Agriculture, Industry and State Institutions
Source: Encyclopedia of Biography of Minnesota, History of Minnesota
by Judge Charles E. Flandreau, 1900,
transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman
Agriculture, Industry and State Institutions
- TOPICS INCLUDED:
- NEW WHEAT MILLING PROCESS
- COMMERCE THROUGH THE ST. MARY'S FALLS CANAL.
- THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA AND ITS SCHOOL OF AGRICULTURE.
- THE MINNESOTA STATE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY.
- THE SOLDIERS' HOME.
- OTHER STATE INSTITUTIONS.
- MINNESOTA INSTITUTE FOR DEFECTIVES.
- STATE SCHOOL FOR DEPENDENT AND NEGLECTED CHILDREN.
- THE MINNESOTA STATE TRAINING SCHOOL.
- MINNESOTA STATE REFORMATORY.
- THE MINNESOTA STATE PRISON.
- THE MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
- STATE INSTITUTIONS MISCELLANEOUS IN THEIR CHARACTER.
- STATE FINANCES.
- THE MONETARY AND BUSINESS FLURRY OF 1873 AND PANIC OF 1893.
- MINOR HAPPENINGS.
- STATE FLAG
- STATE PARKS
INTRODUCTION OF THE NEW PROCESS OF MILLING WHEAT.
The wheat raised in Minnesota was and always has been of the spring variety, and up to about the year 1874 was regarded in the markets of the world as an inferior article of grain when compared with the winter wheat of States further south; and the flour made from it was also looked upon as of much less value than its competitor made from winter wheat. The State labored under this disability in realizing upon its chief product for many years, both in the wheat and the flour made from it. Many mills were erected at the Falls of St. Anthony with a very great output of flour, which, with the lumber manufactured at that point, composed the chief exports of the State. The process of grinding wheal was the old style, of an upper and nether millstone, which left the flour of darker color, less nutritious and less desirable than that from the winter wheat made in the same way. About the year 1871 it was discovered that a new process of manufacturing flour was in operation on the Danube and at Budapesth. Mr. George H. Christian, a partner of Gen. C. C. Washburn, in the milling business at Minneapolis, studied the invention, which consisted of crushing the wheat by means of rollers made of steel or porcelain, instead of grinding it, as of old, to which the French had added a new process of eliminating the bran specs from the crushed product by means of a flat oscillating screen or bolt with an upward blast of air through it, upon which the crushed product was placed and cleansed of all bran impurities. In 1871 Gen. C. C. Washburn and Mr. Christian introduced this French invention into their mills in Minneapolis, and derived from it great advantage in the appearance and value of their flour. This was called a "middlings purifier." In 1874 they introduced the roller crushing process, and the result was that the hard spring wheat returned a flour superior to the product of the winter wheat and placed Minnesota upon more than an equality with the best flour-producing States in the Union. This process has been universally adopted throughout the United States in all milling localities with great advantage to that industry.
It is a rather curious fact that as all our milling knowledge was originally inherited from England, which country is very sluggish in the adoption of new methods, that it was not until our improved flour reached that country that the English millers accepted the new method and have since acted upon it. It is a case of the pupil instructing his preceptor.
I regard the introduction of these improvements in the manufacture of flour into this State as of prime importance to its growth and increase of wealth and strength. It is estimated by the best judges that the value of our spring wheat was increased at least twenty per cent by their adoption, and when we consider that the State produced, in 1898, 78,418,000 bushels of wheat, its magnitude can be better appreciated. It formerly required five bushels of wheat to make a barrel of flour; under the new process it only takes four bushels and seven pounds to make a barrel of the same weight, 196 pounds.
The only record that is kept of flour in Minnesota is for the two points of Minneapolis and the head of the lakes; the latter includes Duluth and Superior in Wisconsin. The output of Minneapolis for the crop year of 1898-9 was 15,164,884 barrels, and for Duluth-Superior for the same period, 2,637,035 barrels. The estimate for the whole State is 25,000,000 barrels. These figures are taken from the Northwestern Miller, a reliable publication in Minneapolis.
The credit of having introduced the Hungarian and French processes into Minnesota is due primarily to the late Gen. C. C. Washburn of La Crosse, Wisconsin, who was greatly aided by his partner at the time, Mr. George H. Christian of Minneapolis.
While I am convinced that the credit of first having introduced these valuable inventions into Minnesota belongs to Gen. C. C. Washburn and his partner, Mr. George H. Christian, I am in justice bound to add that Gov. John S. Pillsbury and the late Mr. Charles A. Pillsbury, who were large and enterprising millers at Minneapolis, owning the Excelsior Mills, immediately after its introduction adopted the process and put it into their mills, and by employing American skilled millers to set up and operate their machinery, succeeded in securing the first absolutely perfect automatic mill of the new kind in the country; General Washburn having imported Hungarian millers to start and operate his experimental mills, found himself somewhat handicapped by their inefficiency and sluggishness in adopting American ways and customs.
THE DISCOVERY OF IRON.
From the earliest days of the Territory the people had predicted the growth of cities at several points; at St. Paul, because it was the head of navigation of the Mississippi river; at St. Anthony, on account of its great water power; at Superior, as being the head of navigation of the Great Lake System, and at Mankato, from its location at the great bend of the Minnesota river. It must be remembered that when these prophecies were made, Minneapolis and Duluth had no existence, and Superior was the natural outlet of the St. Louis river into Lake Superior; and had its land titles not been so complicated when the railroad from St. Paul to the head of the lakes was projected, there is no doubt Superior would have been the terminus of the road. However it was found to be almost impossible to procure title to any land in Superior on account of its having been sold by the proprietors in undivided interests to parties all over the country, and it was situated in Wisconsin. The railroad people, accordingly, procured the charter of the company to make its northern terminus on the Minnesota side of the harbor, where Duluth now stands, and founded that town as the terminus of the road. Some years after, Minnesota Point was cut by a canal at its base or shore end, and the entrance to the harbor changed from its natural inlet around the end of the point to this canal. This improvement has proved to be of vast importance to the city of Duluth and to the shipping interests of the State, as the natural entrance was difficult and dangerous.
Duluth increased in importance from year to year by reason of the natural advantages of its situation as the outlet of much of the exports of the State, and the inlet of a large portion of its imports. As railroads progressed, it became connected with the wheat producing areas of the State, which resulted in the erection of elevators for the shipment of wheat and mills to grind it. As nearly all the coal consumed in the State came in by the gateway of Duluth, immense coal docks were constructed with all the modern inventions for unloading it from ships and loading it on cars for distribution. Duluth soon attained metropolitan proportions. About the year 1870 Mr. George C. Stone became a resident of the city and engaged in business.
In 1873 Jay Cooke, who had been an important factor in the construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad, failed, which was a serious blow to Duluth. Mr. Stone had given his attention largely to the investigation of the mineral resources of the Lake Superior region in Minnesota, and had become convinced of the presence of large beds of iron ore in its northeastern portion, now known as the Vermillion range. When he first made known his discovery the location of the ore was so remote from civilization that he found it difficult to interest any one in his enterprise. Few shared his faith, but undismayed by lack of support he undertook with steady persistence the task of securing the capital necessary to develop what he was convinced was a great natural wealth producing field. Comparatively alone, and with little encouragement at home, he visited the money centers of the country and assiduously labored to induce men of capital to embark in the enterprise, but found it to be uphill work.
The first men whose support he secured were Charlemagne Tower, of Pottsville, Pennsylvania, and Samuel A. Munson, of Utica, New York, both men of education and great wealth. They became sufficiently interested to secure a proper test of the matter. Professor Chester, of Hamilton College, was sent out on two occasions. Mr. Munson died, and after the lapse of a few years Charlemagne Tower, then a resident of Philadelphia, undertook and did furnish the necessary funds to make the development, which involved the expense of four million dollars to build a railroad eighty miles in length, with docks and other operating facilities.
The railroad was opened in July, 1884, and there was shipped that season 62,124 tons of ore, and in 1885 the shipment reach 225,000 tons. In 1886, 304,000 tons; in 1887, 394,000 tons; in 1888, 512,000 tons. The output of the iron mines at and about the head of the lakes had by 1898 grown to the enormous quantity of 5,871,891 tons. The grade of the ore is the highest in the market. This product is one of the most important in the State and seems destined to expand indefinitely.
No better idea of the growth and importance of Duluth, and, in the same connection, the advance of the State, since the War, can be presented than by a statement of a few aggregates of different industries centered at the head of the lakes. The most recent record obtainable is for the year 1898. For example:
Lumber cut, 544,318,000 feet.
Coal received, 2,500,000 tons.
Number of vessels arrived and cleared, 12,150.
Wheat received, and flour as wheat, 82,118,129 bushels.
Other grain, 19,428,022 bushels.
Flour manufactured, 2,460,025 barrels.
Capacity of elevators, 24,650,000 bushels.
Capacity of flour mills per day, 22,000 barrels.
Many other statistics could be given, but the above are sufficient to show the unexampled growth of the State in that vicinity.
COMMERCE THROUGH THE ST. MARY'S FALLS CANAL.
Another very interesting and instructive element in considering the growth of Minnesota is the commerce passing through the St. Mary's Canal, which connects Lake Superior with Lakes Huron and Michigan, the greater part of which is supplied by Minnesota. No record of the number of sailing vessels or steamers passing through the canal was kept until the year 1864. During that year there were 1,045 sailing vessels and 366 steamers. The last report for the year 1898 shows an increase of sailing vessels to 4,449 and of steamers to 12,461. The first record of the amount of freight passing the canal, which was opened in 1881, showed an aggregate of 1,567,741 net tons of all kinds of freight. In 1898 it had grown to the enormous sum of 21,234,664 tons. These figures, like distances in astronomical calculations, require a special mental effort to fully comprehend them. An incident occurred in September, 1899, in connection with this canal traffic, that assists in understanding its immense proportions. By an accident to a steamer the channel of the river was blocked for a short time, until she could be removed, during which time a procession of waiting steamers was formed forty miles in length.
