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IN THE STATE OF MINNESOTA,
ED\YAED D. JSTEILL,
DELIVERED, IN SUBSTANCE, BEFORE THE
SYNOD OF MINNESOTA, IN
fy^t ^I'e^ytei'i^H Cl\tti'dl\, jVIii\^ekj)oli^,
SEPTEMBER 26, 1873.
JOKKSON & SMITH, STB AM
iN THE STATE OF MINNESOTA,
ED^YABD r>. ISTEILL,
DELIVERED, IN SUBSTANCE, BEFORE THE
SYNOD OF MINNESOTA, IN
SEPTEMBER 26, 1873.
JOHMSOK A SMITH, STKAM
"Appoint John Knox Bishop of Rochester; he wil! prove a
whetstone to the Archbishop of Canterbury," was the mes-
sage to Cecil from the Duke of Northumberland. If the ap-
pointment had been made, there might have been no room for
the work which the Presbyterian Church has performed during
the last three centuries.
Upon many points Knox and Archbishop Cranmer were in
harmony. In accordance with the suggestion of Calvin, the
English Church published a summary of Christian doctrine,
and had expressed the teachings of the Apostle Paul in the
seventeenth of the "Thirty-Nine Articles," which was fully
accepted by the Scotch Reformer.
Nor did they differ in relation to the orders of the ministry.
The latter, notwithstanding his position, explicitly declared,
that there were but two orders, and that the ordination of the
Swiss and French Churches was as valid as that of the Church
of England, for it was not until the reigns of the vacillating
Stuarts, that the Church of England assumed the intolerable
position, that the ordination of a priest of Rome was valid,
while that of a Presbyterian minister was invalid.
But notwithstanding this general agreement, Knox could
not feel that his mission was in that Church. He believed
that it was the design of the English Court to fetter the Church
and not to permit it to have "free course" in the work of res-
toration to primitive purity. He did not oppose, but approved
IV HISTORICAL DISCOURSE.
of a liturgy, yet he was pained by the retaining of Saints'
days in Edward the Sixth's Book of Prayer, and also by the
forcing upon the conscience things, that could not be clearly
deduced from the precept and practice of Christ and the
Apostles, He Moreover thought that the source of civil power
was in the people, and they had the right to depose wicked
and treacherous rulers. While admitting that the Church of
England had broken away from the stall of popery, he declared
that the halter was still around her neck, and he sought Scot-
land, his native land, as a more acceptable field of labor than
the See of Rochester. By the earnest, thorough work there
performed, room was made in the world, for that branch of the
Catholic Church, which is in part represented by the Synod of
From the first, the Presbyterian has been a missionary church.
The first General Assembly of 1560 was composed of only
twelve ministers, five of whom were without a local charge,
and moved through the land, preaching the gospel to the poor,
planting churches, and appointing lay readers.
Since that time its strength has been in earnest preaching of
Christ, and in carrying the truth to those who will not send for
preachers. It is eminently fitting that we should take a retro-
spect of Presbyterian ism in the Valley of the Upper Missis-
sippi, from the Falls of St. Anthony, now in the centre of the
City of Minneapolis, for in this vicinity was the gospel first
preached to the wild Dakotah, as well as to the civilized white
man of Minnesota, by members of the Presbyterian branch of
During the days of the French dominion in the Mississippi
Valley, sincere and earnest Franciscans and Jesuits of the
Church of Rome visited this region, and endeavored to con-
vert the savages to Christianity. Their advent, heralded by
the sympathizing Canadian voyageurs, at first made a deep im-
pression. But the children of the wilderness soon grew weary
VISIT OF REV. ALVAN COE.
of the pictures and bells, and swinging censers of the "black
gowns." Shea, in his interesting and highly colored history of
the Roman Catholic missions among the Indians, remarks that
"Father Menard had projected a Sioux mission ; Marquette,
Allonez, Dreuilletes, all entertained hopes of reaUzlng it, and
had some intercourse with that nation, but none of them ever
succeeded in establishing a mission."
About a century after Father Guignas left the French fort
"Beauharnois," nearly opposite Maiden's Rock, on the shores
of Lake Pepin, another effort was made under a simpler and
more primitive form of Christianity, to evangelize the tribes in
the region of the great lakes and the Upper Mississippi River.
In the month of June, 1820, the Rev. Dr. Morse, father of
the distinguished inventor of the telegraph, visited and preached
at Mackinaw, and in consequence of statements published by
him, upon his return, a Presbyterian Missionary Society in the
State of New York sent a graduate of Union College, the
Rev. W. M. Ferry, father of the present United States Sena-
tor from Michigan, to explore the field. In 1823 he had es-
tablished a large boarding school composed of children of va-
rious tribes, and here some were educated who became wives
of men of intelligence and influence at the capital of Minne-
sota. After a few years, it was determined by the Mission
Board to modify its plans, and in the place of a great central
station, to send missionaries among the several tribes to teach
and to preach.
