1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Minnesota

MINNESOTA, a North Central State of the United States of America. It is bounded on the S. by Iowa, on the W. by South and North Dakota—the Red River (commonly called the Red River of the North) separating it from the latter state—on the N. by the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario, being separated from the latter by the Lake of the Woods, Rainy River and Rainy Lake, and certain of their tributaries and outlets, and on the E. by Lake Superior and by Wisconsin, from which it is separated for the greater part of the distance by the Mississippi and St Croix rivers. It is the tenth state in size in the Union, with a total area of 84,682 sq. m., of which 3,824 sq. m. are water surface.[1] From north to south it is about 400 m. in length, extending from 43° 30' to 49° 23' 55" N. lat., and from east to west its width is about 354 m., lying between long. 89° 29' and 97° 15' W.

The north-east part of the state is included in the Great Lakes Province, and the southern and western parts are in the Prairie Plains Province. The whole area of the state was formerly a complexly folded mountainous region of strong relief, which was afterwards worn down to a more nearly level surface, except in the extreme north-east corner, where ridges of harder rock resisted erosion. Marine deposits were laid down over the south of the state after a submergence of the region; an uplift afterwards made of these deposits a coastal plain. The rather level surface of the “worn down mountains” of the north of the state and the coastal plain beds of the southern and western parts are now dissected by rivers, which make most of the state a rolling or hilly country, without strong relief. The average elevation is about 1275 ft. above sea-level or 600 ft. above the surface of Lake Superior. An extensive water-parting in the north central part of the state, an elevation whose inclination is almost imperceptible, determines the course of three great continental river systems. From this central elevation the land slopes off in all directions, rising again in the extreme north-east corner, where the rugged granite uplift in Cook county, known as the Misquah Hills, reaches an altitude of 2230 ft., the highest point in the state; and in the south-west corner, where an altitude of 1800 ft. is reached in the Coteau des Prairies. Only in the valleys of the Red, Minnesota and Mississippi rivers does the elevation fall below 800 ft. In the southern and central portions of the state open rolling prairies interspersed with groves and belts of oak and other deciduous hard-wood timber predominate. A little north of the centre the state is traversed from north-west to south-east by the extensive forest known as the “Big Woods,” in which also oak occurs most frequently. In the northern part of the state the great pine belt stretches from the head of Lake Superior westward to the confines of the Red River Valley, while along the north border and in the north-east the forest growth is almost exclusively tamarack and dwarf pine. More than three-fourths of the area of the state is arable, the small percentage of non-arable land lying principally in the north-eastern regions, which afford compensation in the form of rich mineral deposits. Of the three great continental river systems above mentioned, the Red River and its tributaries drain the western and west central slope northward through Lake Winnipeg into Hudson Bay; the other two being the St Lawrence system, to which the St Louis River and its branches and several smaller streams flowing into Lake Superior contribute their waters by way of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi, which with its tributaries drains about two-thirds of the state into the Gulf of Mexico. A few rivers in the south drain into the Mississippi through Iowa, while a smaller area in the extreme north is drained through the Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake into Hudson Bay. These river systems serve the threefold purpose of drainage, providing water communications (there being about 3000 m. of navigable waters in the state), and, by falls and rapids caused by glacial displacement of rivers, furnishing a magnificent volume of water-power. The Mississippi river, which flows for about 800 m. within or along the borders of the state, has its principal sources in and near Lake Itasca. It affords facilities for the transport of logs by means of booms above Minneapolis, and is navigable below St Paul; being half a mile broad where it reaches the border of the state at Hastings. At the Falls of St Anthony, St Cloud, Little Falls and other places, it provides ample water-power for manufacturing purposes. Its two principal tributaries are the St Croix and the Minnesota. The first, after having for about 135 m. (about 50 being navigable) formed the boundary between Wisconsin and Minnesota, enters the Mississippi at Hastings; the second, rising in Big Stone Lake on the western border, but 1 m. from Lake Traverse, the source of the Red River, enters the Mississippi from the south-west between St Paul and Minneapolis after a course of about 450 m., about 240 of which are navigable at high water. Both furnish valuable water-power, which is true also of the Cannon and Zumbro rivers flowing into the Mississippi below Hastings. The Red River, which forms the western boundary of the state for more than half its distance, has its source in Lake Traverse. Its most important branch is the Red Lake River, and both are navigable for vessels of light draught at high water. In the south the western fork of the Des Moines River, flowing for 125 m. through the state, is navigable for 20 m. Glacial action determined the direction and character of the rivers, made numerous swamps, and, by scouring out rock basins, damming rivers and leaving morainal hollows, determined the character and formation of the lakes, of which Minnesota has upwards of 10,000, a number probably exceeding that of any other state in the Union. The general characteristics of the lakes in the north differ from those of the south, the former being generally deep, with ragged rocky shores formed by glacial scouring which caused rock basins, the latter being mostly shallow. The most interesting feature of the glacial epoch is the extinct Lake Agassiz, which the receding ice of the later glacial period left in the Red River Valley of Minnesota, North Dakota and Manitoba. This lake drained southward into the Gulf of Mexico via the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers, until the ice sheet which had prevented its natural drainage to the north had melted sufficiently to allow it to be drained off into Hudson Bay by way of the Nelson River. The remarkably level character of the Red River district is due to horizontal deposits in the bottom of this lake, which have been little dissected by river erosion. The largest of the present lakes, Red Lake, in Beltrami county, has an area of 342 sq. m. Other large lakes are Mille Lacs (198 sq. m.) in Mille Lacs and Aitkin counties; Leech Lake (184 sq. m.) in Cass county; Lake Winnibigashish (82 sq. m.) in Itasca county; and Vermilion Lake (66 sq. m.) in St Louis county. On the northern boundary are the Lake of the Woods (612 sq. m.) and Rainy Lake (148 sq. m.), draining northwards into Hudson Bay. The beautiful “Park Region,” centring in Ottertail county, contains several thousand lakes. Several large lakes such as Pepin, Traverse and Big Stone are river expansions. The state supports three parks—Itasca state park (22,000 acres, established in 1891), about the sources of the Mississippi, in Clearwater, Becker and Hubbard counties; the St Croix (established in 1895), in Chicago county, across the St Croix from the Wisconsin state park of the same name, and including the beautiful Dalles of the St Croix; and the Minneopa state park (established in 1905), containing Minneopa Falls, near Mankato.

