In the late 1600’s, French fur traders explored the western shore of Lake Superior and the norther portion of the Mississippi River, which was occupied by Dakota Indians. The Spanish received land west of the Mississippi from the French in the 1700’s while Britain received land to the east. During the American revolution in the late 1700’s the new republic of the United States won the eastern portion of this land. In 1803, the United States purchased the western portion of the state of Minnesota from the French who had acquired it from Spain in 1800. On May 11, 1858, Minnesota was admitted to the union as an official state.