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Minnesota Historical Society Press


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Minnesota Historical Society Press

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Calling This Place Home Cover

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Calling This Place Home

Women on the Wisconsin Frontier, 1850-1925

Joan M. Jensen

Swedish domestic worker Emina Johnson witnessed the great Peshtigo fire in 1871; Cherokee nurse Isabella Wolfe served the Lac du Flambeau reservation for decades; the author’s own grandmother, Matilda Schopp, was one of numerous immigrants who eked out a living on the Wisconsin cutover. Calling This Place Home tells the stories of these and many other Native and settler women during Wisconsin’s frontier era. Noted historian Joan M. Jensen spent more than a decade delving into the lives of a remarkable range of women who lived during the mid-nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries. These individuals shared many struggles as economies evolved from logging to dairying to tourism. Facing many challenges, they cared for their sick, educated their children, maintained their cultural identity, and preserved their own means of worship. Entwining the experiences of Native and settler communities, Jensen uses photographs and documents to examine and illustrate the recovered stories of representative but often overlooked women. These stories of individuals together form a substantial history of Wisconsin’s well-known industries, its caregiver networks and schooling practices, and matters of faith and politics. This comprehensive volume brings a deeper understanding of the state’s history through the stories of individual women and the broader developments that shaped their lives.

Canoeing with the Cree Cover

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Canoeing with the Cree

Eric Sevareid

In 1930 two novice paddlers—Eric Sevareid and Walter C. Port—launched a secondhand 18-foot canvas canoe into the Minnesota River at Fort Snelling for an ambitious summer-long journey from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay. Without benefit of radio, motor, or good maps, the teenagers made their way over 2,250 miles of rivers, lakes, and difficult portages. Nearly four months later, after shooting hundreds of sets of rapids and surviving exceedingly bad conditions and even worse advice, the ragged, hungry adventurers arrived in York Factory on Hudson Bay—with winter freeze-up on their heels. First published in 1935, Canoeing with the Cree is Sevareid's classic account of this youthful odyssey. The newspaper stories that Sevareid wrote on this trip launched his distinguished journalism career, which included more than a decade as a television correspondent and commentator on the CBS Evening News.

Chippewa Customs Cover

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Chippewa Customs

Frances Densmore

Frances Densmore, born in 1867, was one of the first ethnologists to specialize in the study of American Indian music and culture. Her book, first published in 1929, remains an authoritative source for the tribal history, customs, legends, traditions, art, music, economy, and leisure activities of the Chippewa (Ojibway) Indians of the United States and Canada.

Citizen Solution Cover

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Citizen Solution

How You Can Make A Difference

Harry C. Boyte

Nationally known community organizer and activist Harry C. Boyte incites readers to join today’s “citizen movement,” offering practical tools for how we can change the face of America by focusing on issues close to home. Targeting useful techniques for individuals to raise public consciousness and effectively motivate community-based groups, Boyte grounds his arguments in the country’s tradition of “populism,” demonstrating how mobilized citizens can be far more powerful than our frequently paralyzed politicians. He offers practical tips on identifying potential citizen leaders and working through cultural differences without sacrificing identities. Each point is illustrated by inspiring real-life examples of Minnesotans who have prompted change: An immigrant community that created a cultural wellness center. An organization of multiracial, multifaith congregations that is tackling tough social problems. A cluster of suburban neighborhoods that came together to take back Sundays from overzealous youth-sports organizations. For readers doubting their ability to make a significant difference in our world, this how-to book will show the way. Praise for The Citizen Solution "The Citizen Solution should be on every activist's book shelf--consider it the practical progressive's Bible for making things happen."—Daily Kos “The Citizen Solution brings Minnesota's rich civic traditions to life. In this stirring book, Boyte describes how people of diverse backgrounds are once again coming together to address the challenges we face.”—Walter Mondale, former vice president of the United States “In a time of great political division, The Citizen Solution offers individuals a path to make change on the issues they care about. Only through civic engagement can we build the power to improve our communities.”—David Wellstone, co-founder of Wellstone Action! “The Citizen Solution is a great resource for thoughtful people. Harry Boyte provides hope, principles, and examples to encourage families, peer groups, and neighborhoods to solve problems for the common good.”—Al Quie, former governor of Minnesota “Boyte's practical and inspirational book is essential reading for anyone concerned with the future of American democracy.”—Cecilia Marie Orphan, National Coordinator, American Democracy Project

