Five Things Friday – October 17

5thingsfriday-logoREDHappy Friday! With only two weeks left until Halloween, and winter lingering somewhere around the corner, the north country has a few last fair weather hurrahs in store for us this weekend. If you’ve already had enough of the cool weather for the season (it’s OK to admit it – we already miss summer too!), we’ve got a handful of indoor happenings as well! There’s something for everyone this weekend. And don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of the page and take a look at the map of what’s going on! Check it out… [Read more...]

Five Things Friday – October 10


Happy Friday!

Welcome to Friday! It’s three weeks until Halloween – time to start thinking about your costume. As for right now though, it’s time to start planning out your weekend. Here’s what’s happening:

1) First up we have some family events. Tonight at 6 p.m. at the Wead Library, 64 Elm St., Malone, the library will be showing “Monsters University“! Bring your own little monsters and snacks to this free event. The movie is rated G. If you’re a little farther south and jonesing for a movie tomorrow, you can bring your family to the Community Room at Flower Memorial Library, 229 Washington St., Watertown, to see “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” from 2 to 3:15 p.m. The movie is rated PG. For more information, contact Suzanne Renzi-Falge at either 785-7715 or If you want to get outside this weekend, we’ve got the Rock Shanty Haunted trail today and tomorrow from 8 to 10 p.m. each day, at 65 Pinner Road, Harrisville. The event benefits the Harrisville School senior class after-prom lock in. Glow necklaces and refreshment will be available. The cost is $3, ages to 12; $5, 12 and up; $10, family of four; $15, unlimited scream pass. For more information, call Nickie at 543-7012, Heidi at 221-1033, or 816-0208. Tomorrow morning, you and your super family can join in the Super Hero Run, starting at Carthage Park. The event is sponsored by the Carthage YMCA. Dress up like your favorite super hero for this 2.2 mile fun run. You can register today from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., or tomorrow before the race, from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m., at the Carthage YMCA, 250 State St., Carthage. The race starts at 9 a.m. Super Hero Prizes will be awarded at 10:30 a.m. The cost for members is $10; nonmembers, $13. The event will benefit the Scholarship Program at 4-H Camp Wabasso. For more information, go here.

2) Art‘s up next. This evening from 6 to 9 p.m., you can attend the opening of the Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors, at Arts on the Square, 52 Public Square, Watertown. The admission price is $3 at the door; $2, advance. The show runs through Saturday, Nov. 22. For more information, call 661-6361. If you’re closer to Old Forge, you can visit the preview reception for the 2014 Quilts Unlimited Exhibit at View (Arts Center) Old Forge, 3273 Route 28. The exhibit runs Saturday, Oct. 11, through Sunday, Dec. 7, and includes “On and Off the Wall” exhibit by Adirondack Regional Textile Group. The preview reception is tonight from 5 to 7 p.m. Opening festivities are tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m, and include a lecture by Adirondack Regional Textile Group. The cost for the lecture and luncheon is $20; for members, $15. Pre-register for the lecture and luncheon by emailing or calling 369-6411, ext. 201. As for music this week, we have two events, both at The Paddock Club, 1 Public Square, Watertown. Tonight, you can catch Travis Rocco, playing from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Tomorrow, Dragon Fly will be playing from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. For more information on either event, call 786-6633.

3) This weekend also brings a fair number of craft festivals and shows, all happening tomorrow. If you’re in Harrisville, you can stop by the Craft Fair and Flea Market, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Grange Hall, Route 3. The event is sponsored by Adirondack Grange. It will feature a large variety of crafters and vendors. Refreshments and lunch will be available, including homemade soup and chili, pulled pork and other sandwiches, donuts and homemade pies. The Lawrenceville Fire Hall, 1081 County Route 54, will host a craft fair tomorrow, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will benefit Lawrenceville Volunteer Fire Department and Auxiliary. There will be craft tables, a silent auction and food available. For more information, call 389-4437 or 328-4939. The Louisville Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary is also hosting their Craft Show tomorrow at Fire Station No. 2 on Route 37, Louisville, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $1. Lunch will be available for a fee. Lastly, the New Bremen Fire Department is holding their third Annual Craft Fair tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at New Bremen Fire Hall, 8154 State Route 812.  There is no admission fee. For more information, call 376-2377 or 955-9601.