I have been unable to obtain any reliable figures with which to present a contrast between the commerce of this canal and that of the Suez, connecting the Mediterranean with the Red Sea, but it is generally estimated that the St. Mary's largely exceeds the Suez, although the commerce of the world with the Orient and Australia largely passes through the latter.
In the early days of Minnesota its agricultural population was largely centered in the southeastern portion of the State. The soil was exceptionally fertile and produced wheat in unusual abundance. The Western farmer of early days was a careless cultivator, thinking more of the immediate results than permanent preservation of his land. Even if he was of the conservative old New England stock the generous soil of the West, the freedom from social restraint, and the lessened labors of the farm, led him into more happy-go-lucky methods than he had been accustomed to in the East.
It was Mark Twain who once said that if you plant a New England deacon in Texas you will find him in about a year with a game chicken under his arm, riding a mule on Sunday to a cock-fight. When farms were opened in the southeastern counties of Minnesota it was not an unusual thing to be rewarded with a crop of from thirty to forty bushels of wheat to the acre. The process of cultivation was simple and required scarcely any capital, so it was natural that the first comers should confine their efforts to the one product of wheat. They did so, regardless of the fact that the best soil will become exhausted unless reinforced. They became accustomed to think that land could always be had for the taking, and in twenty or twenty-five years the goose that laid the golden eggs died, and six or eight bushels were all they could extract from their lands. About 1877 or 1878 they practically abandoned the culture of wheat and tried corn and hogs. This was an improvement, but not a great success. Many of the farmers of the pioneering and roving class sold out and went West for fresh lands.
About this time the dairy business had become quite profitable in Iowa, and the Minnesota farmers turned their attention to that branch of industry. Their lands were excellent for pasturing purposes and hay raising. They began in a small way with cows and butter making, but from lack of experience and knowledge of the business their progress was slow; however, it improved from year to year and now, in the year 1899, it has become one of the most important, successful and profitable industries in the State, and the farmers of Southern Minnesota constitute the most independent and well-to-do class of all our citizens. It was not very long ago when a mortgage was an essential feature of a Minnesota farm, but they have nearly all been paid off, and the farmer of Southern Minnesota is found in the ranks of the stockholders and depositors of the banks, and if he has anything to do with mortgages he is found on the winning side of that dangerous instrument. A brief statement of the facts connected with the dairy business will demonstrate its magnitude. There are in the State at the present time:
Creameries, about 700.
Creamery patrons, 55,000.
Capital invested, $3,000,000.
Cows supplying milk, 410,000.
Pounds of milk received (1898), 1,400,000,000.
Pounds of butter made (1898), 63,000,000.
Pounds of butter exported, 50,000,000.
Gross receipts (1898), $10,400,000.
Operating expenses (1898), $1,100,000.
Paid to patrons, $8,600,000.
Since 1884 Minnesota butter has been exhibited in competition with similar products from all the States in the Union and the butter-making countries of the world at all the principal fairs and expositions that have been held in the United States, and has taken more prizes than any other State or country. And its cheese has kept pace with its butter. There are in the State in active operation ninety-four cheese factories. This industry is constantly on the increase, and Minnesota is certainly destined to surpass every other State in the Union in this department of agriculture.
While this new and valuable branch of industry was gradually superseding that of wheat in Southern Minnesota, the latter was not being extinguished by any means, but simply changing its habitat. About the time that wheat culture became unprofitable in Southern Minnesota, the valley of the Red River of the North began to attract attention, and it was at once discovered that it was the garden of the world for wheat culture. An intelligent and experienced farmer, Mr. Oliver Dalrymple, may be said to have been the pioneer of that enterprise. Lands in tin 1 valley were cheap, and he succeeded in gaining control of immense tracts and unlimited capital for their development. He opened these lands up to wheat culture and gave to the world a new feature in agriculture, which acquired the name of the "Bonanza Farm." Some of these farms embraced sixty and seventy thousand acres of land and were divided by roads on the section lines. They were supplied with all the buildings necessary for the accommodation of the army of superintendents and employees that operated them; also granaries and buildings for housing machinery; slaughter houses to provision the operatives, telephone systems to facilitate communication between distant points, and every other auxiliary to perfect an economic management. These great farms, of course, produced wheat at more reduced rates than could the lesser ones, but did not materially interfere with wheat production by the smaller farmers, as the output of 1898 of nearly 79,000,000 bushels sufficiently proves. There seems to be no need of apprehension about the lands of the Red river valley becoming exhausted, as they appear to be as enduring as those in the valley of the Nile.
THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA AND ITS SCHOOL OF AGRICULTURE.
The University of Minnesota, for the establishment of which the United States donated to the State nearly 100,000 acres of land, and the agricultural college, which was similarly endowed, have been consolidated, and both have long been in successful operation. The University proper opened its doors for the admission of students about the year 1869, and has since attained such proportions as to entitle it to a place among the leading educational institutions of the United States; its roll of students for the last college year numbered over three thousand. Its curriculum embraces all studies generally taught in the colleges of this country, professional and otherwise. The state of efficiency and high standing of the University of Minnesota is largely attributable to the work of its president, Hon. Cyrus Northrop, a graduate of Yale, who had attained eminence in the educational world before being called to the university.
The School of Agriculture is of the highest importance to the welfare of the State. Its influence will soon remove one chief industry from dependence on the crude methods of the uneducated Western farmer, and place it upon a basis of scientific operation and management. Every branch of the art of farming is taught in this institution, from a knowledge of the chemical properties of the soil and its adaptation to the different vegetable growths, to the scientific breeding and economical feeding of stock. Much of the success in the dairy branch of farming is the direct result of knowledge gained at this school. It is well patronized by the young men of the State who intend to devote themselves to agriculture as a profession. Quite recently a new department has been added to the institution for the instruction of women in all that pertains to the proper education of the mistress of the farm. It goes without saying that when Minnesota farming is brought under the management and control of men and women of scientific and practical education in that particular line, there will be a revolution for the better.
The methods of instruction in this school are not merely theoretical. It possesses three experimental farms for the practical illustration and application of its teachings, the principal one of which is situated at St. Anthony Park, and the other two respectively at Crookston and Grand Rapids. Work is also done in an experimental way in Lyon county, but the State does not own the station.
THE MINNESOTA STATE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY.
This society dates its corporate existence from the year 1868, although for many years previous to that date, even back to the Territorial days, a society had been in existence covering the main features of this organization. In 1867 the State recognized this society by appropriating one thousand dollars for its encouragement. Its object was the promotion of agriculture, horticulture and the mechanic's arts. The society held annual fairs in different localities in the State, with varying success, until 1885. The county of Ramsey then offered to convey to the State of Minnesota, forever, two hundred acres of land adjoining the city limits of St. Paul, for the purpose of holding annual exhibitions thereon, under the management of the society, of all matters pertaining to agriculture, human art, industry or skill. The State met this munificent donation with the same liberal spirit that characterized the offer, and appropriated $100,000 for permanent improvements.
The board of managers proceeded immediately to erect the necessary buildings for the first exhibition, but found the appropriation inadequate by about $32,000, which was readily supplied by public-spirited citizens of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The State, being again appealed to in 1887, made a further appropriation of $50,000.
In 1887 the society was reorganized by all of the Legislature and its membership designated and made to consist of the following persons:First. Three delegates from each of the county and district agricultural societies.
Second. Honorary life members, who by reason of eminent services in agriculture, or in the arts and sciences connected therewith, or of long and faithful services in the society, or of benefits conferred upon it.
Third. The president ex-officio of the Horticultural Society, the Amber Cane Society, the State Dairymen's Association, the Southern Minnesota Fair Association, the State Poultry Association, the State Bee-Keeper's Association, and the president and secretary of the Farmer's Alliance.
Fourth. The president of any society having for its object the promotion of any branch of agriculture, stock raising or improving, or mechanics relating to agriculture.
By this selection of membership it will be seen that the society is composed of the leading agriculturists of the State. It holds annual meetings in St. Paul for the transaction of its business. The State appropriates four thou sand dollars annually to aid in the payment of premiums to exhibitors.
The society is in a prosperous condition and holds annual fairs in the month of September on its grounds, which have been extensively improved. Each year there is a marked increase in the magnitude and variety of exhibits and extended interest and attendance. His financial statement for the year 1898 was: Receipts, $62,523.70; expenditures, $56,850.83. It has just closed its fair for the year 1899, which in extent and perfection of its exhibits and financial results surpassed any of its previous attempts.
There are in the State the following named societies all more or less connected with agriculture, and all in flourishing condition:
The State Horticultural Society.
The State Forestry Association.
The Dairymen's Association.
The State Butter and Cheese Maker's Association.
The State Farmer's Institute.
The State Poultry Association.
The State Bee Keeper's Association.
And perhaps others.
These associations have done much in the promotion of the agricultural interests of the State, and by their intelligent guidance will no doubt soon make it the leading agricultural State in the Union.
THE SOLDIERS' HOME.
