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September 8, 2008

Solomon Sibley and 1851 Cholera Epidemic

Filed under: Questions from a Researcher — debbie.miller@mnhs.org @ 11:31 am

From Linda B.:

Hello, Researchers!

Thanks for invitation [to the September monthly meeting]. Unfortunately, I am in Fairbanks, AK, with my family (still) and cannot attend, sigh. While I am here visiting, I am perusing the federal docs online service at the University Library and am reading things like the corruption inquiry into Ramsey’s 1851-52 dealings. Very interesting!

I have two items which I would bring up at the meeting, if I could …

1.  I am contemplating Solomon Sibley, father of Henry Sibley. Apparently he himself was representative from Michigan Territory to U.S. Congress in 1820s before being named a judge.

Like father, like son. This goes a long ways toward explaining how worldly and politically savvy Henry Sibley was. He may also have become politically involved in early Minnesota Territory politics and public service on result of advice from Daddy and from brother-in-law Charles Trowbridge of Detroit.

Do researchers know if there are any troves of letters, etc., that reveal these guys’ relationships to Sibley 1848-1860 and any sagely advice given to Sibley about all this?

[Note: There is a short biography of Solomon Sibley is in Wikipedia.]

2.  Have noted in my growing chronology that 1851 appears to have been a year of many child deaths.  Is this a cholera year, or perhaps some other epidemic?

Here are deaths I have found just in my own notes:

  • Basil Ernest Boutwell age 1 dies–I presume at Stillwater.
  • Henry Sibley age 4 dies of pneumonia
  • February 7, 1851 Charles Milton Ely dies, St. Paul, Minn., age 8 and a half
  • February 14, 1851, Emma Catharine Ely dies, St. Paul, Minn., age one and a half.
  • Rev. Fullerton became pastor at Methodist Church in St. Paul; his only child dies

Would appreciate it if you would mention these matters to other researchers and relay any feedback to me.

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