A Closer Look

Henry Whipple said that his horse, Bashaw, was his “friend and companion for over fifty thousand miles, always full of spirit and gentle… The only time I ever touched him with a whip was on the brink of a precipice where the path was a sheet of glare ice and as the wagon began to slide I saved us both by a lash, but the blow hurt me more than it did Bashaw. He saved my life when lost on the prairies many times.”

Henry first received Bashaw in 1860, and kept him for thirty years. The acquisition of a good horse was essential to his missionary work, and took some time.

In July, 1859, Benjamin Wright, Cornelia’s father, wrote from Waterloo (probably in New York):

"Tell Henry that I spoke to Joseph about letting him have a horse. He said to me that he intended to do so when he could get one that is suitable and safe. While I am here I shall be on the lookout for one for him.”

In November, 1860, Joseph Wright sent a horse to Faribault from Waterloo, along with the following letter:

"We call this horse Bashaw after one of his ancestors on his sires side.You will notice that he has a way of looking rather wicked sometimes when you enter his stall, but you will only need [to] speak sharp to him, till you have made his acquaintance and ever afterwards you will find him kind and affectionate.

We consider him a remarkably good horse to drive by the side of another horse in double harness and withall a very fleet traveler. As a single horse I think you will be pleased with him, he may however evince rather too much spirit at first if suffered to remain too long without use. We also think he possesses all the desirable qualities of a first rate saddle horse although he has been used very little in that way.

I will give you his pedigree on the way of breeding to the best of my ability and which I think is [?]- Bashaw’s dam was a large Bluchu mare bred in Dutchess C[ounty], N.Y. Sire, Bashaw by New York Black Hawk by Andrew Jackson by imported Arabian black. Bashaw the great-great grand-sire of the present very celebrated Geo. M. Patchen. There are two classes of Black Hawks, the Vermont and the New York, the latter the grandsire of Bashaw; we consider these far superior as a breed to the others.

I hope you will avoid getting them confounded for I would not like any one to think him a descendent of the Vermont Black Hawk.

I hope you will be pleased with the horse, and that he may be to you a true and faithful servant.”


Alexander Faribault

Faribault's French House
Fur Trade
Making the Town Grow
Site of the Bluffs
Trading Post

Mary Whipple

Bed Bugs
Divinity Students
Emma and Eva Havens
Emma Willard School
Eva's Death
Hastings to Faribault
Hawaiian Fever
Letter of August 25, 1862
Longed to Travel
Mary's Wedding
Sandwich Islands
Soap to Sausages
Some Clothing
Sound of Bells


Big Woods
Fort Snelling
Saving Others
When it Started

Henry Whipple

Back Home
Bad Teeth
East to School
Gull Lake
Loved to Fish
Six Children
Time of Crisis
Treatment of Indians
Youngest Child

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