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.
29, 1858, she talks about the conditions between Hastings and Faribault.
“We left Hastings for this place on the 25th
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
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
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
[S]uddenly the leading horses plunged into a hollow
filled with mud about the color and consistency of tar. The poor
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.
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 …”