In Little Crow's wake, horrors for the Dakota

  • Article by: CURT BROWN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 16, 2012 - 4:13 PM

The defeated Dakota endure a forced march, angry mobs and calls for their extermination. More than 300 men are sentenced to hang.

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freedubayAug. 16, 12 1:52 AM

great series!

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redkayakAug. 16, 12 2:29 AM

A little light on the description of the atrocities. It won't allow the readers to understand the fury that resulted in the exile and hangings.

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jarlmnAug. 16, 12 3:01 AM

Oh, here we go *again*.. . Brown speaks of a "forced march" of Dakota captives, conjuring up a gloomy image of arduous travel on foot. Sheesh, I'm rather surprised he didn't call it another "trail of tears." Most of the captives were *transported* in wagons! This is well-documented, even illustrated by an engraving that appeared at the time in Harpers Monthly. Good grief, in his very next breath, Brown himself writes about an enraged white woman attacking some Daktota in "one of the wagons." Moving on, I can already see a bunch of comments coming (mostly from whiny liberals intent on perpetually portraying the Amerind as victims) about how awful the treatment of the Dakota captives was ... and decrying the mob-mentality of the whites ..... from the standpoint of their "enlightened" modern sensibilities, of course. It is SO easy for we moderns to be critical of everyone but ourselves. Thus, if liberals don't think they themselves are capable of a mob-mentality they have only to look to their own recent behavior in howling for blood in the Travon incident. But yeah, Redkayak, this article does not do justice to the "war crimes" atrocities the Dakota committed. Thus, the Dakota look like the only real victims here. Or at least, the whites had it coming, eh? And therefore, whatever "healing" the STRIB had hoped for will be not forthcoming.

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awblnewAug. 16, 12 4:02 AM

I feel that denial is a disease that people "contract" to cope with and protect themselves from hard truths. Whether or not the Dakota walked (some most likely did) or rode in wagons (as some evidently did) is irrelevant. Denial encourages folks to miss the forest while sniping about the trees. History reveals truth not simply in it's details, but rather in outcomes over generations. Whether one is from a modern-day 'liberal' or 'conservative' tribe, the differences between right and wrong should still be discernible.

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mrpriusAug. 16, 12 4:10 AM

@ jarlmn- Stop listening to AM radio. I mean, "whiny liberals" come on, really? I agree 100 percent with your comment about "moderns" being critical of past events. But then YOU should stop looking at past events through today's political jingoisim. Tune out Rush and tune in to some jazz, classical, or even polka for cryin' out loud. Great writing Curt Brown, and a big thanks to the Strib for publishing this first class series.

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endothermAug. 16, 12 5:07 AM

I appreciate this series. This important moment in Minnesota history has been repressed or ignored for far too long. It is a tragedy on many different levels--the Dakota who were robbed, starved and mistreated, the innocent settlers (especially the children) who were killed when their desperation erupted into violence, and the Dakota who were killed or banished in the wake of the war. An entire people lost their homeland and their way of life. Minnesota eventually grew to become one of the most decent and civilized states in the Union, with some of the best education, infrastructure and health care. But we should never forget that the state was born of theft, corruption and murder. We need to own up to our dark past, make amends where appropriate and work together to make a better future. Pushing it under the rug doesn't do anybody any good.

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parrykeAug. 16, 12 9:15 AM

Hi folks, it's Kate Parry, editor of the series. Just to respond to Noggnbloggn's question about whether Curt is related to Dee Brown or the various Browns in the story, he's not -- that was pure coincidence. What a thoughtful discusssion you folks have going on here.

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webceltAug. 16, 12 9:42 AM

The first comment, saying just "great series", was mostly voted up but a minority voted down. To that minority, just what do you want? I don't know what prize there is for historical writing in a newspaper, but this writer should get it.

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elmslieAug. 16, 12 9:44 AM

Paganda, the depredation claims on file with the state (records available at the History Center) should enlighten you as to (some)of the farmsteads destroyed and payments to survivors. My great great grandfather and his family were lucky enough to survive, but lost their farm and all their possessions. Of course, several entire families were wiped out and could not file claims. People didn't carry cameras around with them, so we have to rely on written testimonies of eyewitnesses, just as we do with claims of "starvation" and "failed crops" on the part of the Indians.

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pagandaAug. 16, 1211:13 AM

I would like to hear more of the "documented" war crimes of the Dakota. It is written as a given; "Charred remains of farmhouses littered the Minnesota River Valley". How many? Why the speedy trials? The false flag concept has been around for eons and may have been used here. All of those "savages" must be removed from their homeland, so we can live here instead.

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