On this day in 1881 ...


Justus Ramsey, older brother of the first governor of the Minnesota Territory Alexander Ramsey, commits suicide.

Ramsey served in the the territorial legislature for three terms, and was one of a party that attempted to deliver a gold payment from the U.S. government to the Dakota Indians in 1862.

The payment of gold was delayed by the Civil War, and it caused near-starvation and deprivation amongst the Dakota community, part of what led to the U.S.-Dakota War.

Stricken by depression and heart disease, Ramsey shot himself on this day 133 years ago. The oldest house still standing in St. Paul belonged to Ramsey, a building on west seventh street he and two others purchased in 1849, Ramsey's first year in Minnesota.

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