According to MN Opedia: The Scotts were among the enslaved people taken by their army owners to Fort Snelling in the 1830s. The U.S. Army supported slavery thereby allowing its presence and by paying a supplement to employ servants (including enslaved people).meaning the United States Army subsidied slavery at Fort Snelling U.S. Indian Agent Lawrence Taliaferro owned Harriet Robinson. Army Surgeon John Emerson, not previously a slave owner, purchased Dred Scott in St. Louis. According to MPR News Southerners were able to travel with their slaves to Minnesota because of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1857 Dred Scott decision which declared that, as property, slaves were not citizens and could not sue to win their freedom --- even in non-slaveholdinMinnesota real estate and businessesg states. However Black slaves were in Minnesota as early as the 1819 When Fort Snelling was built in 1820, fur traders and officers at the post, including Colonel Josiah Snelling, used enslaved labor for cooking, cleaning, and other household chores.Although enslavers were in violation of both the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 and the Missouri Compromise of 1820, an estimated 15 - 30 enslaved African Americans worked at Fort Snelling at one time. Many US Presidents owned slaves including one who was stationed at Fort Snelling. Zachary Taylor was the 12th President of the United States and and was a slave owner. According to the Pioneer Press Born in Kentucky, Taylor had been a slave owner all his life. And a majority of the officers in his 1st Infantry were Southerners, too. Of the 38 who served under Taylor, 33 officers owned slaves,. Along with holding slaves at Fort Snelling when he was President Zachary Taylor was actually the last President to have slaves at the White House at one point Zachary Taylor owned over eighty slaves.
Slyvanus Lowry who was a slaveowner from Kentucy who became the Mayor of Saint Cloud MN and started a pro slavery newspapaer called the Union. Other slave owners from the south would vaction in Minnesota and bring their slaves with them. Slaveowners from the south also made investments in Minnesota real estate and businesses with money they made from slavery. Many invested in insurance companies including Thomas Bejamin Winston . Author Christopher Lehman writes: Born in 1811 in Virginia, Thomas Benjamin Winston became a slaveholder in Louisiana before reaching the age of 30. In the early 1850s he strategically bought and sold a number of enslaved people as financial investments (see sidebar on p. 272). Winston left New Orleans for Minnesota in June 1855, less than half a year after his last slave sale. He arrived in St. Paul by August and immediately affiliated himself with the state’s power structure . through future governor) Alexander Ramsey. What they all had in common was wealth. Winston was now associated with Minnesota Territory’s most economically and politically powerful people.4 Winston joined a wave of investors, including his new associates, buying and selling real estate in the territory in the mid-1850s. He purchased one entire block and nine lots on various other blocks in Nicollet County and acquired 80 acres in the same winter. Mr Winston encouraged other slaveowners to invest in Minnesota through by running ads in newspapers in New Orleans. Even though slavery was supposedly outlawed in Minnesota there were still slaves in the state and wealth from slave owners helped build some of Minnesotas prestigous institutions.
Racial covenant law restricted Black Americans from buying homes in certain neighborhoods in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. This contributed greatly to the racial disparities that exist between Black and whites in the state of Minnesota. Redling institutionalized racial covenants across the country. Racial covenants enriched white people and caused poverty for the majority of the Black community.
Homeownership is used to build generational wealth.There were thousands of mortages in Minnesota that had racial covenats thus restricting Black homeowners to buy houses in paticular area. This map shows were Black were concentrated in Minneapolis and the property value was devalued through racist policies.These Racial covenants denied wealth building to Foundational Black Americans in Saint Paul and contribute to the disparities we see in Minnesota homeownership today.
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