This is a message which Norm Wolcott posted to the Gutenburg Project discussion list. Norm produced the Gutenburg Project text of Atlantis, the Antediluvian World using the Sacred-texts version. I have posted this with his kind permission.
With the posting of "Atlantis-The Antediluvian World" by Ignatius Donnelly, the following may be of interest.
I am perhaps one of the few who remember visiting Nininger, the farm on the banks of the Mississippi River below Hastings, Minnesota where a wooden spiral bridge once crossed the river. I remember in the 1930's my father driving over the bridge, afraid that it would collapse, and then proceeding with some teacher friends a few miles south to the site. Ninninger was a land speculation of Donnelly when he went to Minnesota in the 1850's. The name of the town had a germanic ring perhaps catering to german immigrants who came to southern Minnesota. A pamphlet advertising Nininger was published in english and german in Philadelphia in 1856 .The town was to be a Utopian village; I remember seeing a flyer showing the layout of the streets, but I forget their names, I believe they were alphabetical. There were markers in the ground on the street corners. The only house was Donnelly's, a large mansion (it seemed to me) on the bluff overlooking the river which we went through after paying a small fee. It was still in good condition being only some 30 years after Donnelly's death in 1901.
I remember seeing Donnelly's grey pigskin gloves, top hat, on a table and his ivory headed cane in an umbrella stand in the foyer. The house apparently had original furniture in it. Nininger was to profit by being a stop on the river boat trade which plyed the Mississippi from St. Paul, Hastings, on to Red Wing and Frontenac. The all-weather railroad built inland ended this speculation. I believe all is now gone, no one wants to have a historic building on their land any more. (see attached Nininger bibliography--a fruitless attempt was apparently made between 1932 and 1948 to save Donnelly's house and make the surrounding Nininger a state park) The Minnesota Historical Society which has a web site has a large collection of Donnelly books and materials.
As a high school student working in the library I read Donnelly's "The Cipher in the Plays and on the Tombstone" which I was told I should not be reading. It concludes with a decipherment that "Bacon wrote Shakespeare, Greene, and Marlowe's works". At least the book was not removed by the censors. Donnelly's political contributions may have been marginal, but with "Atlantis" he created the genre of "pseudo-science" culminating in such works as I. A Velikovsky's "Worlds in Collision". And the impetus given to the Shakespeare myth has lasted over a century.
One must not be too critical of Donnelly; Atlantis was the product of the science of his time. The discoveries of Schliemann at Troy and Mycenae showed that the ancient greek legends were to be taken seriously as real history. What better then than to start with Plato's Atlantis? Little was known then of new world geology or ethnology which the next century would reveal. And Donnelly's hyperbolic oratory makes for a fun read. As the attached bibliography shows, recently there has been some academic interest in Donnelly with several PhD theses. His Phoenix may yet rise from the ashes of history.
--Norman M. Wolcott
Items at the Minnesota Historical Assn Library referring to "Nininger"
Nininger City; ein pamphlet. Übersetzt und mit zusätzen und verbesserungen bereichert durch Jno. P. Persch. Publisher: Philadelphia, R. Stein, 1856. Description: 36 p. fold. map. 22 cm.
Nininger City : a pamphlet / by Ignatius Donnelly. Publisher: Philadelphia : Duross, 1856. Description: 32 p.,  leaves of plates : folded maps ; 23 cm. General-Note: Maps unfolded to 31 x 24 cm.
Library: MN Historical Society Location: F 612 .D29 N834 Author: Guelcher, Leslie A. Title: The history of Nininger-- : more than just a dream : an illustrated history of Nininger Township / by the Nininger Chapter of the Dakota County Historical Society ; Leslie A. Guelcher, author and editor ; publication committee, William E. Benjamin, Fern E. Koestner, Richard P. Guelcher. Publisher: Stillwater, Minn. : Croixside Press, c1982. Description: xii, 333 p. : ill., ports. ; 28 cm. Bibliography: Includes bibliography and index. Subject: Donnelly, Ignatius, 1831-1901. Subject: Nininger (Minn. : Township)--Biography. Subject: Nininger (Minn. : Township)--History.
