Alexander Faribault's Photo

Bishop Henry Whipple's story: 1867
Before the story
After the story
In his tracks

Alexander Faribault's story: 1855
Before the story
After the story
In his tracks


Mary Whipple's_story: 1862
Before the Story
After the Story
In her tracks


Taopi's story: 1864
Before the story
After the story
In his tracks


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Bishop Henry Whipple
After the Story: 1867-1901

Many Tasks | Traveling | Cornelia Whipple | Evangeline Whipple | Death | More

Bishop Henry Whipple spent his life promoting the growth of the Episcopal church and schools systems in Faribault, and trying to obtain justice for American Indians. He made numerous trips to Washington throughout the 1860s to appeal for support and reform in Indian affairs. He served on many commissions that negotiated treaties or oversaw Indian welfare. The Shattuck, St. Mary’s and Seabury schools continued to grow under his influence.

But Henry Whipple’s interests and skills as a minister and diplomat were also admired throughout the United States and around the world. Although based in a town which was relatively small, in a relatively new state, Whipple was acquainted with church and political leaders throughout the world.

Henry Whipple was a world traveler. Henry Whipple was a world traveler. Photo ca. 1897 by Elliot & Fry. Courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society.

 

Many Tasks | Traveling | Cornelia Whipple | Evangeline Whipple | Death | More

He traveled extensively, both on business and for his health, which was often affected negatively by Minnesota weather. As early as 1864, he traveled through England, France, Italy, Egypt and Palestine. Unfortunately, this trip did not improve his health. Instead he contracted “Syrian fever,” and almost died.

Henry’s brother, George, also liked to travel, and requested an appointment to the Sandwich Islands. Henry wrote a letter, explaining to the Episcopal leadership why his brother should receive such an appointment. Henry was soon offered the office of bishop in the Sandwich Islands as well, but turned down the offer. He preferred to continue his work with the Indians and the schools. He was also very concerned about racial tensions and education in the southern states.

Henry made six-month trips to Europe in 1869-1870, 1884-1885 and 1890-91. He was invited to preach in Europe’s largest Episcopal cathedrals. On one trip the England, he had a private audience with Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle. He also made special mission trips to Cuba in 1871 and 1875, Alaska in 1887, and Puerto Rice in 1900. He spent many winters in Florida, where he owned a home, to rest and improve his health.

Today, it may be difficult to image how arduous Henry’s travels were. He first had to travel by horse and canoe. Later he was able to travel by train and steamship. One historian said that Henry was always afraid he would be late for the train, and would tell Cornelia to hurry up, even though the train would not come for quite some time.

Cornelia Whipple. Cornelia Whipple.

Many Tasks | Traveling | Cornelia Whipple | Evangeline Whipple | Death | More

Unfortunately, Cornelia did arrive on time for a train that wrecked on their way to Florida in 1889. Cornelia was seriously injured, and although she returned to Faribault, she died several months later from her injuries. Henry and Cornelia had been married for 48 years. Henry’s brother, George, a chaplain at St. Mary’s for many years, had died two years before. Two of the Whipple children had also died as young adults.

After Cornelia's death, Henry continued to serve in important positions in the Episcopal church and on government commissions. He enjoyed visiting his sister-in-law, Mary Mills Whipple, when he was in Faribault. And he continued to fish. In 1892, he caught a record-sized tarpon in Florida, which was reported in several newspapers.

Henry Whipple and family members in front of their home ca. 1890. Henry Whipple and family members in front of their home ca. 1890. Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society.

Many Tasks | Traveling | Cornelia Whipple | Evangeline Whipple | Death | More

In 1896, to the surprise of many people, he married Evangeline Marrs Simpson, whom he likely had met in Florida several years earlier. She was a wealthy widow from Boston. Evangeline was thirty-six years old when she married Henry, who was seventy-four. One historian suggests that the people of Faribault did not know what to think of this young woman at first, with her progressive lifestyle and dramatic tastes. But she was devoted to the Bishop and his causes. She traveled with him to the Indian missions and around the world. She was also very generous, donating money to the missions and building on to the Whipple home next door the Cathedral. Now Henry had space for a library and room to display the many gifts he had received from American Indians and others over the years. Evangeline also had a sophisticated collection of art objects in their home, reportedly including some items from the estate of “Mad” King Ludwig II of Germany.

Henry and Evangeline Mars Simpson Whipple.Henry and Evangeline Mars Simpson Whipple.

Henry and Evangeline Mars Simpson Whipple. Photo from 1898 by George Prince. Courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society.

Many Tasks | Traveling | Cornelia Whipple | Evangeline Whipple | Death | More

In 1901, Henry came down with a cold after a trip. His doctor realized it was serious. He called a specialist from St. Paul, who diagnosed heart problems. For a few weeks, Evangeline, Mary Mills Whipple and two of Henry’s daughters tried to nurse him back to health. But at dawn on September 16, 1901, Henry Whipple died.

Henry Whipple’s funeral on September 20, 1901, was one of the largest gatherings ever held in Faribault. All stores, schools and businesses closed for the day. A train brought over 300 people from St. Paul. Indians came from Birch Coulee and White Earth. For over two hours, people walked by his casket to pay their respects before the funeral. Henry was buried beneath the High Altar in his Cathedral.

Hundreds of people attended Bishop Henry Whipple's funeral in 1901 Hundreds of people attended Bishop Henry Whipple's funeral in 1901. Photo by the Minneapolis Times. Courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society .

After the funeral, Evangeline received condolence letters from all over the world. She remained in Faribault for a few months, finishing business there. She donated money for the construction of a bell tower on the Cathedral in Henry’s memory. The bells were first played in 1902. Evangeline then moved to Italy with her friend, Rose Cleveland, and spent the rest of her life there. Before she died in 1930, she left a bequest that enabled several enhancements to be made in the Cathedral in honor of Henry Whipple. In 1933, the many artifacts in her collection at the Whipple home were sold to the public, but some can still be seen in the Cathedral. In 1934, the Whipple home, which had remained untouched after Henry’s death under Evangeline’s ownership, was torn down.

Many Tasks | Traveling | Cornelia Whipple | Evangeline Whipple | Death | More

The memory of Bishop Henry Whipple lives on today in the good works which he inspired, and in the many places dedicated to his memory. You can learn about the first part of his life Before the Story. Find out about Henry Whipple's family in his Story. And visit some of these places in Faribault important to Henry Whipple by following In His Tracks.

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