150 years later, war's wounds still cut deep

  • Article by: CURT BROWN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 11, 2012 - 6:47 PM

Minnesota is divided on how best to commemorate the U.S.-Dakota War, which left hundreds dead and ended in the largest mass execution in U.S. history.

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beavis38Jan. 28, 1210:36 PM

Well written and informative article. Thank you

grandpabobJan. 28, 1211:04 PM

I don't get the fixation with the noose. The Dakota would have every right to claim personal property of the hanged men, but the nooses were, in fact, property of the U.S. Army. Custody of the noose seems like a silly point on which to base a much more important discussion.

wildfoxJan. 28, 1211:06 PM

Is there a way to commemorate the U.S. Dakota War? Such a deplorable time in American history.

masb200308Jan. 28, 1211:15 PM

It always amazes me how few people know about the Dakota war. If lawmakers wanted to do something to commemorate and bring awareness to it - repeal the law banishing the Dakota.

BallFourJan. 28, 1211:18 PM

Agreed on the noose. There seems to be human compulsion today to distill a complicated issue into a single artifact.

davehougJan. 29, 1212:13 AM

As a life-long resident of MN I was never taught and never heard a discussion of this chapter. It NEEDS to be put on the front page. Who is 'guilty' discussions should include facts of both sides. It has a REAL bearing on use of Mille Lac and gambling revenue by Native Americans. How many folks clamor for a racino to solve problems that do not even know MN history? How about 1 of 8 of one tribe dying due to shifting treaty payments to Sandy Lake in 1850 just 12 yr before? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_Lake_Tragedy

rhaupertJan. 29, 1212:33 AM

Why does the hanging of 38 warriors get all the attention in this article while the butchery of up to 800 settlers (men, women, and children) at the hands of the Dakota get ignored?

dragonpmJan. 29, 12 1:21 AM

I very seriously wonder why hasn't a major film been made to tell this important story of American history. The facts alone are enough to tell this story and bring it to the American people, yes sad but fascinating and more should know this history.

gargoyle52Jan. 29, 12 1:53 AM

We cannot undo what has already been done. All we can do is learn from it. Tell the story of the U.S.-Dakota War honestly and hope that time will eventually heal this wound.

ablassJan. 29, 12 2:17 AM

Well told, Curt. Growing up near Mankato, I am stunned that we didn't really cover this chapter of MN history in much detail in high school. Maybe because there was no "politically acceptable" way of doing so. I don't know. In some ways, it defies traditional storytelling because there is no obvious hero/villain. There's certainly no redemption. Just victims. It wasn't until years later, when I read "Over the Earth I Come," by Duane Schultz, that the nuances of this war came into clearer focus. Despite its graphic content, the book is extremely well researched, seemingly balanced and expertly presented. It reads like a novel. Whether it's accurate or not, I don't know. But it feels credible. If we want to do something meaningful to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the war, this book should probably be required reading for every graduating senior in Minnesota.


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