Janet Timmerman

Trading Places: Joseph LaFramboise on the Frontier, 1825-1840

Janet Timmerman is a 1995 graduate of Southwest State University with a bachelor of arts degree in history and a secondary major in art. For a senior research paper she wrote her first work, Draining the Great Oasis: Claiming New Agricultural Land in Murray County, 1910-1915, which was published by the Society for the Study of Local and Regional History. She has worked as the project coordinator for the Flood Recovery Project whose work it was to research, collect data, and produce a book on the 1993 floods in southwestern Minnesota. The product of that research was the publication At the Headwaters: The 1993 Floods in Southwestern Minnesota. Timmerman was a contributing author as well as the co-editor.

Timmerman's fellowship work centered around southwestern Minnesota's frontier period, focusing on Joseph LaFramboise, an early fur trader who established an American Fur Company trading post at Great Oasis, in what is now Murray County. He conducted business in southwestern Minnesota and eastern South Dakota from the early 1820s until his death in 1856. LaFramboise was a confidant of well-known figures of the time including Henry H. Sibley, George Catlin, Joseph N. Nicollet, and John C. Fremont.

LaFramboise, a third generation metis, became a catalyst for removing the Santee from their land and ushering in white settlement. He engaged in the first commerce, became an agent for the further acculturation of the Santee Indians, helped establish overland routes, and guided those who mapped the region for subsequent settlers. LaFramboise's story examines a man of two cultural backgrounds within a tenuous time on a rapidly changing cultural and physical landscape. The product of this research, Timmerman believes, is integral to understanding the region's frontier history between the last phase of Indian occupation and white settlement.

Public Presentation Tuesday, September 25, 2001 1:30 p.m. Social Science 224





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Last updated: March 21, 2006