Review – Comp I Essays

Composite I Essays 

Items of Interest

A total of 22 Essays are included in this review. These include letters to editors, newspaper and magazine articles, items posted on the internet, etc.   

I have tried to remove duplicate statements. 

General Comments 

  • Almost all of these essays embellish and revise history in favor of the Dakota Indians. The truth is sad enough; it does not need to be embellished or revised.
  • People are still healing from effects of the Dakota War of 1862. As some of these authors point out, these people need to hear the truth to help their healing process.
  • Very little information is given by these authors about the whites during the war, after the war and their recovery.
  • Let’s not forget that the decision for war was made by 100-150 men of a Lower Sioux soldiers’ lodge. We have to consider why they wanted war.
  • Some statements need an essay in response. I tried to be as brief as possible.

Most Objectionable Statements

Thus the 1753 to 1862 period was a time of continuing war against the Dakota people. This went on until almost all of their land was taken from them. The once successful and well established Dakota were under pressure to become extinct. Fort Snelling, an area once populated by Mdewakanton and their allies the Hidatsa, was abandoned to the Americans.
—Incorrect – There was not continuing war between the Dakota and the U.S. from 1753 to 1862.
—Incorrect – If the U.S. wanted to exterminate the Dakota, they could have.
—Incorrect – The Hidatsa never were in the Fort Snelling area. Prove that they were ever allied with the Mdewakanton.

President Thomas Jefferson is on record having the view that Indians stood in the way of progress, and the now familiar policy of “by any means necessary” was part of his strategy.
—Incorrect – Prove that Jefferson’s policy was in effect in 1862 or that it was ever in effect.

Surely, the church was also culpable in the efforts to wipe out native culture and religion.
—Absolutely incorrect – The missionaries saved the Dakota language. The missionaries sought to Christianize and civilize Dakota who chose to change.

Two major treaties [1851] followed…the Indians would cede…some 24 million acres, over half the Minnesota Territory…In exchange, the government promised to pay them $3 million over a 50-year period, in annuities of goods and money.
—Incorrect – Some say 35 million acres. It is not certain how many acres were ceded.
—Incorrect – This was less than half of Minnesota Territory.
—Incorrect – The U.S. promised to pay the interest only.
—Incorrect – The treaties provided much more than goods and money.

The Dakota spent their treaty annuities on credit before they ever received the funds, which caused them to trade away land north of the Minnesota River to repay debts.
—Incorrect – Not all Dakota used credits.
—Incorrect – By the terms of the 1851 Treaties, they did not own the land on the north side of the river. In 1858, they were paid to give up their claims to this land.

…the traders, who extended credit to the Dakota, had arranged that they were the first to be paid when the annual annuities arrived.
—Incorrect – In 1861, the traders collected their own debts from the Dakota after they were paid.

Statehood came on the backs of many Indian people who were pushed out, so farmers could have land.
—What does this mean that many Indian people were pushed out?

Thousands of homesteads were taken at the point of a gun or simply by moving into existing Dakota homes and cleared land.
—Absolutely incorrect – Where was Dakota land that was taken at the point of a gun.
—Incorrect – Where did settlers move into existing Dakota homes and take their land?
—Unbalanced – The Dakota killed members of other tribes and took their land.

…federal policy of taking land from American Indians was “a sense of entitlement” felt by many Americans…Many European immigrants received land they were told was open and available, not knowing of Dakota claims on the land.
—Unbalanced – When the Dakota took land by force from other tribes, what did they feel?
—Incorrect – The Dakota gave up their land in the treaties.

