Colin Mustful

Colin Mustful
Topics: American Old West, History, Native American, Writing
Communities: Roseville, MN
Program Types: Book Club to Go, Speakers Bureau;
Author, Historian
History Through Fiction
Roseville, MN | (651) 788-0055

Resisting Removal: The Sandy Lake Tragedy and the Years That Followed
Mustful catalogs the events surrounding the Lake Superior Ojibwe in the years 1850 to 1855 - specifically, the illegal removal efforts of Minnesota Territorial Governor Alexander Ramsey and Indian Agent John Watrous that resulted in the death of 400 Ojibwe at Sandy Lake, MN in what is now known as the Sandy Lake Tragedy. Mustful considers important elements of cultural and historical interpretation such as cultural appropriation. Then provides the cultural and political context of the 1850 Removal Order. He details the continued removal efforts after the Sandy Lake Tragedy and the perseverance of the Lake Superior Ojibwe to resist those efforts and earn a new treaty that promised permanent reservation homes in their homeland.

Authorial Intrusion and the Civil War Novel: How to Write History Through Fiction
Historical fiction is one of the most popular literary genres. When done well it brings history to life, teaching readers about important historical people and events while also evoking profound, relatable emotions through its characters. How does the historical author balance history and fiction? Mustful carefully examines four Civil War narratives and identifies how each author incorporates important historical details into their novels without disrupting the fictional dream. He identifies the specific elements that make a historical novel effective and engaging, showing readers and writers alike how to write history through fiction.

The U.S. - Dakota War of 1862: A Historical Context
On December 26, 1862, thirty-eight Dakota men were hanged in Mankato, Minnesota, in the largest mass execution in United States history. This unfortunate event was the result of the U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. What was the U.S. - Dakota War and how and why did it happen? Mustful traces the history of the U.S. - Dakota War beginning in 1805 when the Dakota signed the Pike Treaty at Bdote and identifies the multiple perspectives and factors that, over time, contributed to the Mankato hangings and the expulsion of the Dakota and Ho-Chunk peoples from Minnesota to Crow Creek, South Dakota.