Henry Hastings Sibley: Divided Heart

Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2004 - 286 páginas
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/Metis 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. As Gilman writes in her preface, On the broader stage of national history Sibley's life spanned nineteenth-century America. Rooted in the political and social establishment of the old Northwest Territory, he witnessed the colonizing of a continent and its people, the closing of the frontier, the agony of civil war, and the explosive birth of an urban, industrial society. He was keenly conscious of what he conceived to be the nation?s destiny, and he identified closely with it. An heir to the Indian policy of Lewis Cass, who had managed to dispossess the Great Lakes tribes without war, Sibley belonged to the generation that was left to pay the price of that betrayal in blood and shame. And unlike Cass, he had personal ties to the Dakota people that placed him in a deeply ambiguous position. 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."

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LibraryThing Review

Crítica de los usuarios  - BornAnalog - LibraryThing

Gilman's study of one of the best known and perhaps most controversial figures in early Minnesota history is an excellent example of the value of a well-crafted biography. A large part of that value ... Leer comentario completo

Crítica de los usuarios - Marcar como inadecuado

I am so grateful for this book. Thanks for writing it, Rhoda Gilman! Too bad you couldn't let it be as long as I want it to be...it's so densely written that each sentence needs a great deal of attention and time for processing before the reader can take on the next sentence!
We needed the book and it's going to be the definitive resource on Sibley and his cohort for a long, long time. It's trustworthy, which is important. It's based on a great many resources and a lot of thinking. General readers can understand it, although a basic understanding of Am history and Minn. history in particular are a great help. Once a reader has read this book, that person will look at early Minnesota with wiser, more informed eyes.


The General Begins an Autobiography
The Call of Adventure
To the Mississippi
The Sioux Outfit
Hal a Dacotah
Turning Points
The Squire of Mendota
Making a Territory
Schism and Statehood
Widening Rifts
Terror in the Valley
Revenge on the Plains
The Conscience of the State
Larger than Life
Select Bibliography

Taking the Suland
A New Era

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Acerca del autor (2004)

Rhoda R. Gilman is the author of The Story of Minnesota?s Past (MHS Press) and co-author of The Red River Trails (MHS 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.

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