What's New

NHPRC Basic Project Grant

This month we focused on several collections related to one of the most notorious western land ventures in American history -- the claim made by Jonathan Carver's heirs that the Dakota chiefs, Hawnopawjatin and Otohtongooomlisheaw, in a ceremony at a cave on the Mississippi River that took place May 1, 1767, had granted Carver a deed of several million acres of land in what is now St. Paul, portions of Minneapolis, and much of west central Wisconsin.

Although Carver never mentioned this ceremony in his Travels through the Interior Parts of North America (1778) and the deed was said to have disappeared, Carver's heirs tried to capitalize on the grant by petitioning Congress to recognize its validity, and by selling and reselling lands in the region. Attempts to profit from the grant lasted decades and enveloped scores of Carver family members, land speculators, and potential settlers. The validity of the grant was never proven and all hopes to realize its financial gain vanished by 1834.

Deed of conveyance from Zebulon Harmon to Isaac M. Chesbrough, September 16, 1817

These collections include a journal kept by Carver during his Mississippi River exploration (1766-1767) with surveys and deeds of the land grant, correspondence from Samuel Peters to Samuel Harrison regarding their efforts to validate the claim long after Carver's death,

collected deeds and court records regarding Carver family interests in Crawford County, Wisconsin, letters and accounts of fur trader Robert Rogers who had tried to engage Carver in a search for the Northwest Passage, and various other deeds, indentures, depositions, and legal papers compiled by land speculator Robinson Tyndale that help document these long-standing claims and the people involved in the controversy.


You can find these collections and more by searching our library catalog for the subject Carver grant or the name Jonathan Carver.

The Minnesota Historical Society was awarded a Basic Project grant by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) that is significantly supporting public access to its backlogged acquisitions of government records and manuscripts collections.

Finding Aid Statistics

Learn more about how the NHPRC helps preserve and promote access to records of historical value.

Read about our progress in our latest interim report.

New and Revised Finding Aids - February 2012

Name/Abstract File No.
Ah-Gwah-Ching Nursing Home: An Inventory of Its Records gr00095
Records documenting the administration of the Ah-Gwah-Ching Nursing Home, a state institution for geriatric patients located in Cass County near Walker, Minnesota. Opened in 1962 [Laws 1961 c618], the nursing home is housed in the buildings of the former Ah-Gwah-Ching Sanatorium (Minnesota State Sanatorium).
Aitkin County: Welfare Board: An Inventory of Its Minutes gr00511
Minutes documenting the activities of the board and its predecessors, the County Relief Committee and Emergency Relief Committee. The board was also referred to as the Social Services Board. The records for 1972-1984 were digitally scanned by the county and the paper copies destroyed.
Anoka County: District Court: An Inventory of Its Adoption Case Files gr00534
These files were numbered in the same series with the civil case files but kept as a physically separate series by the court.
Anoka County: District Court: An Inventory of Its Criminal Case Files gr00535
Case file numbers 1-258, 350-351, 361, and 364-365. A separate series of criminal files was apparently maintained during the years 1932-1949; criminal case files prior to and succeeding those years are filed jointly with the civil case files.
William R. Brown: An Inventory of His Papers 01005
William Brown Diary Diaries (1845-1846, 1863-1864, on microfilm), a ledger (1850-1874), and other papers of Brown, a farmer near Newport (Washington County, Minn.). The diaries discuss pioneer farm activities, social life, and legal affairs in the St. Croix Valley (1845-1846) and Brown's Civil War service with the Sixth Minnesota Infantry (1863-1864).

