Researcher's Notebook weblog

January 7, 2009

November 2008 Potluck

Filed under: Meeting Minutes — @ 2:19 pm

The November meeting of the research group took place on November 5.  A total of 16 attended the meeting, which featured a delicious potluck “brunch” with dishes savory and sweet.  Here’s a photo by Peg of some of us enjoying the eats.

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October 10, 2008

October 2008 Meeting Minutes

Filed under: Meeting Minutes — @ 4:14 pm

Thirteen people attended the meeting.

At Peg’s suggestion, the next meeting on November 4, Election Day, will be a potluck, clarified by Kathie as a brunch potluck - anything goes.  Bringing a dish from Potluck Paradise is optional.

Deb announced that the cookbook she wrote with Rae Eighmey based on 1950s Midwestern community cookbooks, Potluck Paradise, is just out from MHS Press.  She asked on behalf of a researcher in South Dakota where to find a list of people released at Camp Release; suggestions included the Dakota War microfilm, the Riggs Papers, and checking with Carrie Z.

Kathie announced that the Hill papers that the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) received from the Hill Library have been cataloged in PALS under the title Hill Family Collection.   Eventually all six sub-sections will also have their own catalog records.  There now are hot links to spreadsheet inventories for each section (J.J. Hill, Louis W. Hill, Maude Hill, Reed-Hyde, Dorcy, and Walton).  Also, archivist Duane Swanson would like to know if there are certain parts of the collection that researchers are most interested in.  Those might get more detailed cataloging or even digitization.  Suggestions are welcome.

Barb announced the publication of more of her work on oral history and Native Americans, including a Native American oral history planning document and manual for interviewing veterans.  Her book on the topic will be published soon.  These publications include discussions of legal and ethical issues and use of interviews by scholars and noted the need for Indians to take control of the oral history interviewing that is done.

Peg reported that her book on children in Minnesota history has reached critical mass:  time to stop researching and start selection, organization, and writing.

Rhoda reported that she was the only historian on a panel on the History of Minnesota’s Prosperity at the Humphrey Institute, along with economists, a demographer, and a geographer. The focus was on the post-World War II era.  Fifty people, many of them schoolteachers, attended.  In her presentation Rhoda emphasized the progressive tax structure and that the state has had greater equality among its citizens than many others.  Deb will call the Humphrey Forum to ask for a copy of the program for the MHS collections.

Nancy discussed her attendance at several events aimed at preserving church buildings in Southeast Minnesota, noting a change in the level of community interest in some of these structures since she began her work researching early churches in the area several years ago.  She noted that one problem sometimes encountered is the true age of a particular church building, often connected to a claim to be the oldest church in an area or county.

Bruce K. reported continuing work on his Helen Sibley manuscript and announced that David Grabitske’s book on Sarah Sibley will be published soon.  He volunteered to do a presentation at an Osher Learning Center series that Ann P. suggested could be made up of MHS researchers who attend this meeting.  Kathie wondered out loud about hosting such a series at the Minnesota History Center.

Stephen is part of a small Cloud Man committee convened by the city of Minneapolis to mark the site of his village on Lake Calhoun with an interpretive education marker of some kind.  Cloud Man descendants are also on the committee.  He also did some work on a banjo at the Sibley House made by a Civil War soldier.  He plans a trip to campsites of Minnesota units at Corinth, Mississippi and Helena, Arkansas.  The History Channel may be interested in a documentary Stephen is assisting with on the 1st Minnesota, Company F, most of whom were from Red Wing and had connections with Hamline University.  He also suggested the 151st Field Artillery as a WWI unit to focus on later in the possible series.

Jeff is working on a proposal for a Shakopee Historical Park at the Samuel Pond site on the edge of the town, with plans for historic signage on Chief Shakopee, the Dakota village in the area, the Pond Dakota mission, Oliver Faribault, and the Battle of Shakopee.

Linda noted the possible re-do of the Faribault House at Murphy’s Landing.  Some buildings that were moved there may be moved to their original sites or elsewhere. In her far-flung research she continues to make connections among missionary families and other church people from New York’s burned-over district, Oberlin, Ohio, Jacksonville and Galesburg, Illinois, and the Minnesota country in the 1830s and 1840s. For example, John Johnson Enmegahbow and George Copway attended the Ebenezer Manual Labor School in Jacksonville.  She told the group that Hennepin County Libraries have a subscription to the APS database of digitized 19th-century periodicals. Linda is writing an article on the Higher Pedagogy for a book on the history of American education to be called “Separate and Unequal.”

Bruce W. reported the publication of a new book by Angela Cavender Wilson, What Does Justice Look Like? The Struggle for Liberation in Dakota Homeland, by Waziyatawin, Ph.D., published by Living Justice Press.  Among many other topics, the book discusses the Wolfchild lawsuit, suggesting that it is divisive within the Dakota community and also that the plaintiffs are motivated by money. He did not think that this is entirely fair. He observed that many of the plaintiffs he has spoken to are interested in reclaiming their heritage. Offering some pragmatic advice to fellow authors around the table, he noted that his experience promoting his recent book, We Are at Home: Pictures of the Ojibwe People, suggests that local historical societies are better places to organize book talks and book signings than bookstores.  He has sold far more books at historical society presentations.  Bruce will present two papers this fall.  The first is “Women, Men, and Canoes,” at the Algonquian Conference in Minneapolis at the end of October; the second is “The Myth of Forgotten Treaties” on a Minnesota panel at the 2008 Ethnohistory conference in Eugene, Oregon, Nov 12-16.  That panel will also include Brenda Child, discussing the Sandy Lake Tragedy of 1850-51, and Annette Atkins, speaking on Dakota mixed-blood people during the Dakota War of 1862.  [Deb - let's add links to the 2 conferences]

Jennifer O. is researching the history of the Mille Lacs Reservation from the 1920s to the present for a study Bruce W. is working on.  She has read 45 years of the Mille Lacs Messenger.  Research group member Virginia M. is doing work in the Minnesota State Archives for the same project.  Jennifer also reported on a study of a big rock in South Dakota (2600 pounds).  The study led her to do a lot of research on Samuel Hinman of the Episcopal Church in South Dakota, and in particular a missing talk he gave about the rock at the Smithsonian Institution in 1881.  She and Bruce W. summarized the success of the preservation of the Pilot Knob area in Mendota Heights.

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