Lumberjack Sky Pilots

Working as a lumberjack in northern Minnesota was a difficult job with poor living conditions. Many loggers blew off steam by drinking, gambling, or visiting brothels. "Sky pilots," or visiting ministers, tried to save the men's souls and put them on the road to holiness rather than vice.

Painting of Father Louis Hennepin at the Falls of St. Anthony, 1680

Hennepin at the Falls of St. Anthony, 1680

Painting of Father Louis Hennepin at the Falls of St. Anthony in 1680. Painted c. 1903 by J. N. Marchand.

The statue of Father Louis Hennepin at Sixteenth Street and Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis.

Father Hennepin statue, Sixteenth Street and Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis

The statue of Father Louis Hennepin at Sixteenth Street and Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis.

Painting of Father Hennepin at the Falls of St. Anthony by Douglas Volk, c. 1905.

Father Hennepin at the Falls of St. Anthony

Painting of Father Louis Hennepin at St. Anthony Falls by Douglas Volk, c. 1905.

Hennepin, Louis (c.1640–c.1701)

Father Louis Hennepin, a Recollect friar, is best known as an early explorer of Minnesota. He gained fame in the seventeenth century with the publication of his dramatic stories of the exploration of the Mississippi River. Father Hennepin spent only a few months in Minnesota, but his influence is undeniable. While his widely read travel accounts were more fiction than fact, they allowed Hennepin to leave a lasting mark on the state.

Portrait of Joseph Hancock, 1904

Joseph Hancock

Portrait of Joseph Hancock, 1904.

Maria Hancock

Portrait of Maria Hancock.

Portrait of Joseph Hancock.

Joseph Hancock

Portrait of Joseph Hancock.

Portrait of the Reverend John F. Aiton and Mary Briggs Aiton, 1854.

John and Mary Aiton

Portrait of the Reverend John F. Aiton and Mary Briggs Aiton, 1854.

The Missionaries of Red Wing, 1837–1852

During a fifteen-year span beginning in 1837, a series of Christian missionaries moved into the Mdewakanton Dakota village of Red Wing. Their goals, in the language of the day, were the "education and civilization" of the Indians. Welcomed by some of their hosts and tolerated by others, these Euro-Americans attempted to convince the Mdewakanton to adopt the ways of the whites.

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