Includes digital content.
Jonathan Carver: An Inventory of His Papers 01035
Photostatic copies of a journal of Carver's expedition to the Mississippi River (1766-1767), a Survey journal, and a Dictionary of the Naudowessee language, and typed transcripts of these documents; copies of surveys and deeds to the Carver land grant of 1767, which encompassed some four million acres in present-day western Wisconsin; copies of letters about the French and Indian War (1759) and James Tute's gifts to the Indians (1768); copies of two petitions to the British government (1769-1770) asking that Carver be reimbursed for his expedition to the Mississippi; and a copy of a recommendation by the British government on this request.
Chisago County: Health and Human Services Board: An Inventory of Its Records gr00529
Minutes of the Child Welfare Board, 1918-July 1937; Welfare Board, August 1937-1995; and Health and Human Services Board, 1996-2005. Accompanied by a 1921 Child Welfare Board report, 1964 Welfare Department manual, and 1999-2006 Chisago County Citizen Review Panel minutes.
Control Board: Children's Bureau: An Inventory of Its Minnesota Council on Adoptions Files gr00537
Records of this group, including the minutes which cover monthly meetings held between September and May, where membership visited facilities and heard speeches on various topics relating to the adoption of children.
Crow Wing County: District Court: An Inventory of Its Criminal Case Files gr00528
Case files numbers 66-3227. Location of files prior to 1884 is unknown.
Employment and Economic Development Department: State Services for the Blind: An Inventory of Its Records gr00540
Records documenting the duties and administration of the state's agency to help people who are blind, visually impaired, or DeafBlind to live and work as independently as possible.
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: An Inventory of Selected Congregational Records of the American Lutheran Church in Minnesota 01009
Selected congregational records from individual congregations belonging to the American Lutheran Church with a strong emphasis on Norwegian churches in Minnesota.
Charles Eugene Flandrau and Family: An Inventory of Their Papers 00870
Charles E. FlandrauPapers of Charles E. Flandrau, a lawyer and associate justice (1857-1864) of the Minnesota territorial and supreme courts, and his family, consisting largely of correspondence, invoices, receipts, deeds, and legal documents. Many date from 1856-1858, when Flandrau was Indian agent for the Mdewakanton and Wahpekute Dakota, and document his management of Sioux Agency affairs, annuity payments, and councils between the Dakota and government officials. Detailed abstracts of annuity payments list the name of the head of each family, the number in the family, and the amount of the annuity. A letter from Nathan Myrick to Captain Flandrau, requesting military units for aid against Indian attacks at Fort Ridgely (August 20, 1862). A set of contracts (1897) reflects his representation of Dakota bands in supporting an 1897 Congressional bill to restore rights forfeited in 1863.

Includes digital content.
Governor Ramsey, Alexander: An Inventory of His Gubernatorial Records gov016
Accounts, September 30, 1858-[1860] Includes accounting records; records concerning both civil and military appointments; letters received; records relating to pardons and other criminal matters; and petitions. There is substantial documentation of military affairs, especially concerning Minnesota regiments in the Civil War and the U.S.-Dakota War.

