United Native America.com
Largest Mass Hanging
Items of Interest
“The thing about quotes on the Internet is that it is difficult to confirm their validity.”
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.
- There are many errors in this short piece.
Most Objectionable Statements
Largest mass hanging in United States history
—Incorrect – It was the largest simultaneous mass hanging.
38 Santee “Sioux” Indian men
—Incorrect – There was at least one white and several mixed-bloods among the 38
Mankato, Minnesota, Dec. 16, 1862
—Incorrect – It was December 26, 1862
303 Indian males were set to be hanged
—Incorrect – There was at least one white and several mixed-bloods among the 303
What brought about the hanging of 38 Sioux Indians in Minnesota December 26, 1862 was the failure “again” of the U.S. Government to honor it’s treaties with Indian Nations. Indians were not given the money or food set forth to them for signing a treaty to turn over more than a million acres of their land and be forced to live on a reservation.
—Incorrect – There was at least one white and several mixed-bloods among the 38.
—Incorrect – The hanging was the result of the mass-murder of more than 650 white men, women and children by hostile Dakota.
—Incorrect – The Dakota War of 1862 was caused by a variety of reasons. A late annuity payment was one of them. Food was issued to the Sisseton and Wahpetons, but not to the Mdewakanton and Wahpekute.
—Incorrect – Much more than one million acres was sold.
—Incorrect – They were not forced to live on a reservation.
Indian agents keep the treaty money and food that was to go to the Indians, the food was sold to White settlers, food that was given to the Indians was spoiled and not fit for a dog to eat.
—Incorrect – Indian agents did not keep the treaty money or the food. Show proof.
—Incorrect – Food was not sold to the White settlers. Show proof.
—Incorrect – Some food was unfit to eat but not all of it. Some of the food sent to the soldiers at Fort Snelling was unfit to eat.
Indian hunting parties went off the reservation land looking for food to feed their families, one hunting group took eggs from a White settlers land and the rest is history.
—Incorrect – The version of taking eggs is only one of many versions of this story.
Authorities in Minnesota asked President Lincoln to order the immediate execution of all 303 Indian males found guilty. Lincoln was concerned with how this would play with the Europeans, whom he was afraid were about to enter the war on the side of the South. He offered the following compromise to the politicians of Minnesota: They would pare the list of those to be hung down to 39. In return, Lincoln promised to kill or remove every Indian from the state and provide Minnesota with 2 million dollars in federal funds. Remember, he only owed the Sioux 1.4 million for the land.
—Incorrect – There was at least one white and several mixed-bloods among the 303.
—Incorrect – Show proof that Lincoln was concerned with how this would play with the Europeans.
—Incorrect – Lincoln did not offer a compromise to the politicians of Minnesota.
—Incorrect – Lincoln did not promise to kill or remove every Indian from the state.
—Incorrect – Lincoln did not offer to provide Minnesota with 2 million dollars.
—Incorrect – Lincoln did not owe the Sioux anything. More than 1.4 million was owed for the land.
So, on December 26, 1862, the Great Emancipator ordered the largest mass execution in American History, where the guilt of those to be executed was entirely in doubt…it was nothing more than murder to obtain the land of the Santee Sioux and to appease his political cronies in Minnesota.
—Incorrect – This was the largest simultaneous mass execution.
—Incorrect – For some of the 38, the crime did not justify the punishment. However, these 38 were implicated in the murders of at least 99 white men, women and children.
—Incorrect – The Dakota lost their land by going to war where hostile Dakota killed more than 650 white men, women and children. Later actions by the U.S. would pay them for annuities and land taken in 1863.
—Unbalanced – Now tell about the more than 650 white men, women and children who lost their lives to hostile Dakota.
Bounties were placed on the scalps of Dakota people which eventually reached $200
—Unbalanced – The hostile Dakota also placed bounties on the scalps of white people.
Governor Alexander Ramsey had declared on September 9, 1862 that “The Sioux Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state.”
—Disrespectful – Governor Ramsey represented the general public opinion.
The treatment of Dakota people, including the hanging in Mankato and the forced removal of Dakota people from Minnesota, were the first phases of Ramsey’s plan.
—Incorrect – Ramsey did not make these decisions. The U.S. did.
His plan was further implemented when bounties were placed on the scalps of Dakota people which eventually reached $200.
—Unbalanced – The Dakota also placed bounties on the scalps of white people.
Punitive expeditions were then sent out over the next few years to hunt down those Dakota who had not surrendered and to ensure they would not return.
—Incorrect – These expeditions were looking for the hostile Dakota.
After 38 of the condemned men were hanged the day after Christmas in 1862 in what remains the largest mass hanging in United States history, the other prisoners continued to suffer in the concentration camps through the winter of 1862-63.
—Incorrect – This was the largest simultaneous mass hanging.
—Incorrect – These were not concentration camps.
In late April of 1863 the remaining condemned men, along with the survivors of the Fort Snelling concentration camp, were forcibly removed from their beloved homeland in May of 1863.
—Incorrect – Not all of the Dakota were removed from Minnesota.
They were placed on boats which transported the men from Mankato to Davenport, Iowa where they were imprisoned for an additional three years.
—Incorrect – Not all of the men were taken to Davenport.
Those from Fort Snelling were shipped down the Mississippi River to St. Louis and then up the Missouri River to the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota.
—Incorrect – Not all of those at Fort Snelling were taken to Crow Creek.