Revered Robert Hickman
Enslaved man Robert Hickman left Missouri in 1863 with about 75 others, and on a raft traveled north on the Mississippi River, in search of freedom. The raft was discovered by a steamboat and towed the rest of the way to St. Paul. Hickman, a preacher, sought a place for his group of "Pilgrims" to worship in their new home. In 1866, Hickman and other migrants established Pilgrim Baptist Church. which is still active in St. Paul today.
At first, Hickman was not licensed to preach in the Baptist Church, so for the first 11 years, Pilgrim Baptist Church was led by white preachers. When Hickman received his license, he became the church's official pastor from 1878-1886. He died in St. Paul in 1900.