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RG1474.AM:  Samuel Dutton Hinman, 1839-1890

Papers:  1862-1889; 1943

Minnesota and Santee Agency, Nebraska:  Missionary, Interpreter, Sioux Treaty Commission member

Size:  16 items


Samuel Dutton Hinman, son of Thomas and Mary (Carrington) Hinman, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on January 17, 1839. He received his education at institutions of the Protestant Episcopal Church and, after attending the Seabury (Minnesota) Divinity School, was ordained a Deacon in 1860. In October of 1860, Hinman married Mary Ellen Berry and was appointed missionary to the Sioux Indians. Hinman was the first Episcopal missionary sent to the Dakota or Sioux and he established the Mission of St. John at the Lower Sioux Agency, in Redwood County, Minnesota.

In 1861, Hinman was made a Priest of the Church. Rev. Hinman escaped the Sioux uprising of 1862 by fleeing to Fort Ridgely, twelve miles away from where his mission was destroyed. After the uprising he continued to work among the Indians at Fort Snelling and was placed in charge of Indian removal to a reservation near Fort Randall, Dakota Territory. In 1866 Rev. Hinman was assigned to the Santee Agency in Nebraska.

During his tenure at the Santee Agency, Hinman oversaw the construction of a church and school there. During the 1870s and 1880s, he served in a variety of capacities – as a census enumerator, as an interpreter, as a commission member dealing with the treatment of the Sioux – in which his friendship with the Santee Sioux proved useful.

Mary Hinman, the mother of Hinman’s five sons, died in 1876. Rev. Hinman married Mary Myrick in 1885. She, his five sons, and their daughter survived him upon his death on March 2, 1890.


This collection of manuscript material consists of sixteen items relating to the missionary work of Rev. Samuel R. Hinman. These items date from 1862-1889 and 1943. Included is a biographical sketch tracking Rev. Hinman’s career as a missionary to the Santee Sioux, as well as other documentary materials relating to his service as interpreter, census enumerator, and peace commission member. An account of the 1862 Sioux outbreak by Emlie J. West is also included.

Note:  The original Hinman materials are restricted for preservation. Researchers are asked to use reference photocopies.



  1. “History of the Reverend Samuel Dutton Hinman,” compiled by Henry Whipple Hinman, 1943

  2. “Account of the Minnesota Outbreak led by Little Crow et. al. Indian Chiefs In the Year of 1862,” by Emlie J. West

  3. Appointment: Indian Peace Commission to Hinman, July 7, 1868, re: appointment as interpreter for the Santee

  4. Letter: Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs to Hinman, March 27, 1873, re: appointment to Sioux Treaty Commission

  5. Letter: Hinman to Mary (wife), May 13, 1873, re: progress of Peace Commission

  6. Letter: Hinman to wife, July 29, 1874, re: conditions at Red Cloud and Spotted Tail Agencies

  7. Letter: Hinman to wife, September 6, 1874, re: Black Hills trip

  8. Letter: Harry Hinman to Mama (Mary), ca. 1874, from St. Mark’s School, Southboro, Massachusetts

  9. Resolution: Executive Committee of the Indian Commission to Hinman, (1876), re: service of Mrs. Hinman

  10. Letter: Dakota League Missionary Society to Hinman, April 26, (1876), re: death of Mrs. Hinman

  11. Letter: Sioux Commissioners to Editor, Church Standard, December 26, 1884, re: statement in defense of Rev. Hinman

  12. Letter: H. B. Whipple to Haley Fiske, March 3, 1887, re: vindication of Rev. Hinman

  13. Letter: H. B. Whipple to Hinman, April, 1888, re: Dawes bill

  14. Letter: Senator C. K. Davis to H. B. Whipple, February 23, 1889, re: claim of Medawakanton Sioux

  15. Letter: John B. Sanborn to Hinman, July 8, 1889, re: recommendation of Hinman as census commissioner of the Sioux

  16. Letter: Hinman to Major J. W. Powell, July 13, 1889, re: appointment as census enumerator


Subject headings:

Dakota Indians

Hinman, Samuel Dutton, 1839-1890

Indian agents

Indians of North America — Wars — 1862-1865

Minnesota — History



Red Cloud Agency — Nebraska

Santee Sioux Agency — Nebraska

Siouan Indians

Spotted Tail Agency — Nebraska


Accession Number:  1991.050

AIP/ksa                 06-1991

Revised TMM      05-11-2007