This week in Minnnesota History we focused on fur traders, explorers and missionaries that came through the region.
I recognized a lot of the big-named explorers, like Jaques Cartier and Samuel de Champlain. They were some of the first French explorers who found the St. Lawrence seaway, which provided a water route to present-day Minnesota. I thought it was interesting to learn about some of the more local explorers who have posthumously given their names to our state's geography.
Father Louis Hennepin and Jonathan Carver are two examples of men who were influential enough to have counties and roads named after them. Father Louis Hennepin found and mapped St. Anthony Falls, which are the falls of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, in the 1680s. That county is now named Hennepin. Jonathan Carver was another mapmaker who came through the region in 1766. In his book, "Travels through the Interior Parts of North America," he expounded upon descriptions of the local geography. Despite the fact that he plagiarized some of his descriptions, he still had a somewhat accurate description of the geography and one of his most notable contributions is the mention of the possible existence of the Rocky Mountains.
As a passionate historian, I realize that I am a participant in the current history of this state and appreciate knowing more about all the history of the state.
Rachel's bio: I am a 28 year old wife and mom of two small children. A native of Wisconsin, I have lived in Minnesota for over five years, but have visited ever since I can remember. I have a degree in history, but have decided to go back to school for nursing. I run multi-aged Girl Scout Troop and play bassoon in a university band. Someday I would like to teach nursing and have a class for students to learn the history of nursing.