Henry Hastings Sibley
Author Rhoda Gilman
Minnesota Historical Society Press (April 12, 2004)
The first full-scale biography of Henry Hastings Sibley, congressman, army general, and Minnesota’s first governor.
Congressman, governor, military leader, and senior statesman—no person played a longer, more influential, or more varied role in the shaping of Minnesota than Henry Hastings Sibley (1811–91). Yet Sibley’s history reveals universal tensions about the duality of the nineteenth century frontiersman who is at once an accommodating trade partner of the Indian/European/Métis worlds and the conquering government official of the ever-expanding West. Rhoda Gilman has spent over thirty years examining Sibley—through hints and fragments of stories that Sibley himself left in articles, an unfinished autobiography, and scores of family letters—and uncovers in this perceptive and balanced biography the complexities of a man who embodied these clashing extremes.
Gilman sets the controversial but altogether human Sibley against the tapestry of trade, politics, frontier expansion, and intercultural relations in the Upper Mississippi valley, and reminds us that throughout his life Sibley was poised to become a national figure but always chose to remain in the place he loved and had helped to name “Minnesota.”
Rhoda R. Gilman is the author of The Story of Minnesota’s Past (MNHS Press) and co-author of The Red River Trails (MNHS Press). She is a founding member of Women Historians of the Midwest and a former candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota on the Green Party ticket.
- 320 pages
- 6.25 x 9.25 inches
- ISBN: 9780873514842