…on Aug. 14, a large group of New Ulm residents sent a petition to Governor Alexander Ramsey, voicing their fears of a possible Indian outbreak…That said Indians considering said payment justly due to them and relying on the same for their subsistence…have committed several outrages and threaten to overwhelm these frontier settlements with Indian Warfare…That the rumor has spread…the United States Government has paid the money in gold for said Indians long ago, but that said money has been corruptly misapplied in speculations…by the Hon. Clark Thompson, Superintendent of the Indian Affairs…
—Incorrect – To quote a petition based on rumors, without interpretation is poor history. 
—Incorrect – I have not found that the Dakota committed outrages and threatened war.
—Incorrect – Prove that the U.S. paid this money in gold “long ago.”
—Disrespectful – This was a rumor. Was Clark Thompson guilty?

First, the Dakota, many of whom had come to hate and fear the whites because they saw the whites as cheating them, robbing them of their land, and destroying their culture, took a particular dislike to the citizens of New Ulm.
—Incorrect – It is not possible to know what “many” Dakota felt about the whites.
—Incorrect – Refer to LaBatte, The New Ulm Pioneer and the Indians. Dakota were often in New Ulm. They would not be there if they feared and hated the Germans.

The citizens of New Ulm had once jailed a Dakota man for disturbing the peace and the chiefs had to ask the military to rescue him.
—What does this mean? Obviously it did not matter as the Dakota were frequently in New Ulm.

The Dakota felt the farmers were encroaching…The Dakota thought the Germans were particularly miserly…
—Incorrect – We cannot state what “the Dakota” felt and thought.
—Unbalanced – What did the Germans think about the Dakota?

Rudolf Leonhart…described his wife’s reaction to a dance the Dakota performed as “so repulsive” that she was overcome by nausea.
—Incorrect – If she saw a scalp dance, she could have been overcome by nausea.

New Ulm is a place that Dakota people rarely venture into today because the memories associated with the town are so painful…
—Extremely incorrect – One of the many myths told and repeated by some people.

Indian Agent Thomas Galbraith did have food in the government warehouses at both the Lower and Upper Sioux Agencies, but he did not want to distribute it to the Dakota at that time…some traders had decided to suspend…credit to the Dakota, so this source of food was severely restricted.
—Incorrect – Not all Dakota were starving.
—Incorrect – Galbraith did issue food at the Upper Agency.
—Incorrect – Not all the traders refused to sell provisions on credit. Many refused to give credit because they learned Dakota were planning to refuse to pay their debts.
—Incorrect – The U.S., not the traders, was responsible for feeding the Dakota.

…In early August 1862, a large group of Dakota assembled at the Upper Sioux Agency and broke into the warehouse where the food was stored. A heated, dangerous confrontation followed between the Dakota and U.S. soldiers, very nearly precipitating the War at that time.
—Incorrect – Yes, there was a conflict over food at the Upper Sioux Agency; but, it would be Lower Dakota who decided to go to war.

Treaties established that Indians were entitled to food and annuity payments but the US government reneged on those obligations and put the Indians in a position of impending starvation.
—Incorrect – By spring of 1862, Dakota were starving and babies were dying. We don’t know how many were starving and dying. It is not certain why the annuity payments were late. Food was issued to the upper Dakota.

In exchange for their lands, the Dakota were to receive annual annuities which they expected to live on. Unfortunately, the annuities did not contribute substantially towards their annual needs. Game and fur-bearing animals were rapidly disappearing, and these things were sources of frustration to the Dakota.
—Incorrect – Annual annuities were not their only source of support. Among other things, the Dakota received cash, food, supplies, communal farms and gardens, government farmers and education to help them become farmers.
—Incorrect – Game had been disappearing for many years.

…the Dakota, after having agreements broken and being forced onto reservations, were often near starvation because unscrupulous traders and others were stealing the money the Indians were supposed to receive.
—Incorrect – Many Dakota villages were already on the reservations. They did not have to move. Dakota leaders, when they signed the treaties, agreed to move.
—Incorrect – Prove that “the Dakota” were often near starvation.
—Incorrect and disrespectful – Name the unscrupulous traders and show proof.

