Minnesota - Local History
The Children of Lincoln
White Paternalism and the Limits of Black Opportunity in Minnesota, 1860-1876
Hardcover ISBN: 1517905281
How white advocates of emancipation abandoned African American causes in the dark days of Reconstruction, told through the stories of four Minnesotans White people, Frederick Douglass said in a speech in 1876, were “the children of Lincoln,” while black people were “at best his stepchildren.” Emancipation became the law of the land, and white champions of African Americans in the state were suddenly turning to other causes, regardless of the worsening circumstances of black Minnesotans. Through four of these “children of Lincoln” in Minnesota, William D. Green’s book brings to light a little known but critical chapter in the state’s history as it intersects with the broader account of race in America. In a narrative spanning the years of the Civil War and Reconstruction, the lives of these four Minnesotans mark the era’s most significant moments in the state, the Midwest, and the nation for the Republican Party, the Baptist church, women’s suffrage, and Native Americans. Morton Wilkinson, the state’s first Republican senator; Daniel Merrill, a St. Paul business leader who helped launch the first Black Baptist church; Sarah Burger Stearns, founder and first president of the Minnesota Woman Suffragist Association; and Thomas Montgomery, an immigrant farmer who served in the Colored Regiments in the Civil War: each played a part in securing the rights of African Americans and each abandoned the fight as the forces of hatred and prejudice increasingly threatened those hard-won rights. Moving from early St. Paul and Fort Snelling to the Civil War and beyond, The Children of Lincoln reveals a pattern of racial paternalism, describing how even “enlightened” white Northerners, fatigued with the “Negro Problem,” would come to embrace policies that reinforced a notion of black inferiority. Together, their lives—so differently and deeply connected with nineteenth-century race relations—create a telling portrait of Minnesota as a microcosm of America during the tumultuous years of Reconstruction.
The Infamous Harry Hayward
A True Account of Murder and Mesmerism in Gilded Age Minneapolis
Paperback ISBN: 1517903750
A fascinating tale of seduction, murder, fraud, coercion—and the trial of the “Minneapolis Monster” On a winter night in 1894, a young woman’s body was found in the middle of a road near Lake Calhoun on the outskirts of Minneapolis. She had been shot through the head. The murder of Kittie Ging, a twenty-nine-year-old dressmaker, was the final act in a melodrama of seduction and betrayal, petty crimes and monstrous deeds that would obsess reporters and their readers across the nation when the man who likely arranged her killing came to trial the following spring. Shawn Francis Peters unravels that sordid, spellbinding story in his account of the trial of Harry Hayward, a serial seducer and schemer whom some deemed a “Svengali,” others a “Machiavelli,” and others a “lunatic” and “man without a soul.” Dubbed “one of the greatest criminals the world has ever seen” by the famed detective William Pinkerton, Harry Hayward was an inveterate and cunning plotter of crimes large and small, dabbling in arson, insurance fraud, counterfeiting, and illegal gambling. His life story, told in full for the first time here, takes us into shadowy corners of the nineteenth century, including mesmerism, psychopathy, spiritualism, yellow journalism, and capital punishment. From the horrible fate of an independent young businesswoman who challenged Victorian mores to the shocking confession of Hayward on the eve of his execution (which, if true, would have made him a serial killer), The Infamous Harry Hayward unfolds a transfixing tale of one of the most notorious criminals in America during the Gilded Age.
Paperback ISBN: 0738583316
The Lyn-Lake area of Minneapolis, centered around the intersection of Lyndale Avenue and West Lake Street, is one of the city's most distinctive neighborhoods. The core commercial district is one of the oldest in South Minneapolis, thanks in part to its strategic location along several early streetcar lines. A rail line along Twenty-ninth Street, now the Midtown Greenway, brought an industrial element to the neighborhood and provided additional jobs for the thousands of residents who lived in the surrounding houses and apartment buildings. As the neighborhood evolved, it took on a distinctive bohemian bent and filled with a diverse mix of artists, musicians, and writers living side by side with blue-collar industrial workers, along with those who worked at professional office jobs downtown. Lyn-Lake retains its unique flavor today, characterized by its blend of both the historical and the cutting edge.
