Counterpoint: Fort Snelling history offers name insight

Understanding the development of Minnesota can explain why Lake Calhoun is appropriately named. 

As an old Minnesota historian, I am exasperated by the local media’s slanted and superficial coverage of the renaming and reinterpreting of Fort Snelling and Lake Calhoun.

The controversy cries out for a fair and factual review of why Fort Snelling was built and how it fulfilled its mission — and why the garrison at the meeting of the Mississippi and “St. Peters” (Minnesota) Rivers 200 years ago was so critically important for the future of Minnesota.

To begin with, Fort Snelling was not built on land “stolen from the Dakota,” or seized after a war of conquest with the tribe. Nor was it built like some other American forts, as a place to protect settlers from Indian attacks, or promote white settlement in the area. Rather, and most significantly, it was established for three distinctive reasons:

First: to establish a strong permanent presence in the remote Upper Mississippi frontier (following the nation’s second war with the British, the War of 1812) that would prevent British intrusion on American land from Canada via the Red and Mississippi Rivers; and to stop all British trade with the American Indians of the region.

Second: to cultivate “perpetual peace and friendship” ...

Read entire article HERE.

"Counterpoint: Fort Snelling history offers name insight"; by Gary Brueggemann; StarTribune; May 16, 2019

Gary Brueggemann, of St. Paul, is author of “Minnesota’s Oldest Murder Mystery” and of a forthcoming history of the founding of St. Paul.

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