Minnesota Historical Society

Making Minnesota Territory, 1849-1858

$ 15.95

In this lively collection of essays, historians reassess the events and meaning of Minnesota Territory 150 years after its creation. They describe how its birth in 1849 during the growing national conflict over slavery forever changed the lives of Minnesota's native and mixed-blood residents. Reinterpreting the rush to statehood in 1858, these writers offer fresh insights into the roles played by wildly optimistic territorial promoters and the no-holds-barred newspapers of the time.

Eight fictional "Day in the Life" essays, as well as more than 75 historical daguerreotypes, paintings, photographs, and curators'-choice artifacts, call up the sights, sounds, and surroundings of ordinary people living in tumultuous territorial times. An essay on surviving buildings and landscapes offers readers the opportunity to see and experience territorial Minnesota today.

 This book originated as a special issue of Minnesota History, the quarterly of the Minnesota Historical Society. It is being published to mark the 150th anniversary of the territory.

"If earth has a Paradise, it is here."--Harriet E. Bishop, Minnesota Territory promoter and school teacher, 1847

  • By: Edited by Anne R. Kaplan and Marilyn Ziebarth
  • Format: Paper, 112 pp., 81/2 x 11, 90 photographs, 5 maps, 52 color illustrations
  • Publisher: MNHS Press
  • Product ##: 9780873513739




"Studying the preterritorial period of Minnesota's history is a little like doing archaeology. Each generation creates a structure of belief and experience that covers up or reinterprets past experiences and past views of the world. . . . To imagine what life was like in the Minnesota region before 1849 and appreciate the nature of the drastic changes that took place in the 1850s, it is necessary to dig through the deposits of interpretation left by territorial Minnesotans."--from Bruce White's "The Power of Whiteness"


"With the signing of the Indian treaties, a subtle but profound change had already taken place. Prairie and oak openings had become acres; forests had become timber stands; tumbling rivers had become water rights. A world of natural features once invested with mystery and power of their own had become resources for human manipulation."--from Rhoda R. Gilman's "Territorial Imperative"


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