Dakota came from a hunting background, but were never field farmers, like the federal government and missionaries tried to make them become by providing them oxen and plows.
—Incorrect – The U.S. and missionaries offered a choice. By 1862, at least 250 Dakota families chose to move to farms. The U.S. could not keep up with the demand.
—Incorrect – The U.S. provided oxen, the use of plows and help in getting started.
—Incorrect – The missionaries provided the use of oxen and plows and help in getting started.
—Incorrect – The farmers continued to hunt.

Also, the Dakota saw large numbers of settlers coming in to settle their former lands, and sometimes relations between the two were strained as they came from different cultures who did not understand one another.
—Incorrect – I can find no primary sources that state this difference in cultures was a cause of the war.

When the payments for the land sales did not arrive or were stolen by the fur traders, the Dakota could not buy any food. In the summer of 1862, the Dakota were dying of hunger and were forced into either war or starvation. They went to war.
—Incorrect – Which payments never arrived?
—Incorrect and disrespectful – Name the traders and show proof they stole Dakota money.
—Incorrect – “The Dakota” were not dying. We do not know how many were dying.
—Incorrect – The majority of the Dakota Indians opposed war with the whites.
—Incorrect – It was not necessary to kill more than 650 whites to obtain food.
—Incorrect – The causes of the Dakota War were many and complicated.

Fatigued, unable to grow and store crops for the requisite six months, unable to hunt in a more and more restricted territory where game was scarce, having to wait for unscrupulous U.S. agents to deliver on promised food and supplies… The only reasonable thing left was to strike out to save family and home. Who could blame them for their sense of desperation?
—Incorrect – Who was fatigued?
—Incorrect – Who was unable to grow and store crops? In 1862, there was a bumper crop on the reservations.
—What does “six months” mean?
—Disrespectful – Name the unscrupulous agents and show proof.
—Incorrect – They did not have to kill more than 650 whites to save family and home.

Treaties, dating back to 1805 and before, restricted Native Americans from providing for their families, causing people to starve, to the point where government reports said war was inevitable in 1862, but the reports were ignored…
—Incorrect – Over-hunting their fur-bearing animals caused Dakota to starve. The upper Dakota signed the 1851 Treaty of Traverse des Sioux because they were starving.
—Incorrect – Other causes of starvation were poor crops in 1861, followed by a bad winter and an agent who refused to issue food to the Lower Dakota in the spring of 1862.
—Incorrect – More research is needed on these reports before concluding they were ignored.

One of the government agents responsible for meeting the treaty requirements, Andrew Myrick; summed up the U.S. government position when he said: “as far as I’m concerned they can eat grass or dung”.
—Incorrect – Myrick was not a government agent. He was a fur trader.
—Incorrect – This was not the U.S. government position.

Then four reckless young Indians killed a white family on Aug. 17, 1862, and a war was on. Before it was quelled six weeks later, between 300 and 800 white settlers and several times that many Dakota were dead.
—Disrespectful – We don’t know why 5 settlers were killed. It cannot be said these Indians were reckless.
—Incorrect – Five people from 3 different families were killed.
—Absolutely incorrect – More than 650 whites were killed and about 145 Dakota were killed.

The first attack occurred on August 17, near present-day Litchfield. Four Dakota rushed a white household, killing three men, a woman, and a 15-year-old girl.
—Incorrect – The Acton murders were one of the causes of the war not the first attack.
—Incorrect – They did not “rush” the household.
—Incorrect – The girl was killed at another house.

Then, on Aug. 17, four young Dakota men killed five settlers at Acton in Meeker County, and the Dakota decided to go to war.
—Incorrect – “the Dakota” did not decide to go to war. A minority of their leaders made the decision. The majority of the Dakota leaders opposed the war.

…he [Little Crow] declared war. Coordinated attacks began the next day. But of the 7,000-member Dakota community, only a fraction chose to participate.
—Incorrect – War had already been declared before Little Crow was involved.
—Incorrect – Not all of the attacks were coordinated.
—Incorrect – In the 1861 annuity census, there were 6300 Dakota. 7000 is too high.
—Incorrect – Of the estimated 1500 Dakota men capable of bearing arms, about 1/3 chose to participate.

