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The Minnesota and Northwestern Railroad Land Grant Scandal of 1854

In 1854 legislators in St. Paul requested a grant from the federal government to create a rail line across Minnesota Territory. Public outcry led to scandal and the repeal of the territory's first land grant bill.

Joseph Rolette portrayed as a Métis in a pastel by an unknown artist, c.1890.

Painting "Joe Rolette"

Joseph Rolette portrayed as a Métis in a pastel by an unknown artist, c.1890.

Black and white photograph of Angélique Jerome Rolette, wife of Joseph Rolette, c.1880.

Angélique Jerome Rolette wife of Joseph Rolette

Angélique Jerome Rolette, wife of Joseph Rolette, c.1880.

Black and white illustration of Fur Trade fort at Pembina with Red River Trail oxcarts in the foreground, 1860.

Pembina Fort

Fur Trade fort at Pembina with Red River Trail oxcarts in the foreground, 1860.

Black and white photograph of Rolette (standing) with business associates Henry Hastings Sibley (right), and possibly Franklin Steele (left), c.1857.

Rolette (standing) with Henry Hastings Sibley (right) and possibly Franklin Steele (left)

Rolette (standing) with business associates Henry Hastings Sibley (right), and possibly Franklin Steele (left), c.1857. Uploaded by Wikimedia Commons user Bobak.

Black and white photograph of Red River Carts loading supplies at a trading house in St. Paul, 1854.

Red River carts loading at trading house, St. Paul

Red River Carts loading supplies at a trading house in St. Paul, 1854.

Color image of British percussion double barrel shotgun used by Rolette, c.1850–1871.

Joseph Rolette's British percussion double barrel shotgun

British percussion double barrel shotgun used by Rolette, c.1850–1871.

Black and white portrait of Joseph Rolette as a young businessman and trader, c.1841.

Joseph Rolette

Joseph Rolette as a young businessman and trader, c.1841.

Black and white portrait of Joseph Rolette in the garb of a fur trader, c.1860.

Joseph Rolette

Joseph Rolette in the garb of a fur trader, c.1860.

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