In the 1887 it became apparent that the Civil War and the Minnesota Indian War had left a large number of soldiers of the State in dependent circumstances from old age, wounds and other disabling causes. The State, recognizing its obligation to these men, determined to provide a home for their comfort and maintenance. By an act of the Legislature, passed March 2, of that year, provision was made for the purchase of a site and the erection of suitable buildings for that purpose. The act provided for bids for the purpose of a site, and also authorized the acceptance of donations for that purpose. Minneapolis responded handsomely by offering fifty-one acres of its beautiful Minnehaha Park as a donation. It was accepted, and is one of the most beautiful and picturesque locations that could have been found in the State, being mar the Mississippi river and the Falls of Minnehaha. The beginning of the home was small, one old house being used for the first six months, and then from year to year handsome and commodious brick houses were erected, until the home became adequate to accommodate all those who were entitled to its hospitality. The conditions of admission are, residence in Minnesota, service in the Mexican War, or in some Minnesota organization in the Civil or Indian war, honorable discharge, and indigent circumstances. As there are no accommodations for the wives and families of the old soldiers and sailors at the home, provision is made for relief being furnished to married soldiers at their own homes, so as to prevent the separation of families. There were in the home at the date of the last report, August 3, 1899, three hundred and sixty-two beneficiaries. The home is conducted by a board of trustees consisting of seven members, whose election is so arranged that they serve for six years. This beneficent establishment is to be commended as an evidence of the generosity and patriotism of the State.
OTHER STATE INSTITUTIONS.
I have been somewhat explicit in mentioning the institutions of the State which are connected with its prominent and permanent industry - agriculture; but it must not be supposed that it has not provided for the many other interests that require regulation and control to constitute a perfectly organized State government. There are, besides those I have mentioned:
Four Normal Schools, located at Winona, Mankato, St. Cloud and Moorhead, all devoted to the education of teachers.
State High and Graded Schools all over the State.
State Board of Corrections and Charities.
State Hospitals for the Insane, of which there are three, located as follows: One at St. Peter, one at Rochester, and one at Fergus Falls, and a fourth in contemplation.
According to the latest report these hospitals contained 3,302 patients, as follows: St. Peter, 1,045; Rochester, 1,196; and Fergus Falls 1,061. For a small new State, this showing would seem alarming and indicate that a very large percentage of the population was insane, and that the rest were preparing to become so. The truth is, that a case of insanity originating in Minnesota is quite as exceptional and rare as other diseases, and can usually be accounted for by some self-abuse of the patient. The population is drawn from such diverse sources, and the intermarriages are crossed upon so many different nationalities, that hereditary insanity ought to be almost unknown. The climate and the general pursuits of the people all militate against the prevalence of the malady.
The explanation of the existence of the numerous cases is, as I am informed by the very highest authority on the subject, that in nearly all European countries it has become the habit of families afflicted with insanity to export their unfortunates to America as soon as any symptoms appear, and thus provide for them for the rest of their lives. I cannot say that the governments whence these people emigrate participate in the fraud, but it is not reasonable to suppose that they would interpose any serious objections, even should they have knowledge of the fact. A comparison of the nationalities of the patients found in these hospitals with the American element, given by the census of the State, proves my statement, and an inquiry of the medical authorities of these institutions will place the question beyond doubt.
MINNESOTA INSTITUTE FOR DEFECTIVES.
There are also State schools for the deaf, dumb, blind and the feeble-minded. These institutions are all located at Faribault in Rice county, and each has a very handsome, commodious and in every way suitable building, where these unfortunates are instructed in every branch of learning and industry of which they are capable. During the last two years there have been enrolled two hundred and seventy-five deaf and dumb children in the school especially devoted to them, where they receive the best education that science and experience can provide. This school has already been instrumental in preparing hundreds of deaf and mute youth to be useful and intelligent citizens of the State, and year by year a few are graduated, well prepared to take their places beside the hearing and speaking youth who leave the public schools. About one-third of the time is devoted to manual training.
The school for the blind is entirely separate from that of the deaf and dumb, and is equipped with all the appliances of a modern special school of this character. It makes a specialty of musical instruction and industrial training, such as broom-making, hammock weaving, bead work and sewing.
The course of study embraces a period of seven years, beginning with the kindergarten and ending with the ordinary studies of English classes in the high schools. The school is free to all blind children in the State between the ages of eight and twenty-six, to whom board, care and tuition are furnished. The average number of pupils at this school for the past few years is between seventy and one hundred.
STATE SCHOOL FOR DEPENDENT AND NEGLECTED CHILDREN.
This school is located at Owatonna in Steele county, and is one of the most valuable of all the many establishments which the State has provided for the encouragement of good citizenship. There are eleven buildings, which comprise all the agencies that tend to make abandoned children useful citizens and rescue them from a life of vagrancy and crime. The object of this institution is to provide a temporary home and school for the dependent and neglected children of the State. No child in Minnesota need go without a home if the officers of the several counties do their duty. There is not a semblance of any degrading or criminal feature in the manner of obtaining admittance to this school. Under the law, it is the duty of every county commissioner, when he finds any child dependent or in danger of becoming so, to take steps to send him to this school. The process of admission wisely guards against the separation of parent and child, but keeps in view the ultimate good of the latter. Once admitted, it becomes the child of the State, all other authority over it being canceled. Every child old enough to work has some fitting task assigned to it, to the end of training it mentally, morally and physically for useful citizenship. They are sent from the school into families wanting them, but this does not deprive them of the watchful care of the State, which, through its agents, visits them in their adopted homes and sees that they are well cared for.
On January 1, 1899, there had been received into the school from seventy-two counties 1,824 children, of whom 1,131 were boys and 693 were girls. Of these, 233 were then in the school, the others having been placed in good homes. It is known that eighty-three per cent of these children had developed into young men and women of good character.
THE MINNESOTA STATE TRAINING SCHOOL.
This institution was formerly "The Minnesota State Reform School," and was located in St. Paul. In 1895 the Legislature changed its name to "The Minnesota State Training School for Boys and Girls," and its location has been changed to Red Wing, in the county of Goodhue. This institution has to do with criminals, and the statute provides, "That whenever an infant over the age of eight years and under the age of sixteen years shall have been duly convicted of any crime punishable with imprisonment, except the crime of murder, or shall be convicted of vagrancy or of incorrigibly vicious conduct." the sentence shall be to the guardianship of the board of managers of this school. Here they are given a good common school education and instructed in the trades of cabinet making, carpenter work, tailoring, shoemaking, blacksmithing, printing, farming, gardening, etc.
The inmates are furloughed under proper conditions, but the State watches over them through an agent, who provides homes for the homeless and employment for those who need help.
MINNESOTA STATE REFORMATORY.
This institution was established in 1887 and is located at St. Cloud. It is designed as an intermediate correctional school between the training school and the State prison, the object being to provide a place for boys and young men from sixteen to thirty years of age, never before convicted of crime, where they may, under as favorable circumstances as possible by discipline and education best adapted to that end, form such habits and character as will prevent their continuing in crime, fit them for self-support, and accomplish their reformation.
The law provides for an indeterminate sentence, allowing of parole when earned by continuous good conduct, and final release when reformation is strongly probable. Honest labor is required every day of each inmate. Almost every occupation and employment is carried on in a practical way, and each inmate is learning to fill some honest place and to do useful work. The workings of this reformatory have been very satisfactory and have undoubtedly rescued many young people from a life of crime.
THE MINNESOTA STATE PRISON.
All prisons where criminals are sent to work out sentences for crimes committed are alike on general principles, and the Minnesota prison, situated at Stillwater, differs only in the fact that it combines in its administration all the modern discoveries of sociological research which tend to ameliorate the condition of the prisoner and fit him for the duties of good citizenship when discharged.
The plant is extensive and thorough. The labor of the prisoners is now devoted to three industries, the manufacture of binding twine, high school scientific apparatus on State account, and the manufacture of boots and shoes.
The discipline and management of the prison is the best. The most advanced principles of penology are in force. Sentences are reduced by good conduct, and everything is done to reform as well as punish the prisoner. A newspaper is published by the convicts and a library of five thousand volumes is furnished for their mental improvement. Nothing known to modern, social and penal science is omitted from the management.
THE MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
This society, as I have said before in speaking of the work of the first Territorial Legislature, was organized by that body in 1849, and has been of incalculable value to the State. The officers of the society are a president, two vice-presidents, a treasurer and a secretary, and it is governed by an executive council of thirty-six members, which embraces the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary, Auditor and Treasurer of State, and Attorney General as ex-officio members. The State makes an annual appropriation in aid of the society. The executive council meets once a month for the transaction of its business, at which meetings, and at its annual meetings, interesting papers and essays are delivered on historical subjects, which are preserved and, with other matter, are published in handsomely bound volumes when sufficient material is accumulated.
The society, in the manner prescribed in its by-laws, may establish the following separate departments:
Department of Annals and General History of Minnesota.
Department of Geology of Minnesota.
Department of Zoology of Minnesota.
Department of Botany of Minnesota.
Department of Meteorology of Minnesota.
Department of Northwestern Geography and Chartology
Department of American History.
Department of Oriental History.
Department of European History.
Department of Genealogy and Heraldry.
Department of Ethnology and Anthropology.
It has corresponding members all over the world and official connections with nearly all the historical and learned societies of Europe and America, with which it interchanges publications. It has a membership of 142 life and 37 annual members. It may receive donations from any source.
Its property, real and personal, is exempt from taxation of any kind. It has accumulated a splendid library of about sixty-three thousand volumes of all kinds of historical, genealogical, scientific and general knowledge, all of which are open and free to the public It also has a gallery of pictures of historical scenes in Minnesota, and portraits of men and women who have been prominent in, or who have contributed to the history or growth of the State, together with an extensive museum of Indian and other curiosities having some relation to Minnesota. One of its most valuable attractions is a newspaper department in which are complete files of all newspapers which have been and are published in the State, except a very few unimportant ones. The number of our State papers, daily, weekly and monthly, received at the beginning of the year 1890 was 421. These papers are all bound in substantial volumes for preservation for the use of future generations. On September 1, 1899, the society had on the shelves of its fireproof vault 4,250 of these volumes. Its rooms are in the capitol at St. Paul, and are entirely inadequate for its accommodation, but ample space has been allowed it in the new capitol now in the course of construction.
STATE INSTITUTIONS MISCELLANEOUS IN THEIR CHARACTER.