Most of the war was in the southern half of Minnesota, where federal officials forced Dakota people to live in a small area along the Minnesota River.
—Incorrect – Most of the war was in southwestern and western Minnesota.
—Incorrect – Dakota leaders agreed to move to reservations. They freely moved off and on the reservations.
—Incorrect – At 10 miles wide and combined 150 miles long, the 1862 reservations were hardly a small area.

…there is plenty of evidence of atrocities toward Indians by white soldiers and civilians…Indian women and children were slaughtered.
—Incorrect – Where were these atrocities?
—Incorrect – Where were Dakota women and children slaughtered?
—Unbalanced – Dakota also committed atrocities and murders of white women and children.

His district [Meeker County] is where the worst of the conflict played out.
—Incorrect – Most of the conflict played out in Renville and Brown Counties.

Brown County, home to New Ulm, was hit hardest during the U.S.–Dakota War.
—Incorrect – There were more deaths in Renville County.

…a group of Dakota from two of the four tribes in Minnesota attacked the settlers in August…
—Incorrect – There were only 3 Indian tribes in Minnesota in 1862.
—Incorrect – If the author thinks the Mdewakanton, Wahpekute, Sisseton and Wahpeton were tribes, this is incorrect. According to the Treaties of 1851 and 1858, these were bands. The Lower Sioux Community website calls these groups bands.
—Incorrect – Members from all 4 Dakota bands attacked the settlers.

The dress belonged…to Mary Schwandt, whose family settled near the town of Beaver Falls…That was the year that a brutal, six-week war between Dakota Indians and U.S. government forces swept through the Minnesota River Valley.
—Incorrect – There was not a town of Beaver Falls in 1862.
—Incorrect – The hostile Dakota also attacked settlers.

[Second Battle of New Ulm] – At around 3 p.m., Flandrau, followed by some 50 men, charged down (south) Minnesota Street…The Dakota had come up Third South, but they left Third South and went through the grass between Minnesota and German Streets. Flandrau and his men came out from behind a house (the August Kiesling house and blacksmith shop) and they encountered the Dakota who were on their left flank…the Dakota were driven from their concealed position in the grass and retreated to the south and east down Third South.
—Incorrect – Third South runs northeast-southwest. How did the Dakota retreat to the south and east down Third South? Which direction is down? It is impossible to use this narrative in New Ulm and figure out what happened.

The Dakota were intent on attacking New Ulm because they thought the town was built on reservation land.
—Incorrect – Hostile Dakota attacked New Ulm because it was there. Hostile Dakota were attacking almost if not all whites in the area.

…there is not an accurate count on the number of soldiers who died in the Battle of Birch Coulee.
—Incorrect – There is an accurate count of white soldiers who died.

…over 1,200 people would be killed over the course of two months in actual combat.
—Incorrect – More than 650 whites and about 145 Dakota were killed.

Up to 600 white civilians and soldiers died in the war, with unknown numbers of Dakota dying.
—Incorrect – More than 650 whites and about 145 Dakota were killed during the war.

Dakota casualties are estimated at 50 to 60 (although hundreds of survivors, expelled from the state, would later die from disease and starvation related to their exile).
—Incorrect – I estimate Dakota killed during the war at about 145.
—Unbalanced – Hundreds of whites also died after the war.

The 1862 death toll in…the Dakota War…ran well past 500, including 38 Dakota men who were hanged…Many more Dakota people died in ensuing years…
—Incorrect – More than 650 whites and about 145 Dakota were killed during the war.
—Unbalanced – Hundreds of whites also died after the war.