Flora and Fauna.—The flora and fauna are similar to those of the other states of the same latitude. The rapid settling of the state drove its native fauna, which comprised buffalo, deer, moose, bear, lynx and wolves, in great numbers into the northern sections, westward into Dakota, or across the Canadian border. Deer and moose are still found in the state. The preservation of game is now enforced by stringent game laws, administered by an efficient state Game and Fish Commission. The fisheries, which are of great value, are carefully supervised and systematically replenished from, the State Fish Hatchery at St Paul, and the Federal Fish Hatchery maintained at Duluth, in which particular attention is devoted to the fish of Lake Superior. Minnesota ranked third among the states of the Union in 1900 in the production of lumber, but in 1905 was fifth, the supply having diminished and the industry having been developed in the states of Washington and Louisiana. The danger of loss from forest fires, such as that of 1894, emphasized the necessity of forest preservation, and resulted (1895) in the creation of a special state department with a forest commissioner and five wardens with power to enforce upon corporations and individuals a strict observance of the forestry laws, the good effects of the law being evidenced by the fact that the fire losses in forest lands for the first twelve years of its operation averaged only $31,000 a year. Furthermore, in order to encourage the growth and preservation of the forests, and to create systematically forest reserves, the legislature established in 1899 a State Forestry Board. There are two national forest reserves, with an aggregate area of 1882 sq. m.

