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Joseph Hancock

Title: Decision to Come to Red Wing
Type: Book
Date: 1905
Source: Minnesota Historical Society

Description: In this article, Hancock describes how he and his wife decided to move to Red Wing in 1848.

Transcription:

MISSIONARY WORK AT RED WING, 1849 TO 1852.

BY REV. JOSEPH W. HANCOCK.

During the latter part of the year 1848 an invitation was sent me by a former fellow student, to join him in laboring as a missionary among the aborigines Original inhabitants; Dakota indians. of our country. He was about to graduate from the theological seminary near Cincinnati, Ohio. I had left my studies on account of poor health five years previously, and had been residing at Saratoga Springs, N.Y. My health had so much improved, by living at the Springs several years, that I had married and was engaged in teaching school there.

After due consideration of the matter, my wife and I concluded to offer our services to the American Board of Foreign Missions, to labor among the Dakota or Sioux Indians. Our offer was accepted and a commission was sent to us from the officers of the Board.

But it was now too late in the season to undertake the journey to the Northwest Territory. Facilities for traveling, especially in that direction, were not what they are now. Such a place as Minnesota was not then known. The location assigned to us was described as follows: "An Indian village on the west bank of the upper Mississippi river, a few miles above Lake Pepin."

We postponed our journey till the following spring. During the month of March in that year, a new territory, called Minnesota, was formed by act of the United States Congress. So we learned, before we left the East, that our future home would be in Minnesota Territory.