- Henry Hastings Sibley
name= Henry Hastings Sibley
caption= Henry Hastings Sibley
office= Governor of Minnesota
May 24, 1858
January 2, 1860
birth_date= Birth date|1811|2|20
Detroit, Michigan, United States
death_date= Death date and age|1891|2|18|1811|2|20
Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
profession= supply-purchasing agent
spouse= Sarah Jane (Hume) Steele
Henry Hastings Sibley, first
governorof the U.S. stateof Minnesota, was born in Detroit, Michiganon February 20, 1811. He was the son of Judge Solomon Sibley (1769ndash 1846) and Sarah Whipple (Sproat) Sibley, and the grandson of Reuben and Ruth (Sibley) Sibley, and of Col. Ebenezer and Catherine (Whipple) Sproat. He was a descendant of John Sibley, who sailed from England in Winthrop's fleet in 1629, and settled in Salem, Massachusetts.
, where he lived from 1834ndash 1862. [ [http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/wmh/archives/search.aspx?area=browse&volumn=29&articleID=15748 Wisconsin Magazine Of History Archives ] ]
In 1836, Sibley built the first stone house in Minnesota in Mendota overlooking Fort Snelling. On
May 2, 1843, Sibley married Sarah Jane Steele, daughter of General James and Mary (Hume) Steele, who lived at Fort Snelling. The political boundaries changed so frequently in the period from 1836 through 1862 that although all of Sibley's children were born in this house, they were all born in different political units: Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota Territory and finally, Minnesota State.In 1862, he moved to St. Paul, Minnesota.
in the first state gubernatorial contest, Sibley declared in his inaugural address, "I have no object and no interests which are not inseparably bound up with the welfare of the state." He did not seek reelection.
Railroad bond issue
When directed by the legislature to issue bonds to the railroads, he refused as the railroads did not give priority of lien on their property to the state. He was then ordered by the supreme court to issue state bonds to railroads, and was also requested to market the bonds in
New York. Although he made an effort to do, as the capitalists refused to buy them, they were subsequently repudiated by the state.
The U.S. Dakota War of 1862In 1862, he was appointed
colonelof the state militia, and was sent up the Minnesota Riverto protect the exposed points from the SiouxIndians. After the massacre at Acton, August 18, 1862, he was involved in the following engagements:
*The repulsion of the Indians at New Ulm,
August 19and 25
*The attack on
Fort Ridgely, August 20
*The bloody affair at
Battle of Birch Coulee, September 1
*The battle of Wood Lake, Minnesota,
September 22, 1862
This last engagement was a decisive battle and resulted in the release of about 250 white settlers and the capture of 2,000 Indians of both sexes. Of these captives, 321 were tried for capital crimes and 303 were condemned to die; thirty-eight of whom were hanged at Mankato,
December 26, 1862. He was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers, September 29, 1862, for "gallantry in the field." He established his headquarters at St. Paul and created a new military department which included Minnesota, Dakota Territory, Iowa, and Wisconsin, all of which he fortified with posts and garrisons. He led a second successful expedition against the Siouxin Dakota Territoryin 1863, including the battles of Big Mound ( July 24), Dead Buffalo Lake ( July 26), and Stony Lake ( July 28).
He was employed in conducting measures for the defense of the western frontier, 1864ndash 1865, and, on
November 29, 1865, was brevetted as major-general of the volunteers for "efficient and meritorious services." He was relieved from the command of the district of Minnesota in August, 1866.
After being relieved of command, he was active in settling several Indian treaties. Upon reentering business life in St. Paul, he served as president of the chamber of commerce, as well as the president of several railroads, banks, and other large corporations. He became a member of the
Minnesota Historical Societyin 1849—eventually serving as president. He also became a member 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 president of the board of regents of the University of Minnesota, president of the board of Indian commissioners from 1875ndash 1876, and received an honorary LL.D. from the College of New Jersey, in 1888. He also contributed to the collections of the Minnesota Historical society, to " Spirit of the Times", and to "Turf, Field and Farm".
He died in
St. Paul, Minnesota, on February 18, 1891.
Sibley is memorialized in numerous places including:
Sibley County, Minnesota, Sibley, North Dakota, Sibley, Iowa, Hastings, Minnesota, Sibley State Park, and Henry Sibley High Schoolin Mendota Heights, Minnesota.
title=The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans: Volume IX
editor=Johnson, Rossiter, ed.
publisher=The Biographical Society
id= [A corrected edition of The Cyclopedia of American Biography (1897ndash 1903) and Lamb's Biographical Dictionary of the United States (1900ndash 1903).] (Republished by Gale Research Company, Book Tower, Detroit, 1968) Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 68-19657: Accessed from [http://genweb.whipple.org/d0279/I49390.html http://genweb.whipple.org/d0279/I49390.html] on
January 18, 2006. Editors note: Currently at [http://genweb.whipple.org/d0293/I49390.html http://genweb.whipple.org/d0293/I49390.html] . This tends to move around, so to find this entry, search for 49390 on this page: http://genweb.whipple.org/searchrin.html
* Pedersen, Kern, Makers of Minnesota: An Illustrated History of the Builders of Our State. St. Paul: Minnesota Territorial Centennial (1949)
author=Minnesota Historical Society
title=GOVERNORS OF MINNESOTA: Henry H. (Hastings) Sibley
accessmonthday= January 18
author=City of Mendota
title=Henry Hastings Sibley
accessmonthday= January 18
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