MN90: Minnesota's African-American Press

Minnesota has one of the more robust black newspaper scenes in the country. At one time, there were nearly one hundred. The oldest such newspaper is The Minnesota Spokesman Recorder, based in Minneapolis. As Allison Herrera points out, these newspapers not only informed African-Americans about news and culture of the day, they did it with literary flair.

MN90: George Bonga: Minnesota's First Fur Trader

Half black, half Ojibwe, George Bonga was the first person of African descent born in what was then the territory of Minnesota in 1802. He was a fur trader and a treaty translator that forged vital relationships with both Europeans and Native Americans. Allison Herrera tells us more about his important role in Minnesota history.

Marvel Cooke

Marvel Cooke.

Black and white portrait of Judge Charles E. Vanderburgh.

Judge Charles E. Vanderburgh

Judge Charles E. Vanderburgh c.1872. Vanderburgh presided over the Eliza Winston court case in August 1860.

Black and white photograph of entrance to Winslow House, St. Anthony. 1860 photo by William H. Jacoby.

Entrance to Winslow House, St. Anthony

Entrance to Winslow House, St. Anthony. 1860 photo by William H. Jacoby.

Black and white photograph of Winslow Hotel and Seven Corners, 1861.

Winslow Hotel and Seven Corners, 1861

Winslow Hotel and Seven Corners, 1861.

Black and white photograph of Winslow House, St. Anthony, 1860.

Winslow House, St. Anthony

Winslow House, St. Anthony, 1860.

Black and white photograph of view of Winslow House, Upton Block and Jarrett House, St. Anthony.

View of Winslow House, Upton Block and Jarrett House, St. Anthony

View of Winslow House, Upton Block and Jarrett House, St. Anthony. 1858, photographed by Benjamin Franklin Upton. On the left is the elegant Winslow House, perched above the Mississippi River; at center is a store selling iron and steel nails, groceries, and other provisions; and on the right is the Jarrett House, where Ralph Grey had a barbering business.

Black and white photograph of Winslow Hotel, St. Anthony, c.1865.

Winslow Hotel, St. Anthony

Winslow Hotel, St. Anthony, c.1865. Visitors playing croquet. Until 1860, the Winslow Hotel was popular among vacationing Southern slaveholders, who often stayed there with their slaves. Eliza Winston came to the Winslow Hotel with her slaveholder, Richard Christmas, and his family.

Eliza Winston Court Case, 1860

On August 21, 1860, African American Eliza Winston was freed from her Mississippi slaveholder in a Minneapolis court. After being granted legal freedom, however, Winston was met with white mob violence and had to leave the area, perhaps fleeing to Canada. The event showed that although slavery was illegal in Minnesota, many white Minnesotans supported the practice when it economically benefited them.

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