Minnesota Historical Society

Dakota Child, Governor's Daughter: The Life of Helen Hastings Sibley

$ 14.95

A carefully researched and written account of of the life of Henry H. Sibley's Anglo-Dakota daughter.


The difficulties of documenting mixed-race daughters of prominent Anglo Americans in early Minnesota are well known. Mining manuscript collections (including many personal letters), government documents and church records period newspapers, and unpublished manuscripts as well as secondary sources, the author adds much detail to the previously known outline of Helen H. Sibley's life: her birth and early years; upbringing by the Anglo family whom Sibley paid to raise her and who loved her dearly; relationship with her famous father, who visited publicly with her but never acknowledged paternity on written documents; her apparent assimilation into Anglo society, including Christian piety and marriage to physician Sylvester Sawyer; and her death in 1860 of scarlet fever, at the age of 19, shortly after childbirth. Kohn also tells the aftermath of her death, including efforts years later to obtain the scrip she was awarded as a mixed-blood in the Treaty of Prairie du Chien.

Minnesota History 63/5 Spring 2013


  • By: Bruce A. Kohn
  • Format: Paperback, 173 p.
  • Publisher: Friends of the Sibley Historic Site, 2012
  • Product ##: 9780988592209


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