Climate.—Minnesota has the characteristic climate of the North Central group of states, with a low mean annual temperature, a notably rarefied atmosphere that results in an almost complete absence of damp foggy weather, and an unusual dryness which during the rather long winters considerably neutralizes the excessive cold. The cold increases not only from south to north, but to some extent from east to west. The mean annual temperature, according to the reports of the U.S. Weather Bureau, varies from 45° F. at St Paul and points in the south of the state to 37° F., at points in the north-east and as far south-west as Moorhead, Clay county. In the south the season is usually without killing frost from early in May to late in September, but in the north it is not uncommon late in May or early in September. The amount of rain decreases from east to west, the mean annual rainfall being 32.7 in. at Grand Meadow in the south-east and 33.3 in. at Mount Iron in the north-east, but less than 25 in. at several points of observation in the western half of the state. In all sections about as

EB1911 Minnesota.jpg
Emery Walker sc.
election at which it is voted. The executive department consists

of a governor, lieutenant-governor, secretary of state, treasurer and attorney-general, elected biennially in November of the even-numbered years, and an auditor elected at the same time every four years. The veto power of the governor (since 1876) extends to separate sections of appropriation bills. The judicial department comprises a supreme court consisting of a chief justice and (since 1881) four associate justices elected for terms of six years, and lower courts consisting of district courts with original jurisdiction in civil cases in law and equity, and in criminal cases upon indictments by grand juries; justices’ courts, in which the amount in litigation cannot exceed $100, or the punishment cannot exceed three months’ imprisonment or a fine of $100; and of municipal and probate courts with the usual jurisdictions. The legislative department consists of a senate of sixty-three members elected for four years, and a house of representatives of one hundred and nineteen members, elected for two years, the remuneration being mileage and $500 a year. The reapportionment of congressional, senatorial and representative districts is made in the first legislative session after the state census, which has been taken in every tenth year since 1865. The legislature meets biennially in odd-numbered years, the session being limited to ninety days by a constitutional amendment of 1888. A majority of all the members elected to each house is required for the passage of a bill, and a two-thirds majority is necessary to pass a bill over the governor’s veto. All bills for raising revenue must originate in the House of Representatives, but the senate may propose and concur with amendments as on other bills. Expenditures from the fund known as “The Internal Improvement Land Fund,” derived from the sale of state lands, can be made only after the enactment for that purpose has been approved by the voters of the state; in 1881 the legislature, and in 1884 the popular vote, pledged the proceeds of this fund to the payment of Minnesota state railway adjustment bonds. Taxation must be uniform only within classes of property prescribed by the legislature. An Australian ballot law was enacted in 1891; the qualifications for electors (adopted in 1896) require that the voter be at least twenty-one years old, that he shall have been a full citizen of the United States for three months prior to the election, and shall have lived in the state six months and in the election district thirty days. Women (since 1898) may vote for school officers and members of library boards, and are eligible for election to any office pertaining to the management of schools or libraries. A constitutional amendment in regard to local government adopted in 1898 provides that any city or village, by a four-sevenths vote of its electors, may adopt a charter drawn by a commission (appointed by the local district judges) and proposed by such commission within six months of its appointment.

An amendment to the constitution adopted in November 1888 declares that any combination or pool to affect the markets for food products is a “criminal conspiracy, and shall be punished in such manner as the legislature may provide.”

A homestead which is owned and occupied by a debtor as his dwelling place is exempt from seizure or sale for debts other than taxes, those secured by a mortgage on it, or those incurred for its improvement or repair, or for services performed by labourers or servants. But a homestead so exempted may not be larger than one-fourth of an acre if it is in an incorporated place having a population of 5000 or more, than half an acre if it is in an incorporated place having a population of less than 5000, or than eighty acres if it is outside an incorporated place. In case the owner is married the homestead cannot be sold or mortgaged, except for an unpaid portion of the purchase money, without the joinder of husband and wife, and if the owner dies leaving a spouse or minor children, the homestead with its exemptions descends to the surviving member or members of the family. If the owner is a husband and he deserts his family, the wife and minor children may retain the homestead. Under the laws of the state the legal existence and legal personality of a woman are not affected by marriage, and the property rights of a husband and wife are nearly equal. A husband may, however, convey his real estate, other than a homestead, by his separate deed, whereas a wife’s deed for her real estate is void without the joinder of her husband. If either husband or wife dies intestate and there are no descendants the whole of the estate passes to the survivor; if there are descendants the surviving spouse has the use of the homestead for the remainder of his or her life, an absolute title to one-third of the other real estate of the deceased, and to personal property limited to $1000 besides wearing apparel. The grounds for an absolute divorce in Minnesota are adultery, impotence, cruel and inhuman treatment, sentence to state prison or state reformatory subsequent to the marriage, desertion or habitual drunkenness for one year next preceding the application for a divorce. Before applying for an absolute divorce the plaintiff must have resided in the state for the year next preceding, unless the cause of action is adultery committed while the plaintiff was a resident of the state. A wife may at any time sue for a limited divorce from her husband on the ground of cruel and inhuman treatment, of such conduct as to render life with him unsafe and improper, or of abandonment and refusal or neglect to provide for her, if both parties are inhabitants of the state or their marriage took place in the state. A law of 1909 provides for a women’s and children’s department in the state bureau of labour.

