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Mexican Workers, Growers, and the Sugar Beet Industry
Throughout most of the twentieth century, thousands of Mexicans traveled north to work the sugar beet fields of the Minnesota–North Dakota Red River Valley. North for the Harvest examines the evolution of the relationships between American Crystal Sugar Company, the sugar beet growers, and the migrant workers. Though popular convention holds that corporations and landowners invariably exploited migrant workers, Norris reveals that these relationships were more complex. The company often clashed with growers, sometimes while advocating for workers. And many growers developed personal ties with their migrant workers, while workers themselves often found ways to leverage better pay and working conditions from the company.Ultimately, the lot of workers improved as the years went by. As one worker explained, something historic occurred for his family while working in the Red River Valley: “We broke the chain there.”“North for the Harvest is beautifully conceived, very well written, and nuanced and original in its arguments. Norris demonstrates that labor relations in the Red River Valley beet industry was a ‘three-corner game’ that cannot be fully understood without examining all the players.” David Vaught, author of Cultivating California: Growers, Specialty Crops, and Labor, 1875–1920“This story of the long-established and productive contributions of Latinos to Minnesota and North Dakota needs to be heard. It has never been told in such depth and with such style.” Jeffrey Kolnick, Associate Professor of History, Southwest Minnesota State University
A Minnesota History Reader
Two hundred years of Minnesota history spring to life in this lively and captivating collection of essays. The North Star State encompasses the wide range of Minnesota's unique past--from the Civil War to the World Wars, from frontier life to the age of technological innovation, from Dakota and Ojibwe history to the story of St. Paul's black sleeping-car porters, from lumber workers and truckers' strikes to the women's suffrage movement. In addition to investigative articles by the state's top historians, editor Anne Aby has assembled captivating first-person accounts from key moments in Minnesota history, including George Nelson's reminiscences of his years in the early nineteenth-century fur trade; the diary of Emily Goodridge Grey, an early African American settler; and Jasper N. Searles's letters home from the Battle of First Bull Run.
Migration, Communities, and Identities
The history of Norwegian settlement in the United States has often been told through the eyes of prominent men, while the women are imagined in the formof O. E. Rølvaag’s fictionalized heroine Beret Holm, who made the best of life on the frontier but whose gaze seemed ever fixed on her long-lost home. Thetrue picture is more complex. In an area spanning the Midwest and rural West and urban areas such as Seattle, Chicago, and Brooklyn, Norwegian Americanwomen found themselves in varied circumstances, ranging from factory worker to domestic, impoverished to leisured. Offering a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach, Norwegian American Women: Migration, Communities, and Identities considers the stories of this immigrant group through a gendered lens.Nine noted scholars situate these women in the history, literature, politics, and culture of both their ancestral home and the new land, interpreting their multifarious lives and the communities they helped build. pieces on wide-ranging topics by Betty A. Bergland, Laurann Gilbertson, Karen v. Hansen, Lori Ann Lahlum, Ann M. Legreid, Odd S. Lovoll, Elisabeth Lønnå, David C.Mauk, and Ingrid K. Urberg are bookended by Elizabeth Jameson’s lively foreword and Dina Tolfsby’s detailed bibliography, comprising a collection that enlightens at the same time that it inspires further investigations into the lives of women in Norwegian America.
Connecting Norway and the New Land
In the nineteenth century, the United States, “the land of newspapers,” was also fast becoming the land of immigrants, with increasing numbers of Norwegians arriving amid the European influx. Already Skandinaven, published out of Chicago, kept newcomers and their Old World friends and family informed of political, religious, and social matters discussed in burgeoning Norwegian American communities.From 1847 to today, more than 280 Norwegian-language papers were launched in cities ranging from Minneapolis to Fargo, Boston to Seattle. Some lasted just a few months; others continued for decades; all contributed to a developing Norwegian- American perspective. Odd Lovoll traces newspaper ventures both successful and short lived to offer a comprehensive look at America’s Norwegian-language press. Highlightingdiligent editors and analyzing topics of interest to readers through the years, Norwegian Newspapers in America demonstrates how newspapers pursued a twofold goal: forging a bridge to the homeland while nurturing cultural practices in the New World.
Friends and Neighbors
To early American immigrants, nineteenth-century newcomers from the Scandinavian peninsula likely seemed all of a type. to immigrants hailing from Norway and Sweden, however, differences in language, culture, and religion sorted them into distinct groupings: not Scandinavian, but Norwegian or Swedish—and proud of their lineage. How did these differences affect relationships in the new world? In what ways did Swedes and Norwegians preserve their cultures in the city and in rural areas? On what political subjects did they disagree—or perhaps agree? Did they build communities together or in opposition to each other? Where they were neighbors, were they also friends? In this groundbreaking volume, scholars from the United States, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark debate these issues and more, sharing perspectives on context, culture, conflict, and community. Essayists include Philip J. Anderson, Jennifer Attebery, H. Arnold Barton, Ulf Jonas Björk, Dag Blanck, Jørn Brøndal, Angela Falk, Mark Granquist, Per Olof Grönberg, Ingeborg Kongslien, James p. Leary, Joy K. Lintelman, Odd S. Lovoll, David Mauk, Byron J. Nordstrom, Kurt W. Peterson, Harald Runblom, and Mark Safstrom.