…Governor Alexander Ramsey—a man who called for the extermination and expulsion of Dakota from the state, and after the war authorized a serious of vicious “punitive expeditions” against escaping bands of Indians.
—Disrespectful – Ramsey was representing the popular opinion of the public.
—Incorrect – Ramsey did not authorize the punitive expeditions; the U.S. did.

Congress established a $25 bounty per scalp on any Dakota found free in Minnesota…
—Incorrect – Congress did not establish bounties; the State did.
—Unbalanced – The hostile Dakota also offered bounties for white scalps.

The 26th marked the end of the war and the beginning of a redefined order for the Dakota people. On Dec. 26, 1862, 38 Dakota men and boys were publicly hanged in Mankato; they were accused of participating in attacks on white settlers…A few weeks earlier, the forcible exile of the Dakota people began when they were driven from the state in a grim 150-mile march that few of the mostly women, children and seniors were strong enough to undertake. Years of the starvation, disease and mistreatment that led up to the attacks had taken a harsh toll on the population, and many died on that march. Last month, a group of descendants and other individuals commemorated the march by walking from the Lower Sioux Agency outside of Morton, Minn., to Fort Snelling — the original path in reverse.
—What does “redefined order” mean?
—Incorrect – There were mixed-bloods and one white among the 38.
—Incorrect – Most were convicted of murdering and raping white civilians.
—Incorrect – They were not force-marched nor did they march 150 miles.
—Incorrect – There were enough horses and wagons for those who wanted to ride.
—Incorrect – Prove that there were years of starvation, disease and mistreatment and that they “had taken a harsh toll on the population.”
—Incorrect – Prove that “many died on that march.”
—Incorrect – Lower Sioux Agency is not outside Morton, it is across the river.
—Incorrect – The commemorative march was about 95% off-course of the original march.
—Incorrect – The commemorative march was not in reverse of the original route.

…the trials that originally condemned 300 Dakota to death were anything but trials.
—Unbalanced – The focus is on the trials. The focus should be on the reason for the trials. More than 650 whites were killed by Indians.
—Unbalanced – The Dakota trial system is not discussed. There wasn’t one.

Nearly 400 Dakota were tried summarily for “murder and other outrages” against Americans…There were no arraignments, no official charges, no legal counsel. In many cases, whole trials occurred in less than five minutes—so quickly that many Dakota did not even realize they had been before a commission. Ultimately, 303 were sentenced to death. President Lincoln, fearing a hideous episode, quickly ordered that the number be reduced to 39—probably an arbitrary figure.
—Incorrect – Many of these statements are not correct. See Bachman, Northern Slave – Black Dakota for an accurate account of the Dakota trials.

…more than 300 Dakota men were ordered hanged…President Abraham Lincoln could not authorize that large a number of executions, so he lowered the number to 38.
—Incorrect – Lincoln reduced the number to 39 who had committed war crimes. This included rapes and murders of civilians.

…the 38 were baptized by local ministers and given Christian names prior to the hanging.
—Incorrect – Not all 38 were baptized.

It began with the worst slaughter in frontier history. It ended with a hanging…in what remains the largest mass execution to ever take place in the United States.
—Incorrect – According to some, it still has not ended.
—Incorrect – This was the largest simultaneous mass execution in U.S. history.
—Unbalanced – This war was the largest mass-murder of civilians by Indians in U.S. history.

On the day after Christmas, there will be, as usual, a small gathering in Mankato on the anniversary of the mass execution of 38 Dakota men. They were sentenced to die by an Army tribunal that devoted mere minutes to the convictions of hundreds of Indians who admitted participating in the war. The hanging was ghastly.
—Incorrect – There were mixed-bloods and one white among the 38.
—Incorrect – See Bachman, Northern Slave – Black Dakota for the correct interpretation of the trials.

As a result off the uprising more than 1,600 of Dakota women, children, and old men, were placed in a concentration camp below the bluffs of Fort Snelling. At least 300 people died of illness and starvation at the Fort Snelling concentration camp.
—Incorrect – There were also young men in this group.
—Incorrect – This was not a concentration camp.
—Incorrect – It cannot be proven at least 300 people died at Fort Snelling.
—Incorrect – It cannot be proven that anyone died of starvation.

