Review – MHS Northern Lights Book – Rev. 2nd Ed.

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
Updated on March 17, 2016

 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.

Most Objectionable Statements

 Chapter 3 – Early Dakota

…these [Dakota] women stayed courageous and generous despite the loss of Dakota lands.
—What does this mean?

1492 – Dakota people are living throughout what is now Minnesota, Canada and the Dakotas.
—Incorrect – This cannot be proven.

Mid 1600s – Dakota people are introduced to European trade goods by other American Indian nations.
—Incorrect – This cannot be proven.

No other group of people currently living in Minnesota has been here longer than the Dakota.
—Incorrect – This cannot be proven.

Mni Sota Makoce: Dakota term that inspired the name of our state. It means, “land where the waters are so clear they reflect the clouds in the sky.”
—Incorrect – Minnesota takes it name from the Dakota name “Minisota” for the Minnesota River. Riggs, A Dakota-English Dictionary defines mini as “water” and sota as “clear, but not perfectly so; slightly clouded, but not turbid; of a milky whitish appearance; sky-colored.” The definition of Minnesota is based on content of its water not the reflection from its water.

Of all the people who live in modern-day Minnesota, the Dakota have lived here the longest.
—Incorrect – This cannot be proven.

Dakota history in this place goes back hundreds, some believe thousands of years, to the time when woolly mammoths and giant bison roamed the land.
—Incorrect – This cannot be proven.

human capital: the knowledge and skills individuals have that enhance their ability to earn income.
—What does this mean? Why not just describe Dakota culture rather than categorizing it with complicated modern day terms?

The Circle of History
—What does this mean? I do not understand this. I doubt that a 5th grader can understand it.

There are four official Dakota communities in Minnesota and reservations in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and in Canada.
—Incorrect – What does “official” mean? There is also a Dakota community in Montana. There are also 2 “unofficial” Dakota communities in Minnesota.

The Dakota have moved, or been forced to move frequently over the past 200 years.
—What does this mean? Who are “the Dakota?” When have they moved or been forced to move in the last 100 years? “Frequently” is not the correct word.

Bdewakantunwan
—For more information on Bdewakantunwan see “Definitions” on the top bar.

Though spread out across different landscapes, all Dakota groups considered themselves part of one large nation called the Dakota Oyate.
—Isn’t Oceti Sakowin the better term?
—What does Oyate mean?
—There are Lakota people who do not want to be called Dakota.

Map – Location of Seven Council Fires of the Dakota, or the Oceti Sakowin, around 1700
—Incorrect – Prove this was their land in 1700. Their borders and band locations changed often. Other Indian nations claimed parts of this land including the Black Hills.
—There are Teton people [Lakota] today who do not want to be called Dakota.

[Photo of the inside of a tipi]
—Incorrect – Not all Dakota used tipis this large.
—Incorrect – There is much confusion about who, where and when. All Oceti Sakowin bands did not move as stated. They had different seasonal cycles.

Chapter 5 – The Fur Trade

—Very well done except for the following:  

1680s – Following the alliance between the Dakota and Ojibwe in 1679. Ojibwe traders begin traveling into Dakota territory to pick up furs and deliver trade goods.
—This peace was short-lived.
—Fur traders also came up from Prairie du Chien. This attracted Dakota to the south. Traders also came up the Missouri River.

1736-1770 – The Dakota and the Ojibwe fight over territory. Warfare continues after 1770, but on a much smaller scale.
—Incorrect – The intensive long-lasting warfare between the Ojibwe and Dakota is down-played. The Ojibwe forced the last of the Dakota out of the Lake Mille lacs area.

Chapter 6 – The Land Changes Hands

1803 – The Louisiana Purchase adds 908,380 square miles to the United States.
—Incorrect – I find that about 828,000 square miles were added.

1805 – U.S. government buys land near present-day Fort Snelling from the Dakota.
—Incorrect – Not all Dakota bands were involved in this treaty.
—Incorrect – Fort Snelling was built on the land that was purchased.
—The US also bought land at the mouth of the St. Croix River.

1837 – The Ojibwe and the Dakota sign land treaties with the United States for land in western Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota.
—Incorrect – The 1837 Dakota Treaty involved only the Mdewakanton Band.

1851 – The Dakota and the U.S. government sign land treaties at Traverse des Sioux and Mendota.
—Incorrect – Only the Mdewakanton, Wahpekute, Sisseton and Wahpeton Dakota Bands signed these treaties.