Includes digital content.
Samuel Harrison: An Inventory of His Papers Relating to the Caver Land Grant 01038
Letters and miscellaneous papers concerning claims relating to the Carver land grant of 1767, which included some 4 million acres in present-day west central Wisconsin.
Health Department: An Inventory of Its Action and Collaboration Plans gr00527
Action, 1994-2000, and collaboration, 1995, 1997, 1999-2009, plans. Also letters from individual companies, 1994-1998, 2000, indicating that they have "no policies, procedures, practices, or requirements, either written or unwritten, or formal or informal, and have undertaken no activities or plans on issues required to be addressed in the action plan." The latter are mainly insurance companies.
Hennepin County: Human Services and Public Health Department: An Inventory of Its Records gr00538
Records documenting the administration of this agency, whose mission is to strengthen individuals, families and communities by increasing safety and stability, promoting self-reliance and livable income, and improving the health of our communities by attaining the goals of protecting children and vulnerable adults, supporting communities and families in raising children who develop to their fullest potential, assuring that all people's basic needs are met, and building healthy communities and self-reliant individuals.
Hennepin County: Minneapolis: Mayor: Fraser An Inventory of Its Fraser (Donald M.) Subject Files gr00541
Correspondence, proclamations, reports, and related materials detailing the mayor's management of city government.
Hennepin County: Minneapolis: Mayor: Sayles Belton: An Inventory of Its Sayles Belton (Sharon) Subject Files gr00542
Correspondence, press statements, budget addresses, state of the city speeches, and related materials detailing Sayles Belton's tenure as City Council member (1983-1994) and mayor (1994-2004).
Hennepin County: Minneapolis Public Schools: An Inventory of Its Miscellaneous Records of Schools gr00513
Records of various elementary, junior high, and high schools in the Minneapolis system.
Hennepin County: Sheriff: An Inventory of Its Jail Registers gr00514
Registers (1926-1968) and monthly computer printouts (1971-1983) listing all persons confined in the county jail during the month.
Human Services Department: An Inventory of Its Interstate Compact Patient Records gr00545
Records documenting the Human Service Department's participation in the Interstate Compact on Mental Health, a uniform policy for member states to transfer mentally ill patients between states' facilities.
Human Services Department: Commissioner's Office: An Inventory of Its Logged Letters gr00519
Commissioner's office correspondence with citizens, legislators, public officials, welfare organizations, county law enforcement agencies, and federal and other state agencies, regarding all aspects of administration and client services of the Department of Human Services and its predecessor, the Department of Public Welfare.
Jonathan Carver land grant-related deeds: An Inventory of the Collection 01033
Deed of conveyance from Zebulon Harmon to Isaac M. Chesbrough, September 16, 1817 Six quit claim and other deeds relating to sales and purchases of tracts of land located in present-day western Wisconsin that were once part of some four million acres supposedly granted to Jonathan Carver by the Dakota chiefs Hawnopawjatin and Otohtongoomlisheaw on May 1, 1767.
Erma Johnson Kyle: An Inventory of Her Scrapbook 01003
Clippings, genealogies, letters, and typed extracts from letters collected by Kyle, a descendant of Jonathan Carver. Subjects documented include Kyle's family, settlement of Mankato, Blue Earth County (Minn.), a land grant allegedly made by Dakota Indians to Jonathan Carver in 1767, Carver's Cave in St. Paul, pioneer teacher Harriet E. Bishop, and Rockford (Ill.), and Prairie du Chien (Wis.), where family members lived.
Legislature: House: An Inventory of Its Miscellaneous Committee and Interim Committee Records gr00069
Minutes, exhibits, transcripts, and a few reports and working papers of House standing and interim committees and their subcommittees. Files for 1970-1972 include a number of interim committee final reports prepared by the House Research Department.
Legislature: Senate: An Inventory of Its Miscellaneous Committee and Interim Committee Records gr00517
Minutes, hearings transcripts, and related materials, including reports, agendas, exhibits, and resolutions, primarily of Senate standing committees and their subcommittees in both regular and interim sessions, and a few joint committees and commissions.
Legislature: Senate: Finance Committee: An Inventory of Its Subject Files gr00544
Created and maintained by Senate Finance Committee administrator, Gene Nelson, the records include correspondence, legislation, committee minutes, press releases, newspaper clippings, and related materials.
Lyon County: Independent School District No. 413, Marshall: An Inventory of Its Records gr00512
Records documenting the administration and activities of this school district.
Minnesota State Band: An Inventory of Its Records gr00166
Mainly records compiled by Joseph G. Komro, an accountant with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and conductor and director of the band for most of the years from its formal 1963 organization through 1998. The majority of the files document the band's activities, including several European tours and the band's 100th anniversary concert.
Walter F. Mondale: An Inventory of His Political Papers and Campaign Files 00697_Political
Mondale-Ferraro campaign poster Political papers and campaign files (1934-2004) include materials from Mondale's 1962 Attorney General campaign, 1962 and 1966 Senate campaigns, the 1976 and 1980 Presidential campaigns where Mondale ran as Jimmy Carter's Vice President, and extensive files from the 1984 Presidential campaign in which Mondale ran for President against Ronald Reagan.

