Color image of picnic attendees in St. Paul raise the national flag of India at an event held to celebrate India’s independence from Great Britain. Photographed by Anoop Mathur in August 2003.

Flag raising at Indian Independence Day picnic

Picnic attendees in St. Paul raise the national flag of India at an event held to celebrate India’s independence from Great Britain. Photographed by Anoop Mathur in August 2003.

Black and white photograph of Sam (Smarajit) and Sumita Mitra, a husband-and-wife team of 3M research scientists, display their U.S. patent for copolymerizable UV stabilizers, 1987.

Sam and Sumita Mitra

Sam (Smarajit) and Sumita Mitra, a husband-and-wife team of 3M research scientists, display their U.S. patent for copolymerizable UV stabilizers, 1987. Used with the permission of Sam and Sumita Mitra.

Black and white photograph of Preeti Mathur (first row, center left) at Bombay Airport in April 1978 with family on the eve of her departure to the United States. Used with the permission of Preeti Mathur.

Preeti Mathur farewell

Preeti Mathur (first row, center left) at Bombay Airport in April 1978 with family on the eve of her departure to the United States. Used with the permission of Preeti Mathur.

Black and white photograph of Dr. Padmakar K. Dixit, his wife, and their two daughters in Minnesota, 1962.

Padmakar K. Dixit and family

Dr. Padmakar K. Dixit, his wife, and their two daughters in Minnesota, 1962.

Black and white photograph of Ram Gada (center) prepares to leave India for Minnesota ca. 1960. Used with the permission of Ram Gada.

Ram Gada farewell

Ram Gada (center) prepares to leave India for Minnesota ca. 1960. Used with the permission of Ram Gada.

Portrait of Paramahansa Yogananda, a Hindu spiritual leader and teacher of priya yoga, ca. 1920.

Paramahansa Yogananda

Portrait of Paramahansa Yogananda, a Hindu spiritual leader and teacher of priya yoga, ca. 1920.

V. Kokatnur

V. Kokatnur, a Ph.D. student and fellow at the University of Minnesota. From the Hindusthanee Student, September 1915.

How Indian Americans Have Shaped the State

From the Ganges to Ten Thousand Lakes: Immigration from the Subcontinent to Minnesota

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, job prospects in farming and on railroads drew the first Indian immigrants—mostly men—from Asia to the United States. It wasn’t until the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, however, that Minnesota officially opened its doors to Indians.

Black and white photograph of John Sweetman, founder of the Sweetman Catholic Colony, ca. 1885–1890.

John Sweetman

John Sweetman, founder of the Sweetman Catholic Colony, ca. 1885–1890.

Sweetman Catholic Colony

In 1881, John Sweetman brought forty-three immigrant families to farms near Currie and established the Sweetman Catholic Colony. Another nineteen families joined the colony in 1882, but two unseasonably wet growing seasons made farming difficult. By the end of 1882, half of the colonists had abandoned their farms and left the colony.

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