Ethnicity and the Development of the Country Town
Against the broad backdrop of the expanding western frontier, noted Norwegian American scholar Odd S. Lovoll explores the country town through the lens of ethnicity in this pioneering study. Benson, Madison, and Starbuck, all located on the western Minnesota prairie, were settled primarily by Norwegians and served as urban centers—railroad hubs, destinations for trade, and social nexuses—for the farming communities that surround them. Lovoll’s meticulous research into census data, careful reading of local newspapers, and extensive interviews with the descendants of Norwegian immigrants reveals strong ties to homeland that are visible today in each town’s social, political, and religious character.
Its History and Contruction
Hiding in a lake under lily pads after fleeing U.S. soldiers, a Dakota woman was given a vision over the course of four days instructing her to build a large drum and teaching her the songs that would bring peace and end the killing of her people. From the Dakota, the "big drum" spread throughout the Algonquian-speaking tribes to the Ojibwe, becoming the centerpiece of their religious ceremonies. This edition of The Ojibwe Dance Drum, originally created through the collaboration of Ojibwe drum maker and singer William Bineshii Baker Sr. and folklorist Thomas Vennum, has a new introduction by history professor Rick St. Germaine that discusses the research behind this book and updates readers on the recent history of the Ojibwe Drum Dance.
With insight and candor, noted Ojibwe scholar Anton Treuer traces thousands of years of the complicatedhistory of the Ojibwe people—their economy, culture, and clan system and how these have changed throughout time, perhaps most dramatically with the arrival of Europeans into Minnesota territory.Ojibwe in Minnesota covers the fur trade, the Iroquois Wars, and Ojibwe-Dakota relations; the treaty process and creation of reservations; and the systematic push for assimilation as seen in missionary activity, movernment policy, and boarding schools.Treuer also does not shy away from today’s controversial topics, covering them frankly and with sensitivity—issues of sovereignty as they influence the running of casinos and land management; the need for reform in modern tribal government; poverty, unemployment, and drug abuse; and constitutional and educational reform. He also tackles the complicated issue of identity and details recent efforts and successes in cultural preservation and language revitalization.A personal account from the state’s first female Indian lawyer, Margaret Treuer, tells her firsthand experience of much change in the community and looks ahead with renewed cultural strength and hope for the first people of Minnesota.
Following the Oberholtzer-Magee Expedition
In the spring of 1912, Ojibwe guide Billy Magee received a letter from future conservationist Ernest Oberholtzer asking Magee to accompany him on a journey. Soon after, the two headed into the Canadian Barren Lands of upper Manitoba for a five-month canoe trip that would lead them to unmapped territory and test both their endurance and their friendship.Tracing the route of the Oberholtzer-Magee expedition, The Old Way North transports readers through the history of this perilous wilderness and introduces them to the mapmakers, fur traders and trappers, missionaries, and native peoples who relied on this corridor for trade and travel. Through journals, historical records, personal interviews with Cree, Dene, and Inuit, and the account of a present-day canoeist, wilderness and conservation writer David Pelly reconstructs the many tales hidden in this land.
The Liberators of the Ninth Minnesota
Soldiers in the Union Army volunteered for many reasons—to reunite the country, to put down the southern rebellion. For most, however, slavery was a peripheral issue. Sympathy for slaves often came only after the soldiers actually witnessed their plight. In November 1863, thirty-eight men of the Minnesota Ninth Regiment responded to a fugitive slave’s desperate plea by holding a train at gunpoint and liberating his wife, five children, and three other family members who were being shipped off to be sold. But this rescue happened in Missouri, where Union soldiers had firm orders not to interfere with loyal slaveholders. Charged with mutiny, the Minnesotans were confined for two months without being tried. Their case was even debated in the U.S. Senate. This remarkable and unprecedented incident remains virtually unknown today. One Drop in a Sea of Blue is the story of these thirty-eight liberators and of the Ninth Minnesota through the entire Civil War. After a humiliating defeat at Brice’s crossroads, Mississippi, many were held at Andersonville and other notorious confederate prisons, where the Ninth Minnesota as a whole suffered a death rate exceeding 60 percent. Yet the regiment also helped destroy the confederate army of Tennessee at Nashville and capture mobile. In August 1865, when the Ninth Minnesota was mustered out, only fourteen liberators stood in its ranks. With vital details won through assiduous research, John Lundstrom uncovers the true stories of ordinary men who lived and died in extraordinary times.