Five Things Friday – September 19

TGIF! Welcome to Five Things Friday, the best way to wrap up your workweek and kick off the weekend. We’ve got your all-inclusive list of what’s going on in the north country this weekend!

1) This weekend, there are tons of ways to get outside and enjoy the somewhat warm weather while we still have it. On Saturday at 10 a.m., the Frederic Remington Art Museum is hosting its Color Me Remington 5K Run Walk/Run on the Maple City Trail in Ogdensburg. You can register up to and including the morning of the race for $30; children 6 years old and younger, free. Participants receive a shirt and sunglasses. Wear a white shirt and be prepared to transform into a work of art with color powders! For more info, call the museum at 393-2425. If you’re closer to Lowville, you can take part in the Cheese Chase 5K and Kids’ Fun Run on Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Lewis County Fairgrounds! This run, hosted by the USO Fort Drum, is part of the 8th Annual Cream Cheese Festival. Registration is from 7:30 to 8:40 a.m. the morning of the race. The fee is $20; retired or active military, $15. A third race on Saturday is the ACS River Rompers 5K Run/Walk and 1K Fun Run For The Cure, at Alexandria Central School, 34 Bolton Ave., Alexandria Bay. This race will benefit the American Cancer Society. Registration is Saturday from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. The 1K Fun Run is at 9:30 a.m. The 5K Run/Walk is at 10 a.m. Registration is $25 on race day, or $20 prior to race day. For more info, call 482-9971 or email Also on Saturday, the Parishville Amvets Ladies Auxiliary Post 265 is holding their 11th annual five mile walk-a-thon at 9:30 a.m. at 5 Catherine St., Parishville. Register at 9 a.m. for $10. Join in for prizes and snacks after the walk. All proceeds will go to Hospice, Potsdam Animal Shelter and Paws with a Cause. For more info, call Michelle at 212-0469 or Diane at 265-4219. If you’re not all 5K-ed out by Sunday, there’s one more! The Greater Massena Ministerial Association will hold their Stamp Out Starvation (SOS) walk/5K Run at 2 p.m. on Sunday at First United Methodist Church, 189 Main St., Massena. This race will benefit the Salvation Army, Massena Neighborhood Center, St. Vincent De Paul and Massena Meals on Wheels. For more info, contact St. Mary’s Rectory at 764-0239. [Read more...]

Five Things Friday – September 12

1) As summer starts to wind down, it’s good to take advantage of all the local farmers’ markets while we still have them! This weekend offers us many options around the region. Today you can visit the Canton Farmers’ Market in downtown Canton, across from First Presbyterian Church of Canton, 17 Park St., from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be veggies, local fruits, honey, eggs, meats, baked goods and entertainment. For more information, contact Zoe Baker at 244-8475. Tomorrow you can check out the Lowville Farmers’ Market at the Lewis County Fairgrounds, 5485 Bostwick St., from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. There you’ll find homegrown produce and fruits, as well as handmade crafts, baked goods and more. For more information, call 783-8642 or e-mail  Other markets on Saturday are: Cape Vincent Farmers’ Market, sponsored by the Cape Vincent Chamber of Commerce, starting at 8 a.m. at the Village Green, 654-2418 for more information; Ogdensburg Green Market, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Library Park, 300 Block Riverside Avenue, 393-3620 for more information. On Sunday, you can head to the Massena Farmers’ Market, at the Triple A Building Supply Parking Lot, 3 Malby Ave., Massena. The Massena market is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, contact Shirley Peck at 769-5322 or e-mail For more information about farms in Northern New York, visit GardenShare’s website.

2) After finding all that great local food, it’s time to work it off; and why not work it off for a cause? This weekend, there are a couple ways to stay in shape while raising money and awareness. On Saturday and Sunday, Sackets Harbor is home to the first ever Incredoubleman Triathlon. Offered throughout the weekend are a few options of running, swimming and biking races, and athletes can pick and choose to compete in any combination. Click here to read about how Diane Casselberry is raising awareness for ALS in this event. Online registration is now closed, but you can register in person today or before the events on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, St. Lawrence NYSARC is holding its seventh annual Autism Awareness Walk at 10 a.m. in the Village Park on Main St., Canton. This is a non-competitive walk to spread awareness about Autism and the support services offered by St. Lawrence NYSARC. There is no minimum entry fee for this event. For more details, check out their website, or contact Michelle Quinell-Gayle, Assistant Executive Director of Community Relations, at 315-386-3529 or