4) It’s harvest season, and what would harvest season be without harvest festivals? Tomorrow, the Harrisville Free Library, 8209 Main St., is holding their second Annual Harvest Festival from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pumpkins will available for carving and painting, local produce will be for sale, and cider and donuts will be available. While the event is free, donations will be taken for a renovation project. For more information, call 543-2577. If you’re closer to Long Lake tomorrow, you can visit the Fall Fire and Harvest Festival, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the town hall and Long Lake Central School, 1204 Main St. There will be a craft fair, kids carnival, Portaits in the Wilderness and live art installation with Matt Burnett. LightExpo with fire breathing, fire eating, fire rings, shows are scheduled for 3:30 p.m., 4:15 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tomorrow, you can also attend the Autumn Festival at the Minna Anthony Common Nature Center, 44927 Cross Island Road, Fineview, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will include a craft show and sale, music, entertainment, farm animals and food. Admission is$3; $2, military, seniors; children 16 and younger, free with food pantry donation, $1, without donation. All admission is free after 3 p.m. For more information, call 482-2479. For one last harvest hurrah, you can head over to the Sackets Harbor Harvest Fest on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. at the Sackets Harbor Brewing Company and Sackets Anchor parking lot, West Main Street. There will be food, wine tasting, beverages and local products available from restaurants, shops and vendors. For the little ones, they will have children’s activities, face painting, storytelling, fall fashion show and live music.

5) Last but not least this week are a few things to celebrate reading. Today, you can visit the used book sale at the Lewis County General Hospital, 7785 N. State St., until 5 p.m. The sale is to benefit Fund for Hope. Tomorrow, you can go to the Ogdensburg Public Library, 312 Washington St., for Star Wars Reads Day, at 2 p.m. There will be Star Wars games and activities to promote reading. Lastly, the Hay Memorial Library is hosting a Meet the Author and Harvest Fest Book Fair at Seaway Trail Foundation’s Union Hotel, Ray and West Main Streets, on Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. Authors David Shampine, Jeannie Brennan, Hope Marston, Katrina Thomas, Holly Gaskin, Marcus Mastin, Val Silver and Paula Youmell are scheduled. A wellness program by Paula Youmell, “Healing Your Body with Whole Foods,” is scheduled for 1 p.m. Refreshments will be available. The event is free. For more information, call 646-2228.

Have a fun and safe weekend! As always, let us know your events for the upcoming weekends!

Five Things Friday – Oct. 3

Happy Friday! Happy October! We’re more than a week into autumn, and it’s really starting to feel like it. The leaves are changing, and starting to fall. Pumpkin spice is everywhere. And people are starting to celebrate the season… [Read more...]

Five Things Friday – Sept. 26

Happy Friday everyone! We’re here with the rundown of what’s going on around the north country this weekend.

1) This week is Banned Books Week. We’re celebrating our right to read everything from the classic “The Great Gatsby” to scandalous “Fifty Shades of Grey” to the zany “Captain Underpants” series (which has topped the American Library Association’s Top Ten Challenged Books List for two years running now!). So the first group of events on our list are meant to exercise your brain. Today, you can visit SUNY Potsdam’s Chemtoberfest from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Barrington Student Union Quad, SUNY Potsdam Campus; Knowles Hall multi-purpose room in case of rain. The fest promises demonstrations, magic shows, interactive activities, petting zoos, entertainment and snacks! The event is free. For more info, contact Proetta at or 267-2275.  There are a few book sales to indulge in this weekend! Today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, the Friends of the Library is holding their Fall Book Sale at the Massena Public Library, 41 Glenn St. Go and browse through thousands of books, with many new selections available. For more info, call the library at 769-9914. If you’re closer to Carthage, you can check out the Carthage Free Library‘s Book Sale, tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 412 Budd St. You’ll be able to find fiction, non-fiction, young adult and children’s books. The last hour of the sale will be a bag sale, which will continue during normal library hours through Saturday, Oct. 4. The book sale benefits Friends of Carthage Free Library.

2) Next up is holistic health. This weekend, the Watertown Ramada Inn, 6300 Arsenal St., is hosting the Psychic and Holistic Fair, from 11 a.m to 8 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. There will be psychics, energy workers, vendors and lectures throughout both days. Admission is $6; $3, JCC students and military with ID. For more information, call Wanda at 686-2640. The proceeds from this event benefit CNY Food Bank for Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties. At 11 a.m. on Sunday at Center for Spiritual Awareness, Healthworks Gym, 3848 Route 13, Pulaski, the Center for Spiritual Awareness Church will hold Wellness Connection. For more information, contact Denise D. Knott at 298-3734 or

