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Minneapolis Becomes Part of the United States
From the 1680s forward, the area to include Minneapolis was "on paper" under the European rule of the countries of France, England, and Spain until finally becoming a part of the United States of America in 1784. France's occupation of the area came from the visit made by Father Louis Hennepin in 1680. By the operation of the Franco-Spanish Treaty of 1762, the area of Minnesota west of the Mississippi and south of the Hudson Bay watershed passed from the dominion of France to that of Spain. For the next 40 years it was under the proprietorship of Louisiana. In 1803, after briefly returning to French control, these lands were purchased from France and thereafter called the Louisiana Purchase (this was the area west of the Mississippi including part of the area to become Minneapolis). The area to the east of the Mississippi passed to England at the close of the French and Indian War (1763). This area, including parts of Minnesota (and Minneapolis), became part of the United States after the War of Independence. When the United States accepted the Virginia Colony's deed of cession (1783), the area became the (old) Northwest Territory. Out of this area were later carved the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, and part of Minnesota.
To demonstrate the western reach of United States' power and the northern reaches of the Louisiana Territory, the U.S. military established Fort Snelling. The Fort Snelling site was formally acquired by Lieutenant Zebulon M. Pike from some of the Dakota chiefs in 1805. The land Fort Snelling encompassed took in nearly the complete area of present-day Minneapolis and almost half of the present-day city of St. Paul. The original Fort Snelling, headquartered at the junction of the Minnesota and the Mississippi Rivers, was established in 1819 to meet the rapidly changing conditions in the Northwest Territory. The first commanding officer was Henry Leavenworth; Josiah Snelling replaced Leavenworth in 1820.
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