The sale of intoxicating liquors is for the most part regulated by licences, but the granting of licences may be prohibited within any town or incorporated village by its legal voters, and the question must be submitted to popular vote upon the request of ten legal voters.

Penal and Charitable Institutions.—The charitable and correctional institutions of Minnesota have been since 1901 under the supervision of a State Board of Control consisting of three paid members appointed by the governor and serving for terms of six years; this board supplanted an unpaid Board of Corrections and Charities established in 1883, and the boards of managers of separate institutions (except the schools for the deaf and the blind at Faribault, and the state public school at Owatonna) and of groups of institutions were abolished. The state institutions consist of state hospitals for the insane at St Peter (1866), at Rochester (1877), established originally as a state inebriate asylum under a law taxing liquor dealers for that purpose, which was subsequently held to be unconstitutional, at Fergus Falls (1887), at Anoka (1900) and at Hastings (1900); the state institute for defectives at Faribault, consisting of the schools for the deaf (1863), blind (1874) and feeble-minded (1879); the state public school for dependent and neglected children at Owatonna (1886); a sanatorium for consumptives at Walker; a hospital for indigent, crippled or deformed children (1907) at St Paul; the state training school for boys near Red Wing; a similar industrial school for irls (established separately in 1907) at Sauk Center; the state reformatory at St Cloud (1887), intermediate between the training school and the state prison, for first offenders between the ages of sixteen and thirty years, in which indeterminate sentences and a parole system are in operation; the state prison at Stillwater (1851), in which there is a parole system and a graded system of diminution of sentence for good conduct, and in which, up to 1895, prisoners were leased under contract (especially to the Minnesota Thresher Company), and since 1895 have been employed in the manufacture of shoes and of binding twine, and in providing for the needs of the prison population; and the state soldiers’ home occupying fifty-one acres adjoining Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis. By an act of 1907 the Board of Control was empowered to establish a hospital for inebriates.

