10,000 years of history The natural history of the confluence goes back at least 10,000 years, into the end of the last ice age. Its likely that human history goes back that far as well.
1650 to 1850 Fur trade era booms, first with European, and later American, traders exchanging manufactured goods for furs harvested by local American Indian nations.
August, 1819 U.S. Army soldiers, under the command of Col. Henry Leavenworth, arrive at the confluence of the Mississippi and St. Peter's (later Minnesota) rivers.
Sept. 10, 1820 Cornerstone is laid and building of a military fort commences.
November 1822 Troops move into new barracks at Fort St. Anthony.
1825 Fort is completed and renamed for Col. Josiah Snelling, its first commander.
1836 Dred Scott is brought to Fort Snelling as the slave of the fort's surgeon. Two decades later he sues for his freedom, based on having lived in a free territory. The Supreme Court's famous decision to deny him his freedom is one of the issues that solidifies abolitionist sympathies and draws the country closer to civil war.
1839 Swiss, Scottish and French immigrants from Lord Selkirk's failed colony in Canada, who had been given temporary refuge at the fort, are forced by the Army to move down river in 1839, where they form the small settlement that grows into the city of St. Paul.
1858 The fort grounds are sold to a land speculator and platted as a town site.
1861-65 Fort Snelling is reactivated as an army fort and used as a training center for the thousands of volunteers joining the Union Army to fight in the Civil War.
1862 U.S. Army troops under the command of Gen. Henry Sibley are dispatched from Fort Snelling to aid troops and civilians under siege by the Dakota at Fort Ridgely. At the end of the war, over the winter of 1862-63, approximately 1,600 Dakota, mixed-race people and others are imprisoned in an internment camp located on the river flats below the fort. In 1863, most of the detainees are forcibly removed from the state to reservations in Dakota Territory and what is now the state of Nebraska.
1865 Dakota chiefs Sakepedan (Little Six) and Wakanozhanzhan (Medicine Bottle) are executed at Fort Snelling after having been captured in Canada and turned over to U.S. authorities.
1898 Troops from Fort Snelling are sent to fight in the Spanish-American War.
1941-45 Fort Snelling serves as a processing center for 300,000 inductees and as a training center for military railway and military police units. The fort also houses a Japanese language school.
1946 The fort ceases to operate as an active military fort and is turned over to the state of Minnesota.
1960 Fort Snelling is given National Historic Landmark status saving it from the path of highway construction. It is turned over to the Minnesota Historical Society for investigation, restoration and reconstruction in 1965.
1970 Historic Fort Snelling is opened to the public.