Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Minnesota History: Jacob Fahlstrom, the state's first Swede


Roughly one in 10 Minnesotans comes from Swedish ancestry. That’s about a half-million people who identify as Swedes — ranking fourth behind Minnesotans of German, Norwegian or Irish origin.

Of all those Swedes, Jacob Fahlstrom came first.

Born around 1795 in Stockholm, the well-to-do blond kid boasted both a good singing voice and a good case of wanderlust. He would become a cabin boy, shipwreck survivor, fur trader, canoeing mailman, Ojibwe translator, ax-toting woodsman, blacksmith striker, Methodist preacher and early Minnesotan with a split personality.


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