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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 State Capitol Building, c.1900.

State Capitol Building

State Capitol Building, c.1900.

Black and white composite of the House of Representatives, Governor and Lieutenant Governor, 1899.

Composite of the 1899 House of Representatives, Governor and Lieutenant Governor

Composite of the House of Representatives, Governor and Lieutenant Governor, 1899. Photograph by Zimmerman, Charles A.

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.

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.

Black and white photograph of Melvin J. Maas with daughter Patricia and wife Katherine, 1952.

Melvin J. Maas with daughter Patricia and wife Katherine

Melvin J. Maas with daughter Patricia and wife Katherine, 1952.

Color image of Maas for Congress campaign poster, 1934.

Maas for Congress campaign poster

Maas for Congress campaign poster, 1934.

Black and white photograph of Congressman Melvin Maas (right) with a disabled constituent, 1930.

Congressman Melvin Maas (right) with a disabled constituent

Congressman Melvin Maas (right) with a disabled constituent, 1930.

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