Whipple Database

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Henry Hastings Sibley, Governor

Henry Hastings Sibley, Governor

Male 1811 - 1891  (79 years)

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  • Name Henry Hastings Sibley 
    Suffix Governor 
    Born 20 Feb 1811  Detroit, Wayne, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 18 Feb 1891  St. Paul, Ramsey, Minnesota Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I49390  Whipple Descendants
    Last Modified 8 Sep 2011 

    Father Solomon Sibley, Judge,   b. 7 Oct 1769, Sutton, Worcester, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Apr 1846, Detroit, Wayne, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years) 
    Mother Sarah Whipple Sproat,   b. 28 Jan 1782, Providence, Providence, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Jan 1851  (Age 68 years) 
    Married 31 Oct 1802  Marietta, Washington, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F21320  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Sarah Jane Steele,   b. of, Fort Snelling, Hennepin, Minnesota Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 2 May 1843 
     1. Sibley,   b. of, St. Paul, Ramsey, Minnesota Find all individuals with events at this location
    Family ID F22920  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 20 Feb 1811 - Detroit, Wayne, Michigan Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 18 Feb 1891 - St. Paul, Ramsey, Minnesota Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Governor H.H. (Henry Hastings) Sibley (1811-1891)
    Governor H.H. (Henry Hastings) Sibley (1811-1891)
    Governor of Minnesota
    General H.H. (Henry Hastings) Sibley (1811-1891)
    General H.H. (Henry Hastings) Sibley (1811-1891)

  • Notes 
    • !SOURCE: Email from Ralph W. Lange (email hidden) to Weldon Whipple, 16 Oct 2000 and 26 Dec 2001.

      !SOURCE: Theodore C. Blegen, ed., The Unfinished Autobiography of Henry Hastings Sibley (Minneapolis: Voyageur Press, 1932), p. 8.

      !OCCUPATION: First Governor of the State of Minnesota, 1858-1860. --R.W. Lange

      !SOURCE: Email from N. Combs to Weldon Whipple, 28 Jul 2004. Cites The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans Volume IX, page 364:
      SIBLEY, Henry Hastings {49390}, governor of Minnesota, was born in Detroit, Mich., Feb. 20, 1811; son of Judge Solomon (1769-1846) and Sarah Whipple (Sproat) Sibley; grandson of Reuben and Ruth (Sibley) Sibley, and of Col. Ebenezer and Catherine (Whipple) Sproat, and a descendant of John Sibley, who sailed from England in Winthrop's fleet in 1629, and settled in Salem, Mass. His father, a native of Sutton, Mass., removed to Detroit, Mich., in 1797, where he became prominent in the early history of the city and state. He studied law in his father's office; was employed in a mercantile house in Sault Salute Marie in 1828, and was supply-purchasing [p.364] agent of the American Fur company at Mackinac, 1829-34, and in 1834 became a partner with headquarters at St. Peter's (Mendota), Minn., where he remained, 1834-62, removing in 1862 to St. Paul, Minn. He was married, May 2, 1843, to Sarah Jane {56863}, daughter of General James and Mary (Hume) Steele; then living at Fort Snelling. He was elected a delegate from Wisconsin Territory to the 30th congress to fill the vacancy caused lay the resignation of John H. Tweedy, serving in the 30th, 31st, and 32d congresses from Jan. 15, 1849, to March 4, 1853. He was influential in the 30th congress in having a part of Wisconsin and a tract west of the Mississippi laid off as the Territory of Minnesota. He represented Dakota county in the territorial legislature, January to March, 1855; was a member of the Democratic wing of the first Minnesota constitutional convention assembled July 13, 1857, the constitution as framed being adopted by the people, Oct. 13, 1857, and was elected the first governor of the state, serving from May 24, 1858, until Jan. 2, 1860. He was ordered by the supreme court to issue state bonds to railroads, after his refusal to issue them under direction of the legislature unless the railroads would give priority of lien on their property to the state, and he was also requested to market the bonds in New York, which he made an effort to do, but capitalists refused to buy them and they were subsequently repudiated by the state. He was appointed colonel of a regiment of volunteers sent up the Minnesota river to protect the exposed points from the Sioux Indians, and the massacre at Acton, Aug. 18, 1862, was followed by the repulse of the Indians at New Ulm, Aug. 19 and 25, the attack on Fort Ridgely, Aug. 20, the bloody affair at Brick Coolie, Sept. 1, and the battle of Wood Lake, Sept. 22, 1862, the last being the decisive battle and effecting the release of about 250 white settlers and the capture of 2,000 Indians of both sexes, of whom 321 were tried for capital crimes and 303 condemned to die. Of these, 38 were hanged at Mankate, Dec. 26, 1862. He was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers, Sept. 29, 1862, for "gallantry in the field"; established headquarters at St. Paul, and created a new military department, embracing Minnesota, Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin, which he fortified with posts anti garrisons. He led a second successful expedition against the Sioux in Dakota in 1863, including the battle of Big Mound, July 24; Dead Buffalo Lake, July 26, and Stony Lake, July 28. He was employed in conducting measures for the defence of the western frontier, 1864-65, and was brevetted major-general of volunteers, Nov. 29, 1865, for efficient and meritorious services. He was relieved from the command of the district of Minnesota in August, 1866; was active in settling several Indian treaties, and upon reentering business life in St. Paul, served as president of the chamber of commerce, and of several railroads, banks, and other large corporations. He became a member of the Minnesota Historical society, in 1849; of the Old Settlers' association of that state in 1858, and of the board of visitors to the U.S. Military academy, in 1867. He was also regent of the University of Minnesota, 1868–91: president of the board of Indian commissioners, 1875-76, and received the honorary degree LL.D. from the College of New Jersey, in 1888. He contributed to the collections of the Minnesota Historical society, to the Spirit of the Times and to Turf, Field and Farm. He died in St. Paul, Minn., Feb. 18, 1891.

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