Besides the general State boards and associations having special reference to the leading products of the State, and those of a reformatory and educational character, there are many others, regulating business of various kinds among the inhabitants, all of which are important in their special spheres, but to name them is all I can say about them in my limited space. Their number and the subjects which they regulate shows the care with which the State watches ever the welfare of its citizens. I present the following catalogue of the State departments:
The Insurance Commission.
The Public Examiner.
The Dairy Food Commission.
The Bureau of Labor.
The Board of Railroad and Warehouse Commissioners.
The Board of Game and Fish Commissioners.
The State Law Library.
The State Department of Oil Inspection.
The State Horticultural Society.
The State Forestry Association.
The Minnesota Dairyman's Association.
The State Butter and Cheese Maker's Association.
The State Farmer's Institutes.
The Red River Valley Drainage Commission.
The State Drainage Commission.
The Commission of Statistics.
The State Board of Health and Vital Statistics.
The State Board of Medical Examiners.
The State Board of Pharmacy.
The State Board of Dental Examiners.
The State Board of Examiners in Law.
The Bureau of Public Printing.
The Minnesota Society for the Prevention of Cruelty.
The Geological and Natural History Survey.
The State Board of Equalization.
Surveyors of Logs and Lumber.
The Board of Pardons.
The State Board of Arbitration and Conciliation.
The State Board of Investment.
The State Board of Examiners of Barbers.
The State Board of Examiners of Practical Plumbing.
The Horseshoers Board of Examiners.
The Inspection of Steam Boilers.
It is difficult to conceive of any other subject over which the State could assume jurisdiction, and the great number which are embraced already within its supervision, would lead one who is not in touch with our State administration to believe that State paternalism dominated the business industries of the people; but nothing is further from the truth, and no State in the Union is freer from governmental interference in the ordinary channels of industry than Minnesota.
Since the settlement of the debt created by the old railroad bonds that I have heretofore mentioned, the finances of the State have always been in excellent condition. When the receipts of an individual or a State exceed expenditures the situation is both satisfactory and safe. At the last report up to July 31, 1898, the receipts of the State from all sources were $5,429,240.32, and the expenditures were $5,208,942.05, leaving a balance on the right side of the ledger of $220,298.27. To the receipts must be added the balance in the treasury at the beginning of the year, of $2,054,314.26, which left in the treasury on July 31, 1898, the large sum of $2,184,612.53.
The original indebtedness arising from the adjustment of the State railroad bonds was $1,659,000.00; other bonds, $300,000.00. This indebtedness has been reduced by payments to the sum of $1,475,647.22, on July 31, 1898, the date of the last report. If this debt had matured, it could at once be paid by the funds on hand, leaving the State entirely free from all indebtedness.
The taxable property of the State by last assessment in 1897, including real and personal property, was $570,598,813.
THE MONETARY AND BUSINESS FLURRY OF 1873 AND PANIC OF 1893.
It has been customary in the United States to expect a disturbance in monetary and business affairs about once in every twenty years, and the expectation has not been disappointed since the panic of 1837. I have described the effect of the panic of 1857 on the Territory and State of Minnesota and the difficulties of recuperating from the shock. The next similar event was not due until 1877, but there is always some special disaster to precipitate such occurrences. In 1857 it was the failure of the Ohio Life and Trust Company, and in 1873 it was the failure of Jay Cooke & Company, of Philadelphia. This house had been very prominent in placing the bonds of the Northern Pacific Railroad company, and in the construction of the road, and was relied upon by many classes of people to invest their money for them, and when their failure was announced its effect in the East was disastrous, but here in Minnesota it only affected us in a secondary or indirect way, in stopping railroad building and creating general alarm in business circles. We had been diligently at work for sixteen years endeavoring to recuperate from the disaster of 1857 and had, to a great extent, succeeded. Real estate had partially revived, but had not reached the boom feature, and the State was on a sound financial basis. Fortunately we had not recovered sufficiently to become investors in railroad securities to any great extent, and land speculation had not reached its usual twenty years mark. We had, also, on hand a local affliction in the presence of grasshoppers, so that, although it disturbed business generally, it did not succeed in producing bankruptcy, and we soon shook it off.
This periodical financial disturbance has been attributed to various causes. From the regularity of its appearance, it must be the result of some impelling force of a generally similar character. My opinion is that the period of twenty years being the average time of man's business life, the actors of the second period have not the benefit of the experience gained by those of the previous one, and they repeat the same errors that produced the former disasters; but be that as it may, when the period extending from 1873 to 1893 had passed the same result had occurred, and with quite as much force as any of its predecessors. Land speculation had reached the point of absolute insanity. Everybody thought he could become rich if he only bought. Values already ridiculously expanded continued to increase with every sale. Anyone who had money enough to pay down a small amount as earnest, and intelligence enough to sign a note and mortgage for the balance of the purchase price became purchasers to the limit of their credit. When a party whose credit was questioned needed an endorser, he found many requiring the same assistance who were ready to swap endorsements with him. Everyone became deeply in debt. The country was loaded with paper, which was secured on the impossibility of values continuing. The banks became loaded with alleged securities and when the bubble was strained to the bursting point and some one of supposed financial soundness was compelled to succumb to the pressure, the veil was lifted which opened the eyes of the community and produced a rush for safety, which induced and was necessarily followed by a general collapse. In 1888 and 1889 banks suspended, money disappeared, and in 1893, in the expressive language of the West, everybody who was in debt, and all stockholders and depositors in defunct banks "went broke." Had the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis been captured by an enemy and a ransom of ten million dollars been demanded for each, paid and carried away, the consequences upon business would not have been worse. It was much the same in all the large cities of the State, as land speculation was more active there than in the rural districts, and no matter what may happen some value always remains to farm lands, while under such a collapse as that of 1893 the greater part of city property becomes utterly valueless for the present, and much of it forever.
There was, however, a great difference between the consequences of 1893, and the previous disasters of 1857 and 1873. Although the disturbance was great, we were better prepared to meet it. Population had increased immensely. The area of civilization and production had kept pace with immigration. Manufactures of many kinds had been introduced, and although we were seriously wounded, our hopes of recovery had solid grounds to rest upon and we were not dismayed. The only remedy in such cases - industry and economy - were applied, through necessity if not from choice, and recovery has been slowly progressing up to the present time - 1899 - when we may be classed as convalescent.
Will, this experience serve to prevent a recurrence of the follies of the past? Most assuredly not. Those who have reaped wisdom will have surrendered the speculative arena to others before the financial cycle rolls around, and history will repeat itself, notwithstanding the State never had a better future outlook than at present. It does not follow that the panic due about 1913 will be caused by over-speculation in real estate. It is more likely to be produced by the excessive and fraudulent capitalization of all sorts of corporations called trusts, which will, of course, succumb to the first serious blow.
With the exception of the events I have narrated, including the financial troubles of 1873 and 1893, nothing of special importance to the State has happened, except a few occurrences of minor moment.
September 5, 1878, President Hayes made a short visit to the State, and delivered an address at the State agricultural fair.
On the 7th of September, 1876, an organized gang of bandits which had been terrorizing the State of Missouri and surrounding States with impunity, entered this State and attacked a bank in the town of Northfield, in Rice county, with the intent of looting it. The cashier, Mr. Haywood, resisted, and they shot him dead. The people of the town hearing of the raid, turned out and opened fire on the robbers, who fled, with the loss of one killed. In their flight they killed a Swede before they got out of the town. The people of the counties through which their flight led them turned out, and before any of them passed the border of the State two more of them were killed and three captured. Two escaped. The captured were three brothers named Younger, and those who escaped were supposed to be the notorious James brothers of Missouri. The three Younger brothers pleaded guilty to a charge of murder, and, on account of a peculiarity in the law that only allowed the death sentence to be imposed by a jury, they were all sentenced to imprisonment for life; one of them has since died, and the other two remain in prison.
The manner in which this raid was handled by our citizens was of immense value to the State, as it proved a warning to all such desperadoes that Minnesota was a bad field for their operations, and we have had no more trouble from that class of offenders.
In 1877 the Constitution was amended by providing for biennial instead of annual sessions of the Legislature.
On May 2, 1878, a very singular and disastrous event took place at Minneapolis. Three large flouring mills were blown up by a dust explosion and eighteen men killed. It was inexplicable for a time, but it was afterwards discovered that such explosions had occurred before, and prompt measures were taken to prevent a repetition of the trouble.
On the 15th of November, 1880, a portion of the large insane asylum at St. Peter was destroyed by fire, and eighteen of the inmates were burned and others died of injuries received. The pecuniary loss amounted to $150,000.
On March 1, 1881, the old capitol burned while the Legislature was in session. That body moved their sittings to the St. Paul Market House, which had just been finished, where they remained until the present capitol building was erected upon the site of the one destroyed.
On the 25th of January, 1884, the State prison at Stillwater was partially burned.
September 14, 1886, St. Cloud and Sauk Rapids were struck by a cyclone. Scores of buildings were destroyed and about seventy of the inhabitants killed.
In the year 1889 the Australian system of voting at elections was introduced in cities of ten thousand inhabitants and over, and in 1892 the system was made general throughout the State.
On the 7th of April, 1893, the Legislature passed an act for the building of a new State capitol in the city of St. Paul, and appointed commissioners to carry out the object. They selected an eligible and conspicuous site between University avenue, Cedar and Wabasha streets, near the head of Wabasha. They adopted for the materials which were to enter into it, granite for the lower and Georgia white marble for the upper stories. The whole cost was not to exceed $2,000,000. The corner stone of the building was laid July 27, 1898, with appropriate and very imposing ceremonies in the presence of an immense throng of citizens from all parts of the State. Senator Davis delivered the oration and ex-Governor Alexander Ramsey laid the corner stone. The building has reached the third story, and will be a very beautiful and serviceable structure.