3) Next up on the list is art! Venditti Vineyards, 42780 New Connecticut Rd., Theresa, is hosting “Music in the Vineyard” this evening from 6 to 9 p.m. Bring some of your farmers’ market finds and a blanket or some chairs, and enjoy the music and sangria! There is no cover charge. Today at 4 p.m., View Arts Center, 3273 Rt. 28, Old Forge, is hosting an artist talk and reception for Mario Davalos, photographer from the Dominican Republic, and Eileen Feeney Bushnell, printmaker and professor of art at Rochester Institute of Technology. The event is free. Can’t make it out this afternoon? Don’t sweat it; the artists’ works will be on display through January 4. A third art option is “Death of a Salesman,” the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning Arthur Miller play, playing at 7:30 p.m. at Pendragon Theatre, 15 Brandy Brook Ave., Saranac Lake. Tickets are $22; senior citizens and students, $20; children 16 and younger, $18. For tickets and more information, call Pendragon Theatre at 1-518-891-1854. 

4) What better way to spend your weekend than by checking out the local festivals? This year marks the Italian-American Civic Association’s 30th annual Bravo Italiano Festival.  The festival, held at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds, Watertown, spans the weekend, with events happening each day, including comedy, music, a Miss Italia Pageant, bocce tournament and, of course, food! For a complete schedule and prices, see their 2014 Events Calendar. Also taking place this weekend is the Stone Mills Agricultural Museum‘s 10th annual Harvest Festival and Pork Roast Dinner, on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Stone Mills Agricultural Museum, 30950 Rt. 180. The festival offers scarecrow making, cake walk, vendors, animals, games and more, as well as a dinner at noon for $10. For more information, call 658-2353.

5) A last offering this weekend is rummage sales! The Calvary Assembly of God in Carthage, 10 Martin Street Rd., is holding an indoor rummage sale today and tomorrow, from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. each day. There will be clothing, furniture, decorations, household goods, baby items, homemade food and baked goods. The proceeds go to Mountain Movers Youth Group. For more information, call 767-2874 or 771-8093. If you’re in the Canton area, you can stop by First Presbyterian Church‘s fall rummage sale until 5 p.m. today, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow, located at 17 Park St., Canton. You’ll be able to find book-to-school, fall and winter clothes, and on Saturday, there will be a “store” grocery bag sale. For more information, contact Ellen Grayson at 323-5669, Pat Mace at 386-2768 or Jane Fernandes at 322-2441. Lastly, Little Sisters Inn, 35802 State Rt. 3, Herrings, is holding a community garage sale tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. to benefit Friends of the Library. Come take a look at the offerings of furniture, books and antiques. Refreshments will be available. For more information, call 519-1280.

Have a fun-filled weekend!

Book explores how an Adams native urged Lincoln to show empathy for condemned Indians

Gustav Niebuhr, author of ‘Lincoln’s Bishop: A President, A Priest, and the Fate of 300 Dakota Sioux Warriors.’  Norm Johnston / NNY Living

Gustav Niebuhr, author of ‘Lincoln’s Bishop: A President, A Priest, and the Fate of 300 Dakota Sioux Warriors.’ Norm Johnston / NNY Living

In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln faced a decision: Should he allow his Army to carry out the deaths of 303 individuals?

At a time when the Civil War was raging and word of mass death came to doorsteps daily, a decision to send the condemned men to their deaths may have not raised many eyebrows. Indeed, public opinion favored death for the convicted and even the “extermination” of their kind.

But the president’s decision to spare all but 38 of the men — Dakota Indians in Minnesota — may have been influenced by the pleas of an Adams native who urged Lincoln to look at the big picture and not do something that would haunt the country and go against its better nature.

The episode is explored in the new book, “Lincoln’s Bishop: A President, a Priest, and the Fate of 300 Dakota Sioux Warriors” by Gustav Niebuhr, associate professor of newspaper and online journalism at Syracuse University. It’s published by HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

The Washington Post has called Mr. Niebuhr, a former reporter for the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, “one of the country’s most experienced religious commentators.”

The idea for his latest book was sparked during a 2009 visit by Mr. Niebuhr to Watertown when he spoke at Jefferson Community College about free speech and tolerance. He was invited to the area by Robert D. Gorman, who was then managing editor of the Watertown Daily Times and who now serves as chief executive officer of the United Way of Northern New York.

Mr. Gorman gave Mr. Niebuhr a tour of Watertown and mentioned some prominent people who were raised in the area.

“He named a couple of names I recognized and one I didn’t, which was Henry Whipple,” Mr. Niebuhr said recently during an interview at the Times. “He said, ‘This was the man who went to see Lincoln during the Civil War about the Dakota Indians.’ I thought this was really interesting. I had never heard of this before.”

