The unfinished autobiography of Henry Hastings Sibley, together with a selection of hitherto unpublished letters from the thirties
This account focuses on the fur trade experiences of Henry Hastings Sibley (1811-1891), better known as commander of the military forces suppressing the Sioux [Dakota] uprisings of 1862 and 1863, and, in 1858, Minnesota's first governor. Sibley was born in Detroit to a prominent family of New England ancestry but spurned a settled life in that community for a more adventurous career, including a stint as a clerk for John Jacob Astor, and later as the American Fur Company's agent in trading with the Sioux [Dakota]. He began this reminiscence in 1883, at the age of 73, and seems to have added to it as late as 1886. The events he writes about, however, do not extend beyond 1835. Sibley shares his insights about voyageurs, native Americans, and life in military forts and trading settlements, although little of this material relates specifically to Minnesota. There is some commentary on settlements at Mackinac, Milwaukee, St. Peter's (Mendota), and Chicago, as well as the city of Detroit, where cholera reached epidemic proportions in the first half of the nineteenth century. The book also contains eleven letters from Sibley to Ramsay Crooks, agent and eventual president of the American Fur Company.
Also available in digital form on the Library of Congress Web site.
"Number 23 of the two hundred special copies."