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Fort Snelling, Minnesota



Fort Snelling, Minnesota

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.71

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    waterpower, water-powered, gristmill, outpost, full-fledged, induction, whiskey, re-named, military, treaty, transaction, negotiate, sawmill, downriver, tribe, construction
     content words:    United States, Louisiana Purchase, Lieutenant Zebulon Pike, Louisiana Territory, Mississippi River, Lake Michigan, Fort St, Mississippi Rivers, Fort Snelling, Colonel Josiah Snelling


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     Spanish: Fuerte Snelling, Minnesota


Fort Snelling, Minnesota
By Joyce Furstenau
  

1     In 1803, France sold a huge section of land to the United States. This transaction was called the Louisiana Purchase. The land included the area that is now western Minnesota. Two years later, Lieutenant Zebulon Pike was sent to the Louisiana Territory. His job was to negotiate a peace treaty with the natives. The United States wanted him to make a legal claim to the area where the Mississippi River and Minnesota rivers join. Pike signed a treaty with the Dakota tribe. He purchased one hundred thousand acres of land for $200 worth of presents and sixty gallons of whiskey. The treaty allowed the U.S. to also build military posts there.
 
2     The United States built several forts between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River. These forts were built to protect American interests from the British and Canadian explorers. Fort St. Anthony was completed in 1825. It was built at the site where the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers meet. The fort was re-named Fort Snelling in honor of Colonel Josiah Snelling. He oversaw the fort's construction. This fort was the site of the first school, hospital, and post office in the area. The soldiers also built a sawmill and a gristmill near the St. Anthony Falls. A gristmill is a water-powered mill where grain is ground into flour.
 
3     Fort Snelling provided protection for fur traders, explorers, and missionaries in the area. The Mississippi River gave loggers a way to transport lumber downriver. Settlers began using the waterpower of nearby St. Anthony Falls to create the power to run sawmills.

Paragraphs 4 to 6:
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