Education.—The state supports a highly efficient public school system, organized through all the grades from the primary district and rural schools to the state university. At the head of the system stands the state superintendent of public instruction, appointed by the governor; there are also county superintendents; and a state high school board, consisting of the governor, state superintendent and the president of the state university, has general supervision of the schools and apportions the state aid. The schools are supported by a state tax, and by the proceeds of a permanent school fund amounting (in 1908) to $19,709,383; in the same year the total value of all public school property was $28,297,420, with an aggregate debt of $6,329,794, and $13,463,211 was spent for public educational purposes. There are state normal schools at Winona (1860), Mankato (1868), St Cloud (1869), Moorhead (1888) and Duluth (1902). The university of Minnesota at Minneapolis was projected by the Territorial Legislature of 1851. Some ground was purchased for its campus in 1854, but it was actually founded by an act of 1864, amended in 1866, 1868 and 1872. It is governed by a board of twelve regents, of whom the president of the university, the governor of the state and the state superintendent of public instruction are members ex officio, and the other nine, holding office for six years, are appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. The university is supported by a state tax of 0.23 mills per dollar on the taxed property of the state, by special appropriations from the state (for “deficiency,” for School of Mines, and for salaries of teachers in the department of mines and engineering), by the interest on state bonds and land contracts purchased with the proceeds of Federal land grants under the Morrill Act of 1862, by Federal appropriations under the Morrill Act of 1890 and the Hatch Act, and by students’ fees, &c.; the total of this income was estimated in 1906–1907 at $628,500. The Act of 1872 provided for five or more colleges or departments: a college of science, literature and the arts, which offers (for the degree of Bachelor of Arts) a four-years course, is entirely elective (except that a certain number of “long courses” must be selected) after the first year, and in which the only restriction is upon the range of subjects from which the student’s choice may be made; a college of agriculture (including military tactics), which is now a “department,” including a college and a school of agriculture, a short course for farmers, a dairy school, the Crookston school of agriculture, a main experiment station at St Anthony Park, between Minneapolis and St Paul, and sub-stations 1 m. north of Crookston and 2 m. east of Grand Rapids; a college of mechanic arts, now called the college of engineering and the mechanic arts, which offers four-year courses in civil, mechanical, electrical and municipal engineering, a four-year course in science and technology, leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science, and graduate work leading to the degree of Master of Science; the college of law, a three-years course, with evening classes and graduate courses; a college of medicine, which is now the college of medicine and surgery (1888), and the college of homoeopathic medicine and surgery (1889), each with four-year courses, and each (since 1903) with a course of six years partly in the college of science, literature and the arts, and partly in the medical college and leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Medicine. In addition to these departments provided for in the organic act, the university included in 1909 colleges of dentistry (three-year course), pharmacy (two-year and three-year courses), a school of mines (1891; four-year course, leading to the degree of Engineer of Mines or Metallurgical Engineer), a school of analytical and applied chemistry (four-year courses, leading to the degree of Bachelor in Science in Chemistry or in Chemical Engineering), a college of education (1906; three-year course, after two years of college work, leading to a Master’s degree), a graduate school (with courses leading to the degrees of Master of Arts, of Science and of Laws, and of Doctor of Philosophy, of Science and of Civil Law), and a university summer school. The growth and development of the university have been almost entirely under the administration of Cyrus Northrop (b. 1834), who graduated at Yale College in 1857 and at Yale Law School in 1859, and was professor of rhetoric and English literature at Yale from 1863 until 1884, when he became president of the university of Minnesota. The university is one of the largest in the country. In 1907 there were twenty-three buildings valued at more than $1,475,000. The university library of 110,000 volumes is supplemented by the libraries of Minneapolis and St Paul. In 1908–1909 the faculty numbered about 325 and the total enrolment of students was 4421. Other higher educational institutions in Minnesota are Hamline University (Methodist Episcopal), with a college of liberal arts at St Paul, and a college of medicine at Minneapolis; Macalester College (Presbyterian) at St Paul; Augsburg Seminary (Lutheran) at Minneapolis; Carleton College (non-sectarian, founded in 1866) and St Olaf College (Lutheran, founded in 1374) at Northfield; Gustavus Adolphus College (Lutheran) at St Peter; Parker College (Free Baptist, 1888) at Winnebago City; St John’s University (Roman Catholic) at Collegeville, Stearns county; and Albert Lea College for women (Presbyterian, founded 1884) at Albert Lea.

