Fort Snelling, Statehood, Minesota


For nearly a century, scholars of Minnesota's history have told the story of Fort Snelling and its causal relationship with the expansion of Minnesota from a territory to a state. In 1918, Marcus L. Hansen wrote an important monograph on the outpost, entitled Old Fort Snelling: 1819-1858. His claims focused on the protection and opportunities for social interaction provided by the fort during the period of its use as the northwesternmost garrison of America's frontier defense program. Hansen's thorough work stood as an unapproachable milestone in the literature on the post for almost half a century. Evan Jones wrote the second monograph on the fort in 1966. Jones's book, Citadel in the Wilderness, focused on the same period of the outpost's history and made similar claims about the fort's significance, but, in telling the tale, he emphasized the subplot of Indian agent Lawrence Taliaferro's service. No other scholarly, book-length works have addressed Fort Snelling as the exclusive subject of their work.