On September 1, 1894, there was a most extensive and disastrous fire in Pine county. Four hundred square miles of territory were burned over by the forest fire; the towns of Hinckley and Sandstone were totally destroyed, and four hundred people burned. The money loss was estimated at $1,000,000. This disaster was exactly what was needed to awaken the people of the State to the necessity of providing means for the prevention of forest and prairie tires, and the preservation of our forests. Shortly after the Hinckley fire a State convention was held at the Commercial Club in St. Paul, to devise legislation to accomplish this desirable end, which resulted in the passage of an act at the session of the Legislature in 1895 entitled, "An act for the preservation of forests of this State, and for the prevention and suppression of forest and prairie fires." Under this act the State Auditor was made the Forest Commissioner of the State, with authority to appoint a Chief Fire Warden. The supervisors of towns, mayors of cities and presidents of village councils were made fire wardens of their respective local jurisdictions, and the machinery for the prevention of fires was put in motion that is of immense value to the State. The Forest Commissioner appointed Gen. C. C. Andrews Chief Fire Warden, one of the best equipped men in the State for the position, and no serious trouble has since occurred in the way of fires.
On the 9th of February, 1887, the Minnesota Historical Society passed a resolution declaring that the pretenses made by Capt. Willard Glazier, to having been the discoverer of the source of the Mississippi river, were false, and very little has been heard from him since.
On the 10th of October, 1887, President Cleveland visited the State and made a short stay.
This enumeration of passing events looks a little like a catalogue of disasters (except the building of the new capitol and the visit of Presidents Hayes and Cleveland), but it must be remembered that Minnesota is such an empire in itself that such happenings scarcely produce a ripple on the surface of its steady and continuous progress. It is because these events can he particularized and described that they assume proportions beyond their real importance; but when compared with the colossal advances made by the State during the period covering them, they dwindle into mere points of educational experience, to be guarded against in the future. While the many blessings showered upon the State, consisting of the health and wealth imparting sunshine, the refreshing and fructifying rains and dews of heaven, which, like the smiles of providence, and the life-sustaining air that surrounds us, are too intangible and indefinable for more than thankful recognition: our tribulations were really blessings in disguise. The bold invasion of the robbers proved our courage; the storms and fires proved our generosity to the distressed, and taught us lessons in the wisdom of prevention. Minnesota has as much to be thankful for and as little to regret as any State in the West, and our troubles only prove that we have a very robust vitality, difficult to permanently impair.
THE WAR WITH SPAIN.
For many years there has been a growing sentiment in the United States that Spain was governing Cuba and her other West Indian colonies in an oppressive and unjust manner, and the desire to interfere in behalf of the Cuban people received a good deal of encouragement, and its unrestrained expression succeeded in creating very strained relations between Spain and the United States. It is a well known fact that the Spanish people from the north line of Mexico to Cape Horn, as well as the inhabitants of the Spanish Islands, hate the Americans most heartily. Why, I do not know, except that our social, governmental and religious habits, customs and beliefs are radically different from their own - but that such is the case no one doubts who knows these people. In 1897 some effort at conciliation was made, and Spain sent one of her warships to New York on a friendly visit, but she did not stay long, and got away as soon as she decently could. The United States sent the battleship Maine to Havana on the same friendly mission, where she was officially conveyed to her anchorage. She had been there but a short time when she was blown up, on February 15, 1898, and two hundred and sixty American seamen murdered. There was an official investigation to determine the cause of the explosion, but it found no solution of the disaster. Various theories were advanced of internal spontaneous explosion, but no one was misled. The general sentiment of Americans was, that the Spanish in Cuba deliberately exploded a submarine torpedo under her to accomplish the result that followed. Previous to this cowardly act there was much difference of opinion among the people of all sections of the country as to the propriety of declaring war against Spain, but public sentiment was at once unified in favor of war on the announcement of this outrage. On the 25th of April, 1898, Congress passed an act declaring that war against Spain had existed since the 21st of the same month. A requisition was made on Minnesota for its quota of troops immediately after war was declared, and late in the afternoon of the 28th of April the Governor issued an order to the Adjutant General to assemble the State troops at St. Paul. The Adjutant General, on the 29th, issued the following order by telegraph to the different commands:
"The First, Second and Third regiments of infantry are hereby ordered to report at St. Paul on Friday morning, April 29, 1898, not later than eleven o'clock, with one day's cooked rations in their haversacks."
The order was promptly obeyed and all the field staff and company officers, with their commands, reported before the time appointed, and on the afternoon of that day went into camp at the State fair grounds, which was named Camp Ramsey. Such promptness on the part of the State militia was remarkable, but it will be seen that they had been prepared for the order of the Adjutant General before its final issue, who had anticipated the declaration of war.
On April 18th he had issued the following order:
"The commanding officers of the infantry companies, and artillery batteries, composing the National Guard, will immediately take steps to recruit their commands up to one hundred men each. All recruits above the maximum peace footing of seventy-six men will be carried upon the muster roll as provisional recruits, to be discharged in case their services are not needed for field service."
On the 25th of April the Adjutant General issued the following order:
"In obedience to orders this day received from the Honorable Secretary of War, calling upon the State of Minnesota for three regiments of infantry as volunteers of the United States to serve two years or less, and as the three National Guard regiments have signified their desire of entering the service of the United States as volunteers, the First, Second and Third regiments of infantry of the National Guard of the State of Minnesota will immediately make preparations to report to these headquarters upon receipt of telegraphic orders which will be issued later."
This commendable action on the part of our military authorities resulted in the Minnesota troops being the first to be mustered into the service of the United States in the war with Spain, thus repeating the proud distinction gained by the State in 1861, when Minnesota was the first State to offer troops for the defense of the Union in the Civil War. It is a curious, as well as interesting coincidence, that the First Minnesota regiment for the Civil War was mustered in on April 29, 1861, and the first three regiments for the Spanish War were mobilized al St. Paul on April 29, 1898.
The mustering in of the three regiments was completed on the 8th of May, 1898, and they were designated as the Twelfth, Thirteenth and Fourteenth Regiments of Infantry, Minnesota Volunteers. This classification was made because the State had furnished eleven full regiments of infantry for the Civil War, and it was decided to number them consecutively.
The Twelfth and Fourteenth left Camp Ramsey on the 16th of May for Camp George H. Thomas, in Georgia, and the Thirteenth departed for San Francisco on the same day. The Thirteenth was afterwards ordered to Manila. The others did not leave the country and were subsequently mustered out. The Thirteenth did gallant service in the Philippines in many battles, and has just been mustered out in San Francisco, and on October 12, 1899, returned to our State. A warm welcome was given them in Minnesota, where they will always be regarded with the same pride and affection formerly bestowed upon the old First, of patriotic memory.
President McKinley and several of his cabinet arrived in St. Paul at the same time of the arrival of the Thirteenth, and assisted in welcoming them to their homes.
There was a second call for troops, under which the Fifteenth Regiment was mustered in. but was not called upon for active duty of any kind. It is to be hoped that the war may be ended without the need of more Volunteers from Minnesota, bill should another call he made on our people, no doubt can be entertained of their prompt response. Having given the part taken in the war against Spain and the Philippines by Minnesota, its further prosecution against the latter becomes purely a Federal mailer, unless we shall be called into it in the future.
When Spain sued for peace, soon after the destruction of her second fleet off Santiago de Cuba, a commission to negotiate a treaty of peace with her was appointed by the President, and Minnesota was honored by the selection of its Senior Senator, Hon. Cushman K. Davis, chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, as one of its members. The commission consisted of William R. Day, Secretary of State of the United States; Cushman K. Davis, of Minnesota: William P. Frye, of Maine; George Gray, of Delaware, and Whitelaw Reid, of New York. It met at Paris and concluded its labors the 10th day of December, 1898, when the treaty was signed by the commissioners of both contracting parties. It is hardly necessary to add that the influence exerted on the result by the distinguished and learned representative from Minnesota was controlling.
THE INDIAN BATTLE OF LEECH LAKE.
