Designing Minnesota, 1783-1858: Lessons for the Community Enterprise in the 21st Century 2007 Rural Summit: Thriving By Design Jim Ramstrom, Land Management Information Center (LMIC) MN Department of Administration May 10, 2007 … a Sesquicentennial Story
Eco-Regions: USGS, Bailey- Provinces Ecological Provinces in the Midwest, Minnesota in 3 Zones Great Plains Steppe Great Plains Dry Steppe Coniferous Forest Broadleaf Deciduous Tall Grass Prairie
American Studies Group. University of Virginia Major Socio-Political Zones of the U.S. 1800, - Minnesota located in three zones
Land Ordinance of 1775 Federal government had no power to tax Goal was to raise money by selling unmapped lands west of the original 13 colonies Establish basis for Public Land survey System (PLS) Section 16 set aside for public education Did not define how land would become states or how it would be governed
Northwest Ordinance 1787 Laid out the process for U.S expansion westward Established the first U.S. territory and rules of governance U.S. Expansion would proceed by admitting new states Banned slavery in the new territory Set dividing line between free and slave states
ASG, University of Virginia Minnesota part of… Northwest Territory of Ohio, 1787 Indiana Territory, 1800
ASG, University of Virginia Minnesota as part of… Illinois Territory… central Minnesota part of the Louisiana Purchase
ASG, University of Virginia Minnesota as part of… Michigan Territory… and totally with the U.S.
Minnesota’s Geographic Lineage Original thirteen colonies (1609 Virginia claim) British control of the Red River Basin until 1818 French control until 1803 (Louisiana purchase) 1787 Territory Northwest of the Ohio River 1800 Indiana Territory 1809 Illinois Territory 1812 Missouri Territory 1818 Michigan Territory 1836 Wisconsin Territory 1838 Iowa Territory 1849 Minnesota Territory 1858 State of Minnesota
Mitchell Map is the common name used to refer to a map made by John Mitchell and all the various reprints made during the late 18th century . The Mitchell Map was used as a primary map source during the Treaty of Paris (1783) for defining the boundaries of the newly independent United States . The map remains important today for resolving border disputes between the United States and Canada and between states within the United States. The Mitchell Map is the most comprehensive map of eastern North America made during the colonial era. Its size is about 6.5 feet wide by 4.5 feet high. Map of British and French Dominions, John Mitchell,1757, U.S. Library of Congress Inaccuracies in Mitchell’s Map Lead to creation of Minnesota’s Northwest Angle
Native American Indians mined Copper for thousands of years. Copper Arrowheads (shown above) were traded throughout the region. Jonathan Carver boasted of seeing Native American copper mines during his early trip in the region (1767). Carver’s Map, 1767
U.S. Digital Map Library U.S. / Britain Proposed Boundary Franklin’s Proposal Corrected Line
Lesson # 2 Timing Makes the Difference James Doty, Governor Wisconsin Territory Lewis Cass, Governor Michigan Territory Jedidiah Morse, Clergyman and Geographer, 1761-1826 … a proposal for an all Indian state
Published geographic textbooks, periodicals and atlases that were widely used in schools, colleges, libraries and homes. Foremost in the field for of geography several decades. Clergyman from New England, concerned with treatment of Native Americans Hired by the War Department in 1820 to visit Native Americans and develop an enlightened Indian policy. Report to the Secretary of War in 1822 Jedidiah Morse “ Father of American Geography”
The Great American Desert … an 1820’s concept Concept for the area west of the Mississippi in the early 19 th Century, devoid of wood, limited water and uninhabitable by man. The early explorer’s view... … was Minnesota included?