Curiosity's Cats Cover

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Curiosity's Cats

Writers on Research

Dakota Life In the Upper Midwest Cover

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Dakota Life In the Upper Midwest

Samuel W. Pond

In 1834 Samuel W. Pond and his brother Gideon built a cabin near Cloud Man's village of the Dakota Indians on the shore of Lake Calhoun--now present-day Minneapolis--intending to preach Christianity to the Indians. The brothers were to spend nearly twenty years learning the Dakota language and observing how the Indians lived. In the 1860s and 1870s, after the Dakota had fought a disastrous war with the whites who had taken their land, Samuel Pond recorded his recollections of the Indians "to show what manner of people the Dakotas were . . . while they still retained the customs of their ancestors." Pond's work, first published in 1908, is now considered a classic. Gary Clayton Anderson's introduction discusses Pond's career and the effects of his background on this work, "unrivaled today for its discussion of Dakota material culture and social, political, religious, and economic institutions."

Dakota Philosopher Cover

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Dakota Philosopher

Charles Eastman and American Indian Thought

David Martinez

Charles Eastman straddled two worlds in his life and writing. The author of Indian Boyhood was raised in the traditional way after the 1862 U.S.-Dakota War. His father later persuaded him to study Christianity and attend medical school. But when Eastman served as a government doctor during the Wounded Knee massacre, he became disillusioned about Americans' capacity to live up to their own ideals. While Eastman's contemporaries viewed him as "a great American and a true philosopher," Indian scholars have long dismissed Eastman's work as assimilationist. Now, for the first time, his philosophy as manifested in his writing is examined in detail. David Martinez explores Eastman's views on the U.S.-Dakota War, Dakota and Ojibwe relations, Dakota sacred history, and citizenship in the Progressive Era, claiming for him a long overdue place in America's intellectual pantheon.

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Dakota Women's Work

Creativity, Culture, and Exile

By Colette Hyman

A tiny pair of beaded deerskin moccasins, given to a baby in 1913, provides the starting point for this thoughtful examination of the work of Dakota women. Mary Eastman Faribault, born in Minnesota, made them almost four decades after the U.S.–Dakota War of 1862. This and other ornately decorated objects created by Dakota women—cradleboards, clothing, animal skin containers—served more than a utilitarian function. They tell the story of colonization, genocide, and survival. Author Colette Hyman traces the changes in the lives of Dakota women, starting before the arrival of whites and covering the fur trade, the years of treaties and shrinking lands, the brutal time of removal, starvation, and shattered families after 1862—and then the transition to reservation life, when missionaries and government agents worked to turn the Dakota into Christian farmers. The decorative work of Dakota women reflected all of this: native organic dyes and quillwork gave way to beading and needlework, items traditionally decorated for family gifts were produced to sell to tourists and white collectors, work on cradleboards and animal skin bags shifted to the ornamenting of hymnals and the creation of star quilts. Through it all, the work of Dakota women proclaims and retains Dakota identity: it is a testament to the endurance of Dakota traditions, to the survival of the Dakota in exile, and—most vividly—to the role of women in that survival.

Daughter Of The Middle Border Cover

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Daughter Of The Middle Border

Hamlin Garland

This sequel to Garland’s acclaimed autobiography, A Son of the Middle Border, continues his story as he sets out for Chicago and settles into a Bohemian encampment of artists and writers. There he meets Zulime Taft, an artist who captures his heart and eventually becomes his wife. The intensity of this romance is rivaled only by Garland’s struggle between America’s coastal elite and his heartland roots. A Daughter of the Middle Border won the Pulitzer Prize in 1922, forever securing his place in the literary canon.

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