Early in October, 1898, there was an Indian battle fought at Leech Lake, in this State, the magnitude of the result of which gives it a place in the history of Minnesota, although it was strictly a matter of United States cognizance and jurisdiction. In Cass county is located a Chippewa Indian reservation, and, like all other Indian reservations, there are within its limits turbulent people, both white and red. There is a large island out in Leech lake called Pear island, which is inhabited by the Indians. On October 1, 1897, one Indian shot another on this island. A prominent member of the tribe, named Pug-on-a-ke-shig, was present and witnessed the shooting. An indictment was found in the United States District Court against the Indian who did the shooting, but before any trial could be had the matter was settled among the Indians in their own way, and they thought that was the last of it. A subpoena was issued for Pug-on-a-ke-shig, and a deputy marshal served it. He disregarded the subpoena. An attachment was then issued to arrest him and bring him into court, and a deputy United States marshal tried to serve it. He was resisted by the Indian and his friends on three different occasions, and once when the Indian was arrested he was rescued from the custody of the marshal. Warrants were then issued for the arrest of twenty-one of the rescuers. This was in the latter part of August, 1898. Troops were asked for to aid the marshal in making his arrests, and a lieutenant and twenty men were sent from Fort Snelling for that purpose. This was simply a repetition of the many mistakes made by the military authorities in such matters. If troops were necessary for any purpose, twenty men were simply useless, and worse than none, and when the time came for the application of military force would, of course, have been annihilated. The United States marshal with a squad of deputies accompanied the hoops. It soon became apparent that there would be trouble before the Indians could be brought to terms, and General Bacon, the officer in command of the Department of Dakota, with headquarters at St. Paul, ordered Major Wilkinson, of Company E, of the Third Regiment of United States Infantry, stationed at Fort Snelling, with his company of eighty men, to the scene of the trouble. General Bacon accompanied these troops as far as Walker, on the west bank of Leech lake, more in the capacity of an observer of events and to gain proper knowledge of the situation than as part of the forces. On the 5th of October, 1898, the whole force left Walker in boats for a place on the east bank of the lake, called Sugar Point, where there was a clearing of several acres, and a log house occupied by Pug-on-a-ke-shig. They were accompanied by R. T. O'Connor, the United States marshal of Minnesota, and several of his deputies, among whom was Col. Timothy J. Sheehan, who knew the Indians who were subject to arrest. This officer was the same man who, as Lieutenant Sheehan, had so successfully commanded the forces at Fort Ridgely during the Indian War of 1862, since when he had fought his way through the Civil War with distinction. When the command landed, only a few squaws and Indians were visible. The deputy marshals landed and, with the interpreters, went at once to the house, and while there discovered an Indian whom Colonel Sheehan recognized as one for whom a warrant was out, and immediately attempted to arrest and handcuff him. The Indian resisted vigorously, and it was only with the aid of three or four soldiers that they succeeded in arresting him. He was put on board of the boat. The whole force then skirmished through the timber in search of Indians, but found none, and about noon returned to the clearing and were ordered to stack arms preparatory to getting dinner. They had scouted the surrounding country and had seen no Indians or signs of Indians, and did not believe there were any in the vicinity; when in fact the Indians had carefully watched their every movement, and were close to their trail, waiting for the most advantageous moment to strike. It was the same tactics which the Indians have so often adopted with much success in their warfare with the whites. While stacking arms a new recruit allowed his gun to fall to the ground, and it was discharged accidentally. The Indians, who were silently awaiting their opportunity, supposing it was the signal of attack, opened fire on the troops, and a vicious battle began. The soldiers seized their arms and returned the fire as best they could, directing it at the points whence came the shots from the invisible enemy concealed in the dense thicket. The battle raged for several hours. General Bacon, with a gun in his hands, was everywhere, encouraging the men. Major Wilkinson, as cool as if he had been in a drawing room, cheered his men on, but was thrice wounded, the last hit proving fatal. Colonel Sheehan instinctively entered the fight, and took charge of the right wing of the line, charging the enemy with a few followers and keeping up a rapid fire. The Colonel was hit three times, two bullets passing through his clothes, grazing the skin, without serious injury, and one cutting a painful, but not dangerous wound across his stomach. The result of the fight was six killed and nine wounded on the part of the troops. One of the Indian police was also killed and seven citizens wounded, some seriously. No estimate has ever been satisfactorily obtained of the loss of the enemy. The most reliable account of the number of his forces engaged is, from nineteen to thirty, and if I should venture an estimate of his losses, based upon my experience of his ability to select a vantage ground, and take care of himself, I would put it at practically nothing.
The killed and wounded were brought to Fort Snelling, the killed buried with military honors and the wounded properly cared for. This event adds one more to the long list of fatal errors committed by our military forces in dealing with the Indians of the Northwest. They should never be attacked without a force sufficient to demonstrate the superiority of the whites in all cases and under all circumstances. Many a valuable life has been thus unnecessarily lost.
Major Wilkinson, who lost his life in this encounter, was a man who had earned an enviable record in the army, and was much beloved by his many friends and acquaintances in Minnesota.
The principal Indian engaged in this fight has been called in every newspaper and other report of it "Bug-a-ma-ge-shig," but I have succeeded in obtaining his real name from the highest authority. The name - Pug-on-a-ke- shig - is the Chippewa for Hole-in-the-day.
Shortly after the return of the troops to Fort Snelling the settlers about Cass and Leech lakes became uneasy, and deluged the Governor with telegrams for protection. The National Guard or State Troops had nearly all been mustered into the United States service for duty in the war with Spain, but the Fourteenth Regiment was in St. Paul awaiting muster out, and the Governor telegraphed to the War Department at Washington to send enough of them to the front to quiet the fears of the settlers. This was declined, and the Governor at once ordered out two batteries of artillery, all the State troops that were available, and sent them to the scene of the troubles, and then sent his celebrated telegram to the War Department, which may be called the Minnesota Declaration of Independence. It ran as follows:
"October 8, 1898.
H. C. Corbin,
Washington, D. C.
No one claims that reinforcements are needed at Walker. I have not been asked for assistance from that quarter. Although I do not think General Bacon has won the victory he claims, other people do not say so. (Sic.) The Indians claim to have won, and that is my opinion. The people all along the Fosston branch of railroad are very much alarmed and asking for protection, which I have asked of the War Department. The soldiers are here and ready and willing to go, but as you have revoked your order of yesterday, you can do what you like with your soldiers. The State of Minnesota will try to get along without any assistance from the War Department in the future. D. M. Clough, Governor."
Rumor says that the telegram which was forwarded is very much modified from that originally dictated by the Governor.
The United States Government concluded to withdraw its refusal and send troops to the front, and several companies of the Fourteenth were dispatched to the line of the Fosston Branch railroad and distributed along the line of that road.
In the meantime the Commissioner of Indian Affairs had arrived at Walker, and was negotiating with the Indians, and when it became known that matters were arranged to the satisfaction of the government and the Indians, and no outbreak was expected, the soldiers were all withdrawn, and the incident, so far as military operations were concerned, was closed. There were some surrenders of the Indians to the officers of the court, but nothing further of consequence occurred.
One of the most interesting features of a new country is the character and the nativity of its population. The old frontiersman who has watched the growth of new States, and fully comprehended the effect produced upon their civilization and character, by the nativity of their immigrants, is the only person competent to judge of the influences exerted in this line. It is a well known fact that the immigration from Europe into America is generally governed by climatic influences. These people usually follow the line of latitude to which they have been accustomed. The Norseman from Russia, Sweden. Germany and Norway comes to the extreme Northwestern States, while the emigrant from southern Europe seeks the more southern latitudes. Of course, these are very general comments, and only relate to immigration in its usual directions, as the people from all parts of Europe are found in all parts of America. It is generally believed that the immigrants from Northern Europe are more desirable than those from further south, and a presentation of the status of our population in point of nativity will afford a basis from which to judge of their general attributes for good or bad. There is no nation on earth that has not sent us some representative. The following table, while it will prove that we have a most heterogeneous, polyglot population, will also prove that we possess vast powers of assimilation, as we are about as harmonious a people as can be found in all the Union. Our Governor is a Swede, one of our United States Senators is a Norwegian, and our other State officers are pretty generally distributed among the various nationalities. Of course, in the minor political subdivisions, such as counties, cities and towns, the office holding is generally governed by the same considerations.
I give the various countries from which our population is drawn, with the numbers from each country, and the number of native born and foreign born, which, aggregated, constitute our entire population. These figures are taken from the State census of 1895:
All other countries 11,205
Total native born 1,057,084
Total foreign born 517,535
Total population 1,674,619
The total native born of our population is very largely composed of the descendants of foreign immigrants. These figures afford a large field for thought and future consideration when immigration problems are under legislative investigation.
The census from which these figures are taken being five years old, I think it is safe to add a sufficient number of increase to bring our population up to two millions. The census of 1900 will demonstrate whether or not my estimate is correct.
THE STATE FLAG.
Up to the year 1893 the State of Minnesota had no distinctive State flag. On April 4, 1893, an act was passed by the Legislature entitled, "An act providing for the adoption of a State flag." This act appointed, by name, a commission of six ladies to adopt a design for a State flag. Section two of the act provided that the design adopted should embody, as near as may be, the following facts:
"There shall be a white ground with reverse side of blue. The center of the white ground shall be occupied by a design substantially embodying the form of the seal employed as the State seal of Minnesota at the time of its admission into the Union. * * * * The said design of the State seal shall be surrounded by appropriate representations of the moccasin flower indigenous to Minnesota, surrounding said central design, and appropriately arranged on the said white ground shall be nineteen stars, emblematic of the fact that Minnesota was the nineteenth State to be admitted into the Union, after its formation by the thirteen original States. There shall also appear at the bottom of the flag in the white ground, so as to be plainly visible, the word Minnesota."
The commission prepared a very beautiful design for the flag, following closely the instructions given by the Legislature, which was adopted, and is now the authorized flag of the State. The flag-staff is surmounted by a golden gopher, in harmony with the popular name given to our State.
May it ever represent the principles of liberty and justice, and never be lowered to an enemy.
The original flag, artistically embroidered in silk, can be seen at the office of the Governor at the State Capitol.
THE OFFICIAL FLOWER OF THE STATE, AND THE METHOD OF ITS SELECTION.
On the 20th of April, 1891, the Legislature of the State passed an act entitled "An act to provide for the collection, arrangement and display of the products of the State of Minnesota at the World's Columbian Exposition of one Thousand Eight Hundred and Ninety-three, and to make an appropriation therefor."
This act created a commission of six citizens of the State, to be appointed by the Governor, and called "The Board of World's Fair Managers of Minnesota."
The women of the State determined that there should be an opportunity for them to participate in the exposition on the part of Minnesota, and a convention of delegates from each county of the State was called and held at the People's church, in St. Paul, on February 14, 1892. This convention elected one woman delegate and one alternate from each of the seven Congressional districts of the State. There were also two national lady managers from Minnesota, nominated by the two national representatives from Minnesota and appointed by the President of the United States, who were added to the seven delegates so chosen, and the whole was called "The Woman's Auxiliary to the State Commission." The women so chosen took charge of all the matters properly pertaining to the Women's Department of the Exposition.
At one of the meetings of the ladies, held in St. Paul, the question of the selection of an official flower for the State was presented, and the sent intent generally prevailed that it should at once he decided by the assemblage; but Mrs. L. P. Hunt, the delegate from Mankato, in the Second Congressional District, wisely suggested that the selection should he made by all the ladies of the State, and that they should be given an opportunity to vote upon the proposition. This suggestion was approved, and the following plan was adopted: Mrs. Hunt was authorized to appoint a committee, of which she was to be chairman, to select a list of flowers to be voted on. Accordingly, she appointed a sub-committee who were to consult the State Botanist, Mr. Conway MacMillan, who was to name a number of Minnesota flowers, from which the ladies were to choose. He presented the following:
Lady Slipper (Moccasin Flower, Cypripedium Spectabile.)