Mr. Niebuhr’s research on Henry Whipple uncovered a gallant tale.

“What I would hope is that people would draw something from Whipple’s courage,” Mr. Niebuhr said. “I think he was courageous to stand up as a kind of a one-man movement. There was very little support that he got.”


Henry Benjamin Whipple, born in Adams in 1822, was the son of John Hall and Elizabeth Wagner Whipple. Had it not been for another resident of Adams, Mr. Whipple might not have become an advocate of Native Americans.

In his book, Mr. Niebuhr writes that Peter Doxtater became a young Henry Whipple’s “moral tutor” on that subject. Mr. Doxtater, who’d served in the Continental Army and fought the British at the Battle of Oriskany, was taken captive as a child during an Indian raid at a Mohawk River settlement and taken to Canada.

“Doxtater forgot most of his English,” Mr. Niebuhr writes. “He became an Indian.”

He was freed in the 1760s when British soldiers came upon him and his siblings.

So after settling in Adams, old man Doxtater had many tales of adventures to share, and his home “became a magnet for Adams boys” Mr. Niebuhr writes. But Mr. Whipple would not actually meet an Indian until he was 37 years old.

After a year of study at Oberlin College in Ohio, Mr. Whipple went into business with his father, who owned a general store in Adams. He was raised Presbyterian but in 1842, he married Cornelia Wright, a “committed Episcopalian.” His early church affiliation then became Zion Church, Pierrepont Manor, and he was one of the founders of Emmanuel Church in Adams.

He was ordained a deacon in Trinity Church, Geneva, and elevated to the priesthood at Christ Church, Sackets Harbor.

After serving parishes in Rome and Chicago, he was elected the first Episcopal bishop of Minnesota in 1856. Three years later, the Right Rev. Henry Benjamin Whipple built a cathedral in Fairbault, Minn. The state was heavily populated by Dakota Indians, also referred to as Sioux.

Mr. Whipple empathized with them as a people under siege from corrupt government officials, unscrupulous merchants and frontiersmen.

“He takes his identity as a Christian missionary bishop very seriously,” Mr. Niebuhr said. “He believes he’s in Minnesota not just to serve whites, who are settling there, but the Indians as well.”

dakota war

Mr. Whipple wrote many letters to politicians in Washington, D.C., about what he saw as the poor treatment of Indians on the Minnesota frontier. He wrote several letters to President James Buchanan and his successor, Lincoln.

“Even when the Dakota War breaks out in August of 1862, and so many whites, including the governor of Minnesota, are totally alienated from the Indians and blame the entire war on them, Whipple has a way of fitting what’s happening to his view of how the Indians have been treated,” Mr. Niebuhr said.

About 500 white settlers lost their lives in the war, according to the Indian Affairs Council of Minnesota. The council said that hundreds of Indians also died, but many were credited with saving the lives of settlers.

President Lincoln dispatched Gen. John Pope, relieved of his duties in the Civil War after defeat at the Second Battle of Bull Run, to end the war. More than 2,000 Indians were rounded up, and 303 were sentenced to death.

“The public, from the government on down, very quickly called for the extermination of the Dakotas,” Mr. Niebuhr said. “Whipple said, ‘No. You can’t do that. It’s not what we do in a Christian country. People who have committed crimes should be brought to justice, but you can’t bring the hammer down on the entire tribe, particularly when you mistreated them for so long.’”

The author said Mr. Whipple believed that the uprising was brought on by years of poor treatment of Indians.

“He doesn’t make any excuses for them, but he sees a bigger picture, and that’s what he takes to Lincoln,” Mr. Niebuhr said.

He met Lincoln in the early fall of 1862 in Washington when the president had a draft of the Emancipation Proclamation on his desk.

“What better time, with a revolutionary act at hand, than to argue for another change — not one so grand, but one that could curtail the duplicity and suffering to which another large segment of the population was subject?” Mr. Niebuhr wrote in “Lincoln’s Bishop.”

Later, Lincoln said he wanted to study the verdicts of the Indians who were sentenced to death. Mr. Whipple thought Mr. Lincoln would show empathy, even though Lincoln’s grandfather and namesake was killed by Indians before he was born.

“But he was never a man to think in terms of revenge,” Mr. Niebuhr said.

On Dec. 6, 1862, Lincoln ruled that 39 cases of the 303 Dakotas warranted capital punishment. He later commuted the death sentence of another person.

The 38 who were hanged in Mankato, Minn., on Dec. 26, 1862, comprised the largest mass execution in U.S. history. Bills were then introduced to exile Dakota Indians out of the state to reservations farther west. Mr. Whipple fought the bills but couldn’t prevent their passage.

