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Minnesota Farmers' Diaries

Minnesota Farmers' Diaries

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Life on the Frontier, 1845-1863

Author Rodney Loehr

Minnesota Historical Society Press ()


“In entries marked by simplicity and honesty is the concrete tale of pioneering, of community life on the frontier, of persons and places.” Theodore C. Blegen, from the Introduction

Farmers William R. Brown and Mitchell Y. Jackson kept remarkable diaries of life on their mid-nineteenth century Minnesota farms, gripping stories that reflected the experiences of countless pioneers who broke the sod, tilled the field, and built their homes throughout this country. Minnesota Farmers’ Diaries features the first-hand accounts of these farmers, both born in Ohio in 1816 and eventually settling in Minnesota—Brown in the Red River Valley and Jackson in Washington County.

With his diary, Brown created one of the few primary sources for the history of Minnesota in the 1840s. Jackson, while offering acute perceptions and a wide range of observation about his daily life and surroundings, eloquently voices the concerns a man who came to Minnesota in the first great wave of immigration. Few other Minnesota farm diarists showed an equal facility with the pen or exhibited interest in so many subjects.

Included in this fascinating volume is an invaluable introduction by Rodney C. Loehr, who gives the diaries context by detailing the larger agricultural, historical, and social aspects of this period in U.S. history.

Author information

Historian and author Rodney C. Loehr was a longtime professor of history at the University of Minnesota. His research specialty areas included agricultural history, economic history, and forest history.

  • 258 pages
  • 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • ISBN: 9780873515375

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