An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Whipple, Henry Benjamin

(Feb. 15, 1822-Sept. 16, 1901). Bishop and missionary to American Indians. He was born in Adams, Jefferson County, New York. Whipple studied at the Oberlin Collegiate Institute but did not receive a degree. He was raised a Presbyterian, but he decided to study for ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church. He was ordained deacon on Aug. 17, 1849, and priest on July 16, 1850. After seven years as rector of Zion Church, Rome, New York, he became the rector of the Church of the Holy Communion, Chicago, in 1857. He remained there until elected to the episcopate. Whipple was consecrated the first Bishop of Minnesota on Oct. 13, 1859, and served in that position until his death. He did extensive missionary work among the Indians, which earned him the title the “Apostle to the Red Men.” He made Faribault his diocesan headquarters. He assisted in the founding of St. Mary's Hall, Shattuck Military School, and Seabury Hall, which was to be a theological seminary for students west of the Mississippi River. In 1899 he published Lights and Shadows of a Long Episcopate, which is his autobiography and a description of his work with the Indians. He died in Faribault.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.