Library: MN Historical Society Location: F601.5 .M66 v.17 Author: Harmon, Ralph L. Title: Ignatius Donnelly and his faded metropolis. Subject: Donnelly, Ignatius, 1831-1901. Subject: Nininger (Minn.)
Library: MN Historical Society Location: QH540 .M62 v.3:1 Author: MPO' (Michael Patrick O'Neill). Title: In search of Nininger / MPO'. Description: p. 23 : ill. ; 22 cm. Subject: Utopias. Subject: Nininger (Minn.)--History
Library: MN Historical Society Location: SEE MANUSCRIPTS NOTEBOOKS: M562 Author: Donnelly, Stanislaus James, 1860-1918, compiler. Title: Ignatius Donnelly scrapbook, 1893-1939 [microform]. Publisher: Saint Paul, MN : Minnesota Historical Society, 1992. Description: 1 microfilm reel. Summary: Microfilm reproduction of a scrapbook containing mostly clippings of newspaper articles and obituaries (January 1901) and sympathy letters occasioned by the death of Ignatius Donnelly, as well as some clippings and letters relating to other topics. Topics in the clippings include Ignatius Donnelly's death and career; his sisters Eleanor Cecelia, a poet, and Eliza A., a teacher; the Shakespeare-Bacon controversy; the growth and decline of the village of Nininger; and the restoration of the Donnelly house in Nininger. In addition to expressions of sympathy, topics in the letters include the effects of the economic depression of 1893 and spiritualism. General-Note: Quantity of original: 1 v.
Library: MN Historical Society Location: SEE MANUSCRIPTS NOTEBOOKS: P680 Author: Ignatius Donnelly Memorial Association. Title: Ignatius Donnelly Memorial Association papers, 1938-1949. Description: 9 items. Summary: Letters, photocopied clippings, and a memorial dinner program (1932) of a group that unsuccessfully attempted to save Donnelly's home at Nininger, Dakota County (Minn.), and to secure legislation making the surrounding area a state park. Subject: Donnelly, Ignatius, 1831-1901. Subject: Donnelly, Ignatius, 1831-1901--Homes and haunts. Subject: Historic buildings--Minnesota--Nininger. Subject: Nininger (Minn.). Location/call#: Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, MN.
Library: MN Historical Society Location: F601.5 .M66 v.44:3 Author: Schimke, Robert. Title: Did Donnelly have the right idea? / Robert Schimke. Description: p. 104-107 : ill. ; 28 cm. Subject: Donnelly, Ignatius, 1831-1901. Subject: Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Subject: University of Minnesota. School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Subject: Architecture--Minnesota--Study and teaching. Subject: Nininger (Minn.)--Forecasting.
Library: MN Historical Society Location: F612.D29 N75 1999 Author: Foroughi, Andrea Rae. Title: Ephemeral town, enduring community : space, gender, and power in Nininger, Minnesota, 1851-1870 / Andrea Rae Foroughi. Publisher: 1999. Description: vii, 237 leaves : ill. Dissertation: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Minnesota, 1999. Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references. Reproduction: Photocopy. Ann Arbor, MI : UMI Dissertation Services, . vii, 237 p. ; 21 cm. Subject: Nininger (Minn.)--History Subject: Nininger (Minn. : Township)--History.
