Category Archives: Commemorating Controversy

“Mister, haint you got no books about pirates, or killing Injuns?”

The Minnesota Historical Society’s Library-Museum in 1892 I’ve been reading the annual and biennial reports of the Minnesota Historical Society in the 19th century, most of them written by the Society’s stalwart Secretary/Librarian, J. Fletcher Williams. Williams had a high … Continue reading

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So why is the MHS photo purge a story? It is history in its own right. It is also emblematic of how history is made. Third, you voted it so. My Execution Artifacts Report, “A Veiled Cabinet of Curiosities: A … Continue reading

Posted in Blue Earth County Beam, Commemorating Controversy, Minnesota Historical Society | 2 Comments

The Church Wrestles with Commemoration

“The 38 Tears of Bishop Whipple” by Robert Two-Bears ***** On April 9,1863, John and Mary Renville closed the final chapter in their Dakota War narrative, “The Indian Captives: Leaves from a Journal,” with a prophetic word: “May God guide … Continue reading

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Where Are We Going? A Reflection on the “Genocide” Resolutions

“Would you tell me which way I ought to go from here?” askedĀ Alice. “That depends a good deal on where you want to get,” said theĀ Cat. “I really don’t care where,” replied Alice. “Then it doesn’t much matter which way … Continue reading

Posted in Commemorating Controversy, Truth and Reconcilliation, truth-telling | 1 Comment

Whitewashing History, Part 2

Gluttony by Robert Kingsly, 2009 “Then he berated me and my children something terribly. But I was totally silent, and when he was done I said to him what my kids have done. It is not my fault, I have … Continue reading

Posted in Commemorating Controversy, Doing Historical Research, truth-telling | 1 Comment

Whitewashing History, Part I

“Tom Sawyer Whitewashing the Fence” by Norman Rockwell (detail) So: What is wrong with Justina Kriegher’s stories? Not much, if we take them as they are: as stories. Quite a bit if we take them as we have: as history. … Continue reading

Posted in Commemorating Controversy, Doing Historical Research, Primary Sources, truth-telling | 3 Comments

History Is a Fun House Mirror

Before I began writing history, I loved reading it: the feeling that a good history book was a window I could look through to see the past. But actually doing history is more like looking into a fun house mirror: … Continue reading

Posted in Commemorating Controversy, Doing Historical Research, Opinion, truth-telling | 2 Comments