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C.C. Andrews' Letters about his Trip to Minnesota and Dakota Territory, 1857

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Courtesy of Library of Congress, Andrews, Christopher C., "Minnesota and Dacotah..." pp. 20, 22, 25, 27, 29-30, 33, 52-53, 158-167, 1857


Christopher Columbus (C.C.) Andrews wrote a series of letters on a trip to the Minnesota and Dakota (Dacotah) territories during the fall of 1856. He traveled by rail, steamboat and stagecoach from the East Coast to St. Cloud, Minnesota. His letters describe the economy and development of the territories he travels through.

Transcript of C.C. Andrews' Letters about his Trip to Minnesota and Dakota Territory

Source-Dependent Questions

  • Letters I and II
    • To what does the author attribute Chicago’s growth? Cite evidence from the text.
    • Infer from the text why the author’s letters would encourage people to move westward.
    • How does the author’s trip west reflect advancements in transportation?
    • What does the author predict about the future of the West? What words does he use to tell you this? Would you say that his predictions came true?

  • Letters III and V
    • Pretend you have received these letters personally from C.C. Andrews. Construct a response to him about his predictions about the growth of Minnesota.
    • Would his words convince you to move west? Why or why not?
    • Think about the modes of transportation the author used during the part of his journey and the picture his words paint. Identify what you think are the most important things he describes that would motivate people to head west.

  • Letter XVI
    • How do you think the author describes "progress?" What words does he use to justify his predictions?
    • How would you describe the author’s attitude toward the growth of the West? Cite evidence from the text.
    • What importance does the author place on railroads? On roads? What impact does he believe these transportation innovations will have?

Citation Information 

Andrews, Christopher C., "Minnesota and Dacotah: in letters descriptive of a tour through the North-west, in the autumn of 1856. With information relative to public lands, and a table of statistics," pp. 20, 22, 25, 27, 29-30, 33, 52-53, 158-167, 1857. Courtesy of Library of Congress