Library: MN Historical Society Location: NEWSPAPER Title: The Emigrant aid journal of Minnesota. Publisher: Nininger City, Minn. Terr. [i.e., Minn.] : Ignatius Donnelly & Philip Rohr, 1856-1858. Description: 1 v. : ill. ; 72 cm. Published: Vol. 1, no. 1 (Dec. 1, 1856)-v. 1, no. 32 (May 5, 1858). General-Note: For MHS Library holdings consult the reference staff. Subject: Nininger (Minn.)--Newspapers
Library: MN Historical Society Location: OVERSIZE F612.D26 D2 Title: Dakota County tribune. v. 43, no. 14. July 15th, 1927. Publisher: Farmington, Minn., H. Clay, 1927. Description:  p. illus. 60 cm. Contents-Note: First Farmington settlement.--Jean Baptiste Faribault made first county settlement, Mendota, 100 years ago.--Rosemount history.--Settlement of Lakeville community.--Castle Rock.--First steamboat came up Mississippi River in year of 1823.--Village of Randolph.--Hampton Township.--Rise and fall of Nininger recalled.--Hasting's spiral bridge built in 1894.--South St. Paul.--Fort Snelling. Subject: Mississippi River. Subject: Dakota County (Minn.)--History Subject: Mendota (Minn.) Subject: Nininger (Minn.)
Library: MN Historical Society Location: F601.5 .M66 v.13 Author: Brainard, Dudley S. Title: Nininger, a boom town of the fifties. Subject: Nininger (Minn
Library: MN Historical Society Location: HE6191.T83 S62 1958 Author: Spiller, Roy L. Title: Nininger, a Minnesota ghost town / [Roy L. Spiller]. Description: p. 28, 30 : ill. ; 23 cm. Subject: Nininger (Minn.)--History
Library: MN Historical Society Location: MAP COLLECTION 6F G 4144 .N547 1856 .H657 Author: Hopkins, George P. Title: Plan of the city of Nininger, Dakotah [sic] County, Minnesota / surveyed by Geo. P. Hopkins, Saint Paul. Math-Data: Scale ca. 1:2,470. (W 92054*07*--W 92054*07*/N 44046*09*--N 44046*09*). Publisher: [United States : s.n., 1856?] (Philadelphia : T. Sinclair's lith) Description: 1 map ; 67 x 71 cm
Library: MN Historical Society Location: MUSEUM COLLECTION 1981.2.2 Title: Walnut kneehole desk. Publisher: [19th century] Description: 1 item ; walnut, pine, brass, leather ; 141.5 x 86.8 x 77 cm. Summary: Walnut kneehole desk has plain inset panels on sides. Left pedestal has four pine drawers, each with recessed wooden mushroom-shaped pulls and an inset brass keyhole. Right pedestal has a hinged cabinet that contains four pigeonholes. The desk's cabinet door, leather blotter and desk top are 1981 replacements. General-Note: Classification no. FU02F Subject: Donnelly, Ignatius, 1831-1901, owner. Subject: Nininger (Minn.) Subject: Building furnishings. Furniture. Desks. Genre-Heading: Desk Genre-Heading: Restored walnut kneehole desks.
The following are the results of a Nininger search:
NMBR DATE TITLE AUTHOR 0001 1857 An act to incorporate the Nininger and St. Pe Minnesota. 0002 Agency history record. Minnesota. Common Sc 0003 1852- Alexander Ramsey Nininger papers, Nininger, Alexander 0004 1829- Alexander Ramsey and family personal papers a Ramsey, Alexander, 0005 1861- Attendance registers, Minnesota. Common Sc 0006 1927 The biography of colorful Ignatius Donnelly, Odland, Martin W. 0007 1856- Cemetery association records, Oakwood Cemetery Ass 0008 1927 Dakota County tribune. v. 43, no. 14. July 15 0009 1859- The Dakota sentinel. 0010 1974 Did Donnelly have the right idea? / Schimke, Robert. 0011 1856- The Emigrant aid journal of Minnesota. 0012 1999 Ephemeral town, enduring community : space, g Foroughi, Andrea Rae 0013 1982 The history of Nininger-- : more than just a Guelcher, Leslie A. 0014 1936 Ignatius Donnelly and his faded metropolis. Harmon, Ralph L. 0015 1939 Ignatius Donnelly: the sage of Nininger Baird, Duncan Hall, 0016 1938- Ignatius Donnelly Memorial Association papers Ignatius Donnelly Me 0017 1812- Ignatius Donnelly and family papers, Donnelly, Ignatius, 0018 1893- Ignatius Donnelly scrapbook, Donnelly, Stanislaus 0019 1973 In search of Nininger / MPO' 0020 1827- James M. Bowler and family papers, Bowler, James Madiso
