Friday, February 13, 2009

1830’s Nicollet and Darwin in the New World

1830’s Nicollet and Darwin in the New World. This map of the area of Minnesota where I was born, over the Straight and Cannon Rivers of the mid 20th Century. Joseph Nicollet, a Frenchman carried instruments of science and also accompanied by a botanist, Charles Geyer collected botanical specimens. Darwin sailed on the Beagle in the same era, published in English and became more well known. When I worked with botanist Don Lawrence in the 1970’s at the UofM Botany Dept, I discovered the 1976 work of the Brays Edmund and Martha, Joseph N Nicollet on the Plains and Prairies, as a translation of his journey living as a bridge person before the indigenous people, the Dakota of Minisotah before they were pushed from their land by the European settlers who brought the paradigm of land ownership to this area. Nicollet wrote his travel notes in French,
Titanka Tanninan Lake in Dakota is “Cannon Lake” of today; the landscape has elevation markings including 974 at the site of today’s Waterford, at the north end of the Carleton College Arboretum in today’s Northfield.

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