In pursuance of this policy, the Rev. Alvan Coe, and J. D.
Stevens, then a licentiate, made a tour of exploration, and ar-
rived on September i, 1829, at Fort Snelling, In the journal
of Major Lawrence Taliaferro, which is in possession of the
Minnesota Historical Society, I find the following entry : "The
Rev. Mr. Coe and Stevens reported to be on their way to this
post, members of the Presbyterian Church looking out for
suitable places to make missionary establishments for the Sioux
VI HISTORICAL DISCOURSE.
and Chippeways, found schools, and instruct in the arts and
The Agent, although not at that time a communicant of the
Church, welcomed these visitors, and afforded them every
facility in visiting the Indians. On Sunday, the 6th of Sep-
tember, the Rev. Mr. Coe preached twice in the Fort, and the
next night held a prayer-meeting at the quarters of the com-
manding officer. On the next Sunday he preached again, and
on the 14th, with Mr. Stevens and a hired guide, returned to
Mackinaw by way of the St. Croix river. During this visit the
Agent offered for a Presbyterian mission the mill which then
stood on the site of Minneapolis, and had been erected by the
soldiers, as well as a farm at Lake Calhoun, which had been
established for the benefit of the Dakotahs.
On the 8th of September he addressed the following letter
to the Rev. Joshua T. Russell, Secretary of the Board of Mis-
sions of Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, Pa.:
" Rev. Sir : It having been represented to me by the Rev.
Aivan Coe, that it is very desirable on the part of the Board
of Missions of the Presbyterian Church, to form an establish-
ment at this post, and also within the heart of the Chippeway
country bordering on the Upper Mississippi, for the purposes
of agriculture, schools, and the development of the light and
truths of the Christian religion to the unhappy aborigines of
this vast wilderness.
"As my views fully accord in every material point with those
of Messrs. Coe and Stevens, I can, in truth, assure the Board
through you, sir, of my determination heartily to co-operate
with them in any and every measure that may be calculated
to insure success in the highly interesting and important
objects to which the attention of the Society has been so
*' I have recommended to the Government to appoint a special
sub-agent to reside at Gull Lake, to superintend the general
ARRIVAL O'F S. W. AND G. H. POND. VII
concerns of the most warlike and respectable portion of the
Chippeways of the Mississippi and its tributary waters above
Lake Pepin, thereby to lessen their visits to this Agency, it
being desirable to prevent their coming in contact too often
with their old enemies, the Sioux.
"Should the Society form a missionary establishment on the
waters of the St. Croix, some of which communicate with Rum
River of the Mississippi, and a special agent or sub-agent, the
influence of whom might be necessary to the more efficient
operations of the missionary families there located, I have no
doubt but that the Government would be witling to appoint
one for the special duty, if requested by the Society, accom-
panied by explanatory views on the subject.
" As to an establishment for the Sioux of this Agency, it
would be in the power of the Society to commence operations,
without much expense, at the Falls of St. Anthony, where
there is a good grist and saw-mill, with suitable buildings, at
present going into decay for the want of occupants. I would
cheerfully turn over my present infant colony of agriculturists,
together with their implements and horses, etc., to such an
It was not, however, till the year 1834, that any formal
attempt was made to instruct them in the morality of the
Bible. The Rev. Samuel W. Pond, who had been a layman
and school teacher in Galena, Illinois, hearing accounts of the
Dakotahs from Red River emigrants, became interested in
their welfare, and wrote to his brother, Gideon H. Pond, then
a yonng man in their native place in Connecticut, proposing
that they should cast their lot with the Dakotahs, and try to
do them good.
The proposition was accepted, and in the spring of 1834,
constrained only by the love of Christ, provided with neither
brass, nor scrip, nor purse, he joined his brother at Galena, and
embarking on board of a steamer, arrived at Fort Snelling in
■VIII HISTORICAL DISCOURSE.
May. They stated their plans to Mr. Taliaferro, th^ Dakotah
Agent, and were treated with kindness by him and Major Bliss,
the commander of the Fort. Without aid or encouragement
from any missionary society, they proceeded to the east shore
of Lake Calhoun, on the banks of which and Lake Harriet
dwelt small bands of Dakotahs, and with their own hands
erected a rude cabin on the site of a building in more recent
times occupied by Charles Musou.
About this period, a native of South Carolina, a graduate of
Jefferson College, Pennsylvania, the Rev. T. S. Williamson,
M.D., who previous to his ordination had been a respectable
physician in Ohio, was appointed by the American Board of
Commissioners of Foreign Missions to visit the Dakotahs, with
the view of ascertaining what could be done to introduce
Christian instruction. Having made inquiries at Prairie du
Chien and Fort Sneliing, he reported the field was favorable.
