Confluence: The History of Fort Snelling
Winner of the 2022 Minnesota Book Award in Minnesota Nonfiction!
Fort Snelling, a foundational place in the story of Minnesota, was built two hundred years ago at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, an area known to the Dakota people as Bdote. For millennia, Bdote has been a vital and sacred place for the native peoples of the region. It is also the “birthplace of Minnesota,” the site where citizens of the United States first lived in what would become the state. The fort’s history encompasses the intersection of these peoples—and many others.
In this book, historian Hampton Smith delves into Fort Snelling’s long and complicated story: its construction as an improbably enormous structure, the daily lives of its inhabitants and those who lived nearby, the shift in its function when a spectacular influx of speculators and land-hungry immigrants flooded the territory, its participation in wresting the land from the Dakota, its evolution as two cities grew up around it, and its roles in two world wars—up to the reinterpretation of the fort as Minnesotans mark its two-hundredth anniversary. Illustrated throughout with artwork and photographs as well as maps and artifacts, this book is a comprehensive history of an important and controversial Minnesota landmark.
Hampton Smith, a former reference librarian at the Minnesota Historical Society, is the editor of Brother of Mine: The Civil War Letters of Thomas and William Christie.
- 256 pages
- 125 color and b&w illustrations
- 8 x 10 inches
- ISBN: 9781681341569
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