Riggs, Stephen R, Dd, Lld

Riggs, Stephen R., D.D., LL.D.

a venerable Presbyterian missionary to the North American Indians, was born at Steubenville, Ohio, March 23, 1812. He graduated from Jefferson College, and pursued his theological studies at Allegheny Seminary. He was ordained and commissioned as a missionary to the Dakota Indians in 1836. He commenced his labors at Laquiparle, where he made encouraging progress in teaching and converting the red men. He reduced the Dakota language to a written form, published text-books for spelling and reading, and translated the Bible. He also published a Dakota Dictionary. Upwards of fifty books, consisting of original writings and translations in connection with a history of Dakota, constitute the literary work of his life. In 1880 Dr. Riggs, Hon. W.E. Dodge, and justice Strong of the United States Supreme Court, were appointed a committee by the Presbyterian General Assembly of the United States to present to Congress the need of securing to Indians the rights of white men. Dr. Riggs was the author of the memorial which was read to the Senate committee by justice Strong. More than forty years of his life were spent among the Indians, and he lived to sec six of the churches of Dakota transferred to the Board of Foreign Missions. He died at Beloit, Wisconsin, August 24, 1883. See Presbyterian Home Missionary, September 1883; Nevin, Presb. Encyclop. s.v. (W.P.S.)

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