History.—The first European visitors to the territory now embraced in the state of Minnesota found it divided between two powerful Indian tribes, the Ojibways or Chippewas, who occupied the heavily wooded northern portion and the region along the Mississippi river, and the Sioux or Dakotas, who made their homes on the more open rolling country in the south and west and in the valley of the Minnesota. The first known white explorers were Radisson and Groseilliers, who spent the winter of 1658–1659 among the Sioux in the Mille Lacs region. At Sault Sainte Marie in 1671, before representatives of fourteen Indian nations, the Sieur de St Lusson read a proclamation asserting the French claim to all the territory in the region of the Great Lakes. Two years afterwards the upper course of the Mississippi was explored by Joliet and Marquette. In 1679 Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut (Duluth), as agent for a company of Canadian merchants which sought to establish trading posts on the Lakes, explored the country from the head of Lake Superior to Mille Lacs and planted the arms of Louis XIV. in a large Sioux village. In the following year the Franciscan friar Father Louis Hennepin, acting as an agent of the Sieur de la Salle, discovered and named the Falls of St Anthony; and in 1686 Nicholas Perrot, the commandant of the west, built Fort St Antoine on the east bank of Lake Pepin, in what is now Pepin county, Wisconsin, and in 1688 formally took possession of the region in the name of the French king. A few years later (1694) Le Sueur, who had as early as 1684 engaged in trade along the upper Mississippi, established a trading post on Isle Pelée (Prairie Island) in the Mississippi between Hastings and Red Wing, and in 1700 he built Fort L’Huillier at the confluence of the Blue Earth and the Le Sueur rivers. In 1762 the Sieur de la Perrière, acting as an agent of the French government, established on the west bank of Lake Pepin a fortified post (Fort Beauharnois), which was to be a headquarters for missionaries, a trading post and a starting-point for expeditions in search of the “western sea.” But none of the French posts was permanent, and in 1763 French rule came to an end, the Treaty of November (1762) and the Treaty of Versailles (1763) transferring respectively the western portion of the state to Spain and that part east of the Mississippi river to Great Britain. In 1766 the region was visited by the Connecticut traveller Jonathan Carver (1732–1780). Great Britain surrendered its title to the eastern portion by the Treaty of Paris (1783), and after the surrender of Virginia’s colourable title had been accepted by Congress in 1784, this eastern part was made a part of the Northwest Territory by the ordinance of 1787, although the British held possession and did some trading there until 1796. The western part remained under Spanish control until 1803, when it, too, after being retransferred to France, became a part of the United States with the rest of the Louisiana Purchase. In 1805–1806, at the instance of President Thomas Jefferson, Lieut. Zebulon M. Pike led an exploring expedition as far north as Leech Lake and took formal possession of the Minnesota region for the United States. He obtained from the Sioux for military reservations one tract 9 m. square at the mouth of the St Croix River and another containing about 100,000 acres at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers. On the latter tract a military post was established by Lieut.-Colonel Henry Leavenworth (1783–1834) in 1819, and in the following year the construction was begun of a fort at first named Fort St Anthony but renamed Fort Snelling in 1824 (two years after its completion) in honour of its builder and commander Colonel Josiah Snelling (1782–1829). In 1819 Michigan Territory was extended westward to the Mississippi river, and in 1820 General Lewis Cass, its governor, conducted an exploring expedition in search of the source of the Mississippi, which he was satisfied was in the body of water named Lake Cass in his honour. Further search for the true source of the Mississippi was made in 1823 by Giacomo Constantio Beltrami (1779–1855), an Italian traveller and political refugee, and in 1832 by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, who had accompanied Cass’s expedition and traced the Mississippi from Lake Cass to Lake Itasca. In 1823 extensive explorations of the Minnesota and Red River valleys were conducted by Major Stephen Harriman Long (1784–1864), and subsequently (1834–1836) knowledge of the region was extended by the investigations of the artist George Catlin (1796–1872), the topographer George William Featherstonhaugh (1780–1866), and the geologist Jean Nicholas Nicollett (1786–1843). Meanwhile, the country was slowly being settled. In 1823 the first river steamboat reached St Paul; the Mississippi was soon afterwards opened to continuous if irregular navigation; and in 1826 a party of refugees from Lord Selkirk’s colony on the Red River settled near Fort Snelling. On the erection of Wisconsin Territory in 1836 the whole of Minnesota, which then extended westward to the Missouri river, was incorporated with it, but on the erection of Iowa Territory in 1838 Minnesota was divided and the part west of the Mississippi became a part of Iowa Territory. In 1837, by two important treaties, the one (July 29) between the Chippewas and Governor Henry Dodge of Wisconsin at St Peters, and the other (Sept. 29) between some Sioux chiefs and Joel R. Poinsett at Washington, the Indian titles to all lands east of the Mississippi were practically extinguished. The first county, St Croix, was established in 1839, and in the succeeding years thriving settlements were established at St Paul and Stillwater. The admission of Wisconsin as a state in 1848 left that part of