Slavery in Minnesota? How 3 African-Americans here changed America – Twin Cities

Minnesota didn’t start or finish the Civil War, but a legal case brought by husband-and-wife slaves held at Fort Snelling certainly stoked the embers leading up to our nation’s bloodiest conflict.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s infamous decision in the Dred Scott case isn’t just the subject of black history. It’s a pivotal point in American history, which many would point out are one and the same.

February is Black History Month, and probably as good a time as any to reflect on three of the historical figures that helped change the course of our nation. I got a call Tuesday afternoon from 88-year-old Bob Merck of St. Cloud, who told me he was born and raised in northern Minnesota, near the Canadian border.

Up in those parts, the name Frederick Jones apparently still rings a bell with the…

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