The Presbyterian and Congregational Churches, through
their joint Missionary Society, appointed the following persons
to labor in Minnesota: Rev. Thomas S. Williamson, M.D.,
missionary and physician; Rev. J. D. Stevens, missionary ;
Alexander Huggins, farmer; and their wives; Miss Sarah
Page, and Lucy Stevens, teachers ; who were prevented during
the year 1834, by the state of navigation, from entering upon
During the winter of 1834-3S, a pious officer of the army
exercised a good influence on his fellow officers and soldiers
under their command. In the absence of a chaplain or ordained
minister, he, like General Havelock of the British army in India,
was accustomed' not only to drill the soldiers, but to meet them
in his own quarters, and reason with them "of righte(
temperance and judgment to come."
In the month of May, 1835, Dr. Williamson and ti
band arrived at Fort Sneliing, and were hospitably received by
the officers of the garrison, the Indian Agent, and Mr. Sibley,
CHURCH AT FORT SNELLING. IX
then a young man, who had recently become Agent of the
Fur Company, at Mendota,
On the 27th of the month Dr. Williamson was called upon
to unite in marriage Lt. Edmund A. Ogden, a young officer,
to Eliza Edna, daughter of Capt. Gustavus A. Loomis, the
first ceremony of the kind performed by a clerg>'man north of
Prairie du Chien.
It was not until May; 183S, that Rev. E. G. Gear, of the
Episcopal branch of the Church, became post Chaplain.
On the I ith of June, in the quarters at the Fort occupied by
Dr. Williamson, a meeting was held to organize a church.
Upon inquiry it was found that there were twenty-two persons
ready to unite in an organization, and six of these, one of whom
was the young Lieutenant Ogden, had never been communi-
Four elders were elected, among whom were Capt. Gustavus
Loomis and Samuel W. Pond. The next day, a lecture pre-
paratory to administering the communion, was delivered, and
on Sunday the 14th, the first organized church in the Valley of
the Upper Mississippi assembled for the first time in one of
the Company rooms of the Fort. The services in the morning
were conducted by Dr. Williamson. After prayer, singing and
reading of the Holy Scriptures, those proposing to become
communicants for the first time, came forward as their names
were called, and made profession of their faith. A sermon was
then preached by Dr. Williamson, and after prayer by Mr.
Stevens, the four elders were ordained. The afternoon service
commenced at 2 o'clock. The sermon of Mr. Stevens was
was upon a most appropriate text, ist Peter, ii. 25; " For ye
were as sheep going astray, but are now returned unto the
Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."
After the discourse the sacrament of the Lord's Supper was
X HISTORICAL DISCOURSE.
At a meeting of the Session on the 31st of July, Rev.
J, D. Stevens, missionary, was invited to preach to the church
"so long as the duties of his mission will permit, and also to
preside at all the meetings of the Session." Captain Gustavus
Loomis was elected Stated Clerk of the Session, and they
resolved to observe the monthly concert of prayer on the first
Monday of each month, for the conversion of the world.
Two points were selected by the missionaries as proper
spheres of labor. Mr, Stevens and family proceeded to Lake
Harriet, and Dr. Williamson and family, in June, 1835, pro-
ceeded to Lac-qui- Parle.
Dr. Williamson came down from Lac-qui-Parle on a visit to
the Fort, on the nth of June, 1836, and after preaching on'
the next Sunday, gave notice that on the following Sunday he
would administer the communion. The preparatory lecture
was delivered on Friday, the 17th, before the church convened
at the Mission House, on Lake Harriet, and on the 19th the
Lord's Supper was observed. At a meeting of the Session,
on the 28th of October, it was resolved that Divine Service
should hereafter be held at the Mission House, Lake Harriet,
every Sunday morning, and in the Fort, at 6 o'clock, Sunday
On the 30th of December there was an examination of the
Mission School at Lake Harriet. The examiners were Major
Taliaferro and Henry H. Sibley, and among the spectators
were Major Loomis, Lt. Ogden, and their families, and Sur-
geon Emerson, whose servant was then, the since historic slave
Dred Scott, whose wife had been owned by Agent Taliaferro.
On the isth of September, 1836, a Presbyterian Church was
organized at Lac-qui-Parle, a branch of that in and near Fort
Sneliing, and Joseph Renville, a mixed blood of great influ-
ence, became a communicant. He had been trained in Canada
by a Roman Catholic priest, but claimed the right of private
judgment. Before he became acquainted with the missionaries.
AN OLD BIBLE. XI
he sent for a Bible in the French language, and requested those
connected with him in'the fur trade also to procure a clerk for
him who would be able to read it. This Bible, among the
first ones brought to Minnesota, was valuable for its antiquity.
