Historic Fort Snelling, Saint Paul

4.7
#3 of 8 in Historic Sites in Saint Paul
The history of this place is more than just the story of the fort itself. The junction of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers is a place of major social, cultural, and historical significance to all people inhabiting the region, a place whose history evokes both pride and pain. It is a place of cultural importance to many Dakota people as a historical gathering place, the site of the B'dote creation story, and as a place of Dakota internment and exile after the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.

This area was also the crossroads of two major river highways of the fur trade, one of the most lucrative businesses during the 19th century. After the War of 1812, the U.S. government established its strategic presence at the river junction with the arrival of military forces and an Indian agent, whose goals were to promote and protect the interests of the United States in the region's fur trade and to gain the friendship and cooperation of American Indian communities. The establishment of the fort and Indian Agency became a foothold of U.S. expansionism in the territory that would become Minnesota.

Fort Snelling also played an important role in the great conflict over slavery in the United States. During the 1820s and 1830s, it is estimated that between 15 and 30 enslaved people lived and worked at Fort Snelling at any given time, in spite of the fact that the Missouri Compromise (1820) made slavery illegal in the region. Dred and Harriet Scott, two enslaved African Americans, used their time held at Fort Snelling as part of their decade-long legal battle to gain freedom for themselves and their children.

Located on top of the bluff overlooking the river junction, Fort Snelling served the U.S. military for over 120 years, through conflicts at home and abroad, and thousands of Minnesotans received their first taste of military service within its walls. By the late 20th century its national cemetery became the site of the final resting place for more than 180,000 men and women who served in the armed forces. Today, the historic fort has been restored to its early 19th century appearance, and the site's living history program brings the past to life!
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Historic Fort Snelling Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
207 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Although the Big River, Mississippi, such as the Spring River rapids of the national park flooded the Wild River or the first time, April the entire Valley Nature park facilities are flooded, attractions closed. A 15-knife taxi from the airport was not seen as anything. There is no public transport on weekdays, and the metro station that walks back to the blue line is about 1~2 km. Built on deep valleys, the castle turned out to be a fortress, an institution for managing trade with Indians, and as a barracks and prison. Even if you only feel the grandeur of nature, and look at the notes on the card and the Indian feud is also very rewarding.
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  • I love history and enjoy visiting places in the UK (my home!) from castles to forts to caves, so when we had our second visit to Minnesota Fort Snelling was high on the list for us. Was a fantastic pl...  more »
Google
  • Pretty good site, if you've been to Fort Mackinac, the first thing you will notice is that the pride and upkeep of Fort Snelling is way better, there seems to be a greater investment by the individual volunteers here in Minnesota to keep the Fort experience top notch. We watched the presentation of the soldiers firing the canon which was very informative. Blacksmith producing nails was quite interesting, the smith nailed it (pun).....Colonels house was interesting, and the standard collection of 1800's plains furniture was nice to see.
  • Went here for the first time this weekend and it was amazing! A great piece of history and you can learn a lot about Minnesota! There were a lot of things to see and experience that let you see how they had to live in the past! They also do themes during the summer months. Great friendly people too! Well be back

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