Further information on Winter 2019 courses


Logan Ledman & Samuel Temple: Athens and Eden – The Histories of Faribault and Northfield


Course texts and readings

Eden on the Cannon, available at the Northfield Historical Society ($25).
A Splendid Little Town, by Daniel John Hoisington (we will need to check the availability of this source).

Various online resources, sent out weekly via email (i.e. MNHS sources, 1855 episodes, news articles, etc.).


Schedule of classes (subject to modification)

Week 1: Alexander Faribault; the Minnesota Territory

A: Syllabus – Alex arriving in 1826 – the Wahpekute – the cutthroat politics of fur trading – exploring the Faribault family’s history

B: The ceding of Dakota land – Henry Sibley and other important figures – the treaties of 1851 – the shroud of mystery around Alexander Faribault


Week 2: Formation of Faribault; John North

A: Alexander the peacekeeper – Anecdotes of early settlers – founding fathers

B: Northfield’s platting – John North’s life – John North’s vision – players in early Northfield


Week 3: 1855-1861; the American Civil War

A: Economy of a boom town – the 1857 recession – National politics and the Faribault newspapers – Bishop Whipple’s arrival – Religion – John North’s departure

B: “You’re all Lincoln men in Minnesota” – Joseph Godfrey and slavery in Rice County – 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Faribault in the war – the Buckham letters – Northfield in the war – the Scofield boys – Captain Messick


Week 4: The U.S.-Dakota War

A: The reservation system – “Awful” Orville Brown – Little Crow and Taopi – Dakota impressment and war tactics – Whipple’s ride – significant battles – the brutality of war – Dakota Peace Party – Camp Release

B: The forced march – concentration camps – Lincoln and Whipple – the hanging of the Dakota 38 – Sibley gets promoted – the genocide – Faribault’s refugee camp – Taopi’s quest for land – Alex’s plea – Dakota iconography in Minnesota


Week 5: Carleton College; St. Olaf College

A: The Lyceum and education in Northfield – John North’s vision revisited – Northfield College – William Carleton

B: Scandinavian immigration to Northfield – Reverend Muus – Thorbjorn N. Mohn – living in Norwegian and English – St. Olaf School


Week 6: The Bishop Whipple Schools and Local Academia; State Institutions

A: James Lloyd Breck – Seabury Divinity School – Bishop Henry Whipple – Shattuck School – St. Mary’s Hall – the Faribault Plan – Bethlehem Academy

B: Rodney Mott – Minnesota School for the Deaf – MSD’s important figures – Braille and Sight Saving School – School for the Feeble Minded – Care for the differently abled – Importance to economy – Historiography


Week 7: Faribault’s Explosive Development; Northfield Bank Raid

A: The Nutting Family – Architects – Faribault Canning Company – Faribault Woolen Mill – Other prominent families – Stonemasons – Horticulture in Faribault – Donald and John Grant

B: Brief history of the James-Younger Gang – the citizens of Northfield and the Northfield Bank Raid – the murders of Joseph Lee Heywood and Nicolaus Gustafson – Northfield and the manhunt – Northfield and justice – Heywood’s life and legacy – Northfield’s identity


Week 8: Legacies; History and Identity

A: John North’s return to Northfield – Alexander’s return to Faribault – Henry Sibley’s legacy – John North’s death – the funeral of Alexander Faribault – Alexander Faribault’s resting place

B: A class discussion on how we use history to perceive our cities today – are we representing our towns and their histories responsibly?