Fort Snelling

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SNELLING, FORT, now Minneapolis, Minnesota, established at the junction of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers in 1819 by Col. Henry Leavenworth as part of a general plan of frontier defense. First called Fort Saint Anthony, in 1825 its name was changed in honor of its commandant Col. Josiah Snelling. The fort's commanders mediated between the Dakotas and Ojibwes (St. Peter's agency that was near the fort did this) and protected the headquarters of the American Fur Company. Never tested in battle, Fort Snelling lost much of its importance when other northwestern forts were established. It was made a National Historic Landmark in 1960. A museum and state park now surrounds the fort's Round Tower, the oldest structure still standing in the state.


Hansen, Marcus L. Old Fort Snelling. Iowa City: State Historical Society of Iowa, 1918.

T. C.Blegen/a. r.

See alsoDakota Expeditions of Sibley and Sully ; Minneapolis– St. Paul ; Mississippi River ; Sioux Uprising in Minnesota .

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Fort Snelling, on a bluff above the junction of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, SE Minn.; est. 1820. It served as a regional protective barrier and as a nucleus for settlement. Minneapolis and St. Paul grew on the fort reservation in the mid-1800s. In the early 1860s Fort Snelling was where Minnesotans were mustered and trained for the Civil War, and where survivors returned after the war. The fort also played an important role in suppressing the Sioux Uprising (also known as the Dakota War) of 1862.

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