On This Date In Twin Cities History - November 5, 1839

On this date in 1839, Henry Mower Rice arrives at Fort Snelling to take over the sutler’s store. Born in 1816 in Watsfield, Vermont, Rice moved to Detroit, Michigan when he was eighteen years old to work on surveying of the canal route around the rapids of Sault Ste. Marie between Lake Superior and Lake Huron. After moving to Minnesota in 1839, he became a fur trader with the Ho-Chunk and Ojibwe Indians. Rice lobbied for the the establishment of the Minnesota Territory in 1849 and later served as a delegate for the territory in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1853-1857. When Minnesota became a state in 1858, Rice served as one of its first two U.S. Senators. He also served as a member of the board of regents of the University of Minnesota from 1851-1859, and was president of the Minnesota Historical Society.  Rice died on January 15, 1894, while on a visit to San Antonio, Texas.  Rice Street in St.Paul, as well as, Rice County in south central Minnesota are named for him.  A statue of Rice, dedicated in 1916, is on display in Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol in Washington D.C.

Dedication of the statue of Henry M. Rice - Washington DC ca 1916 (MHS)

Dedication of the statue of Henry M. Rice in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall- Washington DC circa 1916 (MHS)