Among all the artists who rushed to document the largely unsettled land west of the Mississippi River, Seth Eastman is the best-known interpreter of Minnesota Territory. Eastman had been trained in drawing at West Point military academy. He first came to Fort Snelling in 1829 and returned in 1841 as a commissioned officer for a seven-year stay. The Falls of St. Anthony shows the falls and adjacent riverbanks nearly untouched by the commercial development that would come with Euro-American settlement. The only hint, in the middle distance, is the first dam built above the falls (in 1848), between the east bank of the Mississippi and Nicollet Island.
Credit Line: Text courtesy of the Minneapolis Institute of Art (CC BY 3.0).