It was printed at Geneva, in 1588, and had a Latin preface by
John Calvin. In 1853 I requested the missionaries to procure
this valuable book for the Minnesota Historical Society. One
of the sons of Mr. Renville brought it to the mission house at
Lac-qui-Parie, but before it could be forwarded the mission
house and contents were all destroyed by fire. Mr. Renville's
wife was the first pure Dakotah ot whom we have any record
that ever joined the Church of Christ. In 1841 Renville was
elected Elder. This church has never become extinct, although
its members have been necessarily nomadic. After the treaty
of Traverse des Sioux, it was removed to Hazlewood. Driven
from thence by the outbreak of 1862, it has became the parent
of other churches, over one of which John Renville, a descen-
dant of the elder at Lac-qui-Parie, is the pastor.
About the time that Renville was ordained' an elder in the
church, Father Ravoux, recently from France, a sincere and
earnest priest of the Church of Rome, visited Lac-qui-Parle.
He came to Mendota in the autumn of 1841, and after a brief
sojourn with Father Galtier, who had erected St. Paul's Chapel,
which has given the name of St. Paul to the capital of Minne-
sota, he ascended the Minnesota River, aiid visited Lac-qui-
Bishop Loras, of Dubuque, wrote the next year of his visit
as follows: "Our young missionary, Mr. Ravoux, passed the
winter on the banks of Lac-qui-Parle, without any other sup-
port than Providence, without any other means of conversion
than a burning zeal, he has wrought in the space of six months
a happy revolution among the Sioux. From the time of his
arrival he has been occupied night and day in the study of
their language. * * * * When he instructs the savages,
KII HISTORICAL DISCOURSE.
he speaks to them with so much fire whilst showing them a
large copper crucifix which he carries on his breast, that he
makes the strongest impression upon them."
The impression, however, was evanescent, and he soon re-
tired from the field, and no more efforts were made in this di-
rection by the Church of Rome. The young Mr. Ravoux is
now the highly respected Vicar of the Roman Catholic Diocese
of Minnesota, and justly esteemed for his simplicity and un-
During the year 1837. Mr. G. H. Pond offered his services as
farmer and teacher at Lac-qui-Parle, and Mr. S. W. Pond
became a teacher in the mission at Lake Harriet. The mission
band was also greatly strengthened this year by the arrival of
Rev. Stephen R. Riggs, a graduate of Jefferson College, Pa.,
and his wife. Mr. Riggs soon proceeded to Lac-qui-Parle,
and was there associated with Dr. Williamson.
In the year 1838 a circumstance occurred which ultimately
led to the dispersion of the Dakotahs at Lake Harriet, and a
removal of the mission. On the 2d of August, Hole-in-the-
Day, an Ojibway chief, who had killed thirteen of the Lac-qui-
Parle Dakotahs, visited Fort Snelling with a few associates, to
the regret of the officer in command, Major Piympton. The
next evening Mr. Samuel W. Pond met Agent Taliaferro at
Lake Harriet, and told him that a number of Indians from
Mud Lake had gone to Baker's trading house, near the Fort,
to attack the Ojibways. The Agent hastened to the spot, and
arrived just as the first gun was fired by the Dakotahs, killing
one of the Ojibways. A Red Lake Ojibway in return shot the
murderer just as he was scalping his victim. The commanding
officer of the Fort as soon as possible brought the Ojibways
within its walls. On the evening of the 6th the Ojibways were
ferried across the river and ordered to go home immediately.
On the 29th of June, 1839, Hole-in-the-Day again visited the
Fort with hundreds of Ojibways, and on the ist of July they
LAKE HAliRIET ABANDONED. Xllf
met the Dakotahs at the Falls of St. Anthony, and after smok-
ing the pipe of peace, the majority of the Ojibways proceeded
homeward; but some of the Pillager band passing over to
Lake Harriet, secreted themselves until after sunrise on July
2d, when they surprised Meekah, a Dakotah on his way to
hunt, and scaiped him.
Rev. J. D. Stevens hurried to the Fort with the intelligence.
Immediately one hundred and fifty Dakotahs were on the war
path, panting for vengeance, and hurrying after the Ojibways,
who had ascended the Mississippi ; and the next day there was
a fight at Rum River, and ninety of the latter were killed.
Another party also went across the country to St. Croix river,
and overtook a band of Ojibways in the ravine where the peni-
tentiary at Stillwater stands, and killed twenty-one and wounded
twenty-nine. After this the Dakotahs were afraid to live at
Lake Harriet, and soon abandoned the place, and encamped
on the Minnesota river near Fort Snelling. The mis.'iionaries
also removed to Baker's trading post, between the Fort and
At the commencement of 1841 there was at Lac-qui- Parle,
Rev. Thos. S. Williamson and wife, Rev. S. R. Riggs and wife,
Alexander G. Huggins, Farmer, and wife ; Fanny Huggins,
Teacher. At Fort Snelling was Rev. Samuel W. Pond and
wife, and Gideon H. Pond and wife. At both stations the
Dakotah language was diligently studied. Rev. S. W. Pond
had prepared a dictionary of three thousand words and aiso a
small grammar. The Rev. S. R, Riggs was also engaged in
translating the Scriptures. In a letter dated February 24, 1841,
he writes, " Last summer, after returning from Fort Snelling,
I spent five weeks in copying again the Sioux vocabulary
which we have collected and arranged at this station. It con-
tained then about 5500 words, not including the various forms
of the verbs. Since that time the words collected by Dr.