Includes digital content.
Moose Lake State Hospital: An Inventory of Its Patient Records gr00532
Daily (1938-1939, 1944-1951, and 1961-1975) population reports/records containing data on admission, discharge, and population statistics. Also statistical monthly (1950-1970) and daily (1973-1976) population reports; a physician's daily report (1950-1952), that details patients restrained, medical therapies, accidents, and ward tours; and patient cards (1930s-2000).
Morrison County: School District No. 53/1202, Parker Township: An Inventory of Its Records gr00525
Records documenting the administration and activities of this school district, including clerk's and treasurer's books, pupil and class records, library records, and Mother's Club/Parent-Teacher Association/Parent-Teacher Club records.
Natural Resources Department: An Inventory of Its Published Records and Reports gr00515
Reports, newsletters, and miscellaneous print and near-print items of or about the Natural Resources Department.
Otter Tail County: County Court: An Inventory of Its Civil Case Files and Index gr00520
Numerical index and case file nos. C-5 to C-6297.
Otter Tail County: District Court: An Inventory of Its Civil Case Files and Index gr00521
Case file nos. 1-23472, 1871-1950; nos. 23479-35704, 1950-1987 (microfilm); and a numerical index to the microfilmed files. Files prior to 1889 may include criminal cases.
Otter Tail County: District Court: An Inventory of Its Criminal Case Files and Index gr00523
Case file nos. 1-3324, 1889-1969; nos. 3325-5189, 1969-1983 (microfilm); and numerical index to the microfilmed files. Files prior to 1889 may be interfiled with the civil case files.
Otter Tail County: Probate Court: An Inventory of Its Probate Case Files and Index gr00522
Numerical index and case file nos. 1-46270, circa 1868-1987, supplemented by selected files filmed out of sequence.
Samuel Peters: An Inventory of His Papers Relating to the Caver Land Grant 01037
A microfilm copy, and photocopies made from the microfilm, of correspondence, petitions, maps, and a journal (1817-1818) dealing with Peters' claim to part of the supposed land grant made to Jonathan Carver by the Dakota Indians in the 1760s.
Public Safety Department: Pipeline Safety Division: An Inventory of Its Records gr00526
Documenting the activities of the division, mainly regulation and inspection, the files include correspondence, statistics, legal and financial documents, legislation, minutes, reports, manuals, and other related materials.
Ramsey County: Register of Deeds: An Inventory of Its Records gr00533
Various records kept by the register of deeds, including records of bonds for deeds, abstracts, deeds to St. Paul additions, grantees and grantors, mortgages, powers of attorney, county officials' appointments and elections, and Protestant and Catholic churches.
Ramsey County: St. Paul: Park Board: An Inventory of Its Records gr00518
Minutes (1887-1896, 1901-1914) and index (1887-1914), index to City Council proceedings regarding the Park Board (circa 1890-circa 1943), journal (1892-1902), ledger (1897-1901), and Como Park band programs (1922-1926, 1931).
Ramsey County: St. Paul: School Records: Grant Elementary School: An Inventory of Its Records gr00530
History (1962), class and staff photographs (1961-1962, 1964-1968), photographs of the building exterior (undated) and of pupil hearing testing (1963), East Consolidated Elementary School background booklet (1973), and scrapbooks (1961-1963). The latter include Parent-Teacher Association materials.
Ramsey County: St. Paul: School Records: Independent School District No. 625: An Inventory of Its Miscellaneous School Materials gr00531
Photographs, histories, dedication programs, design development proposals, correspondence, reports, newsletters, handbooks, scrapbooks, and other assorted materials documenting over 100 St. Paul elementary, junior high, high, and special schools.
Ramsey County: St. Paul: School Records: Mattocks School: An Inventory of Its Records gr00536
Records documenting mainly the activities of the new Mattocks School, but with historical information and photographs relating to the old Mattocks School. Included are newsletters (1963-1973), subject files (1949-1978), and Parent-Teacher Association [PTA] records (1936-1978).
Revisor of Statutes: An Inventory of Its Records gr00516
Correspondence, memos, manuals, surveys, reports, enrolled bill logs, and other materials regarding drafting and revising of state laws, computerization of the work of the revisor's office, legislative procedures, professional associations, and related topics. The majority of the files were maintained by Joseph J. Bright, revisor from 1957-1974.
Charles Alexander Reynolds: An Inventory of His Diary 01007
Diary of Charles Reynolds A diary kept by Charles Reynolds (May 17-June 22, 1876) and Alexander Brown (July 1-September 13, 1876) as members of the Seventh U.S. Cavalry during the Big Horn Expedition. Accompanied by typed transcriptions and microfiche.

