How a Spanish spy set in motion a fake treaty to acquire lands that would become Minneapolis and St. Paul

On this day in history, Sept. 23, 1805, history books used to tell us “Pike’s Treaty” was signed, the first time Dakota people ceded lands to the U.S. government in what is now Minnesota. It covered 100,000 acres, including what are now the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul as well as Fort Snelling.

The problem is, it wasn’t a treaty at all. It wasn’t negotiated on behalf of the U.S. government. Most Dakota leaders did not agree to it.

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