Civil War Era Studies
As I mentioned last week, I left Fort Snelling after our tour as part of the National Association for Interpretation annual conference unfulfilled. The potential for high-drama and deeply meaningful connections was palpable on that landscape. The audience, a crowd of interpreters, were begging for meanings. One African American woman in the group, after the site administrator mentioned in passing Dred and Harriet Scott being held at the site, asked about the nature of the labor used to build the fort. I was sitting in the row behind her. I could not see her face. But from the inflection in her voice, I could tell exactly what the unstated question behind her spoken one was: "Were slaves used to build Fort Snelling?" [excerpt]
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Rudy, John M., "Forever Free: The Dakota People's Civil War" (2011). Interpreting the Civil War: Connecting the Civil War to the American Public. 166.