Mr. Whipple died in 1901 and is buried in a crypt in his cathedral.

He left an important legacy, Mr. Niebuhr said. “When people become afraid and they want to point their finger at a particular group, it’s hard to know what’s going to happen,” he said. “That’s why it’s important to enforce the laws that we have and also to give people a fair hearing and trial.”

He added, “When we get scared, we may take it out on an entire people, and it’s something that comes to be regretted later on.”

The details

“Lincoln’s Bishop: A President, a Priest, and the Fate of 300 Dakota Sioux Warriors” by Gustav Niebuhr, published by HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins (hardcover, 210 pages, $26.99, illustrated with 16 photos)

By Chris Brock, Times Staff Writer


Two-day walk to Sackets Harbor re-enacts War of 1812 cable carry

Mark Wiggins holds onto the rope while the cable carriers set the rope down for a ceremony on Sunday afternoon. Amanda Morrison / NNY Living

Mark Wiggins holds onto the rope while the cable carriers set the rope down for a ceremony on Sunday afternoon. Amanda Morrison / NNY Living

It was the final push for the approximately 100 people carrying a 600-foot rope down County Route 75 toward the village’s battlefield site.

Sweating the final 3.5 miles Sunday, their footsteps mirrored those of the brave troops whose grueling cable carry 200 years earlier allowed for the creation of the massive USS Superior, ensuring America’s stand against the British during the War of 1812. [Read more...]

What’s hot, what’s not in 2014

Michelle Graham

Michelle Graham

American College of Sports Medicine releases Top 10 list [Read more...]

The power and eloquence of our everyday speech

Varick Chittenden

Varick Chittenden

I’m open to the bounty of the woods. I still get excited when I find a hollow log or a dead lilac root deep in the ground and imagine what it might be. To me, it’s a gift of nature. I always say the find makes the fashion. I may not know how or when I’ll use it, but I like to store it, keep it in sight and, someday, make it into something functional for somebody. Even if it’s just for amusement, that’s useful, too.

— Barry Gregson, Schroon Lake,
Adirondack rustic furniture builder [Read more...]

Break the silence: Seek out options to treat depression

Katie Stokes

Katie Stokes

I’ve suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder every winter since I moved to Northern New York. Because I figured out pretty quickly that I can’t just hibernate and cry all winter, I actively seek out methods to curb my depression well before it gets to the point of crisis. [Read more...]

Move over, June Cleaver, Ward has found his place in the kitchen

English muffin bread with Earl Grey tea jelly. Amanda Morrison / NNY Living

English muffin bread with Earl Grey tea jelly. Amanda Morrison / NNY Living

English muffin bread an easy-to-follow recipe for anyone [Read more...]

Vive la France!

Napoleon leads the 44th Annual French Festival Parade down Broadway in Cape Vincent in July 2012. The French left a legacy of culture and language that is celebrated in Cape Vincent with the annual French Festival every July. Amanda Morrison / NNY Living

Napoleon leads the 44th Annual French Festival Parade down Broadway in Cape Vincent in July 2012. The French left a legacy of culture and language that is celebrated in Cape Vincent with the annual French Festival every July. Amanda Morrison / NNY Living

French left legacy of culture, food in Northern New York [Read more...]

NNY Folklore: Back when winter was really winter in the north country

Photo courtesy Town and Village of Canton Historian's Office. A man walks on a Main Street sidewalk, Canton, beside banks of snow so high that he might well not be able to see the traffic alongside. Scenes like this one were typical not so long ago.

Photo courtesy Town and Village of Canton Historian’s Office. A man walks on a Main Street sidewalk, Canton, beside banks of snow so high that he might well not be able to see the traffic alongside. Scenes like this one were typical not so long ago.

Sometime recently I realized that I am from the last generation of rural north country residents who may have attended school — at least their first few years of school — in a one-room schoolhouse. Actually, my little St. Lawrence County hamlet of Hopkinton was pretty advanced. We went to a two-room schoolhouse, with the first three grades downstairs and grades four through six upstairs. It wasn’t until my sixth grade year that the new elementary school was finished and we had a classroom of our own. In the 1940s and 50s, multiple small schools in rural towns combined forces, built large buildings for grades kindergarten through 12 with all kinds of extra features, and nearly everyone rode The Yellow Peril — the school bus — each day. That fact inevitably inspired a predictable observation from our elders: “You young ones have it really lucky these days. When I was your age, we had to walk to school, rain or shine. A mile and a half. Each way!” Isn’t nostalgia great? Things from the past always look better (or bigger or stronger or harder or worse, even) than the present and, certainly, the future. [Read more...]