Nicollet Journal GIVEAWAY! (Winners Announced)

Joseph N. Nicollet was a stud, although he may have not known that is his time. In fact, his untimely death occurred before he could see his life’s work completed. Even so, his amazingly accurate maps would go on to guide young America’s settling of the upper Midwest and forever change the plains and prairies of our great nation. Today, Nicollet is remembered as the name of a city, a county, a famous avenue and a historic island, as well as a number of businesses and historical monuments throughout Minnesota and the Dakotas.

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For all you local history buffs (and giveaway fanatics), you could win one of three copies of Nicollet’s journal. These out of print, hard to find books are also available for sale at the lodge for $30. The journals from Nicollet’s 1838-39 expeditions in the Dakotas were translated from the original French and published for the first time in 1976. Nicollet’s journals are truly fascinating and are a real joy to read. Imagine exploring the open prairies of the Dakotas long before they were even known as the Dakotas. No roads, no towns, no farms, no fields. Just prairie and the indigenous peoples and creatures thereof. His journals describe numerous encounters with the Native Americans of the region, some quite friendly and others rather dangerous. Also, he saw vast herds of antelope and bison numbering in the thousands moving freely across the plains.

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How to Enter the Giveaway

  1. Sign in to the Rafflecopter widget above via the Facebook login link or with your name and email. This is the only way to be officially entered into the giveaway!
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  3. Click on the ones you want to complete and follow the instructions. Please note that it is not enough to just click the green buttons; you must also complete the task to earn the points.
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IMPORTANT: You must sign in to the Rafflecopter widget below in order to be “officially” entered into the giveaway! (Your email won’t be published or shared. We use login emails only to contact the winner.)

  • The giveaway will be open until 12:00am Saturday, January 11th, 2014.
  • Winners will be announced on Saturday, January 11th, 2014.
  • Winners are chosen randomly by Rafflecopter.
  • Giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada only.
  • The winners will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter and contacted via email. If the winners do not respond with the requested contact information within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen.

Joseph NicolletNicollet is credited with naming the Coteau des Prairies, which in French means, “slope (or hill) of the prairie.” He was very fond of the Coteau des Prairies. His expeditions brought him there a number of times, but he was only to the Head of the Coteau des Prairies once. On August 15, 1839, while sitting on the shores of Sprague Lake, south of present day Rutland, he wrote, “The head of the Coteau is very near us. It presents an imposing mass, beautiful to eyes which have seen nothing but plains and rolling plateaus. It is the Alps of this area.” Of the Coteau des Prairies, later he wrote, “In attempting a faint description of this beautiful country, my thoughts and feelings are painfully brought back to it…the vast and magnificent valley of the Red River, which there displayed itself before us, spreading itself in an almost insensible slope to the east and to the north, and bounded only by the horizon. May I not be permitted, in this place, to introduce a few reflections on the magical influence of the prairies? It is difficult to express by words the varied impressions which the spectacle produces. Their sight never wearies. To look at a prairie up or down; to ascend one of its undulations; to reach a small plateau, moving from wave to wave over alternate swells and depressions; and, finally to reach the vast interminable low prairie, that extends itself in front. Be it for hours, days, or weeks, one never tires; pleasurable and exhilarating sensations are all the time felt; ennui is never experienced. Doubtless there are moments when excessive heat, a want of fresh water, and other privations, remind one that life is a toil; but these drawbacks are of short duration. There is almost always a breeze over them. The security one feels in knowing that there are no concealed dangers, so vast is the extent which the eye takes in; no difficulties of road; a far spreading verdure, relieved by a profusion of variously colored flowers; the azure of the sky above, or the tempest that can be seen from its beginning to its end; the beautiful modifications of the changing clouds; the curious looming of objects between earth and sky, taxing the ingenuity every moment to rectify; all, everything, is calculated to excite the perceptions, and keep alive the imagination. In the summer season, especially, everything upon the prairies is cheerful, graceful, and animated. The Indians, with herds of deer, antelope and buffalo, give life and motion to them. It is then they should be visited; and I pity the man whose soul could remain unmoved under such a scene of excitement.”

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Click here for another article on our website about Joseph N. Nicollet.

7 Responses

  1. Krystle Christen

    I would have loved to been his botanist on the expedition and catalog all the plants.

    January 9, 2014 at 8:37 am

  2. Thanks for the opportunity!

    January 9, 2014 at 10:02 am

  3. Dorene BROWN

    i would have; loved to JUST HAVE BEEN PART OF HIS EXPEDITION! I THINK THE STUDY OF THE LANDSCAPES AND THE INDIAN CULTURES WOULD HAVE BEEN GREAT!!!

    January 9, 2014 at 1:56 pm

  4. Rebecca Edwards

    Perhaps the Lodge could focus an event/history seminar on this study of the area by Nicollet. When I lived in Maryland we would travel to D.C. to see a speaker present a slide show talk of their world travels and work. I could see something similar (presented by a history professor?) or perhaps a re-enactment weekend. I know a lot of friends who attend voyageur weekends in Illinois.

    January 10, 2014 at 8:11 am

  5. Might have been a little cold in Buckskin.

    January 10, 2014 at 8:29 am

  6. Beth Hagemeister

    Looks like an intriguing read!

    January 10, 2014 at 10:03 am

  7. Deb Yochim

    Would have loved to have been along to view the beautiful scenery. Having grown up near the Nicolette Tower in northeast South Dakota, I miss the hills on the prairie!

    January 10, 2014 at 10:03 am