In reality, however, this land belonged to the hundreds of American Indian nations that had lived there for centuries. If the United States wanted to expand, it would have to acquire land from those American Indian nations.
—Incorrect – In reality, Indian ownership of this land was tentative. The Dakota had a “right to occupy” land title. They could not sell their land to anyone other than the US.

The United States did not always live up to the commitments it made in these legal agreements [treaties].
—Disrespectful – What does this mean? Show proof. In 1803, France sold the United States the rights to more than 900,000 acres of land west of the Mississippi River.
—Incorrect – Earlier in this chapter, it states “The Louisiana Purchase adds 908,380 square miles to the United States.” “900,000 acres” should be “900,000 square miles.” However, as stated above, I believe that 908,380 square miles is not correct.

Pike camped…where the Minnesota River joined the Mississippi River. This area was important to the Dakota. They called it Bdote (beh-DOH-tay), the place where two rivers meet. Believed by many Dakota to be the place of origin of their people, Bdote had long been a place for celebrations and trade.
—For more information on Bdote see “Definitions” on the top bar.
—Incorrect – That Mdote is a place of origin is a recent belief. The Mille lacs Lake area has long believed to be the Dakota place of creation.

Many people recognize the value of places where two rivers come together. The Dakota call these places bdote.
—For more information on Bdote see “Definitions” on the top bar.

For now [1835] Americans could live only on the land purchased by Pike in 1805…
—Incorrect – Americans could live and build wherever the Dakota gave them permission to be. The Dakota name for the Minnesota River was Mni Sota Wakpa
—Incorrect – The Dakota name for the Minnesota River was Minisota. See Riggs, Dakota-English Dictionary. Map – Dakota Summer Villages and American Settlements, around 1840
—Absolutely Incorrect – Only 9 villages are shown. There were many more villages than this.
—Incorrect – Where is the Little Rapids village? In 1837, the Dakota and the Ojibwe signed treaties with the United States.
—Incorrect – The Mdewakanton Dakota Band signed a treaty with the US. [1838] The Dakota knew other native people had been pushed from their lands. They feared they would soon be forced to leave, too.
—Incorrect – We cannot possibly know what all Dakota knew and feared. annuity: an annual payment of food and money that the U.S. government paid to American Indians in return for their land.
—Incorrect – According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an annuity is “a sum of money payable yearly or at other regular intervals.” There were years when annuities were paid twice a year.
—Incorrect – The treaty payments included more than food and money.

[1849] More people wanted to move to the territory and settle in southern and western Minnesota. This land belonged to the Dakota, so the U.S. government would need to find a way to get it.
—Incorrect – More people wanted to move to the territory – period!
—What does this mean?

The US would need to find a way to get it. They already had the way. They had to wait for the right time. The Dakota would also retain a portion of their territory, called a reservation.
—Incorrect – There were two reservations.
—Incorrect – According to the terms of the 1851 treaties, they did not own their reservations.

When it came to signing treaties, some Dakota felt that they really had no choice…Treaties would allow them to reserve at least a portion of their land and control their own future.
—The Dakota did not own clear title to their land. They could only sell their land to the US. They owned the right to occupy this land.
—Incorrect – Treaties would not allow them to control their own future. To do this, they had to move west or north into Canada.

The Dakota recognized the fur trade was ending. Many of them believed that the annuities they would receive by signing treaties would allow them to buy the blankets, tools, and food necessary for survival.
—Incorrect – The fur trade was diminishing. Even by 1862, better Dakota hunters were bringing impressive quantities of furs.
—Incorrect – We cannot say what many of them believed.
—Incorrect – The treaties provided for much more than blankets, tools, and food.

[Quote of Iyangmani (Running Walker)] The Great Spirit does not smile. He growls at us. Something does not suit him. Our corn fields, where are they? Our young men cannot hunt. The powder in our rifles is wet. It will not burn. We kill no game. Nothing.
—Incorrect – This chief was identified as Walking-Thunder not Running Walker.
—Incorrect – This quote was taken out of context. The first sentence was “This high water is unusual.” Walking-Thunder was complaining about the high levels of water in the Minnesota River and the problems caused by large amounts of rain they had been receiving.

In addition, some Dakota were in debt. They needed to pay back what they owed to the fur traders.
—Incorrect – The Sisseton and Wahpeton Bands sign their 1851 Treaty because many were starving. Being in debt was secondary.

Most Americans believed the Dakota should adopt European-American ways.
—Incorrect – We cannot possibly know what most Americans believed.

