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Archive for January, 2013

Introducing MHS Express . . . History on the Run

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

MHS Express

A little learning can go a long way. Dazzle your colleagues at the water cooler with insights gleaned from these quick reads from MHS Express, our new digital imprint of short-form e-books. Available through major e-book sellers.

Be they essays or excerpts from published works or forthcoming titles or original pieces, MHS Express e-books present relevant and compelling topics such as the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 and what it means to be “a good Hmong girl” in America–both covered in our inaugural list.

Please click on the MHS Express link, above, for a full list of titles.

A Celebration of Childhood Spent on Frozen Lakes

Friday, January 25th, 2013

One Frozen LakeTomorrow, Saturday January 26, at 11 am
Wild Rumpus, Minneapolis
Come check out real ice fishing equipment with author Deb Larson and her husband at Wild Rumpus, play a fishing game, and enjoy hot cider as Deb reads her new book, One Frozen Lake. Then, weather permitting, join her on Lake Harriet for an ice-fishing demonstration after the store event!

Publishers Weekly Starred Review!
“[A]n atmospheric ode to ice fishing and intergenerational companionship . . . readers will come to recognize that a day spent in good company is more important than whether one’s fishing bucket is full on the way home.”


2013 Year of the Dakota: Remembering, Honoring, and Truth-Telling

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Both the City of Minneapolis and the City of St. Paul have declared 2013 as the Year of the Dakota. The text from the resolutions is below.

The Minnesota Historical Society Press is honored to publish a few new books by Dakota authors, and in the spirit of fostering dialogue in response to making sure that “every effort . . . is made to ensure that the Dakota perspective is presented” we hope that these books help contribute to the conversation in the coming year.

Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota by Gwen Westerman and Bruce White

The Dakota Prisoner of War Letters Translated by Clifford Canku and Mike Simon (March 2013)

Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past and Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life by Diane Wilson

Mni Sota Makoce The Dakota Prisoner of War Letters Spirit Car Beloved Child

Minneapolis Resolution
Recognizing the 150th Anniversary of the Dakota-U.S. War of 1862 and Declaring 2012-2013 the Year of the Dakota in Minneapolis.

St. Paul Resolution
Recognizing the 150th anniversary of the Dakota-U.S. War of 1862 and declaring 2013 the Year of the Dakota.

War Within War: Lincoln and the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Lincoln and the IndiansTickets are still available for the afternoon History Forum program this Saturday January 19th with David Nichols, author of Lincoln and the Indians: Civil War Policy and Politics.

He will also speak in Mankato Tuesday January 22nd at Minnesota State University

In early 1862 a federal investigator cautioned President Lincoln that mass corruption within Minnesota’s system of Indian Agencies would lead to disaster if left unchecked. The president, consumed by the battle to preserve the Union, ignored the warning. When the U.S.-Dakota War broke out eight months later, Lincoln told Minnesota’s governor Alexander Ramsey, “Attend to the Indians… Necessity has no law.” The war and its aftermath—U.S. victory, Dakota internment, the largest mass hanging in American history, and the forced removal of the Dakota from their homelands—solidified Minnesota’s place in the Union, even as it set the stage for the Indian Wars to come, and tragically altered the lives of thousands of Dakota people for generations to come.

David Nichols is the former academic dean at Southwestern College in Winfield, his alma mater. A native of Kansas, he has a Ph.D. in history from the College of William and Mary.  His dissertation, Lincoln and the Indians:  Civil War Policy and Politics, was published by the University of Missouri Press in 1978.  That book, still the definitive study of Lincoln’s Indian policies during the Civil War, was reissued as a paperback by the University of Illinois Press in 2000 and was published in a third edition by the Minnesota Historical Society Press in June 2012.  Dr. Nichols has spoken across the nation at venues including the Clinton Presidential Library,  the Eisenhower Library, Atlanta History Center, John F. Kennedy Library, the Air Force Academy and the National Archives.

To learn more about the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, please visit

Somalis in Minnesota by Ahmed Ismail Yusuf

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

SOMALIS_cover for poster.inddAhmed Yusuf We are pleased to announce the newest book in our People of Minnesota series, Somalis in Minnesota by Ahmed Ismail Yusuf.

Please join us on Thursday January 24th from 6-8 pm at the African Development Center (1931 South 5th Street, Minneapolis) for a book talk and signing with Ahmed. Refreshments from Afro Deli, a Somali business profiled in the book will be provided.  The ADC’s art gallery will also be open during the event.

From the book:

“In the early 1990s, many Minnesota citizens noticed a trickle of conspicuously dressed Africans, especially women in colorful attire, some veiled and some with simple headscarves, arriving at schools, grocery stores, supermarkets, and shopping centers, sharing both resources and space. As their numbers began to grow, questions about them arose: Who are these people? Where are they from? To what religious faith do they belong?

The basic answers came quickly. They are from an East African tropical nation called Somalia, the people are called Somalis, their language is Somali, and their distinctive women’s attire is in accordance with their faith, Islam. Then new questions replaced the old: What was their past like? What brought them to the United States? Why did Somalis choose Minnesota, an icy, arctic-like state with its acclimatized Scandinavian and German populations? These three questions, in various tones, have persisted tenaciously. This book will attempt to answer them, briefly touching on Somalis’ cultural affiliation, economic aspirations, political participation, religious faith, and educational opportunities.”