The concept of Manifest Destiny was, advertised publicized and argued by politicians throughout the nation American Progress by John Gast “ We are the nation of human progress, and who will, what can, set limits to our onward march? “ John L. O’Sullivan on Manifest Destiny, 1839
Lesson #3 No Room for Intolerance “… should [Indians] stay the march of cultivation and improvement, and hold in a state of perpetual unproductiveness, immense regions formed by Providence to support millions of human beings?” Lewis Cass, Governor Michigan Territory Intolerance is the lack of ability or willingness to tolerate something. As a social construct, it is open to interpretation. Some define intolerance as an expressed, negative or hostile attitude toward another's views, even if no action is taken against them. - Wikipedia Lewis Cass 1782-1866
“ Like the bear, the deer and the buffalo of his own forests an Indian lives as his father lived, and dies as his father died. He never attempts to imitate the arts of his civilized neighbor. Lewis Cass, Governor Michigan Territory Lesson #4 Incorporate Sustainability What did Governor Cass fail to consider?
“ Man is a blind, witless, low brow, anthropocentric clod who inflicts lesions upon the earth.” Ian McHarg Landscape Architect
Lesson # 6 Build a Constituency and Develop a Champion … becoming a territory Métis- his constituency Stephen Douglas, the Champion Library of Congress U.S. Senate Historical Office Photo Courtesy MHS Central figure- H.H. Sibley
Lesson # 7 Turning a Negative into a Positive Henry Hastings Sibley “ Minnesota’s land was considered a desert country, that its cold winters made it unsuitable for habitation, and its land would therefore never have much value.” - Christianson … the general opinion about Minnesota in 1849 by Easterners… Becoming a territory…
The Great American Desert Concept for the area west of the Mississippi in the early 19 th Century, devoid of wood, limited water and uninhabitable by man. The early explorer’s view... … was Minnesota included?
Lesson # 8 Invest in Education Sections 16 and 36 contained valuable stands of timber and minerals to support schools Minnesota’s 1849 Territorial Act left its mark on the landscape
Minnesota’s Glacial history Minnesota Geological Survey Glaciers deposited an unsorted mixture of rocks, sand and clay known as till. Glaciers also created for many surface features such as moraines, kames, drumlins, and eskers.
Crops turned to dust… … a combination of cut worms and heat destroyed crops, east of Appleton, Swift County, 1936 Courtesy of MHS Area most affected by 1930’s drought July Annual Precipatation, 1941-1970 High Low Low High
Dust storms turned day into night… NOAA Photo “ The soil is the one indestructible, immutable asset that the nation possess. It is the one resource that can not be exhausted” Federal Bureau of Soils, 1878 “… on Minnesota highways motorists had to operate their cars with lights turned on in the middle of the day.” T. Christianson
… the drought brought men to their knees South of Beardsley, Big Stone County, 1936 Courtesy of MHS
Wet Prairie at Time of Settlement Source: Marschner, MN Environmental Atlas
DNR estimates that 90% of the prairie biome wetlands have been drained Source: MSU/ Tester Natural Heritage Photo’s Courtesy MHS Marietta, Lac qui Parle County, 1910
In summary, it would be very easy to criticize the management of our resources during our pioneer days. Our mistakes had exceptional visual impacts on the landscape. The challenges today may be even greater. As Art Mehrhoff’s book points out, “ One of the most fatal flaws in the new global economic system is its inability to recognize that it consumes the very source of its existence.” We do not see or pay for the environmental damage that occurs half way around the world.
Lesson # 10 Develop a Transition Strategy “ No enterprise will last forever” Whether it is your business or community, it will go through a natural life cycle. As your enterprise reaches maturity and begins to decline you need develop a transition plan. A community may find ways to renew itself or a business may re-invent itself, but one thing is for sure… … story of the Western Outfit MHS Treaty Story U.S. Bureau of Ethnology … the fur trade lasted 200 years in Minnesota
The transition plan … 1837 Treaty with the Ojibwe- Fur traders received 75% of the money. The American Fur Co. received $3,500 of the $4,700 given to the Ojibwe . 1842 Proposed Treat Failed - American Fur company closed 12 days later (departments sold) Western Outfit (created from AMC) involved Hercules Dousman, Henry Sibley, et al were partners in the company. Also, major players in the treaty negotiations. 1851 Treaty- One more attempt to bail out the failing fur trade. Traders were needed to convince Indians to sign. Traders needed to recover losses on their books. The highest level partners in the fur trade could pursue new ventures in land speculation, timber or politics.