of that department, picketed the line of settlements in the far Northwest with 2,000 soldiers, and took vigorous measures to disperse the hostile bands.
moved against them in June, 1863, fought the Indians at different places, and finally scattered them among the wilds of the eastern slopes of the spurs of the Rocky Mountains
An outbreak by the Pillager band of Chippewas at Leech Lake
occurred in October, 1898, because of continued impositions by the whites; but it was quickly suppressed by a detachment of the regular army.
See United States, Minnesota
, in vol.
|Henry H. Sibley|| elected|| 1857|
|Alexander Ramsey||elected||Oct. 1858|
|Stephen Miller|| elected|| Oct. 1863|
|William R. Marshall, Rep||elected||Nov. 7, 1865|
|Horace Austin, Rep|| elected|| Nov. 1869|
|Cushman K. Davis, Rep|| elected|| Nov. 1873|
|John S. Pillsbury, Rep||elected||Nov. 2, 1875|
|Lucius F. Hubbard, Rep||elected||Nov. 1881|
|Andrew R. McGill, Rep||elected||Nov. 2, 1886|
|William R. Merriam, Rep||elected|| Nov. 1888|
|William R. Merriam, Rep||term begins||Jan. 1891|
|Knute Nelson, Rep||term begins|| Jan. 1893|
|Knute Nelson, Rep||term begins|| Jan. 1, 1895|
|David M. Clough ||term begins|| Jan. 24, 1895|
|John Lind||term begins|| Jan. 1, 1899|
|Samuel R. Van Sant.||term begins||Jan. 1, 1901|