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Fort Snelling At Bdote: A Brief History

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Paperback

A primer on the complex and contested history of Minnesota’s premier historical site, newly annotated.

For millennia, the place where the Minnesota River joins the Mississippi has been a crossroads, a place of strategic power. But that symbolism is complicated. The fort is a powerful reminder that most Minnesotans today are descendants of immigrants, living on conquered land. Many Dakota people consider the area to be their sacred place of origin as well as a site of genocide. And, shockingly, some army officers at the fort held African Americans in slavery. 

The site, a museum preserved and run by the Minnesota Historical Society, is undergoing a sweeping transformation to include not just the fort’s military history but the stories of all Minnesotans. And this primer similarly provides an overview of the site’s role in the foundation of the state, and its meaning for Minnesota’s diverse people.

Author: Peter J. DeCarlo is a historian and author of Fort Snelling at Bdote and “Loyalty Within Racism: The Segregated Sixteenth Battalion of the Minnesota Home Guard During World War I”. He holds an MA in American history with an emphasis in colonialism, borderlands, Native American studies, and the American West. He works at the Minnesota Historical Society as a research historian on the Historic Fort Snelling at Bdote Project.

      • MNHS Press: June 2020 (Updated Edition)
      • ISBN: 9781681341712
      • Paperback, 96 pages, 8.5x11 inches

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