Review – MHS FR Trail Signs

 Minnesota Historical Society
Fort Ridgely Trail Signs
Revised – October 20, 2014

 Items of Interest

 When these signs were installed, it was rumored, that MHS intended to make this a self-guided tour and close the Fort Ridgely interpretive center. If not for the Friends of Fort Ridgely and later Nicollet County Historical Society, the Fort Ridgely interpretive center would have closed.

 General Comments

  • U.S.-Dakota Conflict is used here while US-Dakota War is used in other exhibits.
  • The diagram of the Battles of Fort Ridgely is very incorrect.
  • Subjects that should be mentioned here, but are not:
    • Estimates of defenders, refugees and attackers
    • Specifications about the weapons especially the cannons
    • Lt. Sheehan’s forced-march back to Fort Ridgely
    • The return of the Renville Rangers to Fort Ridgely
    • Later in the 2nd battle, the Indians withdrew from the northeast and moved to the southwest to stage one final assault
    • Firing 2 red-hot cannonballs through the hallway of the commander and surgeon’s house into the barn to set it on fire
    • Battle of Birch Coulee

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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