Few individuals find out about a unique facet of state historical past, when southern slaveholders got here to Minnesota to spend money on actual property and companies. This passed off beginning within the 1840s and continued via the Civil Conflict which led to 1865.
Talking on this topic, through Zoom as a part of the Nov. 12 county museum annual assembly, was Christopher Lehman, professor of ethnic research at St. Clous State College.
Lehman is the writer of a e book, “Slavery’s Attain: Southern Slaveholders within the North Star State.”
Minnesota didn’t change into a state till 1858, and earlier than that was a territory. In 1857 the U.S. Supreme Court docket, via the Dred Scott resolution, mentioned that Congress had no authority to exclude slavery from the territories.
“Subsequently, from March 1857 to Might 1858, slavery was authorized in Minnesota Territory,” Lehman mentioned. “Consequently, there was an inflow of southerners visiting Minnesota in the summertime of 1857.”
The thirteenth modification that abolished slavery, via the management of President Abraham Lincoln, handed the U.S. Home and U.S. Senate. The modification was ratified by the mandatory variety of states in 1865.
“Many Minnesotans, within the 1840s and 1850s, cultivated their enterprise relationships with slaveholders from southern states,” Lehman mentioned.
Fur merchants in Minnesota willingly made gross sales with Chouteau and Firm, which was a serious southern slaveholder.
Actual property deeds supplied proof for writer Lehman.
“Once you take a look at the true property deeds previous to 1865, and see the names of southerners shopping for land in Minnesota, this provides you a brand new perspective,” Lehman mentioned.
Southern slaveholders didn’t confine their enterprise dealings to the Twin Cities.
Their investments additionally prolonged into rural Minnesota, together with areas that later turned a part of Otter Tail and Wilkin counties.
Cities with southern slaveholder ties included Clitherall and Breckenridge.
“Minnesota, traditionally, has its good factors but in addition its flaws,” mentioned Lehman to those that heard his feedback and noticed him through Zoom on Nov. 12. “Discussions about Minnesota and slavery can and will happen.”
Previous to Lehman’s handle, county historic society director Chris Schuelke gave a evaluation of county museum operations throughout COVID-19. The museum in Fergus Falls is open Tuesday via Friday from 10 a.m. to three p.m.