On This Date In Twin Cities History - June 6, 1857

On this date in 1857, the U.S War Departement represented by Commissioner William King Heiskell sold the Fort Snelling reservation to Franklin Steele, acting on behalf of himself and three others, for $90,000. President James Buchanan approved the act on the July 2 of the same year. The deal was immediately viewed by some in government as corrupt and a committee was subsequently appointed by the House of Representatives to investigate the matter.  Eventually, the government ended up retainining all the buildings and 1521 acres surrounding the fort as Steele was unable to pay the entire $90,000.  Additonal land was re-purchased from Mr. Steele some time later as well.