The decoration on this plate juxtaposes a romanticized, uncultivated landscape with an imposing image of Fort Snelling, Minnesota, and the Great Seal of the United States. In this rendering of the seal, the bundle of arrows, representing war, is obstructed by the olive branch, shield, and motto E Pluribus Unum
(Out of many, one), to suggest peace and union following the Civil War.
Fort Snelling was built in the 1820s to protect fur-trading interests and to provide a U.S. presence in the region. Following the Dakota War - fought in 1862, during the Civil War - it served as a prison camp for Native Americans who had retailiated against the U.S. government's encroachment on their lands.