Objects- 1133- Historical Fiction

Learning Goals

Student will:

  • Explore their historical imagination as a function of historical thinking.
  • Connect historical objects to primary and secondary sources related to Louis Hennepin.
  • Write a short story that includes Louis Hennepin and fictional object from his day.


Your readings offer many perspectives on Father Louis Hennepin. Imagine if we could recover an object from his travels that would help us understand the events he witnessed: what would that object be? How might that object help us understand the events of his life in Minnesota?


Write a short story that includes an object real or imagined, related to the life of Louis Hennepin as he traveled in MN. Your short story is a historical fiction, which means you are free to create action, yet the details of your story should be based in the primary and secondary sources of the period.

**Silly example (this is bad writing, but hopefully something to get you thinking. )

Out of the pocket, swipe the brown, into the pocket. Again. Out of the pocket, swipe, in the pocket. My fibers grew from irrigated cotton fields of India, yet here I am, wiping a Frenchman, a priest, as he stares with his mouth open at this large cataract of water. His gray robe is slowly fading to a muddled grey-beige, the color of the dirt he often beds down in at night. Swat, my owner flicks me against a mosquito, too late. Here by the falls it’s cooler, though a little loud. It’s not deafening, but this river has strong flow. Having watched Louis engage those around him this year, 1780, I’m betting he’ll make up a story about how these falls were deafening: Louis never let a little truth get in the way of a good story. Louis’ story never mentions that he’s part of a bigger expedition, of RenĂ©-Robert Cavelier Sieur de la Salle or that his dad was rich.But here I sit, a lone luxury item of a Franciscan, a cotton handkerchief.