Floral home; or, First years of Minnesota: early sketches, later settlements, and further developments
Harriet E. Bishop (1817-1883) emigrated to Minnesota from New England in 1847. She was recruited by Catherine Beecher's Board of National Popular Education to establish a school in St. Paul, Minnesota and to serve as its first formal teacher, reaching students of French, English, Swiss, Sioux, Chippewa, and African-American backgrounds. Her book, Floral Home, is divided into three components: "Early Sketches," "Later Settlements," and "Further Developments." "Early Sketches" provides accounts of the earliest known white explorers and settlers to the region and discusses the source of the Mississippi River as well as the establishment of Fort Snelling. "Later Settlements" encompasses the period from about 1835-1850 and includes her own arrival. "Further Developments" covers the period after 1850 that saw an explosion of growth in Minnesota. Bishop describes the region's culture, its varied population, its geography and land-use, its natural resources, and the development of its religious, educational, and governmental institutions. There are comments upon the progress of St. Paul, St. Anthony's Falls, St. Croix Falls, Stillwater, and Minneapolis and Minnesota's formation into a territory. Bishop also relates many encounters with the Chippewa and the Sioux [Dakotas] and offers insights about how vastly different cultures co-existed on the frontier. She includes several poems about topics of local significance, some without attribution.
Also available in digital form on the Library of Congress Web site.