This plan to make the Dakota stop being Dakota and adopt American ways was called assimilation. It was designed to teach the Dakota how to live in a world that was dominated by American ways of life. Many Americans did not realize how devastating this change would be to the Dakota.
—Incorrect – They would always be Dakota. There is more to culture than how people live.
—Incorrect – Assimilation, if possible, takes many generations.
—Incorrect – We do not know what many Americans realized.
—Incorrect – By 1862, there were about 250 Dakota families on farms.

This change was not devastating to these families.
—Incorrect – In 1862, the Yankton, Yanktonai and Teton Dakota Bands were affected very little by these changes.

The crowd also includes a small group of missionaries – Stephen Riggs among them – who live in the area.
—Incorrect – Stephen Riggs lived about 100 miles away at Lac qui Parle. 
—Too much text is devoted to the subject of waiting for all the Dakota to arrive at Traverse des Sioux. This space could be better used to explain the 1858 Treaties.  

First, they sign two copies of the treaty. Then Stephen Riggs guides them to another table, where they sign another document.
—Incorrect – Riggs guided some of them to the other table.

[Extended Tail Feathers quote:] You think it a great deal you are giving for this country. I don’t think so, for both our lands and all we get for them will at last belong to the white men. The money comes to us, but will all go to the white men who trade with us.
—Incorrect – The lands and all they get for them would not belong to the white men.
—Incorrect – The money that went to the traders was for purchases made by the Dakota.

They [American Indians] expected this land to be a place where they could live as they had traditionally – hunting, fishing, ricing, and planting their food. The U.S. government, however, considered reservations to be places where American Indians could learn to farm and live like American settlers. This conflict strained relations between American Indian nations and the government for many decades.
—Incorrect – It was obvious to Chief Little Crow and others that the 1851 reservations would not support traditional hunting.
—Incorrect – The Dakota were not confined to their reservations. They continued to leave the reservations to hunt on former hunting grounds.
—Strained relationships were caused by the traditional Dakota who did not want to become farmers. They harassed those who did.

Together, the two [1851] treaties required the Dakota to give up almost all their remaining lands in Minnesota – about 24 million acres. In exchange, the government promised to pay them more than $500,000 immediately, plus annuities of cash, food and goods for the next 50 years.
—Incorrect – The land ceded in the 1851 Treaties was never surveyed. It cannot be stated how many acres were given up.
—Incorrect – The treaties gave the Dakota much more than this.

…as the Dakota had suspected, much of the first cash payment went directly to fur traders like Henry Sibley, who claimed the Dakota owed them for goods they had purchased in previous years.
—Disrespectful – There is a tone in this statement that Sibley cheated the Dakota. If he did, show proof. At the treaty signing, some Dakota knew money was going to the traders. How many knew, cannot be determined.

By 1853, the Dakota were living on the new reservations. They depended on the annuities promised by the treaties to support themselves. The U.S. government also set aside a portion of these payments for education programs designed to teach the Dakota to live more like European Americans. These assimilation policies created great conflict.
—Incorrect – The Yankton, Yanktonai and Teton Dakota were not involved in these treaties and were not living on reservations.
—Incorrect – Not all of the Dakota who signed treaties in 1851, settled on the reservations by 1853.
—Incorrect – They also depended on crops raised by the US, crops raised by the Farmer Dakota, hunts off the reservations and additional issues of food.
—The conflict was caused by the Traditional Dakota who opposed their people becoming farmers.

In these treaties the Dakota ceded most of their remaining lands in Minnesota to the United States government in exchange for more than $3 million and a reservation.
—This money would not all be paid out in cash. With total interest paid, the actual amount paid would be greater than this.

Red Banner, or Chief Wapahasa (Wah-pah-hah-shah) explained to Luke Lea, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, why he did not want to sign the Treaty of Mendota.
—Did the Wabasha Family have input on this spelling and translation? 
—Incorrect – Pages 120 and 121 skip around. When and where is needed.
—Incorrect – Chief Little Crow’s speech was given in August 1862 not in 1851 as implied.

—Incorrect – The next speech, taken out of context and credited to Running Walker was given by Walking-Thunder at the 1851 Traverse des Sioux Treaty negotiations. He was complaining about all the rain they had been receiving.

Chapter 7 – Minnesota’s Newcomers

 —Very well done except for the following:

1825 – U.S. government arranges a treaty with Dakota, Ojibwe, and other American Indian nations. This sets tribal boundaries in the region, making later land deals easier to negotiate.
—Incorrect and Disrespectful – The 1825 Treaty was a “peace treaty.”