Williamson and myself, have, I presume, increased the number
XIV HISTORICAL DISCOURSE.
to six thousand. * * * * * In this connection I may
mention that during the winter of 1839-40, Mrs. Riggs, with
some assistance, wrote an English and Sioux vocabulary con-
taining about three thousand words. This one of Mr. Ren-
ville's sons and three of his daughters are engaged in copying.
In committing the grammatical principles of the language to
writing, we have done something at this station, but more has
been done by Mr. S. W. Pond,"
Steadily the number of Indian missionaries increased in Min-
nesota, and in 1851, when the lands of the Dakotahs west of
the Mississippi were ceded to the whites, they were disposed a?
Lac-gui-parle, Rev. S. R. Riggs, Rev. M. N. Adams, Mission-
aries ; Jonas Pettijohn, Mrs. Fanny Pettijohn, Mrs. Mary Ann
Riggs, Mrs. Mary A, M.Adams, Miss Sarah Rankin, j^j^ij/rtK^j.
Traverse des Sioux, Rev. Robert Hopkins, Missionary ; Mrs.
Agnes Hopkins, Alexander G. Huggins, Mrs. Lydia P. Hug.-
Shakpay, Rev. Samuel W. Pond, Missionary ; Mrs. Sarah
P. Pond, Assistant. ■
Kaposia, Rev. Thos. Williamson, M.D., Missionary and Phys-
ician; Mrs. Margaret P. Williamson, Miss Jane S. Williamson,
Red Wing, Rev. John F. Aiton, Rev. Joseph W. Hancock,
Missionaries ; Mrs. Nancy H. Aiton, Mrs. Hancock, Assistants.
On July 4th, 1851, while a treaty was in progress with the
Indians at Traverse des Sioux, the resident missionary. Rev.
Robert Hopkins, was drowned while bathing.
The mission station at Kaposia was established in 1846, in
consequence of a brawl occasioned by whisky purchased of
some low fellows who lived in rude huts around the log chapel
of St. Paul. In a drunken revel the Kaposia chief had been
shot in the arm, and alarmed at the deterioration produced by
intoxicating liquor, he went to Mr. Bruce, the Indian Agent,
FIRST SCHOOL AT ST. PAUL. XV
at Fort Snelling, and asked that a school might be established
in his band. At the request of the Agent, in November Dr.
WiUiamson came down from Lac-qui-Par!e, and became a resi-
dent at Little Crow's village. Although a missionary among
the Dakotahs, he watched with interest the development of
the obscure hamlet of Saint Paul, and determined to have a
school established there. To obtain a teacher, he wrote the
following letter in 1847 to the President of the National Edu-
cation Society :
" My present residence is on the utmost verge of civilization,
in the northwestern part of the Ujiiled States, within a few
miles of the principal village of white men in the territory that
we suppose will bear the name of Minnesota, which some would
render 'clear water', though strictly it signifies slightly turbid
or whitish water.
" The village referred to has grown up in a few years in a
romantic situation on a high bluff" of the Mississippi, arid has
been baptized by the Roman Catholics, by the name of St.
Paul. They have erected in it a small chapel, and constitute
much the larger portion ot the inhabitants. The Dakotahs
call it Im-ni-ja-ska (white rock), from the color of the sandstone
which forms the bluff on which the village stands. This village
has five stores, as they call them, at all of which intoxicating
drinks constitute a part, of what they sell. I would suppose
the village contains a dozen or twenty families living near
enough to send to school. Since 1 came to this neighborhood
I have had frequent occasion to visit the village, and have been
grieved to see so many children growing up entirely ignorant
of God, and unable to read his word, with no one to teach
them. Unless your Society can send them a teacher, there
seems to be little prospect of their having one for several years.