Cone Flower (Brown-eyed Susan).
The plan was to send out printed tickets to all the women's organizations in the State with these names on them to be voted upon. This was done, with the result that the moccasin flower received an overwhelming majority, and has ever since been accepted as the official flower of the State. That the contest was a very spirited one can be judged from the fact that Mrs. Hunt sent out in her district at least ten thousand tickets with indications of her choice of the moccasin flower. She also maintained lengthy newspaper controversies with parties in Manitoba, who claimed the prior right of that province to the moccasin flower; all of whom she vanquished.
The choice was a very wise and appropriate one. The flower itself is very beautiful, and peculiarly adapted to the purposes of artistic decoration. It has already been utilized in three instances of an official character with success and approval. The Minnesota State Building at the Columbian Exposition was beautifully decorated with it. It is prominently incorporated into the State flag, and adorns the medal conferred by the State upon the defenders of Fort Ridgely.
The botanical name of the flower is Cypripedium, taken from Creek words, meaning the shoe of Venus. It is popularly called lady's slipper, moccasin flower and Indian shoe.
About twenty-five species of cypripedium are known belonging to the north temperate zone, and reaching south into Mexico and northern India. Six species occur in the Northern United states and Canada, east of the Rocky mountains, all of these being found in Minnesota, and about a dozen species occur on this continent. They are perennial herbs with irregular flowers, which grow singly or in small clusters, the colors of some of which are strikingly beautiful. The species adopted by the women of the State of Minnesota is the Cypripedium Spectabile, or the showy lady slipper.
The ladies naturally desired that their choice should be ratified by the State Legislature, and one of their number prepared a report of their doings in a petition to that body asking its approval. Whoever drew the petition named the flower chosen by the ladies as "Cypripedium Calceolons," a species which does not grow in Minnesota, but is purely of European production. The petition was presented to the Senate on the 4th of February, 1893. The journal of the Senate shows the following record, which is found on page 167:
"Mr. Dean asked the unanimous consent to present a petition from the Women's Auxiliary to the World's Fair relative to the adoption of a State flower and emblem, which was read. Mr. Dean offered the following concurrent resolution, and moved its adoption:
Be it resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring, that the wild lady slipper or moccasin flower, Cypripedium Calceolons, be, and the same is hereby designated and adopted as the State flower or emblem of the State of Minnesota, which was adopted."
In the Legislative Manual of 1893 appears on page 606 the following: "The State Flower. On April 4, 1893 (should be February), a petition from the Women's Auxiliary to the World's Fair was presented to the Senate relative to the adoption of a State flower. By resolution of the Senate, concurred in by the House (?), the Wild Lady Slipper or Moccasin Flower (Cypripedium) was designated as the State flower or floral emblem of the State of Minnesota."
The word "Calceolous" means a little shoe or slipper, but, as I said before, the species so designated in botany is not indigenous to Minnesota, and is purely a foreigner. As we have in the course of our growth assimilated so many foreigners successfully we will have no trouble in swallowing this small shoe, especially as the House did not concur in its resolution, and while the mistake will in no way militate against the progress or prosperity of Minnesota, it should be a warning to all committees and Western Legislators to go slow when dealing with the dead languages.
We now have the whole body of cypripediums to choose from, and may reject the calceolous.
If the House of Representatives ever concurred in the Senate resolution it left no trace of its action, either in its journal or published laws, that I have been able to find.
Among the many valuable achievements of the Women's Auxiliary one deserves special mention. Mrs. H. F. Brown, one of the delegates at large, suggested a statue for the Woman's Building, to be the production of Minnesota's artistic conception and execution. The architect of the State Building had disallowed this feature, and there was no public fund to meet the expense, which would be considerable. The ladies, however, decided to procure the statue, and rely on private subscription to defray the cost. Mrs. L. P. Hunt thought that sufficient funds might be raised from the school children of the State, through a penny subscription. Enough was raised to secure a plaster cast of great beauty, representing Hiawatha carrying Minnehaha across a stream in his arms, illustrating the lines in Longfellow's poem:"Over wide and rushing rivers
In his arms he bore the maiden."
This statue adorned the porch of the Minnesota Building during the fair. It was designed and made by a very talented young Norwegian sculptor then residing in Minneapolis-the late Jakob Fjelde. It is proposed to cast the statue in bronze and place it in Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis, at some future day.
ORIGIN OF THE NAME, GOPHER STATE.
Most of the States in the Union have a peculiar name. New York is called the Empire State, Pennsylvania the Keystone State, etc. As you come west they seem to have taken the names of animals. Michigan is called the Wolverine State, Wisconsin the Badger State, and it is not at all singular that Minnesota should have been christened the Gopher State. These names never originate by any recognized authority. They arise from some event that suggests them, or from some important utterance that makes an impression on the public mind. In the very early days of the Territory, say as early as 1854 or 1855, the question was discussed among the settlers as to what name should be adopted by Minnesota, and for a time it was called by some the Beaver State. That name seemed to have the greatest number of advocates, but it was always met with the objection that the beaver, although quite numerous in some of our streams, was not sufficiently so to entitle him to characterize the Territory by giving it his name. While this debate was in progress the advocates of the beaver spoke of the Territory as the beaver Territory, but it never reached a point of universal adoption. It was well known that the gopher abounded, and his name was introduced as a competitor with the beaver; but being a rather insignificant animal and his nature being destructive, and in no way useful, he was objected to by many, as too useless and undignified to become an emblem of the coming great State - for we all had, at that early day, full confidence that Minnesota was destined to be a great and prominent State. Nothing was ever settled on this subject until after the year 1857. As I have before stated, in that year an attempt was made to amend the Constitution by allowing the State to issue bonds in the sum of $5,000,000 to aid in the construction of the railroad which the United States had subsidized with land grants, and the campaign which involved this amendment was most bitterly fought. The opponents of the measure published a cartoon to bring the subject into ridicule, which was very generally circulated throughout the State, but failed to check the enthusiasm in favor of the proposition. This cartoon represented ten men in a line with heads bowed down with the weight of a bag of gold hung "We have no cash, but will give you our drafts." Attached to the rear of the train was a wheelbarrow with a barrel on it marked "gin," followed by the devil in great glee, with his thumb at his nose. In the train were the advocates of the bill, flying a flag bearing these words: "Gopher train; excursion train; members of extra session of Legislature free. We develop the resources of the country," and over this was a smaller flag with the words. "The $5,000,000 Loan Bill."
In another part of the picture is a rostrum, from which a gopher is addressing the people with the legend, "I am right; Gorman is wrong." In the right hand corner of the cartoon is a round ball with a gopher in it, coming rapidly down, with the legend, "A Ball come from Winona." This was a pun on the name of Mr. St. A. D. Balcombe from Winona, who was a strong advocate of the measure. And under the whole group was a dark pit, with the words, "A mine of corruption."
The bill was passed and the State was saddled with a debt of $5,000,000, under which it staggered for over twenty years, and we never even got a gopher train out of it.
This cartoon, coming just at the time when the name of the State was under consideration, fastened upon it the nickname of "Gopher," which it has ever since retained. The name is not at all inappropriate, as the animal has always abounded in the State. In a work on the mammals of Minnesota, by C. L. Herrick, 1892, he gives the scientific name of our most common species of gopher, "Spermophilus Tridecemlineatus," or thirteen striped gopher, and says: "The species ranges from the Saskatchawan to Texas, and from Ohio to Utah. Minnesota is the peculiar home of the typical form, and thus deserves the name of the Gopher State."
Although the name originated in ridicule and contempt, it has not in any way handicapped the Commonwealth, partly because very few people know its origin, but for the greater reason that it would take much more than a name to check its predestined progress.
Itasca State Park.
In a previous part of this work, under the head of "Lumber," I have referred to the fact that a great National park and forest reserve is in contemplation by the United States at the headwaters of the Mississippi, and also made reference to the State park already established at that point. I will now relate what has been done by the State in this regard. In 1875 an official survey of the land in and about Lake Itasca was made by the Surveyor General of the United States for Minnesota which brought these lands under the operation of the United States laws, and part of them were entered. A portion of them went to the Northern Pacific railroad company under its land grant. The swamp and school lands went to the State, and much to private individuals under the various methods of making title to government lands.
On the 20th of April, 1891, the Legislature passed an act entitled "An act to establish and create a public park, to be known and designated as the Itasca State Park, and authorizing the condemnation of lands for park purposes." This act set apart for park purposes 19,702 acres of land, and dedicates them to the perpetual use of the people. It places the same under the care and supervision of the State Auditor, as land commissioner. It prohibits the destruction of trees, or hunting within its limits. It provides for a commission to obtain title to such of the lands as belong to private individuals, either by purchase or condemnation.
On the 3d of August, 1892, the United States granted to the State all the unappropriated lands within the limits of the park upon this condition:
"Provided the land hereby granted shall revert to the United States, together with all the improvements thereon, if at any time it shall cease to be exclusively used for a public State park, or if the State shall not pass a law or laws to protect the timber thereon."
The State, at the session of the Legislature in 1893, accepted the grant, but as yet has made no provision for the extinguishment of the title of private "owners, of which there are 8,823 acres. This divided ownership of the lands within the limits of the park endangers the whole region by lumbering operations and consequent forest fires after the timber is cut. Fires are not to be feared in natural forests until they are cut over. The acquisition of title to all these lands by the State should not be delayed any longer than is necessary to perfect it, no matter at what cost. The State has already erected a house on the bank of Itasca lake, and has a resident commissioner in charge of the park.