The US sought to stop warfare between the Indian nations by getting them to agree to tribal boundaries. Two major treaties between the Dakota and the U.S. government are signed, opening up southwestern Minnesota for American settlement.
—Incorrect – These two treaties were signed with the Mdewakanton, Wahpekute, Sisseton and Wahpeton Bands.
—Incorrect – More than southwestern Minnesota was opened up for settlement.

…[Harriet] Bishop…wrote a book called Dakota War Whoop…In it, she called Dakota soldiers names like “savage,” “inhuman monster,” and “heartless wretch.”…Today, though, some believe words like hers contributed to misunderstandings of what really happened in this war. At the time, people were divided over this issue, and that divide still exists today.
—Incorrect – Bishop reported stories of traditional Dakota warfare. Perhaps Northern Lights should report these stories of murder, torture, mutilation, and dismemberment and allow the reader to decide.
—Today, those who believe her words contributed to misunderstandings don’t want people to know about the brutal traditional warfare waged against white men, women and children.

Chapter 9 – U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

 General Comments about this chapter:

  • This chapter is not very well done.
  • Incorrect – There are many opinions in this chapter.
  • Unbalanced – In the 1858 Treaties, the Dakota were paid a second time for the north half of their reservations. This is not stated in this chapter.
  • Incorrect – The Dakota were not confined to these reservations.
  • Incorrect – The causes of the Dakota War were complicated. Not all of the causes are given here.
  • Incorrect – A Lower Dakota Soldiers’ Lodge made the decision to go to war. Any discussion of causes must consider why these 100-150 young men made the decision to go to war. Many Dakota joined and many were forced to join.
  • Incorrect – The majority of the Dakota leaders did not participate in this decision. The majority of the Dakota people did not join in this war against the whites. It was not a war between nations.
  • Unbalanced – Traditional Dakota warfare was all-out warfare against men, women, and children. They killed, tortured, scalped, decapitated, dismembered, brained, poked out eyes, etc. Why isn’t this discussed in this chapter?
  • Unbalanced and Disrespectful – Dakota who opposed the war allied with the US Army to rescue the hostages and bring an early end to the war. Why are these Dakota heroes given only a brief mention?
  • Unbalanced – The Dakota War aftermath discusses Dakota marches, trials, internment and prison camps and exile, but mentions little to nothing about the whites.
  • Unbalanced and Disrespectful – Nothing is said about the Dakota men who became scouts for the US Army after the Dakota War.

1858 – Treaty between Dakota and United States turns over the northern part of the Dakota reservation on the Minnesota River to the United States.
—Incorrect – There were two treaties in 1858 between the US and the Mdewakanton, Wahpekute, Sisseton and Wahpeton Bands.
—Incorrect – There were 2 reservations. The 1851 treaties of Traverse des Sioux and Mendota had left the Dakota with a narrow strip of land along the Minnesota River.
—Incorrect – These treaties included only the Mdewakanton, Wahpekute, Sisseton and Wahpeton Bands.
—Incorrect – At 20 miles wide and combined 139 miles long, this was hardly a narrow strip.

In 1858, Dakota leaders were taken to Washington, D.C., and kept there until they signed a treaty turning over the northern half of their reservation.
—Incorrect – Show proof that they could not go home had they wanted.
—Incorrect – There were 2 reservations.
—Unbalanced – They were paid a 2nd time for the north half of their reservations.
—Unbalanced – They were given ownership of the south half of their reservations.

All that remained of the original Dakota homeland was an even narrower strip, now just 10 miles wide.
—Incorrect – Combined, these reservations were 139 miles long. Why doesn’t MHS want the readers to know this?
—Unbalanced – They were given ownership of their remaining reservations.
—Incorrect – They were not confined to their reservations. In just one decade, the Dakota’s surroundings had changed so quickly that living life as they knew it was no longer possible.
—Incorrect – They could go west or into Canada. They were not confined to these reservations.
—Incorrect – This pertains to the traditional Dakota only. This does not pertain to those who chose to become farmers.

The annuities were often late, increasing tensions.
—Incorrect – Prove that they were often late. Northern Lights uses U.S. – Dakota War of 1862 because this name shows it was a war between two sovereign nations.
—Absolutely Incorrect – It was not a war between two sovereign nations. It was a war between the US and a minority faction of the Dakota Nation.
—Incorrect – The List of names for this war omits “Dakota War of 1862.”

