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Report from Col. Henry Lester to Gov. Ramsey – March 31, 1862

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Transcription of a letter from Colonel Henry C. Lester of the 3rd Minnesota Regiment to Governor Ramsey regarding the activities of his regiment.

“Head Quarters 3rd Regt Minn Vol Camp Minnesota Nashville Tenn Mar 31, 1862
His Excy Alex Ramsey Governor of Minnesota
Sir- I have the honor herewith to transmit the acceptance of George M Bertram of the Commission sent him.
I take advantage of the opportunity to report to your Excy our situation and condition
We are a part of the 23rd Brigade composed of 9th Mich. 8th and 23rd Ky. 3rd Minn–a battery and company of cavalry. One regiment is stationed at Lebanon Tenn. (the 23rd) our own remains here temporarily and the remainder of the Brigade is at Murfreesboro. One company of my command is detailed daily for duty in the city, as guard at the Head Quarters of the Department and certain parts of the city. We are however in daily expectation of orders to move on to Murfreesboro to join on Brigade. It gives me pleasure to assure you that my regiment is in a fine state of discipline and efficiency and has a reputation every where both among soldiers and citizens for orderly and soldierly deportment which gives great pleasure to its officers and is creditable to the state
I think I may safely say that for real efficiency the Third will compare favorably with either of our State Regiments, while all the military men who have seen us give us the credit for being the best Regiment in the West.
The quarterly reports required by the Adjutant Gen. of the State will be promptly transmitted.
I have the honor to be, Governor Very respectfully Your obt servt
Henry C Lester Col [Cony] 3 Minn Vols”



Citation: March 31, 1862 Letter from Colonel Henry C. Lester, Letters Received–3rd Regiment. Minnesota: Governor: Ramsey. Records. Minnesota Historical Society. State Archives. Minnesota Historical Society.

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Pig’s Eye beer advertisement

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Pig's Eye beer advertisement

Cardboard stand-up advertisement for Pig’s Eye beer featuring Jesse Ventura with a can of Pig’s Eye in his hand and a keg under his foot.  Circa 1990s.

For details, view the advertisement in our online collections database.

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“Local Affairs,” and “Latest News,” St. Paul Press – March 30, 1862

Friday, March 30th, 2012

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Coffee pot by Carolyn Halliday

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Coffee pot by Carolyn Halliday

Coffee pot sculpture by Minneapolis-based artist Carolyn Halliday, 2001.  The sculpture is made of knitted copper and silver wire with birch bark inserts.  Small glass beads in shades of green, tan and brown accent the pot’s handle and top.  The separable lid also has bead accents and a birch bark insert.  Lacquer has been applied to stiffen the pot’s shape.

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“Fremont Restored to Command,” “Evacuation of Manassas,” and “How to Reach Slavery,” Preston Republican – March 29, 1862

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

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Baby carriage and sled

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Baby carriage/sled

Combination baby carriage and sled consisting of a bassinet body of chocolate brown oilcloth on a black painted metal frame with springs and a turned wood handle behind an adjustable bonnet.  The carriage can be converted into a winter sled with two “storm shields” consisting of rectangular plastic faces and two sled runners. Manufactured by the Mahr-Bufton Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The device has a 1932 patent date, but was used by its donor while an infant in 1942.

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Why is Minnesota the gopher state?

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

[Click above to enlarge cartoon]

One of my favorite things in the Collection is this political cartoon from 1858. I’m sure I don’t get all the points (155 years is a long time and well, one probably just had to be there) but it is a beautiful, large drawing containing many funny details, such as the devil as pied piper, the gin barrel, and the small figure reminding people that they “develop the resources of the state.”  This cartoon answers the age-old (okay, actually 155 year old) question – why are we the Gopher state? This very cartoon started it all.

One of the first acts of the first legislature of the new state was to amend the brand new constitution, enabling them to issue credit and loan $5 million (or $ 137,000,000 in today’s dollars) to railroad interests. While some were against this, most people supported the amendment: it passed with 25,023 votes in favor and 6,733 against.

This cartoon is clearly in the nay column. It shows a railroad car full of bond holders being pulled by nine striped rodents with human heads, representing the legislators (many of whom also had a stake in the railroads). The issue of business looking for money never gets old, does it?

The artist is R. O. Sweeny from Saint Paul, and it was originally published as a broadside when the issue was being debated. So, from the messy ordeal of state development we got both the railroads and our nickname.  The original drawing of this cartoon is currently on display in the Library Lobby during Library open hours.

Lori Williamson, Acquisitions and Outreach Coordinator

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“Field Officers Fifth Regiment,” “Our Army Correspondence,” and “The Third Minnesota Regiment,” St. Paul Pioneer and Democrat – March 28, 1862

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

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Moving the Sessions Laws

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

The Minnesota Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie, recently requested the transfer of the state’s Session Laws to the State Archives of the Minnesota Historical Society. This podcast describes these important historical records, shows the moving process, and explains how they will be preserved for future generations.

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“Later from Europe,” and “Another Victory,” Mankato Independent – March 27, 1862

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

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An Ounce of Preservation: A Guide to the Care of Papers and Photographs