NMBR DATE TITLE AUTHOR 0021 1857- James R. Case papers, Case, James R., 0022 1854- John H. Case papers, Case, John H., 0023 1858- Levi N. Countryman papers, Countryman, Levi New 0024 1962- Materials relating to the Ramsey family and t Dougherty, John Alle 0025 1921 Minnesota history; an account of the Redwood Case, John H. 0026 1856- Miscellaneous Ignatius Donnelly papers, Donnelly, Ignatius, 0027 1892 [Nininger Township, Dakota Co., Minn.] / Forbes, Charles A., 0028 1856 Nininger City : a pamphlet / Donnelly, Ignatius, 0029 1932 Nininger, a boom town of the fifties. Brainard, Dudley S. 0030 1856 Nininger City; ein pamphlet. Donnelly, Ignatius, 0031 1932 Nininger, a boom town of the fifties. Brainard, Dudley S. 0032 1958 Nininger, a Minnesota ghost town / Spiller, Roy L. 0033 2001 Nininger Township, Dakota County, Minnesota : Boe, Debbie, 0034 Photographs of Dakota County, Minnesota 0035 1856 Plan of the city of Nininger, Dakotah [sic] C Hopkins, George P. 0036 1831- Rectangular gun flint. 0037 1949 A report on the efforts made by the Ignatius Bowler, B. H. 0038 1800- Single-edge knife blade. 0039 1856 Statement of the basis of the organization of Donnelly, Ignatius, 0040 1850- Two sets of Ignatius Donnelly's house keys.
NMBR DATE TITLE AUTHOR 0041 1800- Walnut kneehole desk. 0042 1868 Walnut gate-leg dining table. 0043 1836- Willoughby Babcock and family papers, Babcock, Willoughby, 0044 1849- William and Herbert Paist papers, Paist, William,
Library: MN Historical Society Location: MUSEUM COLLECTION 74.53.10 Title: Walnut gate-leg dining table. Publisher: 1868. Description: 1 item : walnut ; 76 (h) x 107.5 x 91.5 cm. Summary: Walnut gate-leg dining table has a serpentine top with rounded edges supported on a pair of scroll-cut lyre-shaped trestles with a scroll-cut middle stretcher. Two turned gate legs support the drop leaves. Table is from the library of Ignatius Donnelly, Niniger, Minn. General-Note: Classification no. FU02N Subject: Donnelly, Ignatius, 1831-1901, owner. Subject: Building furnishings. Furniture. Tables and stands. Genre-Heading: Table, gate leg Genre-Heading: Turned walnut gate-leg tables. Genre-Heading: Trestle dining tables.
Library: MN Historical Society Location: FOLIO F605.1.D6 B67 Author: Bowler, B. H. Title: A report on the efforts made by the Ignatius Donnelly Memorial Assoc. from 1937-1949 : to preserve the historic old home of honorable Ignatius Donnelly at Nininger, Minnesota / by B. H. Bowler. Publisher: [Minneapolis, Minn. : s.n., 1949]. Description: 12 p. ; 14 cm. General-Note:  Subject: Donnelly, Ignatius, 1831-1901. Subject: Ignatius Donnelly Memorial Association. Subject: Nininger, Minnesota
The history of Nininger-- more than just a dream : an illustrated history...
LC Control Number: 82070872 Type of Material: Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.) Brief Description: Guelcher, Leslie A. The history of Nininger-- more than just a dream : an illustrated history of Nininger Township / by the Nininger Chapter of the Dakota County Historical Society ; Leslie A. Guelcher, author and editor. Stillwater, Minn. : Croixside Press, c1982. xii, 333 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.