Minnesota isn’t the only place in the world plagued by historic trauma. Germany has its Auschwitz. South Africa has its Apartheid Museum.
—Incorrect – What happened in Minnesota doesn’t come close to what happened in Germany and South Africa.

Thousands more [Dakota] were interned in concentration camps — one at Minnesota’s hallowed Fort Snelling — before being forced into exile in Dakota Territory.
—Incorrect – About 1600-1700 were moved to the Fort Snelling internment camp. About 400 were moved to the Mankato prison camp.
—Incorrect – Not all of those in the Fort Snelling camp were exiled.

And to top it off the following year the Dakota or Ojibwa were expelled from Minnesota entirely (with a few exceptions).
—Incorrect – The Ojibwa were not expelled from Minnesota.
—“entirely” and “with a few exception” are contrary.

After the war, he [Tunkanhnamani] was deported, along with many other Dakota prisoners, to an internment camp in Davenport, Iowa. At least 150 would die there…
—Incorrect – This was a prison camp.
—Incorrect – Fewer than 150 died at Davenport.

…Indian children would be forced into boarding schools that were deliberately designed to eradicate all vestiges of native culture. Cut off from their families, language and traditions, Indian children were subjected to a harsh form of cultural genocide.
—Unbalanced – Generally, white and Dakota children were not removed from good homes and sent to boarding schools.
—Unbalanced – The boarding schools also helped poor families who financially could not care for their children.

The Indian Removal Act was intended to banish Dakota from Minnesota except for approximately 180 military and church members pardoned by Bishop Henry Whipple.
—Is this correct that there were 180?
—Incorrect – Most of not all of the Dakota who served the military were also church members.
—Incorrect – Bishop Whipple did not pardon anybody.

What happened to Little Crow’s body speaks volumes about the attitudes of the Dakota War victors. It was mutilated the day after he was shot in 1863…
—Unbalanced – Bodies of white victims were also mutilated by hostile Dakota during the war.

The uprising was in response to horrific conditions imposed on the Indians by the local agencies; the “genocide” was a reaction to the massacre.
—Incorrect – 100-150 young Dakota men made the decision to go to war. The reasons they went to war were many and complicated. The majority of the Dakota opposed war with the whites.
—Incorrect – If the whites committed genocide, they would have killed all of the Dakota Indians. If the whites committed genocide, then the Dakota did also.

…what happened in 1862 and afterward remains one of the most heinous crimes in human history. If the same events were to happen today, the international community would accurately cry “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing,” while most of Minnesota’s founding fathers would be put on trial in criminal courts such as the Hague for crimes against humanity. Citizens of the state would, at the very least, be subject to moral condemnation for their support and execution of genocidal policies.
—Incorrect – These statements are opinions.
—Incorrect and unbalanced – Who committed genocide in 1862? More than 650 whites were killed. About 285 whites and mixed-bloods were kidnapped and forcibly removed to camps at Little Crow’s village and Camp Release.

The treatment of the Dakota people, including the hangings of 38…and the forced removal of all Dakotas from the state, were the first phases of Ramsey’s plan. His plan was further implemented when bounties…were placed on the scalps of Dakota people…
—Unbalanced – The author does not explain why these things happened.
—Incorrect – All of the Dakota were not removed from the state.
—Incorrect – The U.S., not Ramsey, made the decision to hang 38 and remove most of the Dakota from the state.
—Incorrect – Bounties were placed on Dakota scalps because they were returning to the state and committing atrocities and murders.
—Unbalanced – Hostile Dakota also offered bounties for white scalps.

