Historical Marker: Father Hennepin Bluffs
This marker indicates the location from which French explorer Father Louis Hennepin (c. 1626-c. 1705) first viewed the waterfalls that he would name after Saint Anthony of Padua. The falls are the sharpest drop anywhere along the 2,200 mile river and enabled Minneapolis to grow to become one of the great American cities. The surrounding six-acre area was revitalized in 1971 and renamed Father Hennepin Bluffs. Hennepin wrote three books describing his travels in America and all were widely read in France. However, he was criticized for his penchant for significant exaggeration of his accomplishments (for example, he claimed to have sailed on the Mississippi all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico) and racist descriptions of the Native Americans he encountered. That said, Hennepin did provide an early—albeit flawed—window into the "New World".
Backstory and Context
Goetz, Kathryn. "Legacy of Fr. Hennepin looms large on the Mississippi." MinnPost. August 27, 2013. https://www.minnpost.com/mnopedia/2013/08/legacy-fr-hennepin-looms-large-mississippi.
Photo: Joseph Cavinato, via The Historical Marker Database