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Over a Century of Mill City Rackeering and Collusion
It is not a stretch to suggest that, at the founding of Minneapolis, the amount of space between some of our officials and the common criminal was too narrow to shine a light. From robber barons to politicians on the dole, Minneapolis saw it all.
The capitalists from back East who settled the city in the mid-1800s, and who now rest under the largest tombstones in town, came here to turn a profit, pure and simple. We know these men from the names on our street signs and our city parks and by the counties named after them. They had connections to men with deep pockets and they used them.
At the other end of the spectrum were the humble immigrants, hard-scrabble and street-wise, who found in Minneapolis an environment hostile to the poor. They were willing to do whatever it took to feed and clothe their families. They found that the jobs and potential wealth offered in the handbills back East turned out to be empty promises.
The mighty scorned the common criminal in public, but shook hands with him clandestinely behind closed doors when he required some unsavory business or needed muscle for hire. The two had much in common and could accomplish more by working together than by going it alone. Sound unlikely?
Hah! You’ll see. Welcome to Minneapolis’ underworld.
1. The part of society that is engaged in and organized for the purpose of crime and vice.