The Dakota’s reservation along the Minnesota River was split into two areas – each with its own government field office, or agency.
—Incorrect – There were two reservations.

The Lower Sioux Agency was near the confluence of the Minnesota and Redwood Rivers.
—Incorrect – At first it was. It soon was moved about 6 miles to the east.

[Robert Hopkins and family in front of their farmhouse] A group of Dakota in the summer of 1862
—Disrespectful – The name of this Dakota man should be given and he should be identified as a Christian and farmer.
—Incorrect – Taopi is mentioned in the next paragraph as if he is the man in the photo.

As they became increasingly outnumbered, many Dakota decide it would be wise to show outward signs of fitting in with their new neighbors. By making some changes in appearance, these Dakota believed the newcomers would not feel as threatened by them and would leave them alone.
—Incorrect – This is an opinion. Show proof that this is correct. These polices were designed to make the Dakota change their traditional lifestyle and adopt European American practices.
—Incorrect – Those who converted to farming and Christianity chose to convert.

The agent also handed out the food and money that the U.S. government had promised the Dakota under the treaties of 1851 and 1858.
—Incorrect – The treaties of 1851 and 1858 provided for much more than food and money.

Traders provided goods to the Dakota and expected them to pay their debts when they received their annuities. The traders kept written records of every business deal they made. The Dakota did not. Some Dakota indicated they did not trust all the traders. This added to tension on the reservation.
—Disrespectful – This implies that all traders cheated the Indians. Prove this and name the traders.
—Disrespectful – Chief Big Eagle also 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.” Why isn’t his entire quote given here?

Several historical accounts suggest that Myrick and other traders enraged the Dakota when they dismissed their appeals for food in August 1862. It is likely the traders were worried they would not be paid for their goods.
—Incorrect – The traders also learned that the Lower Dakota Soldiers’ Lodge planned to refuse to pay their debts when the annuity money arrived.
—Incorrect – Not all traders stop giving credit.
—Disrespectful – It was the government’s responsibility to feed the Indians.

Many traditional Dakota were angry because the government gave extra food, tools, and livestock to the farm Dakota. More importantly, traditional Dakota often blamed farm Dakota for abandoning their heritage.
—The tensions were caused by the traditional Dakota. This map shows communities on near the Dakota reservation. In 1858, Dakota leaders were forced to give up the northern half of their reservation by the U.S. government.
—Incorrect – Not all Dakota communities are shown. Why show just 3 Indian villages? —Incorrect – Lac qui Parle was not a community in 1858. —Incorrect – Birch Coulee was not a community in 1858.
—Incorrect – By terms of the 1851 treaties, the Dakota did not own the north half of their reservations. But, they were paid a 2nd time for this land in the 1858 treaties.

Unfortunately, annuity payments often arrived later than expected. This was especially true in 1862, as gold coin was scarce due to the Civil War.
—Incorrect – Show proof that payments often arrived late.
—Is this correct? Prove that the Civil War caused the 1862 annuity to be late.

When annuities were late, the Dakota often turned to the traders for food and supplies.
—They traded with the traders at other times as well.
—The Indian Agent also issued food in times of need. In the summer of 1862, he issued food to the Upper Dakota and refused to issue food to the Lower Dakota.

In the summer of 1862, traders shut down the entire credit system.
—Incorrect – Not all traders shut down the credit system.
—Incorrect – It was the responsibility of the US to feed the Indians.

The traders were worried that if the annuity money never arrived, the Dakota would be unable to pay off their debts.
—The traders also learned that the Lower Dakota Soldiers’ Lodge planned to refuse to pay their debts when the annuity money arrived.

By the middle of August 1862…many Dakota were suffering from a lack of food. Living on the reservation meant the Dakota could no longer travel the plains, hunting for fresh meat. Their poor diet meant many Dakota, especially children, were unable to fight off sickness.
—Incorrect – The Dakota were not confined to the reservations.
—Is this correct? Prove that many Dakota were unable to fight off sickness.

Some Dakota wanted to remain peaceful. Others, though, were ready to fight back.
—Incorrect – The majority of the Dakota people opposed war with the whites.

Four young Dakota men killed five European American settlers near the town of Acton in an argument over eggs.
—Incorrect – There was not a town of Acton in 1862. This occurred in Acton Township.
—Incorrect – There are many different stories about what caused the Acton murders. An argument over eggs is only one of them.

