Bishop Whipple's Role in War of 1862 Topic of Northfield Historical Society Program


On Thursday, February 21 at 6:00 p.m. at the Northfield Historical Society, writer and church historian The Venerable Canon Benjamin Scott will speak on the role Bishop Henry Whipple played in the 1882 U. S. Dakota War. This event is part of the Northfield Historical Society’s seven-month observation of the 1862 war which includes an exhibit depicting the roles local Rice County residents played in this episode of our state’s history.

Whipple was Minnesota’s first Episcopal Bishop.  He came to this state in 1859 with his wife Cornelia and six children.  When the fighting broke out in August of 1862 Whipple returned home from Northern Minnesota as fast as possible.  He had seen the conflict coming since the signing of the Treaty Traverse des Sioux when many promises were broken.  He went to St. Peter were many injured were taken and he served as nurse and chaplain.

After the fighting Whipple would play an important role in negotiating terms for the over 300 Dakota that were sentence to death. He succeeded in reducing the number to 39.  He also played an important role in finding a home for the Dakota after the conflict.

The program is the final event in the Society’s observation of the war. This will be the public’s last opportunity to see the exhibit 1862 Through Rice County’s Eyes because after the program, it will be taken down. 

 For more information please call NHS at 507-645-9268 or email us at  Northfield Historical Society is located at 408 Division Street, in historic downtown Northfield.