The effect of the law prohibiting hunting in the park has already greatly increased the numbers of animals and fowls that find in it a safe refuge.
The extent of the park is seven miles long by five miles wide, and is covered with a dense forest of pine, oak, maple, basswood, aspen, balsam fir, cedar and spruce, which is nearly in a state of nature. It is much to be hoped that in the near future this park will be enlarged to many times its present size by additional grants.
Interstate Park: The Dalles of the St. Croix.
One of the most, if not the most, beautiful and picturesque points in the Northwest is the Dalles of the St. Croix river. Here the State has acquired the title to about one hundred and fifty acres of land on the Minnesota side of the river, and dedicated it for park purposes. This was done under the authority of Chapter 169 of the Laws of 1895. The point on the Minnesota side is called Taylor's Falls, and on the Wisconsin side St. Croix Falls. Between these two towns the St. Croix river rushes rapidly, forming a cataract of great beauty. The bluffs are precipitate and rocky, forming a narrow gorge through which the river plunges. The name of the river is French - "Sainte Croix," meaning the holy cross - and the name of this particular point, the "Dalles," was given on account of the curious formation of the rocky banks, which assume wonderful shapes. One, looking down stream, presents a perfect likeness of a man, and is called "The Old Man of the Dalles." Another curious rock formation is called the "Devil's Chair." There are many others equally interesting. It is generally supposed that the word "Dalles" has the same meaning of the English word "Dell" or "Dale," signifying a narrow secluded vale or valley, but such is not the case as applied to this peculiar locality. The word "Dalles" is French, and means a slab, a flag or a flagstone, and is appropriate to the peculiar character of the general rock formation of the river banks at this point and vicinity.
The State of Minnesota has already done a good deal of work towards making it attractive, and it has become quite a resort for pleasure seekers in the summer time. Wisconsin has acquired title to a larger tract on the east side of the river than is embraced in the Minnesota park on the west side, but as yet has not done much in the way of improvement. The two tracts are united by a graceful bridge which spans the river between them. The Minnesota park is under the charge of a State custodian, who cares for and protects it from despoilment.
In writing the history of a State, no matter how short or limited such history may be, its politics seem to be an essential element of presentation, and on this assumption alone I will say a very few words concerning that subject. I do not believe that the question of which political party has been dominant in the State has exerted any considerable influence on its material prosperity. The great First Cause of its creation was so generous in his award of substantial blessings that it placed the State beyond the ability of man, or his politics, to seriously injure or impede its advance towards material success in any of the channels that promote greatness - soil, climate, minerals, facilities for commerce and transportation, consisting of great rivers, lakes and harbors; all these combine to defy the destructive tendencies so often exerted by the ignorance and passions of man. It has resisted every folly of its people, and they have been many; every onslaught of its savage inhabitants - and they have been more formidable than those experienced by any other State - and even the cataclysms with which it has occasionally been visited arising from natural causes. The fact is, Minnesota is so rock-rooted in all the elements of material greatness that it must advance, regardless of all known obstructions.
When the Territory was organized, in 1849, Gen. Zachary Taylor, a Whig, was the President of the United States, and he appointed Alexander Ramsey, also a Whig, as Governor, to set its political machinery in motion. He remained in office until the National administration changed in 1853, and Franklin Pierce, a Democrat, was chosen President. He appointed Gen. Willis A. Gorman, a Democrat, as Governor, to succeed Governor Ramsey. On the 4th of March, 1857, James Buchanan, a Democrat, succeeded President Pierce, and appointed Samuel Medary, a Democrat, as Governor of Minnesota. He held this position until the State was admitted into the Union, in May, 1858, when Henry H. Sibley, a Democrat, was elected Governor for the term of two years, and served it out.
On the admission of the State into the Union, two Democratic United States Senators were elected, Henry M. Rice and Gen. James Shields. General Shields served from May 12, 1858, to March 3, 1859, and Mr. Rice from May 12, 1858, to March 3, 1863, he having drawn the long term. The State also elected three members of the United States House of Representatives all Democrats, James M. Cavanaugh, W. W. Phelps and George L. Becker; but it was determined that we were only entitled to two, and Mr. Phelps and Mr. Cavanaugh were admitted to seats. With this State and Federal representation we entered upon our political career. At the next election for Governor, in the fall of 1898. Alexander Ramsey, Republican, was chosen, and there has never been a Governor of the State of any but Republican politics since, until John Lind was elected in the fall of 1898. Mr. Lind was chosen as a Democrat with the aid of other political organizations, which united with the Democracy. Mr. Lind now fills the office of Governor. It will be seen that for thirty-nine years the State was wholly in the hands of the Republicans. During the interval between the administration of Governor Sibley and Governor Lind the State had twelve Governors, all Republican.
In its Federal representation, however, the Democrats have fared a trifle better. The growth of population has increased our membership in the Federal House of Representatives to seven, and occasionally a Democrat, or member of some other party, has succeeded in breaking into Congress.
From the First District W. H. Harris, Democrat, was elected in 1890.
From the Third District Eugene M. Wilson, Democrat, was elected in 1868; Henry Poeler, Democrat, in 1878; John L. McDonald, Democrat, in 1886, and O. M. Hall, Democrat, in 1890, and again in 1892.
From the Fourth District Edmund Rice, Democrat, was elected in 1886, and James N. Castle, Democrat, in 1890.
From the Sixth District M. R. Baldwin, Democrat, was elected in 1892.
From the Fifth District Kittle Halverson, Alliance, was elected in 1890.
In the Seventh District Haldoe E. Boen, People's Party, was elected in 1892.
Since Henry M. Rice and James Shields, all the United States Senators have been Republican, as follows: Morton S. Wilkinson, Alexander Ramsey, Daniel S. Norton, William Windom, O. P. Stearns, S. J. R. McMillin, A. J. Edgerton, D. M. Sabin, C. K. Davis, W. D. Washburn, and Knute Nelson.
Some of these have served two terms, and some very short terms to fill vacancies.
Of course, the State had its complement of other officers, but as their duties are more of a clerical and business character than political, it is unnecessary to particularize them.
It is a subject of congratulation to all citizens of Minnesota that out of all the State officers that have come and gone in the forty years of its life there has been but one impeachment, which was of a State treasurer, Mr. William Seeger, who was elected in 1871. Although he was convicted, I have always believed, and do now, that he was personally innocent, and suffered for the sins of others.
The State of Minnesota has always, since the adjustment of its old Railroad Bond Debt, held a conservative position in the Union - financially, socially, patriotically and commercially. Its credit is the best, its prospects the brightest, and it makes very little difference which political party dominates its future, so long as it is free from the taint of anarchy and is guided by the principles of honor and justice. The only thing to be feared is, that some political party may gain control of the government of the Nation and either degrade its currency, involve it in disastrous complications and wars with other nations, or commit some similar folly which may reflectively or secondarily act injuriously on Minnesota as a member of the National family of States. Otherwise Minnesota can defy the vagaries of politics and politicians. She has very little to fear from this remote apprehension, because the American people, as they ever have been, will no doubt continue to be, on second thought, true to the teachings and traditions of the founders of the Republic.
Minnesota, for so young a State, has been quite liberally remembered in the way of diplomatic appointments. Gen. C. C. Andrews represented the United States as Minister to Sweden and Norway; Hon. Samuel R. Thayer and Hon. Stanford Newell at The Hague, the latter of whom now tills the position. Mr. Newell was also a member of the World's Peace Commission recently held at The Hague. Lewis Baker represented the United States as Minister to Nicaragua, Costa Rica and San Salvador.
The State has also been honored by the appointment of the following named gentlemen from among its citizens as Consuls General to various countries:
Gen. C. C. Andrews to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Hon. Hans Mattson to Calcutta, India; Dr. J. A. Leonard to Calcutta, and also to Shanghai, China; Hon. John Goodenow to Shanghai, China.
We have had a full complement of consuls to all parts of the world, the particulars of which are unnecessary in this connection.
The State has also had three cabinet officers. On December 10th, 1879, Alexander Ramsey was appointed Secretary of War by President Hayes, and again, on December 20, 1880, he was made Secretary of the Navy; the latter office he held only about ten days, until it was filled by a permanent appointee.
William Windom was appointed Secretary of the Treasury by President Garfield, and again to the same position by President Harrison. He died in office.
Gen. William G. Le Duc was appointed Commissioner of Agriculture by President Hayes, which was a quasi cabinet position, and was afterwards made a full and regular one. The General was afterwards made a member of the National Agricultural Society of France, of which Washington, Jefferson and Marshall were members.
Senator Cushman K. Davis, who was chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, was appointed by President McKinley one of the commissioners on the part of the United States to negotiate the treaty of peace with Spain after the recent Spanish war.
Gov. William R. Merriam was appointed by President McKinley as Director of the Census of 1900, and is now busily engaged in the performance of the arduous duties of that office. They are not diplomatic, but exceedingly important.
President Cleveland appointed John W. Riddle as Secretary of Legation to the embassy at Constantinople, where he has remained to the present time.
Necessity has compelled me, in the preparation of this history, to be brief, not only in the subjects treated of, but also in the manner of such treatment. Details have usually been avoided, and comprehensive generalities indulged in. Those who read it may find many things wanting, and in order that they may have an opportunity to supply my deficiencies without too much research and labor, I have prepared a list of all the works which have ever been written on Minnesota, or any particular subject pertaining thereto, and append them hereto for convenience of reference. Any and all of them can be found in the library of the Minnesota Historical Society in the State Capitol.
So much of what I have said consists of personal experiences, and observations, that it more resembles a narrative than a history, but I think I can safely vouch for the accuracy and truthfulness of all I have thus related.
Minnesota Home Page
Visit Our National Site:
© Copyright by GenealogyTrails