The Scandalous Rise and Stunning Fall of a Minneapolis Masterpiece
Hardcover ISBN: 1517904161
The story of one of Minnesota’s most famous and most mourned buildings, set against the history of downtown Minneapolis When it opened in 1890, the twelve-story Northwestern Guaranty Loan Building was the tallest, largest, and most splendid commercial structure in Minneapolis—a mighty stone skyscraper built for the ages. How this grand Richardsonian Romanesque edifice, which later came to be called the Metropolitan Building, rose with the growth of Minneapolis only to fall in the throes of the city’s postwar renewal, is revealed in Metropolitan Dreams in all its scandalous intrigue. It is a tale of urban growing pains and architectural ghosts and of colorful, sometimes criminal characters amid the grandeur and squalor of building and rebuilding a city’s skyline. Against the thrumming backdrop of turn-of-the-century Minneapolis, architectural critic and historian Larry Millett recreates the impressive rise of the massive office building, its walls of green New Hampshire granite and red Lake Superior sandstone surrounding its true architectural wonder, a dazzling twelve-story iron and glass light court. The drama, however, was far from confined to the building itself. A consummate storyteller, Millett summons the frenetic atmosphere in Gilded Age Minneapolis that encouraged the likes of Northwestern Guaranty’s founder, real estate speculator Louis Menage, whose shady deals financed this Minneapolis masterpiece—and then forced him to flee both prosecution and the country a mere three years later. Dubious as its financial beginnings might have been, the economic circumstances of the Metropolitan’s demise were at least as questionable. Anchoring Minneapolis’s historic Gateway District in its heyday, the building’s fortunes shifted with the city’s demographics and finally it fell victim to the fervor of one of the largest downtown urban renewal projects ever undertaken in the United States. Though the long and furious battle to save the Metropolitan ultimately failed in 1962, its ghost persists in the passion for historic preservation stirred by its demise—and in Metropolitan Dreams, whose photographs, architectural drawings, and absorbing narrative bring the building and its story to vibrant, enduring life.
The Relentless Business of Treaties
How Indigenous Land Became US Property
Paperback ISBN: 1681340909
The story of "western expansion" is a familiar one: U.S. government agents, through duplicity and force, persuaded Native Americans to sign treaties that gave away their rights to the land. But this framing, argues Martin Case, hides a deeper story. Land cession treaties were essentially the act of supplanting indigenous kinship relationships to the land with a property relationship. And property is the organizing principle upon which U.S. society is based. U.S. signers represented the relentless interests that drove treaty making: corporate and individual profit, political ambition, and assimilationist assumptions of cultural superiority. The lives of these men illustrate the assumptions inherent in the property system–and the dynamics by which it spread across the continent. In this book, for the first time, Case provides a comprehensive study of the treaty signers, exposing their business ties and multigenerational interrelationships through birth and marriage. Taking Minnesota as a case study, he describes the groups that shaped U.S. treaty making to further their own interests: interpreters, traders, land speculators, bureaucrats, officeholders, missionaries, and mining, timber, and transportation companies. Odds are, the deed to the land under your home rests on this system.
A Brief History
Paperback ISBN: 146713516x
The riverfront always drew people to Stillwater. The Ojibwe and Dakota first settled here, later striking a treaty with Europeans, who quickly realized the St. Croix River’s potential as an ideal way to move lumber. One of the first to float logs down the river was Captain Stephen Hanks, cousin to Abraham Lincoln. The lumber business gave birth to Minnesota’s first millionaire as the city grew, and Stillwater received one of the state’s first Carnegie grants for a free public library. Meanwhile, the state prison saw notorious gangster Cole Younger found the Prison Mirror in 1887, now the nation’s oldest continuously operated offender newspaper. Authors Holly Day and Sherman Wick celebrate the history and charm of one of Minnesota’s finest cities, from the frontier to today.
Twin Cities Beer
A Heady History
Paperback ISBN: 1467137057
The Twin Cities witnessed a recent explosion of craft beer breweries and brewpubs, but the region's beer history reaches back generations. The Minneapolis Brewing Company introduced the iconic Grain Belt beer in 1893, and it remains a local favorite. Fur trapper and bootlegger Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant established a St. Paul tavern along the banks of the Mississippi River in the early 1800s. The area has been home to some of the best-known beer brands in America, from Hamm's and Schmidt's to Yoerg's and Olympia. Today, microbreweries such as Bad Weather Brewing, Summit Brewing and more than fifty others are forging new avenues. Join author Scott Carlson as he offers an intriguing history and guide to Twin Cities beer.
Voices of Rondo
Oral Histories of Saint Paul's Historic Black Community
Paperback ISBN: 1517903432
In Voices of Rondo, real-life stories illuminate the northern urban Black experience during the first half of the twentieth century, through the memories and reflections of residents of Saint Paul’s historic Rondo community. We glimpse the challenges of racism and poverty and share the victories of a community that educated its children to become strong, to find personal pride, and to become the next generation of leaders in Saint Paul and beyond.