A few days since I went to the place for the purpose of making
inquiries in reference to the prospect of a school. I visited
seven families, in which there were twenty-three children of
XVr HISTORICAL DISCOURSE.
proper age to attend school, and was told of five more in which
were thirteen more that it is supposed might attend, making
thirty-six in twelve families. I suppose more than half of the
parents of these children are unable to read themselves, and
care but little about having their children taught. Possibly
the priest might deter some from attending, who might other-
wise be able and willing,
" I suppose a good female teacher can do more to promote
the cause of education and true religion than a man. The
natural politeness of the French (who constitute more than
half the population) would cause them to be kind and court-
eous to a female, even though the priest should seek to cause
opposition. I suppose she might have twelve or fifteen scholars
to begin with, and if she should have a good talent of winning
the affections of children (and one who has not should not
come), after a few months she would have as many as she could
" One woman told me she had four children she wished to
send to school, and that she would give boarding and a room
in her house to a good female teacher, for the tuition of her
"A teacher for this place should Jove the Savic'.;r, and for
his sake should be willing to forego, not only many of the reli-
gious privileges and elegancies of New England towns, but
some of the neatness also. She should be entirely free from
prejudice on account of color, for among her scholars she might
find not only English, French and Swiss, but Sioux and Chip-
pewas, with some claiming kindred with the African stock.
. " A teacher coming should bring books with her sufficient to
begin a school, as there is no book-store within three hundred
In answer to his wish, Miss Harriet E. Bishop visited the
mission house at Kaposia, and was introduced by him to the
'Citizens of St. Paul as their first school teacher.
PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AT ST. PAUL. XVIT
In October, 1848, a native of the City of Philadelphia, who
.fter his ordination preached amoAg the miners in the lead
nines, about fifteen miles from Galena, wrote to Rev. A. Kent,
he senior member of the Galena Presbytery : "I have been
nforraed that you intend to go to Minnesota for the purpose
>f organizing a church in Stillwater, if the way be open. I do
lot know what your arrangements may be about the supply of
:hat distant field, but if you can fill my present post, I am
■eady to go as the pioneer in that region. My wife and I are
:ontented enough here, but it is almost too civilized. The
atter fact would make it desirable to some, that would not like
o go so far from the luxuries and comforts of the East. If,
:hen, you are of the opinion that I and mine are the persons
iuitcd for a new field, 1 am at your disposal."
The Rev. Mr. Kent made the proposed visit, but the time
3id not seem favorable for a church organization at Stillwater,
md it was postponed. Before the openining of navigation,
lext spring, the Territory of Minnesota had been created by
[Congress, and St. Paul designated as its capital.
The Presbytery of Galena, at a meeting held about the 1st
)f April, resolved "that the Rev. E. D. Neill visit Minnesota
n company with Rev. A, Kent, and that if the field please
lim, he be released from his charge at Elizabeth, and be per-
Tiitted to labor in Minnesota."
In accordance with this resolution, Rev. Mr. Neill came to
3t. Paul in April. At that time, and until after the treaty of
Traverse des Sioux, there were Indian villages and mission
stations at Kaposia and Red Wing, below St. Paul, and at
Oak Grove and Shakpay, on the Minnesota River, within a
half days' ride.
Mr. Neill's first sermon was preached in a little school house
erected for the school that had been projected by Dr. William-
son, and which Miss Bishop had taught, and his text was "How
XVIII HISTORICAL DISCOURSE.
is it that thou being a Jewj, askest drink of me which am :
woman of Samaria?"— John iv. 9.
The Rev. B. F. Hoyt, a local Methodist preacher, was tht
only religious teacher in the place.
In May Mr. Neill went to Philadelphia, as Commissioner o
Galena Presbytery to the General Assembly of the Presbyte
nan Church, and soon after his return commenced the erectioi
of the first Protestant Church edifice in the white settlement:
of Minnesota. It was a small frame building situated or
Washington. Street, and was completed about the last o
August. The funds for the building were given by a few o
his relatives and personal friends in the city of Philadelphia
The following May it was destroyed by fire.
At the first Thursday evening religious lecture in this chapel
with no previous understanding, there were present the Rev
W. T. Boutwell, the first missionary to the Ojibways of the
Mississippi, and chaplain of the expedition to the sources o
the Mississippi, in 1832, and the Rev. Gideon H. Pond, whc
with his brother, as we have seen, was the first to attempt tc
do good to the Dakotahs near Fort Snelling.
A short period before Mr. Neil! came to Saint Paul, Lieut
Col. Gustavus Loomis was ordered to Fort Snelling as com-
manding ofiicer, after an absence of several years. The firsl
Stated Clerk of the Session of the Church organized at Fort
Snelling in 1835, his love for the synagogue had not dimin-
ished in 1849, and he extended to the young minister of St
Paul a cordial welcome.
In July, 1849, Mr. Neill received the following note fronr
Fort Snelling :
" The Colonel commanding this garrison, and several citizens
amongst whom are Major Murphy, Mr. Prescott and others
respectfully invite, and hope it will be convenient for you tc
preach to us occasionally, if it would not interfere with othei
SAINT PAUL AND STILLWATER CHURCHES. XIX
ippointments. We will endeavor to defray all expenses and
idd our mite towards supporting the Gospel."
It was customary for Mr. Ncill to preach at St- Paul in the
Tiorning, and at St. Anthony or Fort Snelling in the afternoon
if Sunday. During the first six months the only contributions
made for the support of the gospe! were from Fort Snelling.