the former territory west of the St Croix and north of the Mississippi rivers, which was not included in the new state, practically without a government. On the 26th of August a convention met at Stillwater, where measures were taken for the formation of a separate territorial government, and Henry Hastings Sibley (1811–1891) was sent to Congress as a delegate of “Wisconsin Territory.” Upon his admission to a seat the curious situation was presented of representatives of the state and of the territory of Wisconsin sitting in the same body. This situation did not last long, however, for on the 3rd of March 1849 the bill organizing the territory of Minnesota was passed, and on the 19th President Zachary Taylor appointed Alexander Ramsey of Pennsylvania the first territorial governor. The territorial boundaries extended to the Missouri river, including a greater part of the present North and South Dakota. The first territorial legislature met at St Paul on the 3rd of September following. By the Federal census of 1850 the territory had a population of 6077, most of whom lived east of the Mississippi, or along the Red river in the extreme north-west. Two treaties negotiated with the Sioux by Luke Lea, commissioner, and Governor Alexander Ramsey in 1851 opened to settlement the greater part of the land within the territory west of the Mississippi, and such an unparalleled rush to the new lands took place that a census taken in 1857 showed a population of 150,037. In July 1857 a convention chosen to form a state constitution was found on assembling to be so evenly divided between the Republican and Democratic parties that organization was impossible, and the members proceeded to their work in two separate bodies. By means of conference committees, however, identical constitutions were formed, which in the following October were adopted by an almost unanimous popular vote. The state was admitted to the Union with its present boundaries on the 12th of May 1858, and the federal census of 1860 showed that the population had increased to 172,023, despite the fact that the financial panic of 1857 had severely checked the state's growth. Minnesota furnished more than 25,000 troops for the Federal armies during the Civil War. But even more pressing than the call of the nation was the need of defending her own homes against the uprisings of the Indians within her borders. The settlements bordering on the Indian reservations had experienced more or less trouble with the Sioux for several years, the most serious outbreak having occurred in March 1857, when Ink-pa-du-ta led his band to massacre the settlers at Spirit Lake. The absence of a large proportion of the able-bodied young settlers in the northern armies was taken advantage of by the Indians, and in the summer of 1862 there was delay in paying them their yearly allowance. Suddenly towards the end of August, as if by previous understanding (although nothing of the sort was ever proved), small bands of Sioux scattered along the frontier for 200 m. and began a systematic massacre of the white settlers. Beginning with the first outbreak at Acton, Meeker county (Aug. 17), the attacks continued with increasing fury (nearly 1000 whites losing their lives) until the 23rd of September, when hastily-raised volunteer forces under Colonel H. H. Sibley decisively defeated Little Crow, the principal leader of the Kaposia band, at Wood Lake. Three days later more than 2000 of the Indians were surrounded and captured, Little Crow with a few of his companions alone escaping beyond the Missouri. A military commission tried 425 of the captives for murder and rape, of whom 321 were found guilty and 303 were condemned to death. Of these 38 were hanged at Mankato on the 26th of December 1862. Little Crow and his followers kept up desultory raids from the Dakota country, during one of which in July 1863 he lost his life. Expeditions of Sibley in 1863, and General Alfred Sully (1821-1879) in 1864, eventually drove the hostile Indians beyond the Missouri and terminated the war, which in two years had cost upwards of a thousand lives of settlers and volunteers. The opening of the Chippewa lands in the north-west and the coming of peace marked the beginning of a new period of rapid growth, the Federal census of 1870 showing a population of 439,706, or a gain of 75.8% in five years. During the same half-decade railway construction, which had begun with the opening of the railway between St Paul and Minneapolis in 1862, reached a total of more than 1000 m. For a period of five years after the financial panic of 1873 the growth was comparatively slow, but in the succeeding two years the recuperation was rapid. During the decade, 1880-1890, more than 2300 m. of railway were completed and put in operation. In September 1894 disastrous forest fires, starting in the neighbourhood of Hinckley in Pine county, destroyed that village and several neighbouring towns, causing the death of 418 people, rendering 2200 others homeless, and devastating about 350 sq. m. of forest land, entailing a loss of more than $1,000,000. The state furnished four regiments (a total of 5313 officers and men) to the volunteer army during the Spanish-American War (1898), the service of the 13th Regiment for more than a year in the Philippines being particularly notable. In October 1898 there was an uprising of the Pillager band of Chippewa Indians at Leech Lake, which was quelled by the prompt action of Federal troops. Since the first state election, which was carried by the Democratic party, the state has been generally strongly Republican in politics; but the Republican candidate for governor was defeated in 1898 by a “fusion” of Democrats and Populists, and in 1904, 1906 and 1908 a Democratic governor, John Albert Johnson, was elected, very largely because of his personal popularity.

