1858 Treaties – Land

1858 Treaties – Land
© July 2, 2014, John LaBatte

 In 1858, there were two Dakota reservations on the upper Minnesota River. The Mdewakanton and Wahpekute bands were assigned to the lower reservation. The Sisseton and Wahpeton bands were assigned to the upper reservation. Each reservation was divided in half by the Minnesota River. In 1858, these Dakota bands signed 2 treaties with the U.S.: The Mdewakanton and Wahpekute signed one treaty. The Sisseton and Wahpeton signed another treaty. They were paid a second time for their reservation lands on the north side of the Minnesota River. This essay discusses the title held by these bands to this land, how many acres were involved, how much was paid per acre and the title held by these bands to their remaining reservations.  Continue reading

1851 Treaties – Land

1851 Treaties – Land
© July 11, 2014, John LaBatte

In 1851, leaders of the Sisseton, Wahpeton, Mdewakanton and Wahpekute bands of the Dakota Nation signed treaties with the U.S. They sold their right to occupy a large part of Minnesota and parts of present-day South Dakota and Iowa. They agreed to move to reservations along the upper Minnesota River where their people would learn to live as the whites. This essay discusses the title held by these bands to this land, how many acres were ceded, how much was paid per acre and the title held by these bands to their new reservations.  Continue reading

Review – Milford Reservation Line Sign

Brown County Historical Society
Location: North side of Brown CR 29 just west of Milford Monument
Revisited on June 10, 2014

 Items of Interest

Based on new research, the previous review of this sign has been deleted and this sign is being revisited.

This sign was written and erected by the Brown County Historical Society and funded by private individuals.

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Review – MHS Northern Lights Book – Revised 2nd Edition

Northern Lights: The Stories of Minnesota’s Past
Revised Second Edition
By Dave Kenney
St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2013.
Reviewed on June 1, 2014

 Items of Interest

Northern Lights is a Minnesota History textbook for 5th grade students in Minnesota schools. It is marketed by the Minnesota Historical Society.

This is a review of the Revised Second Edition. Refer to the review of the Second Edition elsewhere on this blog.

Only Chapters 3, 5, 6, 7, and 9 are reviewed. The comments below should not be viewed as representative of this book as a whole. The other chapters stand or fall on their own merit.

 General Comments

  • On page 8, there is a paragraph titled “Interpretation: “Telling a Story Based on Evidence.” It states that historians “try to explain what the primary sources say about the past.” On page 118, there is another paragraph that discusses the use of primary sources. I found many opinions that either are not correct or cannot be proven. Perhaps there should be more historians instead of politicians writing history books?
  • Incorrect – Use of the word “Dakota” is confusing. It is used as a dialect, as a band and as a nation. There are many generalities that do not apply to all “Dakota.” Who, where and when need to be defined.
  • Unbalanced – There needs to be a discussion on how the Dakota obtained land from other Indian nations. They killed members of other nations and took their land. Compare this to how the US obtained land.

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Review – Incorrect Statements

Review – Incorrect Statements
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.

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