Col. Loomis gave ten dollars, Philander Prescotf ten dollars
ind John H. Stevens five dollars.
On the 4th of October, Rev. J. C. Whitney, a graduate of
Union Theological Seminary, arrived at Stillwater, and took
charge of the St. Croix valley.
A meeting of the male professors of religion attending the
preaching of Mr. Neil! in St. Paul, was held on the evening of
November 26th, 1849.
Mr. Neili being present, he was asked to state his denomina-
tional preferences. He decUned, alleging as a reason that he
was commissioned by a Board composed of two sister denomi-
nations, simply "to preach the gospel," and that he did not
wish to bias them by stating his ecclesiastical connection, as he
was ready to labor for their welfare, whatever form of church
government they might choose. After prayer it was resolved
unanimously, "That we torm ourselves into a church, under
the name of 'The First Presbyterian Church of St. Paul.' "
The second church organized was at Stillwater. The Rev.
J. C. Whitney being at that time a licentiate, invited Rev, W.
T. Boutwell, a Congregational minister and formerly mission-
ary of the A. B. C. F. M. among the Ojibways, and Rev. E. D
Neill, to assist him in organizing a church. The meeting was
held on the afternoon of December 8th, 1849. -^t the sugges-
tion of Rev. W. T. Boutwell it was unanimously voted that the
church be called " The First Presbyterian Church of Stillwater,"
The first communion in the First Presbyterian Church at
St. Paul was on the first Sunday of January in 1850. Dr.
XX HISTORICAL DISCOURSE.
Williamson of Kaposia mission, was present, and several Indiai
converts partook of the sacrament.
During the last week in December, the Rev. Dr. Williamsoi
of Kaposia, and Rev. Gideon H. Pond of Oak Grove, revivet
the old church at Fort SnelHng, and Colonel G. Loomis anc
P. Prescott were chosen Elders, and Rev. G. H. Pond electee
Pastor ; and it was decided hereafter that it should be callec
the " Oak Grove Church."
After the small wooden church edifice in St. Paul wa:
destroyed by fire, Mr. Neill preached in an unplastered ware
room built of rude boards, that stood at the corner of Wapa-
shah street, where Cathcart & Co.'s store is, and in this rud<
building Fredrika Bremer the Swedish authoress, once wor
shipped with the congregation, while on the same Sunday, Dr
Williamson was preaching to some Indians in a log house ther
occupied by the late Joseph R. Brown, which stood opposite
on the site of Ingersoll's block of stores.
During the winter of 1849-50, Mr. Neill preached every othei
Sunday afternoon at the Falls of Saint Anthony, and at thai
time his congregation there, was larger than at Saint Paul,
The building in which the service was held, was the first district
school house, and still stands not far from the new Methodist
Church on University Avenue.
In July, 1850, Rev. W. T. Wheeler, a member of the Wabash
Association of Congregational ministers, and formerly mission-
ary of the A. B. C. F. M., on the Gaboon river, in Africa, com-
menced preaching there, by Mr. NelU's request. His congre-
gation was interested in him, and a prayer-meeting sustained.
Without any extraneous influence, he thought it proper to
form a church. His preferences were for the Congregational
polity, but about three-fourths of the members had letters,
from or were connected with Presbyterian churches, and with-
out a thought about the matter, it was unanimously resolved
CHURCH AT ST. ANTHONYS FALLS. XXI
that the church be called "The First Presbyterian Church of
After a brief period the Rev. Charles Seccombe succeeded
Mr. Wheeler, and in time succeeded in persuading the con-
gregation to drop the name of Presbyterian, and it is now
known as the Congregational Society of Minneapolis, E. D.
The Dakotah missionaries before the formation of white
settlements, were united in an independent Dakotah Presby-
tery, the present Dakotah Presbytery of the Synod.
In pursuance of a resolution of the Synod of Peoria, the
"Presbytery of Minnesota" comprising the churches in the
white settlements, was organized on November 1st, 1850. As
long as the entire region between the Mississippi and Missouri
was occupied by the Indians, the extension of Presbyterial
limits was not practicable.
In time, Rev. G. H. Pond of Oak Grove, who had concluded
to remain at the old mission station and preach to the whites,
who were beginning to malse claims upon the recently ceded
lands in his vicinity, was transferred from the Indian or Dako-
tah Presbytery to the Presbytery of Minnesota.
In October, iSji, the Rev. J. G. Riheldaffer, the present
Moderator of the Synod, and who occupies the pulpit with me
to-night, arrived in Saint Paul, and in February, 1852, organ-
ized the Second Presbyterian Church in that city, now desig-
nated as the " Central,"
At the close of the summer of 1853, the roll of Minnesota
Presbytery was —
Ministers. Ckiirches. Members.