[Near St. Cornelia Church] – The anonymous remains…in cardboard boxes…Once they had been men, women and children. Few, if any, had taken a major part in the war that cost the lives of hundreds of white settlers and was the last desperate act of a people whose culture and land were being taken from them. But they were all punished. They were all Dakota.
—Incorrect – Dakota were punished because more than 650 whites were killed.
—Incorrect – The majority of the Dakota Indians opposed war with the whites.
—Incorrect – They did not lose their culture; they chose to change.
—Incorrect – Their land was not taken from them; they chose to sell it.

In the 150 years since, there’s been little public show of “brotherly love and affection” between the triumphant U.S. forces and the vanquished Dakota people.
—What does this mean? There should be brotherly love and affection between white soldiers and the Dakota people? What about between the white people and the Dakota soldiers?

After 150 years, it seems we are finally ready to talk about what it took to settle this country, and who was already here.
—What does this mean?
—Unbalanced – The Dakota killed members of other tribes and took their land.

On Dec. 26, the City of Minneapolis declared…“The Year of the Dakota: Remembering, Honoring, Truth-Telling”…The resolution included the terms genocide, concentration camps, bounties, and forced marches…
—Unbalanced – Who will remember the white victims of the war?
—Unbalanced – Hostile Dakota killed more than 650 whites during the war.
—Unbalanced – If Fort Snelling and Mankato were concentration camps, Little Crow’s village and Camp Release were also concentration camps.
—Unbalanced – Hostile Dakota Indians also offered bounties for white scalps.
—Unbalanced – Whites were forced-marched to Little Crow’s village and Camp Release.

The Land grab is just the tip of the iceberg…
—Incorrect – The land was taken because Dakota went to war. Dakota descendants were paid in the 1970s for land taken in 1863.

The truth of that war needs to be told. The truth will bring the healing that the people need.
—This statement comes from a person who “said several times more Dakota were killed during the war than whites.” If truth is needed for healing, then start telling the truth.

The first step in dealing with this past is public acknowledgement of the magnitude of harms perpetrated against Dakota people. Once this history of genocide is acknowledged, Minnesotans will have to ask themselves, “What does recognition of genocide demand?”…the recognition of genocide requires a period of mourning. It requires contrition. And it requires reparative justice.
—Incorrect – Genocide was not committed against the Dakota people. Traditional Dakota warfare was genocidal in nature.
—Unbalanced – The Dakota War of 1862 was tragic for all sides. Shouldn’t the descendants of the more than 650 whites killed during the war also receive reparative justice from the hostile Dakota who killed their ancestors?

Until Americans learn the true history of their country, they will continue to repeat the mistakes of the past.
—Incorrect – This situation was unique in history. How could it be repeated? 

What better way to commemorate our statehood than to seek forgiveness and reconciliation with the Native people? It is time we face our cultural ancestors’ genocide and take steps to reconcile the pain and hurt inflicted upon the Native people.
—Unbalanced – Who will apologize for the more than 650 innocent whites during the war? This could also be called genocide.

This isn’t an ancient story. It is the story of Minnesota’s original sin.
—Incorrect – The U.S. government was responsible for what happened to the Dakota.

There also are disputes among whites. Some insisted that the state do nothing that looks like an apology, while others seek reconciliation.
—Incorrect – What does this mean? Reconciliation is not possible because it means different things to different people.

There are no markers commemorating settlers in Mankato, but there were no battles here.
—Disrespectful – There were settlers killed by hostile Dakota in Blue Earth County.  Mankato remembers the 38 men who were hanged. Who will remember these settlers?

Up until the 1970s, when a group of local residents and Native Americans began a process of reconciliation, the history of the war was clearly written from the winner’s perspective: Uprising savages slaughter settlers; brave settlers and soldiers defend, defeat and punish them.
—Incorrect – Yes, the whites wrote much of the history, but there was good white and Dakota history.

What happened in 1862 (in Minnesota) is largely ignored by historians…
—Incorrect – Judging by the reviews on this blog, it receives much attention.

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