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Black and white photograph of Frederick McKinley Jones and drafting team, c.1960.

Frederick McKinley Jones and drafting team

Frederick McKinley Jones and drafting team, c.1960. Image is from the Frederick M. Jones papers, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul.

Black and white photograph of Frederick McKinley Jones standing next to a truck outfitted with a mobile refrigeration unit, c.1950.

Frederick McKinley Jones

Frederick McKinley Jones standing next to a truck outfitted with a mobile refrigeration unit, c.1950.

Black and white photograph of African American barber Prince Honeycutt in his Fergus Falls shop, c.1900.

Prince Honeycutt in his Fergus Falls shop

African American barber Prince Honeycutt in his Fergus Falls shop, c.1900.

Black and white photograph of J. Frank Wheaton, c.1913.

Attorney J. Frank Wheaton

J. Frank Wheaton, c.1913. Image is from the Minneapolis Twin City Star, September 5, 1913.

Black and white photograph of John Frank Wheaton, c.1900.

J. Frank Wheaton

John Frank Wheaton, c.1900. Photograph uploaded by Ancestry.com user LisaRoy 123.

Black and white photograph of John Frank Wheaton, c.1899.

John Frank Wheaton

John Frank Wheaton, c.1899. Photograph by Zimmerman, Charles A.

Wheaton, John Francis (1866–1922)

John Francis (J. Frank) Wheaton, a Twin Cities lawyer and orator, became the first African American elected to serve in the Minnesota legislature in 1898. A target of racial prejudice throughout his life, Wheaton believed in the political process as a means to improve the state’s civil rights laws.

Oil on canvas painting depicting Harriet Scott at Fort Snelling  by David Geister, 2013.

Harriet Scott at Fort Snelling

Harriet Scott at Fort Snelling, c.1837. Oil on canvas painting by David Geister, 2013.

Oil on canvas painting depicting Dred Scott at Fort Snelling by David Geister, 2013.

Dred Scott at Fort Snelling

Dred Scott at Fort Snelling, c.1837. Oil on canvas painting by David Geister, 2013.

Fort Snelling in the Expansionist Era, 1819–1858

The U.S. Army built Fort Snelling between 1820 and 1825 to protect American interests in the fur trade. It tasked the fort’s troops with deterring advances by the British in Canada, enforcing boundaries between the region’s American Indian nations, and preventing Euro-American immigrants from intruding on American Indian land. In these early years and until its temporary closure in 1858, Fort Snelling was a place where diverse people interacted and shaped the future state of Minnesota.

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