Missionary Party, August 21, 1862

Missionary party, August 21, 1862
Photograph by Adrian Ebell
On August 19, a group of about 35 missionaries, mission workers, and government employees fled from the Upper Agency. They headed first toward Hutchinson, then rerouted toward Fort Ridgely.

Adrian Ebell escaped with this party, and took their photo during a breakfast break. It is the only extant photo taken during the war.

Richard Orr was injured when Dakota attacked his trading post at Big Stone Lake and killed his partner. Stephen Riggs wrote that “our wagons were more than full, but we could make room for a wounded white man.” When the party reached safety, Orr went to St. Peter, where he was hospitalized for two months.

Mr. and Mrs. D. Wilson Moore were visiting Minnesota on their honeymoon and had come to the Upper Agency to observe the process of annuity payments. After reaching safety, the Moores took a steamboat to St. Paul, then returned home to New Jersey.

Stephen Riggs was a longtime missionary to the Dakota. His wife, Mary, and their children Cornelia, Isabella, Robert, Thomas, Henry, Anna, and Martha are also in the photograph.

Sophia Robertson was the daughter of Andrew Robertson and his wife, Jane, the granddaughter of Grey Cloud, and the great-granddaughter of Wabasha.

Elizabeth (Williamson) and Andrew Hunter: Elizabeth was the daughter of Dr. Thomas Williamson.

Hugh and Mary Cunningham were houseparents for the boarding school at Stephen Riggs’s Hazelwood mission. Hugh’s sister Martha was also with the party.

Henry and Nancy Williamson were the children of Dr. Thomas and Margaret Williamson.

Jonas Pettijohn, a former teacher in the government school at Red Iron’s village (12 miles northwest of Riggs’s mission), was moving his family to St. Peter when war broke out. His wife, Fanny, and children Alice and William were also with the party.