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The Untold Delights of Duluth

Speech of J. Proctor Knott, of Kentucky, delivered in the U.S. House of Representatives on the St. Croix and Superior Land Grant, January 21, 1871.

On January 27, 1871, a forty year old congressman from Kentucky, who was little known outside of his state, sought recognition on the floor of the United States House of Representatives. In the next half hour, however, he would change that. He would take up the question of whether federal lands should be given to the St. Croix and Lake Superior Railroad in order to build a new line that would run from Houlton, Wisconsin, on the St. Croix River, to Superior, Wisconsin, located at the western end of Lake Superior and, as it happened, close by a scraggly Minnesota village of some three thousand people, called Duluth.

According to the Congressional Globe, Knott was interrupted by "laughter", "great laughter", "roars of laughter" and "shouts of laughter" a total of sixty-two times. Once he had finished, the bill for the railroad was dead as it could be, and he had made famous, by mistake, little Duluth, which the railroad had never meant to put on the map in the first place.

Read the speech here.

Also, I'm not 100% sure, but I believe that J. Proctor Knott is the man for whom the city of Proctor was named. Correct me if I'm wrong (i.e. "I may be full of shit.")


According to this you are correct as to the origin of Proctor's name.

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