Friday, August 17, 2012

Remembering the U.S. - Dakota War

Chief Little Crow statue at
Minnehaha Falls
Minnesota's governor, Mark Dayton, has called for this to be a day of remembrance of the U.S. - Dakota war which took place 150 years ago in 1862.  He is appalled by then Governor Ramsey's call to exterminate and remove the Dakota people from the state (Dayton repudiates Ramsey's call to exterminate Dakota).

This week the StarTribune is publishing an excellent series "In the footsteps of Little Crow", which began on Sunday with an article, A man lost in history.

In response to the uprising about 1,600 Dakota women, children and men unconnected to the violence were marched from the Lower Souix Agency to Fort Snelling.  Many died while at the fort from a measles epidemic that spread rapidly through the dirty, crowded quarters. It is estimated about 160 Dakota died during the year and a half they were kept at Fort Snelling.

During this same time period 38 Dakota were hung in Mankato, Minnesota at the largest mass execution in U.S. history.
An execution of two Dakota leaders, Sakpedan (Little Six) and Wakanozhanzhan (Medicine Bottle) took place at Fort Snelling on November 11, 1865.  Tradition recalls that at the time of the execution a train whistle blew, prompting Sakpedan to declare, "As the white man comes in, the Indian goes out."
Soldiers reenactment at
Historic Fort Snelling
Flag raising in front of the
Round Tower (circa 1820)

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