From Hastings to Faribault

A Closer Look

Mary Whipple wrote this letter to describe the last leg of her journey as she moved from New York to Faribault, Minnesota. Written on June 29, 1858, she talks about the conditions between Hastings and Faribault.

“We left Hastings for this place on the 25th of May…for a number of miles we found the driving very pleasant tho we were packed pretty closely in an old-fashioned stage coach. Mr. and Mrs. Breck and baby had the back seat — a fat gentleman, Clara and myself the middle and Mr. Nonies, one of the divinity students, Nellie and a sober phized man in green spectacles, the front seat.

This stage coach was similar to the one Mary Whipple rode in as she left Hastings.
This stage coach was similar to the one Mary Whipple rode in as she left Hastings. This picture shows the first stage coach between Stillwater and St. Paul in 1864. Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society Photograph Collection.

Our way lay over a rolling prairie covered with violets… Imagine the undulating ground covered as far as they eye could reach with these flowers, enlivened occasionally by a tuft of bright orange. The effect is indescribably lovely- but to return to ourselves in the coach… a little after noon, we arrived at the village of Northfield….There we found a neat commodious hotel, a good dinner, and a short rest. [We] changed our vehicle for one less toppling, as owing to the recent heavy rains the roads were bad…

[S]uddenly the leading horses plunged into a hollow filled with mud about the color and consistency of tar. The poor creatures sank in almost to their bodies, but the driver made free use of his whip, and to escape the dreaded lash, they plunged and floundered, for about two minutes, making superequine efforts, and we were out of the slough … and once more on terra firma…. Finally, three or four miles from Cannon City, down fell the leaders, down sank our vehicle, stuck fast as Prometheus to the rock… the…horses were extricated, but no efforts could raise the stage from its despondency, and after having lost its tongue (a warning to those whose tongues are used too freely), a big tumble down wagon box was procured, our trunks were set in and we seated upon them…

Getting Out Of A Slough. Engraving. Courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society Art Collection.

I had nothing to cling to or learn against… I was in mortal terror of being landed in that dirty mud and to add to our comfort as we dashed through the sloughs, the trunks before us were lifted up by jolts, and when they came down, landed on our toes …”


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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