Review – Incorrect Statements

Review – Incorrect Statements
Summary
Posted March 7, 2014

To date, I have reviewed more than 200 products related to the Dakota War of 1862. I have accumulated incorrect statements from these products and have sorted them into categories. Many duplicate statements have been removed. A sampling of these incorrect statements is posted under “Incorrect” in the Menu above. In all, I have about 90 pages! This essay is a summary of these statements.

 General Comments 

  • The truth is tragic enough. We do not need to embellish or revise this history.
  • Many ethnic groups were involved. They all need to be included. But, many products focus on the Dakota perspective.
  • People search for and report the worst things the whites did to the Dakota. It appears that the Whites did nothing right.
  • Much more time and space are devoted to Dakota history than to other ethnic groups, especially after the Dakota War of 1862.
  • Many general statements about various groups are not correct because these statements do not apply to all persons in that group.
  • Many people today, have beliefs about Dakota history based on wrong information.

Continue reading

Review – MHS DW Website (7 of 7)

Minnesota Historical Society (MHS)
U.S./Dakota War of 1862 Website
http://usdakotawar.org/
7 – Today
http://usdakotawar.org/history/today
Reviewed on February 1, 2014 

Items of Interest 

General Comments

  • Unbalanced – The title of Part 7 of 7 should be changed from “Today” to “Dakota Today.” There is so very little said about white descendants that almost every statement is unbalanced in favor of the Dakota descendants. Rather than keep repeating this comment, only the most unbalanced statements are indicated.

Continue reading

Review – MHS DW Website (6 of 7)

Minnesota Historical Society (MHS)
U.S./Dakota War of 1862 Website
http://usdakotawar.org/
6 – Aftermath
http://usdakotawar.org/history/aftermath
Reviewed on January 30, 2014 

Items of Interest

There are a couple of excellent maps: one on the “Settler Deaths by Location” and one on the “Dakota Diaspora after 1862.” 

General Comments

  • Given the title of this part, I expected it to be balanced. However:
  • The “Aftermath” video has 5 Dakota and zero non-Dakota speakers.
  • In the main text sections, including the “Aftermath” video, there is more than 7 times as much text on the Dakota than on the settlers.
  • In the main text sections, not including the videos, the word “Dakota” appears 66 times while all the white ethnic group names appear 2 times.
  • In the “Internment Camp” video, there are 4 Dakota speakers and zero non-Dakota speakers.
  • Incorrect – This part shows that using quotes extracted from interviews is not a good idea if accuracy is desired.
  • Incorrect – Screens are not in chronological sequence. The heading options on 2 of the screens are wrong.

Continue reading

Review – MHS DW Website (5 of 7)

 Minnesota Historical Society (MHS)
U.S./Dakota War of 1862 Website
http://usdakotawar.org/
5 – War
http://usdakotawar.org/history/war
Reviewed on January 28, 2014 

Items of Interest

 Overall, this is the most balanced part of the 7 parts. However, in the video, Dakota speakers outnumber non-Dakota speakers by 6 to 1. In the main text sections, appearance of the word “Dakota” outnumbers the appearance of white ethnic group names by 38 to 2. But then in one of the “Key People” sections, the whites outnumber the Dakota by 22 to 11.

 General Comments

  • Unbalanced – Besides killing more than 650 whites, hostile Dakota decapitated, dismembered, brained, tortured, and scalped their victims. This was traditional Dakota warfare. Stories of these atrocities are not included. Later, the story is told of a Dakota baby being killed in Henderson. Where is the story of the 2 1/2 year old white girl who was snatched from her mother, held by her feet and dashed against a wagon wheel, her blood and brains spattering over her dying mother?
  • Incorrect and Disrespectful – A newspaper article under “Media Coverage of the War,” states that U.S. interpreter, Peter Quinn, was responsible for “criminal acts of aggression” at the Upper Agency. MHS states this occurred during the war. This is incorrect. It occurred two weeks prior to the war. The Indian Agent blamed Quinn for the break-in of the agency warehouse. Charles Flandrau and Timothy Sheehan later claimed that Quinn was not responsible. I ask that MHS either remove this newspaper item or date and interpret it correctly.  Continue reading

Review – MHS DW Website (4 of 7)

 Minnesota Historical Society (MHS)
U.S./Dakota War of 1862 Website
http://usdakotawar.org/
4 – Treaties
http://usdakotawar.org/history/treaties
Reviewed on January 26, 2014 

Items of Interest 

General Comments

  • Incorrect – By selection of incorrect statements from the interviews, MHS wants people to think the Dakota have been in the Minnesota area for thousands and thousands of years. This cannot be proven.
  • People may have entered present day Minnesota as early as 12,000 years ago.  The earliest human remains found, Brown’s Valley Man, are about 9,000 years old. We don’t know how many battles have been fought for this land.
  • When the Dakota Indians migrated, they killed members of other tribes and took their land. Traditional Dakota warfare was genocidal in nature. It didn’t matter if the victim was a man, woman or child. All were considered enemies.
  • Rather than kill Dakota people and take their land, the U.S. wrote treaties. These treaties provided many benefits to the Dakota people. Yes, there were many negative aspects of these treaties. MHS focuses on these negative aspects. The negative aspects need to be balanced with the many positive aspects.
  • Unbalanced and Disrespectful – The “Broken Promises” video is by far the worst feature on this website. It should be removed and all copies of it destroyed. It has no useful purpose. See my review below.
  • Incorrect – Sadly, there are many incorrect statements in MHS’s interpretation of the treaties. This doesn’t look good for MHS. MHS should set higher standards.  Continue reading

Review – MHS DW Website (3 of 7)

Minnesota Historical Society (MHS)
U.S./Dakota War of 1862 Website
http://usdakotawar.org/
3 – Newcomers
http://usdakotawar.org/history/newcomers
Reviewed on January 24, 2014 

Items of Interest 

General Comments

  • Unbalanced – In this section, there should be an unbalanced discussion in favor of the settlers in Minnesota. Instead, there is a long discussion of U.S. Indian policy, Indian agencies, Indian reservations and Indian boarding schools.
  • Unbalanced – The word “Dakota” appears 34 times in this text. The total count of the names of the white ethnic groups is 3.
  • Unbalanced – The words “German”, “Swedish”, “Sweden”, “Norwegian” and “Norway” do not appear in this text at all. It is as if these groups were not involved in the Dakota War of 1862. This is not right that MHS does this.  Continue reading