3) It’s the first week of fall, but we’re holding on to that summer weather as long as we can! So here are some ways to get outside this weekend. Tomorrow you can take part in the North Country 5K Challenge and 3K Fun Run at Camp Oswegatchie, 9340 Long Pond Road, Croghan. The 5K is a timed obstacle course mud run starting at 10 a.m. The fun run is not timed and begins at 10:15 a.m. Registration for both begins at 9 a.m. The fee for the 5K is $60 per person, $35 for students 17 and younger; un-timed 3K Fun Run, $30. The proceeds will benefit Northern New York Community Foundation, Food Bank of Central New York and New York FFA. If you’re in Watertown tomorrow morning, you can participate in the Second Annual “Step Up For Kids” Run/Walk at 10 a.m., starting from Immaculate Heart Central Intermediate School, 733 S. Massey St. This event benefits the Child Advocacy Program of Northern New York and is sponsored by Tunes 92.5 FM. There will be a raffle, bake sale and Zumba warm-up. The cost is $25; family, $50; children 6 to 12, $12. For more info, visit the New York State Children’s Alliance’s website. Also in Watertown on Saturday is the Out of Darkness Walk for Suicide Prevention. The walk is from noon to 2 p.m. at the Thompson Park Pavilion, with walk-up registration beginning at 11 a.m. The sponsors are Remembering Ryan, Saving a Life for Thomas, 18 Forever, Team John, Team Joe, Jefferson Community College Student Nurses, Northern Regional Center for Independent Living, Friends of Guthrie. For more info, contact Victoria Hill at 221-1240 or, or Kathy Sheley at 730-5121 or If you’re not all walked out by Saturday night, we’ve got one more on Sunday! The Northern New York Kidney Walk will take place at the Cerow Recreation Park, 615 East Line Road, Clayton, to benefit the National Kidney Foundation. Check in time begins at 9 a.m. The walk begins at 10 a.m. For more info, contact Nanette Carbone at or 476-0311, Lynne Hoover at, or Melissa Balk at

4) If festivals are more your cuppa tea, we’ve got you covered too! Spanning the whole weekend is the Clayton Jazz Festival. Tonight you can catch Fritzel’s New Orleans Jazz Band at 7:30 p.m. at the Clayton Opera House, 405 Riverside Drive, as well as Late Night Jazz Ensembles at different venues around Clayton. Saturday holds a jazz brunch from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Johnston House Restaurant, 507 Riverside Drive, lunchtime and dinnertime jazz ensembles at various Clayton restaurants, a performance by Jane Monheit at 7:30 p.m. at the Clayton Opera House, and late night jazz ensembles at venues around Clayton. On Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., there is a jazz brunch at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel, 200 Riverside Drive. For more schedule information and ticket prices, visit their website. It’s almost October… ‘Tis the season for Oktoberfest, and you’ve got a couple options! Today at The Hayloft at Moonshine Farm, 6615 Buneo Road, Port Leyden, Oktoberfest begins at 9 a.m. This year the festival will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of Lewis County Office for the Aging. There will be music by Fritz’s Polka Band, and lunch served at 12:30 p.m. Admission is $7 per person. The event is sponsored by Lewis County Office for the Aging. For more info, call 376-5313. Tomorrow you can visit the 7th Annual Cape Vincent Oktoberfest at the Village Green, Broadway St., from noon to 5 p.m. The festival will include an autumn farmers and crafters market, beer garden, Enzian Bavarian Band, traditional Bavarian foods, and children’s activities include a bounce house, pumpkin decorating, crafts, face painting and hair braiding. The entry fee is $17, with commemorative sampling stein; entry to grounds without beer garden, $5; children’s area, $3 including snacks, juice boxes; admission with military ID, $5 off. The event is sponsored by the Cape Vincent Chamber of Commerce. All weekend, you can visit the 13th Annual Remington Art Festival at the Canton village green. Events throughout the weekend include North Country Children’s Museum with Museum Without Walls, horse-drawn carriage tour, Remington 5k fun run/walk, art show and sale. A schedule can be found here. On Saturday, New York Power Authority will hold their annual Wildlife Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Frank S. McCullough Jr. Hawkins Point Visitors Center, 21 Hawkins Road, Massena. The festival will include live animals, nature displays, arts, crafts, entertainment and two interactive shows from the World of Wildlife and Educational Encounters at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. For more information, call 764-0226. One last festival to visit on Saturday is the Ogdensburg Fall Festival, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.n. at Camp Laurent, 9943 State Highway 37. Attendees can make a scarecrow or ghost, or go on a mini hay ride. There will also be crafts, games and a raffle. Admission is $5. For more info, contact Janice Bouchard at 713-4898 or

5) What’s a weekend without music, right? Along with the Clayton Jazz Festival mentioned earlier, we have a handful of other musical events. Tonight from 9 to 11 p.m. at Griffiths Arts Center, St. Lawrence University, you can see the SLU Funk Band perform. The event is free. If you’re more of a oldies fan, we have something for you as well! Tonight at the Bonnie Castle Resort, 31 Holland St., Alexandria Bay, you can go to the 14th Annual Rock and Roll Oldies Show at 8 p.m. to hear The Lovin’ Spoonful play. Tickets are $30; gold reserved tickets, $50. The show will benefit the 1 World Foundation. For info, call 782-0044 or 800-533-2859. If you’re in Watertown and itching for some live music, you can head to The Paddock Club, 1 Public Square, from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. to see Fred and the Eds. Are you a musician looking for something to do this weekend? More specifically, are you a pianist? Tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., you can attend the SUNY Potsdam piano conference at Wakefield Recital Hall, SUNY Potsdam Crane School of Music, 44 Pierrepont Ave., offering free workshops for piano teachers. Registration is at 8 a.m., with workshops starting at 8:30 a.m. Randall Faber is the feature teacher and author. For registration, visit this website. For the schedule, click here.

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 10th 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


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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

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