Review – MHS FR Info Website

Minnesota Historical Society Website
Fort Ridgely Historic Site Information
Fort Ridgely Media Room
Reviewed on August 27, 2015

Items of Interest

The Fort Ridgely Historic Site Information is presented by MHS to attract the public to the Fort Ridgely Historic Site. I do not know the purpose of the Fort Ridgely Media Room.

General Comments

  • Incorrect – One statement indicates there were “280 military and civilian defenders” while another statement indicates there were “280 military personnel and civilians.” Both statements are incorrect. See below.
  • Unbalanced – Information is provided on the Dakota after the Dakota War of 1862, but no information is provided on the soldiers or the settlers after the war.
  • Disrespectful – Government officials and fur traders are criticized without showing proof.

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Review – MHS – LSA Intro Video

Minnesota Historical Society (MHS)
Lower Sioux Agency Historic Site
Introduction Video
Posted August 23, 2015

Items of Interest

In January 2014, I reviewed MHS’s Dakota War Website and posted the reviews to this blog. The website consisted of 7 parts; each with a video introduction. These 7 smaller videos have been merged into one video for use at the Lower Sioux Agency Historic Site as an introduction to the site.

This merged video was shown in New Ulm on August 17, 2015, by Dakota representatives from the Lower Sioux Agency Historic Site.

The comments below are from my original 2014 review of the videos.

The MHS Dakota War Website is located at http://usdakotawar.org/

General Comments

  • Incorrect – There are 53 incorrect statements in these videos
  • Unbalanced – There are 12 unbalanced statements in these videos
  • Disrespectful – This combined video does not represent all the people who were at the Lower Sioux Agency in 1862.
  • This video should not be shown at the Lower Sioux Agency Historic Site. A more accurate, balanced and respectful video is needed.

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Review – MHS Online Classroom Website

 Minnesota Historical Society
Fort Snelling and the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862
http://collections.mnhs.org/ftsnelling1862/
Reviewed February 22, 2015

 Items of Interest

None

General Comments

  • —Incorrect – While Fort Snelling is part of the title, little is said about Fort Snelling.
  • —Incorrect – Complicated subjects are dealt with too briefly.
  • —Disrespectful – This website vilifies “the traders.” In defense of the traders, Chief Big Eagle said, “I do not say that the traders always cheated and lied about these accounts. I know many of them were honest men and kind and accommodating.”

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Review – Largest Mass Hanging – Website

United Native America.com
Largest Mass Hanging
http://www.unitednativeamerica.com/hanging.html

 Items of Interest

 “The thing about quotes on the Internet is that it is difficult to confirm their validity.”
         Abraham Lincoln

Of course, Abraham Lincoln never said this. The point is that just because you find it on the internet, does not make it true. The viewer and listener should be skeptical.

General Comments

  • There are many errors in this short piece.

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Review – Lincoln and the DW – Speeches

 CSPAN – American History TV
Hosted by Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia and the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, Washington DC
Lincoln and the Dakota War of 1862
November 15, 2012
http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/DakotaW

 Items of Interest

Text of the three speeches is provided, however, the text for the first two speeches has many gaps and incorrect words.

 General Comments

  • Disrespectful – People, especially Henry Sibley, are criticized unjustly, without showing proof. Sibley should be praised for his actions during and after the Dakota War of 1862.
  • Unbalanced – The trials of the Dakota Indians following the Dakota War of 1862 are criticized. Nothing is said about the charges against the 38 who were hanged. Nothing is said about the atrocities committed by hostile Dakota. Little is said about what to do with the hostile Dakota who violated the laws of warfare. Nothing is said about the Dakota trial system.
  • The legality of the Dakota trials is questioned. President Lincoln reviewed these trials and did not call them illegal. Nothing is said about this.

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Treaties – Stolen Land?

Stolen Land?
© January 21, 2015, John LaBatte

One of the worst methods of producing a product on the Dakota War of 1862 is to interview a group of people and then publish statements from the interviews. Many incorrect statements are made during these interviews. The producer edits and publishes what is said and takes no responsibility for the accuracy of what they publish.

Statements that suggest land was stolen from the Dakota Indians and never paid for are incorrect. Very few products mention that later payments were made to the Dakota and their descendants for land and annuities taken in 1863.

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Review – MHS FS Website

Minnesota Historical Society (MHS)
Fort Snelling Website
http://www.historicfortsnelling.org/
Reviewed January 9, 2015

 Items of Interest

Only the text related to the fur trade, Dakota War and Dakota Indians is reviewed.

 General Comments

  • Unbalanced – No mention is made of traditional Dakota warfare during the Dakota War of 1862. Hostile Dakota tortured, scalped, decapitated, dismembered, brained, poked out eyes, etc. The visitor cannot understand why Dakota were hanged and exiled. Traditional Dakota warfare was brutal.
  • Unbalanced – What happened to the Dakota after the war is discussed. What happened to the whites after the war is not discussed.
  • It is not possible to cover such complicated subjects with so little interpretation.

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