Abigail Hunt Snelling, Colonel Josiah Snelling, yours truly.
Josiah Snelling autographing my Josiah's book.
Abigail Snelling signing Josiah's book.
Nancy displaying the beautiful dishes!
Cross-stitch by Josiah's daughter, Mary.
Happy 232nd birthday, America! What a beautiful day this has been. Something new has been added to this holiday in Minnesota. Each year, in addition to celebrating our freedom from England, Minnesota is henceforth honoring Viet-Nam veterans, of which my brother is one. Thank you to all of the men and women who served during this war.
My sweet grandson, Josiah Snelling, is named for Colonel Josiah Snelling. He was in charge of the 5th Regiment of Infantry. In 1819 they arrived at the junction of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers to build the northwest link in this chain of forts and agencies. Here, where traffic could be controlled on two major rivers, Fort Snelling was completed in 1825. Colonel Josiah Snelling's officers and soldiers permanently changed the landscape. They made roads, built a gristmill and sawmill at St. Anthony Falls, planted hundreds of acres of vegetables, wheat and corn, cut hay for their livestock, felled trees for their fires and made the first documented weather recordings in the area. All the while they enforced the laws and policies of the United States. I had never visited this historic place until today. Since they have special events on July 4, I promised myself I would take the opportunity to tour it today with a couple of my friends. It was so nice, and I learned so much. I plan to go there again!
I got to meet the actors, Josish Snelling and his wife, Abigail. When I told them my grandson's name, they were astonished. To their knowledge, no one has ever shared that before with them. They graciously autographed the book I bought as a gift for Josiah. It is titled Frontier Fort; Fort Life on the Upper Mississippi, 1826.
We saw the cannon salute, a soldier's theater production of an 1819 historical drama, demonstrations of period cooking, a doctor bandaging a young person, bought root beer in the general store, and viewed the military parade, complete with drums and fifes. During Col. Snelling's review of the troops, the soldiers fired muskets. It was a fascinating time.