Includes digital content.
Robert Rogers: An Inventory of His Papers 01008
Photocopies and transcripts of letters, petitions, and traders' accounts related to Rogers' fur trade activities while he was a British military officer at posts in the Great Lakes area, to the fur trade at Michilimackinac and vicinity, and to Rogers' attempts to finance his search for a Northwest Passage and to engage the services of Jonathan Carver. A deed, petition, affidavits by veteran fur traders, and related items relate to attempts by one of Rogers' descendants to clear title to land along Lake Superior that Rogers had purchased from the Ojibwa Indians.
St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board: An Inventory of Its Published Records and Reports gr00539
Reports and miscellaneous print and near-print items of or about the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board and its predecessors, the Riverfront Development Coordination Board and Riverfront Technical Advisory Committee.
George Siepp: An Inventory of His Miscellaneous Legal Documents Relating to Crawford County, Wisconsin 01034
Photocopies of Crawford County, Wisconsin court records (1824-1857) concerning the fur trade and the history of Crawford County and Prairie du Chien, and typewritten transcripts of Crawford County quit-claim and mortgage deeds (1816-1844) made by an unknown person in 1955 from Wisconsin public records.
Statehood Centennial Commission: An Inventory of Its Publicity and Promotion Files gr00524
Correspondence (1956-1959) and alphabetical subject files (1956-1958) of publicity and promotion director Don Padilla and other members of his staff, touching on every aspect of the Commission's programs and activities.
Tax Court: An Inventory of Its Closed [Completed] Decision Files gr00473
Case files for appeals from orders of the Commissioner of Revenue regarding tax disputes, or from property valuations or classifications, that resulted in a Tax Court decision. The court's decisions interpret the law and have precedent value.
Todd County: Welfare Board: An Inventory of Its Minutes gr00543
Minutes of the Emergency Relief Board (1934, 1936) and its successor, the Welfare Board (1937-1995).
Robinson Tyndale: An Inventory of His Papers Related to the Carver Land Grant 01039
Letter granting power of attorney, Benjamin Mun to Thomas Kelly and Charles TreleaseDeeds, indentures, depositions, and other legal documents related to the Carver land grant, a territory that included hundreds of square miles in western Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota supposedly given to explorer Jonathan Carver by two Dakota chiefs in 1767, and that was the basis for subsequent land claims and speculation in the first half of the nineteenth century. The collection was compiled by Robinson Tyndale, a Philadelphia-based merchant in the China trade and land speculator, and documents what has been called one of the most notorious western land ventures in American history.

New and Revised Catalog Records - February 2012

Kandiyohi County (Minn.). Board of Equalization. Records.
The Kandiyohi County Board of Equalization met as required by law to decide classifications or valuations of county properties; included with the minutes are Board of Review minutes, correspondence, newspaper clippings, memoranda, and other attachments related to each meeting's content. Minutes for 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1999 are missing.
Minneapolis (Minn.). City Clerk. Records.
Two letters, June 18 and December 1, 1953, from U. S. Senator Hubert H. Humphrey to City Clerk Arlene R. Finkle, discussing city politics.
Minnesota. Dept. of Transportation. Bray (Henry R. ) Files.
Records of Henry R. Bray, who served as highway engineer for Nobles and Martin counties and the state highway department.
Pine County (Minn.). School District No. 87 (Kerrick : Township). Records.
Clerk's book (1949-1950) and pupil record cards (1930s-1940s).

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