Enw. D. Neill, Saint Paul 35
Jos. C. Whitney, Stillwater 14
John C. Sherwin, La Croese 20
Gideon H. Poind, Oak Grove 13
Rev. G. H. Pond, in the summer of 1853 delivered the first
sermon, at the house of Mr. John H. Stevens, to the white
settlers on the west side of the Falls of Saint Anthony, and
XXII HISTORICAL DISCOURSE.
continued to watch over the people there for many months,
besides attending to his duties at Oak Grove. On the 22d of
May, 1853, after a sermon by Mr. Pond, the First Presbyterian
Church of Minneapolis was organized, the first Christian church
in the white settlements of Minnesota west of the Mississippi.
On the 2d of July the Presbytery of Minnesota convened in
Minneapolis, and received the church under its care. Among
the corresponding members were Rev. A. G. Chester, D. D,, of
Buffalo. Shortly after his return to his home, he wrote as
follows: " My dear Neill— We have shipped the beli for Min-
neapolis, and directed it to you. ***** It is a very
fine one, weighing 511 pounds, and has all the appurtenances.
The donor is the Hon. James Wadsworth of this city. I wish
they would give their place his name. I think it would be
very appropriate, and a very good name. It might be pro-
Duringthe summer of 1853, the brick church erected in 1850,
for the First Presbyterian Church of St. Paul, was enlarged by
the addition of forty pews. In February, 1854, Rev. Edward
D. Neill was unanimously called to be pastor, but declined for
several reasons, among others the fact that he had a few weeks
before, written to M. W. Baldwin, of Philadelphia, after whom
the Baldwin School,* incorporated in 1 85 3, had been named,
proposing to enlarge its sphere of operations, and to devote
his life to the building up of a College in the Valley of the
Mr. Neill, however, continued to preach for the church until
1855, when the Rev. J. R. Barnes suppUed the pulpit until the
spring of 1856. During the summer of that year, the Rev.
John Mattocks was called to the pastorate. In 1854, the Rev.
James Thomson of Indiana, began to preach at Mahkahto, and
united with the Presbytery of Minnesota.
'*The Baldwin School at first largely consisted of girls. The whole number
of pupils enrolled, until January, 1854, was 71, and of these only 2B were boys.
After a brief period it seemed expedient to organize a separate department
PROJECTED COLLEGE XXIIl
Rev. Henry M. Nichols also united with the Presbytery, and
became pastor at Stillwater, in the place of Rev. J. C. Whitney,
who had been installed over the church at Minneapolis.
In the spring of 1855, at a meeting of the friends of the
projected College for Minnesota, held in the city of Philadel-
phia, M. W. Baldwin being in the chair, and among others
present, the Rev. Albert Barnes, and Rev. Thomas Brainerd,
D. D., the Rev. Edward D. Neill was elected President. During
the summer an edifice for the Grammar School of the College
was commenced at Saint Paul, opposite the residence of W, L.
The duties of Mr. Neill as President elect of the College not
interfering with his preaching, and the district in which the
academic building was situated being remote from any church
edifice, the following circular was issued :
" The Presbyterian Mission that was commenced in April,
1849, ^^^ discontinued in consequence of the formation of the
for the hoys, as a nucleus for a College. In a letter from the founder to Mr.
Baldwin, he says ; " Already, you will perceive by looking at the Catalog-ue,
that there are quite a number of boys attached to the girls' school. Now
there must be a College in this portion of the Mississippi Valley, The pic-
turesquenesa of the scenery will make it a classic spot for students. " For
the sum of $5,000 a buildfng can be erected which would serve for the pur-
pose of preparatory grammar school, a chapel on Sunday, and a lecture room
during winter nights, to which young men may he attracted from the saloons
and gambling establishments. I propose that there shall be a young man to
act as tutor to the grammar school, and one College professor, who shall hear
recitations, lecture during winter evenings, and preach in the chapel. * * •
I propose the institution, comprising the classical and scientific departments
of the Baldwin School, shall be called Calvary College. I also propose to
resign my position as minister of the First Church, and hold the position of
Professor of English Literature aad History in the Baldwin or Calvary
The plan was approved by Mr, Baldwin, and also by the founder's old
pastor, the Rev, Albert Barnes. In deference to the Puritan prejudice
against the naming of institutions after localities associated with the life of
jesuB, the male department of the Baldwin School was incorporated as the
"College of Saint Paul," instead of Calvary. The development of the College
was impeded by the financial revulsion of 1857, and then again by the breaking
out of the rebellion in 1861.
In 1864, by an Act of the Legislature, the two institutions were consoli-
dated, with a provision that the Preparatory Classical Department should be
known as the "Baldwin School.'' This school was re-opened at St. Anthony's
Fails in 1871, and preliminary steps have been taken to make it the prepara-
tory department of Macalester College, of which Mr. Neill is the President.