That night, traditional Dakota discussed the situation among themselves.
—A Lower Dakota Soldiers’ Lodge made the decision for war. Not all the Dakota leaders were involved in this decision.

Later, some of the farm Dakota helped arranged the release of many European American prisoners who were being held by traditional Dakota.
—Incorrect – Farmer Dakota, Christian Dakota and others who opposed the war allied with the US Army, rescued the white and mixed-blood hostages and brought an early end to this war.

[At Camp Release] Over 2,000 surrendered to Sibley’s forces.
—Incorrect – Many waited for Sibley to arrive. They did not surrender.
—Unbalanced and Disrespectful – More needs to be said about the “friendly Indians” who allied with the US Army, rescued the hostages and brought an early end to this war.

The war had taken a tremendous toll on the region’s people and landscape. Just over 70 U.S. soldiers and between 75 and 100 Dakota soldiers had been killed. More than 500 settlers had been killed, most in raids by the Dakota in the first week of the war.
—Is this correct? Just over 70 US soldiers had been killed?

Henry Sibley held some of the trials of the accused Dakota in this trader’s house at the Lower Sioux Agency.
—Incorrect – This was Francois LaBathe’s summer kitchen.

That fall, Colonel Sibley set up a military court to judge the hundreds of Dakota that his men had taken prisoner. He set up this court in the kitchen of one of the Lower Sioux Agency’s trading houses…They rushed through dozens of cases each day.
—Is this correct? Was Sibley a colonel or general by this time?
—Incorrect – The first trials were held at Camp Release.
—Incorrect – There were not dozens of cases each day. Some trials took more than a day.
—Incorrect – Not all Dakota men were tried. Not all tried were found guilty. Not all guilty were sentenced to hang. Some were sentenced to prison terms.

At the urging of Minnesota missionary Henry Whipple, Lincoln’s staff reviewed the cases.
—Incorrect – Lincoln’s staff reviewed the trials because it was required by law that the president review and approve the death sentences.
—Incorrect – Whipple was not the only person who was urging leniency.

It was the largest mass execution in U.S. history, before or since.
—Incorrect – It was the largest simultaneous mass execution in US history.
—Unbalanced – The mass-murder of more than 550 white civilians by hostile Indians was the largest in US history.

President Lincoln ordered the rest of the convicted men be moved from Mankato to a military prison camp in Iowa called Camp McClellan.
—Is this correct? Did Lincoln order this?

The U.S. government decided to force the rest of the Dakota – including many who did not participate in the attacks – to leave their homeland.
—Incorrect – Moving them to Fort Snelling did not remove them from their homeland.

About 1,700 Dakota women, children, and elders were forced to travel just over 100 miles from the Lower Sioux Agency to an internment camp on the riverbanks below Fort Snelling.
—Absolutely Incorrect – They were forced by circumstances to go to Fort Snelling. Some such as Gabriel Renville chose to go.
—Absolute Incorrect – There were young men such as Gabriel Renville in this group.

The Dakota were encamped on the river banks surrounded by a wooden wall…There were many people still angry about the war and several Dakota were attacked and killed.
—The wall was built to protect them from the angry whites.
—Incorrect – Prove that any were attacked and killed at Fort Snelling.

Overall, between 100 and 200 Dakota died from disease, illness, and attacks during the miserable winter of 1862 to 1863.
—Incorrect – According to the official count, 102 died in the Fort Snelling camp.
—Unbalanced – How many whites died after the war from injuries received during the war and from epidemics that swept the crowded refugee towns?

After the war, the exiled Dakota were split into two groups. Dakota women, children, and elders were sent to Fort Snelling and then to the Crow Creek Reservation in Dakota Territory in 1863. The convicted Dakota men were first sent to a prison camp in Iowa.
—Absolutely Incorrect – Those sent to Fort Snelling and Crow Creek included young men.
—Absolutely Incorrect – Not all of the Dakota were removed from the State in 1863.

By early 1863, the U.S. government had canceled all treaties they had signed with the Dakota in Minnesota…The Dakota would be forced to leave the state.
—Unbalanced – In the 1970s, Dakota descendants were paid for land and annuities taken in 1863.
—Incorrect – Not all of the Dakota were forced to leave the state. Only about 200 Dakota who had helped the settlers during the war were allowed to stay.
—Incorrect – Not all of the Dakota who helped settlers were allowed to stay. Not all of those who were allowed to stay, helped settlers.
—Unbalanced and Disrespectful – Some who stayed became scouts for the US Army.

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