Governors of Minnesota.
Alexander Ramsey Whig 1849-1853
Willis Arnold Gorman Democrat 1853-1857
Samuel Medary 1857-1858
Henry Hastings Sibley Democrat 1858-1860
Alexander Ramsey Republican 1860-1863
Henry A. Swift 1863-1864
Stephen Miller 1864-1866
William Rogerson Marshall  1866-1870
Horace Austin 1870-1874
Cushman Kellogg Davis 1874-1876
John Sargent Pillsbury 1876-1882
Lucius Fairchild Hubbard 1882-1887
Andrew Ryan McGill 1887-1889
William Rush Merriam 1889-1893
Knute Nelson 1893-1895
David Marston Clough 1895-1899
John Lind Democrat-Populist 1899-1901
Samuel R. Van Sant Republican 1901-1905
John Albert Johnson  Democrat (died in office)  1905-1909
Adolph Olson Eberhart Republican 1909-

Bibliography.—There is a well-arranged Bibliography of Minnesota by John Fletcher Williams in the Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, vol. iii. (St Paul, 1880). Consult also Materials for the Future History of Minnesota, published by the State Historical Society (St Paul, 1856), and Isaac S. Bradley's bibliography of Northwestern institutional history in the Proceedings of the Wisconsin State Historical Society (Madison, Wis., 1896). Of the many interesting and valuable narratives and descriptions of Minnesota in the early days, those especially worthy of mention are Beltrami's La Découverte des sources des Mississippi et de la Rivière Sanglante (New Orleans, 1824) and the same author's A Pilgrimage in Europe and America, leading to the Discovery of the Sources of the Mississippi and Bloody Rivers (2 vols., London, 1828); William H. Keating, Narrative of an Expedition to the Sources of the St Peter (Minnesota) River, Lake Winnepeek, Lake of the Woods, &c....in 1823 (2 vols., London, 1825), an account of the explorations of Major Long; Henry R. Schoolcraft, Narrative of an Expedition through the Upper Mississippi to Itasca Lake in 1832 (New York, 1834); G. W. Featherstonhaugh, A Canoe Voyage up the Minnay Sotor (2 vols., London, 1847); Laurence Oliphant, Minnesota and the Far West (Edinburgh, 1855); and Frederika Bremer, The Homes of the New World: Impressions of America (2 vols., New York, 1864). For the territorial period consult also E. S. Seymour, Sketches of Minnesota, the New England of the West (New York, 1850); J. Wesley Bond, Minnesota and its Resources (New York, 1853); C. A. Andrews, Minnesota and Dacotah (Washington, 1857); and C. E. Flandreau, The History of Minnesota and Tales of the Frontier (St Paul, 1901). The Collections of the Minnesota State Historical Society contain much valuable material on the history of the state, notably E. D. Neill's “French Voyageurs to Minnesota during the Seventeenth Century” (1872); E. D. Neill's “Early French Forts” (1889); T. F. Moran's “How Minnesota became a State” (1898); H. L. Moss's “Last Days of Wisconsin Territory and Early Days of Minnesota Territory” (1898); C. E. Flandreau's “Reminiscences of Minnesota during the Territorial Period” (1901); C. D. Gilfillan's “Early Political History of Minnesota” (1901); and James H. Baker's Lives of the Governors of Minnesota (1908). For the Sioux uprising consult Isaac V. D. Heard, History of the Sioux War and the Massacres of 1862 and 1863 (New York, 1864); Charles S. Bryant and Abel B. Murch, A History of the Great Massacre by the Sioux Indians in Minnesota (Cincinnati, 1864); and S. R. Foot, “The Sioux Indian War,” in Iowa Historical Record, vols. x. and xi. (1894-1895). Consult also Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars, 1861-1865 (2 vols., St Paul, 1890-1893). The best general account of the state's history is W. W. Folwell's Minnesota, the North Star State (Boston, 1908), in the “American Commonwealth series”; E. D. Neill's Concise History of Minnesota (Minneapolis, 1887); and T. H. Kirk's Illustrated History of Minnesota (St Paul, 1887) may also be consulted. For an account of the administration consult Frank L. McVey, The Government of Minnesota

(New York, 1901); Sanford Niles, History and Civil Government of Minnesota (Chicago, 1897); and the Legislative Manual, published biennially by the state at St Paul.

EB1911 Minnesota.jpg
Emery Walker sc.

  1. In addition the state contains approximately 2514 sq. m. of Lake Superior.